Selected Surahs & Ayaats
Selected Surahs & Ayaats
On May 12, 2022, Astronomers obtained the 1st direct image of the Milky Way’s black hole. It is the first, direct visual confirmation of the presence of this invisible object. The spiral ring of fire in the above image has generated much interest around the world especially among the scientific community. Our galaxy called the Milky Way contains millions of solar systems including ours, each carrying their own group of planets, suns (stars) and moons. The function of a Black Hole is to swallow and destroy planets, stars and other galactic material that comes within its range. The reason we notice a spiral of energy surrounding a black hole is because it absorbs massive energy from the stars before destroying them.
Our solar system which includes the Sun, the Earth and a group of planets travels in the Milky Way at 13 miles/second revolving around its galactic center. The image below reflects the positioning of our Sun in the Milky Way (on top) and its distance from the super massive black hole (marked GC) at its center. Latest estimates claim our solar system to be 25000 light years away from the galactic center. In the 1980s it was estimated to be 27000 light years away, which means our solar system continues to circle and move closer to the center of the galaxy.
The Sun’s traveling path through Milky Way is called Solar Apex. The Quran mentions the Solar Apex and also its final destination: (Al Quran 36:58) And a sign for them is the night. We remove from it [the light of] day, so they are [left] in darkness. The sun is running its course to its appointed place. That is the ordaining of the All-Mighty, the All-Knowing. - As we learn about the black hole and its ability to devour massive stars, we have striking imagery in the Quran where Allah ﷻ warns us about the day when the sun along with the earth will reach a point where their present existence will vanish and transform in to a new beginning for humankind:
(Al Quran 81:1–14) WHEN THE SUN is Kuwwirat (shrouded in darkness), and when the stars inkadarat (lose their light), and when the mountains are made to vanish,…and when the seas boil over, and when all human beings are coupled [with their deeds]…and when the scrolls [of men's deeds] are unfolded, and when heaven is laid bare, and when the blazing fire [of hell] is kindled bright, and when paradise is brought into view: [on that Day] every human being will come to know what he has prepared [for himself].
The verb kuwwirat in Arabic means shrouding and covering like a turban is wrapped around the head which fully covers its top, hence the Sun will be fully covered and loose its light, and at the same time the stars in our solar system’s neighborhood will also be scattered and loose their light (inkadarat). Additionally the seas on earth will boil like fire when they come in to contact with the massive heat of solar (stars) energies surrounding the black hole. Surah At-Takwir teaches us the final destiny of our existence and how our space environment will transform on the day of judgment. This Surah and what is teaches can best be understood in the light of the black hole's functioning I believe. Therefore as the world learns new things about Black Hole we should also be reminded how these holes might play a significant role on the Day of Judgment.
Salatul Kusoof - Solar Ecclipse Prayer
At this point it is also pertinent to mention why Prophet Muhammad ﷺ highly advised the Muslims to pray when solar eclipse occurs. When it occurs the moon eclipses the bright Sun’s light, temporarily covering the earth in darkness and the incident becomes a reminder of judgment day when the Sun will actually loose its light and the life will come to its end:
Narrated Abu Musa (r.a) The sun eclipsed and the Prophet (ﷺ) got up, being afraid that it might be the Hour (i.e. Day of Judgment). He went to the Mosque and offered the prayer with the longest Qiyam (bowing and prostration) that I had ever seen him doing. Then he said, "These signs which Allah sends do not occur because of the life or death of somebody, but Allah makes His worshipers afraid by them. So when you see anything thereof, proceed to remember Allah, invoke Him and ask for His forgiveness." (Sahih al-Bukhari 1059)
When the world gets fascinated and wears special binoculars to observe the solar eclipse, Muslims at that time should avoid indulging in such ignorance and pray 2 rakaats (rounds) of salaat and pray extensively for Allah’s protection, forgiveness and mercy.
The Quran in a couple of ayahs of Surah Bani Israel clearly implies that Israelis will commit aggression and corruption in the holy land and will be punished exactly as their predecessors experienced during the 1st and 2nd temple. For those who are unaware, 1st & 2nd Temple is commonly referred to the two times that Israelis in their history build their temple and state, and twice both were destroyed due to the divine punishment. Despite having all blessings, revelation and prophets to guide them, they abused their political authority, continuously disobeyed Allah ﷻ and spread corruption in the holy land, exactly as they are doing today, and so they were punished. In both instances of divine punishment, it was an invasion from an enemy that was mighty in warfare, which attacked Israel, killed thousands of them and took thousands as prisoners. This writing aims to briefly explain how the 1st and 2nd temple happened and how today's Zionist Israel with its existing behavior will face a 3rd divine punishment, another army, in the light of Quran and the prophetic predictions.
It should also be noted that Surah Bani Bani Israel begins with an invitation to Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to visit Masjid al Aqsa during the famous event of Isra Wa'al Mi'raj (Al Quran 17:01) “Exalted is He who took His Servant by night from al-Masjid al-Haram (in Makkah) to al-Masjid al- Aqsa (in Jerusalem)..." - The first part of the journey includes his visit to Al Aqsa where he led all prophets and messengers that came before him as an Imam in salah (prayer) which signifies his leadership status among them. It was during the 2nd part when he ascended the heavens and knowledge of the future of Islam and the world was revealed to him. He learned about Dajjal, the false messiah, who will be a powerful Jewish leader of a Jewish state, and he also met Isa ibn Maryam, the real messiah, who will descend to kill the false messiah,. This is important to keep in mind as a major Zionist plan is to demolish Al Aqsa and build a Jewish temple over it, called the third temple which will usher in the messiah that they are waiting for.
The First Temple Period
The First Temple period was considered to be a golden age of the Jews that began around 1000 till 920 BCE when Kingdom of Israel, under the authority of Prophet Sueliman (alaihi salaam), for the first time built its temple on the holy site of where Masjid Al Aqsa stands today. It was during these years that Israel reached the zenith of its territorial size and political power, enjoying an era of peace and affluence. Their kingdom stretched from river Nile (Egypt) to river Euphrates (Iraq). After death of Prophet Sueliman (alaihi salaam) their decline began when the Kingdom was divided among the twelve tribes in to 2 states: Northern Kingdom ruled by ten tribes with its capital in Samaria and Kingdom of Judah in the South ruled by 2 tribes with its capital and temple in Jerusalem. The Israelis became politically weak due to internal strifes, they adopted idol-worship, transgressed the divine law, becoming more and more corrupt with every passing generation. This is recorded in the Bible when Prophet Isaiah (alaihi salaam) rose and tried to reform them during the period 740 - 700 BCE. His prophecies and warning are following:
You sinful nation, a people weighed down with iniquity,
a race of evildoers, children whose lives are depraved,
who have deserted the Lord, spurned the Holy One of Israel,
and turned your backs on him!
Why do you invite more punishment, why persist in your
defection? (Book of Isaiah 1:4,5)
Then came Prophet Jeremiah (alaihi salaam), who also tried to shake his people out of their perverted ways, idolatry, and apostasy, during the period 627- 587 BCE. He met with an intense opposition from a society that was addicted to corrupt ways.
but when you entered my land you defiled it
and made loathsome the home I gave you.
The priests no longer asked, ‘Where is the Lord?’
Those who handled the law had no real knowledge of me,
the shepherds of the people rebelled against me (Book of Jeremiah 2)
Israel, I am bringing against you a distant nation,
an ancient people established long ago, says the Lord…..
….They will beat down with the sword
the walled cities in which you trust (Book of Jeremiah 5:15–17)
The distant nation warned by Prophet Jeremiah (alaihi salaam) was the Babylonian Army under king Nebuchadnezzar II that attacked the Kingdom of Judah, destroyed Jerusalem and temple, killed thousands and took thousands as prisoners to Babylonia. The Quran reminds the modern Israelis of that punishment: (Al Quran 17:4–5) And We warned the Children of Israel in the Scripture, “You will certainly cause corruption in the land twice, and you will become extremely arrogant. When the first of the two warnings would come to pass, We would send against you some of Our servants of great might, who would ravage your homes. This would be a warning fulfilled.
The Second Temple Period
During their exile and imprisonment in Babylonia they repented and Allah ﷻ accepted and allowed them to return to the holy land. This period is called the 2nd Temple which started with their return during the reign of Cyrus, the Persian emperor, who assisted them in resettlement and rebuilding their temple, as confirmed in the Quran: (Al Quran 17:6) Then after your repentance We would give you the upper hand over them and aid you with wealth and offspring, causing you to outnumber them.
Then it was during Prophet Isa ibn Maryam (alaihi salaam) time that the Israelis fell from Allah’s grace once again. They adopted the paganist practices of the Greek, once again committing injustice and corruption in the holy land. Prophet Isa (alaihi salaam) warned them about their perverted ways, to give up sinful and unethical practices, to repent with the true spirit of repentance, and purify themselves from all spiritual and moral corruption. He severely criticized the pretentious religiosity, the emphasis on hollow legal rituals, and their adherence to the letter of the law with no regard to its spirit --
“You snakes! You brood of vipers!
How will you escape being condemned to hell?
Therefore I am sending you prophets and sages and teachers.
Some of them you will kill and crucify;
others you will flog in your synagogues and
pursue from town to town. And so upon you
will come all the righteous blood that has been
shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel
to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom
you murdered between the temple and the altar.
…You clean the outside of the cup and dish,
but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. (Book of Matthew 23)
But the Israelis did not heed and even tried to kill Prophet Isa (alaihi salaam), but Allah ﷻ saved him by raising him alive to return in the end of times. Allah ﷻ then sent destruction over them in the form of Roman armies that attacked Jerusalem under the generalship of Titus in 70 CE and destroyed the city and the temple. The loss of life among the Jews was incredibly high, as 133 thousand are reported to have been killed in Jerusalem alone. Thousands were made slaves, starved to death etc. Allah ﷻ reminds them of this: (Al Quran 17:7) And when the second warning would come to pass, your enemies would be left to totally disgrace you and enter the Temple of Jerusalem as they (their predecessors) entered it the first time, and utterly destroy whatever would fall into their hands.
Third Temple & Its Destruction by an Islamic Army – Are Zionists Planning to build one over Masjid Al Aqsa?
And so Allah ﷻ reminds the Bani Israel how their criminal behavior in the holy land caused two instances of great divine punishments, and in both cases it was a powerful army that attacked and decimated their rule. Then, further in the same set of ayahs Allah ﷻ warns: (Al Quran 17:8) Perhaps your Lord will have mercy on you if you repent, but if you return to sin, We will return to punishment (by sending another army).
Hence it is in the background of the Bani Israeli history, the Bible and the what is mentioned in the Quran that we believe punishment on them will return as they break the law of God, if they don’t repent from their corrupt and unjust ways, if they do not stop oppressing and massacring the innocent Muslims living under their authority in the holy land. The ayah number 8 confirms what Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said about the Muslims fighting and defeating Jews in the last hour: “The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: "Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him"; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews.” (Sahih Muslim 2922). With Zionist Israel's more than 70 years brutal occupation of holy land, their suppression of the rights of Palestinians and their killing and ethnic cleansing, in addition to military threat it poses to regional Muslim states, this prophecy is as true as a daylight today. In Islamic history Jews were never fought by Muslims except for a few battles during the Prophet’s time 14 centuries back. For almost entire Islamic history, Jews have lived under Muslims peacefully. They sought shelter with us in Islamic Spain and Ottoman Empire, escaping European persecution. The following 2 narrations inform us about the Islamic army that would come for the assistance of the Arab Muslims fighting the Israelis, the Prophet ﷺ said "Black standards will come from Khurasan, nothing shall turn them back until they are planted in Jerusalem." (Tirmidhi 2269) and "Armies emerging from the East shall advance, and after conquering one country after another, they shall help and strengthen the authority of Mahdi.” (Ibn Majah) - These 2 narrations speak about an army from the East i.e. Khurasaan, the historic land that lies somewhere in between modern-day Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan. They will be under the command of Imam Mahdi (alaihi salaam), a descendant of the Prophet ﷺ. These narrations are very important, especially in the light of the 1979 Islamic revolution and uprising in Iran which actively opposes Zionism and supports Palestinian cause and resistance groups such as Hezbollah, which worries Israel. Likewise, they could also imply Afghanistan, where the greatest armies of the 20th and 21st century have suffered their most astonishing defeats. The British Empire suffered defeat in the three attempts during Ango-Afghan wars. After British, the USSR Soviet Union and USA/NATO, despite their technological superiority, have suffered defeat in the last 40 years by the resistance and struggle of the Afghans. Today, it is this land where Islamic Emirate of the Taliban movement is struggling for the establishment of a government that will be purely based on Islam, for which the world powers, in particular the West, is trying its best to stop from happening. The recent 20 year struggle of the Taliban movement might bear the fruit of an upcoming regional Islamic force that will shape history. Please read my writing: US Withdrawal from Afghanistan & the Resurgence of Taliban - Islamic Emirate in the Heart of Asia
Hence, these prophetic narrations inform us that first, the Jews committing oppression will be dealt with and killed. Secondly, the Muslim army that would come to rescue their Arab brothers and attack Zionist Israel will be the end of that monstrous regime in the Middle East. As per late Dr. Israar Ahmed, the famous 20th century Pakistan Islamic philosopher & theologian, a primary Zionist agenda is the formation of a Greater Israel on the footsteps of 1st Temple era of Prophet Suleiman (alaihi salaam), whose borders stretched from River Euphrates (Iraq) to River Nile (Egypt), and rebuilding of a third temple on the site of Bayt Al Maqdis or Masjid Al Aqsa. Therefore, we see Israeli illegal settlements and forceful expulsions of Palestinians continuing in Occupied East Jerusalem (such as Sheikh Jarrah incident) which also houses Masjid Al Aqsa. The attack and takeover of Al Aqsa by Israeli occupied forces this Ramadaan, barring Muslim worship and forcing Israeli settlers inside the masjid, are seen as gradual steps towards their ultimate demolition plan. This is essential for the completion of a Jewish state as envisioned and planned by the “Elders of Zion” with the emergence of political Zionism of Theodore Herzel in 1897. As per CJPME report on ‘Jewish Terrorism under British Mandate’ ultra-nationalist Zionist organizations from early 1930s and 1940s, that assisted in displacing and massacres of indigenous Palestinians, voiced their support of a Greater Israel. Zionist militant groups such as Irgun (Etzel), the Haganah, the Lehi, Stern Gang, by Avraham Stern noted for “Eighteen Principles of National Renewal” articulated a Jewish state from Nile to Euphrates. After creation of Israel in 1948 these groups and their leadership joined the mainstream politics and Israeli military, some even served as Prime Ministers and many continue to serve the Zionist ambition. In fact, in 1984 one of the affiliated Zionist group even attempted to blow up the Dome of the Rock and initiate the construction of the Third Temple. This belief of a Greater Israel and rebuilding of the 3rd temple actually lies in traditional Judaism which Zionism has hijacked for their own ultra-nationalist agenda. Traditional Judaic belief says not to rebel against the divinely decreed exile from the land that began after 2nd Temple and being patient because the Kingdom of Israel for all Jews would not be restored till advent of Messiah. Since Zionism is now claiming to lead the fulfillment of that agenda for all Jews contrary to the non-violent Judiac belief, and if they succeeded then we realize that the Messiah they will introduce will be none other than Al Masih Al Dajjal – the False Messiah, a Jewish leader as prophesied for us in hadith. After the arrival of Dajjal, Isa ibn Maryam (alaihi salaam), the Real Messiah (Al Quran 3:45 calls him Messiah) will descend for the assistance of the people of Ash Shaam (includes Palestinian territories), especially for those living around Bayt Al Maqdis. This fight between truth vs falsehood supports the prophecy of an Islamic army from the East or Khurasaan, attacking Israel and destroying the 3rd Temple. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ informed us about the honorable status of these Muslims living around the Bayt Al Maqdis and their divine assistance from Isa (alaihi salaam), Imam Mahdi (alaihi salaam) and their army: “There will always be a party from my Ummah triumphant upon the Truth, victorious over their enemies; there will be no harm from those who oppose them and they will not be harmed until the order of Allah comes and they will be like that [victorious].' They (companions) asked ‘Messenger of Allah! Where are they?’ He replied, “’In Bayt al-Maqdis and the precincts of Bayt al-Maqdis’…” (recorded in Ahmad & Al Mujam Al Kabir) – The “until the order of Allah ﷻ comes” is the descent of Isa ibn Maryam (alaihi salaam) as mentioned in another hadith on the same topic: “A party of my ummah will not cease fighting for the Truth and will be victorious till the Day of Resurrection. Jesus son of Mary would then descend and their (Muslims) commander would invite him to come and lead them in prayer, but he would say: ‘No, some amongst you are commanders over some (amongst you). This is the honour from Allah for this Ummah.’” (Sahih Muslim 156)
It is these people, their commander who according to Islamic scholars is Imam Mahdi (alaihi salaam) and Isa (alaihi salaam) who will catch up with Dajjal near Ludd (Lydda), a city in Israel, and kill him there as the Prophet ﷺ also told us: “Isa bin Maryam will kill the Dajjal at the gate of Ludd.'" (Jami at-Tirmidhi 2244) With the death of this false messiah will be the end of Zionist Israel, once and for all inshA’Allah.
Lessons from History, Reflections on the Past, Present, and Future of Two Muslim Communities, By Dr. Israr Ahmed, Markazi Anjuman Khuddam-ul-Qur’an Lahore
CJPME, Jewish Terrorism Under British Mandate, Factsheet Series No. 23, March 2007, https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/cjpme/pages/2211/attachments/original/1471975203/23-En-Jewish-Terrorism-under-British-Mandate.pdf?1471975203
www.sunnah.com - Online Hadith Database
Jewish Terrorism, History News Network, Columbian College of Arts & Sciences, by Judith Apter Klinghoffer
Bible Gateway - Online Bible
Past & Future of Palestine by Dr. Israr Ahmed. فلسطین کا ماضی اور مستقبل Quran.com - Online Quran
As per Jews, a Jewish Third Temple belongs at the site of Al-Aqsa Mosque and process of ‘reclaiming’ it has already begun, TFI Home, Akshay Narang, 12 Aug, 2020
In a narration recorded by Imam Tirmidhi, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is reported to have said "When three come out, "no good will it do to a person to believe then, if he believed not before, nor earned good (by performing deeds of righteousness) through his faith" (Al Quran 6:158): the Dajjaal, the Beast, and the rising of the sun from the West — or from its Maghrib (its place of setting)." - The Prophet ﷺ would recite Ayat 6:158 of Surah Al Anam when mentioning some of the 10 major signs of Akhir Uz Zaman (Last Age) like: Dajjal, Dabbatul Ard (Creature of the Earth), Sunrise from the west, Dukhaan (Smoke), Gog and Magog, etc. This ayat explains why is it important to understand the last age and how changes in the world will impact a believer's Imaan (faith) when signs of the last age begin to appear:
(Al Quran 6:158) Do they then wait for anything other than that the angels should come to them, or that your Lord should come, or that some of the Signs of your Lord (dajjal, dabbatul ard, sunrise from West) should come! The day that some of the signs of your Lord do come, no good will it do to a person to believe then, if he believed not before (appearance of the signs), nor earned good (by performing deeds of righteousness) through his faith.
The ayat teaches that Allah ﷻ and His angels are hidden from us in al ghayb (the unseen) and will appear on the Day of Resurrection. When Allah ﷻ and His Angels appear on that day everyone will eventually believe but what will faith be of use then? Therefore believing in ghayb is part of Imaan (faith) in Islam and to make use of Imaan it is absolute essential to perform righteous actions such as fard (obligatory) and nawafil (voluntary) ones. And so not only belief in ghayb is essential for one's faith but utilizing that faith is also very essential just as a scholar said "faith without good works is equivalent to having no faith at all." The ayat further warns that when major signs of the last age announcing the judgment day begin to appear, then the world will experience changes that will cause the performance of deeds extremely difficult impacting our ability to make use of our faith. In fact with appearance of these signs many will believe, will actually want to practice faith, but the global changes that will follow these signs will cause severe challenges for them to perform good, and this is the meaning of: "no good will it do to believe if he believed not before (appearance of these signs), nor earned good (by performing deeds of righteousness) through his faith". This is exactly what we're experiencing at this point as we move forward in time especially after the outbreak of COVID-19.
Time is passing by extremely fast depriving it of the blessings which our ancestors enjoyed. They had plenty of time to do ibaadat and good. The outbreak of virus has impacted all 5 pillars of Islam. Umrah and Hajj, two pillars that are absolutely essential for a Muslim to perform at least once in a lifetime, were cancelled for all Muslims. Five times salah, an essential pillar including jumah remained suspended for masajids around the world including the 2 holy masjids. This deprived the worshipers of praying in jamaat that is several times blessed than individual prayer. Even during Ramadaan, also an essential Islamic pillar, Muslims from around the world are restricted from Makkah and Madinah while prior to outbreak the number of pilgrims in Ramadaan were almost like Hajj. Restrictions such as limited worshiper attendance, no aftaars, cancellation of events and gathering has deprived communities from physical interactions that provided opportunities to do charitable deeds. With lockdowns in several cities around the world, it has become almost impossible to meet and greet loves one's which has also deprived the believers of family relations. The global pandemic hit economies worldwide skyrocketing inflation in several countries of the developing world, eroding the spending power of masses depriving them to spend money as charity. Many madrassahs, masajids and houses of worship and charity foundations are not receiving funds as they did prior to the outbreak. Hence, our overall ability to do good which helps to make use of our faith will be of no benefit with the appearance of major signs. This is what Al Quran 6:158 brings our attention to.
It is in this reference that the Prophet ﷺ placed much stress on performance of deeds before personal or socio-environmental conditions make their performance much difficult. He said "Hasten to do good deeds before you are overtaken by one of the seven afflictions." Then (giving a warning) he said, "Are you waiting for poverty which will make you unmindful of devotion, or prosperity which will make you corrupt, or a disease which will disable you, or senility which will make you mentally unstable, or sudden death which will take you all of a sudden, or Ad-Dajjal who is the worst expected, or the Hour; and the Hour will be most grievous and most bitter." - Afflictions like senility, poverty, prosperity are warnings for individual believers while major signs like 'the hour' and 'ad-dajjal' are afflictions for entire Muslim ummah, whose appearance will make performance of deeds difficult with the approach of the Judgment day. And so Al Quran 6:158 teaches that with the approach of the hour and appearance of major signs, overall performance of deeds will become difficult for the believers. This might make some minds question what major sign could COVID-19 be, or is it even a major sign? If yes then which one and if not then why not. If you have read this then please do share your thoughts in comments.
 Dimashqi, Al-Hafiz ibn Katheer. Al Nihaya Fi al Fitan Wa al Malahim (Book of the End: Great Trials and Tribulations). pg 128 Riyadh: Maktaba Darussalam.
 Riyad as-Salihin 93 - Sunnah.com
(Al Quran 6:125) …He makes his heart narrow, much too narrow, as though he climbs up to the sky. In this way, Allah brings ignominy over those who do not believe.
Recent studies show evidence that human heart shrinks while in space and the health can sustain itself only for a year and then begins to deteriorate. The findings suggest that long-term weightlessness alters the structure of the heart, causing shrinkage and atrophy. The study published in American Heart Association's Circulation Journal, measured NASA astronaut Scott Kelly's heart before and during his 340-day time in space. It reported a loss of mass and initial drop in diameter in the left ventricles of the heart during the experience. Other health changes reported were DNA damage, gene expression changes, a thickening of the retina, shifts in gut microbes, reduced cognitive abilities and a structural change at the ends of chromosomes called telomeres. Its mainly due to to the long period of weightlessness experienced by astronauts including exposure to space radiation and other factors. The gravity experienced on Earth is what helps the heart to maintain both its size and function as it keeps blood pumping through our veins. The study suggests that astronauts engaged in long duration spaceflights suffer from atrial fibrillation, a form of arrhythmia, fast, irregular heartbeat about a decade earlier than the rest of the population and they could be at risk of developing this during such spaceflights. Atrial fibrillation can cause discomfort, reduce exercise tolerance and increase the risk of stroke in people who are otherwise healthy. While this may be an interesting piece of evidence for researchers it should also amaze Muslims to whom the Quran mentions the same:
(Al Quran 6:125) So, whom Allah wills to give guidance, He opens his heart for Islam (yashrah sadrahu lil-lslam), and whom He wills to go astray, He makes his heart narrow, much too narrow (yaj'al sadrahu dhaeeqan harajan), as though he climbs up to the sky. In this way, Allah brings ignominy over those who do not believe.
The term sadr (صَدْر) used in the verse means "breast, or chest", also includes reference to our hearts. The term shrah sadr means removing of hindrance and distraction from the heart towards accepting something. In the verse it refers to Islam's universal teachings and principles, morals and ethics and all that is instructed to us becomes acceptable to our hearts without any doubts whatsoever. By comparing contentment and satisfaction of the heart to the physical shrinkage of the organ experienced by those who remain suspended in the air without gravity, like space travel, the Quran explains how Islam carries importance to one's life. Just as a healthy heart is the key to our health and wellbeing, the hearts acceptance of Islam is the key to its guidance and peace necessary for a righteous life and strength to face challenges with trust in Allah ﷻ. It is this certainty of Islamic faith and our complete submission to it that gives contentment to the heart and gives peace to our life. At the same time this is also Quran's wakeup call to atheists, agnostics & scientologists (followers of scientology religion) whose ranks fill the modern secular academia, including astronauts & astrophysicists: "In this way, Allah brings ignominy over those who do not believe." It is they who study the creation, day and night yet refuse to believe in the One Who Created it, the entire creation, which is a self evident phenomena of His Will and Existence. The ignominy they face is their inability to stop the impact of natural forces on their heart and health.
Its important to note that during Isra Wa'al Mi'raj (Night Journey & Ascension) Prophet Muhammad ﷺ underwent a sort of a surgical operation and his blessed chest was cut open and his heart was prepared and strengthened in a way so that his blessed body may endure the extreme harshness of the space environment and not perish: "A golden tray full of wisdom and belief was brought to me and my body was cut open from the throat to the lower part of the Abdomen and then my Abdomen was washed with Zamzam water and (my heart was) filled with wisdom and belief...When I reached the nearest heaven. Gabriel said to the heaven gate-keeper, 'Open the gate.' ." His blessed heart was filled with abstract notions such as "wisdom" and "faith" by Archangel Jibraeel (Gabriel) (alaihi salaam) before the commencing of his heavenly journey. Zam Zam, a water that carries miraculous properties and continues to abundantly flow till today in Makkah, was used in the process. The miraculous incident happened in Makkah at the time when Prophet ﷺ and his followers were experiencing the most difficult time of his prophethood. They faced severe persecution, hunger and basic necessities were cut off due to the social and economic boycott by Quraysh. This was in addition to unbearable loss of his most important political and emotional support, his uncle Abu Talib and his wife Khadija (r.a). It was in Makkah that the following verses of the Quran were revealed: (Al Quran 94:1-4) HAVE WE NOT opened up your heart, and lifted from you the burden that had weighed so heavily on your back? And [have We not] raised you high in dignity? - The difficulties and stress endured while preaching in Makkah, in addition to worry for future of Islam, had taken a toll on him, his stress and sadness was unbearable. It was during this time that his heart was given the necessary peace and calmness that lifted the burden of difficulties and provided him support for spacetravel as well as endurance to fulfill the mission of remaining part of prophet hood.
 This is how the human heart adapts to space, CNN, By Ashley Strickland, Updated 2:06 AM ET, Tue March 30, 2021, https://www.cnn.com/2021/03/29/world/heart-shrinkage-weightlessness-space-wellness-scn/index.html
 Human health can be ‘mostly sustained’ for a year in space, NASA Twins Study concludes, CNN, By Ashley Strickland, CNN Updated 4:35 PM EDT, Thu April 11, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/11/health/nasa-kelly-twins-study-results/index.html
 Sahih Al Bukhari Vol. 4, Book 54, Hadith 429 - Sunnah.com
Why is Surah Al-Fatiha important?
Allah ﷻ has referred to Surah Fatiha with the term As-Sab' al-Mathani which means "The Seven Often-Repeated [Verses]" in Surah Al Hijr (Chapter 15) Verse 87: “And We have certainly given you, [O Muhammad], seven of the often repeated [verses] and the great Quran.” The Prophet ﷺ has referred to this Surah as Ummul Kitab i.e. Essence of the Book. In the above verse Allah ﷻ mentions the “Seven of the often repeated (verses)” separately from the word “Great Quran” which stresses the importance of these 7 verses to be as great as the entire Quran itself. This is why we can understand why the Prophet ﷺ referred to it as Essence of the Quran. The reason why Allah ﷻ has referred to it as ‘Seven Often Repeated’ is because this Surah is an essential part of the salah (5 obligatory prayers) which makes its recitation a total of 17 times a day for every practicing believer. If we add the times we recite during our sunnah and nawafil (voluntary) prayers then the total number of times will exceed 17! Due to this reason there is no doubt that it’s repeated very often throughout a believer’s day and continues to do so throughout our lives.
What does Fatiha mean?
This Surah is referred to with the term Fatiha which means ‘Opening’ or ‘Entrance’. When one enters a place, it is suitable to go inside only through the entrance and not any other route. Therefore it makes sense why Allah ﷻ has made it incumbent on the worshipers to recite this Surah in every Rakaah (prayer round) before choosing to recite any other Surah or verses of the Quran.
Seven Verses & Seven Heavens
Allah ﷻ says in the Quran that he formed the heavens in to seven heavens: “He it is who has created for you all that is on earth, and has applied His design to the heavens (Sama’a) and fashioned them into seven (sab’a) heavens (samawaat); and He alone has full knowledge of everything.” A wise Shaykh has said that since our Ruh (Spirit) has come from the heavens therefore the sustenance for it also lies in the heavens. And so when we recite the seven verses of Surah Fatiha, we’re actually assisting our Ruh to spiritually transport itself through these seven heavens and bond itself with Allah ﷻ, Who is high, above and beyond these heavens. Since Fatiha means ‘Opening’, this Surah opens the door for our Ruh to begin its spiritual journey, the goal of which is to connect itself with Allah ﷻ. Each verse of this Surah symbolizes as a step that assists a believer’s mind and heart to cross each heaven, thus by the time we have recited all seven verses with full concentration, we should be able to experience a communion and joy unlike any other. It is due to this reason why Prophet ﷺ said “As salatu Mi’raajul Mu’mineen” which means “That in salaah there is the Mi’raaj of the believer”. The Mi’raaj (Ascension) is the event when Prophet ﷺ himself was transported through the seven heavens till he came closest to Allah ﷻ in communion.
Surah Fatiha – The Means of Conversation with Allah ﷻ
The Prophet ﷺ informed us that Allah ﷻ responds to every verse of Surah Fatiha that we recite during our Salah. In a hadith e qudsi the Prophet ﷺ said that Allah ﷻ has said: “I have divided Salaah between Myself and My servant into two halves, and My servant shall have what he has asked for. When the servant says: "Al-hamdu lillahi rabbi l-alamin" (3), Allah ﷻ says: "My servant has praised Me". And when he says: "Ar-rahmani r-rahim" (4), Allah ﷻ says: "My servant has extolled Me", and when he says: "Maliki yawmi d-din" (5), Allah ﷻ says: "My servant has glorified Me" - and on one occasion He said: "My servant has submitted to My power." And when he says: "Iyyaka na budu wa iyyaka nasta in" (6), He says: "This is between Me and My servant, and My servant shall have what he has asked for". And when he says: "Ihdina s-sirata l- mustaqim, siratal ladhina an amta alayhim ghayril-maghdubi alayhim wa la d-dallin" (7), He says: "This is for My servant, and My servant shall have what he has asked for.”
This tradition explains the importance of Surah Fatiha even more, that reciting it helps us to spiritually conversate with Allah ﷻ. In another narration from the Prophet ﷺ we are told: “Dua (supplication) is the essence of Ibaadah (worship).” In other words Dua which is pleading and expressing one’s neediness before Allah ﷻ is the essence of Ibaadah (worship) during our Salaah and Surah Fatiha are the exact words we require to fulfill the purpose of worship to enjoy a spiritual communion with Allah ﷻ.
 Al Quran 15:87
 Al Quran 2:29
 It was related by Muslim also by Malik, at-Tirmidhi, Abu-Dawud, an-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah - https://sunnah.com/qudsi40/8
 Jami at-Tirmidhi 3371 - Sunnah.com
In Islam we have some words that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ taught us: "La Hawla Wa La Quwwatta illah billah" meaning "There is no might or power except through Allah" which means that all power originates and is sustained from and through Him for entire creation. Ayatul Kursi in the Quran (Al Quran 2:255) is exact expression of that might and power.
The "Ayatul Kursi" translates as "Verse of the Seat" i.e. Seat of Power. Every King rules from his seat of power, that’s his power base and so does Allah ﷻ. Therefore He uses the term "Kursi" meaning "Chair" or "Seat" as it represents His power base from where He rules the entire creation. This verse mentions how and in what ways the eternal power of Allah ﷻ is spread throughout the heavens and the earths and how entire creation is taken care through that power. Each part of this verse is an expression of Allah's greatness, glory and power:
ٱللَّهُ لَآ إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ ٱلۡحَىُّ ٱلۡقَيُّومُۚ
GOD - there is no deity except Him, the Ever-Living, the Self-Subsistent Fount of All Being.
…meaning Allah ﷻ is the only true God and He is ever living, did not came in to being later or had a beginning and He is Al Hayyul Qayyum i.e. Ever Living and Self Sufficient while the entire creation are dependent and sustained through Him.
لَا تَأۡخُذُهُ ۥ سِنَةٌ۬ وَلَا نَوۡمٌ۬ۚ
Neither slumber overtakes Him, nor sleep.
…all creation rests or sleeps except Him, every King who rules takes rest and sleep but He is a King who does not at all, never has and never will.
لَّهُ ۥ مَا فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَمَا فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِۗ
His is all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth
…since He is the One truly sustaining everything without any sort of rest or sleep touching Him then it all truly belongs to Him without partners.
مَن ذَا ٱلَّذِى يَشۡفَعُ عِندَهُ ۥۤ إِلَّا بِإِذۡنِهِ
Who is there that could intercede with Him, unless it be by His permission?
…the intercessors that humankind has always sought among His human beings and creations such as the spiritual powers of saints or Prophets or any sort of being that they may have in their mind to whom they’ve ever assigned any sort of divine power, is all lost since they are not allowed unless He wills. Even if they were permitted to intercede on behalf of the requester, then how do we know of that permission? Since there is no way of knowing then its best to turn to One Who controls everything, who is As Sameeh (All Hearing), Al Aleem (All Knowing) & Al Baseer (All Seeing).
يَعۡلَمُ مَا بَيۡنَ أَيۡدِيهِمۡ وَمَا خَلۡفَهُمۡۖ
He knows all that lies open before men and all that is hidden from them
…the supposed intercessors that they may have in mind have no knowledge of each individual's past, future and present. Since He is the only one Who knows past, present and future of all, then it is only Him you can turn to for all your issues, problems, assistance, needs and wishes. Your trust should only be in Him.
وَلَا يُحِيطُونَ بِشَىۡءٍ۬ مِّنۡ عِلۡمِهِۦۤ إِلَّا بِمَا شَآءَۚ
where as they cannot attain to anything of His knowledge except that which He wills
..even if He were to grant His chosen one’s i.e. Prophets & Saints or the modern scientists, some hidden knowledge or mysteries in the earth or in the universe, then it is only Him Who made it possible for them to have and they could not have gotten except through Him. Therefore, He is the Key to all knowledge, hence know this fact that He is the source of all knowledge that exists.
وَسِعَ كُرۡسِيُّهُ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضَۖ وَلَا يَـُٔودُهُ ۥ حِفۡظُهُمَاۚ وَهُوَ ٱلۡعَلِىُّ ٱلۡعَظِيمُ
His Eternal Power (Kursi) overspreads the heavens and the earth, and their upholding wearies Him not. And he alone is truly exalted, tremendous.
This is how His governing power is with which He rules the entire Universe and since He never sleeps nor takes rest then we might think He must be atleast getting tired? Well, no, He does not even get tired and that is why He is the only one who's truly, Alee’ul Azeeem (Truly Exalted, Tremendous).
This is my understanding of why I believe it is one of the greatest verses of Quran and why the Prophet ﷺ himself taught us that this Verse is the greatest in the Quran. Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: "For everything there is a hump (pinnacle) and the hump (pinnacle) of the Quran is Surat Al-Baqarah, in it there is an Ayah which is the master of the Ayaat in the Quran; [it is] Ayat Al-Kursi."
Another reason why this verse is considered as the "Master of all ayaat" because it includes the Ism Al-Azam which means The Greatest Divine Name of Allah ﷻ which is Al Hayyul Qayyum - ٱلۡحَىُّ ٱلۡقَيُّومُۚ meaning Everliving, the Self-subsisting by Whom all subsist. This Divine Name of Allah ﷻ is mentioned 3 times throughout the Quran. Since 3 is an odd number and so is Allah ﷻ, as the entire creation has opposites except for Him, He is the only one unique, hence we should recite this name 3 times on our 3 finger tips of each finger and then make dua (supplicate/invoke) to Him for our needs. He taught this name so we invoke him by it, as He says to invoke His Divine Names: " …Call on Allah, or on Al Rahman (The Most Gracious)- whatever names you call Him, the best names belong to Him." 
 Jami Tirmidhi - Vol. 5, Book 42, Hadith 2878
 Al Quran 17:110
The Islamic scholars say that the “names” that Allah ﷻ taught Adam (alaihi salaam) and the significance of their teaching is a reference to knowledge gained through human ability to think, read, learn & write. This I believe is the most correct scholarly opinion because Allah ﷻ says He taught ٱلۡأَسۡمَآءَ كُلَّهَا - Al Asma’aa Kullahaa i.e. “all the names (of things)” which implies human ability to gain knowledge of the environment and creation then based on that existing knowledge further develop in to newer sciences and knowledge. This ability was exclusive of Adam (alaihi salaam) which the angels could not display: (Al Quran 2:30–33)...they (angels) said, ‘How can You put someone there who will cause damage and bloodshed, when we celebrate Your praise and proclaim Your holiness?’ but He (Allah) said, ‘I know things you do not.’ He taught Adam all the names [of things], then He showed them to the angels and said, ‘Tell me the names of these if you truly [think you can].’ They (Angels) said, ‘May You be glorified! We have knowledge only of what You have taught us. You are the All Knowing and All Wise. Then He said, ‘Adam, tell them the names of these.’ When he told them their names, God said, ‘Did I not tell you that I know what is hidden in the heavens and the earth.'
The angels only knew what was directly imparted to each of them without having the ability to further develop on their limited knowledge. Adam (alaihi salaam) taught names by Allah ﷻ is also an echo of the first set of verses revealed to Prophet Muhammad ﷺ where Allah ﷻ commanded: ٱقۡرَأۡ - iqra i.e. “read”, a reminder of how man was created and his characteristic to gain knowledge through the use of pen which highlights his ability of thinking, reading, learning & writing: (Al Quran 96:1–5) Read in the name of your Sustainer, who has created, created man out of a germ-cell! Read - for your Sustainer is the Most Bountiful One, Who has taught [man] the use of the pen, taught man what he did not know! But man exceeds all bounds when he thinks he is self-sufficient.
Furthermore, when the angels said: (Al Quran 2:30) “‘How can You put someone there who will cause damage and bloodshed, when we celebrate Your praise and proclaim Your holiness?’ but He said, ‘I know things you do not.’” - their saying is a reference to the arrogance that accompanies knowledge in humans. Knowledge is power and creates a sense of independence which carries the potential to make us arrogant and commit crimes against the creation and rebel against our Creator. Allah ﷻ reminds us in the first set of verses revealed to Prophet Muhammad ﷺ about our potential to become arrogant with increase in knowledge: (Al Quran 96:5–7)...But man exceeds all bounds when he thinks he is self-sufficient.
This may also explain, as pointed by Muhammad Asad in his commentary, that iblis (satan) instigated Adam (alaihi salaam) and his wife to eat from the tree called شَجَرَةِ ٱلۡخُلۡ - shajarat ul khuld "tree of life eternal" (Al Quran 20:120), which implies that man may succumb to the desire to achieve immortality on earth by dreaming to become a master of a kingdom that will be eternal. This can only happen as a result of greater increase in knowledge followed by unrestricted material development causing him to overlook moral responsibility, reject the hereafter (akhira) and the very concept of our Creator, God.
While increase in knowledge and development does carry potential to generate arrogance and bad behavior in humans, alternatively it can also generate humility because with knowledge humans also learn a sense of meaning and purpose of life and that explains Allah’s response to angels: “I know things you do not”. There is also potential in us to make use of knowledge in a positive manner, express gratefulness to Allah ﷻ, be humble and serve and benefit the creation by following the way of His chosen ones called Prophets & Messengers, as Allah ﷻ says: (Al Quran 35:28)…It is those of His servants who have knowledge who stand in true fear of God. God is almighty, most forgiving.”
This expression of arrogance or humility in learned individuals depends on how much of their learning process was guided by taqwa or God consciousness which primarily defines the purpose of education in Islam. Imam Ghazali (also called Algazel) gives a beautiful parable to explain this fact: “Education is like rain water which comes down pure. Trees, plants and leaves drink that water which assumes different natures according to their different kinds. Water increases bitterness in a plant that is bitter and sweetness in a plant which is sweet. People acquire education and change it according to their conduct and desires. One whose object of learning is to boast increases his boast by education. One whose object is to increase God-fear increases his God-fear by education.”
"Allah does not burden any human being with more than he is well able to bear..." The best explanation to these words lie in the following Prophetic hadith when a man said: "O Messenger of Allah which of the people is tried most severely?" He said: "The Prophets, then those nearest to them, then those nearest to them. A man is tried according to his religion; if he is firm in his religion, then his trials are more severe, and if he is frail in his religion, then he is tried according to the strength of his religion. The servant shall continue to be tried until he is left walking upon the earth without any sins."
The above hadith explains quite well the words of Allah ﷻ in the Quran that He does not burden a human beyond their capacity. Allah ﷻ only tests and tries each individual according to the level of their ability to bear the tests. This hadith teaches us a few but very important lessons:
 Al Quran 2:286
 Jami Tirmidhi - Kitab Al Zuhd
Understanding the term Injeel (Gospel) in the Quran
Allah ﷻ says in the Quran: "Step by step has He bestowed upon you from on high this divine writing, setting forth the truth which confirms whatever there still remains [of earlier revelations]: for it is He who has bestowed from on high the Torah and the Injeel (Gospel) aforetime, as a guidance to mankind, and it is He who has bestowed [upon man] the Furqan (standard by which to discern the true from the false i.e. Quran)." Asad Translation
The key to know which Injeel is being referred above we need to understand the term "ma bayna yadayhi" which is translated in the above Asad's translation, quite differently from usual English translations. The usual one's translate it as "confirming what was before it" while Asad’s translation gives it much clearer meaning and translates it as "whatever there still remains [of earlier revelations]". Since ma bayna yadayhi can be understood as "whatever there still remains [of earlier revelations]" we may understand that Allah ﷻ is reminding us that the present day Injeel and Torah are not in their original form. This explanation of ma bayna yadayhi as "whatever there still remains [of earlier revelations]" is further strengthened by the fact that in verse 4 Allah ﷻ does not refer to the Quran as Quran, He calls it Furqan which means "standard by which to discern the true from the false". This teaches us that if Allah ﷻ accepted the present day Injeel and Torah in its original form, then He would not have used the term Furqan in the above context. In simple words Asad’s translation proves for us that Allah ﷻ is making 2 points very clear in Al Quran 3:3–4:
 Al Quran 3:3–4
(Al Quran 4:59) "O you who have attained to faith! Pay heed to God, and pay heed to the Messenger and to those from among you who have been entrusted with authority (uliul-amr minkum); and if you are at variance over any matter, refer it to God and the Messenger."
Uliul-amr minkum means those from among you who have been entrusted with authority
Who are those in authority?
They can be political leaders i.e. the governments and religious leaders & scholars, and both exercise authority over Muslims one way or another. ‘Pay heed unto God and pay heed unto Apostle’ comes first before obedience to ‘those entrusted with authority’ which means obey them only in what they tell you that is in accordance to the Islamic teachings. If they impose rules over us which force us to disobey God and His Messenger then obedience to them in such matters is not necessary however that doesn’t mean to rebel which is another issue.