Delivered by Mowlana Syed Aftab Haider on 8 June 2016 at Ahlul Bait (a.s) Islamic Centre, Ottery, Cape Town
Last night we introduced our topic during this Ramadaan and gave a synopsis of Surah Furqaan.
Like all surahs (excluding Surah Taubah), it starts with:
“In the Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful”
We have explained the “Bismillah on various occasions in the past and will thus move to the first verse which is:
تَبَارَكَ الَّذِي نَزَّلَ الْفُرْقَانَ عَلَي عَبْدِهِ لِيَكُونَ لِلْعَالَمِينَ نَذِيراً
“Blessed is He Who sent down the Furqan (The Distinction of right and wrong) upon His servant, that he may be a Warner to the worlds”
This verse says that Furqaan was revealed on His servant.
WHAT IS FURQAAN ?
It is something that acts as a criterion which distinquishes between right and wrong. In this verse Furqaan refers to Quran as Quran itself is the yardstick for determining haq and baatil.
This is applicable in every aspect of life from determining our Aqeedah to our daily lives – Quran acts in the role of being the criterion.
There are other explanations for the meaning of Furqaan.
Imam Saadiq (a.s) said “Quraan” refers to the complete Quran (muhkamaat and mutashabihaat) while Furqaan refers to the “clear” verses (Muhkamaat).
In other words there are other verses which have more than one meaning which are the ayaat mutashabihat.
This does not mean the whole Quraan is not Furqaan, but the Imam possibly intends to indicate that the clear verses are the best examples of Furqaan.
Furqaan refers to the capacity to distinguish between right and wrong – often in life we get this wrong and get lost in a cloud of confusion. Sometimes matters become so clouded for us like “a dark night” (as narrations state). In such instances we are told to refer to Furqaan.
But the Quraan also says:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِن تَتَّقُوا اللَّهَ يَجْعَل لَّكُمْ فُرْقَانًا
“O you who believe, if you have taqwa of Allah, He will grant you a furqan [criterion]” (Surah 8:29).
In other words Allah will give you the capacity to be able to distinguish between right and wrong.
Thus it’s not possible to achieve Furqaan in our personal life without Taqwa! Understand this.
Quraan in general is a guidance to the masses, but the deeper level of guidance is for the people of Taqwa. Thus Quran 2:2 says it is:
“a guidance for the people of taqwa.”
People who are not close to Allah, easily get lost.
This issue of Furqaan is so great that the one who sent it is said to be “Blessed”. That is, the Blessedness of Allah results in the sending down of Furqaan.
The verse also refers to it being “nazzala”. In other words this form of revelation referred to in this verse is the gradual revelation over 23 years (more on this will be covered in the Night of Qadr).
This Furqaan was sent to His “servant.”
Prophet (sawa) who has reached this spiritual station of “servitude” to qualify to receive it (refer to our posts on “Miraj confirms the unmatched status of Prophet Muhammad (sawa)”).
WHY FURQAAN WAS SENT
The purpose of sending the Furqaan is that it is a warning to humanity and is not confined to the Arabian Peninsula which were the first recipients of the Quraan.
Some scholars conclude that reference to “Aalameen” or the “the worlds” also hints at the Finality of the Prophethood as it’s meant for all people including those coming in the future.
Ayatullah Sayed Fadlullah says that many Western thinkers expressed the view that Islam started as an Arab phenomenon and responed to its unique needs. Only once Islam grew politically and reached other parts of the world, they started to claim that it’s a universal religion.
He replies that this verse, which is a Meccan verse, was revealed when Islam was in its infancy and had no political power. Yet this verse claims that it is for “all the whole worlds” and thus refutes the claims of the Western thinkers.
Verse 2 says:
الَّذِي لَهُ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالاَرْضِ وَلَمْ يَتَّخِذْ وَلَداً وَلَمْ يَكُن لَهُ شَرِيكٌ فِي الْمُلْكِ وَخَلَقَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ فَقَدَّرَهُ تَقْدِيراً
“He to Whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and He has not taken any son (unto Himself), nor has He any partner in His dominion, and He created everything, then determined its precise measure.”
This verse now introduces further elements of Tauheed regarding the One who sent this Furqaan.
This verse responds to the lame excuses of the various sectors of the mushrikeen.
It thus responds to the Christians that He needs no legacy and thus has no children.
It responds to the mushrikeen who think that the authority in this universe is shared with others.
It responds to Ancient Persian who thought that the World of Creatures was created by the Lord while the other part is created by Satan.
In response to all of these, Allah says that He created everything and gave everything its precise measure and balance in this world which would never be possible if there was more than one God.
The inter connectedness of the Universe proves there’s only One Creator of everything and ensures this balance.
To be continued…….