Delivered by Mowlana Syed Aftab Haider on 12 June 2016 at Ahlul Bait (a.s) Islamic Centre, Ottery, Cape Town
In the previous lectures we discussed that the opponents of Prophet Muhammad (sawa)’s primary reason for opposing him was that they denied the Reality of the Hereafter and the accountability that it creates.
In this lecture we discover further reasons for this phenomenon.
Verse 20 says:
وَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَا قَبْلَكَ مِنَ الْمُرْسَلِينَ إِلآَّ إِنَّهُمْ لَيَأْكُلُونَ الطَّعَامَ وَيَمْشُونَ فِي الاَسْوَاقِ وَجَعَلْنَا بَعْضَكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ فِتْنَةً أَتَصْبِرُونَ وَكَانَ رَبُّكَ بَصِيراً
“And We never sent any messengers before you but they certainly ate food and walked in the markets; and We have made some of you a trial for the others: will you bear patiently? And your Lord is Ever-Seeing.”
This verse reconfirms that the Prophets were like regular people as was discussed in earlier verses.
Verse 21 says:
وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ لاَ يَرْجُونَ لِقَاءنَا لَوْلاَ أُنزِلَ عَلَيْنَا الْمَلاَئِكَةُ أَوْ نَرَى رَبَّنَا لَقَدِ اسْتَكْبَرُوا فِي أَنفُسِهِمْ وَعَتَوْ عُتُوًّا كَبِيرًا
“And those who do not hope to meet Us (for Judgment) say: ‘Why are not the angels sent down to us, or (why) do we not see our Lord?’ Certainly they are too proud of themselves and have revolted in great revolt.”
FURTHER REASONS FOR NOT BELIEVING IN THE HEREAFTER
This verse indicates an extension of the previous reference that they do not believe in the Hereafter. Belief on the one hand is to have firm faith in something like the Hereafter. But on a lower level, while one does not have firm faith, one might still believe in the possibility of something like the Hereafter. This verse is saying that they don’t even consider the Hereafter to be a possibility and thus the verse says “And those who do not hope to meet Us”.
Thus their objections become even more ridiculous.
Even though they were clearly explained why it is not possible to see Allah, they still insisted on this ridiculous demand.
On the first level, they denied the Hereafter due to having always been blessed with a comfortable life and thus lost their way.
On this second level, they even deny the possibility of the Hereafter due to their unprecedented level of pride.
Even though they knew that the idols are not god, they would place them there due to the idols not being able to speak and hold them to account! They sometimes even created idols that were edible and when they were hungry they would eat them!
Until today we suffer from the dislike of accountability and the fact that this will result in losing one’s position in society. Exploitation based on false beliefs would not be possible any longer if one believed in the Hereafter.
The change in social dynamics that the belief in Allah would bring was not palatable. They could not imagine being equal to someone like a black slave like Bilal and so on.
Verse 22 says:
يَوْمَ يَرَوْنَ الْمَلاَئِكَةَ لاَ بُشْرَى يَوْمَئِذٍ لِّلْمُجْرِمِينَ وَيَقُولُونَ حِجْرًا مَّحْجُورًا
“On the day when they shall see the angels, there shall be no glad tidings that day for the guilty, and they (the angels) shall say: ‘It (Paradise) is a forbidden (thing), totally prohibited’.”
These arrogant people who did not believe in the possibility of the Hereafter were always objecting that they could not see the Angels, so they are told that the day will come when they WILL see them. But that day will be too late and they will have no more access to Allah’s Mercy at that stage.
Verse 23 says:
وَقَدِمْنَا إِلَى مَا عَمِلُوا مِنْ عَمَلٍ فَجَعَلْنَاهُ هَبَاء مَّنثُورًا
“And We will proceed to what they have done of deeds, so We shall render them as scattered floating dust.”
From this point their deeds will be examined and their good actions which they hoped will help them will be reduced to nothing.
CRITERIA FOR ONE’S ACTIONS TO HAVE VALUE
There is an important discussion regarding what is the definition of a good deed?
Those who do not believe in the Hereafter, for them it’s the mere external shape of the action that qualifies it to be considered as a good deed.
In other words if you give charity to someone, that action is immediately considered a good deed. This is because the external shape of the action appears beautiful.
BUT those who believe in the unseen say that a deed is only considered a good deed if it is accompanied by a good intention of seeking the pleasure of Allah.
Those who don’t believe in hereafter, and do a good deed with a good intention, that deed is considered “relatively” good but is simultaneously short lived as Allah rewards that person in this world only.
Furthermore, good deeds also require some preliminary preparations.
A hadith says: “Whoever drinks wine, his prayer is not accepted from him for 40 days.”
So when one performs a good deed like salaah under these conditions, its “goodness” is severely tarnished due to certain preliminary conditions not being fulfilled.
That is because the nature of “amalun salih” or “good deeds” is that they “ascend” to Allah. This we derive from verse 10 of Surah Al-Fatir which says:
اِلَيْهِ يَصْعَدُ الْكَلِمُ الطَّيّـِبُ وَالْعَمَلُ الصَّالِحُ يَرْفَعُهُ
“to Him do ascend the good words and the righteous deed, He uplifts it”
The act of drinking wine prevents one’s good deeds from ascending.
And various other examples of preliminaries to good deeds exist.
Furthermore, once a good deed has been performed, one must PROTECT it after the good action.
That’s because good action is like a tree that requires regular watering.
There are narrations from the Imams which indicate that there are people who fast and pray salaah, but when something unlawful appears before them, they surrender to the haraam. This destroys their previous good deeds.
Or there are people who perform good deeds but when the virtues of Ameerul Mu’mineen Ali ibn Abi Talib are mentioned to them, they deny it. This denial also destroys their good deeds.
Verse 24 says:
أَصْحَابُ الْجَنَّةِ يَوْمَئِذٍ خَيْرٌ مُّسْتَقَرًّا وَأَحْسَنُ مَقِيلًا
“The companions of the Garden (Paradise) that day shall be in a better abode and a better resting-place.”
Those who believed will be accommodated in a much better place.
Verse 25 says:
وَيَوْمَ تَشَقَّقُ السَّمَاء بِالْغَمَامِ وَنُزِّلَ الْمَلاَئِكَةُ تَنزِيلًا
“And on the day when the heaven shall burst asunder with the clouds and the angels shall be sent down descending (in ranks).”
Sayed Qutb says “heavens” here means the cosmological planets will explode and smoke will overtake the whole sky.
Allamah Tabatabai says “heavens shall burst asunder with the clouds” means we will move to the world of “witnessing” and all the veils that do not allow us to see the Realities of the Unseen will be removed and we will now see everything in its True Reality!
Verse 26 says:
الْمُلْكُ يَوْمَئِذٍ الْحَقُّ لِلرَّحْمَنِ وَكَانَ يَوْمًا عَلَى الْكَافِرِينَ عَسِيرًا
“The dominion that day in truth shall belong to the Beneficent Lord, and a hard day shall it be for the unbelievers.”
On that day true sovereignty will be only for Allah. Even today sovereignty belongs to Allah, but Allah has given us free will which will not exist there and thus TOTAL authority will only belong to Allah.
To be continued…….