In Nouman Ali Khan’s previous Story Night held in London, December 2012, he talked about Musa (AS)’s life as a baby, a tafseer of Surah Qasas. Surah Taha is a follow up to the series of narrations in the Qur’an on the life of Musa (AS) and will be continued here, inshaAllah.
The surah begins, not with Musa (AS), but with Allah (SWT) addressing Prophet Muhammad (SAW) on the revelation of the Qur’an:
“We have not sent down to you the Qur’an that you be distressed.” (20:2)
The Prophet (SAW) was the nicest person with the most beautiful character, even before prophethood and people loved him for it. When he (SAW) became messenger, the people of the Quraish started hating him, as he was moving away from their beliefs.
Allah (SWT) knew that he (SAW) would be faced with these trials, yet He consoles him and gives him comfort that with these difficult times, there will be victory. This is an anecdote to what we all go through too. When we find ourselves coming closer to Allah (SWT), His deen, the Qur’an, we may find people moving away from us. They may cut ties from us, but there is no reason why we should reciprocate. In fact, we should strive to strengthen ties, particularly with those away from the deen, and it is only Allah who guides people.
“A revelation from He who created the earth and highest heavens,” (20:4)
The Qur’an is a magnificent book; it is not sent down for us to be sad, anxious, worried or afraid. It was sent as a really powerful reminder; a reminder that can only come from the Creator. When we read the Qur’an with the intention that the words are from Allah, we will never feel miserable.
The Qur’an itself isn’t a very big book. To give a comparison, the Bible is at least 3 times the size. And Allah (SWT) chose to give us very limited information despite His ability to give an ocean’s worth. Thus, whatever He did put into the Qur’an is so valuable and it is this limited information that should make us appreciate all the treasures in this magnificent Book; every single ayah has a profound meaning and we should never overlook anything said in the Qur’an.
“Allah – there is no deity except Him. To Him belong the best names.” (20:8)
In the above ayah, Allah (SWT) starts off with one of His greatest names, “Allah”. He then mentions “Ilaah”, which has been translated as ‘Deity’ in the above translation, but it’s meaning is much more profound. It comes from the verb “aliha”, meaning to rely on someone, to think of someone in times of trouble, to seek counsel in them, to love them more than anything. The word “Ilaah” is the masdar (verbal noun) of “aliha” – a definition that can be attributed to the qualities of Allah. He (SWT) is the only One Who is worthy of being worshipped. He (SWT) is the only One Who is worthy of being called on in times of need. He (SWT) is the only One Who is worthy of us dedicating our lives to.
“And has the story of Moses reached you?” (20:9)
From this ayah onwards, Allah (SWT) relates the story of Musa (AS), the most mentioned Prophet in Qur’an. He uses the word “hadith”, meaning something new and asks a rhetorical question to the Prophet (SAW) “have you not heard the news of Musa (AS)?” He wants to give Musa (AS)’s example as an inspiration, to give him (SAW) comfort and remove his anxiety and misery.
Our job is to appreciate the dual role of Allah (SWT) – His authority as well as His graciousness. The King. The Caring. The Qur’an demonstrates this balance.
To be continued, inshaAllah…