Surat an-Nisaa: Remembering What We Are Created For

[The following is a transcript of a lecture by Shaykh Mokhtar Maghraoui, where he reflects on the Qur'anic recitation during the nights of Ramadan. It contains minor modifications from the spoken word for the purposes of readability.]

Surat an-Nisaa begins by calling mankind to taqwa, and to worship Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, and to remind us of our origin. The origin of life. The origin of the human being, man and woman. And Allah ‘azza wa jall reminds us that we are all created from the same soul, men and women.

And then after that in this introduction Allah ‘azza wa jall begins to tell us about many more aḥkam (rules of life). Rules of family life. Rules of inheritance. Rules of proper conduct, sexual conduct, and what is considered – and refuge is with Allah – improper and evil sexual conduct. And to stay away from that. That leads to the maqt (despise) of Allah ‘azza wa jall, and to pain in this dunya, and most importantly pain in akhira, and refuge is with Allah.

Surat an-Nisaa – the surah of women, as we should know – contains a lot of aḥkam about family life, about the relationship between men and women. And also from the beginning, in the middle, at the end, and in between, while Surat an-Nisaa tells us a lot about aḥkam (practical rules of conduct), it is also flavored with strong messages of tawḥeed of Allah ‘azza wa jall, and strong messages of akhlaq and morality. And strong messages of following Rasulullah , and keeping away from that which keeps us away from Allah and His Rasul .

Again, to emphasize: our lives as human beings are intended for us to be focused on Allah ‘azza wa jall. We were created for ‘ubudiyyah [worship]. We were created to fulfill ‘ubudiyyah to Allah ‘azza wa jall – with our hearts, minds, and senses. We were created for that; that we orient our hearts toward Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. And we keep reorienting and changing the directions of our hearts away from other than Allah towards Allah ‘azza wa jall.

That’s what we were created for. We’re not created to play and to eat and to drink. [We’re not created] for each one of those activities for an inherent value within themselves. No. They are only a means for us to be living as human beings with our hearts focused on Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.

Every moment we forget Allah ‘azza wa jall we are in a sort of shirk, and refuge is with Allah. Every moment you and I forget Allah ‘azza wa jall with our hearts, and therefore we are with our hearts engaged with something else other than Allah ‘azza wa jall, that’s shirk. We are in a shirk situation, and refuge is with Allah. Shirk is many levels, as you know, and many sublevels. And refuge is with Allah.

We were created for that. The message of the Qur’an from the beginning until the end is about that: that you and I, that we human beings, are conscious of our relationships with Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. Not only externally, I emphasize, but most importantly while externally, internally. With our quloob (hearts) and focus.

We work on that every day. We learn deen. We learn what we learn and we do what we do all in order to improve that orientation of our hearts with Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, my dear brothers and sisters. May Allah send His prayers, peace, and blessings upon our Master Muḥammad and upon all his family and companions.