Saturday 18 June 2022

Why does Allah give leverage to the tyrants and demagogues

The world is full of tyrants, usurpers, demagogues and criminals who roam around the helpless scot-free while the poor and hapless continue to live a life of oppression and miseries. These criminals are generally above the law as the law to is afraid of them and even these known culprits cheat the justice by bribery and coercion and have the cases against them settled in their favour and rule the world without any fear. This equally applicable to many politicians who when seeking votes make larger than life big promises but when they walk into the power corridors their lust for looting public money and enforce a regime of oppression and make their people bleed rather then affording them a happy living.

The poor and oppressed often wonder why the Divine One extend leverage to them while the blatantly disobey His rules and  create chaos on the land at their will? Does Allah favour them or does Allah let the helpless be oppressed forever? They often wonder what is the Wisdom behind delaying the Punishment ?

There is indeed a rationale behind this and Allah explains this in the 45th verse / ayat of Surah 35. Fatir:

وَلَوۡ يُـؤَاخِذُ اللّٰهُ النَّاسَ بِمَا كَسَبُوۡا مَا تَرَكَ عَلٰى ظَهۡرِهَا مِنۡ دَآ بَّةٍ وَّلٰـكِنۡ يُّؤَخِّرُهُمۡ اِلٰٓى اَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّىۚ فَاِذَا جَآءَ اَجَلُهُمۡ فَاِنَّ اللّٰهَ كَانَ بِعِبَادِهٖ بَصِيۡرًا
(35:45) If Allah were to take people to task for their deeds, He would not leave any living creature on earth, but He grants them respite to an appointed time. When their appointed time comes to an end, surely Allah fully observes His servants.

This is a self explanatory answer to the woes of many. None of us clean and free of faults and crimes. All of us have wounded hearts, intentionally or even intentionally, and hurt others even if we thought were not. and that is how crimes germinate from small incidents to larger and bigger crimes. I f seen from the perspective of Allah, we all are criminals of some kind. So if Allah starts to catch  everyone of us, there wouldn't be any one  living or being misery. Allah being most compassionate and entirely merciful, thus gives us leverage so that we may amend our attitudes and let everyone live in peace. But this leverage is time barred for every dog has its day. So Allah grants these criminals and demagogues respite to an appointed time. And when despite the respite so given, if the criminals do not mend their ways, repent their crimes and seek forgiveness, the wrath of Allah is ferocious and unending.

Ever seen a deadly snake who scares the hell out of us and everyone fears of their life. But when the snake is killed, it lies lifelessly and people come and kick it at leisure with no fear. Same happens to these usurpers and tyrants. When wrath of Allah descends on them, the fall to grace to utterly misery and are even hanged and robbed of their once tyrannical and wealthy life. The world is replete with such examples. Even many mighty people of Ad and empires like the Roman Empires vanished leaving only the remnants of their might. These remnant are for us as reminders of Godly justice which strikes at the appointed time and for us to shun our wrong notions and follow the way of God - The Aṣ-Ṣirāṭ al-Mustaqīm - The Straight Path.

Renowned Muslim scholar Yusuf Ali explains this verse as under:
Cf. xvi. 61. " If Allah were to punish men for their wrongdoing He would not leave on the (earth) a single living creature: but He gives them respite for a stated term: when their term expires they would not be able to delay (the punishment) for a single hour just as they would not be able to anticipate it (for a single hour)."

There would be no salvation for any of us if we went merely on our deserts. It is Allah's mercy that saves us and helps us to a better and better life until we attain the goal of our existence.

A single living creature. This may refer to man, the living crawling creature, with so many possibilities and yet so many weaknesses. But it may mean all creatures literally, as the life of this planet more or less centres round the life of man. He has been given dominion on this earth, and in his state of purity he is Allah's vicegerent.

Has in His sight all creatures: i.e., to deal with, according to His laws of Forbearance, Mercy and Justice. The respite does not mean that any one escapes His vigilant eye. All will be dealt with according to their deeds, with justice tempered with Mercy.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: 
(And if Allah were to punish men for that which they earned, He would not leave a moving creature on the surface of the earth;) meaning, if He were to punish them for all of their sins, He would destroy all the people of the earth and all that they own of livestock and crops. 

Sa`id bin Jubayr and As-Suddi commented on the Ayah: (He would not leave a moving creature on the surface of the earth;) "This means, He would have stopped sending rain to them, and all the animals would have died as a result.''

(but He gives them respite to an appointed term,) means, but He is delaying until the Day of Resurrection, when He will bring them to account and will reward or punish each one according to his deeds: He will reward those who obeyed Him and will punish those who disobeyed Him. 

He says: (and when their term comes, then verily, Allah is Ever All-Seer of His servants.) This is the end of the Tafsir of Surah Fatir. All praise and gratitude is due to Allah.

Explanation Qur'an Wiki:
The last verse in the sūrah speaks of God’s forbearance and compassion, juxtaposing these with His power and knowledge. It emphasizes that people are given a chance, not punished immediately, but that this does not affect the eventual accurate reckoning of their deeds or the fairness of the results at the end. All this is an aspect of His grace.

People commit all sorts of bad actions, showing ingratitude for God’s favours, spreading evil and corruption on earth, committing all manner of injustices and excesses. Were God to mete out fair punishment to people for their actions, His punishment would have gone beyond them to include every living thing on the face of the earth. The whole planet would then be unsuitable for any type of life, not merely human life.

This highlights the terrible nature of what people perpetrate as a destructive force that could end life in its entirety. However, God does not take people to task straightaway; He forbears and gives them chances: “However, He grants them respite for a term set [by Him].” He grants respite to individuals until the end of their lives on earth, and gives communities respite to fulfil their responsibility in performing the task He has assigned mankind to build human life on earth, until they hand over to the next generation. He also grants respite to the human race until the end of human life in this world when the Last Hour arrives. He provides us with all these chances so that we mend our ways and improve our actions.

“When their term comes to an end...” when the time for work and earning reward is over; when it is time for reckoning and administering reward; God will not begrudge them anything of their reward. On the contrary, He will be fair to all: “God has all His servants in His sight.” The fact that He has them all in His sight ensures that they will be fairly requited for whatever they have done in their lives. Nothing serious or trivial will be discounted for or against them.

Thus ends this sūrah which started with praising God, the Originator of the heavens and the earth, “who assigns angels to be messengers, endowed with wings,” delivering His message, with its warnings and happy news to people on earth.

Please listen to explanation of the ayat by eminent Muslim scholar Nouman Ali Khan:
May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and help us to act upon the commandments of Allah contained therein. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others life miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. Aameen.

For more Selected Verses, please refer to our reference page: Selected Verses from the Qur'anYou may also refer to our Reference Pages  and Understanding Al Qur'an 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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