Path towards Enlightenment (925)
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 is Ayah 6 of Surah Ahqaaf:
وَإِذَا حُشِرَ النَّاسُ كَانُوا لَهُمْ أَعْدَاءً وَكَانُوا بِعِبَادَتِهِمْ كَافِرِينَ
“And when mankind are mustered [on Judgment Day] they will be their enemies, and they will disavow their worship.”
If you might recall, last Friday in our explanation of the preceding Ayahs of this Surah we said that it is a manifest error to invoke persons or objects which are unable to respond and resolve problems. In other words, Only God Almighty should be invoked since He the Almighty Creator answers the needs of every person.
The Ayah that we recited to you now means to say that whatever the polytheists regard as object of worship and support will turn into their enemies on the Day of Resurrection when all mankind will be gathered for the final judgement. They will disavow the idolaters. Prophet Jesus (peace upon him) whom the Christians regard as godson will disavow them, while the angels will disavow those polytheists who used to invoke them and consider them as partners of God. Even the inanimate idols will be empowered by God to speak on that day and they will disavow the idolaters who used to worship them as deities.
From this Ayah we learn that:
- What is worshipped in this world, other than God will give witness against the worshippers and disavow them.
- Only God Almighty is worthy of worship and to Him is the eventual return of all creatures.
Now let us listen to ayahs 7 and 8 of surah Ahqaaf:
وَإِذَا تُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتُنَا بَيِّنَاتٍ قَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لِلْحَقِّ لَمَّا جَاءَهُمْ هَـٰذَا سِحْرٌ مُّبِينٌ
أَمْ يَقُولُونَ افْتَرَاهُ ۖ قُلْ إِنِ افْتَرَيْتُهُ فَلَا تَمْلِكُونَ لِي مِنَ اللَّـهِ شَيْئًا ۖ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا تُفِيضُونَ فِيهِ ۖ كَفَىٰ بِهِ شَهِيدًا بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَكُمْ ۖ وَهُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ
“And when Our manifest signs are recited to them, the faithless say of the truth when it comes to them: ‘This is plain magic.’”
“Do they say, ‘He has fabricated it?’ Say (O Prophet to them), ‘Should I have fabricated it, you would not avail me anything against Allah. He best knows what you gossip concerning it. He suffices as a witness between me and you, and He is the All-Forgiving, the All-Merciful.’”
These Ayahs refer to the obduracy of the idol-worshippers in acknowledging the truth of monotheism even when the Prophet showed them clear signs of God’s Majesty, including the flawless words of the holy Qur’an as the Heavenly scripture, which no human being can match or compose. Although many of them were amazed by the eloquent Arabic and fascinated by the timeless wisdom of the text, instead of believing in the message of Islam, they called it magic and accused the Prophet of sorcery.
The next Ayah means to say that if the polytheists deny the holy Qur’an to be the Words of God Almighty and accuse the Prophet of fabrication, then they should know that if such is the case they have no power to do anything to save the Prophet from disgrace and torment in the Divine court. The fact of the matter is that God Almighty is aware of each and everything, including the earnest endeavours of the Prophet to guide the people and the denial of the Divine Words by the disbelievers as well as their calumny. Thus, He is sufficient for the Prophet as the Witness to vouch his veracity, while at the same time, He is Most Forgiving and Most Merciful for those of the polytheists who repent, rectify their wrongs, reform themselves and return to the path of the One and Only God.
From these Ayahs we learn that:
- There is no ambiguity in the mission of the Prophet and Heavenly Scripture entrusted to him for the guidance of mankind, but some of disbelievers are intransigent.
- Such is the flawless eloquence and timeless wisdom of the Holy Qur’an that many of those who initially oppose it, become fascinated and admit its extraordinary power in absorbing their hearts.
- Those who out of personal prejudice oppose the clear signs of religion ought to be careful of their intransigence that will entail painful punishment.
- The door of repentance is always open and God is Merciful and Forgiving.
Now we listen to Ayah 9 of this Surah:
قُلْ مَا كُنتُ بِدْعًا مِّنَ الرُّسُلِ وَمَا أَدْرِي مَا يُفْعَلُ بِي وَلَا بِكُمْ ۖ إِنْ أَتَّبِعُ إِلَّا مَا يُوحَىٰ إِلَيَّ وَمَا أَنَا إِلَّا نَذِيرٌ مُّبِينٌ
“Say (O Prophet to the disbelievers), ‘I am not a novelty among the prophets, nor do I know what will be done with me, or with you. I just follow whatever is revealed to me, and I am just a manifest warner.”
Here God Almighty commands the Prophet to tell the disbelievers that he does not differ from the prophets of the past and is a human being like the rest of mankind. In other words, before him there were many messengers who like all other human beings wore clothes, ate food, married, and had children. The only difference is that the Prophet, as God’s representative, receives Divine commandments in order to guide the people and warn them in clear terms of the consequences of their evil deeds, like disbelief, atheism, polytheism, and indulging in sins. In other words, Omnipotence solely belongs to God and the Prophet does not know anything by himself and is not fully aware of the Almighty’s decision regarding him or the fate of others – unless informed by God. In short, the Prophet is totally obedient to Divine Revelation.
This Ayah teaches us that:
- The mission and goal of all the Prophet of God has been the same throughout history – inviting people to monotheism, warning them of the consequences of evil, giving tidings of Divine rewards for their faith and virtuous deeds, and confirming the veracity of each other’s message.
- Those who assume leadership in society should speak honestly to the people and not claim what they are not able to do.
- The Prophets preached their message with kindness and love for everyone in order to ensure their welfare in mortal life and salvation in the Hereafter.
Now let us listen to Ayah 10 of Surah Ahqaaf as the concluding Ayah of this week’s edition:
قُلْ أَرَأَيْتُمْ إِن كَانَ مِنْ عِندِ اللَّـهِ وَكَفَرْتُم بِهِ وَشَهِدَ شَاهِدٌ مِّن بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ عَلَىٰ مِثْلِهِ فَآمَنَ وَاسْتَكْبَرْتُمْ ۖ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ
“Say (O Prophet to the disbelievers), ‘Tell me, if it is from Allah and you disbelieve in it, and a witness to it from among the Israelites has testified to its like and believed [in it], while you are disdainful (of it)?’ Indeed Allah does not guide the wrongdoing lot.”
This Ayah informs the pagan Arabs of the universal nature of the mission of Islam which is not limited to Arabia, but is for the benefit of all mankind, including the Israelites to whom God had earlier sent a long line of prophets, who foretold about the advent of the Last and Greatest of Prophets in Arabia from the progeny of Prophet Ishmael, the firstborn son of Prophet Abraham.
It means to tell the pagan Arabs in clear words of their disbelief in God’s Revelation, the Holy Qur’an, despite the fact that its flawless message is in the most eloquent Arabic, while from amongst the Israelites living in Arabia, a witness has testified to its veracity and believed in it on the basis of the earlier heavenly revealed scriptures. You, the Arabs are arrogantly ignorant and disdainful of the Holy Qur’an, and indeed those who indulge in such intransigence in spite of the manifest realities will be left to themselves without further benefit of Divine guidance.
It is said the Israelite referred in this Ayah was Abdullah ibn Salaam, who was one of the Jewish ascetics and scholars, who on the basis of the Torah testified the veracity of the Holy Qur’an as Divine Revelation, while many of the Jews despite acknowledging its contents refused to believe in Islam.
From this Ayah we learn the following points:
- While speaking with the opponents, instead of insistence on our opinion, we should say, ‘Study and research; if it is right accept it because if you do not, you will end in painful punishment.
- The main root of disbelief is arrogance towards truth rather than ignorance and negligence.
- Standing against truth and rightfulness of the Holy Qur’an is a grave sin.