Wednesday 5 October 2022

Believers, fear Allah and speak the truth

Man is servant of his Creator and must live a life as directed and ordained by Him. So long one obeys Allah, no harm and fear confronts him, except as a test. And those who shrug off Divine Commandments and live a life of their own choosing based on their own self-made laws are more often than not disgraced and devastated in some stage of their lives. 

But contrary to the Divine Wisdom behind fearing Allah and speaking the truth, many believers today find it much too easy to hide facts, tell lies and over exaggerate the quality of their products to earn handsome profits. Not to mention here the politicians whose entire life is based on deceit and hollow promises to hoodwink the poor to bag votes, come into power and then loot from the masses rather than providing them with a good living as promised. These double standards are due to the fact that they do not fear Allah, for if they do, they would never lie.

We share today two verses from Surah 33. Al Ahzab (The Clans) which ordain believers to fear Allah and speak the truth. That is, they should say what befits believers and is a requisite of their faith which is: “we listened and obeyed.”:

يٰۤـاَيُّهَا الَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللّٰهَ وَقُوۡلُوۡا قَوۡلًا سَدِيۡدًا ۙ‏
Believers, fear Allah and speak the truth

يُّصۡلِحۡ لَـكُمۡ اَعۡمَالَـكُمۡ وَيَغۡفِرۡ لَـكُمۡ ذُنُوۡبَكُمۡؕ وَمَنۡ يُّطِعِ اللّٰهَ وَرَسُوۡلَهٗ فَقَدۡ فَازَ فَوۡزًا عَظِيۡمًا‏  
(33:71) Allah will set your deeds right for you and will forgive you your sins. Whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has achieved a great triumph.

Although the above quoted verses leave a very clear and unambiguous message to the believers, these verses are best explained by renowned 14th century Muslim scholar and exegete Ibn-Kathir as the Command to the Believers to have Taqwa and speak the Truth

Here Allah commands His servants to have Taqwa of Him, worshipping Him as if they can see Him, and to ( قَوْلاً سَدِيداً speak (always) the truth.) meaning, to speak in a straightforward manner, with no crookedness or distortion. He promises them that if they do that, He will reward them by making their deeds righteous, i.e., enabling them to do righteous deeds, and He will forgive them their past sins. With regard to whatever sins, they may commit in the future, He will inspire them to repent from them. 

Then Allah says: ( وَمَن يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ فَازَ فَوْزاً عَظِيماً and whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed achieved a great victory.) meaning, he will be saved from the fire of Hell and will enjoy everlasting delights (in Paradise).

Yusuf Ali Translation:
We must not only speak the truth as far as we know it, but we must always try to hit the right point; i.e., we must not speak unseasonably, and when we do speak, we must not beat about the bush, but go straight to that which is right, in deed as well as in word. Then Allah will make our conduct right and cure any defects that there may be in our knowledge and character. With our endeavour directed straight to the goal, we shall be forgiven our errors, shortcomings, faults, and sins of the past.

Verse 71 points towards salvation, the attainment of our real spiritual desire or ambition, as we are on the highway to nearness to Allah.

Muhammad Asad Explanation:
The expression qawl sadid "  قَوْلاً سَدِيداً " signifies, literally, "a saying that hits the mark", i.e., is truthful, relevant and to the point. In the only other instance where this expression is used in the Qur'an (at the end of 4:9 ) it may be appropriately rendered as "speaking in a just manner"; in the present instance, however, it obviously relates to speaking of others in a manner devoid of all hidden meanings, insinuations and frivolous suspicions, aiming at no more and no less than the truth.

Tafsir Qur'an Wiki:
The Sūrah directs the believers to say only what is just, true and accurate. They should make sure of what they say and its effects, before they accept what the hypocrites and spreaders of lies say, and before they pay attention to any wild accusation or evil fabrication against the Prophet, their leader and guide. It directs them to say the right words leading to the right action. God takes care of those who make sure of saying what is right, proper and accurate, guiding their footsteps and making their deeds sound, producing good results. God also forgives the sins of those who say what is right and do righteous deeds, for even they are not immune to slips and errors. They are all human, and by nature humans err and need God’s forgiveness.

To obey God and His Messenger is, in itself, a great triumph, because it means consciously following the way God has marked out. It gives comfort and reassurance. To be sure that one is following the right way gives happiness, even if it does not earn any reward. A person who follows a direct, easy way that is full of light and who finds that all God’s creatures respond to him and help him has totally different prospects from one who follows a blocked, rough way that is covered in darkness with all God’s creatures emitting hostility towards him. Obedience to God and His Messenger brings its own immediate reward. Moreover, it achieves a great triumph now, before the Day of Judgement and entry into heaven. Enjoying bliss in the life to come is an act of grace which is over and above the reward for such obedience. It is a grace bestowed by God freely, without anything being asked in return.

Having explained the above said verse in detail, you may now 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' lives 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 for making 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: Important DOs and DON'Ts from Qur'anYou may also refer to our Reference Pages: Understanding Al Qur'an and  Selected Verses from the Qur'an for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.
Photo | Tafsir References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 |

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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