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Section 2: Allah’s Blessings On David

Surah Sad - Verses 12-16

كَذَّبَتْ قَبْلَهُمْ قَوْمُ نُوحٍ وَعَادٌ وَفِرْعَوْنُ ذُو الأَوْتَادِ

وَثَمُودُ وَقَوْمُ لُوطٍ وَأَصْحَابُ لْئَيْكَةِ أُوْلَئِكَ الأَحْزَابُ

إِن كُلٌّ إِلاَّ كَذَّبَ الرُّسُلَ فَحَقَّ عِقَابِ

وَمَا يَنظُرُ هَؤُلآءِ إِلاَّ صَيْحَةً وَاحِدَةً مَّالَهَا مِن فَوَاقٍ

وَقَالُوا رَبَّنَا عَجّـِل لَّنَا قِطَّنَا قَبْلَ يَوْمِ الْحِسَابِ

12. “Before them, the people of Noah, and ‘Ad, and Pharaoh, the lord of stakes, belied (messengers),”
13. “And Thamud and the people of Lot, and the dwellers of the Thicket, these were the parties (who also rejected the messengers).”
14. “There was none of them but belied the messengers, so just was My retribution.”
15. “And these (infidels) do not wait aught but a single blast, which (when it comes) will brook no delay.”
16. “And they (ridiculously) say: ‘O our Lord! Hasten on to us our portion before the Day of Reckoning.”

These verses refer to the evil end of the peoples of six prophets who lived before Islam, so that both the pagans of the time of the Prophet of Islam (S) may take a lesson, and the Prophet (S) and the believers know that rejecting prophets has an old background and it is not a new thing and they should also know that if there comes a punishment there will not be given any respite to the disbelievers.

Following the last verse which was explained and informed of the defeat of the polytheists in future, and introduced them as a small army out of the ‘defeated parties’, now, it introduces a group of the parties who belied the prophets and afflicted a bad fate.

It says:

“Before them, the people of Noah, and ‘Ad, and Pharaoh, the lord of stakes, belied (messengers),”

And in the next verse it says:

“And Thamud and the people of Lot, and the dwellers of the Thicket, these were the parties (who also rejected the messengers).”

Yes, these were six groups out of parties of Ignorant and idolaters who opposed against the prophets:

The people of Noah against this great prophet.

The people of ‘Ad against Hud, the prophet.

Pharaoh against Moses and Aaron (as).

The people of Thamud against Hadrat Salih.

The people of Lot against Hadrat Lot.

The dwellers of the Thicket against Shu‘ayb, the prophet.

They did their best in belying, hurting and vexation of both Divine prophets and believers. But, finally, the Divine punishment came over them and, like a dry farm, it reaped them.

The people of Noah were destroyed by means of Storm and heavy rains; the people of ‘Ad by a strong wind; Pharaoh and his people by the waves of Nile; the people of Thamud by heavenly Blast (and great Thunderbolts); the people of Lot by a horrible earthquake accompanied with the rain of heavenly pebbles; and the people of Shu‘ayb were also destroyed by an annihilating thunderbolt which came down over them from a piece of cloud, and thus, the water, wind, dust, and fire which form the means of life for man were ordered to destroy them, and they vanished them so violently that there remained no trace of them.

These polytheists of Mecca should think that, comparing these parties, they were not more than a small group, why did they not awake from the sleep of negligence?

The attribution of /ŏul’autad/ (the lord of stakes) for Pharaoh which is mentioned clearly in these verses and also in Surah Al-Fajr, No. 87, verse 10 is ironically used to show firmness.

It is said, for example, the nails of so and so are firm; or the nails of this job have been fastened; or it has been fastened with four nails, because for firmness of a building or the tents the nails are always used.

Some commentators have considered it as a hint to the great troops of Pharaoh, because an army usually uses tents and for holding tents nails are used.

Some other commentators say that it refers to the horrible tortures of the Pharaohs unto their enemies that so to speak, they crucified them and fastened each of their hands and feet with nail to the ground, to a gallows-tree, or to a wall and left them to die.

And, at last, some commentators have said that probably the Arabic word /’autad/ is the same as /’ahram/ (pyramids) in Egypt which are fixed into the ground like a nail, and since pyramids are from the specialties of the Pharaohs, this quality in the Qur’an is used inclusively about them.

In the meanwhile, these probabilities are not contradictory with each other and they may gather in the concept of this word.

The Arabic word /’aykah/ means ‘tree’ and the Qur’anic phrase /’ashab-ul-’aykah/ are the very people of Hadrat Shu‘ayb who used to live in a land with abundant water and trees located between the lands of Syria and Mecca and Medina. In the commentary of Surah Al-Hijr, No. 15, verse 78 we have talked enough in this regard.

In the third verse, the Qur’an implies that each of these groups belied the Divine messengers and the chastisement of Allah came to them.

It says:

“There was none of them but belied the messengers, so just was My retribution.”

History shows that how each group of them died by a pest and their cities were changed into ruins during a short time and their members turned to be some corpses.

In the fourth verse, the Holy Qur’an implicitly says whether these polytheists of Mecca, by these bad actions can have a better fate than them, while their deeds are the same as theirs and Allah’s way of treatment is the same.

So, as a decisive and hard threat, it says:

“And these (infidels) do not wait aught but a single blast, which (when it comes) will brook no delay.”

This blast may be similar to the blasts which came upon the former nations. It was a horrible thunderbolt, or an earthquake with a tremendous sound which wiped out their livings.

However, these neglectful people, by their rejections and denials of the Divine revelations, and their undue accusations unto the Prophet (S) and their persisting and obstinacy on idolatry, cruelty, and corruption, seemed that they had been waiting for the Divine punishment, a punishment which would burn the stack of their lifetime, or a blast that would put an end to the life of the world and take them to a way which was not returnable.

As many of the commentators and philologist have said, the Arabic word /fawaq/ originally means the length of time between two times of milking milk from the udder, because when the milk is fully milked, it needs waiting a while until the milk gathers in the udder again, and since after milking the milk the udder rests, this word has also been used in the sense of resting and calmness.

And also since this distance of time is for returning milk to the udder, this meaning has been used in the sense of ‘return’, too, and that is why the convalescence of a sick person in Arabic is called /’ifaqah/ since health turns back to him.

However, there is no return of rest, calmness, and peace in this horrible blast, and when it happens all the doors will be shut to them. Neither regret is useful nor there is possibility of recompense, nor are shouts of avail.

The last verse of the verses under discussion points to one of other statements of the pagans and rejecters who spoke mockingly as follows:

“And they (ridiculously) say: ‘O our Lord! Hasten on to us our portion before the Day of Reckoning.”

Those blind hearted proud persons were so haughty that even they used to mock the punishment of Allah and His just court. They used to say why He delayed in the portion of their punishment.

Among the former nations, these kinds of self-loving feeble-minded persons were not scanty either, but at the time of being captured in the grips of the Divine punishment, they cried like animals and nobody came to help them.

The Arabic term /qitt/ originally means something which is cut from its width, and the word /qadd/ means something which is cut from its length.

And since the certain portion of everybody is similar to something broken and cut, this word has been used in the sense of portion.

Sometimes it is in the sense of a piece of paper on which something is written, or the names of persons and their prizes are written on it. So, some of the commentators have said upon the commentary of the above mentioned verse that the purpose is this:

O’ Allah! Give us the record of our deeds before the day of Judgment.

They said this statement when the above verses informed that on the Day of Judgment a group of people will have the record of their deeds in their right hand and another group in their left hand. The disbelievers mockingly said that how well was it that their records of deeds were given to them that they would read them and see their own position and fate.

However, ignorance and pride are two qualities which are very ugly and blameworthy and they often do not separate from each other. They are the ignorant proud ones, and the proud ignorant ones, and the effects of these two are seen in the polytheists of the Age of ignorant abundantly.

Note the Following Traditions:

1- Imam Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as) said:

“The utmost ignorance is that a person is happy for his ignorance.”1

2- Again he (as) said:

“The utmost of wisdom is confession to what he does not know.”2

3- Again he (as) said:

“The utmost of knowledge is the awe of Allah, Glory be to Him.”3

Surah Sad - Verses 17-20

اصْبِرْ عَلَي مَا يَقُولُونَ وَاذْكُرْ عَبْدَنَا دَاوُدَ ذَا الأَيْدِ إِنَّهُ أَوَّابٌ

اِنَّا سَخَّرْنَا الْجِبَالَ مَعَهُ يُسَبّـِحْنَ بِالْعَشِيّ‌ِ وَالإِشْرَاقِ

وَالطَّيْرَ مَحْشُورَةً كُلٌّ لَّهُ أَوَّابٌ

وَشَدَدْنَا مُلْكَهُ وَءَاتَيْنَاهُ الْحِكْمَةَ وَفَصْلَ الْخِطَابِ

17. “Bear patiently what they say, and remember Our servant David, the possessor of power, verily he ever turned (to Allah).”
18. “Verily We subjected the mountains to give glory with him at the evening and the sunrise,”
19. “And the birds assemble together, every one to him reverting;”
20. “And We strengthened his kingdom, and gave him wisdom and a clear judgment.”

The requisite of leadership is tolerance and patience in the face of the bitter words of others.

David used to turn to Allah very much, and in all his affairs in his life he turned to Him. This permanent attention was the cause of his power. David (as) was one of the great prophets of the Children of Israel who had a very large government, and his high rank has been praised in many verses of the Qur’an.

Following the discussions mentioned in the former verses about the hindrances of polytheists and idolaters and their undue accusations to the Prophet of Islam (S), in order to console the holy Prophet (S) and the small group of the believers of that day, here the Qur’an explains the story of David, the one to whom Allah gave those many forces and He even made the mountains and birds subjected to him, in order to show that when His favour comes to someone, the mass of enemies can do nothing.

But this great prophet, with those many apparent forces, was not secure from the people’s sarcasm, so that he would be a comfort and solace for the Prophet (S), because this matter was not only for him but the great men of the world had had a share of it.

At first, it says:

“Bear patiently what they say, and remember Our servant David, the possessor of power, verily he ever turned (to Allah).”

The Qur’anic word /’ayd/ has been used both in the senses of ‘power’ and ‘bounty’, and David had both of them. His bodily power was so that he could defeat Jalut, the tyrant, in the battle-field by a strong strike that he left the stone by his sling toward him and Jalut fell bloody on the ground.

Some writers have written that the stone cleft his chest and came out from other side.

And from the point of political power, he had a powerful government so that he could stand with full power against the enemies. And from the point of spiritual and ethical power and the strength of worship, it was such that he was vigilant a great part of the night busy worshipping Allah, and half of the days of the year he was fast.

From the point of the bounties of Allah, he had been bestowed kinds of apparent and hidden bounties. In short, David was a strong man in fights, in worship, in knowledge, and in government, and also he had abundant bounties.

The Arabic word /’awwab/ is derived from /’aub/ with the sense of voluntary return toward something, and since the word /’aub/ is an Arabic amplification form, it indicates that he turned to his Lord very much and repented for the slightest negligence and leaving the better.

Then in the second verse, after shortly referring to the Divine bounties to David, in order to explain a part of them, He says:

“Verily We subjected the mountains to give glory with him at the evening and the sunrise,”

In the third verse He implicitly says that not only the mountains were subjected to him, but also the birds did in order that they glorify Him with him.

It says:

“And the birds assemble together, every one to him reverting;”

All the mountains and birds obeyed the command of David and joined in singing with him.

The pronoun in the Arabic word /lahu/ may refer to David. If so, the meaning of the sentence is the same which was said in the above. It is also probable that it refers to the Pure Essence of Allah, which means all the particles of the world return to Him and are obedient to Him.

Concerning the quality of the act of birds and mountains joining in singing with David (as), it has been said that this glorification of God had been together with the apparent sound accompanied with a kind of understanding which is in the innate of the particles of the world.

According to this idea all of the beings of the world have a kind of wisdom and understanding, and when they heard the delightful sound of this great prophet at the time of his worship, they accompanied him and the sound of their glorification were heard with together.

And this is not far from the power of Allah. It was a murmur which was always current in the inside of the innate of the beings of the world, but Allah caused it to be appear for David by the power of miracle, in the same way which was seen in respect to the glorification of the pebbles in the hand of the Prophet (S).

The fourth verse again continues mentioning the bounties of Allah unto David.

It says:

“And We strengthened his kingdom…”

This was in a way that all the haughty ones, disobedient persons and the enemies would take heed of him.

Besides that, Allah gave him wisdom; the same wisdom about which the Qur’an says:

“…and whoever has been granted wisdom, indeed has been given abundant good…”4

The verse says:

“…and gave him wisdom…”

The Qur’anic term /hikmat/ here means knowledge and the ability of managing the affairs of country, or the rank of prophecy, or all of them. This word has sometimes the scientific aspect which is rendered into ‘excellent sciences’; and sometimes it has the practical aspect which is rendered into ‘ethic and righteous deed’, and David had enjoyed all of them abundantly.

The last bounty of Allah unto David was that he was given the knowledge of correct and just judgment.

The holy verse continues saying:

“…and a clear judgment.”

The application of the Arabic phrase /fasl-ul-xitab/ as an attribute for judgment is for the sake that the word /xitab/ is the debate of two parties of quarrel, and /fasl/ means: ‘cut and separation’.

And we know that the talks of a person who quarrels may be ceased when a correct judgment is done between the two parties, therefore this phrase has been meant in the sense of a just judgment.

There is also this probability in the commentary of this phrase that Allah gave David a strong logic which contained an excellent thought and deep meditation. Not only in the occasion of judgment, but also everywhere David would say the last word and the best statement.

Truly, with the existence of such a Lord Who is able to give an eligible man so many powers and abilities, there is no room for anybody to be despair from His grace, and this was not only the cause of comfort for the Prophet (S) and the believers who were under a hard pressure on those days, but it is the cause of solace for the whole captured believers in all centuries.

Some commentators have extracted ten great Divine merits from the above mentioned verses for David which clear both the high rank of this prophet and the specialties of a complete man.

1- The Prophet of Islam (S), with that great glory, is ordered to imitate David in patience and to get help from his history:

“Bear patiently what they say and remember Our servant David…”

2- Allah qualifies him by the rank of servitude and, in fact, He counts his first specialty this very rank of his servitude:

Our servant”.

Similar to this meaning is said concerning the holy Prophet of Islam (S) relation to the subject of Muhammad’s ascension to Heaven where the Holy Qur’an says:

“Glory be to Him Who took His servant by night from Masjid-ul-Haram to Masjid-ul-’Aqsa…”5

3- Having power:

“Verily We subjected the mountains to give glory with him…”

4- Returning to Allah and his turning to Him constantly:

“…Verily he ever turned (to Allah).”

5- The mountains being subjected to him and that they gave glory with him:

“…to give glory with him…”

6- Allah counts the birds’ glorification with him as one of his god-given merits:

“And the birds assembled together…”

7- That all of them joined in singing with him:

“…every one to him reverting.”

8- Sovereignty and government:

“And We strengthened his kingdom…”

9- The Divine wisdom:

“…and gave him wisdom…”

10- His ability of giving just judgment and putting an end to the conflicts:

“…and a clear judgment.”

And verily the bases of no government are firm without these qualities: knowledge, power, logic, godly piety, ability of controlling the carnal desire, and also approaching the rank of servitude to Allah.

By the way, David was one of the prophets who had had prophethood and kingdom with together.

Surah Sad - Verses 21-22

وَهَلْ أَتَاكَ نَبَؤُاْ الْخَصْمِ إِذ تَسَوَّرُوا الْمِـحْرَابَ

إِذْ دَخَلُوا عَلَي دَاوُدَ فَفَزِعَ مِنْهُمْ قَالُوا لاَ تَخَفْ خَصْمَانِ بَغَي بَعْضُنَا عَلَي بَعْضٍ فَاحْكُم بَيْنَنَا بِالْحَقّ‌ِ وَلاَ تُشْطِطْ وَاهْدِنَآ اِلَي سَوآءِ الصّـِرَاطِ

21. “And has the story of the litigants come to you when they climbed the wall into the (David’s) prayer chamber?”
22. “When they entered to David, and he was frightened of them, they said: ‘Fear not, (we are) two litigants, one of us has exceeded against the other, so decide between us with truth, and treat not unjustly, and guide us unto the right way.”

The act of judgment in the prayer room increases its value and sanctity. Hadrat Ali (as) used to judge among people in Kufah Mosque, and the place of David’s judgment was often in his prayer chamber.

Following to the previous verses which stated the special qualities of David and the great merits that Allah gave him, the Holy Qur’an explains the event which happened for him in a judgment.

At first, addressing the holy Prophet of Islam (S), the Qur’an says:

“And has the story of the litigants come to you when they climbed the wall into the (David’s) prayer chamber?”

The Arabic word /xasm/ originally means: ‘To quarrel’ but it frequently happens that each of the parties of a quarrel is called /xasm/ (enemy). This word is used for both singular and plural forms, but sometimes its Arabic plural form has been used in the shape of /xusum/.

The Qur’anic phrase: /tasawwaru/ is derived from /sur/ in the sense of a high wall which has surrounded around a house or a city; but it must be noted that this word originally means: ‘to jump and climb’.

The Arabic term /mihrab/ means: the highest seat of an assembly, or the rooms in upstairs; and since the place of worship had usually been there it has gradually been used in the sense of ‘temple’, and in daily usages it is particularly used for the place where the prayer leader stands for performing the congregation prayer.

It has been narrated in Mufradat that the prayer niche of a mosque is called such because it is the place of fight against Satan and the carnal desire.

The second verse denotes that though David had numerous protectors, the two parties of quarrel climbed the wall of his prayer chamber and, through an unusual way, they entered his castle and suddenly they appeared in front of him.

In the continuation of this discussion, the Qur’an implicitly says that they suddenly entered David’s room and, without previously informing him or getting permission, they stood in front of him. Therefore, by observing them, David terrified, because he thought they had an evil intention about him.

The verse in this regard says:

“When they entered to David, and he was frightened of them…”

But soon they removed his terror by their manner.

The verse continues saying:

“…they said: ‘Fear not, (we are) two litigants, one of us has exceeded against the other, so decide between us with truth, and treat not unjustly, and guide us unto the right way.”

The Qur’anic term /tuštit/ is derived from /šatat/ which originally means: ‘much remoteness’, and since injustice and cruelty keeps man aloof very much from the truth, the word /šatat/ has been used in this sense. It is also called to the speech which is far from reality.

The two parties of a quarrel must demand the execution of the truth, not the protection of their profits.

Surah Sad - Verse 23

إِنَّ هَذَا أَخِي لَهُ تِسْعٌ وَتِسْعُونَ نَعْجَةً وَلِيَ نَعْجَةٌ وَاحِدَةٌ فَقَالَ أَكْفِلْنِيهَا وَعَزَّنِي فِي الْخِطَابِ

23. “Verily this my brother has ninety nine ewes, and I have (only) one ewe, but he says: ‘Give her into my charge’ and he overcame me in the argument.”

This verse indicates that they did not give so much respite to David and one of them preceded the other to tell him their complain.

He said:

“Verily this my brother has ninety nine ewes, and I have (only) one ewe, but he says: ‘Give her into my charge’ and he overcame me in the argument.”

The Arabic word /na‘jah/ means ‘ewe’; it is also used for female wild cow and wild sheep.

The Qur’anic term /’akfilniha/ is derived from /kifalat/ which here ironically means ‘to abandon’. (The sentence means that you do abandon the charge of it to me, or give it to me.)

The Arabic term /‘azzani/ is derived from /‘izzat/ in the sense of ‘overcome’, and the concept of the sentence is: ‘He overcame me’.

However, man is usually greedy and solicitous, and he never satiates from the wealth of the world.

Surah Sad - Verses 24-25

قَالَ لَقَدْ ظَلَمَكَ بِسُؤَالِ نَعْجَتِكَ إِلَي نِعَاجِهِ وَاِنَّ كَثِيراً مّـِنَ الْخُلَطَآءِ لَيَبْغِي بَعْضُهُمْ عَلَي بَعْضٍ إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ وَقَلِيلٌ مَا هُمْ وَظَنَّ دَاوُدُ أَنَّمَا فَتَنَّاهُ فَاسْتَغْفَرَ رَبَّهُ وَخَرَّ رَاكِعاً وَأَنَابَ

فَغَفَرْنَا لَهُ ذَلِكَ وَإِنَّ لَهُ عِندَنَا لَزُلْفَي وَحُسْنَ مَأَبٍ

24. “(David) said: ‘Indeed he has been unjust to you in demanding your ewe to add her to his own ewes; and verily many of the associates are wrongfully unto one another, save those who believe and do good deeds, and few are they!’ And David perceived that We had tried him, so he sought forgiveness of his Lord, and he fell down bowing, and he repented.”
25. “So We forgave him that (lapse), and verily for him, with Us is a nearness and an excellent resort.”

Man can own a lot of properties. David (as) did not criticize for having ninety nine ewes, but he criticized the brother’s oppressive avariciousness.

The verse indicates that before hearkening to the statement of the opposite party, as it is understood from the apparent of the verses of the Qur’an, David turned to the complainant and spoke as follows:

“(David) said: ‘Indeed he has been unjust to you in demanding your ewe to add her to his own ewes…”

But this is not a new thing and many of the friends and persons who work with together are unjust to each other.

The verse continues saying:

“…and verily many of the associates are wrongfully unto one another, save those who believe and do good deeds, and few are they!’…”

Yes, those who observe the right of others perfectly in association and friendship and do not have the least oppression to their friends are few, and only those who have got enough share of the capital of faith and righteous deed can usually pay the rights of their friends and familiar ones perfectly and justly.

However, it seems that the two parties of conflict were convinced by hearing this statement and left the David’s meeting.

But here David began thinking, and though he knew he had made a just judgment, and his silence was the best evidence that the problem was the same that the complainant had mentioned, yet the manners of the meeting of judgment required that David would not hasten in his speech, and first he should personally ask the opposite party and then arbitrated.

Therefore, because of this action of his, he became regretful very much and, as the verse says:

“…And David perceived that We had tried him, so he sought forgiveness of his Lord, and he fell down bowing, and he repented.”

The Qur’anic term /xarra/ is derived from /xarir/ in the sense of ‘falling from a height accompanied with a sound’, like the sound of a waterfall, and since the persons who fall in prostration are as if they fall from a height, and at the time of prostration they pronounce glorification, this meaning has been used as to prostrate.

The application of the Arabic word /raki‘an/ in the verse under discussion is either for the sake that the Arabic word /ruku‘/ (bowing) has also been used in vocabulary in the sense of prostration, or bowing is a premise for prostration.

In the second verse the Qur’an implies that Allah favoured His mercy over him and forgave his lapse in this leaving the better, as the Qur’an in this verse says:

“So We forgave him that (lapse), and verily for him, with Us is a nearness and an excellent resort.”

The Arabic term /zulfa/ is in the sense of ‘rank and nearness with Allah’, and the Qur’anic phrase /husna ma’ab/ refers to Paradise and bounties in Hereafter.

Surah Sad - Verse 26

يَا دَاوُدُ إِنَّا جَعَلْنَاكَ خَلِيفَةً فِي الأَرْضِ فَاحْكُم بَيْنَ النَّاسِ بِالْحَقّ‌ِ وَلاَ تَتَّبِعِ الْهَوَي فَيُضِلَّكَ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ اِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَضِلُّونَ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ شَدِيدٌ بِمَا نَسُوا يَوْمَ الْحِسَابِ

26. “O David! Verily We have appointed you a vicegerent in the earth, so judge between the people with justice and do not follow (vain) desire for it will mislead you from the way of Allah; (as for) those who go astray from the path of Allah, they shall surely have a severe punishment, because they forgot the Day of Reckoning.”

Religion is not separate from politics. Allah has given the administration of His servants’ affairs to the prophets. The administration of people’s affairs is Allah’s right which He gives to whomever He desires. Governing over people is a great bounty the gratitude of which is the execution of justice among people.

Following the story of David, and as the last saying, this verse addresses David, while stating his high rank, it explains his heavy duties and responsibilities through a decisive tone and some expressive statements, where it says:

“O David! Verily We have appointed you a vicegerent in the earth, so judge between the people with justice and do not follow (vain) desire for it will mislead you from the way of Allah; (as for) those who go astray from the path of Allah, they shall surely have a severe punishment, because they forgot the Day of Reckoning.”

The content of this verse, which refers to the high rank of David and his important duty, contains five sentences each of which pursues a fact.

The first is the rank of vicegerency of David in the earth.

Is the purpose of it the replacement of the former prophets, or the Divine vicegerency? Here the second meaning seems more fitting, and it is more consistent with Surah Al-Baqarah, No. 2, verse 30 which says:

“When your Lord said to the angels: ‘Verily I am appointing on the earth a deputy’…”

Of course, vicegerency, with its real meaning, in respect to Allah does not have any meaning, because it is meaningful and correct for only those who are absent or have died. Then, its purpose is His deputation among His servants and performing His commands in the earth.

This sentence denotes that government on the earth must originate from the government of Allah, and any government that works other than this way is verily an unjust and undue government.

In the second sentence it commands: now that this great merit has been given to you, your duty is to judge among people with justice. In fact, the result of the Divine vicegerency is the government of Truth. It can be understood from this sentence that the government of Truth originates only from vicegerency and it is its direct product.

The third sentence points to the most important danger which threatens a just governor.

It says:

“…do not follow (vain) desire…”.

Yes, vain desire puts a thick curtain over the truth-seeking eyes of man and it causes a distance between him and justice.

So, in the fourth sentence it implies that if you follow the low desire, it hinders you from the path of Allah, which is the same as the path of truth.

Thus, wherever there is stray, there exists the low desire; and wherever the low desire exists, it ruins the rights of people, and, for this reason, his government is ephemeral and will face with failure.

Here, vain desire may have a vast meaning which encompasses both the vain desire of man himself, and the vain desire of people. And thus the Qur’an nullifies the schools which follow the common thoughts, whatever they may be, and count them necessary for the governments, because the result of both of them is misled from the path of Allah and the straight way.

Today we see the effects of this kind of thought in, so to speak, the civilized world. They have passed the worst deeds as a law for the sake of people’s desires and they have reached the notoriety to its utmost limit, so that pen shames to explain it.

It is true that the bases of government must be on the shoulder of people and it forms with the association of common people, but this does not mean that the criterion of right and wrong in everything and everywhere is the desires of the majority of people.

A government must have a framework of the Truth (Allah), but in practising this framework it must get help from the power of society, and the Islamic Republic, which we demand, is made up of the words: Republic and Islamic, also means the same thing. In other words, the principles are taken from the religious school, but people execute them.

Finally, in the fifth sentence the verse points to this fact that going astray from the path of Allah originates from forsaking ‘The Day of Reckoning’ and its fruit is the severe punishment of Allah.

Principally, forgetting the Day of Hereafter is always the source of aberrations, and each aberration is mixed with this forgetfulness, and this principle makes clear the training effect of being regardful to the Resurrection in the lives of men.

The narrations cited in this regard in Islamic sources are very notable.

Among them is the tradition which has been narrated from both the holy Prophet of Islam (S) and Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as) who said:

“O people! Verily the most terrible things about which I fear on you are two things: following the low desire, and long hopes. Then, following low desire restrains you from the truth, and extending of hopes causes you to forget the Hereafter”.6

It is suitable that this sentence to be written excellently and put in the sight of all, specially that of the rulers, judges, and the responsible officials of the affairs.

In another tradition Imam Baqir (as) has said:

“There are three things which destroy (man): the miserliness that is obeyed, the low desire which is followed, and the state of man’s being content with his own self.”7

A Few Traditions Upon Low Desire

1- Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as) said:

“The intellect is the possessor of the army of Allah, the Beneficent, and the low desire is the leader of the troops of Satan, and the man’s self is under the pressure of the attractions of these two. Then, every one of them overcomes, the self will follow it.”8

2- Imam Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as) said:

“There are many intellects which are captive with the soul that bids to evil.”9

3- Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as) said:

“The one whose intellect overcomes his low desire will be prosperous, and the one whose low desire overcomes his intellect will be ignominious.”10

4- Ali (as) said:

“…Unfortunate is he who fell victim to his desires and his pride…”11

5- Imam Jawad (as) said:

“He who obeys his low desire, he has caused his enemy to reach his hope.” 12

6- Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as) said:

“Make the intellect superior to the low desire, because intellect owns the time but the low desire makes you the servant of the time.”13

7- Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as) said:

“There is no enemy like the low desire.”14

  • 1. Qurar-ul-Hukam, Vol. 4, P. 374
  • 2. Ibid
  • 3. Ibid, P. 375
  • 4. Surah Al-Baqarah, No. 2, verse 269
  • 5. Surah ’Isra’, No. 17, verse 1
  • 6. Nahj-ul-Balaqah, sermon 42
  • 7. Nur-uth-Thaqalayn, Vol. 4, P. 453, taken from Khisal
  • 8. Qurar-ul-Hikam, Vol. 1, P. 113
  • 9. Nahj-ul-Balaqah, chapter Hikam
  • 10. Mustadrak, Vol. 2, P. 287
  • 11. Nahj-ul-Balaqah, sermon 86
  • 12. Bihar, Vol. 75, P. 364
  • 13. Nahj-ul-Balaqah, Ibn-Abil-Hadid, Vol. 2, No. 209
  • 14. Qurar-ul-Hikam, Vol. 2, P. 130

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