An Incident For Lesson (VERSE NO. 246)
 

The Israelites who were enslaved and tortured by Pharaoh and his hosts, were saved by the wise leadership of Moses. After him, they were ruled by JOSHUA, who managed to cross the JORDAN, and settle the tribes in Palestine. They lived there for a short period in good faith,

[ 274 ]

abundance and welfare. Then, they were puffed up with pride and vanity, and deviated from the straight path of Allah and as a result of that, their union changed to variance, and their thankfulness to ingratitude. So they suffered many reverses at the hands of the various tribes of Palestines. They often fell into idolatry and left the worship of their true One God! then it happend that from time to time they were ruled by dictator rulers, which are called judges in the old testament. They lived so for many years, until God raised another prophet from among them whose name was SAMUEL. The Israelites gathered round him, asking to appoint them a king. Samuel prayed to God for that, and his prayer was answered and a young tall man of strength and wisdom from the little tribe of BENJAMINE was appointed as their king. The faithless and unstable Israelites began to raise all sorts of petty objection about his kingship! Each of them wanted to be the king himself. Now through this verse our prophet has been addressed that:

``Did you not see a group of the Israelite's Grandees, after Moses, who said to a prophet of theirs: `Appoint for us a king that we may fight in the way of Allah.''

Worthy of note here, that they said: `We want to fight in the way of Allah, or for the cause of God.'' And this sentence implies that; whatever of warfare, or other kinds of endeavors, which may result in freedom, and prosperity of MAN, is done; it is counted as for the cause of Allah. In other word: Doing for HIS creatures is, doing for the Creator.'' Anyhow, their prophet who doubted their truthfulness and perseverance, said to them: ``Might it be that, if you were commanded to fight; you would do it not.'' But the Israelites assured Samuel by saying"-

``Why should we not fight in the way of Allah, while we have been turned away from our homes and our families?'' According to the continuance of the verse, none of their promises they fulfilled: ``When fighting was prescribed for them all turned back except a small band of them.''
VERSE NO. 247

However, Samuel the prophet appointed a king or what the Holy Qur?n has called ``MALIK'' for the Israelites as a ruler and commander of the forces:

[ 275 ]

``And their prophet said to them: `Allah has appointed TALUT=SAUL as king over you.'' The Grandees and influentials raised all sorts of petty objection that how can he have sovereignty over us while we are more liable and deserving to that position!?

In fact, they objected against the elect of God, when they said: ``Saul is a simple and poor peasant who is not even gifted with an extensive wealth! The knocking down answers that QUR?N has given to such a people is: `Allah has chosen him over you, and Has increased him extensively in knowledge and bodily power and prowess; and Allah gives of His kingdom to whom He wills.''
VERSE NO. 248

Even though their prophet, at their own request, and with the permission of God appointed Saul as a king for them, and he also mentioned some reasons for his choice besides that of God's will, such as the king's strength and knowledge; the Israelites were still in doubt about that elect and therefore, Samuel said to them as Qur?n relates: ``The sign of his kingship and kingdom is that the ARK OF COVENANT will come to you, wherein shall be tranquility for you from your Lord, and some relics of the house of Moses and the house of ARON, and the ARK is carried by the angels.''

The ARK OF COVENANT, basically was a chest in which Moses as a baby was given to the Nile by his mother as per odrer of God. The box and baby were taken up by Pharaoh's guards, and the chest remained safe, and kept after the PASS OVER as a precious antique. It was made to contain the; `TESTIMONY OF GOD' or the Ten Commandments engraved on stone, with some relics of Moses and ARRON.

VERSE NO. 249

At last they agreed with the appointment and yielded to Saul's commandership and set out a large force in order to fight their enemies. Saul wanted to make sure if the Israelites whole-heartedly believe in their commander. He therefore took an examination of his troops, so that he could get rid of all the doubtful ones. The wise commander put to test the resistance and the endurance of his soldiers against thirst, and said to them:

[ 276 ]

``Allah will try you with a stream of water: Whoever drinks from it, is not mine; and who drinks it not is mine.'' Unfortunately most of the Israelites failed in the exam, and drank of it; but a few. A small band consisting of 313 men (as some commentators say) crossed the stream without drinking the water, and confronted with the enemy, even among this small group of warriors, who had remained faithful, there were some who appalled and discouraged with fear, by the number of enemy when they met. They said: ``To-day we cannot cope with Goliath and his forces.'' But the faithful band among them, were determined to face any odd and danger, for having perfect confidence in God, and the cause for which they were fighting. They made a firm stand and said: ``How often by Allah's permission a small force vanquished a large one, and Allah is with the patient.''

Among these faithful ones was David a shepherd boy in the spring of his youth, who slayed the enemy's commander!

VERSE NO. 250

Saul and his troops advanced to meet Goliath the Giant and his hosts, and when the two parties were face to face the believers prayed to God saying:

``Our Lord! Pour out upon us patience, and make our steps firm and help us against the unbelievers.'' They pleaded with God and asked earnestly for patience, firm steps and perseverance and God's help to overcome their enemy.

VERSE NO. 251

Of a surety God will never leave such faithful servants of His alone and unaided: ``So they routed them by Allah's permission and David Slew Goliath.'' David was a youth with no arms and armour. He had a pure deep faith in Allah. He was not known even in the Israelite camp. In outward appearance he was a poor shepherd. His shepherd sling was his well tried weapon. He picked up a couple of pebbles from the ground and used his sling to such an effect that the piece of stone pierced Goliath's forehead and knocked him down! He then rushed

[ 277 ]

towards the fallen Goliath, and killed him with his own sword. Thus did Allah manifest His Power in slaying such that giant by the hands of a shepherd Lad! The Glorious Qur?n says that after doing so with Goliath: ``Allah gave David kingdom and wisdom, and taught him whatever he asked or needed.'' Here in these verse, it is not made clear enough, that this David mentioned here is the one who became the king and the prophet of the Israelites, and who was the father of SOLOMON; but the verse does imply that the slayer of Goliath reached the rank and position of an apostle.

Then the verse points at a general law and universal plan of God, who loves all His creatures, and protects them. In protecting one, He may use another, or He may attract one by repelling the other: ``And had Allah not driven back the people, some by the means of others, the earth would have been utterly corrupted; but Allah is bounteous to all beings.'' God's love is for all and for ever.

VERSE NO. 252

This verse implies the various incidents that so far has been mentioned of the Israelite long history, each of which being a clear sign of the power and universal plans of God, and all being free of falsehood and superstitions.

(( 253 ))

253- AND THOSE MESSENGERS, WE HAVE EXALTED SOME ABOVE THE OTHERS. AMONG THEM ARE SOME TO WHOM ALLAH SPOKE. OTHERS HE RAISED IN GRADES AND WE GAVE JESUS THE SON OF MARY EVIDENCES, AND STRENGTHENED

[ 278 ]

HIM WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT. (BUT THE RANKS AND GRADES OF THE APOSTLES DID NOT CLEAR THE DIFFERENCES OF PEOPLE) AND HAD ALLAH SO WILLED, THOSE WHO SUCCEEDED THEM WOULD NOT HAVE FOUGHT AGAINST EACH OTHER AFTER THE CLEAR SIGNS THAT HAD COME TO THEM, BUT THEY DIFFERED. SOME OF THEM BELIEVED AND SOME DISBELIEVED. IF ALLAH HAD SO WILLED THEY WOULD NOT HAVE FOUGHT AGAINST ONE ANOTHER. BUT ALLAH WILL DO WHATEVER HE INTENDS. THE END OF PART 2

THE COMMENTARY
THE VITAL ROLE OF THE PROPHETS IN HUMAN LIFE
(VERSE NO. 253)


The verse alludes to the degrees of the prophets, their missions, and different gifts that God has bestowed upon each of them: ``And those apostles we have exalted some above the other.'' This implies that though the prophet's missions and messages were the same, yet some of them are above the others in rank and position: ``Among them are some to whom Allah spoke.''

This may refer to Moses to whom God spoke through a tree of glory, and for that he is nicknamed as; `MOSES THE INTERLOCUTOR'. Then the verse adds: Others we raised in grades or degrees.'' This may refer to our prophet Mohammad in whose person and mission, all the gifts and characters are combined, and his creed and religion is the most perfect one among all.

[ 279 ]

Then the verse refers to Jesus Chirst saying: ``And we gave Jesus the son of Mary evidences, and strengthened him with the Holy Spirit.'' By evidences or clear signs, his different miracles are meant, such as raising the dead; healing the born blind, or curing the lepers with the permission of Allah. (QUR?N - S 3:45-51) Also his excellent religious and divine knowledge may be counted among the clear signs. As for the holy spirit: It may either mean Gabriel the Arch Angel of God who brings down the revelations, or some sort of mysterious power which is found more or less in Godly men, in various measures.

The verse continues with the mention of the differences of the people after their prophets, in spite of all that evidences and clear signs: ``And had Allah so willed those after them would not have fought against each other, after so many clear signs that had come to them - but they differed. ``That is to say: God could easily compel them to agree, but His way and will is to encourage His servants to do things in freedom and by free will.''

Although such freedom and free will might be misused by some selfish profiteers; but still freedom is an important factor of MAN'S development and evaluation.

(( 254 ))

254- O, BELIEVERS! BESTOW IN ALMS A PART OF WHAT WE HAVE GIVEN YOU, BEFORE THERE COMES A DAY IN WHICH THERE SHALL BE NO TRADING, NEITHER FRIENDSHIP, NOR INTERCESSION, AND THE UNBELIEVERS ARE THE OPPRESSORS

[ 280 ]

THE COMMENTARY
ALMS, AN IMPORTANT MEANS OF SALVATION IN DOOMS' DAY
(VERSE NO. 245)


Muslims are addressed here to perform one of their most important duties which may serve to unify their society, strengthen their government and defensive forces, and besides all, is an effective means of salvation in Dooms Day: ``O, Believers! Bestow in alms a part of what we have given you.'' The verse ends in a warning which may indicate that by alms; `ZAKAT' is meant here which is a duty incumbent upon Muslims. It also puts some stress upon the people to do it before they lose the chance of doing it: ``A day in which there is no trading, neither friendship and nor intercessor.''

(( 255 ))

255- ALLAH, THERE IS NO GOD BUT HE, THE EVER LIVING THE SELF-SUBSISTING (BY WHOM ALL SUBSIST) SLUMBER SEIZES HIM NOT, NEITHER SLEEP, HIS ARE ALL THAT IS IN HEAVENS AND THE EARTH. WHO IS HE THAT CAN INTERCEDE WITH HIM SAVE BY HIS PERMISSION. HE KNOWS WHAT IS BEFORE THEM, AND WHAT IS BEHIND THEM. THEY CAN GRASP ONLY THAT PART OF HIS KNOWLEDGE THAT HE WILLS. HIS THRONE COMPRISING THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH HAS EXTENDED, AND PRESERVING THEM DOES NOT WEARY HIM. HE IS THE HIGH THE GREAT.

[ 281 ]

THE COMMENTARY
ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT VERSES OF QUR?N
(VERSE OF THE THRONE) VERSE NO. 255


Enough to show the importance of VERSE OF THE THRONE, is the narration that: `Once the prophet asked one of his companions named, ABI-IBN-KAAB; which one is the highest of verses in the BOOK OF ALLAH? and he answered - Verse of the Throne. The prophet happily touched ABI'S chest and said: ``Drink - hail the knowledge'' i.e. congratulation.

COMMENTS

The verse begins with Allah's most sacred Essence, and greatest of Attributes, that cannot contain in our understandings, and no words can express Him! Perhaps the only FIT-WORD by which we may name the Essence or Attributes of God is the pronoun ``HE'' Allah is a comprehensive name of HIS Substance - all in all. A name that repudiates any idea or suggestion that there can be any compeers of Allah, who is the true living One God. `HE is the ever living, Self - subsisting.'

He lives, but His life is Self - subsisting and Eternal, because His absolute life is His very Essence, knowledge and power. His life does not depend on anything other than His very Self, and is not similar to any other life that are contingent and evanescent. He never dies. `Slumber seizes Him not, neither sleep.'

His life is perfect; so much so that HE is never subject to death nor He needs to have some rest. Therefore His activities never slow down by slumber or sleep. He will never be negligent, heedless, or unaware of His creatures even for the least fraction of time, any where! `His are all that is in heavens and the earth.'

The fifth attribute mentioned here is His absolute OWNERSHIP of whatever exists in space and time like the heavens and the earth. Considering that everything belongs to God, and what we have is given to us by Him temporarily, may teach us good lessons of

[ 282 ]

development and evolution, and prevent us from transgressing upon other people. `Who is he that can intercede with Him, save by HIS permission.' ``No, creature can stand before Him as of right to intercede for another creature, because both of them are dependent upon God's will, unless HE, Himself permits that.'' About INTERCESSION we have given enought detail in Q- S 2:42. `He knows what is before them and what is behind them. They can grasp only the part of His knowledge that He wills' God's knowledge is absolute and is not conditioned by time and space. Whatever may contain in time and space are clearly open before Him, and He sees instantly whatever may be before or after; here or there.

Our knowledge which is limited and confined in space and time, gets some reflection of reality when it accords with HIS knowledge, and is a ray of that infinite, Eternal spectrum of Radiation. `His THRONE comprising the heavens and the earth has extended; And preserving them does not weary Him. He is the Most High the Great. His kingdom and Power covers and maintains all the heavens and earth and everything in them. By `EVERYTHING' we understand all that exists, whether spiritual or material. Therefore, in everything is the working of God's Power and knowledge, and throughout space and time His Will is done, and His authority accepted.

Imam Sadiq (AS) said: ``The heavens and earth in comparison to the THRONE (ARSH), is like a finger ring fallen in the middle of a very extensive desert!''

(( 256 ))

256- THERE IS NO COMPULSION IN RELIGION. RECTITUDE HAS NOW BEEN DISTINCT FROM ERROR. SO WHOEVER REJECTS EVIL (SUCH AS SATAN, IDOLS, OR ANY REBEL) AND

[ 283 ]

BELIEVES IN ALLAH, HAS REALLY GRASPED AT THE MOST TRUSTWORTHY HAND-HOLD, THAT NEVER BREAKS. AND ALLAH IS ALL- HEARING ALL-KNOWING.

THE COMMENTARY
OCCASION OF REVELATION (VERSE NO. 256)


One of the prophet's companions whose name was ABUHASIN, had two sons who were attracted to Christianity, by the preachings of some priests. The father asked the prophet to encourage his sons to recant and return back to Islam. The said verse revealed to disclose that compulsion is not compatible with religion.

THE COMMENTS

The preceding VERSE OF THRONE which implied the most important tenets of Islam, that can easily be proved by reasoning and common sense, concludes that truth and error are so clear from each other that any person of good will and common sense should have no doubt in his heart as to the fundamentals of religion, and therefore: ``There is no compulsion in religion.'' as the verse begins with. The verse then ends in that: ``He who rejects evil and avoids Satan, idolatries, and disobedience to God; has grasped a firm hand-hold that never breaks, and our safety and security, so long as we hold firmly to God and have our trust on HIM, is assured.'' The ending of the verse implies that religion depends on the will and faith, and not on the pretence, because Allah hears well and knows well.

(( 257 ))

[ 284 ]

257- ALLAH IS THE GUARDIAN OF THOSE WHO BELIEVE HE TAKES THEM OUT OF DARKNESS (AND LEADS THEM) TO LIGHT. AND THOSE WHO DISBELIEVE, THEIR GUARDIANS ARE THE EVIL ONES, WHO TAKE THEM OUT OF THE LIGHT AND LEAD THEM INTO THE DARKNESS THEY ARE THE COMPANIONS OF THE FIRE, AND SHALL ABIDE IN IT FOR EVER.

THE COMMENTARY
VERSE NO. 257


The verse continues with the arrangment of the preceding verse about belief and disbelief, and makes clear the condition of the two parties from the stand point of leading and leadership, saying: ``Allah is the protector of the faithful. He will lead them from the depths of darkness into light.'' And as for those who reject faith, the evil ones, such as Satan, Rebels, Deviated, and etc. is their leader, who take them out of the light, and lead them into darkness. For this reason such faithless people are the companions of the Fire, and they shall abide in Hell for ever.

(( 258 ))

258- HAVE YOU NOT SEEN HIM TO WHOM ALLAH HAD GIVEN KINGDOM, (NIMROD, WHO WAS PUFFED WITH PRIDE AND VANITY FOR HAVING POWER AND SOVEREIGNTY) HOW HE DISPUTED WITH ABRAHAM CONCERNING HIS LORD? WHEN ABRAHAM SAID:

[ 285 ]

`MY LORD IS HE WHO GIVES LIFE AND CAUSES TO DIE.' HE SAID: `I (TOO) CAN GIVE LIFE AND MAKE TO DIE!' (TO PROVE THAT, HE SLEW A PRISONER AND PARDONED ANOTHER) ABRAHAM SAID: `ALLAH BRINGS THE SUN FROM THE EAST, SO BRING YOU IT FROM THE WEST.' THEN THE UNBELIEVER WAS CONFOUNDED AND ALLAH GUIDES NOT THE PEOPLE WHO OPPRESS.

THE COMMENTARY
ABRAHAM IN FRONT OF NIMROD, THE T?GHUT OF HIS TIME


TAGHUT= REBELLIOUS, is an intensive word from the root: TOGHY?N= REBELLION, which implies to any sort of uprising, revolt open resistance, or defiance of any authority; and hence the Devil and Satan manifest the meaning and symbolize it. In Pagan Era too, the Arabs had an ancient idol which was named TAGHUT, and was worshipped by almost all the tribes, and therefore TAGHUT CAN also imply idol. Here in this verse NIMROD the tyrant oppressor king of Babylonia is the person alluded to.

VERSE NO. 258

Here an example is given of faithful and faithless, and God's grace and guidance, which was mentioned and discusses in the preceding verses. It alludes to ABRAHAM the Breaker of Idols; and the tyrant and dictator of his age, known as NIMROD who ruled over BABYLONIA, the original home of ABRAHAM. (UR OF THE CHALDEES) Our prophet (AS) is addressed here in this verse, saying: ``Did you not see him to whom Allah had given kingdom, how he disputed with ABRAHAM concerning his Lord?''

[ 286 ]

The dispute was due to the power and kingdom that God had given him, and it was also due to his lack of capacity. There are many a one who has faith, and is good in deeds, and fair and gentle in behaviour; as long as he has not come to rank and power. But as soon as he reaches to a position and becomes rich, he forgets all, and deviates from his straight path. The pride of power leads him to the darknesses of vanity and selfishness, and he may easily profane the name of God and all the important sanctities.

When Nimrod asked Abraham who had already broken their idols, and was in their court procedure: ``Who is your Lord?'' ABRAHAM answered: ``My Lord is He who gives life and causes to die.'' Here ABRAHAM reasons through the greatest masterpiece of the creation which is life and death, where as his opponent adheres to fallacious resoning and says that: ``I can also give life and make to die!'' And in order to prove his false claim, he ordered a prisoner to be executed, and another one released! Then ABRAHAM astonished the claimer by going back to fundamentals. He said to Nimrod: ``If you think that you have the ultimate power, then make the sun rise from the west! And of course Allah will not guide the oppressors.''

(( 259 ))

259- OR SUCH AS HIM WHO, WHEN PASSING BY A RUINED AND DESOLATE TOWN, SAID: `HOW AND WHEN WILL ALLAH GIVE IT LIFE AFTER ITS DEATH? THEN ALLAH CAUSED HIM TO DIE A HUNDRED YEARS, THEN RAISED HIM UP AGAIN! HE

[ 287 ]

SAID HOW LONG YOU TARRIED? HE SAID: I HAVE TARRIED A DAY OR PART OF A DAY. HE SAID: `NOT SO! YOU HAVE STAYED HERE A HUNDRED YEARS. THEN LOOK AT YOUR FOOD AND DRINK; AGE HAS NOT ROTTED THEM! AND LOOK AT (THE BONES) OF YOUR ASS AND WE SHALL MAKE YOU A SIGN TO MANKIND. AND LOOK FURTHER AT THE BONES HOW DO WE BRING THEM TOGETHER, AND THEN CLOTH THEM WITH FLESH. SO WHEN IT WAS MADE CLEAR TO HIM, HE SAID: I KNOW (NOW) THAT ALLAH HAS POWER OVER ALL THINGS.

THE COMMENTARY
VERSE NO. 259


This incident is referred to a man (EZRA), who in his journey rides an ass, and carries with him some food and drink and, Lo! He sees the ruins of a desolate town, and the dreadful view of the scattered and rotten bones of its inhabitants! The fearful scenery puts him in doubt and despair, and asks himself: ``How and when will Allah give life to them after such a death?!'' But as the verse implies God can cause resurrection as He has done many time in history. The verse says: ``Then Allah caused him to die a hundred years. Then He raised him up again.''

Then in order to assure HIS apostle; God tells him to look over his food and drink which was still as fresh as he had left it besides! On the other hand he looked at his donkey and saw that only some of its bones were remained; dry and all rotten. The verse continues: ``Then look at your food and drink! Ages has not rotten them, but observe the rotten bones of your ass and see how we gather them together and reunite them, and see how do We cover them with flesh and skin, and blow life in him, just to make a sign of you

[ 288 ]

and a teaching lesson for mankind.'' When all these happened and the dead man and animal got a new life, Ezra said: ``Now I know well that Allah has power to do whatever He intends.''

(( 260 ))

260- AND WHEN ABRAHAM SAID: ``MY LORD! SHOW ME HOW YOU GIVE LIFE TO THE DEAD? HE SAID: HAVE YOU NOT FAITH? HE SAID: YES, BUT TO REASSURE MY HEART. HE SAID: THEN TAKE FOUR BIRDS, AND AFTER SLAUGHTERING THEM CUT THEIR BODIES TO PIECES. THEN PLACE ON EVERY MOUNTAIN A PART OF THEM. THEN CALL THEM. THEY WILL COME TO YOU FLYING. AND KNOW THAT ALLAH IS MIGHTY WISE.

THE COMMENTARY
ANOTHER SCENE OF RESURRECTION IN THIS WORLD
(VERSE NO. 260)


Following the story of Ezra about resurrection, another incident of that kind is mentioned in this verse that: ``One day HAZRAT ABRAHAM (AS), walking at a sea-shore saw the carcass of a man, half in the sea and half on the shore, where the birds were eating his flesh out, and the sea animal from the in!''

Seeing that; Abraham thought of a problem that every one wants to know it clearly, and that is the resurrection after death. Here Qur?n

[ 289 ] HAZRAT ABRAHAM (AS) did all that, as per order of God, and when he called them, each part of a bird joined his counter part, and they became the same four birds that they were before their slaughter, all alive and all sound and safe! This incident showed ABRAHAM that the same sort of resurrection, but in a much larger scale will happen in Dooms Day, and that Allah is Mighty and Wise.

(( 261 ))

261- THE PARABLE OF THOSE WHO EXPEND THEIR WEALTH IN THE WAY OF ALLAH, IS THE LIKENESS OF A GRAIN OF CORN THAT SPROUTS SEVEN EARS, EACH BEARING A HUNDRED GRAINS, AND ALLAH MAKES THAT TWOFOLD (OR MAINIFOLD) FOR WHOM HE WILLS. AND ALLAH IS EXTENDER, ALL-KNOWING