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.

Day Thirty first (A Journey with Quran)

Surah Al Imran. Ayats 131 – 140

131. Fear the Fire, which is repaired for those who reject Faith:

132. And obey Allah and the Messenger. that ye may obtain mercy.

133. Be quick in the race for forgiveness from your Lord, and for a Garden whose width is that (of the whole) of the heavens and of the earth, prepared for the righteous,-

134. Those who spend (freely), whether in prosperity, or in adversity; who restrain anger, and pardon (all) men;- for Allah loves those who do good;-

135. And those who, having done something to be ashamed of, or wronged their own souls, earnestly bring Allah to mind, and ask for forgiveness for their sins,- and who can forgive sins except Allah.- and are never obstinate in persisting knowingly in (the wrong) they have done.

136. For such the reward is forgiveness from their Lord, and Gardens with rivers flowing underneath,- an eternal dwelling: How excellent a recompense for those who work (and strive)!

137. Many were the Ways of Life that have passed away before you: travel through the earth, and see what was the end of those who rejected Truth.

138. Here is a plain statement to men, a guidance and instruction to those who fear Allah.

139. So lose not heart, nor fall into despair: For ye must gain mastery if ye are true in Faith.

140. If a wound hath touched you, be sure a similar wound hath touched the others. Such days (of varying fortunes) We give to men and men by turns: that Allah may know those that believe, and that He may take to Himself from your ranks Martyr-witnesses (to Truth). And Allah loveth not those that do wrong.

Translation: Abdullah Yusuf

Taken from tafsir (explanation) for Ayat 134 is the excerpt below

The existence of interest in a society generates two kinds of moral disease. It breeds greed and avarice, meanness and selfishness among those who receive interest. At the same time, those who have to pay interest develop strong feelings of hatred, resentment, spite and jealousy. God intimates to the believers that the attributes bred by the spread of interest are the exact opposite of those which develop as a result of spending in the way of God, and that it is through the latter rather than the former that man can achieve God’s forgiveness and Paradise.

No Meeting

We both met each other for the first time at the doctor’s office. Son, and I had shifted back from New Bedford, Massachusetts, and I had needed a primary care physician, which Son selected for me. The lady in question introduced herself, and found out my name, and so on. She had my phone number before I left.

She phoned me the next day, and so our telephonic conversations started. She invited me to a lunch at her home. Before I could reciprocate, I had to leave for Peshawer. After coming back the COVID-19 took place, and my children decided that their mother shouldn’t go out at all. She should remain at home to be safe from the threat of catching the dreaded virus.

There was a time when parents made decisions for their children, but now it is the other way round. Parents have to follow the rules which the children implement.

In the beginning I balked, but now I’m so used to staying at home. Son tired of frequent driving tries to coax me to drive him here, and there. I turn him down. Now the lady whom I met a few months earlier wants to visit me, because she was asking for my address. I was like very reluctant. When you know that the virus is still out there, it’s kind of hard to ignore it.

Day Thirtieth (A Journey with Quran)

Surah Al Imran. Ayats 121 – 130.

121. Remember that morning Thou didst leave Thy household (early) to post the faithful at their stations for battle: And Allah heareth and knoweth all things:

122. Remember two of your parties meditated cowardice; but Allah was their protector, and in Allah should the faithful (Ever) put their trust.

123. Allah had helped you at Badr, when ye were a contemptible little force; then fear Allah. thus May ye show your gratitude.

124. Remember thou saidst to the Faithful: “Is it not enough for you that Allah should help you with three thousand angels (Specially) sent down?

125. “Yea, – if ye remain firm, and act aright, even if the enemy should rush here on you in hot haste, your Lord would help you with five thousand angels Making a terrific onslaught.

126. Allah made it but a message of hope for you, and an assurance to your hearts: (in any case) there is no help except from Allah. The Exalted, the Wise:

127. That He might cut off a fringe of the Unbelievers or expose them to infamy, and they should then be turned back, frustrated of their purpose.

128. Not for thee, (but for Allah., is the decision: Whether He turn in mercy to them, or punish them; for they are indeed wrong-doers.

129. To Allah belongeth all that is in the heavens and on earth. He forgiveth whom He pleaseth and punisheth whom He pleaseth; but Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

130. O ye who believe! Devour not usury, doubled and multiplied; but fear Allah. that ye may (really) prosper.

Translation: Abdullah Yusuf

The Battle of Badr was fought on 13th March 624 CE ( 2AH). Prophet Mohammad (Peace be upon him) had 313 men on his side, while the Meccan army had 1000 men. God sent angels to help the Muslims in winning a decisive victory.

Usury is the practice of making unethical loans which enrich the lender. It’s prohibited in Islam.

Day Twenty Ninth (A Journey with Quran)

Surah Al Imran. Ayats 111 – 120. The term ‘harvest’ in Ayat 117 refers to this life which resembles a field of cultivation the harvest of which one will reap in the World to Come. The ‘wind’ refers to the superficial appearance of righteousness, for the sake of which unbelievers spend their wealth on philanthropic and charitable causes. The expression ‘frost’ indicates their lack of true faith and their failure to follow the Divine Laws, as a result of which their entire life has gone astray.

111. They will do you no harm, barring a trifling annoyance; if they come out to fight you, they will show you their backs, and no help shall they get.

112. Shame is pitched over them (Like a tent) wherever they are found, except when under a covenant (of protection) from Allah and from men; they draw on themselves wrath from Allah, and pitched over them is (the tent of) destitution. This because they rejected the Signs of Allah, and slew the prophets in defiance of right; this because they rebelled and transgressed beyond bounds.

113. Not all of them are alike: Of the People of the Book are a portion that stand (For the right): They rehearse the Signs of Allah all night long, and they prostrate themselves in adoration.

114. They believe in Allah and the Last Day; they enjoin what is right, and forbid what is wrong; and they hasten (in emulation) in (all) good works: They are in the ranks of the righteous.

115. Of the good that they do, nothing will be rejected of them; for Allah knoweth well those that do right.

116. Those who reject Faith,- neither their possessions nor their (numerous) progeny will avail them aught against Allah. They will be companions of the Fire,- dwelling therein (for ever).

117. What they spend in the life of this (material) world May be likened to a wind which brings a nipping frost: It strikes and destroys the harvest of men who have wronged their own souls: it is not Allah that hath wronged them, but they wrong themselves.

118. O ye who believe! Take not into your intimacy those outside your ranks: They will not fail to corrupt you. They only desire your ruin: Rank hatred has already appeared from their mouths: What their hearts conceal is far worse. We have made plain to you the Signs, if ye have wisdom.

119. Ah! ye are those who love them, but they love you not,- though ye believe in the whole of the Book. When they meet you, they say, “We believe”: But when they are alone, they bite off the very tips of their fingers at you in their rage. Say: “Perish in you rage; Allah knoweth well all the secrets of the heart.”

120. If aught that is good befalls you, it grieves them; but if some misfortune overtakes you, they rejoice at it. But if ye are constant and do right, not the least harm will their cunning do to you; for Allah Compasseth round about all that they do.

Translation: Abdullah Yusuf

Day Twenty Eighth (A Journey with Quran)

Surah Al Imran. Ayats 101-110

101. And how would ye deny Faith while unto you are rehearsed the Signs of Allah, and among you lives the Messenger. Whoever holds firmly to Allah will be shown a way that is straight.

102. O ye who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islam.

103. And hold fast, all together, by the rope which Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves; and remember with gratitude Allah’s favour on you; for ye were enemies and He joined your hearts in love, so that by His Grace, ye became brethren; and ye were on the brink of the pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus doth Allah make His Signs clear to you: That ye may be guided.

104. Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong: They are the ones to attain felicity.

105. Be not like those who are divided amongst themselves and fall into disputations after receiving Clear Signs: For them is a dreadful penalty,-

106. On the Day when some faces will be (lit up with) white, and some faces will be (in the gloom of) black: To those whose faces will be black, (will be said): “Did ye reject Faith after accepting it? Taste then the penalty for rejecting Faith.”

107. But those whose faces will be (lit with) white,- they will be in (the light of) Allah.s mercy: therein to dwell (for ever).

108. These are the Signs of Allah. We rehearse them to thee in Truth: And Allah means no injustice to any of His creatures.

109. To Allah belongs all that is in the heavens and on earth: to Allah do all matters return.

110. Ye are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in Allah. If only the People of the Book had faith, it were best for them: among them are some who have faith, but most of them are perverted transgressors.

Translation: Abdullah Yusuf

Day Twenty Seventh (A Journey with Quran)

Surah Al Imran: Ayats 91- 100

91. As to those who reject Faith, and die rejecting,- never would be accepted from any such as much gold as the earth contains, though they should offer it for ransom. For such is (in store) a penalty grievous, and they will find no helpers.

92. By no means shall ye attain righteousness unless ye give (freely) of that which ye love; and whatever ye give, of a truth Allah knoweth it well.

93. All food was lawful to the Children of Israel, except what Israel Made unlawful for itself, before the Law (of Moses) was revealed. Say: “Bring ye the Law and study it, if ye be men of truth.”

94. If any, after this, invent a lie and attribute it to Allah, they are indeed unjust wrong-doers.

95. Say: “(Allah) speaketh the Truth: follow the religion of Abraham, the sane in faith; he was not of the Pagans.”

96. The first House (of worship) appointed for men was that at Bakka: Full of blessing and of guidance for all kinds of beings:

97. In it are Signs Manifest; (for example), the Station of Abraham; whoever enters it attains security; Pilgrimage thereto is a duty men owe to Allah,- those who can afford the journey; but if any deny faith, Allah stands not in need of any of His creatures.

98. Say: “O People of the Book! Why reject ye the Signs of Allah, when Allah is Himself witness to all ye do?”

99. Say: “O ye People of the Book! Why obstruct ye those who believe, from the path of Allah, Seeking to make it crooked, while ye were yourselves witnesses (to Allah.s Covenant)? but Allah is not unmindful of all that ye do.”

100. O ye who believe! If ye listen to a faction among the People of the Book, they would (indeed) render you apostates after ye have believed!

Translation: Abdullah Yusuf

A New Frenzy

It was just a coincidence while I was glancing through an article about entirely something else when the author casually mentioned how easy it is to grow pineapples. Cut the top off, and find the roots, and then plant. I looked up my guru — google to find out more. It was like finding a whole new world which I never knew.

I picked up a sunny ☀️ spot for a bunch of them. It seems they like 7-8 hours of sunshine- maybe more. I planted the tops, and now I’m waiting for them to grow a few green shoots to show they are thriving before I subject them to miracle growth. I have a long wait ahead of me. It seems a pineapple plant needs a year to fifteen months to produce a 🍍.

Readers I went out to look at them. Three of them have gone brown, while one remains green. I will wait a week, or so if shoots appear. If not, I will clear the spots, and plant some more. Wish me good luck!

Day Twenty Sixth (A Journey with Quran)

Surah Al Imran: Ayats 81 – 90

81. Behold! Allah took the covenant of the prophets, saying: “I give you a Book and Wisdom; then comes to you an apostle, confirming what is with you; do ye believe in him and render him help.” Allah said: “Do ye agree, and take this my Covenant as binding on you?” They said: “We agree.” He said: “Then bear witness, and I am with you among the witnesses.”

82. If any turn back after this, they are perverted transgressors.

83. Do they seek for other than the Religion of Allah.-while all creatures in the heavens and on earth have, willing or unwilling, bowed to His Will (Accepted Islam), and to Him shall they all be brought back.

84. Say: “We believe in Allah, and in what has been revealed to us and what was revealed to Abraham, Isma’il, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and in (the Books) given to Moses, Jesus, and the prophets, from their Lord: We make no distinction between one and another among them, and to Allah do we bow our will (in Islam).”

85. If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah., never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter He will be in the ranks of those who have lost (All spiritual good).

86. How shall Allah Guide those who reject Faith after they accepted it and bore witness that the Messenger was true and that Clear Signs had come unto them? but Allah guides not a people unjust.

87. Of such the reward is that on them (rests) the curse of Allah, of His angels, and of all mankind;-

88. In that will they dwell; nor will their penalty be lightened, nor respite be (their lot);-

89. Except for those that repent (Even) after that, and make amends; for verily Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

90. But those who reject Faith after they accepted it, and then go on adding to their defiance of Faith,- never will their repentance be accepted; for they are those who have (of set purpose) gone astray.

Translation: Abdullah Yusuf

Day Twenty fifth (A Journey with Quran)

Surah Al Imran. Ayats 71-80

71. Ye People of the Book! Why do ye clothe Truth with falsehood, and conceal the Truth, while ye have knowledge?

72. A section of the People of the Book say: “Believe in the morning what is revealed to the believers, but reject it at the end of the day; perchance they may (themselves) Turn back;

73. “And believe no one unless he follows your religion.” Say: “True guidance is the Guidance of Allah. (Fear ye) Lest a revelation be sent to someone (else) Like unto that which was sent unto you? or that those (Receiving such revelation) should engage you in argument before your Lord?” Say: “All bounties are in the hand of Allah. He granteth them to whom He pleaseth: And Allah careth for all, and He knoweth all things.”

74. For His Mercy He specially chooseth whom He pleaseth; for Allah is the Lord of bounties unbounded.

75. Among the People of the Book are some who, if entrusted with a hoard of gold, will (readily) pay it back; others, who, if entrusted with a single silver coin, will not repay it unless thou constantly stoodest demanding, because, they say, “there is no call on us (to keep faith) with these ignorant (Pagans).” but they tell a lie against Allah, and (well) they know it.

76. Nay.- Those that keep their plighted faith and act aright,-verily Allah loves those who act aright.

77. As for those who sell the faith they owe to Allah and their own plighted word for a small price, they shall have no portion in the Hereafter: Nor will Allah (Deign to) speak to them or look at them on the Day of Judgment, nor will He cleans them (of sin): They shall have a grievous penalty.

78. There is among them a section who distort the Book with their tongues: (As they read) you would think it is a part of the Book, but it is no part of the Book; and they say, “That is from Allah,” but it is not from Allah. It is they who tell a lie against Allah, and (well) they know it!

79. It is not (possible) that a man, to whom is given the Book, and Wisdom, and the prophetic office, should say to people: “Be ye my worshippers rather than Allah.s”: on the contrary (He would say) “Be ye worshippers of Him Who is truly the Cherisher of all: For ye have taught the Book and ye have studied it earnestly.”

80. Nor would he instruct you to take angels and prophets for Lords and patrons. What! would he bid you to unbelief after ye have bowed your will (To Allah in Islam)?

Translation: Abdullah Yusuf

Life of Sheen

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