Author : Dr Farhat Fatima
Allah (s.w.t) has unlimited knowledge and is commanding. He is the Grand Architect of the Universe. The Primary step of religion is to understand Him (Allah s.w.t) as He is the Guardian of those who believe. And those who disbelieve in Allah (s.w.t) for them is the fire of Hell. God has sent down the Book (al-Quran) which has regulated laws to follow and practice. And the balance has to be done through following the divine prophet and his Ahl Al-Bayt(AS) and the Holy Quran. Imam Ali (a.s) is the Assistant of Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.w) and He explains to us that the followers of Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.w) should follow piety so that they are free from evil desires. Through piousness, patience and truth a person can achieve positive aims of life.
Glory is for the Supreme Lord
Allah the Almighty, Omniscient and all-powerful Lord, has created this Universe with the marvelous earth which gives shelter to all species large and small, gigantic and minute. This earth is shaded with the wonderful sky. Allah has made beautiful flowers with bulbs and their flowery colorful petals. These florid petals open and close and sing the Praise and Resplendence of Allah, the Great and Omnipotent. He has created the oceans and rivers with beautiful plant life in it. The glorious sun greets the mountains and earth with its silvery rays. These beautiful creations of God do not ask for attention as they are busy admiring the brilliance of Allah (s.w.t). He is Almighty Lord who has created all the creatures starting from living things like energies, matter, compounds, different forms of life and the laws of nature. His artistic designs and wonderful creations of beauty and elegance has the most beautiful and brilliant characteristics and are unmistakable indications and evidences of His Supreme Knowledge and Might.
Hazrat Ali Ibn Abi Talib says in Sermon 53 of Peak of Eloquence – Nahjul Balagha that “God be praised till nights keep on setting in and world keeps on rising and setting: Praised be God whose Bounties will never disappear, whose Favours are gratis and do not require returns.” (Jaffery 154) The primary step of religion is to accept, understand and realize Him (Allah s.w.t) as the Lord, the excellence of perception lies in certainty and authentication, and the true way of conviction is to honestly believe in Tawheed (oneness of Allah). The accurate form of belief in His Unity is to realize that He is so totally clean and beyond nature that nothing can be added to or subtracted from His being. (Jaffery 101)
Guidance is for the believers
God is the Guardian of those who believe; He taketh them out
of darkness into light; and those who disbelieve, the rebels
are their guardians they take them out from light to darkness;
They are the companions of the (Hell) fire, therein shall they
abide. [Chap. 2 Al-Baqarah 257]
The verse (Holy Quran 2: 257) illustrates the situation of believers and disbelievers from the point of leader and guardian. The leader and guardian, Allah (s.w.t) under his guardianship and leadership brings the believers out of darkness into light and those who disbelieve and reject faith, their guardians are the false-deities (taghoot) who bring them back from light into darkness. Those disbelievers will be the inhabitants of fire and they will abide forever. The traits of a believer are to spend in charity and believe in Unity of God. There shall be no compulsion in religion as the truth has been made clear. This verse (Holy Quran 2: 257) states the fact that any attitude of mind and heart towards any object held as sacred, cannot be obtained by force but by spontaneous conviction with a clear view of what is really sacred from what is otherwise. Allah created human beings and wants them to follow the straight path and do good deeds in this world. He has promised those who believe and do good that they will go to Jannah; while those disbelieve and do bad deeds will go to Jahannum.
God is He Who sent down the Book with truth
and the Balance, and what dost. Thou know?
Happly the Hour (of Reckoning) be nigh [Chap. 42 Surah Ash-Shura: 17]
God shall judge all differences. The true Religion which way revealed to the apostles in the past and the treasures of the heavens and the earth belong only to God. The verse [Chap. 42: 17] illustrates that, The Book (The Holy Quran) sent down to mankind from God does not contain mere philosophy or mere ideals of life but strictly regulated laws for men to practice and for the regulation of justice on earth. A Balance is the means through which the values are inquired and determined. It is said that here the Meezan or the Balance is the divine personality of the Holy Prophet(S) which manifested the various attributes of God and which presented the best model or the standard of faith and its practice and after him his kith and kin (the holy Ahl Al-Bayt) starting with Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s) until the Twelfth Imam (Mahdi a.t.f.s). The position of Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib(AS) with the Holy Prophet(S) is as his deputy and Assistant. Thus, the believer should be in complete balanced mind with (a) the Holy Prophet(S) along with his Ahl Al-Bayt(AS) and (b) the revealed Holy Book, The Quran.
The last sentence of the verse (chap 42: 17) is apparently a presumptive one reminding the Noble Prophet (S) that although he is the Messenger of Allah (SWT) and aware of the mysteries of creation, but the Hour of Resurrection is solely known by God Almighty. In reply to disbelievers inquiring about the Hour of Resurrection, he is asked to say unto them that God Alone is aware of it and it may be close at hand.
The discourse of Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib in Sermon 234 explains piety as the key to the doors of righteousness and virtue. It is a provision for the next world. It is a source of freedom from slavery of evil desires and a wall of protection from every ill-luck and misfortune. It is a refuge for those who try to run away from vice and wickedness. Through it a person can achieve his aims of life. (Jaffery 416)
Verily man is in loss! [Chap 103: 2]
The verse (103: 2) says that man’s lifespan of time is continuously squeezing, as the ice melts into water in the same way the life of man is melting. The man amidst innumerable temptations is always caught in the satisfaction of his lust and desires, thus under the risk of being easily beguiled by the innumerable and the most powerful and irresistible attractions. And if man, is not on his guard against all the formidable forces of Satan who is ever active to lead man astray, man suffers the loss, the loss of the pleasure of his Lord which is the loss of his salvation, the loss real.
We can conclude the discussion in following words : Man has to enjoin patience with truth and good deeds following the steps of the preachers, the Holy Ahlul Bayt(AS) as they themselves exercised more patience to the maximum degree possible. The Holy Ahlul Bayt(AS) has suffered untold miseries, tortures and a wholesale massacre of their dear ones in the battle of Karbala with patience. None of the eleven Imams left this world with a natural death and all of them suffered martyrdom and always preached goodness and advocated abstinence from evil. The Best of the people can be only those whom God has Himself Purified (The verse 33:33). The others, according to the degree of the purification they would have achieved. God assures the believers that even though he is Omnipotent and none can challenge His Authority, He deals with all the facts, truth, benevolence, justice, and the rights of none will be transgressed on the Day of Judgment.
- Section 34, Surah Al-Baqarah, Chapter 2, Verse 257
- Surah Al-‘Ahzab, Chapter 33 Verse 33 | An Enlightening Commentary
- The Holy Quran The Final Testament Trans. Agha Pooya Yazdi and S.V. Mir Ahmed Ali, Elmhurst, New York, Tahrike Tarsile Quran, Inc. U.S. Fifth Edition 2005 (Ch. 103. 2)
- The Holy Quran The Final Testament Trans. Agha Pooya Yazdi and S.V. Mir Ahmed Ali, Elmhurst, New York, Tahrike Tarsile Quran, Inc. U.S. Fifth Edition 2005 (Ch. 42. 17)
- Trans. Jafery, Askari Peak of Eloquence (‘Nahjul Balaqha) Sermons, Letters and Sayings of Imam Ali Sixth Edition (1979) Islamic Seminary pg. 101
- Peak of Eloquence (‘Nahjul Balaqha) Sermons, Letters and Sayings of Imam Ali Sixth Edition (1979) Islamic Seminary pg. 154
- Peak of Eloquence (‘Nahjul Balaqha) Sermons, Letters and Sayings of Imam Ali Sixth Edition (1979) Islamic Seminary pg. 416