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Saturday, October 24, 2020

Our Lord, perfect for us our light and forgive us


The Day of Resurrection will be a terrible day - a day when man will forget all worldly relations and will be worried about self only. Every man will be trying to overtake the others to reach Paradise somehow. But it would be only those lucky ones who kept repenting in their worldly life and constantly seeking forgiveness of Allah will be shown the light towards Paradise, a light which will not be visible to the sinners and the condemned who did not believe in the life in the Hereafter nor repented their sins. They will be bumping into each other in utter darkness, not finding any light that could be their saviour.

Such a picture has been painted in the 8th verse of Surah 66. At-Tahrim:

يٰۤاَيُّهَا الَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا تُوۡبُوۡۤا اِلَى اللّٰهِ تَوۡبَةً نَّصُوۡحًا ؕ عَسٰى رَبُّكُمۡ اَنۡ يُّكَفِّرَ عَنۡكُمۡ سَيِّاٰتِكُمۡ وَيُدۡخِلَـكُمۡ جَنّٰتٍ تَجۡرِىۡ مِنۡ تَحۡتِهَا الۡاَنۡهٰرُ ۙ يَوۡمَ لَا يُخۡزِى اللّٰهُ النَّبِىَّ وَالَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا مَعَهٗ​ ۚ نُوۡرُهُمۡ يَسۡعٰى بَيۡنَ اَيۡدِيۡهِمۡ وَبِاَيۡمَانِهِمۡ يَقُوۡلُوۡنَ رَبَّنَاۤ اَ تۡمِمۡ لَـنَا نُوۡرَنَا وَاغۡفِرۡ لَـنَا​ ۚ اِنَّكَ عَلٰى كُلِّ شَىۡءٍ قَدِيۡرٌ‏ 

Believers, turn to Allah in sincere repentance; maybe your Lord will expunge your evil deeds and admit you to the Gardens beneath which rivers flow. This will be on the Day when Allah will not disgrace the Prophet and those who have embraced faith and are with him; their light will be running before them and on their right hands, and they will say:Our Lord, perfect for us our light and forgive us. Surely You have power over everything.

This verse actually has two parts: The first part is about Allah's reassurance to the believers that they may be pardoned if they had sincerely repented of their sins in their worldly life, and second part is about the light which will be shown the light to paradise to those lucky and rewarded believers. 

We have already explained in detail the first part of the verse in a separate post on a series of posts under "Selected Verses from Qur'ān."  In this post,  the second part about the light and an invocation by believers on Day of Resurrection is being explained.

Just to summarize the first part, the words of the verse deserve deep consideration. It has not been said that if you repeat, you will surely be forgiven and will certainly be admitted to Paradise, but that: If you offer true repentance, it may well be that Allah will treat you kindly. It means that it is not incumbent upon Allah to accept the repentance of the sinner and to grant him Paradise instead of subjecting him to punishment but it will be His kindness and compassion that He may forgive well as reward His servant. One should have hope of His forgiveness, but one should not commit a sin with the confidence that he will achieve forgiveness by repentance. He will not allow the reward of their good deeds to go to waste. He will not let the disbelievers and the hypocrites taunt the believers that they had gained nothing in spite of their worship. Humiliation will be the fate of the rebels and the disobedient and not of the faithful and obedient.

Now coming over to the explanation of the second part:

When this verse is read along with (verses 12-13 of Surah Al-Hadid), it becomes clear that the running of the light before the believers will take place when they will be proceeding towards Paradise from the Plain of Resurrection. There it will be pitch dark all around and those who will have been condemned to Hell, will be groping about in it. The light will only be with the believers by which they will be traveling on their way. On this critical occasion, hearing the wailings and groaning of those groping in the dark the believers will be feeling terror stricken. In view of their past errors and shortcomings they will be afraid lest they too should be deprived of their light and made to grope about like those wretched people. Therefore, they will pray: O our Lord, forgive us our sins and let our light remain with us until we reach Paradise

Ibn Jarir has cited Abdullah bin Abbas as explaining the meaning of Rabbana-atimim lava nurana thus: They will implore Allah Almighty that their light be allowed to remain with them and kept from going out until they have crossed the bridge across Hell. The commentary given by Hasan Basri, Mujahid and Dahhak is also almost the same. Ibn Kathir has cited theirs this saying: When the believers see that the hypocrites have been deprived of the light, they will pray to Allah for the perfection of their light. 

As mentioned in verses 12-13  of Surah Al-Hadid, the light on the Day of Judgment will be specifically meant for the righteous believers only. As for the disbelievers and the hypocrites and the wicked people, they will be wandering about in the darkness as they had been in the world. The light there will be the light of righteous deeds. The sincerity of the faith and the piety of the character and conduct will turn into light that will lend brightness to the personality of the virtuous. The brighter the deed the more luminous will be his person, and when he will walk towards Paradise, his light will be running forward before him. The best explanation of it is Qatadah’s mursal tradition in which he says; The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: The light of some one will be so strong and sharp that it will be running on before him equal to the distance between Al-Madinah and Aden, of another equal to the distance between Madinah and Sana, and of another even less than that; so much so that there will be a believer whose light will jsut extend beyond his steps. (Ibn Jarir). In other words, the intensity of the light of a person will be proportionate to the extent of the good done and spread by him in the world, and the beams of his light will be running on before him in the Hereafter extending as far as his good will have extended in the world.

Here, a question may arise in the mind of the reader: One can understand the meaning of their light running on before the believers but what does their light running on only on their right hand mean? Will there be darkness on their left side? The answer is: When a man is walking with a light on his right hand, his left side also will be bright, though the fact of the matter is that the light will be on his right hand. This has been explained by the Hadith, which Abu Dharr and Abu Darda have reported, saying that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: I shall recognize the righteous people of my ummah by their light which will be running on before them and on their right and on their left. (Hakim, Ibn Abi Hatim, Ibn Marduyah).

Renowned Muslim scholar and exegete Yousaf Ali adds: The darkness of evil will be dispelled, and the Light of Allah will be realized by them more and more. But even so they will not be content: for they will pray for the least taint of evil to be removed from them, and perfection to be granted to them. In that exalted state they will be within reach of perfection,-not by their own merits, but by the infinite Mercy and Power of Allah.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
The actual words are: اَتۡمِمۡ لَنَا نُوۡرَنَا. What do they mean? Imam Amin Ahsan Islahihas explained this. He writes:
… This light shall be shown to these people before they enter Paradise in order to guide them to it. At that time, there will be darkness around them except on their front and on their right. For this reason, these people while showing deep gratitude on this favour of the Almighty will pray to Him to complete their light, and to forgive them. Obviously, when they will be given the light to guide them on while they would be treading the path leading to Paradise, this will also induce in them the expectation that the Almighty will bless them with His forgiveness, and that will be the time when this light will completely manifest itself. Thus, they will pray that this expectation of theirs is fulfilled. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 8, 472)
The implication is that this was a person’s belief; however, on the Day of Judgement he will see from his very eyes that God has power over everything.
May Allah help us understand Qur'ān and help us to act upon the commandments of Allah contained therein. May Allah  grant us the wisdom to foresee what is to come in the life of the Hereafter and let our tongues and hearts constantly seek His forgiveness from our sins and repent so that we are not doomed on that fateful day and that the light to Paradise continues to glow for us. Aameen.

For more Selected Verses, please refer to our reference page: Selected Invocations / Dua " دُعا " from the Qur'anYou may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.
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Reading the Qur'ān 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 surahs / verses (ayat) of the Qur'ān from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that:
  • The plain translation has been taken from the Qur'ān officially published by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. [1]
  • The exegesis of the chapters of the 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. [2]  
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided by [2], additional input has been interjected from following sources: 
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Al-Quran, Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
In addition the references of  other sources which have been explored have also been given above. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites.

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