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Taraweeh Reflections - Night 25

By Khalid Baig

Here are selected verses from the taraweeh recitation for each night with lessons for our lives today.

Juz 26 - Surah Hujurat

Surah Hujurat

Surah Hujarat contains essential teachings for our collective life and along with surah Noor must be part of the core Qur ’anic syllabus for everyone.
Here are just some of the highlights from this surah. 

News reports

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِن جَاءَكُمْ فَاسِقٌ بِنَبَإٍ فَتَبَيَّنُوا أَن تُصِيبُوا قَوْمًا بِجَهَالَةٍ فَتُصْبِحُوا عَلَىٰ مَا فَعَلْتُمْ نَادِمِينَ

O you who believe, if a wicked person comes to you with any news, ascertain the truth, lest you harm people unwittingly. (Hujurat, 49:6)

We are required to check the resources before jumping on a news report. If the resource is not trustworthy then we must investigate the report itself before spreading it or acting on it. It says that we should not accept a report from a fasiq. The word can be translated as wicked, ungodly, iniquitous. This gives us much to think about our practices as media consumers for the description fits most mainstream media reports about Islam and Muslims. We know that most of these reports are tainted, yet continue to treat them as reliable.

It should also stop our practice of publishing reports through emails, social networking, blogs, and other channels without ascertaining the credibility of the resource or authenticity of the report.

The ayah also gives another very important message regarding our media policy. It uses the Arabic word in, meaning in case to describe the situation that a report comes from a fasiq. It does not say iza, meaning when. It follows that it should not be a normal practice that our news resources are of the type described; we need to develop our own reliable sources of news and information.

Brotherhood

إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ إِخْوَةٌ فَأَصْلِحُوا بَيْنَ أَخَوَيْكُمْ ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ

The Believers are but a single Brotherhood: So make peace and reconciliation between your two (contending) brothers; and fear Allah, that you may receive Mercy. (Hujurat, 49:10)

Yusuf Ali writes: “The enforcement of the Muslim Brotherhood is the greatest social ideal of Islam. On it was based the Prophet’s Sermon at his last pilgrimage, and Islam cannot be completely realized until this ideal is achieved.”

Mocking

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا يَسْخَرْ قَوْمٌ مِّن قَوْمٍ عَسَىٰ أَن يَكُونُوا خَيْرًا مِّنْهُمْ وَلَا نِسَاءٌ مِّن نِّسَاءٍ عَسَىٰ أَن يَكُنَّ خَيْرًا مِّنْهُنَّ ۖ وَلَا تَلْمِزُوا أَنفُسَكُمْ وَلَا تَنَابَزُوا بِالْأَلْقَابِ ۖ بِئْسَ الِاسْمُ الْفُسُوقُ بَعْدَ الْإِيمَانِ ۚ وَمَن لَّمْ يَتُبْ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُونَ

O ye who believe! Let not some men among you laugh at others: It may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): Nor let some women laugh at others: It may be that the latter are better than the (former: Nor defame each other, nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames. (Hujurat, 49:11)

Laughing at someone implies a sense of superiority. So the act is bad both for the harmony of relationships as well as for the spiritual health of the one making fun of the other.

As a side note, it is significant that prohibition of mockery is done in a gender specific language. It is because such mockery takes place in social settings and Islam does not recognize a mixed gender social setting.

Suspicions, Spying, Backbiting

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اجْتَنِبُوا كَثِيرًا مِّنَ الظَّنِّ إِنَّ بَعْضَ الظَّنِّ إِثْمٌ ۖ وَلَا تَجَسَّسُوا وَلَا يَغْتَب بَّعْضُكُم بَعْضًا ۚ أَيُحِبُّ أَحَدُكُمْ أَن يَأْكُلَ لَحْمَ أَخِيهِ مَيْتًا فَكَرِهْتُمُوهُ ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ تَوَّابٌ رَّحِيمٌ

O you who have attained to faith! Avoid most guesswork [about one another] – for, behold, some of [such] guesswork is [in itself] a sin; and do not spy upon one another, and do not backbite one another. Does one of you like that he eats the flesh of his dead brother? You would abhor it. And fear Allah. Surely Allah is Most-Relenting, Very-Merciful. (Hujurat, 49:12)

Suspicions, spying, presumption of guilt, backbiting, these are common ailments in most social settings. In addition to telling us that these are deadly diseases (note the very graphic depiction of the reality of backbiting), this ayah is also telling us that the way to get rid of them is only to remember Allah and have His fear in our heart.

Tribalism

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاكُم مِّن ذَكَرٍ وَأُنثَىٰ وَجَعَلْنَاكُمْ شُعُوبًا وَقَبَائِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوا ۚ إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ

O mankind, We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into races and tribes, so that you may identify one another. Surely the noblest of you, in Allah’s sight, is the one who is the most God-fearing and righteous of you. Surely Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware. (Hujurat, 49:13)

This is the universal declaration that alone can end all tribalism, racism, and nationalism of all Jahliya --- modern and ancient. Unfortunately Muslims whose responsibility it was to invite the entire humanity to this declaration have been at the forefront of violating it.