Category Archives: Life

Day Thirty Ninth (A Journey with Quran)

Surah An Nisa: Ayats 11 — 20

11. Allah (thus) directs you as regards your Children’s (Inheritance): to the male, a portion equal to that of two females: if only daughters, two or more, their share is two-thirds of the inheritance; if only one, her share is a half. For parents, a sixth share of the inheritance to each, if the deceased left children; if no children, and the parents are the (only) heirs, the mother has a third; if the deceased left brothers (or sisters) the mother has a sixth, ( the distribution in all cases) after the payment of legacies and debts. Ye know not whether your parents or your children are nearest to you in benefit. These are settled portions ordained by Allah. and Allah is All-knowing, All-wise.

12. In what your wives leave, your share is a half, if they leave no child; but if they leave a child, ye get a fourth; after payment of legacies and debts. In what ye leave, their share is a fourth, if ye leave no child; but if ye leave a child, they get an eighth; after payment of legacies and debts. If the man or woman whose inheritance is in question, has left neither ascendants nor descendants, but has left a brother or a sister, each one of the two gets a sixth; but if more than two, they share in a third; after payment of legacies and debts; so that no loss is caused (to any one). Thus is it ordained by Allah. and Allah is All-knowing, Most Forbearing.

13. Those are limits set by Allah. those who obey Allah and His Messenger will be admitted to Gardens with rivers flowing beneath, to abide therein (for ever) and that will be the supreme achievement.

14. But those who disobey Allah and His Messenger and transgress His limits will be admitted to a Fire, to abide therein: and they shall have a humiliating punishment.

15. If any of your women are guilty of lewdness, Take the evidence of four (reliable) witnesses from amongst you against them; and if they testify, confine them to houses until death do claim them, or Allah ordain for them some (other) way.

16. If two men among you are guilty of lewdness, punish them both. If they repent and amend, Leave them alone; for Allah is Oft-returning, Most Merciful.

17. Allah accept the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and repent soon afterwards; to them will Allah turn in mercy: For Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom.

18. Of no effect is the repentance of those who continue to do evil, until death faces one of them, and he says, “Now have I repented indeed;” nor of those who die rejecting Faith: for them have We prepared a punishment most grievous.

19. O ye who believe! Ye are forbidden to inherit women against their will. Nor should ye treat them with harshness, that ye may take away part of the dower ye have given them,—except where they have been guilty of open lewdness; on the contrary live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. If ye take a dislike to them it may be that ye dislike a thing, and Allah brings about through it a great deal of good.

20. But if ye decide to take one wife in place of another, even if ye had given the latter a whole treasure for dower, Take not the least bit of it back: Would ye take it by slander and manifest wrong?

Translation: Abdullah Yusuf

Day Thirty Eight (A Journey with Quran)

Yesterday was the end of the third Surah Al Imran. Today begins the fourth chapter of the Quran: An Nisaa, or The Women. It tells the Believers to be just in dealing with women, orphans, and the laws of inheritance. This Surah, which contains 177 verses, was revealed in Medina. Next to Surah Al-Baqarah, it is the longest Surah of the Qur’an from the point of the number of words and letters.

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

1. O mankind! reverence your Guardian-Lord, who created you from a single person, created, of like nature, his mate, and from them twain scattered (like seeds) countless men and women;—fear Allah, through Whom ye demand your mutual (rights), and be heedful of the wombs ( that bore you): for Allah ever watches over you.

2. To orphans restore their property ( when they reach their age), nor substitute (your) worthless things for (their) good ones; and devour not their substance (by mixing it up) with your own. For this is indeed a great sin.

3. If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, Marry women of your choice, Two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or (a captive) that your right hands possess, that will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice.

4. And give the women (on marriage) their dower as an obligation; but if they, of their own good pleasure, remit any part of it to you, Take it and enjoy it with right good cheer.

5. To those weak of understanding give not your property, which Allah hath made a means of support for you, but feed and clothe them therewith, and speak to them words of kindness and justice.

6. Make trial of orphans until they reach the age of marriage; if then ye find sound judgment in them, release their property to them; but consume it not wastefully, nor in haste against their growing up. If the guardian is well-off, let him claim no remuneration, but if he is poor, let him have for himself what is just and reasonable. When ye release their property to them, take witnesses in their presence: but all-sufficient is Allah in taking account.

7. From what is left by parents and those nearest related there is a share for men and a share for women, whether the property be small or large,— a determinate share.

8. But if at the time of division other relatives, or orphans or poor, are present, feed them out of the (property), and speak to them words of kindness and justice.

9. Let those (disposing of an estate) have the same fear in their minds as they would have for their own if they had left a helpless family behind: let them fear Allah, and speak appropriate words.

10. Those who unjustly eat up the property of orphans, eat up a Fire into their own bodies: They will soon be enduring a Blazing Fire!

Translation: Abdullah Yusuf

Day Thirty Seventh (A Journey with Quran)

Surah Al Imran: Ayats 191 — 200

191. Men who celebrate the praises of Allah, standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and contemplate the (wonders of) creation in the heavens and the earth, (With the thought): “Our Lord! not for naught Hast Thou created (all) this! Glory to Thee! Give us salvation from the penalty of the Fire.

192. “Our Lord! any whom Thou dost admit to the Fire, Truly Thou coverest with shame, and never will wrong-doers find any helpers!

193. “Our Lord! we have heard the call of one calling (Us) to Faith, ‘Believe ye in the Lord,’ and we have believed. Our Lord! Forgive us our sins, blot out from us our iniquities, and take to Thyself our souls in the company of the righteous.

194. “Our Lord! Grant us what Thou didst promise unto us through Thine apostles, and save us from shame on the Day of Judgment: For Thou never breakest Thy promise.”

195. And their Lord hath accepted of them, and answered them: “Never will I suffer to be lost the work of any of you, be he male or female: Ye are members, one of another: Those who have left their homes, or been driven out therefrom, or suffered harm in My Cause, or fought or been slain,- verily, I will blot out from them their iniquities, and admit them into Gardens with rivers flowing beneath;- A reward from the presence of Allah, and from His presence is the best of rewards.”

196. Let not the strutting about of the Unbelievers through the land deceive thee:

197. Little is it for enjoyment: Their ultimate abode is Hell: what an evil bed (to lie on)!

198. On the other hand, for those who fear their Lord, are Gardens, with rivers flowing beneath; therein are they to dwell (for ever),- a gift from the presence of Allah. and that which is in the presence of Allah is the best (bliss) for the righteous.

199. And there are, certainly, among the People of the Book, those who believe in Allah, in the revelation to you, and in the revelation to them, bowing in humility to Allah. They will not sell the Signs of Allah for a miserable gain! For them is a reward with their Lord, and Allah is swift in account.

200. O ye who believe! Persevere in patience and constancy; vie in such perseverance; strengthen each other; and fear Allah. that ye may prosper.

Translation: Abdullah Yusuf

The Ayats 193 — 194 is a lovely prayer which I say morning, and evening after saying my Farz prayers.

Our Lord! Forgive us our sins, blot out from us our iniquities, and take to Thyself our souls in the company of the righteous.

194. “Our Lord! Grant us what Thou didst promise unto us through Thine apostles, and save us from shame on the Day of Judgment: For Thou never breakest Thy promise.”

This plaque hangs on my bedroom wall. I’m afraid my Arabic writing isn’t much, but this reminds me when I forget to recite it.

Day Thirty Sixth( A Journey with Quran)

Surah Al Imran: Ayats 181 — 190

181. Allah hath heard the taunt of those who say: “Truly, Allah is indigent and we are rich!”—We shall certainly record their word and (their act) of slaying the prophets in defiance of right, and We shall say: “Taste ye the penalty of the Scorching Fire!

182. “This is because of the (unrighteous deeds) which your hands sent on before ye: For Allah never harms those who serve Him.”

183. They (also) said: “Allah took our promise not to believe in a Messenger unless he showed us a sacrifice consumed by Fire (From heaven).” Say: “There came to you Messengers before me, with clear Signs and even with what ye ask for: why then did ye slay them, if ye speak the truth?”

184. Then if they reject thee, so were rejected Messengers before thee, who came with Clear Signs, Scriptures, and the Book of Enlightenment.

185. Every soul shall have a taste of death: And only on the Day of Judgment shall you be paid your full recompense. Only he who is saved far from the Fire and admitted to the Garden will have succeeded: for the life of this world is but goods and chattels of deception.

186. Ye shall certainly be tried and tested in your possessions and in yourselves; and ye shall certainly hear much that will grieve you, from those who received the Book before you and from those who worship many gods. But if ye persevere patiently, and guard against evil,— then that will be a determining factor in all affairs.

187. And remember Allah took a Covenant from the People of the Book, to make it known and clear to mankind, and not to hide it; but they threw it away behind their backs, and purchased with it some miserable gain! And vile was the bargain they made!

188. Think not that those who exult in what they have brought about, and love to be praised for what they have not done,— think not that they can escape the penalty. For them is a penalty Grievous indeed.

189. To Allah belongeth the dominion of the heavens and the earth; and Allah hath power over all things.

190. Behold! in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alternation of night and day, — there are indeed Signs for men of understanding,—

Translation: Abdullah Yusuf

The Wild Beanstalks

The arbor which Son built for our grape vines

There are at present four grape vines growing, one in each corner. The front two ones which we bought on the internet, were costly. They were lush, and vibrant, in the initial stage of planting. One of them had immediately sprouted minuscule bunches of grapes. Then the rain happened. Suddenly they looked like withered twigs, and the leaves turned brown. We feared the worst, believing that they were dead.

Now Masha’Allah tiny leaves have reappeared again. I’m still holding my breath at whether they will survive.

The two other grape vines were inexpensive ones, which we bought from our nearest Walmart. They were doing well, but one of them is barely surviving. Something is fond of it’s leaves. Last evening when I went to water my plants, I noticed all the leaves have been eaten. Poor thing! I did spray a repellent on it’s leaves, but it didn’t help at all. And today when I looked at it, it has practically disappeared all together.

Masha’Allah all the pineapple tops I had planted (four in the ground, and two in pots) have grown new leaves inside the cluster of old ones. Once they grow lush I may post a photo of them.

I have to wait a week to gather enough okra to cook from the few plants I planted. Insha’Allah I will be planting more of them next summer. The egg plants have sprouted flowers. The Bell Peppers are having a slow growth. Son has given me Magical Growth to fertilize the plants, but the big trouble is the way grasses, weeds, and other such growth profit more than the plants.

My neighbor Lily gave me a few bean seeds, and two bitter gourd plants. The bean seeds grew into gigantic bean stalks to rival the beanstalk Jack had, we all read in our childhood stories. It’s spreading like wild fire, but alas I haven’t seen a single bean yet. Same is the case with the bitter gourd plants. There are flowers, but no bitter gourd in sight.

The wild Beanstalks

Day Thirty Fifth (A Journey with Quran)

Surah Al Imran: Ayats 171 — 180

171. They glory in the Grace and the bounty from Allah, and in the fact that Allah suffereth not the reward of the Faithful to be lost (in the least).

172. Of those who answered the call of Allah and the Messenger, even after being wounded, those who do right and refrain from wrong have a great reward;-

173. Men said to them: “A great army is gathering against you”: And frightened them: But it (only) increased their Faith: They said: “For us Allah sufficeth, and He is the best disposer of affairs.”

174. And they returned with Grace and bounty from Allah. no harm ever touched them: For they followed the good pleasure of Allah. And Allah is the Lord of bounties unbounded.

175. It is only the Evil One that suggests to you the fear of his votaries: Be ye not afraid of them, but fear Me, if ye have Faith.

176. Let not those grieve thee who rush headlong into Unbelief: Not the least harm will they do to Allah. Allah’s plan is that He will give them no portion in the Hereafter, but a severe punishment.

177. Those who purchase Unbelief at the price of faith,- not the least harm will they do to Allah, but they will have a grievous punishment.

178. Let not the Unbelievers think that our respite to them is good for themselves: We grant them respite that they may grow in their iniquity: But they will have a shameful punishment.

179. Allah will not leave the believers in the state in which ye are now, until He separates what is evil from what is good nor will He disclose to you the secrets of the Unseen. But He chooses of His Messenger. (For the purpose) whom He pleases. So believe in Allah. And His apostles: And if ye believe and do right, ye have a reward without measure.

180. And let not those who covetously withhold of the gifts which Allah Hath given them of His Grace, think that it is good for them: Nay, it will be the worse for them: soon shall the things which they covetously withheld be tied to their necks Like a twisted collar, on the Day of Judgment. To Allah belongs the heritage of the heavens and the earth; and Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do.

Translation: Abdullah Yusuf

Day Thirty Fourth (A Journey with Quran)

Surah Al Imran. Ayats 161 – 170


161.
No prophet could (ever) be false to his trust. If any person is so false, He shall, on the Day of Judgment, restore what he misappropriated; then shall every soul receive its due,- whatever it earned, —- and none shall be dealt with unjustly.

162. Is the man who follows the good pleasure of Allah like the man who draws on himself the wrath of Allah, and whose abode is in Hell?- A woeful refuge!

163. They are in varying grades in the sight of Allah, and Allah sees well all that they do.

164. Allah did confer a great favour on the Believers when He sent among them a Messenger from among themselves, rehearsing unto them the Signs of Allah, purifying them, and instructing them in Scripture and Wisdom, while, before that, they had been in manifest error.

165. What! When a single disaster smites you, although ye smote (your enemies) with one twice as great, do ye say?— “Whence is this?” Say (to them): “It is from yourselves: for Allah hath power over all things.”

166. What ye suffered on the day the two armies met, was with the leave of Allah, in order that He might test the Believers,—

167. And the Hypocrites also. These were told: “Come, fight in the way of Allah, or (at least) drive (the foe from your city).” They said: “Had we known there would be a fight, we should certainly have followed you.” They were that day nearer to Unbelief than to Faith, saying with their lips what was not in their hearts. But Allah hath full knowledge of all they conceal.

168. (They are) the ones that say, (of their brethren slain), while they themselves sit (at ease): “If only they had listened to us they would not have been slain.” Say: “Avert death from your own selves, if ye speak the truth.”

169. Think not of those who are slain in Allah’s way as dead. Nay, they live, finding their sustenance in the presence of their Lord.

170. They rejoice in the Bounty provided by Allah, and with regard to those left behind, who have not yet joined them (in their bliss), the (martyrs) glory in the fact that on them is no fear, nor have they (cause to) grieve.

Translation: Abdullah Yusuf

Day Thirty third (A Journey with Quran)

Surah Al Imran: Ayats 151 – 160

151. Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority: their abode will be the Fire: And evil is the home of the wrong-doers!

152. Allah did indeed fulfil His promise to you when ye with His permission were about to annihilate your enemy, — until ye flinched and fell to disputing about the order, and disobeyed it after He brought you in sight (of the Victory) which ye covet. Among you are some that hanker after this world and some that desire the Hereafter. Then did He divert you from your foes in order to test you but He forgave you: For Allah is full of grace to those who believe.

153. Behold! ye were climbing up the high ground, without even casting a side glance at any one, and the Messenger in your rear was calling you back. There did Allah give you one distress after another by way of requital, to teach you not to grieve for (the booty) that had escaped you and for (the ill) that had befallen you. For Allah is well aware of all that ye do.

154. After (the excitement) of the distress, He sent down calm on a band of you overcome with slumber, while another band was stirred to anxiety by their own feelings, Moved by wrong suspicions of Allah, suspicions due to ignorance. They said: “Have we any hand in the affair?” Say thou: “Indeed, this affair is wholly Allah’s.” They hide in their minds what they dare not reveal to thee. They say (to themselves): “If we had had anything to do with this affair, we should not have been in the slaughter here.” Say: “Even if you had remained in your homes, those for whom death was decreed would certainly have gone forth to the place of their death”; but (all this was) that Allah might test what is in your breasts and purge what is in your hearts. For Allah knoweth well the secrets of your hearts.

155. Those of you who turned back on the day the two hosts met, it was Satan who caused them to fail, because of some (evil) they had done. But Allah Has blotted out (their fault): For Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Forbearing.

156. O ye who believe! Be not like the Unbelievers, who say of their brethren, when they are travelling through the Earth or engaged in fighting: “If they had stayed with us, they would not have died, or been slain.” This that Allah may make it a cause of sighs and regrets in their hearts. It is Allah that gives Life and Death, and Allah sees well all that ye do.

157. And if ye are slain, or die, in the way of Allah, forgiveness and mercy from Allah are far better than all they could amass.

158. And if ye die, or are slain, Lo! it is unto Allah that ye are brought together.

159. It is part of the Mercy of Allah that thou dost deal gently with them, were thou severe or harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about thee: so pass over (their faults), and ask for ( Allah’s) forgiveness for them; and consult them in affairs (of moment). Then, when thou hast taken a decision, put thy trust in Allah. For Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him).

160. If Allah helps you, none can overcome you: If He forsakes you, who is there, after that, that can help you? In a Allah, then, let believers put their trust.

Translation: Abdullah Yusuf

Day Thirty second (A Journey with Quran)

Surah Al Imran: Ayats 141 – 150

141. Allah’s object also is to purge those that are true in Faith and to deprive of blessing those that resist Faith.

142. Did ye think that ye would enter Heaven without Allah testing those of you who fought hard (In His Cause) and remained steadfast?

143. Ye did indeed wish for death before ye encountered it: now ye have seen it with your own eyes, (and ye flinch!).

144. Muhammad is no more than a Messenger: many were the Messengers that passed away before him. If he died or were slain, will ye then turn back on your heels? If any did turn back on his heels, not the least harm will he do to Allah; but Allah (on the other hand) will swiftly reward those who (serve Him) with gratitude.

145. Nor can a soul die except by Allah’s leave, the term being fixed as by writing. If any do desire a reward in this life, We shall give it to him; and if any do desire a reward in the Hereafter, We shall give it to him. And swiftly shall We reward those that (serve us with) gratitude.

146. How many of the prophets fought (in Allah’s way), and with them (fought) large bands of godly men? but they never lost heart if they met with disaster in Allah’s way, nor did they weaken (in will) nor give in. And Allah Loves those who are firm and steadfast.

147. All that they said was: “Our Lord! Forgive us our sins and anything we may have done that transgressed our duty: establish our feet firmly, and help us against those that resist Faith.”

148. And Allah gave them a reward in this world, and the excellent reward of the Hereafter. For Allah Loveth those who do good.

149. O ye who believe! If ye obey the Unbelievers, they will drive you back on your heels, and ye will turn back (from Faith) to your own loss.

150. Nay, Allah is your Protector, and He is the best of helpers.

Translation: Abdullah Yusuf

Tafsir (Explanation) for Ayat 144

When the rumour of the Prophet’s martyrdom spread during the battle, it disheartened most of the Companions. The hypocrites who were in the Muslim camp began to advise the believers to approach ‘Abd Allah b. Ubayy so that he might secure protection for them from Abu Sufyan. Some went so far as to say that had Muhammad really been the Messenger of God he would not have been put to death, and for that reason they counselled people to revert to their ancestral faith. It is in this context that the Muslims are now told that if their devotion to the truth is wholly bound up with the person of Muhammad (peace be on him), and if their submission to God is so lukewarm that his demise would cause them to plunge back into the disbelief they had cast off, then they should bear in mind the fact that Islam does not need them.

The ‘ones who are grateful’ are those who fully appreciate God’s favour in making the true religion available to them, and thereby intimating to them knowledge of a realm that is infinitely vaster than this world. Such people appreciate that God has graciously informed them of the truth so that the consequences of human endeavour are not confined to the brief span of earthly life but cover a vast expanse, embracing both the present life and the much more important life of the Hereafter.

A grateful man is he who, having gained this breadth of outlook and having developed this long-range perception of the ultimate consequences of things, persists in acts of righteousness out of his faith in God and his confidence in God’s assurance that they will bear fruit in the Hereafter. He does so even though he may sometimes find that, far from bearing fruit, righteousness leads to privation and suffering in this world. The ungrateful ones are those who persist in a narrow preoccupation with earthly matters. They are those who disregard the evil consequences of unrighteousness in the Hereafter, seizing everything which appears to yield benefits and advantages in this world, and who are not prepared to devote their time and energy to those acts of goodness which promise to bear fruit in the Hereafter and which are either unlikely to yield earthly advantages or are fraught with risks. Such people are ungrateful and lack appreciation of the valuable knowledge vouchsafed to them by God.