Teachings of the Qur'aan: Al-Qiyaamah - Name and Background
B i s m i l l a a h i r R a h m a a n i r R a h e e m
Teachings of the Qur`aan
Name and Background
Ayub A. Hamid
Name and Background
The name of this Soorah, Al-Qiyaamah (The Day of Resurrection), is also its topic. It explains the inevitability of the Day of Resurrection in a rational manner, tells people how easy it is for Allaah to raise them when they have become dust and warns people to avail themselves of the opportunity they have in this world to prepare for accountability on that day.
The previous Soorah, Al-Muddaththir, ended with a description of the real problem with the attitude that kept the disbelievers from accepting that there will be a Hereafter. This Soorah elaborates on that issue and provides them with the means of correcting their attitude, thinking, outlook and paradigm.
The Soorah was revealed very early in the Makkan period when the Makkans were being taught about the concepts of the Hereafter. Some parenthetical instructions given in verse 16-19 to the Prophet sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam about the proper way of receiving revelations indicate that the Soorah was revealed during an early period of the mission when the Prophet sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam had not yet become fully comfortable with receiving revelations.
Once the Prophet sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam had started the mission as commanded in the previous Soorah, the negative reaction from the Makkans was strong and aggressive as expected. In such circumstances, the revelations from Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala were the main source of support for the Prophet sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam. That was how he used to receive instructions on how to proceed ahead, that was where the responses to opposition attacks came from and that was where he drew his strength from. In other words, he was totally dependent upon these communications from his Lord. Hence, he used to wait earnestly for the revelation and when it was received, he would try to absorb the entire revelation quickly. In addition, he would repeat the words anxiously with his tongue as they were being revealed lest he forgot any word. Sometimes, he wanted an explanation of some of the words revealed to him. At first, he was told in verse 6 of Soorah Al-A`laa, "We will recite it to you so you will not forget it" that he should not worry about forgetting the revealed words because Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala will make sure that he does not. The second time, he was told in verses 16-19 of this Soorah, "Do not move your tongue (O Prophet) along with the revelation to hasten with it. Verily, We are responsible for putting it together and ensuring its proper recitation. So repeat its recitation only after We have finished it. Then again, We are responsible for explaining it." These instructions make the following points:
1. Allaah Himself is going to ensure the preservation of His words, and the Prophet should not be anxious about it. It is Allaah's responsibility to ensure that His revelations are collected in proper order mandated by Him and that they are remembered and recited by the Prophet sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam accurately in that order;
2. Whenever and wherever any explanations are needed, they will also be provided to him after the revelation of those verses is complete.
3. Thus, during the recital of the revelation to him, the Prophet sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam should not repeat the words of revelation in his attempt to learn and absorb them quickly. Rather, he should listen calmly and attentively, free from worries about its memorization and understanding of its message.
After these instructions, the Prophet sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam started receiving the revelations with calmness and confidence so well that he needed to be briefly reminded only once more in verse 114 of Soorah Taa Haa, "Do not hasten its recitation before the revelation is completed." Afterwards, the Prophet became so adept that he never had to be reminded again.
In the above-mentioned instructions, the implications of the two assurances from Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala must be understood clearly. The first assurance was about the order, completeness and preservation of the Qur-aan in the memory of the Prophet sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam. This was achieved in three ways: Firstly, the words of the revelation were inscribed in his memory permanently. Secondly, with every revelation, he was told where the new revelation fits in the order of the revelations sent down so far. He was told exactly after which verse and before which verse and after which soorah and before which Soorah the new revelation would be inserted. Thus, the current order of the Qur-aan's verses and Soorahs is by the command of Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala. Thirdly, every year in the month of Ramadhaan, the Prophet sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam used to recite all the Qur-aan that had been revealed until that time in the divinely specified order. Once the whole Qur-aan had been revealed, it was completely recited twice in the last year of the Prophet's life.
As far as the explanation and elaboration of the words of the Qur-aan are concerned, the Prophet sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam was taught exactly what the words implied and how they should be put into action. Then the Prophet sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam would live perfectly according to the words of the Qur-aan as taught to him by Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala, and in turn, the Prophet sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam would teach those things to his companions and practically demonstrate to them with his own actions and behaviour. This implies that the Prophet sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam was taught not only the words of Allaah, but also their meaning in practical human terms. Thus, he received the revelation as well as coaching. This also implies that the only authentic meanings of the commands of the Qur-aan are demonstrated by the regular, sustained actions (Sunnah) of the Prophet sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam. Any interpretation of the commands of the Qur-aan that is not in line with the regular, sustained actions of the Prophet sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam is invalid.
Copyright © 2009 Ayub A. Hamid
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Note: This series is providing the teachings of the Qur`aan, not a literal translation. Instead of literal translation, it gives interpretive meanings of the verses, along with their contextual details. Please remember that any translation of the Holy Qur`aan is in fact only an expression of the translator's understanding of the Word of Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala, and hence cannot be equated with the Qur`aan itself. Only the original Arabic text can be called the Holy Qur`aan.
Ustaadz Ayub A. Hamid is a visionary and strategic Islamic thinker residing in Canada for the last 34 years. His recently published books are:
1. Islam - Does It Make Sense?
2. Unveiling the Commands - The Truth about Hijaab, Khimaar and Jilbaab.
3. Finding A Soulmate - A Guide for Parents and Youth.
4. A Book Unlike Any Other.
5. Islam - Adopting Its Paradigms.
6. Exploring the Islamic Beliefs.
The following soowar 'Teachings of the Qur`aan' series by Ustaadz Ayub A. Hamid, are available on request:-
NoohAl JinnAl MuzammilAl Muddaththir
K a r i m a