Path towards Enlightenment (913)
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 Ayahs 9, 10, and 11 of Surah Dukhan:
بَلْ هُمْ فِي شَكٍّ يَلْعَبُونَ
فَارْتَقِبْ يَوْمَ تَأْتِي السَّمَاءُ بِدُخَانٍ مُّبِينٍ
يَغْشَى النَّاسَ ۖ هَـٰذَا عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ
“Rather they (the disbelievers) play around in doubt.”
“So watch out for the day when the sky brings on a manifest smoke,”
“Enveloping the people [they will cry out] ‘This is a painful punishment.”
If you remember, last Friday we explained to you the Majesty of the One and Only Creator of the universe, His sending of Prophets and His revelation of the heavenly scriptures, whose wordings are in harmony with the laws of nature as signs of Divine mercy and for the guidance of mankind, yet the intransigent disbelievers, instead of worshipping God and obeying His commandments, adhere to the false beliefs and customs of their misled ancestors.
The Ayahs that we recited to you now mean to say that since the disbelievers mock at the invitation of the Prophets they should be prepared for the punishment that will eventually befall them in the end times in the form of a terrible smoke. Since most of the disbelievers are preoccupied with material life and possessions of the world as means of play and sport, they doubt the occurrence of the Day of Resurrection and Judgment, and eventually get entangled in torment and a horrible fate.
Ayah 10 and 11 warn disbelievers of the terrible fate awaiting them, including the dense smoke which will envelope them as a consequence of their disobedience and evil. The smoke is a form of terrible punishment for the disbelievers for their sins, and here God the All-Merciful warns them to realize their big blunders, seek repentance in the Divine Court, and reform themselves by opening their minds and hearts to the call of the Prophets.
From these Ayahs we learn that:
- Doubts should not lead to negligence of duties, ignorance of facts, and indulgence in sins, rather these should be a prelude to wisdom and reasoning.
- Those who cast doubts in the messages of the Prophets of God and mock Divine signs as mere game should use their intellect to awaken from slumber or will end up in a terrible punishment.
Now let us listen to ayahs 12, 13 and 14 of Surah Dukhan:
رَّبَّنَا اكْشِفْ عَنَّا الْعَذَابَ إِنَّا مُؤْمِنُونَ
أَنَّىٰ لَهُمُ الذِّكْرَىٰ وَقَدْ جَاءَهُمْ رَسُولٌ مُّبِينٌ
ثُمَّ تَوَلَّوْا عَنْهُ وَقَالُوا مُعَلَّمٌ مَّجْنُونٌ
“Our Lord! Remove from us this punishment. Indeed we have believed!’”
“What will the admonition avail them, when a Manifest Prophet had already come to them,”
“But they turned away from him, and said: taught by others, a madman?’
Those who have taken religion as a mere play will regret their neglect and doubt one day, but it will be too late for them, since their supplications on being afflicted with Divine wrath will be of no avail. These Ayahs mean to say that when the intransigent disbelievers notice the tokens of torment and the approach of the Resurrection Day, they will regret their evil deeds and say that they believe in the One and Only God and His commandments, but their repentance will not benefit them, since they had turned their backs on the Prophet and his call of guidance and thus lost the opportunity to save themselves.
In other words, the deniers of God on seeing signs of Divine punishment become overwhelm with fear and beseech God to remove the punishment from them, saying they now believe, but such a belief is out of fear and has no value. Belief should be sincere and from the depth of the heart on the basis of free will and without fear or external pressure.
These disbelievers had rejected the call to guidance of the Almighty’s Last and Greatest Messenger, Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny). Instead of believing in his mission, they had scoffed at him, saying he was either taught by someone or that his words spring from mental imbalance.
From these Ayahs we learn the following points:
- Those who take religion as plaything will be proven wrong one day when their supplications to will be of no avail.
- The All Merciful Lord Who provides plenty of respite and opportunities to human beings to repent and reform, finally seals the argumentation for the disbelievers before punishing them.
- Those who think themselves to be smart and ridicule the Prophet and his message of guidance, destroy their own selves.
Now let us listen to Ayahs 15 and 16 of the same Surah:
إِنَّا كَاشِفُو الْعَذَابِ قَلِيلًا ۚ إِنَّكُمْ عَائِدُونَ
يَوْمَ نَبْطِشُ الْبَطْشَةَ الْكُبْرَىٰ إِنَّا مُنتَقِمُونَ
“Indeed We will withdraw the punishment a little; but you will indeed revert [to your earlier ways].”
“The day We shall strike with the most terrible striking, We will indeed take vengeance [on them].”
Divine punishment is not revenge but it is the administration of justice, since whenever the All-Merciful Lord reduces the degree of torment, these intransigent disbelievers who out of fear, but not with sincerity, had claimed that they believe, return to their evil ways and denial of God, His Prophets, and His commandments. So, even if their punishment subsides in this world, as the next Ayah says, a very painful punishment is waiting for them in the Hereafter as a result of their sins and disbelief.
These Ayahs teach us that:
- The All-Merciful God overlooks many of our sins and does not punish us in this world, yet the intransigent disbelievers and unrepentant sinners, do not sincerely adhere to the right path and persist in their evil ways.
- Divine justice means those who after being given long years of respite and opportunities to repent, had continued their evil ways in mocking the Prophets of God and the sincere believers, will taste the deserving punishment, as a consequence of their own misdeeds.