Jul 05, 2019 08:45 UTC

Welcome to our weekly programme "Path towards Enlightenment" in which we present you a fluent and easy-to-understand explanation of the ayahs of the holy Quran. We start with ayah 51 of Surah Zumar:

"So the evils of what they had earned visited them, and as for the wrongdoers among these, the evils of what they earn shall be visited on them and they will not thwart [Allah’s might]."

In our last edition of Path towards Enlightenment a fortnight ago, we referred to the characteristics of the ungrateful people, who for instance, 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 solved, they conveniently forget God and boast: It was our own knowledge and skill that helped us resolve problems. 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.

The ayah that we recited to you now means to say these ungrateful people who turn away from God and indulge in evil, face the consequences of their wicked ways and are afflicted with Divine Chastisements, such as storm, flood, earthquake, and the like. When such persons die in sins and in the state of unbelief, their fate will be worse on the Day of Resurrection, since no one, however, powerful or wealthy, cannot confront the Might of Allah.

From this ayah we learn that:

  1. Each action has its reaction and whatever one does, will have to face its consequences, sooner or later.
  2. All the blessings are from God, but the disasters that one faces are the result of his/her own wrong decisions and actions.

Now we listen to or read ayah 52 of Surah Zumar:

"Do they not know that Allah expands the provision for whomever He wishes and tightens it [for whomever He wishes]? There are indeed signs in that for a people who have faith."

Our knowledge and endeavour might be the requisites for gaining provision, but these are not sufficient, since beyond knowledge and capabilities, which often do not produce the desired results, everything depends on the Infinite Power of God the Almighty Creator in providing sustenance, whether in abundance or in small measures, or deprivation, as per Divine Wisdom. For instance, there is many a worthy person overtaken by deprivation, privation, seclusion, and isolation, while at the same time, there are many incompetent and weak people enjoying all means of mundane welfare. It is true that we are supposed to make our best efforts in life for earning livelihood, but it would be a gross mistake to forget the Cause of all the causes, that is, God Almighty, and instead rely on our limited knowledge and capabilities. This, however, does not mean that we should not acquire knowledge or develop our capabilities, since whatever the Creator has decreed is to test our degree of faith, and make it clear that it is He Alone Who is the actual provider as per Divine Wisdom.

From this ayah we learn that:

  1. Every person is required to make efforts to earn his/her livelihood, but the extent of everyone's sustenance is subject to Divine Wisdom.
  2. In order to test our faith, whether we thank or are ungrateful to Divine Favours, God the All-Wise has determined each and everyone’s sustenance, which might or might not always depend upon knowledge and capabilities.

Now we listen to or read ayah 53 of Surah Zumar:

"Say [that Allah declares,] ‘O My servants who have committed excesses against their own souls, do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed Allah will forgive all sins. Indeed He is the All-Forgiving, the All-Merciful."

This ayah is one of the most promising ones regarding forgiveness of sins by the All-Merciful Lord, Whose doors of grace open all the time for those wishing and willing to return to the path of faith and truth through repentance of sins and all other faults. Following recurrent warnings to polytheists and wrongdoers, as mentioned in the preceding ayahs and other surahs of the holy Qur’an, this blessed ayah provides all sinners with the hope of turning to Allah Almighty, since the main goal of the message of the Prophets is to guide mankind toward the All-Loving Creator rather than punishment, which actually is the result of our own evil deeds and intransigence in accepting facts and realities.

Note the words of this ayah, through which God gives tidings to sinners who have committed excesses, not to become despaired of Divine Mercy, since the All-Forgiving and All-Merciful Creator is ready to grant total amnesty, provided one is sincere and earnest in repentance. Even if one has spent the whole life in sin or unbelief, but on realizing his/her waywardness and dissoluteness, turns to God Almighty as a penitent, the door of forgiveness is always open. In other words, we should never feel disappointed of Divine Mercy and should not think that God will not forgive us, since such a thought itself is a sin. The love of God for His creatures is more vast and encompassing than the love parents have for their children. As a matter of fact, it is God Who instilled love and compassion in the hearts of the parents for their children.

From this ayah we learn that:

  1. Divine mercy is infinite and not limited; since the Door or Forgiveness is always open for the penitents ready to give up their wicked ways or the worship of deities other than God.
  2. God Himself says that no human being should ever feel despair and disappointment, since Divine Mercy is ready to forgive the greatest of sins, provided that repentance is in earnest.
  3. Sin is a kind of oppression one does to his/her own self.
  4. Anyone who disobeys God is in fact harming his/her own self.