Path towards Enlightenment (968)
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 Friday and here are Ayahs 44, 45, and 46 of Surah Toor:
“Were they to see a fragment falling from the sky, they would say, ‘a cumulous cloud (though it could be a semblance of Divine Wrath).’
“So leave them until they encounter their day on which they will be thunderstruck;
“The day when their guile will not avail them in any way, nor will they be helped.”
If you remember, in our explanation of the previous Ayahs of this Surah last Friday, we said that among the methods to invite misguided persons is to raise logical questions to awaken their dormant conscience and make them contemplate upon the manifest truth. The real losers are those who obstinately stick to their wrong ways in spite of the relentless efforts through rational measures of the Prophets and the Saints to deliver them from the darkness of disbelief, which eventually leads to their own destruction.
The Ayahs that we recited to you now mean to say the intransigent disbelievers are so obdurate that even if they see some matter fall down from the sky as an indication of Divine Wrath, they would call it a condensed cloud falling on the earth. This is nothing but denial of the sense of perception towards the manifest truth in a vain bid to escape from facts and realities. There is no hope for the guidance of people who have so immersed themselves in sins and disbelief that this has darkened their vision and turned them into enemies of the Prophets and of the Divine Message.
Ayah 45 tells the Prophet of Islam not to feel grief or sorrow for their refusal to believe in the message of salvation, but to leave such intransigent people to their own fate until death awakens them from their ignorance and they taste the never ending torment of the Day of Reckoning which they had denied and which will strike them like a thunderbolt.
As the next Ayah says, they shall have neither refuge nor deliverance on the Day of Judgement on which their stratagems have failed them, leaving them to the punishment they deserve for their vicious deeds and vile words.
From these Ayahs we learn that:
- Obstinacy blinds the vision and the perception to sense spiritual realities.
- Guidance avails only those who seek truth and reality.
- The intransigent disbelievers mock the manifest truth without realizing that they cannot escape the Wrath of the All-Merciful Lord Who gave them respite.
Now let us listen to Ayah 47 of the same Surah:
“Indeed for those who do wrong, there is a punishment besides that, but most of them do not know.
This Ayah refers to the fate of the wrongdoers who after comprehending truth try to deny it or attempt to defy it in quest of worldly greed on the assumption that they are smart enough to escape Divine Punishment. For such sinners, firstly they deserve torment for their disbelief, whether indulgence in atheism or polytheism. Secondly, they have not only wronged themselves by indulging in vices instead of acquiring virtues, but have also left no stone unturned in trying to harm the Prophet and the believers, especially the Ahl al-Bayt or the Blessed Household of Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny). If only they had used their God-given intellect to realize the result of their deeds! Thus, their torment will be twofold and different from those of the other disbelievers.
The phrase “there is another punishment besides that” may also indicate worldly torment in the form of either Divine Wrath that befell the disobedient nations of the past, or such calamities as famine, floods, diseases, etc., before death and the punishment of hell.
This Ayah teaches us that:
- The punishment for those who not only wrong themselves through sins and disbelief, but also purposely wrong others, out of animosity towards truth and the believers, especially towards the Prophet and the Imams, is twofold.
- One should not persist in ignorance but use the intellect to discern between truth and falsehood, with sincere repentance in the Divine Court.
In conclusion of this week’s episode of the Path towards Enlightenment we recite Ayahs 48 and 49, which also mark the end of Surah Toor. Insha Allah, next week, we start explanation of Surah Najm.
“So wait patiently for the judgment of your Lord, for indeed you fare before Our eyes; and celebrate the praise of your Lord when you rise [before dawn];
“And also glorify Him during the night and at the receding of the stars.”
In these Ayahs God Almighty tells the Prophet of Islam to be patient against the disbelievers who wrong him and to continue propagation of the Divine Message despite the harm done to him by the enemies, since God is the Almighty Protector. The Prophet is also bidden to glorify the Lord Most High and recite His Praises on rising from sleep before dawn. This address is applicable to the rest of the Muslim community as well, and it is incumbent upon believers to be conscious and cognizant of God Almighty at all times despite worldly preoccupations, by heeding Divine Injunctions and abstaining from wrong.
At the end of Surah Toor, God tells the Prophet to glorify Him during the late hours of the night and at the time the stars begin to disappear with the break of dawn. This is a reference to the late night recommended prayer, which is not obligatory, but whose performance indicates the firmness of faith of the believers, and according to a hadith is better than the worldly possessions. It is worthy of note that worshipping and glorifying God Almighty in the heart of the night is quite different in terms of serenity and spiritual delight.
May God Almighty bestow upon us the blessing of waking up early at dawn and praying to our Creator, Amen!
These Ayahs teach us that:
- God helps those who strive in His way and strengthens their faith and patience.
- Prayers and supplications have profound effect on the heart, mind, and spirit and grant the strength and resolve to eagerly fulfill Divine commandments.