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Lesson 27

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Lesson - 27

Al-Baqara

"Yet there are some men who take for themselves objects of worship besides Allah, whom they love as they should love Allah. And those who believe are stronger in (their)love for Allah. And O that the wrongdoers had seen, when they see the chastisement, that power is wholly Allahís, and that Allah is severe in chastising!

When those who are followed renounce those who followed (them), and they see the chastisement and their ties are cut asunder.

And those who followed will say: If we could but return, we would renounce them as they have renounced us. Thus will Allah show them their deeds to be intense regret to them, and they will not escape from the Fire." Ch. 2:165-167

Natureís testimony towards Divine Unity (a brief summary of lesson 26)

In the Quranic verse, that I discussed in lesson twenty six, our attention was drawn to the fact that the magnificent universe surrounding us on all sides, was subservient only to the will of Allah. This truth that the whole universe follows the law laid down by its Creator, has been confirmed by modern scientific development. It was further pointed out that the earth, which is one of the smallest planets in the cosmos, contains extremely powerful elements, such as the oceans and the wind currents and others besides these. Disturbance in these elements can cause powerful hurricanes, and earthquakes which can be destructive to mankind. The sun which is one such extremely powerful element has a very precise relationship with the earth. If it only moves slightly closer to earth, its intense heat would burn and destroy all living matter. A slight shift in the other direction, on the other hand would lead to a deep freeze which would again prove destructive to life. On the surface of the sun the energy equivalent of a hundred million hydrogen bombs is released every second. All these powerful forces are completely subservient to Allah. This is proven by the fact that not only are these forces completely subservient to the laws laid down by Allah, but He has harnessed them to serve mankind. The observation, and study of the universe makes three things quite apparent to the intelligent mind:

  1. There is a Creator of this universe, and He is Master over all its powerful forces.
  2. He is One.
  3. Even the most powerful and frightening forces in the universe are completely subservient to Him.

Submission to Allah appealing to Manís Intellect

After referring to these manifest signs, it was stated that those who use their intellect will draw the following conclusions from this. Since all these powerful forces are entirely subservient to the command of Allah Almighty, man, who is weak and humble in nature, should also submit to Him. These elements have not been blessed with intelligence, and have therefore been harnessed into Allahís submission under compulsion. Man on the other hand, has been blessed with intelligence which he can utilize to make these forces subservient to him. This is only possible by discovering, and following the laws laid down by Allah, something which every scientist does. How magnificent and comprehensive is the intellect of the Being Who has created all these powerful forces! The intelligence that Allah has bestowed upon man behooves him to submit to the Divine intellect which has given him the knowledge and guidance of the Holy Quran.

Love of the Benefactor also Leads to Submission

Now let us consider the verse:

"Yet there are some men who take for themselves objects of worship besides Allah, whom they love as they should love Allah. And those who believe are stronger in (their) love for Allah."

What a wonderful Book is the Holy Quran! In the previous verse we learned that the intellect leads man to recognize and submit to his Creator. It is now pointed out that love is another reason which motivates man into submission. For example, if one is in love with someone, he has the desire to obey all his commands. Allah is most deserving of manís love, for He is the Possessor of all the perfect attributes, and is the greatest Benefactor of mankind. Having been made aware of, and duly impressed by the Divine attributes it becomes incumbent upon man to give Allah his foremost affection and obedience, something which a truly beloved Supreme Benefactor deserves. Many, however, associate with Allah and love their associates the way they should love Allah, the most High. Those Human beings who have been made into God or associates with His Being, are thus intensely loved by their followers. This occurs to the extent that the true God is forgotten, and is either replaced by these associates, or given a secondary, or lower status to them. For example, the degree of love the Christians show for Jesus is far more than the affection shown towards the other two members of Trinity. The Holy Quran states:

"a believer loves Allah more than any one else."
All other expressions of love are also the creation of Allah. For example, the love of parents for their offspring has also been imbued by Allah into their nature. Similar to this is the love of a husband for his wife. Man is allowed to participate in all such rightful show of affection, but he is enjoined to keep the love of Allah above all. If the need arises, he should not hesitate to sacrifice all other attachments, for the sake of Allah. Observe the example of Prophet Abraham, how he was ready to sacrifice his son on the basis of his vision which he considered a sign from Allah. The oath of fealty taken by the reformer of the fourteenth century Hijra from his followers, to keep the religion above the world, is a similar commitment, to sacrifice all for the love, and obedience of Allah when the need arises.

Association with God, the greatest iniquity

The Divine Word then states:

"And Oh, that the wrongdoers had seen, when they see the chastisement, that the power is wholly Allahís, and that Allah is severe in chastising!"

In this context it is essential to understand the meaning of the word zalim (wrongdoer). In fact all evil action is a wrong (zulm) committed against oneís soul. The Holy Quran, however, tells us that:

"Surely associating with God is the greatest wrong (zulm azeem)."
The reason for this as I have already said in my commentary on the Al-Fatihah is that the sole purpose of manís creation is the recognition of the Divine Being, therefore, the person who associates with God fails to fulfill the very purpose of his creation. There can be no greater inequity than this against oneís soul, nor can there be an evil, or disrespect greater than setting up of an associate with God Almighty, or taking another object of worship in His place. In the first verse of this very section of the Holy Quran, Allah has appealed to human intelligence by providing cogent proofs in support of His Unity.

The second verse in the same section which is under discussion today, mentions the love of Allah. It is manís nature to love his benefactor and there can be no greater benefactor of mankind, or anyone higher in attributes than Allah. Polytheists therefore reject the testimony of their own intelligence which leans towards the love of the greatest Benefactor, Allah. Even an animal, which does not possess intelligence, begins to show affection towards its benefactor because of its instinct. For example, the love of dogs, horses and other animals for their masters falls into this category. The one who associates with God, therefore falls even below the level of animals, and leaves no choice, but that of comprehension through Divine chastisement. One can try to discipline an animal in many different ways, but eventually physical restraint and force may be the only way to make it submit. It is stated therefore, that when the polytheists witness the chastisement of Allah, then only will they realize that He is the Possessor of power over all, and their false deities were powerless, otherwise they would have saved them from Divine punishment. The chastisement of Allah is so severe that only the one who experiences some effect of it in this world has some awareness of it, but unfortunately, man remains totally oblivious of this.

False deities unable to assist in time of real need

Three things are mentioned in the next verse:

"When those who are followed renounce those who followed (them), and they see the chastisement and their ties are cut asunder."

First are mentioned those individuals who were made associates with God, or were chosen as leaders and guides. They fall under two categories. Under one category come the prophets of God such as Jesus, Buddha, Ramchandra and Krishna who were made into associates with God by the people. On the Day of Judgment they will definitely disapprove of their polytheistic followers, because all prophets and messengers are sent to preach Divine Unity as stated repeatedly in the Holy Quran. The second group includes those religious or worldly leaders, spiritualists etc., who are blindly followed by their followers although such obedience may lead to the disobedience of Allah. This is also polytheism, or association with God. We are informed that when chastisement comes these very same worldly leaders saints and savants will show their displeasure with their followers. In this worldly life, we frequently see manifestation of such behavior that whenever punishment is imposed, these worldly leaders are quick to deny, and disapprove of their followers. I observed this frequently during my service for the government. The Holy Quran states:

Ďthose who worship such false deities instead of God will witness these deities disclaiming themselves from being held responsible for their followers actions.í
On seeing the chastisement they will show their displeasure with such followers and say:

"We did not tell them to make us associates with Allah, or consider us above Him."

The third thing mentioned is:

"and their ties are cut asunder."
Undue reliance upon worldly ties or resources is akin to their worship, and this is another form of association with God. For example many people have made wealth their God and believe that it will solve all their problems. They expect their own worldly position, or the goodwill of those who occupy positions of authority in the society, to be of assistance in times of need. To site another example, such people often consider medicine or the services of a physician to cure them of illness and their vision does not extend beyond this to Allah, the real Source of healing. They totally rely upon their own effort and do not pray for the blessing of Allah to be part of it. The Holy Quran states that all such worldly ties which promote such undue reliance akin to worship, will be cut asunder, and will prove of no benefit.

In the closing verse it is stated:

"And those who followed will say: If we could but return, we would renounce them as they have renounced us. Thus will Allah show them their deeds to be intense regret to them, and they will not escape from the Fire."

During my public life and worldly experience, I have also frequently witnessed this occurrence. Not only do the leaders disavow and disapprove of their followers, but the followers also wish that the clock could be set back so that they could treat their leaders in a similar manner and reject their leadership. The Holy Quran says such longing will become a source of torment and torture for them. Besides this, they will desire to get out of the external chastisement of Hell fire, but will be unable to do so. This means they will not be able to get out of the chastisement by themselves. It does not indicate that the chastisement of hell will never end. The Holy Quran has made it quite clear on several occasions that the punishment of evil is in proportion to it. Obviously when this punishment is fulfilled, and leads to the reformation of man, Allah will deliver him from hell. This is also confirmed by the Hadith.


 
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