Taraweeh: 1st Night
Sheikh Abdul Hamid Lachporia (HA)
In the Name of Almighty Allah Most Gracious, Most Merciful
"Blessed is He Who hath revealed unto His slave the FURQAN [the Criterion of Right and Wrong], that He may be a warner to mankind. He unto Whom belongeth the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth, He hath chosen no son nor hath He any partner in the Sovereignty. He Who created all things, and ordered them in due proportion". [Surah Al-Furqan: Verses 1 and 2].
"We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur'an,In order that you may learn wisdom." [Surah Yusuf Verse 2].
In the spirit of the above verses these notes are being prepared in order to foster an interest in understanding the Most Glorious and Noble Qur'an with the sincere intention of recognizing it as a practical Divine Book with which to influence our lives. How much more inspiring would it have been if only all of us would have understood a minute portion of its Divine Message. It is hoped Insha'Allah that that we can all derive full advantage of this humble effort. It is humbly suggested that this brief synopsis of the Surah/Surahs as recited each night during Ramadan be explained to the Jamaat prior to commencing the Tarawee prayers.
May Almighty Allah Jallah Wa'ala in His Infinite Mercy and Bounty accept our humble efforts and may He accept all our Duahs,Supplications, Ibadah and good deeds during this glorious month of Ramadan and throughout the coming years – Insha'Allah Bie Itt'Nillah. Ameen Ya Rabbul Ala'meen.
The Surahs recited for the first night of Tarawee consists of: Surah Al-Fatiha and two thirds of Surah Al-Baqara.
SYNOPSIS OF SURAH FATIHA
The prayers and invocations with which our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam began a prayer-service would appear to be little else than the acknowledgement and affirmation before Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Wata'ala of His Glory, His Unity, His Majesty and His Greatness and of one's own humbleness."O Allah! With Thy glorification and Thy Praise; Blessed is Thy name, and great is Thy Glory, and there is no god save Thee."O Allah! I seek refuge in Thee from the enticement, the whisper and the spit of Shaytaan Lanathulahi Alay." Refuge is then sought from Shaythaan and in order to keep the Salaat and reverence for the Most Holy and Glorious Qura'n safe from his evils it is begun with Bismillah, in accordance with the Quranic dictum: Verse 98 of Surah An-Nahl:
"And when thou recitest the Qura'n, seek refuge in Allah from Shayhaan the outcast."
Let us now take Surah Al- Fatihah. Our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wassallam said that Surah Al- Fatihah is the greatest and most virtuous in the Most Holy and Glorious Qura'n and declared: "By Him Who is in possession of my life, a 'Surah' like this one has neither been revealed in the Taura'h, nor in the Zaboor, nor in the Injeel nor even in the rest of the Most Holy Qura'n." Hazrat Hassen Al- Basri Rahmatullahi Alay reports the saying of our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alyhi Wasallam "that whoever reads Surah Fateha with total and complete understanding is like one who has read the Taura'h, the Zaboor, the Injeel and the Most Holy and Glorious Qura'n. It is also reported in a Hadith that Shaytaan Lannatulahi Alay lamented, wept and threw dust on his head on four different occasions; first when he was cursed; secondly when he was cast out of Jannah; thirdly when our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam received his Prophethood and fourthly, when Surah Al-Fatihah was revealed. Surah Al- Fatihah is without any doubt, a priceless gem of the Holy Qura'n. If the scholars, moral teachers and spiritual mentors of the world were to get together to produce a text which could suffice for all of mankind, irrespective of the diversity of their needs and circumstances, and through which they could express in their prayers what lay at the bottom of their hearts they could not bring forth the like of it.
Since Surah Al-Fatihah is the first chapter of the Holy Qura'n, it has been referred to as Fatihatul-Kitaab or the opening of the Qura'n. Because of its intrinsic value, it has been assigned a place of honour in the Most Holy and Glorious Qura'n and allowed to appear at the very beginning of the opening chapter. Indeed, the Most Holy and Glorious Qura'n endorses its importance in the following terms as declared by Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Wata'ala in verse 87 of Surah Al-Hijr:
"O Prophet! It is a fact that We have given thee seven oft-repeated verses and the great Qura'n."
These Seven oft-repeated verses are the Opening Surah and they sum up the entire teaching of the Holy Qur'an. What can be a more precious gift to a Muslim than the Glorious Qur'an or any Surah of it? All the wealth in the world, honour and material possessions sinks into insignificance in comparison with it. Surah Al-Fatihah is also called "Umm-ul-Qur'an " (the core of the Qur'an), "Al-Kafia" (the Sufficient), "Al-Kanz" (the Treasure House), "Asasul-Qur'an" (the basis of the Qur'an) and "Sab'a-al-Mathani" (The oft-repeated seven), each emphasizing a particular aspect of its great and paramount importance. To style this chapter as "Umm-ul-Qur'an" (the core of the Qur'an) is to acknowledge that in its tense comprehensiveness, it concentrates within its ambit the thought-content of the entire Qur'an, and that, on that account, it rightly deserves the place of honour among its chapters. If any one of us were to read nothing but Surah Al-Fatihah out of the Qur'an and grasp its true meaning, we would understand all the essentials of the Faith which form the subject of detailed exposition by the Qur'an. Hence, knowledge of the contents of Surah Al-Fatihah is regarded as indispensable to a Muslim. According to Sahih Bukhari and Muslim, our Beloved Nabee Muhammad Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam is reported to have said that "there is no Salaat for him who does not recite Surah Fatihah." What plainer view can be taken of human devotion to Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Wata'ala and all that it implies than what is presented in Surah Al-Fatihah?
Here are but seven brief phrases, each one of not more than five words, every word crystal clear and impressive. Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Wata'ala is here invoked in His Attributes, the manifestations of which mankind beholds day in and day out, however much he may, through indifference, neglect to reflect over them. Here you have mankind's admission of his absolute dependence on none other than Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Wata'ala, his acknowledgement of the Divine Kindness shown to him, his earnest yearning to be saved from the pitfalls of life and to be led along the straight path i.e. The Path of Seerathal Mustaqeem By way of Surah Al-Fatiha – Almighty Allah Azza Wajjal teaches us and He introduces Himself to us and He tells us with words of wisdom and with the expression of Truth of His Sovereignty, His Qualities and His relationship with mankind and with the rest of His creation. He tells us to commit ourselves totally and completely to Him Alone if we want to succeed in this life as well as in the Aghirah. The essence of Surah Al-Fatiha is that mankind is crying out to the Glorious Creator and Sustainer: "O Almighty Rabbul Ala'meen! Help me and show me the Right Path, the Royal highway leading to the Path of Seerathal Mustaqeem".
[The Cow revealed in Madinah and contains 286 Verses].
Surah Al-Baqara sums up the teachings of the Most Glorious Qur'an. When mankind is crying out to the Glorious Creator and Sustainer: "O Almighty Rabbul Ala'meen! Help me and show me the Right Path, the Royal highway leading to the Path of Seerathal Mustaqeem" – Almighty Allah Jallah Wa'ala replies with Surah Al-Baqara. The revelation of Surah Al-Baqara is when Almighty Rabbul Ala'meen Exalted replies by saying: "Here is the help that you asked for." Surah Al- Baqara discusses the creation of mankind, his ultimate fall from Grace as well as the Divine promise of forgiveness in spite of his wrong doing. We are told the story of the Bani Isra'eel and how they transgressed the Divine Will of Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala and how they persisted in their evil ways.
Surah Al Baqara also covers the story of Nabee Moosa Alayhis Salaam and Nabee Esa Alayhis Salaam, and how they had to deal with the corruption and evil ways of their people. We are also told how the Yahood and Nasara despite been blessed with divine scriptures and prophets rejected Nabee Muhammad Ibn Abdullah Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam and the Din of Islam out of pride and jealousy. Which Muslim, Christian or Jew does not know the name of Nabee Ebrahim Alayhis Salatu Wassallam? Two thirds of mankind revere him as their leader. Nabee Moosa A.S., Nabee Esa A.S. and our Beloved Nabee Muhammad Sallalahoo Alayhi Wassallam are all his descendants. It is the lamp of Taqwa and Imaan lit by him that has for so long illuminated the entire world. Nabee Ebrahim A.S. was born in the city of Ur in what is now Iraq over four thousand years ago. At that time the people had completely forgotten Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Wata'ala. No one recognized Almighty Allah as the Master and Supreme Creator and no one lived in surrender and obedience to Him or to His Laws.
Together with his illustrious son – Hazrat Isma'il Alayhis Salaam they built the Ka'bah in the Holy City of Makkah and purified it, thus establishing the one and only true and complete Din of Islam for mankind. The Holy Ka'bah was to be the very centre and home of Taqwa and Tawhid. The name of this Surah i.e. Surah Al-Baqara [The Cow - Verses 67 to 71] deals with the hypocrisy and evil deeds of people who have gone astray. This is when people reach the abyss of a spiritual death and referred to by Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala as "deaf", "dumb" and "blind" despite the fact that they are physically alive.
The final summation of Surah Al-Baqara confirms to us that our honesty and upright conduct are not mere matters of policy or convenience: all our life in this world must be lived as in the presence of Almighty Allah Jallah Wa'ala. The finest example of Faith we have in our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam's life; full of faith. Let us render willing obedience to the Will of Rabbul Ala'meen Exalted. Our responsibility though great, is not a burden greater than any one of us can bear. Let us pray for Almighty Allah's assistance, and He will Insha'Allah, surely help and assist us. Ameen.