The Devil’s Promise (2:268)

[2:268] The devil promises you poverty and commands you to commit evil, while GOD promises you forgiveness from Him and grace. GOD is Bounteous, Omniscient. 

Everything the devil promises is an illusion (4:120, 17:64)

[4:120] He promises them and entices them; what the devil promises is no more than an illusion.

[17:64] “You may entice them with your voice, and mobilize all your forces and all your men against them, and share in their money and children, and promise them. Anything the devil promises is no more than an illusion.

The devil promises us poverty, therefore poverty is an illusion. Poverty is the belief we are lacking something. If we think we are lacking something then we think that God forgot to provide us with what we need to be successful on our journey. God provided us with everything we need. We see the example of David who was a shepherd, but was able to conquer Goliath with nothing more than a sling and a stone, and Moses being able to free the Children of Israel with his staff that he leaned on and used to herd his sheep. God provides us with everything we need and there should never be a time in our lives that we think we are lacking something from going to where God wants us to be.

Poverty History

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What to Give to Charity (2:267)

                                                   What to Give
[2:267] O you who believe, you shall give to charity from the good things you earn, and from what we have produced for you from the earth. Do not pick out the bad therein to give away, when you yourselves do not accept it unless your eyes are closed. You should know that GOD is Rich, Praiseworthy.

How Does A Homeless Man Spend $100?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUBTAdI7zuY

Parable of Charity and Soil (2:264 – 2:265)

[2:264] O you who believe, do not nullify your charities by inflicting reproach and insult, like one who spends his money to show off, while disbelieving in GOD and the Last Day. His example is like a rock covered with a thin layer of soil; as soon as heavy rain falls, it washes off the soil, leaving it a useless rock. They gain nothing from their efforts. GOD does not guide disbelieving people.

                                                           Charity
[2:265] The example of those who give their money seeking GOD’s pleasure, out of sincere conviction, is that of a garden on high fertile soil; when heavy rain falls, it gives twice as much crop. If heavy rain is not available, a drizzle will suffice. GOD is Seer of everything you do.
[2:266] Does any of you wish to own a garden of palm trees and grapes, with flowing streams and generous crops, then, just as he grows old, and while his children are still dependent on him, a holocaust strikes and burns up his garden? GOD thus clarifies the revelations for you, that you may reflect.

The work of the disbeliever is like a soil with no depth. Since there is no depth it is not stable and roots can’t be established. When there is depth in our belief our roots can be established and we can grow and produce good fruit via righteous deeds. Believers have deep soil and roots. Even at hard times a drizzle will suffice.

                                            Truth vs Falsehood
[14:24] Do you not see that GOD has cited the example of the good word as a good tree whose root is firmly fixed, and its branches are high in the sky?
[14:25] It produces its crop every season, as designed by its Lord. GOD thus cites the examples for the people, that they may take heed.
[14:26] And the example of the bad word is that of a bad tree chopped at the soil level; it has no roots to keep it standing.
[14:27] GOD strengthens those who believe with the proven word, in this life and in the Hereafter. And GOD sends the transgressors astray. Everything is in accordance with GOD’s will.

Matthew Chapter 13 – The Parable of the Sower
1 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.”

10 The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” 11 He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables: “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.

14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: “
‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. 15 For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’

16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17 For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.

18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

sower

Kind Words Are Better Than a Charity Followed By Insult (2:262 – 2:264)

[2:262] Those who spend their money in the cause of GOD, then do not follow their charity with insult or harm, will receive their recompense from their Lord; they have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.
[2:263] Kind words and compassion are better than a charity that is followed by insult. GOD is Rich, Clement.
[2:264] O you who believe, do not nullify your charities by inflicting reproach and insult, like one who spends his money to show off, while disbelieving in GOD and the Last Day. His example is like a rock covered with a thin layer of soil; as soon as heavy rain falls, it washes off the soil, leaving it a useless rock. They gain nothing from their efforts. GOD does not guide disbelieving people. 

Would you help a homeless person in need?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cmiB5m4OUE

 Kind Words
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hzgzim5m7oU

 

The Best Investment (2:261)

                                             The Best Investment
[2:261] The example of those who spend their monies in the cause of GOD is that of a grain that produces seven spikes, with a hundred grains in each spike. GOD multiplies this manifold for whomever He wills. GOD is Bounteous, Knower.

Warrant Buffet is considered one of the greatest investors in the world and his compound rate of growth for his investments has been ~20% year over year. Compare this to God’s investment of 700x multiplied manifold for any righteous work we do. There is no other investment in the universe with this level of return.

Rule of 72
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12FsjiVzTMA

Studying the Quran makes us Smarter (2:253 – 2:260)

The Quran is not like any other book. Sometimes the verses seem to have no relation to one another, but upon further study it forces our brains to work harder to see the underlying messages that are interwoven in the verses. For instance we see that across the verses we see similar examples of different believers from different times who had to endure similar challenges

Abraham asked God to show him how to revive the dead (2:259) and also had a debate with the king (2:258).

Sleepers of Ephesus stood up against the trinity and also were put to death for 300 years (18:9 – 18:20).

By making these associations and having to think about things more critically we are forcing our brains to work harder. This approach that God used in designing the Quran allows us to be able to read the Quran an infinite number of times and always make new discoveries and pull additional information out of it.

On Freakonimics they discussed how one solution to terrorism would be for muslims to actually study the Quran

“Is There a Better Way to Fight Terrorism? A New Freakonomics Radio Podcast”
http://freakonomics.com/2015/02/13/is-there-a-better-way-to-fight-terrorism-a-new-freakonomics-radio-podcast/

Is There a Better Way to Fight Terrorism? A New Freakonomics Radio Podcast.

33rd Square

Every Believer Needs Assurances For Our Hearts (2:260)

                                     Every Believer Needs Assurance
[2:260] Abraham said, “My Lord, show me how You revive the dead.” He said, “Do you not believe?” He said, “Yes, but I wish to reassure my heart.” He said, “Take four birds, study their marks, place a piece of each bird on top of a hill, then call them to you. They will come to you in a hurry. You should know that GOD is Almighty, Most Wise.”

This verse shows that there are two ways to appeal to God (1) through our minds by means of logic (2) and through love by means of our hearts. We need both facets to fall into place in order to be able to come to Submission. Love without logic is blind faith, and this can lead people astray because if we are just following our hearts then we can fall for anything. Logic without love means that while it may make sense to us we will not have the motivation and passion to follow through with Submission.

[57:16] Is it not time for those who believed to open up their hearts for GOD’s message, and the truth that is revealed herein? They should not be like the followers of previous scriptures whose hearts became hardened with time and, consequently, many of them turned wicked. 

Did Abraham have doubt by making this request to God? How do we differentiate between assurances and doubt?

This example of Abraham is more of a curiosity, rather than doubt. Abraham didn’t have any doubt that God could revive the dead, but he wanted to better understand it. There are a lot of things that God tells us that we don’t deny and accept whole-heartedly, but still want to understand and see with our own eyes. This is different than denying what God tells us as truth and demanding God to prove it to us before we believe. We have to believe it to see it [2:3]

Compare this example to the Children of Israel who refused to believe until they see God physically.

Physical Evidence
[2:55] Recall that you said, “O Moses, we will not believe unless we see GOD, physically.” Consequently, the lightning struck you, as you looked.

Assurance is when we want to strengthen our belief. With strengthened belief comes additional responsibility.

                                                      The Feast
[5:112] Recall that the disciples said, “O Jesus, son of Mary, can your Lord send down to us a feast from the sky?” He said, “You should reverence GOD, if you are believers.”
[5:113] They said, “We wish to eat from it, and to reassure our hearts, and to know for sure that you have told us the truth. We will serve as witnesses thereof.” 

                              Greater Miracles Bring Greater Responsibility
[5:114] Said Jesus, the son of Mary, “Our god, our Lord, send down to us a feast from the sky. Let it bring plenty for each and every one of us, and a sign from You. Provide for us; You are the best Provider.” Footnote
[5:115] GOD said, “I am sending it down. Anyone among you who disbelieves after this, I will punish him as I never punished anyone else.”

Having Doubt Vs. Harboring Doubt

There is a difference between having doubt and harboring doubt. Having doubt is not a problem, as long as we work to eliminate our doubts. But when someone harbors doubt they are not looking to resolve it. By harboring doubt it will continue to grow like a seed that is being watered until it consumes the person.

                                         The Quran’s Common Denominator
[74:30] Over it is nineteen.
[74:31] We appointed angels to be guardians of Hell, and we assigned their number (19)

(1) to disturb the disbelievers,
(2) to convince the Christians and Jews (that this is a divine scripture),
(3) to strengthen the faith of the faithful,
(4) to remove all traces of doubt from the hearts of Christians, Jews, as well as the believers, and
(5) to expose those who harbor doubt in their hearts, and the disbelievers; they will say, “What did GOD mean by this allegory?” GOD thus sends astray whomever He wills, and guides whomever He wills. None knows the soldiers of your Lord except He. This is a reminder for the people.

Allah Bird