Will you give information about "birds of ababil"? Is it a bird species in the sense that we know? I read something stating that there is no bird called ababil.
As it is known, TAYR is the plural of the word "tair", which means a flying bird. If it is used as “tayran”, it means they are some unknown, strange birds. In fact, it is narrated that those birds were some groups of strange birds that had not been seen there before, with black, green and white colors and with various sizes.
Ababil is the adjective or state of the word tayr. Besides, there is a bird species similar to a swallow known with the name ababil, which have curved feet; they could not fly when they landed on the ground; therefore, they built their nests in high places and flew by jumping from high places.
As it is mentioned in the explanation and translation of "Qamus", some scholars accept that ababil is the bird called mountain swallow. In general, this name became common because they were described as “like swallows” and “their palms are like the palms of dogs”. In that case, ababil is a word that explains tayr. And it is in accordance with the statement, “The word ababil has no singular form.” However, the imams of tafsir scholars did not say that ababil was the name of a kind of bird; they explained it as an adjective or state meaning groups, flocks coming one after another, etc. indicating their multitude; and the verse indicates the strangeness of these birds; therefore, it does not seem appropriate to understand ababil as a word explaining tayr; it should be a coined word.
As we have said, it is widely accepted that their sizes are like swallows and that it was reported from Ibn Abbas that their beaks are like bird beaks and their palms are like palms of dogs; however, all of the narrations state that they are not one species of bird but various birds with different sizes and colors.
In that case, it means they are flocks of small and big birds with various colors like black, white, green and multicolored birds coming one after another, the big ones being like eagles that fly over carrions and black birds, the medium ones being like crows and the small ones being like swallows that hunt flies; it is also narrated that they come from the direction of Yemen and the sea.
The attack of a current of birds like a storm hit them as a big misfortune in a strange way.
Will you give information about the virtue of reciting surah al-Kahf on Friday?
There are hadiths related to the virtues of reading the chapter of al-Kahf on Friday night and during the day. One of them is as follows:
"A person who reads the chapter of al-Kahf on Friday night is illuminated by a light from the earth to the sky on the Day of Judgment. The minor sins he commits between two Firdays are forgiven." (For different narrations, see at-Targhib wa't-Tarhib, Kitabu'l-Juma, 1/512-513)
However, while considering these narrations, which are made to encourage people, it is necessary to be careful about some points.
Two other hadiths narrated about the chapter of al-Kahf are as follows:
"Usayd b. Khudayr, one of the Companions, was reciting the chapter of al-Kahf. He had a horse in his house. The horse started to shy and jump. Thereupon, Usayd said, 'O Lord! Save me from misfortunes.' Something like smoke or cloud covered that place. Then, Usayd told the Prophet (pbuh) about the incident. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, "Recite! O Usayd! For, what seemed like cloud was Sakina (angels). They came down to listen to the Quran or to exalt it." (Bukhari, Manaqib, 25; Bukhari, Fadailu'l-Qur'an, 11; Tirmidhi, Fadailu'l-Qur'an, 6)
Hz. Prophet stated the following:
"A person who memorizes the first ten (in another narration, the last ten) verses of the chapter of al-Kahf, he will be protected from Dajjal." (Muslim, Musafirun, 257; Abu Dawud, Malahim, 14; Tirmidhi, Fitan, 59; Ibn Majah, Fitan, 33).
Which chapter starts without 'Bismillahirrahmanirrahim'? Why does this chapter not have 'Bismillahirrahmanirrahim' at the beginning?
When verses and chapters of the Quran were first sent down,'Bismillahirrahmanirrahim' was not written at the beginning of the chapter of at-Tawba; it was not written afterwards by the Companions, Tabiin, Tabaut-Tabiin or the scholars, either.
The reasons why 'Bismillahirrahmanirrahim' was not written and read at the beginning of the chapter of at-Tawba can be listed as follows:
Firstly: The chapter of at-Tawba was sent down after a long interval. When it was sent down, it was regarded to be in close connection with the chapter of al-Anfal in terms of meaning and content; so it was regarded as the continuation of the chapter of al-Anfal.
The last verses of the chapter of al-Anfal are related to jihad and similar incidents between the polytheists and the Muslims; the beginning of the chapter of at-Tawbah starts as follows:
"A (declaration) of immunity from Allah and His Messenger to those of the pagans with whom ye have contracted mutual alliances."
Some Companions even thought that these two verses were indeed the same chapter. However, the big number of its verses and the Prophet's silence about whether it was the continuation of another chapter were enough to decide that the chapter of at-Tawba was a separate chapter. Besides, in terms of arrangement, when the last page of the chapter of al-Anfal and the first page of the chapter of at-Tawba are viewed, they give us the impression that the latter is the continuation of the former. Due to these reasons, 'Bismillahirrahmanirrahim' is not written and read at the beginning of this chapter.
Secondly: The chapter included severe threats to the polytheists and hypocrites (munafiqs) and started with a declaration of war; therefore, 'Bismillahirrahmanirrahim', which expresses mercy, security and peace, does not exist at the beginning of the chapter. As a matter of fact, when Abdullah bin Abbas, asked Hz. Ali (r.a.), "Why was 'Bismillahirrahmanirrahim' not written between the chapters of al-Anfal and at-Tawba? "Hz. Ali gave the following wise answer: "For, Bismillahirrahmanirrahim includes safety and security. However, this chapter was sent down about the sword and the polytheists who violated the treaty."
Thirdly; This chapter declares that all of the treaties and friendships made between the polytheists and Muslims about common defense and similar issues were abolished. As a matter of fact, the following is stated in verse 5 of this chapter:
"But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war)..."
'Bismillahirrahmanirrahim' was not put at the beginning of the chapter since there is no security and mercy in war. Besides, it is not regarded appropriate to start the chapter as "Bismillah baraatun minallah" without mentioning the names ar-Rahman and ar-Rahim. It is not regarded permissible to read the chapter beginning with 'Bismillahirrahmanirrahim' since it was not sent down and written.
Putting aside the differences of explanation, Islamic scholars agree unanimously that 'Bismillahirrahmanirrahim' must not be written and read at the beginning of this chapter. The common reason why it is accepted by everybody is the fact that the Messenger of Allah did not dictate 'Bismillahirrahmanirrahim' at the beginning of this chapter. This is a piece of evidence that the Quran has been protected carefully since it was first sent down as it was learned from the Prophet (pbuh) without undergoing any change and that the Companions acted very carefully to transfer it to the following generations. (see Razi, the beginning of the chapter of at-Tawba)
It should be pointed out that not uttering 'Bismillahirrahmanirrahim' before reading the chapter of at-Tawba is related to the beginning of the chapter. If one starts reading from the beginning of the chapter, he utters only "Audhubillahiminashshaytanirrajim". If he starts reading from a verse after the first verse, he utters'Bismillahirrahmanirrahim' after 'Audhubillahiminashshaytanirrajim'. When a person finishes the chapter of al-Anfal and starts at-Tawba after it, he continues reading without uttering 'Audhubillahiminashshaytanirrajim' and 'Bismillahirrahmanirrahim'.(see Yas'alunaka Fi'd-Dini wal-Hayat, 1:313-314: Hak Dini Kur'ân Dili,4:2442-44; Kur'an Yolu, Heyet, the beginning of the chapter of at-Tawba)
Is it permissible to read the Quran from the internet / computers (mobile phones) without wudu?
It is not permissible to read and touch the Quran without wudu. However, it is permissible to read it without wudu without touching it.
Computers, mobile phones, tablets, etc are not mushaf. Therefore, it is permissible to read the Quran on the internet and on mobile phones. However, a person cannot read the Quran even by heart if he needs to make ghusl.
Does a person who reads the chapter of Yasin every day reach the degree of martyrdom?
We could not find a narration like this in the resources that we checked. However, there are great thawabs and benefits of readingthe chapter of “Ya Sin”, which is described as the heart of “the Quran”. If we read the chapter of Yasin for Allah’s sake and send its thawab to one million people, its full thawab will go to the spirits of each of them separately without losing anything from its thawab. For, the Quran is luminous light; it is not divided. Whether one person or a million people are illuminated by a lamp, everybody will benefit from its light. People will benefit from the luminous light of the Quran like that.
If we have time, we should read Yasin every morning and evening; if we do not have time, we should read “Yasin” every day or at least every Thursday. In addition, it is necessary not to forget reading the chapter of "al-Mulk", which is stated to intercede for the person who reads it in a hadith.
Allah’s consent is superior to everything. Therefore, we should make Allah’s consent our aim in everything; the other thawabs will come to us based on our sincerity within the framework of this consent.
Is it possible to do a khatm al-Quran by following or listening to it from a device like a TV set, telephone or computer?
Yes, the Quran is completed (a khatm is done) by following or listening to it like that.
“Some people say a khatm al-Quran can be done only by reading it.”
Muqabala al-Quran started for the first time when the Prophet (pbuh) and Hz. Jibril started to read it reciprocally, one of them reading and the other listening. The phrase “fa-yudarisuhu” is used in the hadith for the Prophet (pbuh) and Hz. Jibril reading the Quran reciprocally. Ayni, the translator of Bukhari, explains this phrase as follows:
“The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) andHz. Jibril read the Quran reciprocally. This reading was continued by hafizes of the Quran after them. For instance, one of them read ten verses and the other listened; then, the other one read ten verses and the first one listened. It was a reciprocal reading.” (Umdatul-Qari, I/75)
In our mosques today, one or more than one hafiz reads one juz of the Quran every day and the Muslims who can read the Quran follow the hafiz(es) and the ones who cannot read the Quran only listen. The 30th juz is read on the 30th day of Ramadan and khatm al-Quran is completed.
In that case, not only the hafizes who read the Quran but also those who follow them and who listen to them regularly for a month are regarded to have completed a khatm and receive the reward of it.
Listening to the Quran is better than reading it. The hadiths regarding the issue are as follows:
“There is one reward for the one who reads the Quran and two for the one who listens to it.” (Darimi, Fadailul-Quran,10).
“Two rewards are written for anyone who listens to the Quran very carefully.” (at-Targhib wat-Tarhib, 2:345)
That is, listening to the Quran is more virtuous than reading it. A person who listens to the Quran gets the reward of listening to it; a person who listens to the whole Quran gets its reward many times. It is valid for those who listen to the Quran from both a living person and from devices like a tape recorder, video recorder, etc. For, these devices are not echoes but the same as the voice of the person who reads. There is no difference between listening to it from a living person and from a device. There is nothing that changes in either state. That is, there is no change in the words and verses of the Quran.
That is, a person who gains rewards by listening to the Quran gains the reward of khatm al-Quran when he listens to the whole Quran. How happy is he who makes use of his time by listening to the Quran!
Can we act upon the translation of the verses whose meaning we can understand clearly? Are all verses mutashabih?
Even a very small deed done in the way of Allah will not be left without a return. Besides, reading the Quran, which is a great deed of the universe, will never be without reward. Since a person gets a thawab (reward) by only looking at the Quran, he will definitely receive thawabs when he reads a translation of the Quran. However, reading the original of the Quran is different from reading its translation. What is essential is to learn to read the original of the Quran and to read its translation in order to understand its meaning.
However, no translation of the Quran can replace its original; therefore, translation of the Quran cannot be read while performing prayers. We have to read the original of the Quran in prayers. Allah’s word is the one that is in Arabic. It has a different place and thawab. Many thawabs are given for each letter of it.
The verse of the Quran are divided into two as "muhkam (clear)" and "mutashabih (ambiguous, allegorical)":
"He it is Who has sent down to thee the Book: in it are verses basic or fundamental (of established meaning); they are the foundation of the Book: others are not of well-established meaning. But those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is not of well-established meaning. Seeking discord, and searching for its interpretation, but no one knows its true meanings except Allah, and those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: ‘We believe in it; the whole of it is from our Lord’; and none will grasp the Message except men of understanding." (Aal-i Imran, 3/7)
It is possible to translate it as follows: “Their interpretation can only be known by Allah and those who have deep knowledge. They say, ‘We believe in it; all of it is from our Lord.’” Accordingly, "those who have deep knowledge" know the meaning of mutashabih verses.
Muhkam means having a clear and definite meaning, not needing any other evidence in order to be explained. Mutashabih means necessitating other evidence since it may have more than one meaning; it means a verse about which a definite decree cannot be given.
The word mutashabih is derived from the word shibh (similarity); since meanings are intertwined, it expresses doubt, leading to different possibilities. If we think that man’s intellect and senses are limited, it is inevitable that the divine speech addressing man will include mutashabih verses. With mutashabih words, Allah, informs people about the issues the whole of which they cannot understand with similes, at a certain rate and in a way that will be understood differently by people of different levels. This relative state of mutashabih verses does not harm the unchangeable truths of the religion. For, Allah informs us about the things that He wants from responsible people about creed, worshipping, ethics and decrees with muhkam verses. He wants to inform us about some “relative truths” with mutashabih verses.
Due to the state of being a human, relative truths are more abundant than absolute truths in man’s life. Think of a crystal chandelier. Although its voltage and the power of light bulbs do not change, the people sitting around it see different colors and rays when they change their places slightly. It originates from the fact that the gems of the chandelier being cut in a way to form different angles.
Similarly, Allah sent mutashabih verses in order to tell all people that will come to the world up to the Last Day endless meanings at different levels by using limited words and to make them ponder over His book. This inevitable state originates from a necessity. However, it should not be forgotten that similarities in all aspects are not sought between the thing that is likened and the thing that resembles in similes. A similarity even in only one aspect is enough for simile. That is, mutashabih verses are also divided into two as real mutashabih and relative mutashabih. All mutashabih verses have several meanings. Therefore, several meanings are given in tafsir books. However, the real meaning is referred to Allah’s knowledge.
The most important issue to be careful about reading a translation of the Quran is that it is necessary to look at tafsir books and fiqh books related to the principles of belief and decrees like fard, wajib and haram.
Who is the prophet whose name is mentioned the most in the Quran?
The prophet whose name is mentioned the most in the Quran is Hz. Musa (Moses). The name of Hz. Musa is mentioned one hundred and thirty-six times in the Quran. The prophet whose name is mentioned the most in sound hadiths is also Hz. Musa. (see TDV. İslam Ans., Musa item.)
Why did the second revelation not come after the first one quickly? Why did it delay? What was the time length between the first two revelations?
Nabi (prophet) is derived from the word “naba” meaning news; it means a person who is given prophethood and who is informed about some divine decrees by Allah. “Resul (messenger)” means a person who is sent by Allah to convey divine decrees to people. 1
To sum up, “rasul” is given a book and a shari’ah; “nabi” is given the duty of calling people to accept the shari’ah of the previous prophet. All rasuls are nabis but not all nabis are rasuls.
After this explanation, we will mention how revelation came to the Prophet (pbuh):
The first revelation came to the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) in the form of true dreams. Every dream he saw came true. After that, he loved loneliness. Therefore, he went to the Cave of Hira and started to worship based on the religion of Hz. Ibrahim.
Once, he went to the Cave of Hira again. Hz. Jibril came upon the order of Allah. He said to Hz. Muhammad (pbuh), “Read!..” He squeezed Hz. Muhammad (pbuh) until he felt very weak. Then, Hz. Jibril released him and said again, “Read!..” Hz. Muhammad (pbuh) said, “I do not know how to read.” Hz. Jibril squeezed Hz. Muhammad (pbuh) again until he felt very weak and released him. He said again, “Read!..” Hz. Muhammad (pbuh) said, “I do not know how to read.” Hz. Jibril released him and said,
“Proclaim! (or Read!) in the name of thy Lord and Cherisher, Who created― Created man, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood: Proclaim! And thy Lord is Most Bountiful― He Who taught (the use of) the Pen―Taught man that which he knew not.”2
Thereupon, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) got very excited and went home. He said to his wife, “Wrap me! Cover me!” She wrapped and covered his blessed body. He remained like that until his fear disappeared. 3
Thus, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) received the first revelation. He was forty years old then. After this revelation, he did not receive a revelation for a while. There are various narrations about how long this period lasted. It is said that this period lasted at least fifteen days, forty days or more but it is difficult to state a definite time. 4
The Prophet (pbuh) stated the following about the start of the revelation again:
“Once, I was walking and I heard a sound from the sky. When I looked up, I saw the angel that came to me in Hira. He was sitting on a throne between the sky and the earth. I was frightened. I returned home and said, ‘Wrap me! Cover me!’ Thereupon, Allah Almighty sent the following verses:
‘O thou wrapped up (in a mantle)! Arise and deliver thy warning! And thy Lord do thou magnify! And thy garments keep free from stain! And all abomination shun!’5
Revelations did not cease after that. ” 6
The Prophet (pbuh) became a nabi when the first revelation came in Hira. For, he had not been given the duty of prophethood yet. He became a rasul when the revelation started to come after it ceased for a while. 7
It means it is true that Hz. Muhammad became a nabi first and a rasul after that. However, it is disputable whether three years passed between becoming a nabi and a rasul. As it is mentioned above, the time length between the first and second revelation is not definitely known. There are various narrations regarding the issue. 8
For more information please click on the link given below;
What kind of effect did the interruption of the revelation called, “the suspension of revelation” have on the Prophet (pbuh)? What is the wisdom behind the interruption of the revelation? - How did our Holy Prophet (PBUH) explain the resumption of the deliverance of revelation?
1. Husayn Jisri. Risala al-Hamidiyya, p. 524-531.
2. Al-Alaq, 96/1-5.
3. Muslim, Iman; 73.
4. Tajrid Translation, II/13.
5. Al-Muddaththir, 74/1-5.
6. Muslim, Iman; 73.
7. Hak Dini Kur'ân Dili, VIII/5944.
8. Zekâi Konrapa, Peygamberimiz, p. 72.
It is stated in one verse that Hz. Maryam talked to the angels and in another verse to the spirit. Is it not a contradiction?
In fact, the being that gave Hz. Maryam the glad tiding is Hz. Jibril. There are two reasons why he is mentioned in plural:
Firstly, the word “angels” is used because Hz. Jibril is one of the angels. This kind of usage is present in conversations. For instance, when we say, “this man eats very nice meals and wears very nice clothes”, he does not have to eat all of the nice meals or wear all of the nice clothes.
Secondly, Hz. Jibril has many assistants. The word “angels” (plural form) is used since Jibril is the leader of a group of angels as an expression to show that he represents their spiritual personality. (see Razi, Abu’s-Suud, the interpretation of verse 39 of the chapter of Aal-i Imran)
It is possible to evaluate the issue as follows too: The incidents mentioned in those two chapters may have happened at different times.
“Behold! The angels said "O Mary! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary...' ”
She may have been given this glad tiding mentioned in verse 45 of the chapter of Aal-i Imran. In verses 17-19 of the chapter of Maryam, only Hz. Jibril is mentioned. As a matter of fact, the glad tiding of the angels was given to her when she had not been pregnant yet and when she was living in the mosque. It is possible to see it in the verses:
"O Mary (Maryam)! Worship thy Lord devoutly; prostrate thyself, and bow down (in prayer) with those who bow down." This order and the explanation below show it:
"Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him."
It is claimed that in the verses in which Maryam talked to angels, there is one angel in one verse and the plural form (angels) is used in another verse and hence there is a contradiction between these two verses. Let us look at the verses first in order to find about this claim:
He (Zakariyya) said: "O my Lord! Give me a sign!" "Thy Sign" was the answer "shall be that thou shalt speak to no man for three days but with signals. Then celebrate the praises of thy Lord again and again and glorify Him in the evening and in the morning." Behold! The angels said: "O Mary! Allah hath chosen thee and purified thee;―chosen thee above the women of all nations. "O Mary! worship thy Lord devoutly; prostrate thyself, and bow down (in prayer) with those who bow down." (Aal-i Imran, 3/41-43)
She placed a screen (to screen herself) from them: then We sent to her Our angel, and he appeared before her as a man in all respects. She said: "I seek refuge from thee to (Allah) Most Gracious: (come not near) if thou dost fear Allah." He said: "Nay, I am only a messenger from thy Lord (to announce) to thee the gift of a holy son." (Maryam, 19/17-19)
It is seen that two different incidents are mentioned when these two groups of verses are read. In the verses in the chapter of Maryam, Maryam's meeting Jibril is mentioned. What is mentioned in the verses of the chapter of Aal-i Imran is a different incident. In these verses, Maryam speaking to angels at some other time is mentioned.
Therefore, there is no contradiction between mentioning angels (in plural form) in one verse and one spirit (Jibril) in another verse. Showing two different incidents and times mentioned by verses as one incident causes a misunderstanding. The two incidents that are mentioned and the two times are different. It is enough to read the verses in order to understand that the places and issues that the two incidents narrate are different. As it is understood from the verses, the time and places the angels speak and the time and place the Spirit speaks are different.
How should we understand the fact that time is relative? What does the phrase "like a thousand years of your reckoning" mentioned in the Quran mean?
"Yet they ask thee to hasten on the Punishment! But Allah will not fail in His promise. Verily a Day in the sight of thy Lord is like a thousand years of your reckoning."(al-Hajj, 22/47)
O Muhammad! The unbelievers and polytheists of your nation want the punishment that you promised them due to their denial to come quickly and to see it in the world. They should know that Allah never breaks His promise. They will see the punishment they have been promised in the world; in addition, they will be punished in the hereafter.
The following is stated in the verse: "Verily a Day in the sight of thy Lord is like a thousand years of your reckoning." There are various explanations about what day it is in the sight of Allah.
According to a view reported from Abdullah b. Abbas, what is meant by that day is one of the six days when Allah created the earth and the skies. According to another view reported from Abdullah b. Abbas and Mujahid, what is meant by that day is the Day of Judgment.
After stating that the unbelievers want the punishment that has been promised to come quickly at the beginning of the verse, Allah’s mentioning that He will not break His promise about the punishment that has been promised and that one day in the sight of Allah is equal to ten days is explained as follows: The unbelievers wanted the punishment to come quickly. Allah states that this punishment has not been delayed. For, one day in the sight of Allah is equal to ten days calculated by His slaves. Therefore, the punishment is not late.
Or, the unbelievers want the punishment but they do not know its nature. If they had known its real nature, they would have never wanted such punishment to come to them. For, due to the severity of the punishment every day of the punishment will be as long as one thousand days for them.
As it is known, our division of time into certain pieces is artificial. Day and night, seasons and year occur when the world rotates around its own axis and around the sun. Since there will be no day and night, seasons and year in the hereafter, the concept of time, in a sense, will not be in question. What we mean is the artificial time. Therefore, when the Day of Judgment is mentioned, attention is attracted to the fact that half a day of our time is equal to 500 years and a day is equal to 1000 years; the term «yawm», that is, «day» is used; thus, it is indicated that it is not equal to twenty-four hours of our time.
Those who do not think about this fact want something that they desire to happen at once; when a few years pass, they start to lose hope. However, the Sunnah of Allah Almighty never errs; His decree never changes. If punishment is necessary for a nation, there is definitely a time determined for it. No matter how much people hurry, it will not be sent unless that time comes.
Those who wanted a quick punishment from the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) were the people of Quraysh. They did not believe that a punishment would come; they wanted the punishment to come quickly in order to make fun of the Prophet and to show him as weak.
What is meant by «a day as long as one thousand years» is the day when that punishment will come. The length of the day is simile for the severity of the punishment. For, days of mercy and joy are short but days of hardship are long.
According to Farra, the verse covers punishment in both the world and the hereafter. What is meant by punishment that is wanted quickly is the punishment in the world.
«Allah Almighty does not break His promise of punishment being sent to you in the world.»
One day of the punishment of the hereafter is as long as one thousand years of the world.
In this verse, the relativity of the verse is expressed. Time passes differently in each realm. For instance, one day of the realm of the grave is not the same as one day of the Gathering Place. There are different times in different planets of even this universe. This shows that time can change.
Is it better to read the Quran in Arabic or in its translation in one’s own language?
Even a very small deed done in the way of Allah will not be left without a reward. To read the Quran, which is one of the greatest things in the universe, will definitely not be left without a reward. One gets a reward even when he looks at the pages of the Quran. One definitely gets a reward when he reads the meaning of the Quran.
However, there is a difference between reading the Quran in Arabic (its original form) and its translation. What is essential is to learn to read the Quran in Arabic and to read its translation in order to understand it. However, no translation of the Quran will be the same as its original form; therefore, no translation can be read in prayer (salah). We have to read the original Quran in prayers. Allah’s word is the one that is in Arabic. It has a different place and different rewards. Rewards are given for each letter of it.
Allah, who created us, sent the Quran to us in Arabic. It is necessary to read its English translation in order to learn its meaning. However, when we read it in prayer, we have to read from the original Quran. For, its origin is in Arabic. Allah sent down the Quran in Arabic. Its translation cannot replace it.
If we divide a seed into pieces by distorting its original form and sow it, a tree will not come out of it. For, it has lost its properties. Similarly, the verses, words and letters of the Quran are like seeds; when they are translated into other languages, the Quran will lose its properties and it will no longer be the Quran.
As for the thought that “we do not understand its meaning”, it is the duty of all Muslims to understand the Quran whether from its original form or from its translation and to live in accordance with its decrees. Besides, the Quran was sent down so that it would be understood and practiced. A Muslim sometimes learns a foreign language in order to understand a book written in a foreign language; it is necessary to think why a Muslim does not learn Arabic in order to understand the Quran.
Besides, even if we do not understand it, it is useful for us. For instance, will a person whose tongue has lost the ability to taste not benefit from the foods he eats? Even if his tongue does not taste, the food he eats will reach the necessary organs. Reading the Quran is like that. The mind of a person might not understand the meaning of the Quran but when it goes to the stomach of his spirit, the other faculties of his spirit will understand it even if his mind does not.
On the other hand, Allah states that He will give at least ten rewards for each letter of the Quran. Translations are useful but they will not replace the original Quran; therefore, a person cannot get the reward received for reading each letter of the original Quran by reading the translations.
Allah states in the Quran that the Quran was sent down from a book called Preserved Tablet (Lawh al-Mahfuz). Will you explain it?
"Nay, this is a Glorious Qur´an, (Inscribed) in a Tablet Preserved!" (al-Buruj, 85/21-22)
Here is the glorious Quran! Here is a book that will inform you about what you do not know, save you from what you fear and will enable you to attain what you hope. It is a book that comes from Allah, who is Majid (the Majestic One). It is a book that is in Lawh al-Mahfuz, that is, it has been protected from all kinds of distortion, deficiencies and additions, that has been fixed in the presence of Allah and that will lead people to the truth, guidance and Paradise.
In Arabic, Lawh al-Mahfuz means preserved/protected tablet. In Islam, it expresses the spiritual tablet in which everything that happened and that will happen is written. Since what happened and what will happen is based on Allah's knowledge, Lawh al-Mahfuz is directly related to Allah’s attribute of ilm. The reason why it is described as preserved (protected) is that what is written there is free from being changed and distorted through any intervention. It is also mentioned as Ummul-Kitab (Mother of the Book, Main Book), Kitabun Hafiz (Preserving Book), Kitabun Mubin (Clear Book), Kitabun Maknun (Hidden Book), Imamun Mubin (Clear Guide) and al-Kitab (the Book) in the Quran. It is also called Kitabul-Qadar (the Book of Qadar) since it includes the things that will happen to people.
The phrase "Lawh al-Mahfuz" is mentioned in only one verse in the Quran. In that verse, it is stated that the Quran is in Lawh al-Mahfuz. However, no description is given. On the other hand, it is described in several verses with its properties. Accordingly, Lawh al-Mahfuz is a clear, preserved, preserving and hidden main book that cannot be touched except cleanly created angels and a book in which nothing is incomplete (al-An'am, 6/59), information about the things that will happen is preserved (Qaf, 50/4), all of the misfortunes that will hit the earth and people are written (al-Hadid, 57/22), everything is counted and determined (Yasin, 36/12), all of the secrets in heavens and the world is clearly stated (an-Naml, 27/75).
Yes, you have such a glorious preserved book. Then, do not look for salvation anywhere else. Come to this book. Be together with this book so that you will attain salvation. Do not forget that salvation is not possible without a book.
This realm is a “tablet” in which what happened and what will happen is written, all of the moments in time are written, all of the beings, in short, everything is written. It is the mirror of divine knowledge, the notebook of qadar and the program of the universe.
The smallest example of this realm, in which knowledge is preserved, in man is “memory”. Memory, which is represented by a piece of flesh as small as a lentil in this visible realm, contains things that happen to us, the places we see, the people we know, the sounds we hear, the flavors we taste, the impressions we have throughout our lives and all of the things we learn but it does not become full. Everything big or small, mountains, seas, plains, the sky, and stars are in it.
Can all of those things ever be the work of a piece of flesh as small as a lentil?
Memory is the treasure of intelligent, capital of meditation and history of our selves. It is one of the most valuable devices placed in our spirits. Intelligent without memory is no good. For, we think based on what we have learned.
Memory has an aspect that is related to our eternal life. Memory is a bond, an evidence, a document. It will witness in the hereafter during reckoning by showing us our good deeds and sins we did and committed in the world.
What has been given to us is a small sample of “Lawh al-Mahfuz”. Everything that happens to man is recorded in his memory; similarly, everything that happened and will happen in the universe is recorded in that great memory. Our Lord’s name of “Hafiz” becomes manifest in both “tablets”.
Does reading the chapter of al-Ikhlas gain man the reward of a khatm al-Quran?
There are hadiths stating that a person who readsthe chapter of al-Ikhlas gains the reward of a khatm al-Quran.
Abu Said narrates: Once, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said to his Companions:
"Is one of you too weak to read one third of the Quran in one night?" They said,
"Which one of us can do it?" The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,
"Allahu Ahad, Allahus-Samad (the chapter of al-Ikhlas) is one third of the Quran." (Bukhari, Fadailul-Qur'an 13, Tawhid 1)
As for the issue of the chapter of al-Ikhlas being equal to one third of the Quran, tafsir scholars say it is because "it deals with the first one of the three main topics of the Quran: Tawhid (Oneness), Risalah (Prophethood), Akhirah (Hereafter)".
Nawawi quotes the following interpretation of Maziri: "The Quran has three parts: 'Stories, Decrees, Allah's attributes'. The chapter f al-Ikhlas summarizes Allah's attributes."
These explanations are related to one aspect of the hadiths above. There is another aspect: the thawabs gained when they are read. That is, the issue of gaining one-third of the reward gained by reading the whole Quran or gaining the reward of reading the whole Quran by reading the chapter of al-Ikhlas three times. The hadith expresses it clearly and believers have believed it since the beginning.
The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) speaks on behalf of Allah; he informs us about sunnatullah, thawabs, sins and evaluating this or that deed. Therefore, hadiths are free from all kinds of exaggeration and estimation; they are real. That is, Allah Almighty, who made it a sunnah (sunnatullah) to write one sin for a bad deed but to write at least ten thawabs for a good deed (al-An'am 6/160) and to write thirty thousand thawabs for one deed done on the Night of Power (Laylatul-Qadr), also made it a sunnah to write the reward of a khatm al-Quran for reading the chapter of al-Ikhlas three times, or al-Kafirun four times. Our Merciful Lord gave the duty of informing this detail to the ummah to the Messenger of Allah (pbuh).
Instead of viewing narrations like this with hesitation, the only way that fits being a believer is to read with full submission to Allah and with the intention of gaining the reward of a khatm al-Quran in accordance with the following hadith:
"The intention of a believer is better than his deed."
Allah Almighty is merciful and generous; there is no limit to his mercy. He may give more than the thawab of a khatm al-Quran for reading the chapter of al-Ikhlas three times based on the conditions and our sincerity; He will not refute His Messenger.
We quote a valuable explanation of Badiuzzaman Said Nursi regarding the issue:
"Each of the All-Wise Qur’an’s letters is a merit. Each is a good deed. Out of Divine grace the merits of those letters sprout and yield sometimes ten, sometimes seventy, and sometimes seven hundred, merits, like the letters of Ayat al-Kursi. Sometimes they yield one thousand five hundred, like the letters of Sura al-Ikhlas, and sometimes ten thousand, like verses recited on Layla al-Bara’a and those that coincide with other acceptable times. And sometimes they yield thirty thousand, like verses recited on the Night of Power, which are like poppy seeds in their multiplicity. The indication that that night is the equivalent to a thousand months makes it understood that on that night one letter has thirty thousand merits. Thus, the Quran cannot be balanced because its thawabs are multiplied. It may be balanced by some chapters with real thawabs.
For example, let us suppose there is a field planted with maize, one thousand plants of it. If some seeds produce seven shoots, and from each shoot a hundred grains, then a single seed becomes the equivalent of two thirds of the whole field. For example, if one seed produces ten shoots, and each yields two hundred grains, then a single seed is the equivalent of twice the original field. You can make further analogies in the same way.
Now, let us imagine the All-Wise Qur’an to be a luminous, sacred, heavenly field. Each of its letters together with its original merit is like a seed. Their shoots will not be taken into consideration. They may be compared with the Suras and verses about which are narrations concerning their merits, like Ya Sin, Ikhlas, Fatiha, Kafirun, Zilzal. For example, the Qur’an has three hundred thousand six hundred and twenty letters, and Sura al-Ikhlas together with Bismillah, sixty-nine. Three times sixty nine is two hundred and seven letters. Thus, if Sura Ya Sin’s letters are reckoned and compared with all the letters of the All-Wise Qur’an, and then multiplied ten times, it produces the following result: each letter of Sura Ya Sin has close on five hundred merits. That is, that many good deeds may be reckoned. And so, if you apply the others to this, you will understand what a subtle, fine, true, and unexaggerated truth it is." (Sözler, Yirmi Dördüncü Söz, Üçüncü Dal) (Words, Twenty-Fourth Word, Third Branch)
Allah addresses His slaves as follows: "I am nearer to you than your jugular vein." Does Allah speak to His slaves? Is there a verse about it?
The following is stated in verse 16 of the chapter of Qaf:
"It was We Who created man, and We know what dark suggestions his soul makes to him: for We are nearer to him than (his) jugular vein."
We do not know about any Quranic verses stating that Allah speaks to His slaves directly. However, a believer that reads and listens to the Quran is regarded to have spoken to Allah since he speaks and listens to the word of Allah. In that sense, it can be said that Allah speaks to every believer that reads the Quran.
The Quran is a book that enables us to reach Paradise, that protects us from Hell and that is full of mercy and compassion. It is a unique beauty that Allah Almighty, whose essence we can never understand but the manifestations of whose names and attributes we have to find in the universe, sent us a letter by accepting us as His addressees. While reading the Quran, man reaches such a point that it looks as if he is talking to Allah Almighty. Since the verses belong to Allah Himself, every word he pronounces becomes a means of reviving His orders, good news and prohibitions. Good spirits and angels that were created for each word repeat that nice word up to the Day of Judgment and thawab is written for its owner as the hadiths state it.
Allah, who is the realm of Lords, spoke to His slaves as a sign of His grace and sent them books. In addition, He sent prophets so that they would explain them and serve as models with their lives. He gave man some promises and made some warnings so that man would pass his test.
On the other hand, Allah speaks to His creatures. Allah Almighty has pre-eternal and eternal speech. He sends revelation to His prophets, talks to His creatures through inspiration and helps them. He sends the knowledge that He wishes to the hearts of His slaves and inspires the truth to them.
Allah Almighty speaks to His prophets through revelation. We see the following verse in the Quran about Hz. Musa’s receiving revelation on Mount Sinai and being addressed by Allah’s speech:
“When Moses came to the place appointed by Us, and his Lord addressed him.”1
The verse after that is as follows:
“O Moses! I have chosen thee above (other) men, by the mission I (have given thee) and the words I (have spoken to thee).”2
The following is stated in another verse:
“Of some messengers We have already told thee the story; of others We have not;- and to Moses Allah spoke direct.”3
The following verse gives us information about the ways Allah Almighty speaks to His slaves:
“It is not fitting for a man that Allah should speak to him except by inspiration, or from behind a veil, or by the sending of a messenger to reveal, with Allah´s permission, what Allah wills.”4
Inspiration is Allah’s speech that passes many veils. However, it is not shadowless and pure like revelation. According to Said Nursi, inspiration has various degrees in terms of particularity and universality. The most particular and simple one is the inspiration of the animals. A bit above them is the inspiration of the ordinary people. After that, inspirations ascend as the inspirations of ordinary angels, saints, and great angels respectively. Thus, it is for this reason that a saint who offers supplications directly without means by the telephone of the heart says: “My heart tells me news of my Lord.” 5
Allah Almighty informs His creatures about their duties through inspiration; He shows His slaves the true path and gives them guidance through inspiration. Almost all animals find in their brains about how to move when they come to the world, where and how they will find their sustenance, how they will find cure when they get ill and how to adapt themselves to the conditions of life in the form of divine instinct arranged as packets of information. Allah Almighty inspires to all living beings everything that they need fully as they live.
1. al-A’raf, 7/143.
2. al-A’raf, 7/144.
3. an-Nisa, 4/164.
4. ash-Shura, 42/51.
5. Sözler (words), p. 124.
Is it not contrary to the universality of the Quran that the wives of the Prophet are mentioned in the chapter of al-Ahzab?
The Prophet (pbuh) represented Islam in person. Every state of his serves as a model for people. The non-existence of verses in the Quran about Hz. Muhammad (pbuh), who carries the burden of a holy duty, the prophethood, is unthinkable. He was always controlled by Allah and verses were sent down about him from time to time. As a matter of fact, the following verses states how the Prophet and hence believers should act:
"Nor do thou ever pray for any of them that dies, nor stand at his grave; for they rejected Allah and His Messenger, and died in a state of perverse rebellion." (at-Tawba, 9/84)
When Ibn Ubayy died, his son Abdullah, who was a sincere Muslim, went to the Prophet (pbuh) and asked him to lead his father’s janazah prayer. When the Prophet, who was very compassionate, stood up and was about to go there, Hz. Umar reminded him the following verse:
"Whether thou ask for their forgiveness, or not, (their sin is unforgivable): if thou ask seventy times for their forgiveness, Allah will not forgive them: because they have rejected Allah and His Messenger: and Allah guideth not those who are perversely rebellious." (at-Tawba, 9/80)
Hz. Prophet (pbuh) said,
“It means Allah gave permission; I will ask for his forgiveness more than seventy times.”
Thereupon, verse 84 of the same chapter was sent down and the definite decree that it was forbidden to ask for unbelievers’ forgiveness was declared.
"It is not fitting, for the Prophet and those who believe, that they should pray for forgiveness for Pagans, even though they be of kin, after it is clear to them that they are companions of the Fire." (at-Tawba, 9/113)
The majority of scholars, that is, all tafsir scholars, reported that this verse was sent down for Abu Talib, the paternal uncle of the Prophet; it is based on a narration from Said b. Musayyab, Zuhri, Amr b. Dinar and Ma'mar. They said,
When Abu Talib was alive, the Prophet (pbuh) said to him,
"O uncle! Say, 'LA ILAHA ILLALLAH'. It is such a phrase that I will use it as evidence for you in the presence of Allah." Abu Jahl and Abdullah Ibn Abi Umayya were also there. They said,
"O Abu Talib! Are you going to abandon Abdulmuttalib's nation?"Thereupon, the Prophet (pbuh) said,
"I will ask for your forgiveness unless I am forbidden to do it." Then,the following verses were sent down:
"It is not fitting, for the Prophet and those who believe, that they should pray for forgiveness for Pagans…"
"It is true thou wilt not be able to guide every one, whom thou lovest; but Allah guides those whom He will..." (al-Qasas, 28/56)
The decrees above address the Prophet (pbuh) but they interest all believers because he is a model for believers.
It is important that verses were sent down about the wives of the Prophet because revelation was sent down to the Prophet (pbuh) in his house and his wives in his house also represented Islam on behalf of the Prophet (pbuh). The decrees that were sent down to the Prophet (pbuh) interested the whole ummah along with him; similarly, the verses that were sent down for his household interest all Muslims, especially Muslim women and address them.
The wives of the Prophet (pbuh) cannot be like the other women by any means because they are mothers of the believers. This order is not peculiar to the wives of the Prophet (pbuh) but all believing women. It is forbidden for a woman to adorn herself for a non-mahram man, to sweeten her voice in a way that will attract him, to speak coquettishly, to remain alone with a non-mahram man and to call a non-mahram man to her house when there is nobody else at home. When it is necessary for a woman to answer a non-mahram man, she needs to give short answers and in a way that will not attract the attention of the man. Otherwise, it will cause mischief. For, the evil-commanding soul in man leads man to bad deeds, and Satan helps it.
It is necessary for men and women to avoid the deeds that arouse lust so as not fall into wrong deeds.
Allah states the following in a verse:
"And stay quietly in your houses, and make not a dazzling display, like that of the former Times of Ignorance; and establish regular Prayer, and give regular Charity; and obey Allah and His Messenger. And Allah only wishes to remove all abomination from you, ye members of the Family, and to make you pure and spotless.» (al-Ahzab, 33/33)
That is, you live in the house in which revelation is received. You see how this revelation is practiced from the Prophet. Here lies the reason. Islam is all of the words and deeds of the Prophet and the things that he approves. You see them with your own eyes. Remember them. That is, the Prophet (pbuh) informs people about the verses that are sent down to him through various means. The mosque is used as the primary place to teach people but markets, shops, stores, mountains and hills are also used.
When you consider the style of the Quran, the world is a school.
Schools are not the only places for education. They are places of education but the whole world is a place of education. While education continues in those places, the Prophet (pbuh) spends half of his life at home. It becomes necessary for his wives to report the verses that were sent down at home and the interpretations of those verses by the Prophet (pbuh) both verbally and behaviorally to the people to come up to the Day of Judgment.
This duty of reporting them belongs to those mothers of us. Therefore, Allah warns them. Thus, their houses become centers of education. Their teacher is the beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Their textbook is the Quran and the life of the Prophet (pbuh).
Our Lord orders this because they all need to be reported. Those mothers of us fulfilled their duty. May Allah make us join those mothers of us in Paradise! Allah is the one that penetrates into anything. Allah is aware of everything.