Path towards Enlightenment (884)
Welcome to another episode of this series which is an endeavour to make you and us familiar with an easy and fluent explanation of God’s Final Scripture to all mankind, the Holy Qur’an.
We continue from where we left you last week, and here are Ayahs 37 and 38 of Surah Fussilat:
“Among His signs are the night and the day, and the sun and the moon; do not prostrate to the sun, nor to the moon, but prostrate to Allah who created them, if it is Him that you worship.
“But if they disdain [the worship of Allah], those who are near your Lord glorify Him night and day, and they are not wearied.”
If you remember last week in our explanation of Ayah 36, we said the urge to retaliate evil with evil is a satanic stratagem, while good in return for the evil deeds committed by others is a Divine Injunction, so this means that anger is a negative trait which makes a person lose control of himself to the extent of committing a sin. Thus, God Almighty commands us to seek His protection whenever the Satan tempts us to commit wrong
The Ayahs that we recited to you now point to other examples of polytheism throughout history, saying, the sun and the moon are the creations of God; so how come some people worship them instead of the One and Only Creator of the entire universe?
As a matter of fact, night and day and the sun and the moon are all among the signs of God. Night is the source of calm and time to rest and sleep, while day is the source of energy, movement and liveliness. The sun is the source of light and all other bounties that we enjoy, while the moon moves on the basis of a very exact order, helping us calculate the months of the year, and showing the way for travelers in the darkness of night. The night and the day are thus Divine Signs indicating the Omnipotence of God Almighty, and each of them providing meaning to life, including hours for working and hours for sleeping. The blessings of the day include growth of plants and animals, evaporation of sea waters which leads to formation of clouds, rainfall, the bearing of fruits by trees, and so on. Therefore, as the Earth while revolving on its axis orbits around the sun to regulate day and night, the varying distance of the sun from our planet, the atmosphere that controls the solar heat, the moon as the nightly lamp which helps determine the natural and common calendar, and phases of the moon in the ebb and flow of sea waters, are all the Signs of Divine Omnipotence.
So no wise persons will never worship these two creations of God, which would mean merely admiring a very beautiful picture rather than praising the artist or the painter who created this masterpiece of art.
The next Ayah in an alleviating tone tells the faithful not to get upset with the wrong beliefs of people who instead of worshipping Allah turn to the worship of the phenomena of nature or idols, since there are angels who are always engaged in glorifying God and they never get tired or bored.
From these Ayahs we learn that:
- The order cycle of night and day, as the earth revolving on its axis orbits the sun, is among the signs of God’s power and wisdom.
- By pondering on the wonders of nature, one can become more cognizant of God.
- Worship is an innate urge and part of human nature, although many people fail to understand the proper ways and forms of worship, because of their negligence of the teachings of the prophets and the preaching of the saintly scholars.
- Arrogance, which breeds ignorance, is one of the greatest obstacles in the way acceptance of truth.
- God is absolutely needless of the worship of His creatures even if all human beings turn away from His worship, while angels, who have no emotions, neither the need for sleep nor the appetite for food, are totally subservient to the Almighty Creator and constantly glorify Him.
Now let us listen to Ayah 39 of the same Surah:
“Among His signs is that you see the earth desolate; but when We send down water upon it, it stirs and swells. Indeed He who revives it is the reviver of the dead. Indeed He has power over all things.”
This Ayah explains how rain grants freshness and life to the dry and seemingly dead earth by the renewed sprouting of verdant vegetation that includes flowers and fruits. Undoubtedly, rainfall is among the undeniable signs of God’s infinite power and wisdom. It indicates that God has the power to revive the dead to life on the Day of Resurrection even if their bones have been turned to dust and scattered in different directions.
In this and similar Ayahs, God Almighty confirms the veracity of Resurrection and raising of the dead to life in the same manner that every year He revives the desolate earth in spring by turning it lush green after the barrenness of winter. In other words, the One Who is able to make the barren earth alive and verdant is also able to resurrect the dead bodies.
This Ayah teaches us the following points:
- Natural phenomena like wind, rain, soil and plants are the signs of God’s infinite power, and contemplating upon these wonders can remove doubts regarding Divine Omnipotence.
- Doubts regarding the Omnipotence of the Almighty Creator by minds deceived by Satan, are among the causes of denial of the Hereafter.
Let us listen to Ayah 40 of this Surah:
Indeed those who commit sacrilege in Our signs are not hidden from Us. Is someone who is cast in the Fire better off, or someone who arrives safely on the Day of Resurrection? Act as you wish; indeed He sees best what you do.”
While the Prophets invite people toward God, the wicked and evil elements who are immersed in sins and unlawful pleasures try to misguide people in order to exploit them. They create doubts and dismiss the wonders of creation as mere natural phenomena, rather than the handiwork of God the Almighty Creator. Obviously, such persons will face the punishment of Fire in the Hereafter; while those who accept the truth and follow it will be safe and secure on that day. They will be in the shade of Divine Mercy in Paradise.
In other words, God grants respite to mankind although He is All-Aware of deviations. The reason the All-Merciful grants respite to those in error is to provide them ample opportunities to repent and reform themselves, for their own benefit. Thus, on the Day of Judgement, the virtuous who had abstained from vices, and those who had sincerely repented to God and were forgiven, proceed towards Paradise as their everlasting abode in peace, while the disbelievers and unrepentant sinners are cast into Hell.
From this Ayah we learn the following points:
- God gives respite to the deviant and pervert people in order to provide them with ample opportunities for reform and repentance, since He wants His creatures to avail of His Mercy, rather than become deserving of Divine Wrath.
- In the Hereafter, the most important and valuable blessing is safety and comfort of body and soul.
- Free will does not mean that one should do whatever he/she desires, rather it means we should use our God-given intellect to sift truth from falsehood and discern between right and wrong; and this is possible by adhering to rational and religious principles.