Continuing with our look into Sura Ya Sin. Allah (SWT) reminds us to have Taqwa for Allah (SWT) in the verses of Ya Sin. In a most dramatic and powerful way. We see the signs around us every day and every night in the sun and the moon.
وَالْقَمَرَ قَدَّرْنَاهُ مَنَازِلَ حَتَّى عَادَ كَالْعُرْجُونِ الْقَدِيمِ 36:39
wa(a)lqamara qaddarn-a-hu man-a-zila hatt-a a-da kala’urjooni alqadeem(i)
And the Moon,- We have measured for his mansions (to traverse) till he returns like the old (and withered) lower part of a date-stalk.
Urjun – the crescent moon is shaped like the old dried up date stalk. The moon obeys the commands of Allah (SWT) and follows its course across the heavens and in the phases of the moon as well. Swelling to the full, and then withering in its old age until it finally disappears and then re-appears.
لا الشَّمْسُ يَنْبَغِي لَهَا أَنْ تُدْرِكَ الْقَمَرَ وَلا اللَّيْلُ سَابِقُ النَّهَارِ وَكُلٌّ فِي فَلَكٍ يَسْبَحُونَ 36:40
la a(l)shamsu yanbaghee lah-a an tudrika alqamara wal-a allaylu s-a-biqu a(l)nnah-a-ri wakullun fee falakin yasba-h-oon(a)
It is not permitted to the Sun to catch up the Moon, nor can the Night outstrip the Day: Each (just) swims along in (its own) orbit (according to Law).
The sun and the moon each have their own appointed orbits and obey them smoothly and float or swim in space obeying the natural laws of Allah (SWT). Just as night and day are separated and never clash. And how poetic here is the language of Allah (SWT) in describing the motion of these through space. “Swimming” or “floating” in their orbits, totally immersed. Subhan’allah! Yes it is from the same word, the same root. And do we think of that as we say it? Subhan’allah! Swimming in the glory of Allah (SWT). We are floating also in this glory when we are as obedient to the laws of Allah (SWT) as the sun and the moon floating in their orbits.
وَآيَةٌ لَهُمْ أَنَّا حَمَلْنَا ذُرِّيَّتَهُمْ فِي الْفُلْكِ الْمَشْحُونِ 36:41
wa-a-yatun lahum ann-a- -h-amaln-a- -th-uriyatahum fee alfulki almash-h-oon(i)
And a Sign for them is that We bore their race (through the Flood) in the loaded Ark;
And then we are reminded of further signs of Allah (SWT)’s mercy, was not our race saved from the ravages of the flood? This act of obedience (making and boarding the laden ark) was rewarded with mercy, the survival of the human race. Nothing less. And think of the similarity of the ark “swimming” in the flood. Floating above all else and totally at the mercy of Allah (SWT) All aboard having faith, iman in Allah (swt) that soon the waters would recede and they would begin life anew.
وَخَلَقْنَا لَهُمْ مِنْ مِثْلِهِ مَا يَرْكَبُونَ 36:42
wakhalaqn-a- lahum min mithlihi m-a- yarkaboon(a)
And We have created for them similar (vessels) on which they ride.
So here we have the vessels (boats, airplanes, space ships) of today, we think that we have invented them but truly they are of the design that Allah (SWT) has given us. And do you think an airplane would fly if Allah (SWT) did not want it to? This is a continuous sign, the plane swimming through the air, the boat swimming through the sea, or underneath it in the case of submarines, can only do this by the grace of Allah (SWT). Just as the moon and the sun swim through the heavens according to these laws.
We cannot afford to ignore these signs that Allah (SWT) has put in the glorious Quran for us. These are signs that can sink deep into our hearts. Think of it! Everywhere around us we can see the orbiting of the sun and the moon, we can see the phases of the moon, see the crescent and the full moon, and then back to the last of the month as well. We can see the boats and planes and how they swim through the air and water.
And you and I are part of all this. Because of the intelligence that Allah (SWT) has given us, because of the eyes and ears and heart and appreciation for beauty that we have been given, we can appreciate all this, we can gain knowledge and understand mercy, and we glorify Allah (SWT) for these gifts and for these signs. We too can swim in the grace and glory and mercy of Allah (SWT) if we only take the time to understand the signs. And when we understand we know that we have to live in this world knowing the grace of Allah (SWT).
In a hadith from Abu Dawood, narrated by Amr Ibn Al ‘As it is reported that:
Yazid ibn Abdullah said that Abdullah ibn Amr asked the Prophet (saw): In how many days should I complete the recitation of the whole Qur’an, Apostle of Allah? He replied: In one month. He said: I am more energetic to complete it in a period less than this. He kept on repeating these words and lessening the period until he said: Complete its recitation in seven days. He again said: I am more energetic to complete it in a period less than this. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: He who finishes the recitation of the Qur’an in less than three days does not understand it.
So we see that mere recitation of the Quran is not enough. Rasul Allah (SAW) also wants us to understand it. To see into it. To understand the guidance it brings into our lives, how Allah (SWT) wants us to live, to increase our Taqwa and our Iman. It is not enough simply to go through the motions, whether in Salat or in sawm or in any of the acts of our faith, we must understand deeply the signs, the meanings inside them. Both acts and faith are necessary.
Wa allahu alim.