Tuesday 17 March 2020

Selected Verses from Quran: The Divine Chastisement

History and archaeology teach man many a thing about the past, the once mighty empires lying in ruins with winds whistling through corridors of one mighty kings. Travelers and tourists come across such sites but enjoy their trip to such places without realizing to ponder over the the why of fate of such empires. The students of history and archaeology are few which leaves the large majority of man around the world oblivious of fate of such people and nations.

Have you ever pondered over to know the why? If not as yet, read the following verse from the Qur'an - it says all:

لَهٗ مُعَقِّبٰتٌ مِّنۡۢ بَيۡنِ يَدَيۡهِ وَمِنۡ خَلۡفِهٖ يَحۡفَظُوۡنَهٗ مِنۡ اَمۡرِ اللّٰهِ​ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰهَ لَا يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوۡمٍ حَتّٰى يُغَيِّرُوۡا مَا بِاَنۡفُسِهِمۡ​ؕ وَاِذَاۤ اَرَادَ اللّٰهُ بِقَوۡمٍ سُوۡۤءًا فَلَا مَرَدَّ لَهٗ​ۚ وَمَا لَهُمۡ مِّنۡ دُوۡنِهٖ مِنۡ وَّالٍ‏ 
"There are guardians over everyone, both before him and behind him, who guard him by Allah's command. Verily Allah does not change a people's condition unless they change their inner selves. And when Allah decides to make a people suffer punishment, no one can avert it. Nor can any be of help to such a people against Allah." (Surah 13. Ar-Ra'd: 11) 

This verse contains lessons for both individuals and nations. Allah has sent prophets and messengers since time immemorial so that people listen to them and walk the Divine way as shown by the prophets. The people of Ad and Thamud are just but an example. They were told to follow the Divine way but their arrogance prevented them from doing so. They thought by making houses in mountains, no calamity would hit them and thus denied their prophets. God continued to provide them leverage for may be one day they repent and accept Allah's will. And when they continued to persist in their denial,  Allah's wrath befell  on them and they were no more than dead corpses within no time. And today only ruins remain to tell the world of their fate.

They forgot that Allah not only directly watches over whatever each person does, and is fully aware of everything he does, but He has also appointed such guardians as accompany him everywhere and keep a full record of all his deeds. This has been stated here to warn those people who live their lives under the delusion that they have been left absolutely free to do whatever they like and shall not be required to render an account of what they did in this worldly life. The warning is that such people invite their own retribution.

This is to warn them further that they should not remain under any delusion that some holy person or saint or angel has the power to rescue them from divine retribution, for there is none who could defend them against Allah, even though they might have been paying homage and making offerings to their so called patrons and protectors in the hope that they would rescue them from punishment from Allah on the Day of Judgment.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Every person, whether he conceals or reveals his thoughts, whether he skulks in darkness or goes about by day,-all are under Allah's watch and ward. His grace encompasses everyone, and again and again protects him, if he will only take the protection, from harm and evil. If in his folly he thinks he can secretly take some pleasure or profit, he is wrong, for recording angels record all his thoughts and deeds.

Allah is not intent on punishment. He created man virtuous and pure; he gave him intelligence and knowledge; he surrounded him with all sorts of instruments of His grace and mercy. If, in spite of all this, man distorts his own will and goes against Allah's Will, yet is Allah's forgiveness open to him if he will take it. It is only when he has made his own sight blind and changed his own nature or soul away from the beautiful mould in which Allah formed it, that Allah's Wrath will descend on him and the favourable position in which Allah placed him will be changed. When once the punishment comes, there is no turning it back. None of the things which he relied upon- other than Allah-can possibly protect him.

Muhammad Asad Explanation:
Lit., "from between his hands and from behind him". As in 2:255 , the expression "between his hands" denotes "something that is perceivable by him" or "evident to him", while that which is "behind him" is a metonym for something "beyond his ken" or "hidden from him". See also next note.

Lit., "from God's command (amr)". The rendering of the above passage hinges on the meaning given to the term mu'aqqibat - a double plural of mu'aqqib, which signifies "something that comes immediately after another thing" or "succeeds another thing without interruption". Most of the classical commentators understand by mu'aqqibat "hosts of angels", i.e., the recording angels who attend on every human being, succeeding one another without interruption. Consequently, they interpret the phrase min bayni yadayhi wa-min khalfihi as meaning "ranged before him and behind him", i.e., surrounding man from all sides; and they explain the words "from God's command" as being here synonymous with "by God's command", and take them to refer to the angels or to their function of guardianship. However, this interpretation has by no means the support of all the commentators. Some of the earliest ones assume that the term mu'aqqibat refers to all manner of worldly forces or concepts on which man so often relies in the mistaken belief that they might help him to achieve his aims independently of God's will: and this is the meaning given to this elliptic passage by the famous commentator Abu Muslim al-Isfahani, as quoted by Razi. Explaining verse {10} and the first part of verse {11}, he says: "All alike are, in God's knowledge, deeds done secretly or openly, as well as he who hides in the darkness of night and he who walks [boldly] in the light of day...: for he that resorts to the [cover of] night can never elude God's will (amr), just as he [cannot] that walks in the light of day, surrounded by hosts of helpers (mu'aqqibat) - that is, guards and aids - meant to protect him: [for] those guards of his cannot save him from [the will of] God." It is on this convincing interpretation that I have based my rendering. The worldly "guards and aids" on which a sinner relies may be tangible (like wealth, progeny, etc.) or intangible (like personal power, high social standing, or the belief in one's "luck"): and this explains the phrase "both such as can be perceived by him and such as are hidden from him" (see preceding note).

Lit., "that which is in themselves". This statement has both a positive and a negative connotation: i.e., God does not withdraw His blessings from men unless their inner selves become depraved (cf. 8:53 ), just as He does not bestow His blessings upon wilful sinners until they change their inner disposition and become worthy of His grace. In its wider sense, this is an illustration of the divine law of cause ar,d effect (sunnat Allah) which dominates the lives of both individuals and communities, and makes the rise and fall of civilizations dependent on people's moral qualities and the changes in "their inner selves".
Let us often visit ruins of erstwhile great empires and try to dig out how they disbelieved in prophets and messengers and how did they resisted to follow the commandments of Allah. Had they done so, they may have been flourishing even today. If we do not learn lessons from history and continue to act tangent to what is contained in the Divine scriptures, we may also meet a similar fate one day.
May Allah help us understand Qur'an and help us to act upon the commandments of Allah contained therein. Aameen.

For more Selected Verses, please refer to our reference page: Selected Verses from the Qur'an

You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Quran.
Photo  } References: | 1 | 2 |
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.

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the Sūrahs of the Holy Qur'an from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that:
  • The plain translation has been taken from the Holy Quran officially published by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 
  • The exegesis of the chapters of the Holy Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi. 
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided, additional input has been interjected from following sources: 
In addition the references of  other sources which have been explored have also been given in each page. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites.

If you like Islam: My Ultimate Decision, and to keep yourself updated on all our latest posts to know more about Islam, follow us on Facebook

Please share this page to your friends and family members through Facebook, WhatsApp or any means on Social Media so that they can also be benefited by it and better understand Islam and the Holy Qur'an - Insha Allah (Allah Willing) you shall be blessed with the best of both worlds.


Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More