Path towards Enlightenment (960)
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 that 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 are Ayahs 38, 39, and 40 of Surah Zaariyaat
“And in Moses [too there is a sign] when We sent him to Pharaoh with a manifest authority.
“But he (the Pharaoh) turned away assured of his might and said, ‘A magician or a crazy man!’
“So We seized him and his hosts and cast them into the sea, while he was blameworthy.”
If you remember, last Friday in our explanation of the previous Ayahs of this Surah that referred to the Divine Wrath which struck the sinful nation of homosexuals who refused to repent and reform despite the 22-year long preaching of Prophet Lot, we said the punishment of abominable sinners is not deferred to Resurrection and the Judgment Day, and they are afflicted with chastisement in this worldly life itself to serve as admonition for the subsequent generations, with greater torment reserved for them in the Hereafter.
The Ayahs that we recited to you now refer to God Almighty’s sending of Prophet Moses with manifest authority or miracles to the Egyptian tyrant Pharaoh, who puffed with pride, considered himself the god of his people. The miracles of Moses included his walking stick and his brilliantly shining palm. When invited to virtue and monotheism, the arrogant Pharaoh, priding on his military might and rule over a large and prosperous kingdom, refused to believe in the One and Only Creator of the universe. When Moses, on the command of God Almighty, displayed miracles as Divine Signs, the Pharaoh mocked at him and called the Prophet a magician and a crazy person.
Since the Pharaoh persecuted the monotheists, the All-Merciful God, after giving him ample respite to repent and reform, of which he did not avail, unleashed Divine Wrath in the form of waves that drowned him and his equally sinful soldiers as they tried to pursue Moses for whom the waters had miraculously parted to provide a dry passage to cross to the other side. This miserable fate was the result of the Pharaoh’s own sins for which he himself was responsible and blameworthy.
These Ayahs teach us that:
- The Prophets invite people towards God and strive to liberate them from the yoke of oppressors and tyrants.
- It is the habit of tyrants to assassinate reformers or indulge in character assassination by ridiculing them in a bid to prevent the public from flocking towards them.
- Even the mightiest of powers are weak against God’s Will.
- It is of no use for disbelievers to express belief at the sight of Divine Wrath which is the consequence of their own sins and crimes against humanity.
Now we invite you to listen to Ayahs 41 and 42 of the same Surah:
“And in (the tribe of) Aad, when We unleashed upon them a barren wind.
“It left nothing that it came upon but making it like decayed bones.”
The tribe of Aad which inhabited southern Arabia was steeped in vices, and except for a minority the majority of them rejected the invitation of Prophet Hoūd towards virtue and monotheism. As a result the sinners were afflicted with Divine Wrath after all the blessings God had granted them in physical prowess, the abundance of natural resources, and the ability to build dwellings of solid rock foundations.
Divine punishment came in the form of powerful and destructive winds that made the place barren by swirling the sinners off the ground and dumping them onto the land with such a force that they turned into rotten and decayed bones.
From these Ayahs we learn that:
- Winds are rejuvenating when they blow gently to move rain-bearing clouds to deliver showers to the land to help plants grow as food for mankind and animals, but these very same winds can blow with devastating velocity to cause death and destruction to sinners.
- Everything is under Divine Commandment, and the tyrants, however powerful and wealthy, cannot escape God’s Wrath for their sins and crimes against humanity.
Now let us listen to Ayahs 43, 44, 45 and 46 in conclusion of this week’s episode:
“And in (the tribe of) Thamoud when they were told, ‘enjoy for a while.’
“Then they defied the command of their Lord; so the thunderbolt seized them as they looked on.
“So they were neither able to rise up, nor to come to one another’s aid.
“And the people of Noah aforetime; indeed they were a transgressing people.”
These Ayahs refer to the fate of the sinful tribe of Thamoud that used to inhabit the northwestern part of the Arabian Peninsula and for whose guidance God had commissioned Prophet Saleh. The affluent persons of the tribe were heedless towards the message of monotheism and virtue, and to ridicule Saleh, they demanded that a full grown she-camel should be born from a rock. The Prophet prayed to God and to the surprise of the erring tribe a huge rock splintered and out of it emerged a she camel. Saleh set the condition that they should not harm the miraculously-born creature and provide enough water to her so that she could give them abundant milk to drink. The wicked persons, however, killed the she-camel, but were given a time-limit by the All-Merciful God to repent of their sin. When they did not, a powerful thunderbolt struck the sinners with such a great force that they lost all consciousness and died, in such a state that they were neither able to safeguard themselves or help others escape Divine Wrath.
As for the people for whose guidance Prophet Noah was raised, only a few of them believed in his message of monotheism despite 950 years of preaching, while the overwhelming majority rejected his call and ridiculed him by continuing their sinful life. The believers were saved by boarding the large Ark that Prophet Noah had built while the majority was drowned in the great deluge.
These Ayahs teach us the following points:
- The All-Merciful Lord gives ample respite to the disbelievers and sinners, but if they do not repent, punishment awaits them, both in this transient life of the mortal and in the Hereafter, where the torment is more severe.
- The holy Qur’an is not a book of history, and the reason God Almighty has mentioned some aspects of the life of some of the Prophets, is to inform the subsequent generations and caution them of the consequences of sins and disobedience.
- The forces of nature, like wind, water, earth, sunshine, thunderbolts, and etc., are under the command of the Almighty Creator and may become instruments of Divine Wrath for the unrepentant sinners.