What the Qur'an says: Warning to unbelievers
26 Aug 2010 05:31 GMT
 
By ADIL SALAHI Published: Aug 26, 2010 19:42 Updated: Aug 26, 2010 19:42 In the name of God, the Lord of Grace, the Ever Merciful Those who distort the meaning of Our revelations are not hidden from Us. Who is in a better state: he who is cast into the fire, or he who shall come safe on Resurrection Day? Do what you will; He sees all that you do. Those who reject this reminder [i.e. the Qur’an] when it comes to them … It is indeed a sublime book; no falsehood can ever touch it openly or in a stealthy manner. It is bestowed from on high by One who is wise, worthy of praise. (Clearly expounded, Fussilat; 41: 40-42)

Against the backdrop of universal signs, the surah condemns and warns those who deny God’s signs and dispute His revelations: “Those who distort the meaning of Our revelations are not hidden from Us. Who is in a better state: he who is cast into the fire, or he who shall come safe on Resurrection Day? Do what you will; He sees all that you do.”

The warning begins in an implicit but fearful way, stating that such people “are not hidden from Us.” God is fully aware of them. They will have to account for what they perpetrate, no matter how they try to distort meanings or resort to deception. They may think that they can escape God’s punishment in the same way as their deception spared them the accountability before human authority. However, the warning is then stated clearly: “Who is in a better state: He who is cast into the fire, or he who shall come safe on Resurrection Day?” This puts before them the prospect that lies ahead. It is they who will be cast in the fire, in contrast with the believers who will be safe on the Day of Resurrection. The verse concludes with another implicit warning: “Do what you will; He sees all that you do.” Terrible indeed is the fate of the one who is given the freedom to do what he wills and who distorts the meaning of God’s revelations when God sees all that he does.

The surah then speaks about those who specifically deny the Qur’anic revelations, describing the Qur’an as a sublime book, admitting no falsehood: “Those who reject this reminder (i.e. the Qur’an) when it comes to them … It is indeed a sublime book; no falsehood can ever touch it openly or in a stealthy manner. It is bestowed from on high by One who is wise, worthy of praise. Nothing is being said to you other than what was said to the messengers sent before your time. Your Lord is the Lord of forgiveness, but He also inflicts painful punishment. Had We willed to make this revelation a discourse in a non-Arabic tongue, they would have said: “If only its verses were clearly spelled out! Why (a message in) a non-Arabic tongue and an Arab (messenger)?” Say: “This is guidance and healing for all those who believe; but as for the unbelievers: there is deafness in their ears, and they are blind to it.” They are, as it were, being called to from too far away. (Verses 41-44)

The surah refers to those who reject the Qur’an when it comes to them, but does not mention their status or what will happen to them. The sentence is left without a predicate: “Those who reject this reminder (i.e. the Qur’an) when it comes to them …” It is a case of saying that such people do something so horrible that it cannot be properly described. The surah simply mentions them and moves on to describe the reminder which they reject; thus showing their action in its true and ghastly colors: “It is indeed a sublime book; no falsehood can ever touch it openly or in a stealthy manner. It is bestowed from on high by One who is wise, worthy of praise.”

How could falsehood touch or creep into this book when it comes from God who is the truth absolute? It is a book which clearly presents the word of truth, one that is permanently linked to the truth that ensures the proper conduct of the affairs of the universe. How could falsehood come into it when it is a sublime book, given protection by God who undertakes to keep it intact: “It is We Ourselves who have bestowed this reminder from on high, and it is We who shall preserve it intact.” (15: 9)

Anyone who looks carefully at the Qur’an will find in it the truth it has come to establish. We find this truth in its spirit and its text: it is simple, natural, reassuring, and addresses human nature in its totality with profound effect. Moreover, “it is bestowed from on high by One who is wise, worthy of praise.” Wisdom is clearly apparent in its structure, directives, the way it was revealed, and in its direct address to the human heart. God who revealed the Qur’an is worthy of praise. There is in the Qur’an much that makes our hearts eager to express its praise of God. ¬



-- Arab News


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