Path towards Enlightenment (936)
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 last week, and here is Ayah 25 of Surah Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny):
“Indeed those who turned their backs after the guidance had become clear to them, it was Satan who has seduced them, and he had given them (far-flung) hopes.”
If you might recall, in our last episode of this programme a fortnight ago, we explained the preceding Ayahs of this Surah, and said the holy Qur’an is not merely for ritual recitation, but should be properly read, reflected upon, and put into practice. It means, all Muslims are duty-bound to contemplate on the timeless wisdom of the holy Qur’an, and the failure to contemplate leads to locking of the hearts towards the truth. The result will be blindness of the lofty concepts. In other words, the unfortunate state of such people lies either in their carelessness toward this supreme symbol of Divine guidance or in their lack of perception owing to the insensitivity of their hearts which are occupied by vain desires and the vicious acts they had committed. Thus, the one who loses way in darkness because of satanic temptations is either blind or does not carry a light, which means hypocrites are sick at heart and fail to benefit from the Holy Qur’an.
The Ayah that we recited to you now refers to those for whom the truth of Islam had become manifest and they had believed in it, but in pursuit of vain desires they fell victim to the temptations of the Satan, resulting in loss of faith, apostasy and misfortune. In other words, such people are deceived by worldly possessions and pleasures of the flesh, which Satan beautifies for them and insinuates false hopes in order to immerse them in sins and make them drift away further and further from the truth and faith. Thus, we ought to have firm and unflinching belief in Divine values through discernment and spiritual perception in order not to go astray or turn into hypocrites.
From this Ayah we learn that:
- Hypocrites and apostates often consider themselves as sharp-witted and pragmatic, but the holy Qur’an dismisses them as deceived and misled who have turned their back from the manifest truth.
- Satanic temptations weaken faith and create baseless doubts towards the manifest truth.
- Pursuit of pleasures leads to sins and provides Satan with an opportunity to beautify vicious acts through insinuation of vain hopes and tall desires.
- Satan cannot seduce those who are firm of faith, adhere to spiritual perception and have a rational approach towards the truth of Islam.
Now we listen to Ayah 26 of the same Surah:
“That is because they said to those who loathed what Allah had sent down: ‘We will obey you in some matters,’ and (failed to realize) Allah knows their secret dealings.”
Here the reference is to the Arab hypocrites who claimed to believe in the message of Islam and infiltrated the assembly of the Prophet to pose as his companions, but would secretly go to the Israelite tribes of Banu Nadheer and Banu Quraydha on the outskirts of Medina to plot against Muslims on the basis of their shared hatred of Divine Revelation. God Almighty, Who is fully aware of everything, divulged their secret dealings.
In other words, the two groups agreed to collaborate with each other in certain matters, since the Arab hypocrites were polytheists while the Jews were monotheists and their ancestors had come to Arabia to await the Great Prophet promised by Moses, but with the advent of Islam they refused to believe in Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny), although they fully recognized him as the Promised One.
An interesting hadith from the Prophet’s fifth and sixth Infallible Heirs, Imam Mohammad Baqer and Imam Ja’far Sadeq (peace upon them) says that the phrase in this Ayah “those who loathed what Allah had sent down” also refers to the Omayyads who were displeased with the Revelation of the Divine Decree concerning the Imamate of Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS).
It is an undeniable fact of history that the Omayyads, who later usurped the caliphate or political rule of the Islamic state, paid only lip service to Islam and were notorious for their collaboration with the enemies of Muslims, especially the Israelites.
This Ayah teaches us the following points:
- True believers ought to be alert about those who are hypocrites at heart and complicit with the enemies for betraying the interests of the Islamic society in pursuit of their nefarious goals.
- Hypocrites are in league with the enemies in a surreptitious manner, and this warrants vigilance and use of appropriate methods by the intelligence services to discover and expose their secret links.
- We should know that God Almighty is All-Aware of each and everything including the thoughts that flash across minds.
Now let is listen to Ayahs 27 and 28 of Surah Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny):
“But how will it be (with them) when the angels take them away, striking their faces and their backs?!”
“That, because they pursued what displeased Allah, and loathed His pleasure. So He has made their works fail.”
In continuation of the previous Ayahs, the reference here is to the terrible fate of the hypocrites and the traitors. The Ayah warns those who are deceived by satanic insinuations that their souls are taken by the angels of death in a painful manner with smiting of their faces and their backs with blazing whips for their betrayal of Muslims and their crimes against humanity.
As the next Ayah means to say that since these evil persons had turned away from the manifest truth and loathed Divine bounties in pursuit of vicious activities that displeased God Almighty, they will suffer a terrible fate and whatever good deeds they had done, will be rendered vain.
These Ayahs teach us the following points:
- Death is not the end of a person, but is only the end of transient life in the mortal world; in other words it means that by Divine commandment the angels take back the soul that had been given by God.
- Hypocrites and traitors face a very painful death.
- Though God has granted the human being the freedom to choose, the consequences of the choice determines reward or punishment, which means, even in adverse circumstances one should do what pleases God instead of following vain desires.
- A person’s deeds become null and void if God is not pleased with them, though the people extol them.