Path towards Enlightenment (882)
Welcome dear listeners to our weekly programme "Path towards Enlightenment" in which we present you a fluent and easy-to-understand explanation of the ayahs of God’s Revealed Word to all humanity, the holy Qur’an.
We continue from where we left you last week, and here is Ayahs 31 and 32 of Surah Fussilat.
“(The angels we say to the true believers) We are your friends in the life of this world and in the Hereafter, and you will have in it whatever your souls desire, and you will have in it whatever you ask for;
“As a hospitality from the All-Forgiving, All-Merciful.”
As you might recall, last Friday in our explanation of the previous Ayah, that is 31, we said that although most of the true believers may not have been liked during the transient life of the mortal world by the unbelievers and the violators of divine commandments for their piety and obedience of God, the angels were their unseen helpers and will also help them in the Hereafter. We also said the pleasures of paradise are not limited to material and physical ones; rather whatever is delightful for human beings is available in paradise, which means the spiritual pleasures are superior to the material ones.
The Ayahs that we recited to you now mean emphasize the same message to the true believers, of help during life and in the Hereafter, all the way to paradise where all the material and spiritual pleasures will be available as rewards for their firm faith, virtue, good deeds, and abstentions from whatever God has prohibited. In other words, on the Day of Resurrection, addressing the true believers, the angels will say that by God’s order they had protected them from many afflictions and hardships during life including the temptations of the Satan by facilitating for them the path to success, and now by divine commandment they protect them from the severity of Judgment Day by escorting them to Paradise, where, as guests of the All-Forgiving and All Merciful Lord, they enjoy forever the heavenly banquet.
From these ayahs we learn that:
- Unknown to many of us, the All-Loving God has tasked angels to protect us from many calamities and guide us toward virtue and success, because of our firm faith in the One and Only Creator of the universe and our obedience to His prophets, culminating in the universal message of Islam entrusted to the Last and Greatest Messenger, Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny).
- The bounties of Paradise are permanent and beyond our imagination, which means we should not equate them with the alleged sensual pleasures that the enemies of Islam mockingly ascribe to Muslims by trying to distort the teachings of the holy Qur’an.
- The people of Paradise are the permanent guests of the Lord Most High, Who forgives the faults of the true believers and shows them mercy, when they sincerely turn to Him in repentance for whatever mistake they had made.
Now let us listen to ayah 33 of this surah:
“Who has a better call than him who summons to Allah and acts righteously and says, ‘Indeed I am one of the Muslims’?
In contrast to those who prevent people from hearing the words of truth as preached by the prophets and made clear by the Ayahs of the heavenly scriptures, especially the last and final one, that is, the holy Qur’an, this Ayah says there are people who invite others toward God through their words and deeds. They say it is an honour for them to be Muslims.
This Ayah means to say that propagation of Islam is the best of words and the Prophets, the Imams, and the Saints, are the best of speakers. They set practical precedent of their faith. In other words their firm faith is made practicable for the society through their good deeds that enable them to invite people in the best manner towards God and the ultimate truth.
A true Muslim is a person who has totally submitted to the Will of Allah. In this regard, a narration by Abdullah ibn Abbas quotes the Prophet of Islam as saying: “After me, Ali (AS) will call and guide people to my Lord. He is the most pious of the true believers. He is the best who invoked Allah and did righteous good deeds”
This ayah is a glad tiding and an unequalled glory to all real Muslims, and teaches us the following points:
- The best word is to call people to God, and the caller to truth should practice what he/she preaches.
- The daily Azaan or call to the obligatory ritual prayers, along with discourses in mosques and hussainiyahs that could be transmitted through radio or TV, are among the simplest and most effective ways of publicly inviting people to God.
- A true believer totally submits to the Will of God Almighty; hence he/she is honoured to be called a Muslim, without having the least feeling of humiliation, even if unbelievers were to ridicule.