Title: Reflections of the 11th Night of Ramadan
Location: Islamic Center of San Gabriel Valley
Description: Hud (a prophet): 54 – 123 and Yusuf (a prophet): 1 – 110
Both chapters were revealed on Makkah
The second part of this chapter continues a discussion on Hud, Saleh, and Shu’aib (AS). When their people weren’t able to argue, they resorted to threatening them physically. But these prophets never feared the people, and in fact challenged them, telling them to do what they wish; they would come to know about Allah’s penalty on them. We are again reminded of the painful destruction that wiped these nations out. Verse 100: “These are the stories of the nations which We relate to you; of them, some have survived and some have ceased to exist.” The ruins of some of these cities are still present and it serves as a reminder and lesson for us. Also, it gives additional proof that the Qur’an is the Truth. The chapter closes beautifully with a summary and some orders to Muhammad (SAW). Among them is: “And do not be inclined towards those who transgress, or the Fire will touch you.” This tells us not to compromise with our religion in the slightest bit, and not to have an attitude that accepts and tolerates wrong. We also learn from our Prophet, that we must stop evil from happening with our hands. If this is not possible, then we should with our tongue (speaking against it). And even if this is not possible, then we should at least condemn it in our heart and not support it or condone it in any way – and this is the weakest form of Iman.
This chapter is the only one of its kind, in that it relates the story of a prophet continuously, from start to finish. It was revealed to the Messenger when he was challenged by the disbelievers with a question that no Arab would have knowledge of. With assistance from a Jew, the disbelievers of Makkah asked him, “Why did the Israelites go to Egypt?” They thought that the Prophet would not be able to answer, and thus be exposed. But instead, this chapter came down on the spot, in its entirety, ruining the disbelievers’ scheme and warning them at the same time.
This remarkable story of Yusuf (AS) begins with him seeing a dream of eleven stars, the sun, and the moon prostrating to him. When he brought this dream to his father Yaqoob (AS), he interpreted it and knew that Yusuf was gifted and will be chosen by Allah. He then warns him from telling this to his brothers and warns him from Satan. He knew that Yusuf’s brothers would plot against him out of jealousy, if they found out. Sure enough, they plotted against him, leaving him in a well to be picked up by a passing by caravan, and went faking a cry to their father; telling him a wolf ate him. Thereafter, Yusuf (AS) was given great tests from Allah (SWT), one after another, until He established him in an honorable position as treasurer in Egypt. Yusuf (AS) persevered through all these tests with great character and trust in Allah. We encourage you to read through this amazing story for yourselves.
Among the final verses, Yusuf (AS) prays to Allah, “Oh Creator of the heavens and the Earth, You are my Protector in this world and in the hereafter; make me die as a Muslim and admit me among the righteous.” Although he persevered through all these tests with great character and righteousness and was chosen by Allah, he did not consider himself as righteous, and he asked Allah to let him follow those who are righteous.
Lessons from Night 11
- Each chapter regarding a prophet closes with a summary and lessons for Muhammad (SAW) and his followers to be taken. Among them is the one mentioned above, regarding not accepting evil actions. We should take the words of our Messenger into action, and at the very least, not tolerate evil in our hearts. We should love what Allah loves, and hate what He hates.
- Jealousy is truly dangerous, and Satan uses this to harm others. This is what led Yusuf’s brothers to plot against him, and it required lies upon lies to cover up.
- The patience that Yusuf and his father (AS) endured is especially noteworthy, and is something we should learn from. The faith and trust that each of them had is truly amazing. Additionally, Yusuf (AS) persevered through Satan’s attempts and immediately sought refuge with Allah.
- After all that Yusuf went through on the account of his brothers, he did not hold a grudge in the end and said to them, “There is no blame on you today. May Allah forgive you.”