Sunday 7 May 2023

How to cope with consequences of challenging moral inconsistences

Qur'an in its 31st Chapter "Luqman" mentions a wise man of the earlier times whose wisdom was par excellence. The Chapter is also named as Luqman for it mentions the wisdom of tis wise man and how he is mentioned advising his son about the moral behaviour and how to cope with the consequences for being moral and upright is seldom digested by the bigots and the selfish.

There are many advices of the wise man, but we choose the 17th verse for while it enjoins of a man to be guide people, it also suggests how to bear the negativities of the people:

يٰبُنَىَّ اَقِمِ الصَّلٰوةَ وَاۡمُرۡ بِالۡمَعۡرُوۡفِ وَانۡهَ عَنِ الۡمُنۡكَرِ وَاصۡبِرۡ عَلٰى مَاۤ اَصَابَكَ​ؕ اِنَّ ذٰلِكَ مِنۡ عَزۡمِ الۡاُمُوۡرِ​ۚ ‏ 
(31:17) "O my son! establish regular prayer enjoin what is just and forbid what is wrong: and bear with patient constancy whatever betide thee; for this is firmness (of purpose) in (the conduct of) affairs.

The above quoted verse has three main directives:
  • To establish regular prayer, for prayer brings a man closer to his Lord than any other form of worship.
  • To enjoin what is just and forbid what is wrong: Now this part of the verse is the crux of the moral behaviour of a righteous believer, who when sees wrong being done has the courage to forbid it and enjoins what is just. How many people today have the courage to stand before a demagogue or the mafia and challenge their wrong doings and invite them to to be just. More often than not, anyone who tries to do so is subjected to brutalities and unjust behaviour and treatment. That is why it is stressed here that one must make an effort to the best of his ability and strength to block what is wrong and enjoin what is right.
  • It is for such upright righteous believers that it is being advised to bear with patient constancy whatever betide them. 
Explaining the verse, famous Muslim exegete fo Qur'an Ibn-Kathir, especially the part (وَاصْبِرْ عَلَى مَآ أَصَابَكَ and bear with patience whatever befalls you.) note3s that Luqman knew that whoever enjoins what is good and forbids what is evil, will inevitably encounter harm and annoyance from people, so he told him to be patient. And that (إِنَّ ذَلِكَ مِنْ عَزْمِ الاٍّمُورِ Verily, these are some of the important commandments.) means, being patient when people cause harm or annoyance is one of the most important commandments. 

Another Muslim scholar of present times, Javed Ahmad Ghamidi explains the above said verses as under:
  • (Son! Be diligent in the prayer,) The greatest manifestation of showing gratitude to God is the prayer. Thus among all other deeds this is the first deed which he has advised his son.
  • (Urge what is good and forbid evil) Ie., he should urge people to adopt things which are regarded as good by human nature and stop people from things which are disliked by human nature and by all mankind. It is evident from other instances in the Qur’ān that this is from among the basic requisites of faith and every person has been made responsible to carry out this duty in his immediate surroundings. This is an expression of gratitude for the guidance God has bestowed on us.
  • (And whatever mishap strikes you [in this path], be steadfast on it) This is because this steadfastness is the fountainhead of resolve and determination and the splendour of all facets of character and conduct. It engenders the courage in a person to accept whole-heartedly the unpleasant experiences of life and to greet them regarding them to be from God instead of brooding and complaining. For this, it is required even more in urging others to the right path and stopping them from vice and in treading the path of virtue.
Tafsir Qur'an Wiki:
Having established the faith in man’s conscience and clarified its main essentials, he now speaks about attending to prayer, advocacy of the faith and perseverance in the face of inevitable difficulties. Such is the way of faith: declaring God’s oneness, knowing that He sees all, aspiration to His reward, trust in His justice and fear of His punishment. This is followed by a call to people to maintain the right path, enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong. Prior to all this, however, we should ensure that we have the right equipment for the battle against evil: we should worship God alone, address prayers to Him, and remain steadfast despite adversity. Adversity can take many forms from deviation to stubbornness, turning away as well as verbal and physical abuse, loss of property and wealth, as also physical hardship: “These are matters that require strong resolve.” Such strong resolve allows no hesitation after a decision has been firmly taken.

To sum up, it can be said that there is a lesson for all Muslims that they should not be docile in their approach to moral irregularities being practiced around them and must muster strength to stop wrong being done to the utmost of their abilities and call people to the good. It requires extreme guts and strength, though, to bear the consequences of their just stand as the evil doers do not want any stumbling block in their way of evil doings. If in the process any harm comes to the righteous, they are advised to endure with patience whatever affliction befalls them.
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.
Tafsir References: | 1 | 2 | 3 |
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 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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