Section 3: The Faithful and the Unfaithful Compared
أَفَمَن يَعْلَمُ أَنَّمَآ اُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِن رَّبّـِكَ الْحَقُّ كَمَنْ هُوَ أَعْمَي إِنَّمَا يَتَذَكَّرُ اُولُوا الاَلْبَابِ
19. “Is he who knows that what is revealed to you from your Lord is the Truth, like the one who is blind? Indeed, only the possessors of intellects take admonition,”
We have picture and profile of the details of the programs of the proponents of the truth depicted in this verse which supplements the discussion of the previous verses. In the first instance, He poses the issue in a positive interrogation with negative sense, saying:
“Is he who knows that what is revealed to you from your Lord is the Truth, like the one who is blind?…”
This type of interpretation is a delicate reference to the fact that the lack of knowledge of this reality is utterly impossible unless one’s deep insight has been entirely blocked.
Therefore, the Qur’an, towards the end of the verse adds:
“…Indeed, only the possessors of intellects take admonition,”
Anyway, we have allusions made to those who have accepted the life-giving call of the prophets (as) in the previous verse, while the impact of the acceptance of that call is being stated in this verse and in the following verses.
Everyone of: human nature, reason, and knowledge has got a core in one’s brain which may be dismantled as a result of habits, customs, superstitions, and instincts. Therefore, man must be constantly concentrating on that central nucleus and core.1
The Arabic term /’ulul-’alb ab/ has been mentioned in the Qur’an 16 times, every one of which has been stated accompanied with one accomplishment or an attribution, among them, we note:
They understand the secret of commandments:
“And in (the law of) retaliation there is (saving of life for you, O’ possessors of intellects…”2
They are future-oriented:
“…and make provision, but surely the best provision is the piety. So, have awe of Me, O’ possessors of intellect!”3
They regard the world as a passing stage and not a destination and residence point.
The possessors of intellect are those who:
“…mediate on the creation of the heavens and the earth, seriously saying): ‘Our Lord! You have not created (all) thin in vain!…”4
They receive instructive lessons from history:
“Indeed in their stories there is a lesson for the possessors of intellect…”5
They accept the best and the most superior logic of all:
“Those who listen to the saying, then follow the best of it…”6
They are of the worshipping and struggling lot who perform the night prayer:
“Is he who is obedient during hours of the night … only the possessors of intellect are mindful.”7
الَّذِينَ يُوفُونَ بِعَهْدِ اللَّهِ وَلا يَنقُضُونَ الْمِيثَاقَ
20. “Those who fulfill the covenant of Allah and do not break the pledge.”
The Arabic phrase /‘ahdillah/ includes both the innate and inherent promises such as ‘love unto the Truth and justice’, and rational promises like the comprehension of the facts of the world of existence including the issues of ‘the origin and the end’.
They also refer to both the religious promises such as practicing all the required acts and rituals and abstention from all that is prohibited, and the commitments of promises which men keep with regard to one another and Allah has made their observation required.
According to the statements of some commentators,8 one of the most important Divine covenants is the Imamate, ‘leadership’, of the celestial leaders. After that Hadrat ‘Ibrahim (as) attained accession to the position of Imamate following numerous tests and trials, he requested Allah to enable his progeny to achieve that rank.
Instead of saying that the position of Imamate would not be bestowed on the cruel people, and to clarify the importance of this position, He said:
which itself is an evidence for the importance of the position and magnitude of Imamate.
Incidentally, the Arabic term /mi aq/ ‘testament’ refers to what is the source of confidence between one’s heart and that thing. As the existence of a Divine leader provides comfort for men’s heart and soul, therefore, this matter has been regarded as one of the examples of ‘testament’.
Anyway, keeping one’s promise, like respect for one’s parents, and returning of the deposits, is not confined to the Islamic jurisprudence. On the other hand, it is included in human rights as well. Thus every wise and rational man must observe it.
In conclusion, religious testament is the kind of the commitment which the Prophet (S) has secured from the believing people so as to obey him and abstain from committing sins and overlooking the religious commandments and prohibitions.
Incidentally the reason why the term ‘testament’ or ‘pledge’ is repeated after the word ‘covenant’ is that none imagines that the objective is only the Divine promise and that of the people for all the commandments and the prohibitions are included in the meaning of ‘covenant’.
It is for this reason that He informs us that the testament and covenant of the Prophet (S) and the people is as vigorously to be observed as that of Allah (s.w.t.) and the people.
The verse says:
“Those who fulfill the covenant of Allah and do not break the pledge.”
Some commentators, however, believe that the aim of this repetition is merely emphasis.
وَالَّذِينَ يَصِلُونَ مَآ أَمَرَ اللَّهُ بِهِ أَن يُوصَلَ وَيَخْشَوْنَ رَبَّهُمْ وَيَخَافُونَ سُوءَ الْحِسَابِ
21. “And those who join what Allah has commanded to be joined and they fear their Lord and dread the terrible reckoning.”
Some Islamic quotations indicate that what Allah has ordained to be joined together is union of kindred. That is, conservation of family ties as well as the ideological ties which implies continuous and profound ties with the heavenly leaders and the following of the line of ‘Wilayat’ (leadership).10
The verse says:
“And those who join what Allah has commanded to be joined and they fear their Lord and dread the terrible reckoning.”
A simple and in-passing glance at our contemporary world will reveal that despite having utmost and the best capital, i.e., oil, beneath their feet, and enjoying, in front of them, the common point of unity and love of over one Billion Muslims, that is Ka‘bah, and despite benefiting from the best of schools and logic, some Muslims are constantly under all kinds of pressure from the super-powers for their lack of connection with the Divine leadership.
It is for this reason that in the verse 27 of Surah Al-Baqarah, after the sentence:
there has been mentioned:
for it goes without saying that the mere cutting off ties of relationship does not by itself cause corruption on the earth. On the contrary, it is giving up of the Divine leadership which leads to the entanglement in the confinement of the despots and spreading of corruption.
Union of Kindred: strengthening blood-kinship is not merely confined to the family visits and meetings. Provision of financial assistance also is one of the aspects of union of kindred.
Imam Sadiq (as) proclaims that in addition to Zakat (alms), there are also other dues to be paid and which are necessary. Then he recited this verse.12
The objective in mind of the Imam (as) probably has been ‘Khoms’ (one fifth) when mentioning other dues.
As for the importance of ‘union of kindred’, it is sufficient to be noted that Allah has made mention of it next to His name.
“…And be in awe of Allah through Whom you demand one of another, as well as any ties of kinship…”13
The meaning of ‘relatives’ is not confined to one’s family genealogical relatives, but, it refers to the great Muslim community in which all individuals of the nation are considered as brothers, where the Qur’an says:
“The believers are but brethren…”14
Their father is the Prophet of Islam (S) as well as Hadrat Ali (as). The Prophet (S) has remarked:
“Ali and I are to be regarded as fathers of this community.”
Imam Sadiq (as), while on deathbed, ordered to hand on some gifts to those relatives who had been rude to him. When he was criticized for this act, he recited the above verse; and so did he teach us that the condition for union of kindred would not be their optimism, love and relationship with us.
To explain the Qur’anic phrases: ‘they fear their Lord’ and ‘dread the terrible reckoning’, one must say that though the Arabic words /xašiyat/ (fear) and /xauf/ (dread) have sometimes been used interchangeably and as synonyms, meaning one thing in mind, they are in fact different in an Arabic context.
The word /xašiyat/ refers to that kind of fear and impression which is left on someone as a result of respect he bears for a person. However, the term /xauf/ refers to a wider range of meaning and includes all kinds of fear and anxiety.
In other words, the term /xašiyat/ is never used for a damaging accident and one does not refer to cold and disease as having /xašiyat/ with respect to them, while the application of the word to /xauf/ holds in cases of cold, heat, disease and is prevalent.
Ultimately, since /xašiyat/ is based on one’s knowledge as to the respect, magnitude and importance of the other person, one can say /xašiyat/ is peculiar to the learned men and /xauf/ is generally applicable for all.
As the Qur’an says:
“…those of His servants only who are knowledgeable fear Allah…”15
Jabir quoting Imam Baqir (as) said that the Prophet (S) said:
“Kindness towards one’s parents and union of kindred facilitates one’s settlement of his accounts.”
Then, he (S) recited this very verse.16
The Messenger of Allah (S) remarked:
“He who cuts off his relationship with his kindred, will not enter Paradise.”17
Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as) said:
“Cutting off of one’s relationship with the relatives leads to poverty.”18
Imam Sadiq (as) remarked:
“He who is disobedient with respect to his parents and he who cuts off his relationship with his relatives can never sense the smell and the flavor of Paradise” 19
Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as) said:
“Cutting off one’s relationship with his relatives, spoils all of (one’s) blessings.”20
A man, addressing the Prophet (S), asked:
“Which deed is considered as conducive to the utmost outrage before Allah?”
“Attributing partners to Allah.”
Then he asked:
“Which action comes next?”
“Cutting off one’s relationship with his relatives?”
Then he asked:
“Which action comes next?”
“Bidding to indecency and forbidding right conduct.”21
وَالَّذِينَ صَبَرُوا ابْتِغَآءَ وَجْهِ رَبّـِهِمْ وَأَقَامُوا الصَّلاةَ وَأَنفَقُوا مِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ سِرّاً وَعَلاَنِيَةً وَيَدْرَءُونَ بِالْحَسَنَةِ السَّيّـِئَةَ اُوْلَئِكَ لَهُمْ عُقْبَي الدَّارِ
22. “And those who patiently persevere, seeking the countenance of their Lord, and establish prayer, and spend of what We have provided them, secretly and openly, and they avert evil with good; theirs shall be the Ultimate abode”
And those who usually keep their patience in performing the commandments of Allah and do not lose their integrity in face of the diseases and evil consequences and abstain themselves from committing Allah’s sins, and by keeping their patience, they mean to obtain rewards from Allah, the Almighty, because ‘seeking the countenance of Allah’ signifies ‘asking for Allah’ which in turn means asking for Allah’s reward.
Once, in the Arabic language, Arabs want to glorify something, they say ‘its countenance’ and ‘its self’, and by ‘the countenance of Allah’ they mean the Glorious Essence of the Almighty. Nothing is greater than Allah and nothing is His counterpart. Some say that: the purpose of ‘countenance’ in here is reference made as to sincerity and repelling of bigotry and hypocrisy.
The verse says:
“And those who patiently persevere, seeking the countenance of their Lord…”
Then the verse continues explaining the qualities of the possessors of intellect by adding that they perform the prayer with keeping all its limits. In other words, they are always serious in performing their prayer rituals, and they share with others whatever Allah has bestowed on them whether be it in secret or openly. And through their obedience, they repel all sins.
The verse says:
“…and establish prayer, and spend of what We have provided them, secretly and openly, and they avert evil with good…”
Ibn-i-Abb as, regarding the last quality, has said that through the mean of decent and allowed action, they repel the indecent behavior.
It is quoted from the highly esteemed Prophet of Islam (S) who has told Ma‘ az-ibn-Jabal that:
Whenever he did an evil act, then he would perform an admirable deed so as to wipe it out.
Some commentators say one must be kind to those who have bad treatment to them and he would not try to retaliate it.
Some other commentators have claimed that the purpose is that once they are deprived, they go on giving away and once they are oppressed, they forgive; and when they are isolated, they try to establish relationships once more. Ibn-i-Kisan says: it means that they try to remove the penalty for their sins by repentance.
The ending sentence of the verse says:
“…Theirs shall be the Ultimate abode.”
It means that those whom We depicted their profiles of, will receive their reward of Paradise. In this holy sentence the objective meaning of /ad-dar/ is ‘Paradise’ and that of /‘uqba/ is ‘reward’ which refers to the happy ending.
‘Patience’ does not merely signify tolerating difficulties; rather, it mostly includes perseverance in worshipping, restraining from sins, toleration in case of calamities, submission in case of obedience, and lack of arrogance in case of affluence.
The Qur’anic phrase ‘the countenance of their Lord’ signifies attracting the attention, favour, and satisfaction of Allah.
Performing prayer is one of the examples of the Divine covenants, which was discussed in the previous verses. Some Islamic traditions also refer to it, saying:
“Prayer is the covenant of Allah.”
Patience and prayers are two channels of communication with Allah, and charity and good acts are two channels of communication with people.
Giving in charity of one’s wealth has got a hierarchy:
Sharing of the things Allah has bestowed upon us.
“…spend (in alms) of that which We have provided for you…”22
Giving in charity out of one’s earnings through allowed business.
“O you who have faith! Spend (in charity) of the good things that you have earned…”23
Giving away of what one likes most.
“You will never attain righteousness unless you spend out of what you love…”24
“…and prefer (them) before themselves though poverty may afflict them…”25
According to Al-Mizan, the Arabic term /‘uqbadd ar/ signifies happy ending in the world, though it may be considered as including both, this world and the Hereafter.
The meaning of returning the good in exchange for evil is that: if from among the faithful someone commits an evil act in connection with us, We ought to overlook it.
But we must not have the same pattern of action with the tyrants and the corrupt, for, concerning them, they must be paid in their own coins. Anyway, though Islam is a religion of ethics, compassion and forgiveness, it has also the following instruction in its place.
The Holy Qur’an says:
“(As for) the fornicatress and the fornicator, flog each of them, (giving) a hundred stripes, and let not pity for them detain you in the matter of obedience to Allah, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day…”26
Islam is a comprehensive religion, and ‘the possessors of intellect’ are some perfect persons.
The existence of such Qur’anic words concerning them as: /yūfūn/, /yaxšaun/, /yax afūn/, /sabarū/, /’aq amū/, /’anfiqū/, and /yadra’ūn/ are signs to show that the perfect men not only are undertaking their promises, but also preserve all their proper communications, and they enjoy a superior state of virtuosity and they stay on the whole scenes of truth actively instead of creeping into isolation.
جَنَّاتُ عَدْنٍ يَدْخُلُونَهَا وَمَن صَلَحَ مِنْ ءَابَآئِهِمْ وَأَزْوَاجِهِمْ وَذُرِّيَّاتِهِمْ وَالْمَلآئِكَةُ يَدْخُلُونَ عَلَيْهِم مِن كُلِّ بَابٍ
23. “Gardens of Eternity, they shall enter therein and also the righteous from among their fathers, their spouses, and their children, and unto whom the angels will enter from every gate’.”
Out of 137 times that the Qur’anic words /jann at/ and /jannat/ have been repeated in the glorious Qur’an, only 12 times they have been mentioned under /jann atu ‘adnin/. According to a tradition from ‘Durr-ul-Manthūr’, it signifies ‘a special paradise’.27
The blissful Prophet (S) remarks:
“Whoever wants his life and death to be like those of mine, and enters the Gardens of Eden which is my Paradise, must designate Ali-Ibn-Abi-Talib (as) and his Immaculate successors from among his descendents as his leaders and his Imam, who are most supreme in knowledge and wisdom over all human beings and they are guides for people towards right path.”28
In the meantime, we have it in the Qur’an repeatedly that the righteous people of a family will also be nigh to each other when in Paradise and will be able to enjoy each other’s company therein as they associate with each other.
Certainly, the mention of the titles of some individuals of the family like father, wife, and child in the above noble verse, does not specify any particular point, and it covers all the righteous members of the family, including the above mentioned ones, and as well as mothers, sisters and brothers, too.
Incidentally, perhaps the reason for the absence of the name ‘mother’ here is that the mother is the wife of one’s father and is covered by the word of /’azwaj/ (spouses) as is the case with brothers and sisters who are regarded as paternal descendents, and uncles and aunts are considered as the descendents of one’s ancestors.
Anyway, whatever of the conclusion we obtain from the Divine verses is that the angels, under all circumstances, whether in this world or in the world hereafter (purgatory or resurrection day), are in contact with man. They sometimes send him greetings
“…sends His greeting on you, and (so do) His angels…”29
while on other occasions, they ask forgiveness for him:
“…and ask forgiveness for those who believe…”30
That is, the angels who carry the magnanimous heavens on top of their shoulders and those who are engaged in thanking and in worshipping are both faithful believers and ask for forgiveness for the faithful from Allah.
At other times, they utter invocation for him, saying:
“Our Lord! and make them enter the Gardens of Perpetuity…”31
That is, O’ Allah! Give them all along with their parents, wives, and children access and abode in the Paradise of Eden. At the time of death and at the onset of the purgatory, the angels let them voice with the slogan chanting
“…‘Fear not, nor be grieved…”32
And they take their lives with the sentence ‘Greetings to you’.
The Qur’an says:
“Those whom the angels cause to die in a good state, saying: ‘Peace be on you…”33
That is, those who, like angels, ‘the agents of Allah’s blessings’, take their souls, address them saying that due to your good deeds performed in the world, you will thus enter the Eternal Paradise, and they would also go on greeting them from every corner.
The verse says:
“Gardens of Eternity, they shall enter therein and also the righteous from among their fathers, their spouses, and their children, and unto whom the angels will enter from every gate’.”
There are eight gateways mentioned for Paradise which correspond to the number of traits already mentioned for ‘the possessors of intellect’ counted in recent verses. Probably, each of the eight traits and characteristics leads man through one of the gateways of Paradise and is a leading path towards the eternal happiness for man.
Not every father and child, and every husband and wife, every descendent whether paternal or maternal will join one another in Paradise or will be placed side-by-side there, for in the Day of Resurrection, the relatives by blood and those kin by marriage, as a means, will be of no use.
On that Day, every body will be held responsible for his own self, in which case nothing, except one’s own efforts and struggle, will have any effect:
Therefore, the entrance of some relatives, unto some others into Paradise, is only because of their competence and individual qualification.
A Paradise-deserving family is a family among whom there is sincerity and unity in pursuance of the path of the Truth, because the condition for entering Paradise is righteousness.
سَلامٌ عَلَيْكُم بِمَا صَبَرْتُمْ فَنِعْمَ عُقْبَي الدَّارِ
24. “Peace (be) upon you (saying) that you persevered in patience! (And now) how excellent is the Ultimate Abode.”
One of the unique advantages of the Qur’an is that it states the most meaningful matters in the most concise terms, among which reference may be made to the sentence ‘Peace be upon you’ which is a very concise yet very meaningful sentence. Its historical perspective goes back to the previous prophets like ‘Ibrahim, Noah, and Adam (as)
“Peace be upon Noah among the nations.”34
The Qur’anic term // (Peace) is one of Allah’s names, and it is one of the ways of greetings of Allah to the prophets, the Divine congratulations on the people of Paradise, the whisper of the angles; the international saying of all the Muslims; the slogan of all the paradise-deserving in this world and in the other one; the common words of the Creator and the created; the voice heard on arrival and departure, and the beginning of every speech and of every letter which is said to both the living and the dead, and on the aged and the young.
Answering and returning it, however, is obligatory for a believer.
The message of /salam/ (peace) is a message of respect, congratulations, prayer and greetings from Allah.
“Peace; a word from a Merciful Lord.”35
When we utter at the end of each of our prayers:
with this greeting /salam/ all the dividing lines in the realm of race, absurd privileges of senility, sexuality, property, position, language, and time will be obliterated and we can establish communications with all the righteous people to whom we send our greetings.
Some Islamic quotations denote that some people go to Paradise without having settled their accounts.
When the angels ask the reason, they will be answered:
“We used to keep waiting for obedience of Allah and used to keep our patience while we were struck by disasters and why suffering from difficulties.”
By hearing this answer, the angels will welcome them by saying /salamun ‘alykum/ (peace be on you). 36
Imam Sadiq (as) said:
“We are among those who keep their patience though our Shi‘ite followers are more patient than us, for our patience is upon what we know, but they are keeping their patience as to what they do not know.” 37
We must regard Allah as the source of all patience:
“…and your patience is not but by Allah…”38
We must consider the Divine consent as the main purpose and objective of our patience, not for the sake of fame or anything else:
“And for the sake of your Lord, be patient.”39
Patience is one of the traits of the prophets and the key to Paradise:
“Or did you suppose you would enter Paradise untouched…”40
Patience, when kept in the face of the calamities and the Divine trials is the criterion for cognition of the true profile of those who are patient:
“And most certainly We will try you until We have known those among you who exert themselves hard, and the patient…”41
Patience leads one to receive Allah’s blessings:
“Those are they on whom are blessings and Mercy from their Lord…”42
Perhaps one of the reasons for sending greetings to the Prophet (S) and his Ahl-ul-Bayt (as) is that they were among the most patient of the people.
Patience with regard to faith is just like the head as for the body.
The Prophet (S) remarks:
“Patience is a part of Faith, just like the head and the body.”43
Patience categorizes the hierarchy of those who deserve Paradise:
“These shall be rewarded with high places because they were patient…”44
“And He will reward them for their patience, with a garden and clothes of silk (in Heaven).”45
Patience has got a hierarchy; and we read in an Islamic tradition that patience in case of calamities has got 300 degrees; in case of religious worship has got 600 degrees, and with regard to restraining from sins has got 900 degrees.46
Throughout the Qur’an, one finds that only the reward for those who are patient is so vast and is indefinitely unlimited:
“…only the patient will be paid back their reward in full without measure.”47
Alongside patience, the glorious Qur’an has also dealt with the issue of gratitude as well. It also alludes to the fact that difficulties also constitute blessings:
“…for every patient, grateful one.”48
‘Patience’ is involved in the will of Imam Hussayn (as) passed down to his son, Hadrat Sajjad (as):
“O my son! Be patient with the Truth even if it is bitter!”49
Sometimes, there are several kinds of patience observed in one occasion; as in the case of Hadrat ‘Ibrahim (as) in sacrificing Ishmael, in which case, patience with regard to obedience and submission to the will of Allah, as well as patience with regard to the calamity are involved and are required.
Patience, among all, stands at the top of all perfections and virtues.
وَالَّذِينَ يَنقُضُونَ عَهْدَ اللَّهِ مِنْ بَعْدِ مِيثَاقِهِ وَيَقْطَعُونَ مَآ أَمَرَ اللَّهُ بِهِ أَن يُوصَلَ وَيُفْسِدُونَ فِي الأَرْضِ اُوْلَئِكَ لَهُمُ اللَّعْنَةُ وَلَهُمْ سُوءُ الدَّارِ
25. “And there are those who break the covenant of Allah after its confirmation and cut asunder what Allah has commanded to be joined, and make mischief in the earth; they, theirs shall be the curse and theirs shall be the evil abode.”
In some former holy verses, the traits of the possessors of intellect were explained.
As the good and evil can well be differentiated once they are compared and juxtaposed against each other, the Qur’an recounts here some of the main traits of the ones who incite corruption and those who have lost their true sense of reasoning where it says:
“And there are those who break the covenant of Allah after its confirmation and cut asunder what Allah has commanded to be joined, and make mischief in the earth; they, theirs shall be the curse and theirs shall be the evil abode.”
In fact, all of their ideological and scientific corruptions can be summarized in the following three categories:
Breaking of the Divine testaments which includes the inherent testaments, the rational testaments, and, finally, the religious testaments.
Cutting off relationships, the relationship with Allah, the relationship with Divine religious leaders, the relationship with people, and the relationship with one’s own self.
The last part, which is the consequence of the above two, is the corruption on the earth.
The Qur’an refers to a group who have the opposite of the attributes which characterize the good prominent traits of the possessors of intellect as in their keeping of their promise and relationships with whatever Allah has preordained.
That is, they break their promises and cut off the relationships which have been commended to be established. Thus, there are ‘evil abodes’ designated for them instead of ‘Ultimate abodes’.
Corruption on the Earth: There are actions dealt with in the Qur’an which are attributed to individuals, among which the Pharaoh has been noted as an example of those who incite corruption.
The Qur’an concerning him says:
“…Verily he was one of the mischief-makers.”50
Actions like homicide, destruction of tillage and generation, inciting and provoking differences, and murder are also among the corruption cases on the earth. 51
The Qur’an considers ‘execution’ or amputation for punishing of the ‘corrupt ones on the earth’. And as for those who have ambitions in their thinking for corruption, the Qur’an considers them as the ones who are deprived from the Divine blessings on the Day of Resurrection.
Imam Sajjad (as) writes in his will to his son:
“Abstain from association and avoid the company of those who cut off their relationship with their relatives, for I have found them cursed in the Qur’an”. 52
The separation of man from Allah is the turning point in the onset of deviations.
Cutting off of the relationship with one’s kinds is one of the capital sins, for Allah (s.w.t.) has vowed as to their punishment.
اللَّهُ يَبْسُطُ الرِّزْقَ لِمَن يَشَآءُ وَيَقْدِرُ وَفَرِحُوا بِالْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا فِي الأَخِرَةِ إِلاَّ مَتَاعٌ
26. “Allah enlarges the sustenance for whomever he pleases and straitens (it for whomever He wishes) and they rejoice in the life of the world, while the life of the world beside the Hereafter is naught but a temporary enjoyment.”
The amplification and the straitening of one’s means of subsistence has been attributed to Allah in this verse, but it goes without saying that the acts of Allah, the Wise, are planned according to pragmatism and are philosophical, as some of its reasons can be seen explained in some verses of the Qur’an and in the Islamic quotations.
For instance, committing sin causes changes in the life and means of subsistence of many individuals.
We read in the supplication of Kumayl that:
“O’ Allah: Forgive those sins of mine which change the course of the blessings which you have bestowed upon me.”
At times, the differences, which exist in one’s means of subsistence, are because of the trial of these individuals.
‘Surah Al-Baqarah, No. 2, verse 155’ says:
“And We will surely test you (all) with something of fear and hanger and loss of property, lives and fruits; but give glad tidings to the (stead fast) patient.”
At times, being deprived is due to the deprivation which is inflicted on other people from their rights, like the garden which burned under fire, which Surah Al-Qalam No. 68 has made allusion to. At other times, lack of concentration on the circumstances of orphans results in straitening of one’s means of subsistence.
“Nay! But you honour not the orphans.”53
What is important is the fact that we must not feel rude and arrogant once our means of subsistence is amplified, forgetting everything; nor must we become desperate of everything when our means of subsistence is at stake, for the Divine system is one which is based on His Wisdom and has got trial basis, and it is not based on luck, chance and good omens.
Anyway, usually those who are affluent in their means of subsistence and are given sustenance in abundant, tend to forget it and ignore the Hereafter, sticking to the mortal world and its beauty, while this worldly life is nothing else but limited in its scope and is a mortal one as compared to the Hereafter, for the latter is immortal.
The verse says:
“Allah enlarges the sustenance for whomever he pleases and straitens (it for whomever He wishes) and they rejoice in the life of the world, while the life of the world beside the Hereafter is naught but a temporary enjoyment.”
One’s means of subsistence depends on Him alone. It is not dependent upon one’s shrewdness, bigotry, breaking of testaments, and cutting off of those relationships which probably require disbursing and giving away.
Low scale for means of subsistence is also allocated according to a divine philosophical echelon which is predetermined already.
- 1. Tafsir-ul-Furqan
- 2. Surah Al-Baqarah, No. 2, verse 179
- 3. Surah Al-Baqarah, No. 2, verse 197
- 4. Surah ‘Al-i-‘Imran, No. 3, verse 191
- 5. Surah Yūsuf, No. 12, verse 111
- 6. Surah Az-Zumar, No. 39, verse 18
- 7. Surah Az-Zumar, No. 39, verse 9
- 8. In Tafsir-us-Safi, it is quoted from Hadrat Musa-ibn-Ja‘far (as) indicating that this verse is revealed with regard to the position of the household of Muhammad (S) and their guardianship. This is the covenant of Allah.
- 9. Surah Al-Baqarah, No. 2, verse 124
- 10. Tafsir-us-Safi
- 11. (/fasiqin/ transgressors are)
“Those who break the covenant of Allah after its confirmation and cut asunder what Allah had commanded to be joined, and they make corruption on the Earth;...”
- 12. Tafsir-us-Safi
- 13. Surah An-Nisa’, No. 4, verse 1
- 14. Surah Al-Hujur at, No. 49, verse 10
- 15. Surah Fatir, No. 35, verse 28
- 16. Tafsir Majma‘-ul-Bayan, vol. 13, p. 54
- 17. Bihar, vol. 71, p. 91
- 18. Bihar, vol. 71, p. 91
- 19. Safinah, vol. 1, p. 516
- 20. Ghurar-ul-Hikam, vol. 4, P. 509
- 21. Safinat-ul-Bihar, vol. 1, p. 516
- 22. Surah Al-Baqarah, No. 2, verse 154
- 23. Surah Al-Baqarah, No. 2, verse 267
- 24. Surah An-Nisa, No. 4, verse 92
- 25. Surah Hashr, No. 53, verse 9
- 26. Surah An-Nūr, No. 24, verse 2
- 27. Tafsir-i-Forqh an
- 28. Tafsir Nūr-uth-Thaqalayn
- 29. Surah Al-’Ahz ab, No. 33, verse 43
- 30. Surah Ghafir, No. 40, verse 7
- 31. Surah Ghafir, No. 40, verse 8
- 32. Surah Fussilat, No. 41, verse 30
- 33. Surah An-Nahl, No. 16, verse 32
- 34. Surah As-Saffat, No. 37, verse 79
- 35. Surah Yasin, No. 36, verse 58
- 36. Tafsir Qurtubi
- 37. Tafsir Safi
- 38. Surah An-Nahl, No. 16, verse 127
- 39. Surah Al-Mudathir No. 74, verse 7
- 40. Surah Al-Baqarah, No. 2, verse 214
- 41. Surah Muhammad, No. 47, verse 31
- 42. Surah Al-Baqarah, No. 2, verse 157
- 43. Bihar, vol. 9, p. 203
- 44. Surah Al-Furqan, No. 25, verse 75
- 45. Surah Insan, No. 76, verse 12
- 46. Bihar, vol. 71, p. 92
- 47. Surah Az-Zumar, No. 39, verse 10
- 48. Surah ‘Ibrahim, No. 14, verse 5
- 49. Bihar, vol. 70, p. 184
- 50. Surah Qasas, No. 28, verse 4
- 51. Surah Al-Baqarah, No. 2, verse 205
- 52. Bihar-ul-’Anwar, vol. 74, p. 197
- 53. Surah Al-Fajr, No. 89, verse 17