Path towards Enlightenment (886)
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 is Ayah 45 of Surah Fussilat:
“Certainly We gave Moses the Book (the Torah), but differences arose about it; and were it not for a prior decree of your Lord, judgement would have been made between them, for they are indeed in grave doubt concerning it.”
If you might recall, Last Friday in our explanation of Ayah 44 of this Surah, we dwelt on the various pretexts of the pagan Arabs in not accepting Islam, including the absurd accusation that the holy Qur’an cannot be a miracle since it is in their own native Arabic and not in any foreign language that might appear exotic to them. In response, God tells them through His Last and Greatest Messenger, Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny) that 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, rather than for those who prefer to be blind and deaf to the manifest truth.
The Ayah that we recited to you now informs Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny) that during the time of Prophet Moses, the Israelites, similar to the pagan Arabs of Mecca, used to raise such objections on the veracity of the Torah and created differences about it – some of them had acknowledged the Torah as a Divinely Revealed Scripture and some denied his mission.
This blessed Ayah, besides being a source of consolation to the Prophet of Islam, makes Muslims familiar with the events of the past, and points out to the sinners as well as to the disbelievers that God grants respite to them so that they repent, reform themselves, and attain spiritual growth, otherwise there would be no way for forgiveness. In other words, the All-Merciful God does not want to punish His erring creatures without giving ample opportunities for repentance, because this does not comply with Divine Mercy.
The reference to the differences raised by the Israelites concerning the Torah, not only points to the denial of the truthfulness of the holy Qur’an by the disbelievers but is also an indication of the disputes amongst Muslims and subjective interpretations thereof of the holy Qur’an.
The ending of this Ayah with the sentence “were it not for a prior decree of your Lord, judgement would have been made between them, for they are indeed in grave doubt concerning it”, means that God’s Promise made earlier of granting them respite, had saved them from immediate punishment; and without the least doubt these disbelievers are in grave doubt regarding the universal message of the holy Qur’an, whose truthfulness could be ascertained after due research and investigation.
This Ayah teaches us that:
- Those with sickness in heart and lacking sincerity of belief deny the truth, and even if they pretend to accept it, sow seeds of discord and resort to distortion in order create differences and divisions.
- Divine Mercy grants respite to disbelievers and sinners so that they may repent, rectify their wrongs, reform themselves, and return to the innate human nature of belief in monotheism and the ultimate truth.
- At times, doubts as means of quest to discover the facts and realities, serve as the path to the ultimate truth through research and proper investigation.
Now let us listen to or read Ayah 46:
“Whoever acts righteously, it is for his own soul, and whoever does evil, it is to its detriment, and your Lord is not tyrannical to the servants.”
This Ayah refers to a general law about the deeds of human beings. It clearly says that whoever does a good deed, will benefit from it; and whoever commits an evil act will certainly face its dire consequences – unless he/she has sincerely repented – since God never unjust to His creatures.
The system of reward and punishment is based on a set of rules, such as action and reaction. For instance, if a person eats a poisonous food consciously, he will suffer the result which is disease and pain. Thus, he cannot blame others for his mistake. The results of our actions are manifested in various ways in this world; while they will be manifested in the Hereafter in the form of punishment and Fire.
Au contraire, one who commits evil deeds, i.e. turns away from Divine Injunctions and follows concupiscent and satanic desires will pay for the evil consequences thereof. The torments in store for disbelievers are the consequences of their vicious deeds. God Almighty never wrongs His servants and it is worthy of note that any good or evil deed will lead to consequences.
This Ayah teaches us the following points:
- Every deed has its consequences, whether good or bad, resulting in reward and punishment.
- Since God has given us free will, we cannot blame others for our actions and their consequences.
- The miseries and bitter events of life cannot be attributed to God as He is never unjust toward His creatures, and the consequences we face is the result of our own deeds.
Now we invite you to listen to or read Ayahs 47 and 48 of Surah Fussilat as the concluding Ayahs of this week’s episode:
“On Him devolves the knowledge of the Hour, and no fruit emerges from its covering and no female conceives or delivers except with His knowledge. On the day when He will call out to them, ‘Where are My partners?’ They will say, ‘We have apprised You that there is no witness amongst us.’
“What they used to invoke before has forsaken them, and they know there is no escape for them.”
This Ayah clearly says that no one is aware of the time of Judgement Day and the events of that day. It is only in the domain of Divine Knowledge. Although God has informed of some of the events of that Day through His messengers, the mysteries of that fateful Day are unclear for human beings.
This blessed Ayah was revealed to the Prophet when he was asked about the timing of the Day of Resurrection. It means to say that only God Almighty is Aware of its exact occurrence and has not specified it, although He has informed mankind through His Prophets of some of the mysteries of that day. No fruit comes out of its sheath unless God Almighty decides about its quality, colour, and other characteristics. Likewise no female conceives unless God Almighty is All-Aware of the contents of the womb in terms of its gender, form, complexion, and so on. Similarly no female delivers unless God Almighty is All-Aware of the time of delivery. These are all based on the wisdom of the One and Only Creator.
Then the Ayah emphasizes that the polytheists will be asked on the Day of Judgment about the whereabouts of what they used to worship as God’s associates. They will answer: “We have no witness for our words and beliefs.” They will clearly see that they have no way of escape.
From these Ayahs we learn that:
- Not being aware of the time of the Day of Judgment is no basis for its denial.
- Divine knowledge is not only related to the generalities of the world but also to the minutest things of which human beings are negligent of.
- On Judgement Day, the polytheists will admit the futility of their beliefs and the failure of the deities they had worshipped.