Interpretation of Sura Hud - Verses 84-86
Shu'ayb preaches Unity of Allah and warns his people against dishonest life - The people rejected Shu'ayb's exhortation and were punished
84. " And to(the people of)Madyan(We sent)their brother Shu'ayb. He said: 'O my people! Worship Allah! You have no other Allah than He. And do not give short measure and weight. Verily I see you in prosperity and I fear for you the punishment of an all- encompassing Day'. "
Madyan whose name today is Ma'an, is a town to the east of the Gulf of 'Aqaba. In the Torah its name is mentioned as Madyan. Its inhabitants were among the descendents of Ismail(a.s.) and they enjoyed good commercial ties with Egypt, Lebanon and Palestine. Some people regard the term 'Madyan' as the name of a tribe that used to live around Mount Sinai.
The types of corruption that were practiced by the different nations mentioned in the Qur'an vary, and this very fact should be of note. The corruption of the people of Lot had been sexual deviation, and the corruption of the people of Shu'ayb(a.s.) in this case was economic corruption,
i. e. use of short weights; weighing less than what they were assumed to sell or measuring less and claiming to deliver the value of the goods exactly as their clients had ordered.
In keeping with the ways of the other prophets(a.s.) , this compassionate and brotherly prophet at first called them to believe in monotheism, the Unity of Allah, the most fundamental pillar of religion, exhorting his people to worship the one and only God. The verse says:
" And to(the people of)Madyan(We sent)their brother Shu'ayb. He said: 'O my people! Worship Allah! You have no other Allah than He. ..."
Then he turned his attention to the economic corruption of the people whose roots were found in the idol worship itself which was prevalent among the people of Madyan at the time. He said that they should not weigh out their goods less than their value by using the wrong scales in their commercial transactions. The verse says:
"... And do not give short measure and weight. ..."
This great prophet's words can be interpreted as two reasons for them. At first he seems to be saying that by accepting this advice the gates of commerce will develop, prices will deflate, and peace and tranquility will prevail which will attract Allah's grace upon the community. It is also possible to interpret this sentence to mean that Shu'ayb sees them having affluence and tremendous wealth; thus, there is no reason for them to infringe upon people's rights, by selling them less goods and charging them the same price.
The second matter is that he also fears their insistence upon idol worship, and abusing Allah's blessings will lead to their punishment on the Day of Judgment. The verse continues saying:
"... Verily I see you in prosperity and I fear for you the punishment of an all- encompassing Day'. "
85. " And O my people! Fill up the measure and the balance in justice, and do not diminish the people their things: and do not mischief in the land, working corruption. "
The Qur'anic phrase/ la tabxasou/ is derived from the article/ baxasa/ signifying 'not to reduce'; while the Arabic phrase/ la ta' au/ means 'not to commit evil or mischief'. Compromising people's rights in economic matters is a prominent example of corruption, for ailing economies always lead communities to corruption. All economic transactions should be strictly supervised. Shu'ayb insisted upon the establishment of a just economic system in this verse and along with dissuading his people from cheating others in economic transactions, he also called upon them to consider the rights of others, saying that they should use scales and weighing devices with fairness. But this verse says:
" And O my people! Fill up the measure and the balance in justice, ..."
The establishment of justice and safeguarding everyone's due rights are principles that must be administered throughout all of society. Taking this one step further, he said that they should not falsely ascribe faults and defects to other people's goods, thus reducing the value of their goods, properties and belongings. It continues saying:
"... and do not diminish the people their things: ..."
Towards the end of the verse, going even further, he added that they should not corrupt the earth by committing mischief. It says:
"... and do not mischief in the land, working corruption. "
The above two verses strongly indicate that next to the belief in monotheism, a healthy economy is of primary importance. It also shows that anarchy in an economic system can be a major source of corruption in any society.
86. "(The lawful wealth)which is left by Allah is better for you, if you be believers. And I am not a guardian over you. "
?The Qur'anic term/ baqiyatullah/, mentioned in this verse, refers to the dividends which one can obtain through a godly and allowed capital, and it is certainly a hundred percent clean. However, according to the Islamic narrations, it refers to everything Divinely sanctioned that is left for humanity as a whole. One example of this are the faithful soldiers who return victoriously from a holy war, for they have remained alive by the Divine will. It refers also to the contemporary Imam, Imam Mahdi(May Allah hasten his auspicious advent), who is also known as/ baqiyatullah/ since that noble person has been retained and stored for the guidance of mankind by the Divine Will.
Some Islamic narrations denote that one of the names of this honorable man(Had rat Mahdi)is/ baqiyatullah/ 37 whom we greet with this name saying:/ 'assalamu 'alayka ya baqiatullah fi 'ard eh/. When he appears in Mecca, he will recite the above verse in a loud voice and say: "I am that promised Godly being kept by Allah. 38
Certainly the other immaculate Imams(a.s.) have been also entitled as:/ baqiatullah/.
(37) Bihar ul 'Anwar, vol. 46, p. 259
(38) Tafsir- us- Safi, vol. 2, p. 468
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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