Interpretation of Sura an-Nur - Verse 63
Adopted from the book: "The Light of the Holy Qur'an - Interpretation of Sura an-Nur" by: "Sayyid Kamal Faghih Imani & a Group of Muslim Scholars"
63. "Make you not the calling of the Messenger among you as your calling one of another. Allah does know those of you who steal away, hiding themselves. Therefore let those who go against His order beware lest a trial afflicts them or a painful punishment befalls them."
Divine leadership has got realm which must be respected and has got high status. Both his name must be called politely and his orders must be obeyed with whole entity, and his call must not be equaled to that of others. Thus, in this verse, in connection with the commandments of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.), it says:
"Make you not the calling of the Messenger among you as your calling one of another...."
When he calls people for an issue, which is certainly divinely and religiously important, his call must be counted as vital and important and it must be always paid attention to. His invitations and calls must not be taken simply for his command is Allah's command and his call is Allah's.
Then, the verse continues saying:
"... Allah does know those of you who steal away, hiding themselves. Therefore let those who go against His order beware lest a trial afflicts them or a painful punishment befalls them."
The Arabic word /yatasallalun/ is derived from the word /tasallul/ which originally means to draw something. Those who escape stealthily and secretly are called /mutasallilun/.
The Arabic word /liwaoan/ is derived from the word /mulawaoah/ which means concealment, and here it means to hide oneself behind someone else or behind a wall, and so to speak, they make others asleep and then escape. This was what hypocrites used to do when the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) called people for holy war or an important job.
The holy Qur'an implies that if this hypocritical and hideous act of theirs is kept concealed from people, it will never remain concealed from Allah, and their oppositions against the command of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) call for a painful punishment both in this world and the Hereafter.
Commentators are of various opinions about the purpose of the Qur'anic word /fitnah/ (grief). Some Commentators say that it means murder, some say that it means aberration, some say that it means domination of an oppressing king, and some say that it means malady of hypocrisy that appears in the heart of men.
Another possibility is that it means social disorders, riots, defeat and other miseries that entangle society because of disobeying the leader's commandment. Anyway, the concept of /fitnah/ is so extensive that it includes all these affairs and many others, as 'a painful punishment' may include worldly punishment, or Hereafter chastisement, or both of them.
It is interesting that, besides what was said, there are mentioned two other possibilities in the commentary of the above verse. First, the purpose of the first sentence of the verse ("Make you not the calling of the Messenger among you as your calling one of another")is that the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) must be called politely as his status and rank deserves, not to call him as others are called, because some persons, who were not familiar with the Islamic politeness, came to the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) and only called him among people, or alone, repeatedly in this way; Oh Muhammad!, Oh Muhammad!... . They behaved in a way that was not suitable for a great divine leader. The purpose was to call him in such ways (politely and reasonably): Oh Messenger of Allah! Oh Prophet of Allah!
In some narration this commentary is also mentioned, but, with regard to the previous verse and the rest of this verse, sentences that are about answering the call of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) and not leaving him without his permission, this commentary is not consistent with the appearance of the verse, unless we say that it indicates both matters and we add the first commentary to the concept of the verse.
The third commentary that has been mentioned for this verse, seems very weak. It indicates that they must not take the invocations and curses of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) like those of theirs 150, for his invocations and curses are surely calculated and are a divine plan that will certainly work. But, since this commentary is not in line with the rest of the verse and there is no narration about it from Ahl-ul-Bayt (a.s.), therefore it cannot be accepted.
It is also necessary to mention that the scholars of theology understand from the Qur'anic sentence which says: "... therefore let those who go against His order beware lest'..." that the commands of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) contains an indication to obligation but this argument has got some problems that are referred to in theology.
150. If the letter 'L' is used after the word /du'a'/, it means pray and if the word /'ala/ is used after it, it means curse, and if there is none of them after it, it can mean both meanings.
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