Ascend To Heavenly Stations: Surat al-Maʿarij Tafsir and Q&A

Ascend To Heavenly Stations: Tafsir of Final Ayat of Surat al-Maʿarij and Q&A – 2nd and 9th of April.

Tafsir – Live Class: 02/04/2023

Q&A – Live Class: 09/04/2023

Register for a FREE tafsir session with Sheikh Nuh Keller here.

The following is a summary of Sheikh Nuh’s tafsir of Surat al-Maʿarij. It summarizes the main themes of the Sura and what we can take away from it:

Surat al- Maʿārij speaks about sifat al-nufus, the attributes of human souls, for they are the basis of our choices. It details which of these attributes are hated or loved by Allah, reminding us that, by true servanthood to Him, we ascend to reach knowledge of Him.

Allah revealed this sura when the non-believers mocked the Prophet, saying, “If this is the truth then send down a punishment upon us.” On account of this, its theme is the day of resurrection and warns scoffers from hastening that day. It gives an idea of its tremendousness by mentioning the unutterable might and sovereign power of its master, Allah. In addition to confirming the prophethood of the Messenger of Allah, Allah is reconciling the Prophet ﷺ to people he is faced with and showing the insolence of those who hasten His punishment, using them to describe the nature of the human nafs.

It is important to learn the tafsir of Surat al-Maʿārij because it gives us many deep insights into what we are made of, in what lies our true success forever, and which of our attributes belongs to Allah’s perfecting our souls’ matchless nature. It does so by telling us and instilling in us a sense of the soul’s evil and its godfearningness. Here Allah tells us that if we enlist His omnipotent help by obeying Him, pleading to Him, remembering Him, and worshipping nothing but Him, we, too, will ascend to our heavenly stations and not remain in the lowlands of the godless nafs, ever miserable and ever selfish. 

Surat al-Maʿārij stimulates our introspection about what we can do. Our task is to get the haram and makruh out of our lives. Allah is telling us that people wrapped up in themselves make small packages. He is telling us to make mujahada, or battle, against our lower selves. The cure for this pitiable state of anxiety of the self, with its victimhood and entitlement, is to expand our horizons to infinity by realizing that everything one does is for the pure countenance of Allah. We must take the ephemeral as the cue to lift our gaze to the eternal by the knowledge that Allah turns to us when we turn to Him, and Allah remembers us when we remember Him. A heart full of the earth and the things upon it is as dark as night, while a heart full of Allah is full of infinite and endless light.

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