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 QURANIC INSIGHT

QURAN:

Comprehension, Belief and Action:

Teachings of the Quran with propagation through the network.

Q A Ahmad


Human life is full of many types or enormous political, social and economic injustice. In consequence it suffers nervous and psychological illness, worry and restlessness, madness and suicide, alcoholism, drug addiction and crime.

Multitudes of philosophical, social, political and economic doctrines are presented to humanity. Their exponents banish religion from practical life and, at worst, fight it tooth and nail. They disapprove the very existance of religion.

Muslims, themselves, are now far displaced in their practical life from the nature of Islam. The deviant doctrines propounded vehemently dominate the lives of contemporay Muslims under the concealment of 'modern human civilisation'.

Grand Illusion

The various man-made ideologies dominated by materialism claim that humanity has alternative systems to follow, either a God-given system at the sacrifice of all the material achievements by human beings or a man-made system based only on man's own intellectual abilities and accomplishments without Divine intervention.

This cynical claim is based on the whim that God-given way of life and man's ability to advance and improve are mutually exclusive. Being empowered by man's achievement, some are easily tempted to consider natural forces and religious values mutually exclusive operating in totally separate spheres. This is the 'Grand Illusion' of today.

This illusion has led to the distorted concept that material progress can be achieved without the need for religious values and the consequences of the interaction of natural laws have nothing to do with the belief in God.

Islam, through the Quran, instils in man's mind that religious values and natural laws interact all the time and combine at several points, being ultimately controlled by the power of God.

"Had the People of the Book believed and become God-conscious, We would have pardoned them and admitted them to gardens of bliss. Had they truly observed the Torah and the Gospel and what ws revealed to them from their Sustainer, they would have enjoyed abundance from above and from beneath them."

(al-Maidah, 5:66)

"I (Noah) said (to them): 'Seek forgiveness of you Sustainer; He is ever ready to forgive. He will send abundant water from the sky for you and bestow upon you wealth and offspring. He will provide you with gardens and flowing rivers.'"

(Noah, 71:10-12)

"Allah does not change a people's lot unless they change what is in their hearts."

(al-Ra'ad, 13:11)

Belief in God with sincere faith and following His prescribed order in society are all manifestations of subversion to natural laws of God's universal order. The laws governing God's universe have a positive effect on human life and relate back to the same origin or all the natural, human and physical laws that we observe and experience everyday.

Hence the religious values and natural laws are definitely inseperable.

Islam deals with human nature very cautiously in the sequence of inducement, incentive, flattery, appeal and then lastly reprimand. Only when necessary, does Islam urge for discipline and restraint. Islam employs continous process of growth and development taking advantage of time.

Islam starts slowly and grows gradually. In the scheme of Allah, things must be allowed to take their natural course.

"No change will you ever find in the way of Allah."

(Fatir, 35:43)

Islam, 14 centuries ago, led humanity at a time of great corruption and decadence. The advent of Islam based on the revelation of the Quran gave rebirth to man. The concepts and laws of the Quran introduced a fresh understanding of life and its values and of the whole world order.

The followers of Islam bent more towards materialistic pursuits undermining religious values and thus Islam was removed from leadership giving place to various man-made ideologies based upon materialism. This isolation of Islam from the active leadership is the worst setback that humanity has been suffering since then.

The Islamic Ummah is a special creation of Allah. It was the group of believers under the leadership of the last Prophet Muhammad (s) to carry the mission of amr bil ma'ruf wa nahi 'anil munkar (spreading goodness and forbidding evil) under the servitude and worship of One and only One Creator, Lord and Sustainer Allah. This Islamic Ummah became united and remained united while it clung to the rope of Allah, i.e. adhered in spirit and words of the Divine Quran under the direction and elaborate teachings and practice of the Prophet (s). The Islamic Ummah disintegrated and became disunited by discarding the Quranic principles and teachings of the Prophet, following their own interpretations and innovations in Islam.

Hence the basic evil for all the calamities and sufferings of the Muslim world is the disunity of Muslims, The Muslim Community is totally disunited. There is one and only one word that can bind together the Muslim Ummah and that is the Word of Allah, the Divine Quran.

"And hold fast all of you together to the Rope of Allah and be not divided among yourselves."

(Al Imran, 3:103)

Ignoring all our differences, we should gather together under the teachings of the Quran. Making Quran our arbitrator, we can start living under true brotherhood and lay aside our differences.

The tragedy is that the Muslims are ignorant about the value and importance of the Quran. The Holy Quran has not been properly introduced to most of the Muslims.

Allah Himself, describes the Quran as the

'Light' which enables people to find their own way in the darkness of ignorance and prejudice;

'Healing' for the ailments of the soul;

'Criterion' to distinguish between right and wrong and the

'Guidance' to lead humanity to its destiny along the 'Straight Path'.

The Quran is not a book of philosophy just for intellectual development and collect the arguments to shut the mouth of the opponents of Islam. The true nature of Islam can be explained to contemporary Muslim only when the vigorous intellectual and practical 'campaign of struggle' is carried by the advocate of Islam. Quran mostly deals with faith as the basis of Islamic education and Islamic practical code. According to the Quran, faith is the centre around which all life revolves - the conscience, the intellect and the practical sense.

The believer having true faith in the Oneness of Allah finds that 'his feelings, ideas and concepts as well as his private and social actions are totally different from those of a person who conducts his life on a different basis or who views faith as an abstract, philosophical idea which has little or no influence on his life. Its aim, ambition, behaviour and practical achievements are different from those of any other community which does not share its Islamic concept of God, the universe, life and man.'

The Shaheed (martyr) Syed Qutb, who was actively involved in the advocacy of Islam and underwent many trials for such involvement, offered his life to the extent that he was executed by the opponents of Islam. In the introduction to one of the best contemporary exegesis of the Quran, Fi Zilalil Quran, mostly written by Syed Qutb during his long imprisonment (1954-1964), he expresses his relation with the Quran.

"It is a great honour to feel that God Almighty should be addressing me, a humble and insignificant human being, with the blessed and inspiring words of the Quran. They lifted my spirits, and I was raised to a unique vantage point from where I could observe the tumult of human life. I was able to gain a new perspective into man's endless quest for the trivial and the mundane, and the clamour for ephemeral and childish pursuits. I was astounded by the extent of our ignorance and our neglect of the Quran's sublime and Divine Message which has the power to uplift and entirely transform human perception, experience and history in this earth.
"I had the opportunity to study the Quran at length and ponder over its clear and full conception of creation and existance, and their purpose. I could compare the impact of those ideas with that of others put forward by men throughout history. And I wondered: How has life been allowed to degenerate into such darkness and despair, while this rich treasure of guidance and enlightenment is readily available?
"I lived in the shade of the Quran, filled with appreciation of that perfect harmony and balance inherent in God's creation, between man's actions and the movement of the Universe around him. I was able to see clearly the dire consequences of the conflict between the two. I could see the folly, indeed the catastrophe, to which humanity is being driven by the wicked and ungodly miscreats. Pity the human race indeed!"

There are two types of commentaries of the Quran. First is the classical one written mostly for the believers with faith to increase their knowledge and understanding. Second is the commentary written for the educated in the West, being totally engrossed in their professional career without Islamic education in any real sense.

For most of the readers of the magazine Insight, mostly in the West, the second type of commentaries are recommended to start with. These are the exgesis Fi Zilal il-Quran by Syed Qutb (in Arabic and Urdu but with English translation in process); Tafheemul Quran by Syed Maududi (in Urdu and English); Enlightment of Holy Quran by a group of eminent scholars in Iran (in Persian and Arabic with English translation in process); Tadabbin-al-Quran by Amin Islahi (in Urdu); and The Meaning of the Quran by Mohammed Asad (in English).

We appeal to all Muslims who are truly interested in the uplift of the Muslim community and who have a keen desire to transform the Muslim world into the Islamic Ummah, to supplement their resurgence activities with the deep study of the Quran. Their endeavours for the dissemination of Islam should be alike for both Muslims and non-Muslims. With belief and faith in the Quran their active involvement is the prerequisite to come forward to use the communication channels of the present information age. Such selected persons should educate the masses irrespective of religion and nationality directly through the explanation of the verses of the Quran.

Following are some selections of the Quran to throw light on the Islamic world-view to appreciate the Truth:

"This community of yours is one single community and I am your Sustainer; Therefore keep your allegiance with Me."

(al Mu'minun, 23:52)

Believers in the Oneness of Allah are the descendants of a long and noble line of faithful ancestors that include great figures such as Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (peace be on them all).

"Those who disbelieved said to their apostles: 'Return to our faith or we will banish you from our land.' But Allah revealed to them: 'We shall destroy the wrongdoers and let you dwell in the land after them. This is for those who stand with full consciousness in My presence and pay heed to My warning.'"

(Ibrahim, 14:14)

In this long series which began with the first man, Prophet Adam, all believers have had to face similar challenges and ordeals - oppression, persecution and threats of annihilation and dispersion. But ultimately they enjoyed triumphs and rewards.

"He has created all things and assigned everything in appropriate measure."

(al-Furqan, 25:2)

In the existance in this world there is no room for blind coincidence or haphazard events. Everything is here for a purpose, but the true and deep wisdom underlying our existance may not always be apparent to the limited human mind.

"Verily! This is an admonition, so whosoever wills, let him take a Path to his Sustainer. But you cannot, unless Allah wills. Verily, Allah is ever All-Knowing, All-Wise."

(al-Insan, 77:29,30)

Causes, as known to man, may or may not lead to their usual 'logical' effects. Assumptions as essentially inevitable may or may not lead to their conventionally expected consequences. This is so because causes and assumptions do not, in or by themselves, determine actions and events because both causes and effects are determined by the absolute Will of Allah.

"Who else could answer the constrained when he cries out to Him and alleviates affliction."

(al-Naml, 27,62)

"Allah prevails in His purpose, though most people do not know it."

(Yusuf, 12:21)

"He who Allah wishes to disgrace will have none else to honour him."

(al-Hajj, 22:18)

"Whoever Allah lets go astray shall have none else to guide him."

(al-Ra'd, 13:33)

Allah is working in every event and everything. Every behaviour should live in the care and custody of Allah and His attributes. In performing any deed, the believer must prepare and carry out his actions. To trust in the mercy, justice, wisdom and knowledge of Allah is the only safeguard against uncertainty and fear of the future.

References:

1. Sayed Qutb, "In the Shade of the Quran", Preface and Introduction; The Islamic Foundation, 1999



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