• Raya Shokatfard

REFLECTION WITH SKEPTIC ON SURAH FUSSILAT (PART 2)

Updated: Nov 2, 2020


By: Raya Shokatfard


Part 1 , Part 3 , Part 4 , Part 5 , Part 6


In Part 1, we learned that the Quran is a revelation from Allah revealed to Prophet Muhammad for the people of understanding.


It also brings glad tidings to the believers and warning to disbelievers.


The characteristics of believers and disbelievers were also explained.


In this part, Allah is instructing the Prophet to respond to the chiefs of Quraish tribes who were opposing him.


{Say (O Muhammad): “I am only a human being like you. It is revealed to me that your Ilah (God) is One Ilah (God – Allah), therefore take Straight Path to Him (with true Faith — Islamic Monotheism) and obedience to Him, and seek forgiveness of Him. And woe to Al-Mushrikun (the polytheists, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah).} (41:6)


It is interesting to note that the words uttered to Muhammad (peace be upon him) by the disbelievers over 1400 years ago were not much different than what is said about him, Allah and the religion of Islam today by those whose hearts are sealed to guidance and understanding Divine Revelation.


While those hard at work trying to reject faith and perhaps spend millions or more to discredit Islam, they themselves have no solution for a better and more moral life. Taking away the faith must be replaced with something better, but they offer none but the man-made freedom, joy and amusement of this world.


Allah here shows us the core of the problem and also gives us the answer in the above verse. There is only one straight path, and that is obedience to Him.


As Muslims, we have to be very cautious not to fall into crooked paths that may look attractive and away from the guidance of Allah.


Why is Allah instructing the Prophet to say, “I am only a human being like you?”


Perhaps this powerful statement is a reminder to the rebellious chiefs who had forgotten about their Creator that this messenger is only a human being wishing no benefit for himself other than bringing guidance from the Creator Himself. So, the reminder was to take the focus off the man and to the One who sent it.


While opening all doors to the believers, Allah warns of the great torment for the disbelievers.


This is further stressed in the second part, “it has been revealed to me that your illah (God) is One.”


What about us today? Do we worship a single illah or are our hearts filled with desires or other man-made gods? Do we devote our lives to please others more than our Creator?


Coming to Islam means we put Allah in the center of our lives and all else take lesser importance. We do this by coming to know Him more and follow the rest of the verse which states), therefore take Straight Path and obedience to Him, and seek forgiveness of Him.

While opening all doors to the believers, Allah warns of the great torment for the disbelievers and idolaters.


{Those who give not the Zakah and they are disbelievers in the Hereafter.} (7)


This verse is addressing the same people above who were not rejecting the existence of their Creator, but were rejecting His commandments and the Judgment day and were unwilling to give charity and thus labeled as disbelievers.


“Zakah” in Arabic means that which purifies. It also means that which increases abundantly. Muslims give 2.5% of their surplus wealth to the needy each year. One may think this will make their wealth decrease, but in reality, anything we give to please Allah has much more increase with Him than the world can offer. But the disbelievers were obviously heedless of this.


{Truly, those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah and in His Messenger Muhammad – Islamic Monotheism) and do righteous good deeds, for them will be an endless reward that will never stop (i.e. Paradise).} (8)


The contrast to the disbelievers is mention of those who believe and do righteous deed. Their reward is eternal.


It is also noteworthy to mention that in most cases where Allah mentions “those who believe,” He also follows by adding, “and do righteous good deeds.” Thus, in contrast to Christianity which considers faith as sufficient requirement for one to enter Paradise, Islam combines the belief with good deeds as the requirement for gaining Allah’s pleasure and paving one’s way to Paradise.


But What Constitutes Belief?

We must strive to gain full conviction in our belief in Allah and His messenger.


In Islam, there are certain tenets one must believe without any doubt in order to be considered a Muslim. These articles of faith as follows:

§ Belief in God

§ Belief in His Angels

§ Belief in His Books

§ Belief in His Prophets and Messengers

§ Belief in the Day of Judgment

§ Belief in God’s Divine Decree

The above articles are the basis of belief. Yet, just believing without adequate knowledge will be merely a shallow belief. One must strive to have a deep understanding of each article and all its derivatives.


Righteous actions are natural consequence of correct belief. Although prayer, fasting, pilgrimage and giving charity are integral parts of the articles of faith, many sub-branches must be understood and followed. This includes keeping good relations with our family, honoring trusts and paying back our debts, avoiding fornication, adultery, backbiting and following the commandments of Allah.


Yet, more than all this, one must have complete servitude toward the Creator.


The best way to do this is to understand Allah’s words and emulate our blessed Prophet in all his actions and words.


We must strive to gain full conviction in our belief in Allah and His messenger. It is only through this process that one can gain true peace and contentment.


{Say (O Muhammad to disbelievers): “Do you verily disbelieve in Him Who created the earth in two Days and you set up rivals (in worship) with Him? That is the Lord of the ‘Alamîn (mankind, jinn and all that exists).} (9)


This verse compels the disbelievers to think about the creation of the earth.


In various verses it is stated that they acknowledge that the creator of all that exists is Allah.


Despite this belief, they still would assign partners with Him.


Here, Allah is addressing those ungrateful people who set rivals with Him

So, here, He reminds them of the Creator’s vast power and informs them that He created the Earth in two periods (not 2 days of 24 hour each, as there were no sun or moon at that point,

these periods could be millions or billions of years each). Also each period may be referring to the two stages, like first being hot, liquid and in process of cooling, and the second forming solidity and preparation for living creatures.


Here, Allah is addressing those ungrateful people who set rivals with Him despite the fact that He created the earth for us in these two periods. Perhaps we cannot imagine the magnitude of this creation and its duration, but Allah is informing the disbelievers of its vast importance so they can ponder. He then says, “that is the Lord of the Worlds.”


Over years of research into the vast space, scientists have yet to find another planet or star that has same quality that support life as earth. They have not even found microscopic living elements anywhere on their vast research, as no planet or star is suitable to sustain life. Yet, Earth is complete in its vastness of support for life. But this is just the beginning stages of earth formation which underwent perhaps millions of years to be ready for the next process.

So, Allah is asking: {Are you surely disbelieving in the One who created the earth in two periods?} Such is a great state of ingratitude!


{He placed therein (i.e. the earth) firm mountains from above it, and He blessed it, and measured therein its sustenance (for its dwellers) in four Days equal (i.e. all these four ‘days’ were equal in the length of time), for all those who ask (about its creation).} (10)


Here, Allah uses the word “rawasiya” for mountains. Yet these are referred to mountains that have roots firmly established on the ground. It literally means something that is stamped down, wedged in or clamped down. Although mountains are result of movements of tectonic plates and earthquake, they end up stabilizing the earth from violent shaking – another blessing from Allah’s wisdom.


Then He blessed the earth with a vast bounty for all who would dwell on there.


All these including the previous two days total four days (periods), meaning two days was the creation of the earth and two days the creation of its sustenance.


Then He mentions that He created all these for those who ask. Who are those whom Allah refers to?


One opinion is for those who ask about His creation, and the second opinion is about all creatures who ask for sustenance in their own way – being plants, animals or humans.


To be continued…

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Published on: Friday, 11 April 2014

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    About Me

    Raya Shokatfard is an international speaker, film maker, and writer with a focus on women’s issues, Islam, and cultural issues. She holds BA and MBS degrees in Journalism and Mass Communication as well as a BA in Islamic Studies and an MD in TV Journalism.

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