Thursday 21 April 2022

When does Evil become rife on land and sea

This universe was created by Allah and well provisioned for man to live in peace and thank Allah for being blessed with so much around him to live a comfortable life in complete gratitude to Allah. But the machinations of Evil are too lucrative for the man to sway away from the path shown by Allah and get distracted to lewdness and sinful life. It is because of these bad deeds of the man that Evil becomes strife on land and sea and man drown in depths of ignorance, self damage and nuisance for others.

We share today the 41st verse of Surah 30 Ar Rum which explains how evil spreads due to man's own deeds:

ظَهَرَ الۡفَسَادُ فِى الۡبَرِّ وَالۡبَحۡرِ بِمَا كَسَبَتۡ اَيۡدِى النَّاسِ لِيُذِيۡقَهُمۡ بَعۡضَ الَّذِىۡ عَمِلُوۡا لَعَلَّهُمۡ يَرۡجِعُوۡنَ‏ 
(30:41) Evil has become rife on the land and at sea because of men's deeds; this in order that He may cause them to have a taste of some of their deeds; perhaps they will turn back (from evil).
Here "Man's own doings" mean the wickedness and oppression and tyranny, which inevitably appear in human conduct and character as a result of adopting shirk and atheism and ignoring the Hereafter. "Maybe they mend their ways" means that Allah shows the evil consequences of some of the acts of men in this world before the punishment of the Hereafter so that they understand the reality, feel the error of their conjectures and turn to the righteous belief, which the Prophets of Allah have been presenting before man since the earliest times, and besides adopting which there is no other way of ordering human conduct on sound foundations. This subject has been presented at several places in the Qur'an, e.g. in At-Taubah: 126, Ar-Ra'd: 31, As-Sajdah: 21, Al-Tur: 47, reproduced here in under:
[At-Taubah: 126] Do they not see that they are tried every year once or twice? Yet they neither repent nor take heed.
(Ar-Ra'd: 31) And what would have happened were a Qur'an to be revealed wherewith mountains could be set in motion, or the earth cleft, or the dead made to speak? (To show such signs is not at all difficult for) everything rests entirely with Allah. So, do not the people of faith (still look forward to such a sign in response to the demand of the unbelievers and) despair as a result of knowing that had Allah so willed, He could have guided all to the Truth. Misfortune continues to afflict the unbelievers on account of their misdeeds, or to befall on locations close to their habitation. This will continue until Allah's promise (of chastisement) is fulfilled. Indeed Allah does not go back upon His promise.

(As-Sajdah: 21) We shall certainly have them taste some chastisement in this world in addition to the greater chastisement (of the Hereafter); perhaps they will retract (from their transgression).

(Al-Tur: 47,) Surely a chastisement awaits the wrong-doers even before the coming of that Day; but most of them do not know 

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: ( ظَهَرَ الْفَسَادُ Evil has appeared) "The rain is withheld from the land and this is followed by famine, and it is withheld from the sea, adversely affecting the animals which live in it.'' 

This was recorded by Ibn Abi Hatim, who said: "Muhammad bin `Abdullah bin Yazid Al-Muqri' told us, from Sufyan from Humayd bin Qays Al-A`raj from Mujahid: ( ظَهَرَ الْفَسَادُ فِى الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ Evil has appeared on land and sea) "Evil on land means the killing of the son of Adam, and evil on the sea means piracy.'' 

According to the first opinion, the phrase, ( ظَهَرَ الْفَسَادُ فِى الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِى النَّاسِ Evil has appeared on land and sea because of what the hands of men have earned, ) means the shortfall in the crops and fruits is because of sins. Abu Al-`Aliyah said: "Whoever disobeys Allah in the earth has corrupted it, because the good condition of the earth and the heavens depends on obedience to Allah.'' 

Hence it says in the Hadith which was recorded by Abu Dawud:

(Any prescribed punishment which is carried out in the land is better for its people than if it were to rain for forty days.) The reason for that is that if the prescribed punishments are carried out, this will deter the people -- most or many of them -- from violating the prohibitions of Allah. If they give up sin, this will be a cause of blessings in the skies and on the earth. So, when `Isa bin Maryam, peace be upon him, comes down at the end of time, he will judge according to this Shari`ah at that time, and will kill the pigs and break the cross and abolish the Jizyah. He will accept nothing except Islam or the sword. When Allah destroys the Dajjal and his followers, and Ya'juj and Ma'juj during his time, it will be said to the earth, bring forth your blessing. Then groups of people will eat from one pomegranate, and will seek shade beneath its skin, and the milk of one pregnant camel will be sufficient for a group of people. This will only be because of the blessings that will result from application of the Shari`ah of Muhammad . The more justice is established, the more the blessings and good things will increase. 

It was reported in the Sahih: (When the evildoer dies, it is a relief for the people, the land, the trees and the animals.) Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal recorded that Abu Qahdham said: "At the time of Ziyad or Ibn Ziyad, a man found a cloth in which were wrapped grains of wheat which were as big as date stones; on it was written: `This grew at a time when justice prevailed.'''

( لِيُذِيقَهُمْ بَعْضَ الَّذِى عَمِلُواْ that He may make them taste a part of that which they have done,) means, He tries them with the loss of wealth, souls and fruits as a test and as a punishment for what they have done.

( لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ in order that they may return.) means, from disobedience. This is like the Ayah, (And We tried them with good and evil in order that they might turn.) (7:168).  

Asad Ali Explanation: The growing corruption and destruction of our natural environment, so awesomely - if as yet only partially - demonstrated in our time, is here predicted as "an outcome of what men's hands have wrought", i.e., of that self-destructive - because utterly materialistic - inventiveness and frenzied activity which now threatens mankind with previously unimaginable ecological disasters: an unbridled pollution of land, air and water through industrial and urban waste, a progressive poisoning of plant and marine life, all manner of genetic malformations in men's own bodies through an ever-widening use of drugs and seemingly "beneficial" chemicals, and the gradual extinction of many animal species essential to human well-being. To all this may be added the rapid deterioration and decomposition of man's social life, the all-round increase in sexual perversion, crime and violence, with, perhaps, nuclear annhihilation as the ultimate stage: all of which is, in the last resort, an outcome of man's oblivion of God and, hence, of all absolute values, and their supersession by the belief that material "progress" is the only thing that matters.

Yusuf Ali Explanation: Allah's Creation was pure and good in itself. All the mischief or corruption was introduced by Evil, viz., arrogance, selfishness, etc. As soon as the mischief has come in, Allah's mercy and goodness step in to stop it. The consequences of Evil must be evil, and this should be shown in such partial punishment as 'the hands of men have earned," so that it may be a warning for the future and an invitation to enter the door of repentance.

The ultimate object of Allah's justice and punishment is to reclaim man from Evil, and to restore him to the pristine purity and innocence in which he was created. The Evil introduced by his possession of a limited free-will should be eliminated by the education and purification of man's own will. For, with his will and motives purified, he is capable of much greater heights than a creature not endowed with any free-will.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
The war and enmity between Rome and Persia mentioned earlier in the sūrah is referred to here. Such disorder has ensued in human history from time to time. In recent times, the first and second world wars are its examples. It ensues when the vested interests of people and the desire to dominate others makes them totally disregard ethical principles and instead of justice and fairness they resort to oppression and injustice.

( has ensued in the land and the sea ) These words are meant to comprehensively cover all places, the way we say expressions like, day and night and morning and evening.

( [This is inviting God] that He make them taste the flavour of some of their misdeeds so that they pay heed ) It is in the Hereafter that people will taste the flavour of all their misdeeds but at times some of their misdeeds are punished in this world. The purpose is to warn people so that they turn to their Lord before the reward and punishment of the Hereafter.

Tafseer Al Qurthubi: Said in Quran that fasad (damage) shown in land and sea because of the doings of mankind. The what is the meaning of fasad?

The scholars differed in interpreting the meaning of “al fasad (damage) on land and at sea”:
Fasad means shirk: Qotadah and As Suddi say: al fasad is shirk, and it is the greatest damage”.
Fasad means murder: Ibnu Abbas, Ikrimah and Mujahid said: “Al fasad on land is the murder of fellow brothers (believers), including Qobil killing Habil. And the facades in the sea are among the kings who seized the boat arbitrarily”.
Fasad means crisis in land: Other scholars say: “Al fasad is drought and lack of vegetation and loss of blessing”. Similar meaning is also mentioned by Ibn Abbas: “Al fasad is the reduction of blessings from the deeds of the servants, so that they repent”. An Nuhas said: “This is the best opinion about the meaning of this verse”.
Fasad means crisis in sea: Ibn Abbas also said: “al fasad in the sea is the reduction of marine products because of human sins”. Athiyyah said: “If the rainfall is low, it is rare for people to dive into the sea, so that the fishermen also lose and the marine mammals are spread out a lot (so they eat small fish, pent).” Ibn Abbas said: “If the rain falls from the sky, then the shells are opened in the sea, and what is found in it which descends from the sky is the jewel”.
Fasad means monetary crisis: Other scholars say: “Al fasad is a monetary crisis and the difficulty of making a living”
Fasad means immorality: Other scholars say: “Al fasad is immorality, robbery and tyranny. So that these things become obstacles to agriculture, development and business”.
May Allah help us understand Qur'ān and help us to act upon the commandments of Allah contained therein. May Allah help us against the machinations of Evil and help us do good things to be saved of Allah's wrath. 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 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.  
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided, 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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