Project Illumine: Surah 32 Al Sajdah

Part 1: Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl presents the fourth in a new series on mining the deeper meanings of the chapters of the Quran based on his lifelong engagement, dhikr, prayers and supplications for illumination. In this halaqa, he discusses Surah 32: Al Sajdah. In the introduction, Executive Director Grace Song shares some updates and stories. Before the tafsir begins, Dr. Abou El Fadl discusses the central importance of a relationship with the Quran to understanding the message of the Quran, without which a relationship with God becomes merely wishful thinking. He discusses the topics of what defines consciousness, the role of free will, and shares his engagement with another chapter, Surah Maryam, which he had considered for this halaqa. He discusses why he chose not to cover Surah Maryam, and the significance of the layers of meaning in Surah Maryam. 

In Part 2, Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl begins his original tafsir on Surah 32: Al Sajdah. 

In Part 3, Q&A about Surah 32, Al Sajdah and more.



0:10 - Dr. Abou El Fadl’s note before beginning

10:05 - The Professor mentioned the six days refer to six states, what are these six states?

15:49 - Is there a way to recognize when one is being tested by Allah via tragedy, pain, suffering and difficulties, rather than when one is being punished by Allah?

26:09 - Is ‘wud’ a unique type of love for the divine, or just another form of love like ‘ishq’ or ‘hub’?

29:44 - The goal of being gifted yaqeen, or certainty, is daunting. I feel a common line from the devil in response to this is that I am so far away, it would be impossible to achieve that lofty goal in my lifetime. What do you have to say about this? How can we protect ourselves against defeatism?

35:50 - In ayat 4, time for God comes up again with the stages through which Allah created the universe. My question is specifically about when Allah says, “thumma stawaa,” or “thereafter, he established himself on the throne.” The term ‘thereafter’ seems deliberately different and an emphasis on the passage of time, or is this rather to be understood as ‘thumma’, ‘thereafter’, meaning subsequent but not necessarily in time? Why does Allah use ‘thumma’?

46:25 - I recently lost my son on the night of your pilot halaqa. Shayan had graciously asked you for naseeha (advice) on our behalf at a recent Q&A. As I try to persevere through hardship, I am now uneasy at the thought I may bring even more calamity to myself and family as I aim to draw closer to God. Could you give advice on how to deal with the increasing levels of hardship as one who strives towards yaqeen (certainty)?

59:38 - A note on tests from Allah

1:22:13 - My question is not related to Surah Al Sajdah, but related to several surahs in the Quran on Hajj. Why is it that when the Quran talks about the obligation of Hajj it uses ‘nas’, all human beings and people, instead of ‘mu’minoon’, the believers, like in other forms of obligation, such as praying and fasting, where the invitation is directed to the mu’minoon? I'm asking this, especially in the context of my reading of the surah in which Hajj was practiced or was fulfilled by both mu’minoon (the believers) and nonbelievers alike. Can the calling for all human beings here be interpreted as a possible invitation for all humans now? Related to this, could you talk a little bit about the ruling on visiting Mecca, especially the Al-Haram area as a non-Muslim visitor, not to stay permanently?

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