Path towards Enlightenment (872)
Welcome dear listeners 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 66 of Surah Ghaffer (or Mo’men), in which God Almighty makes it clear to the polytheists through the Divine commandment to Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny):
“Say, ‘I have been forbidden to worship those whom you invoke besides Allah, since there have come to me manifest proofs from my Lord, and I have been commanded to submit to the Lord of all the worlds.”
If you remember, last Friday in our explanation of Ayah 65 it was emphasized that real existence belongs to the Immortal Creator Alone, Who is One and Only without any partners, while the existence of all other beings and things is indebted to Him, and thus transient and mortal. Hence it is a cardinal sin to worship idols, ascribe partners to God, or deny Him, since He Alone deserves to be worshipped.
The ayah we recited to you now means to say that the Prophet, as the Excellent Exemplar in all his traits, is immune from all errors including idol-worship, since he is the recipient from the Lord Most High of all manifest proofs, and takes orders from God Almighty Alone, the One and Only Creator of the entire universe. The Prophet tells this plain truth to the polytheists, thereby setting the best example for the true believers who are required to express their faith in Islam through their actions, rather than merely confining the creed to their hearts and inner selves. Thus, the true monotheists neither bow before idols nor do they ascribe partners to God.
This ayah is indeed among the firm fundamentals of faith that prevents believers from idolatry and produces manifest, sensible, intellectual, and rational argumentations of the truth of Islam.
This ayah teaches us the following points:
- Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny), like all other prophets, is Infallible, which means as the recipient of Divine commandments he is immune from every error, and this includes negation of any doubt, let alone bowing to idols.
- The commandments of God are based on logic and rationality, which means divine revelation does not contradict reasoning.
- The true believers are never misled by the machinations of the polytheists or the atheists, and are firm in their monotheist faith that prevents them from ascribing partners to God or bowing before idols.
- It is God Almighty Alone Who is deserving of worship and submission.
Now let us listen to Ayahs 67 and 68 of the Surah:
“It is He Who created you from dust, then from a drop of [seminal] fluid, then from a clinging mass, then He brings you forth as infants, then [He nourishes you] so that you may come of age, then that you may become aged —though there are some of you who die earlier— and that you may complete a specified term, and so that you may apply reason.
“It is He who gives life and brings death. So when He decides on a matter, He just says to it, ‘Be!’ and it is.”
This ayah is a wonderful proof of the truth of Islam and divinity of the holy Qur’an, which as the Revealed Word of God Almighty, had meticulously explained the stages of creation a millennium and a half ago, when mankind had no proper medical knowledge or functioning of the human anatomy. This negates the theory of evolution from animals which has no scientific or rational basis. It is indicative of the fact that Adam and Eve, the Parents of all mankind, were created out of clay and as perfect human beings they started the natural process of procreation. In other words, since all nutrient elements constituting a human being stem from clay. The next stage is that of the male sperm and the female ovum, followed by its development into a clot in the mother’s womb and consequently a small chunk resembling chewed flesh from which organs begin to sprout as limbs are shaped and gradually develop movement and sense, until the birth of the embryo as a fully developed baby. Then the process of physical strength and age starts as the baby, whether boy or girl, grows into a full-fledged and matured human being. Youth is the climax of physical and mental ability. This is followed by the process of aging as physical powers begin to decline and old age catches up, indicating the signs of looming death. In view of these undeniable facts, there remains no room for doubts as to the Omnipotence and Glory of the Almighty Creator and His Bounties and Favours. A point to note is that the end of life does not necessarily occur after attaining old age, since, according to the wisdom of God “there are some of you who died earlier” – while babies or in the prime of youth and manhood, rather than reaching advanced years.
It is interesting to note that the holy Qur’an does not consider death as destruction and extermination; it rather uses a word meaning that the angels receive the human soul at the time of death and transfer it to the realm of afterlife. This shows that physical death is not the end but is the beginning of a new life in another region, other than the mortal world.
Ayah 68 refers to the general law of creation saying that it is only God Who determines everything, although He has given us the freedom to act and decide to a certain extent. In other words, it is God Almighty Alone Who gives life and causes death. He is Omnipotent and His Will is Paramount. This ayah deals with one of the most significant manifestations of Divine Power which is the question of life and death. Despite scientific advancement, the two phenomena are beyond human knowledge and power. Life and death, in the broader sense of the words, is applicable to plants, animals, and human beings in diverse forms, as per the Will of God the Almighty Creator.
It is worth noting that living beings, ranging from the mono-cellular to gigantic beings living in the dark depths of oceans, to the birds soaring in the sky and the planktons, as well as trees whose heights reach tens of meters, each have a particular type of life and circumstances. It is in the same vein that they differ in the manner of death.
Forms of life are indubitably the most diverse and the most wondrous forms of the world of creation, particularly coming from the inanimate into the animate world and vice versa are one of the most amazing manifestations of Divine Omnipotence. It is needless to say that none of these intricate and significant issues constitutes any difficulty before Him and they come into being so long as He commands them to do likewise.
From these ayahs we learn that:
- The process of creation from the origin of Adam and Eve through clay and then the process of procreations as fully developed human beings, is one of the most wonderful signs of God’s Omnipotence.
- The system of creation is a perfect, while death is not the end of human life; but the separation of the soul from the body and entering a superior phase.
- God has ordered us to reflect upon the phases of creation so that we find out the greatness of creation and do not sell our souls freely.
- God Alone is the Giver and Taker of life.