Ramadhan – Month of Qur’an
“If Allah helps you, none can overcome you, and if He forsakes you, who is there after Him that can help you? And in Allah let the believers put their trust” [Qur’an-Ale-Imran: 160]
‘Do they not then consider the Qur’an carefully? Had it been from other than Allah, they would surely have found therein much contradiction.’[Qur’an An-Nisa: 82]
‘So, when the Qur’an is recited, listen to it, and be silent that you may receive mercy.’ [Qur’an Al-A’raf: 204]
‘And this Qur’an is not such as could ever be produced by other than Allâh [Lord of the heavens and the earth], but it is a confirmation of [the revelation] which was before it [i.e. the Taurât (Torah), and the Injeel (Gospel), etc.] and a full explanation of the Book [i.e. laws and orders, etc., decreed for mankind] – wherein there is no doubt from the Lord of the ‘Alamîn [mankind, jinns and all that exists]. Or do they say: “He [Muhammad (saw)] has forged it?” Say: “Bring then a Sûrah [chapter] like unto it, and call upon whomsoever you can, besides Allâh, if you are truthful!”’ [Qur’an Yunus: 37-38]
‘Verily, We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur’an in order that you may understand. We relate unto you [Muhammad (saw)] the best of stories through Our Revelations unto you, of this Qur’an. And before this [i.e. before the coming of Divine Inspiration to you], you were among those who knew nothing about it [the Qur’an].’ [TMQ Yusuf: 2-3]
‘Verily, this Qur’an guides to that which is most just and right and gives glad tidings to the believers [in the Oneness of Allâh and His Messenger, Muhammad (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam), etc.] who work deeds of righteousness, that they shall have a great reward [Paradise]. [Qur’an Israa: 9]
‘And We send down from the Qur’an that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe, and it increases the Zâlimûn [Oppressors] to nothing but loss.’ [Qur’an Israa: 82]
‘Say: “If the mankind and the jinns were to attempt to produce the like of this Qur’an, they could not produce the like thereof, even if they helped one another.”’ [Qur’an Israa: 88]
‘And the Messenger [Muhammad (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam)] will say: “O my Lord! Verily, my people deserted this Qur’an” [neither listened to it, nor acted on its laws and orders].’ [Qur’an Al-Furqan: 30]
‘And verily, you [O Muhammad (saw)] are receiving the Qur’an from the One, All-Wise, All-Knowing.’ [Qur’an An-Naml: 6]
‘And indeed We have put forth for men, in this Qur’an every kind of similitude in order that they may remember.’ [Qur’an Az-Zumar: 27]
‘And those who disbelieve say: “Listen not to this Qur’an, and make noise in the midst of its [recitation] that you may overcome.” [Qur’an Fussilat: 26]
‘Do they not then think deeply in the Qur’an, or are their hearts locked up [from understanding it]?’ [TMQ Muhammad: 24]
‘And during a part of the night [also], glorify His praises [i.e. Maghrib and ‘Isha prayers], and [so likewise] after the prayers [As-Sunnah, Nawâfil optional and additional prayers, and also glorify, praise and magnify Allâh – Subhân Allâh, Alhamdu lillâh, Allâhu-Akbar].’ [Qur’an Qaf: 40]
‘And We have indeed made the Qur’an easy to understand and remember, then is there any that will remember [or receive admonition]?’ [Qur’an Qamar: 17]
‘Had We sent down this Qur’an on a mountain, you would surely have seen it humbling itself and crumbling by the fear of Allâh. Such are the parables which We put forward to mankind that they may reflect.’ [Qur’an Hashar: 21]
The Islamic Ummah was given the last message, revealed unto the last Messenger (Salallahu Alaihi Wasalaam) and whose impact is unparalleled in the history of mankind. Such statements can easily roll off our tongues, but ponder on the translation of the meaning of the Ayaats of Qur’an above. Such a message caused a revolution in the minds of individuals and societies. It shook the thrones of the tyrant kings and left a sense of awe in the minds of those who accepted it and fear upon those who denied its truth.
As we have now entered the Month of Ramadhan, what better time to look into how the meaning of the Qur’an impacted history and what it means to the Muslims at large.
Islam came to the Arabs who were deeply entrenched in Jahilliyah (ignorance). They placed the honour of their respective tribes above everything else, using this shallow pride as the pretext for battle against other tribes. Small disagreements were given over to long drawn out feuds which were inherited by successive generations. Their undisputed motto was: “Support your brother whether he is an oppressor or oppressed”. The Tribes of Makkah were so infamous for their animalistic existence that the superpowers saw no real value in conquering them.
Then came a Messenger (Salallahu Alaihi Wasalaam) from Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’Ala), a man from amongst themselves who delivered them, in the words of Ribeea’ ibnu Amir in his infamous address to the Persian emperor Rustum,
“Linukhrijan-naasa min ibadatil ubudiyya tul rabbil ibaad” “To take the people away from worshipping one another to the worship of Allah”
“Wa min zulmin adyan wa juuriha ilal adl-il-Islaam” “From the oppression of other Adyan (systems, ways of life) to the justice of Islam”
“Wa min teeq idunya ila siyaatil-Akhira” “From the narrowness of this life to the vastness of the hereafter”
So capturing the circumstances in which the Qur’an was revealed and with its message it freed mankind from the chains of subservience and of the worship of ones own desires and the adherence to societal corruptions.
This message was revealed in the Month of Ramadhan, and more specifically on the night of Lailatul Qadr.
“Verily! We have sent it (this Qur’an) down in the Night of Decree (Lailatul-Qadr). And what will make you know what the Night of Decree is? The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months. Therein descend the angels and the Rooh (i.e. Jibrail) by Allaah’s Permission with all Decrees, Peace! Until the appearance of dawn.” (Al-Qadr 97: 1-5)
We as an Ummah have been commanded to seek this night for its value has been described as being better than a thousand nights.
‘Aa’ishah, (Radiallahu Anha) said: “Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alaihi Wassalam) used to practice I’tikaaf in the last ten nights and say: ‘Seek out Lailatul-Qadr in the (odd nights) of the last ten days of Ramadhan” (Bukhari, Muslim).
It is also narrated that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wassalam) said:
“There has come to you Ramadhan, a blessed month, in which Allah has made it obligatory to fast. During it the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of Hellfire are closed, and the rebellious devils are chained. In it is a night (Laylatul-Qadr) which is better than a thousand months. He who is deprived of its good truly has been deprived.” [Imam Ahmed, An-Nasaa’ee]
Ibn Abbas mentions that the complete Qur’an was sent down from Al-Lawh Al-Mahfooz (the Preserved Tablet) in the night of Al-Qadr to Bait Al-?Izzah (the House of Glory) in the lowest heaven, after which it was revealed to the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) according in response to incidents which occurred over a period of twenty-three years.
Indeed the blessings of Ramadhan and the favour of Laylatul –Qadr lay down great rewards for those who remain obedient to Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’Ala). Obeying him means to submit to his will in all actions without distinction. Pondering upon the Qur’an and its profound significance in being able to awaken the thinking of those who were intellectually dead, one could see that it is a Deen which provides comprehensive solutions to different aspects of life, whether this be in the realm of Military Affairs, Economic solutions, Social legislation, Moral codes and Political organisation.
Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala) says: “Fight those of the disbelievers who are near you and let them find harshness in you” [Qur’an 9:123]
He (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala) also says: “If you come on them in the war, deal with them so as to strike fear in those who are behind them, that they may remember. If you fear treachery from any group throw back (their covenant) to them (so as to be) on equal terms…” [Qur’an8:57-58]
“And if they incline to peace, incline you also to it, and trust in Allah” [Qur’an 8:61]
“O you who believe fulfil the contracts (undertakings)…” [Qur’an 5:1]
“And eat up not your property among yourselves in vanity, nor seek by it to gain the hearing of the judges that you may knowingly devour a portion of the property of the others wrongfully.” [Qur’an 2:188]
“And there is (a saving of life) life for you in (the law of) retaliation, O men of understanding…” [Qur’an 2:179]
“As for the thief, both male and female, cut off their hands, as a retribution for their deed and an exemplary punishment from Allah” [Qur’an 5:38]
“…then, if they suckle for you, give them their due payment.” [Qur’an 65:6]
“Let him who has abundance spend of his abundance, and he whose provision is measured, let him spend according to what Allah has given him…” [Qur’an 65:7]
The Qur’an is therefore a systematic set of laws which embody all aspects of the lives of all individuals and every society. That being the case it cannot be classed into such a narrow definition as ‘Religion’.
The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wassalam) established this comprehensive system of laws when he established the Islamic state in Madinah Munawwara, its foundations, pillars, institutions, army and it’s domestic and foreign relationships were the pure enactment of the Message of Islam as laid down in the Qur’an. From the moment he arrived at Madinah he ruled over the Muslims, looked after their affairs, managed their matters and created the Islamic society. He sent delegations to neighbouring nations and tribes.
He (Sallallahu Alaihi Wassalam) also made a treaty with the Jews, Banu Dhamra and Banu Madlij, then with the Quraysh, with the people of Elat, Girba and Azrah. He gave the people a covenant that no one was to be prevented from perfoming Hajj, and that no one was to be afraid in the month of Haram. He sent Hamza ibn ?Abdul-Muttalib, ’Ubaydah ibn Harith, and Sa‘d ibn Abi Waqqas in expeditions to fight the Quraysh. He sent Zayd ibn Harithah, Ja‘far ibn Abi Talib, ‘Abdullah ibn Ruwahah to fight the Romans. He sent Khalid ibn al-Walid to fight the Domma of Jandal, and he (Sallallahu Alaihi Wassalam) himself led the army in numerous battles (Ghazwat), where he engaged in severe fighting.
He showed the clear fact that Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala) did not only provide a coherent set of solutions but also a manner by which these solutions were to be realised practically. The practical solution was always seen to be through the existence and institution of the Khilafah, something which has, since its destruction in 1924, been bypassed as the solution to the many problems this Ummah has faced and continues to face.