• Raya Shokatfard

REFLECTION WITH SKEPTIC ON SURAH FUSSILAT (PART 1)

Updated: Nov 2, 2020


By: Raya Shokatfard


Part 2 , Part 3 , Part 4 , Part 5 , Part 6


In this chapter of the Quran, Allah speaks directly to the skeptic, atheist, polytheist, and believers.


One would be awed at the divine reasoning and justice.


He would further talk about the Creation of heavens and the earth and amazing information that would startle the curious mind.


{Ha-­Mim [These letters are one of the miracles of the Quran, and none but Allah (Alone) knows their meanings.] (1)


A revelation from (Allah) the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. (2)


A Book whereof the Verses are explained in detail — a Quran in Arabic for people who know. (3)} (41:1-3)


In the above verses, Allah confirms that the Quran is a revelation from Ar-Rahman (the one whose mercy envelopes and consumes. A full and complete mercy that is never depleted and flows to everyone and everything) and Al-Raheem (the ever merciful), in which the verses are fully explained in Arabic for people of understanding.


It is important to note that the revelation was in Arabic which was the language of the people to whom Muhammad (peace be upon him) was sent to at the advent of Islam. Also, Arabic is a precise language through which the meanings are explained in detail with no ambiguity.


Here, the people who know or people of understanding are those who reflect on the words of Allah, understand it and are guided aright through it.


How can we achieve this understanding and be among those who Allah refers to here?


Only those who desire to have a relationship with Allah and realize the immeasurable value of His words and its clarity are honored with such position. Such people of understandings are those who:

§ Live their lives according to its guidance

§ Commit themselves to it

§ Implement what they learn from it

§ Understand why this book was revealed and for whom

§ Realize that Allah Himself has sent this book for guidance

§ Realize its worth and that there is nothing on earth more precious than it

§ Understand that it is the foundation of our religion


Would you like to be among these blessed people?


We notice that Arabic comes before “those who know”

If the commitment is serious, one must give it ample time, effort and have eagerness to understand it. This is possible when one truly feels the need for it in his/her life.


Of course the Quran is best understood in its original language – Arabic. A serious learner tries to learn and master this language and put preference to this above other tasks. As we noticed above, Allah says: “…Quran in Arabic for those who know!”


We notice that Arabic comes before “those who know”. It seems that those who know and understand the Quran, achieve this state through the Arabic language.


Arabic is an attribute and integral part of the Quran. Any translation is not a Quran but a mere translation with various interpretations and it only relates a portion of the meaning.


There is no language in existence that is as powerful and expressive as Arabic.


However for the newcomers to Islam, the translation will suffice at the beginning and numerous reading is recommended to get a better understanding of the context. Over time, the Arabic language is best to be included in the study program.


If you have read this far, it may mean that you may be serious about understanding the Book of Allah better and implementing it in your life.


It is important to know that your success is only achieved if you come to know Him and understand the way He deals with the Creation and His awesome place in our minds, hearts and lives. If you are convinced that this Book shows you the right way, can you then turn away from it and neglect it?


If you are not sure about the merits of this book, yet believe that Allah sent revelations to all Prophets and this is the last uncorrupted book of Divine guidance, shall you not put sincere effort to understand it better?


{A Bringer of glad tidings [of Paradise to the one who believes in the Oneness of Allah (i.e. Islamic Monotheism) and fears Allah much (abstains from all kinds of sins and evil deeds) and loves Allah much (performing all kinds of good deeds which He has ordained)], and warning (of punishment in the Hell Fire to the one who disbelieves in the Oneness of Allah), but most of them turn away, so they hear not.} (4)


This surah (chapter) was revealed in Makkah and the verses here address the Quraish

Believers here are separated from those who turn away. Each set is given what they deserve according to their belief.


This surah (chapter) was revealed in Makkah and the verses here address the Quraish, the tribe to which Muhammad was first sent to. They would hear the words of Allah through Muhammad, but would turn away as if they were deaf. Yet at the same time the believers in the message were in full submission to Allah and were given glad tidings of Paradise.


When verses of the Quran are addressed to specific people or situations, in most cases they also apply to all and for all time.


Here, there is more evidence to the importance of knowing this blessed Book, as the reward is immense.


Allah refers to this book as “A Bringer of glad tidings…” The Arabic word “basheer” means more than bringer of good news. It means a source of great joy and happiness which lights one’s heart. It is something we love and look forward to – a fulfiller of human needs.


What good news does this Quran promise?

It is but the blessed Paradise promised to those who love and follow Him. Being close to Him in this world as well as the Hereafter cannot be replaced with anything this world offers.

Every believer or disbeliever knows they will leave this world one day. For those who believe there is another life after death, no news is better than to know their striving in the short life of this world has a tremendous ever-lasting reward in the Hereafter.


It is obvious that the promise of Paradise is not for everyone. There are conditions, but easy enough that everyone can fulfill them, but Allah warns that many turn away and do not listen.


Those who turn away, distance themselves from Him, thus losing His protection. The heart that cannot remember Him, turns away from His mercy and guidance. In most cases, such persons have unfulfilling and depressed lives. They are unable to manage stress and calamities with ease. They blame themselves or others for all that befall them. They seek refuge with mental specialists. They turn to medication and hospitalization in some cases, but refuse to even consider turning to the One who is the greatest Healer and Solver of all problems. Such a sad reality!


It is very important for all who strive to help others to come close to Islam to know what they are facing and why.


In the warning, there is an implication that human in nature is apathetic, lethargic and arrogant, especially when it comes to the relationship with God and His messengers.


{And they say: “Our hearts are under coverings (screened) from that to which you invite us, and in our ears is deafness, and between us and you is a screen, so work you (on your way); verily, we are working (on our way).} (5)


This verse relates to the previous verse which describes the vast majority of people who turn away from His message – the bringer of good news and .


It is very important for all who strive to help others to come close to Islam to know what they are facing and why. We have to believe all humans can change course, as many of us have also done the same. Many verses encourage the believers to help those with no or weak faith.


The disbelievers here are talking about their hearts. The word “akinna” does not have a real translation in English, but the closest meaning is when something is completely submerged, enveloped and covered. Imagine dropping a ring into a cup of black coffee. You will not be able to see it. Coffee and the cup are barriers that keep the ring from being seen.


Why did they make this claim?


Can this be arrogance?


Of course they did not say these words out loud, but to themselves. They were referring to previous verses which talk about the Quran. They simply could not see the light, as the sun rays cannot reach the depth of the ocean.


This was the attitude of the tribe of Quraish. Did they know that they will come a day when all who were still alive would rush to embrace Islam upon the final years of the life of Muhammad?


They further said: “in our ears there is deafening heaviness”.


This is another excuse for not submitting to the call of the Quran. Naturally hearing comes before anything can enter the heart. The word “waqar” means more than deafness. It is something heavy or a barrier that prevents the sound from entering.


Was the barrier their arrogance?


How different are humans today?


Not much!


Our minds are more complicated now and the distractions, temptations and love of the world have become much stronger barriers than before.


Opening the ears and hearts to guidance to some, may mean giving up the pleasures of this world. In this case their not hearing or understanding is an intentional refusal of facing the Straight Path.


To be continued…


References:

Tafsir Ibn Katheer.

Quran Tafseer by Abdur Raheem As-Saranbi.

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Published on: Wednesday, 19 March 2014

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