وَلاَ تَقْتُلُوا أَوْلاَدَكُمْ خَشْيَةَ إِمْلاَقٍ نَّحْنُ نَرْزُقُهُمْ وَإِيَّاكُمْ إِنَّ قَتْلَهُمْ كَانَ خِطْئاً كَبِيراً
31. “And do not kill your offspring for fear of poverty. We sustain them as well as you. Verily killing them is a capital sin.”
The Arabic term /’iml aq/ signifies poverty and empty-handedness. The provision of the means of sustenance is of the power of Allah and the greatness in quantity and number of population is irrelevant. Therefore, having a larger number of offspring is not a factor in a family’s poverty.
Following the former various sections of the Islamic commandments which were discussed in the previous sections, the Holy Qur’an deals in here with an other part of these commandments and explains six important commandments within five verses in concise, meaningful, and interesting statements.
At first, He alludes to one of the viscous practices of the ‘Age of Ignorance’ which was among the most heinous of the crimes, saying:
“And do not kill your offspring for fear of poverty…”
It is not you who provide them with nourishment; it is We Who provide them as well as you with means of sustenance. Killing them is and has been a capital sin.
The verse says:
“…We sustain them as well as you. Verily killing them is a capital sin.”
This verse provides us with clues regarding the economic situation of the Arabs of the Age of Ignorance which has been so gruesome that they used to kill their dear offspring whether boys or girls for fear of lack of financial resources, hence getting rid of them.
This case of crimes, of course, is obviously presented to us in another form during our times and in our so-called most progressive types of societies. It shows itself in the form of getting rid of pregnancies in a most widespread form for the sake of preventing over population and avoiding economic insufficiencies.
To conclude this statement, we must note that a child is entitled to live and parents cannot take away this right from him. Sometimes, it so happens that our very means of sustenance depends on our children’s means of sustenance, therefore, killing one’s own child and terminating one’s pregnancy (aborting) are both capital sins and an offence of immense proportions.
وَلاَ تَقْرَبُوا الزِّنَي إِنَّهُ كَانَ فَاحِشَةً وَسَآءَ سَبِيلاً
32. “And do not approach fornication, verily it is an indecency and an evil way.”
Illegitimate sexual relationship (fornication) paves the way for numerous individual, social, and familial corruptions which follow the act and, therefore, it is forbidden in Islam, and in the Qur’an it has been mentioned alongside such capital sins as paganism, murder, and theft.
It is for this very reason that this noble verse refers to fornication as an indecent behaviour and recommends not to approach the act of fornication which is a heinous act and an evil way.” It does not state:
“Do not fornicate”
but it says:
Here is a delicate allusion made to the fact that involvement in the heinous act of fornication usually requires certain pre-requisites which predispose one for the act in a gradual manner.
The verse says:
“And do not approach fornication, verily it is an indecency and an evil way.”
The act of ‘voyeurism’ is one of such pre-requisites. ‘Nudity’ and ‘unveiling’ of oneself are other steps preceding the act. The prevalence of counter-didactic books, misleading films, corruption-inciting publications and also centers for corruption, are all serving as the preliminary steps for such an act.
Moreover, associating of men and women in private, that is, of those who are not bound to be together by lawful marriage is another factor leading to the act of fornication.
And finally, distancing of the young from marriage as well as imposing of severe unreasonable demands by the two sides in connection with marriage both provide the grounds for ‘approximation to fornication’, which has been dissuaded in a concise sentence in the above verse. In Islamic quotations, each also has separately been dissuaded.
In the meantime, other issues which are at stake in fornication consist of absence of commitment and duty with regard to the survival of generations, lack of education for the children, and absence of fatherly love and motherly affection for the child, which totally disappear.
Fornication also wipes out and disrupts the foundations of the laws of inheritance, the consequences of which make it impossible to locate the true inheritors.
1) The emergence of anarchy in the family institution and the disappearance of the relationships of parents and children are the consequences of fornication the lack of which leads to the cognition of the society and also serve as a backbone for the full protection of children.
In the society where there is an increase in the number of illegitimate children and of single mothers, the social relationship, which is based upon family relationship, will seriously be stumbling and, finally, disrupted.
Moreover the society will be further deprived of the element of affection which is the determining factor in controlling the crimes and atrocities, and the human society will be fully turned into an animal type of gathering which is constantly coupled with all types of atrocities.
2) Experience reveals and science has also proven the fact that such an act leads to the spread of all kinds of infections. Despite all organizations which have been established for combating the consequences of the impact of this act today, the statistics again indicate to what extent individuals have suffered in losing their happiness thereby.
3) One must not overlook the fact that the goal in marriage is not solely the gratification of one’s sexual instinct.
On the contrary, participation in family life and one’s spiritual association as well as one’s peace of mind along with the education of children and cooperation in all spheres of life constitute all-in-all the end-result of marriage, which all are impossible to bring about without the union in marriage of men and women and along with the prohibition of ‘fornication’.
4) Fornication provides the basis for numerous kinds of entanglements, suicides, escaping from family life and homes, the rise of fatherless illegitimate children, infections diseases, and anxiety for respectable families.
5) Fornication has been regarded as a heinous, and indecent act throughout history and has also been prohibited in other religions as well.
Islam has been quick to present preventive measures against heinous act of fornication, among which one may name the following:
1) Prohibition of association of men with unallowed women in some private places.
2) Prohibition of private relationship of a man with an unallowed woman.
3) Prohibition of women’s wearing make-up for unallowed men or in their presence.
4) Prohibition of looking of unallowed women and men at each other, and abstention from thinking of fornication, or of watching seducing photographs.
5) One must not only avoid the act of fornication but he must also abstain from the acts which precede fornication. Sometimes, a look, a telephone call, a letter or a contact may pave the way for illegitimate relationships.
6) Severe punishments issued for those who engage in fornication.
7) Recommendation for marriage and lowering of the level of ‘dower’ at the time of marriage.
8) Blaming of the act of marriage which has long been overdue.
9) Sanctification of the institution of marriage, and struggling for having a family life.
In conclusion, Imam-Ali-Ibn-i-Abi-Talib (as) has been quoted who has said:
“I heard from the blissful Prophet who stated: ‘There are six negative impacts in the act of fornication, three of which belong to this world and the other three belong to the Hereafter.
As for those which exist in this world are the fact that it removes sincerity and illumination from one’s life, cuts off one’s means of sustenance, and accelerates human beings process of extermination.
The three (negative) effects which come about in the Hereafter are: The Wrath of the Almighty, severity in the settlement of one’s account and the initiation into the Fire of Hell’.” 1
وَلاَ تَقْتُلُوا النَّفْسَ الَّتِي حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ إِلاَّ بِالْحَقِّ وَمَن قُتِلَ مُظْلُوماً فَقَدْ جَعَلْنَا لِوَلِيّـِهِ سُلْطَاناً فَلا يُسْرِف فِي الْقَتْلِ إِنَّهُ كَانَ مَنصُوراً
33. “And do not kill any one whom Allah has forbidden, save for just cause, and whoever is killed unjustly We have appointed to his heir authority (to demand blood compensation or retaliation), thus he must not exceed limits in slaying; verily he is (justly) assisted (by Allah).”
To protect the oppressed is one of Allah’s ways of treatment. The issue dealt with in this verse is respect for human blood and the utter prohibition of ‘murder’.
“And do not kill any one whom Allah has forbidden, save for just cause…”
Not only murder is punishable from the point of view of Islam but also the slightest harm done to a human being is punishable as well, and one can proclaim that this viewpoint of Islam in protecting and respecting human beings’ blood, soul and prestige is unequalled and unsurpassed in other religions.
There are, of course, certain cases where respect for human blood is missing as in cases of those who have committed murders or parallel crimes. Therefore, He makes an exception to the rule by the phrase ‘save for just cause’.
Certainly, respect for human blood is not only a matter exclusive to the Muslims as a category. On the contrary, non-Muslims who are not at war with Muslims and they are coexisting with the Muslims in a peaceful manner, are also being covered by this rule. Their life, wealth and wives are thus protected and any violation of their rights in this respect is prohibited.
Then the Holy Qur’an alludes to the right of retaliation which has been accorded to the heirs of the shed blood, saying:
“…and whoever is killed unjustly We have appointed to his heir authority (to demand blood compensation or retaliation)…”
However, such a person must not exceed beyond the limits of his rights, and overdo in retaliation for the murder, for he is fully supported.
The verse continues saying:
“…thus he must not exceed limits in slaying; verily he is (justly) assisted (by Allah).”
Certainly, the heirs of the murdered are supported by Allah as long as they observe Islamic limits and do not exceed those codes.
This sentence makes allusion to the ways of the behaviour which were prevalent during the Age of Ignorance and, nowadays also sometimes takes place in case some innocent victims are being probably murdered who are defenseless in retaliation for the killing of one single person and in addition to the killing of the murderer himself.
The Qur’anic sentence:
‘Thus he must not exceed limits in slaying’
signifies that when the issue of retaliation is involved, do not kill other than the murderer and do not amputate him which has a common practice during the ‘Age of Ignorance’.
Murder and killing is among the capital sins. He who kills any one in cases other than those of retaliation or of causes of corruption, seems to have killed all the people.
“…whoever slays a human being for other than man slaughter or mischief in the earth, it is as he had slain mankind as a whole…”2
The punishment for such a murder is suffering eternal pains of the hell.
“And whoever kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell wherein shall he abide forever…”3
Such a punishment holds constant for the person who uses arms and threatens to kill and is known as inciting corruption, and as waging war against Allah.
In quotations, we have it that one of the examples of the heir of the blood is Hadrat-i-Mahdi (a.j.) who will take his vengeance of his grandfather Imam Hussayn (as)
“We have appointed to his heir authority (to demand blood compensation or retaliation).4”
As a preventive measure the Divine support of the oppressed and the according of the right of one’s heir to retaliation and the consignment of such a right to the heir are noteworthy. It is also a preventive measure for preventing over retaliation.
وَلاَ تَقْرَبُوا مَالَ الْيَتِيمِ إِلاَّ بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ حَتَّي يَبْلُغَ أَشُدَّهُ وَأَوْفُوا بِالْعَهْدِ إِنَّ الْعَهْدَ كَانَ مَسْؤولاً
34. “And do not approach the property of the orphan except in the best manner (to his advantage); until he reaches his maturity, and keep the promise, verily every promise will be questioned about.”
The Arabic term /’ašudd/ refers to a tightly knit knot, and it refers in here to the stage of the development of an orphan when he is physically and spiritually in a firm position to defend his properties and belongings.
The blissful Qur’an has made frequent recommendations about the protection of the orphan’s rights and considerations with regard to his state and overall care for their affairs.
However, as there is the possibility of stumbling in financial matters and misuse of belongings and properties of the orphans, then more warnings are required in which case even approaching them has been forbidden, and any oppressive intrusion into them has been equated with swallowing of Fire.
Thus, He has dealt with this issue in this verse, addressing all in a tone of voice similar to the one used in case of unchaste act, the verse says:
“And do not approach the property of the orphan…”
The Qur’an declares that all must not only abstain from using orphans’ belongings and properties, but they must also respect quietly its sanctuary.
However, as such a decree might be used as a pretext by certain individuals lacking insight who always take into account the negative aspect of things, thus causing the properties and belongings of the orphans to be neglected and spoiled, and be left at the mercy of the circumstances, then the Qur’an immediately makes a clear exception to this rule and stresses by saying:
“…except in the best manner (to his advantage)…”
Therefore, every type of intrusion into the wealth of the orphans, which is fulfilled targeted at the protection, betterment, multiplication and increase in the wealth, is allowed.
It is obvious that such a situation will continue as long as the orphan reaches the stage of mental and economic maturity where the Qur’an makes mention of following its discussion concerning the issue in the question, saying:
“…until he reaches his maturity…”
In the meantime, when this verse was revealed, Muslims abstained from attending the meals served by orphans and kept them in isolation. Then another verse was revealed the aim of which was not condemnation of approaching the orphans.
On the contrary, it confirmed the fact that the righteous must not abandon the orphans under the pretext of observing their devotion and of being virtuous. The verse went on saying that if such people mixed their lives with theirs it did not meet with any obstacle, reaffirming the fact that they were their religious brethren and thus they had to treat them in a brotherly way.
Allah differentiates those who incite corruption from those who are righteous. Surah Al-Baqarah, No. 2, verse 220 says:
“…and if you become co-partner with them, they are your brethren…”
It is for this reason that in a tradition the blissful Prophet (S) said:
“Whoever takes three orphans under his protection is like the person who has spent a life-time in prayers at night, has continued on fasting all days and has continued waging a holy war with his unshielded sword for Allah and he and I would be just two brothers in Paradise like these two fingers.” 5
And again, Amir-ul-Mu’mineen-Ali (as), at the time of his death, said in his will:
“Appealing to you in Allah’s name again and again, concerning the issue of the orphans, lest they should feel hungry on and off, and lest they should die for your not attending to them.”6
We have him again saying:
“Be kind towards the orphans; treat the beggars in a gentle way and get along well with them, and, finally, be kind and compassionate with the weak.”
In another tradition he has said:
“The best way of being good is showing kindness towards the orphans.” 7
In ‘Nahj-ul-Balaqah, letter 47, he (as) has commended further taking into consideration of the rights of those who are hired to do a job, the farmers, women, and the orphans.
Then, discussing the issue of keeping one’s promise in this verse, the verse states:
“…and keep the promise, verily every promise will be questioned about.”
It is so owing to the fact that most of the social relationships and the channels of economic system as well as political issues all revolve around the axis of pledges and promises. If and when there is a stumbling block found in them, the social system will instantly collapse.
Therefore, We must stick to our words, keeping them whatever they might be and with whomever they might be.
In the meantime, some Islamic traditions denote that one of the examples of pledges and promises which are in question, is compassion affection, and obedience with respect to Ali (as). 8
وَأَوْفُوا الْكَيْلَ إِذَا كِلْتُمْ وَزِنُوا بِالْقِسْطَاسِ الْمُسْتَقِيمِ ذَلِكَ خَيْرٌ وَأَحْسَنُ تَأْوِيلاً
35. “And give the full measure when you measure out and weigh you with the right balance, that is good and better in the end.”
The Arabic term /qist as/ is made up of two words: /qist/, which signifies justice, and /t as/ which means the pan of a balance. 9
Some Islamic traditions denote: The Immaculate Imam (as) is an example and a paradigm of /qist as ul mustaqim/ (right balance) in Islam. 10
The issues relating to the people’s transactions and respect for other people’s rights are so important that the Qur’an has frequently stressed it and the lengthiest verse of the Qur’an, that is, ‘verse 282 of Surah Al-Baqarah’ concerns this matter, and Surah Al-Mutaffifin, (the Defrauders), has been named as such to exhibit the importance of the decent ways of carrying out transactions.
The first invitation of some prophets, like Shu‘ayb, was to abandon short weight.11
Therefore, the Muslim markets must severely be free from fraudulent activities, and defrauding, and the salesperson must be trustworthy, accurate, honest, and keep accurate accounts of everything.
The verse says:
“And give the full measure when you measure out and weigh you with the right balance…”
Measuring in full with the right kind of balance are both examples of the sticking to one’s pledges, which was discussed in the previous verse, because transactions are forms of one’s commitments.
Balances and measuring devices as well as commercial calculation instruments must be accurate and intact. Accuracy in balances, weighing and calculations are sources of good and blessings, and defrauding will tighten the sphere of one’s blessings.
The consequences of right transactions and respect for the rights of people produce dividends for the person involved, for they create a confidence-building environment among people, while defrauding and inaccuracies in balancing and calculating lead to financial corruptions and make all lose confidence. Thus, a happy ending requires honesty.
In principle, justice, regulations, and accuracy are vital principles in all spheres of life. It is a principle which governs all the universe. All kinds of deviation from this principle are dangerous and lead to evil endings, especially; defrauding disrupts and wipes out confidence, which is essential in transactions, thus leading the economic system to collapse.
The verse concludes:
“…that is good and better in the end.”
وَلاَ تَقْفُ مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ إِنَّ الْسَّمْعَ وَالْبَصَرَ كُلُّ أُوْلَئِكَ كَانَ عَنْهُ مَسْؤُولاً
36. “And do not follow that of which you have not knowledge; verily the hearing and the sight and the heart, all these will be questioned about it.”
The mention of eyes, ears and heart in this verse is perhaps used as examples, for in the day of resurrection, besides man himself, one’s organs such as his hands, feet, and other bodily organs will be questioned, too, in which case they will burst out speaking and make confessions.
Throughout history, most of the rebellions, and quarrels, have been the consequences of hastily set-up trial procedures and judgments, undocumented words, and views which have not been backed up by research.
Putting into practice the content of this verse will provide protection for the individuals as well as the society against all fraudulent activities and erroneous behaviors, for undue optimism, simple-mindedness in believing others, and accepting rumors turn the society into a chaotic state and submissive towards the enemy.
Blind obedience, pursuance of habits and hallucinations, following the order of one’s ancestors, acceptance of the baseless foretellings, and dreams, conjectures, surmises, judgments which are unfounded, bearing testimonies without knowledge, taking sides, appraisal or criticism without prior knowledge, baseless interpretation and analysis, issuing verdicts without knowledge, quoting of groundless rumors, ascribing something wrong to Allah, and religion without authorization, decision-making in cases of emotional tensions and crisis, relying on swearing and crocodile tears of others without due reasons, all are examples of the sentence and are absolutely forbidden, where it says:
“And do not follow that of which you have not knowledge…”
In accordance with the circumstances of sequential and credible quotations, following knowledge implies the pursuing of decisive, religious principles such as the verdicts of a ‘Mujtahid’ or that type of knowledge which is acquired with reassurances which approach the level of certainty.
It is just like the case in which people gain knowledge about their illness and rely on the prescription of a compassionate physician who is a specialist, just in the same way one tends to have access to Allah’s commandments by inquiring about the verdict of an all-embracing devout ‘Mujtahid’.
Therefore, this stage of awareness will be enough for the moment though there is a hierarchy for knowledge which comprises other deeper categories, namely: ‘Ilm-ul-Yaqin’ meaning knowledge with certainty, ‘Ayn-ul-Yaqin’ which signifies knowledge which is equated with certainty in itself or intuition, and ‘Haq-ul-Yaqin’ meaning knowledge which is identical with the truth.
In conclusion, the Immaculate Imams (as) used to make their companions abstain from listening to and saying of different kinds of vain words, recommending them to guard of themselves against letting everything enter their hearts and ears. They used to allude to this noble verse in connection with this matter.
As Imam Sadiq (as) recited this verse when instructing the person who would stay over time when using the toilette so as to be able to listen to the music and songs of his neighbour, He said:
“Ears, eyes, and hearts will be questioned for having listened, having seen, and for having kept memories.”
Imam Sajjad (as) also stated:
“Man is not entitled to say what he wants.”12
Therefore, one’s life must be based on correct knowledge and information as well as logic and insight. We must not spread rumors making a fuss about them and damage the prestige of the innocent individuals and violate their rights.
The blissful Qur’an disrupts the entire population of the sorcerers, magicians, and fortune-tellers who used to assemble simple-minded individuals around themselves.
One’s faith in the Reckoning Day and clearing of accounts provides the basis for his being of virtuous; and one is also going to be questioned with regard to his hidden intentions in the Resurrection Day.
وَلاَ تَمْشِ فِي الاَرْضِ مَرَحاً إِنَّكَ لَن تَخْرِقَ الاَرْضَ وَلَن تَبْلُغَ الْجِبَالَ طُولاً
37. “And do not walk around exultantly on the earth; certainly you will never rend the earth; nor attain the mountains in height.”
Islam does not only provide rules and regulations for ideological, political, military and economic issues, but it also offers commandments with regard to such minor matters such as going and coming to the house as well, owing to its encompassing and all-inclusiveness inherent in it.
Thus, it launches a campaign in this noble verse against arrogance and, while clearly dissuading the believers, it addresses the Prophet (S) saying:
“And do not walk around exultantly on the earth; certainly you will never rend the earth; nor attain the mountains in height.”
Here, in this holy verse, there is an explicit allusion made to those proud and arrogant people who take their steps with pride, pounding them on the ground so as to make people aware of their comings and goings, and stay with their necks up so as, base on their imagination, to prove their superiority to others.
The objective of the Qur’an is to denounce arrogance in all its forms in general; not only in its apparent aspects as i.e. in the case of walking which is a particular aspect of it, but also in all of its aspects, for arrogance is the source of all kinds of alienation from Allah, from oneself, as well as errors in one’s judgment, losing of one’s way in his truth-seeking effort, joining the ranks of the Satan, and pollution with all kinds of sin.
The practical program offered by the pioneers of Islam can serve as the most instructive paradigm for each and every true Muslim in this regard.
We have it in the biography of the Prophet (S) that he would never allow others to walk while he was riding on the back of a horse. We also have it that the Prophet (S) used to squat on the earth and he used to have a simple meal just like that of the slaves; he also used to milk the sheep, and used to ride on the back of a donkey with no saddles.
We also have it in the biography of Hadrat-Ali (as) that he used to carry over water for the house and he used to sweep the house occasionally.
We have it in the biography of Imam Mujtab a (as) that in spite of having and owning numerous animals for riding, he made the pilgrimage to Mecca twenty times on foot, saying:
“I practice this way out of sheer modesty for the Lord’s sake.”
كُلُّ ذَلِكَ كَانَ سَيّـِئُهُ عِندَ رَبّـِكَ مَكْرُوهاً
38. “All of that, the sin of it, is hateful in the sight of your Lord.”
This noble verse re-emphasizes all of the afore mentioned divine commandments regarding the prohibition of paganism, homicide, adultery, the killing of one’s own offspring, usurping of the orphan’s belongings and property, and harming of one’s parents and the like. It proclaims: The sins committed with respect to all of these are abominable before Allah.
The verse says:
“All of that, the sin of it, is hateful in the sight of your Lord.”
One can deduce from this meaning that, contrary to the opinion of the followers of the school of determinism, the Lord has never decided that one should commit sin, for had He determined such a thing, it would have been incompatible with the hatred and inconvenience which is stressed in this verse.
In other words, one infers from this verse that the ideas of the fatalists are wrong, for, according to this verse, the Lord despises the evils and the wrong-doings of the people and, once He shuns such acts, how would He, then, compel people to commit these acts.
Obviously, one issue cannot be, at the same time, both considered as decent and indecent simultaneously by the Lord. It becomes, in the meantime, transparent that the term /makrūh/ ‘abominable’ in the Qur’anic literature is also applied in the case of the greatest of one’s sins.
In conclusion, we must note that the evil character of one’s deeds is a constant matter in all of the Divine religions, and man’s inherent characteristics tend to leave their impacts on his own behaviour.
ذَلِكَ مِمَّا أَوْحَي إِلَيْكَ رَبُّكَ مِنَ الْحِكْمَةِ وَلاَ تَجْعَلْ مَعَ اللَّهِ إِلَهاً ءَاخَرَ فَتُلْقَي فِي جَهَنَّمَ مَلُوماً مَّدْحُوراً
39. “That (commandment) is of the wisdom (that) your Lord has revealed to you, and do not associate with Allah any other god for you will be thrown into the Hell, blamed, cast away.”
Some commentators of the Holy Qur’an are of the opinion that by ‘of the wisdom’ in here is meant those constant commandments which have been mentioned in the previous verses and which have been outstanding in other Divine religions as well and it will never be abrogated.
In holy verse No. 22, the first among the wise sayings, was prohibition of paganism, and, the discussion of paganism in this verse, concludes all wise sayings, too.
To stress once again the point that such wise commandments are all having their origin in Divine revelation, the holy Qur’an says:
“That (commandment) is of the wisdom (that) your Lord has revealed to you…”
Allusion as to the fact that the commandments have been both proven through rational philosophy as well as through the method of the Divine revelation, and the principles underlying all of the Divine commandments have common grounds though one can not recognize their details under the weak light of the intellect itself, has been here made.
It is only through the power of revelation which one can obtain an understanding of such issues.
As was the case with the beginning of these commandments which concerned the prohibition of paganism, He concludes them with the same issue, implying that you shall never associate any other god with ‘Allah’ and should not place any other god for the purpose of worshipping alongside the Lord, ‘Allah’, for you will be thrown down into Hell, blamed and outcast from the Lord.
The verse says:
“…and do not associate with Allah any other god for you will be thrown into the Hell, blamed, cast away.”
In fact, paganism and dualism in some matters of worship provide the basic substance for deviations, crimes, and sins. Therefore, these chains of fundamental commandments in Islam began with paganism and ended with it, too.
Incidentally, sometimes, the Lord, addressing His Prophet, in an adamant manner, in fact issues warnings to the pagans to abandon hope in the Prophet (S), who are targeted in actual fact.
Intellect and innate disposition do not make man free from the need in revelation. On the contrary, man is in need of revelation.
All schools of thought and methods, other than the school of revelation and the Divine laws, are out of the question and lead man astray, the following of which would lead one to total deprivation, blaming, and the opening of one’s way to the ‘inferno’.
أَفَاَصْفَاكُمْ رَبُّكُم بِالْبَنِينَ وَاتَّخَذَ مِنَ الْمَلآئِكَةِ إِنَاثاً إِنَّكُمْ لَتَقوُلُونَ قَوْلاً عَظِيماً
40. “Has your Lord then distinguished you by giving you sons, and has taken daughters (for Himself) from among the angels? Verily, you are uttering a grievous saying.
From among the deviant ideas which pagans held, there was one concerning the fact that they claimed angels to be the daughters of Allah, and the Qur’an has repeatedly dealt with this matter, regarding it to be a great lie and a false accusation.
The following verses may then be referred to as examples:
“Or has He daughters while you have sons?”13
“What! For you the males and for Him the females!”14
The first verse means:
“Are there daughters for Him and sons for you?”
The second one means:
“Are there sons for you and daughters for Him?”
Certainly, the belief regarding Allah’s having offspring, has long been held both by the Jews and by the Christians. However, the belief held in Allah’s having daughters, has been exclusive to the idol-worshippers.
Therefore, this noble verse makes allusion to one of the superstitious beliefs of the pagans, thus making transparent the logical basis of their thinking by this means. Many of them used to hold the view that angels were daughters of Allah, they were shameful of even listening to or hearing the word ‘girl’ and felt uneasy and unfortunate for having a daughter born to their household.
Documenting its claims by their own logic, the Qur’an affirms:
“Has your Lord then distinguished you by giving you sons, and has taken daughters (for Himself) from among the angels?…”
Undoubtedly, daughters just in the same way as sons are surely both from among the Divine blessings and there is no difference between them in value from humankind point of view.
However, the Holy Qur’an seeks to condemn them with their own logic, questioning them as to how ignorant they are by attributing to their Lord what they would themselves be ashamed of having in their own possession.
Later, at the end of the holy verse, as a decisive verdict, the Qur’an declares:
“…Verily, you are uttering a grievous saying.”
This is a statement which is incompatible with all kinds of logical reasoning and it is without solid foundations on several grounds, for:
1) Your belief in Him having a child is a grave insult to His sanctuary, because He is neither composed of matter; nor does He require any physical provisions; nor does He require the survival of His generation.
2) Why is it that you regard all of Allah’s children as being daughters while you consider girls as having the lowest possible status?
3) Moreover, this belief is also regarded as an insult to the status of the Divine angels who are the followers of the truth and the near-stationed of His presence. You get furious upon hearing the name ‘girls’ while you regard girls as close associates of the Divine domain.
- 1. Man-la Yahduruhul Faqih, Khis al, Safi, Majma‘-ul-Bayan
- 2. Surah Al-Ma’idah, No. 5, verse 32
- 3. Surah An-Nisa’, No. 4, verse 93
- 4. Tafsir-i-Nūr-uth-Thaqalayn
- 5. Kanz-ul-’Ummal, vol. 15, p. 178
- 6. Kanz-ul-’Ummal, vol. 15, p. 177
- 7. Ghurar-ul-Hikam, vol. 6
- 8. Bihar, vol. 24, p. 187
- 9. Tafsir-i-Al-Mizan
- 10. Bihar, vol. 24, p. 187
- 11. Surah Ash-Shu’ara, No. 26, verses 181-183
- 12. Tafsir-i-Nūr-uth-Thaqalayn
- 13. Surah Al-Tūr, No. 52, verse 39
- 14. Surah An-Najm, No. 53, verse 21