Understanding the Qur'aan - Part 4: The Qur'aanic Guidance
- 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
Guidelines forUnderstanding the Qur`aanPart 4The Qur`aanic GuidanceMust be Accepted as One Complete PackageBy Ayub A. Hamid_______________________________________________
Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala revealed the whole Qur-aan for human guidance. Those who want to benefit from its guidance must accept the whole guidance, not some of it. The Qur-aan gives us a system of life. Systems, by nature, work properly and deliver their benefits only when used and implemented as complete systems, not just bits and pieces. That is why the Holy Qur-aan warns Muslims, through the example of Israelite behaviour, against accepting only a part of it and rejecting or ignoring other parts:
So do you believe in part of the scripture and disbelieve in part? Then what is the recompense for those who do so except disgrace in worldly life; and on the Day of Judgement they will be brought back to the severest of the punishments. (Al- Baqarah 2:85)
For example, Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala expects us to strive for personal excellence as well as for organizing the Ummah into an Islamic entity that establishes peace and justice all over the world. He has obligated us to establish five pillars as the support structure for both of these objectives. If someone performs the pillars as rituals instead of the means for the two (personal and collective objectives) objectives; or if stresses only on one of the objectives and ignores the other; or if objectives are stressed without the establishing of pillars; any of these situations is adopting only part of the guidance and ignoring the rest.
As the whole Qur-aan is a complete package of guidance, it implies that not only should the people accept the whole guidance contained in all parts of the Qur-aan, but also they must not interpret a part of the Qur-aan or deduce guidance from it in isolation. The interpretation of a part must be consistent with the rest of the body of knowledge and must fit properly within the whole package of guidance.
For example, the Qur-aan proposes that Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala has given people freedom to make certain choices and decisions and that they will be held accountable and rewarded or punished according to the choices they make. An interpretation of a verse in negation of this central theme will not be accurate.
Another aspect of the same principle can be exemplified through Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aalas attributes. The Holy Qur-aan mentions very many different attributes of Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala according to which He deals with human beings. Emphasizing one attribute while ignoring His other attributes will lead to misguidance in terms of human relationships with Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala. For example, He is very forgiving and extremely merciful to those who repent and try to do better continuously, while He is severe in punishing those who rebel, ignore or defy His authority. We cannot dwell on one aspect of His attributes and disregard others.Next: The Holy Qur`aan explains itself
Copyright © 2004-2006 Ayub A. Hamid
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This document may be used only with this copyright notice included. Permission is granted to circulate among private individuals and groups, to post on internet forums, and include in not-for-profit publications subject to the following conditions: (1) Material used must be produced faithfully in full, without alteration or omission; (2) The author's subject title must remain unchanged, in whole or in part; (3) Material must be attributed to the author Ustaadz Ayub A. Hamid.Note: The quotations of the Qur-aan provided in the above article is 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 AllaahSubhaanahu 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.'Guidelines for Understanding the Qur`aan' series:Part 1: ProloguePart 2: Approaching the Qur`aanPart 3-1: The Qur`aan is in the Language of the QuraishPart 3-2: The Basic Rules of Grammar and LiteraturePart 3-3: The Context is CrucialKarima-DDN