Path towards Enlightenment (933)
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 continue from where we left you, and here is Ayah 15 of Surah Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny):
“A description of the paradise promised to the Godwary: therein are streams of water that never becomes stale and streams of milk unchanging in flavour, and streams of joyful drink delicious to the drinkers, and streams of pure honey; there will be for them every kind of fruit in it, and grace from their Lord. [Are such ones] like those who abide in the Fire and are given to drink boiling water which cuts up their bowels?”
If you might recall, in the previous episode of this programme, we explained to you the Divine Words that the virtuous and the vicious cannot be considered equal, and that God Almighty while warning the disbelievers of the torment of hell that awaits them, has given tidings to the believers of the bliss of Paradise as reward for their faith, virtuous life, abstinence from sins, and struggle against the arrogant.
The Ayah that we recited to you now details some of the blessings of Paradise, where four principal rivers flow for the benefit of the believers. Firstly there are streams of fresh water that never becomes stale or stagnant, unlike the pollutants in the mortal world that change the smell, colour, and taste of the rivers. Secondly there are streams of milk that never becomes sour or unhealthy. Thirdly there are streams of delicious, joyful, and invigorating drinks that never become intoxicant. Fourthly there are streams of pure and clarified honey in contrast to the honey on Earth that is mingled with wax and other things. Then there are all kinds of tasty fruits beyond imagination as food for the dwellers of paradise, who on no account should be equated with the denizens of hell for whom punishment includes boiling water to drink that rends asunder their bowels and makes them thirstier.
It should be noted that the Almighty Creator is Just and All-Merciful, and the bounties of Paradise are the result of the endeavours of the believers during the transient life of the mortal world to adhere to God’s commandments and abstain from sins, while those cast in hell are responsible for their own fate, because of their rejection of Divine guidance and indulgence in sins, despite the long respite given to them for self-reform and repentance.
From this Ayah we learn that:
- Disbelief and wanton pleasures drag people to hell, while belief and abstinence from sins makes the God-wary deserving of Paradise.
- The bounties of Paradise are both spiritual and physical.
- Eternal bliss is a sign of Divine Mercy, while everlasting punishment is Divine Wrath for the disbelievers who refused to acknowledge the manifest truth and thus brought about their own misery through sins and vices.
Now let us listen to Ayah 16 of this Surah:
“(O’ Prophet) There are some among them who prick up their ears at you, but when they go out from your presence, they say to those who have been given knowledge, ‘What did he say just now?’ These are the ones on whose hearts God has set a seal, and they follow their own desires.”
This Ayah points to the faithless people who are sick at heart and blind towards the manifest truth to the extent that they turn into hypocrites, thinking of themselves to be clever. This Divine address to the Prophet of Islam means to say that the hypocrites pretend to be Muslims by attending your sessions and listening to the recitation of the Ayahs of the holy Qur’an, but they neither believe in your mission nor in the Heavenly Scripture revealed to you. Upon meeting your true followers who are well versed in Divine knowledge, these hypocrites contemptuously and mockingly say referring to you and your words of guidance: “what was that man talking about?”
In other words, it is not that the words of the Prophet are beyond understanding, but it is animosity deep down in their hearts towards him, his universal mission of Islam, and his true followers; as a result of which God has sealed their hearts and left them to their fate. They thus follow their vain and carnal desires without perceiving the manifest truth.
This Ayah teaches us these points:
- Pursuit of vain and carnal desires deprives people of clarity of vision and prevents them from distinguishing between right and wrong.
- Believers ought to be alert against the hypocrites and the other enemies of Islam who have turned themselves into the instruments of Satan for creating doubts towards the manifest truth of Divine Revelation and the wisdom of the Prophet’s words.
- The mindless recitation of the Holy Qur’an or listening to its recitation without pondering upon the purpose of the Divine words, does not bring benefits, rather it is contemplation and putting them into practice which perfects the faith. History bears witness that there were many people in the time of the Prophet who used to frequent his assembly and listen to his words, but at heart they were not willing to follow his instructions, as is evident by the sad turn of events after his departure from the mortal world.
Now let us listen to Ayah 17 of Surah Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny):
“As for those who follow the right direction, He (God) enhances their guidance and grants them their God-wariness.”
The Holy Qur’an promises two bounties to those who are receptive to the call of the prophets with emphasis on monotheism or the Oneness of God, and the need to lead a virtuous life through abstinence from sins and corruption. The first bounty is to ensure their guidance through the hardships of life, and the second is to grant them spiritual health and purity of purpose. In other words, by accepting Divine Guidance the believer begins to see the increase in his piety by God.
This Ayah refers to those following the right path and contemplating upon the Divine Words, as a result of which God grants them proper guidance by illuminating their minds, hearts and souls for further strengthening of their faith.
From this Ayah we learn that:
- When a person is receptive to the Words of God, his/her guidance will be further increased, resulting in sincerity at heart, peace of mind, and positive behaviour at home and in society.
- It is not manmade schools that guide people, but the Divine books sent by God Almighty with emphasis on monotheism and morally upright way of life.