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Commentary of Surat ul-Waqi'a on advent of Zaman - Versese 61-70

61 In order that We may bring in your place the likes of you and make you grow into what you know not.

62 And certainly you know the first growth, why do you not then mind?

"We have ordained death among you and We are not to be over­come." Mawt, death, is the experience of an apparent discon­tinuity, a separation in the path. But man cannot experience separation unless he inherently contains the experience of gatheredness. The subtle entity within him separates from the gross entity and this separa­tion is experienced as death. In the separation there is also unification. The body unifies with what it belongs to, its element. It goes back to the earth. The ruh (soul, spirit) goes back to where it belongs by the order of the one and only, all-permeating Creator. Qadr from qadara is what is ordained, decreed or measured. Everything is according to a measure.

When a culture is open, genuinely and spontaneously allowing for exposure, then it can grow, adapt and become fully fit. Then it is worthy of fulfilling its trust as the pinnacle of creation. When it is not, it is replaced. Cultures will come and go. There is an element of the survival of the fittest in every aspect of life, there is no denying it. Man has been brought here in a state which appears to be tarnished and which has the possiblity of sinking low because of the necessary equilibrium between body and soul. He will be constructed again where the construction material is not physical. The next cycle in the rise of consciousness is based on material which is difficult for a human -being constructed out of earth-bound, mud-made materials - to fully comprehend, except by a stretch of the imagination. Man is like a prisoner whose view is as wide as the bars on the windows of his cell allow. If he uses his faculties of reason and heart, he can imagine that what he sees in front of him must occur in likeness somewhere else. Through this use of perception man can reach an understanding of the akhira.

Understanding the first growth, man knows that biologically, he has come from a mucousy, base beginning. He knows in his heart, if the heart is qalib (turning), that the root of life is not affected by his experiential life, but is a permanent, uncontaminated source. Allah appeals to man to look and understand that within him dwells the knowledge of his evolution, and that evolution, though manifesting now in time, must have had its roots in the zone of pre­creation. Man, from before creation, was planned. He was a potential manifestation. Allah reminds man in the Qur'an of the time when he was in the non-manifest, simply as potential energies.

63 Have you considered what you sow?

64 Is it you that cause it to grow, or are We the causers of growth?

65 If We pleased, We should have certainly made it broken down into pieces, then would you begin to lament:

66 Surely we are burdened with debt;

"Have you considered what you sow?" Man is simply an instru­ment of sowing seeds, whether the seeds are those of other human beings or of plants. He is simply an actor. He has not written the script nor has he any, possibility of changing the laws that govern it. The only degree of freedom he has is that of acting his role perfectly. When one sees a perfect actor, one believes that he is truly living his role. He has unified his will with destiny. It is an aspect of tawhid; he genuinely and totally becomes one with his part. From Reality's point of view, he is not in separation though he may imagine that he is. If your act is pure and perfect then there is no resistance between your will and what you are applying yourself to, because the application has been for Allah, by Allah and in Allah. This is baraka (blessing), divine effi­ciency. It is harmony, ecology, balance and sanity.

Man is not the cause of events, he is simply one string of an instru­ment in an orchestra. Man can move because there is life in him. He did not cause life to come to him; he is only a conduit. If one is genuinely dependent on the knowledge that Allah is the best of guardians, then one truly knows that there is no power or strength except by Allah (la hawla wa la quwata illa billah), that Entity from Whom there has been no separation.

If Allah wills, the actions man may feel proud of may be de­stroyed. It is in man's nature that he will, with audacity and arro­gance, explain as superficial causes what are actually and simply the will of Allah.

67 Nay! we are deprived.

The Qur'an carries the reader to the present, into the next life and into what preceded life. It is the unifier by a thread that goes back and forth in time.

"Surely, we are burdened with debt." Gharama is to pay a fine. In physical existence man has fed himself from the wrong source and is now being penalized. The noun gharam means in­fatuation. When the final event occurs, at which time there is no pos­sibility of arrogance or of duplicity, man is completely in a state of obsession and infatuation. There is no possibility of putting right his previous actions. If one thinks that he is in prison now, what will it be like then? No action will be rectifiable.

68 Have you considered the water which you drink?

69 Is it you that send it down from the clouds, or are We the senders?

70 If We pleased, We would have made it salty; why do you not then give thanks?

Look at the water you drink. If Allah had willed, all the water in the world could have been brackish. Reality challenges man by showing him the mercy and delicate balance of the creation. By changing one factor the entire creational setup would have been different; it would have been intolerant to forms of life on land. Taking for granted what Allah has given man is arrogance.

Adapted from the book: "The Mercy of Qur'an and the Advent of Zaman" by: "Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri"

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