Welcome Friends: Ahlan wa sahlan!
Have you noticed the websites we are discovering together? We are doing great so far, and should be congratulating ourselves right now and thanking God for His immeasurable Grace. As we progress we’ll realize the extent of what we are getting by this simple daily exercise. It is only natural that Readers who will benefit most are those who are consistent. It is only natural that we find ourselves having –and attracting- more and more positive thoughts and deeds. These are the laws of cause and effect, the laws of attraction, in action here!
1. In Verse 174 we read:
“And returned (from the battle) with God’s blessings and bounty without having been touched by evil…”
Muhammad Asad explains and says in his note 132 that this alludes to what happened to many Muslims at Uhud. Yusuf Ali also uses the word ‘returned.’
Actually, ‘inqalabu’ is a far stronger word than ‘return,’ which is (raja’u, or ‘aadu) in Arabic. Indeed, in this verse the word (from root ‘qalaba*) denotes a total transformation, one that simulates being turned upside-down.
IT IS IMPORTANT FOR US TO UNDERSTAND THAT. The Uhud experience was a turning point for them, and learning from it could be a turning point for us:
Indeed, this last verse is wrapping-up the entire story, reminding us of its many important lessons. Perhaps most important of these lessons is the danger of losing focus on our ultimate goal, that initial failure serves to show us what we should not be doing, that ultimately, people will be people (the companions had human failings just like anyone else, and the Qur’an tells us that those who had deserted their posts were, in fact, after the bounties of this Immediate Life), that true remorse, making amends, and God’s forgiveness, always go together to make us better persons. Readers who know the history* might also add that Uhud teaches us that it is possible for enemies to become friends.
The Qur’an seems to be pointing to this transformation, this pivotal point in their understanding of Accountability, hence a more accurate explanation would be:
“Thereupon they returned transformed by God’s blessings and bounty, untouched by harm…”
2. In verse 175 the Faithful are told not to fear the Deviant/Sheytan or his allies, but to fear God Alone, for no one else is worthy of being feared. If one is truly Faithful, one would know that! Unfortunately, we still find people today believing in – and fearing- ‘forces of evil,’ some so absurd that even discussing them would be a waste of time.
Our inner weaknesses instill in us a lack of confidence, and we refrain from benefiting ourselves. Any negative energy we attract after that, adds to our own fear. This is the main reason why the weak*, yet harassing force in our heads that side-tracks us from our own benefit is called ‘the Deviant/ Sheytaan.’
3. In Verses 176-178 we read of the Prophet’s disappointment at not being able to influence everyone by the truth, and his sorrow that many have not become believers in the One God. The Qur’an assures him that many among the Deniers will never change. In other verses it is mentioned that, had it been God’s will to enforce faith, He could have made all into one people, and even then they would have differed (HQ11:118).
Yusuf Ali’s note 480 “The appetite for sin grows with what it feeds on. The natural result is that the sinner sinks deeper into sin….The working of God’s Law is therefore both just and merciful.”
4. With regard to verse 179, see Yusuf Ali’s note 481 on the ‘Universal Plan.’ It is also important to read Muhammad Asad’s note 135 on the doctrine of natural law ‘sunnat Allah.’
Actually, we should ALWAYS remember this law when bad things happen. God has imposed on all His creation the law of cause and effect. Generally speaking, negativity begets negativity and positivity begets positivity, but since we are all living in one connected world, nothing is isolated and both benefit and harm spread beyond the people who initiate them (;-) have you seen Avatar?) We all affect the world in varying degrees, and innocence is no barrier to this law:
And beware of tumult or oppression which indeed does not strike specifically those of you who do wrong: and know that God is strict in bringing on the consequence. (25)
When you think of God’s Law of cause and effect, each of us truly has a huge responsibility!
5. Verses180-184 discuss those who belied the Prophet, peace upon him, and made fun of the Qur’an, saying “God is indeed poor while we are rich!” They were referring to verses such as HQ2:245 in which the Qur’an asks, “..who will loan to God a beautiful loan..” See Muhammad Asad’s notes 139 in which he tells us about such people.
As for us today, and what we can learn, Verse 180 follows on our responsibility to spend out of God’s bounty to us, and Yusuf Ali’s note 483 explains what those gifts are.
6. Read Ali’s note 491. There does not seem to be anything to comment on with regard to the two beautiful verses 185-186, here in Asad’s translation:
“Every soul shall have a taste of death: And only on the Day of Judgment shall you be paid your full recompense. Only he who is saved far from the Fire and admitted to the Garden will have attained the object (of Life): For the life of this world is but goods and chattels of deception. (185)
Ye shall certainly be tried and tested in your possessions and in your personal selves; and ye shall certainly hear much that will grieve you, from those who received the Book before you and from those who worship many gods. But if ye persevere patiently, and guard against evil,-then that will be a determining factor in all affairs. (186)
Tomorrow’s Reading is from HQ 3:187-200, the final verse of our chapter!
* Regarding the famous Muslim figures, Amr Ibnil Aass & Khaled Ibnil Waleed who at that point were the commanders in the Meccan army responsible for the strategy that brought Muslim defeat.
The Deviant’s guile is weak indeed! In Asad’s explanation:
Those who have attained to faith fight in the cause of God, whereas those who are bent on denying the truth fight in the cause of the powers of evil. Fight, then, against those friends of Satan: verily, Satan's guile is weak indeed! (4:76)
· خالِص شَيءٍ وشَريفِه. فالأوَّل القَلْبُ: قلب الإنسان وغيره، سمِّي لأنَّه أخْلصُ شيء فيه وأرفَعُه. وخالِصُ كلِّ شيءٍ وأشرفُه قَلْبُه.
· والثاني رَدِّ شيءٍ من جهةٍ إلى جهة. والآخر قَلَبْتُ الثَّوبَ قَلْباً. وقَلَبْتُ الشَّيء: كبَبتُه، وقلَّبته بيديَّ تقليباً.
وفي لسان العرب:
وقد انْقَلَب، وقَلَبَ الشيءَ، وقَلَّبه: حَوَّله ظَهْراً لبَطْنٍ. وتَقَلَّبَ الشيءُ ظهراً لبَطْنٍ.