Tafseer An Nabaa

We continued our tafseer of An nabaa this morning, after N’s Mammals class. She came to me and said,

“A girl in the class published a book on Amazon.”

I’ve been telling her about this possibility for years to encourage her. Writing, like anything else, requires hard work and persistence.

Anyway, we continued with the surah, and to save time, I’ll just put this in bullet points, just for us to remember.

  • The surah begins by addressing the disbelievers who were mocking the Day of Judgment
  • it depicts a scene where they were mocking it and the suddenly, Allah interjects
  • Kalla! Saya’lamoon – Stop! Rather, you will come to know
  • He repeats it again for emphasis ;- equivalent to “You’ll find out, you’ll find out”
  • Then begins a passage where Allah talks about the blessings He has given to all mankind;
  • the earth as a comfortable place (the word used for comfortable place is also word used for cradle ; the earth is rotating on its axis but gravity keeps us rooted. We’re able to walk, sleep, jump etc without being thrown off, just like a baby in a cradle
  • the mountains as pegs. Showing how stable and how the mountains are stabilizing and are great structures that are solid
  • And He created you all in pairs – now the focus goes directly to the human beings and living things come into the picture
  • and He Made you sleep as something that cuts you off ; from sleep, day, livelihood, life
  • And He made the night as a covering :- darkness covers you, robberies and bad stuff. private things happen at night, it covers you like a blanket does etc
  • And He made day for you to seek livelihood : lesson – don’t waste your time. Spend your day wisely.
  • And He constructed above you seven strong (heavens understood, but not mentioned). The word shidaadaa used to show that these seven heavens are strong.
  • And He made the blazing sun
  • And He sent down from laden rain clouds abundant water
  • And He takes out with this water, grains and vegetation
  • And lush gardens
  • the sceneries are alive, you have the earth, imagine you’re viewing from space, then you zoom in, you see the mountains, the living things, and their life, and then back at nature, the skies , seven heavens, you pierce through the earth’s atmosphere, reach the sun, it’s blazing fiery, and back down to earth in the atmosphere, the clouds, chock full with water, water comes down, waters the earth, the earth absorbs it, and living things come forth, lush
  • This is how Allah leaves that scene before moving on to another set of scenes ; the Day of Judgment
  • Imagine you’re visualizing all this and the Quran is very descriptive in its description
  • And suddenly your vision is channeled to:
  • Indeed the Day of Separation is already fixed – you can’t escape it, no matter how hard you try
  • The day on which the horn will be blown and people will submit willingly or unwillingly in massive crowds ;- in this dunya, you can control your limbs, but on that day, you cannot. You don’t want to go but your limbs will take you to that gathering place
  • And the skies will be opened like doors :- doors are the loosest construction in a building as it’s used most of the time and those seven strong skies that was mentioned before is now opened up. How scary it would be to see the skies rip apart and you can see the space through it. The listeners’ attention is now directed to the horrors on this Day
  • And the mountains will move easily and it will be like a mirage : previously, the mountains are described as pegs, solid, stable but now, these stable solid structures that we know so well are moving so easily and will disappear as if like a mirage. Everything you know is changing
  • Now the talk moves on to hellfire : The hellfire will be lying in ambush
  • Both the disbelievers and believers are listening now and they are being told that the hellfire is lying in ambush, like a wild beast, ready to devour its prey
  • Allah specifies who it’s lying in ambush for ; for the rebellious :- Allah would have mentioned it’s for the disbeleivers, but He doesn’t. Implication : believers who don’t obey Him and are also rebellious will be included in this
  • They will remain it for periods of time :- the use of ah7qaaba denotes psychological torture. Allah could have said abada (forever) but the usage of ah7qaaba is explained as such:
  • you are imprisoned for 5 years and you look forward to the end of your term, and when you reach 5 years, suddenly you are told you will remain another 5 years. It’s more torturous this way
  • They will not taste in it any coolness of any drink :- hellfire is hot. Now it’s talk of physical torture
  • People in the desert will appreciate this more and so this should send some shockwaves through the listeners at that time and at anytime (no one likes heat)
  • Except boiling water and pus ;- whoa!!!! hold on there! this is too much! PUS??!! Someone might react this way, saying “Hey, okay I did bad but eating pus?! That’s just way too much bro!”
  • Allah says ; An exact recompense :- No, it’s not too much, it’s tit for tat, no more no less
  • Indeed they hoped they won’t be accountable for their deeds :- people were living in dream land, telling and convincing themselves that they can do all they like and not be held accountable for it, or nahhh it’s ok, I’ll worry about that later. Even Muslims may respond when someone talks about death etc “Oh, that’s depressing, let’s not talk about that.”
  • They denied, belied Our signs with vehement denial :- Allah has laid out signs for us, the Quran, scriptures and the creations. Simply looking at the sky, clouds should bring one to realize there is a Creator, and that we owe everything to this Creator, so worship Him, obey Him. But instead, we use our God-given intellect to dispute, argue, bring us to the height of arrogance and disobey Him, even denying Him outright
  • And everything, We recorded and tabulated in a protected book ;- all this is recorded. This should benefit listeners in that it makes them more aware of their speech and actions and thoughts, it’s all on ‘camera!’
  • Then Allah leaves us with the last scene in this passage : They will taste and not it will be increased anything for them except torment
  • Now Allah moves on to happier sceneries : Indeed those who are righteous will have a place, time of success and success
  • the believers who have been listening now are addressed, and the word muttaqeen is used to signify that only those who have this taqwa will carry their feelings into action
  • There are many people who say “Oh I don’t want to go to hell, I’m scared, ‘ but their actions don’t show it.
  • Then there are people who are really touched by it and actually change their bad behaviors to good ones. Which one are you going to be?
  • The word mafaaza used has 3 meanings grammatically : place of success, time of success and succes for sure
  • place of success implies : don’t worry, there will be a place where you will be eternally happy. This dunya is temporary. Sometimes being a Muslim can be restrictive.
  • Analogy I gave to the kids : An adult brings a kid to an amazing park while telling this kid they will go to an even more amazing amusement park later on. The kid sees this park and LOVEs it, and wants to stay there forever. The adult tells the kid, “But, we’re going to the amusement park remember?” “No! I want to stay here and play all day!”
  • The adult tells the kid, “Don’t play in that corner over there.”
  • Kid asks, “Why not? I like it there!”
  • Adult replies, “There is a bush nearby, there might be snakes.”
  • Adult says, “Don’t climb past the second rung of that ladder.”
  • Kid asks “Why?” Adult replies “Because I told you so”
  • The prohibitions that Allah put on us are the same, for some, we know the reason, for others we don’t know, but we are obliged to accept and believe because this is the essence of faith itself
  • Out of His mercy, He makes this world beautiful, but He also puts restrictions so we don’t get too attached to it, because He has prepared Paradise, whcih is even more beautiful and enjoyable than this world
  • The adult tells the kid, “In the amusement park we’re going to go to, there will be slides like these ones, but they’re higher and has water. They have swings too but they spin too.”
  • Kid says, ‘oooh!! I want to go now!’
  • Adult says, “No, not yet. We’ll go but not now.’
  • Kid starts to look forward to the amusement park. He enjoys the current park but knows that there are restrictions and knows there is a better one he is promised and looks forward to go there.
  • As Muslims, especially women and girls, we have to worry about hijab. You can’t just go swim in a pool or the beach, if the place is populated. Life can be hard sometimes as a Muslim, but there is wisdom behind this.
  • If you’re allowed to do everything on this earth and they’re all good things even, you will be attached to it
  • Even if you’re told about Jannah, you think, ahh I’m already enjoying life here, that can wait
  • It is out of Allah’s wisdom and mercy that He has laid things out as they are, and placed prohibitions and commands on us because this life is a test, a transitory place
  • Then, Allah talks about the jannah : private gardens and grapevines
  • Gorgeous women of compatibility :- when you go to a beautiful place, you might enjoy it, but without humans, it can get lonely
  • In ads/marketing they always put beautiful women or men to beautify the place/product etc. Why? There is a psychological effect of that.
  • So, you’re in this beautiful awesome place, and you good looking company, and what’s more, they are compatible with you, maybe same age and same interests
  • You can go to a place and have a nice looking friend but she likes sweet potatoes and you like mangoes – ehh…but in jannah, you both like the same thing and you are just…compatible! cool!
  • And splashing exotic drinks! – not only company, now you have a spread too! Contrast this to the description of no drink and no coolness in hellfire.
  • They won’t hear in it any idle useless talks not any lies/blasphemy/slander etc :- believers in this world have to endure all the lies that are being said or thrown at them by disbelievers or even some believers who choose to mock the religion. Even the prophet saw was told to have beautiful patience. It hurts to hear and see these lies, but we have to endure it. In jannah, you won’t hear anything like this
  • as for idle and useless talk, the analogy of : you go on a wonderful vacation and then suddenly, as you’re lying there joyfully under the sun, someone in your company starts to talk vulgar or just do some nasty convo. Your whole vacation is ruined!
  • In jannah -> utter peace and beauty. None of those bad speech that you had to endure in this world
  • Next ayat : a recompense from your Rabb , a generous gift to the point where you may say “I don’t need anymore”
  • Subhanallah, when Allah talks about the recompense in hellfire, it’s tit for tat, but in Jannah, He gives as H said, “Infinity for tat.” He gives more, so much more.
  • Allah is just and merciful


That was where we stopped this morning. I had recorded our discussion yesterday with Sound Recorder but because I had to keep pressing record each time it reaches the max, it was just a hassle so today, we didn’t record our discussion, so I thought I’d just write it up ASAP before I forget.

InshaaAllah, tomorrow we will finish surah Nabaa and I can give them the test. Though, from our discussion just now, it seems like they need more reinforcement and studying to do so they really get and can internalize this surah with new understanding. Dua time!


Categories: Bayyinah Institute, Discussion, Living Islam, Quran, Tafseer | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Zulhijjah Activity Continued

We continued where we left off, and I still haven’t gotten my bearings, but at least Z cooperated more and didn’t really make those breathing objections. I did the hujjaaj addition  activity with him but only up to 3 equations because he soon tired of it.

He would spin the spinner (which H had mounted on cardboard), put the number of hujjaaj on the Kaabah, spin again, add that number of hujaaj and count the total hujaaj and then write it in the worksheet.

He couldn’t write 4, so I showed him how to write it. Slide, run, jump. He was able to do it with that visualization. For number 5, it’s drive, jump, circle and for 8, it’s S and then join. He actually loved writing the numbers with that kind of instruction/tip.

the spinners that H worked on the night before. He glued the pushpin in, glued the spinner on cardboard and then made a mount for it. It was fancier than I imagined but it was pretty easy to use. The only drawback is storing it with the lapbook since it has the protruding pushpin in the way.

We quickly then moved on to the memory game. He is pretty good at memory games mashaAllah. We did a couple rounds of memory game and I worked on his lapbook while he shuffled and rearranged them for a new round. It took me quite some mapping, visualizing and planning while working on his lapbook and juggling that with answering his questions and playing the memory game with him was not easy.

I folded a posterboard in half and again in half. I used all 4 quarters of the inside part, added some appendages to the inside page so it would fit some of the pieces and then used 2 quarters on the other side for this shown in the photo.

the appendage that I added to fit in the pages of the Hajj Step by Step activity set. I didn’t want to use the other available pages because it would take up too much space, so I just added this cardstock.

appendage closed

I had some mishaps with making the pockets for the pieces too, had to use the glue gun but in the end Alhamdulilah, it worked out. I also told him the story of Ismail and Hajr, using the prop I had made for the older kids years back in 2003. I had to look for it for I had forgotten where I had stored it. It was all dusty, but still pretty vibrant in its colors and still useable alhamdulillah. He was excited when I opened it, and I had to restrain him when he started to put up the pop ups.

Z telling me he wants to go see the footprint.

Basically a huge pop up card I made with posterboard. I had the older kids color it and I colored some too. This is pretty durable considering we made it in 2004. Alhamdulillah. I hope there is barakah in this.

a pop up card inside a pop card. Zam zam water gushing out.

I made the safa and marwa stand out too against the background.

The kaabah. I lifted this up when I told the story of Ibrahim and Ismail building the Kaabah.

I had fun making this sun.

After all 3 stories are told and the Kaabah is built and Ibrahim a.s. proclamation for Hajj is responded to every year with huge masses of hujaaj heading for Hajj.

Good thing I did this. Otherwise I wouldn’t have even remembered when we made this. When I made this it was for Eid Al Adha. I had the 3 kids do a show and tell on the story of Hajr and Ismail a.s. to the Malaysian uncles and aunties. H was 4 then, and the girls were 5 and 6.

Then I told him the story of Ibrahim a.s. and the slaughtering of Ismail a.s. and used Z himself as a prop when talking about the slaughter. I could tell he had this grim expression as he was listening to that story, which shows understanding, and I wonder if he understood the concept of Allah testing Ibrahim’s obedience. Then I told him the story of Ibrahim and Ismail a.s. building the kaabah. After I was done I asked him which story he liked best. He said the building the Kaabah one. He keeps asking to go to Makkah and see Ibrahim a.s.’ footprint at maqam Ibrahim. He also said he doesn’t like the dream story (the slaughtering story).

After the stories, I told him I couldn’t do anything much with him anymore because we had to get ready to go to the library, and so he wanted to help me work on his lapbook. He helped for a bit and then got distracted and went to N. He also complied when I told him to do some coloring and worksheet activities, which is surprising, so Alhamdulilah!

I was hoping it would take him some time to work on this so I could work on the lapbook without being interrupted but…

I am not done with his lapbook yet, but hopefully will have it done when he has finished all the worksheets in the pack. It’s coming along pretty well so far alhamdulillah.

With the older kids, what I did was assign them Zulhijjah assignments. N is to research the virtue of the first 10 days of Zulhijjah. H is to research the Hajj rituals. S is to look for ayaat in the Quran that pertain to Hajj. Our Zulhijah starts tonight alhamdulillah, so I decided to have them all watch this clip so they can implement it as soon as Zulhijjah kicks in.

Before we watched it, I asked them what they already know about the first 10 days of Zulhijjah. After we watched it, I asked them what they now know of the 1st ten days of Zulhijjah. Then I asked them which new information surprised or struck them the most.

N : If you’re doing hajj, you don’t fast during Day of Arafah

S and H : that it’s obligatory for everyone to pray the Eid prayer

Then we talked about action items that we can incorporate during these 10 days. And I asked them to choose action items for themselves and to really narrow it down so there is more possibility of them doing it.

We talked about increasing in seeking forgiveness and how our sins can really be a huge barrier between us and Allah’s obedience, and even our du’a. So, we talked about ways to make istighfaar.

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “Whoever says, ‘Subhan Allah wa bihamdihi,’ one hundred times a day, will be forgiven all his sins even if they were as much as the foam of the sea. (Book #75, Hadith #414)

And we talked about starting a new naafil prayer to add to the existing regular ones. Fasting (the kids love fasting and have always loved to fast from a young age. They would eat suhoor and refuse to go back to sleep, and played in their ‘tree house’)

May Allah increase us all in taufeeq to utilize these 10 days and make any good changes we incorporate, permanent. Ameen.

Tomorrow is S’ PSAT at the local high school. I just called them today and am to drop her off at around 8:45 am. So, tomorrow will be a little hectic. Wednesday is already hectic enough with our online classes. S is to shower right after fajr and attend her class already dressed and ready to go, because her appointment is at 8:15 am. So as soon as her class finishes at 8, we’ll go and I will drop her off. S also will be getting ready during tajweed time in her class, and we will all three leave at 8. After I drop N, hubs will stay with her and I will drop S off at the high school. Then I will go home, attend class, and after class ends, will pick up N, and then S. Then I have class in the afternoon. I’d better not have to take Zyrtec tomorrow. I can’t afford to be drowsy throughout the day.

Categories: Discussion, Family, High School, Islamic Studies, Juggling Multiple Kids, Kindergarten Math, Lapbooking, Learning Games, Living Islam, PSAT, Z's learning, Zulhijjah | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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