Exposition of the Holy Quran – 32 Al-Sajdah (G A Parwez)
Surah 32: Al-Sajdah
(1) Allah the all-knowing, all-wise says:
(2) This is the divine code wherein there is no uncertainty, ambiguity or psychological perplexity. It has been revealed by the Almighty, Who provides nourishment to everything in the universe.
(3) These people assert that he (the Rasool) has fabricated the Qur’an. In fact, this book is the truth revealed from your Rabb guaranteeing positive and concrete results. No human being can produce such a book. The objective is that you should warn the people who have never been warned before, about the destructive results of their misdeeds (28:46, 36:6), so that they may take the right course.
(4) This guidance has come from Allah, Who has created the heavens and the earth and all that is in between, in six aeons passing them through various stages. Also, He has kept its central control in His own hands (7:54). Obviously, when full control and authority over the universe is with Him, who else besides Him can protect you or intercede for you? Can you not visualize the reality on the basis of this evidence (that your life too should be governed by the divine laws)?
(5) (What is meant by putting different things in the universe through various stages should be understood clearly. His way of creation is that) When, according to His Mashiyya He plans a scheme, He initiates it from the lowest level and then (with the involvement of various physical elements, and by passing through various stages of an evolutionary process) it slowly and steadily develops to its destination as established by God (35:10). The duration of these evolutionary stages, according to your count, may be a thousand years (22:47); and in some cases it may even be fifty thousand years (70:4).
(6) This process of creation and evolution is in force by the Almighty, Who is aware of the latent potentialities of everything and also knows the extent to which these have manifested themselves. All this happens as per the divine law, which has the power to take everything to its destination, through proper development.
(7) For this purpose He has maintained an excellent balance in the creation of everything, and one of His schemes is the creation of man. (After the scheme was established in His Aalm Amr) Man’s creation was initiated from inorganic matter which before you, was lying lifeless in the form of clay.
(8) (Then this inorganic matter became mixed with water – 37:11, and the first life cell appeared. This process continued through various stages of evolution and reached a point where, from the cohabitation of a male and a female, man’s progeny started through procreation.)
(9) Thereafter, God’s law creates proper balance in the unborn baby. (For a while the process of creation is common between man and animal. However, after birth, human beings go through an evolutionary process which is completely different from that of animals. That is) God infuses into man a spark of His divine energy (his human personality which gives him discretion and choice).
And see, in this way He endows to you the faculties of hearing and seeing (that is the means to acquire perceptual knowledge) as well as a mind. Yet only a few people use these faculties properly.
(10) It is strange that the human beings We created out of inorganic matter raise the objection, “How is it possible that after we are dead and lost in the dust, we will again be restored to a new life?”
In fact the only people who raise these objections are those who do not want to face the Law of Mukafat and want to get away from being accountable for their deeds.
(11) Tell them, “Our heavenly forces, under whose control your physical system functions, are taking you gradually towards death, and a day will come when your physical machinery will stop functioning. But this will only destroy your body. Your human personality does not perish, for it goes beyond, and its future is determined by the deeds you perform in this world.
(12) If you think about it you will realize that all those whose deeds lead them to destruction, that is the guilty ones who are arrogant and haughty in this world, will stand before the Almighty with their heads bowed in shame. They will say, “O our Sustainer! Now that we have seen everything with our own eyes and have heard with our own ears, we have full faith in Your Law of Mukafat. If You can just return us to our previous life, You will see how earnestly we perform righteous deeds (23:99-100).”
(13) But they are not aware that if it was Our desire to coerce them to the right path by showing them suffering and chastisement, then it was not at all difficult for Us. They would have been born to follow the right course by themselves. They would have had no capability of disobedience. However, this would have been against Our law, which has provided human beings with the faculty of choice and discretion. We do not want to make them tread the right path by depriving them of their choice. There is no credit in going on the right path, if one is forced on to it.
We have shown both ways to human beings (76:3). One leads to suffering and the other to peace and it is left to them to choose the path they like. People however, whether they are civilized or nomads, normally take the erroneous path and fall into the jahannam of suffering and destruction. Thus Our Law of Mukafat confronts them as a reality.
(14) They will be told, “Taste the result of your deeds. You were under the impression that the Law of Mukafat was simply being mentioned casually. As such you did not give any importance to the Day of Judgment and forgot it completely. Now you will have to taste this chastisement, which is the unavoidable result of your own misdeeds; and We will not protect you from it.”
(15) In spite of all the evidence, these people will not believe in the truth of Our law. The only people believing it are those who, whenever the message is conveyed to them, reflect over it (25:73), and then they bow before it in complete submission. Thereafter, they work hard for the practical establishment of the divine order so that when its pleasant and positive results appear, and everyone can spontaneously proclaim, “Most certainly this is the system which deserves all the hamd.” They are, under all circumstances, continuously busy in this struggle and they are not conceited about it.
(16) Such is the state of their perpetual struggle and involvement that their bodies seldom touch their beds for rest. They invoke divine guidance at every stage in order to create a pleasant atmosphere in their society and to keep it safe from all dangers. To achieve this objective, they keep everything We have provided for them available for those who are in need.
(17) The results of their efforts are evident in this very world but no one can comprehend the great joy and the delightful things which are in store for them in the life hereafter, as a reward for their deeds. That is beyond human imagination.
(18) After reflecting over these facts, can you ever say that those who follow the right course ordained by Allah are equal to those who leave it and go astray?
(19) The abode of those who follow the right course, that is those who believe in the truth of Our laws and do righteous deeds, will be the janna of blissful delights. Therein they will be welcomed and respected like dignified guests.
(20) However, the abode of those who go on the wrong path and disobey will be the jahannam of grievous chastisement. They will try their best to get out of it in any way they can, but whenever they try to escape they will be driven back into it and told, “Taste the torment of the suffering you used to deny.”
(21) But before We inflict on them such a destructive punishment, We will punish them to a lesser degree, so that they may perhaps learn a lesson from it and turn to the right course. (But if they continue with their transgression, ultimate destruction will take place from which there will be no escape.)
(22) Just think for yourself about who else would be a greater zalim than the one who, when the divine law is presented to him, turns away? Our Law of Mukafat will most certainly inflict punishment on the ones guilty of misdeeds.
(23) Earlier, We had also bestowed a similar code of life unto Moses, in the light of which the Bani-Israel were supposed to tread the right path. However, some of them rebelled against it, and so they were punished. You should have no doubt in your mind that even now you too will be similarly punished.
(24) On the other hand, there were people among them who had full conviction in the truth of Our laws; they diligently followed them and were steadfast. The result was that We bestowed on them leadership over other nations, which they rightly guided according to Our laws.
(25) However, as time passed, they started creating controversies in the divine laws (and as such they lost their leadership over the nations and were subjected to humiliation and disgrace). The decision regarding their differences will be taken on the day of resurrection (since they themselves have passed away. However, for the people who followed them, the decision about the matters they differed on will be taken as per the judgment prescribed in the Qur’an, which will soon take place).
(26) (After all the evidence that has been presented and the historical facts that have been referred to) The reality should have become quite clear to them that We have destroyed many earlier nations (because of their erroneous ways.) The people of these nations walk about the ruins of their dwellings. If only they would take cognizance of these facts which give clear evidence regarding the truth of Our laws! Will they not, even after this, listen to right advice?
(27) (By looking at these ruins, they can easily understand what happens if one follows the wrong path. However, if they want to understand what happens if they follow the correct path of Nizam-e-Rabubiyya, they can see how) We drive rainwater on to the dry land which is fallow and it produces crops and other vegetation which they and their cattle eat (20:54). Can they not draw even a simple lesson from this (that a society which is formed according to the divine laws is capable of producing very pleasant and wonderful results)?
(28) (But they did not take these things seriously because they did not have faith in Our Law of Mukafat. So) They keep on asking you, if you are truthful, to tell them when the hour of the final decision will come.
(29) (Ask them the reason for their haste about the hour of decision; because) Even if they declare eiman at the time they face the hour of decision, neither will their declaration be of any use to them, nor will any respite be given to them.
(30) (Nevertheless, whatever We wanted to tell them and warn them about, has been conveyed to them.) Now ignore them and devote yourself to the fulfilment of your programme and wait for its results. Let them also wait for the results of their deeds. (The revolution will itself pronounce judgment on who is on the right path.)
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