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A Commentary on our Previous Article on this Verse: "If God Were to Increase the Provision to His Servants, They Would Transgress on Earth" (Quran 42:27)

 

A Commentary on our Previous Article on this Verse: "If God Were to Increase the Provision to His Servants, They Would Transgress on Earth" (Quran 42:27)

Published in September 8, 2017

Translated by: Ahmed Fathy

 

 

Introduction:

 Our previous article titled ""If God Were to Increase the Provision to His Servants, They Would Transgress on Earth" (Quran 42:27)" (which is found on our website in English on the following link: http://www.ahl-alquran.com/English/show_article.php?main_id=17176) has made an effect on readers and has revealed what is lurking inside most human beings; we feel bound to write this article that you are reading now as a commentary on it that provides more details on this topic.

 

Firstly: the desire for transient life and for the Eternal Life in the Hereafter within our own personal experience:

1- Personally speaking, we used to have more desire for this transient life; we used to feel mightily ashamed of ourselves when we remember these verses: "But you prefer the present life. Though the Hereafter is better, and more lasting." (87:16-17). Preferring this worldly life controlled our heart until our being persecuted made us experience trials and tribulations within a hard test; this test lessened the margin between the desire for the transient life and the desire to get killed/martyred for God's sake when we were in Egypt threatened in most times to get arrested and incarcerated by the State or to be assassinated by Wahabi criminals. When one dedicates one's lifetime to study the Quranic text, one's heart is filled with relief, solace, and comfort; the cells of our brain are opened and made ready to ponder deeper on the Quranic verses. We have felt a great, deep relief that as per the Quran, to wish for goodness in the transient life is NOT a sin or something hateful in itself; rather, the hateful, prohibited thing is to confine one's lifetime and focus one's undivided attention and endeavors to desire and to hoard possessions, luxuries, and ornaments of this temporary life. It is OK, of course, to desire for luxuries of life to be able to get stronger to perform good deeds that will benefit oneself on the Last Day. This means that desiring worldly items must submit to the desire to be among the winners on the Last Day during the Hereafter; e.g., to desire to get more money, knowledge, and/or power to be able to perform good deeds and charity for the sake of other people.        

2- We have felt a great, deep relief upon reading and pondering on these Quranic verses: "In houses which God has permitted to be raised, and His name is celebrated therein. He is glorified therein, morning and evening. By men who neither trading nor commerce distracts them from God's remembrance, and from performing the prayers, and from giving alms. They fear a Day when hearts and sights are overturned. God will reward them according to the best of what they did, and He will increase them from His bounty. God provides for whomever He wills without reckoning." (24:36-38). We read here about believers who are rich within trade but they are never distracted from any of the acts worship inside or outside houses of worship, and they are rewarded in this world as well (not just in the Hereafter) by being granted more bounties/provisions from God unexpectedly, as we infer from these verses: "...And whoever fears God - He will make a way out for him. And will provide for him from where he never expected..." (65:2-3).

3- We have felt a great, deep relief upon reading and pondering on God's addressing His pious believers in this verse: "Say, "O My servants who have believed, keep your duty to your Lord. For those who do good in this world, is goodness. And God's earth is vast. The patient ones will be paid their wages in full, without limits."" (39:10). This means that those believers who adhere to piety and patience will be rewarded in this life on Earth wherever they go or settle by goodness from our Lord God, and their unlimited rewards, in terms of quantity and quality, are of course within the bliss of Eternal Paradise in the Hereafter. This is the promise made by our Dominant Lord Allah; this means that seeking goodness in this life is not a sin or something bad in itself, as this worldly goodness is part of the bounties granted by God to righteous people who enjoy wealth, health, and peace of mind.     

4- We have felt a great, deep relief upon reading and pondering on these Quranic verses: "Those who emigrate for God's sake after being persecuted, We will settle them in a good place in this world; but the reward of the Hereafter is greater, if they only knew. Those who endure patiently, and in their Lord they put their trust." (16:41-42). This means that those patient believing ones who immigrated for God's sake to avoid religious persecution and put their trust in our Lord God will be rewarded by God Who grants them goodness in this life and will be rewarded forever in Paradise in the Hereafter.

5- We have felt a great, deep relief upon reading and pondering on this Quranic verse about Abraham: "And We gave him goodness in this world, and in the Hereafter he will be among the righteous." (16:122). During his lifetime, Abraham  went through hard tests and he passed them successfully and fulfilled the Words of his Lord God (see 2:124 and 53:37). God has rewarded Abraham with goodness during his life time and will reward him in Paradise as he was among the righteous people.

6- This is why we personally repeat, on a daily basis, this supplication addressed to Almighty God: "...Our Lord, give us goodness in this world, and goodness in the Hereafter, and protect us from the torment of the Fire." (2:201).

 

Secondly: goodness in this life is granted by God to those believers who pass the faith-test successfully:

1- Some people talk to God condescendingly about their faith/belief and wait eager for the rich rewards of such faith to be lavished on them only in this world; when they receive goodness, they are happy, and when calamities befall them, they reject faith: "And among the people is he who worships God on edge. When something good comes his way, he is content with it. But when an ordeal strikes him, he makes a turnaround. He loses this world and the next. That is the obvious loss." (22:11).

2- Such people do not know that real faith/belief entails being tested by fearful ordeals and hardships: " Have the people supposed that they will be left alone to say, "We believe," without being put to the test?  We have tested those before them. God will surely know the truthful, and He will surely know the liars." (29:2-3). Such tests shows the nature of one's faith/belief: is it true and deep or mere overt claims and outward veneer. The Quranic Truth entails being patient in applying it and advising others to have patience so that they are among the winners on the Last Day: "By Time. The human being is in loss. Except those who believe, and do good works, and encourage truth, and recommend patience." (103:1-3).  

3- To explain this in actual life, we assert that we infer from 103:2 that the vast majority of human beings are misguided and misguiding; even if Muhammad himself would have obeyed them, they would have misguided him: "If you were to obey most of those on Earth, they would divert you from God's Path. They follow nothing but assumptions, and they only conjecture." (6:116). Within the Muhammadans' societies where tyrants rule, clergymen are used by tyrants to achieve this dominance and full control, as the case with most Sunnite countries of the Arab world, and in some cases, clergymen rule as theocrats (as in the case of Iran). Believers in the Quranic Truth follow the footsteps of prophets of God in calling for reform; this is what a prophet named Shueib had said to his corrupt people of Madian: "...I desire nothing but reform, as far as I can. My success lies only with God. In Him I trust, and to Him I turn." (11:88). Yet, those who spread corruption on Earth spare no efforts to persecute monotheistic believers; this is the real and hard test of those believers: some of them pass the test successfully by patience and trusting God, and God rewards them in this life and in the Hereafter, and some reject true faith and deserve the obvious loss in this world and in the next one.        

4- Hence, we see the emphasis of hard tests, undergone by the pious ones who adhere to patience, within these verses indicating the present and the future: "You will be tested through your possessions and your persons; and you will hear from those who received the Scripture before you, and from the idol worshipers, much abuse. But if you persevere and lead a righteous life-that indeed is a mark of great determination." (3:186); "We will certainly test you, until We know those among you who strive, and those who are patient, and We will test your reactions." (47:31); "We will certainly test you with some fear and hunger, and some loss of possessions and lives and crops. But give good news to the patient ones. Those who, when a calamity afflicts them, say, "To God we belong, and to Him we will return." Upon these are blessings and mercy from their Lord. These are the guided ones." (2:155-157). 

5- Some people assume wrongly that entering Paradise in the Hereafter is so easily attained; this myth is being spread by clergymen of earthly, man-made religions who sell indulgences; e.g., those Sunnite Wahabis who urge people to donate money to build mosques to earn palaces in Heaven! They assert that uttering the testimony of Islam is enough to enter into Paradise even if one steals and fornicates! They further assert that pilgrimage absolves one of all sins as if one is reborn like the day one's mother gave birth to one (as if naked!). All such myths and nonsensical notions are refuted beforehand by God as He addresses real pious believers: "Or do you expect to enter Paradise before the example of those who came before you had reached you? Adversity and hardship had afflicted them, and they were so shaken up, that the Messenger and those who believed with him said, "When is God's victory?" Indeed, God's victory is near." (2:214); "Or do you expect to enter Paradise, before God has distinguished those among you who strive, and before He has distinguished the patient ones?" (3:142); "Or do you think that you will be left alone, without God identifying which of you will strive, and take no supporters apart from God, His messenger, and the believers? God is well Aware of what you do." (9:16).   

 

Thirdly: desiring the Hereafter means not to be impressed by ornaments and luxuries of worldly life:

1- The ornaments and luxuries of worldly life are attractive and alluring; they are part of tests undergone by human beings, and the winners among them are those who perform good deeds: "We made what is upon the earth an ornament for it, to test them as to which of them is best in conduct." (18:7). The ornaments and luxuries of worldly life are snares of vanity that lead those of little or no belief to spend their lifetimes bragging of their possessions, struggling to gain more assets and items, and desire to multiply their money all the time, though such things are transient and temporary, as Eternal Life is in the Hereafter, either in Hell or in Paradise for eternity. "Know that the worldly life is only play, and distraction, and glitter, and boasting among you, and rivalry in wealth and children. It is like a rainfall that produces plants, and delights the disbelievers. But then it withers, and you see it yellowing, and then it becomes debris. While in the Hereafter there is severe agony, and forgiveness from God, and acceptance. The life of this world is nothing but enjoyment of vanity." (57:20). The alternative provided by God in the Quran is to compete for good deeds to be among winners on the Last Day: "Race towards forgiveness from your Lord; and a Garden as vast as the heavens and the earth, prepared for those who believe in God and His messengers. That is the grace of God; He bestows it on whomever He wills. God is the Possessor of Immense Grace." (57:21); "Wealth and children are the adornments of the present life. But the things that last, the virtuous deeds, are better with your Lord for reward, and better for hope." (18:46); "Whatever thing you are given is but the material of this world, and its glitter. But what is with God is better, and longer lasting. Do you not comprehend?" (28:60).

2- Fates of filthily rich and wealthy disbelievers is known: such as Moses' Pharaoh who had "...splendor and wealth in the worldly life..." (10:88) and Quaroon who "...went out before his people in his splendor..." (28:79).

3- Hence, God has repeatedly commanded Muhammad never to get impressed by luxuries, wealth, and ornaments granted to disbelievers and hypocrites because the bliss of Paradise in the Hereafter for the good ones is better and everlasting and the evil ones will suffer in Hell for eternity: "And do not extend your glance towards what We have given some classes of them to enjoy-the splendor of the life of this world-that We may test them thereby. Your Lord's provision is better, and more lasting." (20:131); "Let neither their possessions nor their children impress you. God intends to torment them through them in this worldly life, and that their souls depart while they are disbelievers." (9:55); "Do not let their possessions and their children impress you. God desires to torment them through them in this world, and their souls expire while they are disbelievers." (9:85); "Do not be impressed by the disbelievers' movements in the land. A brief enjoyment, then their abode is Hell. What a miserable resort. As for those who feared their Lord: for them will be gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever-hospitality from God. What God possesses is best for the just." (3:196-198).

4- Of course, desiring Paradise in the Hereafter does NOT mean to lead an ascetic life or to prohibit allowed items of this life's ornaments and good things: "O Children of Adam! Dress properly at every place of worship, and eat and drink, but do not be excessive. He does not love the excessive. Say, "Who forbade God's finery which He has produced for His servants, and the delights of livelihood?" Say, "They are for those who believe, in this present world, but exclusively theirs on the Day of Resurrection." We thus detail the verses for people who know. Say, "My Lord has forbidden immoralities-both open and secret-and sin, and unjustified aggression, and that you associate with God anything for which He revealed no sanction, and that you say about God what you do not know."" (7:31-33), as such needless prohibitions are deemed to be a flagrant violation of God's right to be the Only Legislator in Islam: "O you who believe! Do not prohibit the good things God has permitted for you, and do not commit aggression. God does not love the aggressors." (5:87). Thus, to desire the Paradise of the Hereafter means that one is to make use of this life and its transient items to be among the winners on the Last Day,  

 

Lastly:

1- The biggest test for all human beings is their freedom of choice: is each individual going to choose the transient life or the Eternal Life, disobedience or obedience, misguidance/impiety or guidance/piety? Thus, this test is based on personal choices made within the limited duration of one's lifetime on Earth.

2- Each individual and each person must realize that God did not create human beings in vain or for no reason; all human beings will return to the Dominant Lord Allah on the Last Day and that this is the fate of all humanity: "Did you think that We created you in vain, and that to Us you will not be returned?"" (23:115); "...God warns you to beware of Him. To God is the destiny." (3:28); "...To God belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and what lies between them, and to Him is the return." (5:18).

3- This clearly means that no one can ever escape or evade our Almighty Lord God the Creator, neither in this world nor in the next world.


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