Path Towards Enlightenment (850)
Salaam and 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 Quran.
We start from where we left you last Friday and here is ayah 46 of Surah Zumar :
"Say, ‘O Allah! Originator of the heavens and the earth, Knower of the sensible and the Unseen, You will judge between Your servants concerning that about which they used to differ."
Last week we said that whenever the One and Only God is glorified, the polytheists express disgust, but they rejoice at the mention of temples and idols, because of their blind attachment to the material world.
The ayah that we recited to you now means to say that while confronting the obdurate disbelievers, we should constantly glorify God Almighty and beseech Him for succor at all times. Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), as the person putting into practice, or practically demonstrating the practicability of God’s revelation to him, is entrusted the task of glorifying the Almighty Creator and invoking Him in a tone revealing his profound faith imbued with love for the Originator of the heavens and the earth, and the Knower of the seen and the unseen to Whom all return and Who is the Best Judge on the Day of Resurrection concerning what people used to differ about.
This ayah attempts to awaken the disbelievers’ conscience, since the Resurrection Day is the Day of Judgment of all differences, when many a truth that is concealed from man’s perception in the world, will be made manifest by the Master and the Sovereign, the Creator of all things, and the Omniscient of all secrets.
From this ayah we learn that:
- We should always be conscious of God and glorify the One and Only Creator of the universe, in demonstrating the firmness of our faith and awakening the conscience of the ignorant one whom circumstances have made disbelievers or idol-worshippers.
- The Originator of life and existence is aware of all the word and deeds of the entire creation, including secrets and thoughts that flash across minds.
- God Almighty’s judgment of mankind is based on His Infinite Knowledge of every minute thing.
Now we listen to ayahs 47 and 48 of Surah Zumar:
"Even if the wrongdoers possessed all that is on the earth, and as much of it besides, they would surely offer it to redeem themselves with it from a terrible punishment on the Day of Resurrection, and there will appear to them from Allah what they had never reckoned."
"The evils of what they had earned will appear to them, and they will be besieged by what they used to deride."
In continuation of the previous ayah, this ayah means to say that when facts and realities are revealed on the Day of Resurrection the disbelievers would rue their wrong beliefs and whatever they used to do while alive, but it will be of no avail to them. There shall be no ransom for wrongdoers on the Day of Judgment, even if they had possessed great wealth and were to offer it to save themselves from Divine Wrath, of which they had been warned in the world, but had paid no attention to these warnings by continuing their wicked ways. The punishment for them, as a consequence of their evil and oppressive ways, is beyond imagination, and fully justified, since what they did while alive on the supposition that these were good deeds, were actually grave sins.
The wrongdoings of such people are not limited to erroneous beliefs, but include social injustice through their policies of intellectual and cultural oppression that destroyed many a generation by turning them away from God Almighty and righteous beliefs that were replaced by a life of unbelief and sins.
God the All-Merciful does not oppress anybody, and it is the sinners themselves who bring about their own terrible punishment by never rectifying their wrong beliefs, nor repenting their sins, neither feeling the need to seek forgiveness in the Divine Court. In the other words, as ayah 48 of Surah Zumar says, their terrible fate on the Day of Resurrection is embodiment of their ugly deeds and ways which appear in the form of the flames of hell to surround them from all sides, for their scoffing of the fact of resurrection and the warnings they had been given of the consequences of their evil and oppressive ways.
From these ayahs we learn that:
- The power or wealth that one possessed in the world will be of no avail on the Day of Resurrection.
- The fire of hell surrounding the sinners is actually the manifestation of their own evil deed in the world.
- On the Day of Judgment the truth of paradise and hell will become manifest for all, along with disclosures of all secrets and mysteries, to the detriment of the sinners and oppressors.
- One should never scoff at moral and religious teachings and warnings of the coming of the Day of Resurrection.
Now we listen to ayahs 49 and 50 of Surah Zumar:
"When distress befalls man, he supplicates to Us. Then, when We grant him a blessing from Us, he says, ‘I was given it by virtue of [my] knowledge’; Rather it is a test, but most of them do not know."
"Those who were before them [also] said that, but what they used to earn did not avail them."
These ayahs refer to one of the characteristics of the ungrateful people, saying: Some persons only remember God in times of difficulty when problems surround them, and they feel no other choice but to supplicate to Him. But when their problems are resolved, they conveniently forget God and boast: It was our own knowledge and skill that helped us resolve problems.
Such ignorant people do not reflect the least upon the fact that their knowledge is also a Divine Favour granted to them. Do they assume that the knowledge that brings them gains is their own? Thus, such persons are ingrates and deniers of God’s favours, without realizing that this is a test for them.
The next ayah says that this low and mean characteristic of ingratitude was also evident in the previous generations, but whatever they had earned or accumulated – of wealth and power – did not benefit them.
From these ayahs we learn that:
- Hardships make many people to admit their weakness and awaken the need to turn to God for help, but for the ingrates, no sooner their problem is resolved they drift away from God and religion.
- For the seekers of truth, however, the belief is profound and they realize that hardships are nothing but Divine Tests, and thus they always feel grateful to God’s Favours.