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Saturday, October 29, 2022

Description of the Believers of Good Deeds

Qur'an is a book of Divine Guidance for those who read and understands it. The Qur'an spells out the traits of those who will be blessed not only in this world but in the Hereafter. It also warns those who do not abide by the Divine Commandments and care naught for the guidance contained in it. It is those who will be losers both in this world and the Hereafter.

We have many such ayats/verses from Qur'an before. Today we share five verses from the 23rd chapter of Qur'an: Surah 23. Al-Muminun (The Believers) / (verses 57-61) These verses in fact spell out the description of the believers of good deeds:

اِنَّ الَّذِيۡنَ هُمۡ مِّنۡ خَشۡيَةِ رَبِّهِمۡ مُّشۡفِقُوۡنَۙ‏ 
(23:57) Surely those who stand in awe for fear of their Lord,
وَالَّذِيۡنَ هُمۡ بِاٰيٰتِ رَبِّهِمۡ يُؤۡمِنُوۡنَۙ‏
(23:58) who have full faith in the Signs of their Lord;
وَالَّذِيۡنَ هُمۡ بِرَبِّهِمۡ لَا يُشۡرِكُوۡنَۙ‏ 
(23:59) who associate none with their Lord in His Divinity,
وَالَّذِيۡنَ يُؤۡتُوۡنَ مَاۤ اٰتَوْا وَّ قُلُوۡبُهُمۡ وَجِلَةٌ اَنَّهُمۡ اِلٰى رَبِّهِمۡ رٰجِعُوۡنَ ۙ‏ 
(23:60) who give, whatever they give in charity, with their hearts trembling at the thought that they are destined to return to their Lord;
اُولٰٓـئِكَ يُسَارِعُوۡنَ فِىۡ الۡخَيۡـرٰتِ وَهُمۡ لَهَا سٰبِقُوۡنَ‏  
(23:61) it is these who hasten to do good work and vie in so doing with one another.

The main theme of Qur'an hinges on proclamation of One True Omnipotent God, without any associates, and True Faith in Him, while honesty and helping others and standing against the tyrants is next. If you just scan over these five verses, all these have been summed up in plain and easy to understand words. Now let us see how eminent Muslim scholars gave interpreted these verses:

Verse 57:
Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi Explanation:
That is, they do not live a carefree life devoid of the fear of God. They live in awe of Him and are fully conscious that He oversees and watches them in all their motives and actions and they are thus deterred from thinking and doing evil.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: 
(Verily, those who live in awe for fear of their Lord;) means, even though they have reached the level of Ihsan and have faith and do righteous deeds, they are still in awe of Allah and fear Him and His hidden plans for them, as Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, "The believer combines Ihsan with awe, while the disbelievers combine evil deeds with a sense of security.''

Tafsir Qur'an Wiki:
By contrast, the believers are always on the alert, taking necessary precautions. Here we see how faith affects hearts, imparting to them a special kind of refinement, sensitivity and aspiration to attain perfection. They are the ones who consider the consequences of their actions. They are always ready and willing to do their duties.

Verse 58:
Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi Explanation:
"Signs" here means both Divine Revelations to the Prophets and the signs found in man's own self and in the universe around him. To believe in the verses of the Book is to affirm them, and to believe in the signs of human self and the universe is to affirm the realities which they point to.

Tafsir Qur'an Wiki:
Both its style and theme indicate that it was revealed during the middle stage of Prophethood at Makkah. Reading between the lines one feels that a bitter conflict had begun between the Prophet and the disbelievers of Makkah though the persecution by them had not yet become tyrannical. It appears that the Surah was sent down during the climax of the “Famine” in Makkah (v. 75-76) which according to authentic traditions occurred during the middle stage of Prophethood. Moreover, according to a tradition related by ‘Urwah bin Zubair, Hadarat Umar who had embraced Islam by that time said, ‘This Surah was revealed in my presence and I myself observed the state of the Holy Prophet during its revelation. When the revelation ended the Holy Prophet remarked ‘On this occasion ten such verses have been sent down to me that the one who measures up to them will most surely go to Paradise’. Then he recited the initial verses of the Surah. (Ahmad and Tirmidhi)

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: 
(And those who believe in the Ayat of their Lord;) means, they believe in His universal and legislative signs, as Allah says about Maryam, peace be upon her: (And she testified to the truth of the Words of her Lord, and His Scriptures) [66:12], meaning that she believed that whatever existed was by the will and decree of Allah, and that whatever Allah decreed, if it was a command, it would be something that He liked and accepted; if it was a prohibition, it would be something that He disliked and rejected; and if it was good, it would be true. 

This is like the Ayah 59: 

Verse 59:
Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi Explanation:
Though belief in the Revelations itself ingrains the doctrine of Tauhid in the hearts, yet the believers have been warned to guard against shirk. This is because, in spite of believing in the Revelations, man is inclined to commit shirk in one form or the other, for instance, in exaggerating the teachings of the Prophets and righteous people, supplicating and serving others than Allah, etc.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: 
(And those who join not anyone (in worship) as partners with their Lord;) meaning, they do not worship anyone or anything else besides Him, but they worship Him Alone and know that there is no god except Allah Alone, the One, the Self-Sufficient Master, who does not take a wife or have any offspring, and there is none comparable or equal unto Him.

Verse 60:
Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi Explanation:
This verse (60) may be elaborated like this: "They serve their Lord and try their best to obey Him and do righteous deeds, but all along they remain humble in their hearts and are not puffed up with the pride of their piety: nay, in spite of all their good deeds, their hearts are always filled with awe that they shall have to render an account to their Lord, and they are not sure whether they will come out successful in the judgment of their Lord or not."

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: 
(And those who give that which they give with their hearts full of fear, because they are sure to return to their Lord.) means, they give to charity, fearing that it may not be accepted by them because of some shortcoming or failure to meet the required conditions of giving. 
This has to do with fear and taking precautions, as Imam Ahmad recorded from `A'ishah: I said: "O Messenger of Allah, (And those who give that which they give with their hearts full of fear...) Are these the ones who steal and commit Zina and drink alcohol while fearing Allah'' 
The Messenger of Allah replied: (No, O daughter of Abu Bakr. O daughter of As-Siddiq, the one who prays, fast and gives in charity, fearing Allah.) This was recorded by At-Tirmidhi, and Ibn Abi Hatim recorded something similar in which the Prophet said: (No, O daughter of As-Siddiq, they are the ones who pray and fast and give in charity while fearing that it will not be accepted from them, (It is these who hasten in the good deeds.)) This is also how Ibn `Abbas, Muhammad bin Ka`b Al-Qurazi and Al-Hasan Al-Basri interpreted this Ayah.
Yusuf Ali Explanation: 
Their hearts are full of reverence for Allah and fear lest their charity or their hearts be not good enough for acceptance before their Lord; for they have the certainty of a future life, in which they will stand before the Judgment Seat. They fear for their own worthiness, but they hope in Faith.

Muhammad Asad Explanation:
This is an allusion to the giving of what one is morally obliged to give, whether it be in charity or in satisfaction of rightful claims on the part of one's fellow-men, including such intangible "gifts" as the dispensing of justice.

Let us be among these good people who believe in One True God and help others for the sake of their Lord.
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: 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

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 the following sources: 
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Translation Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Qur'an Wiki
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
In addition, 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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