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Interpretation of Sura Hud - Verses 63-65

63. " He(Salih)said: 'O' my people! Bethink you if I be upon a clear proof from my Lord and He hath sent Mercy unto me from Himself, who will then help me against Allah if I(were to)disobey Him So you do not add to me other than loss. "

Commentary

Metaphysically orientated religions and Divinely appointed prophets call on people to adopt monotheism and the worship of Allah by providing sound reasoning and miracles, and not by force, threats and ignorance.

The position of being appointed as a prophet is a special favor and a privilege accorded to certain individuals by Allah.

One should never abandon Allah's way by imaginary and wishful thinking about popular support. We should take note of the fact that deviant people will add nothing to others except to their losses, for opposing truth itself is something very detrimental for man. The verse says:

" He(Salih)said: 'O' my people! Bethink you if I be upon a clear proof from my Lord and He hath sent Mercy unto me from Himself, who will then help me against Allah if I(were to)disobey Him So you do not add to me other than loss. "

64. " O my People! This she camel of Allah is a Sign for you. So leave her alone to graze in Allah's earth, and do not touch her with any harm, lest a swift chastisement will seize you! "

Commentary

The story of Salih's she- camel has also been reiterated in suras Ash- Shu'ara and Al- Qamar as well. 31

Salih(a.s.) said to the people that he would ask their idols something and they also should ask something from His Lord. Whoever, provides the right answer, could be the object of his and their worship. The idol worshippers accepted and their request was for a pregnant she- camel to come out of the mountain just then and there. Allah accepted their request and a camel, meeting all those requirements, came out of the mountain.

This she- camel of Salih was extraordinary in many respects.

1. It came out of the innermost part of the mountain.

2. It was pregnant without having any contact with a male camel.

3. For one full day, she had drunk of the water of that village.

4. It provided a daily supply of milk that was sufficient for meeting the needs of the people of the area.

5. The people had no responsibilities towards her.

6. It served as a reason and as a miracle which was quite tangible and understandable for the people.

65. " So they hamstrung her. Then he said: 'Enjoy yourselves in your abode for three days, (then will be your ruin). That is a promise not to be belied. "

Commentary

Through traditional narrations we are informed that only one person had killed the she- camel. Despite this, the Qur'an says:/ 'aqarouha/ which means that all of them killed her. This indication signifies that there had been a consensus of opinion among them about the killing. From the Islamic point of view, the ideological bond between individuals causes them to be responsible for the sins of single individuals within the context of that ideology.

Question: What is the underlying philosophy of a three- day grace period Firstly: So as to give them a chance to repent.

Secondly: To provide a means for spiritual pressure and augmentation of the penalty. If a person is told that he will be killed within three days, this very news will serve as the greatest blow upon him psychologically speaking.

Thirdly: It provided another good proof for the legitimacy of the Divine prophet since fixing a dead line results from having access to news from the invisible world.

However, one should never take Divine warnings as jokes or lies as scorning them will cause the infliction of Divine penalties.

Notes:

(31) Sura Ash- Shu'ara No. 26, verses 155 158, and Sura Al- Qamar No. 54, verses 27 31.

Adopted from the book : "The Light of the Holy Qur'an; Interpretation of Surah Hud" by : "Sayyid Kamal Faghih Imani and a Group of Muslim Scholars"

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