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Monday, August 8, 2022

Believers !! Beware of anchorites who devour the substance of men and hinder (them) from the way of Allah

All Divine religions have been very simple and revealed in easy to understand languages so that even an illiterate could understand, if not all, but the central theme of a verse or a chapter. However, this has been most unfortunate that the religious men, priests, monks and  anchorites has since the revelation of Divine religions have befooled the ordinary servants of God and made fortunes by robbing them by false information and misguiding them on paths that lead the servants of God away from God and to the wretched paths of the priests.

It is not only the Divine religions alone, but other man made religions too have been marred by these ills. The places of worships abound in heaps of wealth, gold and money artfully usurped by the religious men for their use. One would often find these priests filthy rich, of course their riches attributed to money of their followers.

Unfortunately, these ills have made their inroads in the religion of Islam, specially in countries like India, Bangladesh and Pakistan where priests, imams, and handlers of shrines of by gone religious men continue to rob their followers and live a richly life themselves. Recently, on the death of a so called scholar, it was found that the dead "good" man had fortunes worth billions. With no soure of income, how could head of an organization amass so much of wealth?

And this is despite the fact that Allah had warned the believers to be watchful of such priests and anchorites more than 1400 years ago when the religious men of Jewism and Christianity fed false information to their followers, devoured on their hard earned wealth and substance. And yet, mislead them to paths other than those leading to Allah so that their authority and greed is not compromised. What happens in shrines is no different. Poor men and women with low grade quality of faith come with their hard earned money so that their prayers are answered, so they are told. Had these so called priests been truthful, they would lead their followers closer to Allah by teaching them the real substance of religion rather than robbing them.

We share the 34th verse of Surah 9 At Tauba (The Repentance) which is based on the same theme as explained above.

يٰۤاَيُّهَا الَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡۤا اِنَّ كَثِيۡرًا مِّنَ الۡاَحۡبَارِ وَالرُّهۡبَانِ لَيَاۡكُلُوۡنَ اَمۡوَالَ النَّاسِ بِالۡبَاطِلِ وَيَصُدُّوۡنَ عَنۡ سَبِيۡلِ اللّٰهِ​ؕ وَالَّذِيۡنَ يَكۡنِزُوۡنَ الذَّهَبَ وَالۡفِضَّةَ وَلَا يُنۡفِقُوۡنَهَا فِىۡ سَبِيۡلِ اللّٰهِۙ فَبَشِّرۡهُمۡ بِعَذَابٍ اَلِيۡمٍۙ‏ 
[9:34] O ye who believe! there are indeed many among the priests and anchorites who in falsehood devour the substance of men and hinder (them) from the way of Allah. And there are those who bury gold and silver and spend it not in the way of Allah: announce unto them a most grievous penalty.

Explaining the above said verse, one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi is of the opinion that these religious leaders are guilty of two sins. First, they devour the wealth of the common people by selling false decrees, and by taking bribes, gifts and presents on different pretexts. They invent religious regulations and rituals as tempt people to buy their salvations and fortunes in life from them and make deaths and marriages dependent on the payment of due `price' to these "monopolists" of Paradise. To add to this another sin, they debar the people from the Way of Allah by involving them into different sorts of deviations and by obstructing the way of every Righteous Mission with the obstacles of `learned' doubts and `pious' suspicions.

Muhammad Asad Explanation:
Most probably this is, in the first instance, an allusion to the wealth of the Jewish and Christian communities, and their misuse of this wealth. Some of the commentators, however, are of the opinion that the reference is wider, comprising all people, including Muslims, who hoard their wealth without spending anything thereof on righteous causes.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation
Bil-batili = in falsehood, i.e., by false means, pretences, or in false or vain things. This was strikingly exemplified in the history of Mediaeval Europe. Though the disease is apt to attack all peoples and organisations at all times. Priests got rich by issuing indulgences and dispensations; they made their office a stepping stone to worldly power and possessions. Even the Monastic Orders, which took vows of poverty for individuals grew rich with corporate property, until their wealth became a scandal, even among their own nations.

Misuse of wealth, property, and resources is frequently condemned, and in three ways: (1) do not acquire anything wrongfully or on false pretences; (2) do not hoard or bury or amass wealth for its own sake but use it freely for good, whether for yourself or for your neighbours; and (3) be particularly careful not to waste it for idle purposes, but only so that it may fructify for the good of the people.

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 follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, which is embodiment of commandments of Allah contained in the  Qur'ān. 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. 
وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is Our duty is only to convey to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible to make you accept it forcibly, And if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, You will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.

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. It will also help the Muslims to have grasp over social issues and their answers discussed in the Qur'an and other matter related to inter faith so  that they are able to discuss issues with Non Muslims with authority based on refences from Qur'an.

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

Note: When we mention God in our posts, we mean One True God, we call Allah in Islam, with no associates. Allah is the Sole Creator of all things, and that Allah is all-powerful and all-knowing. Allah has no offspring, no race, no gender, no body, and is unaffected by the characteristics of human life.

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.
Photo | Tafsir References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |

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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