Friday 5 February 2021

Who are the Strayed Ones (from the Right Path)

Allah has commanded at many a places in the Qur'an that once a believer opts for the Deen of Islam, he must have firm belief in Allah and must never stray away from the Right Path and must never equate anyone with Him nor call upon others than Him for help. For Allah alone is the Sustainer and Provider of all bounties and blessings.

But despite the clear warnings that appear repeatedly in the Qur'an, there are many believers with weak faith who find refuge in false prophets and deities who mislead them and take them away from the Right Path. Allah thus warns all those who follow deities other than He and reassures them that none other than He can answer their calls or none other than He can grant them what they ask for. The following verse from Surah Al Ahqaf is one of the stern warnings from Allah:

وَمَنۡ اَضَلُّ مِمَّنۡ يَّدۡعُوۡا مِنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰهِ مَنۡ لَّا يَسۡتَجِيۡبُ لَهٗۤ اِلٰى يَوۡمِ الۡقِيٰمَةِ وَهُمۡ عَنۡ دُعَآئِهِمۡ غٰفِلُوۡنَ‏
(46:5) Who is farther strayed from the Right Path than he who calls upon others than Allah that cannot answer his call till the Day of Resurrection, the while they are not even conscious that callers are calling upon them?

“Cannot respond to him” means Cannot answer the supplications of any one. That is, these gods do not possess the powers by virtue of which they could give decisions on the prayers and petitions of their devotees. 

“Until the Day of Resurrection” means that as long as the world lasts they will get no answer to their supplications and prayers from their deities, but when Resurrection will have taken place, the deities will turn hostile to their worshipers themselves, as becomes explicit from the next verse.

Here it is stressed that they (the worldly deities buried in their graves) do not even hear the supplications of the supplicants, neither through their own ears nor through any other means. This thing can be elaborated like this: The being whom the polytheists the world over have been invoking are divided into three categories:

(1) Lifeless and inanimate creation.

(2) The pious men who have passed away.

(3) The wicked men who had themselves gone astray, and who misled others and passed away.

As for the first category of the deities they will naturally remain unaware of the supplications of their worshipers. As for the deities of the second kind, who were favorites with their God, there are two reasons of their remaining unaware: (a) They are in the presence of Allah in a state where human voices cannot reach them directly; and (b) even Allah and His angels do not inform them that the people whom they had been teaching to invoke Allah alone in the world, were invoking them instead, for no information could cause them a greater shock than this, and Allah does not at all like to vex the souls of His righteous servants.

Now if we consider the case of the third kind of the deities, we shall see that there are two reasons also of their remaining unaware: (a) That they have been placed in confinement as the accused, and no voice from the world can reach them; and (b) that even Allah and His angels do not convey to them the news that their mission is flourishing in the world, and the people have set them up as deities, for this news would be a happy news for them, and Allah does not like to make the wicked people happy.

In this connection, one should also understand that Allah conveys to His righteous servants the greetings of peace and prayers of mercy from the people of the world, for these things are a source of joy and pleasure for them. Likewise, He informs the culprits of the curses, censures and condemnations of the people of the world, as the disbelievers killed in the Battle of Badr were made to hear the curse of the Prophet (peace be upon him) according to a Hadith, for it is a cause of anguish for them. But anything which might cause distress to the righteous people and joy to the culprits is not conveyed to them. This explanation makes the truth about the question of hearing by the dead plain and easy to understand.

And the very next verse is a response from the false deities who would flatly refuse on the Day of Resurrection that they ever invited them to follow them:
(46:6) When all human beings will be gathered together those who had been called upon will become the enemies to their votaries and will disown their worship.
That is, they will say: We had neither told the people to invoke us for help, nor are we aware that they used to invoke us. They themselves had presumed that we could fulfill their needs and so had started invoking us.

This is similar to Allah's saying: 
(They have taken gods beside Allah, that they might give them dignity. No! They will deny their worship of them, and will be opponents to them.) (19:81, 82) meaning, they will betray them when they need them the most. (Ibrahim) Al-Khalil, peace be upon him, said: (You have taken only idols besides Allah! The love between you is only in the life of this world. On the Day of Resurrection, you shall disown each other and curse each other, and your abode will be the Fire, and you shall have no helpers.)(29:25)
Ibn Kathir notes that no one is more misguided than those who invoke idols instead of Allah, asking them for things that they cannot give -- until the Day of Judgment. They (the idols) are unaware of what he asks, they can neither hear, see, or act. This is because they are inanimate, senseless stones.

Yusuf Ali explains that As there is no argument at all in favour of your sham worship, what sense is there in it? Either your false gods are senseless stocks and stones which will never answer you to the end of Time, being themselves devoid of understanding, or they are real objects which will disown you at the last. If you worshipped Self, your own misused faculties will witness against you at the last (xli. 20-23). If you worshipped good men or prophets, like Jesus, they will disown you (v. 119). Similarly, if you worshipped angels, they will disown you (xxxiv. 40-41).

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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