Rafed English

Commentary of Surat ur-Rahman on advent of Zaman - Versese 51-61

51 Which then of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?

In the garden, there are two fountains and there are two springs that flow. They are nourished in an invisible way, just as man's heart is also nourished. Man does not know how love is fed. When people gather together to bury someone who was loved by them, how is it that the', dead may revive the love in living hearts? It is a hidden spring, a hidden river. It reminds people of Allah, the Taker and the Giver of life. Death reminds man of his end so that he becomes less fossilized, arrogant and hard-hearted.

52 In both of them are pairs of every fruit.

53 Which then of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?

54 Reclining on beds, the inner coverings of which are of silk brocade; and the fruits of the two gardens are within reach.

55 Which then of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?

How can man deny the bounties of Allah? In the gardens there are fruits of every kind, fruits which make you fakih ( gay, cheerful). In the gardens there are two different flowing rivers of bounty: man and woman.

Muttaki'ina (, reclining, plural of muttaki) implies that there is available all that could be imagined in the way of comfort, luxury and relaxation. It implies being in a state of great tranquility, your heart at rest. This is, of course, never possible in this life, because as soon as one becomes comfortable, an annoyance occurs that must be dealt with. Dealing with it causes another sort of reaction, and so on. The agitation in this life is never ending.

56 In them are those who restrain themselves; man nor jinn have not touched them before.

57 Which then of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?

58 As though they were rubies and coral.

59 Which then of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?

Qasiratu-t- tarf are those who restrain them­selves, who lower their gaze. Qasirat is in the feminine gender and implies that they are man's opposite. Man and his opposite are like the positive and the negative which, when put together, make one by neutralization. These women are not desirous but are available to bring about contentment. They have never been touched and are ever pure. Their virginal state stops man from imagining the physical vulgarity to which he is accustomed in this world. This implies purity of a higher state. This state is based on a timeless equilibrium. The instant there is a desire, it is made quiet.

There is never any real satisfaction in any relationship in this life except for the relationship between the slave and his Master. In every other relationship in this world there is blame. A man blames his wife and she blames him, while nobody blames himself - and so it never ends. People end up having had five wives and five divorces. Man expects the highest from others while not having expected the highest of himself. A person who can live with one partner can live with any wife. If he can live with himself, he can live with anyone else. Man blames others, claiming that they are wrong: they do not lower their eyes nor do they have the right courtesy.

"As though they were rubies and coral." Rubies and coral scintillate in their purity. The ultimate beauty of nature is pure and simple, with­out interference or compromise. In the garden women have not had to beautify themselves. They too are real and pure.

60 Is the reward of goodness but goodness?

61 Which then of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?

Is not the reward of good action, good action itself? Every action has its equal and opposite reaction. If you have done good it will come back to you. But is that goodness done for Allah, or is it for your own whims? Many people think they are acting correctly, while in reality they are at a loss. There is ahadith, a tradition, which says: "The sleep of the `alim (one who knows), is better than the wakefulness of the worshipper." Wakefulness is measured by the degree of knowledge and recognition of the worshipped.

Many people are striving for right action, establishing orphanages and so on. If they expect those whom they help to fall at their feet in gratitude, it means these so-called generous people are not serving for Allah's sake. "Is the reward of goodness but goodness?" is often used incorrectly. If one's action is honorable, it will only have a like reaction. Is the ihsan ( the best action) not for He Who created man, Who gave man the possibility of unending realities? The service that man renders for the Rahman should be the best. How else can man repay the Rahman?

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

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