In the name of God, the Lord of Grace, the Most Merciful
It is God who sends forth the winds so that they raise clouds, whereupon He spreads them as He wills across the skies and causes them to break up so that you can see the rain issuing from within it. As soon as He causes it to fall upon whomever He wills of His servants, they rejoice, even though a short while ago, before it was sent down upon them, they had abandoned all hope. Behold, then, the effects of God’s grace: how He gives life to the earth after it had been lifeless! It is indeed He, the One who can bring the dead back to life; for He has power over all things. If We send a (scorching) wind and they see it turning yellow, they begin after that to deny the truth.
Indeed you cannot make the dead hear; and you cannot make the deaf hear your call when they turn their backs and go away. Nor can you lead the blind out of their error. You can only get those who believe in Our signs to listen; and they will then submit themselves (to God). (The Byzantines, Al-Room: 30: 48-53)
The surah now refers to various aspects of God’s grace that have telling effect on man’s life: “It is God who sends forth the winds,” in accordance with the law He has set in operation to regulate the universe and its affairs. “So that they raise clouds,” by the vapor they carry from the surface of water bodies on earth. “Whereupon He spreads them as He wills across the skies and causes them to break up,” allowing its pieces to gather and condense, accumulate in layers, or collide with one another, or send an electrical charge from one layer or piece to another. “So that you can see the rain issuing from within it,” when such clouds are heavy with rain. “As soon as He causes it to fall upon whomever He wills of His servants, they rejoice.” (Verse 48) No one knows the extent of such rejoicing better than the people for whom rain means survival. The Arabs were the first people to realize the importance of this statement because their lives depended on rain. Their poetry and folk stories mention it with hope and endearment.
“Even though a short while ago, before it was sent down upon them, they had abandoned all hope.” (Verse 49) This describes their condition before the rain. In fact, the rain changes their condition completely, from despair to hope and rejoicing. “Behold, then, the effects of God’s grace.” You see these effects in people’s faces as they brighten up after being gloomy with despair, in the quickening earth, and in the liveliness affecting all.
“Behold, then, the effects of God’s grace: how He gives life to the earth after it had been lifeless!” (Verse 50) This is a fact that needs no more than that we look and reflect. It is given here as evidence confirming the resurrection when people are brought back to life. This is consistent in the Qur’anic argument where universal images and facts of life are given as substantial evidence: “It is indeed He the One who can bring the dead back to life; for He has power over all things. (Verse 50) We need only to look at the effects of God’s grace on the earth to be certain of the truth of this eventuality and the fulfillment of this promise.
The surah then describes the feelings of those very people who are happy at seeing the wind carrying water and who rejoice as they see rain bringing God’s grace. What would they feel, however, if they saw the winds as yellowish in color carrying dust and sand? Such winds destroy fields and livestock, or cause plants to dry and wither: “If We send a (scorching) wind and they see it turning yellow, they begin after that to deny the truth.” (Verse 51) Rather than submitting to God’s will and praying to Him earnestly to remove their affliction, they deny the truth out of frustration and despair. This is the status of people who do not believe in God or His will, of people who cannot discern God’s wisdom in what He decides, and cannot appreciate that it is God’s hand that determines everything in the universe, ensuring harmony between all its events and situations.
Thus the surah describes the fluctuation of people’s desires, their inability to benefit by God’s signs that they see in the universe around them, and their failure to recognize God’s wisdom behind life’s events. It then addresses the Prophet consoling him for not being able to persuade many of them to follow divine guidance. It tells him that this is due to their nature and blindness, which he can never cure.
“Indeed you cannot make the dead hear; and you cannot make the deaf hear your call when they turn their backs and go away. Nor can you lead the blind out of their error. You can only get those who believe in Our signs to listen; and they will then submit themselves (to God).”
The surah shows them to be lifeless, deaf, and blind, devoid of motion, hearing, and sight. They have isolated themselves from the world around them and thus they are unable to understand the universal laws affecting it. Hence, they have no more than animal life, or even less. An animal is guided by its nature, which rarely lets it down. By contrast, a person who does not respond to God’s revelations despite its powerful effect on hearts and minds is deaf even though he may have ears that hear. Similarly, the one who does not see God’s signs placed everywhere in the world around him is blind, even though he may have functioning eyes.
“You can only get those who believe in Our signs to listen; and they will then submit themselves (to God).” These are the ones who listen to the divine message because they have active minds and hearts, as well as sound understanding. When they listen to the divine message, they realize that it is the truth and they declare their submission to Him. They only need their nature be alerted, and they respond.
Sahih Bukhari Volume 3, Book 49, Number 866:
Narrated Anas: Ar-Rabi, the daughter of An-Nadr broke the tooth of a girl, and the relatives of Ar-Rabi’ requested the girl’s relatives to accept the Irsh (compensation for wounds etc.) and forgive (the offender), but they refused. So, they went to the Prophet who ordered them to bring about retaliation. Anas bin An-Nadr asked, “O Allah”; Apostle! Will the tooth of Ar-Rabi’ be broken? No, by Him Who has sent you with the Truth, her tooth will not be broken.” The Prophet said, “O Anas! Allah”; law ordains retaliation.” Later the relatives of the girl agreed and forgave her. The Prophet said, “There are some of Allah’s slaves who, if they take an oath by Allah, are responded to by Allah i.e. their oath is fulfilled). Anas added, “The people agreed and accepted the Irsh.”
Sahih Bukhari Volume 3, Book 49, Number 866:
Ar-Rabi, the daughter of An-Nadr who was a young girl had broken a tooth of another girl and the other girl’s relatives had asked for retaliation instead of compensation
Here a few points noting, The Holy Prophet Muhammed Salalaahu Alaihi wasallam took an OATH that the young girl’s tooth will not be broken
“No, by Him Who has sent you with the Truth, her tooth will not be broken”
and later than it so happened that the relatives of the other girl agreed to take money instead of retaliation after the Holy Prophet took the OATH by Allah, so the Holy Prophet Muhammed Salalaahu Alaihi wasallam’s OATH was fulfilled, and then he said
“There are some of Allah’s slaves who, if they take an oath by Allah, are responded to by Allah i.e. their oath is fulfilled)”
[Transmitted by Abu Dawud]
The Friday prayer in congregation is a necessary duty for every Muslim, with four exceptions; a slave, a woman, a (young) boy, and a sick person.
[Transmitted by Sahih Bukhari]
“When it is a Friday, the angels stand at the gate of the mosque and keep on writing the names of the persons coming to the mosque in succession according to their arrivals. The example of the one who enters the mosque in the earliest hour is that of one offering a camel (in sacrifice). The one coming next is like one offering a cow and then a ram and then a chicken and then an egg respectively. When the Imam comes out (for Jumua prayer) they (i.e. angels) fold their papers and listen to the Khutba.”
[Transmitted by Abu Dawud]
Friday is divided into twelve hours. Amongst them, there is an hour in which a Muslim does not ask Allah for anything but He gives it to him. So seek it in the last hour after the afternoon prayer.
[Transmitted by Abu Dawud]
He who leaves the Friday prayer (continuously) for three Friday on account of slackness, Allah will print a stamp on his heart.
[Transmitted by Sahih Muslim]
He who took a bath and then came for Jumu’ah prayer and then prayed what was fixed for him, then kept silence till the Imam finished the sermon, and then prayed along with him, his sins between that time and the next Friday would be forgiven, and even of three days more.
Congregational prayer is one of the most important aspects of Islamic worship. It helps to bring people in the same locality together so that they would know each other and establish friendly and close relations. Moreover, their frequent meetings at prayer times give them a chance to learn more of one another’s work and what they can provide. Thus, they will seek to get what they need from within their own neighborhood. Furthermore, congregational prayer instills discipline within the community. When people take instructions from the imam during worship, which is a bond between each individual and God, they learn the value of discipline in their lives.
Stressing the importance of discipline in prayer, the Prophet (peace be upon him) says, as quoted by Abu Hurayrah: “When a person lifts his head before the imam, does he not fear that God will make his head like that of a donkey, or that He will make him look like a donkey?” (Related by al-Bukhari).
This is the strongest form used by the Prophet to emphasize the importance of following the imam in all actions, and not to go ahead of him. The Prophet said: “I am your imam. Therefore, do not go before me in bowing, prostration or standing up.” He also said: “An imam is appointed so that he is followed.” However, people are often impatient. When the Prophet noticed that his admonition in this respect has not given its desired results, he stated the hadith we are discussing, warning of a stern punishment on the Day of Judgement. Thus, a person who races the imam in prayer runs the risk of having a changed shape marking him out among all people. We should emphasize here that this is merely a warning, and it does not follow that everyone who does not abide by the order to follow the imam will be changed in form. Such a person, however, exposes himself to this risk.
A question arises here about the validity of the prayer when a person moves ahead of the imam in congregational prayer. Scholars have expressed different views, going into considerable detail. They agree that it is forbidden to precede the imam in any action. Everyone in the congregation is required to follow the imam, not to precede him. It is indeed reprehensible to do any movement or say any words of the prayer at the same time as the imam, except for the first takbeer, which signals the beginning of the prayer.
What worshippers in the congregation are required to do is to follow the imam. When he signals a move, they make it shortly after he has signaled it, and before he has gone to the next move. If a person delays moving until the imam has completed the next action and went into the following one, then that person’s prayer is invalid. To explain: We stand to read the Quran, then bow, then stand up again, then go into prostration. If the imam bows and stands up while someone in the congregation remains standing because he wants to finish his recitation, then that person’s prayer is invalid. If he bows when the imam is still bowing, his prayer remains valid but his action is not correct. He should follow the imam.
A violation of this instruction that is often done by worshippers occurs in the last prostration. The imam signals moving to the last sitting for tashahhud. Yet we see people remaining in prostration for a whole minute or longer. This is absolutely wrong and they run the risk of making their prayer invalid.
– by Adil Salahi
1. Start by choosing the right spouse (Nur : 34)
2. Efforts must be exerted to correct any defects in a spouse once married. Develop the family spiritually. Remember Allah often. (Nur : 87)
3. Inculcate iman in the children. Follow the sunnah and read the Quran regularly especially sura baqara. Take care of your family’s education. Teach your spouse and children. Set up both book and audio-visual libraries. Invite good people to visit your home (Nuh : 28)
4. Treat your family as a small social unit. Establish shura by discussing family matters with your spouse and children. Some problems amicably and within the family. Children should not be allowed to see differences or conflicts between the parents. Exchange visits with good families. (Nur : 61)
5. Guard jealously the privacy of your home (Nur : 23, 28, 53)
6. Keep family secrets within your home.
7. Exercise control. Monitor what the children are doing.
8. Make sure that the family follows a fixed meal and sleep times.
9. All members of the family should co-operate in household work.
10. Joke and have some fun and humor with the members of your family. Avoid waste and extravagance. Waste leads to poverty.
11. Do not live a life of hyperconsumerism. Buy only what you need. It’s even advisable to buy less than what you think your needs are, because you often over-estimate those needs. Resist temptation to always ‘want’ things. Do not try to show off or compete.
12. Avoid debts. A debt is an instrument of enslavement.
WHAT ELSE YOU WANT TO KNOW?
1. Religion is the basis for family formation (Quran 2 : 221)
2. Family relations based on marriage and blood (Quran 25 : 54)
3. Family is a source of tranquility (Quran 25 : 74)
4. Husband as head of the family (Quran 4 : 34)
5. Wife is a leader in her home – Narrated Ibn Umar : The Prophet said, ‘All of you are guardians and are responsible for your wards, The ruler is a guardian and the man is a guardian of his family; the lady is a guardian who is responsible for her husband’s house and his offspring; and so all of you are guardians and are responsible for your wards’ (Bukhari 7:98 hadith #128)
6. Duty to save family (Quran 66 : 1, 3-6)
7. Kindness for the young; respect for the old – ‘Hazrat Amr bin Shuaib relates on the authority of his father who heard it from his father, that the Holy Prophet (may peace be upon him) said: A person who has no compassion for our children and does not honor our elders is not from us’ (Abu Daud and Tirmidhi) (Riyadh 1:217, hadith #355)
8. Expenditure on the family is sadaqa – Narrated Abu Mas’ud Al-Ansari : The Prophet said, ‘When a Muslim spends something on his family intending to receive Allah’s reward it is regarded as sadaqa for him’ (Bukhari 7:201, hadith #263)
9. Justice takes precedence over family (Quran 4 : 135)
10. Financial security – Narrated Umar: The Prophet used to sell the dates of the garden of Bani An-Nadir and store for his family so many foods as would cover their needs for a whole year’ (Bukhari 7:204, hadith # 270)