Monday, March 10, 2014

Tafseer Masterclass.....

  I launched my tafseer website, [ ], in September 2011, incorporating some useful tafseer work on the utube and the internet by scholars and enthusiastic daei, young and old , across the globe under one website. I was inspired by Muhammad Asad and while I have been surfing on tafseer work for years, I notice that there exist a niche to bring them all to my avid readers under one collective website. I must reiterate I am just a compiler, not having the necessary scholarship nor the academic background and zuhudness to contribute to the content. Just a humble compiler. May Allah, the All Knowing, the Merciful, in His ultimate wisdom, judges me correctly, insyaallah.

   Starting a few months back I started sending my 'dirty' emails to friends, and friends of friends, to enhance more global  and local knowledge in the Qur'an. I started with surah muqaddam and have now graduated to Surah An Nisa. Al Hamdullillah, the class has not been entirely quiet. Oftentimes it can get boisterous as you can see here in this present class studying surah An Nisa, thanks to a few brilliant 'students' who make class very lively indeed! :



    Worldly duties weighed heavily upon him. Some simple people from  Yemen came to Medina, and when they listened to the reader in the mosque chanting the Qur'an, tears fell from their eyes. " We were like that once," he said, " but our hearts have grown harder since." But not his heart. At night he would go into the city to seek the destitute and the oppressed, listening with untiring patience to their troubles. On one occasion, in the hut of a poor blind widow, he met 'Umar, who had come independently on the same errand. The two great men, moulders of a new world of openness to the Divine and of the human order, one of them soon to be engaged in world conquest, squatted side by side in the widow's hut. They thought that this was what rulership meant in Islam. What else could it possibly mean?

  Like the palm tree. Abu Bakr was soon cut down. After bathing incautiously on a cold morning, he developed a fever and became gravely ill. The people wanted to send for a physician, but he knew his time had come: " He has already visited me," he said, meaning the divine Physician. On his deathbed he received a message from Khalid Ibnu Walid, commander on the Persian frontier, asking for reinforcements. " Do not delay," he told 'Umar, " If I die- as I think- this day, do not wait till evening; If I linger till night, do not wait till morning. Do not let sorrow for me divert you from the service of Islam and the business of your Lord."

   He died soon after, in August AD 634, aged sixty three, and 'Umar was chosen to succeed him.

Charles Le Gai Eaton
excerpt from " Islam And The Destiny Of Man "
....a bloody good read ! a difficult one too !

Innalillah hiwainna ilaihirojiun, to both the MAS jet disappearance, and earlier to DSAI's failed appeal.
Both are 'acts' of God. The former, inevitable but the later, also inevitable, a circus we have let ourselves fall into  as our collective " hearts have grown harder since."
People, men and women, unashamedly falling on their knees and palms fighting for bits and pieces of that thing called 'power', disregarding all sense of shamelessless, accountability and integrity. Congratulations! We have come a long  way from the days of 'Umar and Abu Bakr

Enjoy your tafseer masterclass

nik howk



Back to basics, Doc Nik, why does God allow such such awful tragedies to innocent passengers as on MH 730 to happen? Why do bad things happen to good, innocent people?


On 9 Mar 2014 07:32, "Nik Isahak Wan Abdullah" <> wrote:

wow Dato i do not expect this simple elementary question from an educated chap like you  and at your age! It is like the classic, " If God is exist , why does He take my Grand Ma? " type of question......

But i will try to be simple since you i assume are just pulling my already know the answer unless you have been taking too much cheese in your UK days!!

Put your goodself in the position of the  CEO and undisputed owner of the universe which span trillions of galaxies, and ever expanding..
You know every cell that mutate at any point in time, any leave that fall in the forest in the dark of the night, any sperm that meet an ovum in the darkness of all fallopian tubes
You even own time , not just space..[.and I dont mean ]
You own 6 billion souls, living in this world and billion other that have been 'frozen still' waiting for 'yaumiddin'.
             To you, in your Arash, in a dimension beyond dimensions, in a space beyond space, nothing 
              encapsulate you. Time is your invention and 'makluk.'Yesterday, today and tomorrow
              already happened and unfold like a tapestry to you in your Loth Mahfuz.

             Man, beginning with the primodial Adam, is and was your last of your 'makluk'.

               How would you rate these billions of souls, if you do not  test them?
You give some of them cancer scares, death by air plane crashes and bankcruptcies and heartbreaks....mostly heartbreaks.
                For most you give them abject poverty and to your surprise you find them handling it with                    
                dignity and sabr
                For some you give them high scholarship and knowledge in your SOP's and most 'sell' them
                for pittance                      
For the lucky very few , you give them istanas and power and see how they behave, and in most instances, they invariably failed very miserably.
And yet for some you give them mutilated bodies from birth and see how they take them.
                To make the picture complete you also throw some Tsunamis or two. Of course the  
                engineers and scientists amongst them attributed these to those craps called geographical                
                'faults' that you also throw in, as a red-herring, to show that you are a 'scientific' god.

You give them SOP's to follow and also for guidance,
and you also have mechanism to rate them as well.
Nothing very complicated
The Malays and Arabs call it 'taqwa'

Then when Yaumiddin did arrive, true to you being merciful and just, you let them see their books. Those whom you deemed passed with flying colours you give them through their right hands, the ones who failed, from their left or the back.

nik howk


 Subject: RE: Let Us Get back To Basic....Surah An Nisa

Dr Nik,

Another simple and elementary set of questions to elicit some wisdom from Dr. Nik Howk's intellect:
1. Since God is Prescient and All - Knowing He would,  by definition, already know how we will respond to, and how many marks we will score, in the challenges of His tests and sop. So why go through it?
2. If if is a test of Free Will, does it not demolish the concept of Predestination?
3. How do you respond to the question of Regression?
This is linked to the principle of First Cause so beloved of Catholic theologians.
4. If Moses was a prophet, Nabi Musa, how is that the Torah made no mention of Heaven or Hell? (Jahweh the Jewish God spent a lot of time teaching about the conduct of life, but also commanded the Hebrews to massacre rival tribes (e.g. the Malakites) in ways modern morality would consider cruel and inhuman.) Indeed, nor did Jesus (Nabi Isa). It was Saint Paul (his original Jewish name was Saul) and, later, Saint Augustine who developed that concept.
No doubt these are elementary questions for you to hit for six runs. Neutral Face



Subject: RE: Let Us Get back To Basic....Surah An Nisa
Date: Sun, 9 Mar 2014 23:03:43 +0800

I would not do  justice to such a challenge if I answer you right on. We can be at it for days!
I, myself, have been searching for  years for a definitive answer to the philosophical riddles that you have thus raised. It took me thirty years until I stumble on Dr Shaykh Muktar al Magrhoui, a double Phd in electrical engineering and physics. He is Moroccan by birth, a graduate from Syracuse university and now an imam of a mosque in USA.

He will take a good 4 hours of your life if you have the patience but it is all worth it. What you raised is not small matter. It impinges on our aqidah and our ability to aceive future stillness of hearts. 
I suggest you listen hard , and if possible 3 to 4 times over.
You will like his ' flat 2 dimensional universe ' analogy, and the three dimensional heart surgeon operating on a 'flat 2 dimensional patient in a flat 2 dimensional universe hospital' !

As for me now, I will end on a philosophical note and paraphrase what the late British philosopher, Bertrand Russel,  said when asked about life: " Life is a stage...We are the actors".
Or was it Shakespeare?

Of course there is an Islamic bent to it
What type of actor?
An actor that aims to follow HIS SOP's, get HIS blessing  and rahmat and end up in His paradise, if possible in Jannatul Firdaus, the highest of the highest, insyaallah.
Failing which, at worse, get my taubat accepted, and  I  would not mind sitting at the paradisal door knocking for another million years!

nik howk


from Nadzru Azhari, prospecting for oil somewhere in the Sulu Sea.
This 'student ' is soo good with his Arabic, he has been known to be able to sell sand to the Libyans!
During Muammar Ghaddafy's time of course

Nik Hock,

I have a simpler first principles response to share with you. God is not in the business of changing the laws of physics with his creation and in his revelation. As Prof Quraish Shihab said, God is so down to earth that he manifests his acts in simple physics and his message in simple language. He created the law of seismology and got 250,000 pious muslims of Aceh dead, not on comfortable hospital beds with soliloquy and prayer recitals on nightly vigil , but in very 'cruel' salt water inundation. In so doing he created enough geophysical faults and plate movements that make oil and gas available and minerals pushed to the surface to serve the remainder that did not get killed, for generations,creating great economics and civilisation for his Quran to be useful and relevant. God in his character of 'rahman' and 'raheem' discapables himself from perpetuating cruelty and his has no other hidden cruel character undeclared agenda and unbeknowest to mankind. Fortunately God also has a law of ' mitigation and prevention' of murderous laws of physics. It is the laws of physics itself. A phenomenon of physics has it own inhibitor and mitigator. God does not make mankind incapable of learning how. In the case of the Aceh tsunami, perhaps a thick barricade of the simple mangrove would have been sufficient. Hence do not blame him in the Courts since he already forewarned us, planteth not the mangrove brush and the mighty waves will reach you. God also does not keep a battalion of Jins to fly on Alibaba's carpets to hold the MH aircraft in the air, if its mechanical system failed. He tells us top get good maintenance and good aviation practice. God did not even sent an army of Jins to save the Ottoman Empire! The Empire collapsed by the summum bonum of socio-political science failure. I like this simplicty and in HIM I do believe and unto HIM I shall return, full satisfied with his physics primers.




Dato Hamzah and Nadzru,

I know you guys are just pulling my legs.
You guys are just acting devil advocates , on behalf of two already untenable positions in life.
Firstly, the Richard Dawkin- Christopher Hithens rather agnostic position, proposed by Dato is no longer defensible vis a vis modern science. Evolution is no longer discussed in polite scientific circles, fullstop.

AS for Nadzru, I do agree with you that we have a scientific God, lording over the universe. And you assessment is fair We have here a very scientific God indeed. He set up the parameters for everything under the Arash, the physical laws governing the  atoms and molecules, the wind, the seas, in fact all elements of nature as well as the moral laws and their sequalae; get the 'Pen' to write up everything that need to be written in Loth Mahfuz,  then say, 'Kun Fayakun'..[ Be ], and Lo and behold there was the Big Bang! And things goes on forever on autopilot, following all the parameters already set up.
Your God, Nadzru, sounds like a Chief Engineer of sort  who having set up all the parameters, took a first class plane ticket to Maldive for a long holiday!!

I am sure you both know better but were just being dramatic here, to just test my mantle.
Our  God definitely is a very scientific god , Islam being sent to down to debunk superstitions and falsehoods, in the 1st place.
Allah, The Most High, The Most Merciful, Al Fattah, Al Razak, Al Ghanniyu, Al Khabir, Al Alim, Al Khaliq,
Al Mutakkabbir, Ya Zaljala liwal ikram. 

He administers the universe from divine milisecond to divine milisecond.[ Whatever it mean] be and be...and the universe goes on. He is always there for us.
From our perspective, in our 'world view', there are cause and effect.
Newton drops and apple, it will fall down.
It just don't fall down simply, as Nadzru will certainly ascertained, it falls down with a known G force.
I put a scarpel on my patient's chest, and do the incision, he bleeds.
Nadzru digs deep enough on the surface of the sea, oil gushes out, with the proviso he did his geophysical due diligence carefully. 
Cause and effect, 99.9 per cent of the time, to the point we take things for granted.

We, modern men, take these for granted, we forget our prayers and doa.
As a result, we sees Tsunamis and earthquakes only as geographical faults and the accident of time.
Our hearts and souls are hardened.

From His perspective, who owns TIME and Space, who is beyond dimensions, it is just .. be and be.....

He is not just a Chief Engineer on a long leave.
He is a personal god 
He answers your prayer and doa.
But He expects you to "tie the camel and only then pray, and doa to Him"
The problem with modern man now is we are too arrogant.
We invariably tied our 'camels', but
omitted the prayer, supplications and the doa.....

This way, our qalbs and hearts remained disconnected with Him,
but yet in a well known tradition, we are told that,He is nearer to us than our very own jugular.
Allah and His Rasul always want us to be in a state of supplication and doa.
It will guarantee you sweetness of iman.


Nik Howk
ps : please do listen to Mukhtar al Magrhoui
[  .. read about al jabariah and al kadariah ]

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