أَوَ مَن كَانَ مَيْتًا فَأَحْيَيْنَاهُ وَجَعَلْنَا لَهُ نُورًا يَمْشِي بِهِ فِي النَّاسِ كَمَن مَّثَلُهُ فِي الظُّلُمَاتِ لَيْسَ بِخَارِجٍ مِّنْهَا كَذَلِكَ زُيِّنَ لِلْكَافِرِينَ مَا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ
122. "Is he who was dead (with ignorance and polytheism) and we gave him life (by Our guidance) and provided him with a light by which he walks among the people, as one whose likeness is in the shadows (of ignorance and polytheism) and he cannot come forth from them? Thus has been made fair seeming for the disbelievers what they were doing."
In this verse, a person who has been misguided and Allah has guided him thereafter, is resembled to a person who has been dead and He has given him life. For such a person, Allah has appointed a light by which he can diffuse light among people.
And He has resembled the person who has remained in his misguidance to a person who walks in darkness without having a guide, and he does not go out from that darkness.
The Qur'an says:
However, the purpose of this light, mentioned in the above verse, is not only 'the Qur'an' and 'the trainings of the Prophet (S)', but, in addition to these, belief in Allah gives man a new insight, and a fresh concept, which broads the scope of his vision from the material life, and from the inside of the material world, high up towards an extraordinary open vast world.
Under the ray of this light, the one can find his way of life among people and can be saved from a lot of mistakes which others may be entangled with because of greed and avarice. Without that light, the one may fall in such mistakes as a result of materialistic thought, and domination of selfishness and low desires.
There is a holy phrase, recorded in Islamic narrations, which says:
"A believer looks by means of Allah’s light."
This phrase is a hint to this very fact.
وَكَذَلِكَ جَعَلْنَا فِي كُلِّ قَرْيَةٍ أَكَابِرَ مُجَرِمِيهَا لِيَمْكُرُواْ فِيهَا وَمَا يَمْكُرُونَ إِلاَّ بِأَنفُسِهِمْ وَمَا يَشْعُرُونَ
123. "And thus We have appointed in every town its leading criminals that they may plot therein. Yet they do not plot except against their own selves but they are not aware."
The content of this verse points to the situation of the misguided chiefs and the leaders of infidelity and mischief. It implies that Allah has appointed some leading persons in every town who take the way of committing sin, and by means of plot and deceit, they pervert people from the straight path.
The Qur'anic text is recited:
That is, the final end of disobedience and committing abundant sins was that they became the: robbers of the way of truth, and misled the servants of Allah from the straight path.
So, at the end of the verse, the Qur'an continues saying:
It is clearly understood from this verse that the source of corruptions and calamities, which encompass some societies, is the mischievous men of authority and outstanding men inside these societies. These are those who, by kinds of plot and deceit, change the way of Allah and conceal the feature of truth from people.
وَإِذَا جَاءتْهُمْ آيَةٌ قَالُواْ لَن نُّؤْمِنَ حَتَّى نُؤْتَى مِثْلَ مَا أُوتِيَ رُسُلُ اللّهِ اللّهُ أَعْلَمُ حَيْثُ يَجْعَلُ رِسَالَتَهُ سَيُصِيبُ الَّذِينَ أَجْرَمُواْ صَغَارٌ عِندَ اللّهِ وَعَذَابٌ شَدِيدٌ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَمْكُرُونَ
124. "And when a Sign (from Allah) comes to them, they say: 'Never will we believe until we are given the like of what was given to Allah’s apostles. Allah knows best where to place His apostleship. Soon there shall befall those who are guilty humiliation from Allah and a severe punishment because of the plots they used to devise."
It has been narrated that this verse was revealed about a pagan by the name of Walid-ibn-Muqayrah. He was one of the well-known chiefs of the idol worshippers.
He was considered as their reflective faculty. He told the Prophet (S) that if the prophecy were true, he deserved to take that rank more than him because of both his age; that was elder than the Prophet, (S) and his wealth; which was more abundant than that of his (S).
In this verse, the Qur'an shortly, but expressively, points to the kind of thoughts and ridiculous claims of these false leaders, or as the Qur'an says: "...its leading criminals ..."1 when it says:
The Qur'an gives them a clear answer, and implies that it is not necessary for them to teach Allah how He appoints His prophets and messengers, and among whom He might choose them, because:
It is evident that messenger ship relates neither to age and wealth nor to the circumstances of tribes. But, before mentioning anything else, the necessary conditions of it are: spiritual receptiveness, purity of inward, noble human virtues, splendid thoughts, strong decisions, and, finally, an extra ordinary piety and morality with the stage of inerrancy.
The existence of these qualities, especially the quality of the receptiveness of the rank of inerrancy; are some things that none knows except Allah. How far the difference is between these conditions and what they have mentioned!
The successors of the Prophet (S) should also have all the qualities and conditions of the Prophet (S), except revelation and divine legislation. That is, such a successor is both the protector of the religion and divine laws, and the guardian of the religion and its regulations, and the spiritual and material leader of people.
That is why he must have both the position of inerrancy and immunity of fault and sin so that he can fulfill his mission, and to become a trusty example and a leader whom is obeyed.
For this very reason, such a successor has to be chosen by Allah, not by people or by a consultative committee. It is only Allah Who knows where to place this position, not people.
So, at the end of the verse, the Qur'an has stated the fate of such sinners and false leaders who claim too much. It indicates that for the plots and deceits that these sinners applied to make people astray, soon they will be put in humiliation and in an intensive punishment before Allah. It says:
With their wrong actions, these self-lovers wanted to protect their social situation and grandeur, but Allah will despise them so much that they feel the most painful spiritual tortures then.
فَمَن يُرِدِ اللّهُ أَن يَهْدِيَهُ يَشْرَحْ صَدْرَهُ لِلإِسْلاَمِ وَمَن يُرِدْ أَن يُضِلَّهُ يَجْعَلْ صَدْرَهُ ضَيِّقًا حَرَجًا كَأَنَّمَا يَصَّعَّدُ فِي السَّمَاء كَذَلِكَ يَجْعَلُ اللّهُ الرِّجْسَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ
125. "Therefore, whomever Allah intends that He should guide him aright, He opens his breast to Islam; and whomever He intends that He should cause him to send astray, He makes his breast narrow and straitened as if he were ascending upwards into the sky. Thus does Allah lay abomination on those who do not believe."
The purpose of the divine guidance and misguidance is to provide the means of guidance for those who deserve it, and to ruin those means for those who are not eligible of it.
The objective meaning of the Qur'anic term / Sadr / (breast) is 'heart and spirit', and, therefore, the purpose of 'opening the breast' is broading the scope of mind and thought, as well as the height of spirit, for accepting the Truth and guidance.
This situation needs that the person renounces the low desires and wishes of his heart. He who has not 'an open breast' usually remains inside of himself and does not dare to come out. The fruit of 'an open breast' is, firstly, insight and luminosity and, secondly, a tender heart which accepts the Truth.
Thus, accepting the Truth necessarily needs an innate receptiveness and capacity.
And, the one who is not ready to accept the Truth, can not ascend into the sky of cognition.
The result of coming out from the course of natural disposition, intellect, and nature is suffocation, straitened circumstances, and stresses. The corruptors are indeed entangled with straitened circumstances and stresses, although they see themselves in a worldly apparent welfare and progression.
وَهَـذَا صِرَاطُ رَبِّكَ مُسْتَقِيمًا قَدْ فَصَّلْنَا الآيَاتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَذَّكَّرُونَ
126. "And this is the path of your Lord; straight. Indeed We have explained the Signs for people who take admonition."
One of Allah’s ways of treatment is that He appoints 'open breasts' for the clear-hearted truth-seekers; and, on the contrary, those obstinate disbelievers who flee from Faith are involved with abomination and lack of divine aid.
Therefore, all ways, save the way of Allah, are either false or blind.
Allah has completed the argument to all, if they are of those who are attentive.
لَهُمْ دَارُ السَّلاَمِ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ وَهُوَ وَلِيُّهُمْ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ
127. "For them shall be the abode of peace with their Lord, and He is their Guardian because of what they used to do."
In Heaven, there is no harshness, competition, contradiction, accusation and jealousy, grudge and lie, grief, and no kind of worriment, death, disease, poverty and so on,
And, above the bounty of security and peace, there is the existence of being under the light of especial grace of Allah therein,
Briefly speaking, the inhabitants of Heaven are those who, like the near-stationed angels and even higher than them, have rank of nearness with their Lord.
However, reaching to the divine security and guardianship can be obtained under the light of (good) deeds. The verse says:
وَيَوْمَ يِحْشُرُهُمْ جَمِيعًا يَا مَعْشَرَ الْجِنِّ قَدِ اسْتَكْثَرْتُم مِّنَ الإِنسِ وَقَالَ أَوْلِيَآؤُهُم مِّنَ الإِنسِ رَبَّنَا اسْتَمْتَعَ بَعْضُنَا بِبَعْضٍ وَبَلَغْنَا أَجَلَنَا الَّذِيَ أَجَّلْتَ لَنَا قَالَ النَّارُ مَثْوَاكُمْ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا إِلاَّ مَا شَاء اللّهُ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ حَكِيمٌ عَليمٌ
128. "And on the day He musters all together, (addressing the Satans of jinn, He says:) 'O' assembly of jinn! you took away a great part of mankind. 'And their friends from among the human beings will say: 'O' our Lord! Some of us profited by others and we have reached our term which You had assigned for us.' He will say: 'The fire is your abode, to remain in it (forever), except that Allah wills (to forgive some of you) '. Verily your Lord is All-Wise, All-Knowing!'
Following the former matters, the Qur'an says:
Then those of human beings who had followed them will say that they profited from each other. The verse says:
The interest that the jinns have benefited from human beings is that they have been their chiefs and masters and those human beings have obeyed their low desires and lusts. The interest that human beings have benefited from jinns is that the jinns have ornamented the vain pleasures and lusts before their eyes and have made them amused by these apparently fair things.
This part of the verse means that they say: 'We have reached the death You had appointed for us.'
Some commentators say that the purpose of this statement is to point to the resurrection of the dead in Hereafter.
Addressing such people, Allah says that Hell Fire is their dwelling place and they will remain in punishment there forever.
Returning from Fire is an exception that refers to guilty Muslims. If He pleases, He will punish them; and if He wills, He will forgive them by His grace.
At the end of the verse, the Qur'an says that Allah is Wise in His affairs, and He knows every thing.
وَكَذَلِكَ نُوَلِّي بَعْضَ الظَّالِمِينَ بَعْضًا بِمَا كَانُواْ يَكْسِبُونَ
129. "And thus do We make some of the iniquitous to befriend others on account of what they used to earn."
As a trial, Allah may leave the unjust to themselves and make them friends of each other in order that they show affection to each other. In this case, their retribution, that He will give them, will be as much as they deserve.
So, similar to the situation of the transgressors among jinn and human, on the Resurrection Day, when Allah will refer them to each other and He will declare Himself to be clear of them, we will refer the unjust to each other, too.
There are some persons who have followed some persons other than Allah. They will be left to their masters on that Day, and will be told to go to them for the deliverance from Fire.
The purpose of this statement is to announce them that, on the Resurrection Day, there will not be any friend to save them from the chastisement.
In other words, as a result of the friendship and affection that they had between themselves, they will be sent to the Hell following each other.2
- 1. Surah 'An'am, No.6, Verse 123.
- 2. According to some Islamic narrations, the retribution of the following persons will be the domination of the cruel ones upon them. These persons are: those who abandon enjoining right and forbidding wrong, and those who do not pay khums (one fifth levy) alms and religious taxes, and those who assist the unjust. (Atyab-ul-Bayan, the commentary) A tradition indicates that when Allah is pleased with the deeds of a group of people, He will refer their affairs to some good persons; but when He is not pleased with their deeds, He may put their affairs in the hands of some evil ones. (Kashf-ul- 'Asrar, the commentary)