Reflecting on Surah Ra’ad:18-43

 Do I fulfill the description of those who are people of understanding?

 People of understanding :

a) Fulfill their promises with Allah and do not break covenants: First of all this includes the covenant each soul took before they were born, swearing to believe in none but Allah. Alhamdolillah, I believe in Allah and do not add partners with Him in my worship. This is a great favour of Allah, because even though I was born in a Muslim home, it did not automatically make me a Muslim. Alhamdolillah, Allah gave me knowledge of deen, and taught me the true meaning of Tauheed.

As far as promises with people are concerned, Alhamdolillah my parents instilled in me the importance of keeping one’s word. I must say my teachers also stressed this point in school for us a lot as well. I try not to make a promise if I think I cannot fulfill it. However sometimes I will SAY ill do something without thinking about whether or not I will be able to and this is an area I need to work on.

b)Join what Allah has commanded to be joined: i.e. take care of relations. I went through an awkward phase in my early teenage years where people made me uncomfortable. I did not enjoy visiting, weddings etc. However, my mother forced me to go, and through her example I learnt how important it is for family to be there for each other. Now I make the niyyah to go for Allah’s sake, Alhamdolillah. We especially try to make an effort to visit anyone who is unwell.

c)They fear their Lord and fear the evil reckoning: I read something beautiful once, that said ‘fear of Allah means fear of His disapproval’. When I was young, I did not understand why we should fear Allah SWT when He is so Merciful and Kind. This line cleared it up for me. When you love someone, you don’t want them to be upset or angry with you. You want them to love you back as well. Allah has more love for us than we can ever have for anyone, so we should fear lest that love be taken away. While the love of Allah is unimaginable and immense, so is His wrath. He does not ask too much from us, all we have to do is obey Him and love Him.

d) They are patient: I am not a patient person. Patience is a quality I can appreciate in others, and I pray that Allah SWT grants me patience. Recently, Alhamdolillah, my perspective on a lot of things has changed, and I have noticed a change in myself as well. Things that frustrated me before do not anymore, and instead I remind myself of the things I do have.

Recently, someone we know lost a twelve days old baby, after two miscarriages. When we went to visit, I expected to find them somber and disheartened, and prepared myself for what I would say and do. When we went there however, they did not show their sadness at all, in fact they praised and thanked Allah and had submitted to His will. I was very inspired and admired their courage very much.

e)They establish salah: Alhamdolillah I do pray regularly, and usually do not miss any salah, except for Fajr sometimes when I don’t hear the alarm. However, reading Surah Mulk before I sleep does help me wake up. I pray that Allah SWT makes me regular in all my salahs. Also I am not regular with tahajjud , and pray for Allah’s help with that as well.

f)They spend from what Allah has provided for them: I do not earn anything, so often I do not have any money to spend in charity, but when I do, alhamdolillah I make it a point to give at least some portion for Allah’s sake.

g)They repel the bad with the good: The evil things I do unconsciously I hope that Allah SWT will forgive me when I offer salah or ask for forgiveness in general. For specific sins, I try to do taubah . I have  come to realize now however that it is important to do something good to counter that evil also, so sometimes I try to fast or pray some nawafil, or give some charity. If I do something hurtful to a person, then I try to apologize, but if I find it difficult I pray to Allah to put forgiveness in their heart for me, and forgive someone who has wronged me in hope that He will put forgiveness in their hearts for me.

Sana Ahmad

1. The ones who fulfill the covenant of Allah and do not break them: I do not I fit in this description. I still have unfulfilled vows, mostly fasts, which I still haven’t kept. Mostly I do keep my vows with people.  

2. The ones who join relations: I definitely do not fulfill this description. I have not yet encountered my relatives who I am not in good terms with. I do not call them or meet them or even ask about them. I do not know what my reaction would be if I did encounter them. I think that if my matters get resolved, I would be able to overlook and forgive them and join ties with them even if they did not want to, but right now I do not think I am prepared for it.

I do join relations with believers and friends.

3. The ones who fear their Lords and fear of being questioned: I was listening to a lecture recently, in which the speaker said that while someone is sinning they are not thinking of Allah at all. I am not fearing Allah at the time I am sinning. After saying or doing something wrong, I start regretting a lot and become fearful knowing I have sinned. I am trying to instill Taqwa in me, by constantly reminding myself to fear Allah before saying or doing something. I do slip a lot.

I do fear being questioned. I try to repent and mend my ways.

4. The ones who are patient seeking the pleasure of Allah: Alhamdulillah I have become patient, trying to seek the pleasure of Allah alone. I am more patient now than I was like 5 years ago. I find it difficult being patient on abstaining from the disobedience of Allah.

5. The ones who establish prayer perfectly: I do pray according to the sunnah and mostly on time, HOWEVER, I lack the quality of praying with khushoo, which is the most important characteristic of ones salah. I find this really difficult to do.

6. The one’s who spend secretly and openly in Allah’s way: Alhamdulillah I do this. Mostly I spend in secret. I know it is ok to spend openly but I do not feel comfortable doing it because I do not want people to know about it. If I do have to spend openly, I remind myself my intention is doing it just for Allah’s sake and that if people see me spending openly it may motivate them to do the same.

7. The ones who repel evil with good: Alhamdulillah I do this. Whenever I have sinned I try to repel the act of evil with good, by giving sadaqah, making more dhikr etc.

After having completed this question I realize that I have A LOT more to do and need to work harder to become of the people of understanding.

A Student of the Quran

The traits of People of Understanding include: 

  1. Those who fulfill their Covenant with Allah: I try to fulfill my obligations as a Muslim, but unfortunately sometimes I find it very hard to stand up for the matters of Deen. Also, I don’t always implement Allah’s Commands the way they are meant to be.
  2. Do not break their pledge with Allah and people: I think I break these promises every day when I commit to seeing people at a certain time or plan to give them something by a certain time and I delay it. I also break my pledge with Allah when I do anything that goes against being a good Muslim!

3.   Join ties (of kinship, friendship and Iman): Even to join ties purely for the right reasons is sometimes very difficult. You have to work really hard on improving your character and have lots of patience.

 4.   Fear Allah: I need to fear Allah’s Wrath when I do something that He would disapprove of. Just because it feels so far in the future, I tend to put it in the back of my mind and not give it much serious thought.

5.Are afraid of the terrible Reckoning: Again, it feels so far in the distant future that I try to ignore its actuality. But, I think being close to the Quran helps me as a reminder that in reality it’s not really that far off and hence makes me question my daily activities and thoughts accordingly.

 6.Are patient: I think I need the most help with this. I respect people who have truly accomplished this in their lifetimes. I think it is one of the rarest and most precious qualities one can attain. And if you can achieve this then you are set for this life as well as the Hereafter! (Inshallah)

7.Seek the pleasure of Allah: I want this to be my ultimate goal. To seek Allah’s pleasure and not His Wrath. To have this urge to see Him and consider this as the greatest reward that one can achieve. I think reading His Words helps you develop a stronger and more sincere bond with your Rabb. It helps you open your eyes!

 8.Establish Salah: I believe I do establish Salah, but not perfectly. I need to become more responsible in praying on time, not missing my Fajr Salahs and praying with more Khushouh at all times, no matter what is happening around me.

 9.Spend secretly and openly: I need to open my heart more and be more generous. I also need to have the strong conviction that spending in the Way of Allah actually brings Barakah in one’s own life.

 10.Prevent evil with good (forbearance, do good and forgive): Again, to implement this, the main quality that one needs is patience! I need to develop a firm conviction that against the battle of good and evil, good always wins! I need to have that incentive, and Inshallah it will help me to become a better person and to do good at all times, no matter what!

Uzma Ismail



About Quran Reflections

Al-Huda's branch at Khayaban-e-Sehar is one of the few Quran courses being regularly conducted in Karachi, Pakistan, where the mode of instruction and examination is English. The students and teachers have decided to upload their reflections on the Quran and class notes on this blog, in order to be available to a global audience for the latter's benefit and inspiration.
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