Interpretation of Sura al-Fatir - Verse 8
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8. “Ishe, then, to whom the evil of his deed is made alluring so that he looks upon it as good, (equal to one who is rightly guided)? Now verily Allah makes err whom He pleases and guides aright whom He pleases, so let not your soul waste away in grief for them; verily Allah is Cognizant of what they do.”
The one who introduces the evil behaviour of a person as a pleasant one, and instead of criticizing it, he flatters him, is counted a Satan, because, in other verse, the Holy Qur’a-n says: “… Satan made their deeds fair seeming to them …” 21
Imam Ka-zim (a.s.) says: “Seeing bad things as good ones is the premise of haughtiness and self-administration.” 22
In view of the fact that in the previous verses people were divided into two groups: a believing group and a disbelieving group, or ‘the party of Allah’, who are the enemy of Satan, and ‘the Party of Satan’, who are the followers of Satan, this verse has stated one of the important qualities of these two groups, which, in fact, is the origin of their other evil programs, where it says:
“Is he, then, to whom the evil of his deed is made alluring so that he looks upon it as good, (equal to one who is rightly guided)? …”
In fact, this very subject is the key of all miseries of the misguided and obstinate nations whose ugly deeds seem to them as fair because of the fact that they are consistent with their lusts and their black hearts.
It is also evident that such an obstinate person neither accepts any admonition, nor does he usually show any fitness for listening to criticisms, nor does he agree to change his way. He neither tries to experience and analyse his deeds, nor is he anxious about their sequels.
Further than that when the ugliness and beauty is spoken of, they consider beauties as theirs, and attribute the true believers with the ugly things. There were many obstinate pagans who when heard the previous verses about the Party of Satan and their painful fate they adapted them with the true believers and counted themselves as an extension of the Party of Allah. And this is a very great calamity.
But, who makes the evil deeds of the wrong doers seem fair in their view: Allah or the carnal desire or Satan? No doubt the main factor is carnal desire and Satan, but since Allah has created this effect in their deeds it can be attributed to Allah; because when people commit a sin at the beginning that their nature is pure, their conscience is vigilant, and their wisdom works fairly well, they become inconvenient from their action, but the more they repeat it, the more their inconvenience decreases.
Gradually they reach to the stage of indifference, and if they repeat it more, the ugly things seem beautiful in their views, thus far that they imagine it among their honours and virtues, while they have been drowned in the dirty situation of corruption.
It is interesting that when the Holy Qur’a-n propounds this question, saying: “Is he, then, to whom the evil of his deed is made alluring so that he looks upon it as good, …?” it does not clearly express the opposite point of it. As if it intends to give a vast respite to the hearer that he illustrates in his mind all the different things that he can consider opposite to it and understands more. It seems it wants to say whether such a person is like the truth seekers.
Is such a person like the pure hearted persons who are always busy examining their own selves?
Is there any hope of felicity for such a person?
Then, the Qur’a-n refers to the statement of reason of the difference of these two groups. It adds:
“… Now verily Allah makes err whom He pleases and guides aright whom He pleases, …”
If the ugly deeds of the first group are decorated in their views, this is the consequence of the Divine mislead. It is He Who has put this property in the repetition of ugly deeds to which the man’s self accustoms itself, he gets the habit of it, and harmonizes with it.
It is He Who gives some penetrating and kin eyes, together with some hearing ears to the pure-hearted believers for understanding the facts as they exactly are.
It is clear that the Divine Will is accompanied with His Wisdom and gives everyone whatever he is eligible to.
So, at the end of the verse, the Qur’a-n says:
“… so let not your soul waste away in grief for them; …”
This meaning is similar to the content of verse 3 in Sura As-Shu‘ara-’, No. 26, which says: “Perhaps you will kill yourself with grief, for that they do not become Believers.”
The application of the Qur’a-nic word /hasara-t/ which is an object for the previous sentence refers to this fact that not only you grieve for them one regret but also with several regrets.
They are the regret of losing the bounty of guidance, the regret of wasting the jewel of humanity, the regret of losing the sense of recognition thus far that they see an ugly thing as beautiful; and, finally, the regret of their encountering the Fire of the Wrath of Allah.
But why does Allah say: “… So let not your soul waste a way in grief …”? It is because Allah is cognizant of their deeds and He gives them what they deserve of. The verse continues saying:
“… verily Allah is Cognizant of what they do.”
The extraordinary sympathy of the Prophet of Islam (p.b.u.h.) unto the misguided and deviated ones is completely understood from the tone of the verse. And this is the state of a true Divine leader that, because of the people’s lack of acceptance of the truth and rejecting the means of their happiness, he pains so much that as if he tended to kill himself.
21. Sura Al-'An'a-m, No. 8, verse 48
22. Al-Ka-fi-, Vol. 2, P. 313
Adopted from the book : "The Light of the Holy Qur'an; Interpretation of Surah al-Fatir" by : "Sayyid Kamal Faghih Imani and a Group of Muslim Scholars"
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