“I know what stops you from becoming a Muslim! You think we are weak, separated, and poor. I swear by Allah that a time will come where Islam will prevail, and you shall see how peace will spread to the extent that a woman shall travel from Sanaa’ to Hadramout fearing none but Allah and the wolf on her sheep”. This is what the prophet PBUH told once to a wealthy young man (Adi Bin Hatem), and the guy immediately accepted Islam and lived many years after to see the prophecy of Muhammad PBUH all coming to reality.
Surah Raad provides the intellectual and emotional support from Allah to face these challenges. It puts the good and the evil at odds, and invites the Quran reader to experience the strength of the believers’ arguments and the shallowness of that of the disbelievers’.
HE Created ‘em All
The Surah shows Allah’s power and majesty by listing about 32 pairs of contrasting entities:
- It is He who shows you the lightning, inspiring fear and hope [13:12] خوفا و طمعا
- All that are in heaven and earth submit to God alone, willingly or unwillingly. [13:15] طوعا و كرها
- The blind and the one who can see … darkness and light … [13:16] الأعمى و البصير … الظلمات و النور
- God erases or confirms whatever He will [13:39] يمحو و يثبت
As an exercise: try researching those 32 odds and reflect on how Allah is the Only one who can join these odds together and control them, being the awesome creator He is.
The Name of the Surah: THUNDER
Thunder is one of the interesting creatures of the almighty that carries different odds: from one end, it has a scary and overwhelming sound, but at the same time it carries rain, goodness, and sustenance to mankind. Also, the same roaring sound is nothing but celebrating the praises of Allah SWT:
وَيُسَبِّحُ الرَّعْدُ بِحَمْدِهِ وَالْمَلائِكَةُ مِنْ خِيفَتِهِ وَيُرْسِلُ الصَّوَاعِقَ فَيُصِيبُ بِهَا مَن يَشَاء وَهُمْ يُجَادِلُونَ فِي اللَّهِ وَهُوَ شَدِيدُ الْمِحَالِ
The thunder sounds His praises, as do the angels in awe of Him; He sends thunderbolts to strike whoever He will. [13:13]
The Fantasy of Glamour
Muslims should not be affected by the fantasy of happiness that nonbelievers may show. The Surah gives multiple analogies that invite us to reflect on the nature of this struggle
وَالَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِهِ لاَ يَسْتَجِيبُونَ لَهُم بِشَيْءٍ إِلاَّ كَبَاسِطِ كَفَّيْهِ إِلَى الْمَاء لِيَبْلُغَ فَاهُ وَمَا هُوَ بِبَالِغِهِ
… Those they pray to besides Him give them no answer any more than water reaches the mouth of someone who simply stretches out his hands for it– it cannot do so: [13:14]
أَنزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاء مَاء فَسَالَتْ أَوْدِيَةٌ بِقَدَرِهَا فَاحْتَمَلَ السَّيْلُ زَبَدًا رَّابِيًا وَمِمَّا يُوقِدُونَ عَلَيْهِ فِي النَّارِ ابْتِغَاء حِلْيَةٍ أَوْ مَتَاعٍ زَبَدٌ مِّثْلُهُ كَذَلِكَ يَضْرِبُ اللَّهُ الْحَقَّ وَالْبَاطِلَ فَأَمَّا الزَّبَدُ فَيَذْهَبُ جُفَاء وَأَمَّا مَا يَنفَعُ النَّاسَ فَيَمْكُثُ فِي الأَرْضِ كَذَلِكَ يَضْرِبُ اللَّهُ الأَمْثَالَ
He sends water from the sky that fills riverbeds to overflowing, each according to its measure. The stream carries on its surface a growing layer of froth, like the froth that appears when people melt metals in the fire to make ornaments and tools: in this way God illustrates truth and falsehood– the froth disappears, but what is of benefit to man stays behind– this is how God makes illustrations. [13:17]
When you read Surah Raad, you shall increase the love of Allah in your heart, and be proud to accept Him as your Master. You won’t be intimidated by the superiority of evil as represented in many ways shapes and forms.