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Monday, January 18, 2021

When faced with an Infliction, none other than Allah can remove it


Man, though boasts of his "power" of wealth and wisdom and prides himself of what he has, more often than not forgets that it is Allah Who has bestowed upon him good health, granted him wealth and wisdom and made him superior to many. And it is Allah Who brigs them any good and is the One who can take away what they have or touch them with infliction and then there would be no one but He who can remove the affliction from them. But despite knowing the truth they turn to worldly deities when bad health befalls on them or they suffer a loss in the business and beg them to ease off their sufferings.

For such ungrateful people, Allah cautions them in the 17th verse of Surah Al An'Am that it is Allah alone Who can bring Benefit and Protect from Harm.

وَاِنۡ يَّمۡسَسۡكَ اللّٰهُ بِضُرٍّ فَلَا كَاشِفَ لَهٗۤ اِلَّا هُوَ​ؕ وَاِنۡ يَّمۡسَسۡكَ بِخَيۡرٍ فَهُوَ عَلٰى كُلِّ شَىۡءٍ قَدِيۡرٌ‏ 
(6:17) Should Allah touch you with affliction, there is none to remove it but He; and should He touch you with good, He has the power to do everything.

Noted Muslim scholar and exegete Ibn Kathir notes that  Allah alone brings benefit or harm, and that He does what He wills with His creatures, none can resist His judgment or prevent what He decrees. Similarly, Allah says: (Whatever mercy, Allah may grant to mankind, none can withhold it, and whatever He may withhold, none can grant it thereafter) [35:2]. 

It is recorded in the Sahih that the Messenger of Allah used to supplicate:

اللَّهُمَّ لَا مَانِعَ لِمَا أَعْطَيْتَ وَلَا مُعْطِيَ لِمَا مَنَعْتَ، وَلَا يَنْفَعُ ذَا الْجَدِّ مِنْكَ الْجَد
(O Allah, there is none Who can avert what You grant or give what You deprive, and no fortune ever helps the fortunate against You.) 

This is why Allah adds in the very next verse:

وَهُوَ الۡقَاهِرُ فَوۡقَ عِبَادِهٖ​ ؕ وَهُوَ الۡحَكِيۡمُ الۡخَبِيۡرُ‏ 
(6:18) He has the supreme hold over His servants. He is All-Wise, All-Aware.

That is (And He is the Irresistible, above His servants,) meaning, to Him the necks are subservient, the tyrants humble before Him and He has complete control over all things. The creatures have all bowed to Allah and are humbled before His grace, honor, pride, greatness, highness and ability over all things. The creatures are insignificant before Him, for they are all under His irresistible decision and power, and that (and He is the All-Wise الۡحَكِيۡمُ ) in all His actions, and (Well-Acquainted with all things الۡخَبِيۡرُ.) Who places everything in its rightful place, grants and favors whomever deserves His favor.

Explanation of the above said verse (17) by Verse by Verse Quran Study Circle:
In this ayah, a basic article of faith in Islam has been described. It is Allah in reality Who is the Master – Dispenser of all gain and loss. He Alone brings benefit or harm, and that He does what He wills with His creatures, none can resist His judgment or prevent what He decrees.
The word yamsaska [يَمْسَسْكَ] is from the root letters meem-seen-seen, and it is means “to meet or touch, strike or smite, afflict or befall, be distressing or difficult of accomplishment”.
The word dur [ضُر], appearing as bidurrin in the ayah, is a very comprehensive word which includes everything that a person can suffer from. It can be poverty, health or depression. The word is derived from the root letters daad-ra-ra and it means “to harm, hurt, injure or afflict, adversity, famine, tribulation, hardship”.
No one can ‘really’ bring the least benefit to anyone, nor cause the least harm. As for the outward manifestation of gain or loss, benefit or harm, seen coming from one person to the other, is no more than a matter of appearances. Seen in the full flash of reality, this does not hold out any more than a ready-to-vanish curtain.

This belief too is one of the revolutionary beliefs of Islam, a belief which made Muslims shed the dependence on the created and rely on their Creator alone. It was this belief which put together a large group of unprecedented charmers of the soul on the map of the world, who were, despite their meager means and haunting hunger, weightier and worthier than a whole world – for they would not bow their heads before anyone.

The Qur’an has taken up this subject at many places with different approaches, out of which, quoted here is an ayah from Surah Fatir:

مَّا يَفْتَحِ اللَّهُ لِلنَّاسِ مِن رَّحْمَةٍ فَلاَ مُمْسِكَ لَهَا وَمَا يُمْسِكْ فَلاَ مُرْسِلَ لَهُ مِن بَعْدِهِ
“Whatever mercy, Allah may grant to mankind, none can withhold it, and whatever He may withhold, none can grant it thereafter.” [35:2]
Imam al-Baghawi has reported from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas that there was an occasion when the Prophet ﷺ and I mounted a ride, he asked me to sit behind him. After having covered some distance, he turned towards me and said, You young man.’ I said: ‘Here I am, Ya Rasool Allah. Can I do something?’ He said: ‘You remember Allah. Allah will remember you. If you will remember Allah, you will find Him before you under all circumstances. You recognize Allah when you are in peace and comfort,
Allah will recognize you when you are in trouble. When you have to ask, only ask Allah. When you need help, seek help only from Allah. Whatever is going to happen in this world has already been written by the writer of destiny. If all those created were to combine and try to bring a benefit to you in which Allah has kept no share for you, they would never be able to do that. And if they all come together and try to inflict a harm on you which is not in your lot, they would never become capable of doing that. If you are sure of being able to act patiently, then, do just that, by all means. If you do not have the strength and ability to do so, observe patience – because there is great good and barakah in remaining patient against what does not go well with your temperament. And understand it very clearly that the help of Allah is with patience, and comfort with hardship, and prosperity with adversity.” [Tirmidhi and the Musnad of Ahmad with sound chains of authority]
Despite this clear declaration of the Qur’an and the age long teachings of the Prophet ﷺ this Ummah has started going off course in this critical matter when they have handed out what lies in the exclusive domain of Allah to His created beings.

Today, there is a very large number of Muslims who would, rather than call upon Allah and pray to Him in their hour of distress, cry for help in all sorts of names, but do not seem to remember the name of Allah. Calling on or praying to a created being directly for the removal of one’s need or solution of problem is an open rebellion against this Qur’anic injunction. May Allah keep all Muslims on the straight path, Ameen.

The essence of this verse is:
When we are blessed we should not ignore or forget Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. Whether we are passing through distress or happiness we should always remember Allah.
When we are distressed or some blessing has been withheld we should not hold grudges against people, we should not put the blame on them because it is Allah Who withheld it may be due to one of our sins or because it is not good for us.
Similarly, people can try their best to hold the khair from us but when Allah wishes to give it to us no one can intervene and stop that blessing from reaching us.
Yusuf Ali, another noted Muslim scholar and exegete, notes that through this verse Allah warns against the vulgar worship of false gods out of fear that they would harm them or hope that they would confer some benefit on them. These false gods can do neither. All power, all goodness is in the hands of the One True God. All else is pretence or illusion. 

Those who are humble and are true believers do understand that whatever they have is in fact from Allah and if time and tide turns against them, none but Allah can be their Helper. That is why they are all the time at the mercy of Allah. 

May Allah help us understand Qur'ān 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'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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3 comments:

Jazak Allah khair for sharing Quranic messages. May Almighty Allah bless you n guide us all n protect us from all the evils n devil.Aameen

Jalal dear: your work for understanding of Qur'anic ayat's is par excellence. May Allah grant us the wisdom to absorb the real understanding of the message of the lord of every thing existing. Visible or invisible . May Allah be pleased with you for this exceptional effort . Ameen Suma Ameen. Asim Jelani

Many thanks Jamil and Asim. I am grateful you visited my blog. We all have a duty to perform towards propagation and understanding of Islam. May Allah accept our efforts. Ameen

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