The Qur'an
Aqeedah (Theology), Tafseer

What It Means When Allah Asks Us to “Think” in the Quran – Dr. Yasir Qadhi

A portion from a talk delivered to a group of Muslims at Harvard University. In the full length lecture, Shaykh Dr. Yasir Qadhi summarizes his doctoral dissertation, which dealt with the relationship between the intellect and the Qur’an, and adds some practical observations about the problems of assuming ‘rationality’ can always be infallible. I cut out a portion from the full lecture to highlight an important point. Many extreme liberal Muslims misinterpret the meaning of “thinking” in the Qur’an to justify their unorthodox and incoherent opinions. They understand the command “to think” in the Qur’an as an open game to interpret…

Continue Reading

Musa, Khidr
History, Tafseer

Lessons from the Story of Moses and Al-Khidhr

The story of Al-Khidhr (sometimes spelled Al-Khadir) and Prophet Moses is a well-known one among the Muslims. It is mentioned in the Qur’an and Sunnah with the latter providing a little more detail to the incident. The scholars have derived numerous lessons from the whole event which are detailed below from the work of Dr. Bilal Phillips entitled Tafseer Soorah Al-Kahf. The main lesson from the story is to trust the qadar (divine decree) of Allah and know that there is no absolute evil and that everything happens for a reason. Qur’an The story as mentioned in the Qur’an 18:60-82:…

Continue Reading

Musa, Khidr
Seeking Knowledge, Tafseer

Studying Qur’an: Tips and Resources

Scholars have defined the Qur’an as “the words of Allah revealed to Muhammad (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him), the recitation of which is a form of worship.”  This definition can be applied to no other book or speech. Reading and recitation of the Qur’an is an important form of worship for which a Muslim can expect reward and benefit in the Hereafter.  There was a definite purpose behind the strong encouragement given by the Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) in several authentic hadiths for recitation of the Qur’an.  That purpose is clearly stated…

Continue Reading

Tafseer, Translations

The Greatest Verse in the Qur’an

The following is a brief explanation of Ayat ul Kursi [verse 2:255 in the Qur’an], which was named the greatest verse in the Qur’an by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).  The explanation of it below is a translation from Zubdat at-Tafsir, a popular brief Qur’anic exegesis in Arabic by Mohammad Sulayman al-Ashqar. Arabic: اللَّهُ لا إِلَهَ إِلا هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ لا تَأْخُذُهُ سِنَةٌ وَلا نَوْمٌ لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الأَرْضِ مَنْ ذَا الَّذِي يَشْفَعُ عِنْدَهُ إِلا بِإِذْنِهِ يَعْلَمُ مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمَا خَلْفَهُمْ وَلا يُحِيطُونَ بِشَيْءٍ مِنْ عِلْمِهِ إِلا بِمَا شَاءَ وَسِعَ كُرْسِيُّهُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضَ وَلا يَئُودُهُ حِفْظُهُمَا وَهُوَ الْعَلِيُّ الْعَظِيمُ Translation:…

Continue Reading

Tafseer

How to Study Tafseer Properly

One of our teachers, Shaykh Haitham Hamdan, recommends the following three steps to learning tafseer: Get yourself a brief Tafseer book, one or two volumes. Such as Al-Jalalayn (Arabic version is here), Zubdat Al-Tafseer (available only in Arabic), or Al-Tafseer Al-Muyassar (available only in Arabic).  Spend a few years in totally absorbing/memorizing one of these books. Do not refer to any other book of Tafseer. The idea is that you become familiar with an understanding of each Qur’anic verse, without paying attention to disputes over Tafseer. Whenever you come across a verse you must be able to recall a full understanding of it according to this book. Then move on to…

Continue Reading