- What we’ve seen so far is the etiquettes of supplication, Zakariyya is stating his case, and stating his weaknesses
- Then we see the etiquette of supplication where Zakariyya is recounting the blessings of Allah, that he has never made dua and not been given.
- Then explains why he is making this case – explaining why he wants a child. Make him soneone who strives to please you Allah and You are pleased with him.
- In Ayah 7, Allah answers the supplication of Zakariyya alayhis salaam
Allah says Yaa Zakariyyaaa
- One thing that is very obvious here from the context, is that something is missing from the context, something has been omitted, something not mentioned.
- It doesn’t say his supplication was accepted. It doesn’t say supplication was accepted.
- It just says Yaa Zakariyya. So the scholars say that already you can see that Allah has omitted, removed any kind of prologue or introduction, any kind of a wait,
- What we can understand from that is that without any type of a wait, any type of an introduction, Allah immediately gave him what he was asking for.
- Allah answers us immediately
- Immediately Allah says Yaa Zakariyya.
- The immediate answering of supplication in qalam is the answering of the supplication.
innaa nubashshiruka bighulaami nismuhoo Yahyaa
- Allah gives the glad tidings of a son and gives the name
- About names: people often try and give the name of someone admirable (the Bilals and Sumayyas of the world) because they hope for the same quality in their children
- Almost like a form of supplication that make my child like this person.
- Also a very powerful motivational technique. You know who you’re named after? Named after Maryam so strive to be like him or her.
- Second motivation: name with good meaning.
- Hoping for something good from Allah. I will name my child, Salih, Saliha in the hope that that quality will transfer.
- When someone names their child, like a form of dua, putting their hope in Allah. So that’s often the motivation. That Allah will put the quality in the person.
- Here Allah Himself is giving the name Yahya. Guarantee that person will have those qualities. Yahya has a very good meaning.
- Great virtue that his name is given by Allah.
lam najAAal lahu min qablu samiyyan
- We did not make for him from before
- elevated or leave a mark. Make him a man of great heights and great dignity and honour. Allah is saying not only that I Gave you a son, but also going to make him so much more of what your expectations had been.
- Never seen anyone like him before.
- Another very interesting thing that the scholars point out is that not anyone like Yahya before means not just his character but also the circumstance of his birth (old parents)
- So what we see here in the fulfillment of the supplication of Zakariyya is that Allah is giving us this story to teach us a very powerful lesson about supplication
- When supplication is at the right time, with the right intention, with firm conviction, with appropriate, proper words, then at that point there is no distance, no interruption between supplication and the answering/fulfillment of the supplication.
- Allah answers immediately
- Not only does Allah answer immediately, but it doesn’t matter what are the obstacles, it doesn’t matter how much the odds are stacked against the fulfillment of that supplication, Allah will fulfill.
- Allah will break all of these barriers and fulfill the need/the supplication of that person when it is done with at the right time, with the right intention, in the right motives, with the right intention, in the right method, with the right appropriate words as with Zakariyya alayhis salaam.
- Allah goes on to tell us what happens next.
Qala rabbi anna yakoonu lee ghulamun wakanati imraatee AAaqiran waqad balaghtu mina alkibari AAitiyyan
- After Zakariyya receives this amazing news, responds out of joy.
- How is it possible that there will be a son for me and my wife has not been able to bear children and I have crossed all limits of being old?
- How is it possible that I will have a son?
- In the story of Maryam, when she expresses astonishment, how is it possible that there will be a son for me? She uses the word walad
- Walad vs ghulam
- Subtle difference but context is important
- When Allah gave Zakariyya the good news, said We are going to give you a son.
- Zakariyya responds using the same word – ghulam
- But Maryam in Surah Ali-Imran, was told “We are giving you the good news of a command of Allah.”
- So when she was given the good news, wasn’t said whether girl or boy.
- Walad – doesn’t mean boy or girl, just the one that is given birth to
- So she was saying how could I have a child? How is it possible for me to have a child
- Here Zakariyya told he is going to have a son.
Then Zakariyya says my wife hasn’t been able to have children and I am old
- cross all limits of being old
- cross all limits and lines of being old
- Look at context – in Ali Imran, made a dua, bin ladunka. Give me a righteous offspring.
- Here he says more. My bones are falling apart, hair is white. Not just that old age caught up with me, but I have crossed all limits of being old
- Expressed more emphatically here.
- Note: Zakariyya is given the news from Allah himself, guarantee given from Allah, then Zakariyya saying, how is it possible for me to have a son?
- Is this shock or doubt? When you are given very good news, you want to know more about it. When you get a college acceptance letter, you read it probably 18 times and sleep on it, and then show it to everyone you know and then take a picture and post on Facebook.
- You indulge in that news.
- And this is a child. When you come home from your sonogram, you put it on your fridge and pretend that you know what it is showing you, and show it everyone
- Indulgence in that good news
- And this was something that was the spiritual condition of the Prophets. We have the story in Surah Baqarah of Prophet Ibrahim, when he asks Allah show me how it is that you revive the dead. I believe, but asking to give full satisfaction to my heart, to enjoy your grandeur..
- So that is what is happening here. Zakariyya is asking How is that possible that I will have a son?
- Allah responds.
Ayah 9: Qala kathalika qala rabbuka huwa AAalayya hayyinun waqad khalaqtuka min qablu walam taku shayan
Kathalik- means just like that
- That’s how it is.
- your Master said
- As if Allah turns back to the Prophet and says what are you worried about. Look how Allah took care of Zakariyya. What are you worried about?
- That it is upon Me,
- no effort on the part of the doer.
In common language: No problem. Thats nothing for me.
waqad khalaqtuka min qablu
- Why is it so easy? Perspective. I created you before and what was the situation?
- In the situation, in the condition where you were nothing.
- Logically think about this. Human being came into existence from nothing. Think back to the origin of your soul. You were nothing.
- Is it more difficult to create a child out of nothing or a child from very old parents? Think about that
- Quranic eloquence: You were nothing, like that nun is nothing. (omitted nun). Not only were you not in existence, but Allah made you into existence and then Allah put you into with a wife and brought you both to old age.
Qala rabbi ijAAal lee ayatan qala ayatuka alla tukallima alnnasa thalatha layalin sawiyyan
Qala rabbi ijAAal lee ayatan
- Zakariyya alayhis salaam indulges in the conversation.
- Make for me a sign. In the common form. Whatever type of sign. Asked for enough today.
- Tanwin can also give the effect of something insignificant
- When you are looking forward to something, like your wedding day is three weeks away, or graduation, everybody loves to graduate, have a countdown. Want a marker, some kind of a sign that you’re getting closer to the big moment.
- Want to enjoy the moment, want to savour it, want to taste it.
qala ayatuka alla tukallima alnnasa thalatha layalin sawiyyan
- Your sign is that you will not speak to people for three nights.
- Sawiyyan: can mean continously or means for something will be equal, straight.
Will not be mute, will be incapable to speaking for people for three nights.
- Here it says three nights, in Ali Imran it says three days. If we were to corroborate the two it’s three days and three nights.
- What is the deeper appreciation here? What you have to look at here, is look at the tone of the language in the Surah. I want you to look at the tone in Ali Imran. He walks in and sees Maryam eating the fruits. Where did you get this from? Allah Gave it to Me. Allah can Give whomever He wants, whenever he wants. Very motivating. Allah can give whoever He wants. Whenever He wants. Without any limit. Any consideration. Very motivating.
- Very empowering. Right then and there Zakariyya makes dua to his Lord. Rabbi habli min ladunka thurriyyatan tayyibah.
- Didn’t just ask for a walad or a ghulam. Give to me an entire progeny.
- There is no doubt that you are constantly listening to supplication.
- Right then and there the angels called out to him. It even says that he was there in the mihrab praying.
- That most definitely Allah is congratulating you about Yahya.
- He will affirm, he will attest to the truth of the word of Allah, he will be extremely chaste and pure, he will be a Prophet and he will be of the righteous people.
- Very empowering and motivating tone.
- Even then he says how will I have a son.
- So then when he says make a sign for me, Allah says that you won’t be able to speak for three days.
- Out of modern context, day associated with light.
- Look at Surah Maryam, look at the tone.
- Here is Surah Maryam word khafi’an is used. Making dua until he almost lost his voice. Bones have gotten old, sun has almost set on me.
- Fear about the people who are left after I’m gone, when the sun has set on me.
- The tone is very dark. The sun has set, I’ve gotten old,
- Told here that can’t speak for three nights. appropriate with the tone.
- Next ayah, ayah 11.
Fakharaja ‘alaa qawmihee minal mihraabi fa-awhaaa ilaihim an sabbihoo bukratanw wa ‘ashiyyaa
So he came out to his people from the prayer chamber and signaled to them to exalt [Allah] in the morning and the afternoon.
- Mihrab comes from the root word harb, which means war.
- Doesn’t always mean mihrab in masjid. Can be in a private space. A separated space designated for individual worship
- what is the connection between mihrab and war? Where you fight with your nafs and sit alone.
- easier to pray in congregation. You feel like praying, want to pray. But alone, to put that same concentration in your prayer and want to pray, have to fight your nafs.
- Supposed to exert energy and work hard into prayer
- So he exits his mihrab and signals to them
- What does he signal? Signals to make tasbeeh. Praise and glorify Allah in the early morning time and the evening time.
- What is this talking about?
- Look back at Ali Imran.
- There it says, will be able to talk to people through signals and gestures. Permission was given to him.
- What does signal refer to?
- Look at word itself. Word comes from wahy which we know often means divine revelation. Root of wahy that it is to inform someone of something through a quick subtle means. Quick subtle way to give someone information.
- Lexical definition of wahy.
- Wahy used in Qur’an in lexical definition in a number of ways. Some ways:
1) Allah uses this word when inspiring people who aren’t Prophets. And We told the mother of Musa to breastfeed him.
2) When Allah gives information to the pious people. In Surah Maid’ah, When I informed the disciplines of Isa alayhis salaam that believe in Me and believe in my messenger
3) Allah even uses the word wahy to give information to insects. Like in Surah Nahl, Allah gives information to the bees, that go and make homes in the mountains, and in the trees and anything else.
4) Allah even uses the word wahy when giving information to inanimate objects. Surah Zilzal: When the earth will shake like it’s never shaken before and starts to toss out its weight, the human being will say what’s wrong with it, and the earth will speak of all the information it has – why is it doing that? Because of the command of its Rabb.
5) Even when shayateen speak to each other, the word wahy is used. Surah Anam.
So word wahy is used in its lexical meaning here. Zakariyya very quietly and quickly informed them. Difference of opinion as to how. Some say ishrah, others say he wrote it out.
- In Ali Imran, it says Allah told him to make dhikr
- Here it says here he is advising others to make dhikr.
- Already starting to pass it on.
- In Ali Imran, Allah told him, make tasbeeh make evening and the morning. Here he is saying: morning and evening.
- Again, pay attention to the context. There he was told can’t speak for three days, and what follows day? Evening. Here he is told he can’t speak for three nights, and what follows night? Day.
- Small but it is the perfection of Allah’s qalam.Final point: Zakariyya was told will not be able to speak as a sign of the miraculous event of his child without any means of explanation. The sign of that is not being able to speak without any explanation. Experience a miracle for three days on the way of arriving to another miracle, the birth of Yahya.