Delivered by Mowlana Syed Aftab Haider on 10 June 2016 at Ahlul Bait (a.s) Islamic Centre, Ottery, Cape Town
After having discussed the false accusation of the mushrikeen and non believers wherein they insinuated that the Quran was a forged document and Almighty Allah’s response thereto, we continue our discussion to see that their objections were now focussed on undermining the personality and very nature of the Messenger (sawa) himself.
Verse 7 says:
وَقَالُوا مَالِ هَذَا الرَّسُولِ يَأْكُلُ الطَّعَامَ وَيَمْشِي فِي الاَسْوَاقِ لَوْلآ اُنزِلَ إِلَيْهِ مَلَكٌ فَيَكُونَ مَعَهُ نَذِيراً
“And they say: ‘What sort of a Messenger is this that he eats food and he walks about in the markets? Why has not an angel been sent down to him, to be a warner with him?”
The opposition thought that since the Messenger was like them, he was NOT someone special. They thought he should have been some sort of alien to be special! They didn’t realise that the Prophet (sawa) had to be like them to make it possible for him to lead them as he experienced their human nature and could thus guide them to what a human being could become.
They then expected that even if the Messenger was a human being, that he should have had some sort of Angel walking alongside him.
Verse 8 says:
أَوْ يُلْقَي إِلَيْهِ كَنزٌ أَوْ تَكُونُ لَهُ جَنَّةٌ يَأْكُلُ مِنْهَا وَقَالَ الظَّالِمُونَ إِن تَتَّبِعُونَ إِلاَّ رَجُلاً مَّسْحُوراً
“Or why has not a treasure been bestowed on him, or why has he not a garden to eat of it?’ And the unjust say: ‘You follow none other than a man bewitched’.”
The series of arguments then continued to say that he did not appear special as he had no material wealth and furthermore had to work for his living.
The Quran says that in material terms it seems deficient, but in spiritual terms it is perfection to rely on minimum material needs.
And a leader should live among the people and not be separate from them like kings live.
Furthermore material wealth had no link to true greatness.
Then their desperation reaches a limit when they changed their argument from one end to the other. At first they accused him of performing magic and being a magician himself and thus affecting influencing people’s cognitive ability.
But then they claimed the direct opposite of this by saying he himself is under the influence of a magician and claimed that he is bewitched!
Verse 9 says:
انظُرْ كَيْفَ ضَرَبُوا لَكَ الاَمْثَالَ فَضَلُّوا فَلاَ يَسْتَطِيعُونَ سَبِيلاً
“Behold, how they strike similitudes for you, but they have gone astray, so they shall not be able to find a way (to the truth).”
This verse basically says that their accusations are so ridiculous that it does not even need a response and then says they “have gone astray”.
By saying “behold/look/think” about these excuses, Allah calls upon us to apply our minds because we are naturally capable to decipher for ourselves that they are astray.
Verse 10 says:
تَبَارَكَ الَّذِي إِن شَآءَ جَعَلَ لَكَ خَيْراً مّـِن ذَلِكَ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الاَنْهَارُ وَيَجْعَل لَّكَ قُصُوراً
“Blessed is He Who, if that were His will, could give you better (things) than all that, gardens beneath which rivers flow, and He will give you palaces.”
Allah says that if they expected this Prophet should have been given treasures to show his genuiness, then they should realise that Allah could have given him much more than that.
These material matters are no sign of the authenticity of the Prophet (sawa) but the opposite is true i.e. there was a real purpose for the Prophet (sawa) not having material wealth as this served as a test for the people.
WHY PROPHET MUHAMMAD (sawa) DID NOT HAVE MATERIAL WEALTH
The issue of the Prophet (sawa) not having been given material wealth initially had a very definite purpose to it, and as the conditions changed during the 23 years of the Prophetic Mission, this purpose became more clear.
Imam Ali (a.s) says something profound in this regard in Sermon 192 in Nahjul Balagha as follows:
“When Allah, the Glorified, deputed His prophets, if He had wished to open for them treasures and mines of gold and (surround them with) planted gardens and to collect around them birds of the skies and beasts of the earth, He could have done so. If He had done so then there would have been no trial, nor recompense and no tidings (about the affairs of the next world).
Those who accepted (His message) could not be given the recompense falling due after trial and the believers could not deserve the reward for good acts, and all these words would not have retained their meanings.”
These profound words of Imam Ali (a.s) explain to us that the Prophet (sawa) was purposefully not given material wealth at the beginning of his mission to serve as a test of the believers faith. Otherwise people would have followed the Prophet (sawa) due to the material comforts that he offered them and would not amount to any true faith in the unseen.
We see this reality in the early Muslims who entered Islam during the difficult times – their Iman was generally also very strong.
But after the conquest of Mecca when things became easy, those who entered Islam did not have the same level of tests that the early Muslim went through and consequently their commitment to the religion is not comparable to that of the early Muslims.
HOW TO PERFORM A VALUATION OF A HUMAN BEING
Allamah Muhamamad Taqi Ja’fari is a great philosopher who reports that one day he participated in a conference wherein many non-Muslims were present and the topic of discussion was “how do you value a human being?”
Human beings have developed various models through which various things are valued and this becomes the market convention over time.
So for example diamonds are valued in terms of their carot, colour, clarity and cut.
Or gold is valued in terms of its purity like 24 carot or 18 carot, etc.
And various other things have man made valuation models through which a value is placed on something.
So on the question of “how do you value a human being”, various renowned speakers expressed their views.
When it was Allamah Taqi Ja’fari’s turn he said:
“A human being is valued in terms of his love or affiliation to something”
If his love is to make R1 million, then he is valued at R1 million.
If his love is to own an expensive Porshe, then that is his value.
If his love is to be the president of a country – then that is his value.
Now if you have someone whose only concern and love or affiliation is to Allah – what is the value of that person!! That human being has an infinite value – because that which he loves is infinite!!
The Allamah reports that when he was finished speaking and descended from the stage – the listeners cheered and clapped their hands for a long period in appreciation of his speech.
At that point when he noticed the unexpected cheering he decided to return to the stage to make the following comment:
“Just in case you thought that these were my thoughts – they are not my thoughts but the words of Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (a.s) who said: The value of every person is according to what he loves.”
And when he descended the stage for the second time, he received a standing ovation for the crowd’s respect of Imam Ali (a.s)!!!
The problem with the non believers and mushrikeen was that they valued the Prophet (sawa) based on their valueless material criteria!
Verse 11 says:
بَلْ كَذَّبُوا بِالسَّاعَةِ وَأَعْتَدْنَا لِمَن كَذَّبَ بِالسَّاعَةِ سَعِيراً
“But they deny the Hour (of Resurrection), and We have prepared a Blazing Fire for him who denies the Hour.”
After saying Quran is a forgery and the Prophet (sawa) is not a true Prophet, Quran confirms the root cause of their objections and accusations to be their denial of the Hereafter. For such people, there are horrible consequences waiting for them.
Verse 12 says:
إِذَا رَأَتْهُم مِن مَكَانٍ بَعِيدٍ سَمِعُوا لَهَا تَغَيُّظاً وَزَفِيراً
“When it sees them from a far place, they will hear its raging and roaring.”
Jahannam is said to see them! Jahannam has a reality that can see you!
Elsewhere in Quran it says that Jahannam even speaks!
In Surah Qaf Verse 30 it says:
يَوْمَ نَقُولُ لِجَهَنَّمَ هَلِ امْتَلَأتِ وَتَقُولُ هَلْ مِن مَّزِيدٍ
On the Day when We will say unto Hell: “Are you filled?” It will say: “Are there any more?”
Verse 13 says:
وَإِذَآ اُلْقُوا مِنْهَا مَكَاناً ضَيّـِقاً مُقَرَّنِينَ دَعَوْا هُنَالِكَ ثُبُوراً
“And when they are cast, coupled in fetters, into a narrow place of that Fire, they will call out there for destruction.’”
Notice that their entry into Jahannam is not a pleasant welcome but they are cast or thrown into it! May Almighty Allah protect us from this horrible experience.
And while Jahannam is so big and asks whether there are any more who need to enter it as it is a large facility that can accommodate a huge number of people, but once one enters it you are confined to a very narrow and tight section in it.
Verse 14 says:
لاَ تَدْعُوا الْيَوْمَ ثُبُوراً وَاحِداً وَادْعُوا ثُبُوراً كَثِيراً
“(It will be said to them:) ‘Call not this day for one destruction, but call for many destructions!”
When someone is in this situation they will wish that they died, but one would have entered an eternal life where there is no death or escape. And the experience is so severe that verse says wishing to die once is not enough – one would wish to die several times.
To be continued…………