تَبَارَكَ الَّذِي جَعَلَ فِي السَّمَاء بُرُوجًا وَجَعَلَ فِيهَا سِرَاجًا وَقَمَرًا مُّنِيرًا
61. “Blessed is He Who has set in heaven constellations, and has set therein a lamp (the sun) and the moonilluminating.”
The Qur’anic word /tabaraka/ is used only in past tense and it is repeated thee times in this Surah1.
As it was said before, it is derived from whether the word ‘Baraka’ (stable and constant), or from the word ‘Barakat’ (abundant goodness).
This noble verse is in fact the answer of those who said what ‘the Beneficent’ is. Though they present this question mockingly, the Holy Qur’an answers them seriously.
The Arabic word /burūj/ is the plural form of the word ‘Burj’ which originally means ‘appearance’, therefore, that part of the wall that is around a city or camp of an army and is taller and more remarkable is called ‘Burj’. Also when a woman shows her adornment, it will be said: “Tabarrajat il-Mar’ah’. This word is applied to tall palaces, too.
Anyway, heavenly mansions refer to special constellations before which each season and each time of year the sun and the moon pass, for example, it is said that the sun is in Aries-, which means the sun is in front of the constellation of Aries,: Or the moon is in Scorpios, that is the moon is in front of the constellation of Scorpios. (A constellation is a collection of stars which seems to us a special form.)2
Thus, the verse refers to the heavenly places of the sun and the moon and it says:
As a matter of fact, this verse states how precise and fixed the Orbits of the sun and the moon are in heaven. (Of course, these changes are in fact resulted from the movement of the earth around the sun).
It is a precise system that rules them for millions of year so that astronomers can forecast hundreds of year later. This system that rules over these great celestial bodies testifies to the existence of a Lord Who is the manager and administrator of the great universe.
Do not they (disbelievers) know Him with such clear signs and with such exact places of the sun and the moon and then they say what the Beneficent is?
Why is the sun called ‘Siraj’? And why is the adjective ‘Munir’ used for the moon? It is probably because the word ‘Siraj’ means light and the lamp from which light comes out and this is consistent with the nature of the sun that according to scientific researches the light of the sun belongs to itself.
On the contrary, the light of the moon does not belong to itself and it comes from the sun, therefore, the adjective ‘Munir’ (giving light) is used for the moon, though its light is borrowed from somewhere else.3
وَهُوَ الَّذِي جَعَلَ اللَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ خِلْفَةً لِّمَنْ أَرَادَ أَن يَذَّكَّرَ أَوْ أَرَادَ شُكُورًا
62. “And He it is Who has made the night and the day to succeed each other for him who desires to reflect or desires to be thankful.”
This noble verse still continues to introduce the Lord of the universe and states another part of the system of the existence.
It is the regular system that rules the day and the night which alternatively substitute each other. This system is in work for millions of year. It is the system that if does not exist the life of man will be destroyed by intensity of heat and light or darkness, and this is an attractive reason for those who want to know Allah.
We know that the system of day and night is generated from the movement of the earth around itself. Its gradual and regular changes, that is continually the duration of one of them increases and the other one decreases, is because of its axle slope in regard to its orbit, which, during a year, causes the four seasons.
If the earth rotated faster or slower than its usual speed, in one case the nights would get so longer that all things would be frozen, and in other case the days would be so long that the sun would burn everything. Moreover, the centrifugal force could be so intense that the earthly creatures would be thrown out into the space.
In brief, on one hand, the study of this system awakes the theology nature in man. (Perhaps the application of the phrase ‘desires to reflect’ refers to this fact), and on the other hand, it awakes the thanking spirit in man and the phrase ‘desires to be thankful’ may refer to this matter.
It is worth-mentioning that in a narration whether belongs to the Prophet (S) or Infallible Imams (as) we read:
“Coming day and night in succession is for the matter that if man does dereliction of his duties in one of them, he recompenses it in another one.”
This meaning may be the second commentary for the verse and, since the verses of the Qur’an has got levels of meaning, it is not inconsistent with the first commentary either.
Imam Sadiq (as) in a tradition says:
“Any worship and obedience that you missed to do in the night make up for it in the day, for Allah, the Mighty and the Blessed, says:
The same thing is narrated by Fakhr-i-Razi from the Prophet (S).
To learn lessons from 'the system ruling the universe’ depends on our will. How a lot are persons who spend their life for a phenomenon, but since they do not will to learn lesson, they do not profit by the example!
These persons are like one who sells mirror, the one who always looks at mirror, but does not straighten his garments, while a passenger may straight his collar by just one careful glance at mirror.
Therefore, a mere glance is not enough, but the will for reformation also is necessary. With this matter mentioned, it gets clear why some scientists do not know Allah, while they have spent their life for researching the nature, for they do not do anything for knowing Allah, as a carpenter makes many ladders, but he does not will to climb one of them.
وَعِبَادُ الرَّحْمَنِ الَّذِينَ يَمْشُونَ عَلَى الأَرْضِ هَوْنًا وَإِذَا خَاطَبَهُمُ الْجَاهِلُونَ قَالُوا سَلاَمًا
وَالَّذِينَ يَبِيتُونَ لِرَبِّهِمْ سُجَّدًا وَقِيَامًا
63. “And the servants of the Beneficent (Allah) are those who walk on the earth humbly; and when the ignorant address them, they answer; ‘Peace’.
64. “And those who spend the night prostrating themselves before their Lord and standing.”
The behaviour of each person shows his personality and character. The supreme reward and medal for man is the medal of servitude of Allah:
For being related to infinity makes man exalted.
Form this holy verse on, an interesting and comprehensive discussion about the attributes of Allah’s special slaves is brought up under the title of
It, in fact, completes the former verses in which there has been mentioned that the obstinate polytheists said out of conceit and ridicule when the name of Allah, the Beneficent, has been mentioned:
We saw that the holy Qur’an introduced Allah, the Beneficent, to them in two verses. Now it is time for introducing the Beneficent Allah to the special servants. When His servants are so dignified and lofty, the magnificence of Allah, the Beneficent, will be understood better.
In these two verses and the next verses, more than 10 attributes of theirs are mentioned, some of which are related to the creedal aspects, some are moral, some are social, some are personal, and some are collective. On the whole they are of the supreme humane values.
It first says:
In fact the first attribute introduced for ‘The servants of the Beneficent (Allah)’ is denial and negation of conceit, pride and self-admiration, which is seen in all deeds of man, even in his way of walking, for moral habits will appear in man’s deeds, speech, and gestures, so that by studying the way of walking of a person we can find out many things about his morality.
Yes, they are humble and the key of faith is humbleness, while the key of unfaithfulness is conceit and pride. We have seen many times in everyday life and we have also read frequently in the holy Qur’an that the conceited arrogant have not been willing even to listen to the words of the divine leaders, and they have ridiculed the truths.
They do not see further than the end of their own nose. Is it possible to acquire faith with such mood of conceitedness?
Yes, these faithful persons are the servants of Allah, the Beneficent. The first sign of servitude is that humbleness, which penetrates all particles of their entity and even it can be detected in their way of walking.
Since the spirit of faith is humbleness, we see that one of the main commandments given to the Prophet (S) by Allah is:
Verily if man knows himself and the universe minimally, he knows how small he is comparing with this great universe! Even if his neck gets as long as mountains, the highest mountains are less than the peel swells of sour orange in regard to the hugeness of the earth which is itself just a tiny particle in these great galaxies.
After all, is not pride and conceit the reason of absolute ignorance and lack of knowledge?
It is narrated that one day the Prophet (S) was passing through a lane where he saw some of people had gathered in a place. He asked them its reason. They said that a mad person was doing some mocking actions and people were therefore attracted by him.
The Prophet (S) called them and told them:
“Do you want to introduce you the real mad man?”
All people were silent and were listening to him carefully.
“A person who walks conceitedly, and he continually looks around himself. He moves his sides along with his shoulder, (he sees no one but himself and thinks about no one save himself). A person whom people expect no goodness and a person from whose mischief people are not safe. This is the real mad man. The person whom you saw is a patient.”6
The second attribute of theirs is patience and forbearance, as the holy Qur’an says in this verse:
This ‘peace’ is the sign of heedlessness which is along with nobility and greatness, and it is not because of weakness.
It is the ‘peace’ that is the reason of lack of retaliation against the ignorant. It is to say farewell to their senseless words. This ‘peace’ is not a greeting which is the sign of kindness and friendship. It is the ‘peace’ that is the sign of patient and greatness.
Yes, one of the great spiritual phenomena of theirs is patience and forbearance, without which no man can pave the fluctuating path of Allah’s servitude and bondage, especially in the societies in which there are a lot of corrupted, ignorant and wicked persons.
In the second verse, the third attribute of theirs, that is the sincere worshipping of Allah, is mentioned.
In the darkness of night, when the eyes of the ignorant are sleeping and there is no place for hypocrisy and feigning, a believer deprives himself of pleasant sleep and does what is more pleasant, that is the remembrance of Allah and prostrating and standing before Him, the Magnificent.
He spends some part of night supplicating Him and illuminates his heart and soul with His name and remembrance.
Though the Qur’anic phrase /yabitūna/ (‘who spend the night’) indicates that they spend the night prostrating and standing before Him, it is clear that its purpose is considerable part of the night or if its purpose is all the night, sometimes it is so.
Meanwhile, coming the word ‘prostrating’ before the word ‘standing’ is because of its importance, though in prayer (salat) prostrating is practically after standing.
1. The Prophet (S) said:
“Why do not I see the sweetness of worshipping in you?”
“What is the sweetness of worshipping?”
2. Imam Ali (as) said:
“Be humble and modest, for it is one of the greatest worships.”8
3. The Prophet (S) said:
“Verily Allah revealed to me to be humble so that no one boasts anyone and no one oppresses anyone.”9
4. The Prophet (S) said:
“Humbleness and modesty increases the rank and dignity of one who is humble, then be humble so that Allah exalts you.”10
5. Imam Ali (as) said:
“No dignity and greatness is like humbleness, and no nobility is like knowledge and knowing.”11
6. Imam Ali (as) once said:
“The fruit of knowledge is humility.”12
7. The Prophet (S) said:
“Performing two rak‘ats of prayer in the midnight is better than the world and what is in it. Verily, if it were not difficult for my nation, I would make this prayer compulsory for them.”13
8. Imam Sadiq (as) said:
“The dignity of a believer depends on his night prayer, and his greatness and glory depends on avoiding bothering people.”14
9. The Prophet (S) said:
“When man gets out of his pleasant bed and while his eyes are drowsy he tries to make his Lord pleased and happy by his night prayer, Allah takes pride in him and says:
“Do not you see My servant who gets out of his pleasant bed for a prayer that I did not make it a must on him? Be witness that I forgive him.”15
10. Imam Sadiq (as) said:
11. Imam Rida (as) said:
“Do perform night prayer. There is no servant who gets up at the end of night and performs 8 rak‘ats night prayer, 2 rak‘ats even prayer, one rak‘at odd prayer and asks pardon of Allah 70 times in personal prayer (qunūt), unless Allah protects him from the chastisement of grave and the chastisement of Fire, and prolongs his life and gives him his provisions generously.”
Then Imam continues:
“Verily the homes in which night prayer is performed its light illuminates before the inhabitants of the heaven as stars glow for the people of the earth.”18
12. Imam Sadiq (as) said:
“Night prayer makes man’s face beautiful and fine, makes him morally good and agreeable and makes him smell pleasantly. It increases sustenance, causes the debt to be paid, takes sorrow away and makes man’s vision strong.”19
وَالَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا اصْرِفْ عَنَّا عَذَابَ جَهَنَّمَ إِنَّ عَذَابَهَا كَانَ غَرَامًا
إِنَّهَا سَاءتْ مُسْتَقَرًّا وَمُقَامًا
65. “And those who say: ‘O’ our Lord! Avert from us the torment of Hell, verily the torment of it is a lasting affliction;”
66. “Verily it is an evil abode and (an evil) station.”
There are two ways for getting released from the Fire; worshipping and doing good deeds.
When Imam Ali (as) dedicated some properties to Allah, he wrote in act for the establishment:
“I dedicated this for saving myself from the Fire as well as getting the Fire away from me.”20
In this noble verse, the fourth attribute of ‘the servants of the Beneficent’, which is the fear of divine chastisement, is mentioned.
The Arabic word /qaram/ originally means: intense disaster and sorrow which always afflicts man. If creditor in Arabic is called /qarim/, it is because he is always following man for getting his money. The love and motivation that makes man do a job is also called /qaram/. This word has been applied to the Hell since the chastisement of the Hell is very grievous, lasting, and permanent.
Therefore, in the next verse it is said:
Although these servants of the Beneficent remember and worship Allah in the midnight and do their duties in the day, their heart is still full of the fear that their duties to be done rightly. It is that fear that is the powerful factor of doing duties more and better.
It functions as an inward powerful police that controls man and man does his duties in the best way, while no one observes and controls him and he still thinks that he is guilty before Allah.
The difference between the Arabic word /mustaqarr/ (abode) and the word /muqam/ (station) is that the Hell is a perpetual home for pagans and it is a temporal place for believers. So, to both groups who enter the Hell reference is made.
It is obvious that the Hell is a bad place and residence.
How can one be calm in the blazing Fire? Is there comfortableness and easiness in the killing flames?
It is also possible that both these words, ‘Mustaqarr’ (abode) and ‘Muqam’ (station), mean the same and they are for more emphasis on the perpetuity of the Hell chastisement.
It is the opposite of the Paradise about which we read in this Surah, verse 76:
Anyway, the special servants of Allah fear the Fire of the Hell more than that they desire the Paradise.
وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا أَنفَقُوا لَمْ يُسْرِفُوا وَلَمْ يَقْتُرُوا وَكَانَ بَيْنَ ذَلِكَ قَوَامًا
67. “And those who when they spend, are neither extravagant nor niggardly, and are stationed between the two (extremes).”
The Arabic word /qawam/ means moderation and the word /qiwam/ means something as a help for standing.
Imam Rida (as) announced that moderate prodigality and expenditure is the famous criterion that is mentioned in Surah Al-Baqarah, No. 2, verse 236:
Imam Sadiq (as) in a tradition said:
“To spend for the sake of the falsehood is extravagance (though it is a little), and to be stingy in the path of the Truth is thrifty and frugal (/’iqtar/).”22
There is another verse that says:
In this holy verse, the fifth attribute of the servants of the Beneficent, which is moderation and avoiding any excess and defect in jobs and affairs, especially the issue of alms-giving, is mentioned.
It is interesting that this verse speaks in a way that it takes the issue of spending something which is certain and exists, so that it does not need mentioning, for it is one of the given duties of any man.
Thus it talks about the way and manner of the spending. It indicates that they have a just spending and are neither prodigal nor grudging. They neither spend so much that their wife and offspring gets hungry, nor they are so economical that other persons do not get help from them, and there is ever a firm station between the two.
Commentators have various opinions about the Qur’anic words /’israf/ (extravagance) and /’iqtar/ (to be economical).
All these opinions say one matter that /’israf/ is to spend too much, undue, and for the sake of none-Allah, and /’iqtar/ is to be less than what is necessary and right.
وَالَّذِينَ لاَ يَدْعُونَ مَعَ اللَّهِ إِلَهًا آخَرَ وَلاَ يَقْتُلُونَ النَّفْسَ الَّتِي حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ إِلاَّ بِالْحَقِّ وَلاَ يَزْنُونَ وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذَلِكَ يَلْقَ أَثَامًا
68. “And those who do not call with Allah any other god, and do not slay the soul which Allah has forbidden except for just cause, nor commit fornication, and whosoever does this shall find a requital of the sin.”
In this verse, polytheism, murder, and adultery, which are of the greatest sins in narrations, are mentioned.24
Homicide is of the greater sins, but the holy phrase:
says that sometimes murder is necessary and right, including:
1. Retaliation of homicide
3. Adultery of a pagan with a Muslim woman
4. The adultery of the one who has spouse
5. One who claims prophethood
6. Vilifying and insulting the Prophet (S) and the immaculate Imams (as)
7. The adulterer who forces woman to do fornication
8. Muslim sorcerer
9. Corrupter and combatant who uses weapon for frightening people
11. One who stands against and fights with just Imam of time
Anyway, the sixth attribute of the true servants of the Beneficent (Allah), that is mentioned in the verse under discussion, is sincere monotheism which is free from any polytheism and multi-worshipping.
The light of monotheism has illuminated all of their heart and their personal social life, and the darkness and gloom of polytheism is no longer in the thought and soul of theirs.
Their seventh attribute is that they do not murder any innocent.
It is understood from this noble verse that all humans are basically honorable and respected. It is forbidden to murder them, unless a phenomenon occurs that overshadows this natural respect and provides permission of murder.
The 8th attribute of theirs is that their realm of chastity never gets polluted.
The verse says about them:
They choose faith when they face dilemma of faith and paganism, they choose security when they face dilemma of security and insecurity, they select purity when they face dilemma of purity and defilement, and they struggle to make an environment which is free from polytheism, insecurity, immodesty, and impurity.
In the end of the verse, to show more emphasis, it adds:
The Arabic words /’im/ and /’aam/ originally means deeds that prevent man from achieving reward, then they have been applied to any sin, but here it means the punishment of wrong action. Some say that the word ‘’Ithm’ means sin and the word ‘’Atham’ means the chastisement of sin.25
If we see that some of commentators say that it means ‘desert’ or ‘mountain’ or ‘a deep well in the Hell’, these are, in fact, to state the kind of its extensions. In Surah ’Isra’, No. 17, verse 33, we talked about the philosophy of prohibition of adultery in detail.
It is interesting that the above holy verse first talks about polytheism, then about homicide, and finally about adultery. It is understood from some narrations that the importance of these three sins is as they are mentioned sequentially in the verse.
Ibn Mas‘ūd asked the Prophet (S):
“Which sin is greater than other sins?”
The Prophet (S) said:
“To consider a match for Allah while it is He Who has created you.”
Then he asked the Prophet (S):
“Which sin comes next?”
“To kill your child for fearing that he may eat food with you.”
Again he asked him (S):
“Which sin comes next?”
“To betray the spouse of your neighbour, and Allah sent down its confirmation in this verse by saying:
Though this narration speaks about a special kind of fornication and murder, with regard to generality of the concept of the verse, this ordinance is about all kinds of them, and this narration is a clear extension of it.
Anyway, the command of the holy Qur’an about avoiding polytheism, adultery, and homicide is not only a sermon, it is a rule that if it is disobeyed, severe chastisement will be its compensation. Divine chastisements do not have any exception; anyone who commits wrong action will be punished.
يُضَاعَفْ لَهُ الْعَذَابُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَيَخْلُدْ فِيهِ مُهَانًا
إلاَّ مَن تَابَ وَآمَنَ وَعَمِلَ عَمَلاً صَالِحًا فَأُوْلَئِكَ يُبَدِّلُ اللَّهُ سَيِّئَاتِهِمْ حَسَنَاتٍ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا
69. “On the Day of Judgment, the chastisement will be doubled to him, and he shall abide therein in abasement.”
70. “Unless he repents, believes, and works righteous deeds, then these are they who, Allah changes their evil deeds to good ones, And Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.”
Multiplication of wrongdoers’ punishment which is cited in the phrase ‘will be doubled’ is not against divine justice, for double punishment happens when sin or wrong action has got multiplied evil and gloomy effects.
For example, an adulterer not only commits sin, but also he forces other one to commit sin, and an illegitimate issue may get born, who has negative tendencies. In homicide, a murderer kills someone, but some persons will get bereaved, orphaned and he makes society insecure.
Each of the above items has individually a separate punishment, as one who forms and creates a bad tradition or custom in society will be punished each time that someone practices this custom during the course of history and its fonder has a share of its sin.
Since all commentators believe that fornication by itself brings no perpetuity of chastisement in the Hell, therefore, only those polytheists who commit adultery will remain in the Hell forever. Yes, false and true belief and paganism and polytheism have effect on punishments.
Since these three sins (polytheism, homicide, and adultery) are extremely important, again this verse puts emphasis on them and says;
Here, there arise a few questions: Why is the punishment of theirs doubled? Why are not they punished as much as they have committed sin? Is this consistent with the principles of justice?
Another matter is that the verse speaks about perpetuity of chastisement and abiding in the Hell, while we know that abiding in the Hell is only for pagans. Only the first sin of three sins mentioned in the verse is paganism, and murder and adultery cannot bring perpetual chastisement.
About the first question, commentators have discussed a lot and what seems more correct is that the purpose of doubling of chastisement is that for each of these three sins there are separate punishments that on the whole the punishment gets doubled.
Moreover, sometimes a sin will be the source of other sins, such as paganism that causes the obligations to be left and commitment of illegal things to be done, and this makes the Divine punishment double.
Therefore, some of commentators say that this verse is the reason of this famous principle which says:
“As pagans are responsible for fundamentals of religion, they are responsible for positive laws, too.”27
About the second question, we can say that some of sins are so great and bad that cause a person to die while having no faith, as we said about homicide in verse 93 of Surah An-Nisa’.
It may also be true about fornication especially when it is adultery.
Another possibility is that the Qur’anic word /xulūd/ (abide for ever) is about persons who commit all of these three sins (polytheism, homicide, fornication) together. The next verse testifies to this meaning.
Thus there will be no problem. Some of commentators say that ‘khulūd’ here means to abide for a long time not perpetually, but the first and the second commentaries seem more correct.
It is interesting mat in addition to the issue of common and general punishment, there is another punishment which is to get offended and insulted and this is psychological. It also can be a commentary on the issue of punishment to be double, for they have both physical and spiritual punishments.
But, in view of the fact that the holy Qur’an does not close the path of return to the wrongdoers and invites and encourages them to repent their sins, it says in the next verse:
As we said, three sins of the greatest sins were mentioned in the previous verse and opportunity is provided for returning and repenting of these persons, for every regretful wrongdoer can return to Allah on the condition that his repentance is real and its sign is doing righteous deeds which is brought up in the verse, otherwise, to merely repent verbally or having passing regret in the heart is not the reason of repentance.
The important issue about the above verse is how Allah changes their sins to good deeds.
Here are a few commentaries all of which can be acceptable:
1. When man repents and acquires faith in Allah, deep transformation happens throughout his whole entity. And because of this inward revolution, later all his evil deeds will change to good deeds.
If formerly he committed homicide in future defending the oppressed and fighting with oppressors would take its place. If he was adulterer, he would later become pure and modest. This divine aid and success is achieved under the light of faith and repentance.
2. Allah removes all his evil deeds out of His grace, favour, and bestowal, and replaces them by good deeds.
’Abūthar narrated that the Prophet (S) said that on the day of Resurrection some persons are called to come and Allah commands to remind him his small sins and to hide his greater sins. It is said to him that he has done such and such small sin that day. He will confess to it and his heart is frightened and shakes because of greater sins.
Here, if Allah wants to do him a favour, He commands to give him a good deed, in stead of each evil deed and he will say that he has some important sins which he does not see. Abūzar says that at this time the Prophet (S) smiled in a way that his teeth appeared.
Then he recited this verse:
3. The third commentary is that the purpose of evil deeds is not the nature of deeds man does, but it is the gloomy effects that they have on the soul and spirit of man. When man repents and believes, these gloomy effects will be removed from his soul and they will be changed to good effects. This is the meaning of changing evil deeds to good deeds.
Of course, these three commentaries are not inconsistent and it is likely that all of them are included in the concept of the verse. Imam Rida (as) said that the Prophet (S) was told that that person was a miserable man, for he had done many sins.
The Prophet (S) said:
“It is not at all as you say, but he has been freed and his destiny has become good, his sins are vanished and changed to good deeds. For when he was passing a way, he saw a believer whose pudendum was visible but he was not aware of it, (it seems that he was sleeping). This person covered that believer’s body and, for not making him ashamed, he did not tell him about this matter.
When the believer found out, he prayed for him in this way:
‘May Allah bestow you a lot of reward and make your resurrection peaceful and get easy with your reckoning!’
Allah fulfilled his prayer about that person and made his destiny good.”
When this good tiding of the Prophet (S) came to that wrongdoer, he repented of all his sins and became a worshipper of Allah. After one week a group of Islam enemies attacked Medina and the holy Prophet (S) issued the command of defense. That person went with other Muslims to holy war and when fighting he got martyred and his destiny became good and happy.29
Yes, real repentance changes man’s deeds and reforms his improper behaviour. As in the world of creation Allah creates flowers from soil and manure, He changes man’s evil deeds to good deeds.
وَمَن تَابَ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًا فَإِنَّهُ يَتُوبُ إِلَى اللَّهِ مَتَابًا
71. “And whoever repents and does good, he verily repents toward Allah with true repentance.”
Real repentance happens when it is along with good deeds. This noble verse explains the manner of correct repentance.
It means that not only repentance and abandonment of sin must be because of evilness of sin, but also its motivation must be to make intention sincere and to return to Allah. Therefore, for example, although stopping drinking wine or stopping lie for the harms that they have is good, the value of this stopping is when it has divine motivation.
Anyway, anyone who really and earnestly repents of his sins returns to Allah and to His countless rewards.
1. On a Friday the Prophet (S) delivered a sermon and said:
“O People! Before, you die, return to Allah and repent of your evil behaviour. And before you get involved in affairs of life, do righteous and good deeds and amend the affairs that are between you and Allah so that you get successful and happy. And pay alms a lot so that you are provided provisions.”30
2. The Prophet (S) said:
“Anyone who does not repent of the sin he has done is not believer and will not be interceded.”31
3. Imam Rida (as) said that the Prophet (S) said:
“The parable of a faithful person before Allah, is like the parable of a favorite angel, and the believer is really more preferred than this angel in the view of Allah. And before Allah nothing is more preferred and liked than a man or a woman who repents.”32
4. Imam Baqir (as) said:
“Although believer returns to Allah while he asks Allah forgiveness and repentance, Allah bestows repentance and forgives his sins, for Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. He accepts repentance and He forgives sins (and evil deeds), so be aware that you do not make believers hopeless of Allah’s Mercy (and forgiveness).”33
5. Imam Sadiq (as) said:
“Allah gets happy when His faithful servant repents and returns to Him, as one of you gets happy when he finds something he has lost.”34
وَالَّذِينَ لاَ يَشْهَدُونَ الزُّورَ وَإِذَا مَرُّوا بِاللَّغْوِ مَرُّوا كِرَامًا
72. “And those who witness no falsehood, and when they pass by what is vain, they pass by nobly.”
Not only committing sin is unlawful, but also attending a sinful gathering and viewing a sin is forbidden. To avoid attending a sinful gathering and being disrespectful to sinners is a kind of prohibition of sin.
Following the previous holy verses in which some of the attributes of the servant of the Beneficent are mentioned, this verse explains the 9th outstanding attribute of theirs and says:
Great commentators have cited two various commentaries on this verse: some say that the witness of (‘Zūr’) means ‘false testifying’, for the word ‘Zūr’ means deviation and inclination, and since lie, falsehood and oppression are some deviated affairs, they are called ‘Zūr’.
This phrase (Shahadat-uz-Zūr) is mentioned in the book ‘Shahadat’ of our jurisprudence. It is prohibited in various narrations, though in those narrations this verse has not been taken as an evidence.
Another commentary is that the purpose of ‘Shuhūd’ is ‘attending’ and ‘participation’, which means that the special servants of Allah do not attend false gatherings and parties.
In some narrations of Imams (as) this word has been interpreted as parties of profane singing, in which frivolous and deviating singers as well as playing musical instruments take place.
Undoubtedly the purpose of these narrations is not to limit the extensive concept of the Qur’anic word ‘Zūr’ to profane singing, but one of the clear extensions of it is profane singing.
It also includes all gatherings and parties in which wine is drunk, lie is told, backbiting happens, and such like.
Another possibility that does not seem unlikely is that both commentaries are truly applied to the meaning of the verse.
Thus, special servants of Allah, or the special servants of the Beneficent, neither bear false witness nor attend sinful and vain parties, for attending such parties is both confirming sin and preparation to defilement of soul and heart.
Then, the 10th attribute of theirs, which is having positive aim in life, is mentioned.
It continues saying:
In fact, they neither attend false and vain parties, nor do they get defiled with vanity and falseness.
With regard to the matter that the Qur’anic word /laqw/ includes any job that has no rational aim, it is clear that they have always a rational, useful, and good aim in their life and they dislike those who are after vain and futile matters.
If they face such vain affairs in their life, they avoid them in a way that their negligence shows that they are inwardly discontented with such deeds. They are so magnanimous that such defiled environments never affect them.
No doubt being heedless to such deeds happens when there is no better way to prohibit evil deeds and to struggle with corruption, otherwise they certainly stand against them and do their duties to the end.
Imam Sadiq (as) in a tradition says that the purpose of the Qur’anic word ‘Zūr’ in phrase:
is profane singing.35
In tafsir-i-Majma‘-ul-Bayan, we read that ‘passing by nobly’ is when such believers are helpless to mention the name of an evil thing, they say it ironically, as we read in a narration by Imam Baqir (as) that when they want to say pudendum, they say it implicitly.
Of course, this is one of the extensions of dignified behaviour. Imam Sadiq (as) said that Allah enjoined ear to avoid any unlawful things and then he (as) recited this verse.36
وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِّرُوا بِآيَاتِ رَبِّهِمْ لَمْ يَخِرُّوا عَلَيْهَا صُمًّا وَعُمْيَانًا
وَالَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا هَبْ لَنَا مِنْ أَزْوَاجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّاتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعْيُنٍ وَاجْعَلْنَا لِلْمُتَّقِينَ إِمَامًا
73. “And those who, when admonished with the Signs of their Lord, do not fall down thereat deaf and blind.”
74. “And those who say: ‘O’ our Lord! Grant us from our wives and our offspring the joy of our eyes, and make us for the pious ones (their) Imams.”
Acts of worship and having insight are attributes of the servants of the Beneficent. They knowingly follow religion. Therefore, this noble verse mentions the 11th attributes of theirs which is to have an ear that can hear and an eye that can see at the time effacing with Allah's revelations.
Certainly it does not refer to the deed of pagans, for they do not even pay attention to Allah’s verses, but it refers to hypocrites or those apparently Muslims who blindly and deafly follow Allah's verses, while they neither understand its reality and find its depth, nor they know Allah's purpose, nor they think about it, nor do they practically use it through inspiration in their life.
Of course, one can not pave the path of Allah blindly and deafly; before anything an ear that hears and an eye that sees are needed for this way. It needs an eye that can see inwardly and deeply and an ear that is sensitive and punctilious.
If we think correctly we see that the damage of this group, who blindly and deafly, as they imagine, pursue the divine verses, causes to religion of truth is not less than the damage that the enemies who knowingly cause to the foundation of the religion of truth, and sometimes it is more.
Basically, conscious perception of religion is the main source of resistance and forbearance, for those who have blind eye and deaf ear can be easily deceived and they can be deviated from the main path by distorting religion and they can be led to paganism and disbelief.
They are tools and puppies in the hands of foes and good victims for devils. Only insightful believers who see and listen carefully may remain stable and do not become puppies of this and that person.
When Imam Sadiq (as) was asked about the commentary of this verse, he said:
“The purpose is the insightful ones that are not skeptic!”37
In the next verse, the 12th attribute of these real believers, which is paying special attention to training and education of their issue and family and for which they feel seriously responsible is mentioned.
The verse says:
It is clear that its purpose is not to sit in a corner and pray for them, but prayer is the reason of their inward love and fond for this affair and the main key is struggle and attempt.
Certainly such people leave no stone unturned in training their issues and wives, and they making them acquainted with the main principles and positive laws of Islam and paths of truth and justice, and when having no way and no choice, they ask Allah, the Merciful, and pray.
Basically each correct praying is so, man must try his best and when there is something out of his power, he must pray.
The Arabic phrase /qurrata ‘ayn/ means the apple of one’s eye, which means a person who is the cause of happiness and pride.
This is originally derived from the word /qurr/ which means coolness and coldness, and since it is said (and maney commentators specify this) that the tears of eagerness and happiness are always cool, and the sorrowful tears are always hot and burning, the phrase /qurrata ‘ayn/ means something that causes the eye of man to get cool, that is: teats of happiness and eagerness are shed from his eyes and this implies happiness and joy.
The issue of training children and guiding wife and responsibility of parents for their children is of the most important issues on which the holy Qur’an puts emphasis. We will explain it in the commentary of verse 6 of Surah At-Tahrim, if Allah wills.
The 13th attributes of these outstanding sincere servants of Allah, which is from one aspect one of the most important ones, is that they never get satisfied by going the path of truth lonely, but they are so high-minded that they want to be the Imam and leader of the believers and to invite others to this upright path.
They do not do only all right for themselves like recluses but they try to save one who is sinking.
Therefore, it is said in the end of the verse that they are those who say:
It must be noted that they do not pray for taking the place of great persons exorbitantly, but they acquire the means and qualifications of greatness and leadership in a way that all deserved attributes of a real leader are included in them and this is a very difficult job with severe conditions.
Certainly it is not forgotten that these verses do not state all the qualities of the believers but they define the specialties of a choice group of them who are at the top and are entitled as ‘the servants of the Beneficent’.
Yes, they are special servants of Allah and as the general mercy of Allah includes all people, the mercy of servants of Allah is, from some aspects, general, too. Their knowledge, speech, thought, power, and writing all function for guiding people to the path of the Truth.
They are paragons and examples of the humane society.
They are counted as examples for pious persons. They are like guiding lights and lamps in deserts and seas, which call those who are lost to them and save them from falling down and sinking.
In many narrations we read that this verse is about Imam Ali (as) and family of the Prophet (S) and Imams (as). Imam Sadiq (as) said:
“The purpose of this verse is us.”38
Without doubt, Imams (as) are of the most obvious extensions of this verse, but this does not limit the concept of the verse that other believers can be imams and leaders of others in various degrees.
Some of commentators say that not only asking spiritual and divine leadership is not forbidden, but also it is preferred and good.39
Meanwhile, we must pay attention that though the Qur’anic word ‘Imam’ is singular, sometimes it is used in plural sense. In this verse it is so.
أُوْلَئِكَ يُجْزَوْنَ الْغُرْفَةَ بِمَا صَبَرُوا وَيُلَقَّوْنَ فِيهَا تَحِيَّةً وَسَلاَمًا
خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا حَسُنَتْ مُسْتَقَرًّا وَمُقَامًا
75. “Those (servants of the Beneficent) shall be rewarded with the high stations (in Paradise) because they were patient, and they shall be met therein with welcome and salutations.”
76. “Abiding therein; how excellent the abode, and the resting-place.”
After completing these attributes, these special servants of Allah, with their attributes, are referred to and in a short conclusion their divine reward is brought up as follows:
The Arabic word /qurfah/ means something that is picked up and consumed, such as water that man gets from spring for drinking. Then this word was applied to upper parts and stories of a building and houses. Here it implies the best places of the Paradise.
Since the servants of the Beneficent, with such attributes, are in the first row of other believers, their heavenly rank and position must be also the highest.
It must be noted that this high rank is given to them for they have been patient and tolerant for the sake of Allah. It maybe thought that this is another attribute of theirs, but it is not a new one, it guarantees the fulfilment of the previous attributes. Is it possible to worship Allah, to be humble and modest, to struggle with low desires and to stop vain witness without patience and perseverance?
This statement reminds one of the famous tradition stated by Imam Ali (as) who said:
“The relationship of patience and tolerance with faith is like the relationship of head with body.”40
The survival of body depends on the existence of the head, for what controls all limbs is located in man’s head.
Thus, the Qur’anic word /sabr/ (patience) has got an extensive concept which includes tolerance and resistance against difficulties being on the path of worshipping Allah, struggling with low desires and withstanding factors of sin. If in some narrations we read that its purpose is only poverty and financial weakness, these are the extensions of it.
Then it says:
The dwellers of the Paradise welcome each other, and angels say hello to them and, more importantly, Allah says hello and welcomes them, as we read in verse 58 of Surah Ya- Sin:
In verses 23 and 24 of Surah Ar-Ra’d we read:
Commentators have various opinions about the meaning of the Qur’anic words /tahiyyat/ and /salam/. The word /tahiyyat/ originally means to pray for life and the existence of other person. And the word ‘Salam’ is derived from the word ‘Salamat (health) and it means to ask health for someone.
Thus the first word is for asking life and the second word is for making this life healthy and without danger, though they both can sometimes mean one thing.
Of course, in common language, the meaning of the world /tahiyyat/ is more extensive and it, envelops any word, which causes happiness and respect and kindness, said to someone at the time of entrance.
To emphasize more on this subject in a different style, the noble verse says:
قُلْ مَا يَعْبَأُ بِكُمْ رَبِّي لَوْلاَ دُعَاؤُكُمْ فَقَدْ كَذَّبْتُمْ فَسَوْفَ يَكُونُ لِزَامًا
77. “Say (to the disbelievers: ) ‘My Lord would not esteem you at all were it not for your prayer (unto Him), but you: indeed have belied (the Truth), and soon you shall be (in) the grip (of the inevitable).”
The Arabic word /‘iba’/ means weight and heaviness.The Qur’anic sentence /ma ya‘ba’ū bikum rabbi/ means that Allah does not value and weigh you, unless under auspices of your worshipping and prayer.
This verse is the last verse of Surah Furqan. It is in fact the conclusion of all discussions of the Surah as well as the attributes of the servants of the Beneficent which were mentioned in the previous verses.
The Prophet (S) is addressed here, where the Qur’an says:
Though there are many probabilities about the meaning of the word /du‘a/ (prayer) mentioned here, all of them have approximately one root and source.
Some say that it means to pray. Some say that it means faith. Some say that it means worshipping and monotheism.
Some say that it means thanking. Some say it means to call Allah at the time of difficulties and disasters. However the root of them is faith and paying attention to Allah.
Therefore, the verse implies that what makes one valuable and respected before Allah is having faith in Allah and His servitude.
Then it says:
It may be considered that there is no coherency and relationship between the beginning and the end of the verse.
But, by some careful study it gets clear that the main purpose is that formerly polytheists and pagans denied the revelations of Allah and His prophets, and if these people do not return to Allah and do not worship Him, no value and respect they will have before Him and the punishments of their denials will be certain.
One of the evidences that confirm this commentary is a tradition by Imam Baqir (as) who was asked whether too much recitation of the Qur’an is preferred or too much praying. He answered that too much praying is best and then Imam (as) recited this verse.41
We know that praying is much considered important in the verses of the holy Qur’an and Islamic narrations, and one of its examples was the above verse, but praying has got conditions:
A) To know One Whom man calls,
B) To purify heart and soul and to make spirit ready for asking Him, for when man wants to meet someone, man must be ready for someone’s meeting,
C) To make One, Whom man wants to ask something, happy and contented, for without it, fulfilment of demand is unlikely.
D) To use all one’s power and potentiality, to try one’s best, then to ask Allah something beyond it, and to focus one’s heart on Creator for fulfilment of praying.
It is specified in Islamic narrations that if man does not do a job that he can do by himself and he resorts to praying, his praying will not be fulfilled. Thus, praying is a means for both knowing Allah and His glorious and beautiful attributes and repenting of sins and purifying soul, and a factor for doing good deeds and a cause for struggling as much as possible.
Therefore, there are important words about praying, which can not be understood save through what was said.
The Prophet (S) said:
“Praying is the weapon of the believer, the pillar of religion and the light of the earth and the skies.”42
Imam Ali (as) said:
“Praying is the key of victory and success, and the best praying is one that comes from a clean chest and a pious heart.”43
Imam Sadiq (as) said:
“Praying is more penetrating than spearhead.”44
Moreover, basically events take place in man’s life, which disappoint him from the viewpoint of apparent means and factors, but praying can be a window to hope and success, and it is an effective means for struggling with disappointment and distress.
Therefore, praying at time of disasters makes man powerful, hopeful and calm. It has such a psychological effect that can not be denied
1. Imam Sadiq (as) said:
“No group has prayed to Allah for a matter, unless they have scattered by fulfilment of their praying.”45
2. Imam Sadiq (as) said:
“Praying is fulfilled in some times: in odd prayer (in midnight), after dawn, and at the time of noon and sunset prayers, after and at the time of wedding and marriage ceremony, at the time of looking at the door of Ka‘bah and parent’s face, at the time of raining and recitation of the Qur’an.”46
3. Imam Sadiq (as) said:
“Do pray, for praying is the heel of every malady.”47
4. Imam Sadiq (as) said:
“Allah does not fulfil the praying that comes from a tough and hard heart.”48
5. Imam Sadiq (as) said:
“Allah knows your need and your demand, and He also knows what you want from Him, but He likes that you retell your needs to Him.”49
6. Imam Sadiq (as) said that Imam Ali (as) said:
“The job that Allah, Glorious and Majestical, likes best on the earth is praying and the best worship is modesty and chastity.”
And Imam Sadiq (as) added:
“Imam Ali (as) was a man who prayed a lot.”50
7. Imam Sadiq (as) said:
“There is a position and rank before Allah which can not be achieved save by asking and requesting Allah, and if a servant closes his mouth and does not ask what he needs, nothing will be given to him, then ask Allah, so that you are given what you like.”51
8. Imam Sadiq (as) said:
“Anyone who wants something from Allah must begin his praying with reciting ‘’Allahumma Sall-i ‘Ala Muhammad wa ’Al-i Muhammad, then one must ask one’s need. Finally one must also end one’s praying with reciting ‘’Allahumma Sall-i ‘Ala Muhammad wa ’Al-i Muhammad’, for Allah, all Mighty, is more generous than accepting two ends of a praying and leaving what is in the middle. Reciting ‘’Allahumma Sall-i ‘Ala Muhammad wa ’Al-i Muhammad’ will not remain unanswered.”52
9. Imam Sadiq (as) said:
“There are four persons whose praying will not be rejected and the doors of the heaven are open to them and their praying reaches ‘Arsh, The Throne:
A): Parents’ praying for their issue
B) Praying of the oppressed against the one who has oppressed him
C) Praying of one who is performing greater and lesser pilgrimage until one returns home
D) Praying of one who is fasting until when he breaks fast.”53
10. Imam Sadiq (as) said:
“Praying turns away divine decree, though it has come down from heaven and is stabilized.”54
O Allah! May set us one of Your special servants and bestow us the grace of achieving the attributes of ‘the servants of the Beneficent’. O Allah! Open the doors of praying to us and make it factor of value before You.
1. Imam Baqir (as) said:
“Verily those who are patient enter the Paradise without Reckoning.”55
2. The Prophet (S) said:
“Patience is a treasure out of the treasures of Paradise.”56
3. The Prophet (S) was once asked about faith and he answered:
“Faith is patience and generosity.”57
4. Hisham Ibn Hakam narrates from Imam Sadiq (as) who said:
“When the day of Resurrection comes, a group of people will go unto the door of Paradise and knock at it. They will be told who they are. They say that they are those who are patience. They will be asked with what they had patience.
They say that they had patience with worshipping Allah and abstaining from sins specified by Allah. Allah lets them enter the Paradise, and this is the meaning of Allah’s words:
5. The Prophet (S) in a tradition said:
“One who has patience with disobeying Allah and committing sin is like one who goes to holy war for the sake of Allah.”60
6. Imam Sadiq (as) was asked who the most honored before Allah is, and he said:
“One who thanks Allah when (favour and blessing) is bestowed on him and is patience when he is imposed with disaster.”61
7. Imam Ali (as) said:
“The highest reward is the reward of patience and perseverance.”62
8. Imam Ali (as) said:
“If you are patient with disasters and difficulties, you will achieve the rank and position of the righteous ones. If you have impatience with them, this impatience leads you to the Hell and Fire.”63
9. The Prophet (S) said:
“Success and victory will be achieved by patience, and there will be ease at the end of suffering and difficulty.
10. Washsha’ narrated Imam Sadiq (as) who said:
“We are patient and our Shiites are more patient than us.”
“May I be sacrificed for you! How is your Shiites’ patience more than yours?”
“For we have patience with what we know but our Shiites have patience with what they do not know.”66
11. Hassan Ibn Mahbūb said that Hassan Ibn Ali (as) said that Imam Kazim (as) said that Imam Baqir (as) said:
“On the day of Resurrection, a caller cries:
‘Where are the patient?’
Then some people stand up. And he cries again:
‘Where are the bearers of patience?’
Then some people stand up. Then he said may I be sacrificed for you, who those who are patient are.
“Those who are patient with doing what is obligated. And bearers of patience are those who have patience with abandonment of sins.”67
12. Imam Sadiq (as) said:
“Any believer who is imposed with a disaster and he is patient, he will be given the reward which is equal to the reward of one thousand martyrs.”68
13. ’Anas said that the Prophet (S) said that Allah, All-Mighty, said:
“When I impose a disaster on My servant’s body, on his issue or on his property, and he welcomes it with beautiful patience, I will be ashamed to set him a scale for evaluating his deeds or to open a book for retelling his deeds on the Hereafter Day.”69
14. Imam Baqir (as) said:
“Paradise is covered inside difficulties and patience. One who is patient with unlawful low desires and difficulties will enter Paradise. And the Hell is covered inside low desires and lusts. One who is after low desires and lusts will enter the Hell.”70
15. Imam Ali (as) said:
“Patience has got two kinds: patience with difficulty and disaster which is beautiful and good, and patience with unlawful matters which is better than that.”71
16. Imam Ali (as) said that the Prophet (S) said:
“If four attributes are bestowed on a man, he will be given goodness of this world and the other world; a patient body, a tongue that utters Allah's name, a heart that thanks Allah, a good and righteous spouse.”72
17. Imam Ali (as) said:
“Patience has got three kinds: Patience with affliction, patience with worship, patience with sins and wrong action.”73
18. Imam Sadiq (as) said:
“It is likely that one hour patience causes perpetual happiness and one hour pleasure causes long time sorrow.”74