Welcome Friends: Ahlan wa sahlan!
In our last Reading, we were listening to the arguments between Messengers and their people:
Those who Deny are ALWAYS reluctant to forsake the traditions of their forefathers, so they find fault in the Messengers, blaming them for being ‘human,’ and asking them for ‘miracles’ as proof of their mission.
Isn’t it strange to find Cognizant Humans looking-up to, AND expecting, the supernatural to validate something REAL? It isn’t because such humans are not ‘cognizant,’ but probably that they have been deafened, and blinded, by Conditioning.
This is something we ALL are affected by. Pride in our Heritage is one thing, and the indiscriminate adoption of Ancestral values is another. Some of us will not recognize the difference, and will follow forefathers even when evidence indicates otherwise.
Muslims are as guilty of this as anyone else. Many of us will continue to argue a point and state references from Scholars and Forefathers, despite the Qur’an’s contrary evidence. Uneducated people may have Ignorance as their excuse. What is ours?
‘Following forefathers’ is always considered a DISCREDIT in the Qur’an; it is no less than Intellectual ‘khamr,’ a ‘veil’ upon human minds, a Hindrance to one’s Freedom of Thought.
Freedom of Thought is a prerequisite to Freedom of Faith.
Yusuf Ali’s Translation of this Chapter.
Muhammad Asad’s Translation of this Chapter.
Their commentaries can only be read in verse by verse view.
PAGE 257 Arabic Qur’an.
1. In Verses 11 - 12 we hear the Messengers’ response to their people’s demands, and both verses end with ‘putting trust in/ relying on’ God, Read their beautiful argument, and notice their endearing plea ‘on behalf of’ God, Who is calling on these people, inviting them to …. Forgiveness!
We also notice how the Messengers announce their forbearance, in response to their people harming them.
In Verse 13 the people warn their Messengers, but God responds. At the center of verse is the word ‘millaمِلَّة- ’ which Yusuf Ali translates as ‘religion’ and Muhammad Asad as ‘ways.’ I prefer Arberry’s ‘creed.’
2. Verses 14- 15 give us the results to the conflict. See 15 in Asad’s explanation, followed by Verses 16- 17 which portray a most horrendous scene of Hell. This is Dissuasion, and is quite effective. (Notice how ‘Dissuasionترهيب- ’ continues in several verses, punctuated at the end with only one verse of ‘Persuasionترغيب- ’.)
3. In Verse 18 we find a parable, illustrating how the assets of the Deniers will not serve them in the Hereafter. This is because they, themselves, did not WANT it that way to start with, so they got exactly what they wanted.
All they had worked for in life, was intended FOR Life, because they were in denial of God and the Hereafter.
PAGE 258 Arabic Qur’an.
4. Verses 19- 20 tell us to observe how God has created the Heavens and Earth in ‘al Haq,’ which might be explained as ‘Truth/Just Balance.’ The problem is that ANY English word is an imprecise rendering of ‘Haq!’
When we copy + paste خلق السماوات الأرض بالحق in Tanzil we notice that this concept is mentioned 10 times.
These verses inform the Deniers that, had God willed, He could replace those who deny Him with other creation (presumably other humans who wouldn’t deny Him), but this is not His will! Understanding this, should make us all MORE accepting of each other. Had so-called ‘believers’ in one faith or another, been truly compliant with God’s Will, they would never have resorted to ethnic/ideological cleansing or discrimination!
Perhaps Zealots from all faiths should hear the following announcement:
God Himself gives people freedom to believe as they wish, and does NOT replace those who Deny Him with Believers, so how can any of us even entertain such a plan?
5. In Verse 21 we are given a glimpse into another argument, one that takes place in the Hereafter, between those who were Dominated and those who were Domineering. There we find the Dominated appealing to the Domineering, who brush off their responsibility… and blame their misguidance on God! But they do acknowledge that nothing they do now would avail them; the predicament they face has no exits.
6. Verse 22 is VERY interesting; it is the argument offered by ‘the Deviant/Sheytaan,’ to Mankind, also in the Hereafter, which Yusuf Ali calls “… frank, cynical and brutal.” Muhammad Asad says: “It must be stressed, in this connection, that the Qur’anic expression shaytān is often used as a metaphor for every human impulse that is intrinsically immoral and, therefore, contrary to man’s best – i.e., spiritual – interests.”
Here is the Deviant/Shetaan’s argument:
· He acknowledges the Truth of God’s Promise.
· He acknowledges that he had made deceptive promises to Mankind.
· He acknowledges that he never had any power over them; all he had done was invite them.
· He insists that those who accepted his invitation, have ONLY THEMSELVES to blame.
· He acknowledges that none can help the other.
· He announces his faith in God in his Denial of any partnership they had ascribed to him (when, in life, they had considered him or his deception a ‘partner’ to God).
· He announces that wrongdoers would eventually suffer grievously.
These verses shed light on what we call ‘the Deviant/Sheytaan,’ and help us understand ourselves- as well as the LIMITS of his effect on us. Anyone who ascribes to the Deviant further powers, beyond ‘invitation/suggestion,’ is committing ‘Shirk.’ This is the Qur’an speaking to us! Research this argument on your own, and do not rely solely on the explanations offered here.
It is time for us to shed certain concepts that pervade our societies and hold sway over our beliefs. Let us make sure NOW, before it is too late, that we do not end up being among the ‘Dominated’ in the Hereafter, arguing with our Domineering ‘parents-scholars-peers’ and inevitably suffering with them the consequences of our actions!
7. We end our Reading today with Verse 23- a beautiful verse of Persuasion! Those who have Attained Faith AND done good deeds are entered into Gardens beneath which rivers flow, to abide eternally, by God’s Will, their greeting therein is: PEACE.
What a contrast!
We’ll stop here, as there is a lot to think about today:
Our next Reading is from HQ 14: 24- 41.
Peace unto all!