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Through this surah (revealed in Makkah), Allah directs His servants to contemplate His favours and gifts as well as His great power that is demonstrated by His creating the heavens and the earth and the various types of categories of creatures in them.  Allah the exalted also mentions the favours he bestowed on people of Israel such as revealing the divine books to them, sending them the Messengers and granting them kingship. The proof was sent to them yet they differed among themselves after the proof came to them out of transgression against each other  as mentioned “And indeed We gave the children of Israel the scripture, the understanding of scripture and its laws and the prophethood; and provided with good things ….. Verily, Allah will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection about that wherein they used to differ” (45: 16-17)

Allah also states through this Surah that the believers and the disbelievers are never equal and He will not treat them equally in the present life and in the hereafter. Allah mentions “Worst is the judgement they make .. “(45: 21) meaning that worst is the thought that the disbelievers have a thought about Allah and His judgement  that he will make the pious and the wicked equal in  the hereafter of this life.

This surah also reveals some of the horrors of the day of the resurrection.  Allah mentions that on that day every nation would be kneeling, fearful of the tremendous calamity and events. It was said that this will occur when Hellfire would be brought forth, for she will exhale once and everyone will fall to their knees, including Ibrahim, the Khalil. He will proclaim, ‘Myself, myself, myself! Today, I will not ask you (O Allah) but about myself’. And even Isa will proclaim, ‘Today I will not ask you about Maryam, who gave birth to me’. And when the book of deeds be presented to us, “They will say: ‘Woe to us! What sort of book is this that leaves neither a small thing nor a big thing but has recorded it with numbers!” (18: 49).

It is mentioned that the angels record the deeds of the servant and then ascend to the heavens with them. There, they meet the angels entrusted with the Records  of deeds sent down from Al-Lawh Al-Mahfuz on each Night of Al-Qadr, containing what Allah has written will occur from the servants, long before He created them. They will compare the records and find out that not a single letter was added or deleted. Subhanallah, That is how accurate the recordings of our deeds shall be!

In an authentic Hadith, the prophet S.A.S said, ‘Allah the Exalted said, ‘Glory is My robe and the pride is My garment; whoever rivals Me for either of them, I will make him reside in My fire (Abu Dawood 4:350 and Muslim 4:2023) . Allah is Al-Aziz, who is never resisted or rivaled and Al-Hakim, all wise in His statements, actions, legislations and the decree he appoints. All glory and praise are due to Him, none has the right to be worshipped but He, Alone.

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Allah reveals the story of Zakariyya in Surah Maryam, chapter 19 in the Holy Quran in verses 1-15. Allah reminds mankind of his mercy on his servant Zakariyya. It has been recorded in the Sahih Al-Bukhari that the prophet S.A.S said that Zakariyya was a carpenter who used to eat from what he earned with his own hand through his carpentry. Zakariyya was a really old man, weak and feeble in strength (19:4); the point being not to describe his physical appearance but to inform the extent of his old age and weakness. He had no heir to carry forward his mission and therefore he used to make his supplications secretly (which is more beloved to Allah), he feared his Mawali (relatives) since he was afraid that the generation that would succeed him would be a wicked generation. Thus, he used to ask Allah for a prophet after him, who would guide them with his prophethood and that which was revealed to him.

Allah responded to his supplications by giving him glad tidings of a son to be named Yahya as mentioned: ‘At that time Zakariyya invoked his Lord saying: ‘O my Lord! Grant me from You, a good offspring. You are indeed the All-Hearer of invocation.’ Then the angles called him, while he was standing in prayer in the Mihrab (a private place for worship) saying :’Allah gives you glad tidings of Yahya, confirming (believing in) the word of Allah, noble, keeping away from sexual relations with women, a prophet, from among the righteous (3:38-39). Zakariyya was truly amazed when his supplications was answered and he was given the good news of a son. This is particularly amazing since his wife was an old woman who was barren and had not given birth to any children in her entire life. Even Zakariyya himself had become feeble and thin, and had no potent semen or vigor for sexual intercourse. The following Ayat also informs of the birth of the son from the same barren wife and not any other woman, showing how simple and easy it is for Allah to do so and reminded him of how he and every human is created from nothing in a womb.

Zakriyya then asks Allah to give him a sign (19: 10) and a proof of the existence of that which You have promised me, so that my soul will be at rest and my heart will be at ease with Your promise. Allah replies by saying, ‘Your sign in that you shall not speak unto mankind for three nights, though having no bodily defect‘ (19:10). Meaning that his tongue was prevented from speaking for three nights while he was totally healthy and fit.

Allah in following verses mentions the birth of Yahya as per His promise to Zakariyya. Yahya was blessed with characteristics like knowledge, fortitude, diligence and zeal for good and pirsuit of good, even though he was very young. Then Allah mentions the reward oh Yahya for this, ‘And Salam be on him the day he was born and the day he dies and the day her will be raised up to life‘(16:15). This means that Yahya was granted security and safety in these three circumstances where a man is the loneliest. The first situation is on that day he was born, the second when he dies and he will not see nayone anymore and the third when he will be resurrected and he sees himself in a great gathering. Allah exclusively honors Yahya by granting him peace in these situations.

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Allah reveals the story of the two sons of Adam, Abel and Cain in various verses throughout the Quran. In Chapter 5, verses from 27-31 talk about their story, but the experts/scholars opinion and more commentary on the same subject is being printed below as complied by the Darussalam publication in their book ‘ Stories of the Prophets’. It is mentioned by exegete’s that Adam and Hawwa had in every birth one male child and one female child. They were commanded that every son of them would marry the sister of his brother with whom she was born. No one was allowed to get married with his sister with whom he was born

Abel wanted to get married with the twin sister of his elder brother Cain. But since his twin sister was more beautiful, Cain wanted to keep his twin sister for himself. Adam asked Cain to her with Abel but he refused to do so. Then he ordered them both to offer a sacrifice and left for Makkah to perform Hajj. After Adam had left, both offered their scarifies. Abel  offered a fat lamb since he was a Sheppard. While Cain offered a bundle of worst crops he had grown. A fire came down and devoured the sacrifice of Abel, leaving the sacrifice of Cain untouched. He became angry and started threatening Abel, ‘I will kill you so that you may not marry my sister’. Abel replied, ‘Allah accepts only from those who fear Him’.

One night, Abel did not return from tending his flock. So Adam sent Cain to see what happened to him. When Cain went looking for him, he found him and he complained, ‘Your offering was accepted, but mine was not’. Cain becomes angry in the argument and hits his brother with an iron he holds in his hand thereby killing his brother. The response which Abel showed after he was threatened by his brother is a sign of his noble character and piety. He avoided himself to respond with the same threat which his brother made towards him, as is clear from this verse: ‘Yet if you stretch out your hand against me to kill me, I shall not stretch out my hand to kill you, for I fear Allah, the Lord of the worlds‘. (5: 28)

Narrates Imam Ahmad from Abdullah bin Masud R.A.A who said that prophet S.A.S said, ‘No soul is killed unjustly but the first son of Adam bears a part of that sin. Because he was the first to initiate this tradition of killing‘ (Sahih Al-Bukhari).

As seen at ‘Stories of the Prophets’ by Ibn Kathir.

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