You are on page 1of 13

CULTURE OF ISLAM

057 Ar Rahmaan The Beneficient


Imtiaz Muhsin 30-Dec-11

The main objective of these talks (and therefore the scripts of these talks), is to stimulate thinking. Sensible, rational and logical thinking. So, my message, think, think & think! Be sensible, be rational and be logical.

57 Ar Rahmaan The Beneficient

Please Note
1. I have had the great privilege, (since Aug 2010), of presenting talks on the weekly Radio Program Culture of Islam [Every Friday 8 to 8.30 pm, Radio Sri Lanka - FM 97.4] 2. Since these are Radio Talks, I refer to, or address the audience as listeners 3. I am well aware that the audience to these talks would consist of people belonging to a variety of faiths. So as to make people of all faiths feel included, I very often use words and names that are common to all religions. 4. For these reasons, I use the name GOD, as well as Abraham, Moses, Jesus etc as well as the names Allah, Ibrahim (Alaihis Salaam), Moosa (Alaihis Salaam), Easa (Alaihis Salaam) etc 5. Muslims by habit usually say Sallallahu Alaihiwasallam, when the name of Prophet Muhammad is mentioned, and Alaihis Salaam' when the name of a Prophet is mentioned. However, in these series of talks I have reduced the use of these prayers & sayings to the bare minimum. 6. Muslims, also by habit, use a number of Arabic prayers or sayings, such as Alhamdulillah, Insha Allah and so on. Again, I have reduced the use of these prayers or sayings to the bare minimum. 7. Sometimes I have to write Arabic words in the English script. I have devised my own way of writing Arabic in English, as follows;

th TH

s Ss SW

DHL DHZ

H h

Gh GH

Information on these talks along with all download links can be found on my on my Blog (http://imtiazm.wordpress.com/) The dates or the schedules of these talks can be viewed on the Facebook Page (http://www.facebook.com/ImtiazMuhsin786) The Scripts of these talks can be downloaded from www.ScribD.com (www.ScribD.com Author Imtiaz Muhsin) The audio files of these talks can be downloaded from YouTube (YouTube Channel Imtiaz Muhsin) The YouTube Link to this talk is at

All Praise and Thanks is due to Allah and Allah alone Alhamdulillah! P.S. The Picture on the Cover is that of the Akbar Mosque in Slave Island, Colombo, Sri Lanka.

57 Ar Rahmaan The Beneficient

057 Ar Rahmaan The Beneficient


Dear Friends, I greet all of you with Assalamu Alaikum which, I am sure you would recognize as the greeting of a Muslim, and means Peace unto you! or Peace be upon you! The title of this weekly radio program is Culture of Islam and the most centric theme of this Culture is the conviction in One God, whom we Muslims identify as Allah. I prefer to use the name Allah Taaalah or Allah the most exalted. Now, when we say one God, what could we mean? Basically the fact that we see many wonderful indescribable systems working in this Universe and every one of these systems are so complex, that many of us think that these are administered by separate departments run by some obscure but benevolent authority which we call Nature In some cultures the belief is that these different departments are attributed to many different Gods. In other cultures, the belief is that nature sort of runs itself. We imagine a sort of an orderly self subsisting world, or to word it in our modern terminology, we would say the world is running in auto mode The function that is attributed to God, is to oversee destinies - to bless us with good fortunes or to punish us with disasters, and those disasters too we somehow or the other attribute to Nature with the term natural disasters Now, as I said before, the very core ingredient in the Culture of Islam, would be the conviction that there is just one God and that God is Allah Taaalah it is not a just a belief, it is a deep conviction. The Culture itself demands a striving to strengthen and deepen that conviction. Now, in this Culture of Islam, we believe, that right through the history of Mankind on Earth, Allah Taaalah has been sending Prophets, human beings like all of us, but men who have been enlightened, probably because of their innate characteristics of searching for the truth and thus their guidance as well as their role as guides towards the path to the truth. The final of these Prophets is Muhammad (Sal) and Allah Taaalah also revealed to him a Holy Book, which we call the Holy Quran, and it is from the instructions or the better word would be the Aayath or the Signs in this Holy Book that instructs us to recognize the attributes of Allah Taaalah in this Universe and then to project this recognition so that we would understand the purpose of life and of death, and our very existence on this Earth. From the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (Sal) and the Signs described in the Holy Quran we begin to understand the many many complex systems established by Allah Taaalah and we realize that Allah Taaalah must be having millions or even billions of magnificent, all encompassing, powerful and wise attributes but then Allah Taaalah describes only 100 of them in the Holy Quran. These 100 attributes of Allah Taaalah we refer to as the Asma Ul Husna.

57 Ar Rahmaan The Beneficient

In Surah Kahf (Surah 18 Aayath No 109), Allah Taaalah tells us Say, if the oceans were ink which is used to write out the words of your Rabb, the oceans would be exhausted, but not the words of your Rabb and Allah Taaalah adds - even if He added another ocean like it (Walauw Jinaa bi MiSsliHee Madhadhaa) That would give you an idea of how magnificent Allah Taaalah is. Today I like to explain actually it is a learning experience for me the attribute or the quality or the characteristic of Allah Taaalah which He refers to as Rahmaan commonly translated in English as the Beneficent, maybe even as the benevolently beneficent. This word Rahmaan appears many times in the Holy Quran. The triliteral root r mm () occurs 339 times in the Quran, in nine derived forms. In addition to this out of the 114 Surahs or Chapters of the Holy Quran, 113 begins with the words BismiLLaH Hir Rahmaan nir Raheem meaning With the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful All of us can see Benevolence and Beneficence in every system in this Universe it envelopes us its true magnificence can only be described by its giver or its source Allah Taaalah. Allah Taaalahs method of describing is actually a sort of a pointing out to us in a few beautifully arranged words motivating or stimulating us to seek for the sublime features of this attribute. This process of seeking or searching for the attributes of Allah Taaalah is the very essence of the life of a Muslim maybe I should say, the very essence of the Culture of Islam So in trying to describe the attribute of Rahmaan or The Beneficent, from the Holy Quran, we have at least 339 + 113 references to this word or the derivatives of this word. So where do I start from? I have decided to take just a few Aayaths or Signs from Surah 55 or Chapter 55 of the Holy Quran, which is itself titled Ar Rahmaan or The Beneficent. This is an amazing Surah, and as the title or the opening Aayath proclaims, the Surah describes the Beneficence and the Benevolence of Allah Taaalah and the view he presents to us should actually excite us into realizing that these words or this description has to be from the source of this Beneficence and Benevolence. As I mentioned earlier, in few beautifully arranged words Allah Taaalah opens gateways of seeking knowledge or seeking enlightenment. The first Aayath is just one word Ar Rahmaan thats all! The second Aayath consists of two words Allamal Quran He taught the Quran. The third Aayath likewise consists of just another two words Khalaqal Insaan thats all! The fourth Aayath - again two words AllamaHul Bayaan thats all! The fifth consists of three words Ash Shamsu wal Qamaru bi husbaan thats all!

57 Ar Rahmaan The Beneficient

The sixth too consists of three words An Najmu Washshajaru Yasjudhaan, and so on. Brilliant, simple, magnificent! Another amazing feature of this Surah Ar Rahmaan, is that whilst pointing to us his beneficence and benevolence, Allah Taaalah also adds a repeated refrain, a sort of a haunting refrain, with the words Fabi Aiyyi AaalaaI Rabbikumaa thukazzibaan meaning Then which of the favors of your Rabb do you deny? This refrain appears 31 times in this simple Surah of 78 Aayaths or verses so not only is his beneficence and benevolence being pointed out to us, but whilst appreciating them we are also repeatedly provided with a sort of an emotion, another pointer, one that is designed to cleanse or to purify us, or to turn us away from our state of denial, ignorance or arrogance. Let us now discuss what these Aayath indicates. The First Aayath, as we all know is Ar Rahmaan meaning the Beneficent or the Benevolent actually His Beneficence and Benevolence can be seen can be felt all around us. In Surah Baqarah Aayath 163, Allah Taaalah informs us;

In Surah Aal E Imraan (Surah 003 Aayath No 132) Allah Taaalah informs us;

Thurhamoon which is usually defined as obtain Mercy, is a derivative of the word Rahmaan. What we see from these Aayaths is that Allah Taaalah is the Most Beneficent and Very Merciful and the gateways or the approaches to this beneficence, benevolence and mercy is through obedience to the Prophet and to Allah Taaalah. Now let us look at the next Aayath; As you would all now know this Aaayth consists of just two words Allamal Quran which would be translated as He taught the Quran So when we recite Ar Rahmaan, Allamal Quran, we are taking in the information that The Beneficent, He taught the Quran which in itself means that the Quran contains lessons (I would prefer to use the phrase is alive with lessons) of beneficence and benevolence, and thus necessarily contains lessons of mercy. Let us see how Allah Taaalah instructs us about the Holy Quran; Surah Baqarah opens with the following 2 Aayaths;

57 Ar Rahmaan The Beneficient

In Surah Al Qamar Allah Taaalah informs us and questions us with the words;

In this Surah No 54, S Qamar, this Aayath is repeated 4 times Aayath Nos 17, 22, 32 & 40 Surah Naml (027:092)

Now let us see the next Aayath, the 3rd in Surah Rahmaan; As I mentioned earlier, this Aayath too contains just two words Khalaqal Insaan which translates to mean He created Man When we are looking at this Aayath in the context of being created by the Rahmaan, then obviously we are being pointed to look at the benevolence, the beneficence that has been heaped on this creation the Insaan or Man. Of course we can see lots of systems working for the benefit of man like for example the systems in the universe, the systems in the environment, the systems working within us we call them the physiology but all these are not just special to Man only the exterior systems or the environment is shared by all animals, whilst the interior systems of all animals and Man has many commonalities, nothing very special in Man then, what is so special about the creation of Man? Let us see how the creator is drawing attention to his benevolence in the creation of Man, this is described in some of the Aayaths in the Holy Quran. 1. Preceding the creation of Man, Allah informs His Angels that He is going to place his Khaleefah on earth this is conveyed to us in Aayath No 30 of Surah Baqarah; Wa Iz Qaala Rabbuka lil Malaikathi Innee Jaailun Fil Ardhli Khaleefathan And when your Rabb said unto the angels: Indeed, I am going to place a vicegerent in the earth, The word Khaleefah is generally translated as Vicegerent which we could loosely take to mean an Ambassador which in itself, is a great honor to be the ambassador of Allah! the Khaleefah of Allah! But then what Allah Taaalah is pointing to us is that we have the tools or the capability to rise up to becoming His Khaleefa how? 2. Again, preceding the creation of Man, Allah Taaalah informs His Angels that He is going to create a Bashar this is conveyed to us in Aayath No 28 of Surah Al Hijr Surah No 15; Wa Iz Qaala Rabbuka Lil Malaaikath Innee KhaalQun Basharun

57 Ar Rahmaan The Beneficient

And when your Rabb said unto the angels: Indeed, I am going to create a Bashar, In other words a human being who is also a communicator of good this does not mean a person who gives us news that we take to be good like winning a lottery, passing an exam, winning a match etc, but what is meant by a Bashr is one who sees the lessons of goodness and wisdom and conveys it to others. Thus, a conveyor of goodness. Now, you may have noticed the wording Allah Taaalah says that He is going to create a Bashr Khaaliqun Basharun and then He also says that He is going to place His Khaleefah on Earth. In other words, what is created is the Bashar and the role of this Bashar is that he is being placed as Allahs Khaleefah, on Earth. May I word this as follows; We are created for goodness (the Bashar) and our role on this Earth is Allahs Ambassador (the Khaleefah) Now to be both Bashar and Khaleefah we need certain tools tools to see, to hear, tools to process the information that we are seeing and hearing. The ability to recognize that what we are seeing and hearing on this Earth has a supreme, a powerful, an all encompassing and a magnificent source. We also have to possess the tools to process all this information, develop the ability to perceive all this information as goodness and that too recognize all this as the part of a good, great plan. And then we have to be able to develop the ability to convey all these lessons whilst playing the role of being the Ambassador or the Khaleefah to Allah Taaalah who is the source of all this good Failing to do so, would be failing in our roles of both Bashar, as well as the Khaleefah of Allah Taaalah. Now, let us see what these special tools are that Allah Taaalah has provided us with; (Surah An Nahl 16:78)

The 3 words Samgha, AbSwaara and Afidha means the processes of seeing, hearing and feelings using intelligence.

57 Ar Rahmaan The Beneficient

In the Holy Quran Allah Taaalah tells us about the special favors He has gifted us with, viz. The Samgha the hearing the ability to process what we hear The AbSWaar the seeing the ability to process what we hear Afidha or feelings The Aql the intelligence The SWudhoor usually translated as heart or the chest The Qalb the Heart The Nafs the self, or the ego or desires Allah Taaalah also informs us, in Surah 91 (Surah Ash Shums) Aayaths Nos 7 & 8

Now let us see the 4th Aayath Allamahul Bayaan just two words, and the meaning He taught him Bayaan, or speech or articulation Bayaan is derived from the word Baiyyinah which means clear so Bayaan would mean explaining or making things clear. So we can realize that through Allah Taaalahs beneficence & benevolence, He has created us as His Bashar and in addition to this He has provided us with this huge ability or talent to articulate what we perceive amazing isnt it. What a blessing! A Khaleefah, a Bashr, an Insaan blessed with Samgha, AbSWaar, Afidha, Swudhoor, Qalb, AQl and Nafs and then the ability or talent Allah Taaalah teaches us to articulate, to process our thinking and to convey, to make clear Allamahul Bayaan He has taught him to express himself. Amazing, isnt it? So, we have now looked at just 4 of these Aayaths or signs they were; Ar Rahmaan, Allamal Quran, KhalaQal Insaan, Allamahul Bayaan All 4 very rich in meaning we read only a few explanatory or connected Aayaths that gives us insight. There are many more such Aayaths. Now we begin to see the relationship between the Beneficent, the wisdom in the Holy Quran, our creation and our value added features and then our God given talent or learning the ability to articulate! All four Aayaths providing new insights to the benevolence, the magnificence and, the wisdom of Allah Taaalah. In the next few Aayaths, Allah Taaalah is pointing out to us the arrangement of His Universe, and in this few beautifully placed words He is indicating to us that all these elements of the Universe are actually signs of His Beneficence or benevolence.

57 Ar Rahmaan The Beneficient

Let us see Aayath No 5 Just 3 words Ash Shamsu Wal Qamaru bi husbaan Ash Shamsu The Sun, Wal Qamaru and the Moon, bi husbaan by precise calculation What a huge benefit. A benefit that gives rise to a myriad other benefits. The placement of the Sun the Moon and Earth is very precise. The movements or the relative movements of the Sun, Moon and Earth themselves are very precise. Thus by this simple placement, we ourselves are able to precisely calculate Sunrise, Sunset or the movements of the Sun for any day, in any part of the World. We can precisely calculate or work out the phases of the Moon, the tides, the seasons and time itself what a huge favor. In Surah 10 (Yunus) Aayath No 5, Allah Taaalah informs us; [010:005] It is He Who made the sun to be a shining glory and the moon to be a light (of beauty), and measured out stages for her; that ye might know the number of years and the count (of time). Nowise did Allah create this but in truth and righteousness. (Thus) doth He explain His Signs in detail, for those who understand. In the next Aayath of Surah Rahmaan which is No 6, Allah Taaalah points out to us the trees and the stars; An Najmu Wa Shajaru Yasjudhaan meaning the trees and the stars, both prostrate. So we can see that Allah Taaalah, in just a few words is covering the whole Universe Firstly the Sun, the Moon then the Universe beyond the Sun and the Moon the planes of the Stars and then He is also pointing out the Earth by pointing out to us the trees thus the whole Universe is covered. The Stars, the Sun, the Moon and the Earth! The Sun and the Moon by precise calculation whilst the Stars and the trees prostrate to Him or obey him implicitly actually Allah Taaalah informs us the fact that everything in the Universe obeys Him implicitly and His system is beneficial or benevolent to Man. Now getting to Aayath No 7, Allah Taaalah is drawing our attention to a certain area in the Universe. After having informed us about the elements or the ingredients in the Universe, He now draws our attention to the area between the Earth and the Sky or sometimes translated as the Heavens Allah Taaalah tells us; Was Samaas Rafaghahaa wa WaDHlaghal Meezaan And the sky He has raised it and has set up the balance. Now 2 points; 1. We know the sky has been raised high but then in Surah Raad (13) Aayath No 2, Allah Taaalah points out another Sign

57 Ar Rahmaan The Beneficient

Allah is the One who raised the heavens (sky) without any visible pillars. Amazing isnt it? But then He draws our attention to yet another factor He has raised the sky and set up the Meezan. Meezan is commonly translated to mean the balance Now what is the balance we see in the sky. To all of us, the space between the earth and the sky is just blank, just plain maybe only air. But on thinking we realize many many things. This air that we say is in the atmosphere itself is balanced percentages for Oxygen, Carbon Dioxide, Nitrogen etc and are they not balanced? We talk about global warming that there is too much Carbon Dioxide being released to the atmosphere does this also not mean that the Oxygen content is reducing? Is there not some balance. And now let us look closer at this space between the earth and the sky we would realize that there are an amazing number energies moving around and all of them balanced. These are heat rays, light rays, the Electro Magnetic Spectrum, Magnetic Fields, then we have other forces like gravity and also centripetal and centrifugal forces due to the movements of the Earth on its axis as well as revolving round the sun there are so many energies, forces, gases maybe other factors too all of them well balanced so well balanced, that the study of this balance is called Physics. This is the systematic study of the interaction between these energies and matter. All these factors obey precise laws, mathematically precise laws could this not be the balance or the Meezaan that Allah Taaalah is indicating to us? Amazing, isnt it? And then what does the next Aayath tell us again just 3 words richly informative, beautifully chosen and placed words. ALLaH thaTHghauw fil Meezaan Which translates as, That you may not transgress the balance Two possible meanings; 1. You cannot transgress the balance or 2. As a warning Do not transgress the balance Actually, I see both these meanings these are balances or physical laws that you cannot tamper with, and also do not disturb them like for example our greed for an industrialized or a high tech lifestyle is releasing Mega Tons of Carbon Dioxide in to the air the balance is working, it is set in motion, it is compensating - and the emerging numbers is causing us concern. We call it global warming. We predict hardships to our future generations. And then the next Aaayath. Aayath No 9 wherein allah Taaalah is giving us some good advice or instruction He says; Wa AQeemul Wazna bilQisthi Walaa Thukhsirul Meezaan Which translates as;

10

57 Ar Rahmaan The Beneficient

And establish the weight in Justice; and do not make deficient the balance Allah Taaalah, first points out to us the balance He has placed in the sky, and in this backdrop exhorts us to establish Justice, and in being Just He advises us do not reduce or make deficient from this sensitive balance of Justice Would this not qualify us to be His Bashr and Khaleefah? What a benevolent way of advising us to be fair and just. In the next Aayath, in just 3 words, Allah Taaalah give us some information, that if we meditate on, then many points that puzzles us about this world and our life, would now begin to provide us with new perceptions a sort of a new enlightening. What does Allah Taaalah tell us; Wal Ardhla Wala ghaHaa lil Anaam And the Earth, He laid it out, for the creatures. Which could mean, that this earth is not for us it is for the creatures. Our presence on Earth is like that of visitors its transitory - we have a destination this is like the transit halt. Does this not make a lot of sense? Are we behaving like transit visitors or are we behaving like greedy, selfish, self centered colonizers? That, is the major question. Allah has sent us to this Earth to play a role. This Earth belongs to the creatures. But Allah Taaalah in His Benevolence as Rahmaan, has provided us a tremendous amount of benefits and facilities but the purpose - be fair, be just, read the Signs and be a Bashar and a Khaleefah to Allah Taaalah demonstrate that we are deserving of the beneficence the benevolence, that we are better, higher, nobler than the creatures then, Insha Allah, we could reach our goal - and what or where is that? In Surah Aal E Imraan (3:133) Allah Taaalah informs us; Race with one another towards Forgiveness from your Lord, and towards a paradise the width of which spans the heavens and the earth. It has been prepared for the MuththaQeen (the Godfearing) (U ghidhdhath lil MuththaQeen) In Aayath Nos 11 & 12 Allah Taaalah describes again in beautiful, well arranged Words, rich in meaning, about the favors on Earth and then in the next Aaayath (Aayath No 13) He asks us this question, heavy in meaning. Fabi Aiyyi Aalaa I Rabbikumaa thukazzibaan Then which of the favors of your Rabb do you deny?

11

57 Ar Rahmaan The Beneficient

As I mentioned earlier, this eye opener appears 31 times in this Surah of 78 Aayaths. I sincerely pray and hope that all of you benefit from these talks as much as I have benefitted from doing research from the Quran and then preparing and presenting these talks to you. May Allah Taaalah guide us all and accept us all. Jazza Kalla Khairan. Assalamu Alaikum

Imtiaz Muhsin Colombo Sri Lanka crescent786@hotmail.com

You Tube Channel - HaneefanMusliman

12

57 Ar Rahmaan The Beneficient

Series 2 The Talks numbered 054 to 071 is under a series titled Knowing Allah Taaalah or Knowing GOD The details of the scripts of these 16 Episodes (Talks) are as follows;
Talk No Episode 1 Episode 2 Episode 3 Episode 4 Episode 5 Episode 6 Episode 7 Talk Number & Title 054 Ilm Knowing Allah 055 Rationality - The Foundation of Islam 056 Is Man Special? 057 Ar Rahmaan - The Beneficent 058 Nature or GOD? 059 Our Relationship with GOD! Sub Series: 060 Is this what we are created for? (Is this what we are created for? Part 1) Sub Series: 061 What do we see on Earth (Is this what we are created for? Part 2) Sub Series: 062 Who are WE? Where do we fit in? (Is this what we are created for? Part 3) Sub Series: 063 Our benefits on Earth (Is this what we are created for? Part 4) Sub Series: 066 What makes us 'Stand Out'? What makes us 'Special'? (Is this what we are created for? Part 5) Sub Series: 067 Who is in charge? (Is this what we are created for? Part 6) Sub Series: 068 What ALLAH Teaches Us, About Himself (Is this what we are created for? Part 7) Sub Series: 069 Our Special Faculties How they should be used, How they should not be used! (Is this what we are created for? Part 8) Sub Series: 070 The TWO Paths 071 Is this what we are created for? A review of Parts 1 to 8 from the Sub Series Is this what we are created for? Date Broadcast Dec 9th 2011 Dec 16h 2011 Dec 23th 2011 Dec 30th 2011 Jan 6th 2012 Jan 13th 2012 Jan 20th 2012 Jan 27th 2012 Feb 3rd 2012 Feb 10th 2012 Feb 17th 2012 Feb 24th 2012 Mar 2nd 2012 Details of Picture on Cover Wellawatte Jummah Mosque in Colombo, Sri Lanka Parasangaswewa Mosque (a remote village) in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka Mutwal Jummah Mosque in Colombo, Sri Lanka The Akbar Mosque in Slave Island, Colombo, Sri Lanka Mosque in Matara, from the Southern Province of Sri Lanka Beach Mosque at Kalmunaikudi in the Eastern Province, Sri Lanka A Mosque in the Kurnegala District, Sri Lanka Maradana Jummah Mosque in Colombo, Sri Lanka Colpetty Jummah Mosque, in Colombo, Sri Lanka The Jummah Mosque at Natpidimunnai, in the Ampara District, Sri Lanka The Devatagaha Mosque in Colombo, Sri Lanka A Mosque in a rural village in the Ampara District, in Sri Lanka The Jummah Mosque in Oluvil a village in the Ampara District, Sri Lanka The Dhanakawewa Jummah Mosque in a remote village in the Anuradhapura District in Sri Lanka Mosque at Madhavakulam in the Puttlam District, Sri Lanka A Mosque by a river in the Eastern Province, Sri Lanka

Episode 8 Episode 9 Episode 10

Episode 11

Episode 12

Episode 13

Episode 14

Mar 9th 2012 Mar 16th 2012 Mar 23rd 2012

Episode 15 Episode 16

13

57 Ar Rahmaan The Beneficient