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Juz’ 11 – Failure and Forgiveness

Today’s Juz’ covers Al-Tawha [9]:93 to Hud [11]:5.
The themes discussed in these ayat include (1) positive and negative reception of the desert Arabs; (2) differentiation between hypocritical and faithful Muslims; (3) the wonders of creation; (4) the tendency to take God for granted; (5) God’s plan for the salvation of every community; and (6) lessons from the Israelite Exodus from Egypt.

 

 

Ramadan Mubarak.

The next ten days comprise the second stage (ashrah) of Ramadan. The emphasis in the first ashrah was “mercy” (rahmat). This ashrah focuses on “forgiveness” (maghfirat).

 

The ayat I have chosen for today discuss the human tendency to take God for granted.

“It is [God] who enables you to travel on land and sea until, when you are sailing on ships and rejoicing in the favoring wind, a storm arrives; waves come at those on board from all sides and they feel there is no escape. Then they pray to God, professing sincere devotion to Him, ‘If You save us from this we shall be truly thankful.’ Yet no sooner does he save them, back on land, they behave outrageously against all that is right. People! Your outrageous behavior only works against yourselves. Take your little enjoyment in this present life; in the end you will return to Us and We shall confront you with everything you have done.” (Yunus [10]:22-23)

 

The sura in which these ayat are recorded is named after the biblical prophet Jonah (Yunus). In fact, these words aptly summarize Jonah’s desperate prayer from the belly of the whale that rescued him in his attempt to flee from God’s presence. This rebel confessed: “As my life was slipping away, I remembered the LORD. And my earnest prayer went out to You in Your holy temple.” (Jonah 2:7)

Unfortunately, after Jonah received God’s grace and fulfilled his commission, he became upset when God extended the same grace to the people of Nineveh. Perhaps this is the “outrageous behavior” denounced in Yunus [10]:23. One of God’s commands contained in the tablets given to Moses warns against this attitude (see Al-A‘raf [7]:145).

 

Listen: 

“You must not misuse the name of the LORD your God. The LORD will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name.” (Exodus 20:7)

 

Prayer:

In the name of God the merciful and compassionate, forgive me for the times I have misused your name. Fill me with your grace and empower me to resist the outrageous behavior that dishonors you. In Your holy name I pray, amen.