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STRIKING A BALANCE BETWEEN GLAD TIDINGS AND WARNING

Allah said,

“And We send not the messengers except as bringers of good tidings and warning.” [Quran 18: 56]

Ibn Ashur (d. 1973) explained how this verse goes together with prior verses. After Allah stated that mankind tends to argue and reject the truth and this refusal surely makes the Prophet depressed, Allah consoles His Prophet by reminding him his missions. The Prophet’s mission is only to teach people the truth with glad tidings and warning no more else, so when they deny his teaching it is none of his business. This verse at the same time is the guide line for every Muslims in preaching Islam since both glad tiding and warning must be balance. Maintaining a balance between giving people glad tidings and making them fear Allah’s punishment is one of the most important guidance of our religion until Allah mentioned phrase “bashiran wa nadhiran” four times in Quran and “mubashshirin wa mundhirin” four times too. In fact, research proves that reward and punishment promising are potent modulators of associative learning in instrumental and classical conditioning.

The Prophet indeed used this dual function very well. He gave rewards promising to encourage people doing noble deeds. For instance, our Prophet ordered his Sahabah (Companions),

“Invite people to Islam by giving them tidings and do not create in their minds aversion towards Islam. Show them leniency and do not be hard upon them.” [Bukhari & Muslim].

There are as well verses which fill the believer’s heart with peace and tranquility and so the heart finds glad tidings in them like description of Paradise. We all feel that receiving such glad tidings prompts us to be more diligent in our worship and to be keener on obedience to Allah.

On the other hand, the Prophet was asked by Allah to warn people so they avoid evil acts. Allah said,

“O you who covers himself with a blanket, arise and warn.” [Quran 74: 1-2].

He cautioned us by telling us he has seen in Hellfire when he performed Miraj. He declared several penalties for some major sins. Allah also makes us scare by informed us what has happened to those who disobeyed Allah as Noah’s people, ‘Ad, Thamud, Moses’ Pharaoh. Until one of the great military leaders, like Sun Tzu (d. 470 BC), agreed with this when he said, “Soldiers must be treated in the first instance with humanity, but kept under control by means of iron discipline. This is a certain road to victory.”

However, both these two things must be balance. A great notable scholar, Ahmad ibn Hanbal (d. 855), once said,

“Both hope and fear should be equal. Fear should not be dominant, and hope should not be dominant either. Whenever one of it dominates the other, then the doer will be doomed. Because if the person prioritized hope, then he would fall into the feeling of secure from Allah’s plot, and if he prioritized fear, then he would fall into the feeling of despair of Allah’s mercy.”

Therefore, we see in Quran that verses about glad tidings and warning always come one after another. It is because the most ideal state is that we hope for Allah’s mercy and, at the same time, we fear His punishment. Allah said, “They invoke their Lord with fear and hope.” [Quran 32:16]. He also stated, “Know that Allah is severe in penalty and that Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” [Quran 5: 98]. In this regard, Ibn Qayyim (d. 1350) also quoted,

“A heart is like a bird which hope and fear are its two wings.”

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#LQMeet – Ust. Salim A Fillah

.Ust Salim

Abu al-Darda’ (Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The scholars are the inheritors of the Prophets”. To this day, many Islamic scholars still give us free Islamic knowledge in our neighborhood. Since our vision is to create the best tech solution to Learn the Quran, Learn Quran is also cannot be separated from those scholars.

On Sunday, July 29th, 2018 at Darussalam Mosque Kota Wisata, Bogor, Learn Quran Team met Ust. Salim A. Fillah (salimafillah.com), a renowned Indonesian Muslim scholar which have written many Islamic books that very popular in Indonesia. We introduced the Learn Quran Tajwid and Learn Quran Tafsir apps to Ust. Salim. He believes that digital innovation should be used for good things, and one of that is for da’wah.

He is also very grateful in the existence of Learn Quran Tafsir, “A great thing for familiarizing ourselves with the Quran.”.

With our two products: Learn Quran Tajwid and Learn Quran Tafsir, Learn Quran is aiming to provide ummah with the best tech solution in Quran learning, so people can read (Tajwid) and understand (Tafsir) Quran both more easily with our apps.

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A Brief Overview of Surah Al-Fatiha (the Opener)

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This Makki surah,as our Prophet stated, is the best surah amongst all surahs. Since it is placed in the opening of Quran, all scholars said that it is obviously the abstract of Quran as we write an abstract at the first page of our scientific research paper. Al-Fatiha is believed as a summary of Quran because it consists the three aspects what Quran itself generally talks about: beliefs, laws and stories.

To begin with, the first four verses of Surath al-Fatiha clearly rectify the principal beliefs, especially in Allah. The first name of Allah appears in this surah and of course the first one in Quran too is “Allah”, the very unique name of Him and the name which all His names return to it. Then He mentioned Ar-Rahman and Ar-Rahim which are considered as the two of His primary names twice that also bring one of His attribute: Ar-Rahmah (the mercy). It as well makes a sense in the opening of Quran that Islam is the merciful religion and is the mercy from Allah to the universe. In the fourth verse He declared that the Judgement Day –much less this world- is under His control beside the fact that He is the king of all kings. All of these verses throw light upon the concept of divinity and the Hereafter, since in reality these concepts form the basis of other pillars of faith which are believing in angels, holy scriptures, prophets and destiny. These six pillars of belief will be explained in next surahs.

Furthermore, the next two verses hint at Islamic laws. We will find in next surahs verses about these laws from individual worships like performing Prayers, fasting and making Dua, until social worships as giving charity, doing filial piety and showing noble attitudes, marriage, jihad and penalties.The fifth verse establishes the goal of every single law in Islam and the concept of solidarity in Islamic community. Ibn Qayyim (d. 1350 CE) wrote three volumes of Madarij Salikin merely to explain this verse since Allah mentioned there the main concept of “worships” with its broad meaning. Whereas the sixth verse teaches us to be humble even when we are the straight path because we may deviate outside from it and likewise tells us the most important thing to be asked in our Dua: “Please guide us to the straight path.”

Lastly, we see the very last verse of this surah also alludes to historical sides and stories in Quran when it speaks of people whom Allah has favored and in next surahs we will see that they are like the prophets, angels, Luqman the wise, King Saul, Amram, Anne, Mary, the apostles of the Prophet Jesus, the Seven Sleepers in the Cave until the companions of the Prophet Muhammad. On the other hand it speaks as well of people who took the path of those who evoked Allah’s anger and people who are astray, who later we will see in Quran such as Iblis, King Nimrod II, Pharaoh Ramses  II, Korah, Balaam, Abu Jahal, Al-Walid ibn Al-Mughirah, Abu Lahab with other opponents of the Prophet Muhammad from Quraish, Dajjal, Gog and Magog.

To put it in a nutshell, this seven-verse surah is undoubtedly the succinct synthesis of all following Quranic verses due to its complete elements. Therefore, it is an obligatory to recite this surah in every raka’at of all kinds of prayers. It seems that all muslims are reminded regularly from time to time with the digest of this ultimate guidebook of life. A great Tabi’i, Al-Hasan Al-Basri (d. 728 CE), once said, “Whoever masters the meaning of surah Al-Fatihah is like the one who masters all Allah’s holy scriptures.” [narrated by Al-Bayhaqi].

 

written by Nur Fajri Romadhon

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Makki and Madani Verses in Qur’an

Have you really know the definition of makki and madani verses in Qur’an?

We find in the Qur’an some surahs labeled as either Makki or Madani, so we must know what is meant by these terms. To begin with, almost all scholars agreed that Makki surah is surah which consists Makki verses as its majority part. On the other hand, the Madani surah is dominated with Madani verses.

Furthermore, Al-Zarkashi (d. 794 A.H.) mentioned that there are three methodologies to define whether a particular surah or verse is Makki or Madani. The first methodology is to define it based on place, the second one is based on the theme and the last one is based on time.

The first method is used by some scholars, one amongst them is Al-Mawardi (d. 450 A.H.). It defines Makki verses as every verse sent down in Makkah or places around it and vice versa. However, the main problem this methodology faces is there are verses revealed above the seventh level of sky like Al-Baqarah: 285-286 and verses revealed between the Earth and the top of the nearest sky like As-Saffat: 164-166 and Az-Zukhruf: 45. How to decide whether such verses are Makki or Madani from this point of view?!

The second procedure is chosen by very few scholars, one of them is Ahmad ibn Hanbal (d. 241 A.H.). It says that verses that address the people of Makkah are Makki and those that address the people of Madinah are Madani. Yet, one of the flaws in this definition is that there are many verses in the Qur’an where the addresses are not specifically one of these two groups like verses addresses all creatures.

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Therefore most scholars tend to prefer the last approach of defining Makki and Madani. This method stands on the time of revelation, regarding the Prophet’s hijrah (migration) to Madinah as the division point.

Yahya ibn Salam (d. 200 A.H.) quoted, “If a verse was revealed in Makkah and along the way, before the Prophet reached Madinah (meaning before the hijrah), it is considered Makki verse. And if it was revealed after the Prophet had reached Madinah even in his journeys outside (meaning after the hijrah), it is considered Madani verse.”

Thus, those verses revealed at the Conquest of Makkah (8 A.H.) or at the Farewell Pilgrimage (10 A.H.) would be considered Madani by this definition, even though the actual place of the revelation was Makkah. Last but not least, not like the prior two methodologies, verses which did not come down in the Earth or which address people outside Makkah and Madinah also can be grouped properly with this method based on their timeline. Allah knows best.

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#LQMeet Peter Gould and Muslim Innovation

Muslim innovators has been around from long time ago. Ibn Sina and Al Khwarizmi are some of them, but now Muslim community has a new generation of innovative and creative Muslims. As we know Learn Quran has created mobile app to learn how to read Quran, named Learn Quran Tajwid. And their recent product is online Quran tafsir, called Learn Quran Tafsir.

From the other side of the world, an innovative board game is finally available for Muslim: 5 Pillar Board Game. This game is created to connect and engage people. It is an effective tool to liberate them from the gadget and electronics while learning about Islam in a fun way.

During the launching day of 5 Pillar Board Game in Jakarta, LQ Team had a quick chat with Peter Gould, Designer Executive Officer of Zileej. This time, Zileej collaborates with Republika to create the Indonesia version of this board game.

Peter Gould believes that Muslim should be constantly making innovation. With Zileej team, he wants to bring 5 Pillar Board Game to the Muslim communities around the world. Currently, the board game are available in several languages, including Bahasa Indonesia, English, and Arabic.

 

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He also gave his comment about Learn Quran Tafsir as “A great tool for interacting with Quranic content. It’s an important efforts to help people engage, understand and experience Quran in our times.”

Learn Quran Tafsir is aiming to provide more languages to help Muslims from any countries to understand Quran for free. With the latest technology, Artificial Intelligence, this will be the ultimate Quran search engine. Hopefully there will be more features added in the near future. You can be a part of this innovation and support us with donation here.

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