How many times has that thought run across your mind? I can tell you that for myself it has been 1,000 times if not more.
I can’t . . .finish the Quran
I can’t . . .be a better husband
I can’t . . .be a better son (in-law)
I can’t . . . be a better student
I can’t . . . be a better human being with all the weaknesses and stupidities that come with living in a world that pulls you to use your strength and intellect solely for the attainment of your desires.
The list goes on, as I’m sure it does for many of us.
The other day I sat in our class on exegesis (Tafsir) of the Quran covering Surah Al-Alaq (The 96th Surah in the Holy Quran) and I learned quite a bit on what I am and not capable of doing in the eyes of God.
This Surah (or Chapter) are indisputably said to be the first 5 verses revealed from the heavens to the Prophet Muhamad (God’s peace and blessings upon him). This should already cause the ears of those interested in learning about Islam to perk up, it should cause the heart of the believer to awaken and ask the question. . . why these verses first?
Let’s imagine for a moment, here you are watching the Prophet (God’s peace and blessings upon him) being told by this Divine being, an Angel, to read. To which the unlettered Prophet responds that he is unable. The Angel squeezes him, telling him and ordering him to read, to which he again says he is unable.
So the Angel begins to recite from the Holy Quran
Recite in the name of your Lord who created –
Created man from a clinging substance.
Recite, it’s left unspecified as to what should be read. Some scholars mention it means to read anything that brings one closer to the Divine. Others say it is connected to other verses, as if God is saying, “Recite [what was revealed to you on this night] in the name of your Lord who created [you].”
The word Lord, is chosen because its use in the Arabic language is connected to one who raises. A Murrabi (which uses the same root formula as the word “Lord”) is a person who is an educator, or a teacher of sorts. In the spiritual sense it would be akin to a spiritual guide who takes you upon the path from beginning to end.
What’s the connection between Reciting and God creating man from a clinging substance?
Why does God again repeat much of the same in the following verses as well?
Recite, and your Lord is the most Generous –
Who taught by the pen –
Taught man that which he knew not.
God, the Almighty created you from nothing. He raised you as a Murrabi would, as a father would, as a teacher would. He taught you, gave you intellect, gave you power when you had none. He created you from sperm and eggs.
What do you mean you can’t read?
What do you mean you can’t finish the Quran?
What do you mean you can’t be a better spouse?
What do you mean you can’t be a better human being?
Just as He created you from nothing
Just as He gave you intellect
Just as He gave you power when you were born weak
So to can He teach you, fix you, make you upright, protect you, shelter you, provide for you.
He is the most generous, and His generosity can be bestowed on you as well.
So who are you to say you can’t when the Lord of the Worlds says you can?
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