Take Lesson From The History
 

VERSE NO.128130

To study the history of the past nations, is the immediate order and the theme of the above verses. In the stories of the prior generations, there can be found many useful lessons and advices, particularly those who we can see the ruins of their dwelling-places, and we may walk and go to and fro in their houses. We only have to use our wisdom and knowledge, to study the factors of their rise and fall, prosperity and misfortune, in order to determine the outcomes, and use it in our own benefit. In fact, the history is a great awakening teacher that can add the experiences of other people to our own experiences: ``Is it not enough to guide them that how many of the generations We destroyed before them, in whose dwelling-places they walk.'' Indeed, none are so blind as those who do not want to see something which it has to be seen. The most negligent of people is he who takes no advice from the changes of the world.

The second verse (NO.129) is to answer the question that why does not Allah punish such and such guilty people, as He punished the previous wrong doers!? To answer this; we should know that, Allah in His universal plan, has arranged for enough flexibility, and a merciful chance of respite has been given to all. Even the most wicked and unjust people have a term appointed them for respite. Had it not been so, God's punishment would have necessarily afflicted them soon after an evil deed was done.

Finally, the prophet has been addressed in the last verse (NO.130) saying; now that it is not apt to punish a wrong doer, as soon as he does a wrong deed; you take care of your patience and lose it not. Of course, this does not mean that the prophet should sit still, and do nothing against evil. In fact, there is an eternal feud between Man and Satan, and the fight against evil is one of the cardinal points in Islam. Therefore, a Muslim must always take help of patience, and prayer, and commune with Allah so as to strengthen him in his strife against evil, which is an endless grapple.

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(( 131 ))

131- AND DO NOT STRETCH YOUR EYES (LOOK NOT WITH EAGERNESS) ON WHAT WE HAVE GIVEN TO PARTIES OF THEM. (THESE ARE) THE BLOSSOMS OF THE PRESENT LIFE, THROUGH WHICH WE TEST THEM; AND THE SUSTENANCE OF YOUR LORD IS BETTER AND MORE ENDURING.

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132- AND ENJOIN THE PRAYER ON YOUR FAMILY, AND INSIST UPON IT. WE DO NOT ASK YOU FOR SUSTENANCE. WE ARE SUSTAINING YOU, AND THE GOOD END IS FOR PIETY.

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133- AND THEY SAID: ``WHY DOES HE NOT BRING US A SIGN FROM HIS LORD? HAS THERE NOT COME TO THEM THE EVIDENCES WHICH ARE IN THE FORMER SCRIPTURES?''

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134- AND IF WE HAD DESTROYED THEM BY A PUNISHMENT BEFORE IT, THEY WOULD HAVE SAID: ``OUR LORD! WHY DID YOU NOT SEND A MESSENGER TO US, SO THAT WE MIGHT HAVE FOLLOWED YOUR SIGNS, BEFORE WE WERE HUMBLED AND DISGRACED.''

[ 147 ] (( 135 )) 135- WE ARE ALL WAITING; THEN YOU WAIT ON. AND SOON SHALL YOU KNOW, WHO IS THE FOLLOWER OF THE STRAIGHT WAY AND WHO HAS BEEN GUIDED.

THE COMMENTARY

VERSE NO.130135 In these verses, some instructions are given to our prophet, that are in fact, general to the whole community of Muslims; and all have to observe it.

At first, it advises us not to look with eagerness to the temporal and transitory bounties of this material world. These are the blossoms of our present life that sprout out quickly, and fade away soon! If we compare the good things of this material world with that of the life to come, these are really trifles of little value and importance. They are used by God as a means of tests and trials, in order to separate wrong from right, and to make known the truthful and the liar. The good things of the life to come, will come specially from God for His devoted servants, and they are far better in value, and more enduring; and many of them everlasting.

The next verse (NO.131) wants the prophet to enjoin the prayer on his family and to insist upon that. When these verses were sent down in Mecca, the prophet's household mainly consisted of Hazrat Khadijeh, his wife, and Hazrat Imam Ali (AS), then a boy in his teen ages. Later on, the family grew larger and larger: ``And enjoin the prayer on your family, and insist upon it. We do not ask you for sustenance. We are sustaining you and the good end is for piety.'' A believer should not worry about the necessities and ordinary needs of life. That's for God to provide for them all; if they are indeed [ 148 ]

truthful believers. A Godly person looks for special provisions of the righteous life in the service of God, which are more spiritual and less physical.

The next verse (NO.132) points at one of the excuses of the unbelievers who said:

``Why does he not bring us a sign?'' And immediately this is answered:

``Has there not come to them the evidences that are in the former Scriptures?''

Here, by evidences, the Holy Qura"n is meant, which includes the Divine Truths that were found in the Scriptures, like the Bible and the Gospel. Some commentators also understand that the objection was put forth by the people of the Book, who claimed to have believed in the former revelations, and this was when they already had the convincing signs in their own Book. But still they were not convinced by the signs, which may imply that they were not true to their own faith, and were not even straight with themselves!

THE END OF SUREH TA" HA" (20)

THE BEGINNING OF PART 17
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THE PROPHETS IN THE NAME OF ALLAH THE MERCIFUL THE COMPASSIONATE

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1- THE TIME HAS APPROACHED FOR PEOPLE'S RECKONING AND YET THEY TURN AWAY IN NEGLIGENCE.

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2- NO NEW REMINDER CAME TO THEM FROM THEIR LORD, EXCEPT THAT THEY HEARD IT WHILE THEY WERE PLAYING!

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3- THEIR HEARTS ARE AMUSED. AND THE OPPRESSORS HIDE WHISPERING; ``IS HE OTHER THAN A HUMAN LIKE YOURSELVES? DO YOU THEN GO TO WITCHCRAFT WHILE YOU CAN SEE?''

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4- HE SAID: ``MY LORD KNOWS WHATEVER IS SAID IN THE HEAVENS AND EARTH, AND HE IS ALL-HEARING, ALL-KNOWING.''

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5- THEY SAID: (THESE ARE NOT INSPIRATIONS. THEY ARE ONLY) NIGHTMARES, OR HE HAS FORGED IT, OR HE MIGHT BE A POET, (OR IF NOT SO) THEN LET HIM BRING US A SIGN, LIKE THAT WITH WHICH THE FIRST MESSENGERS WERE SENT.

THE COMMENTARY
VARIOUS OBJECTIONS


VERSE NO.15

This chapter begins with a serious and shaking warning to all people: ``The time has approached for people's reckoning, and yet they are turning away with negligence.'' Here, the assertion that our reckoning is now very near, may imply that the future of our world in the length of time, is less than its past. By approach of reckoning the death, might also be considered; which gives a stop to all our acts, and casts our gaze on the result of our deeds. Every breath is a step that takes us nearer to our doom, and yet we are heedless, and even turn our backs to the Merciful Messages of our Creator.

In the second verse, an stress is put upon the importance of the warning: ``When new reminder or warning comes to them they listen to it while their hearts are busy in amusements?'' What a use of giving ear, when the [ 151 ]

heart is absent. Such people will naturally find no way to salvation and prosperity. For fear of criticism, they whisper to each other, saying: ``Is he other than a human like ourselves? Why then should we attend to his witchcraft, when we are able to see, and we can find our way on?'' The poor pagans who kept their whisperings confidential, did not know that, every word, if it is uttered openly, or whispered secretly, is well known to God. To this effect our prophet said: ``My Lord knows whatever is said in the heavens and earth, and He is All-hearing, All-knowing.

The verses then apply to the heathenic accusations and charges made on the inspired Messenger of God, and his Message. The charges that the heathens and hypocrites made against our prophet were many, and some of them contradictory!: Some called him a magician, and other said; he is a poet. One said, he is mad, and another said, his fascinating words are charming. Some made sure that his saying were the sayings of God through inspiration, and some thought it to be nightmares! Some thought him to be a mankind like themselves because he ate, drank, and walked in the streets.

They objected why has he not a house made of gold and silver and a garden so and so; if he really is the Messenger of God!? But the truth about him is that, he was an elect of God from among mankind. He was an inspired apostle, and the last and the seal of the Messengers of God.

IS QURA"N CREATED?

The adjective, ``MOHDAS=NEWLY CREATED'' which qualifies Qura"n, or the word of God, has long been a general topic of debates and conversation among Muslim scholars and learned. They have argued to make it clear, whether Qura"n which is the word of God, is something newly created or it is a preexistent and eternal thing. For many decades, the question occupied the minds of many learned and scholars, and it was sometimes mingled with political affairs too. Today, it is pretty clear for us that, if the meaning and the aim and object of the word is wanted, it is everlasting and eternal, for being [ 152 ]

included in God's knowledge. On the other hand, if the word, expression, verbal signals, or discourse, is wanted; it is only waves created in the air, or ink drawn on papers. So it is newly created a thing. In other word, Qura"n consists of words and meanings. The words are created, and the meanings eternally exist in God's knowledge.

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6- NONE OF THE TOWNS THAT WE DESTROYED BEFORE THEM DID BELIEVE. WILL THEN THEY BELIEVE?

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7- AND WE SENT NO ONE BEFORE YOU, EXCEPT MEN WHOM WE INSPIRED. SO ASK THOSE WHO ARE WELL VERSED IN THE REMINDER (SCRIPTURES) IF YOU DO NOT KNOW.

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8- AND WE MADE THEM NOT A BODY THAT ATE NO FOOD, AND THEY WERE NOT ETERNAL.

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9- THEN WE FULFILLED OUR PROMISE TO THEM, AND WE SAVED THEM, AND THOSE WHOM WE PLEASED; AND WE DESTROYED THE TRANSGRESSORS.

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10- NOW WE HAVE SENT DOWN TO YOU A BOOK IN WHICH IS YOUR REMEMBRANCE.

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THE COMMENTARY
APOSTLES WERE ALL OF MANKIND


VERSE NO.610

The above verses include some answers to the objections raised by the unbelievers in the aforementioned verses. It begins with their extemporaneous requests for certain ridiculous miracles, and God's answer to them was: ``None of the towns that We destroyed before them, did believe! Will then they believe?'' Hundreds of various miracles were shown by different apostles and Messengers of God, and failed to convince the unbelievers of old! Who can now guarantee that the present unbelievers will believe? If Man really looks for a miracle, what does he see which is not a miracle? As SAADI has composed; the green leaf of a tree, is a great book of knowledge and miracles, that may lead us in knowing our Lord, but there must be an eye to see, and a mind to apprehend.

Among the objections of the heathens was; why should the prophet be as man like ourselves, and not an angel, or some other creature? The next verse (NO.7) is to answer this: ``We sent no one before you as our Messenger, except men whom We inspired.'' ``That the prophet is just a man like ourselves might be true in some respects, but the sweet and salty water too, seem to be alike; while they are not. As men, they were subject to all the physical laws that govern the material body of Man such as hunger, thirst, sleep, and death. On the other hand, the victorious end was theirs, that they were delivered by God from evil, and obtained a superior felicity of enjoying a comfortable and eternal life.

WHO ARE AHL-AL-ZIKR

The title, ``AHL-AL-ZIKR'' which we have translated to; ``Well versed in the scripture'' literally includes all men of understanding and knowledge. It is a general law of wisdom, that the unlearned should refer to and follow the learned. Here in this verse, the immediate reference is to those who are well versed in the Bible and Gosple. A [ 154 ]

clear example of those who are well versed in the Qura"n, is definitely Hazrat Imam Ali (AS), and the eleven Imams after him. This verse (NO.7) has been taken as proof that the unlearned Muslim should follow a well learned religious leader; the technical term of which is; Imitation of Religious Jurisprudent. The last verse here (NO.10) says:

``We have sent down to you a Book in which is your remembrance.'' Our remembrance here may mean that Qura"n reminds us of our duties and responsibilities with respect to our Creator, our society, and ourselves. It will also raise up the good fame and reputation of Muslims, and gives publicity to their tenets and schools throughout the world. In Qura"n, also there is whatever of Guidance Man may need in all ages.

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11- AND HOW MANY A TOWN WE DESTROYED WHO WERE OPPRESSORS, AND AFTER IT, WE BROUGHT ON OTHER PEOPLE.

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12- WHEN THEY FELT OUR MIGHT, (i.e THE APPROACH OF OUR PUNISHMENT) THEY FLED OUT OF IT.

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13- DO NOT FLEE, AND RETURN TO YOUR LUXURIES THAT YOU HAVE SUPPLIED, INTO AND TO YOUR HOUSES. THAT YOU MIGHT BE QUESTIONED.

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14- THEY SAID: ``WOE TO US! WE WERE OPPRESSORS.

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15- AND THIS CRY THEY KEPT REPEATING, UNTIL WE MOWED THEM DOWN; AND MADE THEM SILENT.

THE COMMENTARY
HOW WERE THE OPPRESSORS PUNISHED


VERSE NO.1115

``And how many a town We destroyed who were oppressors, and after it We brought on other people.''

The Arabic, ``GHASAMA'' translated to ``destroyed'', literally means to; smashto break in pieces by violence, or to destroy something utterly. such a violence and severity, implies that Allah may decree a very hard punishment for the oppressors for having based His creation upon justice. Then the next verse points out, how weak, helpless, and easily impressed, were the proud and haughty unbelievers, when God's punishment seized them:

``When they felt the approach of our punishment, they fled out to avoid it, but in vain.'' They seemed to have fallen in a panic! A sudden overpowering fright seized them, and they fled away just like a vanquished army who have the bare sword of the foe in front and in behind of them. Thus God's wrath may encompass the oppressors. When the thought of fleeing filled them with panic, and they decided to scape, they were ironically told: ``Do not flee, and return to your beautiful houses that you have adorned with luxuries that you might be asked.''

This verse, (NO.13) is an ironic expression which itself is the beginning of the punishment. Then the lamentation and tears of the unbelievers would avail them nothing for being too late. They were so at last that nothing could save them, except God, whose will is always done. The verse ends in the Arabic word, ``TASALOON'' which is from the [ 156 ] root word, ``SO ALL''. It literally denotes to asking, but it also has many connotations, and shades of meaning such as: To inquire of; to questionto request, petitionto demandto claimand to expect. Poor and needy people had to come to them in request of some help in charity, but they turned them out of their doors without giving them a hand. Here is where the verse of truth says to those who flee from the wrath of God: ``Don't flee! Return to your luxuries that you have supplied, and to your beautiful houses, that you may be asked for a help for the sake of God.

They are at last wakened up to see the realities of life. They find the things that they were jesting with, to have been more serious and grave than they thought. But this out of time wakefulness, will be of no use to them. Now they will have to continue with their catchword which is ``Woe to us'', until they are mowed and quietened and quenched!

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16- AND WE DID NOT CREATE THE HEAVEN AND EARTH AND WHATEVER IS BETWEEN THEM AS A PLAYTHING.

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17- IF WE INTENDED TO TAKE A PLAYTHING, WE WOULD HAVE TAKEN IT FROM OUR PRESENCE; IF WE WERE TO DO. (BUT WE ARE FAR FROM PLAY)

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18- WE SHALL RATHER HURL THE TRUTH AT FALSEHOOD, SO THAT IT KNOCKS OUT ITS BRAIN; AND THEN IT VANISHES AWAY, AND WOE TO YOU FOR WHAT YOU DESCRIBE. [ 157 ]

THE COMMENTARY
THE CREATION IS NOT A PLAY


VERSE NO.1618 The oppressors do not see any aim and object beyond the creation of the universe, except their own enjoyment of the good things to which they may have access, like food, drink, music, and fair sex. How wrong is a gnat, when it thinks that the butcher has brought the meat in the shop for the gnats to eat. They think of no goal for the creation, but the fact is not so as they think:

``We did not create the heaven and earth and whatever is between them as a play thing. This expanded earth, and high extensive sky; so many creatures with beauty and grace, and all the colourful things abounding in startling contrasts, and full of variety, that we can see, or we cannot see, will all testify and prove that there is an important aim and object behind the creation of creatures, individually as well as collectively.'' God never does jest nor play with his creatures. Nothing is created unless there is a reasonable purpose and a logical aim behind its creation.

And about God, we should say nothing except the truth of which we are sure enough. If God had really wished to indulge in some pastime, or that which amuses Him, why should He have it done with the lowly things of His creation that we see down here? Ascribing sons, daughters, partners, and etc. to God are all superstitious remarks derogating from His dignity and merits. The majesty of Allah the Most High is so that, even the highest of creatures that Man may ever think of, serve Him willingly or unwillingly, and all are dependent on Him for their existence, and all are sustained by Him, as God Himself is dependent only on His own Sacred Essence:

``Had We intended to have a play thing, We would have taken it from our presence; if We were to do?'' This verse implies that God will never create something for play and amusement. [ 158 ]

THE AIM OF CREATION

The Materialists think of creation to be aimless, because in their sight the source of all creatures is a material, void of intelligence and knowledge! Contrary to them are the Divine Philosophers, and the followers of Divine Religions, who see a high aim, and excellent purpose, for the creation of anything; because the Creator is All-knowing, All-mighty, and All-wise. Such a Creator will never create a thing useless and void of aim and object. As to the question of what the aim or object might be, we have to go through the matter a little deeper:

God has not the least amount of shortcoming or deficiency in His everlasting existence. So there is not any gap that He may want to fill it by His creation and creatures. Nor is He in need of the worship or service of anything that may exist. We should not compare the Creator's attributes, with that of His creatures, even those in the highest of ranks and dearer and nearer to Him, such as the prophets, angels, and saints. Because He is Infinite in Substance, as well as in His Attributes. We therefore may conclude that the aim of creation must lay somehow in the creation of Man who is the most advanced among the existing creatures. He is in the front of all as regards progress, faculties, and ideas. For Man, the universe is a school to train and to develop him. Here is a farm land in which he has to sow the seeds of progress, and reap and harvest it in the Hereafter.

If we are asked to worship our Lord, it is because our worship serves to improve our spiritual and physical faculties. If God, the Most Merciful puts us under a test in His trials here, He intends to reveal, and to develop our hidden merits. In brief, we may say that the aim of creation is development and progress in all possible aspects and respects. Of course, we ought to know that the Evolution and development depends to a very high extent, to our own Free Will; and we should step on, and tread the road of development on our own feet, and not to be taken on as a lame!

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(( 19 ))

19- AND TO HIM BELONGS WHOEVER IS IN THE HEAVENS AND EARTH, AND THOSE WHO ARE WITH HIM, ARE HUMBLE IN HIS WORSHIP, NOR DO THEY IMPAIR. (IN THAT)

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20- THEY GLORIFY HIM NIGHT AND DAY, AND DROOP NOT.

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21- HAVE THEY TAKEN GODS FROM THE EARTH WHO CAN (CREATE AND) SPREAD ABOUT.

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22- HAD THERE BEEN IN THEM GODS OTHER THAN ALLAH; THEY BOTH (EARTH AND HEAVEN) WOULD HAVE BEEN CORRUPTED. SO, GLORY TO ALLAH, LORD OF THE THRONE, OF WHAT THEY DESCRIBE.

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23- HE IS NOT QUESTIONED OF WHAT HE DOES, BUT THEY WILL BE QUESTIONED.

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