Interpretation of Sura al-Fatir - Verses 29-30
29.“Verily, those who recite the Book of Allah and establish prayer and spend (in charity) out of what We have provided them, secretly and openly, hope for a merchandise which will never perish,”
30. “That He will pay them their rewards fully and increase of His grace unto them; verily He is Forgiving, Thankful (of their good deeds).”
The words ‘prayer’ and ‘Book’ (the Qur’a-n) have repeatedly been mentioned beside each other in the Qur’a-n, and also prayer must be accompanied with helping the deprived. In view of the fact that the former verses referred to the state of fear of the learned ones from Allah, the verse under discussion points to their state of ‘hope’, because, as we said, it is only by means of these two wings that man can fly high in the sky of felicity and pave the path of spiritual development. At first, the verse says:
“Verily, those who recite the Book of Allah and establish prayer and spend (in charity) out of what We have provided them, secretly and openly, hope for a merchandise which will never perish,”
It is evident that the act of recitation here is not a mere reciting without contemplation and action. It is a reading which is the origin of thought, a ponder which is the source of righteous deed, an action which, on one side, joins man to Allah the manifestation of which is prayer, and, on the other side, it relates him to the servants of Allah the manifestation of which is spending in charity, expending from whatever Allah has bestowed on a person, including: wealth, knowledge, authority, powerful thought, character, experiences, and, briefly speaking, from all merits that Allah has given him.
Sometimes this expending is done secretly (/sirran/) to be the sign of a complete sincerity, and sometimes it is done openly (/‘ala-niyah/) in order to encourage others and to be the veneration of rituals.
Yes, the knowledge which has such an effect is the source of hope.
Regarding the contents of this verse and the verse before it we conclude that the true Muslim scholars have the following characteristics.
From the spiritual point of view, their hearts are full of fear of Allah mixed with His greatness.
From the point of speech, their tongues are busy reciting the verses of Allah.
From the point of the spiritual and bodily action, they establish prayer and worship Him.
And, finally, from the point of aim, the horizon of their thought is so high that they have left the fleeting material world aside and look for only the Divine beneficial merchandise which will neither be dull nor does it vanish.
This point is also noteworthy that the Arabic word /tabu-r/, mentioned in this noble verse, means destruction. Thus, ‘the merchandise free of destruction’ is a trade which has neither slackness nor degeneration.
An interesting tradition indicates that once a man came to the Messenger of Allah (p.b.u.h.) and said: “Why do I not like death?” The Prophet (p.b.u.h.) said: “Do you have any property?” He answered: “Yes”. He (p.b.u.h.) told him: “Send it before you.” The man answered: “I cannot.” The Prophet (p.b.u.h.) said: “Verily the heart of a person is with his property. If he sends it before himself, he likes to join it; and if he keeps it (for later), he likes to be with it.” 40
This tradition, in fact, has illustrated the whole content of the above mentioned verse, because it implies that they establish prayer and spend in charity in the path of Allah (s.w.t.) and are willingly hopeful of the next world, because they have sent some goodness before themselves and they are willing to reach it.
The next holy verse states the aim of the true believers as follows. They do these righteous deeds:
“That He will pay them their rewards fully and increase of His grace unto them; verily He is Forgiving, Thankful (of their good deeds).”
This sentence, indeed, points to their ultimate sincerity that, in their actions, they look for nothing but the Divine reward. Whatever they desire they ask it from Him, and they do nothing for hypocrisy, showing, admiration, and glorification of this one or that one, because the most important thing in righteous deeds is the sincere intention.
The application of the Arabic term /’uju-r/ (the plural form of /’ajr/) in the sense of ‘wage’ is, in fact, a grace from the side of Allah, as if He sees the servants as His creditors because of their righteous deeds, while whatever the servants have belongs to Him; even the strength for performing the righteous deeds has also been given from His side.
A more affectionate meaning is the sentence which says: “… and increase of His grace unto them, …”. This gives them glad tidings that besides the ordinary reward, which itself sometimes is hundreds or thousands fold of the deed, He increases it of His grace. And He bestows on them, from some merits which no mind can bear and none in this world is able to consider.
However, the sentence which says: “… verily He is Forgiving, Thankful …” shows that the first grace of Allah unto them is that very forgiveness of their sins and the faults they might have had, since the most anxiety of a person is the anxiety about this issue.
After having peace of mind from this point of view, He involves them in His thankfulness, i.e., He thanks for their good deeds and endows on them the best reward.
It is much to be regretful that a free wise man refuses such a merchandise and refers to other than it; and worse than that is that he sells the goods of his self for naught.
Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (a.s.) says: “Is there no free man who can leave this chewed morsel (of the world) to those who like it? Certainly, the only price for your selves is Paradise. Therefore, do not sell your selves except for it.” 41
40. Majma'-ul-Baya-n, Vol. 8, P. 408
41. Nahj-ul-Bala-qah, saying No. 456
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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