Sunday 28 May 2023

Believers!! Do you seek the pomp and glitter of the world?

Man is always tempted to the glitter and pomp and show of the world. No matter how good a believer may one be, yet he is bound to slip and fell into the trap of worldly amusement, not thinking that such distracting means take him away from the remembrance of Allah, which is more yielding in blessings and bounties one can ever imagine. It is far better to sit with people who wield radiance of Islam and keep others on the righteous path rather than those who distract one's thoughts and entice them to lewdness of life.

This is the very theme of 28th verse of Surah 18 Al Khaf (The people of the cave) which cautions believers to always be remembering their Lord, day and night so that the evil spell does not engulf them into the glitters of the worldly life and disarray their orientation from remembrance of Allah.

This verse is also for those who keep exclusive company of their own kind and forget about the poor and remain oblivious to their needs and happiness. That is our leaders who by and large remain aloof about the problems of the poor and shy away from having any contact with them. The same way the Quraish of Makkah wanted our revered prophet Muhammad ﷺ to leave his poor companions (by worldly standards) and befriend with the elite of Makkah.

وَاصۡبِرۡ نَـفۡسَكَ مَعَ الَّذِيۡنَ يَدۡعُوۡنَ رَبَّهُمۡ بِالۡغَدٰوةِ وَالۡعَشِىِّ يُرِيۡدُوۡنَ وَجۡهَهٗ​ وَلَا تَعۡدُ عَيۡنٰكَ عَنۡهُمۡ​ ۚ تُرِيۡدُ زِيۡنَةَ الۡحَيٰوةِ الدُّنۡيَا​ ۚ وَ لَا تُطِعۡ مَنۡ اَغۡفَلۡنَا قَلۡبَهٗ عَنۡ ذِكۡرِنَا وَاتَّبَعَ هَوٰٮهُ وَكَانَ اَمۡرُهٗ فُرُطًا‏ 
(18:28) Keep yourself content with those who call upon their Lord, morning and evening, seeking His pleasure, and do not let your eyes pass beyond them. Do you seek the pomp and glitter of the world? Do not follow him whose heart We have caused to be heedless of Our remembrance, and who follows his desires, and whose attitude is of excess.
Though these words have also been addressed to the Holy Prophet, they are really meant for the chiefs of the Quraish. According to a Tradition related by Ibn `Abbas, the chiefs of the Quraish would say to the Holy Prophet that they considered it below their dignity to sit with such people as Bilal, Suhaib, 'Ammar, Khabbab, Ibn-Mas`ud and the like who generally remained in his company: and that if he should send them away, they would be willing to attend his meetings in order to learn about his Message. At this Allah revealed this verse: "And keep yourself whole-heartedly content with those who pray to their Lord morning and evening in order to win His approval and do not turn your attention away from them: (Do you desire to discard these sincere but poor people so that the chiefs of the Quraish, the well-to-do people, should come and sit near you?)" This was meant to warn the chiefs of the Quraish to this effect: "Your wealth, your pomp and show of which you are so proud, has no value at all in the sight of Allah and His Messenger; nay, those poor people are really more worthy in their sight, for they are sincere and always remember Allah." The same was the attitude of the chiefs of Prophet Noah's people, who said, "And we see also that none but the meanest and the shallowest of our people have become your followers. " .... (Noah replied,) "I am not going to drive away those who have believed in me, nor can I say about those whom you disdain, `Allah has not bestowed any good on them'. . . " (XXI: vv. 27, 29, 31)  

That is, "Do not yield to what he says, nor submit to him, nor fulfill his desire, nor follow his bidding." 

The original Arabic text may also mean, "Who discards the truth, breaks all moral limits and rushes on headlong." But in both cases, it comes to this: "The one, who is neglectful of Allah and becomes a slave of his lust, inevitably transgresses all limits and becomes a victim of immoderation. Therefore, the one who submits to him will also follow the same way and wander about in deviation after him.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir
(And keep yourself patiently with those who call on their Lord morning and afternoon, seeking His Face;) meaning, sit with those who remember Allah, who say "La Ilaha Illallah'', who praise Him, glorify Him, declare His greatness and call on Him, morning and evening, all the servants of Allah, whether rich or poor, strong or weak. It was said that this was revealed about the nobles of Quraysh when they asked the Prophet to sit with them on his own, and not to bring his weak Companions with him, such as Bilal, `Ammar, Suhayb, Khabbab and Ibn Mas`ud. 

They wanted him to sit with them on his own, but Allah forbade him from doing that, and said, (And turn not away those who invoke their Lord, morning and afternoon.) Allah commanded him to patiently content himself with sitting with those people (the weak believers), and said: 
(And keep yourself patiently with those who call on their Lord morning and afternoon...) Imam Muslim recorded in his Sahih that Sa`d bin Abi Waqqas who said: "There was a group of six of us with the Prophet. The idolators said, `Tell these people to leave so they will not offend us.' There was myself, Ibn Mas`ud, a man from Hudayl, Bilal and two other men whose names I have forgotten. Allah's Messenger thought to himself about whatever Allah willed he should think about, then Allah revealed:
(And turn not away those who invoke their Lord, morning and afternoon.) Only Muslim reported this; excluding Al-Bukhari.

(And let not your eyes overlook them, desiring the pomp and glitter of the life of the world;) Ibn `Abbas said, ` (this means) do not favor others over them, meaning do not seek the people of nobility and wealth instead of them.'

(And obey not him whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance) means, those who are distracted by this world from being committed to the religion and from worshipping their Lord.

(And whose affair (deeds) has been lost.) means, his actions and deeds are a foolish waste of time. Do not obey him or admire his way or envy what he has. 

As Allah says elsewhere:(And strain not your eyes in longing for the things We have given for enjoyment to various groups of them, the splendor of the life of this world, that We may test them thereby. But the provision of your Lord is better and more lasting.) 20:131﴾

Yusuf Ali Explanation:  
Cf. vi. 52. The true servants of Allah are those whose hearts are turned to Him morning, noon, and night, and who seek not worldly gain, but Allah's Grace, Allah's own Self, His Presence and nearness. Even if they are poor in this world's goods, their society gives far more inward and spiritual satisfaction than worldly grandeur or worldly attractions.

For those who stray from Allah's path, Allah's Grace is ever anxious: it seeks to reclaim them and bring them back to the path. If such a one resists, and follows his own lusts, a point is reached when his case becomes hopeless. Allah's Grace does not then reach him, and he is abandoned to his pride and insolence. Beware of following the example or advice of such a one or seeking his society, or hankering after his wretched idols.

Tafsir Qur'an Wiki:
And contain yourself in patience with those who call on their Lord morning and evening, seeking His countenance. Let not your eyes pass beyond them in quest of the beauties of the life of this world. Pay no heed to any whose heart We have left to be negligent of all remembrance of Us because he had always followed his own desires, and whose case has gone beyond all bounds.
Say: ‘The truth [has now come] from your Lord. Let him who wills, believe in it, and let him who wills, reject it.’ (Verses 28-29)
The same applies to us in our practical daily life. We have friends who are always luring us into the pomp and show of the world as they have no fear of the consequences and want to enjoy their lives in complete tangent to the path of Allah. This is normally so for the rich and affluent people who have plenty to squander and this take their friends along, who willingly accompany them. And on the opposite, there are God fearing believers who are all the time evading such company of people and are even trying to persuade them to the rmembrance of Allah. This is seldom heeded to. 

Such is the life since time immemorial and the rich and famous enjoyed killing of people in the arenas of dark days, something that still continues. Unfortunately, more and more beleivers are succumbing to the worldly galore and forgetting the remembrance of Allah. Rich people of affluent Muslim lands book entire hotels for a few or planes are booked for hunting birds. Likewise, casinos are opening in Muslim countries which are attracting younger lot of the affluent and taking them away from the simple yet reward yielding life. Only if we can understand!!

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

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 "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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