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Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Most Comprehensive Quranic Verse which is Essence of the Entire Islamic Teachings


The Holy Qur'an was revealed unto Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as the last of the Divine Scriptures, after the Psalms, Torah and Injeel (Bible), for the reformation and guidance of the mankind till the end of this world. Every word of the Qur'an carries in itself a commandment from Allah to guide the man and the mankind to the ultimate truth that would lead to his salvation on the Day of Judgement. Those who are lucky, find the truth and are blessed by none other than Allah. But those who have their eyes closed from reading the truth, or their ears muffed from hearing the truth, will be in utter loss when they will be presented before their Creator.

Although we have been sharing the translation and exegesis of the each chapter of Qur'an in our posts, we have also been sharing selected verses which carry important commandments and guidance so that ma does not deviate from the eternal truth. This post today is one of such posts and is very important as it very comprehensively presents the essence of the entire Islamic teachings contained in the Qur'an, condensed in but a few words.

In fact, in this brief sentence Allah has enjoined three most important virtues on which alone depends the establishment of a sound and healthy society, along with three most disliked acts or vices that create chaos, confusion and moral degeneration and oppression of the society and the mankind.

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ 
"In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful"

اِنَّ اللّٰهَ يَاۡمُرُ بِالۡعَدۡلِ وَالۡاِحۡسَانِ وَاِيۡتَآىـئِ ذِى الۡقُرۡبٰى وَيَنۡهٰى عَنِ الۡفَحۡشَآءِ وَالۡمُنۡكَرِ وَالۡبَغۡىِ​ۚ يَعِظُكُمۡ لَعَلَّكُمۡ تَذَكَّرُوۡنَ‏ 
( 90 )   Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded.
The verse above is the 90th verse of Surah 16. An Nahl of the Holy Qur'an which has three distinct segments:
  • The Three most Advised Virtues
  • The Three most Disliked Vices
  • And a Severe Admonishment from Allah
Let us now take each portion one by one and see how these form the essence of entire Islamic teachings:

The Three Most Advised Virtues:
اِنَّ اللّٰهَ يَاۡمُرُ بِالۡعَدۡلِ وَالۡاِحۡسَانِ وَاِيۡتَآىـئِ ذِى الۡقُرۡبٰى

The first of the three virtues is the Adl or Justice. Yousaf Ali in his exegesis of the Quran and this verse, describes justice as:
Justice is a comprehensive term, and may include all the virtues of cold philosophy. But religion asks for something warmer and more human, the doing of good deeds even where perhaps they are not strictly demanded by justice, such as returning good for ill, or obliging those who in worldly language "have no claim" on you; and of course a fortiori the fulfilling of the claims of those whose claims are recognized in social life. Similarly the opposites are to be avoided; everything that is recognized as shameful, and everything that is really unjust, and any inward rebellion against Allah's Law or our own conscience in its most sensitive form. 
According to Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi,  justice has two aspects.
To make such arrangements as may enable everyone to get one’s due rights without stint. Justice does not, however, mean equal distribution of rights, for that would be absolutely unnatural. In fact, justice means equitable dispensation of rights which in certain cases may mean equality. For example, all citizens should have equal rights of citizenship but in other cases equality in rights would be injustice. For instance, equality in social status and rights between parents and their children will obviously be wrong. Likewise those who render services of superior and inferior types cannot be equal in regard to wages and salaries. What Allah enjoins is that the full rights of everyone should be honestly rendered whether those be moral, social, economic legal or political in accordance with what one justly deserves.
The second thing enjoined is ihsan which has no equivalent in English. This means to be good, generous, sympathetic, tolerant, forgiving, polite, cooperative, selfless, etc. In collective life this is even more important than justice; for justice is the foundation of a sound society but ihsan is its perfection. On the one hand, justice protects society from bitterness and violation of rights. On the other hand, ihsan makes it sweet and joyful and worth living. It is obvious that no society can flourish if every individual insists on exacting his pound of flesh. At best such a society might be free from conflict but there cannot be love, gratitude, generosity, sacrifice, sincerity, sympathy and such humane qualities as produce sweetness in life and develop high values.

The third thing which has been enjoined is good treatment towards one’s relatives which in fact is a specific form of ihsan. It means that one should not only treat his relatives well, share their sorrows and pleasures and help them within lawful limits but should also share his wealth with them according to his means and the need of each relative. This enjoins on everyone who possesses ample means to acknowledge the share of his deserving relatives along with the rights of his own person and family. The divine law holds every well to do person in a family to be responsible for fulfilling the needs of all his needy kith and kin. The law considers it a great evil that one person should enjoy the pleasures of life while his own kith and kin are starving. As it considers the family to be an important part of society, it lays down that the first right of needy individuals is on its well t -do members and then on the others. Likewise it is the first duty of the well to do members of the family to fulfill the needs of their own near relatives and then those of others. The Prophet (peace be upon him) has emphasized this fact in many traditions, according to which a person owes rights to his parents, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters, other relatives, etc. in accordance with the nearness of their relationships. On the basis of this fundamental principle, Umar made it obligatory on the first cousins of an orphan to support him. In the case of another orphan he declared that if he had no first cousins he would have made it obligatory on distant cousins to support him. Just imagine the happy condition of the society every unit of which supports its every needy individual in this way. Most surely that society will become high and pure economically, socially and morally.

The Three Most Detested Vices:

In contrast to the above mentioned three virtues, Allah prohibits three vices which ruin individuals and the society as a whole. In fact the moral degradation of society, communities and even nations is due to disregard of the three virtues discussed above and freely adoption of flowing three vices:
وَيَنۡهٰى عَنِ الۡفَحۡشَآءِ وَالۡمُنۡكَرِ وَالۡبَغۡىِ​ۚ

(1) The Arabic word fahsha applies to all those things that are immodest, immoral or obscene or nasty or dirty or vulgar, not fit to be seen or heard, because they offend against recognized standards of propriety or good taste, e.g. adultery, fornication, homosexuality, nakedness, nudity, theft, robbery, drinking, gambling, begging, abusive language and the like. Likewise it is indecent to indulge in giving publicity to any of these evils and to spread them, e.g. false propaganda, calumny, publicity of crimes, indecent stories, dramas, films, naked pictures, public appearance of womenfolk with indecent makeup, free mixing of sexes, dancing and the like.

(2) Munkar applies to all those evils which have always been universally regarded as evils and have been forbidden by all divine systems of law. Al-munkar translated as 'evil deeds', denotes the word or deed the unlawfulness or impermissible of which is agreed upon by the well-recognized authentic exponents of the Shariah of Islam. Therefore, no side can be regarded as 'munkar' in their Ijtihad-based differences and, as for the word: 'Al-munkar', it includes all sins whether outward or inward, done practically or committed morally. 

(3) Baghy applies to those vices that transgress the proper limits of decency and violate the rights of others, whether those of the Creator or His creation.  It is translated as 'transgression' is to cross the limit. The sense is that of injustice and excess. At this place, though the sense of the word: Al-munkar (evil deeds) is inclusive of both Al-Fahsha' (shameful acts) and Al-Baghy (transgression), but Al-Fahsha' has been picked out as a separate entry, and made to appear first as well, because of its extreme evil and abomination. And the word: Al-Baghy has been taken up separately because its fallout is contagious. It affects others. Sometimes this transgression reaches the outer limits of mutual hostility, even armed confrontation, or it could go still further and cause inter- national disorder. 

According to a saying of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him), there is no sin, except injustice, the retaliation against which and the punishment for which comes so quickly. From this we learn that the ultimate severe punishment for injustice due in the Hereafter has to come anyway, however, much before that happens, Allah punishes the perpetrators of injustice in this mortal world as well - even though, he may fail to realize that the punishment he received was for a particular injustice commit- ted by him and that Allah Tams has promised to help the victim of injustice. 

The six commands, imperative and prohibitive, given in this verse are - if pondered upon - an elixir for the perfect prosperity of man's individual and collective life. May Allah bless us all with the ability of following them.

Having given out three virtues to be adopted and three vices to be shunned and prevented at all costs, Allah's warns:
 يَعِظُكُمۡ لَعَلَّكُمۡ تَذَكَّرُوۡنَ‏ 
"He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded."
So beware of the vices that are more attractive and lucrative than the difficult virtues to be adopted. For it is always the tough going on a thorny path that the salvation lies at the end.

You may also refer to our following sites for knowing more about Islam and Quran:
Photo | References: | 1 | 2

Refer to our post: Understanding Islam for many questions that are generally asked and their answers as given out right in the Qur'an, and through various authentic hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and by prominent scholars.

Reading the Holy Quran should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully.

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