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Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Believers! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and do not invalidate your deeds

A question is often asked: Would all good people go to paradise? Well, the answer depends on what faith one is practicing. When it comes to the Divine religions, no matter which Divine religion one may be practicing, one has to know that the Divine religions have been sent down through selected prophets and messengers of Allah systematically. The initial religions were focused on specific people and communities. But as the communities grew, there was a need to have a religion that would encompass all what has been revealed (unpolluted though) and embody the final Divine Words to complete the Divine guidelines to the entire mankind till the earthly world exists. 

Thus, Islam was revealed unto Prophet Muhammad ﷺ as the last and final Divine religion. And the truth that is contained in Qur'an and Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is so powerful that more and more non-Muslims are reverting to Islam. And this is the answer to the question I initially posed. 

Today, we share the 33rd verse from Surah 47. Muhammad, that asks the believers to believe in Allah and His messenger so that their good deeds do not get wasted. Although, followers of other Divine religions have faith in God, yet their concept of God differs. Islam lays down a very clear and definitive definition of God, Who is the Only Lord of the entire universe without any assistants and associates. Thus, those who rely solely on One True God and His messengers are the ones whose good deeds will never go waste. But others who only have faith in God but not in all His messengers may have to think about the reward of their good deeds.

Now read the selected verse of today and its explanation which will clear one's mindset:
يٰۤاَيُّهَا الَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡۤا اَطِيۡعُوا اللّٰهَ وَاَطِيۡعُوا الرَّسُوۡلَ وَلَا تُبۡطِلُوۡۤا اَعۡمَالَـكُمۡ‏ 
(47:33) Believers, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and do not cause your work to be nullified.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: Nullifying the Disbelievers' Deeds and the Command to chase Them:
Allah then informs about those who disbelieve, obstruct others from the path of Allah, oppose the Messenger and contend with him, and revert from the faith after guidance has become clear to them. He indicates that those people can never harm Allah in the least, and rather they only harm themselves and become losers on the Day of Resurrection. He will nullify their deeds. Allah will not reward them even the weight of a mosquito (i.e., the smallest thing) for any good that they did before their apostasy, but would instead totally invalidate and destroy it. Their apostasy wipes away their good deeds entirely, just as the good deeds would normally wipe away the evil deeds. Imam Ahmad Ibn Nasr Al-Marwazi reported in Kitab As-Salah (the Book of Prayer) that Abu Al-`Aliyah said, "The Prophet's Companions used to think that no sin would harm a person who says `La ilaha illallah,' just as no good deed would benefit a person who joins partners with Allah. So, Allah revealed:

(أَطِيعُواْ اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُواْ الرَّسُولَ وَلاَ تُبْطِلُواْ أَعْمَـلَكُمْ Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and do not invalidate your deed (أَطِيعُواْ اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُواْ الرَّسُولَ وَلاَ تُبْطِلُواْ أَعْمَـلَكُمْ s.) This made them fear that some sins could nullify their deeds.' It has also been reported from Ibn `Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, that he said, "We, the Companions of Allah's Messenger, used to think that good deeds would all be accepted, until Allah revealed,

( أَطِيعُواْ اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُواْ الرَّسُولَ وَلاَ تُبْطِلُواْ أَعْمَـلَكُمْ Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and do not invalidate your deeds. ) So, we asked each other: `What is it that can nullify our deeds' So we said, `The major sins, great offenses that require admission into the Fire and immoral sins.'

The next verse comes with the Divine Warning!!
اِنَّ الَّذِيۡنَ كَفَرُوۡا وَصَدُّوۡا عَنۡ سَبِيۡلِ اللّٰهِ ثُمَّ مَاتُوۡا وَهُمۡ كُفَّارٌ فَلَنۡ يَّغۡفِرَ اللّٰهُ لَهُمۡ‏ 
(47:34) Verily Allah shall not forgive those who disbelieved and barred others from Allah's Way and clung to their unbelief until their death.

Tafsir Qur'an Wiki:
"Believers, obey God and obey the messenger, and do not let your deeds come to nothing."  (Verse 33) This directive suggests that within the Muslim community there were some who might not have been fully obedient, or who might have found it hard to fulfil some of the duties and sacrifices that combating the different powerful groups opposing Islam required. Some might have been tied by bonds of kinship or common interests with others on the opposing side and found it hard to sever such ties.

This directive had a profound effect on true believers. They were shaken by the implied threat that they might do something that would do away with their good deeds and bring them to nothing. Several reports speak of the way this verse was received. One of them mentions that "the Prophet's Companions used to think that when a person truly believed in God's oneness, then no sin he committed would harm him, in the same way as no good deed is of any use when done by a person who associates partners with God. However, when this verse was revealed, they feared that sins might ruin their good deeds: "Believers, obey God and obey the messenger, and do not let your deeds come to nothing."
 
`Abdullah ibn (Umar is quoted as saying: "We, the Prophet's Companions, used to think that every good deed would inevitably be accepted by God until this verse was revealed. We wondered what thing could render our deeds worthless. We thought that it must be cardinal and grave sins. However, God revealed this verse: "For a certainty, God does not forgive that partners should be associated with Him, but He forgives any lesser sin to whomever He wills." (4: 116) We stopped speaking about this issue. We only feared for those who committed cardinal sins and hoped for good reward for those who avoided them."

Such reports clearly show how true Muslims used to receive Qur'anic verses. They were profoundly affected by them, fearing every warning, careful lest it applied to them and keen to do what the Qur'an required of them. With such sensitivity, they achieved superb standards.
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
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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