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Section 6: The Divine Mercy Precedes the Wrath

Surah Yunus – Verse 54

وَلَوْ أَنَّ لِكُلّ نَفْسٍ ظَلَمَتْ مَا فِي الأَرْضِ لافْتَدَتْ بِهِ وَأَسَرُّوا النَّدَامَةَ لَمَّا رَأَوُا الْعَذَابَ وَقُضِي بَيْنَهُم بِالْقِسْطِ وَهُمْ لا يُظْلَمُونَ

54. “And if every soul that has done injustice had all that is on earth, he would assuredly give it in ransom, and they declare (their) remorse when they see the Penalty. But the judgment between them will be with justice, and they will not be dealt with unjustly.”

The proper magnitude of this punishment is particularly emphasized in this verse concerning the Day of Judgment, where it implies that the divine punishment is so awe-inspiring and horrible that if each of the oppressors owned the entire wealth of the world, he would have paid all of it so as to be relieved from the harsh punishment awaiting him.

The verse says:

“And if every soul that has done injustice had all that is on earth, he would assuredly give it in ransom...”

In fact they are ready to offer the greatest bribes imaginable in order to relieve themselves from the divine chastisement and to diminish the slightest possible portion of His punishment. However, it will never be accepted from them.

Some of these Divine punishments are particularly spiritual in nature; that is, when they behold the punishment, they would declare their regret1.

The verse continues saying:

“…and they declare (their) remorse when they see the Penalty...”

Then the Qur’an stresses that despite everything, justice will prevail and will be administered fairly among them and no oppression will be inflicted upon them.

The verse says:

“…But the judgment between them will be with justice, and they will not be dealt with unjustly.”

Surah Yunus – Verse 55

أَلآ إِنَّ لِلَّهِ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ والأَرْضِ أَلآ إِنَّ وَعْدَ اللَّهِ حَقٌّ وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَهُمْ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ

55. “Behold! Verily to Allah belongs whatever is in the heavens and the earth. Behold! Verily, Allah’s promise is true, but most of them do not know.”

Then for the reason that people may consider these Divine promises and threats seriously and know that Allah is not unable to do such things, the Qur’an says that whatsoever is in the heavens and on the earth are His, His Lordship and His realm of administration encompasses the world of existence in its entirety and no one can be excluded from His zone of jurisdiction.

The verse says:

“Behold! Verily to Allah belongs whatever is in the heavens and the earth...”

And again, beware that Allah’s promise (concerning punishment of the wrongdoers) is just, though many people (whose unconscious ignorance has darkened their souls) do not know this fact.

The verse continues saying:

“…Behold! Verily, Allah’s promise is true, but most of them do not know.”

Surah Yunus – Verse 56

هُوَ يُحْيِي وَيُمِيتُ وإِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ

56. “He (it is Who) gives life and causes to die, and to Him you shall be returned.”

This verse also lays again an emphasis upon the problematic issue of life. It indicates that it is Allah Who enlivens and makes one die.

Therefore, He is able to cause death unto the servants as well as having the power to enliven them on the Day of Resurrection for the Court of Judgment.

The verse says:

“He (it is Who) gives life and causes to die...”

And ultimately, all of you will return to Him in order to receive the reward of all your deeds there.

The verse continues saying:

“…and to Him you shall be returned.”

And you will receive the rewards for all the deeds you have done then and there.

Surah Yunus – Verse 57

يَآ أيُّهَا النَّاسُ قَدْ جَآءَتْكُم مَوْعِظَةٌ مِن رَبِّكُمْ وَشِفَآءٌ لِمَا فِي الصُّدُورِ وَهُدًي وَرَحْمَةٌ لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ

57. “O mankind! There hath come to you an admonition from your Lord and a healing for what is in your hearts, and a guidance and a mercy for the believers.”

The Arabic term /mau‘izah/ (preaching) means to restrain intermingled with warning and awakening. The Arabic phrase /šifa’-is-Sudur/ refers to the purification of spirit and heart from spiritual evils. The spiritual defects are more grievous than the diseases of the body. The Qur’an’s advantage lies in this very healing the spiritual diseases.

The verse says:

“O mankind! There hath come to you an admonition from your Lord and a healing for what is in your hearts...”

The verse seems to allude to the four kinds of stages that shape education and development, that is:

1. The preaching stage against visible acts.

2. The purification stage for purging the soul from ethical and social evils.

3. The self-guiding stage towards those objectives which signify worldly happiness and the happiness and prosperity in the Hereafter.

4. The stage of receiving divine blessings which is forgiveness and Paradise. In the meantime, the Qur’an is wholly preaching on a general level, however, only those groups that seek will be covered by the divine blessings.

The verse says:

“…and a guidance and a mercy for the believers.”

Finally, the cure for all pains must be sought after in the school of the Qur’an; not from the schools of the East and West.

“…and a healing for what is in your hearts...”

This is the reason why, Allah’s Prophet (S) in a tradition states:

“When afflictions, like a dark and terrible night, invade you, seek refuge in the Qur’an.” It is simultaneously full of preaching as well as being a remedy, a source of illumination and blessing all at the same time.”

Surah Yunus – Verse 58

قُلْ بِفَضْلِ اللَّهِ وَبِرَحْمَتِهِ فَبِذَلِكَ فَلْيَفْرَحُوا هُوَ خَيْرٌ مِّمَّا يَجْمَعُونَ

58. “Say: ‘In the grace of Allah, and in His mercy – in that let them rejoice; it is better than that which they hoard’.”

What is apparently revealed in this verse, if we consider the previous verse about the Qur’an as a source of healing and preaching, is the appeal to the Qur’an which is the purpose of Allah’s grace and mercy. As Imam Ali (as) says:

“On the Day of Resurrection, a voice will be heard that every farmer will be busy with some kind of pest except those who had sowed in the field of the Qur’an. Thus, sow your seeds in the field of the Qur’an.”2

The Prophet (S) said:

“He who has been honoured by Allah to be introduced to the blessings of Islam and the understanding of the Qur’an, but feels miserable is miserable indeed, and will be labeled so until the Day of Resurrection”, then he recited this verse.3

This is meant to say that once a person benefits from the blessings of Islam and the Qur’an, he is no longer poor and he enjoys the greatest wealth. Likewise, it has been narrated from the Prophet (S) who said:

“Refer to the Qur’an so that your life becomes enriched like the lives of happy people and your death becomes similar to those of the martyrs and you are saved from the terror on the Day of Resurrection.

For the Qur’an, is surely the word of the Compassionate (Allah) which guards against Satan, and favourably balances one’s acts during the Day of Judgment”4

Incidentally, ‘grace’ and ‘mercy’ mentioned in the Qur’an have been interpreted as prophethood and Imamate.5 Also the former has sometimes been interpreted as the general divine blessings and the latter has been interpreted as His specific blessings.

According to an Islamic tradition, divine grace has been pointed out as Islam and His mercy is the Qur’an. Imam Baqir (as) said:

“Divine grace consists of /salawat/ and His mercy is Ali-ibn-Abitalib (as).”6

The verse says:

“Say: ‘In the grace of Allah, and in His mercy...”

Finally, we must be happy for all the divine blessings, especially the fact that He has blessed us with prophethood of Muhammad (S) and Imamate of the Immaculate Imams (as) and we must know that spiritual blessings are superior to all the material ones.

The verse continues saying:

“…in that let them rejoice, it is better than that which they hoard’.”

Surah Yunus – Verse 59

قُلْ أَرَأَيْتُم مَآ أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ لَكُم مِن رِزْقٍ فَجَعَلْتُمْ مِنْهُ حَرَاماً وَحَلاَلاً قُلْ ءَآللَّهُ أَذِنَ لَكُمْ أَمْ عَلَي اللَّهِ تَفْتَرُونَ

59. “Say: ‘Have you considered what (things) Allah has sent down for you of sustenance, then you made some of it unlawful, and (some of it) lawful?’ Say: ‘Has Allah permitted you, or do you forge a lie against Allah?’”

There have been mentioned in Surah Al-Ma’idah, No. 5, verse 103 some examples of those unreasonable prohibitions which the polytheists invented. They used to lay aside part of their crops for their idols and idol-temples, thus making it forbidden for them.

They also used to forbid whatever was in the wombs of animals for women while making them lawful for the use of men. The Qur’an completely rejects all these superstitions.

The verse says:

“Say: ‘Have you considered what (things) Allah has sent down for you of sustenance, then you made some of it unlawful, and (some of it) lawful?’ Say: ‘Has Allah permitted you, or do you forge a lie against Allah?’”

The main general principle upon the edible things is that they are lawful to be eaten, except those whose being unlawful is proved by religion.

We should also know that divine legislation is particular to Allah, the legislator, and no one is right to precede the lawgiver. Similar to the case no divine unlawful thing can be changed into a lawful one, the lawful things cannot be counted unlawful either.

However, to legislate an innovative law is a crime, and to forge it against Allah is another crime.

Surah Yunus – Verse 60

وَمَا ظَنُّ الَّذِينَ يَفْتَرُونَ عَلَي اللَّهِ الْكَذِبَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَذُو فَضْلٍ عَلَي النَّاسِ وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَهُمْ لاَ يَشْكُرُونَ

60. “And what imagine those who forge lies against Allah, on the Day of Resurrection? Verily Allah is the Lord of bounty to mankind, but most of them are not thankful.”

In the previous verse, the act of certain prohibitions done by some people was criticized. In this verse we encounter Allah’s superiority and His uncountable Divine favors that deserve our gratitude, and at the same time, we are also criticized in all those cases where thanksgiving is lacking and false accusations are directed towards Allah.

The verse says:

“And what imagine those who forge lies against Allah, on the Day of Resurrection? Verily Allah is the Lord of bounty to mankind...”

To ascribe false accusations towards Allah (s.w.t.) is a sin deserving of punishment. One must not make light the chance and respite that Allah has provided man in this world; neither must we forget and be oblivious to the Court of Justice which will be established on the Day of Judgment.

Prohibition of Divine blessings is a repulsive act and leads one to deprivation in this world and brings shame and devastating consequences on the Day of Resurrection.

Almighty Allah has done the utmost in being forgiving and kind towards man, though most people turn a blind eye to all those favors. They rarely engage in thanksgiving, thus paving the way for the utter denial and refutation of the fact that it is He who has provided all those favors.

The verse says:

“…but most of them are not thankful.”

  • 1. Some of the commentators have translated the Qur’anic word /’asarru/, mentioned in the verse under discussion, by its first lexical meaning which is: ‘To conceal’, while referring to the explanations of the Arabic Dictionary: Mufradat by Raqib, and also Lisan-ul-‘Arab, it is realized that this word has opposite meanings: ‘to conceal’ as well as ‘to express, declare and appear’. Keeping the whole verses of the Qur’an in mind, this fact is clear that on the Day of Hereafter everything is manifest and no one will be able to conceal a thing from others, (here, their regret), or to behave so that he can escape from the reality. That is why the latter meaning has been chosen for the word /’asarru/ in this verse.
  • 2. Nahjul-Balaghah, Sermon 17.
  • 3. Nur-uth-Thaqalayn, the
  • 4. Bihar-ul-’Anwar, vol. 89, p. 19
  • 5. Tafsir-ul-Burhan, vol. 2, p. 187
  • 6. Tafsir-us-Safi, vol. 2, p. 407

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