Halaqa Quran Reflections: session #1

Context: Once upon a time in university, with a dear group of friends, we used to assign ourselves certain pages of the Quran and then have a meeting to discuss some verses that particularly striked out at us for one reason or another. The results were beautiful in terms of depth, becoming more engaged with the Quran and bringing us closer to each other’s hearts. Alhamdulileh we’ve begun to do this at the Friday halaqa that I’ve been attending for at least a decade now. These precious sessions will inshaAllah take place every 2 weeks or so.

Needless to say, I will not do justice to all the points brought up; this is simply a summary of what was discussed.

——–

{All verses from Surah Al-Nahl}

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Muna:

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  • If we look at the Arabic text, ” أتى ” is actually in the past tense. The verse is revealed as if the command of Allah is not only coming, but has, in fact, already come.
  • In making it in the past tense, it is confirming, beyond a doubt to those who are skeptical or try to rush it, that indeed it will come to pass; because in Allah’s knowledge, He who does not need time, but can simply say “Be”, and it is – to Allah, the event is as guaranteed to happen as if it already has.
  • God has eternal knowledge, the complete map of all events of all time.

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  • Different things, such as the night and day, do not necessarily imply one’s superior over another. Each has its own unique function to perform.
  • They are not opposites, they are complimentary to one another.

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  • There are three uses of the ocean, and note the interesting observation of difficulty level in getting each:
  1. Tender meat – this refers to the fish and other edible things we can eat from the sea. Allah has not made it very difficult to get them, for eating is crucial to survival.
  2. Pearls – these are the ornaments likely referred to in the verse. Pearls are more difficult to obtain than fish, and definitely more expensive – but then again, as Allah tells us, they are merely for decoration. They are not necessary to survival, yet in His Kindness and Love to us, He showers us with luxuries we can afford to live without.
  3. Ships – God has made the waters accessible to us by giving man the intellect and ability to construct ships that can sail upon it; to seek of His bounty, explore the world, and above all – to be grateful.

(Shukran, Muna!)

Aseel:

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  • This verse makes you see the world through a new lens. When you come across an animal, instead of vaguely observing it as such, you notice it instead of a creation of Allah – and what’s more, as a prostrating and humble creation of Allah – isn’t that simply beautiful? Pretty soon, every creature and every tree is reminding you to remember your Lord.
  • Keep in mind that prostration is not merely a physical act – it is an act of utmost humility and submission to Allah Most-High.

(Shukran, Aseel!)

Rana:

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  • Although at the time this verse was sent down, people were worshiping physical idols, the meaning of this ayah is still timeless. These days, in the “modernized” world, we may not be praying to statues, but we certainly hold ideas and concepts as deities – regarding their importance as high as God’s, if not higher. There are plenty of forms of shirk going on.
  • Obsession with brands, fashion, sports (it’s OK to watch them, just don’t kill yourself over it), technology… there’s plenty to distract us from the One! But we need to be aware of their dangers and not assume that just because statues aren’t around, that shirk is an impossibility in this day and age.

(Thank ye, Rana!)

Sara:

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  • It is without a doubt that Allah is All-Just and each person will get his due reward.
  • Often people will find it greatly unfair that God will send down a punishment on a people, even while there are innocents among them; the truth is, the term ‘punishment’ is not applicable to everyone. For example, it will be considered as punishment for oppressors and wrong-doers; yet for those who have not been oppressive, they will be resurrected in a clean state of innocence.
  • Allah does not burden anyone more than they can bear.

(Shukran ya Sara!)

And Allah knows Best. 🙂 Until next time inshaAllah!

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-A.S.

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