Friday 24 November 2023

Qur’an provides guidance to those who believe in the "Ghaib"

Belief in the unseen is one of the most difficult things to perceive. Yet, men since time immemorial have BELIEVED that there is Deity mightier than all that created this universe and controls the movement of everything in it. How do we develop this understanding, otherwise called Belief and Faith? For one thing, Divine revelations were passed on to some of the most pious and character strong men, we know as prophets and messengers. 

When these Divine revelations came to be known to the man, many believed while many did not. Those who believed found the relevance of what was said and what they saw around them. The celestial world above, the dawn of day and night, change of weather and growth of plants and all living beings all started to make sense that all that was seen was being managed and controlled by a power mightier than all, matchless to any earthly being. We thus came to know that there exists One Supreme Being, as mentioned in the successive Divine Scriptures, that is the Master of the entire universe.

On the contrary, there were many who did not believe in there being a Super Power because it was not seen anywhere. The present-day atheists are this branch of people who want scientific proof of everything. In fact, they "rubbish" the divine Scriptures for these do not prove anything scientifically. But what they fail to understand is that Divine Scriptures are not books of sciences but books of SIGNS. However, those with wisdom read the Godly signs and realize the reality of One Singular Deity that controls the world. We also come to know the reality of angels, heavens, and fate of earlier people who believed and those who did not. Through these Divine Books we come to know creation of man, their enticement by Satan and expulsion thereof to the earth.

Here one thing more emerges that is sometimes questioned: What is Ghaib and is it Ghaib for the Creator of the universe as well?  The 3rd verse of Surah 2. Al Baqarah (The Cow) answers this question. First read the verse and its explanation and then we conclude with a plausible answer. In fact, this verse is continuation of the second verse of the Surah which says: This is the Book (Qur'an)about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allah. Now connect this verse with the 3rd verse:

الَّذِيۡنَ يُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ بِالۡغَيۡبِ وَ يُقِيۡمُوۡنَ الصَّلٰوةَ وَمِمَّا رَزَقۡنٰهُمۡ يُنۡفِقُوۡنَۙ‏ 
(2:3) for those who believe in the existence of that which is beyond the reach of perception, who establish Prayer and spend out of what We have provided them,
(For those who believe in the existence of that which is beyond the reach of perception) The second condition for obtaining guidance from the Qur'an is that one must believe in the "unseen" -- those realities which cannot be perceived by the senses and which do not come within human experience and observation, e.g. the essence and attributes of Allah, Angels, Revelation, Heaven, Hell, etc. These things must be taken on trust from the experts (Prophets) just as we do in many cases in the physical world. Therefore, only such a person, who believes in the "unseen", can benefit from the Guidance of the Qur'an. As for the one who believes only in those things which can be seen, tasted and smelt, or can be measured and weighed, cannot get any guidance from this Book. 

(who establish Prayer) The third condition to benefit from the Qur'an is that one should be willing and ready to put into practice the teachings of the Qur'an. As the Salat (Prayer) is the first and foremost obligatory duty enjoined by the Qur'an, it is the practical proof and permanent test of the sincerity of one's Faith. Therefore, after a person's profession of Islam, the moment he hears the call to the Prayer (which sounds regularly five times a day from every mosque in the Muslim world), he should join the congregation for the Salat, because this determines whether he is sincere in his profession or not. If he does not attend to the call and join the congregation, it is an indication that he is not sincere in his profession. It must also be noted that "iqama-tus-Salat¦(the establishment of Prayer is the comprehensive term. It means that Salat should be performed in congregation and that permanent arrangements should be made for it in every habitation; otherwise, Salat will not be considered to have been established, even if every inhabitant of a place offers the Salat individually.

(and spend out of what We have provided them) The fourth condition to benefit from the Qur' an is that one should be willing to part with one's money according to the instructions of the Book in order to render the rights of Allah and Man and should make monetary sacrifices for the cause of Islam which he has accepted.

Muhammad Asad Explanation:
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.

Ar-rizq ("provision of sustenance") applies to all that may be of benefit to man, whether it be concrete (like food, property, offspring, etc.) or abstract (like knowledge, piety, etc.). The "spending on others" is mentioned here in one breath with God-consciousness and prayer because it is precisely in such selfless acts that true piety comes to its full fruition. It should be borne in mind that the verb anfaqa (lit., "he spent") is always used in the Qur'an to denote spending freely on, or as a gift to, others, whatever the motive may be.

Yusuf Ali Explanation
All bounties proceed from God. They may be physical gifts, e.g., food, clothing, houses, gardens, wealth, etc. or intangible gifts, e.g., influence, power, birth and the opportunities flowing from it, health, talents, etc. or spiritual gifts, e.g, insight into good and evil, understanding of men, the capacity for love, etc. We are to use all in humility and moderation. But we are also to give out of every one of them something that contributes to the well-being of others. We are to be neither ascetics nor luxurious sybarites, neither selfish misers nor thoughless prodigals.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
The actual words are: يُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ بِالۡغَيۡبِ. In the opinion of this writer, the particle ب denotes a ظرف (nomen locus). The implication is that they profess belief while remaining in الْغَيْبِ. This means that they are not slaves to what can be observed or is tangible; they have a spiritual and intellectual existence and hence do not insist that they will only accept those facts which they can behold. They tread their way in the light of their intellect and they accept all those things to which their intellect testifies or nature points to and in order to fulfil the obligations entailed by professing faith in these realities are also ready to go as far as to sacrifice their material needs to fulfil them.

Tafsir Qur'an Wiki:
The most essential quality of the God-fearing believers is their conscious, active moral unity that enriches their souls with profound belief in the imperceptible, or ghayb, dedication to their religious obligations, recognition of all God’s messengers, and unshakeable certainty in the hereafter. Such are the ingredients that make the Muslim faith a complete whole and distinguishes believers from unbelievers. Such a thorough outlook is worthy of God’s final message to man, which was intended as a focus and a guide for all human endeavour on this earth. Man is called upon to adopt this message and lead a complete and wholesome life, guided by its light which shapes man’s feelings, actions, beliefs and ways of living and behaviour.

Concluding remarks: It may be added here that some question the word "Ghaib" and ask is there anything which beyond the perception of even God? Nay, it is not. In fact, whenever the word Ghaib is used in Qur'an, it means things hidden from man or from his perception. Nothing can be hidden from the Deity Who creates everything. So, the realm of Ghaib is from the perspective of man and not God.

After having read this verse, and connecting it with the previous verse, it can be concluded that Qur'an provides guidance to those who are:
  • Conscious of Allah
  • Believe in the existence of that which is beyond the reach of perception
  • Establish Prayer
  • And spend out of what We have provided them
Are we, my brothers and sisters in Islam among these, with true faith and belief in 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 read more posts on similar theme in our series of posts related to: Compiled verses from Qur'an on specific subjects: Life

You may read more posts on similar theme in our series of posts related to: Social Relations and Etiquettes 

You may read more posts on similar theme in our series of posts related to: Al Qur'an guides and helps those who sincerely seek Divine Guidance and Help.

You may refer to our reference page: Important DOs and Don'ts from Qur'an to read more directives on the subject.

You may read more posts on similar theme in our series of posts related to: Importance of charity in Islam

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

You may refer to our reference page: Believers!! Beware of the Rules of the Divine Court on the Day of Judgement 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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