Lesson 1: Introduction
Ramadan Kareem! Ramadan Mubārak! May Allah ﷻ accept all of our prayers, fasting, charity, supplications, recitation of the Quran, and all other good deeds that we will do throughout this blessed month.
There is a very unique and strong connection between the month of Ramadan and the Quran. Allah ﷻ tells us in Surah al-Baqarah, “Ramaḍân is the month in which the Quran was revealed as a guide for humanity with clear proofs of guidance and the standard ˹to distinguish between right and wrong˺.”
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شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أُنزِلَ فِيهِ ٱلْقُرْءَانُ هُدًۭى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَـٰتٍۢ مِّنَ ٱلْهُدَىٰ وَٱلْفُرْقَانِ ۚ فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ ٱلشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ ۖ وَمَن كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍۢ فَعِدَّةٌۭ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ ۗ يُرِيدُ ٱللَّهُ بِكُمُ ٱلْيُسْرَ وَلَا يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ ٱلْعُسْرَ وَلِتُكْمِلُوا۟ ٱلْعِدَّةَ وَلِتُكَبِّرُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ عَلَىٰ مَا هَدَىٰكُمْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ
One of the reasons why this month is so special, one of the main reasons why it is full of all of these amazing blessings and opportunities, is because this is the month that Allah ﷻ chose for the revelation of the Quran. The Quran is simply amazing. Words can’t truly capture the magnificence, eloquence, beauty, power, influence and amazing nature of the Quran. The Quran is the divine, eternal, uncreated speech of Allah ﷻ, the Lord, the Creator of the heavens and the earth and everything they contain, the Sustainer, the Nourisher, the One who gives life and the One who gives death. It is the last and final revelation sent for the guidance of humanity until the end of times.
And the words of Allah ﷻ, the Lord and Creator of the Heavens and Earth, are extremely powerful, profound, heavy, deep, beautiful, eloquent, and awe-inspiring. The Quran is the single greatest miracle, a living miracle, given to the Prophet ﷺ. Part of its miraculous nature is to have a profound effect upon a person’s heart and mind. The Quran is the absolute most important book in our lives. Because the Quran isn’t simply a book; it is the divine speech of Allah ﷻ — His words revealed to the Prophet ﷺ. It is our primary source of beliefs, rituals, ethics, morals, principles, laws, and guidance. Our entire lives as Muslims are supposed to revolve around the teachings of the Quran. It is our source of guidance to navigate through the world and live a life that is pleasing to Allah. It is literally our manual for life that we use to build a path towards the Divine. It is our source of inspiration, encouragement, and tool we use to deal with the different challenges of life. It contains guidance for every single aspect of our lives.
But the only way for the Quran to serve that role in our lives is if we have a real connection and relationship with. Our relationship with the book of Allah can’t be superficial. The primary objective of the Quran is to think, ponder, and reflect over its meanings. Allah ﷻ tells the Prophet ﷺ, “This is a blessed book that we have revealed to you, so that they may reflect over its verses and that the people of understanding can be reminded.”
Alhamdulillah, during the month of Ramadan all of us try to do something to strengthen our relationship with the book of Allah. Every year at IOK we try to provide a short series with the intention of strengthening our relationship with the Quran and with the intention of increasing our understanding of His divine words.This Ramadan we are going to take a nightly journey through Surah al-Mulk, 30 verses in 30 nights. The goal behind this series is for us to: 1) Learn how to recite the Surah properly, 2) Memorize it, 3) Understand it, and 4) Implement its message into our daily lives.
Surah Al-Mulk, which is translated as the Dominion or the Sovereignty, is the 67th chapter of the Quran, the first surah of the 29th Juz. It’s been called Surah al-Mulk because the Surah starts with praising Allah ﷻ in whose hand alone is the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth. “Blessed is He in Whose Hand is the dominion, and He is Able to do all things.” It’s also known as al-Wāqiah, the Protector, and l-Munjiah, the Savior, because it protects and saves one who recites it from the punishment of the grave. Ibn ʿAbbās (ra) used to call it al-Mujādilah because it argues on behalf of the one who recites it when they’re being questioned in the grave.
It’s a Makkan Surah and was most likely revealed during the early stages of Prophethood. Some of the tafāsir mention that it was the 76th Surah to be revealed, after Surah al-Mu’minoon and before Surah al-Hāqqah. Just like all other makkan revelation, Surah al-Mulk deals primarily with the fundamental aspects of our belief; the existence and oneness of Allah ﷻ and the concept of life after death. It deals with the formation and structuring of sound belief; emphasizing the ultimate and complete power of Allah ﷻ, His qudrah. It speaks about Allah ﷻ, our Creator, in such a way that makes our hearts feel His presence.
One of the reasons why I chose to cover this Surah is because it’s one of the Surahs that the Prophet ﷺ encourages us to recite and memorize.
Abu Hurairah (ra) narrated that the Prophet ﷺ said, “A surah of the Qur’an containing thirty verses will intercede for its reader till he will be forgiven. That is: “Blessed is He in Whose Hand is the sovereignty””
Anas (ra) narrated that the Prophet ﷺ said, “There’s a surah in the Quran that will argue on behalf of its companion until in enters him into Paradise. That is: “Blessed is He in Whose Hand is the sovereignty””
In another narration the Prophet ﷺ said, “It’s the preventer. It’s the savior, saving from the punishment of the grave.”
Ibn ʿAbbās (ra) narrated, “One of the Companions of the Prophet ﷺ put up a tent upon a grave without knowing that it was a grave. There was a person reciting Surah al-Mulk until finishing it. Then he went to the Prophet ﷺ and said: ‘O Messenger of Allah ﷺ [Indeed] I erected my tent without realizing that it was upon a grave. There was a person in it I reciting Surah al-Mulk until its completion.’ So the Prophet ﷺ said: ‘It is a prevention, it is a salvation delivering from the punishment of the grave.’”
The Prophet ﷺ would not sleep until he recited Alif Lam Mim Tanzil and: Tabarak Alladhi Biyadihil-Mulk.
Imam al-Qurtubi (r) mentions another narration from ibn ʿAbbās (ra). The Prophet ﷺ said, “I wish that Tabarak Alladhi Biyadihil-Mulk be in the heart of every believer.”
As we can see this is a very virtuous Surah. This is a surah we should learn and memorize and try to recite on a nightly basis. However, we should keep in mind that we’re not reciting it simply for the blessings or the barakah. Rather we’re reciting the Surah to reflect and ponder over its meanings.