Delivered by Mowlana Syed Aftab Haider on 14 June 2016 at Ahlul Bait (a.s) Islamic Centre, Ottery, Cape Town.
The scenarios on the day of Judgement continue to be described relating to various groups of people. We have already discussed the situation of the following groups:
- Those drowned in the wealth of this world
- Those who are arrogant
- Those who are not careful of the company they keep
Regarding these groups of people, Allah speaks directly about them in this Surah.
But in relation to the next group, Almighty Allah speaks through the voice of the Prophet (sawa).
THE ABANDONED QURAN
Verse 30 says:
وَقَالَ الرَّسُولُ يَا رَبِّ إِنَّ قَوْمِي اتَّخَذُوا هَذَا الْقُرْآنَ مَهْجُورًا
“And the Messenger will say (that Day): ‘O my Lord! Verily my people abandoned/neglected this Quran.”
Please notice that Quran says that the Prophet (sawa) will express his pain which we understand to be a form of complaint. However saddened the Prophet (sawa) may be, he does not curse his people when complaining to Allah!
This complaint is in relation to forsaking the Quran.
This is a serious problem and shows the reality and future of the Ummah in that they will abandon the Quran.
What does this “abandonment” of Quran mean?
In contemporary times, the Quran is:
- printed in the most beautiful manner;
- distributed throughout the world;
- recited in the most eloquent manner by the best reciters;
- written in calligraphy and placed as art around mosques;
- memorized in the largest hifz schools of all time;
So with all this apparent beauty, where is the abandonment?
Yes, we may have all of the above mentioned, but the complaint will be that we forgot the purpose of the Quran!
Quran was revealed for one purpose – “guidance of mankind.”
It must provide us direction in our life. This is unfortunately missing. Some countries who have all the trimmings for beautifying the Quran externally, but these same countries live in open contradiction of Quran.
EXAMPLES OF HOW WE LOST DIRECTION
There are endless examples to of how we completely miss the very purpose of the Quran in our lives, but the following serve to demonstrate the point.
Quran says in the land of haramain, Mushrikeen are not allowed, yet they bring armies of mushrikeen onto these Holy Lands.
Quran says do not take the Enemies of Allah to be your Awliya, yet they do so openly.
When Quran speaks about fair distribution of wealth and condemns the hoarding of wealth to cause one to be liable for a grievous punishment – yet these countries are controlled by Royal families who live in sheer opulence – yet their media plays recitation of the Quran 24 hours a day.
Quran speaks about the ulama of Jews who did not care about their accountability to Allah and blindly endorsed everything the authorities did. And in our Muslim countries we have ulama who do the exact same.
While the above mentioned examples appear on a political level, the Quran is abandoned by us too – due to our unfamiliarity with the Quranic message and discourse.
The ISIS phenomenon we see today is an explosion of an age old problem of misguidance by ulama.
That’s how these ISIS followers end up doing their own thing and becoming violent.
This is the abandonment of the Quran we witness today.
In our own communities, we don’t even:
- Learn to read Quran
- Attempt to understand Quran on the personal level
But we relegate it to the status of observing occasional protocols like reading it at a janazah or wedding ceremony.
THE VIEW OF GREAT SCHOLARS ON ABANDONMENT OF QURAN IN YOUR PERSONAL LIFE
Mulla Sadra, the great philosopher and scholar, wrote the following in the introduction to his tafseer on Surah Waqiah:
“I read books of many philosophers so that I thought I knew all things and I became an important man, but when I began to perceive a little of the true nature of situations, I found out that I knew no real and true knowledge.
At the end of my lifetime, I embarked on pondering the Holy Quran and the narrations of the Prophet (sawa) and his family. I became certain that what I had done up to then was baseless, for during my life I was standing in shadow instead of being under light.
I became wholeheartedly sorrowful, and, then divine favour was bestowed on me and I became familiar with the secrets of the holy Quran and I began to comment on and ponder the Quran.
I knocked the door of revelation until curtains were taken away and doors were opened and I saw that angels say to me:
“…Peace be unto you! You are good, therefore enter it to dwell therein (forever)”
Imam Khomeini says “I am so regretful for not spending enough time in my life to reflect on the Quran.”
If everyone is honest and does introspection, they will see how this complaint of the Prophet (sawa) can apply to us.
Verse 31 says:
وَكَذَلِكَ جَعَلْنَا لِكُلِّ نَبِيٍّ عَدُوًّا مِّنَ الْمُجْرِمِينَ وَكَفَى بِرَبِّكَ هَادِيًا وَنَصِيرًا
“And thus We appointed for every prophet an enemy from among the sinners, and sufficient is your Lord as a Guide and a Helper.”
After complaining to Allah, Allah will counsel his Prophet (sawa) by saying its nothing new and it occurred to previous Prophets too, BUT Allah is sufficient for him.
What does “We appointed” mean? Does Allah assign enemies for each Prophet?
This is a discussion on Free Will and Predestination.
Since the Power of our actions come from Allah, the choice to use that Power is ours and that is how the verse can make it appear that the assignment of enemies being attributed to Allah – it’s due to the Power of choice provided to human beings.
QUESTIONING THE WISDOM OF GRADUAL REVELATION
Verse 32 says:
وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لَوْلاَ نُزِّلَ عَلَيْهِ الْقُرْآنُ جُمْلَةً وَاحِدَةً كَذَلِكَ لِنُثَبِّتَ بِهِ فُؤَادَكَ وَرَتَّلْنَاهُ تَرْتِيلًا
“And those who disbelieve say: ‘Why has not the Qur’an been sent down upon him all at once? Thus (is it revealed), that We may strengthen your heart by it and We have rehearsed it to you in slow, well-arranged stages, gradually’.”
This verse now returns to the lame excuses of the Mushrikeen. Suddenly they expect the Quran should have been revealed all at once. They question the Wisdom of gradual revelation!
Allah thus reveals the Wisdom for the gradual revelation being that it was not possible to teach the Message all at once as it would have been ineffective. Human beings by nature need time to digest the Message of the Quran and to implement it step by step.
As conditions changed, the guidelines also changed.
Thus the verse says “that We may strengthen your heart by it and We have rehearsed it to you in slow, well-arranged stages, gradually”
Gradual revelation also ensures that the Prophet (sawa) was continuously connected to revelation and it was not a once off affair.
WHAT DOES RECITATION IN THE FORM OF TARTEEL MEAN?
Prophet (sawa) explains this to be:
“Tarteel is to recite the Quran distinctly (not like reading poem and prose). When you reach it’s delicate points, you stop and purify your Heart and spirit. Your aim of recitation must not be reaching the end of Surah.”
The purpose of tilawat is not to rush to complete the Surah – as your concern is to understand the Quran.
Imam Sadiq (a.s) said:
“Tarteel is to recite the Qur’an beautifully and slowly. It is to stop and to resort to Allah, when reciting the verses that are about the Fire and punishment. It is to pray and to ask Allah for Heaven, when verses about the Paradise are read.”
Verse 33 says:
وَلاَ يَأْتُونَكَ بِمَثَلٍ إِلاَ جِئْنَاكَ بِالْحَقِّ وَ أَحْسَنَ تَفْسِيرًا
“And they shall not bring to you any similitude, but We bring to you the truth and the best explanation (of it).”
Whichever argument people bring – the Prophet (sawa) will always have the best response.
Verse 34 says:
الَّذِينَ يُحْشَرُونَ عَلَى وُجُوهِهِمْ إِلَى جَهَنَّمَ أُوْلَئِكَ شَرٌّ مَّكَانًا وَأَضَلُّ سَبِيلًا
“Those who shall be mustered upon their faces unto Hell, they are in a worse place and as to path, most astray.”
This is the end of acting with contempt to Prophets – entering jahannam in the most humiliating fashion on your face.