September 02, 2011

Reflections on Surah Fajr Part3 based on a lecture by Br. Nouman Ali Khan

We now start with the last oath ' Wa laili idha yasri' meaning "... And by the night when it departs".(ayah 4) the general ruling of the Arabic language is to use a 'ya' after 'asr' but only a ' kasra' has been used. So the word sara yasri means to take stroll at the night. A famous muhaddith and scholar al Akhfasha (rah) was asked why the 'ya' has not been used, he didn't answer but rather asked him to come after a year if he was serious. So he came after a year and al Akfasha answered- " sara yasri doesn't refer to the night but it refers to the people. In other words, people take stroll at the night but the night doesn't." See it means people have control over themselves but they don't have control over the night. Who has control over Himself? Only Allaah!

There are four oaths in total in this surah. The 1st and the 4th and the 2nd and the 3rd are connected to each other. The middle two oaths refer to the coming of Rasulullaah(s.a.w). The 1st oath is 'wal fajr' and the fourth oath is 'wal laili.....yasri'. Now chronologically speaking we'd be expecting the night/lail to come at first but here it is the opposite. As it's a given that fajr comes when the night drifts away, but fajr refers to the major sign of the day of judgment even though the light hasn't broken out yet and lail refers to the coming of the messenger of Allah sallalahualayhyssalam. So the priority has been mentioned first. We know that the coming of the messenger of Allah (s.a.w) is the greatest sign of the day of judgment, but as a minor sign it is mentioned later.

Allah continues to the next 'Halfi dhalika qasamullidhi Hijr" meaning

"There is indeed in them (the above oaths) sufficient proofs for men of understanding (and that, they should avoid all kinds of sins and disbeliefs, etc.)!"

(ayah 5)

Now, the word 'Hijr' means intellect. To an Arab "Hijr" would mean control, power. Allah azza wajjal here uses this statement to awaken His slaves. Allah doesn't normally repeat like this. So it is an exceptional verse in the Qur'an. Also by referring to our intellect Allah is telling us if we have intellect to understand His Message. In other words, Allah is saying don't just move on, reflect on the oaths. I say, we are the 'ashraful makqhlukat', we are the only beings created with an intellect and by referring to our intellect Allah is honoring us. And now it is upon us how we use our intellect and if His Message doesn't effect us then we are nothing better than an animal.

Al Alusi and Ash Shawkani Rahimahullah said- " The ones who are blessed with this intellect would immediately understand the lessons of the surah."

Now if you have read my previous notes you have seen how profound and unique were the oaths of Allaah azza wajjal. The lessons that He has attached to such few and simple words, is phenomenal subhanAllaah!

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