Path towards Enlightenment (930)
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 29 of Surah Ahqaaf:
“And when We dispatched toward you (O Prophet) a team of jinn listening to the Qur’an, when they were in its presence, they said (among themselves), ‘Be silent!’ When it was finished, they went back to their people as warners.”
If you might recall, in our explanation of the previous Ayah of this Surah last Friday, we said it is ignorance and superstitious belief that makes people worship the objects crafted by their hands and the imagination of their warped minds – that are the idols. We also said that if a thing or a person is unable to save themselves from any torment, how can they save others and be the means of proximity to the One and Only Creator?
The Ayah that we recited to you now refers to the incident when a group of Jinn, which are an invisible species, happened to come across the Prophet when he was reciting the holy Qur’an, and became highly impressed by its flawless eloquence, to the extent that after carefully listening to the timeless wisdom of its words, they went back to their community as warners of the consequences of disobeying the revelation of God. It means familiarity with the holy Qur’an broadens the horizon of anyone having the capacity to listen and the intellect to contemplate. In other words, mankind is not the only perceiving and willful being, but other beings called Jinn have also been endowed with somewhat similar faculties, although they may not be the best of creation like human beings. This Ayah is also a warning to disbelieves, polytheists and those in error who regard themselves as masterminds, but fail to understand so many facts and realities despite listening to the contents of the holy Qur’an, while a group of the species of Jinn, after having listened to a few Ayahs, instantly believed in the truth of Islam, became Muslims and promulgated these Divine teachings in their community.
According to a narration when the Jinn, amongst whom they are good and bad spirits, felt that their hitherto free movement had been restricted, they realized that some great event has certainly occurred on the Planet. They embarked on a thorough search, and traversing around the earth they encountered in Wadi Nakhla, Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny). On listening to the recitation of the holy Qur’an they instantly understood that it is the revelation of God Almighty for the guidance of all. It is further reported that the Islamicized Jinn met the Prophet and enquired about a variety of issues, and requested him to appoint some of them for promulgation of Islamic teachings to their community. This is further proof of the universal nature of the mission of the Prophet of Islam, whom God describes in Ayah 107 of Surah al-Anbiyya as “Mercy to the entire creation.”
This Ayah teaches us that:
- Similar to human beings, the species of spirits called Jinn possess the intellect and freedom of choice to discern between good and evil, for the consequences of which they are answerable to God.
- It is not enough to accept the truth and believe in it, but the believers should enlighten the others also of the manifest truth.
- The mission of the Prophet and his Infallible Heirs is not limited to mankind but encompass the whole creation, including the invisible species called the Jinn.
Now let us listen to Ayahs 30, 31 and 32 of the same Surah:
“They (the Jinn) said, ‘O our people! Indeed we have heard a Book which has been sent down after Moses, confirming what was before it. It guides to the truth and to the straight path.”
“O our people! Respond to Allah’s Summoner and have faith in Him. He will forgive you some of your sins and shelter you from a painful punishment.”
“And those who do not respond to Allah’s Summoner cannot escape (anywhere) on the earth, and they will not find any protector besides Him. They are in manifest error.”
The Ayahs indicate that the Jinn are also familiar with the mission of the Prophets and the Heavenly Scriptures revealed to them by God Almighty. Upon hearing a few Ayahs the Jinn comprehended the truth of Islam; however, people like Abu Jahl, Abu Lahab, and others, even after spending years with the Prophet, refused to believe in the manifest truth.
Thus, on returning to their community, the group of Jinn related that God has revealed a comprehensive Heavenly Scripture as a means of guidance to truth and the right path, after what he had entrusted millenniums earlier to Prophet Moses. They urged their community to respond to the call of the Prophet of Islam, accept Islam, desist from disobedience of God, and seek forgiveness, so as to be saved from the terrible punishment reserved for the disbelievers. This indicates that the Jinn, like mankind, have obligations and their disobedience of God, brings about a terrible punishment.
They told the community of Jinn that those who do not believe in the Last and Greatest Prophet of God will have no place of refuge anywhere in the world, since this is manifest error, and there is no protector other than Allah the Almighty Creator.
These Ayahs teach us the following points:
- The Jinn are aware of the history of mankind, the mission of the Prophets of God and the Heavenly Scriptures revealed to them.
- Like mankind, the Jinn are believers and disbelievers, and will be judged by God in accordance with their beliefs and deeds.
- Disbelief and denial of God and His Prophets by the Jinn entails terrible punishment for them.
Now let us listen to Ayahs 33 and 34 of Surah Ahqaaf:
“Do they not see that Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth and was not exhausted by their creation, is able to revive the dead? Yes, indeed He has power over all things.”
“The day when the faithless are exposed to the Fire, [He will say]: ‘Is this not a fact?’ They will say, ‘Yes, by our Lord!’ He will say, ‘So taste the punishment because of what you used to disbelieve.’”
These Ayahs refer to the Day of Resurrection and the Omnipotence of Allah the Creator of the entire universe, facts which the disbelievers deny. The disbelievers are thus warned that on the Day of Resurrection when they are raised to life and face the fire of hell, their realization of truth on that day will be of no benefit to them. Their disbelief and sins will lead them to the terrible punishment.
In other words, their punishment will be both physical and psychological, since the fires of hell are fueled by the evil of the disbelievers themselves, that is, their wickedness, their refusal to believe in the manifest truth when alive, and their animosity towards the Prophets, the Imams, the Saints and the Godly scholars.
From these Ayahs we learn that:
- The Power of Allah the Omnipotent is Infinite, as is evident by the orderly functioning of the entire universe with all its wonders, including the changing cycle of seasons, all of which indicate the occurrence of the Day of Resurrection and the revival of the dead.
- On the Day of Resurrection when the disbelievers realize the facts and realities which they used to deny during their transient life in the mortal world, this admission of truth will be too late and will not save them from Divine punishment.
Now let us listen to Ayah 35, the last Ayah of Surah Ahqaaf:
“So be patient just as the resolute among the prophets were patient, and do not seek to hasten [the punishment] for them. The day when they see what they are promised, [it will be] as though they had remained only an hour of a day. This is a proclamation. So shall anyone be destroyed except the transgressing lot?”
Here, God Almighty tells the Prophet of Islam to be patient in the face of the evil of the disbelievers, as were the prophets of the past, and do not make haste in seeking chastisement for them. God will eventually punish the disbelievers for their unpardonable sins on the day when everything will become manifest for them, and they will think the long life they had spent on earth was not more than an hour. In other words, this mundane life may be likened to a dream, which means fanciful pleasures of the flesh which the sinners pursue, eventually entail misfortune, darkness of heart, and Divine punishment. Thus, no one will be destroyed except the transgressors.
From this Ayah we learn that:
- Patience and tolerance are among the merits of the Prophets, Imams, Saints and Godly scholars, and their followers ought to be patient like them.
- God is Just and Merciful, and He forgives many of the sins, which means the punishment the disbelievers and unrepentant sinners face, is because of their own misdeed, despite the long respite they had been granted.
- The life of this world is extremely short in comparison to the Hereafter.