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Section 7: The Enticement by Satan

Surah Al-Hajj – Verses 49 - 51

قُلْ يَآ أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّمَآ أَنَاْ لَكُمْ نَذِيرٌ مُبِينٌ

فَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَهُم مَّغْفِرَةٌ وَرِزْقٌ كَرِيمٌ

وَالَّذِينَ سَعَوْا فِي ءَايَاتِنَا مُعَاجِزِينَ اُوْلَئِكَ أَصْحَابُ الْجَحِيمِ

49. “Say: ‘O people! I am only a plain warner unto you.”
50. “Then those who believe and do righteous deeds, for them is forgiveness and an honourable sustenance.”
51. “And those who strive against Our signs (to reject them), they shall be the inhabitants of Hell.”

The Divine prophets (as) do not say anything from their own accord.

In the previous verses, the words were about the haste of the pagans for the Divine punishment. This matter is something which depends on the Will of Allah, the Pure Essence, and even the prophets (as) have no authority in it.

The first verse of the above verses announces as follows:

“Say: ‘O people! I am only a plain warner unto you.”

But this does not relate to the Apostle that His punishment may come to you soon or late when you disobey His commandment.

No doubt, the Prophet (S) is both a warner and a bearer of glad tidings. But, the emphasis on the subject of ‘warning’ here and the absence of mentioning ‘glad tidings’ is because of the addressees of the verse under discussion, who were some obstinate pagans, those who used to mock even the Divine chastisement.

Through the next couple of verses, the Qur’an illustrates a feature from the subject of the glad tidings and the concept of ‘warning’, and since the All-Embracing Mercy of Allah always precedes His punishment, at first it speaks of glad tidings.

The verse says:

“Then those who believe and do righteous deeds, for them is forgiveness and an honourable sustenance.”

Such persons are washed and purified with the water of forgiveness, at first and, when they find a relaxed mind and a calm conscience in them from this point of view, they will be included in kinds of graces and favours of Allah.

Regarding the fact that the Arabic word /karim/ means every honourable and worthy being, the phrase /rizq-un-karim/ (an honourable sustenance) has a vast meaning which encompasses all the valuable blessings, irrespective of spiritual and material.

Yes, the Generous Lord in that generous world will bestow the kinds of generous blessings to His believing righteous servants.

Raqib in his book, Mufradat, says: the Arabic word: /karam/ is usually applied for some good and worthy things that are very considerable. Therefore, the small good actions are not called /karam/ (generosity).

Some commentators have meant the Qur’anic phrase: /rizqun karim/ as ‘a ceaseless sustenance without blemish’, and some others have said it means as ‘a worthy sustenance’ which all are inside that consistent and universal meaning, that is, the worthy and considerable things.

Then, in the next verse, the holy Qur’an adds implying that those who tried to ruin the verses of Allah or wanted to wipe them out, imagined that they could overcome the assured will of Allah, but they are dwellers of Hell-Fire.

The verse says:

“And those who strive against Our signs (to reject them), they shall be the inhabitants of Hell.”

The Arabic word /sa‘au/ is derived from /sa‘y/ which originally means ‘to run’, and here it means effort and endeavour in the way of ruining and wasting the verses of Allah.

The Qur’anic word /mu‘ajizin/ is derived from /‘ijz/ which here means someone who wants to overcome the infinite Power of Allah.

The Qur’anic word /jahim/ is derived from /jahm/ which means the violence of the flame of fire. It is also applied for the violence of wrath. Thus, the term ‘jahim’ is somewhere which has a flaming fire, and, here, it means Hell.

Surah Al-Hajj – Verse 52

وَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ مِن رَّسُولٍ وَلاَ نَبِيٍّ إِلآَّ إِذَا تَمَنَّي أَلْقَي الشَّيْطَانُ فِي اُمْنِيَّتِهِ فَيَنسَخُ اللَّهُ مَا يُلْقِي الشَّيْطَانُ ثُمَّ يُحْكِمُ اللَّهُ ءَايَاتِهِ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ

52. “And We did not send before you any messenger or a prophet but when he desired, the Satan threw (some vanity) into his desire; but Allah will cancel anything (vain) that Satan throws in, then Allah does establish His signs, and Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.

There are some believers with whom Satan contacts but they immediately understand it and banish him, while there are some others that Satan is always with them, as the Qur’an says:

“…for him a Satan, so he becomes his associate.” 1

In view of the fact that in the former verses the speech was about the effort and endeavour of the pagans to wipe out the religion of Allah and they used to mock and ridicule it, too, in the verses under discussion the Qur’an warns that these plots of the opponents are not something new and these satanic vain temptations have ever existed in the way of the prophets.

It says:

“And We did not send before you any messenger or a prophet but when he desired, the Satan threw (some vanity) into his desire;…”

But Allah never left His Messenger alone with the rush of these satanic vain temptations, and He vanished them all, and then, He strengthened His signs.

This deed is very easy for Allah to do, because He is All-Knowing, All-Wise, and He is completely aware of all these plots and plans, and He knows well how to nullify them.

The verse continues saying:

“…but Allah will cancel anything (vain) that Satan throws in, then Allah does establish His signs, and Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.”

Surah Al-Hajj – Verse 53

لِيَجْعَلَ مَا يُلْقِي الشَّيْطَانُ فِتْنَةً لّـِلَّذِينَ فِي قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌ وَالْقَاسِيَةِ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَإِنَّ الظَّالِمِينَ لَفِي شِقَاقٍ بَعِيدٍ

53. “So that He may make what the Satan casts a trial for those in whose hearts is disease and those whose hearts are hard, and verily the unjust are in a deep opposition.”

Satan’s temptations are as a means for testing the hard-hearted and sick-hearted persons. The spiritual sickness and hard-heartedness are usually some suitable grounds for falling into the snare of seditions and temptations. These satanic plots of the opponents are always used for the examination of both the aware believers and the obstinate disbelievers.

That is why the Qur’an says:

“So that He may make what the Satan casts a trial for those in whose hearts is disease and those whose hearts are hard…”

Then the Qur’an implies that the cruel oppressors have abided in a serious hostility and opposition while they are far from reality and the Truth.

The verse continues saying:

“…and verily the unjust are in a deep opposition.”

Surah Al-Hajj – Verse 54

وَلِيَعْلَمَ الَّذِينَ اُوتُوا الْعِلْمَ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ مِن رَبّـِكَ فَيُؤْمِنُوا بِهِ فَتُخْبِتَ لَهُ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَهَادِ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا إِلَي صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ

54. “And that those who have been given the knowledge may know that it is the truth from your Lord, so they may believe in it and their hearts may be lowly before it, and verily, Allah guides those who believe unto a straight path.”

The true knowledge is that which gives man the ability of recognizing right from wrong (and it must not be some imitative and superficial matters learnt by heart).

So, the Qur’an in this holy verse implies that the purpose of this event is that those who are aware and knowledgeable can recognize right from wrong and be able to separate the Divine programs from the satanic temptations and, comparing them with each other, know that the religion of Allah is the truth and has come from the side of your Lord, and, consequently, they believe in it and make their hearts humble before it.

The verse says:

“And that those who have been given the knowledge may know that it is the truth from your Lord, so they may believe in it and their hearts may be lowly before it…”

Of course, when some dangerous thing come in the way of these believers who are truth seekers, Allah does not leave them alone, but He guides those who believe toward the straight way. In other words, because of their Faith, He guides them to Paradise which is that very straight path.

The verse says:

“…and verily, Allah guides those who believe unto a straight path.”

Surah Al-Hajj – Verse 55

وَلاَ يَزَالُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا فِي مِرْيَةٍ مِنْهُ حَتَّي تَأْتِيَهُمُ السَّاعَةُ بَغْتَةً أَوْ يَأْتِيَهُمْ عَذَابُ يَوْمٍ عَقِيمٍ

55. “And those who disbelieve will not cease to be in doubt concerning it (Qur’an) until the Hour (of Resurrection) overtakes them suddenly, or there comes to them the chastisement of a barren day.”

Whoever accepted the line of disbelief and combating against the Truth, he will encounter any reality suspiciously and with doubt and hesitation.

So, following the discussion stated in the previous holy verses about the effort and endeavour of the opponents for wiping out the signs of Allah, here, this verse points to the continuation of the same kind of efforts which are from the side of some fanatic and stubborn persons.

This verse indicates that the disbelievers are always in doubt about the Qur’an and the monotheistic religion of the Prophet (S) until when the Day of Resurrection suddenly comes, or the punishment of the barren day comes upon them, the day when they cannot make amends their past.

The verse says:

“And those who disbelieve will not cease to be in doubt concerning it (Qur’an) until the Hour (of Resurrection) overtakes them suddenly, or there comes to them the chastisement of a barren day.”

It is clear that the objective of mentioning: ‘Those who disbelieve’, here, is not all of them utterly, because many of them awoke in the continuation of the way and joined to the holy Prophet (S) and the firm rows of his followers. The purpose of it is their chiefs and those obstinate and extraordinary fanatic persons who hostilely never believed.

However, it has been cited in the commentary of Majma‘-ul-Bayan and also in the commentary of Jawami‘-uj-Jami‘ that the purpose of ‘a barren day’ is the Day of Hereafter, and the reason why that Day has been counted as ‘barren’ is that no night will come after it.

The ‘barren day’, of course, has also been rendered into the ‘day of the Battle of Badr’.

Surah Al-Hajj – Verses 56 - 57

الْمُلْكُ يَوْمَئِذٍ لِلَّهِ يَحْكُمُ بَيْنَهُمْ فَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ فِي جَنَّاتِ النَّعِيمِ

وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا وَكَذَّبُوا بِاَيَاتِنَا فَأُوْلَئِكَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ مُهِينٌ

56. “On that Day the Sovereignty will be Allah’s; He will judge between them; and those who believe and do righteous deeds will be in gardens of bliss.”
57. “And those who disbelieve and reject Our signs, these, for them, shall be a disgraceful chastisement.”

The criterion of Allah’s Judgment on the Day of Hereafter will be the belief and the disbelief of human beings. There, the retribution of those who arrogantly have not accepted the Truth will be a humiliating punishment.

Here, the holy Qur’an points to the absolute Sovereignty of Allah on the Resurrection Day, where it says:

“On that Day the Sovereignty will be Allah’s;…”

This, of course, does not allocate to the Resurrection Day, but today and always the absolute Sovereignty belongs to Allah, yet, since there are some other kinds of owners and rulers in this world, too, (though the realm of their authority is very limited and weak with an apparent and formal aspect), there may arise this thought that there are some rulers and owners other than Allah; but on the Day of Hereafter, where all these matters are absent, this fact will be made manifest more than any other times, and all will understand that the Ruler and the Owner is Only the One, Allah.

In other words, here there are two kinds of sovereignty and ownership: the first is the true sovereignty which is the sovereignty of the Creator over the creatures, and the second is the nominal and conventional sovereignty, which is current among people.

These two both exist in this world while in the Hereafter all the nominal and conventional sovereignties will be dismissed and there will remain only the true sovereignty of the Creator of the worlds.2

However, since the true owner is Allah, He will be the true Ruler, too.

Therefore, He will govern over and judge between all human beings whether they are believers or disbelievers, the consequence of which is the same thing that the Qur’an has stated at the end of this very verse, where it says:

“…He will judge between them; and those who believe and do righteous deeds will be in gardens of bliss.”

They will abide in some blessed gardens where all merits are found, and whatever goodness and blessing they desire they will find available therein.

Then, in the next verse, it says:

“And those who disbelieve and reject Our signs, these, for them, shall be a disgraceful chastisement.”

What an expressive and lively meaning it is! There will be disgraceful chastisement then for them as a result of those obstinacies, conceits and arrogances they wrongfully had against the servants of Allah.

These qualities cause them to fall to the lowest degree of degradation and humiliation; and we know that when, in different verses, the Qur’an qualifies the Divine punishment as to be: ‘painful’, ‘great’, and ‘disgraceful’, each of them is appropriate with the kind of the sin that such people have committed.

It is interesting that, when speaking of the believers, the Qur’an points to two things: the Faith and the righteous deed, and, on the contrary, when speaking of disbelievers, it points to two other things: ‘disbelief ‘ and ‘their rejection of the Divine verses, each of which, in fact, is a combination of their internal belief and their external practical effects, since the man’s deeds often originate from a mental and ideological source.

  • 1. Surah Az-Zukhruf, No. 43, verse 36
  • 2. Al-Mizan, vol. 14, p. 433

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