Path towards Enlightenment (910)
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 79 and 80 of surah Zukhruf:
“Have they settled on some [devious] plan? Indeed We too are settling [on Our plans].
“Do they suppose that We do not hear their secret thoughts and their secret talks? Yes indeed! And with them are Our messengers, writing down.”
If you might recall, in our explanation of the previous Ayahs of this Surah we had said the main reason the disbelievers will be cast into hell and no plea from them will be entertained, is because of their refusal while alive in the transient world to accept the manifest truth, coupled with their persecution of the truthful, which warrants us to be heedful of our beliefs and actions, since Divine punishment descends once the argument is sealed.
The Ayahs which we recited to you today means to say that the disbelievers resorted to various plots in a bid to extinguish the light of truth, despite the fact that Almighty God is in control of everything and He decrees all affairs.
Ayah 80 poses the question: Whether the disbelievers imagine that God Almighty is unaware of their secrets and inward hatred and opposition to the message of Islam and what they whisper into the ears of each other? Then it provides the answer by saying that it is not as they have imagined since if they hear the words of each other and they are unaware of what they harbour in their hearts, God Almighty hears their words and is aware of their secrets and sees their deeds. He is well informed of their secret counsels, and the most noble of recorders, that is, the “kiraam al-katibeen”, or the angels in charge of recording human words and deeds, are always present beside every person to listen and record whatever is said and done.
From these Ayahs we learn that:
- No human plan or articulate move prevails over what God Almighty has decreed.
- The disbelievers imagine that God is not aware of their secret affairs, but they are ignorant of the fact that whatever a person does or says and thinks, are diligently recorded by the angels in a more perfect manner than human inventions such as computers and closed circuit cameras can do.
Now let us listen to Ayahs 81 and 82 of the same Surah:
“Say, ‘If the All-Beneficent had a son, I would have been the first to worship [him].’
“Clear is the Lord of the heavens and the earth, the Lord of the Throne, of whatever they allege [concerning Him]!”
The Almighty Creator is too glorious to have the human needs of spouses and children, and Ayah 81 is a refutation of the polytheists who used to regard angels as children of God. Here the false beliefs of the idolaters are negated by the Prophet who says: suppose if the Almighty had a son, then I would have been the first to acknowledge and obey him. The theme of this Ayah is a novel method used to confront obdurate people.
An example of employing such a method would be when someone falsely claims that a certain person is a man of knowledge but he is not so, we might say that had he been knowledgeable we would have been the first people to follow him. This is intended to make such a person reflect upon his false claim, in order to help him awaken his conscience. This Ayah is also a clear refutation of the Christian belief of Prophet Jesus being a godson.
Ayah 82 means to say that the Almighty Creator of the whole universe including the heavens and the earth is the Lord of the Celestial Throne. His Power is Infinite and He is thus needless of children or spouses, since children are needed by those who are mortal and beget children to continue their progeny. In short, children indicate corporeality and contingence.
These Ayahs teach us the following points:
- We have to be prudent, patient, and rational while facing the irrationality of the opponents in order to make them understand the falsity of their ideas.
- Almighty God is far glorious to be in need of anything, including spouses or children.
- The heavens and the earth, no matter how vast, reflect the Power, Wisdom, and Authority of the One and Only God Who is the Most Excellent Administrator.
Now let us listen to Ayahs 83 and 84 of Surah Zukhruf:
“So leave them to gossip and play until they encounter their day which they are promised.
“It is He who is God in the sky, and God on the earth; and He is the All-Wise, the All-Knowing.
Here God Almighty tells Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny) to leave to their fate those refusing to heed the words of guidance despite being shown manifest proofs of monotheism and Divine authority. Such persons are preoccupied with mundane affairs and equate the Creator of the world with natural phenomena by attributing false ascriptions to Him. In other words, the All-Merciful provides long respite to His creatures in order to make them properly use their brains to repent, reform and discover the path of truth. But when arguments and warnings have no effect, these obdurate persons are left to their fate. On the Day of Resurrection of which they have been promised, they will have a rude awakening from their life of vanity and pleasures, but this will not avail them anything, as they will be the permanent sufferers.
It is thus a wrong idea to think that by disobeying God the disbelievers can harm Him. As Ayah 84 means to say, the Creator of the heaven and the earth, Who is All-Wise and All-Knowing, is worthy of worship alone, since He has placed everything in its proper place in the precise system of creation, with His infinite wisdom and knowledge.
These Ayahs teach us that:
- Those refusing to be guided despite being shown manifest proofs ought to be left alone to their fate.
- God is not in need of any human being, let alone their worship, and it is to our own benefit to obey Him and abstain from what He has forbidden.
- Only the Lord of the Universe Who has created everything and administers the world in an orderly manner, is deserving of worship.