In this series, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani and Ustadh Tabraze Azam, SeekersHub Global Instructors, share a day by day overview of key themes of each section (juz’) of the Qur’an, over the month of Ramadan. This is covered nightly at IMO of Toronto, where SeekersHub Toronto (www.seekersguidance.org) is conducting its Ramadan 2013 programming.
Day 19: Juz’ 19: Surat al-Furqan [25:21-77], Surat al-Shu`ara’ [26.1-227] & Surat al-Naml [27.1-59]
We look at four key themes in the 19th Part (juz’) of the Qur’an: (1) Servants of the Most-Merciful; (2) Who is an Imam?; (3) Pure Hearts, and (4) the Prophetic Call.
 Qualities of True Servants of Allah
The Qur’an is a call to the fulfillment of the highest of human potential and virtue. Allah Most High describes some of these qualities in Surat al-Furqan, 25.63-77. Recite these verses and reflect on them:
“The servants of the Lord of Mercy are those who walk humbly on the earth, and who, when the foolish address them, reply, ‘Peace’; those who spend the night bowed down or standing, worshipping their Lord.” [Qur’an, 25.63-64]
The key distinguishing quality of the ‘servants of the Most-Merciful’ (`ibad al-Rahman) is their humility–they are humbled by their awe of God, and thereby humble themselves in worship and in life.
[Shaykh Faraz Rabbani covered the explanation of these verses in: Exploring the Quran: Qualities of True Servants of the All-Merciful (Allah) – http://youtu.be/qWX9Z1o_GaQ ]
 Becoming Exemplars of Excellence and Virtue
These righteous servants of Allah are described as praying:
“‘‘Our Lord, grant us all joy in our spouses and offspring. And make us of the foremost of the mindful’.” [Qur’an, 25.74]
This is a supplication we should bring into our daily lives. Note that:
(1) They say: “Grant us,” in the plural. They seek this good not only for themselves but for others, as well. When you seek good for others, the angels ask Allah to grant you the like of what you seek.
(2) They seek the good for themselves, their spouses, and their offspring (dhurriyya). One’s offspring aren’t simply one’s children: they’re all those who will come forth from one, until the end of time. The believer seeks the greatest possible good–the very long-term good of this life, and the eternal good of the next.
(3) They don’t simply ask Allah to be “good Muslims.” Rather, they seek to be the very best of Allah’s creation: they seek to be of the foremost of Allah’s foremost servants–the people of mindfulness (taqwa), as Allah tells us in the Qur’an [49.13]
(4) An “imam” is not simply a leader: an imam is someone worthy of emulating because of what they encompass of praiseworthy traits and qualities.
 Returning to Allah with Pure Hearts
This is a reminder from Allah that on the Last Day we will be alone, and what will count is a pure heart:
“The Day when neither wealth nor children can help, when the only one who will be saved is the one who comes before God with a heart devoted to Him.’” [Qur’an, 26.88-89]
A pure heart (qalbun salim) is one that (1) proves true in seeking Allah’s pleasure, and that (2) is characterized by the qualities beloved to Allah, and that (3) purified itself from the qualities odious to Allah, as He makes clear in the Qur’an [91.7-10]
 The Prophetic Calls
The consistency of the call of all Prophets is a theme throughout Surat al-Shu`ara’. All Prophets called to (1) true belief in the One God; and (2) seeking that One God through sound submission, obedience, and mindfulness:
“I am a faithful messenger to you: be mindful of God and obey me. I ask no reward from you, for my only reward is with the Lord of the Worlds.” [Qur’an, 26.143-145]
They called others to this truth out of sincere concern (nasiha), with no ulterior worldly motives.
This is key for anyone serving the religion of Allah–whether scholars, teachers, leaders, activists, or in any other aspect of service. Our call is to Allah; our message is to love Allah and the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him), and to embrace obedience and mindfulness with excellence, out of this love.
And Allah alone gives success.
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