No Gloating With Lust
 

VERSE NO.3031

OCCASION OF THE REVELATION

A young believer met with a beautiful young woman in his way. He gazed at her beauties and adornments, and even when she passed by he followed her with his gaze upon her, until he intoxicated, hit his face to a projection of the wall, so that a lot of blood was shed out of his forehead. The prophet saw him and asked what had happened to him? The young man narrated the event with truth. Then the prophet was inspired with the above revelation: ``Say to the believing men to make short of their looks and guard their sexual organs.... and say to the believing woman to make short of their looks and guard their sexual organs.''

The Arabic, ``YAGHOZZU'' comes from the root word, ``GHAZZ'' which means to reduce or to make something shorter. Therefore the verse does not imply that believers should close their eyes and do not look at a thing at all. It rather wants them to cut their looks short in certain cases. On the other, hand the verse does not clearly say, what is that on which we have to shorten our looks. If we take it for general; it will be anything unlawful for look, and if we consider it in special sense, it is gloating with lust that is to be made short, as in this occasion of revelation we came to know. Of course, the latter view is more apt here, because the whole passage is about attractions and beauties of the fair sex; and concealing their charms and adornments. So we may take it to say; ``Do not stare earnestly and from lust, upon the beauties and adornments of a women that may bewitch you.''

[ 346 ]

As to the clause, ``guard your sexual organs'' (FARJ), only in the above verses, (NO.30 and 31) it is commented to mean both sexes should not look at each other's sexual organs, which is cleaner for sex affairs. But in other passages of Qura"n, the said phrase is said to mean, ``Do not commit fornication or adultery'' In this passage of Qura"n, the rule of piety applies equally to both sexes; but on account of the nature of the opposite sexes, and their social lives, a greater amount of privacy is needed for the fair sex to keep on with her modesty, especially in the matter of covering and clothing:

``And they should cast their tuckers over their bosoms, and do not reveal their adornment except to a certain number of their near relatives.''

By, ``ZINAT'' translated to adornment, may means both, ornaments, as well as natural beauty, which is the place of ornament on her body. On the other hand, that part of their beauty or adornment which is said here to appear unintentionally; is taken to mean the face and wrists of women.

Then those among the close relatives of a woman who are not forbidden to see her in her glory, are mentioned to be as follows: 1Her husband. 2Her father. 3Her husband's father. 4Her sons. 5Her husband's sons. 6Her brothers. 7Her brother's sons. 8Her sister's sons. 9Her related women. 10What their right hands own (of slaves). 11Men who attend her without having sexual desires. 12And the children who know nothing of sexual affairs.

To the above numbers, Islamic jurists have added two more men, namely; 13Her uncle in mother side. 14Her uncle in father side. She should not be showy by tinkling her ankle ornaments so as to draw attentions to herself.

(( 32 ))

[ 347 ]

32- AND MARRY THOSE AMONG YOU WHO ARE SPOUSELESS, AND (ALSO) THE RIGHTEOUS OF YOUR MALE AND FEMALE SLAVES. IF THEY ARE POOR, ALLAH WILL ENRICH THEM OUT OF HIS GRACE, THAT ALLAH IS THE ALL-KNOWING EXTENDER.

(( 33 ))

33- AND THOSE WHO CANNOT AFFORD TO MARRY, SHOULD KEEP CHASTE UNTIL ALLAH ENRICH THEM OUT OF HIS GRACE.

AND THOSE OF YOUR SLAVES WHO ASK FOR A WRITING (CONTRACT) TO BUY THEIR FREEDOM, WRITE THE CONTRACT FOR THEM, IF YOU KNOW IT TO BE GOOD FOR THEM. AND GIVE THEM SOME OF THE WEALTH OF ALLAH THAT HAS COME TO YOU. AND FORCE NOT YOUR SLAVE GIRLS TO PROSTITUTION, FOR OBTAINING THE GOODS OF THIS WORLD'S LIFE; IF THEY WISH TO LIVE IN CHASTITY. WHOEVER CONSTRAINS THEM TO THAT, KNOW THAT AFTER THEY BEING COMPELLED, ALLAH IS ALL-FORGIVING, COMPASSIONATE.

[ 348 ]

(( 34 ))

34- AND VERILY WE HAVE SENT DOWN TO YOU PERSPICUOUS SIGNS, AND EXAMPLES OF THOSE (PEOPLE) WHO HAVE PASSED AWAY BEFORE YOU; AND ADMONITION FOR THE PIOUS PEOPLE.

THE COMMENTARY
URGING AN EASY MARRIAGE
VERSE NO.3234

These verses allude to another important way of challenge against fornication and obscene acts, which passes through a simple and easy marriage. It is evident that, to wind up the stuff of sinning, our natural desires and cravings must be correctly satisfied. In this respect, negative action or reaction will not do:

``Marry those among you who are spouseless, and also the righteous of your male and female slave.'' The argument has now been driven from sex ethics to marriage. Islam strictly recommends any male or female without a mate; to marry if he or she can afford. There is no objection if a Muslim decides to marry a mate in a lower circle or class, like a slave or servant. In Islam, there is no distinction between a Lord of Qoraish, and a negro of HABASH (ABYSSINIA), except in their measure of piety and virtue. This is because God's Mercy is for all His creatures, and is not confined to a certain class of peoples.

Usually the main excuse for living a bachelor is being poor, and saying I can't afford: ``If they are poor, Allah will enrich then out of His Grace.'' If a man cannot afford the expenses of marriage like dower and [ 349 ]

alimony, he must wait and keep chaste until Allah enrich him. His or her cravings must be satisfied within marriage, if they want to live a refined life, with social safety and physical and spiritual health.

... (( 35 ))

35- ALLAH IS THE LIGHT OF HEAVEN AND EARTH. THE EXAMPLE OF HIS LIGHT IS A NICHE, IN WHICH THERE IS A LAMP. THE LAMP IS IN A GLASS. THE GLASS IS AS IF A BRILLIANT STAR. (IT IS) KINDLED FROM A BLESSED TREE OF OLIVE, WHICH IS NEITHER EASTERN NOR WESTERN. ITS OIL IS WELL-NIGH TO SHINE, EVEN THOUGH NO FIRE HAS TOUCHED IT! LIGHT UPON LIGHT. ALLAH WILL GUIDE TO HIS LIGHT WHOM HE WILL.

AND ALLAH STRIKES SIMILITUDES FOR PEOPLE, AND ALLAH HAS THE KNOWLEDGE OF EVERYTHING.

(( 36 ))

36- (THE SAID BRIGHT LAMP) IS (SEEN) IN THE HOUSES WHICH ALLAH HAS PERMITTED TO BE RAISED UP, AND HIS NAME TO BE MENTIONED THEREIN. HE IS GLORIFIED THERE, IN THE MORNINGS AND EVENINGS.

[ 350 ]

(( 37 ))

37- BY MEN WHOM NEITHER TRADE NOR TRANSACTION CAN DIVERT FROM REMEMBERING ALLAH, AND PERFORMING THE PRAYER; AND PAYING THE ALMS-TAX. THEY FEAR THE DAY IN WHICH HEARTS AND EYES SHALL TURN SIDEWAYS.

(( 38 ))

38- SO AS TO REWARD THEM FOR THEIR BETTER DEEDS, AND INCREASE THEM (THEIR REWARD) OUT OF HIS GRACE. AND ALLAH GIVES SUSTENANCE TO WHOM HE WILL, WITHOUT MEASURE.

THE COMMENTARY
THE VERSE OF LIGHT
VERSE NO.3538

About the famous verse of light much have been said by different expounders of Qura"n, scholars, gnostics; and religious jurists. In other word, this glorious parable of light, which is full of allegorical truth about the mysteries of Man's spiritual being, has such a wide variety of meanings that many voluminous book have been written and published to comment it, and yet no one has done adequate justice to its full meaning. The verse begins with the clause:

``Allah is the light of heavens and earth.'' Some expounders have understood the light to mean ``guide''. [ 351 ]

Some other have said it means, ``ILLUMINATOR'', and another group have translated it to, ``DECORATOR''. In Qura"nic literature several things have been given the title of light: 1) QURA"N IS LIGHT = S 5:15 2) FAITH IS LIGHT = S 2:257

3) ALLAH'S GUIDANCE IS LIGHT = S 6:122 4) ISLAM IS LIGHT = S 9:32
5) THE PROPHET IS ALSO LIGHT = S 33:46

As to the qualifications of light we may say: 1- According to the latest QUANTOM THEORY OF LIGHT; the nature of light has a dual view, because it behaves both as quanta of energy, and as a wave phenomenon.
2- It is the most beautiful and the finest of all phenomena.
3- It has the highest of speeds.
4- It is the means of vision, without which no one can see anything.
5- It is the source of all the colours that we see and enjoy.
6- The sun light is the source of all the energies that exist, and which kills many kinds of microbs.

The physical light is somehow like a mirror, that, reflects and shows the true light in the world of reality, which is Allah. Of course, the physical light has its own weak points and draw-backs, whereas Allah, which is the true light in the world of reality, is far from the least fault and defect.

The physical light depends on its source. It can be decomposed to particles or photons. It is unstable and in movement, while the light of truth is free of such physical characterstics. According to the above introduction, if we are to choose somehow a similitude for Allah in this material world, we may make use of light to some limited extend. Meanwhile, we have to keep in mind that God's high position is infinitely higher than whatever we may think of, or imagine. It is remarkable, that, any entity has its light and illumination in a measure or degree, which is relative to it relation to [ 352 ]

God, namely; Qura"n is light and has light, because it is the word of God. Islam is light and has light, for being the chosen religion of God. Prophets are light, because they carry the Message of God. Faith is light, because it is the code of connection to God. Knowledge is light for being a means of acquaintance with Allah. Qura"n gives some details of how the Divine Light might be: ``....The example of this light is a niche, in which there is a lamp. The lamp is in a glass. The glass is as if a brilliant star. It is kindled from a blessed tree of olive which is neither Eastern, nor Western. Its oil is well-nigh to shine, even though no Fire has touched itlight upon light. Allah guides to His light whom He will.''

To explain the meaning of the parable, and to know how the light illuminates the innermost of Man's being. We have to expound the meaning of some of the technichal terms or words, that are found in the verse of Light: The Arabic, ``MESHKA"T'' translated to niche is a little recess in a wall of ancient rooms, especially for putting a lamp or a bust in it. The niche is raised up enough to diffuse the light all inside the room. Of course, this was before the invention of electric lamps.

The Arabic, ``ZAJA"JEH'' basically means transparent stones or crystals. It also means glass, and here it refers to the glass globe that covers the flame.

``MESBA"H'' is the lamp which consists of a wick and a pot of fuel for burning and giving out the necessary light. This light which is emitted from the Divine lamp can be, ``FAITH IN ALLAH'', that illuminates the heart of Man. If so, the lamp is the faith, the glass bulb is the heart of the believer. The niche is then his breast, and the blessed tree of olive can be the Inspiration which ends in purifying the believer. [ 353 ]

MY OFFTAKE OF THE ABOVE COMMENTS

I see the verse of light as a glorious parable full of allegorical truth about God and the mysteries of Man's spiritual being. So far, none of the commentators have dared to say decisively it means this or that! All of them have gone to a zigzag way in explaining and expounding the verse. His holiness grand Ayatullah Maka"rim, has given an explanation of the verse in some twenty pages, supported with many traditions. I have done my best to go through his view on that, but all I could understand is what an abstract of which is written above.

However, the Persian Gnostics and mystics too, have their own comments on this strange verse of light. In their sight, the niche seems to be the whole material worldthe universe and its physical contents. The glass which is as brilliant as a star is the spiritual world on which is founded the physical universe. And God, the All-knowing, All-power is the light which illuminates and controls everything. This light is not Eastern or western, nor relies on space neither in time. In other word, the Essence, or if you want to call it the, ``SUBSTANCE OF EXISTENCE'' has appeared; or to say in other word, has manifested its self through the, ``ATTRIBUTES''.

Then the Attributes are manifested and have been reflected through the material creation. On the other hand, the substance is exactly the very existence of the Attributes i.e. The Substance of God and His Attributes are not two different or two separate things. But I am of opinion that Allah, His apostle, and a certain group who are well versed in Qura"n; (RA"SIKHUNA-FEL-ELM) know the real meaning: ``He, it is who sent down to you the Book. Some of its verses are ``FUNDAMENTALS'', (clear and evident in meaning) they are the mother of the Book. And some other of the verses are, AMBIGUOUS. But those in whose hearts is perversity, they follow the ambiguous part seeking dissension, and seeking to [ 354 ]

paraphrase it (with allegorical explanation). But no one knows the hidden meaning except Allah, and those who are well-grounded in knowledge; who say, we believe in it. All are from our Lord. And none do mind, save the men of understanding.'' (S 3:5)

TRANSLATOR'S NOTE

(( 39 ))

39- AND AS FOR THE NON-BELIEVERS; THEIR DEEDS ARE SUCH AS A MIRAGE IN A DESERT, WHICH THE THIRSTY THINKS IT TO BE WATER, UNTIL HE COMES TO IT, AND FINDS IT NOT TO BE ANYTHING! AND ONLY FINDS ALLAH WITH HIM WHO CLEARS HIS ACCOUNT. AND SO SWIFT IS ALLAH'S RECKONING.

(( 40 ))

40- OR LIKE DARKNESSES IN DEPTHS OF A VAST OCEAN COVERED WITH WAVE OVER WAVE, ABOVE WHICH ARE CLOUDS. DARKNESSES, SOME OF THEM OVER SOME OTHER. WHEN HE STRETCHES HIS HAND OUT, HE IS ALMOST UNABLE TO SEE IT. FOR ANY ONE TO WHOM ALLAH ASSIGNS NO LIGHT, THERE WILL BE NO LIGHT FOR HIM. (AT ALL)

[ 355 ]

THE COMMENTARY
DEEDS THAT ARE MIRAGES
VERSE NO.3940

The argument has now turned from light, towards darkness; and again to the believers who prosper, and to the non-believers who are afflicted in utter darknesses, for rejecting the light of reality and truth. The word revolves around a poor thirsty, and meanwhile ignorant traveller in a wide desert, who is in need of a glass of cold water, but actually goes after a mirage: ``As to the non-believers, their deeds are such as a mirage....'' The man, dying of thirst, sees the mirage as a lake of standing water; but when he comes to it, finds nothing there!

In fact, we have a metaphor here to show us that; he who rejects faith and ignores the light of God, he will be led to utter darknesses. Darkness is not an entity by itself. It rather is the absence or the nullity of light. Darkness is falsehood, and light is the truth. Then the state of a person who refuses to use the light of truth, is somehow the like of a thirsty man, who runs after water in a hot and barren desert; from a distance he sees the mirage which seems to him like a lake; in which water stands glittering. When he rushes on, and comes near; he finds nothing at all! Thirst is the truth which is still with him, and the illusory things which are like mirages which he has worked for, will lead him to his destruction. He has to die of thirst, because power, wealth, and luxuries, will not satisfy the spiritual thirst of Man. So, anyone who leaves light and lives in the darkness, he deserves all sorts of afflictions and misfortune.

*****

[ 356 ]

WHAT IS THE MIRAGE?

MIRAGE is an illusion of land or water where none exists. By definition; it is an effect caused by total reflection of light at the upper surface of shallow layers of hot air in contact with the ground, the appearance being that of pools of water in which are seen inverted images of more distant objects. The mirage usually happens near horizon, and is caused by non-uniform atmospheric refraction of light. The most common is the WATER MIRAGE that has decieved so many desert travellers. It occurs over land that is warmer than the overlying air. Light travels faster in the lighter and warmer air near the surface, than in the progressively cooler air above. The effect is to curve the light upward. Light from the sky appears to come from below the horizon, producing the illusion of a lake of standing water. This type of mirage also occurs over water that is warmer than the overlying air.

1CHAMBERS DICTIONARY OF SCIENCE
2ATMOSPHERIC RESEARCH, BY: J.H.RUSH

TRANSLATOR'S NOTE

In the second metaphor, the likeness of the deeds of the non-believers, is said to be comparable to the darknesses in the depths of a great sea: ``Or like darknesses in depths of a vast ocean, covered with wave over wave, above which are clouds.'' So much so that he who has been afflicted in such a darkness, when stretches out his hand, he is almost unable to see it.

The light of reality and truth in our life is the light of faith, without which all the space around us will be dark. Irrecoverably dark. Dark even amid the blaze of noon! The three kinds of darknesses that are mentioned herein this verse; may refer to the darkness of deed.

[ 357 ] Some commentators have understood them to be the darknesses that are stages of ignorance. That is to say:

1They don't know, and yet do not know that they don't know.
2They don't know, and yet they think they know.
3They don't know, but are aware of their ignorance.

(( 41 ))

41- HAVE YOU NOT SEEN THAT WHOEVER IS IN THE SKIES AND EARTH SANCTIFIES ALLAH? AND THE BIRD WITH OUTSPREAD WINGS; EACH ONE HAS KNOWN HIS PRAYER AND SANCTIFICATION, AND ALLAH KNOWS WELL WHAT THEY DO.

(( 42 ))

42- AND TO ALLAH BELONGS THE KINGDOM OF THE SKIES AND EARTH, AND TO ALLAH IS THE RETURN.

THE COMMENTARY
ALL SANCTIFY HIM


VERSE NO.4142

The prophet is addressed here, but the announcement is a general, saying: ``Have you not seen that whoever is in the skies and earth sanctifies Allah? And the bird with outspread wings....'' This sanctification proves His creativeness, and His creativeness is a clear sign of His ownership. Therefore, to Him belongs all the creatures that live in the skies, or earth. All denizens of the air, such as the birds and even the angels that are supposed to be near to Him, and near to His throne, serve Him, and worship Him without ceasing; and are proud to do that.

[ 358 ]

Our prophet Mohammad (SA) chose for himself the glorious title of, ``THE SERVANT OF GOD''. All celebrate His praise night and day; and never droop or intermit. All the creatures of the universe; animate or inanimate, are endowed with some sort of a degree of intelligence. They do have some kind of intellect or mind in operation, by which they know their Creator, and know how to celebrate His praise, and glorify Him. In other word; they know how to pray to their Lord and how to sanctify Him.

(( 43 ))

43- HAVE YOU NOT SEEN THAT HOW ALLAH DRIVES THE CLOUDS GENTLY; THEN HE JOINS THEM TOGETHER, THEN HE PILES THEM UP (IN MASSES), THEN YOU WILL SEE THE DROPLETS (OF RAIN) COMING OUT OF IT.

AND HE SENDS DOWN FROM THE SKY HAILS OUT OF THE MOUNTAINLIKE (CLOUDS), PELTING WITH IT WHOM HE WILL, AND TURNING IT AWAY FROM WHOM HE PLEASES. THE FLASH OF ITS LIGHTENING ALMOST SNATCHES THE EYE.

(( 44 ))

44- ALLAH CHANGES THE NIGHT AND DAY. VERILY IN THAT THERE IS LESSON FOR THOSE WHO HAVE EYES.

[ 359 ]

(( 45 ))

45- AND ALLAH CREATED EVERY CREATURE FROM WATER. SOME OF THEM CREEP UPON THEIR BELLIES, AND SOME OF THEM WALK UPON TWO FEET, AND OF THEM ARE SOME WHO GO WITH FOUR (LEGS).

ALLAH CREATES WHATEVER HE WILL, THAT ALLAH HAS POWER OVER EVERYTHING.

THE COMMENTARY
ANOTHER CORNER OF THE WONDERS OF CREATION
VERSE NO.4345

Here the immediate reference is to some of the useful phenomena of nature like the rain, day and night, and the source of creation of creatures which is the water. Not only the maintenance of life depends on water that all the creatures, is said, to have basically been created from it. If we consider the movements of the clouds overhead, we soon come to know that there is an object or aim behind every movement or any change that takes place up there. All the movements are reasonable and seems that each one is a part of a general plan fulfilled by a great and infinite intelligence.

We see during the winter that, thin layers of clouds move gently around, in various fantastic shapes and forms, as if they are various creatures moving over us! They then join together and heap up and become a dark huge body, which covers the shining face of the sun. It eventually pours down droplets of rain, and wonderful crystals of snow, and sometimes awful hail-stone, for our punishment. Such [ 360 ]

phenomena are sometimes accompanied by blinding flashes of lightening that almost snatches the eyes.

In the second clause of the above verse (NO.43) mention is made of mountainlike clouds in the sky from which showers of hail-stone may come to afflict some people, and turn away from some other. This is because the clouds, as seen from over by an aeroplane, have not a level surface and seem to be mountains and valleys from far above.

Hail-stones is precipitation in the form of ice particles that range in diameter from less than 1/4 inch, to more than 5". These grains of ice may be spherical, conical, or quite irregular. Typically they consist of alternating layers of clear and opaque ice. Hail-stone often form in the thunderstorms that have rising air current strong enough to suspend ice particles while they grow by the accretion of water droplets at subfreezing temperature.

Opaque ice is formed by the accretion of small sparse droplets, and clear ice by accretion of larger quantities of cloud moisture. Hail-stone may seriously damage plant life, and large hail-stones can injure people or animal, or even it may damage buildings. Hail-stone is also an aviation hazard, and it is one reason why pilots avoid thunderstorm: ``....And He sends down from the sky hail-stones out of the mountainlike clouds, pelting with it whom He Will, and turning away from whom He pleases.''

The next verse refers to another important sign of God, which is the change of night to day and day to night. One of the two, lengthens while the other shortens, and vice versa. They gradually change in length and bring forth the various seasons. The existence of both, night and day, as well as their changes in length, temperature, and whatsoever, is indeed vital to the natural life of Man:

``Allah changes the night and day. Verily in that changes there are lessons for those who have eyes to learn.'' [ 361 ] (( 46 ))

46- VERILY WE HAVE SENT DOWN PERSPICUOUS SIGNS, AND ALLAH GUIDES WHOEVER HE WILL TO A STRAIGHT PATH.

(( 47 ))

47- AND THEY SAY; ``WE BELIEVE IN ALLAH AND IN THE MESSENGER, AND WE OBEY.'' THEN A GROUP OF THEM TURN AWAY AFTER THAT, SURELY THEY ARE NOT BELIEVERS.

(( 48 ))

(( 49 ))

49- BUT IF THE RIGHT IS THEIRS, THEY COME TO IT SUBMISSIVELY.

(( 50 ))

50- IS THERE A SICKNESS IN THEIR HEARTS? OR ARE THEY IN DOUBT!? OR DO THEY FEAR THAT ALLAH AND HIS MESSENGER WILL DEAL UNJUSTLY WITH THEM? NOT SO! THEY THEMSELVES ARE THE OPPRESSORS.