By Dr Humayun
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Principles of Guidance for human beings and making an institution
After the first human being was sent on the earth, in Ayahs 38 and 39 Allah SBT says that every human will be given guidance and those who will follow the guidance will be successful and who deny will end up in hellfire.
I am going to write that Aya again and will raise some questions and comments which came to my mind when I started the next Ayahs from 40-46. As these questions have relevance to this Aya, So read Aya: 38
قُلْنَا اهْبِطُوا مِنْهَا جَمِيعًا ۖ فَإِمَّا يَأْتِيَنَّكُم مِّنِّي هُدًى فَمَن تَبِعَ هُدَايَ فَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ
We said, “Go down from it, all of you. And when guidance comes to you from Me, whoever follows My guidance – there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve.
Questions and comments
A: Adam PBUM was given the words of guidance, he accepted those words, repented and became successful, what about the descendants of him, do we know the the message after him
B: There are revealed Books which different religions follow but don’t go back to time of Adam PBUM
C: Historically, we can trace the message of Allah SBT from Ibrahim PBUM ,but bookish form is only available after Moses PBUM, although claims are there
D: These revealed Books which are there, do these fulfill the criteria of the revealed message
To my understanding a revealed Book should fulfil at least 4 criteria
a: The revealed Book should not discriminate between any human being i.e each human should have equal rights
b: The message should not go against the established scientific facts
c: There should be no contradictions in the message
d: It should be applicable to all times and all humans
I will briefly say that the work done by Dr Naik is spectacular, if someone wants to go into details
His books, concept of God in major religions , also Muhammad PBUM in various religious Scriptures , are worth reading
My main focus is to understand Quran, so we move on to religions which follow the scriptures
Major religions on the face of the earth now a days
D: Hinduism etc
I don’t want to go into historical discussion, as my main topic is to understand the concept of message
Most of the historians agree that Judaism is the most ancient religion but the scripture which they follow was revealed to Moses PBUM , Who came way after Ibrahim PBUM
As the next topic has guidelines which are applicable to this life, I am trying to correlate few historical questions. I am not a student of history, please correct me if I write something wrong and also forgive me as well.
As we don’t have any Message in the bookish form between Ibrahim PBUM and Moses PBUM but Judaism followers claim that it belonged to them.
If I can say that the humanity on the face of the earth today is directly or indirectly influenced religiously by the message revealed to Ibrahim PBUM. To me that is the reason next topic is Bani Israel and we know that Bani Israel is descendants of Ibrahim PBUM.
In Aya 40-46, there are questions and to me most important guidelines for the human beings. I will mention these guidelines as I understood these as I go along and will summarize my opinion at the end. So we start
يَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ اذْكُرُوا نِعْمَتِيَ الَّتِي أَنْعَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَأَوْفُوا بِعَهْدِي أُوفِ بِعَهْدِكُمْ وَإِيَّايَ فَارْهَبُونِ
O Children of Israel, remember My favor which I have bestowed upon you and fulfill My covenant so that I will fulfill your covenant and be afraid of Me.
Before I go into the discussion of this Aya , there are few questions which did arise in my mind after reading this Aya. Being the student of Qur’an,again will be happy for any criticism and opinions. Unfortunately this post will become a bit long. But to understand these questions and next Ayahs it is very important to understand these questions. This is my opinion that understanding of these questions is very important to understand the rest of Qur’an.
A: As Allah SBT has promised that He will guide the human beings, and we know that this was done through His messengers? Why Bani Israel is
being addressed in this Aya
B: Children of Israel ? Were all of them prophets
C: If all children of Israel were not prophets, then why Allah SBT is addressing Bani Israel to do the job which they promised to do
D: Did Children of Israel select themselves for the job which Allah SBT is asking them to do
E: Did Children of Israel who were not prophets decide themselves to come to this world as Children of Israel
F: When did they make this promise ,before they were born or after coming to this world
Although the exact explanation of these questions only Allah SBT knows, but here’s is my understanding
We know that Allah SBT did select prophets among the human beings,and send them to earth , there is no arguments about that.
We know that all Children of Israel were not prophets, then who decided that which human will be born to which parents.
This was the question which I left unanswered in my previous posts
If I agree with this argument, that Allah SBT decides that, then the Aya 72 of Sura Al~Ahzab says
إِنَّا عَرَضْنَا الْأَمَانَةَ عَلَى السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَالْجِبَالِ فَأَبَيْنَ أَن يَحْمِلْنَهَا وَأَشْفَقْنَ مِنْهَا وَحَمَلَهَا الْإِنسَانُ ۖ إِنَّهُ كَانَ ظَلُومًاجهولاً
Indeed when we offered this Al~Amanah to skies, earth and mountains, they refused and fearful of it , but human accepted it . Indeed human was unjust and ignorant.
This explains that I accepted this responsibility, Allah SBT didn’t force this upon me , so my opinion is ,Allah didn’t force anyone to choose their parents , as He didn’t force the human to take the consciousness.
From this concept, my opinion is everyone decided their own parents, when the human beings were sent down from the Haven.Everyone of us promised to do Ibadah of Allah SBT. When we forget our promise , He sent down the prophets to remind humanity.
So to my opinion, Children of Israel selected themselves to be the descendants of Ibrahim PBUM before they came to this world and when they started forgetting the promise which they made with Allah SBT , He sent down the prophets to them one after the other as desired by Ibrahim PBUM.
Question arises , why Children of Israel were selected ahead of rest of other human beings.The answer is coming in this Surah between Ayahs 122 to 141. I will explain inshaallah why that answer is in those Ayahs and what’s is logic behind this.
So I will start Aya 40 again and will try to explain the guidelines. These Ayahs to me are constitutional principles of a political system, whichever system human beings adopt and I will give my opinion about this system at the end of this.
Read Aya: 40
يَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ اذْكُرُوا نِعْمَتِيَ الَّتِي أَنْعَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَأَوْفُوا بِعَهْدِي أُوفِ بِعَهْدِكُمْ وَإِيَّايَ فَارْهَبُونِ
O Children of Israel, remember My favor which I have bestowed upon you and fulfil My covenant so that I will fulfill your covenant [from Me], and be afraid of [only] Me.
There are three guidelines in this Aya
A: Selection of Children of Israel
My understanding of this part is selection of suitable people depending upon their capabilities and capacity for a political system or any institution
B: Keep the promise
This is straight forward that the selected people will take oath and sign the contract .
C: Allah SBT says fear Him
There should be accountability in the system or institution. If the accountability system doesn’t work, no matter whatsoever you do ,system or institution will collapse.
Next Ayahs will explain further guidelines for the political system or institutions
وَآمِنُوا بِمَا أَنزَلْتُ مُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا مَعَكُمْ وَلَا تَكُونُوا أَوَّلَ كَافِرٍ بِهِ ۖ وَلَا تَشْتَرُوا بِآيَاتِي ثَمَنًا قَلِيلًا وَإِيَّايَ فَاتَّقُونِ
And believe in what I have sent down confirming that which is with you, and be not the first to disbelieve in it. And do not buy small price for my evidence and have taqva of Me.
Again there are three guidelines or principles given in this Aya
A: Believe in what I have sent down and confirms the previous messages
My understanding is that members of the political system or institutions have to follow guidelines of the constitution if it has to survive and progress
B: Don’t be the first one to disbelieve it
The members of the political system or institutions have to lead by example and believe in the system which they invented to make it successful
C: Don’t sell my evidence for a small price and have taqva of Allah SBT
If the members of the political system or institutions for their petty interests deviate away from the guidelines, then disaster is the outcome.
I deliberately didn’t translate taqva, I personally feel it is love of Allah SBT , will explain it sometimes later Inshaallah.
So if the members of the political system or institutions don’t love these, then outcome is obvious which is failure.
Next Aya is the nucleus of the political system or institutions
Read Aya: 42
وَلَا تَلْبِسُوا الْحَقَّ بِالْبَاطِلِ وَتَكْتُمُوا الْحَقَّ وَأَنتُمْ
And do not mix the truth with falsehood or conceal the truth while you know
Any political system or institutions which is built on truth will prevail . This doesn’t matter that people making it are believers or not. When the truth is concealed or mixed with falsehood, no body can stop the demise of that political system or institutions
Next Aya: 43
وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَارْكَعُوا مَعَ الرَّاكِعِينَ
And establish prayer and give zakah and bow with those who bow
This is next guideline according to me, that for working of any political system or institutions,members have to follow the rules of majority , keep their discipline and don’t get divided. And also prepare oneself for sacrifice.
Next Aya: 44
أَتَأْمُرُونَ النَّاسَ بِالْبِرِّ وَتَنسَوْنَ أَنفُسَكُمْ. وَأَنتُمْ تَتْلُونَ الْكِتَابَ ۚ أَفَلَا تَعْقِلُونَ
And do you order the people to do Al~Bir and forget yourselves while you recite in the Book.Have you not a common sense
I will not go into the translation of Al~Bir, I have written in my initial posts, scholars have translated it as righteousness which does serve the purpose but doesn’t explain it, so please refer back to my previous posts, when I explained Aya 177 with Aya 2 of this Surah
My understanding is that the members of the political system or institutions have to show that they believe in these principles and will have to lead by example.
Next Aya: 45
وَاسْتَعِينُوا بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلَاةِ ۚ وَإِنَّهَا لَكَبِيرَةٌ إِلَّا عَلَى الْخَاشِعِينَ
And seek help through patience and prayer, and indeed, it is difficult except for the humbly submissive.
My explanation of this principle is when a political system or institutions is in crisis , then the opportunist will run away but the system survives only if sincere and scarifying people stick to it . They believe in their cause and don’t lose their heart. This is very difficult to practice.
الَّذِينَ يَظُنُّونَ أَنَّهُم مُّلَاقُو رَبِّهِمْ وَأَنَّهُمْ إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ
Who are certain that they will meet their Lord and that they will return to Him.
To me this is only for the believers, Allah SBT is saying that if you struggle to improve a political system or institutions and feel that you have failed in your opinion or in the opinion of the others, about achieving an objective, you have to come back to Allah SBT, who knows best that who has done what and for what reason he/she struggled.
As I mentioned, I will summarize my opinion and give my arguments at the end.
My opinion and understanding
1: I selected my parents and Allah SBT fulfilled my desire and brought me to this world in Muslim family, like Children of Israel
2: If I will act the way Bani Israel did, should not expect the outcome other than humiliation
3: People born in non Muslim will have a different explanation on the day of judgement
4: My explanation and questions will be different than the person born in a non Muslim family
Few comments on the political systems and institutions
1: If we look at the human history, forgive me in advance because I am not a student of history, the political systems which prevailed from Ibrahim PBUM up to Muhammad PBUM, most of the time were kingdoms because of the prophets of Bani Israel who ruled through orders from Allah SBT.
As I said there are few periods when Bani Israel were punished and ruled, although again those rulers were kings as well
2: With the coming of my beloved prophet Muhammad PBUM, for a short period, world saw a controlled democracy(caliphate) , few may get upset with this statement but it’s my opinion
3: After caliphate we again saw kingdom rules by the Muslims and others.
4: For the last more than 200 years we are seeing a different political system called democracy.
5: Muslims as a whole and Muslim scholars in particular remained quite confused on it .I will focus on Muslim scholars, as my focus is on Quran,they have tried to counter this system by trying different ways and struggles, thinking that they will be able to provide the alternative but have failed so far.
I will briefly say that the concept of caliphate is not clear to them and that is main reason of their failure.
Those scholars who tried to counter this system by making religious parties, this did cause more confusion and divisions even among the religious people, because of their differences in the interpretation of religious laws.
To me the most damaging effect was that people who got involved in politics and progressed in it thought that if we want to be successful, we have to follow the western democracy.
They also think that the religious scripture i.e. reading and understanding Qur’an and Hadith is the job of religious people and they have nothing to do with it. So the Muslim societies, although living together but are basically divided not only on the basis of religion, but also on the basis of social status and so on and so forth.
What’s the way forward, this is my opinion, you can disagree
As the western democracy model is failing and also it is not and possibly will not be suitable to the Muslim world, in general and specially Pakistan. But can we try any other system and will that system be successful.
I am looking at the Chinese political system which might be suitable to us but not at this stage as we have severe existence threats.
As Chinese did ,there is no political party but have one party, whose membership is open to everyone and through merit people can progress depending upon their capabilities.
They were lucky that they didn’t have existence threats , but were attacked and people left their country.
Once these religious groups are weak and hope they will, but it needs efforts not only from the state institutions particularly army who used them, but also judiciary, we will be able to try this Chinese model which I feel is more closer to these Quranic principles.
I personally think that we are heading to this direction, once our existence threats will decrease , someone , may not be in my life time,have to take this step but army and judiciary will have to play a major role in it . This will eliminate and possibly take away the threat of religious extremism, religious divisions, as well as linguistic and geographically divisions.
As the role of army is receding and judiciary might get stronger, we might see the light at the end of the tunnel
Next what were the reason that Bani Israel was humiliated and deprived of the noble job of representing Allah SBT on earth, will continue Inshaallah.