Interpretation of Sura Hud - Verses 8-10
8. " And if We postpone the penalty from them until a limited period of time, they will surely say: 'What prevents it ' Beware! On the day it will come to them it shall not be turned aside from them, and they will be encompassed by that which they used to mock at. "
The word/ 'ummah/ refers to a group which has a common aim and also means women. The aim in this verse is a definite period of time as we also recite in Sura Yousuf/ wa kur ba'da 'ummatin/ which means that the freed prisoner was reminded of Yousuf after the passage of a length of time.
At any rate, Allah, the Gracious, remarks that if He postponed the tormenting punishment of these unbelievers for a certain period of time, delaying its certain arrival, they would sarcastically cry: If these punishments are certain to come, what has kept them back In response, the Qur'an implies that they should beware of the punishment whose late arrival they mocked about, for when He decides to let it come, no one would be able to reverse it, and when He wishes it to happen, no one can stop it, and they would be eradicated by the very punishment which they so mockingly despised.
The verse says:
" And if We postpone the penalty from them until a limited period of time, they will surely say: 'What prevents it? Beware! On the day it will come to them it shall not be turned aside from them, and they will be encompassed by that which they used to mock at. "
1- The postponement of the Divine punishment has a number of implications, namely, providing a chance for the sinners to repent, the birth of faithful children from deviant parents, etc. Moreover, the existence of honest people and their prayers also delay the occurrence of Divine punishment.
2- Imam Baqir(a.s.)and Imam Sadiq(a.s.)have been quoted in a tradition as saying that the holy phrase:/ 'ummatin ma'doudah/ in the verse refers to a limited group of like minded people, alludes to the friends of Had rat Mahdi(a. s.), whose number equals no more than 313, equivalent in size to the circle of Companions at Badr, who assembled like autumn clouds over the sea.
3- Other interpretations have been made for the phrase/ 'ummatin ma'doudah/ with documentations from the Qur'anic verses and the sayings of the Ahl- ul- Bayt(a.s.)which also exist in Sunni interpretations and we will not deal with them here for the sake of brevity.
Earn pardon from Allah
The common nature of the people who rejoice and get proud when blessed by Allah and whenever any blessings is justly withdrawn, man gets dejected and becomes ungrateful - The infidels challenged to bring some chapters like those of the Qur'an is they be truthful - Tyrants cursed by Allah.
9. " If We make man taste mercy from Ourselves,(and)then take it off from him, verily he is despairing ungrateful. "
Allah's blessings do not always reflect His compassion; nor does usually the withdrawal of His blessings signify His punishment and anger. Many a time, they could mean that He might be putting someone through a special test. The verse says:
" If We make man taste mercy from Ourselves, (and) then take it off from him, verily he is despairing ungrateful. "
As man does not understand the Divine wisdom and his own good, he tends to jump to conclusions, feels desperate and becomes ungrateful. However faith in Him is not based upon what we perceive to be our happiness in life. Allah's blessings are the consequences of His judgment and His grace, not the results of our merit. Therefore, despair of Allah's blessings leads to ungratefulness. In this regard, the verse says:
"... verily he is despairing ungrateful. "
10. " And if We make him taste(Our)favors after adversity has afflicted him, he will say, 'The evils have departed from me'. Verily he is joyous, boastful. "
All the blessings which are handed down to man after hardships and sufferings must serve as a source of thanksgiving and remembering Allah (s. w. t.)and not as a means of arrogance, boasting and self satisfaction.
There are two risks to one's joy, one is making a wrong analysis of events, and the other is that this joy would result in a person's arrogance.
Worldly affairs do not always take the same path, on the contrary, as some Islamic traditions testify to, they have two sides to them; sometimes they run in your favor, at other times, they run against you. Once they are in your favor, you must not become arrogant, and once they are otherwise, you must keep your patience because, at any rate, you are the focus of the Divine attention, and you are in the course of Allah's trial. The verse says:
" And if We make him taste(Our)favors after adversity has afflicted him, he will say, 'The evils have departed from me'. Verily he is joyous, boastful. "
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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