Saturday 7 November 2020

Whomsoever We grant a long life, We reverse him in his constitution

The reality of human life cycle is very interesting: A cycle that starts from giggles and hope for the parents of the newly born, passes through various stages of childhood, adolescence and adulthood, finally culminates into the sighs of the old age. From vibrancy and old age though the life cycle is very long, it comes about very soon. Man in his childhood and youth never even thinks of getting old, but the reality dawns at the end. The end life of a man is just the reverse of his life cycle and he once again becomes dependent on his offspring as they were once dependent on him. But while the life of child and a growing man was full of hopes and ambitions, the end days are frightening for one is always afraid of getting sick and getting dependent on his children, who generally are not there to look after them. And at that time, man understands that he was not really created for this world, but had been in transit for a life which will be eternal in the hereafter. 

Those who spend their life well and walk the path shown by Allah have nothing to fear, but those who squandered their life in leisure start to realize  how he messed up his whole life. The same phenomenon is explained in the 68th verse of Surah 36. Ya Seen:

بِسۡمِ اللهِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِيۡمِ 

وَمَنۡ نُّعَمِّرۡهُ نُـنَكِّسۡهُ فِى الۡخَـلۡقِ​ؕ اَفَلَا يَعۡقِلُوۡنَ‏ 
Whomsoever We grant a long life, We reverse him in his constitution. Do they still not understand?

“Reverse him in creation,” means that in old age Allah turns him back to the state of childhood. He becomes unable to stand and walk without the help and support of others; he is fed by others; he urinates and defecates in bed; talks childishly and is laughed at by others. In short, towards the end of life he returns to the same state of weakness with which he had started life in this world.

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
(Allah is He Who created you in (a state of) weakness, then gave you strength after weakness, then after strength gave weakness and gray hair. He creates what He wills. And it is He Who is the All-Knowing, the All-Powerful.) (30:54). 

And Allah says: (And among you there is he who is brought back to the miserable old age, so that he knows nothing after having known) (22:5). The meaning here -- and Allah knows best -- is that Allah is telling us that this world is transient and will come to an end, it is not eternal and lasting.

Allah says: (Will they not then understand) meaning, will they not think about how they were created, then they become gray-haired, then they become old and senile, so that they may know that they were created for another world that is not transient and will not pass away, and from which there is no way out, which is the Hereafter.

Muhammad Asad Explanation:
I.e., man should never postpone his exercise of moral choice - for if human beings are superior creatures inasmuch as they have been endowed with the faculty of discernment and a wide measure of free will, let them also remember that "man has been created weak" (4:28) and liable to decline still further in old age, so that the time at his disposal is short.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Everything is possible with Allah. If you doubt how man can be transformed from his present nature, contemplate the transformations he already undergoes in his present nature at different ages. As a child powers of mind and body are still undeveloped. As he grows, they grow, and certain moral qualities, such as courage, daring, the will to conquer, unfold themselves. In extreme old age these are again obscured, and a second childhood supervenes. The back of the man who walked proudly straight and erect is now bent. If these transformations take place even in his present nature and constitution, how much easier was it for Allah to cast him in an immobile mould? But Allah granted him instead the high possibilities and responsibilities referred to in the last note.

May Allah help us understand Qur'ān and help us to act upon the commandments of Allah contained therein. Let us live a life of truth and pray that our end life is healthy, without any crutches and dependency on others. Let us live a life for a blessed life in the hereafter. Aameen.

For more Selected Verses, please refer to our reference page: Selected Verses 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 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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