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Interpretation of Sura Takwir - Verses 26-29

26.Whither then will you go?

27.Surely it (the Qur'an) is naught but a Reminder to (all) the worlds,

28.For whoever of you who would go straight.

29.But you cannot wilt, except as Allah wilts, the Lord of the Worlds.


O Neglectful Ones! Where are You Going?

In the previous verses it was made clear that the Holy Qur'an is the word of Allah Its contents show that it cannot be from a devilish source, but from Allah, the Merciful, from Whom Gabriel the powerful, faithful carrier of Allah's revelation, brought it to the sane Prophet (p.u.b.h) who communicated and taught it, completely, to people and did not withhold anything of it.

The following verses condemn the rejecters for their disobedience to this great word, the Holy Qur'an. It reproachfully questions:

Whither then will you go?

Why have you left the straight path and gone astray? Why have you turned your back to this leading bright torch and gone toward darkness? Are you against your own happiness and safety?

Surely it (the Qur'an) is naught but a Reminder to (all) the Worlds.

It advises and warns all to be aware and not to be neglectful.

Since training and guidance need not only the 'act of the actor' but, also 'the fitness of the fit' ,then it says:

For whoever of you who would go straight.

It is noteworthy that the former verse says that the Qur'an is a reminder to all the worlds, but this verse says that it is for a special group of people; those who have decided to assume the truth and go on the straight way. The reason for this difference is that the first verse speaks about the generality of this divine gift, while the second one states the conditions for obtaining benefits from it. And all the blessings in the world are the same: they are basically general, but their usage depends on 'will' and 'decision'.

Sura Baqara, No. 2, verse 2 carries a similar sense:This is the Book, in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear Allah.

In any case, this verse is one of the verses which shows that Allah has created Man free; possessing free-will. Then, it is Man who should decide which way to follow; the right way or the wrong one.

The term /yastaqim/ is used with an interesting sense which shows that the main road,- the one in front of Man, is the straight way to happiness and salvation and other roads are the false ones leading to aberration. All of Man's talents, along with his hidden and apparent powers and his natural capacities, are equipped so as to help him move forward on the straight way. When going to extremes, devilish temptations, and misleading propaganda do not interfere. Man, with the help of his nature, follows along the straight way, and we know that the straight way is always the nearest path to the goal.

It is possible, however, for Man to imagine that this free-will is so infinite that he can do whatever he wishes and that he is not in need of Allah's help to follow the straight way. The next and the last verse of the Sura points to the authority of Allah Will and says:

But you cannot will, except as Allah wills, the Lord of the Worlds

In fact, these two verses illustrate the mid-way for Man's limited will. On the one hand, it says that Man is free and can decide what he wills to do, but, on the other hand, it says: You cannot will, except as Allah wills. It means that you are created free, but this free-will is from Allah and He has willed that you be so.

Man is neither obliged nor completely free in his deeds. Neither 'fatalism' nor 'infinite freedom' is correct. Whatever Man possesses out of wisdom, intelligence, bodily ability and mental capacity for making decisions, all in all, are from Allah. It is this very fact that requires Man to be in need of Him and, due to his freedom and his free-will, to be responsible for his own duties and actions.

The term /rabbul-'alamin/ 'the Lord of the worlds' shows, well, that Allah's Will follows along the path of Man's training and development throughout the world. Allah never wills that anyone should go astray or commit sin and lose the nearness to Himself. He, according to His Lordship, helps all those who decide to travel on the path of spiritual development.

It is surprising that fatalists have grasped the second verse while the 'adherents of infinite free-will' have assumed the first verse.

Separating these kinds of verses from each other often causes aberration and lands one in a state of being misled. Verses of the Qur'an should be considered inseparable and the benefits should be taken from all of them.

It is interesting that some of the commentators have said that when the verse: For whoever of you would go straight, was revealed, Abu-Jahl, who was actually one of the adherents of infinite free-will, said that it became a good chance for them and they had all the authorizations at their disposal. Then, following that, the second verse was revealed : But you cannot will, except as Allah wills, the Lord of the Worlds.


O Lord! We know that we cannot be on the straight way unless you help us, so we seek your help.

O Lord! We have decided to go on the guided way; we ask for your Divine Will, too.

O Lord! Your throne of Judgment, in the Hereafter, is very frightening, and our Records contain few good deeds. Please forgive us with Your Own Sublime Graciousness; not with your strict Justice.

The End of Sura Takwir (The Folding up)

Adapted from the book: "The Light of The Holy Qur'an; Interpretation of Sura Nazi'at and Abasa and Takwir" by: "Sayyid Kamal Faghih Imani and A Group of Muslim Scholars"

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