Reflections on Surat Al-A’la and Al-Ghashiyah on Eid

Reflections on Surat Al-A'la and Al-Ghashiyah on Eid

The surahs recited every Eid

Every Eid, the Prophet (peace be on him) used to recite Surat Al A’la in the first rakah and Surat Al Ghashiya in the second rakah, which are two consecutive surahs in the Quran. He recited them at almost every Eid and sometimes at Jummuah.

I was wondering why he chose these surahs on these occasions. On these days, the congregation would be as packed as possible. So why did he choose them?

I looked at the meaning of these surahs and there are some overlaps.

Themes in the surahs

Glory and Oneness

They both glorify Allah Almighty, they mention His oneness,

 Successful indeed are those who purify themselves, (avoiding polytheism)  (87:14)

Creation

 Allah Almighty draws our attention to His creation of the heavens and earth and us.

Glorify the Name of your Lord, the Most High,

Who created and ˹perfectly˺ fashioned ˹all˺ (87:1-2)

He then instructs us to think about the creation around us.

Do they not ever reflect on camels—how they were ˹masterfully˺ created;

and the sky—how it was raised ˹high˺;

and the mountains—how they were firmly set up (88:17-19)

Preserving the divine message

Surah A’la also talks about how Allah revealed the Quran to the Prophet (peace be on him) and ensured that it was preserved in his chest, so that he would be able to deliver it.

We will have you recite ˹the Quran, O Prophet,˺ so you will not forget ˹any of it˺, (87:6)

Akhira

Both surahs mention the akhirah. Surat al Ghashiya talks about the rewards and fruits of your actions and deeds in dunya.

There are two groups – those who will go to hell because of their deliberate denial of Allah’s message and His guidance:

On that Day ˹some˺ faces will be downcast, (88:3)

And by contrast those with bright faces and happy faces about their actions:

On that Day ˹other˺ faces will be glowing with bliss (88:8)

Striving

Allah shows us that the reward for those who strived in dunya is Jannah

˹fully˺ pleased with their striving, (88:9)

They are the ones who spread Allah’s message in the prophetic way:

So ˹always˺ remind ˹with the Quran˺—˹even˺ if the reminder is beneficial ˹only to some˺.

Those in awe ˹of Allah˺ will be mindful ˹of it˺. (87:9-10)

Think

The first surah started with the command to think about who created you and what is around you and what you need from sustenance. The second surah ends with thinking and reflecting. This is why the Prophet (peace be on him) used to recite these surahs.

Think about your own actions which you save in the bank of akhirah.  

The five concepts

In summary, the main points are:

  1. Your relationship with Allah: tasbeeh, oneness, Quran
  2. Your relationship with people: remind them about Allah
  3. Your relationship with the akhira: thinking about it and preparing for it
  4. The reward of your choices and deeds
  5. The importance of reflecting on the creation of Allah

These themes are present in both surahs. They make us reflect on what we need to do in the dunya and the necessity of keeping good relations with Allah Almighty His Words – the Quran, and with people.

We have to be mindful of both during our life.  Not only at Eid and Jummah, but every day.

Eid

At Eid day the Prophet (peace be on him) used to spread happiness in his community and in his family.

Nevertheless although our hearts are bleeding for our brothers and sisters in Palestine, at the hands of the escalating atrocities and aggression by the enemies. They have persecuted and killed innocent worshippers in the mosque.

In the famous hadith, ‘Abdullāh ibn ‘Abbās (may Allah be pleased with him) reported:

عن عبد الله بن عباس -رضي الله عنهما- قال: كنت خلف النبي -صلى الله عليه وسلم- يوماً فقال يا غلام، إني أعلمك كلمات: «احْفَظِ اللهَ يحفظْك، احفظ الله تَجِدْه تُجَاهَك، إذا سألت فاسأل الله، وإذا اسْتَعَنْتَ فاسْتَعِن بالله، واعلمْ أن الأمةَ لو اجتمعت على أن ينفعوك بشيء لم ينفعوك إلا بشيء قد كتبه الله لك، وإن اجتمعوا على أن يَضرُّوك بشيء لم يَضرُّوك إلا بشيء قد كتبه الله عليك، رفعت الأقلام وجفت الصحف». وفي رواية: «احفظ الله تَجِدْه أمامك، تَعرَّفْ إلى الله في الرَّخَاء يَعرِفْكَ في الشِّدة، واعلم أنَّ ما أخطأَكَ لم يَكُنْ ليُصِيبَكَ، وما أصَابَكَ لم يَكُنْ لِيُخْطِئَكَ، واعلم أن النصرَ مع الصبرِ، وأن الفرجَ مع الكَرْبِ، وأن مع العُسْرِ يُسْرًا».

One day I was riding behind the Prophet (peace be upon him), and he said: “O boy, I shall teach you some words: Be mindful of Allah and Allah will protect you. Be mindful of Allah, and you will find Him in front of you. If you ask, ask Allah; and if you seek help, seek help from Allah. And know that if the Ummah were to gather together to benefit you with anything, they would not benefit you except with what Allah had already prescribed for you. And if they were to gather together to harm you with anything, they would not harm you except with what Allah had already prescribed against you. The pens have been lifted and the pages have dried.”

In another narration: “Be mindful of Allah, and you will find Him in front of you. Recognise and acknowledge Allah in times of ease and prosperity, and He will remember you in times of adversity. And know that what has passed you by was not going to befall you, and what has befallen you was not going to pass you by. And know that victory comes with patience, relief with affliction, and hardship with ease.”  (Tirmidhi)

Know Allah in times of hardship and he will be with you in times of prosperity

Nothing you are afflicted by can harm you unless Allah wrote it for you.

What we are going through as an ummah has been written for us. We have to be responsible  for our actions. Allah will not unite us unless we unite ourselves.

Victory comes from patience and obedience.

Allah gives victory to people who are obedient and patient. Those who act in accordance with His commands.

Allah will never give victory to those who are disobedient.

Relief comes with hardship. The relief comes with it, not after it. Therefore all the pain, we are experiencing, will go away when we follow His commands.

The map and the maze

If you are in a maze and you have the map which shows you the way out but you say you do not need it, you will keep hitting dead ends.

Allah Almighty sent us Quran -the instructions to follow. They are our way out, and our way out to victory.

We ask relief for our ummah, unite our hearts and give us the ability to be responsible fo our own actions.

We need to be selfless rather than selfish in order to bring hearts together. We need to spread happiness to families and communities.

Despite the pain we are all feeling, we need to show our children happiness and teach them about Bait al Maqdis. It is the land of Isra wal Mi’raj, the first qibla and our property and we will defend it by Allah’s help.

May Allah accept our good deeds, forgive our shortcomings and mistakes. Ameen.

Shaykh Haytham Tamim

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Shaykh Haytham Tamim is the founder and main teacher of the Utrujj Foundation. He has provided a leading vision for Islamic learning in the UK, which has influenced the way Islamic knowledge is disseminated. He has orchestrated the design and delivery of over 200 unique courses since Utrujj started in 2001. His extensive expertise spans over 30 years across the main Islamic jurisprudence schools of thought. He has studied with some of the foremost scholars in their expertise; he holds some of the highest Ijazahs (certificates) in Quran, Hadith (the Prophetic traditions) and Fiqh (Islamic rulings). His own gift for teaching was evident when he gave his first sermon to a large audience at the age of 17 and went on to serve as a senior lecturer of Islamic transactions and comparative jurisprudence at the Islamic University of Beirut (Shariah College). He has continued to teach; travelling around the UK, Europe and wider afield, and won the 2015 BISCA award (British Imams & Scholars Contributions & Achievements Awards) for Outstanding Contribution to Education and Teaching.