We have obtained an overview of the Surah in our previous article. Now we shall delve deep into the first two verses of Surah Maryam. But before we begin, let’s take the proper security measures and check if our intention belts are fastened tight, lest the robber, Shaitan, does away with our good deeds.

Whenever you seat yourself in front of the Quran and its tafseer, ask yourself these essential questions.

  1. Am I reading for mere increase in knowledge or to obtain understanding and guidance? Do I seek to be known as a knowledgeable person among people or do I wish to transform myself and gain the pleasure of Allah?
  2. What are these verses saying to me? What have I been doing until now? And now what am I going to do after I have understood these verses?

You can perhaps maintain a Quran journal and jot down the answers and other reflections in this journal.

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The Broken Letters – Reiterating Allah’s Knowledge

Surah Maryam starts with the mysterious broken letters or Huroof Muqatta’at.


Scholars of tafseer have given various possible interpretations of these letters that appear in the beginning of 29 Surahs of the Quran. However, ultimately no one can claim to have reached the right interpretation since no other verse of Quran or authentic hadith narration explains their meaning. These verses are of the verses whose meaning is known only by Allah. We believe in them and that they are from Allah. Allah (swt) says about such verses:

“It is He who has sent down to you, [O Muhammad], the Book; in it are verses [that are] precise – they are the foundation of the Book – and others unspecific. As for those in whose hearts is deviation [from truth], they will follow that of it which is unspecific, seeking discord and seeking an interpretation [suitable to them]. And no one knows its [true] interpretation except Allah . But those firm in knowledge say, “We believe in it. All [of it] is from our Lord.” And no one will be reminded except those of understanding.” (Surah Ale-Imran 3: 7)

Nonetheless, these letters contain a subtle reminder; Allah is the source of all true knowledge. The only certain knowledge we have is that given by Allah. Hence, we should trust Allah, His wisdom and His knowledge regarding all matters and surrender in obedience. It is a reminder of humbleness; even the greatest scholar cannot claim to know the meaning of these simple letters! These letters indeed testify to the magnificence and miracle of the Quran.

Related: Recite Quran Like a Qari

The Favors of Allah

Surah Maryam begins with the story of one of our champions; Zakariyyah (alayhi salam). Allah (swt) says:

“[This is] a mention of the mercy of your Lord to His servant Zakarriyah.” (Surah Maryam 19: 2)

When reading this verse, a question comes to mind; was it only Zakariyyah (alayhi salam) who received Allah’s mercy and blessings, or am I a recipient of Allah’s mercy too? In the midst of our life problems and trials, we zoom in on the problems and complaints so much that we forget the bigger picture of Allah’s favours and mercy. We fail to realize how submerged we are in the blessings of Allah. It wasn’t only Zakariyyah who received Allah’s mercy, we receive it too. Let’s zoom out…

Allah (swt) is providing for us, taking care of us and answering our calls every second of the day. We may forget Him and the connection that He has with us, but He does not forget us. When we start reckoning His favours, all our complaints will go away and we will only increase in gratitude.  (A quick exercise to reflect on Allah’s favours: Draw three columns in your Quran journal. In column one, make a list of all the things you asked Allah for but He did not give you. In column two, make a list of all the things you asked Allah and He gave them to you. In column three, make a list of all the things that you did not ask Allah but He still gave them to you. Which is the longest?)

Related Video: Surah Maryam Full Recitation By Maher Al-Muaqily

Let’s Build a Bond with Allah

Don’t you feel a strange connection with someone who smiles at you or looks at you fondly once or twice during a gathering (we are not talking about non-mahrams of course!)? Don’t we love our parents because of all that they’ve done for us? Don’t we love our spouses for their favors on us? How can we forget Allah, who never ceases to attend to us? How can we be negligent of The One who has been with us through every heartbeat and through every step? How can we turn our face from the One who never turns away from us; it is always we who do so.

Allah’s favours are innumerable! Shouldn’t our foremost and deepest connection be with Him? When a mother loves her children, she is ready to sacrifice her own sleep and comfort for their sake. When a father loves his family, he is ready to sacrifice for its sake. The ones we love are our topmost priority. The one who favors us gains our loyalty. Then why couldn’t we make Allah our priority? Why aren’t we loyal to Him? Because we are not aware of the mercy and blessings of Allah on us! Because we are not aware of His being with us all the time, being there for us when no one was there.

Before we go further, let’s try and build a bond with Allah. Let’s zoom in on the mercy that He has showered on each and every one of us. Let’s mention and talk about His blessings on us. Let’s recognize our All-Loving Creator!

Task of the week: Think and reflect on the mercy and blessings of Allah on yourself; the little, the big, the significant, the insignificant and watch your faith as it grows and love for Allah as it blooms.

In the next article Insha Allah we will learn effective supplication tips from Zakariyyah (alayhi salam). Stay tuned…!

Related Video: Amazed by the Quran with Nouman Ali Khan: Maryam’s Upbringing

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