Man's vacillating attitude
10 Sep 2010 01:31 GMT
 
Published: Sep 10, 2010 00:55 Updated: Sep 10, 2010 00:55 In the name of God, the Lord of Grace, the Ever Merciful We gave the Book to Moses but disputes arose about it. Had it not been for a decree that had already been issued by your Lord, all would have been decided between them. As it is, they are in grave, disquieting doubt about it. Whoever does what is right does so for his own good; and whoever does evil will himself bear its consequences. Your Lord is never unjust to His creatures. Knowledge of the Last Hour belongs to Him alone. No fruit comes out of its calyx and no female ever conceives or gives birth, without His knowledge. And so, on the Day when He shall call out to them, ‘Where now are those alleged partners of Mine?’ They will say, ‘We confess to You that none of us can vouch for them.’ Whatever they used to invoke before will have forsaken them; and they will know that there is no escape for them. (Clearly expounded, Fussilat; 41: 45-48)

These verses start with a brief reference to Moses (peace be upon him) and his book, and how his people differed in their attitude to the Qur’an. God has deferred His judgment on their disputes. He has decreed that judgment on all this will be given on the Day of Judgment: “We gave the Book to Moses but disputes arose about it. Had it not been for a decree that had already been issued by your Lord, all would have been decided between them. As it is, they are in grave, disquieting doubt about it.” Likewise, He has decreed that judgment on the question of His final message will be similarly deferred. He thus lets people do as they like, and they will ultimately receive what their action merits: “Whoever does what is right does so for his own good; and whoever does evil will himself bear its consequences. Your Lord is never unjust to His creatures.”

This message proclaims that mankind have attained maturity. This makes man responsible for his choices. Such responsibility is based on individual accountability. Therefore, each one is free to choose, knowing that “your Lord is never unjust to His creatures.”

As judgment is deferred to the Day of Judgment, the surah makes clear that knowledge of its timing belongs to God alone. God’s knowledge is described by highlighting some of its aspects in an inspiring way. This serves as a prelude to a scene from the Day of Judgment when unbelievers are questioned, and their answers are reported: “Knowledge of the Last Hour belongs to Him alone. No fruit comes out of its calyx and no female ever conceives or gives birth, without His knowledge. And so, on the Day when He shall call out to them, ‘Where now are those alleged partners of Mine?’ They will say, ‘We confess to You that none of us can vouch for them.’”

The timing of the Last Hour signaling the Day of Judgment is beyond anyone’s ken; the fruit in its calyx is something that cannot be seen; and what a pregnant female is bearing is similarly concealed. Yet they are all within God’s knowledge. Our mind looks far and wide, trying to think of the fruits when they are still in calyxes and embryos in their wombs. Who can think of their count, let alone what they actually are. An image is thus drawn of the extent of God’s knowledge, to the extent our mental capacity allows. Yet His knowledge extends far beyond this, as it is without limit. Our mind then imagines those who have gone astray, as they stand before God, realizing that His knowledge encompasses everything, no matter how well concealed it is. They face the questioning: “On the Day when He shall call out to them, ‘Where now are those alleged partners of Mine?”

 On that day, no argument is of any use. No one can utter anything but the truth. What will they say then: “They will say, ‘We confess to You that none of us can vouch for them.’” They will declare that none of them will then claim any partners to God.

“Whatever they used to invoke before will have forsaken them; and they will know that there is no escape for them.”

They will know nothing of their previous claims. They will realize that there is no escape from their fate. They will forget their past and think only of their present situation. ¬



-- Arab News


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