To lead a proper life we need guidance as to what is the right path, what moral and values we should practice, the difference between right and wrong etc. We as Muslims are very fortunate that our religion i.e. Islam is a complete code of life in itself. So to have a successful life in this world and the Hereafter all we have to do is simply follow the teachings of Islam, which Allah has very conveniently amalgamated in his book: The Holy Quran which is still Loh-e-Mehfooz, meaning that it hasn’t gone under any changes by any one and is in the same form as it was 1400 years when it was bestowed upon Hazrat Muhammad (SAW). Allah says, “Without doubt the Holy Quran shows you the righteous path”. The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said, “I leave among you such a thing that if you were to hold on to it very strongly, then after me you will do no wrong”
So it is clear that we should read the Holy Quran our selves so that we can have a better understanding of our religion and Allah’s commands. The Holy Quran as you all know comprises of 114 surahs. Each is unique and has a message from Allah telling us how to lead our lives and why we were sent to earth. At present we all have very limited knowledge and as most of us never really try to delve into our religion. Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) said, “He who reads one alphabet of the Holy Quran has earned one Naiki, and that Naiki is equal to ten Naikis. I am not saying that AalafLaamMeem is one alphabet, rather Alaf is one alphabet, Laam is one alphabet and Meem is one alphabet”.
In a series of articles; I will be giving you an overview of each surah, so that one can learn what is actually being said in this book of Allah.
Surah No 1: Al-Fatiha
Number of Ayahs: seven
Meaning of the name: It is known as ‘Al-Fatiha’ because the Holy Quran begins with it. It is also called ‘Al-sabe Al-Misani’, ‘Al-Shafaie Al-Kafaie’, ‘Al-Asas’ and ‘Al-Hamd’. It is believed to have a total of 12 names.
Summary: This is a Makki surah. Ayat no 1 states that Allah is the Lord of Alamin i.e. (mankind, Jinn and all that exists). The actual word used is ‘Rabb’, and ‘Lord’ is the nearest English equivalent.
It tells us of the foundations of the Holy Quran. Faith in Islam, Namaz, Allah’s commands, belief in the Day of Judgment, belief in the oneness of Allah and all His qualities. It also states that we should pray to Him, should only seek His help in the time of need, abstain from evil deeds and should tread only that path which He has laid down for us. It is for these reasons it known as “Um-ul-Kitab”.
It has been referred to in ayat number 87 of Surah Hijr where it is stated “AND, INDEED, We have bestowed upon thee seven of the oft repeated [verses], and [have, thus, laid open before thee] this sublime Qur’an”
Surah No 2: Al-Baqrah
Number of Ayahs: Two hundred and eighty-six
Meaning of Name: It is known as Al-Baqrah because of a miracle that took place in the time of Hazrat Moosa (AS). A man was murdered; yet his murderer could not be found. So the people consulted Hazrat Moosa (AS). At this Allah sent his Wahi in which Hazrat Moosa (AS) was instructed to sacrifice a cow, and then throw a dead part at the dead man, who would then get up and tell them the name of his murderer. This incident proves Allah’s power of reawakening the dead.
The surah is also known as “Sanaam-ul-Quran” which means ‘the most superior part of the Holy Quran’ and the 280th ayah is the last that was revealed to Hazrat Muhammad (SAW), and this marks the end of his nabuwwat.
Summary: This is a Madni surah and the longest in the Holy Quran. It extensively covers important aspects of life such as the five pillars of Islam (Tauheed, Namaz, Roza, Zakat and Hajj), daily dealings with people, marriage, divorce (229-230), Khula, Mahr and iddat. In the beginning of the surah, the characteristics of Momin, Kafirs and Munafiqs are given. The entire incident of Hazrat Adam (AS) has also been given in detail.
We are warned that the penalty of practicing magic and those who get it done for their own interests is Hell. After Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) completed all the Commands of Allah, He then made him leader of mankind. He was neither a Jew nor a Christian; his religion was “Hanif” [Islamic Monotheism] i.e. to worship none but Allah (Alone). Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) said “Allah says, I am just as My slave thinks I am i.e. (I am able to do for him, what he thinks I can do for him) and I am with him when he remembers Me. If he remembers Me in himself, I too remember him in Myself; and if he remembers Me in a group of people, I remember him in a group better than them; and if he comes one span nearer to Me, I go one cubit nearer to him; and if he comes one cubit nearer to Me, I go a distance of two outstretched arms nearer to him; and if he comes to Me walking, I go to him running”
We are told that those who embrace death for the sake of Allah are not dead, they always live. Allah will test us with fear, hunger, death and loss of wealth, it is those who are patient will be rewarded. Also we must spend from our wealth on relatives, orphans, poor, wayfarers and to anyone who asks with an open heart. Allah assures us that we will be repaid fully for what we spend on good; rather He will multiply and return it to us. The one who performs good deeds completely for Allah without seeking praise or fame, in accordance with Sunnah, is called ‘Mushin’.
It is stated that we have the provision by Allah to not fast if ill or undertaking a journey as He does not intend to make any difficulty for us. However he/she have must keep all the fasts that have been missed.
Hajj and Umrah should be performed properly, as shown to us by Hazrat Muhammad (SAW). He said “(the performance) of Umrah is an expiation for the sins committed (between it and the previous one). And the reward of Hajj Mabrur (the one accepted by Allah) is nothing except Paradise.”
Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) said, “In this surah there is an ayah which is superior to all other ayahs and that is ‘Ayat-ul-Kursi’. He also said “Keep reciting surah Al-Baqra, for those who do so will have good fortune and those who don’t will face misfortune and grief. And neither false people nor sorcerers have any power over it”.
Hazrat Daud defeated Jalut (Goliath), and after the death of Talut (Saul) and Samuel, Allah gave him the Kingdom and Prophethood.
We are told that kind words and forgiving faults of others is better than that charity in which you keep reminding the person about your generosity or even worse cause them hurt. Furthermore it is alright to tell about your sadqa, but it would be even better if you concealed it. Allah grants wisdom to whom He Wills, such a person in indeed very fortunate, but we must remember that is only men of understanding who receive warning.
Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) said “(a) I guarantee a home in Paradise for a person who gives up arguments and disputes even if he is on the truth (b) And [I (also) guarantee] a home in the middle of Paradise for a person who gives up lying (false statements) even while joking. And [I (also) guarantee] a home in the highest part of Paradise for a person who has a high standard of character.”
We are also advised not to take sood (interest on money) and great punishment will awarded to the giver and taker on the Day of Judgment.