Alhamduilah I was able to listen in into br. Wisam alSharieff ‘s (bayyinah instructor) Meaning of the Book Of Allah Webminar. Sadly, I came late and could catch just a couple of ayahs, plus my notes got deleted :S here’s what I’ve got though alhamduliah.
AlBaqarah 185. The month of Ramadân in which was revealed the Qur’ân, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong). So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadân i.e. is present at his home), he must observe Saum (fasts) must be made up] from other days. Allâh intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you. (He wants that you) must complete the same number (of days), and that you must magnify Allâh [i.e. to say Takbîr (Allâhu-Akbar; Allâh is the Most Great) on seeing the crescent of the months of Ramadân and Shawwâl] for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him. (fasts) that month, and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe
The purpose of Ramadan was for the quran, it was the month it was revealed. Why is Ramadan then in this month? The quran was sent down to be a means of purification for the soul, and the perfect time is Ramadan- it comes hand in hand. Also, it is guidance to all mankind. You are preparing your body for what, for the revelation of quran. We see in this ayah that Allah intends for ease and not for hardship. We are taught that we should not go to the extreme and say ‘I cannot fast and say I will pay the fidyah’ and not the other extreme where you say ‘I cannot even brush my teeth.’ Allah swt does not want any hardships He subhanahu just wants us to do the prescribed days to gain the guidance, and not to stray off to either path but instead be in the middle path. In this month we see how the soul is being pushed. We read the quran and hear the quran over and over through out the year, but still have this back and forth feelings.
In the beginning of surat AlBaqarah we see that the first step is being a muslim (and to you we are muslimoon) then second step is for you 3abidoon (and to you we are worshipers). After attaining those two we reach the third step which is mutaqoon (god fearing).
Small reflection: The quran was hudann lilmutaqeen (guidance to mankind- ayah 2 of surat albaqarah) So even though it was sent to mankind it really will be of benefit to those who are of the status of taqwa. wallahu ‘alam.
AlBaqarah 189. They ask you (O Muhammad SAW) about the new moons. Say: These are signs to mark fixed periods of time for mankind and for the pilgrimage. It is not Al-Birr (piety, righteousness, etc.) that you enter the houses from the back but Al-Birr (is the quality of the one) who fears Allâh. So enter houses through their proper doors, and fear Allâh that you may be successful.
In this ayah we see how true virtue is shown through conduct. Ritualized acts existed before islam. The pagans thought that if you leave for hajj and come back(to get something) you must enter the house from the back door, and they defined this as taqwa. But Allah swt defined entering from the front is the true taqwa. If you say ‘its more religious to do this’ and putting your own limits, Allah swt will correct us. True virtue is in the conduct of the people who are god fearing. True taqwa= true success.
Hope it was of benefit Wallahu ‘alam.