Path towards Enlightenment (864)
Dear listeners welcome to this episode of “Path towards Enlightenment”. To continue from where we left you last week let us listen to ayah 29 of surah Ghaffer (Mo’min) of the holy Qur’an:
“O my people! Today sovereignty belongs to you, and you are dominant in the land. But who will save us from Allah’s punishment should it overtake us?’ Pharaoh said, ‘I just point out to you what I see [to be advisable for you], and I guide you only to the way of rectitude.’”
Last Friday, we said that a righteous Egyptian dignitary, whom the holy Qur’an calls Momin Aal-e Firoun, who had concealed his faith in monotheism, dissuaded the Pharaoh and his clique, firstly by saying that Moses, who had grown up in the royal palace, does not deserve such a harsh punishment; secondly, confronting a person of sound words and worthy character, will entail perils; thirdly, there is no need for the ruler to take such a severe action, since if Moses happens to be a liar, he will be chastised by God; and fourthly, isn’t is possible that Moses might be right, and in such a case we, the Egyptians, will suffer Divine Punishment.
The ayah that we recited to you now continues the words of advice to Pharaoh, of this true believer, whom means to say that today you are ruling the vast land of Egypt and you have control over everything; therefore, Moses has no power to harm you. But if you kill him and Moses is right in his contention, then who will save you from God’s wrath, so, better think of the consequences of such actions.
These words somehow affected the courtiers of Pharaoh but the tyrant continued to insist on his decision to kill the Messenger of God, claiming, as all wrongdoers do that the behaviour his behaviour was normal, which means Moses was not behaving in a normal manner.
Let us say a few words concerning the believing man of Pharaoh’s court. He had believed in the mission of Moses but concealed his faith since he loved Moses at heart. He regarded it incumbent upon himself to defend Moses. He was intelligent, meticulous, tactful, and very sensible who helped Moses at a critical point and saved him from a perilous conspiracy aiming at his murder. It is noteworthy that one of the points in the blessed ayah is “taqiyya” or discretionary concealment of one’s beliefs in a hostile atmosphere. This is not weakness and fear, but is effective means against the arrogant tyrants through which the secrets of enemies may be exposed. Concealment of beliefs, plans, and stratagems during struggles against enemies may inflict severe blows on them. The believing man of Pharaoh’s court employed the same means so as to render service to Prophet Moses and save his life at a critical juncture. What is better than having a believing supporter to defend one at the enemy’s administration through whom one may penetrate into the depth of enemy’s seat of power and obtain intelligence regarding everything, inform one’s supporters, impress tyrants’ minds, and alter their plans and stratagems?
This ayah teaches us the following points:
- At crucial junctures, concealing faith in order to expose the enemies’ plots or dissuade the enemies from their murderous designs, is a valuable deed.
- All tyrants and wrongdoers, whether of the past or the present imagine that their decisions are right and allow no one to comment on their acts. They consider themselves to be the masterminds and others are devoid of knowledge and intellect! This is mere ignorance and inanity.
- It is the duty of the faithful to warn the culprits and sinners and forbid them of vicious deeds, even if they are powerful rulers like the Pharaoh.
- Being heedless of warnings and considering oneself as the absolute wise of the world, is the characteristic of tyrants and Pharaohs.
- Among the characteristics of the wrongdoers and tyrants is regard their own behaviour as normal, while claiming that the behaviour of the righteous ones is not normal.
Now let us listen to ayahs 30 and 31 of this surah:
“He who had faith said, ‘O my people! Indeed I fear for you [a day] like the day of the [heathen] factions;
“Like the case of the people of Noah, of Ad and Thamud, and those who came after them, and Allah does not desire any wrong for [His] servants.
Although Pharaoh insisted on killing Moses, the faithful man among the couriers didn’t give up his efforts. He pointed to the fate of the previous nations in a bid to awaken the dormant conscience of the courtiers. Egyptians at the time were relatively civilized and literate and knew about historians’ accounts of ancient peoples, like those of Noah, ‘Aad, and Thamud whose lands did not lie too remote from theirs and they were more or less aware of their dire fates. These ayahs indicate that the believing man at the court of Pharaoh, after raising objection as to the conspiracy against Moses’ life faced Pharaoh’s severe resistance who confirmed his command as to taking the life of Moses; however, he did not desist from making efforts as he deemed it fit and appropriate to do so and thought of reminding the rebellious people of the history of ancient peoples and warn them against being inflicted with the same afflictions so that they may wake up and revise their decision.
He said, “You are aware of the fate that befell the nations of Noah, Aad, Thamud and others. They were exterminated due to their tyranny and persistence against the divine laws. I fear that the Egyptian civilization might be doomed as the nations of the past.” He stressed they were destroyed because of their vicious deeds and not God’s injustice as God does not wrong anyone.
These ayahs have the following lessons:
- Reflection on the fate of the past generations is like a light which shows the right way to us.
- If wrong beliefs and deeds become one’s habit, they will lead such persons towards self-destruction.
- God is just, and believe in His Justice is an article of faith for true believers, so we should never be despaired of hope, even in the most adverse circumstances.
Ayahs 32 and 33 are the concluding ayahs of this week’s episode. Let us listen:
“O my people! I fear for you a day of mutual distress calls,
“A day when you will turn back [to flee], not having anyone to protect you from Allah, and whomever Allah leave astray has no guide.
In continuation of his warnings, the true believer at the court of the Pharaoh told them: If the divine wrath were to befall, like the fate of the past nations, there will be no escape from it and nobody will be immune and safe from it. On that day, even if you call one another for help, it will be in vain, and none will be capable of helping against the Infinite Might of God.
Those left astray by Allah are the hardcore disbelievers and sinners, who never listen to words of righteousness.
As a matter of fact, those who will be safe on that day are those who followed the path of the Prophets and the Infallible Imams, whose words the deviated always oppose and thus go astray
From these ayahs we learn that:
- Warning sinners about the consequences of their deeds should be considered as a duty of the faithful; just as parents warn their children when they go near fire.
- Guidance and misguidance are in the hands of God; but it is we, humans, who set the ground for it.
- There is no third way between guidance and misguidance. Anyone who refuses to choose the divine guidance has indeed gone astray and will end in destruction and punishment in the Hereafter.