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 8: Juz’ 8: Surat al-An’am [6.111-165] & Surat al-A`raf [7.1-87]
In tonight’s set of verses, we’ll be looking at four key themes: (1) avoiding sin; (2) recognition of gifts; (3) how to ask Allah; (4) Allah’s creating.
 Avoiding Sin
Avoiding sins is better than performing righteous actions.
What is sin? Sin isn’t simply “doing something bad.” Rather, it is going against the command of your Creator and Sustainer. It is something deserving of punishment in the Fire:
“Avoid committing sin, whether openly or in secret, for those who commit sin will be repaid for what they do.” [Qur’an, 6.120]
Secret sins are related to bad character, such as envy, greed, ill-intent, and pride. These are even more harmful than open sin, and result in numerous, harmful open sins.
 Recognize the Great Gift of Guidance
Of the greatest of blessings that we have been gifted with is faith itself. On the Last Day, when we are staring at the meanings of our actions, we will see the fruits of our faith — realizing that everything good was from His pure largesse and gentleness towards us.
“We shall have removed all ill feeling from their hearts; streams will flow at their feet. They will say, ‘Praise be to God, who guided us to this: had God not guided us, We would never have found the way. The messengers of our Lord brought the Truth.’ A voice will call out to them, ‘This is the Garden you have been given as your own on account of your deeds.’” [Qur’an, 7.43]
What is their response? ‘Praise be to Allah.’ What is praise? It is a recognition of blessings. What is the consequence? Paradise with the Beloved. He wants you. Just accept the call.
 Ask Allah in Fear & Hope
“Supplication is the essence of worship,” said the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). How do we call upon Allah?
“Call on your Lord humbly and privately– He does not like those who transgress His bounds: do not corrupt the earth after it has been set right – call on Him fearing and hoping. The mercy of God is close to those who do good.” [Qur’an, 7.55-56]
This highlights the attitude of the one making supplication–and the attitude of worship:
(2) guardedness–in seeking sincerity;
(3) with longing, fear, and hope;
(4) seeking Allah’s mercy, out of neediness.
 Allah’s Creating: Examples
In the Qur’an, Allah uses examples from our day to day lives to make plain to us His all-conquering power. Just as He brings dead lands to life, you shall be resurrected. There was nothing. Then ‘Be’, and it is:
“It is God who sends the winds, bearing good news of His coming grace, and when they have gathered up the heavy clouds, We drive them to a dead land where We cause rain to fall, bringing out all kinds of crops, just as We shall bring out the dead. Will you not reflect?” [Qur’an, 7.57]
Reflect on the signs of Allah’s creating, and take spiritual lessons from it regarding your own life.
And Allah alone gives success.
Faraz Rabbani and Tabraze Azam
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