Path Towards Enlightenment (854)
Welcome to our weekly programme "Path towards Enlightenment" in which we present you a fluent and easy-to-understand explanation of the ayahs of God Almighty’s final revelation to mankind, the holy Qur’an.
We start from where we left you last Friday and here are ayahs 64 to 66 of Surah Zumar:
"Say, ‘Will you, then, bid me to worship other than Allah, O you senseless ones?"
"Certainly it has been revealed to you and to those [who have been] before you: ‘If you ascribe a partner to Allah your works shall fail and you shall surely be among the losers."
"Rather, worship Allah, and be among the grateful!"
If you might recall, for the past few weeks we have been discussing the fundamental Islamic principle of monotheism and how the polytheists failed to provide any rational explanation for their beliefs in their pantheon of deities, which are nothing but the weird imagination of their warped minds. If many of them accepted the truth of Islam, there were some intransigent idolaters who refused to believe in the universal message entrusted by God Almighty to his last and greatest Messenger, Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny).
The ayahs that we recited to you now, mean to say that when some of these polytheists said they were ready to acknowledge the Greatness of Allah, if the Prophet were to worship their idols, the Prophet, as commanded by God, gave a stern reply of refusal, calling them senseless and devoid of any reason or intellect for suggesting such an absurd idea.
As the next ayah says, the Prophet told them in explicit words that as has been revealed to him by God Almighty and as was revealed to the nations of the past through the prophets sent to them, monotheism means belief in the indivisible unity of the One and Only Creator, Who has no partner; and if partners are ascribed to Him it will be self-destruction and nullification of all deeds. In other words, such erring persons will end up as permanent losers, with the destination of the polytheists being the eternal fire of hell.
As clarified by the Prophet on revelation of ayah 67 to him, the polytheists are advised to end their worship of idols and shun their belief in the pantheon of deities by worshipping Almighty Allah only, and thus entering the ranks of the grateful whose hearts are enlightened by monotheism.
The gist of the message of these three ayahs is that without the least doubt, the condition for faith and acceptance of deeds is the belief in the fundamental principle of monotheism, without which no work, however good, is accepted, since ascribing partners to Allah is like igniting a fire to burn and destroy one’s own action and deeds.
Here a question might arise in the minds of the skeptics: Is it possible for Prophets and Divinely-designated leaders to turn to disbelief as a consequence of the temptations of the Satan through the crafty atheists or polytheists?
The answer is crystal clear. The Prophets and the Divinely-designated leaders never entertain such thoughts even if the protective frame of infallibility is to be removed, since their excellence of knowledge and their constant links with the Origin of Divine Revelation, hinders them to entertain disbelief for one single moment. Would it be imaginable that an intelligent physician aware of the effects of a fatal poisonous substance entertains the thought of its consumption!
From these ayahs we learn that:
- Worshiping anything other than God is a sign of ignorance and irrationality, even if such a person claims to be educated and knowledgeable.
- Monotheism is the fundamental principle of faith, in accordance with the teachings of all prophets of God, beginning with the father of the human race, Adam, including Moses and Jesus, and culminating in the universal message of Islam to Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny).
- The ringleaders of idolatry who are the agents of Satan, besides misleading ordinary people, at times try to tempt the saints, but are firmly rejected.
- It is against the essence of prophethood and divine-designation to fall into disbelieve even for a single moment.
- Belief in monotheism is an expression of gratitude to the All-Merciful God for His infinite blessings and favours.
Now we listen to ayah 67 of Surah Zumar:
"They do not regard Allah with the regard due to Him, yet the entire earth will be in His fist on the Day of Resurrection, and the heavens, scrolled, in His right hand. Immaculate is He and exalted above [having] any partners that they ascribe [to Him]."
This ayah, as a sequence to the previous ayahs, means to say that the idolaters who suggested conditional worship of Allah, do not have proper cognizance of the One and Only Almighty Creator of the entire universe, as is evident by their placing His Glorious Name along with their imaginary objects of worship.
In fact, unbelief, whether it is atheism or polytheism, is the result of absence of proper cognizance of God as well as one’s own limitations and understanding of the facts and realities of life and the world. In other words, one who knows that the Source of creation is the One and Only Creator, Who ensures the orderly cycle of existence, Who is the Provider of all beings in accordance with their different needs, and Who is the Dispenser of Justice, with rewards of paradise for the righteous and the punishment of hell for the unbelievers and the unrepentant sinners, will neither ascribe any partner to God nor will worship other objects.
Thus, God the Creator has the power to restore to life in their original shape all beings after they had died and their corpses decayed into powdered bones, which means the Day of Resurrection is the manifestation of Divine Power and realization by the unbelievers of the truth which they had scorned to their own detriment and which will not avail them on Judgement Day.
On that day, the scrolls of deeds will be brought forward and given to all, with the righteous receiving in their right hand, and the wrongdoers in their left hand. No one will be wronged, even the least, by the All-Merciful Lord.
From this ayah we learn that:
- The life and death of all creatures, including humans, depend on Divine Will.
- It is ignorance and lack of proper cognizance of God and the realities of the world of existence that turn people into unbelievers or disbelievers.
- Judgement Day is the ultimate rational finale to the life of the material world and what people had earned, whether of good or bad having availed of Divine Mercy and the ample respite given to realize mistakes, rectify wrongs, reform behaviour through repentance in the Divine Court, and avail of Divine Forgiveness.
- Of course, on that day there will be witnesses among the angels, the Prophets and the saints, to the deeds we had done during the short life of the mortal world to ensure the complete and highest form of justice.