we declare Your Perfection above and beyond all: we have no knowledge whatsoever except what You have taught us. No doubt it is You, and You alone that is all Knowledgeable and all Wise. (al-Baqarah, 32)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Pondering over the Quran in light of recent events

The Quran is a magnificent book, full of wisdom, lesson and guidance that is applicable in any era for those who truly seek them. This doesn't come from just reading the Quran casually as one would with any other book. In surah Sad, ayat no 29, Allah Azza wa Jall tells us a principle we should bear in mind about the Quran :

كِتَابٌ أَنْزَلْنَاهُ إِلَيْكَ مُبَارَكٌ لِيَدَّبَّرُوا آيَاتِهِ وَلِيَتَذَكَّرَ أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ
A blessed Book which We have revealed to you (O Muhammad) so that people may ponder over its ayaat, and so that those endowed with insight may take heed. (38: 29)

I was listening to a tafseer of Surah Az-Zalzalah and one of the ayat really struck me deeply. The surah informs us of a day when the Earth will be shaking violently. The day on which it will unleash of it's burdens and will speak of what the people did on its surface. This is of course describing a scene on the Day of Judgement. In ayat no 5, Allah Azza wa Jall explains to us what causes the Earth to act in such a way:

بِأَنَّ رَبَّكَ أَوْحَىٰ لَهَا

Look up most translations and you'll most probably find the ayat translated as "because your Lord inspires it". However, this would be a shallow translation of the ayat. Explaining why this translation isn't accurate will be something very grammatical and is just beyond the scope of this entry, but if you're interested, you'll find the answer in the lecture. Instead, I'll just state the more correct meaning which is given by Ibn Kathir (r.a).

Ibn Kathir says in his tafseer, "it is apparent that the implied meaning here is that He will permit it (the Earth)".

In this statement is a scary reality. You see, when somebody is given a permission, that means the person was just waiting for the moment when he's allowed to do what he wanted to do. In other words, we learn here that the Earth had wanted to shake violently all along. That it has been eagerly waiting for the moment that it will be able to bear witness to all the crimes that people had been committing on its surface, and that the only that is holding it back it the permission of Allah.

Why exactly does the Earth want to shake? This has been explained is surah Ar-Rum

ظَهَرَ الْفَسَادُ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِي النَّاسِ لِيُذِيقَهُمْ بَعْضَ الَّذِي عَمِلُوا لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ
Corruption manifest on land and sea because of that which men's hands have done, that He may make them taste a little bit of that which they have done, in order that they may return (30: 41)

And what do we hear often in the news lately? Natural disasters and corruption. Coincidence?


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