Interpretation of Sura Cow - Verses 200-202
200. " When you have performed your (holy) rites, then remember Allah, as you remember your forefathers or even with more intense remembrance. And there are some men who say: ' Our Lord! give us in this world ', they shall have no portion in the world to come."
201. " But there are some who say: ' Our Lord! grant us good in this world and good in the world to come, and save us from the torment of the Fire '."
202. " These shall have a portion of what they have earned; and Allah is quick in reckoning."
It is narrated from Imam Sadiq (a.s.) that in the Age of Ignorance when the performance of Hajj ended there usually formed a meeting of people where they used to boast about the fanciful honours that they had owned from their ancestors. They used to explain their stories in detail. The Qur'an says that after finishing the rites of Hajj remember Allah, and speak about Him and His endless blessings in that large gathering. This remembrance of the Lord might be, at least, with the same enthusiasm and affection that you had in your boastings and glory towards your ancestors in the Age of Ignorance, though this one should be even more intense than the former one.
" When you have performed your (holy) rites, then remember Allah, as you remember your forefathers or even with more intense remembrance. ..." This verse also teaches us that greatness and honour is true under the shadow of relation with Allah, not boasting for the vain honours of forefathers.
"... And there are some men who say: ..." After that, the Qur'an makes the situation of people clear, and points out the standard of thought and understanding of people. There are some groups of people who do not look for anything but the material interest for themselves, and do not seek from Allah but for the same. They say: "...' Our Lord! give us in this world ', ..."
These people do not seek for any share of spiritualities, here in this life. They will not have any share of them in Hereafter, either. In the coming eternal world, where all need everything of that kind, they will have nought, and no portion of the good things of the next world will be given them.
"...They shall have no portion in the world to come."
The second group are those whose thoughts are not limited to the material life alone. They seek for both the good things of the life of this world, as the primary stage of the spiritual developement towards perfection, and the felicity of the next world. So, this verse defines, in fact, the logic of Islam due to the material subjects and spiritual subjects. It condemns those who are drowned only in materialities as well as those who have no regard and attention to the worldly life.
" But there are some who say: ' Our Lord! grant us good in this world and good in the world to come, ..."
They also ask Him to save them from the painful chastisement of the coming world, saying thus: "...and save us from the torment of the Fire." It is obvious that the term /hasanah/, which means ' goodness ', has a vast meaning in the verse so that it includes all the material and spiritual merits. But, in some traditions, it is narrated that the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) , in answer to the question that what the goodness of this world and the world to come was, said: " He who has been bestowed a thankful heart, a busy praising tongue, and a pious wife who helps him in his affairs of this world and the next, then, surely, he has been given the good of this world and the good of the coming world, and will be kept off from the torment of Fire." 92 Evidently, this meaning is among the kind of commenting on a general concept upon a specific one, and pointing to the clear examples rather than to be exclusive to these particular ones.
" These shall have a portion of what they have earned; and Allah is quick in reckoning." Following the foregoing ideas, in this verse it says that these two groups of people will enjoy of what they have obtained, both those who seek Allah for only the things of this life and those who demand Him the good of this life and the next. Neither of them are deprived from what they seek for, but each group will be confined to their own demands.
Allah will reckon the account of all people in the Hereafter in a short time without interfering one person's account with that of another person. It has been narrated from Imam Amir-ul-Mu'mineen Ali (a.s.) who said:
" Verily Allah will reckon the human beings in a single whole time similar to (the way) that He provides them sustenance wholly in a time." 93 So, the Qur'an says:
"... and Allah is quick in reckoning." In this verse, the question of speediness of reckoning from the side of Allah has been pointed out.
92. Majma'-ul-Bayan, vol. 2, p. 298
Adapted from the book: "The Light of The Quran - Interpretation of Sura Al-Baqarah (The Cow)" by: "Sayyid Kamal Faghih Imani and A Group of Muslim Scholars"
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