Path towards Enlightenment (908)
Salaam and welcome to another episode of our weekly series titled “Path towards Enlightenment” 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, which was revealed to the Last and Greatest of all Messengers, Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny).
We start from where we left you last week, and here are Ayahs 63 and 64 of Surah Zukhruf:
وَلَمَّا جَاءَ عِيسَىٰ بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ قَالَ قَدْ جِئْتُكُم بِالْحِكْمَةِ وَلِأُبَيِّنَ لَكُم بَعْضَ الَّذِي تَخْتَلِفُونَ فِيهِ ۖ فَاتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ وَأَطِيعُونِ
إِنَّ اللَّـهَ هُوَ رَبِّي وَرَبُّكُمْ فَاعْبُدُوهُ ۚ هَـٰذَا صِرَاطٌ مُّسْتَقِيمٌ
“When Jesus brought the manifest proofs, he said (to the Israelites), ‘I have certainly brought you wisdom, and [I have come] to make clear to you some of the things that you differ about; so be wary of Allah and obey me.”
“Indeed Allah is my Lord and your Lord; so worship Him. This is the straight path.”
If you remember, last Friday in our explanation of the previous Ayahs of this Surah we said Prophet Jesus is among the portents or signs of certainty of the Day of Resurrection when all the dead will be raised to life. Thus, there is no doubt in the occurrence of Resurrection, and belief in it is indication of the straight and unwavering path towards God and the bliss of paradise. So we ought to be on guard against the insinuations and temptations of the Satan, who is the sworn enemy of all mankind and never spares a moment to try to derail the children of Adam from the straight path, as he did through the mischief of Paul the Hellenized Jew to coin the creed called Christianity by falsely depicting Jesus as godson.
The Ayahs that we recited to you now point out that Prophet Jesus came with clear, convincing, logical, and undeniable proofs of his mission and performed many a miracle, such as reviving the dead to life and molding a real animate bird out of clay, on the commandment of God Almighty. He called the Israelites to the path of wisdom in order to clear the doubts amongst them through differentiation between truth and falsehood, so that they give up their schismatic ways, become heedful of Divine commandments, and obey him.
As is clear by the next Ayah the message of Prophet Jesus is monotheism in its purest form when he means to say that he is only a humble creature of Allah the Exalted “Who is your Lord and my Lord and we should only worship Him”, instead of ascribing any partners or children to Him. This is indeed the straight path.
From these ayahs we learn that:
- The Prophets invited people to God through wisdom, logic, and clear proofs of monotheism.
- Religious and ideological differences can be overcome only through diligent reference to the commandments of God Almighty as taught by the Prophets, instead of personal and partisan inclinations.
- Only the Almighty Creator is deserving of worship and not any created being who performs miracles or was miraculously born like Prophet Jesus.
Now let us listen to ayahs 65, 66 and 67 of Surah Zukhruf:
فَاخْتَلَفَ الْأَحْزَابُ مِن بَيْنِهِمْ ۖ فَوَيْلٌ لِّلَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا مِنْ عَذَابِ يَوْمٍ أَلِيمٍ
هَلْ يَنظُرُونَ إِلَّا السَّاعَةَ أَن تَأْتِيَهُم بَغْتَةً وَهُمْ لَا يَشْعُرُونَ
الْأَخِلَّاءُ يَوْمَئِذٍ بَعْضُهُمْ لِبَعْضٍ عَدُوٌّ إِلَّا الْمُتَّقِينَ
“But the factions differed among themselves; so woe to the wrongdoers for the punishment of a painful day.”
“Do they await anything, but that the Hour should overtake them suddenly, while they are unaware?”
“On that day, friends will be one another’s enemies, except for the Godwary.”
These Ayahs indicate that the Israelites instead of following the teachings of the prophets, differed amongst themselves, denied the mission of Prophet Jesus, and called him a ‘liar’, while another group that later became known as Christians, called him a ‘godson’ by exalting him to Divinity which he never claimed. As a result, these wrongdoers, whether the exaggerators or those who had denied the mission of Prophet Jesus (peace upon him), have become deserving of Divine punishment on Judgement Day.
The next Ayah is a rhetorical question about the state of affairs of such heedless persons who do not listen to any advice, neither warnings nor tidings, and simply await conjecture, to the extent that Doomsday suddenly strikes them, while they are completely unaware. The word “Sa’a” or “Hour” in this and many other blessed Ayahs of the holy Qur’an, refers to the Day of Resurrection, the happenings of which will occur immediately as if in a single hour. In other words, the Day of Resurrection will occur all of a sudden, catching the disbelievers and sinners, unaware and unprepared for its aftermath.
Ayah 67 says that on that day all bonds of friendship break off unless those established for the sake of God and in His Name. It is thus natural for friendships formed on the basis of sins, unbelief, and denial of truth, to turn into enmity on that Day since each and every of wrongdoer considers the other to be the cause of misfortune.
In contrast, the bonds of friendship of the pious and virtuous believers are everlasting since they are based on correct belief and sincere cooperation in accordance with the teachings of the Prophets.
These Ayahs teach us the following points:
- Doomsday will come all of a sudden and only God knows when it will occur.
- Worldly bonds will turn into enmity if they are not formed according to the commandments of God Almighty.
- Friendship among the pious and virtuous believers is everlasting.
Now let us listen to Ayahs 68 and 69 of Surah Zukhruf:
يَا عِبَادِ لَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْكُمُ الْيَوْمَ وَلَا أَنتُمْ تَحْزَنُونَ
الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا بِآيَاتِنَا وَكَانُوا مُسْلِمِينَ
“[They will be told,] ‘O My servants! Today you will have no fear, nor will you grieve.”
“Those who believed in Our signs and had been Muslims.”
On Resurrection Day, because of their submission to the Divine Will, God gives tidings to the believers of complete security from any fear, peril and grief.
Ayah 69 means to say that the sincere believers in God Almighty have “Imaan” or firm faith, based on their complete submission to the Will of God (that is, “Islam”). Thus the word “Muslim” stands for those who submit to no one else, except the Almighty God.
From these Ayahs we learn that:
- Only through servitude of God Almighty can one attain peace of mind and tranquility of heart, whose rewards on the Day of Resurrection is immunity from any fear, peril, or grief.
- Mere verbal expression of belief is not enough, unless coupled with faith or “Imaan” that leads to eternal bliss.
- A Muslim is a person who does not submit to anyone except God the Almighty Creator.