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|What the Qur'an teaches-1|
|08/07/01 at 02:12:09|
|Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh|
What the Qur'an teaches
[color=Red]In the name of God, the Merciful, the Beneficent[/color]
[color=Green]Limitless in His glory is He who transported His servant by night from the Sacred Mosque (in Makkah) to the Aqsa Mosque (in Jerusalem) — the environs of which We have blessed — so that We might show him some of Our signs. Indeed He alone is the One who hears all and knows all.[/color] - [i](The Night Journey, Al-Isra', 17: 1)[/i]
God's limitless glory
Commentary by Sayyid Qutb
This Surah, entitled Al-Isra', or "the night journey", was revealed when the Prophet lived in Makkah. It begins with glorifying God and ends with praising Him. It includes a number of themes, most of which are directly related to the issue of faith, but some of its themes tackle certain aspects of individual and social behavior and its moral basis of faith. It also includes some stories about the Children of Israel relevant to the Aqsa mosque to which the Prophet traveled on his night journey, as well as some aspects of the story of Adam and Satan, and the honor God has granted to mankind.
However, the most prominent element in the Surah and the central point in its themes is the Prophet himself (peace be upon him), and the attitude adopted by the people of Makkah to him, as well as the message he preached, embodied in the Qur'an, and the guidance it provides and how those unbelievers received it. This leads to a discussion of the nature of the message and the role of God's messengers. It includes a point on the distinction of the Prophet's message by having no physical, preternatural phenomenon to support it. It has been God's will that when such a phenomenon, or miracle, was given in support of a Divine message, those who continued to deny the message would be shortly destroyed. It also states the principle of individual responsibility in matters of faith, guidance and error, and collective responsibility in matters of social behavior. However all such responsibility applies after God has made His message clear to mankind through prophets and messengers whose task is to advise, warn and give sound counsel, and also to make everything clear: "We have spelled out everything most clearly."
The Surah repeatedly praises God and glorifies Him and mentions the need to praise and thank Him for all the blessings He bestows on His servants. It begins with glorifying Him: "Limitless in His glory is He who transported His servant by night from the Sacred Mosque (in Makkah) to the Aqsa Mosque (in Jerusalem)." Soon afterward, the Children of Israel are commanded to believe in God's oneness and reminded that they belong to the offspring of Noah who was "a most grateful servant of God."
When the non-believers' claims about their false deities are mentioned, the Surah comments: "Limitless is He in His glory, and sublimely, immeasurably exalted above anything that men may say (about Him)! The seven heavens extol His limitless glory, and the earth, and all that they contain; and there is not a single thing but extols His limitless glory and praise; but you, people, fail to grasp the manner of their glorifying Him." (Verses 43-44)
The Surah quotes some of the people of earlier Divine religions who say when the Qur'an is recited to them: "Limitless in His glory is our Lord! Indeed our Lord's promise has been fulfilled." (Verse 108)
The last verse in the Surah says: "Say: 'All praise is due to God, who begets no offspring, and has no partner in His dominion, and has no weakness, and has, therefore, no need of any aid,' and extol His limitless greatness."
Thus the Surah revolves around one axis although it tackles several subjects. Its first part mentions the night journey to the Aqsa mosque and its purpose, "so that We might show him some of Our signs." And in connection with the mosque in Jerusalem the Surah mentions the book revealed to Moses and what God determined in it for the Children of Israel, speaking about two episodes of destruction and diaspora because of their injustice and corruption. They are warned about a third and a fourth time if they revert to the same methods. It then states that this last Divine revelation, the Qur'an, guides to the path that is straightest, while man is often driven by his uncontrollable reactions. It also states the rule of individual responsibility with regard to following Divine guidance or straying away from it, and collective responsibility with regard to behavior and practice.
The second part speaks about the truth of God's oneness, considering it the basis upon which the whole social set up should be built, including the values of work and behavior. This central issue of faith should be the pivot around which all human life should turn.
The third part speaks of the superstitions of ignorance which attribute daughters and partners to God. It also mentions the resurrection and how the nonbelievers could not imagine that it would ever take place. It shows how they received Qur'anic revelations and the fabrications they used to reiterate about the Prophet (peace be upon him). It commands the believers to say something better, unlike the falsehood of the nonbelievers.
In the fourth part the Surah explains the reason for not giving the Prophet physical miracles or preternatural phenomena. When such miracles were given to earlier communities and they continued to deny the message of the truth, the law God has set in such cases applied to them and they were destroyed. It refers to the attitude of the nonbelievers to God's warnings in the Prophet's dream and their rejection and persistence in their erring ways. In this connection a part of the story of Iblis, or Satan, is mentioned and his declaration that he would remain for ever man's determined foe. This part of the story appears to be an exposition of the reasons for the nonbelievers to go astray. It comments on that by warning mankind against incurring God's punishment and a reminder of God's grace and the honor He has given to mankind.
It tells them what awaits the obedient servants of God and what awaits those who disobey Him on the day when every community are summoned by calling their leaders or guides. "He who will be given his record in his right hand will read his record (with happiness). None shall be wronged by as much as a hair's breadth. And whoever is blind (of heart) in this world will be even more blind in the life to come, and still farther astray." (Verses71-72)
The final part of the Surah speaks about the schemes of the nonbelievers against the Prophet (peace be on him), and their attempts to lure him away from at least part of what has been revealed to him. It mentions their attempt to expel him from Makkah. When he actually left, he did so carrying out God's orders. Had they forcibly expelled him, they would have been destroyed, as happened to communities which in former times expelled their prophets or killed them. God commands the Prophet in the Surah to carry on with his mission, reciting the Qur'an and attending to his prayers, appealing to God to enable him to enter and leave in true and sincere manner, and to declare that the truth has come to light and falsehood is certain to wither away.
The Surah comments that this Qur'an, from parts of which they tried to lure the Prophet away, is a source of cure and guidance to the believers. Man's knowledge, however, remains inadequate. "You have been given but scanty knowledge."
[i]Arab News - 20 August 1999[/i]
More to follow, Insha Allah.
Wassalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh
Haniff (with 2 f's)
|Re: What the Qur'an teaches-1|
|08/07/01 at 12:00:30|
Masha-Allah you wrote so much islamic article. But my english is realy not so good to get that all exactly how it be should to understand. My Allah azza wa jalla jalaluhu reward you and your family..
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