Children’s Column

The Qur’an for Young Hearts – 45

Important Notes

1:The translation of the Qur’an being presented here is interpretative. It is meant for children. Those who can understand other translations should better consult them.

2. Parents are advised to hold sessions at home and teach the verses and explanation as given here, and, if they can, add more from Qur’anic commentaries.

3. Answers to exercise below may be attempted. Parents may evaluate them and reward the children suitably.

4. Schools could also include this in their Islamic curriculum.

5. The underlined words have been explained in the Dictionary given below.

Verses from Surah no. 2, Al-Baqarah

[163] Your God is one God. There is no god but He: the Kind, the Merciful.

[164] Look! In the creation of the heavens and the earth; in the changing of the night and the day; in the ships that sail across the sea (loaded) with what is useful to the people; in the water that Allah sends down from the sky, giving the earth with it new life after its lifelessness; in His spreading around of all kinds of animals in it; in the turning about of the winds; and in the clouds hanging between the heaven and the earth … there are signs for a people who think.

[165] Yet among the people there are some who take to themselves other gods as Allah’s equal, giving them the love that should be for Allah alone. But those who have believed, love Allah more strongly. And were those who have wronged themselves to know, when they will face the punishment, that all power belongs to Allah alone, and that Allah is severe in punishment.

[166] When (on Judgment Day) those (false gods) who were followed will disown those who followed them, and (all of them) will see the punishment, and the relationship between them will be cut off.

[167] Then those who had followed (the false gods) will say (about those they had followed), ‘Only if we had another chance, we would disown them (in the world) as they have disowned us (now).’ Thus will Allah show them their deeds as (cause of) regret for them and they are not going to be let out of the Fire. 

Understanding the above Verses

That God is one is a matter of common sense. Who runs this world? Who created the earth and the sky? Who brings the day and night? Who makes the ships loaded with useful things sail across the seas? Could Allah sink them if He so wished, or not?

Look at the earth when there had been no rain. It is dry. No plants. Only dust. Look at it after some rain. Suddenly plants are coming up. The earth has become alive. Who does it?

Who has spread so many animals in the land? Who makes the winds blow?

Look at the clouds. They are hanging. Why don’t they go away into space?

Aren’t there enough signs of Allah in all these things?

And in many other things? Of course there are.

Speak to any non-Muslim, and say, “Look at the signs of God. Can there be two gods?” He will say, “Yes, yes. God can only be one.” But, you look the other way, and he is back before false gods. They love the false gods as much as they should love the True God.

Today is for you. Tomorrow you will be before the Lord God of the world. If you did not give up false gods, it will be a sad day for you. It will be a day of punishment.

And for some people false gods are many. Apart from idols, they have many other false gods whom they worship. They treat their homeland, the nation, language, race, color, leaders, priests, culture, as if they are gods, who should not be disobeyed, who should be loved, who must be served.

Tomorrow, these false gods, the stones, the nation, and all else will be given life and asked: “Do you love those who were worshipping you, following you, loving you?” They will answer, “No way. We don’t even know who these people are.”

Then the people will who worshipped them will be sorry for worshipping them, following them, loving them, and say, “If we are sent back to the world, we will also cut all our relations with these.”

But, Allah will not only cut off their relations with their false gods, but also cut off their relations with whatever good deeds they did during the life on earth; because they did those good deeds to please their idols, nations, leaders, languages, regions, races, colors, and everything else.

Let them take their reward with those they worshipped.

It will become clear to them their love, devotion, and obedience were useless things. They will be mighty sorry. But they will never be let out of the Fire.

It is now, in this world, the time to get out of the Fire.

Summary:

Man should listen to his common sense. If his leaders, family members, friends, say something against his own common sense, he must not listen to them.

All those who worship false gods, do it against their own common sense. That is why they are criminals. That is why they will end up in the Fire.

They love their false gods, their leaders, their homeland, their language, their people, and their culture, more strongly than the truth. This love prevents them from accepting to worship the True God, although they know He is there.

But true believers love Allah more than anything else.

The believers also love their leaders, their homeland, their language, their people, and their culture, but their love of Allah is much stronger – and comes first. If they find that their leaders are enemies of Allah, or ignore Him, or disobey Him, then, they do not love their leaders. If their country does something that Allah did not approve, then, they do not love their country blindly; because their love of Allah is greater.

That is why, on the Day of Judgment, Allah will take His lovers to Paradise. He will show those who love many things more than Allah, the gates to Hell.

They deserve it.

But the thing is, many people, whether Muslims or non-Muslims, do not realize their error. We need to explain to them.

Exercise:

  1. Ask an unbeliever about God: how many are there? And note the answer.
  2. Do you know some people who believe in One God, but worship idols?
  3. Do you see people around you who love their nation, their language, their race, their religious leaders more than Allah?
  4. Check on yourself. Do you really love Allah more than you love the whole world put together?
  5. If yes, does your love of Allah more than anything else show itself in your behavior?
  6. Can Muslims also receive Allah’s curse?
  7. How do you lose in the Hereafter, rewards of your good deeds of the entire life?

 (To be continued)

 

Formation of Clouds

By Sadia Firdose

We are surrounded by marvelous creations of Allah (swt). If we look around, we can clearly see, in every creation of His, the signs of Allah’s (swt) sovereignty. For instance, when we gaze at the sky, we see clouds like fluffy cotton balls drifting by. As in the case of every creation of Allah (swt), clouds too have a purpose. They perform two different functions:

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  • They serve as barriers, preventing excess heat from the sun reaching the earth, and
  • They also carry tiny water droplets to shower on earth as rain.

Though, these two vital jobs of the clouds are mentioned in the Qur’an about 1400 years ago (2: 57, 24: 43), researchers and meteorologists have only recently discovered this using advanced equipments like satellites and computers.

Recent scientific discoveries have found that the effect of clouds on our planet’s atmosphere is to cool it, to a certain extent. Clouds affect the temperature in two ways which can be explained as follows:

  • The clouds hovering over the surface of the earth reflect about 20% of the incoming heat back into space.  The cloud’s water vapor and other atmospheric gas content also absorb about 20% of incoming solar radiation. Low level clouds reflect the greatest amount of heat, and so we enjoy cooler temperatures during a cloudy day.  On the other hand, a cloudy night is warmer than a cloudless night because clouds also create a blanketing effect.
  • Clouds, to a certain extent, absorb the heat released from the ground as it gets cooled in the evenings.  Thus, they re-radiate the heat back into the earth’s surface keeping it warm during the nights. Subhanallah!

That’s why Allah (swt) spread the clouds on the Israelites when they complained to Prophet Musa (asws) about the scorching heat of the sun in the Sinai valley of Egypt. These clouds accompanied them by day and by night and followed them wherever they went, even as it is mentioned in the Qur’an (2: 57).

Now consider the other function of the clouds, i.e., carrying water droplets and showering it on the earth as rain. The phenomenon is scientifically explained thus:

The cloud formation process begins on the earth, when the sun heats the earth; the heat evaporates or draws off water from the lakes, rivers and oceans as vapors, which is not visible to us. This warm air which is full of water vapors rises high up into the sky and gets cooled. The cooler vapors also bump into specs of dust floating in the air. When they reach higher altitudes they transform into tiny drops of water in the cloud. When the clouds become heavy with the water droplets, to float in the sky, they burst open to shower as rain. Sometimes when the drops of water freeze we experience snow fall. Based on the shapes, clouds are differentiated into four types:

  1. Cumulus: meaning ‘heap’ or ‘pile’. They are flat at the bottom and heaped one above the other.
  2. Stratus: meaning ‘layer’.  They are spread across great distances
  3. Cirrus: meaning ‘curl of hair’.  They are thin and long like hair.
  4. Nimbus: meaning ‘rainy cloud’, which usually carries water.

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Above: The three stages of cumulonimbus cloud

There may be combinations of these clouds like cumulonimbus cloud, which is a combination of cumulus and nimbus. This cumulonimbus cloud is explicitly mentioned in the Qur’an (24: 43).  These clouds begin to form when wind pushes some small pieces of clouds (i.e., cumulus clouds) to an area where they all converge to form a heap. When this happens, the updrafts, or the current of air moving upwards, in a large cloud increases, and the updrafts at the center are stronger than those at the edges, hence they cause the cloud body to grow vertically rather than horizontally. Since the temperature in the higher regions of the atmosphere is cooler than that in the lower regions, the water in the cloud body which reaches the higher regions of the atmosphere freezes to form hail. These cumulonimbus clouds may be massive, measuring up to 25,000 to 30,000 feet in height, just like mountains.

When liquid droplets of water collide with a hailstone, they freeze on contact, thus producing heat, which is called latent heat. This latent heat keeps the surface of the hailstone warmer than that of the surrounding ice crystals (the frozen drops of water). As electrons have the tendency to flow from a cooler region to a warmer region, they move from ice crystals into hailstones, thus making them negatively charged. Now the positively charged ice bits are pushed upwards by the updrafts and the negatively charged hailstones fall to the bottom of the cloud. These negative charges are then discharged from the cloud as lightning. This complex process has been stated in the Qur’an as:

“Have you not seen how Allah (swt) drives the clouds? Then He joins them together, then He piles them into a mass, so that you see the rain issuing forth from its midst?! And He sends down from the sky mountains (of clouds) where in is hail. Then, He strikes therewith whom He will and turns it away from whom He will. The flash of its lightning well-nigh snatches away the sight.” (Surah Nur, verse 43)