Back2Quran Ramadan Series: Short Summary of Chapter 10 (Younus)

What this project is: This Ramadan, rekindle your spirituality and relationship with God by reading the Quran in a language you understand! To facilitate those who find reading the Quran for the first time daunting, we, at Quranalyze It, will be posting short chapter summaries to get you acquainted with the basic theme and content of a particular chapter. It is important to note, however, that these summaries are no substitute to reading the Quran, and should be used as a bridge towards the Quran, or as an additional tool.

If you like the idea behind this project, and would like to read the summaries of the subsequent chapters in the coming days, then subscribe to our blog to receive an email whenever we publish a new summary. Please read, and share it far and wide!


With chapter 10 starts the A.L.R series that continues until chapter 15. These chapters are very spiritual and persuasive in nature, having similar themes. I would recommend reading these short 5 chapters in one go!

Theme:

  1. The theme of Chapter 10 very much resembles the theme of chapter 6 and is primarily focused over monotheism vs polytheism, with numerous arguments to convince the reader to avoid dogmas and come towards the source (God).
  2. Another theme is the Quran: how people reject it without truly investigating it, it’s divine origins because it confirms your conscience, how people demand the messenger to change it, and being patient while it is being revealed.
  3. Outlines the many shortcomings of man in approaching God: asking for supernatural miracles, being ungrateful, and insincerity.
  4. Critical thinking and reasoning for yourselves is also another prevalent theme
  5. Shows two realms, the physical realm and the spiritual realm. Those who seek to attain only material possessions ignore their soul, and thus eliminate any chance to attain bliss.

Chapter Notes:

  1. Ch 10 mentions Quran for the second time by explaining how we can compare the guidance of Quran to other discourses claiming to guide people to a higher truth (10/31-42). Only Quran truly encapsulates the human condition. This is the first passage detailing Quran’s proof (From Introduction to the Quran: An Existential Reading by Farouk Peru)
  2. Has two calls to mankind.
  3. Freedom of belief is strongly advocated in this chapter.
  4. Narrates the account of Musa, Nooh and Younus (briefly).
  5. Urges people to ponder over the universe and within themselves to attain signs, instead of asking for supernatural miracles.

Passage breakdowns:

Passage 1 (1-10)

  • The chapter starts off by questioning the reader: Why is it an astonishing thing that a messenger has come to you from amongst yourselves? Jealousy is an enemy of truth.
  • How God operates in the universe is outlined.
  • Only those who don’t expect accountability and are satisfied with the worldly glamor are heedless of God’s signs. These people will never truly attain bliss.
  • While those who acknowledge God’s signs and continuously reform themselves will make themselves worthy of bliss, continuously thanking and praising God for it.

Passage 2 (11-25)

  • It is God’s mercy that His Law of Requital does not grasp the oppressors instantly. He gives them time to mend their ways.
  • When affliction falls upon humans, they immediately turn to God. However, when that affliction is removed, they become ungrateful and plot against God’s commandments as if they had never called God.
  • When God’s signs/verses are conveyed to those who don’t expect to be held accountable, they ask you to alter the Quran to conform to their desires, or that you bring a new book altogether! However, the messenger is not allowed to do this.
  • These folks serve those who bring neither harm nor benefit, and expect them to be intercessors. However, all this is in vain.

 

  • Mankind was united, but they differed. If it were not for freewill, God would have judged their disputes immediately!
  • And they ask the Messenger to come forth with signs, while all the Signs belong to God! (Signs are what you witness within yourself, not externally)
  • First call to mankind: Your rebellion is against yourself! Enjoyment of the worldly life with disregard of Eternity, is but a fleeting delight.
  • Metaphors on how the worldly life is so temporary.
  • God calls you towards the abode of peace! And he guides those who will to be guided to the straight path.

Passage 3 (26-56)

  • Those who do good will attract more goodness (law of attraction). No trace of misery or humiliation will fall upon them.
  • While those who do commit evil will live a life of misery and humiliation.
  • On the day of accountability, the “idols” people had worshiped would disapprove of their service!
  • God controls everything, not the “idols” people serve. How, then, are you so deluded?
  • The majority of people follow nothing but conjecture. And it is God’s law that those who drift away from reason will never acknowledge.

 

  • This Quran is not something that can be fabricated as it confirms what you already possess (your conscience). Therefore, there is no doubt that it from the Sustainer of the Universe.
  • If you can, produce 10 chapters in similitude of Quran to challenge its divine authenticity.
  • But people reject the Quran, before even investigating it sincerely.
  • If they reject you, simply part ways. You are not accountable for them.
  • Those who do not reason can never be guided.

 

  • God does not oppress people, but people oppress themselves (freewill).
  • For every Ummah is a messenger who judged things in justice and never oppressed.
  • Every community determines its own rise and fall. When the time comes, they can neither delay, nor hasten the requital

Passage 3 (57-71)

  • Second call to mankind: There has now come to you Enlightenment from your Sustainer, and a healing for all that troubles your hearts; and guidance and grace to all who embrace it. This guidance is better than acquiring material possessions.
  • Do not invent lies about God, saying this food is lawful and that is unlawful when no such ordinance has been passed.
  • Whatever good or evil you do is recorded.
  • Let not their utterances grieve you. God will honor you.
  • And they say God has taken a son/favorite.

Passage 4 (72-74)

  • Briefly mentions the account of Nooh and how his people rejected him

Passage 5 (75-93)

  • Narrates the account of Musa and how Firaun rejected him. However, at the time of death, Firaun suddenly seemed to acknowledged Musa’s system but that was too late! As a sign, his body was saved (currently in the Cairo Museum).

Passage 6 (94-103)

  • If you have some doubts pertinent to the book, you are encouraged to ask folks who seem to have more knowledge than you.
  • The community of Younus was an exception, in the sense that they adopted belief holistically which benefited them.
  • If God had willed, every human would have believed. How, then, can you force people into accepting your faith?
  • He places confusions in the minds of those who do not reason.
  • If you want signs, ponder over the universe.

Passage 7 (104-109) – A summation of the entire chapter.

  • You have been commanded to set your purpose towards Deen as a monotheist and never associate others with God.
  • Whoever guides himself guides for his own benefit and vice versa.
  • Obey what is revealed to you and be patient until God’s judgment comes towards you.

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Back2Quran Ramadan Series: Summary of Chapter 6 (Anaam)

What this project is: This Ramadan, rekindle your spirituality and relationship with God by reading the Quran in a language you understand! To facilitate those who find reading the Quran for the first time daunting, we, at Quranalyze It, will be posting short chapter summaries to get you acquainted with the basic theme and content of a particular chapter. It is important to note, however, that these summaries are no substitute to reading the Quran, and should be used as a bridge towards the Quran, or as an additional tool.

If you like the idea behind this project, and would like to read the summaries of the subsequent chapters in the coming days, then subscribe to our blog to receive an email whenever we publish a new summary. Please read, and share it far and wide!


Ch 6 is an awe-inspiring chapter, and certainly one of my favorites. The chapter starts with Al hamdu lillah (a feeling of praise for God), and mentions sirat ul mustaqeem (The straight path) 5 times! This shows that it is complimentary to Chapter 1.

Unlike Chapters 2-5 (which were more informative), Chapter 6 adopts a persuasive style and is very spiritual in nature. A good part of the chapter is devoted to God and how he works in the universe, showing a divergence from earlier chapters which focused on ordinances. This is the first chapter to mention as many as 18 different messengers/prophets.

Furthermore, the chapter outlines the shortcomings of people in approaching God: They ask for supernatural miracles. To these people, the answer is that even if God were to perform these supernatural miracles, you would still not detest and continue arguing. Instead, attain conviction by reasoning.

Despite my best efforts, I really can’t do any justice to this chapter. It is a chapter that needs to be read and enjoyed. However, here are the more prominent interests of the chapter:

  • Monotheism: Come back to the source (God), and don’t set up authorities with Him. All spiritual practices should be for God, not earthly entities.
  • Chapter primarily concerned with atheists and hardline religionists.
  • Individual accountability, no intercession.
  • Freedom of belief. Do not insult the “gods” of others.
  • Every prophet had enemies who ascribed sayings to him he never uttered.
  • Book is fully detailed.
  • Only chapter to mention 18 personalities and linking them all to Alkitab (The book).
  • Do not obey the majority. Majority does not equate to truth.
  • Advocates reasoning in religious matters. “How can god have a son without a partner?” Not the “God can will whatever” mantra most religionists like to use.
  • Enlightenment and ignorance not equal. How can they deserve the same treatment?
  • Degrees according to deeds, not beliefs.
  • Ordinance on food.
  • Fatalism shunned.
  • Division discouraged.
  • Different understandings of the same truth given so that he could test you in your individual capacities. Therefore, Islam was never supposed to be a monolith.

Narrates the account of Ibrahim: His own spiritual journey, and how he challenged the prevalent religion of his times. (6:74-83)

 


Advocates one of the strongest arguments for Quranism (6:112-117):
Remember, We have appointed to every Prophet enemies. The rebellious among the urban and the rural populations rose in opposition, (since the Message struck at their personal interests.) They plotted and inspired each other with fancy words. If your Sustainer willed, they would not do that. Disregard them and whatever they fabricate.

Those who love quick gains and neglect the long-term benefits and the Hereafter, are parties to such fabrications. Let them delight in it and let them earn from it what they may.

Shall I seek for Judge and Ruler someone other than God? He is the One Who has revealed this Book, well expounded in detail for you? Those whom We have given the Book know that this is revealed in truth from your Sustainer. Be not among those who argue for the sake of argument.

Perfected is the Word of your Sustainer in truth and Justice. None can change His words and His laws. And He is the Profound Hearer, the Knower.

(People will confront you with what the majority is doing.) Now if you pay heed to, or get intimidated by majority of those who live on earth, they will lead you astray from God’s way. Most of the people follow nothing but conjecture and they only live by guesswork.

Only your Sustainer (shows the right path and) knows best those who stray and those who are rightly guided.


The Nine commandments of Islam, so to speak (6:151-152):

•You shall not set up idols besides Him.

•You shall honor your parents.

•You shall not kill your children from fear of poverty – we provide for you and for them.

•You shall not commit immoralities and injustices, obvious or hidden.

•You shall not kill – God has made life sacred – except in the course of justice.

•You shall not touch the orphans’ money except in the most righteous manner, until they reach maturity.

•You shall give full weight and full measure when you trade, equitably. We do not burden any soul beyond its means.

•You shall be absolutely just when you bear witness, even against your relatives.

•You shall fulfill your covenant with God.


Here are some very useful notes on Chapter 6 from Introduction to the Quran: An Existential Reading by Farouk Peru:

1. Ch 6 is like Ch 1 as it also starts with the feeling of joy and thankfulness (hamd) for Allah who created the heavens and the earth, darkness and light. However, those who reject or cover up this feeling will make others equal to Allah. This sets the tone for the chapter which is about attaining the direct connection with Allah.

2. Ch 6 has a long section talking about man’s relationship with Allah and how we can relate to him. This is from Vs 1-73. This is the first long metaphysical treatise in Quran and helps us to understand how we can build such a relationship with Allah.

3. Ch 6 mentions *ibrahim* and his reaction to the sun, moon and planets (7/74-83). This shows our contemplative route towards Allah where we see the source of power and light fade before turning to Allah himself. This process can be seen as an actual experience of 6/1-73.

4. Ch 6 mentions 18 personalities, linking them to ‘the book, governance and prophecies’ (6/83-89). These personalities should be understood as means for us to achieve the straight and establishing path. (siratin mustaqeem).

5. Ch 6 has the means of attaining the detailing of God’s judgment, 6/114. This is represented by the Quran and opposite to flowery sayings (6/112-113) which alienate us from the path (shaitaan). From this judgement of 6/114, we are to attain the fulfillment of the words of our lord in truth and justice (6/115).

6. Ch 6 has the detailing of the straight path (6/151-153) and immediately after that, Allah mentions *musa* and the book as well as the Quran (6/155)

7. Ch 6 ends with ibrahim who is the model of the perfect deen. Ibrahim’s philosophy of life is linked to his level of deen.

 

 

Musings on Chapter 1 of the Quran: The Perfect Introduction?

Chapter 1 (Fatiha) is possibly the most read chapter of the Quran. It is an integral part of Muslim prayers and is repeated tens of times in a day. Yet, we must ask ourselves, what purpose does it serve? Why is it the very first chapter of the Quran?

For some reason, I just did;  and had an epiphany!

I think the answers to those questions lie in Ch2 V2: Quran as a revealed message will only serve as a guide for the Muttaqeen (those who are conscious of God). This is because everyone else wouldn’t embrace the message holistically to allow it to have a meaningful and drastic impact in their life.

So, to me,  Chapter 1 demonstrates the attributes of a person who has metaphorically awoken from sleep, suddenly becoming conscious of God (Muttaqi). These 6 verses could be considered as universal truths of a spiritual awakening, regardless of the faith one subscribes to. They immediately grab the attention of the reader, and go onto demonstrate Islam in a nutshell.

praying-1b

 

Ready?  Let’s  dissect it!

(Note: I am not referring to the bismillah as verse 1.)

 

Verses 1-4 deal with the symptoms of a spiritual awakening. What are they?

 1st symptom: An immense feeling of praise and gratefulness for God, who is:

The Nourisher-Sustainer of the universe.

The Almighty (Rahman), and at the same time, The Merciful (Raheem).

Since both of the above words come from Rahm (literally: womb), these attributes outline the protective and evolusionizing aspect of The Beloved. The Muttaqi has experienced these attributes on a personal level. (V1-2)

2nd symptom: The realization of being dependent on a Higher Being (Maalik), and the fact that he is accountable for his actions. Therefore, it is ONLY Him that he would seek to serve and ONLY His aid that he would seek. (V3-4)

V5-6 is the prayer of the Muttaqi. What does he ask for?

He ONLY implores God for guidance towards the straight path:  A path on which there is positivity (favor and blessings); not a path involving negativity (wrath) and misguided people.

This, again, signifies the utmost importance given to God, while moving away from human authorities (idols). Furthermore, Islam is defined:

It is a straight path (without contradictions)

It is path on which you encounter positivity

It is a path devoid of negativity and misguidance

This short chapter includes much repeated key words in the Quran such as deen, ibadah, rabb and includes major themes of the Quran such as:

  1. Being grateful.
  2. The oneness and other predominant attributes of God.
  3.  Accountability for our actions.
  4. Dependence on a higher power.
  5. Avoiding Shirk (Association).
  6. Monotheism.
  7. Seeking guidance and aid.
  8. What Islam is as a system.

Conclusion

A grandeur introduction, isn’t it? So rich with detail, despite its briefness! Needless to say, I am completely awed!

At the risk of repeating myself, I would say that Chapter 1 is the Quran in a nutshell! If your Quran reading can be considered a spiritual workout, then Fatiha is the nutrient-dense pre-workout snack.