Path towards Enlightenment (911)
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 we listen to Ayah 85 of Surah Zukhruf:
وَتَبَارَكَ الَّذِي لَهُ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا وَعِندَهُ عِلْمُ السَّاعَةِ وَإِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ
“Blessed is He to whom belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth and whatever is between them, and with Him is the knowledge of the Hour, and to Him you will be brought back.”
If you might recall, in our explanation last Friday of the previous Ayah of this Surah, we had said that only the Lord of the universe, Who has created everything and administers the world in an orderly manner, is deserving of worship.
The Ayah that we recited to you now indicates God’s Greatness, Sovereignty, and Majesty. It means to say the Infinite Knowledge of the Almighty Creator of the heavens, the earth, and whatever exists between them, embraces all and everything, including the exact occurrence of the hour of Resurrection and return of all things unto Him. Thus, if we desire salvation, we must obey His commandments as specified by His messengers.
From this Ayah we learn that:
- God the Almighty Creator controls all and everything, including the beginning and the end, as well as the Hereafter, which indicates His Infinite Power, Sovereignty, Wisdom, and Knowledge.
- Nobody knows when the Day of Resurrection will occur except God.
Now let us listen to Ayah 86 of this Surah:
وَلَا يَمْلِكُ الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِهِ الشَّفَاعَةَ إِلَّا مَن شَهِدَ بِالْحَقِّ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ
“Those whom they invoke besides Him have no power of intercession, except those who are witness to the truth and who know [for whom to intercede].”
This Ayah refutes the false belief of the polytheists that idols or the imaginary deities they used to invoke, would intercede on their behalf in afterlife and save them from torment. It says in clear words that no one except those who bore witness to the truth with full awareness of it will be allowed to intercede with God. In other words, verbal testimony is not enough in matters of faith but it must be with knowledge and certitude. It also alludes that those given the power of intercession solely intercede on behalf of believers in monotheism, the mission of the Last and Greatest Prophet, and his Divinely-designated successors.
This Ayah teaches us that:
- Like repentance which is a way to reform oneself and return to the path of God, intercession is also a way for availing the mercy and forgiveness of God, but through the Appointees and the devoted servants of God, and not the idols and imaginary deities.
- Those fully aware of truth with certitude have been endowed with authority by the All-Merciful God to guide the erring believers and intercede on their behalf.
Now we listen to Ayah 87 of Surah Zukhruf:
وَلَئِن سَأَلْتَهُم مَّنْ خَلَقَهُمْ لَيَقُولُنَّ اللَّـهُ ۖ فَأَنَّىٰ يُؤْفَكُونَ
“If you ask them, ‘Who created them?’ they will surely say, ‘Allah.’ Then where do they stray?”
This Ayah poses a rhetorical question to the polytheists, saying, “If you really regard God as your Creator and the Creator of the world, they why do you ascribe partners to Him by worshipping idols and the imaginary deities? What a grave deviation indeed! In other words, if you really believe in the Almighty Creator then why do you stray from His path by invoking idols, which is indeed an unforgivable sin deserving everlasting torment!
This Ayah teaches us the following points:
- Even many of the polytheists accept God as the Almighty Creator, but they taint their belief by ascribing partners to Him.
- Any deviation from the straight and unwavering path of “Towheed” or Monotheism, is contrary to innate human nature and thus deserving of Divine punishment.
Now let us listen to Ayahs 88 and 89, which are the last Ayahs of Surah Zukhruf:
وَقِيلِهِ يَا رَبِّ إِنَّ هَـٰؤُلَاءِ قَوْمٌ لَّا يُؤْمِنُونَ
فَاصْفَحْ عَنْهُمْ وَقُلْ سَلَامٌ ۚ فَسَوْفَ يَعْلَمُونَ
“And the Plaintiff (i.e. the Prophet would say in the Divine Court): ‘My Lord! Indeed these are a people who will not have faith!’”
“So (O Prophet) disregard them, and say, ‘Peace!’ Soon they will know.”
These Ayahs mean to say that in spite of the earnest endeavours of Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny) to guide the disbelievers, some of them didn’t believe or didn’t want to believe. Thus Ayah 88 is the Prophet’s complaint in the Divine Court against the obdurate and insensible polytheists to whom he talked days and nights in order to guide them towards the path of monotheism for their own benefit, but they refused to believe.
The next Ayah is God Almighty’s reply to disregard them and leave them to the fate they deserve since the argumentation is sealed against them. The word “peace” is meaningful and indicates Divine mercy which they had refused by ignoring the long period of respite given to them to repent, rectify their behaviour and return to God’s path. Thus, soon they will know what grave mistake they had made.
From these Ayahs we learn that:
- Religious leaders and preachers should not expect all people to believe in the words of guidance and refrainment from sins.
- When the argumentation is sealed against the opponents, they should neither be further beseeched nor should be forced to acknowledge the truth which they have not allowed to enter their hearts.
- They should be left to the fate they deserve for misusing the freedom of choice given by God.