The Light of The Holy Qur'an Interpretation of Sura Hud
The Light of The Holy Qur'an Interpretation of Sura Hud
Author : Sayyid Kamal Faghih Imani and A Group of Muslim Scholars
and the bounties from Allah
The verses of the Qur'an established in Wisdom The Apostle Muhammad is a Warner and the Bearer of Glad Tidings from Allah
1. " 'Alif 'A', Lam 'L', Ra 'R'.(This is)a Book whose verses are set firmly, then explained in detail, from One All- Wise, All- Aware. "
The Qur'an is made up of those very same alphabetical letters that are found in every Arabic text available for all. However, Allah has created a book out of these simple letters, the equivalent of which no one can produce. Just as man makes bricks and ceramics out of soil, Allah creates thousands of flowers and plants, fruits and animals as well as man, out of the same materials. Of course just as we can notice Allah's omnipotence in the system of creation, we can observe His omnipotence in the Book of Divine legislation as well. There are some further explanations about the abbreviated letters mentioned at the beginning of Sura Al- Baqarah, No. 2 which need not to be repeated here.
The Qur'an is a decisive Book, containing one fundamental spirit; that is, the spirit of monotheism; besides all its stories, exhortations, Divine commandments, and its verses are the explanations of this very line.
The Qur'an is a decisive book which has not been distorted nor is it to be doubted.
It is not based on conjecture and presupposition, and so all its contents are irrevocable with sound foundations.
The foundations of the Qur'an are decisively firm and nothing will be able to penetrate or cause disruption in it. The further science advances, the more the secrets of this book are revealed and discovered.
The Qur'an is both demonstrative and irrevocable, while at the same time, encompassing all the dimensions of this worldly life and the life hereafter. The Qur'an has been revealed to the Prophet(p.b.u.h.) in its totality, after which, it has been extensively explained. And as Allah is Wise, His Book is decisive, and as He is All- Aware, He has dealt with the details of all needs. The verse says:
" 'Alif 'A', Lam 'L', Ra 'R'.(This is)a Book whose verses are set firmly, then explained in detail, from One All- Wise, All- Aware. "
2. "(It teaches)that you should worship none but Allah. Verily, I am for you from Him, a warner and a bearer of glad tidings. "
This verse takes up the most important and the most fundamental issue of the Qur'an, which is monotheism by explaining the campaign against polytheism as follows:
Allah's first and foremost call to mankind is that he should stop worshipping everything else but the Almighty. The verse says:
"(It teaches)that you should worship none but Allah. ..."
Secondly, the Divine call concerns the matter that the Prophet(p.b.u.h.) is surely acting on Allah's behalf, as a messenger of warning and glad tidings.
The duty of the Prophet(p.b.u.h.) is that he warns people against disobeying Allah, injustice, corruption, polytheism and infidelity.
He informs them of Divine punishment as a result of their evil actions, and give them glad tidings of a happy fate for their obedience, piety and virtuousness. The holy verse continued saying:
"... Verily, I am for you from Him, a warner and a bearer of glad tidings. "
3. "And that you seek the forgiveness of Allah and turn unto Him in repentance so that He may provide you with a goodly provision to an appointed term, and bestow His abounding grace on everyone endowed with grace.
But if you turn away(from serving Him), then I fear for you the Penalty of a Great Day. "
His third call is that people should repent from their sins, and purify themselves from all types of pollution.
His fourth call for them is that they should turn to Him after purifying themselves from their sins by repentance, thus decorating themselves with Divine characteristics. This means that returning to Him means nothing more than acquiring those qualities that are associated with Him.
Afterwards, the holy Qur'an recounts that the practical results which ensue from acceptance or rejection of the four commandments, mentioned in the above, are as follows: Whenever you act according to this schedule, Allah grants you a whole happy life- time of enjoyment in your worldly life. The verse says:
"And that you seek the forgiveness of Allah and turn unto Him in repentance so that He may provide you with a goodly provision to an appointed term, ..."
Therefore, before enabling one to reap the fruits of his deeds in the After- Life, religion and religious ideologies tend to produce their fruits in this world. Moreover, the fact that everyone is rewarded according to his deeds in this world, and people's individual differences are never overlooked, it is amazing how they can all act in accordance with those four principles mentioned above. Allah measures each in his virtue and every individual's merit for whatever He bestows upon him. The verse continues saying:
"... and bestow His abounding grace on everyone endowed with grace. ..."
However, if you turn against these principles, disobeying these ideological and practical commandments, I fear for you the punishment of a Great Day, when you must stand in that great court of Justice for the Divine Judgment. The verse says:
"... But if you turn away(from serving Him), then I fear for you the Penalty of a Great Day. "
4. " To Allah is your return and He is All- Powerful over everything. "
At any rate, one should beware that regardless of who he is and whatever rank or position he may occupy, that ultimately, the one will return to Him. The verse says:
" To Allah is your return ..."
The above sentence points to the fifth principle of the fundamental principles of the Qur'an, that is, the Resurrection.
You should never think that your power is significant compared to the power of Allah, or you are able to disobey His orders, and escape His Court of Justice. Never give yourselves the benefit of a doubt that He would be unable to assemble your degenerated bones after death, providing them with a new life, because He is Omnipotent and has the power over all things. The verse continues saying:
"... and He is All- Powerful over everything. "
5. " Behold! They fold up their breasts to hide them from him(the Prophet)! Behold! Even when they cover themselves with their garments, He knows what they conceal and what they reveal: Verily He is aware of what is in the hearts. "
This verse, in general, makes allusions to one of the foolish behaviors of the Prophet's(p.b.u.h.) enemies who, by using their subterfuge and hypocritical manner, i. e., distancing themselves from the Truth, sought to conceal their true nature from the public so as not to lend their ears to the words of truth.
Thus, the holy Qur'an implies that the unbelievers would approach each other in a very intimate manner, and draw alongside one another so as to conceal themselves and their words from the Prophet(p.b.u.h.) . The verse says:
" Behold! They fold up their breasts to hide them from him(the Prophet)! ..."
The interpretation of/ ya noun/ probably refers to whatever act of concealment, whether apparent or hidden, that was performed by the enemies of the Prophet(p. b. u. h.).
1- The Arabic verb/ ya noun/ means placing two things next to each other. The word/ 'i nan/ means 'two', which also signifies bearing a grudge against someone. Therefore, the Qur'anic phrase:(ya nouna s udourahum/ either means that the unbelievers converge and ally themselves for secret objectives and conspiracies against the prophets or that they bear grudges against them.
Therefore, the holy Qur'an hastens to add that we should beware of those who conceal themselves in their places, however they are not hidden from Allah as He has knowledge of all secrets whether open or hidden. The verse also says:
"... Behold! Even when they cover themselves with their garments, He knows what they conceal and what they reveal: Verily He is aware of what is in the hearts. "
6. " And there is no moving creature on the earth but its sustenance is on Allah, and He knows its resting place and its depository. All is(recorded)in a clear Book. "
The Arabic word/ dabbah/, derived from the word/ dabib/ signifies 'walking slowly' and 'taking short steps. ' However it also refers to every moving creature.
The Qur'anic word/ rizq/ signifies the continuous bestowal of bounties, whether material or spiritual. Hence, we call to Allah in our prayers: "O Allah! Bestow upon me knowledge that is useful. " Whatever of sustenance He bestows is suitable for the relevant creature. For instance, the food that babies utilize, while still unborn, alters according to their needs after birth which changes into delicious milk, otherwise, how could a human being feed a baby in the womb of its mother Or, how could a newly born baby receive its food?
In another occurrence, the Qur'an says: "And how many a living creature that does not carry it's sustenance: Allah sustains it and yourselves." 1
Had rat Ali(a.s.)says in his will to Imam Hasan(a.s.): "Sustenance,/ rizq/, is of two kinds: One kind is to be obtained through your own endeavor and struggle; the other kind is that which comes to you by itself, whether it be natural, such as sunlight and rain, or whether it be a potentiality in man such as intelligence and memory. " Thus, the verse does not tell us to sit around and wait for food to descend from Heaven; rather it tells us to struggle and to endeavor, as well as to consider whatever we obtain as Allah- given and is a bestowal from Him. He takes care of all creatures which necessitates the existence of a very accurate system to be permanently at work so as to keep track of all allotted portions and needs. That is, He must be aware of the numbers and places of all men, animals, marine animals, birds, and desert animals as well as creatures great or small with their various specifications and needs. The verse says:
" And there is no moving creature on the earth but its sustenance is on Allah, and He knows its resting place and its depository. All is(recorded)in a clear Book. "
If all knowledge is contained in the Holy Book, it follows that he who has a good command of the Book knows everything. We recite in the last verse of Sura Ar- Ra'd: " Say: 'Allah is sufficient as a witness between me and you and the one with whom is the knowledge of the Book. " 2 Both Shi'ah and the Sunni quotations reaffirm the fact that the man in question in the foregoing sentence is Had rat Ali(a.s.).
Concerning the provision bestowed upon the creatures, Allah's way of treatment is of two kinds. One is providing them directly with those necessities for their existence and the other is providing for them through making the means and devices available which would enable them to meet their needs. Thus, obtaining one's share is not incompatible with the laws governing one's endeavor in obtaining what he needs.
In other words, one must not rely upon others for his needs, abandoning his own struggle. At the same time we must admit that our share is in Allah's control, for He has made available to us both the resources of our provisions as well as the reasons and means for the exploitation, discovery, and acquisition of those resources.
7. " And He it is Who created the heavens and the earth within Six Days(periods), and His Throne was over the water so that He might try you, which of you is best in conduct. And, if you were to say to them: 'Verily you shall be raised up after death', the unbelievers would surely say: 'This is(not)but a manifest sorcery'. "
There are three principal issues discussed in this noble verse: First, the creation of the world of existence which represents a display of Allah's Omnipotence, specially the initiation of creation which signifies His Power, as well as the reasons for His glory. The verse says:
" And He it is Who created the heavens and the earth within Six Days(periods), ..."
The word 'Days' here means epochs, whether long or short. Then it adds:
"... and His Throne was over the Water ..."
Some of the scientists believe that at very early time of creation, the world of existence was in the form of some molten materials,(or some extra ordinary pressed gases which had the form of some liquid materials).
Then, some great bursts happened inside this very liquid substance and parts of its outside surface were continuously separated off which, finally, formed the stars and germs of the systems in the sky.
Therefore, the world of existence, maybe, at first was located on this great material, the liquid like.
The second issue hinted at in this verse, is the objective of the creation of the cosmos, the main aim of which refers to the supreme fruit of the process of creation, namely man. Man who must be subjected to educational processes, thus evolving and approaching the Almighty even further. It says:
"... so that He might try you which of you is best in conduct. ..."
Imam Sadiq(a.s.)says: "Good conduct refers to that kind of conduct which is coupled with knowledge, sincerity and virtue, not a mere action which is practiced in abundance. Therefore, the heavens and the earth have been created for good deeds and not for the sake of happiness, pleasure- seeking, and negligence. " Definitely, those who deny the Day of Resurrection have no reasoning for their claim and they only take recourse to accusations of sorcery and hallucinations. The verse says:
"... And, if you were to say to them: 'Verily you shall be raised up after death', the unbelievers would surely say: 'This is(not)but a manifest sorcery'. "
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. "
11. " Except those who are patient and constant, and do deeds of righteousness; for them is forgiveness and a great reward. "
All cases dealt with in the Qur'an concerning good conduct are mentioned along with faith except in this verse which, says: "Except those who are patient and constant". In this verse, too, 'the patient' refers to the true believers compared with those who behave with intolerance.
?Patience is not confined only to cases of frustration and bitter events. On the contrary, in cases of abundant welfare and happiness, one must keep patience, otherwise, it will lead man to unruliness as the Children of Israel were when they were liberated from the yoke of Pharaoh and gained a more comfortable life and independence they went the path of aberration. They then started worshipping cows and when confronted by the protests of Harun, they went so far in their rudeness that they were about to kill their prophet. The Qur'an in this regard says: "Verily the people judged me weak and had well nigh slain me." 3
Therefore, being patient in times of joy and sorrow is one of the best examples of good conduct. A true believer is an integrated person who never despairs, neither is he blasphemous, happy- go lucky, nor arrogant. On the contrary, he is patient and persevering.
12. " So perhaps you may(be inclined)to give up a part of what is revealed unto thee, and your breast becomes straitened by it lest they say, 'Why has not a treasure been sent down unto him or an angel not come with him ' Verily you are only a warner, and Allah is custodian over everything. "
Once the unbelievers asked the Prophet(p.b.u.h.) to turn the mountains of Mecca into gold through a miracle or they wished that an angel come to him, thus confirming him. Others, on the contrary, owing to their grudge and hatred, wanted him to say something related to Had rat Ali(a.s.)and whenever he would say something, they would reject all of it. Therefore, the Prophet(p.b.u.h.) felt a strain in his heart, and consequently, he delayed conveying the messages.
Incidentally, his delay did not intrude upon his infallibility nor was it incompatible with it, for at that time, there was no urgency to convey Allah's message. Thus, owing to considerations which were not personal but based upon expediency, he could postpone conveying the verses. With the revelation of this verse, those considerations were set aside and the message had now to be conveyed without delay. The verse says:
" So perhaps you may(be inclined)to give up a part of what is revealed unto thee, and your breast becomes straitened by it lest they say, 'Why has not a treasure been sent down unto him or an angel not come with him ? "
Perhaps, the delay in conveying the revelations had been confined solely to a few obstinate people, of whose guidance the Prophet(p.b.u.h.) had despaired. However, Allah ordered that although they might not become believers, it was the duty of the Prophet(p.b.u.h.) not to abandon them. The verse continues saying:
"... Verily you are only a warner, and Allah is custodian over everything. "
Therefore, a leader and an authority in propagating the message of Islam must be always decisive in propagating and conveying the word of Allah, remaining undaunted by the people's words and pretexts, for Allah is the guarantor of a prophet's duty and prophets are not responsible for the consequences. They must act according to their duty and leave the rest to the Almighty.
The unbelievers used to put pressure upon the Prophet(p.b.u.h.) under various pretexts. It was in addition to the physical tortures that they used to inflict upon him.
13. " Or do they say: 'He has forged it' Say, 'Bring you then ten suras forged, like unto it, and call(to your aid)whomsoever you can, other than Allah, if you are truthful! '"
The Qur'an is not only a miracle of eloquence in itself, it is also a miracle from the view point of its wisdom and ideology, its admonitions, its reasoning, the news it gives of the invisible world and its legislations. The sentence, "and call to your aid whomsoever you can" is a call addressed to everyone, and not only to those Arabs who could comprehend the eloquence and the fluency of the noble Qur'an. In this regard He elsewhere reiterates: "Were men and jinn to combine together to bring the like of this Qur'an, they could not bring the like of it, " 4
The miraculous nature of the Qur'an is multi- faceted. It is found in the sweetness of its words when read, the harmony of its content, etc. Although it had been revealed over a period of 32 years, it had revealed scientific knowledge which had been non- existent at that time. It foretold affairs that eventually took place in the future. It provided information concerning the nations of antiquity which had left no trace from themselves. It stated comprehensive laws governing all dimensions of the individual and social life of man. And it has remained intact throughout the ages free of all distortions, changes, and of becoming out- dated and forgotten.
Despite making it easy for them and all these challenges, mankind is still rendered impotent. The Qur'an elsewhere says: " to bring the like of this Qur'an ". 5 In the verse under discussion, it says: "Bring you then ten suras forged like unto it". In another place it makes it even easier by saying: " then bring one Sura the like thereof ". 6 In addition to this, the Qur'an issues thought- provoking challenges. Elsewhere it says: "Were men and jinn to combine together to bring the like of this Qur'an. " 7
Elsewhere it implies that if they call on all the think- tanks of the whole globe; they cannot produce anything like the Qur'an. Here is the text: " they could not bring the like of it, though some of them were aiders of others. " 8
History has also clearly proven that enemies have waged numerous wars against Islam, they have planned conspiracies and yet they have never been able to produce even one Sura like that of the Qur'an. Can any miracle performed be better than this?
However, instead of using their reason, the unbelievers, accused the Prophet(p. b. u. h.)of fabricating the Qur'an, saying that it is not the word of Allah, while the Qur'an is the eternal miracle of history. The verse says:
" Or do they say: 'He has forged it' Say, 'Bring you then ten suras forged, like unto it, and call(to your aid)whomsoever you can, other than Allah, if you are truthful! '"
14. "If then they do not answer your(call), know that it is sent down by the knowledge of Allah, and that there is no Allah but He! Will you then submit(to Islam)"
The unbelievers accused the Prophet(p.b.u.h.) of having learned the Qur'an from someone. The Qur'an answers them that the source of this Book is Divine Knowledge and nothing other than that. Sometimes they also said that he had written the Qur'an while receiving help from others. This verse provides a firm answer to all those accusations. It says:
"If then they do not answer your(call), know that it is sent down by the knowledge of Allah, and that there is no Allah but He! Will you then submit(to Islam)"?
The noble Qur'an is not a product of man's conjectural suppositions, imaginations, or contemplations, it is based upon Allah's Omniscience, recognizing no spatial, temporal, or racial boundaries and is not specific to only one particular generation for it is based on Allah's Knowledge.
Similar to the infinite knowledge of Allah, the secrets of the Qur'an are infinite. Therefore, we must not waver in our opinion concerning the authenticity of the holy Qur'an and in monotheism with regards to Allah because of infidelity and hesitation of disbelievers.
15. " Whoever desires the life of this world and its adornment, We shall pay them in full(the recompense for)their deeds therein, and they will not be defrauded therein. "
16. "(But)these are they for whom there is naught in the hereafter but the Fire: and what they have wrought in it shall fail, and vain shall be what they were doing. "
Their reward for their good conduct will be delivered to them without any diminution in this world and they will be amply rewarded, which is healthy and favours gifted to them, but there would be no rewards for them in the Afterlife, for they had no intention of meriting Allah's approbation in their deeds and expected no compensation in the Hereafter.
They had only intended to have what they gain in this world and this they have obtained. The verse says:
" Whoever desires the life of this world and its adornment, We shall pay them in full(the recompense for)their deeds therein, and they will not be defrauded therein. "
The foregoing holy verses present adequate proofs to the unbelievers and deniers by mentioning the reasons for the miracle of the Qur'an.
After the truth has been well- expounded and made crystal clear, some people abstain from submitting to it for their own material benefits. The Qur'an refers to the fate of such people in this verse and in the one following by saying that those whose aims are simply to have a good and luxurious life are given their complete reward in this world without losing anything.
However, if their intention is to please Allah, they will be rewarded abundantly both in this world and in the next.
One could easily find examples of the above facts in his environment. The Western world, in its unceasing efforts, has split the unknown secrets of many sciences, thus controlling and dominating various forces in nature. It has attained affluence as a result of its unity and its continuous struggle and resistance against difficulties. Thus, they will evidently reap the fruits of their labor and attain the fruits of victory. However, as their aim is solely confined to the worldly life, the natural consequences of such acts will be only limited to the provisions of this material world.
Therefore, in this verse the Qur'an explicitly states that whatever they have done in this world(which are rewarded here)will be obliterated in the next world and they will get no rewards for whatever they have performed for all they have done for other than Allah will become null and void. The verse says:
"(But)these are they for whom there is naught in the hereafter but the Fire: and what they have wrought in it shall fail, and vain shall be what they were doing. "
17. " Is he then(like unto him)who has a clear proof from his Lord and follows him a witness from Him, and before it(is)the Book of Moses, a guide and a mercy(testifying it)These believe in it; but whoever of the(different)parties disbelieves in it, the(Hell)Fire is the promised place; so be you not in doubt of it; verily it(the Qur'an)is the truth from your Lord, but most of the people do not believe. "
Allah has offered more than adequate reasons as to why people must be believers. The Qur'an is a miracle on its own and, at the same time, a person like Ali- ibn- Abi- Talib(a.s.), is also a witness which testifies to its authenticity. Moreover, the Torah had also provided good tidings as to the emergence of the Qur'an long before it was revealed.
Therefore, the Qur'an inquires whether he who brings clear evidence from his Lord, who is supported by a testifying witness, who is commissioned by Allah, and before whom the Book of Moses(Torah)had come bringing revelations as the forerunner of future blessings to come and heralding his magnitude to be regarded as equal to those who lack all these qualities, signs, and proofs. The verse says:
" Is he then(like unto him)who has a clear proof from his Lord and follows him a witness from Him, and before it(is)the Book of Moses, a guide and a mercy(testifying it)"?
He is no one but the Prophet Muhammad(p.b.u.h.) and/ bayyinah/ or the clear evidence he offers, is the glorious Qur'an, and his witness, who testifies as to the truthfulness of his prophecy amongst the believers is none other than that righteous believer, Ali(a.s.), whose signs and characteristics had been depicted in the Torah long before his historical appearance. Therefore, the authenticity of his mission has been verified in three ways:
First, the Qur'an which is a clear evidence in his hands.
Secondly, the previous holy Books which have precisely explained his signs, and whose adherents were very familiar with those signs during the era of the Prophet(p.b.u.h.) .
Thirdly, faithful followers, the leading figure of whom is Ali- ibn- Abi- Talib(as.)who testifies as to the truthfulness of his call and his words.
Can one still doubt the authenticity of his call or compare him with others who claim to be 'prophets' Then, it makes an allusion to truth- seeking individuals and calls on them to become believers, telling them to adhere to such a prophet who carries so many clear proofs. It says:
"... These believe in it; ..."
Following this statement, the Qur'an mentions the fate of the unbelievers saying whichever of the various groups denies him, will meet the Fire of the Inferno, as there is its meeting place. It continues saying:
"... but whoever of the(different)parties disbelieves in it, the(Hell)Fire is the promised place; ..."
As is the case with the style of the holy Qur'an in most situations, it addresses the people through addressing the Prophet(p. b. u. h.), at the end of the verse as a general lesson it teaches that since the circumstances are as such and the authenticity of his call has been confirmed by so many witnesses, there should not be the least shadow of doubt cast as far as his mission is concerned, for this is a truthful word on the part of Allah though many people, because of their ignorance, fanaticism and ego- centrism would remain unbelievers in his mission. The verse says:
"... so be you not in doubt of it; verily it(the Qur'an)is the truth from your Lord, but most of the people do not believe. "
In summary, the verse refers to the privileges of Islam and the Muslims, the righteous ones, and their reliance upon sound reasoning for choosing this divine school of thought, while, simultaneously, it also explains the wicked and evil destiny of the arrogant unbelievers.
18. " And who is more unjust than he who forges a lie against Allah?(On the Day of Resurrection)these will be presented before their Lord and the witnesses( the prophets and angels)will say: 'These are those who lied against their Lord! ' Beware! the curse of Allah is on the unjust. "
The Court of the Resurrection contains many witnesses:
A) The Lord who is a witness to all of our conduct:
"Verily, Allah is a witness for everything. " 9
B) The Blessed Prophet(p.b.u.h.) :
"How will it be then when We bring from every People a witness, and We bring you a witness over those witnesses? 10
C) The Immaculate Imams(a.s.)
"And thus have We made you an Ummah of middling stand that you may be witnesses over mankind, " 11
According to some Islamic traditions, what is meant by Ummah(nation)here are the Immaculate Imams, for other individuals in the nation are not eligible for serving as witnesses on that Day owing to their lack of knowledge and their not being infallible.
D) The Angels, "And every soul shall come forth, with each will be a driver, and a witness. " 12
On the Day of Resurrection every person will be accompanied with two angels; one of them drives him and the other is a witness over him.
E) The Earth: "On that Day, she(the earth)will recount(all)her news. " 13
F) Conscience: "Read your book; your own self is sufficient as a reckoner against you this Day. " 14
G) One's Bodily Organs: "On the Day(of Resurrection), their tongue, and their hands, and their feet shall bear witness against them as to what they used to do. " 15
H) Time: Imam Sajjad(a.s.)states in the sixth prayer of the Sahifa that:
"Today(on the Day of Resurrection)is a new day which will testify as to the kind of conduct we have had. "
I) Performance: " and what they had done they shall find present(there), " 16
Question: The Qur'an has employed the word/ 'az lamu/ when referring to many sins while the utmost oppression must be one and not more than one. Why is it so?
Answer: This inference is used in 51 cases, all of which are concerned with spiritual mental deviations irrespective of polytheism, false accusations, covering up the truth and withholding it, and obstruction of the way and of the remembrance of Allah. Therefore, the most important of the oppressions is intellectual, cultural, and ideological.
The Qur'an in this verse, as well as in a few verses which come later, explains the situation, profile, and the fate of those who falsely accuse Allah as follows: The most oppressive individual is he who is deprived of Divine favors, denies the Day of Resurrection, distorts facts, obstructs the way of Allah and is neither able to escape Allah's domination in this world nor to seek assistance on the Day of Resurrection.
He is the one whose punishment is multi- fold, his life has gone with the wind, his endeavors have become null and void, and his life and soul have become lost.
Therefore, false accusations against Allah are the greatest of the unjust. Writers and preachers of religion must be on guard against wrong words and their writings and keep in mind the fact that there are many witnesses who will testify as to what they have said and written on the Day of Resurrection. The verse says:
" And who is more unjust than he who forges a lie against Allah?(On the Day of Resurrection)these will be presented before their Lord and the witnesses(the prophets and angels)will say: 'These are those who lied against their Lord! ' Beware! the curse of Allah is on the unjust. "
19. " Those who hinder(people)from the path of Allah and seek to make it crooked, and they are themselves unbelievers as to the hereafter. "
Enemies obstruct the Path of Allah through various methods including heresy, false accusations, personal interpretations, forging traditions, provoking skepticism, emptying mosques, abandoning and neglecting the teaching of Ahl- ul- Bayt, standing in the way of good conduct, fabricating pretexts to justify immoral entertainment, setting forth insignificant issues of hero worship, recommending and propagating falsehood, humiliating faithful believers, forbidding what has been allowed by religion, giving undue appreciation and recommendation of what is not appropriate, glorifying despots, etc.
Among the clear examples of obstruction of Allah's Path, one may cite closing the gate of the 'House of Allah', closing the 'House of the men of Allah, ' and the 'House of the Ahl- ul- Bayt of the Prophet(p.b.u.h.) ' as well as that of the immaculate and just leaders.
The enemy obstructs the Path first, and if he is unable to do so, he diverts the course leading to the Path. The verse says:
" Those who hinder(people)from the path of Allah and seek to make it crooked, and they are themselves unbelievers as to the hereafter. "
20. " They will in no wise frustrate(His design)on the earth, nor shall there be for them any protectors besides Allah! The penalty will be doubled for them. They could not bear to hear(the truth), and they used not to see(it). "
How can one reconcile the issue of the manifestation and multiplication of Allah's punishment with Divine justice which seem to be incompatible with each other Answer: He who misleads others, owing to his power and position, naturally must be held responsible for their faults.
Thus, the sin committed by knowledgeable people, because of their social function, is manifold when compared to that committed by ordinary people and this is identical with justice. Any way, the oppressors are under the yoke of the Divine wrath and power, and will meet their own doom. The holy verse says:
" They will in no wise frustrate(His design)on the earth, nor shall there be for them any protectors besides Allah! The penalty will be doubled for them. They could not bear to hear(the truth), and they used not to see(it). "
Those who make false accusations must forget and give up the idea that being the support of despots and being among their entourage will save them.
21. " These are they who have lost their own selves, and that which they used to invent has failed them. "
22. " Assuredly, they will be the greatest losers in the Hereafter. "
In Islamic culture, the world is compared to a marketplace where people are salesmen and the purchasing group consists of Allah, the Satan, one's passionate self, etc., the number of which is numerous. The merchandise is the soul, property and performance. This merchandise is on offer at an expensive or cheap price. Hence the words/ 'ajr/(recompense),/ awab/(reward),/ d i'f/ and/ 'id 'af/, are used frequently in the Qur'an to mean recompense; while the terms/ xusr/(loss)and/ xusranun mubin/(manifest loss)and/ axsarin/(the most losers)are used about damage. The important warning is that we know that every loss can be compensated except the passage of one's lifetime which cannot be redeemed. The holy verse says:
" These are they who have lost their own selves, and that which they used to invent has failed them. "
Sometimes, wealth and property, position and power or one's social status are lost. At other times, man himself and his humanity are lost which is the greatest of all losses.
Therefore, worldly losses can be compensated but losses incurred in the Hereafter cannot be replaced. The verse says:
" Assuredly, they will be the greatest losers in the Hereafter. "
23. " Verily those who believe and work righteousness, and humble themselves before their Lord, they will be Companions of the Garden,(paradise), they will abide therein for ever. "
The Qur'anic word/ axbatou/, is derived from/ xabt/ which means both submission and humility as well as comfort and confidence.
Reward and encourage have also been mentioned along with warnings and threats.
Following the aforementioned verses which explained the fate of those who are involved in giving false accusations, this verse exposes the profile of those involved in righteous deeds. It implies that those who believe and perform righteous acts and behave well, who submit themselves before Allah and are confident of His promises, will be among the Companions of Paradise, remaining there forever. The verse says:
" Verily those who believe and work righteousness, and humble themselves before their Lord, they will be Companions of the Garden,(paradise), they will abide therein for ever. "
24. " The similitude the two parties is like the blind and the deaf, and the seeing(ones)and the hearing(ones). Are they equal in likeness ?Will you not then admonish ?"
As one's body has eyes and ears, one's heart also has eyes and ears and as the blind and the deaf do not perceive the sensations of the world and do not enjoy them, obstinate individuals also stop enjoying the Divine acquaintance and do not enjoy it. Therefore, the Qur'an inquires whether the deaf and the blind are equal to the hearing and the seeing in the eyes of a wise man. And as they are not equal, the faithful and the unbeliever are not identical either. Do you not meditate in this matter so as to attain to the truth ?The verse says:
" The similitude the two parties is like the blind and the deaf, and the seeing(ones)and the hearing(ones). Are they equal in likeness ?Will you not then admonish ?"
Noah exhorts the people believe in and worship only the One Ture God - Noah is rejected and charged the people and as imposter - Noah warns the people of the punishment from Allah
25. " And verily, We sent Noah to his people,(saying:)'I am a plain warner for you'. "
26. " That you serve none but Allah; verily, I do fear for you the penalty of a painful day. "
Had rat Noah is the first prophet among those possessors of determination/ 'ulul 'azm/ i. e., among the major prophets, who stood up against polytheism and idol worship, and as the human generation traces its genealogy back to him after the drowning of the unbelievers, he is addressed as the second Adam and, since his life- time was longest comparing that of other prophets, he is called Master of the Prophets. Allah, the Gracious, has told the story of the prophets of the past to warn the unbelievers and to soothe the Prophet(p. b. u. h). Taking up the story of Noah, the Qur'an says that he was sent to his people so as to warn them against worshipping other than Allah. The verse says:
" And verily, We sent Noah to his people,(saying:)'I am a plain warner for you'. "
He started His call in a sincere manner inviting them to accept monotheism because it was the most supreme ideal, for no other act of worship would be accepted before the All- knowing Allah, the sole and only Creator of the world. The verse says:
" That you serve none but Allah; verily, I do fear for you the penalty of a painful day. "
27. " Then the chiefs of those who disbelieved among his people said: 'We do not see(in)you but a man like ourselves, nor do we see that any follow you but those who are the meanest among us, at first thought, nor do we see(in)you any excellence over us; nay, we think you are liars! '"
The opponents of the truth sometimes belittle and endeavor to weaken the Divine leaders. They claim that prophets are men like others and not superior to them. The verse says:
" Then the chiefs of those who disbelieved among his people said: 'We do not see(in)you but a man like ourselves, ..."
At other times, humiliating the prophets' followers, they claim that they are some unimportant and insignificant people. The verse continues saying:
"... nor do we see that any follow you but those who are the meanest among us, at first thought, ..."
At other times, they despise the entire school claiming that the adherents of this school are naive and superficial who lack any depth of vision. The verse says:
"... nor do we see(in)you any excellence over us; nay, we think you are liars! '"
Arrogant people often detest being equal with the masses, especially with those who are deprived. Usually, the aristocrats have always allied themselves with the opponents of the prophets but those who take less interest in worldly affairs, become believers more quickly and are more decent.
Therefore, the opponents of the prophets lack reasoning and whatever they claim is based on conjecture, speculation and on hallucinations.
28. " He said: "O my People! Bethink you, if I be upon a clear proof from my Lord, and He has grant me mercy from His Presence, but has been obscured for you; shall we compel you to(accept)it while you are averse to it ?"
This holy verse provides answers to two objections of the unbelievers which were raised in the foregoing verse.
The unbelievers used to say that Noah(a.s.)was a man like themselves. This verse answers that although in appearance the prophets are like the unbelievers, they have merited Allah's particular approbation since they receive revelations and perform miracles.
The unbelievers would say that the followers of Had rat Noah(a.s.)were some simple minded, short sighted, and naive people. The verse answers that such was not the case, although apparently they were weaker than the unbelievers, they had become believers through witnessing the proofs shown to them by their prophet. Their conviction, indeed, was not baseless and without reason.
Despite all the false accusations and groundless protests, the prophets have always displayed a tolerant attitude towards their foes and they still took recourse to logic, reasoning and appeal to their emotions.
Of all the things required of the prophets, offering proofs to the people and performing miracles combined with decisive reasoning leave no room for any excuses. Nothing must withhold people from exercising their free choice. Once they stick to their beliefs, they will prosper and once they refuse to do so they will be tormented. There is no compulsion in that. The verse says:
" He said: "O my People! Bethink you, if I be upon a clear proof from my Lord, and He has grant me mercy from His Presence, but has been obscured for you; shall we compel you to(accept)it while you are averse to it ?"
29. " And O' my People! I ask you no wealth for it. My reward is only upon Allah, and I will not drive away those who believe,(for)verily they shall meet their Lord, but I see you are an ignorant people. "
The secret of a preacher's success is his lack of over expectation with regard to people and not letting himself be stymied by the objections of the wealthy corrupt classes.
If the prophets were seeking illegitimate profits, they would call on the aristocrats and not the poor, on the princes not on the paupers. The followers of the prophets are the oppressed people and they never neglect them.
The prophets are never greedy for the people's property. Their sole purpose, according to their mission is to save the people from their ignorance and from the Divine punishment. The verse says:
" And O' my People! I ask you no wealth for it. My reward is only upon Allah, and I will not drive away those who believe,(for)verily they shall meet their Lord, but I see you are an ignorant people. "
30. " And O my people! Who will help me against Allah if I drove them away Will you not then reflect ?"
The Qur'an further explains the situation in this verse, and from the tongue of the prophet to his people, it implies that if he cast out this group, who in this world can come to his assistance in that great Court of Justice ?The verse says:
" And O my people! Who will help me against Allah if I drove them away ? ..."
Driving out the righteous and faithful believers is no easy matter. They can bear witness against the prophet on the Day of Resurrection and no one will be able to defend him then, while, at the same time, the Divine punishment might also face him in this world. And contemplating this would lead to knowledge that whatever the prophet said was identical with the truth. The verse says:
"... Will you not then reflect ?"
31. "And I do not say to you(that)Allah's treasures are with me; nor do I know the Unseen, nor do I claim to be an angel; nor do I say, about those whom your eyes do despise,(that)Allah will never grant them any good. Allah is well aware of what is in their hearts;(for)verily then I should be of the unjust. "
?Knowledge of Unseen, regarding anything and every condition, is absolutely with Allah. The Qur'an says: "And with Him are the keys of the Unseen. None but He knows them " 17 which means that the keys to the invisible world are in His Own authority. However, due to Divine Providence and according to the Divine Will, men of Allah will sometimes find windows opened up for them. The Qur'an in regard to this fact says: "These are of the tidings of the Unseen which We reveal unto you. " 18
Therefore, Allah's prophets are knowledgeable about the invisible world as the Qur'an states: "The Knower of the Unseen! So He does not reveal His secrets to any, " "Except to him whom He chooses as an apostle " 19. This verse means that He is knowledgeable about the invisible world, and no one is aware of this knowledge of the invisible except those whom He has selected from among His prophets.
?Not only the knowledge of the invisible world is His own prerogative but the power to perform extraordinary works also rests with Him, though Allah can and will bestow something of whatever aspect of His power which He deems worthy upon anyone He chooses and to the extent that He wishes. For example, it is mentioned in the Qur'an that death and life are in His Power: "Verily, it is He who makes one die and live". 20 However, the Qur'an also says that Had rat 'Isa(a. s.) made the dead live with His permission "I make the dead live with His permission. " 21
Although Allah takes lives "Allah takes the souls " 22 yet angels take lives with His permission: "The angel of death shall cause you to die, " 23 And although He is the sole Creator of all, "Allah is the Creator of every thing " 24, But Had rat 'Isa creates, however, with His permission: " and when you did make of clay a thing like the shape of a bird, by My leave, " 25
Theological research has shown that no one individual existing among the jinn and mankind can have access to the science of the invisible world apart from a limited amount of it which depends upon their potentialities. This type of knowledge in relation to them is not a science of the invisible after it is bestowed on them although it might be so for others. On the other hand, Allah has made the prophets and the Imams knowledgeable about the invisible world and aware of the past and future. For example, the blessed Prophet(p.b.u.h.) had foretold the news of the 'Imamat' of twelve persons, the sufferings inflicted on them, the intentional disappearance of Had rat Mahdi(a.s.)and his reappearance, the events occurring during the last days, the establishment of his government, and the resurrection of the dead on the Day of Judgment, other similar matters have also been passed down to us from the other Imams(a.s.). Without doubt whatever has not been given to us in this respect is due to the lack of capacity on the part of the average man or has been withheld for reasons known only to Allah. 26
At the end of the verse, the Qur'an goes back to the subject of oppressed believers, emphasizing that the prophet cannot say that those whom the disbelievers despise will not be rewarded by Allah. On the contrary, the blessings of this world and those of the next belong to the oppressed even though they are empty handed in this world.
It is the wrongdoers who in their infatuation with the world consider goodness to be confined to wealth, position, youth, and the like, demonstrating their lack of knowledge of the truth and its true meaning. Even if one assumes that the oppressors are right and that the oppressed are indeed wretches, still Allah is more aware than us of what is in their minds, for we know nothing about them except what is indicative of their good faith and sincerity, and thus we are obliged to accept them. I am only required to judge and relate with men based on their outward behavior, judging a man on the basis of his inward nature belongs to Allah alone, and if I act otherwise, I will certainly be among the oppressors. The verse says:
"And I do not say to you(that)Allah's treasures are with me; nor do I know the Unseen, nor do I claim to be an angel; nor do I say, about those whom your eyes do despise,(that)Allah will never grant them any good.Allah is well aware of what is in their hearts;(for)verily then I should be of the unjust."
32. " They said: 'O' Noah! You have disputed with us and multiplied disputation with us. Bring us then what you have promised us(of divine punishment), if you are truthful. '"
?Disputes are only valuable whenever they are honestly in pursuit of the truth and done in a respectful and polite manner; as the Qur'an says: " and argue with them in the best manner." 27
If the dispute is based on what is wrong, it is of no value, as the holy Qur'an says: " and they disputed by means of the falsehood in order to stamp out the truth thereby. " 28
Thus, as the unbelievers did not have logic on their side and accepted no logical arguments, they sought to bring the debate to and end by telling him to bring unto them what he had promised. The verse says:
" They said: 'O' Noah! You have disputed with us and multiplied disputation with us. Bring us then what you have promised us(of divine punishment), if you are truthful. '"
Therefore Had rat Noah(a.s.)cursed them after they had made their declaration that they wanted him to send down their destruction.
33. " He said: 'Verily Allah will bring it to you, if He wills, and you will not be able to frustrate(it). '"
Noah replies that the realization of the punishment for their heedlessness and obstinacy is not up to him but it is dependent upon the Will of Allah. He himself is only a messenger and a sincere servant of the Almighty.
They should beware, however, that when the command for the punishment is issued they cannot escape His power for they are at His mercy and they will not be able to take refuge anywhere. The verse says:
" He said: 'Verily Allah will bring it to you, if He wills, and you will not be able to frustrate(it). '"
34. " And my advice will not profit you, should I intend to give you advice, if Allah wills to lead you astray. He is your Lord and unto Him you will be returned. "
Noah said that his advice would have been of no use to them even though he sincerely wished to counsel them.
The punishment and retribution of the evildoers is up to Allah, and prophets are nothing but agents for conveying the Divine message and admonishing the people.
There is no way for man to resist or escape Divine justice and punishment, for Allah's Will overcomes all other wills. Even if one is not punished in this world, Allah will deal with him on the Day of Resurrection, and then he will see the final result of his deeds.
However, the Arabic word/ nush/ refers to the saying or deed by which sincere reformation is achieved, and the Arabic word/ qayy/ is called to that kind of ignorance which has its roots in corrupt and evil convictions. The difference between/ 'id lal/ and/ 'iqwa/ is that the doer of the former knows the destination but he has lost the way, while with respect to/ 'iqwa/ the aim and intention are both unknown. Attributing the actions of/ 'id lal/ and/ 'iqwa/ to Allah is in the way of punishing those who are misled because of the obstinacy and corruption of their character. It does not mean that from the beginning and without prior premise Allah goes on leading one astray.
35. "Or they say: 'He has forged it. ' Say: 'If I have forged it, upon me is my sin, and I am quit of the sins you commit'. "
Some of the unbelievers among the Quraysh claimed that these stories of the prophets had been fabricated by the Prophet himself(p.b.u.h.) which he then attributed to Allah. The Almighty instructs him to tell them that if he had fabricated them, it would be he alone who would suffer the consequences and they would not be held responsible, but the converse is also true with respect to their transgressions, that he is just as free of responsibility for their sins and offences. His duty is only to convey the message and nothing else, whether or not they accepted or rejected it. The verse says:
" Or they say: 'He has forged it. ' Say: 'If I have forged it, upon me is my sin, and I am quit of the sins you commit'. "
Apparently because of the Qur'anic word/ qul/, which means 'say', and owing to the news about the unbelievers of Mecca and the Prophet of Islam, the verse relates to the Apostle of Islam(p.b.u.h.) . Anyway, he who commits an act will only be held responsible and it is no one else's fault. The Prophet(p.b.u.h.) will not be involved in their sins either. The fact that they did not accept the faith and attributed false accusations to the Qur'an, calling the Prophet a liar, all together resulted in grievous consequences while on his part, he had performed his mission in admonishing and conveying the message to them.
The Arabic term/ 'ijram/ and/ jurm/ mean the picking of unripe fruits and which thereafter have been referred to whatever indecent behavior or offence or sin.
Noah directed to make an Ark - People of Noah scoff at Noah - The Deluge - Noah's people drowned - Noah and his companions in the Ark saved.
36. " And it was revealed unto Noah: 'None of your people will believe except those who have already believed, so do not grieve as to what they used to do'. "
The previous holy verses thoroughly covered the stage of inviting the people to the religion on Divine unity and Noah's indefatigable propagation and dissemination of the Divine message which he accomplished using all the devices he had available. This verse deals with the second stage of the campaign; the final stage of the propagation phase.
Here, the second phase of the campaign has not been dealt with, it is the end of the propagation stage, and the second stage is the preparation for the Divine purge.
At first, we read that it was revealed to Noah that no one else except those who had already adhered to him would become believers. The verse says:
" And it was revealed unto Noah: 'None of your people will believe except those who have already believed, ..."
Reference is here made to the fact that alignments had already been made and finalized and no further call or reformation would have been useful, hence a state of readiness for the upheaval and the purge must be declared.
Towards the end of the verse, consoling Noah, the Qur'an implies that he should not despair at all despite whatever wrongful deeds they used to do. The verse says:
"... so do not grieve as to what they used to do'. "
In the meantime, one can infer from this verse that Allah made those aspects of the knowledge of the secrets of the Unseen that He had deemed necessary, accessible so that His prophet should know.
37. " And make you the Ark under Our eyes, and as We reveal; and address Me not about those who are unjust; verily they shall be drowned. "
At any rate, this unruly and obstinate group must be punished with the kind of punishment that would remove their polluting existence from the entire world, thus liberating the faithful believers from their yoke.
At first, the Qur'an implies that Allah commanded Noah to build an Ark according to His order and in His presence. The verse says:
" And make you the Ark under Our eyes, and as We reveal; ..."
Towards the end of the verse, Noah is warned against any form of mediation on behalf of the oppressors. Saying to him that he should not ask for any amnesty or clemency for they are certainly condemned to chastisement and to be drowned as soon as they are convicted. The verse says:
"... and address Me not about those who are unjust; verily they shall be drowned. "
One can very easily infer from this sentence that taking up the act of mediation requires certain preconditions which, when they are lacking in someone, even Allah's prophet is not rightful to mediate on his behalf.
38." And he began making the Ark; and whenever the chiefs of his people passed by him they scoffed at him. He said:'If you scoff at us, we(too)shall surely scoff at you, as you scoff '."
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