by Tabassum Mosleh
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Most often we start memorizing the Quran backwards, i.e. from the 30th Juz, and it’s these short surahs that we often recite in our prayers. So it’s a great idea to learn a bit about the meanings, contexts, and implications of these surahs so that when we recite them in our prayers, we sense the presence of our Lord, and it becomes easier to realize that we’re actually conversing with Him.
There are many good lecture series on this Juz available on the internet, among them are those of ustadh Nouman Ali Khan and Israr Ahmad rahimahullah. Here are a few questions to further stimulate our understanding of one of these surahs – al-Nāzi‘āt.
- How many types of angels are mentioned in this surah?
- What are the main themes of this surah?
- What’s the ayah al-kubrá which Musa alaihi salam show to Firawn?
- The word sa‘a comes twice in this surah. What are these instances? Is there a relation between them?
- Which ayah contains a direct admonishment to us from Allah?
- The word ṭagha comes twice in this surah. What are these instances? Is there a relation between them?
- Why is the Hour called al- ṭāmmah al-kubrá (the greatest Overwhelming Calamity)?
- Mention three instances of contrast in the surah.
- Mention an instance where even in mocking the messenger, the disbelievers said something true, perhaps without completely realizing its gravity.
- The surah contains a litmus test for finding out our chances of falling in the group of Jannah or Jaḥīm. Which ayat contains this test?
- 5 – nāzi‘āt, nāshiṭāt, sābiḥāt, sābiqāt, mudabbirāt
- The main themes of this surah: tawḥīd, the Day of Judgment and its gravity, prophethood.
- Al-ayah al-kubrá: the staff turning into a snake
- The first is when Firawn ran seeing the snake: Then he turned his back, striving. (79:22) The second is about the Day of Judgment: The Day when man will remember that for which he strove. (79:35)
- Are you a more difficult creation or is the heaven? He constructed it. (79:27)
- The first is about Firawn: Go to Pharaoh. Indeed, he has transgressed. (17). The second is in the passage where the results of transgression is discussed: So as for he who transgressed, And preferred the life of the world, Then indeed, Hellfire will be [his] refuge. (37-39) The relationship is that the first is an example of a person who transgressed and his fate, and the second is a warning of a similar fate for all who are like Firawn.
- It’s called so because the events of that day are so great that people will forget every other matter in horror of what they are beholding.
- Al- ākhirah wa-al-Ūlā (25) 2. an afternoon or a morning (46), Jannah will be refuge and Jaḥīm will be refuge. (39, 41)
- They say, “That, then, would be a losing return.” (12)
- if, by the time we come to ayah no. 39, we have felt the fear of standing in front of Allah on the Day of Judgment, which is what ayah 40 requires of us, that’s a sign we’ll pass the test in sha Allah.
But as for he who feared the position of his Lord and prevented the soul from [unlawful] inclination – Then indeed, Paradise will be [his] refuge. (40-41)
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