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Interpretation of Sura al-Furqan - Verse 10

10. " Blessed is He Who, if that were His will, could give you better (things) than all that, gardens beneath which rivers flow, and He will give you palaces."

Commentary

One will get misled,if logic, miracle, and accomplishments of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) are not paid attention to and wealth, posts, and seeking pretext get to be the aim. ('... but they have gone astray, ...')

Therefore in a short sentence, the Qur'an in this noble verse says:

" Behold, how they strike similitudes for you, but they have gone astray, so they shall not be able to find a way (to the truth)."

This sentence clearly illustrates this fact that against the call of Allah and the Qur'an, whose content is an expressive proof of its relationship with Allali, they fell back on some illusive words and they wanted to cover the face of the truth by these groundless words.

This is just like a person who resorts to some seeking pretext, being clearly baseless, in order to stand against our logical arguments and we do not answer what he has said separately, but we simply say you may see with what illusive words does he want to stand against the logical reason?

And verily all of their words in all of their parts were so, because:

First: Why must a prophet be one of angels? But intellect and knowledge say that a human must lead human beings, so that he knows and perceives all their pains, needs, problems, and life issues, so, he will be a paragon in all aspects and people can be inspired in all programs. If an angel were sent down, certainly this aim would not be fulfilled and people would say: "If he speaks about piety and paying no attention to the world, it is because he is an angel and needs nothing. If he speaks about modesty and calls to chastity, it is because he knows nothing of sexual desire." And there are also many other matters.

Second: Is it necessary to send an angel to be the company of man for the sake of confirming him? Are not miracles, specially a great miracle such as the holy Qur'an, enough for understanding this reality?

Third: Eating food like other men and going to markets cause him to associate with people more and to know their life more deeply.It helps him to carry out his mission better. There is not only loss or harm in this, but it is a kind of help for him.

Forth: Eminence and personality of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) does not depend on treasure, wealth, and huge gardens full of fruits. This is the pagan's deviating conception of personality and even nearness to Allah as being depended on wealth and money, while prophets have come to say that the value of man depends on his knowledge, faith and piety.

Fifth: According to what criterion did they call him insane and bewitched? According to history, his great revolution and his foundation of Islamic civilization were extraordinary, how can he be accused and given such ridiculous labels? Unless we say that breaking idols and not blindly following the ancestors is a reason of insanity!

According to what was said, it gets clear that the word /'amoal/ (similitudes), here, especially with regard of the context, means groundless and meaningless words. Using this word is perhaps because of the matter that they uttered their words in the form of truth, similitude and like a logical reason, while it was not really so.

Another matter that we must pay attention to is that the foes of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) used to accuse him of being sorcerer and sometimes being bewitched, though some of the commentators say that 'being bewitched' perhaps means 'being sorcerer' (because in Arabic sometime past participle is used as subject), but apparently these two words are different.

If they called him sorcerer, it was because his words extraordinarily influenced hearts and they did not want to accept this fact and, therefore, they resorted to the accusation of being sorcerer.

Being bewitched means to be mentally and intellectually influenced by sorcerers and to have distorted senses. This accusation originated from this fact that he broke the tradition and swam against the stream ideologically and was against personal interests, superstitious habits and customs. But all these accusations are answered by the above words.

A question now arises that why it is said: "... but they have gone astray, so they shall not be able to find a way (to the truth)."

Its answer is that man can find the path of the truth if he wills and wants the truth. But the one, who has already made decision by wrong and deviating prejudgments that originate from ignorance and stubbornness, not only does not find the truth but also stands against it.

The next verse, similar to the previous one, addresses the Prophet(p.b.u.h.) and says, with the intention of scorning their words and saying that they are unanswerable. It says:

" Blessed is He Who, if that were His will, could give you better (things) than all that, gardens beneath which rivers flow, and He will give you palaces."

Except Allah, who is it that has given gardens and palaces to them? Basically, except Allah, who is it that has created all of these beauties and blessings? Cannot such a powerful and mighty Allah provide better than these for you? But He does not want people to think that the personality of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) depends on wealth, money, garden, and palace. He wants the life of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) to be like the life of common people, the oppressed and the poor, so that he will be a sanctuary for all of them.

But, why it is said that gardens and palaces are better than what they wanted, for treasure by itself does not resolve all the problems and difficulties, but it must be changed to gardens and palaces by a lot of troubles. Moreover, they said that the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) must have a garden to sustain him, but the holy Qur'an says: "... He Who, if that were His will, could give you better (things) than all that, gardens beneath which rivers flow, and He will give you palaces.", (but the aim of the Prophet's mission is something else).

In a sermon called Qisi'ah, No. 192, by Imam Ali (a.s.), we find this matter expressed very explicitly: " When Musa, the son of 'Imran, went to Pharaoh along with his brother Harun (Aaron) wearing (coarse) shirts of wool and holding sticks in their hands, they guaranteed him retention of his country and continuity of his honour if he submitted; but he said:'Do you not wonder at these two men who guaranteed me the continuity of my honour and the retention of my country although you see their poverty and lowliness.

Otherwise, why do they not have gold bangels on their wrists?" He said so feeling proud of his gold and collected possessions, and belittled wool and wearing woolen garment.

When Allah, the Glorified,deputed His prophets, if He had wished to open for them the doors of treasures and mines of gold and (surround them with) planted gardens and to collect around them birds of the skies and beasts of the earth, He would have done so. If he had done so then there would have been no trial, nor recompense and no tidings (about the affairs of the next world).

Those who accepted (His message) could not be given the recompense falling due after trial and the believers could not deserve the reward for good acts, and all these words would not have retained their meanings. But Allah, the Glorified, makes His Prophets firm in their determinations and gives them weakness of appearance as seen from the eyes, along with contentment that fills the hearts and eyes resulting from care-freeness, and with the want that pains the ordinary eyes and ears.

If the prophets had possessed such authority that could not be assaulted, or honour that could not be damaged or domain towards which the necks of people would turn and the saddles of mounts could be set, it would have been very easy for people to seek lessons and quite difficult to feel vanity. They would have then accepted belief out of fear felt by them or inclination attracting them,and the intention of them all would have been the same, although their actions would have been different.

Therefore, Allah, the Glorified decided that people should follow His prophets, acknowledge His books, remain humble before His face, obey His command and accept His obedience with sincerity in which there should not be an iota of anything else; and as the trial and tribulation would be stiffer the reward and recompense too should be larger. 11

Some say that the purpose of palace and garden is that of the other world, but this commentary is not in line with the appearance of the verse.

However, the Arabic word/tabaraka/ is derived either from /baraka/ with the sense of 'fix' and 'ever lasting', or from /barakat/ which means 'abundant goodness'

Notes:

11. Nahj-ul-Balaqah, sermon 192

Adapted from the book: "Interpretation of Sura al-Furqan" by: "Sayyid Kamal Faghih Imani and A Group of Scholars"

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