Tag : tafsir


The Expiation of Sins During Two Years


Allah said, “When you depart from ‘Arafat, remember Allah at al- Mash’ar al-Haram. And remember Him, as He has guided you, for indeed, you were before that among those astray.” [Quran 2:198]


Arafah day (9th Dhulhijjah) is the best day of year according to the vast majority of scholars as Al-Nawawi (d. 1277) said. There is wuquf which is the peak and the most essential ritual of hajj. There is no day on which Allah frees more people from the Hellfire than Arafah day referring to a hadith narrated by Muslim. Likewise, the best dua is dua on Arafah day as the Prophet said in a hadith of Al-Tirmidhi.

For those people who do not perform hajj this year, there is a great chance to maximize this golden day. Our beloved Prophet said, “Fasting Arafah day expiates the sins of the past year and the coming year.” [Muslim] Al-Ramli (d.1595), one of the greatest one of our Shafiite scholars, explained that fasting Arafah day is to fast on 9th Dhulhijjah and it is strongly recommended to fast this day for people who are not in hajj.

In the hadith above, “the expiation the sins of the coming year” has two meanings according to Al-Mawardi (d. 1058). Firstly, Allah will forgive if someone commits any sin. Secondly, He will protect who fasts sincerely in this day from commiting major sin. Also remember that these sins which Arafah fasting erases are only minor sins based on what scholars said. However, Arafah fasting is too worth to be neglected.

A question may rise: then when we should fast it if there is difference between Hijri date in Mecca and Hijri date in our countries as happens this year (1439 AH)? European Council of Fatwa and the majority of scholars stated that we should follow moon sighting and Hijri date of each region. In this case, it means we should fast on Tuesday even the wuquf in Arafah is on Monday. This phenomenon occured as well in the time of Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani in 825 and 828 AH and people outside Mecca followed their own Hijri calendar.

Given these points, do not forget to fast on Tuesday 9th Dhulhijjah/21st August because a wife of our Prophet, Hafsah (d. 665), told us that four things the Messenger of Allah never skipped: Observing fast on the day of ‘Ashura, ‘Arafah, three days every month, and offering fajr sunnah prayers early in the morning.” [Muslim]

written by Nur Fajri Romadhon

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The First Day


Allah said,
“A mosque founded on righteousness from the first day is more worthy for you to stand in.”
[Quran 9:108]

Five years after the death of the Prophet Muhammad (may peace and blessing be upon him), in 638 CE, the dating of the Islamic calendar was firstly introduced by the second caliph, Umar ibn Al-Khattab, attempting to solve administrative problems during his period. That was, as Ibn Kathir (d. 1373 CE) narrated, because one Shahabi who was a governor of Iraq, Abu Musa Al-Ash’ari, wrote to Umar Ibn Al-Khattab in distress: “There are letters have reached us from you, o Amirul Mu’minin, but we do not know how to deal with them. We read a document dated the month of Sha’ban, but we do not know which of the Sha’bans is meant: is it the month that has passed, or that which is to come?”

Not like names of days and months, Arabs at that time had not had numbering system of years yet. They only named years by the most significant event or situation occured during those years. For instance, the year of the Prophet Muhammad’s birth called “The Year of Elephants”, named after Aksumite warriors who attempted to attack Kaaba with their war elephants. Al-Biruni (d. 1050 CE) also mentioned that Muslims named the year 10 AH as “The Year of Farewell”.

Receiving Abu Musa’s complaint, Umar call a number of senior Shahabis to discuss this very issue. They all agreed to invent a new calendar system instead adopting both Persian or Roman calendar. Then they began disputed which year should be the first year of this new Islamic Calendar. Some said, “From the year of the Prophet’s birth.” Others proposed, “From the year of thr Prophecy when Quran first revealed.” Ali suggested, “From the year of Hijra to Medina.” Umar agreed with him saying, “We begin from the year of Hijra, because it distiguished between the truth and the falsehood.”

Next, they talked the beginning month over between several suggestions. Umar approved Uthman’s proposal to begin every Islamic year from the month of Muharram, reasoning it by saying “It is the month when people returned from they hajj (pilgrimage).” even the Prophetic hijra was in Rabi’ul Awwal. After this discussion, Umar announced this agreement and spread the using of this Islamic calendar and that year itself was consequently the 16th AH (After Hijra).

Some scholars, like Dr. Yassir Qadhi, stated that the 108th verse of At-Tawbah in Quran may be a sign to this calendar: “A mosque founded on righteousness from the first day is more worthy for you to stand in.” Note that Allah called the Prophetic Hijra when our Prophet built Quba mosque as “awwali yawm/the first day”. It is somehow like a sign that Islamic Calendar will refer to this historical moment. Allah knows best.

This sunset (Islamic days begin every sunset), 10th September 2018, we are going to enter 1st Muharram 1440 AH the first day of the Islamic new year. For many muslims, Islamic New Year is more of a time for personal reflection than parties and celebrations. It is, therefore, a time when people make new year resolutions, especially those who return home from their hajj (pilgrimage). We should make our resolutions in this new year to make our worldly life and our Hereafter life much better. If our beloved Prophet arranged and designed everything for his hijra very well, why we live our life and spend our time without any planning?

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Was Iblis a Fallen Angel?



Allah stated,
“And when We said to the angels, ‘Prostrate to Adam!’ and they prostrated, but Iblis (did not). He was of the jinn so he departed from the command of his Lord. Then will you take him and his descendants as allies other than Me while they are enemies to you? Wretched it is for the wrongdoers as an exchange.”
[Quran 18: 50]


One of interesting issues to talk about, even actually it has no essential effect to our faith, is the question about the origin of Iblis. Was he an angel or a jinn? In some Western literatures, even it is not mentioned literally in Torah, Bible nor Quran, we find the term “fallen angels”, which refers to angels who were expelled from Heaven for showing disobedience and ungratefulness to God. They were originally created to believe in God and serve him, but now they are enemies to both him and humanity. Was Iblis one of those fallen angels?

Honestly, some Islamic scholars believed it. This opinion is actually based on some Israiliyyat (Israelites’ traditions), which mentioned that the name of Iblis was “Azazil” and he used to live on the earth. He was one of the strongest of the angels in terms of knowledge and intelligence. Responding Israiliyyat, Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani (d. 1449 CE) said that if those known to be true because the revelation to the Prophet Muhammad, we confirm them. And if those not known to be true or false, we may tell them without saying whether they are true or false. But if those known to be false, because the revelation to our Prophet, we must reject them.

Nonetheless we cannot accept this Israiliyyat particularly because in chapter of Al-Kahf verse number 50, Allah clearly stated, “He was a jinn so he departed from the command of his Lord” (kana min al-jinn fa-fasaqa ‘an amri Rabbihi). This is a crystal clear evidence supporting the opinion that Iblis was not an angel. It is just because the conjunction “fa” in the Arabic text is indicative of the reason. Fakhruddin Al-Razi (d. 1210 CE) explained, “The sentence ‘He was of the jinn’ indicates that Iblis’ disobedience to prostrate wasbecause he was a jinn.” On the contrary we saw that angles never disobey Allah’s commands. Allah describes them, “…who disobey not, from executing the Commands they receive from Allah, but do that which they are commanded.” [Quran 66:6].

Simultaneously, there are a number of differences between Iblis and angels. Our Prophet mentioned them as two different creatures when he said, “The angels were created from light, Iblis was created from smokeless fire, and Adam was created from that which has been described to you.” [Muslim]. Angels also do not have any descendants whereas Jinn have. Allah said: “Then will you take him and his descendants as allies other than Me while they are enemies to you?” [Quran 18:50]

Furthermore, those Islamic scholars who held the opinion that Iblis was an angel also misinterpreted the sentence “‘So angels prostrated, except Iblis” which appear seven times in Quran, firstly in chapter of Al-Baqarah verse number 34. They said if Iblis was not an angel, then he must not be blamed when he did not prostrate because Allah only asked angels to prostrated when He said, “When we commanded to angels (wa idh qulnaa lil malaaikah)”. Ibn Kathir (d. 1373 CE) answered this understanding by saying, “When Almighty Allah commanded the angels to prostrate before Adam, Iblis was regarded to be inclusive in that command. Although he was not of their kind, he was like them and he was performing their deeds. Because of that, Iblis was also regarded as the addressee of that command directed to the angels. And he was condemned since he did not obey that command.”

Additionally, Ibn Hajar Al-Haytami (d. 1566 CE) said, “It is obviously clear that the signification of the sentence ‘He was of the jinn’ is stronger than the sentence ‘So all angels prostrated, except Iblis’, because separated exception comes a lot in Quran and hadiths.” Separated exception is one of two kinds of exception in Arabic grammar. It means “but” rather than “except” because the thing excluded and the things not excluded are two different kinds of beings. For example, “Those workers went but their children (did not go).” Allah said, “They have no knowledge of it but following of assumption (they only have).” [Quran 4: 157]. We all know that following the assumption is not a knowledge at all, yet we see here that Allah excludes it from knowledge. Similarly, Allah said, “So all angels prostrated, except Iblis” should be understood like this: “So all angels prostrated, but Iblis (did not prostrate).”

To sum up, we consider a small dispute between Islamic scholars whether Iblis was an angel or not, but the right opinion belongs to those scholars who says that he was not an angel, instead he was a jinn and the ancestor of jinn. Hasan Al-Basri (d. 642 CE) and other tabi’is said, “Iblis was not one of the angels, not even for a second. He was the origin of the Jinn just as Adam was the origin of mankind.”

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This Worldly Life and Water


Allah said,
“And present to them the example of the life of this world, its being like rain which We send down from the sky, and the vegetation of the earth mingles with it and then it becomes dry remnants, scattered by the winds. And Allah is ever, over all things, Perfect in Ability.”
[Quran 18:45]


The word “Dunyaa” in Arabic morphology is derived from the root word “danaa” which literally means to be near or to be low. This word which has passed to several Asian, European and African languages is often used in Quran to call this “worldly life” that opposes to the Hereafter (Aakhirah). It is called “Dunya” because it has much lower class than Aakhirah as it is also considered nearer to us than the Hereafter life.

Allah mentioned over here the parable of this worldly life. How it is like the water which We send down from the sky, and the vegetation of the earth mingles with it. It mingles with the seeds that are in the earth, so they grow and become good, producing bright, fresh flowers, then after that it becomes dry and broken pieces, withered up, which the winds scatter tossing them about right and left. This is the real face of “Dunya” which will eventually cease and come to a halt.

Al-Qurtubi (d. 1273 CE) explained in his Tafsir how compatible this parable is. He said that Allah compared Dunya to water for the following secrets.

Firstly, water does not settle and remain in one place. Equivalently, Dunya does not remain the same upon one state of affairs. Someone may be rich right now, but next month he may lost his wealth, or vice versa.

Secondly, water goes away and does not remain likewise Dunya will eventually come to an end. Some women can be proud of her adorableness when she was young, but three decades later that beauty is absolutely going to fade.

Thirdly, nobody is able to enter water without getting wet. Similarly for Dunya, no one is perfectly safe from its trials and calamities even he tries his best in swimming. We all know what will happen later to those who deeply dive or even sink into Dunya forgetting Aakhirah.

Fourthly, if you have the right amount of water it is a useful nursery, but if it goes beyond the limit it is a harmful destroyer like flood or tsunami. Analogously to Dunya, its subsistence is beneficial while its excess is harmful. Dunya is not forbidden, instead it is important in life. But it will become disaster when somebody takes it more than its proper quantity. Of course, everyone should recognize their own measures. May Allah help us to be proportional in this worldly life and keep it in our hands not inside our hearts.


Written by Nur Fajri Romadhon

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Mencari Apa Pun yang Ingin Anda Ketahui di Quran

… Dan Kami turunkan Kitab (Al-Quran) kepadamu untuk menjelaskan segala sesuatu, sebagai petunjuk, serta rahmat dan kabar gembira bagi orang-orang muslim.” (QS An-Nahl: 89)


Agar Al-Quran menjadi petunjuk untuk kita, maka kita perlu mempelajari/memahaminya, hanya sekedar tilawah saja termasuk mengabaikan Al-Quran kata Ibnul Qoyyim menafsirkan QS Al-Furqon:30. Dan Al-Quran bisa menjelaskan segala sesuatu. Namun, tak semua orang punya ilmu untuk menggali Al-Quran yang luar biasa dalam dan luas. Mereka yang punya ilmu tersebut adalah ulama tafsir Quran. Karena luasnya Al-Quran, para ulama bahkan bisa menafsirkan Al-Quran yang sama dari berbagai sudut pandang. Contoh: mayoritas metodologi Tafsir Ibnu Katsir adalah menukil Nabi SAW dan para sahabat; Tafsir Imam Qurtubi lebih bernuansa sastra, budaya, dan kemasyarakatan; sedangkan tafsir Fi Zhilalil Quran lebih bernuansa sosial politik; bahkan banyak ayat-ayat Quran yang bisa digali untuk IPTek modern; sampai-sampai struktur dan format Quran saja bisa menjelaskan banyak hal yang bermanfaat bagi kita.


Selama ini, para ulama menuangkan “galian” Quran mereka ke dalam bentuk buku, yang kita kenal dengan buku tafsir. Permasalahannya:

  1. buku tafsir biasanya sangat tebal. Tafsir Ibnu Katsir contohnya, sekitar 6000 halaman. Ini baru 1 tafsir, jika kita ingin berbagai sudut pandang kita perlu banyak tafsir, berapa puluh/ratus ribu halaman totalnya…
  2. karena sangat tebal, biaya cetaknya pun mahal. Tafsir Ibnu Katsir contohnya, 1 set lengkap 30 juz harganya Rp 5 juta. Jika ingin tafsir-tafsir lainnya juga, berapa puluh juta kita harus merogoh dompet…


Permasalahan ini bisa disolusikan dengan

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4 Things You Can Do in Ramadan with Learn Quran

Ramadan is the most special month of the year and a good chance to learn more about Quran. It is the month of Quran revelation as it mentioned here:

The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. (Al Baqarah: 185)

Multiple rewards await in this holy month. When the day is packed with our activities, you have the night to do more prayers and asking for forgiveness. You only have 24 hours so you have to make sure every second counts. Nevertheless, your gadget can be a distraction and procrastination tool, hindering you from a meaningful Ramadan. Technology should improve your productivity to and make life easier.

Here are four things that you can do in Ramadan to improve your Quran skills with Learn Quran:

  1. Improve your Tajwid skills and knowledge Learn Quran Tajwid App
    • You must have learned some tajwid rules but now there are some ayah you don’t know how to read it. You hesitate to stop or to continue when you see some waqaf signs in the middle of an ayah. These are the signs to revisit the tajwid lessons. When you’re busy, this app can help you to learn and practice tajwid anywhere.
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  2. Create a plan to master all the lessons in Learn Quran Tajwid App
    • There’re 22 lessons in total. If you already master the alphabet, you can skip it. If you want to learn only about the tajwid rules, you can go straight to the 14th lesson. Make a personal plan and make sure you can cover all selected lessons in one month. After Ramadan, you can recite Quran with more self confidence and may be you can teach others.
  3. Learn one ayah everyday with Learn Quran Tafsir while you’re commuting
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    • Learn Quran Tafsir is presented in a bit size so you don’t feel overwhelmed with all the tafsirs. There’s a button to show a random ayah so you can use it if you have no exact plan which ayah to learn. You can also make a plan, for example you want to finish reading all tafsirs in Juz 30 during Ramadan. You can go to the selected surah and ayah by clicking the menu on the left side.
  4. Support Learn Quran Foundation as ‘Amal Jariyah
    • If you enjoy Learn Quran Tafsir, you can support us with donation in our campaign page here or via PayPal to [email protected] Your support is very valuable to improve Learn Quran Tafsir features and make sure more people can enjoy using this Quran search engine too. Moreover, in Ramadan every good deeds creates multiple rewards, Insha Allah.

“My Lord, put my heart at peace for me and make my task easy for me,” (Taha: 25-26)

Ramadan is a good chance for us to focus and learning more about Quran. And with Learn Quran, we can practice Quran recitation and get more depth with the Quran in a modern way. Bismillah.

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Avoiding Misunderstanding Quran by Reading Tafsir Books

Many Muslims claim that learning tafsir is not part of learning the Qur’an. They think that it is only the duty of scholars. Yet in fact, knowing tafsir is extremely crucial to understanding the Qur’an properly even for people who are not the scholars. Without taking a look at books of tafsir, we could easily misunderstand the Qur’an.

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Iyas ibn Muawiyah, a Tabi’i, said, “The parable of a people who recite the Qur’an and do not know its explanation is like a group of people who have a written message from their king that comes to them during the dark night, and they do not have a lamp. Therefore, they do not know what is in the message. The example of one who knows tafsir is like a person who comes to them with a torch and reads to them what is in the message.”

For instance, Adi bin Hatim, one Shahabi, said, “When the following verse was revealed. ‘Eat and drink until the white thread appears to you, distinct from the black thread’ [Quran 2:187], I took two strings, one black and the other white and kept them under my pillow and went on looking at them throughout the night, but could not make any distinction between the two. So, the next morning I went to Allah’s Messenger and told him the whole story.

The Prophet said jokingly, “Your pillow is very wide if the white and black threads are under it!” Then he explained, “Rather, they are the blackness of the night and the whiteness of the daylight.” Meaning we are allowed to eat and drink until the dawn come.

Another interesting example of misunderstanding a verse based on its simple meaning is the story in the Sunan of Al-Baihaqi and the Mushannaf of Abdurrazzaq between Umar ibn Khattab and Qudamah ibn Mazh’un, the governor of Bahrain beginning from 624 AD. Umar as a Caliph got an information that Qudamah once drank khamr (intoxicant/wine). Umar said, “I will punish you if you drink as they said.”

Qudamah said, “If I drink as they said, then you do not have any authority to punish me because Allah said, “There is not upon those who believe and do righteousness any blame concerning what they have eaten if they fear Allah and believe and do righteous deeds, and then fear Allah and believe, and then fear Allah and do good; and Allah loves the doers of good.” [Quran 5:93]

Umar said, “You misinterpreted this verse. If you fear Allah then you will certainly get away from what is forbidden. Allah sent down this verse only referring what people said when khamr was prohibited, `O Allah’s Messenger, what about our brothers who died while still drinking Khamr before it was forbidden?” Meaning, there is no sin to people drank khamr before its prohibition because they were pious but people who drink it after the prohibition should be punished.

Such information can only be found in tafsir books. Imagine if people understand Quranic verses literally by merely reading their basic translation especially in these days when every people bring verses towards their selfish interpretations in order to legitimate their evil deeds. Therefore, reading tafsir books is necessary to get the precise meaning of verses we recite and prevent misunderstanding.

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Learn Quran Tafsir is now Available in English

Alhamdulillah, Learn Quran Foundation has launched a free online tafsir website in English version: tafsir.learn-quran.co

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Here’s the reason why we are making another great product.

The Quran explains everything*, including your daily problems, however…

  • Most of us lack sufficient knowledge to understand Qur’an for our daily life.
  • A high level of knowledge and understanding is necessary to merely explain (tafsir) the Qur’an’s meaning.
  • Knowledge about the context behind the Ayat is also essential to understand the Qur’an fully.

Also, we know that understanding Quran can be done by reading tafsirs, however…

  • Tafsirs books are expensive, difficult to use, often impractical, and not to mention hard to find
  • Online tafsirs are not comprehensive, and lacks trustworthiness

So what can we do to understand Quran easily?

In order to help the world know and understand tafsirs better, Learn Quran is introducing our newest product, Learn Quran Tafsir. Learn Quran Tafsir is a free and advanced search engine which searches in the Qur’an and multiple tafsirs for anything you want to know. Moreover, LQ Tafsir uses Artificial Intelligence technology for its search engine, the more we use it, the more advanced its technology becomes.

Our team has been developing this new Quran search engine since mid-2017. Prior to the English version, the initial version in Bahasa Indonesia has been launched on January 2018.

Try Learn Quran Tafsir now.

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