The Light of The Holy Qur'an Interpretation of (Sura Yunus(Jonah))
The Light of The Holy Qur'an Interpretation of (Sura Yunus(Jonah))
Author : Sayyid Kamal Faghih Imani and A Group of Muslim Scholars
The object of the revelation of the Qur'an to the Apostle(Muhammad)The believers and the disbelievers in the Turah and the reward and the punishment.
In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful
1. " Alif 'A', Lam 'L', Ra 'R'. These are the verses of the Book of Wisdom. "
It is noteworthy that six consecutive suras of the Qur'an begin with abbreviated letters which are recited: Alif, Lam, Ra. These Suras are: Yunus, Hud, Yousuf, Ar- Ra'd(with an exception, of course), 'Ibrahim, and Al- Hijr. Each of these letters is an indication to the Names of Allah or to some other things which have been explained at the beginning of Sura Al- Baqarah.
The Arabic word/ tilka/ refers to the verses that are found in this Sura.
The objective meaning of the Qur'anic phrase/ al kitab il h akim/ is the "Protected Tablet" or the Qur'an. Since it contains wisdom and teaches by means of wisdom, it is therefore Wise.
In other words; the Qur'an has a high rank, because the Holy Book itself is Wise. Simultaneously, while it contains both teachings of wisdom and is wise in content, it is a judge and an arbitrator as well. It remains intact from hostile elements and history and the passage of time can leave no impact upon it. It is "the Book of Wisdom".
2. "Was it a wonder to the people that We revealed to a man from among themselves that he should warn mankind and give good tidings to those who believe that they have before their Lord the rank of Truth(While)the unbelievers say: 'This is indeed an evident sorcerer! '"
?The verses of wisdom of the Qur'an are composed of the same letters and sounds that are just like Alif, Lam, and Ra. Their differences with other statements lie in the fact that they are intermingled with divine wisdom, the sort of which is so encompassing that it exposes the truth, and drags mankind to guidance, but the people do not believe this fact that a man, selected from among themselves, can receive revelations from Allah. This matter is not surprising, since the aim of revelation is to warn the people and give glad tidings to the believers notifying them of the high esteem in which they are being held with their Creator. If they believe firmly in Him, He guides them and rewards them accordingly (1)! The verse says:
"Was it a wonder to the people that We revealed to a man from among themselves that he should warn (1) In Islamic quotations, whether those of the Sunnis or those of the Shia'h, the Prophet of Islam(p.b.u.h.) has been known as the Propagator of Truth.(See the Commentary of Qurtubi and Al- Borhan).
mankind and give good tidings to those who believe that they have before their Lord the rank of Truth "
The idolaters, however, said that "this man"(meaning the Prophet(p.b.u.h.) , must have obviously been a sorcerer and a magician since he brought something that could not be brought by others. The verse continues saying:
"... (While)the unbelievers say: 'This is indeed an evident sorcerer! '"
The disbelievers considered prophecy as sorcery and, because of their short sightedness, dark heartedness, and lack of understanding, they could mostly not grasp the truth and distinguish the difference between miracles and the work of magicians.
3. Verily, your Lord is Allah, Who created the heavens and the Earth in six Days. Then He established Himself on 'Arsh(the Throne), directing the affair. No intercessor can there be except after(obtaining)His leave. This is Allah your Lord; Him therefore worship you: will you not remember "
The objective meaning of 'Six Days' is six periods of time in the course of creation.
The 'throne'('arsh)alludes to power and omnipotence. When one says someone was enthroned or overthrown, he implies that he was elevated in power or stripped of his power. Allah's comprehensive authority extends all over existence both before the creation of the earth and the heavens and after their creation. The Qur'an says: "And His 'Arsh(throne)was over the water. " 1
Even next to the end of the world and during the Resurrection, Allah's omnipotence over all existence will remain intact, too. The Qur'an says: " and above them eight shall bear on that Day your Lord's 'Arsh(throne). " 2
1. Acquiring knowledge about Allah(s. w. t.)should precede worshipping Him.
2. Worship must be kept exclusively for Him Who has the power to create and administer all the affairs of creation and to no one else.
3. The creation of the world has been accomplished according to a plan and an arranged program,(in six days). When there are pre- ordaining plans for all beings in the system of creation, how can one think of human beings, who are the outstanding achievements of the creative process, to be without any planned destiny The verse says:
"Verily, your Lord is Allah, Who created the heavens and the Earth in six Days. Then He established Himself on 'Arsh(the Throne), directing the affair. ..."
4. Allah has created the entire existence and is in full command, administering it with wisdom while leaving no one in charge of any part without His prior approval.
5. Any effort at mediation by any being must meet with His approval. Thus one, such as idols, cannot be unduly appointed as an intercessor. The verse says:
" No intercessor can there be except after(obtaining)His leave. ..."
6. Extremists might try to introduce the Creator as Allah, nevertheless they consider themselves as competent policy- makers and able to separate religion from politics. It says:
"... This is Allah your Lord; Him therefore worship you: ..."
Man believes in his Creator. He only needs to be reminded. The verse concludes:
"... will you not remember ..."
7. Deity is not separate from Lordship.
4. "To Him will be your return, all together. The promise of Allah is true. Verily He originates the(process of)creation, then He causes it to return, that He may reward with justice those who believe and do righteous deeds; but those who disbelieve, for them shall be a drink from the boiling fluids and a painful chastisement for what they used to reject. "
This verse puts forth both the principle of Resurrection(to Him will be your return), and its probability,(He originates the(process of)creation, then He causes it to return,). This meaning is just like verse 91 of Sura Al- 'A'raf, No. 7 which states: " As He brought you forth in the beginning, so shall you return. " And it also refers to the aim of Resurrection which involves punishment and reward. The verse continues saying:
"... that He may reward with justice those who believe and do righteous deeds; but those who disbelieve, for them shall be a drink from the boiling fluids and a painful chastisement for what they used to reject. "
Therefore, those who are believers and have done good deeds will be rewarded in a just manner, leading them to Paradise. The share of the unbelievers will be a burning liquid made of boiling water that will torture them painfully and they will be kept in Hell forever.
5. "He it is Who made the sun a radiation and the moon a light, and determined it by stations, that you might know the number of years and the reckoning(of time). Allah did not create that save in truth.(Thus)does He explain the Signs in detail, for a people who know. "
There are words used in the Qur'an for the sun, such as/ siraj/ and/ d iya'/, which signify a strong and intensive light. As for the moon, the words used are/ nour/ and/ munir/ which signify even dim light as well.
From among the tokens of Allah's designs in the world of existence and His absolute command over the universe, one can name the wise order spread throughout the entire cosmos. Do you not behold what a heat and what a light He has given to the sun They change with the changes of the sun in the morning and during the day, and manifest themselves in the variety of the seasons of the year. It varies at dawn and midday, not exceeding the limits at any extreme.
If the sun's heat exceeds what it already is, all the earth would be incinerated, and if it decreases from its present temperature, the earth and what ever is in it will freeze, and in both cases, life will terminate in its totality. If the light of the sun was extinguished you would no longer be able to see the moon for it borrows its light from the sun. It spreads its light at nighttime over the earth, residing temporarily in its different stages: as the full moon, as a crescent and occasionally disappearing altogether. Through observing the regularity of these changes mankind can keep track of their days, months and years, organize their work and make plans with a schedule. That is, it is an accurate natural calendar that can benefit both the sage and the illiterate for keeping track of the rhythm of their work in their daily- lives. This privilege of the moon is besides the light that it gives us. The verse says:
"He it is Who made the sun a radiation and the moon a light, and determined it by stations, that you might know the number of years and the reckoning(of time). ..."
Then the Qur'an implies that this process of creation and the revolution and rotation of the sun and the moon are not to be dismissed as trivial matters. The verse continues saying:
"... Allah did not create that save in truth. ..."
The cloud and the wind, the moon and the sun move in the sky that you may earn your bread, and you should not eat it without being aware of your Provider.
At the end of the verse, the Qur'an emphasizes that Allah explains His verses for those who comprehend them although those who are ill- sighted and unaware overlook all these verses, not understanding the slightest thing from them. It says:
"... (Thus)does He explain the Signs in detail, for a people who know. "
6. " Verily, in the alternation of night and day, and all that Allah has created in the heavens and the earth, surely there are signs for a people who keep from evil. "
Allah has designed the universe in keeping with His Own magnificence and wisdom, the cycle of night and day, the overarching heavens, the fixed and moving stars, the animals, plants, inanimate objects, and all the rest of provisions and bounties provided in the earth are proofs and evidences upon His Oneness and Glory for those people who avoid committing sins and disobeying Allah for the fear of His punishment. The fact that He only mentions the pious as those who reflect upon His Signs is an indication that it is only such people who take lessons by observing the worldly phenomena. The rest of mankind are blinded by their own negligence and ignorance; no phenomenon can affect on their hearts; thus, they cannot grasp the objectives of creation.
Incidentally, the word 'alternation'/ 'ixtilaf/, mentioned in the holy verse, signifies coming and going as well as variation. Thus the night and the day are different in some respects:
A. They alternatively substitute for each other. Allah says:
"... The sign of the night have We made to pass away and have We the sign of the day manifest, ..." 3
B. Night is pre- ordained for tranquility and the day for the hustle and bustle of struggle. Allah says:
C. The decrease and increase in the number of daylight hours in the different seasons of the year.
"And We made the night as a covering, " "And We made the day for(seeking)livelihood. "
D. The change in the hours of the day and the night in various regions of the world. The verse says:
" Verily, in the alternation of night and day, and all that Allah has created in the heavens and the earth, surely there are signs for a people who keep from evil. "
Question: Why is it that some scientists are atheists ?
Answer: In itself, science is not sufficient. The approach to truth must stem from intentional and purposeful people and the motive must originate from those who honestly seek the truth and reality. Thus sins and pollutions from sin leave a negative impact upon one's analysis and cognition.
7. " Verily those who do not expect the meeting with Us, but are pleased with the life of this world and are satisfied with it, and those who are neglectful of Our Signs, "
8. " These! Their abode is the Fire for what they used to earn. "
From this verse on, there is also a description concerning the Resurrection and the destiny of people in the Hereafter.
At first, the verse says:
"Verily those who do not expect on the meeting with Us, but are pleased with the life of this world and are satisfied with it, ..."
Then it refers to those who are neglectful of the revelations of Allah and do not meditate upon them so as to be thoroughly awakened and feel responsibility. The verse continues saying:
"... and those who are neglectful of Our Signs, "
Both of these two groups will have their abode in the Fire for the evil actions they have committed. The verse says:
" Their abode is the Fire for what they used to earn. "
The Messenger of Allah(p.b.u.h.) said: "He who loves meeting Allah, Allah also loves meeting him. " 4
In fact, the direct result of the lack of belief in the Resurrection is this very love unto this limited life, of worldly position and a confidence and reliance upon it.
Also, negligence from the revelations of Allah, is the origin of separation from Allah which in turn is the origin of the lack of sympathy and, consequently, falling into pollution, mischief, and sin whose ultimate result cannot be aught but Fire.
9. " Verily those who believe and do righteous deeds, their Lord will guide them by their Faith: beneath them rivers flow in gardens of bliss. "
Then the Qur'an refers to the state of another group who behave opposite of the two groups mentioned before. The holy verse says:
" Verily those who believe and do righteous deeds, their Lord will guide them by their Faith: "
This beam of light of Divine guidance which has its origins in their faith enlightens every aspect within the entire horizons of their lives. They are so enlightened by that light that they will never submit themselves to the falsity of the materialist schools, satanic fancies or the false glamour associated with sin, wealth and power, and they never pave the path of astray.
As for the Hereafter, the Creator(s. w. t.)establishes them in palaces and Gardens underneath which Rivers flow. The verse continues saying:
"... beneath them rivers flow in gardens of bliss. "
10. "Their cry therein(will be): 'Glory be to You, O Allah! ' and 'Peace' will be their greeting therein. And the close of their cry(will be):
'(All)praise is(only)Allah's, the Lord of the Worlds'. "
The faithful will lead their lives in an environment full of peace, kindness, love unto the Lord, and blessings of various kinds. Whenever they contemplate these things and reflect upon His Essence and qualities, in their speech and prayers in Paradise they will invoke their Lord, and as the verse says:
"Their cry therein(will be): 'Glory be to You, O Allah! ' "
And whenever they encounter each other, their talk will be of peace and friendliness. Their greetings are exclusively/ salam/. The verse continues saying:
"... and 'Peace' will be their greeting therein. ..."
And finally, whenever they enjoy the various blessings of Allah in Paradise, they will start thanking Him, and end their words with gratitude. The verse says:
"... And the close of their cry(will be): '(All)praise is(only)Allah's, the Lord of the Worlds'. "
"Peace" is the word uttered by the people in Paradise and the atmosphere of Paradise is filled with/ salam/(peace). It comes from different sources, such as from Allah: " Peace: a ?word from a Merciful Lord" 5 and which comes from the angels saying: "Peace be upon you, you shall be happy; " 6 It also is uttered by all those who reside in Paradise. "Only the saying: 'Peace, Peace'. " 7
The holy phrase "(All)praise is(only)Allah's" is the saying of the prophets and saints. Had rat Noah(a.s.), after being released from the unjust people uttered these words, and 'Ibrahim(a.s.)also, saying them, thanked Allah in his old age for He had bestowed him Ishmael and Ishaq.
Some Islamic tradition indicate that the People of Paradise, by uttering/ subhaanaka 'allahumma/ will call up the hosts of Paradise, who in turn show up immediately and fulfill their wishes.(Manhaj- us- Sadiqin, the Commentary)
Reason for the respite given Man prays for help when in difficulty but forgets Allah immediately as he is relieved Men were one single people but later they disagreed and got separated in tribes, and communities and nations
11. " And if Allah were to hasten on for men the ill(they have earned)as they would hasten on the good, surely their term would already be decreed unto them. But We leave those who do not expect the meeting with Us, in their contumacy, wandering blindly. "
This verse also deals with the subject of punishment and reward meted out to the evildoers. First, the Qur'an implies if Allah punished the evil- doers swiftly in this world and hastened on their punishment at the same speed in which they are after the good things of this world and their own interests, that would be the end of the world and no traces of them would remain. The verse says:
" And if Allah were to hasten on for men the ill(they have earned)as they would hasten on the good, Surely their term would already be decreed unto them. ..."
However, as Allah's grace encompasses all His servants, even the evildoers, idol worshippers, and non- believers, He does not hasten on their punishment lest they wake- up and repent and be lead straight.
At the end of the verse, He says that punishment is for those who do not believe in the Resurrection and the Meeting with Him; they are left alone so that they may stray and remain in confusion, not knowing the truth from "untruth" and the right path from the wrong. The verse says:
"... But We leave those who do not expect the meeting with Us, in their contumacy, wandering blindly. "
12. " And when an affliction touches a man, he calls Us(while reclining)on his side, or sitting, or standing. But when We remove from him his affliction, he passes on, as if he never called Us to an affliction that touched him. Thus is made fair seeming to the extravagant that which they have been doing. "
Then the Qur'an refers to the existence of the light of monotheism in man, which emanates from the depth of his soul. It indicates that when man suffers from the loss of something, and he is helpless on all sides, he seeks Allah's help by stretching his hands towards Him, calling Him in whatever state he is whether lying on his side, sitting or standing. The verse says:
" And when an affliction touches a man, he calls Us(while reclining)on his side, or sitting, or standing. ..."
Yes, the positive aspect of the difficulties and painful incidents is that they unveil the true character of human beings and, though it may last merely for a while, the light of monotheism eventually shines forth.
Then the Qur'an implies that these people, however, are so in capacious and unwise that as soon as their troubles are removed they once more become so immersed in oblivion that it is as if they had made no supplications at all, and He had not given them any assistance. The verse says:
"... But when We remove from him his affliction, he passes on, as if he never called Us to an affliction that touched him. Thus is made fair seeming to the extravagant that which they have been doing. "
It is this very ingratitude and negligence that has made the indecent acts of the mischief makers seemingly beautiful for them.
13. " And certainly We destroyed the generations before you when they were unjust, and their messengers came to them with clear arguments and they would not believe. Thus do We recompense the guilty people. "
In this holy verse, Allah informs us of the calamities which were inflicted upon previous nations and warns the present nations against the descent of those calamities which may fall upon them.
The Qur'an announces that Allah exterminated former nations by means of kinds of punishment when they inflicted injustice upon themselves by revolting, becoming disobedient, and after sending prophets to them with obvious miracles and clear proofs. The verse says:
" And certainly We destroyed the generations before you when they were unjust, and their messengers came to them with clear arguments and they would not believe. ..."
This verse carries this message that the secret of their eradication was that if they had been to remain existent, they definitely would not have believed in their prophets and the Books. Which were sent to them.
In the future, too, Allah will inflict calamities upon those unbelieving people who do not reform themselves in spite of offering them proofs for completing arguments, and with the full understanding that they are well- informed as to the consequences and that they will not believe. The verse continues saying:
"... Thus do We recompense the guilty people. "
14. " Then We made you successors in the earth after them to see how you behave. "
Allah expresses more explicitly the matter in this verse, implying that, after destroying them, He substituted you on the earth in their place so that He may observe the way you behave. The verse says:
" Then We made you successors in the earth after them to see how you behave. "
From the sentence "and they would not believe: ", mentioned in the previous verse, it is understood that Allah exterminates only those whose situation leaves no hope that they will even be probable believers in the future, for those who may become believers in the future are not involved in this category for such punishments.
15. " And when Our Clear Signs are recited unto them, those who do not expect the meeting with Us, say: 'Bring us a Qur'an other than this, or alter it. ' Say: 'It is not for me to alter it of my own accord, I follow naught but what is revealed unto me; verily, I fear, if I were to disobey my Lord the Penalty of a Great Day(to come). '"
The Occasion of the Revelation
This holy verse and the next two verses had been revealed concerning several idol- worshippers when they came to the Prophet(p. b. u. h)and said: "Whatever this Qur'an says about abandoning the worship of our great idols namely Lat, Uzza, Manat, Hubal and its disrespect of them is not acceptable and bearable to us. If you want us to follow you, get us another Qur'an which is free of this criticism, or, at least change such ideas in this present Qur'an. "
These holy verses, following the previous verses, are all concerned with 'Origin and End'.
First, The Qur'an alludes to one of the great mistakes of the idol- worshippers. It says:
" And when Our Clear Signs are recited unto them, those who do not expect the meeting with Us, say: 'Bring us a Qur'an other than this, or alter it. ' ..."
These ignorant people did not want the Prophet(p.b.u.h.) to guide them as a leader; they rather invited him to follow in the footsteps of their own superstitious conjectures.
The Qur'an explicitly enlightens them regarding their grave mistake, ordering the Prophet(p.b.u.h.) to tell them that it is impossible for him to alter the Divine revelation by himself. The verse says:
"... Say: 'It is not for me to alter it of my own accord, ..."
Then, to articulate further, he should add that he would only follow what was revealed to him, and that not only he could not make any alterations in that heavenly Revelation, but, also he feared the punishment of that Great Day(Resurrection)if he would disobey the Command of the Lord. The holy verse says:
"... I follow naught but what is revealed unto me; verily, I fear, if I were to disobey my Lord the Penalty of a Great Day(to come). '"
16. " Say: 'Had Allah so willed, I would not have recited it to you, nor would He have taught it to you. Indeed I have lived amongst you a lifetime before it. Have you then no sense '"
In this verse the Qur'an brings a reason for the Divine order by commanding the Prophet to say that his ideas do not have the slightest role in this Holy Book, and had Allah wanted, he would not have read the Qur'an to them and they would not have been made aware of it. The verse says:
" Say: 'Had Allah so willed, I would not have recited it to you, nor would He have taught it to you. ..."
I have lived among you a long time before this. It provides reason for what I claim, for you have never heard me saying such things before. If the verses had come from me, you should have heard me saying them during the past forty years as they would have been at the tip of my tongue, or at least parts of it might have been heard by someone in the past. How can you not notice such an obvious matter The verse continues saying:
"... Indeed I have lived amongst you a lifetime before it. Have you then no sense ?'"
17. "Who is then more unjust than he who forges a lie against Allah, or belies His Signs Verily the guilty ones will never prosper. "
In order to emphasize the point, the Prophet(p.b.u.h.) adds that, being well aware that the worst kind of evil is that someone falsely attributes a lie to Allah, how could he then commit such a sin on the earth The verse says:
"Who is then more unjust than he who forges a lie against Allah, or belies His Signs ..."
And he who denies the Divine verses, his action is also the most cruel and unjust of all actions. If the unbelievers are unaware of the scope and volume of the severity and greatness of the sin of forging a lie to the Divine verses, the Prophet, on the contrary, is not so unaware. At any event, this action of theirs is a grave offence and those who perpetrate it will never be saved. The verse says:
"... Verily the guilty ones will never prosper. "
18. " And they worship, besides Allah, what can neither hurt them nor profit them, and they say: 'These are our intercessors with Allah. ' Say: 'Will you inform Allah of what He knows not either in the heavens or in the earth ' Glory be to Him! High be He exalted above what they associate(with Him). "
The issue of monotheism is also continued in this verse by negating the claim that these idols are associated with divinity, and it has been proved as groundless by offering clear reasons. They used to worship icons and idols which neither did any harm to them nor any good. They were neither feared by the idol worshippers nor did the idols provide them with any profit so that they were worshipped for gaining benefit thereof. The verse says:
" And they worship, besides Allah, what can neither hurt them nor profit them, ..."
The Qur'an deals with the groundless and unfounded claims of the idol worshippers when it implies that they claim that these idols serve as mediators between them and Allah which was one of the motives for worshipping them. The verse says:
"... and they say: 'These are our intercessors with Allah. ' ..."
The Qur'an, in response to such a way of thinking, tells the Prophet(p.b.u.h.) to ask them a question, as follows:
"... Say: 'Will you inform Allah of what He knows not either in the heavens or in the earth ' ..."
Allusion is here made to the fact that if the Almighty had such mediators who would protect them, and wherever on the earth or in the skies they might have existed, He would have been well aware of their existence.
At the end of the verse it stresses emphatically on the fact that Allah is pure and superior to those partners whom they envisage for Him. The verse says:
"... Glory be to Him! High be He exalted above what they associate(with Him). "
19. " And mankind were only one community, then they differed, and had not a Word already gone forth from your Lord, their differences would have been judged between them. "
This verse refers to the monotheistic nature of all human beings, alluding in part to the previous verse in connection with negating unbelief and idol worshipping. It implies that in the beginning, all human beings were of a single nation, and, with no exception, all were monotheists. The verse says:
" And mankind were only one community, ..."
This monotheistic nature, that was untouched at the beginning, because of shortsightedness and some satanic attitudes, underwent changes. With the passage of time, some went astray from the monotheistic path and became the adherents of polytheism. Thus the human society spitted into two groups: Monotheists and Polytheists. The verse continues saying:
"... then they differed, ..."
Therefore, polytheism is in fact a deviation from what is innate in human nature, and its roots lie in some baseless ideas and conjectures. One might raise the issue at this point as to why the Almighty does not hasten to eradicate the origin of such differences by the speedy punishment of the polytheists ?
The Qur'an immediately gives an answer to this question implying that if Allah's command in regard to the absence of their speedy punishment had not been already issued, arbitration would have been administered and their differences would have been judged, then all of them would meet their painful fate. The verse says:
"... and had not a Word already gone forth from your Lord, their differences would have been judged between them. "
20. " And they say: 'Why is not a Sign sent down to him from his Lord ' Say then: ' Verily the Unseen is only for Allah(to know). Wait you then, verily I, also with you, will be of those who wait'. "
Once again, the Qur'an deals with the pretexts of the polytheists for evading belief and faith in Islam. It indicates that the disbelievers complain about a miracle not being sent down from Allah to the Prophet(p.b.u.h.) . The verse in this regard says:
" And they say: 'Why is not a Sign sent down to him from his Lord ? ..."
They meant, of course, that any time they demanded a miracle they desired, the Prophet(p.b.u.h.) should have acted immediately and accordingly 8 to fulfill their demands. It was forthwith revealed to the Prophet(p.b.u.h.) that the invisible world and supernatural affairs,(miracles relating to the invisible and metaphysical world), belong to Allah alone. The verse says:
"... Say then:' Verily the Unseen is only for Allah(to know). ..."
Therefore the Prophet(p.b.u.h.) should tell them he could not perform miracles according to their wishes, which they would later deny and which would not convince them to become believers. In the final analysis, they refrained from believing regardless of the pretext.
At the end of the verse, from his tongue, the Qur'an, in a threatening tone implies that if they did not stop being obstinate, they should expect divine punishment whilst, on the other hand, the Prophet(p.b.u.h.) should expect victory. The verse says:
"... Wait you then, verily I, also with you, will be of those who wait'. ..."
Ingratitude of Man after enjoying the Divine Mercy Every evil shall be equally punished along with ignominy All false deities shall vanish away on the Day of Judgment and they will disown their devotees.
21. " And when We make mankind taste of(Our)mercy after adversity hath touched them, behold! they have a device concerning Our Signs! Say: 'Allah is quicker at devising. Verily, Our messengers record what you devise'. ""
The previous verse alluded to the pretexts of those who used to ask why no new signs were revealed. Here Allah refers to their obstinacy and to the fact that they played dirty tricks after a new verse was revealed instead of appreciating it.
The verse says:
" And when We make mankind taste of(Our)mercy after adversity hath touched them, behold! they have a device concerning Our Signs! ..."
As for the occasion of revelation of this verse, it has been said that there occurred a drought and famine in Mecca. The Almighty(s. w. t.)made it rain for the blessing of His Prophet(p.b.u.h.) . The polytheists claimed, however, that the reason for the rain was because of the idols.(The commentary of As- S afi, Fi- Z alal- il- Qur'an and Fakhr- i- Razi)
One of the measures and tricky devices employed by his enemies was character assassination of the Prophet(p.b.u.h.) , ridiculing the divine verses, and degrading the blessings of Allah. At any rate, man misuses God- given blessings and makes mischief instead of giving thanks and we must know that he who plays dirty tricks, will ultimately be involved with the device and the punishment of Allah. The verse says:
"... Say: 'Allah is quicker at devising. ..."
Then, He warns them not to think that such conspiracies and plans will be forgotten. His messengers,(that is, His angels responsible for recording human actions)will take note of all those plans which disbelievers arrange for extinguishing the light of the truth. And they must prepare themselves for the Judgment and the punishment in the world here- after. The verse says:
"... Verily, Our messengers record what you devise'. ""
22. " He it is Who enables you to traverse through land and sea; so that you are in the ships, and they sail with them with a favourable wind, and they rejoice thereat. Then there comes upon them a stormy wind and the waves come on them from all sides, and they think that they are encompassed therewith, they call upon Allah, making their faith pure for Him,(saying): 'If You deliver us from this, we shall surely be of the grateful ones'. "
In this verse the Qur'an appeals to the depths of human nature, explaining to them the monotheism which is embedded in their very being, describing to them how man once in great difficulty and danger, tends to forget everything but Allah.
First, He says that He is the One Who enables you to traverse through the land and the sea. And, when you go on board a ship, He makes you eventually get, you and your ship, to your destination with the help of the appropriate winds that gladden every heart. Then when a horrible thunderstorm blows and waves buffet them from all sides, it makes them realize that death is near, and they lose their hopes of survival. The verse says:
" He it is Who enables you to traverse through land and sea; so that you are in the ships, and they sail with them with a favourable wind, and they rejoice thereat. Then there comes upon them a stormy wind and the waves come on them from all sides, and they think that they are encompassed therewith, ..."
At just about that time, they are reminded of Allah and call upon Him sincerely, their thoughts stripped of all sorts of polytheism and idol worship. The verse continues saying:
"... they call upon Allah, making their faith pure for Him, ..."
They start praying at this time, saying that if Allah save them from this plight, they will thank Him while they shall neither oppress others nor turn to others for help save Him. The verse says:
"... (saying): 'If You deliver us from this, we shall surely be of the grateful ones'. "
Although this temporary awakening will often have no remarkable educational effect upon extraordinarily wicked people, yet He completes the process of reasoning to the end to them, and it will serve as their eventual condemnation.
In such incidents, those individuals, who are only slightly polluted, are usually awakened and tend to reform themselves.
23. " But when He delivers them, behold! They rebel in the earth unjustly. O mankind! Your rebellion is against your own selves, an enjoyment of the life of this world. Then to Us is your return, and We shall inform you of what you used to do. "
But such neglectful people usually start bothering others and oppressing them on the earth, as soon as Allah saves them and leads them to safe shores. The verse says:
" But when He delivers them, behold! They rebel in the earth unjustly. ..."
Yet, the Qur'an advises people to know that whatever oppression they commit and whatever sort of deviation they have made from the right path, they themselves will pay its price. The verse says:
"... O mankind! Your rebellion is against your own selves, ..."
The only thing that they may be able to do is to enjoy the life in this world for merely a few days, and finally their eventual return will be towards Allah. It is at that time that they shall be informed of whatever they did in the world. The verse says:
"... an enjoyment of the life of this world. Then to Us is your return, and We shall inform you of what you used to do. "
24. " The likeness of the life of this world is just as the water which We send down from the sky, and the plants of the earth mingle with it whereof men and cattle eat, till when the earth takes its ornament and is embellished, and its people imagine that they have power over it,(but suddenly)Our command reaches it by night or by day, and We make it stubble, as if it had not flourished the day before! Thus do We explain the Signs in detail for a people who reflect.
In the foregoing verses allusion had been made to the lack of permanence in this worldly life. In this holy verse this grave reality is depicted with an interesting example so that He may remove the curtain of arrogance and negligence from the eyes of those who are neglectful and unjust. The verse says:
" The likeness of the life of this world is just as the water which We send down from the sky, ..."
These life- providing drops fall on cultivable soil, making it possible for various plants to grow, some of which are useful for man, and others that are useful for birds and beasts. The verse continues saying:
"... and the plants of the earth mingle with it whereof men and cattle eat, ..."
These plants, besides the nutritional qualities that they contain for living creatures, cover the earth's surface and decorate it so that the earth finds its utmost beauty in it.
It is at this time that the blossoms decorate the branches and the flowers bloom. Nutritious grains and fruits show up gradually, dramatically depicting the full meaning of the scene of life, thus rendering people's hearts hopeful and their eyes full of joy. This is done to the extent that people on the earth become certain that they can benefit from the blessings of the plants and fruits as well as from their life- inducing grains. The verse says:
"... till when the earth takes its ornament and is embellished, and its people imagine that they have power over it, ..."
All of a sudden, Allah's command reaches them, ordering excessive cold, unexpected heavy rains or strong thunderstorms to overwhelm and eradicate them all as if they never existed. The verse continues saying:
"... (but suddenly)Our command reaches it by night or by day, and We make it stubble, as if it had not flourished the day before! ..."
Towards the end of the verse, in order to emphasize further, Allah declares:
"... Thus do We explain the Signs in detail for a people who reflect.
25. " And Allah doth call mankind to the Abode of Peace and He guides whomever He Pleases unto the Straight path. "
The Arabic appellation/ dar- us- Salam/ is one of the names of Paradise within which nobody bears any grudge against another and where no quarrel, war, and exploitation takes place. The verse says:
" And Allah doth call mankind to the Abode of Peace and He guides whomever He Pleases unto the Straight path. "
The holy word "Peace" is Allah's name, and "the Abode of Peace" signifies the proximity of the divine blessings. It is the place where everyone's words and greetings consist of "peace", and unto whom Allah also sends peace. The Qur'an says: "Peace: a word from a Merciful Lord. "(Yasin, verse 58)
Some Islamic traditions indicate that the way leads to the mastership(wilayat)of Amir- ul- Mu'mineen(a.s.)and the Immaculate Imams, has been stated as the best example for the 'Straight Path'.(Majma'- ul- Bayan)
We must note that the divine call is the symbol of His special favour towards His servants. It embodies the safe passage of man in this world and the Hereafter, the first stage of which is transient while the second stage is permanent.
Incidentally, the Straight Path is one which creates 'peace' for man not only in the Hereafter, but also creates peace for him in this world.
26. " For those who do good, is a goodly(reward), and more(than this). Neither dust nor abasement shall over spread their faces. They are Companions of the Garden; they will abide therein forever. "
The Arabic term/ rahiqa/ signifies covering by force and the word/ qatar/ means 'dust', 'smoke' and 'ashes'.
Bestowing incremental and extra rewards on the believers has repeatedly been mentioned in the Qur'an by the words/ ziyadah/,/ zi'f/ and/ 'az'af/. Among them are the following verses: "Whoever brings a good(deed), he shall have ten times its like, " 9 " He will pay them their rewards fully and with bestow upon them more out of His Grace. " 10 In addition to the complete reward, Allah also bestows upon them more for partaking of his own virtue, there is a seven hundred- fold reward for giving charity for Allah's sake. "The likeness of those who spend their property in the way of Allah is as the likeness of a grain(of corn)that grows seven ears,(with)a hundred grains in every ear. And Allah multiplies(in abundance)for whom He wills; and Allah is All- Embracing, All- Knowing. " 11
Imam Sadiq(a.s.)declares: "Every thing has its own system of measurement except tears, a drop of which extinguishes fires". Then he(a.s.)said: "He who sheds tears for the sake of Allah, his face will never confront darkness and humiliation, " and he recited: "Neither dust nor abasement shall overspread their face. " 12
Fad il- bin- Yasar, has narrated from Imam Baqir(a.s.)who said that the Messenger of Allah(p.b.u.h.) declared; "There are no eyes which are soaked with tears for the fear of Allah except that Allah forbids that body to be in the Fire of Hell. Were he to shed tears, his face would not be covered by the dust and abasement" 13
At any rate, those who turn to other than Allah, have no excuses to make as Allah(s. w. t.)simultaneously extends His invitation to man and, at the same time, leads him; He not only rewards but also rewards more and more. The verse says:
" For those who do good, is a goodly(reward), and more(than this). Neither dust nor abasement shall over spread their faces. They are Companions of the Garden; they will abide therein forever. "
27. " And those who have earned evil will have a reward of like evil; and the dust of ignominy will cover them. No defender will they have from(the wrath of) Allah: as if their faces had been covered with pieces from the darkness of night. They are Companions of the Fire: they will abide therein forever! "
And those who have committed evil acts and sins will be punished accordingly in proportion to their acts. They will be punished to the extent they deserve, not more, for punishment beyond that which a person deserves is something inequitable(which is far from the Divine Providence). On the other hand, the reward for good deeds exceeds what one deserves and it is good to emanate from Allah. Therefore, the objective meaning of the word "like", in this verse, is nothing more and nothing less than one's due. The verse says:
" And those who have earned evil will have a reward of like evil; ..."
The Qur'anic phrase/ wa tar haqahum illah/ signifies that such sinners will be humiliated and become debased, for punishment is coupled with degradation. The verse continues saying:
"... and the dust of ignominy will cover them. ..."
Then the verse implies that there are no guards and obstacles to hinder the punishment of Allah from them. It says:
"... No defender will they have from(the wrath of)Allah: ..."
The obscurity reflected on their faces would be to such an extent that one would imagine that parts of the darkness of the night had cast their shadow, one after another, over them. The verse says:
"... as if their faces had been covered with pieces from the darkness of night. ..."
They shall be coupled with the Hell Fire and will eternally remain within its flames. The verse concludes saying:
"... They are Companions of the Fire: they will abide therein forever! "
28. " And the Day We shall muster them all, then We shall say to those who associated others(with Us): 'Get you to your place! You and your associates', then We shall set a space between them, and their associates shall say: 'It was not us(indeed)that you used to worship! ' "
This verse also follows the previous discussions on the issue of the origin of existence and the Resurrection and the situation of the polytheists.
At first, the Qur'an warns all to remember the Day when Allah will assemble all His subjects and make them rise from the dead. The verse says:
" And the Day We shall muster them all, ..."
Then He will declare unto the polytheists to stay in their place together with their idols so that He may examine their account. It continues saying:
"... then We shall say to those who associated others(with Us): ..."
The Qur'an informs that Allah will separate these two groups from each other; i. e. the worshippers and the worshipped ones, and He will question each individual separately, as it is usual with all courts that they investigate each person separately. The verse says:
"... 'Get you to your place! You and your associates', then We shall set a space between them, ..."
Allah may ask the idol- worshippers why they worshipped idols along with Allah(s. w. t.), and He will also ask the idols why they permitted such an act to occur, that they allowed the polytheists to worship them.
It is at this time that those things that were worshipped as idols will speak, saying to them that they never worshipped idols. In actual fact, they worshipped the creation of their own imaginations, whims and passions. The verse says:
"... and their associates shall say: 'It was not us(indeed)that you used to worship! ' "
29. " Allah is a sufficient witness between us and you: we certainly were Unaware of your worship(of us). "
In the previous verse, those things worshipped were saying that the polytheists did not worship them. Here, they declare that they were unaware of their worship.
The verse says:
" Allah is a sufficient witness between us and you: we certainly were Unaware of your worship(of us). "
Consequently, whatever act of worship is performed without the knowledge of the worshipped is null and void.
Incidentally, there are numerous allusions made to the hatred and disavowal of those objects worshipped from the polytheists and their deeds in the Qur'an, i. e., Sura Al- Furqan, No. 25, verse 17, and Sura Al- Qas as, No. 28, verse 63.
30. " There will every soul realize(the reward of)the deeds it sent aforetime, and they will be brought back to Allah, their true Lord, and that which they used to fabricate(the false deities)will vanish(away)from them. "
The Day of Resurrection is the day on which the worldly test results are received. The verse says:
" There will every soul realize(the reward of)the deeds it sent aforetime, ..."
The true Lord is Allah and any other than Him, whatever it may be, is absurd.
The verse says:
"... and they will be brought back to Allah, their true Lord, ..."
The Resurrection pertains to all men. And the false effects of the worshipped will be wiped out. The verse continues saying:
"... and that which they used to fabricate(the false deities)will vanish(away)from them. "
All existence has its origin in Him, and the final destination will be towards Him, too.
A few of the Divine gifts given in the physical body of man are referred to The idolaters asked to make their own made gods effect a creation The Qur'an a Book from Allah.
31. " Say: "Who provides you(sustenance)from the sky and from the earth Or who possesses hearing and sight And who brings forth the living from the dead and brings forth the dead from the living And, who administrates(every)affair They will soon say: 'Allah'. Then, say: 'Will you not then keep from evil ? "
There have been said same examples of Allah's bringing forth the living from the dead and the dead from the living, among which one might cite the case of the human sperm leading to human beings and human seed from human beings, the chicken from the egg and egg from the chicken, plants from seeds, and seeds from plants; socially- righteous children from corrupt parents and corrupt children from worthy parents.
In this verse there are hints regarding the existence of the Lord and His right of being worshipped.
At first, the holy Qur'an addresses the Prophet(p.b.u.h.) implying to tell those polytheists and idol- worshippers, that who are going astray, who is it that provides nourishment for you in the sky and on the earth The verse says:
" Say: "Who provides you(sustenance)from the sky and from the earth? ..."
Definitely, the earth provides nourishment for the roots of plants by means of its nutritious substances. It is probably for this reason that the above verse refers to the nourishing substances coming from the sky and later from the earth.
Later, the verse refers to two of man's most important senses, namely seeing and hearing, without which man's acquisition of knowledge would have been impossible. It tells him to ask them who is He Who is the Creator of their eyes and ears and reinforces these two senses of theirs. The verse says:
"... Or who possesses hearing and sight? ..."
Then it brings up the two phenomena of death and life which are the most peculiar ones in the realm of creation. It says:
"... And who brings forth the living from the dead and brings forth the deed from the living ? ..."
This is the very issue confronted by scientists and the learned men of the natural sciences as well as biologists, amazing them that how living creatures spring from inanimate objects.
The meaning of the above verse includes material as well as spiritual death and life, for one can see intelligent, honest and faithful men sometimes born to parents who are corrupt and faithless, and vice versa.
Then it adds implying that Who is He who rules and regulates all worldly affairs The verse says:
"... And, who administrates(every)affair? ..."
In fact, the verse at first talks about the creation of the blessings and then it speaks about the guardian and administrator of these blessings.
After putting forth these three questions, the holy Qur'an immediately declares that they will soon answer in reply that it is Allah. The verse says:
"... They will soon say: 'Allah'. ..."
One may infer from the above sentence that even the polytheists, infidels and idol- worshippers during the "Age of Ignorance" considered Allah as the sole Creator, Sustainer, Giver of Life as well as the Administrator and Maintainer of the world of existence.
And at the end of the verse the Prophet(p.b.u.h.) has been commanded to ask them: why they did not take the path of virtue. It says:
"... Then, say: 'Will you not then keep from evil ?' "
32. " Such then is Allah, your true Lord; and what is apart from the Truth but error How then are you turned away "
After explaining some of the symbols of the signs of the magnitude and the prudence of Allah(s. w. t.)in the heavens and the earth, and through this, appealing to the conscience and intellect of the opponents by which they confessed to it, He decisively declares in this verse that this is Allah, your true Creator, not the idols or other beings you have considered as partners with Allah for the sake of worship in front of which you bow down. The verse says:
" Such then is Allah, your true Lord; and what is apart from the Truth but error? ..."
Concluding these remarks, the Qur'an implies: now that you have come to clearly know the truth, do you not realize that you are certain of being misled if you take any path other than the truth ?
How can you turn away from worshipping Allah despite your knowledge that there is no one else worthy to be worshipped ? The verse says:
"... How then are you turned away ?"
This verse in fact, offers us a clear logical way for knowing the wrong and abandoning it. This way is that: one must first try to know the truth by way of his own conscience and reasoning. After the cognition of the truth, one must abandon whatever is contrary to the truth or other than the truth, because they are those things that mislead.
33. " Thus is the Word of your Lord proved true against those who did wrong, that they will not believe. "
Breaking the laws of Allah and committing sins provide the grounds for infidelity and in this way man makes Allah's wrath upon himself inevitable. The verse says:
" Thus is the Word of your Lord proved true against those who did wrong, ..."
This is the direct result of their continuous indecency which may darken their hearts and pollute their spirits to the extent that they cannot see the enlightening state of the truth, and thus they go astray. The verse continues saying:
"... that they will not believe. "
34. " Say: 'Is there any of your partners(whom you ascribe unto Allah)one( that)can originate creation, then bring it back again ' Say: '(Only)Allah originates creation, then brings it back again; then how are you turned away( from the Truth)'"
The Qur'an asks whether those whom you consider as Allah's partners are able to create and then annihilate that creation and recreate it again in the same way that Allah is able to do. The polytheists know that creation is solely in Allah's Power. Then, why is it that they again weave false stories and lie The verse declares:
" Say: 'Is there any of your partners(whom you ascribe unto Allah)one(that)can originate creation, then bring it back again ' Say: '(Only)Allah originates creation, then brings it back again; then how are you turned away(from the Truth)?"
35. " Say: 'Is there any of your partners(whom you ascribe unto Allah)one that leads towards the Truth Say: '(Only)Allah leads unto the Truth. Is then He Who leads unto the Truth more worthy to be followed, or he who does not go aright(himself)unless he is guided What then is the matter with you How do you judge ' "
The Qur'an asks once again implying that who provides the living with life and leads them while managing their material and spiritual lives, it self Is He your sole Allah, or are the idols The verse says:
" Say: 'Is there any of your partners(whom you ascribe unto Allah)one that leads towards The Truth ? ..."
Then, the Qur'an, answers that it is the Creator Who guides us and has bestowed on us intellect, ears and eyes, providing the living with instincts which help them manage their affairs in their own interests. Thus, despite all this: Is it appropriate for us to submit ourselves to idols which cannot lead us How is it that the worshippers of idols submit and surrender to such things which are neither able to guide anyone nor have they the potentiality of being led The verse continues saying:
"... Say: '(Only)Allah leads unto The Truth. Is then He Who leads unto the Truth more worthy to be followed, or he who does not go aright(himself)unless he is guided What then is the matter with you How do you judge ?"
36. " And most of them follow nothing but conjecture: truly, conjecture can be of no avail against the Truth. Verily Allah is well aware of what they do. "
Thus the reason for their being misled and misguided is that they follow their own conjectures and their own corrupt speculations. Conjectures will never lead us to the Truth and to Reality. Following conjectures only results in the doing of indecencies.
The verse says:
" And most of them follow nothing but conjecture: truly, conjecture can be of no avail against The Truth. ..."
What is of real value is "knowledge". Sound conjecture and confidence, if based on proper solid grounds is valuable, i. e. those conjectures deducted from the apparent words of the holy verses(and quotations)derived from the Allah's commandments which are practiced by Islamic jurisprudents(Fuqaha')in even the minute details of problems.
The verse says:
"... Verily Allah is well aware of what they do. "
However, conjectures in the realm of ideas, if they are rooted in pursuing the vain way of one's ancestors or fanaticism based on ignorance are groundless, and hence, are of no avail. * * * *
37. " And this Qur'an is not such as to be produced by other than Allah; but it is a confirmation of(revelations) that went before it, and a(clear) explanation of the Book, wherein there is no doubt, from the Lord of the Worlds. "
The comprehensive nature of the Qur'an and its contents are such that any kind of unsound allegation ascribed to it and relating it to other than Allah(s. w. t.)is unreasonable. The holy verse says:
" And this Qur'an is not such as to be produced by other than Allah; but it is a confirmation of(revelations)that went before it, ..."
All heavenly Books confirm each other; their differences lie only in the conciseness and detail of their contents. The verse continues saying:
"... and a(clear)explanation of the Book, wherein there is no doubt, from the Lord of the Worlds. "
38. " Or they say, 'He has forged it. ' Say: 'Bring then a Sura like unto it, and call(to your aid)anyone you can, besides Allah, if you are truthful! '"
The Qur'an has reiterated on several occasions that the words of Allah(the Qur'an)are miracles because of the inability of man and jinn to present something similar, and it has presented this challenge to both of them. Among the verses that testify to this fact, one may cite verse 31 of the Sura Hud. Despite the fact that Islam has had millions of opponents throughout history and still has such enemies, and they have striven to weaken the Qur'an and defeat Islam, carrying out intensive activities in the process, yet this confident challenge of the Qur'an has been left unanswered and will continue to be so until the Day of Resurrection.
Since we are dealing with setting the dimensions and the definition of the Qur'an, we will now point out some aspects of this divine miracle.
1.It distills extensive and profound wisdom into concise words. For instance, regarding the relationship of man and woman, it comments: "They(your wives)are a clothing for you and you are a clothing for them. ' 14 To explain the fragility and vulnerability of the non- divine powers, it likens them to a spider's web or declares that they are unable to create even a gnat. It says: " verily those whom you call upon besides Allah cannot create a gnat. " 15
2. Its profundity and the sweetness of words do not render it monotonous even if it may be read over and again for more than thousand times; on the contrary, each time it is studied it presents new messages.
3. Its harmony of words is especially outstanding and if a Qur'anic verse is placed among other Arabic texts or passages it can be easily distinguished from them.
4. The comprehensive nature of the Qur'an: It includes reasoning and demonstration to citing examples from worldly affairs to the life in hereafter, and also the facts concerning family problems, legal, political, military, ethical, historical teachings etc.
5. Its realism: Its contents are not based upon conjecture; even its stories are documented and real.
6. The universal and all- embracing nature of the Qur'an: All people will benefit from it at all levels and in all places regardless of whenever or wherever they are; it is not a Book particular to a special time, place, or people.
7. The eternal effect of the Qur'an: The older the age of humanity and the more the sciences progress the more of its secrets are discovered.
8. Its ever- increasing and its everlasting development: Despite having an increasing number of enemies and the growing number of attacks launched against it during its history, it has not only survived but also it has secured the highest station.
9. It is an ever- existing miracle by itself. A miracle that is available to all and is composed of the kind of words that put it at everyone's disposal.
10. It is both a miracle and a Book of commandments and legal codes.
11. It is a token from an illite
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