Sunday 11 December 2022

Qur’an Promises great reward for believers and stern warning for disbelievers / nonbelievers

Allah, our Lord and the Master of the entire universe, has set forth laws and rules for everything He has created so as to maintain balance and harmony. All stars and galaxies follow the same rules and never exceed the motion and direction allowed to them.  Likewise, for man, Divine Scriptures have been revealed to selected prophets so that they convey these rules and laws to man for living a life as designed for them by Him.

All Divine Scriptures direct man to follow the straight path as guided and if they do so, they are promised great rewards, both i this world and in the life of the Hereafter. And these also convey a stern warning for those who do not seek guidance and create their own laws or interject their own likes into the Divine revelations to live a aimless life. Such are the people who create chaos in the world and are sternly warned for a painful chastisement waiting for them.

This is the very theme of the two verses selected from Surah 17. Al Isra (The Night Journey), also known as Bani Israil (The Children of Israel) selected for our post today in our series of posts on Selected Verses from Qur'an:

اِنَّ هٰذَا الۡقُرۡاٰنَ يَهۡدِىۡ لِلَّتِىۡ هِىَ اَقۡوَمُ وَ يُبَشِّرُ الۡمُؤۡمِنِيۡنَ الَّذِيۡنَ يَعۡمَلُوۡنَ الصّٰلِحٰتِ اَنَّ لَهُمۡ اَجۡرًا كَبِيۡرًا ۙ‏ 
(17:9) Verily this Qur'an guides to the Way that is the Straight most. To those who believe in it, and do righteous works, it gives the good news that a great reward awaits them,
وَّاَنَّ الَّذِيۡنَ لَا يُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ بِالۡاٰخِرَةِ اَعۡتَدۡنَا لَهُمۡ عَذَابًا اَلِيۡمًا‏ 
(17:10) and warns those who do not believe in the Hereafter that We have prepared for them a grievous chastisement.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: Praising the Qur'an
Allah praises His noble Book, the Qur'an, which He revealed to His Messenger Muhammad. It directs people to the best and clearest of ways.
  • (وَيُبَشِّرُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ gives good news to those who believe,) in it a
  • (الَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ الصَّـلِحَاتِ those who do righteous deeds,) in accordance with it, telling them
  • (أَنَّ لَهُمْ أَجْرًا كَبِيرًا that they will have a great reward,) i.e., on the Day of Resurrection. 
And He tells ( وأَنَّ الَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالاٌّخِرَةِ those who do not believe in the Hereafter,) that ( لَهُمْ عَذَاباً أَلِيماً for them is a painful torment,) i.e. on the Day of Resurrection. 

As Allah says: ( فَبَشِّرْهُمْ بِعَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ  ... then announce to them a painful torment.) [84:24]

Muhammad Asad Explanation:
I.e., conformable to ethical rectitude and beneficial to man’s individual and social life. Thus, after showing that sinning is synonymous with denying the truth, the discourse returns to the fundamental theme of the Qur'an, already alluded to in verse {2} of this surah: namely, the statement that God always offers guidance to man through the revelations which He bestows upon His prophets.

Yusuf Ali Explanation
The instability and crookedness of the Jewish soul having been mentioned, the healing balm which should have cured it is now pointed out. The Message of the Qur-an is for all. Those who have Faith and show that Faith in their conduct must reap their spiritual reward. But those who reject Faith cannot escape punishment. Apart from what is past, apart from questions of national or racial history, there is a Hope, -and a Danger- for every soul.

Tafsir Qur'an Wiki:
The Sūrah now speaks about the Qur’ān, making it clear that it is a book of true and full guidance:

Surely this Qur’ān shows the way to that which is most upright. It gives the believers who do good deeds the happy news that theirs will be a rich reward; and [declares] that We have prepared a grievous suffering for those who do not believe in the life to come. (Verses 9-10)

“Surely this Qur’ān shows the way to that which is most upright.” This is a general statement applicable to all those who are guided by the Qur’ān and the goals to which it guides. Thus, the guidance is given to communities and generations that are not restricted by time or place. And the superiority of its guidance applies to all that they may attain when they follow any method or approach. It is also superior to every good thing to which people may be guided at any time or place.

The Qur’ān guides to that which is ‘most upright’ in relation to man’s inner feelings and thoughts, outlining a clear faith, free of complication and ambiguity. Its guidance frees the human spirit of the burden of myth and superstition, and releases human energy so that it is constructive, bringing benefit, providing a harmonious link between the laws that govern the universe and those governing human nature.

The Qur’ān also ensures harmony between man’s outward and inward existence, feelings and behaviour, faith and action. In all this it shows the way to what is ‘most upright’, linking all these aspects to the true and inseverable bond that exists between man and God. This enables man to look up to a higher horizon while he is still on earth. Thus, what man does in his daily life becomes an act of worship, provided that he does so seeking God’s acceptance. This is true even when the action itself provides him with pure enjoyment of what is available in this life.

In the field of worship also, the Qur’ān establishes a perfect balance between duties and abilities. This ensures that duties are not seen as too hard so as to constitute a heavy burden, or induce despair of ever fulfilling one’s obligations. Maintaining this balance ensures that a person neither takes matters too lightly or complacently on the one hand, nor exceeds the limits of what is reasonable and perfectly bearable on the other. Thus, we can say without fear of contradiction that in worship, the Qur’ān shows the way to that which is most upright.

The same applies to human interaction whether between individuals and couples, governments and peoples, or states and races. Relations between all these groups are established on a firm basis, influenced neither by personal prejudice and interest, nor by feelings of love and hatred. This firm foundation in human relations is chosen by God, the Creator who knows His creation and what is certain to promote goodness in their lives. The Qur’ān shows the way which gives the best course of action in the fields of politics and finance, as well as in those of social and international relations.

The Qur’ān also endorses all divine religions, establishing a firm link between them, honouring all that is sacred in them, and protecting all that they hold in reverence. This ensures that humanity, with all its divine faiths live in peace. In this again the Qur’ān provides its perfect guidance. This is all summed up in the verse which says: “Surely this Qur’ān shows the way to that which is most upright.” (Verse 9)

Now you may listen to the following short clipped video to explanation of the aforesaid 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: 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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