Insights into Surat Al-Aala (The Most High)
All praise is due to Allah the Lord of the Worlds. He enjoined upon us to contemplate on His noble Book. I bear witness that there is no deity save Allah, having no associates. I also bear witness that our Master and Prophet Muhammad is the Servant of Allah and His Messenger. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, his pure blessed family and companions, and all those who follow them in righteousness till the Day of Judgment.
As to what follows,
I urge you, O servants of Allah, and myself to be aware that you are asked to obey Him the Most Exalted, and reflect upon His Book in line with His orders, "Alif, Lam, Meem. This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allah." (Al-Baqara: 131-132).
O People of Quran,
The holy Quran is a source of goodness, mercy, guidance and blessings. There are certain Suras in the holy Quran that our guide Muhammad pbuh gave a special attention, and thus, he urged us to recite them more and further reflect upon their meanings. One such Sura is Al-Aala (The Most High), the virtues of which are abundant. He pbuh would love to recite this specific Sura in every Friday prayer, in Eid prayers and Al Shafaa prayers (even numbers of Rakaas after Ishaa prayer).
The Prophet pbuh also urged Imams to recite this Sura due to its richness in meanings. For instance, it was narrated that once Muaadh Ibn Jabal, may Allah be pleased with him, stood and established Ishaa prayer, and he made it lengthy. So, the Prophet pbuh said to him, "Why did you not recite 'Exalt the name of your Lord, the Most High,' or Adh-Dhuha (by the morning brightness) or 'when the sky breaks apart'?" In this Hadith, the first Sura that the Prophet pbuh mentioned to Muaadh was Al-Aala, something that indicates its importance.
O Reflectors on Surat Al-Aala,
Contemplating on Surat Al-Aala, we can see how Allah, the Most Exalted, has glorified Himself in the beginning of it, commanding us to exalt Him. The Most High says, "Exalt the name of your Lord, the Most High." (Al-Aala: 1). This means, glorify your Lord by exalting Him. Indeed, celebrating the glory of Allah is greatly rewarded, for the Messenger of Allah pbuh once said to those sitting with him, "Is one of you incapable of attaining a thousand good deeds?" So a questioner amongst those seated with him asked him, "How can one of us earn a thousand good deeds?" He pbuh said, "(When) one of you recites a hundred Tasbih (saying Subhana Allah) a thousand good deeds are written for him, or a thousand evil deeds are wiped away from him."
On the same matter, the Prophet pbuh said, "whoever says exalted is Allah, and with His Praise (Sub?an Allah, wa bi?amdih)' a hundred times, his sins are forgiven, even if they were as much as the foam of the sea."
More to the point, when Allah revealed this Aya (Exalt the name of your Lord the Most High), the Prophet pbuh said, "Recite it in your prostrations." So he pbuh commanded the worshipers to glorify their Lord, the Exalted is He, while prostrating in His Presence, saying: Exalted is my Lord, the Most High," this being more expressive in glorifying, celebrating and imploring the Almighty.
Allah the Almighty has created His Creation in the best of stature and the most beautiful and perfect figure. Accentuating this, the Most Gracious, says in the next two Ayas of Surat Al-Aala, "Who created and proportioned. And Who destined and [then] guided." That is: He has destined the provision of His Creation and their sustenance, and He then guided them to the path of earning their livelihood and fulfilling their responsibilities.
Not only mankind were engulfed in Allah's care, but, the Most Exalted, has also ordained for the livestock their provision, growing for them the pasture. This can be seen in the fourth Aya of Surat Al-Aala, for the Almighty says, "and who brings out the pasture." This means, the Most Exalted has caused to grow the grass and other kind of plants and trees that the livestock can feed on. In this, there is an indication to His Wisdom and Might, as well as the numerous favours that He has bestowed upon His servants.
In return of such gracious blessings, mankind are required to show their gratitude to the Most Giving by appreciating those favours and preserving the environment. As such, one should strive to avoid negative practices that may cause damage to the animal's meadowlands, especially throwing plastic bags and other trash that have very bad impact on the nature and fatal impact on the animals too since the latter may die as a result of eating such trash. One can also preserve the environment by avoiding to cut trees excessively or without a good reason, for each tree has been taken care of by Allah the Almighty for many years. The Most Exalted says, "it is He who sends down rain from the sky; from it is drink and from it is foliage in which you pasture [animals]." (An-Nahl: 10).
In addition to that, trees are means of protection and shading for the land underneath them, and Allah has also made them a shelter for some of His creation. The Most Sublime says, "and your Lord inspired to the bee, 'Take for yourself among the mountains, houses, and among the trees and [in] that which they construct'." (An-Nahl: 68).
O Servants of Allah,
In Surat Al-Aala, Allah the Almighty gave glad tidings to the Prophet pbuh for two favours; the first one is when He says, "We will make you recite, [O Muhammad], and you will not forget." That is to say: Allah, the Most High, is informing and promising the Prophet pbuh that He will teach him a recitation that he will not forget. In fact, the Messenger of Allah pbuh used to hasten to learn the holy Quran and race with the angel in reciting its verses out of his interest in memorising them and so as not to forget them. Thus, Allah the Almighty commanded him to listen carefully to the angel and promised him that He will preserve the verses of the Quran in his heart, make it easy for him to recite them in the way the angel did and make clear for him their meanings.
An illustration of this can be seen in the following Ayas: "move not your tongue with it, [O Muhammad], to hasten with recitation of the Quran. Indeed, upon Us is its collection [in your heart] and [to make possible] its recitation. So when We have recited it [through Gabriel], then follow its recitation. Then upon Us is its clarification [to you]." (Al-Qiyama: 16-19). These Ayas reflect Allah's facilitation of matters to His Prophet pbuh. Therefore, whoever wishes to memorise the holy Quran, they should show diligence in reciting and memorising its verses. They are also recommended to supplicate to Allah the Almighty to make it easy for them and settle it in their hearts.
As for the second glad tidings that Allah has given to the Prophet pbuh in Surat Al-Aala, it is included in His saying, "and We will ease you toward ease." This refers to the easiness of the religion of Islam that is free of complications and difficulties. Emphasising this, Allah the Most Merciful says in another Aya, "and has not placed upon you in the religion any difficulty." (Al-Hajj: 78). The Most Exalted also says, "Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship." (Al-Baqara: 185). That is to say: He made the teachings of the religion easy for you and did not make it hard.
On the same account, it was narrated that the Prophet pbuh said, "Religion is very easy and whoever overburdens himself in his religion will not be able to continue in that way. So you should not be extremists, but try to be near to perfection and receive the good tidings (that you will be rewarded)." So, rejoice, O Worshipers, the mercy of your Lord Who encompasses all things with His Knowledge. He knows all that is apparent and all that which is hidden and knows every secret in the earth and in the Heaven. The All-Knowing says, "He knows what is declared and what is hidden." (Al-Aala: 7).
In Surat Al-Aala, Allah the Almighty then reminds His servants of His competence and limitless knowledge so that they will fear Him and make best use of the teachings of the holy Book, for in it there are great signs that are reminders for the believers. The Almighty says, "so remind, if the reminder should benefit." Here, Allah is commanding the Prophet pbuh to remind the people so that those who fear Allah the Almighty and aspire for His rewards, will receive admonition. The Most Exalted says, "he who fears [Allah] will be reminded."
In this sense, amongst the aspects of being mindful of Allah the Almighty is to avoid committing sins, purify oneself by doing good deeds and show kindness in speech and in actions. By so doing, one will, by Allah's grace, be amongst those who are successful.
With this in mind, let us invoke Allah the Almighty to inspire our souls their righteousness. O Allah, we seek Your favour to purify our souls, for You are the best to purify them. Indeed, You are its Guardian and its Lord.
May Allah the Almighty guide us all to obey Him and obey His Messenger Muhammad pbuh and obey those He have commanded us to obey in line with His orders: "O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you." (An-Nisaa: 59).
May Allah direct us all to the blessings of the Glorious Quran and the Sunna of His Messenger pbuh.
I say this and ask Allah for forgiveness for me and you, so invoke Him for forgiveness, for He is the Most Forgiving, the Most Merciful.
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. I bear witness that there is no deity save Allah, having no associates. I also bear witness that our Master Muhammad is the servant of Allah and His Messenger. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon our Master Muhammad, his pure family, companions, and all those who follow them in righteousness till the Day of Judgment.
I urge you, O Servants of Allah, and myself to be aware that you are asked to obey Him, the Most Exalted and Sublime.
Please know that tranquil hearts are assured with the remembrance of Allah and the celebration of His glory. Furthermore, observing prayer persistently is conducive to purify the believer's soul. Thus, Allah the Almighty has enjoined His Servants to observe these two acts of worship and combined their mention in one Aya: "and during the night prostrate to Him and exalt Him a long [part of the] night." (Al-Insaan: 26). This means, establish prayer and exalt Allah.
Reflecting on Surat Al-Aala one can see that it started by commanding the believers to exalt Allah the Almighty, and in its closing Ayas it also combined the remembrance of Allah and prayer. The Most Exalted says, "he has certainly succeeded who purifies himself. And mentions the name of his Lord and prays." (Al-Aala: 14-15). So, whosoever purifies himself, remembers his Lord and observes prayer at its prescribed time, shall achieve success in this world and in the Hereafter. The Most Exalted says in Surat Al-Aala: "while the Hereafter is better and more enduring."
This is really a fact that will never change; the Next life is the perpetual dwelling. Therein, the successful will find the everlasting Paradise. Such fact was accentuated by all the Prophets pbut and it was revealed to all of them. Allah the Almighty says, "indeed, this is in the former scriptures, the scriptures of Abraham and Moses." (Al-Aala: 18-19).
You are urged, therefore, to reflect upon the Book of Allah, the Most Exalted and Sublime, and understand the meanings of its great verses.
That is said, please bear in mind that you are instructed to invoke peace and blessings on the Prophet pbuh. Allah, the Most Sublime, says, "indeed, Allah confers blessing upon the Prophet, and His angels [ask Him to do so]. O you who have believed, ask [Allah to confer] blessing upon him and ask [Allah to grant him] peace." (Al-Ahzab: 56).
On the same matter, the Prophet pbuh said, "For everyone who invokes a blessing on me will receive ten blessings from Allah."
O Allah, please confer Your blessings and grant peace upon our Prophet Muhammad pbuh, his family and all of the companions.
May Allah be pleased with the Rightly Guided Caliphs: Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali, and all of the noble Companions.
O Allah, we implore to You to make Quran the spring of our heart and the light of our eyes. O Allah, may we ask You to make us amongst those who contemplate on the meanings of the holy Quran, recite its Ayas with measured recitation.
O Allah, we beseech You to make the holy Quran a source of mercy for us and allow it to intercede for us (on the Day of Judgment). Indeed, You are the Possessor of Glory and Honour.
May Allah have mercy on the honourable martyrs of our nation and gather them with the ones upon whom Allah has bestowed favour of the prophets. May Allah make the dwelling of the martyrs, their families, parents and relatives Indeed, You answer to the supplications.
O Allah, please grant the best reward for the families of the martyrs and offer them patience and solace. May Allah grant victory to the soldiers of the Arab Coalition who gathered to restore the rights to their owners. O Lord, please be by their side and guide the Yemeni people to everything that is good. O Allah, make them rally for the word of truth and legitimacy, and bless them with welfare and stability, O the Most Generous.
O Lord, we beseech You to bless all of the Muslim countries and the whole world with stability and peace.
O Allah, we seek Your grace to increase the UAE in delight and beauty and give the best of rewards and recompense to whoever sowed the seeds of goodness and welfare in it. Indeed, You are the Most Merciful of the merciful.
May Allah grant success and continued health and care to the UAE President HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. May Allah also ensure success to his Vice-President, trustworthy Crown Prince and his brothers, Their Highnesses the Rulers of the Emirates.
O Allah, please forgive all of the Muslims, men and women, living and dead. May Allah have mercy on Sheikh Zayed, Sheikh Maktoum and the Late UAE Sheikhs. O Lord, forgive and show mercy on them and bless them with Your kindness and satisfaction. O Lord, forgive and show mercy on our parents, relatives and whoever has done a favour to us.
We pray to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, to continue blessing the UAE with stability and welfare and bless its provisions. O Allah, please continue blessing the UAE with safety and security.
O Allah, we seek Your favour to send us wealthy rain and make us not amongst those who are despondent. O Allah, relieve us! O Allah, relieve us! O Allah, relieve us! O Allah, give us from the blessings of the sky and grow for us from the blessings of the earth.