All the perfect praises are due to Allah, our Creator and Sustainer, the One Who taught mankind by the pen.
Juz’ 12 of the Qur’an begins with Surah Hud, verse 6, and continues to Surah Yusuf, verse 52. In this beautiful section of the Qur’an, Allah declares, “There is no moving creature, but its sustenance depends on Allah… All is recorded in a clear registry.” Allah makes a clear and emphatic statement defining the relationship between the worshippers and Himself. Everything depends on Allah, while He has no need for or dependency on us. Allah knows what we don’t know, and He knows it in the best and most perfect way. Moreover, everything has been divinely written before it occurs.
We, the worshippers, however, are imperfect creatures aspiring to practice a perfected way of life. We do not always acknowledge our need for Allah, nor do we consistently defer to His Wisdom. We don’t always believe that what Allah has decreed is the best decision and outcome for us. This is especially true when we cannot reconcile Allah’s decree with our own sensibilities.
Our Creator knows His creation, so He sent down the Qur’an for guidance. The Qur’an teaches us a history that includes stories of people trying (in vain) to subordinate Allah’s decree to their own desires despite the multitude of signs that affirm the supremacy of Allah’s will. Even with these examples, we human beings sometimes question the decree and try to use our own imperfect logic to ascertain the truth. Our affirmation biases then compel our hearts and minds not to seek the truth, but to adopt ideas that will validate what we really want to believe.
Time after time, Juz’ 12 explains, humans have failed to see the significance of Allah’s signs, and one of the most under-appreciated signs mentioned in the Qur’an is the Qur’an itself.
In Juz’ 12, Allah describes several situations where humans, using their own logic, arrogantly try to rebut Allah’s decree. When the Qur’an warns the people, “Indeed, you will be resurrected after death,” the disbelievers among them dismiss that idea saying, “This isn’t anything but obvious magic. (Surah Hud, v. 7)”
When the Prophets (upon them be peace) warned their people that arrogant disbelief and shirk in this life would merit a horrendous punishment in the next, the people mocked those warnings by saying, “What detains the punishment? (v.8)” Their words dared Allah, their Lord and Sustainer, to hasten a punishment they mistakenly thought they had the power to avert.
Even when Allah gives us a taste of His Mercy, we tend to boast that we have improved our own fortunes, implying that our conditions have changed because we ourselves caused it, or we rightfully deserved it. We keep on trying, without success, to make Allah’s Decree fit our agendas instead of submitting to the Wisdom of Allah.
Time after time, Juz’ 12 explains, humans have failed to see the significance of Allah’s signs, and one of the most under-appreciated signs mentioned in the Qur’an is the Qur’an itself. Allah says, “Indeed, We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur’an so you might understand. (Surah Yusuf, v.6)”
The Qur’an is revealed in Arabic. While this is a widely-accepted truth, our behaviors suggest that we believe that when Allah decreed that the Arabic language be the medium for transmitting His words, this decree was arbitrary. We mistakenly regard the Arabic of the Qur’an as we regard any other language. But over centuries, scholars of the Qur’an have proven that it is not like any other book and that the Arabic of the Qur’an is not like any other language.
The people whom Allah chose to be the first recipients of His message were a diverse group of people who shared Arabic as their native tongue, but the Arabic that they spoke was different from that of the new revelation.
Allah chose Arabic as the language for transmitting His final divine instructions to humankind. While the Arabs had a high sense of honor, acute memories, and a beautiful language, they wrongfully worshiped idols and buried their daughters alive. They desperately needed the last revelation to reform their failing society.
The people whom Allah chose to be the first recipients of His message were a diverse group of people who shared Arabic as their native tongue, but the Arabic that they spoke was different from that of the new revelation. The revealed language was indeed Arabic, but it was Arabic in its highest and best form.
The language that Juz’ 12 validates is the language of the Qur’an, fus’haa. It has the power to open our hearts to the truth. It is an inimitable miracle. It is a clear sign from Allah.
May we all be blessed to hear it in Paradise.
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C. Islaah Abd’al-Rahim describes herself as “a perfectly imperfect traveler on the bridge.” She is a writer, educator, artist, and public speaker who converted to Islam in 1976. Currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Islamic Sciences, her research centers around the intersection of race, Islam, and education, particularly how Black and Latino converts learn Arabic. Her work in Islamic and secular education is informed by her belief that it is her moral imperative to seek the truth persistently, act on it faithfully, and propagate it humbly, using the written and spoken word to aid in liberating, educating, and healing. In addition to her current studies at the International Online University, she has earned degrees in English, Education, and Administration from Coppin State University and two graduate degrees from Johns Hopkins University. She is also the author of two books– a reference book, The Islaamic Book of Lists and a poetic offering, Random Lamentations, Protest Chants, and Affirmations. She is a wife, mother, grandmother, active community member, and the caretaker of her 92-year old mother, al hamdu lillaah.