Day 29 – Surah Yassin: An Invitation for Reflection  

Surah Yasin is an invitation to all human beings to look and reflect on two miracles that Allah has placed in this universe: The Quran representing the recited words of Allah, and the universe representing the viewed signs of Allah’s power.  The Surah develops its arguments in six distinct sections:

1- The Divine Words of Allah, and the attitude of the heedless [1-12]

The Surah starts with a discussion about the revelation of the Quran and its purpose. The Arabs were not used to the concept of a messenger and the Quran states that clearly:

لِتُنذِرَ قَوْمًا مَّا أُنذِرَ آبَاؤُهُمْ فَهُمْ غَافِلُونَ
To warn a people whose forefathers were not warned, and so they are unaware [36:6]

Hence the Quran is a warning and a reminder for the heedless. Ghaflah is one of those diseases of the heart that may prevent someone from getting the guidance:  

وَجَعَلْنَا مِن بَيْنِ أَيْدِيهِمْ سَدًّا وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِمْ سَدًّا فَأَغْشَيْنَاهُمْ فَهُمْ لاَ يُبْصِرُونَ
We have set barriers before and behind them, blocking their vision: they cannot see [36:9]
2- Reflect On History [13-30]:

The next section mentions the story of a community with 3 messengers and 1 supporter. This is an interesting incident from many aspects: First of all, it is one of the few communities that had three messengers at the same time. Not only that, the names of the messengers were not mentioned, and their speeches were not highlighted. Instead, the activism and the speeches of an individual (who can be considered a companion) became the center of attention of the Surah.

إِذْ أَرْسَلْنَا إِلَيْهِمُ اثْنَيْنِ فَكَذَّبُوهُمَا فَعَزَّزْنَا بِثَالِثٍ فَقَالُوا إِنَّا إِلَيْكُم مُّرْسَلُونَ.
We sent two messengers but they rejected both. Then We reinforced them with a third. 15 They said, ‘Truly, we are messengers to you,’ [36:14]

وَجَاءَ مِنْ أَقْصَى الْمَدِينَةِ رَجُلٌ يَسْعَى قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ اتَّبِعُوا الْمُرْسَلِينَ
Then, from the furthest part of the city, a man came running. He said, ‘My people, follow the messengers. [36:20]

That man had so much passion for his community, despite the fact that they ended up murdering him. And while he was entering paradise, he still had this love for his people [36: 26-27]

3- Look Around You & Reflect on God’s Creation [31-44]

The Surah moves on with the discussion on the present, as though it tells its audience: if you don’t want to reflect on history and learn from it, then at least look at the miraculous signs in the creation of Allah:

وَآيَةٌ لَّهُمُ الأَرْضُ الْمَيْتَةُ أَحْيَيْنَاهَا وَأَخْرَجْنَا مِنْهَا حَبًّا فَمِنْهُ يَأْكُلُونَ
There is a sign for them in the lifeless earth: We give it life and We produce grain from it for them to eat [36:33]

وَآيَةٌ لَّهُمْ اللَّيْلُ نَسْلَخُ مِنْهُ النَّهَارَ فَإِذَا هُم مُّظْلِمُونَ
The night is also a sign for them: We strip the daylight from it, and– lo and behold!– they are in darkness. [36:37]

4- The Stubborn and the blind [45-47]

When people refuse to reflect on history, and ignore looking at the universe around them to reflect on the present creations of Allah SWT, Allah invites them again:  

وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمُ اتَّقُوا مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِيكُمْ وَمَا خَلْفَكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ
Yet when they are told, ‘Beware of what lies before and behind you, so that you may be given mercy,’ they ignore every single sign that comes to them from their Lord, [36:45-46]

5- Consequences of Disbelief on the Day of Judgment [48-70]

The next section takes us into the future, the day of resurrection, and warns the disbelievers of their destiny if they insist on rejecting Allah’s clear signs in the Quran, in the history, and in the present world that they live in:

هَذِهِ جَهَنَّمُ الَّتِي كُنتُمْ تُوعَدُونَ . اصْلَوْهَا الْيَوْمَ بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَكْفُرُونَ.
So this is the Fire that you were warned against. Enter it today, because you went on ignoring [my commands].’ [36:63-64]

 وَلَوْ نَشَاء لَطَمَسْنَا عَلَى أَعْيُنِهِمْ فَاسْتَبَقُوا الصِّرَاطَ فَأَنَّى يُبْصِرُونَ
If it had been Our will, We could have taken away their sight. They would have struggled to find the way, but how could they have seen it? [63:66]

6- Conclusion: The attitude of Arrogance towards Allah’s signs

The First section in this Surah addressed the heedlessness of the disbelievers. In parallel, the last segment focused on another diseased of the heart, which is arrogance. Both cause a human being to disbelief and block him/her from seeing the signs of Allah in his book and his creation:

أَوَلَمْ يَرَ الإِنسَانُ أَنَّا خَلَقْنَاهُ مِن نُّطْفَةٍ فَإِذَا هُوَ خَصِيمٌ مُّبِينٌ. وَضَرَبَ لَنَا مَثَلا وَنَسِيَ خَلْقَهُ قَالَ مَنْ يُحْيِي الْعِظَامَ وَهِيَ رَمِيمٌ. قُلْ يُحْيِيهَا الَّذِي أَنشَأَهَا أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ وَهُوَ بِكُلِّ خَلْقٍ عَلِيمٌ

Can man not see that We created him from a drop of fluid? Yet– lo and behold!– he disputes openly, producing arguments against Us, forgetting his own creation. He says, ‘Who can give life back to bones after they have decayed?’ Say, ‘He who created them in the first place will give them life again: He has full knowledge of every act of creation. [36: 77-79]

[Note: The main points in this Summary were taken from the following lecture by Ustath Nouman Ali Khan]

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