By June 29, 2020 Read More →

Chapter Abasa – Part 1

Chapter Abasa (He frowned)

The Chronologically 24th Revealed Chapter of the Qur’an.

Let’s try to understand the message within our own life conditions.  This chapter of the Quran was revealed after 2-3 years of Prophethood, as per historians.  That is, God sends the message through His appointed messengers.

The story as narrated is as follows: The Messenger of God (pbuh) was trying to convey the message to the noblemen of the community thinking that if they accept the message it will be more beneficial to the whole society given their status. While he (pbuh) was conveying the message, there was a blind man who approached the Prophet and requested to convey if any new message had been revealed. The Prophet did not want to be bothered by such.  As far as I am concerned, this event might have happened, but what should I do with this news?

The first three verses need to be read together, otherwise it will not make any sense.

80:1 “He frowned and turned away”

80:2 “when the blind man approached him,”

The “blind” man did not know what the Prophet (pbuh) was doing but he approached him.  

  • What is a blind man for us?
  • Anyone who did not choose to be blind but was created blind.  
  • Anyone who can not see the truth and reality.
  • It is a state you are in without your choosing but striving for the truth.
  • It could be me as being ignorant (blind) to the truth out there, needing clarifications to my misunderstandings… 

80:3 “but how do you know?  Perhaps he would be purified”
If someone approaches you about the reality of existence, you need to be open to it.


  • Why does God want us to be purified?


  • In order to get to know the truth and accept the truth i.e. there is a Source of Existence behind the creation of this universe.

We should not discuss any matter related to the reality of existence in an argumentative way because that may give rise to competition and debates where people may take opposition and listen to the other in order to reject the opposite side.  Always be ready to listen to people and see if they are open to listening to the truth.  No matter what age, race, or religious background they come from, you must be open to listening and conveying the reality of existence.  With one condition i.e. realizing that this person seeks purification.

What is purification?  Purification from what?

  • Removing ignorance.
  • Free from egotism.
  • Heedlessness.
  • Wrong ideas.
  • Inherited culture/religious knowledge without verification.
  • Values we learn from other sources/blind imitations.
  • Biases.

We should not have any prejudice about people.  The purpose of the Quran is to purify ourselves from all these elements (as mentioned above).  Example: arrogance, competition and biases are a condition of the heart.  That is, not being ready to receive the truth from socially low-level people/individuals (in the case of the messengers, appointed by God).  Historically we hear that most of the elite in society rejected the message of the Messengers by saying: “if God was going to employ someone, s/he would be a noble,  honorable person, not an orphan or a shepherd.”  They were not happy with the status of the messengers.  People opposed the message because of their status.  This is a human weak point.  How can I use the message to self-evaluate my arrogance, egotism and biases when I am seeking the truth? 


  • Do I pay attention to the person’s social status, popularity, credentials or the truthfulness of the message?


Our purification must have something to do with the reality of our existence.  We have stains of selfishness, societal influences, unquestioned societal values, biases. We need to seek the truth and correct ourselves by aligning our being to the purpose of our existence. Encourage and support others who are also searching for their purpose in existence.  In our living in this society, we work with many individuals, we must be mindful not to shun away those looking for the truth. We must be concerned more with the desire of the people who would like to purify themselves.  

  • The heart of the matter is related to the purpose of our existence: We do not exist to eat or have better living conditions.  To make progress in our existence, fulfilling its purpose while we need to live and need to have better living conditions.  

For example, in helping someone, is it just for material purpose or is the person seeking the truth. We don’t really know about whether someone is seeking to purify themselves, but these are some of the things the verse guides us to.  We should be careful about the people we help, are they going to waste their lives as far as the Quranic teachings are concerned?  We need to help people with their most essential needs, help them to realize who their Lord is and what is the purpose of his/her living.  We cannot really foresee what needs is one seeking help for but as much as we can.

  • Human needs should be the main concern of people, rather than bodily needs only.  

80:4 or may be mindful, and the reminder may benefit him.

We must bear in mind that any person may be taking heed of the reminder, we should help them and make ourselves available so that whatever truth we know, we may convey. Let’s examine another verse that may help us understand the benefit for those seeking guidance.

6:52 “Do not drive away those that call on their Lord morning and evening, seeking only to gain His favor.  You are in no way accountable for them, nor are they in any way accountable for you.  If you dismiss them, you shall yourself become a wrongdoer.”

Heart of the verse above is “favor of God” or “face of God” (Arabic wajh).  If you want to speak to someone, what do you do?  You call out the person’s name and get their attention. The person now turns his/her face towards you and pays attention to you. Similarly in order to experience the “face of God”, we can understand it in our communication with Him. “Excuse me, look at me and turn your face towards me”.   When we call on our Creator (making supplication/invocation (Arabic duaa)), we are calling on God to turn His face to me in order to express my position and needs so that I will establish a relationship with Him.  In order to gain attention with my source of Existence, I need to realize my needs, which ties to my need of the One who can fulfill them. That  is the way I would like to communicate with Him.

You have to look favorably towards people who are trying to improve their communication with their Creator asking for help from you.  God says do not drive them away because of their social status.  You need to be approachable to people looking to connect with their Lord.  If you dismiss them, then you become a wrongdoer.  The mission of the Prophet is to let people know: 

  1. How to prepare myself for the end of my life?  
  2. How to get ready to give account to my Creator?  

We will be taken away from this world and we will be held accountable for all the blessings we have used including (human senses and faculties).  This life is not a joke as it is perfectly well ordered, do you think that your life has no purpose?  See, how everything is fulfilling its duty here.  The spinning of the earth, sunlight and mountains are created to fulfill a purpose.  Do you think that human beings have no purpose at all?  

  • We have to train our human feelings in order to appreciate and acknowledge our Creator.  
  • We need to give a good account saying: “I have not wasted them, or I have utilized them.”  

I should not dismiss anyone who wants to get close to the Creator.  Our responsibility is to acknowledge: “I have received these bounties from you, I want to present my thanks and appreciation to You.” 

Not many of us approach others to let them know what the reality of this existence is.  People may approach you to be helped with health or some financial transactions.  Most people do not approach each other in order to learn the reality and purpose in existence. They approach with the attitude of wanting to hear what they expect to hear and have their opinions confirmed rather than learning the reality.  That is an egocentric worldview.  That is what civilization imposes on us, boosts the human ego, encourages us to seek status and applauses..  We have to watch out for ourselves!  Another trend is to hear religious matters from one’s point of view. We look for answers that satisfy our own biases and consolidate our own ideas.  No one can claim that my idea is the best!

  • “Stop being egoistic in trying to understand God’s message (The Quran)”.  

Some fear that the truth would be otherwise to their expectation and will be against their comfort zone and want to live according to their desires.  I need to check myself: Am I following any of these attitudes?  I must be open to hear if there is a mistake about my understanding of religion.  I must be also approachable to be warned if I am wrong.  

  • “Please tell me if I am holding a wrong idea for correcting my own mistakes/shortcomings.”  

I must have self-confidence within myself that if someone corrects me, then I would be happy with it.  I shall be open to corrections/improvements.

Next week…

80:5 “As for him who thinks himself self-sufficient”.


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