Path towards Enlightenment (926)
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 11 of Surah Ahqaaf:
“And the faithless say about the faithful, ‘Had it been anything good, they would not have taken the lead over us toward (accepting) it.’ and since they could not find the way to it, they will say, ‘It is an ancient lie.’”
If you might recall, last Friday in our explanation of the previous Ayah of this Surah we said the message of Islam is universal and not limited to Arabia and the Arabs, although the Holy Qur’an is in the most flawless and eloquent Arabic which none has ever been able to match till this day. The Holy Qur’an is for the benefit of all mankind, including the Israelites to whom God had earlier sent a long line of prophets and who were informed about the advent of the Last and Greatest of Prophets in Arabia from the progeny of Prophet Ishmael, the firstborn son of Prophet Abraham. We also said the root cause of disbelief is arrogance that prevents the acceptance of the manifest truth.
The Ayah that we recited to you now refers to the arrogant attitude of the aristocratic pagan Arab society of Mecca as well as the privileged Jews who derided Islam and refused to believe in its manifest truth for the simple reason that the Prophet’s liberating message was attracting the poor and downtrodden people in large numbers. The faithless, whether the rich Arabs or the Jewish scholars, mocked the poor believers and tried to dissuade them from becoming Muslims, saying if there was anything good in Islam we would have been the first to believe in it. They thus, out of arrogance, committed the cardinal sin of calling the Revealed Word of God Almighty as old fables or ancient lies.
This Ayah teaches us that:
- The enemy does not enter from one single way and his words of sedition are not always in the same vein
- The intransigent disbelievers, by closing their eyes to facts and realities, mock the believers and consider themselves to be more knowledgeable and superior.
- It is arrogance that makes the disbelievers ignorant of the manifest truth of the Holy Qur’an, which they accuse of fabrication, when the fact of the matter is that, even a little use of their God-given intellect could make them realize the logic, reasoning, and rationality of Islam.
Now let us listen to Ayah 12 of this Surah:
“Yet, before it the Book of Moses was a guide and a mercy, and this is a Book which confirms it, in the Arabic language, to warn those who do wrong, and is (bearer of) good news for the virtuous.”
This Ayah, referring to the Torah which God Almighty had revealed to Prophet Moses as a guide and means of mercy for the Israelites, points to the passages predicting the revelation of the Holy Qur’an to the Last and Greatest of Messengers, Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny). It means to say that although the language of the Holy Qur’an is the most flawless and eloquent Arabic, it confirms the veracity of the original Torah which was in Hebrew, in order to serve as a warning to the wrongdoers, whatever their ethnicity, while giving tidings of salvation and paradise to the true believers. In other words the contents of all Heavenly Scriptures are the same, despite the different ages, places, and languages, of their revelation.
This Ayah teaches us the following points:
- Since the One and Only Creator of the universe is the source of revelation of all Heavenly Scriptures, their contents confirm each other.
- All Heavenly Scriptures, whether the Torah or the Holy Qur’an, are guidance for human societies and clear indicators of God’s mercy; hence they invite people to monotheism and virtue by giving them tidings of paradise, while warning the atheists, the polytheists, and all oppressors, including the unrepentant sinners, of the punishment awaiting them because of their evil ways.
- Faith in God is not compatible with wronging others, since it is only true belief that leads to good deeds.
Now let us listen to ayahs 13 and 14 of Surah Ahqaaf:
“Indeed those who say, ‘Our Lord is Allah,’ and then remain steadfast, they will have no fear, nor will they grieve.”
“They shall be the inhabitants of paradise, remaining in it forever- a reward for what they used to do.”
These Ayahs depict the image of the true believers who stand firm on the Right Path, without grief or fear of anything, and content with whatever God has decreed for them, as is evident by their virtuous deeds and words expressed every often from the depth of their heart: Our Lord is Allah. In other words, true belief is not mere lip service, but is manifested practically by the virtuous life the believer leads.
As the next Ayah says, God will reward of true believers, both in the transient life of this mortal world and on the Resurrection Day, when they will be granted the eternal bliss of paradise, where they will remain forever for their good deeds. Paradise is the reward of those who act rather than those who merely talk
The perfect believer is one who never complains of any hurdles in his/her way towards attaining the station of “Ayn al-Yaqeen” or certitude by sight, followed by the still higher degree faith, that is, “Haq al-Yaqeen” or the ultimate certitude. In short, perfect faith is based on honesty, sincerity, piety, patience, clemency, courage, forbearance, and standing firm on the straight and unwavering path of God by warding off all evils, to the extent that the angels laud such a believer and give tidings of having attained the station of “Nafs al-Mutma’inna” or the tranquil soul.
From these Ayahs we learn that:
- Mere verbal expression of faith is not enough and should be coupled with virtuous deeds and practical steadfastness.
- A person, who believes in God, will not fear anyone or anything.
- Grieving about the past is for those who have covered the wrong path; so those who are on the Right Path will not be sad or regretful of the past.
- Perfect belief grants peace and tranquility to the soul, in contrast to the lack of inward calm and anxiety engulfing the disbelievers, even the rich ones, who in a bid to reduce stress take different medicines, but without any avail.