Path towards Enlightenment (868)
Welcome to our weekly programme “Path towards Enlightenment” in which we present you a fluent and easy-to-understand explanation of God’s Revealed Word, the holy Qur’an.
We continue from where we left you last week, and here are Ayahs 48, 49 and 50 of Surah Ghaffer (or Mo’men):
“Those who were arrogant will say, ‘Indeed we are all [together] in it. Indeed Allah has judged between [His] servants.’
“Those in the Fire will say to the keepers of hell, ‘Supplicate your Lord to lighten for us [at least] a day’s punishment.’
“They (the angels) will say, ‘Did not your prophets use to bring you manifest proofs?’ They will say, ‘Yes.’ They will say, ‘Then supplicate [Him] yourselves.’ But the supplications of the faithless only go awry.”
As you might recall we ended last Friday’s episode with an account of the disputes among the inhabitants of Hell, with each blaming the others for their evil fate, which is nothing but what the unrepentant evildoers and unbelievers deserve after the long respite and mercy God had shown to them while alive, on the basis of the His fair and all-merciful justice. This means it is nothing but illusion for the followers of deviated schools of belief to think that their leaders would rescue them in afterlife or reduce their punishment, while the fact of the matter is that they are absolutely unable as they themselves are in the Eternal Fire.
The ayahs that we recited to you now mean to say that no one will be able to carry the burden of others on the Day of Resurrection, so how can the one who is in Hell save others from torment?
The arrogant ringleaders of disbelief and oppression, will helplessly say: We and you are in Hellfire and share the same fate, since God has judged His servants with justice. Had we been able to render any help, we would have first helped ourselves. We cannot do anything here. We can neither ward off torment from you nor from us, and we are utterly incapable of lessening your torment. God never chastises anyone without any reason; whoever has committed evil will be chastised accordingly. Our burden of sins is heavier than yours since we were in error ourselves and led you to error as well. You have also committed sins for having followed us out of your free choice. You could have believed in God as some of you did and saved themselves from torment.
As Ayah 49 means to say, when all of them lose their hope and become totally desperate, they turn to the keepers of hell and the angels of torment, and implore them that the torment be alleviated for at least one day so that they may be able to take a rest, although they know there is no escape from Divine punishment.
It is clear that belief in the One and Only God upon tasting Divine wrath shall be of no use to the unbelievers and the polytheists, who never rectified their wrong ways and never thought of repentance while alive. For instance, the tyrannical Pharaoh of Egypt, while drowning in the sea and realizing it was death, said he repented his sins, but it was said to him that now it will be of no use since you continued to commit sins without repentance.
According to Ayah 50, in response to the pleas of the unbelievers in the Eternal Fire, the keepers of Hell will say: Now that you are trapped in Divine torment, you humbly invoke and request us to pray for you, but you should know that the invocations of the polytheists and disbelievers are in vain and will not be answered in this state.
The unbelievers will be told that God had sent prophets to them with clear proofs and miracles of monotheism but they ignored, and thus their invocations in Hell are fruitless. In other words, even their acknowledgement that indeed prophets had come with clear signs of guidance which they spurned, will be of no use, even if these unbelievers and polytheists personally invoke the Lord Most High, while trapped in punishment for the magnitude of their crimes and sins.
These Ayahs teach us the following points:
- Those who are arrogant in the world and do not accept the truth, will end up in humiliation and ignominy in the Hereafter and will have no way to escape Divine punishment.
- God Almighty judges everyone in the most fair and correct manner and that too after showing much mercy; hence we shouldn’t judge others impertinently.
- There is no holiday or reduction of punishment for the denizens of Hell, which means the sinners, the unbelievers, and the polytheists, should not miss the opportunities to repent and believe in the One and Only God, while they are still alive.
- The divine modus operandi is based on sealing argument before punishment.
Now let us listen to or read ayahs 51 and 52 of surah Ghaffer:
“Indeed We shall help Our prophets and those who have faith in the life of the world and on the day when the witnesses rise up;
“The day when the excuses of the wrongdoers will not benefit them, and the curse will lie on them, and for them will be the ills of the [ultimate] abode.”
It is Divine practice to render support to the prophets and the true believers. It is Divine promise that Truth becomes victorious over falsehood. The expression in Ayah 51 is worthy of attention since it refers to the point that on that Day when all people shall gather together, witnesses shall rise to bear witness to our deeds. It means that the prophets and the righteous servants will be triumphant and will have the privilege of intercession with God for their followers, while in contrast, their opponents and enemies will be humiliated. Being disgraced on that Day is the worst ever state.
As the next Ayah means to say about the misfortune of the unbelievers, the polytheists, and the unrepentant sinners on that Day; firstly, their excuses before witnesses shall be of no avail and they shall be disgraced at the Grand Tribunal, Secondly, they shall be deprived of Divine mercy, while Divine wrath will afflict them. Thirdly, they shall suffer physical punishment and torment in the worst abode, in Hellfire.
These Ayahs teach us the following points:
- Divine promise to help the prophets and the true believers, provided the faithful are firm in their belief and resist against the enemies.
- Faith yields fruits both in the transient life of the mortal world and in the Hereafter, in conformity with Divine rewards.
- Divine promises are soothing for the believers and give them hope and strength against the pressures and threats of enemies.
- The fate of the unrepentant sinners, the unbelievers and the polytheists is the worst ever, and there is nothing but disgrace for them in the Eternal Fire for the evil they had done.