Teachings of the Qur'aan: An-Naazi`aat 79:27-46
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B i s m i l l a a h i r R a h m a a n i r R a h e e m
Teachings of the Qur`aan
Teachings and Commentary
Ayub A. Hamid
The next section invites the disbelievers to think rationally by reflecting on the signs of Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala, His power and His wonderful works that surround them:
27 Are you the harder to create or the heaven that He built? 28 He raised its canopy high and smoothed it off; 29 and darkened its night and brought out its light. 30 And the earth, moreover, He gave it an expansive shape; 31 He brought out from it, its water and its pasturage -- 32 and the mountains, He anchored them -- 33 a provision for you and for your livestock.
Those who think that Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala cannot resurrect people after death should just look up to the heavens and reflect on which is a more challenging job: the creation and re-creation of people or the creation of such a huge and spectacular heaven, the size, extent or limits of which we cannot even conceive. Just in the universe visible to people on the earth, there are billions of trillions of stars (estimated to be 10 sextillion, or 1022) in about 100 billion galaxies. Just in our own galaxy there are at least 100 billion stars with some stars that are two thousand times the size of our sun which is 110 times the size of earth. When we look up at this magnificent sky, it seems so smooth. Reflecting on our own neighbourhood, our solar system and the system of night and day is enough to see the wisdom, knowledge and power of its Creator. Coming down to earth, it is amazing to see how Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala has made it inhabitable and how He has expanded it by making it round like an ostrich egg whereupon people can continue travelling in any direction without reaching an end or falling off. Then think of the arrangements made for our life to sustain and grow on earth through the availability of water and growth of vegetation.
This reflection should lead people to the following conclusions: Allaah's power is limitless and absolute; the resurrection of the dead is a very easy thing for Him; the whole universe is a well-designed, planned and purposeful creation, not an accident of nature; when so much care has been given to sustain our life and fulfil our needs, it cannot be without purpose; we will be held accountable for what we did using the provisions of this life and then rewarded or punished accordingly.
The next section describes that when the destruction of the universe takes place and the Day of Judgment arrives, how the behaviour of people in this world will determine their future in the Hereafter.
34 Then, when the greatest, overwhelming calamity comes -- 35 that day man shall recollect what he strove for, 36 and the hell shall be exposed for those who see. 37 Then, as for him who rebelled 38 and had preferred the life of this world, 39 Hell-Fire will definitely be his abode. 40 And as for him who feared to stand before his Lord and restrained himself from his desires, 41 then surely the Jannah will be his abode.
When people are raised and gathered for accountability and they realize the reality, they will start reviewing what they have been focussing on in their worldly life. Their lifestyle and its memories will go through their minds like a film. The memories of their sinful activities they so proudly indulged in will then come to haunt them. The hell that now seems like a farfetched superstition to the disbelievers will be thundering and blazing right in their view.
The key factor determining the quality of life in the Hereafter will be the paradigms and attitudes that determined the lifestyle of a person and set his priorities in this world. The first test that will determine the fate of a person will be: Was the life lived like an obedient slave who was fearfully conscious of the accountability to the Master on the Day of Judgment or was it lived like a rebel, without caring about the instructions and guidelines of the Master. The point to note here is that it is the test of the philosophy of life, not perfection in execution. The second test will be whether the thrust or focus of the activities was worldly gratification of desires or were the desires restrained and sacrificed as needed to attain the objectives of Deen for the pleasure of Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala. The point to note here is that it is a test of preference and focus, not avoidance; and of restraint, not elimination.
The next section contains the concluding comments that deal with a facetious question asked by Makkans.
42 They ask you about the Moment: when will it arrive? 43 What have you to do with its declaration? 44 This matter rests with your Lord. 45 You are only a warner to those who fear it. 46 On the day when they encounter it, it will be as if they had not stayed except for an evening or a morning of a day.
The "Moment" refers to the time when the destruction of the universe will take place. Many English translations call it "Hour", but the intent is the same.
Because the focus of the Islamic mission at that time was warning the Makkans about the inevitability of the end of the world and it was overwhelmingly the topic of all revelations, the Makkans used to counter it by asking about the timing of its occurrence, and if it is inevitable, it should be known when it will happen? They thought that if the Prophet sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam could not answer these questions, it meant what he was warning about was not a reality. But this is an absurd argument. We do not know when a person is going to die, but we cannot deny death because of that reason.
Hence, these verses clarify the role of the Prophet sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam in this respect for the benefit of all. The Prophet's sall Allaahu `alayhi wa sallam role is merely to warn people about its inevitability. It is up to people to believe in it or reject it at their own peril. Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala has kept that knowledge of its timing only to Himself. Human beings do not need to have that knowledge to believe in it or to prepare for it. In fact the disclosure of the knowledge will be counter productive because people cannot think beyond their worldly time concepts that are totally different from Allaah's timetable. What people should remember is that on the Day of Judgment, the whole life of this world and the time they spent in their graves altogether will seem like a small part of a day to them.
About the concept of time, it should also be remembered that when the Qur-aan talks about the "Day" it is an extremely long period of time spanning thousands, millions or billions of years that are beyond human knowledge or imagination, with three stages marked by three blasts: destruction of the current universe; the creation of a new eternal universe; and the resurrection of the dead.
Copyright © 2009 Ayub A. Hamid
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Note: This series is providing the teachings of the Qur`aan, not a literal translation. Instead of literal translation, it gives interpretive meanings of the verses, along with their contextual details. Please remember that any translation of the Holy Qur`aan is in fact only an expression of the translator's understanding of the Word of Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala, and hence cannot be equated with the Qur`aan itself. Only the original Arabic text can be called the Holy Qur`aan.Ustaadz Ayub A. Hamid is a visionary and strategic Islamic thinker residing in Canada for the last 34 years. His recently published books are:1. Islam - Does It Make Sense?
2. Unveiling the Commands - The Truth about Hijaab, Khimaar and Jilbaab.
3. Finding A Soulmate - A Guide for Parents and Youth.
4. A Book Unlike Any Other.
5. Islam - Adopting Its Paradigms.
6. Exploring the Islamic Beliefs.