Friday 28 April 2023

Who does Allah help?

I share today part of the 11th verse from Surah 13. Ar Ra'd (The Thunder) which I have been listening to since my childhood. This part of the verse if applicable to everyone, especially the Muslims of today who are dependent more on their supplication to seek Divine help to ease their sufferings or effect a meaningful change in their lives, rather than first striving hard to make their situation change through hard work and resilience. Though the Divine message is crystal clear, I thought to let my viewers know how the verse is interpreted by the scholars for easy understanding the core of the verse.

لَهٗ مُعَقِّبٰتٌ مِّنۡۢ بَيۡنِ يَدَيۡهِ وَمِنۡ خَلۡفِهٖ يَحۡفَظُوۡنَهٗ مِنۡ اَمۡرِ اللّٰهِ​ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰهَ لَا يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوۡمٍ حَتّٰى يُغَيِّرُوۡا مَا بِاَنۡفُسِهِمۡ​ؕ وَاِذَاۤ اَرَادَ اللّٰهُ بِقَوۡمٍ سُوۡۤءًا فَلَا مَرَدَّ لَهٗ​ۚ وَمَا لَهُمۡ مِّنۡ دُوۡنِهٖ مِنۡ وَّالٍ‏ 
(13:11) There are guardians over everyone, both before him and behind him, who guard him by Allah's command. Verily Allah does not change a people's condition unless they change their inner selves. And when Allah decides to make a people suffer punishment, no one can avert it. Nor can any be of help to such people against Allah.

Muhammad Asad Explanation:
Lit., "that which is in themselves". This statement has both a positive and a negative connotation: i.e., God does not withdraw His blessings from men unless their inner selves become depraved just as He does not bestow His blessings upon willful sinners until they change their inner disposition and become worthy of His grace. (cf. 8:53),
(8:53) This happened because Allah is not one to change the favour which He has bestowed upon a people until they have changed their attitude. Surely Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.
In its wider sense, this is an illustration of the divine law of cause and effect (sunnat Allah) which dominates the lives of both individuals and communities, and makes the rise and fall of civilizations dependent on people's moral qualities and the changes in "their inner selves".

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
This is a reference to the established practice of God according to which just as God selects individuals and makes them pass through trials of patience and gratitude, in a similar way, He chooses nations for this purpose. As a result of this selection, when a nation climbs to heights, God does not change His dealing with it unless it itself plunges into lowliness of character and shallowness of knowledge. This is an unalterable practice of God and in accordance with this established practice when He decides to punish and humiliate a nation after repeatedly warning it, no one can ward off this decision and no power in this world can help that nation against God. The annals of mankind bear witness to this pattern of rise and fall of nations.

Tafsir Qur'an Wiki:
Allah sends His angels to watch them all the time, monitoring any changes they may introduce within themselves or in their way of living, and determines what He does with them on that basis. He does not change any grace, luxury or position of respect, or indeed any hardship or position of humiliation or weakness, until people have changed their actions, feelings and conditions. The change then fits what they themselves have changed. But God knows what they do or change even before they do it themselves, but the consequences of their action take place after they have done it.

This lays a great responsibility on human beings. It is God’s will that makes what He does with them dependent on what they themselves do. His laws operate on the basis of how they tackle these laws through their actions. The statement here is very clear, allowing no other interpretation. But it also signifies the position of honour God grants human beings as He has made them and their actions the means to implement God’s will with regard to their own position, status and welfare.

Having established this principle, the Sūrah highlights God’s changing the situation of any particular community for the worse. The gist of the first statement indicates that they have changed for the worse, and as a result God has willed them to MISSING TEXT. In this verse, only the evil alternative is mentioned so as to serve as a warning. If, by their actions, they deserve God’s punishment, then it is inevitable; it will not be averted. No support will rescue them from it.

Now, you may watch the video below by Dr Shabir Ally is a Canadian Islamic preacher. He is best known for his contextual interpretation of the Qur'anic verses, and justification in similar expressions within the Christian Bible. on the subject. The video is in Urdu, but has English subtitles for those who cannot understand Urdu:
* Note: The complete interpretation of the verse which has three parts can be read from our reference page: Selected Verses from Qur'an.

وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is our duty to convey only 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.

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' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 

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

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the video above are those of the scholar concerned. We have shared this view as added information in better understanding of Islam. The reader may or may not agree with the view owing to their own perception. If anyone differs with the material contained in this post, one may consult the references and their authors.  If someone has more material about the subject, he/she is most welcome to share in the comments box to make the post all encompassing.

Qur'an References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 
For more Scholarly views and videos, please read our reference page: Scholars' Viewpoint on Important Issues Related to Islam.

You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Quran.
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