Path towards Enlightenment (961)
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 47, 48, and 49 of Surah Zaariyaat:
“We have built the sky with might and indeed it is We Who are its expanders.
“And the earth We have spread it out, so how excellent spreaders We have been!
“In all things We have created pairs so that you may take admonition.”
If you might recall, last Friday in our explanation of the previous Ayahs of this Surah we said 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. We also said the Holy Qur’an has referred to the fate of some of the rebellious nations of the past as an admonition for all humanity. For example, the tyrannical Egyptian Pharaoh was drowned while trying to pursue Prophet Moses, the ungodly tribe of Aad was reduced to broken bones by a terrible wind for spurning the invitation towards God Almighty by Prophet Houd, the evil tribe of Thamoud perished due to an awesome thunderbolt for belying Prophet Saleh, and all wicked people sank in the great deluge of the days of Prophet Noah. The All-Merciful Lord, however, 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 Ayahs that we recited to you now mean to say that only the Almighty Creator and Sustainer is aware of the vastness of the universe and the number of spheres, planets, and galaxies, which are seemingly infinite and far beyond the expanding knowledge of human beings. This all indicates the Omnipotence and Omniscience of the One and Only God, Who as Ayah 48 points out has bestowed favours upon mankind by spreading out the earth like a carpet beneath our feet in order to serve as a comfortable abode with all its wonders and beautiful sights, in addition to providing us sustenance from the vegetation it grows and the animal life it breeds.
The next Ayah notes that the law of parity governs all things and ensures procreation, since all species have pairs and produce pairs, that is, male and female. This parity is not limited to human beings, animals, and plants, but also includes particles and atoms, in view of the proven fact that elements consist of two constituents – positive and negative. In short, these Ayahs are meant to serve as an admonition to mankind of the Oneness of the Almighty Creator and to help arouse in us the sense to comprehend the manifest truth of the end of transient life and the Day of Resurrection
From these Ayahs we learn that:
- The vast and wonderful universe is not stagnant, while the Earth is in motion as is evident by the alteration of the days and the nights, and the seasonal cycles that ensure an orderly life with the growth of various forms of vegetation as excellent provisions for us.
- The law of parity is not restricted to human beings, animals and plants, but includes elements and objects as well.
- The Holy Qur’an is not a book of science, and its reference to some of the laws of nature is to stimulate our minds in order to make mankind discover the ultimate truth of creation that passes through death and eventual resurrection for the Day of Judgement and the recompense reserved for every individual in accordance with his/her deeds.
Now we invite you to listen to Ayahs 50 and 51 of the same Surah:
“(Say O Prophet to the disbelievers), so flee toward Allah. Indeed I am a manifest warner to you from Him.
“Do not set up another god besides Allah. Indeed I am a manifest warner to you from Him.”
Here, Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny), as a manifest warner against the consequences of wrongs and misdeeds, is commanded by God Almighty to tell the disbelievers to seek refuge in the Divine Path. It is worth noting that the term “flee toward Allah” means fleeing from darkness to light, from ignorance to knowledge, from anxiety to security, from superstitions to truth, from discord to unity, from polytheism to monotheism, and from sin to piety and Godwariness. For instance, in a famous statement the Prophet’s 5th Infallible Successor, Imam Mohammad Baqer (AS), regards pilgrimage to the Holy Ka’ba in Mecca as fleeing towards the refuge of God Almighty. In other words, the metaphorical expression “firru” or “flee” raises a delicately important point, since the word ‘flee’ is used to indicate a person’s confrontation with an awe-inspiring creature or incident, and the need to flee towards a place of safe refuge. In short, this Ayah urges mankind to shun disbelief – whether polytheism or atheism – and turn to monotheism as a safe haven.
In the next Ayah the Prophet, as the Manifest Warner sent by God for the guidance of human societies, forbids the worship of any deity besides the One and Only Creator of the universe.
These Ayahs teach us the following points:
- God Almighty is the only Safe Refuge and we should put our trust in Him, instead of thinking that wealth, power and friends are our support.
- The mission of the Prophets is to invite people to the path of monotheism and righteous deeds by warning them of the consequences of wrong beliefs and misdeeds.
Now let us listen to Ayahs 52 and 53 in conclusion of this week’s episode:
“So it was that there did not come to those who were before them any prophet but they said, ‘A magician’, or ‘A crazy man!’
“Did they enjoin this upon one another?! Rather they were a rebellious lot.”
Here God Almighty consoles the Prophet of Islam on his denial by the pagan Arabs by saying that it is the habit of the intransigent disbelievers to ridicule prophets as a “magician” or a “crazy man”, in a bid to dissuade the masses from hearing his words, as was the attitude of the Pharaoh towards Prophet Moses.
The next Ayah posing the question whether the present disbelievers were taught by the disbelievers of the past to behave in such a sordid manner, goes on to provide the answer, that those who are disobedient towards God and the Prophet, are indeed a rebellious lot.
From these Ayahs we learn that:
- Insults hurled by the misled should not dampen us or stop us from carrying out our mission, since from time immemorial tyrants and wrongdoers have always opposed the truth.
- It is lack of faith and satanic tendencies that make disbelievers ridicule Prophets, Imams, and Saints.