Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|What the Qur'an teaches-4|
|08/11/01 at 03:20:34|
|Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh|
[center]What the Qur'an teaches
[color=Red]In the name of God, the Merciful, the Beneficent[/color]
[color=Green]We gave Moses the book and made it a (source of) guidance for the Children of Israel, saying: "Do not take anyone for a guardian other than Me. You are the descendants of those whom We carried (in the Ark) with Noah. He was a truly grateful servant of Ours." We made it clear to the Children of Israel in the book: "Twice you shall spread corruption on earth and will be elated with great arrogance."[/color]
[i](The Night Journey, Al-Isra', 17: 2-4)[/i]
The promise to the Israelites
Commentary by Sayyid Qutb[/center]
Over the last three occasions our commentary concentrated on the opening verse of this Surah which derives its name from the Prophet's journey that took him overnight from Makkah to Jerusalem where he met past Prophets. He then led them all in prayer in an act that symbolizes the unity of the divine faith. It is a single faith based on the central issue of the oneness of God and preached by all Prophets from the first day of human existence on Earth to the last of all messengers, Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him).
The night journey is a remarkable sign which God wished to demonstrate. It is an amazing journey by human standards. The Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, which was the destination of the first part of this journey, is at the heart of the holy land which God assigned to the Children of Israel before He caused them to be driven out of it. Thus the history of Moses and the Israelites is most appropriate to relate here in the following passage: "We made it clear to the Children of Israel in the Book: 'Twice you shall spread corruption on Earth and will be elated with great arrogance.' When the time of the first of these two came, We sent against you some of Our servants of great might who wrought havoc throughout the land. Thus (Our) warning came to be fulfilled. Then We let you prevail against them once more, and We gave you riches and offspring, and made you more numerous (than ever. And We said: 'If you do good, you will be but doing good to yourselves; and if you do evil, it will be also against yourselves.' And when the second (of Our warnings) came, (We allowed your enemies) to disgrace you utterly, and to enter the Mosque just like (their predecessors) had entered it the first time, and to visit with destruction all that fell into their power. It may be that your Lord will have mercy on you; but if you revert (to your old ways), We shall revert (to punishing you). Indeed We have made hell a place of confinement for the disbelievers."
This episode of the history of the Children of Israel is mentioned only in this Surah in the Qur'an. It refers to the fate of the Jews which led to the collapse of their state. It reveals the direct relationship between the spread of corruption and loose morality in a nation and its decline and destruction. This comes in fulfillment of a law of nature God has set in operation, which will shortly be mentioned in the Surah. The law states that the corruption and immorality of the people of affluence in any community is the cause of its destruction by God.
The story begins here with the mention of Moses's revealed book, the Torah, and the warnings it gives to the Israelites. It reminds them of their great ancestor, Noah, an obedient and truly grateful servant of God, and also of their ancestors who were carried with him in the Ark. It should be remembered that only the believers were allowed on the Ark: "We gave Moses the book and made it a (source of) guidance for the Children of Israel, saying: "Do not take anyone for a guardian other than Me. You are the descendants of those whom We carried (in the Ark) with Noah. He was a truly grateful servant of Ours."
Both the warning and the reminder are confirmation of the promise which the Surah will mention presently. The promise makes it clear that God will not inflict punishment on any community unless He sends them first a messenger to warn and remind them. It makes clear the primary purpose of giving the book to Moses. It serves as a source of guidance and warns them: "Do not take anyone for a guardian other than Me." They must rely on none other than God and turn to Him only for guidance. That is the essence of faith. Anyone who seeks a guardian other than God is misguided and has no true faith.
The Surah makes its address to them in the name of their ancestors who were carried in the Ark with Noah. These were the best group of mankind at the time of the first messenger on Earth. Pointing out this relationship in this address serves to remind them of God's grace when He saved their forefathers with His truly grateful servant, Noah. Thus it establishes an age-long bond of faith. That Noah is described here as God's servant is intended to emphasize this point and also to highlight the essential quality of God's chosen messengers, which is their servitude to God. In the first verse Muhammad is described as "God's servant". This follows the Qur'anic method of maintaining an air of harmony and coherence throughout each Surah.
In the book which God had given to Moses to serve as a source of guidance to the Israelites, He issues them with a warning that they will be doomed to destruction when they spread corruption in the land. The destruction will be visited on them twice because its causes will have been repeated. This is followed by a warning of further episodes of destruction whenever they revert to their old ways of spreading corruption in the land. That leads to the inevitable operation of God's laws of nature that will never fail: "We made it clear to the Children of Israel in the book: 'Twice you shall spread corruption on Earth and will be elated with great arrogance'."
This judgment is merely an information given to them by God, spelling out what they will do and what will happen to them as a result. It is based on God's knowledge of their fate. It is not an act of predestination that they cannot escape, or that forces their hands so as to behave in a certain way. God does not doom anyone to be corrupt or to spread corruption. "Say: never does God enjoin what is abominable." (7: 28)
It is the nature of God's knowledge that makes Him aware of what will happen in future in the same way as He is aware of what is happening now. What is yet to happen, and is totally unknown to all human beings, is, to God, the same as what has already happened.
[i]Arab News - 17 September 1999[/i]
Insha Allah, more to follow..... until the end of the Surah.
Wassalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh
Haniff (with 2 f's)
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