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Sixth Speech: Psychological & Spiritual Effects Of Tawhid

بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

الَّذِينَ اسْتَجَابُوا لِلَّـهِ وَالرَّسُولِ مِن بَعْدِ مَا أَصَابَهُمُ الْقَرْحُ ۚ لِلَّذِينَ أَحْسَنُوا مِنْهُمْ وَاتَّقَوْا أَجْرٌ عَظِيمٌ الَّذِينَ قَالَ لَهُمُ النَّاسُ إِنَّ النَّاسَ قَدْ جَمَعُوا لَكُمْ فَاخْشَوْهُمْ فَزَادَهُمْ إِيمَانًا وَقَالُوا حَسْبُنَا اللَّـهُ وَنِعْمَ الْوَكِيلُ

Those [believers] who responded to Allah and the Messenger after injury had struck them. For those who did good among them and feared Allah, is a great reward. Those to whom hypocrites said, "Indeed, the people have gathered against you, so fear them." But it [merely] increased them in faith, and they said, "Sufficient for us is Allah, and [He is] the best Disposer of affairs." (Qur’an, 3:172-173)

Communal Effects Of Tawhid

We have discussed the effects of Tawhid on society and the shape Tawhid gives to the human and monotheistic society. However, there are other discussions relevant to this subject but for various reasons we have avoided them. The most important is the impact of Tawhid and the ideology of Tawhid on financial matters of the society. It deserves an in-depth discourse; however, getting a conclusion from Qur’anic verses is subtle and complex and it does not have a place in layman discussions. Briefly, Qur’an says:

وَاتُوھُم مِّن مَّالِ اللہِ الَّذِی اَتاکُم.

Give from the wealth God has given you.(4:5)

What wealth you have received, belongs to God; give some of it to the poor when they need it. And this is what the monotheistic ideology says about wealth. However, drawing conclusion from all wealth related verses in Qur’an according to monotheistic ideology is a highly academic exercise; it is hard and complex. It is not like we just write something on a piece of paper, hand over to you and then discuss it for an hour. This is why we did not go deep into it.

The other reason is that we have some very important discussions related to faith related principles and Islamic ideology and some other subjects we need to take care of before the end of Ramadan; God-willing we need to finish or bring to some logical conclusion. If we continue to delve into all these issues, we will not be able to get to where we wish to go. These are two reasons that we could not continue any longer with the discussion on the effects of monotheism on society.

A Responsible Society

Even though today’s topic is monotheism, yet it is connected with earlier discourses we delivered on faith, effects of faith and the glad tidings given to believers. We described faith as a condition that inspires action and makes one responsible. We also said that it should be with intelligence, not with closed eyes; furthermore, it should not be devoid of good deeds. These are some of the discussions we have had earlier. Belief in monotheism is a faith that is with intellect and understanding for an aware monotheist. This faith inspires and assigns responsibility. The responsibility that monotheistic faith places on a monotheist is the greatest, heaviest and most effective of all responsibilities that other Islamic principles spawn. As a matter of fact, the bottom line of the monotheistic responsibility is that a monotheist has to build a monotheistic society and eliminate all signs of polytheism.

Let me remind something to those friends and brothers who know Arabic to some extent. If you ask any student of religion the literal meaning of Tawhid, he will say, “making it one”. The root of the word Tawhid is wahdat; wahdat means “to be one”. It means merging several gods into one God; turning a non-monotheistic society into a monotheistic one; converting a polytheistic mind and heart into a monotheistic mind and heart.

Benefits Of Monotheistic Discussion

Belief in monotheism is a monumental faith and a weighty commitment that is greater than a commitment put forward by any other Islamic belief or non-Islamic school of thought. Eliminating poverty from a society is a responsibility, so is balancing wealth distribution; it is possible that a school of thought takes care of it. Eliminating war is another responsibility that possibly has been assumed by another school of thought and some people with inclination towards this school of thought may internalize this responsibility. This is all well and good. However, if we ponder about Tawhid in its true sense – believing in one God, establishing Godly society, Godly law and Godly system encompasses all the responsibilities I mentioned earlier and some more. As you can see the responsibility of Tawhid is colossal.

Tawhid is a faith with mindfulness and commitment. Its pledge is weightier, absolute, comprehensive and all-inclusive as compared to other religious or non-religious commitments. This is monotheism. If such is the meaning of monotheistic faith and if it is true and unconditional faith, then it deserves to be looked at closely. Let us observe the impact this action-inspiring belief has on the psychology of those who have this faith and what impact there ought to be. We will see how this faith affects an individual who believes that there is only one God in all facets, angles and corners of his life. We will examine what effect, believing that there is only one God in all facets of the universe, has on one’s soul.

There are two advantages of this discussion. We will become more familiar with monotheism. We will understand Tawhid from the perspective of education for man’s soul and psychology. If someone extracts some magical meanings of Tawhid, we will say, “it is wrong. The effects of Tawhid that you are pointing out, are incorrect; what I am saying is the truth.” Therefore, recognize Tawhid. This is the first benefit.

The second advantage is that we will diagnose if we ourselves are monotheists or not. It is a standard to identify Tawhid in our hearts. How do I know if I am a monotheist? How do I know that this faith has penetrated my soul and the depths of my existence? When I can identify the psychological symptoms of Tawhid; when I see the effects of this medicine on my existence; then I will know if I have Tawhid. I will know if I have used the medicine correctly or not; if I have received the right medicine or an imitation. If I discover that I do not have the desired effects in my existence, I will know that the medicine was fake. If it was the right one, the symptoms would have been different. If I start talking about the psychological effects of Tawhid, it will turn into a very long conversation.

Broad Vision Of A Monotheist

The psychological impacts of Tawhid can be summarized in a few sentences. One of the effects of Tawhid on a monotheist’s soul is that his vision gets broadened. A monotheist is safe from narrow mindedness and imprudence. A monotheist does not say that he was defeated on this front or he and his allies had to retreat from a front and they suffered a loss. He is not so short-sighted. He understands that the limits of monotheist mindset go as far as humanity’s life. If you compare the life of a man with the life of humanity, 10, 20, 50 or 100 years are not more than a moment.

In other words, the vision of a monotheist is not restricted to material problems and trivial needs. When a monotheist looks at the world, he sees tens and hundreds of greater and more cherished human needs in addition to the material needs. His mind, his whole thinking and all senses are not limited to base, lowly and trivial needs. It is like some people seemingly Godly and spiritual on the outside, yet materialistic on the inside, have trapped themselves in such needs. When a monotheist looks out, he sees a vast future spread out as far as he can see. As I submitted a few days ago, a monotheist does not consider this world to be the end. He sees the end of this life contiguous to the hereafter. He thinks of the next world as the beginning and end of the worldly life. He does not consider death as the end of life or the end of the road; rather he looks at death as a window, a path and a bridge to a vast world. This is the attribute of Tawhid.

Undue Fear

Everything is over at death for an atheist even though he might be totally selfless and attracted to great humanistic ideas. Whereas, for a monotheist, time of death is the beginning of a much broader life and very interesting and attractive surroundings. A materialistic person who is very much devoted to virtuousness may be ready to go into oblivion. However, a monotheist who is equally devoted to virtuousness is like a moth around a lamp – only interested in sacrificing himself and his interests. If such a monotheist is not that dedicated and is not willing to give up so much, even then it is easier for him to fall to a place considered by the materialist as nihility since he does not think of it as nonexistence. He knows this new place as another phase and another place of his vast human life.

One of the impacts of Tawhid on a monotheist is that he throws out the roots of fear from inside him; and this is very important. There are several references to this effect in glorious Qur’an and we will present to you a few of them in the form of verses. The believers are addressed:

فَلَا تَخَافُوهُمْ وَخَافُونِ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ.

Do not be afraid of others; fear Me and who fears God is afraid of no one. (Qur’an, 3:175)

One who is monotheist and believes in God’s might, fear leaves him. When I look around and take stock, I find that it is the fear that takes away this world and the hereafter from the fearful. Fear of poverty causes one not to give charity. The worry of falling into trials and tribulations results in a person being oppressive to others. The fear of losing a couple of days of worldly life – a life that is so base and uncertain that no one knows if it would be two days, three days or longer; there is no written guaranty that one would live until a certain year or date – fear of losing such unreliable life prompts one to destroy collective lives of others. Greed is also related to fear. Fear is the foundation of bad luck and worries. If you study the long history and research the reasons for only a minority being on truth, it was all fear. Fear caused people not to follow the truth; fear became the reason that people underwent great suffering at the hands of some tyrannical people.

The Effects Of Fear

When the Islamic society, as you know, succumbed to deviation and decline, what was the primary reason that Muslims who received this blessing – true Islam – free of cost (the first generation made the sacrifices, the second got it free) and could not save it? It was nothing but fear.

Who among the people around Master of believers and within the circle of his teachings, did not recognize Mu’awiyyah?

Who in Hijaz did not know Mu’awiyyah?

Who did not know Yazeed bin Mu’awiyyah?

Who was not familiar with Abdul Malik bin Marwan?

Who was not acquainted with the family of the Ummayyads?

Who could not comprehend the condemnation of this family by Qur’an, the speech of the Prophet (S) and the historical facts? Everyone knew but fear was there. These people became agreeable and cooperative with the tyrants; they became their workers and used to dance with pleasure; there was no other reason except fear. This fear ran from the lowest rank to the highest in the society; even the famous ones that people counted on were fearful.

Abdullah bin Umar1 was a symbol of incompetence, weakness of soul and denial of truth. Even though Abdullah bin Zubair was also not on the side of truth, yet overall people find him more palatable than Abdullah bin Umar. Abdullah bin Umar was the person who after the murder of Usman did not pay allegiance to Imam Ali (‘a). Why did he not do that? He said that the situation was unclear to him. He was being cautious. He was being extra cautious in this religious affair and did not give baya (allegiance) to Imam Ali; because in his perception all the Muslims were not on the same page. If you did not have some personal motive, had you not heard:

لَاتَّستَوحِشُوافیِ طَریقِ الھُدی لِقِلِّۃِ اَھلِہ.

Do not be afraid of taking the guided path just because only a few are treading it 2

If you had not heard from the Master of the Faithful, did the message not get to you from the most gracious Prophet (S) or the noble Qur’an? You did not know that in God’s way you should not stray from the right path – the guided path – or change your decision due to lack or excess of followers. One should check if the path is right or not. He did not follow the life-influencing Islamic principle – Don’t think about what others are saying; don’t pay attention to the majority that is either ignorant or bound by their personal agendas. Since Abdullah bin Umar could not or did not follow this principle, he went away from the Master of the faithful and did not pay his allegiance as a precaution.

Several years after the martyrdom of the Master of the believers when Mu’awiyyah had governed for so many years, this Abdullah bin Umar had a chance to observe him closely; if he did not know Mu’awiyyah earlier, by this time he would have recognized his character. Later on Yazeed’s three reprehensible years of reign went by; Marwan bin Hakam, father of Abdul Malik bin Marwan – the successor of Yazeed – also finished his short years of governance; and Abdul Malik bin Marwan became the ruler. All this time Abdullah bin Umar was in Medina in the middle of historical happenings. He was not ignorant of what was going on in the Islamic society. People were not strangers to him. He had recognized Umayyads. The ruthless Hajjaj bin Yusuf Saqafi came to conquer Mecca on behalf of Abdul Malik. Mecca at that time was under the reign of Abdullah bin Zubair. Initially Abdullah bin Zubair held his position fighting ferociously against Abdul Malik’s Syrian army. When the khalifa decided that this battle should be finished, he sent Hajjaj bin Yusuf, who was the most vicious of all people. He came; set up catapults on the hills around Mecca and started throwing boulders on the house of God. He killed large number of people; then murdered Abdullah bin Zubair and hung his body on the gallows.

Satanic Life

Hajjaj bin Yusuf was sitting in his tent writing his victory report for the seat of government in Syria. Abdullah bin Umar was also in Mecca at that time. Groups of people started coming to give baya (allegiance) to Hajjaj bin Yusuf. It was not that people did not know Hajjaj. They knew him well. It was not that people came to realize his piety, honesty, Islamic capability and good deeds. They all knew the scum of the earth he was and the wretched and despicable person he represented. They were well aware. But since he was the conqueror; he had the might and if they did not pay allegiance to him, he would put them to sword. It was all fear that drove them en-masse to Hajjaj.

Along with thousands of people, Abdullah bin Umar came to Hajjaj’s tent that was set up outside the city. He asked the guard to tell Hajjaj that Abdullah bin Umar had come. He thought that he would be embraced and get a royal treatment. He did not know that the people in power never cared and always forgot favors done by others. He thought that since he helped Mu’awiyyah at one time and did not help the Prophet’s (S) family, he would be given importance. Little did he know that these people did not return favors.

Abdullah bin Umar came and said, “I am Abdullah bin Umar.” The attendant told Hajjaj about his arrival. He told the attendant to let him in. Abdullah came; Hajjaj did not move an inch from his sitting position; did not give him any respect; did not even lift his head from the piece of paper to look at him and offer greetings. Abdullah said, “My lord, give me your hand so I could pledge allegiance to you.” Hajjaj asked, “Who is talking?” He responded that he was Abdullah bin Umar. Hajjaj asked, “Who is he speaking to?” This Abdullah bin Umar who did not ask Imam Ali’s hand to pledge allegiance as he was being cautious; is now saying to Hajjaj, “O lord! Give me your hand so I could pay you allegiance.”

What did Hajjaj do? He extended his foot and said, “My hand is busy in writing; pledge allegiance on my foot.” Abdullah did it. What a dishonorable and immoral person Abdullah bin Umar was! He pledged allegiance to Hajjaj for a couple of days of squalid life that had no reward in this world or the hereafter; a life that would give him a few kilos of food and that is all; a life that did not bring him closer to God, rather to Satan. Why did he do that? It was nothing but fear.

Spiritual Life

In Imams’ (‘a) supplications, particularly the ones for the month of Ramadan (I highly encourage everyone to read and ponder) there is a lot of emphasis on the psychological topics related to soul. Those appreciating and reciting supplications should understand the emphasis placed on these; do not take them lightly. Do not read them carelessly without understanding; pay close attention to what you are reading. Those who deny the supplications altogether should try to seek out the knowledge hidden in them.

As an example, Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a) says in one supplication:

اَللُّھُمَّ عمَرِنیِ ماکان عُمری بِذلَۃُ فیِ طاعَتِکَ. O God! Give me long life only if it is in your obedience.3. I do not wish to live an absurdly long life of 100 or 120 years; only so long that I am in absolute service to you; a long life that extends my servitude to you; a life that keeps me busy in work and deeds; not a pointless long life.

اَللُّھُمَّ عمَرِنیِ ماکان عُمری بِذلَۃُ فیِ طاعَتِکَ فَاذِاکانَ عُمرِی مَوتَعاللِشَّیطانِ فَاقبِضنِی اِلیکِ

O God! Give me long life only if it is in your obedience. When my life becomes a playground for Satan, then take me away. (Pay close attention and get a good grasp of the meaning of the word, Satan; the meaning we presented earlier and Qur’an is also describing – the troublemaking forces; every individual who pulls humans and humanity towards sedition, sins and destruction.) O God! Whenever, you see that my life has become a grazing ground for Satan; when I have become means for Satan to benefit from; when I am helping the enemies in their nefarious aims; when I am helping them in their nasty propaganda; when I have become a tool for them; they are taking advantage of my ignorance and arrogance; when you see that through me the unscrupulous are achieving their desires and good pious people are suffering failures; when you see that unknowingly I have become a servant of Satan, فَاقبِضنِی اِلیکِ take me away from this life. I don’t want such a life.

If someone recites such a supplication with a true heart, through the depths of his soul and thorough understanding of its meanings, what kind of a life will he have? Through supplications our Imams (‘a) teach us that for those lives that benefit the enemies, death is superior to life.

Worrying About This World

Why are you afraid of death? O wretched Abdullah Bin Umar! Leave this life. What would have Hajjaj done to your life? You did not know if you would live ten minutes or ten years after that humiliating encounter. And if you were to live, what sort of a life would you have? Hajjaj could end your life anytime. Let it go. Did you not see Abdullah Bin Abbas’s sad demise; how miserably he left this world? Abdullah Bin Abbas deserted Imam Ali (‘a), then Imam Hasan (‘a) and then Imam Hussain (‘a). You should have learnt a lesson from his despondent end.

Abdullah Bin Abbas did not live very long. His heart was full of despair. He sat his son, Ali bin Abullah bin Abbas, next to him and was sharing his regrets. Apparently, they were looking at a slaughtered cow with a sick heart; the heart was in pieces. He told his son that his own heart was broken in more pieces than the cow’s. His life was utterly miserable. What had happened?

Mecca was the city that became a sanctuary for Abdullah Bin Abbas from the wrath of the Master of the faithful; he felt more secure here than the responsibility Imam Ali (‘a) wanted to give him. Now Mecca had become hell for Abdullah Bin Abbas. I submit that Abdullah Bin Abbas’s Tawhid was not right; so was Abdullah Bin Umar’s. If he truly was a monotheist:

موحدچہ درپای ریزی زرش

چہ شمشیرھندی نھی برسرشی

امیدوھراستی نباشدزکس

ھمین است معنای توحیدوبس

You put a heap of gold and silver at the feet of a monotheist or put a sword to his neck, he will not be tempted or intimidated. (Saadi)

The Power Of Tawhid

Saadi is right. The impact of Tawhid’s most important psychological influence on a man’s soul is that once the monotheist determines the goal of his existence (that is in God’s way), he is not afraid of any enemy on this path. I am not implying that he would never be afraid but fear should not overcome him. He should not have such anxiety in his existence that would paralyze him on God’s path. A fear, a concern or an alarm that becomes a barrier in performing good deeds is an excellent breeding ground for humiliation, oppression and tragedies. One should cast aside such a fright.

In any case, I have chosen verses from two Surahs of Qur’an. One is Surah Aal-e-Imran and the other Surah Ra’ad. The 172nd verse of Surah Aal-e Imran is:

الَّذِينَ اسْتَجَابُوا لِلَّـهِ وَالرَّسُولِ مِن بَعْدِ مَا أَصَابَهُمُ الْقَرْحُ ۚ لِلَّذِينَ أَحْسَنُوا مِنْهُمْ وَاتَّقَوْا أَجْرٌ عَظِيمٌ

Those [believers] who responded to Allah and the Messenger after injury had struck them. For those who did good among them and feared Allah is a great reward.(Qur’an, 3:172)

Let us study different parts of this verse. الَّذِينَ اسْتَجَابُوا لِلَّـهِ وَالرَّسُولِ. Those who responded to the calls of Allah and the Prophet (S). What does it mean? They accepted the call of Allah and the Prophet (S); accepting the call with action and not just saying it in their hearts that they accepted the call. No, they followed the Prophet (S). When was it? When they were wounded in the battle ground. مِن بَعْدِ مَا أَصَابَهُمُ الْقَرْحُ. After they were wounded. لِلَّذِينَ أَحْسَنُوا مِنْهُمْ وَاتَّقَوْا أَجْرٌ عَظِيمٌ. There is great reward for those among this group who were God-conscious and performed good deeds.

As you know that this verse is related to the battle of Uhud. Some people took flight in this battle while Allah’s Prophet (S) was calling them. Some were frightened and did not show up. There were some who were wounded, yet stayed. The Master of the believers suffered more or less seventy one wounds; I don’t remember exactly. Similarly, there were other companions of the Holy Prophet (S) with a bit fewer wounds. Some people paid heed to the Prophet’s call while others did not and took off. This verse is talking about the rewards for these people. Please note that we should look at the principles underlining this verse. We should not get stuck in the battleground of Uhud. We should not bound the Qur’anic principles inside the incidents of early Islam that became the impetus for revelation of the verses. What is important for us is the principle stated in the verse. What is the verse trying to say?

Who Are Your Own Family?

It is a point from Qur’an that I might have referred to in the context of some incident. There is a basic Islamic principle being described here. Please note. As an example, in the incident of Prophet Noah (‘a) the Prophet boarded the boat; got his own family, his followers, believers and companions of his struggle on to the boat. The rest of God’s creation went to the grave swallowing wrath of the storm sent by Him. Flood was coming; water was in uproar; and deadly waves were drowning people all around. One of Prophet Noah’s (‘a) sons was not his follower and did not board the boat. This is an incident full of points and hints.

Prophet Noah (‘a) is elderly with white beard and he has this young son – his darling. The Prophet tells him to come on board, otherwise, he will drown. The son says that he would not board the boat; he would climb a mountain and not drown; he did not need his father. During this conversation a big wave comes between the two; father does not see the son again and the son drowns.

From human point of view Prophet Noah (‘a) is heart-broken; after all, his son died. He describes his sorrow to the Lord of the universe and says, “O Lord! You had promised that you will rescue my family; my son was also part of my family; I wish he had survived.” Then the Lord addresses him: إِنَّهُ لَيْسَ مِنْ أَهْلِكَ. 4Indeed he is not of your family. إِنَّهُ عَمَلٌ غَيْرُ صَالِحٍ. His deed was other than righteous. He was a bad character. We are not concerned with this part of the verse. The first part presents and teaches us an Islamic principle.

The principle says that two brothers with different mindsets are strangers and two strangers with similar views are brothers. If a father and son do not have similar thinking – one believes in God and the other denies Him; one struggles for God and the other for Satan; there is no relationship between the two in such a situation. They are not of the same family. Blood relationships and relationships based on family ties are secondary in the eyes of Islam. Relationships based on belief come first. This is an Islamic principle.

God Is Sufficient For Us

When one looks at traditions, he finds more evidence in support of the principle stated above. I saw a tradition from Imam Al-Baqir (‘a). He says: اَلموُمِنُ اَخُوالموُمِنِ لِابییِ اُمِّۃ۔. A believer is another believer’s real brother5. In other words, two real brothers may have East to West distance between them; whereas, two believers living on the opposite sides of the planet would be real brothers. This is the situation where someone, who is like minded with you; is struggling on the same front as you; and has the same faith as you. This is an Islamic principle. Let us ponder over these points in Qur’an. What does Qur’an want to say? What principle, what philosophy, what historical fact, that may have been narrated at hundreds of places elsewhere, is being presented here. Now let us focus on these verses.

الَّذِينَ قَالَ لَهُمُ النَّاسُ. Those to whom hypocrites said6. Some people told those, being rewarded, a few things. What did they say? إِنَّ النَّاسَ قَدْ جَمَعُوا لَكُمْ فَاخْشَوْهُمْ. Indeed, people have gathered against you, so fear them. The hypocrites told the good people that enemies were gathering against them; they were conspiring; cooperating; they wanted to destroy them; therefore, they should be afraid of them. These things were told by the so called well-wishers and cautious people to the faithful; those faithful who have been promised tremendous reward in the previous verse. What did the believers say to the well-wishers and the cautious on listening to their advice? فَزَادَهُمْ إِيمَانًا But it [merely] increased them in faith. Enemy’s conspiracy increases a believer’s faith; how interesting? Then they said: وَقَالُوا حَسْبُنَا اللَّـهُ وَنِعْمَ الْوَكِيلُ and they said, "Sufficient for us is Allah, and [He is] the best Disposer of affairs." He is the best One that a man can assign his work to.

حَسْبُنَا اللَّـهُ وَنِعْمَ الْوَكِيلُ. Sufficient for us is Allah. What does it mean, “Allah is sufficient for us”? It has several meanings and all are correct. God is enough for us – He helps us with His patronage. God is enough for us – He puts nature’s forces aligned with truth in our direction. God is enough for us – we may not succeed in this world but if He is pleased, it is enough for us.

فَانقَلَبُوا بِنِعْمَةٍ مِّنَ اللَّـهِ وَفَضْلٍ لَّمْ يَمْسَسْهُمْ سُوءٌ. So they returned with favor from Allah and bounty, no harm having touched them. They returned from Allah with bounties and no harm got to them.

وَاتَّبَعُوا رِضْوَانَ اللَّـهِ. And they pursued the pleasure of Allah. وَاللَّـهُ ذُو فَضْلٍ عَظِيمٍ And Allah is the possessor of great bounty.

Qur’an does not tell us what happened to them. It does not matter. These people got the great bounties; suffered no harm and were pleased. How were they made happy? Either they were martyred in the battle or came home to Medina safe and sound; it is the same. If they returned home, then they suffered no pain, as the battle wounds heal very quickly in the cozy atmosphere of family and the pleasure of victory.

فَانقَلَبُوا بِنِعْمَةٍ مِّنَ اللَّـهِ وَفَضْلٍ. So they returned with favor from Allah and bounty. If they suffered bloody martyrdom, they were rewarded with even more unlimited bounties –nothing unpleasant; absolute peace with no trace of anxiety. فَانقَلَبُوا بِنِعْمَةٍ مِّنَ اللَّـهِ وَفَضْلٍ لَّمْ يَمْسَسْهُمْ سُوءٌ. No mischief reached them.

إِنَّمَا ذَٰلِكُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ يُخَوِّفُ أَوْلِيَاءَه. That is only Satan who frightens his supporters. There is no doubt that these people who are trying to scare you are satans. It is the Satan who frightens his friends. He says, “They are conspiring against you; the enemy has gathered a large army; the hypocrites have joined the adversary; the hypocrites are hiding swords under their clothes and they are trying to kill you.” It is Satan who is trying to intimidate you.

Will you be frightened? It depends on who you are. If you are his friend, you will get frightened. If you are not his friend, then you will not be scared.

See how short the verse is but carries such deep meanings. إِنَّمَا ذَٰلِكُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ. Indeed, that is Satan.

يُخَوِّفُ أَوْلِيَاءَهُ. Who frightens his friends. فَلَا تَخَافُوهُمْ. So do not be afraid of them. وَخَافُونِ. And be afraid of me. Obey my commands. إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ. If you are believers.

وَلَا يَحْزُنكَ الَّذِينَ يُسَارِعُونَ فِي الْكُفْرِ. And do not be grieved, [O Muhammad], by those who hasten into disbelief. إِنَّهُمْ لَن يَضُرُّوا اللَّـهَ شَيْئًا. Indeed, they will never harm Allah at all.

يُرِيدُ اللَّـهُ أَلَّا يَجْعَلَ لَهُمْ حَظًّا فِي الْآخِرَةِ. Allah intends that He should give them no share in the Hereafter. وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ. And for them is a great punishment.

O Lord! For the sake of Muhammad (S) and his progeny (‘a) let Qur’an be our helper in this world and the hereafter.

O Lord! For the sake of Muhammad (S) and his progeny (‘a) do not keep your blessings away from us.

Supplement

The divine message of Tawhid is the foundation of a monotheistic society; a society that distances itself from class system and is based on God’s laws under God’s commands. It is set up in such a way that its effects become obvious in a person’s personality, attitude and courage. The faith of Tawhid acts in two ways. Firstly, it forms a society and secondly, grooms a person. Due to the influence of his faith a devotee of Tawhid develops certain attributes such as tremendous hope, untiring search and struggle, no fear, open minded and desire to choose the right path.

It is one of the effects of Tawhid. The magnificent Qur’an has narrated the influences of faith in certain places and in this context has hinted at the attributes of monotheists and their performances. Here we will look at some of them.

الَّذِينَ اسْتَجَابُوا لِلَّـهِ وَالرَّسُولِ مِن بَعْدِ مَا أَصَابَهُمُ الْقَرْحُ . Those [believers] who responded to Allah and the Messenger after injury had struck them.

لِلَّذِينَ أَحْسَنُوا مِنْهُمْ وَاتَّقَوْا أَجْرٌ عَظِيمٌ . For those who did good among them and feared Allah is a great reward.

الَّذِينَ قَالَ لَهُمُ النَّاسُ إِنَّ النَّاسَ قَدْ جَمَعُوا لَكُمْ فَاخْشَوْهُمْ . Those to whom hypocrites said. Indeed, the people have gathered against you, so fear them.

فَزَادَهُمْ إِيمَانًا. But it [merely] increased them in faith.

وَقَالُوا حَسْبُنَا اللَّـهُ وَنِعْمَ الْوَكِيلُ. And they said, "Sufficient for us is Allah, and [He is] the best Disposer of affairs."

فَانقَلَبُوا بِنِعْمَةٍ مِّنَ اللَّـهِ وَفَضْلٍ. So they returned with favor from Allah and bounty.

لَّمْ يَمْسَسْهُمْ سُوءٌ. No mischief reached them.

وَاتَّبَعُوا رِضْوَانَ اللَّـهِ. And they pursued the pleasure of Allah.

وَاللَّـهُ ذُو فَضْلٍ عَظِيمٍ. And Allah is the possessor of great bounty.

إِنَّمَا ذَٰالِكُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ يُخَوِّفُ أَوْلِيَاءَهُ. That is only Satan who frightens his supporters.

فَلَا تَخَافُوهُمْ. So do not be afraid of them.

وَخَافُونِ. Be afraid of me.

إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ. If you are believers.

  • 1. Abdullah bin Umar was the son of second khalifa. He did not participate in the battles with the Prophet (S) due to young age. He used to display more than actual worshipping. He was one of those who did not declare allegiance to Imam Ali (‘a). When Hajjaj bin Yusuf came with an army to Mecca to fight with Abdullah bin Zubair and captured Mecca, Abdullah bin Umar paid him allegiance in a very humiliating manner. After a while he was murdered on the orders of Hajjaj in 73 AH.
  • 2. Nahjul Balagha, Sermon 201
  • 3. Sahifa-e-Al-Sajjadia, Dua Makaramul Akhlaq, Hadith No. 31
  • 4. Qur’an, 11:46
  • 5. Usul-e-Kafi, Book of Iman and Kufr, Chapter Ikhwatul Momineen, H2
  • 6. Qur’an, 3:173-176