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Section 4: The Guidance through Messengers and Their Rejections

The messengers coming with the guidance -The fate of disbelievers -the guilty ones shall accuse each other and shall themselves witness against themselves.

Surah Al-‘A’raf, Verse 32

قُلْ مَنْ حَرَّمَ زِينَةَ اللّهِ الَّتِيَ أَخْرَجَ لِعِبَادِهِ وَالْطَّيِّبَاتِ مِنَ الرِّزْقِ قُلْ هِي لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا خَالِصَةً يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ كَذَلِكَ نُفَصِّلُ الآيَاتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَعْلَمُونَ

32. "Say: 'Who has prohibited the ornament of Allah and the good provision which He has brought forth for His servants?' Say: 'These are for those who believe in the (short) life of this world (to be) exclusively theirs on the Day of Resurrection.' Thus do We explain the Signs for a people who know."

The verse begins thus:

"Say: 'Who has prohibited the ornament of Allah and the good provision which He has brought forth for His servants?'..."

The Prophet (S) is commanded to ask who has forbidden the clothing with which people decorate themselves, and who has prohibited the pure and good sustenance. These are the things Allah has created for His servants. The verse continues saying:

"... Say: 'These are for those who believe in the (short) life of this world (to be) exclusively theirs on the Day of Resurrection.' ..."

These bounties, in this present world, are for the believing people, yet they are not peculiar to them, because disbelieving ones have also a share in them. But, in the Hereafter, they are special to the believers and none else will have a share in them.

The fact that in this statement Allah has not said that these are in the world for both those who believe and those who do not believe, is in order to attract the attentions to this matter that bounties have been created for the benefit of the believing people, and, in the meantime, the disbelieving ones enjoy these bounties, too.

"... Thus do We explain the signs for a people who know."

The Qur'an implies that as Allah introduces the hypocrites to you; and admonishes the benefit of your religion to you, He explains the Signs for the people who have knowledge, too.

Surah Al-‘A’raf, Verse 33

قُلْ إِنَّمَا حَرَّمَ رَبِّيَ الْفَوَاحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ وَالإِثْمَ وَالْبَغْيَ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ وَأَن تُشْرِكُواْ بِاللّهِ مَا لَمْ يُنَزِّلْ بِهِ سُلْطَانًا وَأَن تَقُولُواْ عَلَى اللّهِ مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ

33. "Say: 'My Lord has prohibited only indecencies, those apparent of them and those concealed, and sin and unjust aggression (against people's rights) and that you associate with Allah that for which He has not sent down any authority, and that you say against Allah what you do not know."

"Say: 'My Lord has prohibited only indecencies, those apparent of them and those concealed....."

The purpose of this first phrase of the verse is that Allah has prohibited only the things that are indecent. The verses of the Surah, up to here, have referred to the indecencies in brief. This verse, following the subject in details, says:

"... and sin and unjust aggression (against people's rights) ..."

The indecencies are divided into four categories. They are:

l) Undue oppression and vice,

2) attributing partners to Allah and

3) forging a lie against Allah.

Of course, oppression is always undue, but in fact, this quality has been added for emphasis.

Some commentators have said the objective meaning of 'indecencies' are 'hidden fornication' and 'to be naked in circumambulation'. The former is called 'concealed', and the latter is counted 'apparent'.

"... and that you associate with Allah that for which He has not sent down any authority....."

One of the other prohibited indecencies is attributing partners to Allah. There is no proof or reason to justify the sin of polytheism.

"... and that you say against Allah what you do not know"

Another forbidden indecency is saying something against Allah without having any knowledge about it.

Now, in the next verse, the Qur'an pays to soothing the Holy Prophet.

Surah Al-‘A’raf, Verse 34

وَلِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ أَجَلٌ فَإِذَا جَاء أَجَلُهُمْ لاَ يَسْتَأْخِرُونَ سَاعَةً وَلاَ يَسْتَقْدِمُونَ

34. "And for every people there is (an appointed) term, so when their term comes they cannot put it back the least while nor can they advance it."

The 'appointed term' is not assigned only for individuals. There have been some communities, nations, and government that not only they themselves but also their civilizations, cultures works and social customs have been destroyed.

It is not peculiar to only life and death to have 'an appointed time'. All glories, governments, properties, and the like of them, have also appointed terms. When the appointed term reaches, all supports, endeavors, and rivals are worthless to do anything in order to change its time, sooner of later.

"And for every people there is (an appointed) term, so when their term comes they cannot put it back the least while nor can they advance it."

However, this holy verse threatens the pagans of Quraysh to the chastisement which is with Allah. Their punishment will be sent down upon them in an appointed time, the same as it was sent down upon the former unjust nations.

Explanations

1. In the world of existence, there happens nothing, nor a changing, casually and outside of the control of Allah (S.w.T.). The laws governing over communities, similar to the laws governing over individuals, also practically exist.

"And for every people there is (an appointed) term....."

2. The possibilities and powers that you have are perishable. Therefore utilize them in the best form as far as you can.

3. Be not proud of the world and its titles.

4. The transgressors should not count the respite of Allah as a sign of His grace upon them. Their term will come, too.

5. Always there comes a group in the scene of power to be tested and to pass away.

"...their term comes ..."

6. The strugglers of the path of Allah will not despair when the tyrannical persons overcome. They continue their effort, since tyrants are perishable.

"... for every people there is (an appointed) term....."

Surah Al-‘A’raf, Verses 35 - 36

يَا بَنِي آدَمَ إِمَّا يَأْتِيَنَّكُمْ رُسُلٌ مِّنكُمْ يَقُصُّونَ عَلَيْكُمْ آيَاتِي فَمَنِ اتَّقَى وَأَصْلَحَ فَلاَ خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ

وَالَّذِينَ كَذَّبُواْ بِآيَاتِنَا وَاسْتَكْبَرُواْ عَنْهَا أُوْلَـَئِكَ أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ

35. "O children of Adam! When there come to you Messengers from among you relating to you My signs, (follow them). Then whoever guards (against evil) and amends (himself) - no fear shall be upon them nor shall they grieve."
36. "And those who belie Our Signs and turn away from them with arrogance -these are the inhabitants of the Fire, wherein shall they abide forever."

Addressing the children of Adam wholly, the verse describes that if some prophets come to you, who are of the same creation as you, in order to recite Allah’s revelations to you and to aware you of His commandments, whoever keeps from evil and does not belie them, and improves his deeds and characteristics, there will be no fear upon him in this world nor any grief in the Hereafter. The verse says:

"O children of Adam! When there come to you Messengers from among you relating to you My signs, (follow them). Then whoever guards (against evil) and amends (himself) - no fear shall be upon them nor shall they grieve."

Then, immediately after that, the Qur'an adds that the persons, who belie Allah’s revelations and arrogantly do not accept them, will abide in Hell Fire forever. The verse says:

"And those who belie Our Signs and turn away from them with arrogance- These are the inhabitants of the Fire, wherein shall they abide forever."

Explanations

1. Coming prophets one after another, is Allah’s way of treatment, which had been planned before. The secret of the effect and influence of their speech is that they are from among people themselves.

2. The real believers in the prophets' invitations are those who are virtuous and amend themselves.

3. Peacefulness comes forth under the light of Faith and piety.

4. The consequence of belying prophets arrogantly, and rejecting their invitations, is the everlasting punishment and Hell.

Surah Al-‘A’raf, Verse 37

فَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنِ افْتَرَى عَلَى اللّهِ كَذِبًا أَوْ كَذَّبَ بِآيَاتِهِ أُوْلَـئِكَ يَنَالُهُمْ نَصِيبُهُم مِّنَ الْكِتَابِ حَتَّى إِذَا جَاءتْهُمْ رُسُلُنَا يَتَوَفَّوْنَهُمْ قَالُواْ أَيْنَ مَا كُنتُمْ تَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ اللّهِ قَالُواْ ضَلُّواْ عَنَّا وَشَهِدُواْ عَلَى أَنفُسِهِمْ أَنَّهُمْ كَانُواْ كَافِرِينَ

37. "Who is then more unjust than he who forges a lie against Allah or belies His Signs? Those shall receive their share (of destiny) from the Book (in the world) until when Our messengers come to them to take them away, they would say: 'Where are those which you used to call upon besides Allah?' They would say: 'They have departed from us;' and they will bear witness against themselves that they were disbelievers."

Now, in this verse, the Qur'an pays to threatening the rejecters, where it says:

"Who is then more unjust than he who forges a lie against Allah or belies His Signs..."

This question is to emphasize the mentioned matter, as well as the reality of the information. It implies that none is more unjust than the one who forges a lie against Allah, or the one who belies His revelations. These signs are some clear evidences unto Unity and prophecy.

The verse continues saying:

"....Those shall receive their share (of destiny) from the Book (in the world)…"

Such persons will receive and taste their share from the divine chastisement.

In this statement, the word 'Book' has been used instead of the sense of the term 'chastisement', since it is the Book that informs them of their punishment.

Some commentators have said that the objective meaning of it is that they will enjoy the share of lifetime, sustenance, and whatever has been recorded and decreed by Allah for them. These things will not be ceased from them until death reaches them.

"... until when Our messengers come to them to take them away, they would say: "Where are those which you used to call upon besides Allah?' ..."

Then, after passing their lifetime, and that their days are numbered, when the messengers of Allah, i.e. the angels, refer to them in order to take their souls, they tell them where their idols, which they used to worship, are.

The purpose of this question is to reprimand them. It addresses them and asks them why those idols do not come and help them to save them from the punishment.

Some commentators have said that the purpose of it is not their death, but the purpose is the Day of Resurrection when the angels come to take them into Hell.

"... They would say: ' They have departed from us;' and they will bear witness against themselves that they were disbelievers."

In answer to the question of the angels, they say that the idols have departed from them and can not defend them. They acknowledge that their worshipping, that they performed for them, are totally nullified and dissipated. They confess that they have been disbelievers.

Surah Al-‘A’raf, Verse 38

قَالَ ادْخُلُواْ فِي أُمَمٍ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِن قَبْلِكُم مِّن الْجِنِّ وَالإِنسِ فِي النَّارِ كُلَّمَا دَخَلَتْ أُمَّةٌ لَّعَنَتْ أُخْتَهَا حَتَّى إِذَا ادَّارَكُواْ فِيهَا جَمِيعًا قَالَتْ أُخْرَاهُمْ لأُولاَهُمْ رَبَّنَا هَـؤُلاء أَضَلُّونَا فَآتِهِمْ عَذَابًا ضِعْفًا مِّنَ النَّارِ قَالَ لِكُلٍّ ضِعْفٌ وَلَـكِن لاَّ تَعْلَمُونَ

38. "He will say: 'Enter you into the (Hell) Fire among the groups of people and jinn that have passed away before you. Whenever a group enters (the Fire), it curses its sister-group; until when they follow each other, all into the Fire, the last of them shall say with regard to the foremost of them: 'Our Lord! These are they who led us astray. Therefore give them a double chastisement of the Fire.' He will say: 'For each one there is double (chastisement), but you do not know'."

One of the shaking scenes on the Day of Retribution is the gathering of the people of Hell and their dispute with each other there. This dispute occurs particularly between the sinners and their chiefs and those leading ones who caused these sinners to be sent into Hell.

For this very reason, these evildoers, who had been friends with each other before, here, become enemies to each other.

On That Day all friends become enemies except the virtuous ones whose friendship is fixed with each other, both in this world and the coming world. Surah Az-Zukhruf, No.43. Verse 67 says:

"The friends shall on That Day be enemies one to another, except the pious ones."

The verse begins as follows:

"He will say: 'Enter you into the (Hell) Fire among the groups of people and jinn that have passed away before you. ..."

On the Resurrection Day, Allah will tell the disbelievers to enter into the Hell Fire amongst those groups of people and jinn who had paved the path of infidelity and were destroyed before them.

"...Whenever a group enters (the Fire), it curses its sister-group....."

Every nation who enter the Hell Fire will curse the nation that have entered the fire before them and who have the same form of thought.

The purpose of the Arabic term 'ukht' (sister), mentioned in this verse, is not the sense of the word 'sister', but its objective meaning is 'of the same ideology'.

Therefore, the communities who have followed their leaders in the world very sincerely and affectionately will curse them and will tell them that they have misled them and have brought them into Fire. Thus, they demand that the curse of Allah may be upon them!

"... until when they follow each other, all into the Fire, the last of them shall say with regard to the foremost of them. 'Our Lord! These are they who led us astray. Therefore give them a double chastisement of the Fire.' He will say: 'For each one there is double (chastisement), but you do not know '."

At the time when all of them enter the Hell Fire and gather with together therein, those who have entered later, compared with the leaders of them who have entered formerly, will address their Lord, and say that it was those leaders who caused them to be deprived from worshipping Him.

They ask Him to increase double their punishment. That is, such leaders invited them to go astray and prevented them to follow the truth.

Imam Sadiq (as) in this regard says:

"The purpose is the Imams (leaders) of transgression."

Some commentators have said that the purpose of this phrase is that they deserve two kinds of punishment. The first is the punishment of infidelity, and the second is the punishment of misleading others.

Surah Al-‘A’raf, Verse 39

وَقَالَتْ أُولاَهُمْ لأُخْرَاهُمْ فَمَا كَانَ لَكُمْ عَلَيْنَا مِن فَضْلٍ فَذُوقُواْ الْعَذَابَ بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَكْسِبُونَ

39. "And the foremost of them will say to the last of them: 'So there is no preference for you over us. Therefore, taste the chastisement for what you used to earn."

The verse begins as follows:

"And the foremost of them will say to the last of them: 'So there is no preference for you over us. ..."

Some commentators have said that the verse means that, in Hell, a former community will say to the latter community that they are not superior to them from the point of attitude and intellect.

"... Therefore, taste the chastisement for what you used to earn."

They tell them that they themselves chose infidelity, and they have no interference in that choice. Consequently, they should themselves tolerate the punishment of Allah.

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