Saturday, 19 January 2013

Surah ar-Rahman - A Literary Appreciation [Ayat 4-9]

Allah continues informing us on what he taught us. After he taught the greatest revelation; the Qur'an and made the greatest creation; humans, he gave them the greatest gift. He taught them clear, accurate, well pronounced speech - ayat 4. Allah taught speech because Allah revealed speech itself. He taught Adam [as] the names of all things. So, we need to respect our speech. Surely the same tongue that is used for the Qur'an is not going to be used for such disrespective and foul language. This is certainly something to bear in mind the next time we open our mouths. Additionally, we have to respect languages, all languages are products of what was taught to Adam [as].

When the Prophet [saw] was preaching his message of the oneness of Allah swt, people of Makkah had thought he had lost his mind when he taught his message. "I'll believe it when I see it." became the Quraysh's stubborn response. This beginning of Surah ar-Rahman is a response to the Quraysh's response above. Human beings are able to make sound conclusions based on profound speech. To resort to the level of an animal who needs to see or feel a danger to escape a fire in a room for example is neglecting the greatest gift of language and intellect given to man. We don't need to see it to believe it when our speech allows us to process our thoughts into words, when we use the the gift of language to explain abstract phenomenon. Allah still responds to their stubbornness and mentions in ayat 5: the sun and the moon are in reckoning - they are about to be destroyed which is a sign of the end of times. We use the sun as day clock and the moon for our calendar. Someone who observes the sun and the moon has respect for their time.

Starry night in the Chilean desert
In ayat 6 Allah mentions the two beauties of the desert, by day, trees which are scare and by nightfall the vast amount of stars in the sky all in submission to Allah swt. Allah informs the Quraysh, you want to see it to believe it, well here is what you should be seeing. The creation of Allah are ayaat: signs - they can't be purposeless, they should lead to guidance. Abu Bakr Sideeq, a great companion of the Prophet [saw] already had imaan or faith, he believed in creation.

In ayaat 7-8, Allah says: And the heaven He has raised high, and He has set up the Balance. In order that you may not transgress (due) balance. Allah swt raised up the sky and laid down the scale, so you don't mess around with the balance. Whenever we wake up, we should look at the sky and see its balance, it should be a reminder for us to keep your life and work balanced. Allah continues further in ayat 9: And observe the weight with equity and do not make the balance deficient. A balanced life is our goal by keeping the balance with equity and making not the measure deficient. How did the Muslims in Makkah look different to the non-Muslims? It wasn't through the 5 prayers, hijab or hajj, these rules came later when they migrated to Medinah. But it was through justice. Today the biggest emphasis is on appearance - but keep things in proportion. You should be the best of people, after all we are Muslim. And the sky is enough to remind us of being just and balanced.

[This post was a write up of my notes from Nouman Ali Khan's Tafseer of Surah ar-Rahman]


  1. I think the AR-RAHMAN means the nature when he mentions the balance. As I interpret the verse, he warns us not to mess with the plants and the animals. People these days are already ruining the eco-systems with all that gene-modifying. Artificial selection. In the future, people may find someway to live long or forever. This is also messing with the balance. Too many humans and too little place. Anyways, my point is no matter how far the humans come in technology, Allah the almighty and forgiving God knows us better than ourselves. He mentioned alot of mysterious things in the verses that were revealed 1400+ years ago and we have yet alot to figure out.

  2. As salaam alaikum sister do you have a whatsapp group for Quran

  3. I feel the same about the balance referring to the nature,the universe, Anonymous..