Jul 20, 2018 08:47 UTC

Welcome to our weekly program "Path towards Enlightenment" in which we present you a fluent and easy-to-understand explanation of the ayahs of the holy Qur’an. First we start with ayahs 69 to 71 of Surah Saffaat:

 “Indeed they had found their fathers astray,”

“Yet they press on in their footsteps”

“Certainly most of the ancients went astray before them”

As you remember, in our last edition of Path towards Enlightenment, a fortnight ago, we had explained the terrible situation of the sinners in the fires of hell and the reasons that brought them into the inferno because of their denial of God, ascribing partners to the One and Only Creator, rejecting the messages of the Prophets, oppressing the people and indulging in a life of unrepentant sins.

The ayah that we recited to you now means to say that among the reasons for their fall in hell was blind imitation of the wrong ways of their fathers and ancestors who had long deviated from the truth, though they knew that these beliefs were without any rational basis.

The next ayah means to say that in the past as well, many nations went astray because of such wrong beliefs that were never properly analyzed by the next generations which made the fatal mistake of calling their deviated ways the preservation of the legacy of their ancestors. Such a negative attitude makes the minds retarded and deprives nations of proper development, since preserving the legacy of the predecessors, means maintaining their good work, virtue, morally correct ways and firm belief in God Almighty as per messages received from the divine messengers, and not their deviant and disobedient ways.

From these ayahs we learn that:

  1. Islam, which is the message of monotheism, does not allow blind imitation of the absurd beliefs and immoral ways of the ancestors and predecessors.
  2. Imitating the misleading ways of the predecessors without rational probe, results in destruction in the world and punishment of hell in afterlife.
  3. Traditions of the predecessors must be measured on the criterion of reason and logic, and above all on the basis of faith in the One and Only God and His message preached by the Prophets, and certainly not as per racial tendencies, ethnic prejudices and bigoted emotions.

Now we listen to and read ayahs 72 to 74 of Surah Saffaat:

“And certainly We had sent Warners among them.”

“So observe, how was the fate of those who were warned?”

“—[All] except Allah’s exclusive servants!”

From these ayahs we understand that the terrible fate of the people of hell is not because they had no access to Divine Leaders and the message of God Almighty. No, this was not the case, since God had raised in every nation Warners, who repeatedly cautioned the people against unbelief and indulgence in sins, and the terrible consequences of such acts, but the arrogant sinners rejected the teachings of the Prophets and the saints.

So, through study of history and observation of the ruins of the cities and civilizations of the past we should understand the terrible fate of those who were warned by the messengers of God, and since they did not heed these warnings, many a mighty nation and empire was destroyed.

Except for the few righteous servants, who tolerated the hardships at the hands of the oppressors, but never gave up their belief in God and His commandments, the rest of the people were destroyed. So firm in belief are the true believers that nothing can derail them from the right path, such as the unhealthy environment, the temptations of seductive factors, and the oppression by tyrants.

From these ayahs we learn that:

  1. Only by heeding the warnings of the Messengers of God and adhering to the teachings of Islam, can we save ourselves from the fire of Hell on the Day of Resurrection.
  2. We should be firm and steadfast in belief, and continue efforts to show the path of guidance to others, even if the majority of people of a society have deviated from the truth.
  3. By studying the history of the past nations and causes of their destruction we can sift truth from falsehood so as to save ourselves and our contemporaries from Divine Wrath.
  4. Sincerity in worship and servitude of God lead to real prosperity in life and salvation in afterlife.

Now we listen to and read ayahs 75 to 79 of Surah Saffaat:

“Certainly Noah called out to Us, and how well We responded!”

“We delivered him and his family from the great agony,”

“And made his descendants the survivors,”

“And left for him a good name among posterity:”

‘Peace to Noah, throughout the nations!’

These ayahs refer to Prophet Noah who is first of the five Greatest Messengers of God Almighty – the other four being Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and the last and greatest of them all, Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). For long centuries Noah preached to his nation, but the majority of people did not pay attention to his words and rejected his mission. Finally, Noah, becoming disappointed of guidance of his people, supplicated to God to rid the Earth of the unbelievers and save the believers. After long periods of mercy that God Almighty showed to the wicked and unrepentant people, Divine Wrath descended on the sinners in the form of a great storm and a huge flood that submerged everything. Only those who believed God and the message of Prophet Noah, were saved through the huge Ark that was built on Divine Commandment. Noah, thus not only saved his family and the few followers, who after the great deluge spread out and multiplied on the face of the Earth, but also saved animal and birds species from extinction by taking them on board his huge Ark.

When a person sincerely calls upon Allah, his/her supplication is definitely answered. Prophet Noah’s name has thus become eternal with God Himself saying peace unto him.

From these ayahs we learn that:

  1. The survival or extinction of mankind is in the Hands of God. God saved Noah, his companions and believers from the terrible storm that wiped out the rest of mankind.
  2. The righteous ones will achieve salvation in both the world and afterlife.