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Interpretation of Sura al-Furqan - Verse 3

3. " Yet they have taken gods, besides Him, gods that do not create anything while they are themselves created and they do not own for themselves any hurt or profit, nor can they control death nor life nor resurrection."

Commentary

The reason of man's servitude is Allah's power in solving problems and knotty affairs, while idols cannot do such thing. ('They do not own')

This holy verse continues the previous discussion about struggling with polytheism, idol worshipping, and baseless claims of idol worshippers about their idols and then-accusations of the holy Qur'an and the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) mentioned in former verses.

First, polytheists are in fact called to trial and, to pick then-conscience with a clear, simple, decisive logic, it says:

"Yet they have taken gods, besides Him, gods that do not create anything while they are themselves created ..."

The real deity is the Creator of the universe, but they did not have such a claim about idols and they knew them as creatures of Allah.

But what was their motivation for worshipping idols? Idols that possess not hurt nor profit for themselves, and possess not death nor life, nor power to raise the dead (let alone others). The verse in this regard says:

"... and they do not own for themselves any hurt or profit, nor can they control death nor life nor resurrection."

The principles that are important for man are as follows: profit, loss, death, life, and resurrection.

Does one who is the owner of these affairs deserve worshipping? But idols cannot do such things for themselves, let alone they want to protect and support their worshippers?

What a shameful logic is that man follows a creature and worships it, while it cannot even control itself let alone others. Neither does this idol solve a problem in this world nor can it do anything in the other world.

This sentence shows that this group of polytheists, who have been addressed in this verse, had accepted resurrection in a way (although not physical one but spiritual resurrection).

Or the Qur'an was certain about their lack of belief in the resurrection and talked to them in a certain and decisive way. This is usual that sometimes man faces one person who denies truth, but he expresses his own ideas and beliefs resolutely without paying attention to that person's thoughts.

Especially when there is an implied reason for resurrection in the verse, because when a creator creates a creature and is the owner of creature's loss and benefit, he must have an aim for his creation. And this aim concerning man is impossible without accepting the issue of resurrection, for if everything ended with the death of man, life would be nonsense and it would be a reason indicating that that creator was not wise.

Meanwhile if we see that the issue of loss has come before the issue of benefit, it is because man first fears loss and the sentence 'protection from loss is prior to the achievement of benefit' has turned into an intellectual rule.

And if 'loss', 'benefit', 'death', 'life', 'resurrection' have been mentioned indeterminately, it is for the fact that these idols are not controlling benefit, loss, death, life, and resurrection even in one case, let alone all people.

And if the Qur'anic phrase /layamlikuna/ (they possess not) and /layaxluquna/ (they create naught) are mentioned in the masculine, plural, wise form (while stone and wooden idols have got no wisdom and sense), it is for the matter that these phrases are not only about wooden and stone idols, but also there was a group that worshipped Christ or angels and because sage and non-sage are all included in the meaning of the verse, all of them are mentioned as wise.

Or according to the opinion of the opposite party, it is said for showing their weakness and inability. It implies that they believed that these idols had intellect and sense, but these idols cannot protect themselves from loss and can not achieve any benefit!

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

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