Thursday 30 November 2023

Great reward awaits those who fear Allah without seeing Him

Belief in anything is the most difficult to achieve, especially when it comes to Allah, the unseen but reality. It is not necessary to see the creator of anything to believe, like a chair or a car which we see and yet we do not need to know who designed these and who made and manufactured them.  But when it comes to believing in our Creator, we do not need to physically see Him but look at His creations. And His creations are such that could not have been work of a human. 

This is the dilemma the atheists face. They want to see the Creator believe in Him. Despite advancement in science, which is still not able to answer many a mystery of our life. Then how can an ordinary person find the answers to the unseen? Yet there are many, especially Muslims, who believe in One True God, we call Allah, without ever questioning His presence or existence. This what true faith is and for such believers who have an unflinching faith in Allah that Allah promises a great reward for them. 

This is the theme of 12th verse of Surah 67. Al Mulk (The Kingdom):

اِنَّ الَّذِيۡنَ يَخۡشَوۡنَ رَبَّهُمۡ بِالۡغَيۡبِ لَهُمۡ مَّغۡفِرَةٌ وَّاَجۡرٌ كَبِيۡرٌ‏ 
(67:12) Surely forgiveness and a great reward await those who fear Allah without seeing Him.
(Surely forgiveness and a great reward await those) That is, there are two inevitable results of fearing God unseen:

(1) That whatever errors and sins one will have committed because of human weaknesses, will be forgiven provided these were not committed because of fearlessness of God; and

(2) that whatever good acts a man performs on the basis of this belief, he will be rewarded richly for them.

(who fear Allah without seeing Him) The address is to all human beings, whether they are believers or unbelievers. For the believer it contains the admonition that while living his life in the world he should always remember that not only his open and hidden deeds but even his secret intentions and innermost thoughts are not hidden from Allah; and for the unbeliever the warning that he may do whatever he may please fearless of God, but nothing that he does can remain un-noticed and unseen by Him.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: The Reward of those Who fear their Lord unseen
Allah informs of he who fears standing before his Lord, being frightened about matters between himself and Allah when he is not in the presence of other people. So he refrains from disobedience and he performs acts of obedience when no one sees him except Allah. Allah mentions that this person will have forgiveness and a great reward. This means that his sins will be remitted and he will be rewarded abundantly. 

This is similar to what has been confirmed in the Two Sahihs:
(There are seven people whom Allah the Exalted will shade in the shade of His Throne on the Day when there will be no shade except its shade.) Then he mentioned that among those people are: (A man who is tempted by a beautiful woman of high social status, but he says: `Verily, I fear Allah.' Another person from among them is a man who gives charity and he conceals it so that his left hand does not know what his right hand spent.) 

Muhammad Asad Explanation:
This is same as the opening of verse 3 of Surah Al Baqarah, wherein it is said: "who believe in [the existence of] that which is beyond the reach of human perception". 

That is Al-ghayb (commonly, and erroneously, translated as "the Unseen") is used in the Qur'an to denote all those sectors or phases of reality which lie beyond the range of human perception and cannot, therefore, be proved or disproved by scientific observation or even adequately comprised within the accepted categories of speculative thought: as, for instance, the existence of God and of a definite purpose underlying the universe, life after death, the real nature of time, the existence of spiritual forces and their inter-action, and so forth. Only a person who is convinced that the ultimate reality comprises far more than our observable environment can attain to belief in God and, thus, to a belief that life has meaning and purpose. By pointing out that it is "a guidance for those who believe in the existence of that which is beyond human perception", the Qur'an says, in effect, that it will - of necessity - remain a closed book to all whose minds cannot accept this fundamental premise.

Yusuf Ali Explanation
Read "unseen" adverbially. To fear the Lord is to love Him so intensely that you fear to do anything which is against His Will, and you do it because you realise Him intensely in your hearts, though you do not see Him with your bodily senses. Nor is it of any consequences whether other people see your love or the consequences that flow from your love, for your good deeds are for the love of Allah and not for show in the eyes of men. Such intensity of love obtains forgiveness for any past, and is indeed rewarded with Allah's love, which is immeasurably precious beyond any merits you may possess.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
The implication is that these people comprehend their Lord through their vision and intellect and fear Him on this very basis. They do not insist on seeing Him and then believing in Him. 

Imām Amīn Aḥsan Iṣlāḥī writes: … The real test of a person in this world is that by using his intellect and reasoning, he professes belief in what the Almighty has informed him through His prophets. He who succeeded in this test deserves every reward of God, and he who failed in it is like an animal or even worse even though he might be a great philosopher and a scientist. (Amīn Aḥsan Iṣlāḥī, Tadabbur-i Qur’ān, vol. 8, 495)

Tafsir Qur'an Wiki:  
The phrase ' beyond the reach of human perception' expresses the meaning of the Qur'anic word ghayb. In its use in this verse, it includes their fear of God whom they have never seen, as well as their fear of Him when they are alone, unseen by any human eye. Both are fine qualities, reflecting a pure feeling and a profound understanding which together qualify a person to receive what the verse expresses in general terms as "forgiveness and a rich reward." To watch God when one is alone, unseen by any other human being is the gauge of a heart's sensitivity and the quality that keeps conscience alive.

Concluding remarks: In the light of the above quoted verse and its explanation by eminent scholars, it must be understood that the presence of One True God, we call Allah, falls beyond the realm of human perception. Yet His signs are ample proof of His existence, which are far more adequate for us to have firm belief in Him without the need to see Him. Those who deny His existence, like the atheists, also from withing their hearts may have doubts on their rather ill-founded belief. And it is because of this false belief, many of them have embraced Islam for Islam answers all questions regarding the existence of Allah.
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.

You may refer to our reference page: Faith in Allah to read more directives on the subject.

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 | 6 |

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.

Disclaimer: The material for this post has been collected from the references given above. 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.

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