Path towards Enlightenment (885)
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 41 and 42 of Surah Fussilat:
“Indeed those who defy the Reminder when it comes to them (shall rue); indeed it is an August Book;
“Falsehood cannot approach it, from before it nor from behind it, a [gradually] sent down [revelation] from One All-Wise, All-Laudable.
If you might recall, in our explanation of Ayah 40 of this Surah last Friday, we said the All-Merciful 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.
The Ayahs that we recited to you now are directed towards disbelievers and are indicative of the lofty status of the holy Qur’an among all other heavenly scriptures by calling it the “Zikr” or the “Reminder” and “Kitabun Aziz” or the “Honourable and August Book”. The Qur’an was revealed by God to His Last and Greatest Messenger, Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny), in order to remind human beings of their innate monotheist nature by arousing them from slumber and negligence that result in disbelief, including polytheism and atheism. They are warned of the dire consequences of defying or denying the timeless wisdom of this flawless scripture, which is immune from any form of falsehood. In other words, falsity cannot find its way into it from any side, that is, there are no contradictions in its form, phrases, and words. According to narrations from the Prophet’s fifth and sixth Infallible Heirs, Imam Mohammad Baqer and Imam Ja’far Sadeq (peace upon them), there are no falsities in the holy Qur’an, whether the Ayahs concerning the events of the past or the Ayahs regarding the prophecies about the future. Likewise, there is no point in any previously revealed scripture, such as the Torah or the Evangel, challenging the veracity of the holy Qur’an nor will there be any book in the future to do the same.
Thus, the clear logic and strong reasoning of the holy Qur’an stays unaltered despite the passage of time and the intellectual/scientific progress of mankind, since the Source of all creation, God Almighty, has decreed it to be the eternal miracle of the universal mission of Islam of Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny).
These Ayahs teach us the following points:
- To be free from misguidance and negligence we should recite the holy Qur’an and reflect upon its dynamism, as it is the constant reminder of realities.
- The Qur’an, while providing us with the accurate account of the events of the past that God Almighty has deemed as lessons to be learnt by us, gives glimpses of the undeniable future, whether blissful for the virtuous or terrible for the vicious.
- The Qur’an is free of any falsity or myths, since no distortion can occur in its heavenly contents, whose eloquent phrases and timeless wisdom are inimitable, even if all the scholars of the world get together to try to produce a line like it, since it is God Almighty Who has promised to protect it from any interpolation.
- The holy Qur’an is the blueprint for success in its real sense in life and salvation in afterlife.
Now let us listen to Ayahs 43 and 44 of this Surah:
“Nothing is said to you except what has already been said [earlier] to the prophets before you; indeed your Lord is forgiving and One Who metes out a painful retribution.
Had We made it a non-Arabic (or non-literal) Qur’an, they (the Arabs) would have surely said, ‘Why have not its signs been articulated?’ ‘What! A non-Arabic [or crude scripture], and an Arabian [Prophet]?’ Say, ‘For those who have faith, it is guidance and healing; but as for those who are faithless, there is deafness in their ears and it is lost to their sight.’ They are [as if they were] called from a distant place.
Ayah 43 is a consolation to the ever-patient Prophet of Islam concerning the accusations leveled by the pagan Arabs who called him by such derogatory terms as magician, liar, poet, soothsayer, and lunatic. God tells him that his predecessors, the prophets of the past, were also the subject of such false accusations, and indeed Almighty Allah is All-Forgiving and All-Merciful toward those who repent, while He severely punishes the disbelievers and enemies of humanity.
The next Ayah, that is 44, says, that among the pretexts of the pagan Arabs in not accepting Islam, was: ‘Why is your Book in our language? If you are really God’s Messenger, the scripture you claim to be divine, should not have been in Arabic.’ In response, God means to say: Had the Qur’an been in a language other than literary Arabic, they would have said, ‘we are Arabs while the Ayahs of this book are not clear and understandable to us’. Now, when the holy Qur’an is in the flawless and eloquent Arabic with its words of timeless wisdom, the Arab polytheists make another lame excuse, saying they are hard of hearing. Enemies never desist from finding faults.
In continuation, the Ayah says the Qur’an is a source of guidance and remedy for ailments for those who seek truth and whose hearts are sincere. In other words, the holy Qur’an shows the path of guidance, happiness, and righteousness, and pondering on its contents, may heal the hearts of non-Muslims and absolve them of their impurities. In fact, the holy Qur’an is addressed to all mankind in order to enable them to find the path toward happiness and salvation.
While for the hardcore disbelievers, who pretend not to understand the rationality of the contents of the holy Qur’an, they seem to be suffering from defects in their perceptive faculties such that they fail to perceive its message through their ears and hearts.
The fact is that some people do not want to see or hear the truth, as if they were blind and deaf. Had they any intention of finding the truth, they would have found the right path in the light of the holy Qur’an and their spiritual and ethical ailments, and even physical, would have been healed.
From these Ayahs we learn that:
- It is normal for saintly persons and preachers to be the target of insults and impudent words of the ignorant and arrogant opponents, despite the fact they are patient and ready to forgive those who repent.
- The All-Wise God is also All-Forgiving and All-Merciful, but He severely punishes the vicious disbelievers and the intransigent sinners, although His Compassion is greater than His Wrath.
- The pretexts of enemies have no end; they continue to find faults and proffer pretexts no matter what Muslims do.
- The holy Qur’an is the Book of guidance; it is the cure for spiritual, ethical, and social maladies, as well as physical ailments, yet, it is effective only for those who are sincere and seek to benefit from its light.