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Get to Know Surah Al-Fath – with Brother Nouman

Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3– Part 4– Part 5 – Part 6 –  Part 7Part 8

Surah Al-Fath is a very profound and different surah of the Quran.

Do you want to understand Surah Al-Fath at a deeper level?

Get to Know a Surah of the Quran is a new series of videos brother Nouman Ali Khan presented during the month of Ramadan, 2016.

The following is a summary of some of the most important points and reflections brother Nouman mentioned in this ninth episode.

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Surah Al-Fath has many implications.

Ustadh Nouman spent almost three quarters of the year trying to understand it, because it is a “heavy” surah.

What are its profound meanings?

And how does this surah relate to our understanding of the world as it stands today?

This surah has been talked about by so many different ways by so many different people, in relationship with ourselves as an Ummah, and in relationship to our outside world which is constantly being contested and challenged.

This is one of those surahs that answers some of the most fundamental questions about what Islam is, what the struggle of Islam means, what the goal of the Ummah is…

Opening and Victory

The surah itself is called Fath, which means opening and victory in the Arabic language, and it’s inspired by the first ayah:

{Indeed, We have given you, [O Muhammad], a clear conquest} (48:1)

Fathan mubinan” is not something that is only clear, but it also clarifies.

So the victory that is being talked about in the surah will clarify things.

It will clarify what victory actually means.

And it will clarify what victory Muslims should be aspiring towards…

For Muslims, this is between the sixth and seventh year of the Prophet’s life in Madinah.

The Muslims have gone through several military engagements with the Makkans (the Quraish), and the worst of them has just happened, which is the battle of Al-Ahzab.

The Quraish were able to merge several factions of Arabia, and convince all of them that their real problem in Arabia is the Muslims in Madinah.

So let’s get together, and basically surround the people of Madinah, and attack the city of Madinah, and kill every Muslim man and child, annihilate them and take over the spoils and distribute them among ourselves.

Not only will we get rich after this, we will have solved the biggest problem in the region, Islam itself.

And the Quraish were able to use their political capital to convince multiple factions to do this as an army of ten to twelve thousands gather and march towards the city of Madinah to end the problem of Islam.

The Trench

A last minute suggestion of one of the companions of the Prophet, peace be upon him, an out-of-the-box thinker, someone who came from Persia, Salman Al-Farisi, gives a suggestion that the only thing that would hold the army off is a trench that we should dig that blocks their path to the city.

So a trench is dug.

Everybody, all the civilian population of Madinah, gets involved in digging the trench so they can’t enter from this side.

And this remarkable battle is not actually the subject of this surah, that’s the subject of Surat Al-Ahzab, which is literally called the factions, where all these factions got together and tried to annihilate the Muslims.

But this just happened. And these blood-thirsty Quraish and these tribes camped outside Madinah and tried to kill all the Muslims.

Their attempts failed, and a few weeks later they all decided it was too expensive a venture if they stayed camped out with their militaries on the road like this. So they decided to leave, and Madinah was safe once again.

The Road to Makkah

As soon as that happens, and that is a little over a year according to some, maybe not even a year goes by, the Prophet, peace be upon him, sees a dream that he is performing the pilgrimage, the Hajj.

Hajj means you go to Makkah, and you go unarmed…

So he is basically going to perform the pilgrimage in Makkah, mind you Makkah is contested territory.

We went to war with these people several times, and the last time they were so motivated for the blood of Muslims that they left their homes and came all the way into the city of Madinah to try and kills us.

And now, not even a year later, the Prophet says let’s go armless to do the pilgrimage in Makkah. Who is with me?

And since it is the Prophet’s dream, and the Prophet’s dream is considered revelation, we all follow suit. So 1,800 people get together, and they start marching towards Makkah, not as an army but as pilgrims for worship.

Now the Makkans, because they are a multi-religious society, people are used to come to pilgrimage all the time. Even pagans used to do the pilgrimage at the Ka’bah, which was surrounded by idols all the time.

Even though originally it is the House built by Ibrahim, it is polluted by other ignorant practices, so they are familiar with the idea of pilgrimage.

They know that when somebody comes for pilgrimage, it is not an act of war, and you can’t attack them.

In realizing this, they try to send their armies to cut the Muslims off, and try to kill them on the way.

The Prophet, peace be upon him, had his intelligence ahead who told him they are coming your way, so they diverted routes, and they went down a road that nobody would normally go by…

And they reach this barren field called Hudaibiyah.

They get there, and there is a dried up well there, and the Prophet, peace be upon him, prays there and he spits into the well, and he throws an arrow into the well, and the well starts pouring out water, so the entire caravan and their animals fed…

What happened next? …

For more reflections and details on this surah explained by brother Nouman, and to watch the full episode, please click here.

(From Discovering Islam archive)