By Osman Umarji
The second juz begins with a detailed account and explanation of the changing of the qibla from Jerusalem to Mecca. The Quran clearly states the reason as “It was only to know who would follow Prophet Muhammad and who would reject him…” The depth to this ayah is that Allah says that He initially told the Prophet to pray towards Jerusalem. Have you ever wondered why there is no ayah citing this command? The reason is, without doubt, that the Prophet received revelation (wahy) other than the Quran in the hadith. The only difference is that the hadith are in the words of the Prophet, whereas the Quran is the speech of Allah. This should make our hearts move in appreciation and love for the hadith which are to followed with complete submission and obedience. Truly the Prophet does not speak from his desires, rather his words are coming from revelation.
Another interesting part of this portion of the surah are all the verses with “They ask you concerning…” (yasaloonaka 3an…) SubhanAllah, this is a reminder till the end of time about the mindset of the Sahaba. Anytime they had a question, they would ask the Messenger of Allah and wait patiently for an answer. They would ask about the crescent moon, how to give charity, about purity, fighting in certain months, alcohol, gambling, and many other affairs of life, then they would immediately act upon the answer of the Prophet that was either from the hadith or the Quran. Have we ever had a question and asked the Quran? Have we ever wondered if this something is permissible or prohibited and opened the Quran for the clear answer from the All Knowing? Do we treat the Quran like the book of guidance with answers to our daily affairs and problems? It is quite clear how the Quranic attitude of the Sahaba makes them the best people to ever walk the earth. May Allah grant us the tawfiq to approach the Quran like they did.
The last point that hit me hard during the tarawih prayer was the ayah “Spend in the cause of Allah and do not throw yourselves into destruction; and seek perfection, for indeed Allah loves those who seek perfection.” (2:195) A deep meaning of this ayah is that if we don’t spend as much of our time, wealth, and energy for the sake of Allah, then we are in reality spending our time in things that will destroy us. Wasting our wealth, time, youth, and energy is equivalent to destroying our lives, because what more is our life than our time? Ok…time to get busy then, make some dhikr and do something productive for the sake of Allah.
May Allah allow us all to spend whatever we possess for his sake.
I ask fellow readers to please post and share your own reflections.
I also wanted to point out something else in this surah that stands out to me every time I read/hear it – Ayah 186: “When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am INDEED close (to them)…” and it goes on.
From what I have previously read, its seems as though every time Allah (swt) mentions something like, gambling, alcohol, orphans, etc., He states – “qul” (say). But, subhanAllah, this ayah is quite different; rather, it’s a direct statement from Allah (swt) telling His servants INDEED He is near.
This puts things on a whole other level for us. To say the least, such direct emphasis shows us how close we could be to Allah (swt)…what kind of PERSONAL relationship we can have with Him…it’s just a matter of seeking it ourselves! Alhamdulilah.