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Section 5: Messengers of Allah Were Mocked At

Surah Ar-Ra‘d – Verse 32

وَلَقَدِ اسْتُهْزِئَ بِرُسُلٍ مِن قَبْلِكَ فَاَمْلَيْتُ لِلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا ثُمَّ أَخَذْتُهُمْ فَكَيْفَ كَانَ عِقَابِ

32. “And messengers before you were certainly mocked at, but I gave respite to those who disbelieved, then I seized them (in My Wrath); then (see) how was My retribution?”

Addressing the Prophet (S), He proclaims in this verse that you are not the only one who is confronted various requests and proposals for explicit miracles by this pagan group and who is mocked and ridiculed by them.

This matter has a long record in the history of the prophets and many of the prophets prior to you were also mocked and ridiculed. However, We did not punish those pagans immediately.

On the contrary, we provided them with a second chance so as to enable them to wake up and return to the path of the truth or, at least, to be provided with a sufficient ultimatum. For, though they are vicious and guilty, there is still room for Allah’s favor, grace, and wisdom.

The verse says:

“And messengers before you were certainly mocked at, but I gave respite to those who disbelieved…”

Anyway, this opportunity and delay does not mean that their punishment is a forgotten affair. Therefore, We then captured them after the expiry of the date of their respite. And so did you note or witness as to how our punishment was? This fate will also be the destiny awaiting your obstinate nation as well.

The verse continues saying:

“…then I seized them (in My Wrath); then (see) how was My retribution?”

Surah Ar-Ra‘d – Verse 33

أَفَمَنْ هُوَ قَآئِمٌ عَلَي كُلّ‌ِ نَفْسٍ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ وَجَعَلُوا لِلَّهِ شُرَكَآءَ قُلْ سَمُّوهُمْ أَمْ تُنَبّـِئُونَهُ بِمَا لاَ يَعْلَمُ فِي الأَرْضِ أَم بِظَاهِرٍ مِنَ الْقَوْلِ بَلْ زُيّـِنَ لِلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مَكْرُهُمْ وَصُدُّوا عَنِ السَّبِيلِ وَمَن يُضْلِلِ اللَّهُ فَمَا لَهُ مِنْ هَادٍ

33. “Is He then Who watches every soul as to what it earns (like the idols)? And yet they ascribe partners to Allah. Say: ‘Name them! Do you inform Him of something (partners) He does not know in the earth, or is it (just) a show of words?’ Rather, to those who disbelieve their devising are made to appear fair seeming, and they are kept back from the (right) path; and whomever Allah leaves to stray, for him there will be no guide.”

How is it That You Align and Consider Allah as a Counterpart for the Idols?

The Qur’an then returns to the issue of monotheism and paganism in this verse. It addresses the people with this clear evidence and asks: Can one put Him on a parity? Is He Who overlooks all and is the protector and guardian of all, and witnesses the action of all equal with the one who lacks all the above characteristics?

The verse says:

“Is He then Who watches every soul as to what it earns (like the idols)?…”

To supplement His previous discussion and to present an introduction for the next discussion, He asserts:

“…And yet they ascribe partners to Allah…”

Allah provides answers for them using different methods immediately.

At first He commands:

“…Say: ‘Name them!…”

That is, how would you consider as counterparts for Allah the Almighty, a number of anonymous beings which lack any title and value, and are ineffective?

Secondly, as about the issue which predisposes one to ask how such partners exist for Allah whom He is not aware of their existence despite His Omniscience.

The Qur’an inquires:

“…Do you inform Him of something (partners) He does not know in the earth…”

Thirdly, the fact is that you yourselves are not confident from the bottom of your heart that such a thing may exist, is evident from uttering the words ‘shadowy appearance’ in which there is no correct concept implied and you have sufficed to it.

The Qur’an continues saying:

“…or is it (just) a show of words?’…”

It is for this reason that these pagans call on Allah when they are caught in the hard entanglements of life, for they know clearly in their hearts that the idols are of no use.

Fourthly, as the pagans lack a correct understanding and as they imitate and follow blindly their whims, they are not able to judge rationally and correctly.

It is for this reason that they are misled and seduced in this manner. However, in the view of the pagans, their lies have been decorated (and as a result of their inner wickedness are of the opinion that their thinking is identical with reality).

The verse says:

“…Rather, to those who disbelieve their devising are made to appear fair seeming…”

And they have been obstructed from Allah’s path.

And whomever Allah considers as seduced, that is, after delivering ultimatum on him, no other one can lead him and direct him to the right path.

The verse continues saying:

“…and they are kept back from the (right) path;”

‘The Divine astray’ signifies the reaction of one’s own incorrect behaviour which are misleading for him, and as this trait and quality has been involved in such acts, they are being attributed to Allah.

The verse says:

“…and whomever Allah leaves to stray, for him there will be no guide.”

Incidentally, the fact that Allah is ‘the guardian of all’ denotes that He administers all affairs, is the protector of everything, is qualified and capable for them, superintends, records and registers everything, and whoever departs from the knowledgeable, single, unique and protecting Allah, will be entangled in the abyss of paganism and polytheism.

Surah Ar-Ra‘d – Verse 34

لَّهُمْ عَذَابٌ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَلَعَذَابُ الأَخِرَةِ أَشَقُّ وَمَا لَهُم مِنَ اللَّهِ مِن وَاقٍ

34. “There is chastisement for them in the life of the world, and the chastisement of the hereafter is certainly more grievous, and for them shall not be against (the Wrath of) Allah any protector.”

The Qur’an makes allusions in this verse to the painful punishments which will face them in this world and the hereafter. These chastisements naturally include defeats, frustrations, misfortunes, damaging to one’s reputation and so forth.

It implies that there are punishments for them in this world, and the punishment of the hereafter is harder and more intensive, for it is eternal, physical and spiritual, coupled with all kinds of discomfort.

The verse says:

“There is chastisement for them in the life of the world, and the chastisement of the hereafter is certainly more grievous…”

And if they think that there is any way out of these, or they contemplate on some means of defense, they are making a grave mistake, for, nothing will protect them from Allah’s Wrath.

The verse continues saying:

“…and for them shall not be against (the Wrath of) Allah any protector.”

Explanations

The punishment in the Hereafter is hard, for:

All means and devices will be cut in the Doomsday.

“…and their ties (between them) are cut asunder.”1

Kinship will be of no use:

“…there shall be no ties of relationship between them on that day…”2

No sacrifices will be accepted.

A culprit is ready to sacrifice all his kin and even the entire world:

“…the guilty one would fain redeem…”3

Offering apologies is not useful:

“The Day on which the excuse of the unjust shall not benefit (them)…”4

One’s friends mind their own business and abandon one another:

“And friend shall not ask friend.”5

It is continuous and everlasting:

“Abiding therein forever, the torment shall not be lightened for them…”6

No alleviation would be condescended to:

“…the torment shall not be lightened for them…”7

It will be both bodily and spiritual:

“Taste you (this)! Verily you are Mighty, full of Honour!”8

Surah Ar-Ra‘d – Verse 35

مَثَلُ الْجَنَّةِ الَّتِي وُعِدَ الْمُتَّقُونَ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الاَنْهَارُ اُكُلُهَا دَآئِمٌ وَظِلُّهَا تِلْكَ عُقْبَي الَّذِينَ اتَّقَوا وَعُقْبَي الْكَافِرِينَ النَّارُ

35. “The likeness of the Garden (of bliss) which the pious are promised, (is such that) beneath it rivers flow, its fruits and its shades are everlasting. This is the End of those who keep from evil, and the End of the unbelievers is the Fire.”

From among the methods of education in the Qur’an, one can cite comparison and evaluation among individual’s cases and the end-result of the truth and the untruth.

Therefore, as the future of the pagans was already explained in the previous verse, the ultimate destiny of the men of virtue is being discussed in his verse so that one can select his own way of life with a more and better understanding when comparing the two.

Therefore, this noble verse deals with Resurrection and specifically with the blessings of Paradise and with the infernal punishments.

At first, it says:

“The likeness of the Garden (of bliss) which the pious are promised, (is such that) beneath it rivers flow…”

The second attribute relating to the Gardens of the Paradise is that their fruits are everlasting and perennial. They are not of the sort of this world in which case the fruits are seasonal and appear only in certain seasons, or under certain circumstances.

In this life, the fruits sometimes disappear altogether in some years because of pestilence and for unforeseen reasons. Their shadow is also eternal.

The verse says:

“…its fruits and its shades are everlasting…”

One can conclude from this sentence that the Gardens of the Paradise have no autumn and one may conclude still further that illumination of light, or similar to it, also exists in Paradise in its nature.

At the end of the holy verse, after recounting the three-fold characteristics of Paradise, the Qur’an implies: Such is the ultimate destiny of the devout and the pious, though the fate of the pagans is Fire and inferno.

The verse says:

“…This is the End of those who keep from evil…”

In this beautiful meaning, the blessings of Paradise have been explained in detail and with delicacy. However, with regard to the inhabitants of Hell, He remarks in a short, harsh, and rough tone:

“…and the End of the unbelievers is the Fire.”

Anyway, Paradise is a compensation for one’s virtuosity and it will not be offered to anyone undue.

The reward of the devout and self-abstaining from the worldly sins, is eternal happiness in Hereafter.

“…its fruits and its shades are everlasting.”

And whatever one can make out of the Paradise is similar and like that one,

“the likeness of the Garden (of bliss)…”.

Otherwise, the Paradise is not to be comprehended fully by some limited beings such as us.

Surah Ar-Ra‘d – Verse 36

وَالَّذِينَ ءَاتَيْنَاهُمُ الْكِتَابَ يَفْرَحُونَ بِمَآ اُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ وَمِنَ الأَحْزَابِ مَن يُنكِرُ بَعْضَهُ قُلْ إِنَّمَآ اُمِرْتُ أَنْ أَعْبُدَ اللَّهَ وَلآ اُشْرِكَ بِهِ إِلَيْهِ أَدْعُوا وإِلَيْهِ مأَبِ

36. “And those people to whom We have given the Book will rejoice in what has been sent down to you. And of the clans are some who deny a part of it. Say: ‘Verily, I am commanded to worship Allah and not to associate (aught) with Him. Unto Him (only) I invite (you), and unto Him is my return’.”

Of course, accepting the verses is important, however, their acceptance and embracing of them eagerly and with joy is of more significance.

The different kinds of reactions of the people as to the revelation of the verses of the Qur’an have been alluded to in this verse. It illustrates how the truth-seeking individuals and the truth-loving ones embraced and submitted to whatever was revealed to the Prophet of Islam (S) while the hostile and obstinate individuals started their opposition to it.

It says:

“And those people to whom We have given the Book will rejoice in what has been sent down to you…”

That is, the Truth seekers from among the Jews and the Christians and the like of them are happy for the revelation of these verses to you, because, on the one hand, they witness that as consonant and harmonious with the signs and symbols which they have at their disposal, while, on the other hand, they are finding it as a source of freedom and salvation for themselves from the vices generated by the superstitions of seemingly scholars of Christian and Jewish and the like of them which have placed them under the yoke, and thus have deprived them of the intellectual freedom and human development.

Then the Qur’an implies that, however, some parties negate parts of the verses which have been revealed to you.

The verse says:

“…And of the clans are some who deny a part of it…”

The purpose in mind of these disbelieving groups has been the population of the Jews and of the Christians who were not submitting even to their own faith and in face of their own celestial Book because of their tribal and religious fanaticism which had dominated them. They were in fact some groups and parties which followed only their own line.

It might also concern those pagans who had no specific religion or way of life. Rather, they were groups and parties which were dispersed originally, though their opposition to the Qur’an and Islam had made them united.

At the end of the holy verse, He commands the Prophet (S) that he must be headless with regard to this and that one’s opposition and obstinacy.

On the contrary, he should stand in line with his original and direct path and state that he is only commissioned by Allah to worship the only Allah and does not associate any partners for Him; and that he calls and directs to Him and his return, and every one’s return is to him.

The verse says:

“…Say: ‘Verily, I am commanded to worship Allah and not to associate (aught) with Him. Unto Him (only) I invite (you), and unto Him is my return’.”

Here allusion is made to the fact that the true monotheist and real theist has no other lines and schedule to follow except submission to all of Allah’s commandments.

﴿37﴾ وَكَذَلِكَ أَنزَلْنَاهُ حُكْماً عَرَبِيّاً وَلَئِنِ اتَّبَعْتَ أَهْوَآءَهُم بَعْدَ مَا جَآءَكَ مِنَ الْعِلْمِ مَالَكَ مِنَ اللَّهِ مِن وَلِيٍّ وَلاَ وَاقٍ

37. “And thus have We sent it (the Qur’an) (as a true) authority in the Arabic, and if you follow their low desires after what has come to you of knowledge, there shall not be for you against Allah any guardian or a protector.”

The appointment of the prophets and the revelation of the celestial Books are the wise Divine way of treatment. Therefore, He implies in this verse that as We sent the people of the Book and the former prophets celestial Books, We also revealed this Qur’an to the Prophet of Islam (S) while it contains clear and obvious commandments.

The verse says:

“And thus have We sent it (the Qur’an) (as a true) authority in the Arabic…”

It is cited in the commentary of Majma‘-ul-Bayan: The reason as to why the Qur’an has been called commandments is that there are commandments in it as to what is allowed and what is prohibited.

And the reason why it is called Arabic is that its bearer has been an Arab prophet.

In other words, the application of the word /‘arabiyyan/, mentioned in the verse, is a reference to the fact that the language of the Messenger of Allah (S) has been Arabic, for which reason Allah’s way of treatment has been such that every prophet must communicate His Book through the language of his own people and, hence, He remarks in Surah ‘Ibrahim, No. 14, verse 4:

“We sent no prophet except the ones who communicated in the language of their own people.”

And, in order that we know that Allah has no kinship with anyone, and even if the prophets supposedly go a wrong way, they will be faced with the Divine punishment, addressing the Prophet (S) with a threatening and decisive tone of voice, the Qur’an implies that: if he follows their whims after having been briefed, he will receive Divine punishment and no body will be able to protect and preserve him as against Allah’s power.

The verse says:

“…and if you follow their low desires after what has come to you of knowledge, there shall not be for you against Allah any guardian or a protector.”

Although there was certainly no probability for the Prophet (S) to be deviant with such a stage of chastity, knowledge and awareness, this meaning makes it clear that Allah entertains no special relationship with any one. Even if the Prophet (S) enjoys an elevated position, it is because of his submission servitude, faith, and his perseverance.

It has been cited in the Majma‘-ul-Bayan that although this meaning is addressed to the Prophet of Islam (S), the main objective is his followers.

  • 1. Surah Al-Baqarah, No. 2, verse 166
  • 2. Surah Al-Mu’minūn, No. 23, verse 101
  • 3. Surah Al-Ma‘ arij, No. 70, verses 11 to 16
  • 4. Surah Al-Ghafir, No. 40, verse 52
  • 5. Surah Al-Ma‘ arij, No. 70, verse 106
  • 6. Surah Al-Baqarah, No. 2, verse 162
  • 7. Surah Al-Baqarah, No. 2, verse 162
  • 8. Surah Ad-Dukhan, No. 44, verse 49

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