Path towards Enlightenment (871)
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 61, 62 and 63 of Surah Ghaffer (or Mo’men):
“It is Allah who made the night for you that you may rest in it, and the day to provide visibility. Indeed Allah is gracious to mankind, but most people do not give thanks.
“That is Allah, your Lord, the creator of all things, there is no god except Him; then where do you stray?
“Thus are left to stray those who are used to belying the signs of Allah.”
Last Friday we said that God Almighty asks us to invoke Him despite the fact that He is fully aware of our needs, which means beseeching God is a kind of worship and expression of gratitude, while ignoring His bounties is a sign of arrogance, disobedience of God, and thanklessness.
The Ayahs that we recited to you refer to certain Divine Bounties which are general for all and which we take for granted without paying proper attention to these great favours of the All-Merciful Allah or thanking Him. Among these is the day and night that occur as the Planet Earth revolves on its axis while orbiting around the sun. If the warmth and light of the day are the source of life and movement, providing mankind and animals the incentive to engage in different kinds of activities, the darkness of night, on one side leads to stoppage of daily activities and on the other side provides serenity and an atmosphere of calmness for resting of both the body and the soul, so that in the morning we wake up refreshed for the activities of another day. The day enables us to see and carry out our activities, since without light there will no motion. Likewise, without darkness, all creatures will be weakened and plants will wither. However, many people take no account of such great Divine Bounties and do not express gratitude. There are many who despite observing these manifest realities of the Majesty of the One and Only Creator, either ascribe partners to Him, or totally deny Him.
The next Ayah emphasizes this fact, saying there is no god except the Almighty Creator of the wonderful universe, and poses the question: then why do you stray from the truth. Ayah 63 clearly says that those who see facts and realities, but continue to ignore them or deny them, are left to stray by God in their state of confusion and disbelief for their refusal to acknowledge the manifest truth.
We learn from these ayahs that:
- The darkness of night and its atmosphere of calmness is the time to rest, to reflect on the day’s work, to plan for the next day, and to sleep in order to provide the body and soul the needed freshness and vigour for a healthy life.
- The light of the day is the time of activities, time for earning livelihood, time for creativeness, time for observing the wonders of world, and then dutifully thanking God for His favours.
- Only those blind to realities and truth, become thankless of Divine Favours, and turn away from the right path by denying God Almighty.
- It is God Alone Who is worthy of worship for his granting us the gift of life and use of the abundant bounties of the world of creation.
Now let us listen to or read ayahs 64 and 65 of surah Ghafer:
“It is Allah who made the earth an abode for you, and the sky a canopy, and He formed you and perfected your forms, and provided you with all the good things. That is Allah, your Lord! Blessed is Allah, Lord of all the worlds!
“He is the Living One, there is no god except Him. So supplicate Him, putting exclusive faith in Him. All praise belongs to Allah, Lord of all the worlds.”
These Ayahs point to the role of the earth and the sky in the life of human beings, and mean to say: Although the Planet Earth revolves on its axis while rotating around the sun to transform day into night and vice-versa, God has made it a stable place for the benefit of mankind, animals, and plants. The Ayah then goes on to say that the wonderful blue-coloured sky has been created to look like a huge canopy, and the layers of the stratosphere around the planet filter sunlight for our benefit, while keeping away intense rays of heat. Indeed, God has given the most perfect shape to human beings, making them to the “best of all creation”. He has provided enough provision for the benefit, growth and enjoyment of mankind. The special structure of the human body enables us to engage in a variety of activities, while no other creatures are capable of doing things that mankind does. The gifts of the intellect and the speech have provided us the incentive for spectacular developments over the past centuries and millennia. And among the good things, God has provided us, are the various types of edible fruits and vegetable, along with the knowledge to prepare them in a variety of ways, as well as the use of livestock and the products made from them. The Arabic word “tayyebaat” used here has a broad semantic range encompassing any good and pure thing, e.g. food, clothes, spouses, homes, transport, and even good words and conversations. These are all Divine Bounties. The One Who bestowed all these bounties upon mankind is the Creator of the world of existence and He Alone is worthy to be worshipped for His Lordship.
The next Ayah, that is, Ayah 65, emphasizes that real existence belongs to God alone, while the existence of other beings is limited, transient, and contingent. Since the Essence and Existence is independent of all other things, He is Immortal. We are warned against committing the grave sin of ascribing partners to the One and Only God, or denying him. We are required to be grateful to our Loving Creator by thanking Him, being cognizant of Him, glorifying Him, and worshipping Him alone. Thus we should invoke Him, and express gratitude for His Infinite Favours.
These ayahs teach us the following points:
- The Earth is cradle for the life and development of human beings.
- The wonders of the sky, and the bounties of the earth, point to the power and glory of God Almighty.
- God has bestowed the most beautiful shape to human beings among all creatures, and blessed them with the gift of the intellect and the power of speech.
- God’s mercy and blessing encompasses the entire creation, we should thank Him, worship Him only, and invoked Him.