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Section 5: The Great Tiding

Surah Sad - Verses 65-68

قُلْ إِنَّمَآ أَنَاْ مُنذِرٌ وَمَا مِنْ إِلَهٍ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ الْوَاحِدُ الْقَهَّارُ

رَبُّ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا الْعَزِيزُ الْغَفَّارُ

قُلْ هُوَ نَبَؤٌاْ عَظِيمٌ

أَنتُمْ عَنْهُ مُعْرِضُونَ

65. “Say: ‘I am only a Warner and there is no god but Allah, the One, the Almighty’,”
66. “Lord of the heavens and the earth, and what is between them two, the Almighty, the Most Forgiving.”
67. “Say: ‘It is a message of (great) importance,”
68. “From which you are turning away’.”

The Arabic word /qahhar/ is in the sense of the supreme Power that all powers are overpowered and condemned by it.

All the previous discussions, whether those which speak about the painful punishment of the people of Hell or those which discuss the worldly chastisement of the former sinful peoples all are as warnings and threats for the polytheists, arrogant ones, and oppressors.

This very matter is pursued in these verses, saying:

“Say: ‘I am only a Warner…”

It is true that the Prophet (S) is the giver of glad tidings, too, and the verses of the Qur’an refer to both of them, but since ‘glad tidings’ is for the believers and ‘warning’ is for the polytheists and mischief- mongers, and here the words address the recent group, then only warning is emphasized.

Then the Qur’an continues saying:

“…and there is no god but Allah, the One, the Almighty’,”

The emphasis on His Wrath is also for the same purpose so that none might be proud of His Grace and counts himself far from His Wrath and enters in the course of infidelity and sin.

As the mentioning of the reason for Monotheism and worship of Allah, the next verse immediately adds:

“Lord of the heavens and the earth, and what is between them two, the Almighty, the Most Forgiving.”

In this verse, in fact, three qualifications of the attributes of Allah have been stated, each of which is for proving a separate purpose. The first issue is His Divinity unto the whole world of existence. He is the Owner of this world entirely, a Possessor Who trains and directs them. The only One is worthy of being worshipped that is such, not the idols which have nothing of their own.

The second issue is his Might. We know that the Qur’anic word /‘aziz/ from the point of meaning is called to a person unto whom none can overcome, and whatever he wills is doable; and, in other words, he is always victorious and never is defeated.

The one, who has such qualities, how is it possible to escape from his might? And how can a person be safe from his retribution?

The third quality is His Rank of Forgiveness, the All-Forgiving. He is the One Who opens all the doors to the sinners and showers the rain of His Mercy over them, so that they do not think that if He is Almighty and Powerful it does not mean that He shuts the doors of mercy and repentance to His servants.

In fact, one of them is the statement of ‘fear’ and the other is the statement of ‘hope’ that without the equality of these two the status of the man’s development is not possible: he either will be involved in pride and negligence, or dives into the whirl pool of despair and hopelessness.

In, other words, qualifying Him with ‘Almighty’ and ‘most forgiving’ is another proof over His Divinity, because He is worthy of being worshipped since, besides Lordship, and having the Power of punishing, the doors of His mercy and forgiveness are also open.

In the third and fourth verses, the Prophet (S) is addressed by two short but expressive sentences:

“Say: ‘It is a message of (great) importance,”
“From which you are turning away’.”

Which message is this that the Qur’an has pointed out and counted it important? Is it the Holy Qur’an? Or is it the prophecy of the Prophet (S)? Or is it Hereafter and the fate of the believers and disbelievers? Or is it the Unity and singleness of Allah? Or are they all?

In view of the fact that the Qur’an envelops all of these things the rejection of the disbelievers has also been upon it, the first meaning, i.e. the Qur’an, is the most fitting one.

Yes, this heavenly great Book is an important message, as great as the whole world of existence, which has been sent down from the side of the Creator of this world, Who is Almighty, Most Forgiving, and the One. It is a message that a lot of people did not find out its greatness at the time of its revelation.

A group of them mocked it, and some others called it a sorcery, while some of them counted it poetry, but it did not last so much that this ‘great news’ showed its inside. It changed the way of mankind, and it was stretched over the expanse of the world. It created a great bright civilization in all fields.

And it is interesting that the announcement of this ‘great news’ is in this Meccan Surah, at the time when the Muslims were apparently in utmost weakness, and the doors of victory were all shut to them.

Even today the greatness of this important message is not completely clear to human beings and even to the Muslims themselves, and future must show it. (By the way, according to some Islamic narrations, the purpose of /naba’-un-‘azim/ ‘a great News’ is Ali (as))

It has been recorded in Atyab-ul-Bayan, the commentary, concerning the above holy verse that in the narrations of the immaculate Imams (as) the phrase /naba’-un-‘azim/ (the great news) has been rendered into Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as); as Kulayni has narrated from Imam Baqir (as) who said:

“It is about Amir-ul-Mu’mineen”.

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

“There is no sign for Allah which is greater than me, and there is no message for Allah greater than me!”

And it has been narrated from Muhammad-ibn-il-Hassan-is-Saffar documented from Hadrat Sadiq (as) who said:

“And ‘message’ means Imamate”.

The explanation of this saying is that the sacred religion of Islam is complete, beyond entire and perfect, which contains all the true beliefs, excellent ethics, scientific and social aspects, and righteous deeds.

It is free from any blemish and defect which exist in incorrect beliefs, corrupt epithets, and wrong deeds; but all of them are as the body of Islam which are perfect from any kind of view. But the body is without spirit and it is not more than a statue.

The spirit of Islam is ‘Wilayah’ (guardianship), and the faith is not faith save with guardianship. All worships and good deeds depend on the acceptance of the person’s ‘guardianship’.

The evidence for this that the purpose of /naba’-il-‘azim/ (great message) is guardianship, not in what the commentators have said that the holy verses:

“Say: ‘It is a message of (great) importance,”
“From which you are turning away”

address the Muslims, because pagans and polytheists turn away from Islam, religion and the Qur’an entirely and they turn away even from Monotheism and messengership, not only from the ‘great message’ in particular, and it is the Muslims who turn away from guardianship.

Moreover in the verse of Surah An-Naba’, pagans and polytheists do not differ in Islam but they completely deny Islam and difference exists in Muslims in relation to the matter of guardianship and Imamate.1

Of course, this statement of the Qur’an which says:

“From which you are turning away”

is still true, and this very turning away of Muslims has caused that they are not able to be satiated fully from this gushing spring of the blessing of Allah, and go forward under the light of it and occupy the peaks of honour and dignity.

Surah Sad - Verses 69-70

مَا كَانَ لِيَ مِنْ عِلْمٍ بِالْمَلأِ الأَعْلَي إِذْ يَخْتَصِمُونَ

إِن يُوحَي إِلَيَّ إِلآَّ أَنَّمَآ أَنَاْ نَذِيرٌ مُبِينٌ

69. “I had no knowledge of the High Council when they disputed.”
70. “Naught is revealed to me save that I am a clear Warner.”

The purpose of the Qur’anic phrase: /mala’-il-’a‘la/ (High Council) is the same thing that is said in Surah An-Najm, No. 53 verse 7:

“While he was in the highest part of the horizon”.

And the aim of Mi‘raj (Muhammad’s ascension to Heaven) was the elevation of the level of the knowledge of the Prophet (S):

“…that We show him (some) of Our signs…”2

In this holy verse, as a premise for mentioning the event of the creation of Adam and the high value of the Essence of Man so much so that all angels prostrate before him, it says:

“I had no knowledge of the high Council when they disputed.”

In the next verse he announces that his knowledge is only by the way of revelation.

The verse says:

“Naught is revealed to me save that I am a clear Warner.”

Though the angels had no dispute and enmity with Allah, yet as soon as He, addressing them, said:

“Verily I am appointing on the earth a deputy’…”

They began debating with each other and

“…they said: ‘Will you place therein one who will make mischief therein and shed blood…?”

Then, in answer to them, He said:

“…‘Assuredly I know what you know not.”3

These debates have been called ‘dispute’ which is a permissible action, and, as we pointed out, this, in fact, is a premise for the coming verses which talk about the creation of Adam.

There is also another probability that the Qur’anic phrase: /mala’-il-’a‘la/ has a vast meaning which envelops even Satan, because at that time Satan was in the row of the angels and then he disputed with Allah and protested Him, and for this very reason he was sent out from the presence of Allah. But the first commentary is more suitable.

In several Islamic narrations recorded by both Sunnite and Shi‘ah, we recite that once the Prophet (S) asked one of his companions:

“Do you know about what the angels of the High Council dispute?”

He answered:

“No”.

The Prophet (S) said:

“They disputed about Kaffarat (the things compensate the sins) and Darajat (whatever increase the man’s degrees).

So ‘Kaffarat’ include: taking ablution with cold water in winter, going toward the congregation prayer, and waiting for a prayer after another prayer, while ‘Darajat’ refers to much greeting, feeding food to others, and establishing midnight prayer when people’s eyes are asleep.”4

Of course, this point is also notable that the lack of Prophet’s knowledge does not mean he did not know anything from him in this regard, but it means that he knew whatever was revealed to him.

Regarding the verse:

I had no knowledge of the high council when they disputed.

some Islamic commentators have said:

“I was unaware of the above world when people were disputing about Ali’s guardianship, but in the voyage to Mi‘raj, the guardianship of Ali-ibn-Abitalib was discussed and was confirmed. Then do not think that his Imamate is my own personal attitude, whatever is it is the Divine revelation.”5

Surah Sad - Verses 71-74

إِذْ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلْمَلآَئِكَةِ إِنّـِي خَالِقٌ بَشَراً مِن طِينٍ

فَإِذَا سَوَّيْتُهُ وَنَفَخْتُ فِيهِ مِن رُوحِي فَقَعُوا لَهُ سَاجِدِينَ

فَسَجَدَ الْمَلآَئِكَةُ كُلُّهُمْ أَجْمَعُونَ

إِلآَّ اِبْلِيسَ اسْتَكْبَرَ وَكَانَ مِنَ الْكَافِرِينَ

71. “When your Lord said to the angels: ‘I am about to create a mortal out of mire.”
72. “When I have completed him and breathed into him of My spirit, fall you down in prostration unto him.”
73. “Then the angels did fall prostrating all together,”
74. “Save Iblis, he was proud and he was of the disbelievers.”

It has been narrated from the Messenger of Allah (S) who said:

“Allah created Adam and set Ahl-ul-Bayt in his progeny and it was for honouring us that He issued the command of prostration. Then the fact that Adam was prostrated it was servitude to Allah and respect for Adam, because we were in his loin.”

As we said before, these verses are as an explanation upon

The dispute of the High Council

and Iblis, as well as a talk about the creation of Adam and, on the whole, the aim of the statement of this event is that, firstly, to remind humankind that their entity is so valuable that all angels fell themselves in prostration for their grand father, Adam (as).

With this great dignity, how man becomes captive in the grips of Satan and the carnal desire? How does he leave his own great value, or prostrate before a piece of stone and wood?

In principle, one of the effective methods in training, is to give personality unto the persons who are being trained, or, in a more correct meaning, their high and valuable personality should be remind them and it is in such circumstances that man feels that lowliness and deviation is not suitable for his rank, and spontaneously he abdicates it.

Secondly, the obstinacy, pride, haughtiness, and envy of Satan caused him to fall down from the peak of honour forever and to encounter the curse of Allah. This can be a warning for all obstinate and proud persons so that they take a lesson and abandon the Satan’s manner.

Thirdly, it informs of the existence of such a great enemy who swore to beguile man, so that everybody be aware not to fall in his trap.

All these clear matters are as a complement to the former discussions.

However, the first verse mentioned in the above says you may remember:

“When your Lord said to the angels: ‘I am about to create a mortal out of mire.”

But in order that it would not be considered that the man’s entity is the same as the dimension of his being from soil, in the next verse, it says:

“When I have completed him and breathed into him of My spirit, fall you down in prostration unto him.”

In the third verse it indicates that in this way the creation of man ended and the spirit of Allah and the dark clay (mire) both were mixed with together and a wonderful being, whose ascent and descent were both limitless, was created. He was an extraordinary talented being who could be worthy of the rank of Allah’s deputy, who came into the world of existence.

The verse says:

“Then the angels did fall prostrating all together,”

All angels without an exception fell in prostration and found that the Creator is worthy of being worshipped Who is Mighty in all things and can produce such a beautiful being from some fluid and clay.

Then in the fourth verse it adds:

“Save Iblis, he was proud and he was of the disbelievers.”

Yes, the worst calamity of man is this very pride which casts the dark curtains of ignorance over his seeing eyes and deprives him from understanding the facts. It makes him disobey and causes him to be sent out from the row of the believers, which is the row of the obedient servants of Allah, and sets him in the row of the pagans, which is the row of disobedient ones, in the same manner that He set ’Iblis.

Surah Sad - Verses 75-78

قَالَ يَآ إِبْلِيسُ مَا مَنَعَكَ أَن تَسْجُدَ لِمَا خَلَقْتُ بِيَدَيَّ أَسْتَكْبَرْتَ أَمْ كُنتَ مِنَ الْعَالِينَ

قَالَ أَنَاْ خَيْرٌ مِنْهُ خَلَقْتَنِي مِن نَارٍ وَخَلَقْتَهُ مِن طِينٍ

قَالَ فَاخْرُجْ مِنْهَا فَإِنَّكَ رَجِيمٌ

وَإِنَّ عَلَيْكَ لَعْنَتِي إِلَي يَوْمِ الدّ‌ِينِ

75. “(Allah) said: ‘O’ Iblis! What prevented you from prostrating yourself to one whom I have created with My hands? Are you proud or are you of the exalted ones?’”
76. “(Iblis) said: ‘I am better than he: You created me from fire and You created him from clay’.”
77. “(Allah) said: ‘Then get out of it for verily you are driven away’.”
78. “And verily on you shall be My Curse till the Day of Judgment.”

According to what the Prophet of Islam (S) said, the objective meaning of the Qur’anic term /‘alin/ is a group of beings who are higher than the angels and who originate from another rank, stage, and place.6

Perhaps, the purpose of the holy Prophet (S) is the same thing that in Jami‘ah Supplication, addressing Ahl-ul-Bayt (as), we recite:

“Allah created you as lights and set you in His ‘Arsh and He even favoured on us by you, and for making human kind able to reach your guidance, He set you in some parts of the earth to be the cite of the call of Monotheism, (Allah knows).”

However, in this holy verse, Iblis was taken to task and questioned.

The verse says:

“(Allah) said: ‘O’ Iblis! What prevented you from prostrating yourself to one whom I have created with My hands?…”

It is evident that the application of the Arabic word: /yadayy/ (two hands) does not mean the bodily hands, because He is far from being a ‘body’, but hand here denotes to power, since man usually uses his power by hands. So, this word is used abundantly in daily conversations in the sense of ‘power’.

It is sometimes said that the so and so country is in the hand of so and so group; or and so temple or great building has been built by the hand of so and so person. Sometimes it is said: ‘My hand is short’ or ‘your hand is full’. According to Imam Sadiq’s statement (as), the purpose of ‘two hands’ is the hands of power and knowledge.7

And in neither of the usages, hand does not mean the special limb of the body, but all of these ironically mean Power and Sovereignty.

And since man does the important actions by his two hands, and using the two hands is the sign of man’s utmost attention and interest to a thing, mentioning this meaning in the above mentioned verse indicates to the special regard of Allah and applying His absolute power in the creation of man.

Then, it continues:

“…Are you proud or are you of the exalted ones?’”

No doubt none can claim that his honour and position is above this that he prostrates for Allah (or for Adam by the command of Allah). Therefore, there remains only the second probability, that is, pride.

Some of the commentators have rendered the Qur’anic word /‘alin/ here in the sense of those who are always in the way of pride, and therefore the sentence means: ‘Are you proud only just now, or have you ever been so?’ but the first meaning seems more suitable.

The second verse implies that, with utmost surprise, Satan chose the second item, and he believed he was better than this that he would be ordered such a command.

Therefore, with a full insolence, he tried to reason his disobedience to the command of Allah by this statement:

“(Iblis) said: ‘I am better than he: You created me from fire and You created him from clay’.”

Indeed, he wanted to negate, as he thought, the command of Allah by three premises:

The first is that he said he was created from fire while Adam was created from clay, and this has been a fact, as the Qur’an testifies it:

“He created man from dry clay like earthen vessels,”
“And He created the jinn of a flame of fire.”8

The second premise is that whatever is created from fire is better than whatever was created from clay, because fire is more superior than clay.

The third premise is that never a superior being should be ordered to prostrate in front of a non-superior being. And the whole mistake of Iblis was in these two recent premises, because, firstly, Adam (as) was not from only clay, but his greatness was because of the Divine spirit which was inspired in him, else how clay could be compared with those honours, talents and developments.

Secondly, not only soil is not lower than fire, but also it is very higher than it. The entire elements of life, living, and main sources come from soil. Plants, flowers, and all living creatures get help from soil.

All precious mines are hidden in the soil, and, shortly speaking, soil is the origin of kinds of blessings, while fire, with all the importance which has in man’s living, never reaches the position of soil. It is only a mean for taking benefit from the earthly mines, a dangerous and distractive means. Moreover, the kindling matters are often produced by soil: (wood, coal, oil, and the like).

Thirdly, the subject of obeying Allah and performing His commandments is a duty for all servants and they should be obedient to His orders.

However, if we cleave the Iblis’ reasoning we will reach a wonderful infidelity. By this statement, he wanted both to negate the knowledge of Allah and to count His orders invalid.

This state of his denotes to his utmost ignorance, because if he said his carnal desire hindered him, or pride did not let him, and the like, he would confess to only one sin, but now that for adjusting his disobedience he negates the infinite Wisdom and Knowledge of Allah, the circumstance shows that he has fallen to the lowest stage of infidelity.

Moreover, a created being has no independence from himself before the Creator. Whatever he has is from Him.

And the tone of Iblis shows that he had considered a sovereignty and independence for himself in the face of the sovereignty of Allah, and this is one of other sources of infidelity.

However, the cause of Satan’s aberration had been a mixture of self conceit, pride, ignorance and envy. These satanic qualities worked with together and brought him down from the peak of honour, the one who was the companion and even the teacher of the angels for many years.

How dangerous are these ugly qualities wherever they are found? Ali (as) in one of his sermons said:

“You should take a lesson from what Allah did with Satan; namely He nullified his great acts and extensive efforts on account of the vanity of one moment, although Satan worshipped Allah for six thousand years… but he lost it for the sake of pride in one moment. Then how is it possible that a person does the same thing that Iblis did and be safe from the punishment of Allah?”9

Yes, an important and glorious building may be built during some long years but it can be ruined in a moment by a strong bomb.

The third verse indicates that it was here that this foul being should be sent out from the rows of the angels of the high world.

So, addressing him, Allah ordered him as follows:

“(Allah) said: ‘Then get out of it for verily you are driven away’.”

Yes, the one, who is within forbidden degree, must go out from here because it is not its place anymore. Here is the place of the purified ones and the near-stationed ones not the cite of disobedient and polluted ones.

The Arabic word /rajim/ is derived from /rajm/ in the sense of ‘to stone’, and since its necessity is exclusion, sometimes it is used in this sense, too.

In the fourth holy verse Allah denotes that Satan is always banished from His mercy, where He says:

“And verily on you shall be My Curse till the Day of Judgment.”

Surah Sad - Verses 79-83

قَالَ رَبّ‌ِ فَأَنظِرْنِي إِلَي يَوْمِ يُبْعَثُونَ

قَالَ فَإِنَّكَ مِنَ الْمُنظَرِينَ

إِلَي يَوْمِ الْوَقْتِ الْمَعْلُومِ

قَالَ فَبِعِزَّتِكَ لأُغْوِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ

إِلاَّ عِبَادَكَ مِنْهُمُ الْمُـخْلَصِينَ

79. “He said: ‘O’ Lord! Then respite me till the Day they shall be raised,”
80. “(Allah) said: ‘Verily you are of the respited ones.”
81. “Until the day of the known time’.”
82. “(Iblis) said: ‘Then by Your glory, I shall pervert them all together’,”
83. “Except Your servants among them that are sincere.”

Imam Ali (as) says:

“The reason of Allah giving respite to Iblis was in this that his trial had been completed and he had had no vacant place any more.”10

However, it was here that Satan’s envy was changed into enmity, a serious and deep enmity, as the Qur’an says:

“He said: ‘O’ Lord! Then respite me till the Day they shall be raised,”

He asked for a respite in order that he might take revenge from the children of Adam and to lead them astray, though the aberration of each of them was a new burden of sin on his shoulder.

In fact, he wanted to tempt the children of Adam until the end of the possible time, because the Day of Resurrection is the end of the course of duty and from then on temptation and seduction are meaningless. Besides that he wanted to send death away from him and to survive until the Hereafter, though all the human beings pass away.

The next holy verse indicates that, because of some reasons which will be pointed out later, the Divine will required that this question of Iblis would be answered but not in an absolute form but in a conditioned form, as the Qur’an in the second and third verses says:

“(Allah) said: ‘Verily you are of the respited ones.”
“Until the day of the known time’.”

This respite is not given until the Day of Resurrection and raising the creatures, but until a definite time.

The commentators have delivered different ideas upon this day.

Some of them consider it as the end of this world, because on that Day all the living creatures will die and only the Pure Essence of Allah will remain; as we recite in Surah Al-Qasas, No. 28, verse 88:

“…Everything is perishable but He…”

And, thus, a part of Iblis’ request was fulfilled.

Some others have said its probable purpose is the Day of Hereafter. There is also this probability that the above mentioned holy verse points to a time that none knows it save Allah. A tradition narrated from Imam Sadiq (as) indicates that Iblis will pass away between the first and the second Blasts.11

The fourth verse denotes that it was here that Iblis revealed his intention and showed his ultimate aim from his request for an everlasting life.

The Qur’an says:

“(Iblis) said: ‘Then by Your glory, I shall pervert them all together’,”

An oath (by glory) is for emphasizing on power and expressing the ‘ability’, and these frequent emphasises (oath from one side, the sign of emphasis: Nun, on the other side, and the word /’ajma‘in/ (all together), from the third side, show that he had the utmost persistence on his decision and he will stand firmly on his speech until the end.

The fifth verse implies that Satan knew this fact that a group of the special servants of Allah will never come in the realm of his penetration and temptation.

Therefore, helplessly he mentioned them as an exception from the above statement, and said:

“Except Your servants among them that are sincere.”

You have also accepted them and You have made them pure and have put them in the realm of Your protection. It is only this group that I cannot penetrate in them; else I will put the others in my trap.

Occasionally this Iblis’ guess became true and everybody was captured in his trap in some way and did not come out from it save the sincere ones, as the Qur’an in Surah Saba, No. 34, verse 20 says:

“And certainly Iblis found true his conjecture concerning them, so they followed him, except a party of the believers!”

Surah Sad - Verses 84-85

قَالَ فَالْحَقُّ وَالْحَقَّ أَقُولُ

لأَمْلأَنَّ جَهَنَّمَ مِنكَ وَمِمَّن تَبِعَكَ مِنْهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ

84. “(Allah) said: ‘Then it is the truth; and the truth do I speak,”
85. “Certainly I will fill Hell with you, and with whoever of them follows you, all together’.”

Both Allah and His statement are true. These two verses are in answer to Iblis who threatened he would beguile all humankind except the sincere ones.

Here are the holy verses concerning this matter:

“(Allah) said: ‘Then it is the truth; and the truth do I speak,”
“Certainly I will fill Hell with you, and with whoever of them follows you, all together’.”

Whatever was said from the beginning of this Surah up to here, and whatever for which Divine great prophets struggled, a part of whose life story has been mentioned in this Surah, all have been true.

The words about the Hereafter, the painful chastisement of the disobedient ones, and the kinds of merits for the inhabitants of Paradise which have been referred to in this Surah all are true.

The end of the Surah is true, too, and Allah swears in truth. He speaks true when He says He will fill Hell with Satan and his followers. Allah says so in answer to the statement of Satan, who decisively said about the temptation of humankind, and He also speaks decisively and makes the circumstance of all clear.

However, these two verses contain different emphasises. The first verse has emphasised on the word ‘true’ for two times and oath has been made. The Qur’anic sentence: /la’amla’anna/ (I will fill) has also another emphasis.

The word ‘all together’ is also a repeated emphasis over all of these so that no one may have the least doubt in this regard, because there is no way of salvation for Satan and his followers and their way will be led to Dar-ul-Bawar (one of the names of Hell).

Surah Sad - Verses 86-88

قُلْ مَآ أَسْأَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ مِنْ أَجْرٍ وَمَآ أَنَاْ مِنَ الْمُتَكَلّـِفِينَ

إِنْ هُوَ إِلاَّ ذِكْرٌ لِلْعَالَمِينَ

وَلَتَعْلَمُنَّ نَبَأَهُ بَعْدَ حِينٍ

86. “(O Prophet!) say: ‘No reward do I ask of you for it, nor am I of the impostors.”
87. “It is naught but a Reminder unto the Worlds,”
88. “And you shall certainly know its tiding after a while’.”

A preacher must announce his unexpected demand to people. The condition of succession in preaching is the lack of expectation from people. The Divine prophets not only had no material expectation but also had not any kind of wish from people and they were not a bore over people either.

So, the first verse says:

“(O Prophet!) say: ‘No reward do I ask of you for it…”

And thus he (S) puts an end to the pretexts of the pretext-seekers, and makes clear that he wishes only their prosperity and happiness.

He demands no material reward nor spiritual one from government, and his reward is only on Allah, as it is explicitly mentioned in other verses of the Qur’an, including: Surah As-Saba, No. 34, verse 47 which says:

“…reward is only with Allah…”

This by itself is one of the proofs of the truthfulness of the Prophet (S), because a false claimer suggests his claim for some things and his demands, however, will be clear through his statements.

And in the second stage he implies that he is not of the impostors, his statements are based on proof and logic and there is no adulation in them. His sentences are clear and his speech is free from any ambiguity and complication.

The verse continues saying:

“…nor am I of the impostors.”

The first sentence, in fact, is about the qualities of the inviter, and the second sentence is about the kind of invitation and its content and, indeed, it proves itself.

In the third stage, which is found in the next verse, it indicates that the main aim of this great invitation is the descent of this heavenly Book. It implies that this Qur’an is only a means of admonition and awareness for all the worlds.

It says:

“It is naught but a Reminder unto the Worlds,”

Yes, it is important that people come out of negligence and do contemplate, because the way is clear and its signs are manifest.

There is a pure nature inside the man’s entity which leads him and attracts him to the line of Monotheism and piety. The important thing is awareness, and the main duty of prophets and the heavenly Books is this very thing.

This application, the like of which is not so few in the Holy Qur’an, shows that the content of the invitation of prophet, in all stages, is consistent with the God-given nature and these two go forward with together.

Through the third verse, the Holy Qur’an threatens the opponents by some short but expressive sentences.

It says:

“And you shall certainly know its tiding after a while’.”

You may take these words insignificant and pass by them heedlessly, but soon the truthfulness of these words will be made manifest.

You will see them both in this world: in the battle-fields of Muslims and pagans, in the social and mental realms, in the Divine punishments, and in the other world by means of painful punishments of Allah.

In short, whatever I told you, you will observe by your own eyes in its appropriate time. However, the lash of Allah is ready and soon it will come down on the back of oppressors and the proud ones.

Who is an Imposter?

In the above verses (verse 86) we recited that one of the honours the Prophet (S) counted for himself was that he was not of the ‘Impostors’.

In Islamic narrations there are a lot of discussions about the signs of impostors and their qualities, including the tradition recorded in the Commentary of Jawami‘-ul-Jami‘ narrated from the Prophet (S).

It says:

“An imposter has three signs: He always quarrels with those who are above him, he follows some affairs to which he never reaches, and he speaks of some matters about which he has no knowledge.”12

In another tradition in the Prophet’s recommendations (S) to Hadrat ‘Ali (as) we recite:

“An impostor has three signs:

1) He flatters at one’s presence,

2) He backbites in one’s absence,

3) At the time of calamity, he begins taunting.”13

However, it is understood from some of the narrations recorded in Nur-uth-Thaqalayn that at the end an imposter will not have any consequence save meanness and humility, and just today he has also no share but pain, trouble, and disquiet.

The apparent of an imposter is hypocrisy, and his innate is sedition and he always flies with these two wings.

O’ Allah! Grant us a success that we can repel all traces of adulation, sedition, and disobedience from us.

O’ Allah! Set us in the row of the sincere ones whom You support and protect and Satan, the tempter, is hopeless of them.

O’ Allah! Give us that kind of awareness that we can stand to survive the content of this Great Qur’an, to be able to gather all the powers of the Muslims throughout the world, and to step forward firmly in Your path, so that we can overcome the enemies of the truth. Amen, O the Lord of the Worlds.

  • 1. Burhan, Safi, as well as other commentary books.
  • 2. Surah Al-’Isra’, No. 17, verse 1
  • 3. Surah Al-Baqarah, No. 2, verse 30
  • 4. Majma‘-ul-Bayan, and Durr-ul-Manthur, following the verse.
  • 5. The commentary Books of Burhan, and Safi, following the verse
  • 6. of ’Atyab-ul-Bayan
  • 7. The commentary of ’Atyab-ul-Bayan.
  • 8. Surah Ar-Rahman, No. 55, verses 14 and 15
  • 9. Nahj-ul-Balaqah, sermon 192
  • 10. Nahj-ul-Balaqah, sermon one
  • 11. Tafsir-ul-Burhan, Vol. 2, P. 342, under the verse
  • 12. Al-Mizan, Jawami‘-ul-Jami‘, Nur-uth-Thaqalayn following the verse
  • 13. Nur-uth-Thaqalayn, Following the verse

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