Path towards Enlightenment (952)
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).
As you know, last week we started explanation of Surah Qaaf, the 50th Surah in order of compilation of the holy Qur’an, and today we continue from where we left you. Here are Ayahs 9, 10, and 11.
“And We sent down from the sky salubrious water, with which We grew gardens and the grain which is harvested;
“And tall date palms with regularly ranged clusters;
“As a provision for servants; and with it We revive a dead country. Likewise will be the rising [from the dead].”
If you might recall, Last Friday in our explanation of the previous Ayahs of Surah Qaaf that speak of God’s Infinite Power, saying, that the disbelievers ought to look at the sky above and the earth in order to perceive the reality of Resurrection. The earth, the sky, the planets, and the entire universe are undeniable proofs of the Power and Glory of God Who makes the whole universe function on an orderly basis.
The Ayahs that we recited to you refer to rainfall and the resurgence of vegetation after losing its greenery during winter, in order to make us realize the reality of resurrection of the dead. Rain is a natural phenomenon but it depends on Divine Will. It rejuvenates the earth, provides it with blessings including growth of plants, delicacy of the air, and flowing of streams. Rainfall and growth of plants are mentioned to illustrate the Day of Resurrection.
Ayah 10 mentions tall date palms with ranged clusters that indicate the bearing of fruits, which is indeed the most joyous moments for farmers as the crop ripens for harvest.
The next Ayah means to say that this natural process provides sustenance to the creatures, and thus the revival of vegetation in a seemingly dead land is another example of the Almighty’s Power in resurrection of the dead on the Day of Judgement. In other words the rising of humans from their graves will be like the revival of plants.
These Ayahs teach us the following points:
- Rain is a great blessing as it revives the seemingly dead plants and makes greenery reappear.
- Date palm and fruits are of special significance among trees and plants; hence God has specifically mentioned it.
- Plants and trees are the source of freshness, greenery, and beauty, in addition to being means of sustenance and a sign of revival after death – facts that ought to arouse human conscience regarding God’s Power to revive the dead human beings to life.
Now let us listen to Ayahs 12, 13 and 14 of the same Surah:
“The people of Noah denied (truth) before them; and [so did] the inhabitants of Rass and Thamoud;
“And Aad, Pharaoh, and the brethren of Lot;
“And the inhabitants of Aykah (the woods) and the people of Tubba; each [of them] belied the prophets, and so My threat became due [against them].”
These Ayahs remind the Prophet and the believers of the prophets of the past and the fate suffered by the people to whom they were sent, but faced persecution and the denial of the Divine message. Thus, here God Almighty consoles His Last and Greatest Messenger, Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny). The Ayah means to say that if the pagan Arabs hurt you and belie you, do not feel sad, because this is the habit of the disbelievers from the beginning. In addition, these Ayahs are a warning to the disbelievers of the fate and torments reserved for them if they continue to mock at the prophets of God.
The account of the Great Flood that drowned the wicked people of the days of Prophet Noah is known to all. As for the inhabitants of Rass, it is said this tribe lived in Yamama in Arabia, and it threw Prophet Hanzala into a well after denying his call to desist from their unnatural and abominable sexual ways. According to the Prophet of Islam’s 6th Infallible Heir, Imam Ja’far as-Sadeq (AS), the reason behind the Divine torment inflicted upon the inhabitants of Rass was that their women contended themselves with women – that is, they were lesbians.
Thamoud was a tribe in northwestern Arabia for whose guidance God had sent Prophet Saleh, whom they mocked and mercilessly killed the she camel which was among the Divine signs. Aad was a tribe in southern Arabia to whom Prophet Houd was sent, whose efforts to guide them toward God yielded no result and as a result of their disbelief and wickedness, they were inflicted with Divine wrath. Pharaoh was the tyrannical king of Egypt who denied Prophet Moses’ call to the right path and was subsequently drowned along with his troops. Prophet Lot was a relative of Prophet Abraham and was commissioned by God to guide the erring people of Sodom who were destroyed for indulging in the unnatural practice of homosexuality; hence the word sodomite for such persons.
The inhabitants of Aykah is reference to the forested area around the Gulf of Aqaba, spanning parts of northern Arabia, Jordan and the Sinai Peninsula, where the people used to worship a tall tree. They refused to heed the call of Prophet Shu’ayb to return to monotheism and desist from their dishonest ways of shortchange and cheating, and as a result were destroyed. Tubba was the title of the kings of the Yemen.
These Ayahs teach us that:
- The All-Merciful Creator has raised prophets throughout history in every place and nation to guide human beings to the straight and unwavering path that leads to paradise, and to save them from the satanic ways of atheism, polytheism, and all sorts of disbelief and deviation that end up in hell.
- Since mankind is the best of creation, endowed with the power of the intellect and speech, we have to use our God-given brains to choose the right path and save ourselves from Divine wrath.
- Many of the nations of the past committed abominable sins, belied the Prophet, and were afflicted with Divine wrath, and therefore these Ayahs are an admonishment for all future generations.
Now let’s listen to Ayah 15 as the concluding Ayah of this episode:
“Were We exhausted by the first creation? Rather they are in doubt about a new creation.”
This Ayah refers to the irrationality of the disbelievers and polytheists, many of whom though acknowledging God as the Creator of the universe, are unable to fully comprehend the infinite power of the Lord Most High. Disbelievers may not produce any argument for substantiating their denial of Resurrection, but they merely entertain doubts.
In other words, this Ayah asks disbelievers whether they imagine that God Almighty is tired of the first creation and He is unable to create anew. Disbelievers are mistaken about Divine Omnipotence to create anew, since they are unable to produce any argument for substantiating their denial of Resurrection, and merely entertain doubts. Thus, this Ayah means to say: Were We unable to create you in the first place? So, why are you in doubt about Our ability for recreating you in your original form and shape after death has turned your bodies into dust?
We learn these points from this Ayah:
- The doubts of the disbelievers about God’s power to revive the dead on the Day of Resurrection have no basis; because the One who has created a being from naught can surely do it again.
- We should apply the cross-questioning method in our discourse with the deniers of truth, in order to awaken their minds to the ultimate truth.
- The deniers of the Day Resurrection have no logic and only insist on their doubts.