Exposition of the Holy Quran – 35 Faatir (G A Parwez)
Surah 35: Faatir
(1) All hamd is for Allah Almighty (1:1), Who brought the entire universe into being out of nothingness. He has made the heavenly forces a medium to complete His schemes; and some of the forces are multi-functional, each having two, three or four capabilities. He is not sitting idle after creating the universe, but continues to add new creations to it every now and then, as He wills. He has set measures (and laws) according to which everything functions; and He has full control over them.
(2) According to His universal system, He provides nourishment (means of growth) to mankind. Whenever He opens the gates to His bounties, no power can ever close them; and after He withholds anything, no one can release it to mankind. This is because He possesses immense power and authority. However, everything He plans is based on wisdom.
(3) O mankind, keep in mind the bounties which Allah has bestowed on you. Just think, “Other than Allah, is there any creator who sends you means of sustenance out of heaven and the earth?” The fact is that except for Him, no one else wields authority in the universe. Therefore, obedience and authority can be for none other than Him. They should be asked where they are being led astray to, after leaving aside this reality.
(4) But if (even after seeing visible and convincing arguments) these opponents belie you, you should not despair. (You should not become sad because) Many of the rusul before you were also belied. (But this does not make any difference because) Everything is decided according to Allah’s Law of Mukafat.
(5) Therefore, proclaim to humanity (with full confidence) that Allah’s Law of Mukafat is an absolute truth. Whatever He says, happens like it is said. Let neither immediate gains in this worldly life keep you in delusion, nor let any selfish group deceive you by its crafty plans. (Even your own emotions will question God and His laws. They will say that the world runs by itself and one should try to get gains regardless of the means.)
(6) Always remember that emotions which are not kept under divine laws, and the people who persuade you to acquire gains in this way, are all your enemies. So treat them as your enemies. These are the devils that drag their followers towards the destruction of jahannam.
(7) You should never forget the reality that there is severe chastisement in store for all those who reject the divine laws. However, those who believe in the truth of these laws and work on the benevolent program established by God will enjoy all sources of protection and get magnificent rewards for their hard work.
(8) This is Our law and when the law is so firm that it cannot be changed under any circumstances, how can a person who is on the wrong path ever be considered right simply because, due to his own selfish desires, his stance appears to be extremely beautiful to himself, and he believes that he actually is on the right path? (How can this happen? The criterion to judge right or wrong is not what a person thinks. What is right or wrong has clearly been determined by Allah Almighty. Now) everyone is free to choose. It is up to him whether he follows the right path or treads the wrong one.
(Thus when people adopt the wrong path according to their free will, after right and wrong have been made clear to them, then) O Rasool, do not grieve for those who are willingly on their way to destruction. Allah knows full well all their actions and tricks and knows what their end will be. (They cannot progress through their self-made law.)
(9) (One can only acquire life by following divine laws. A look at the outer universe will give you a glimpse of the working of these laws. For example) See how We send forth the winds in a direction. These winds raise clouds which We then drive towards places which are lying lifeless; and when the rain falls there, it gives new life to the dead earth.
Similarly, (dead) nations can regain life (by following the divine law, both in this world as well as in the hereafter).
(10) Therefore, if any nation desires to regain life with power, strength, superiority and respect, it should keep in mind that all this can only be achieved by following the divine laws. The nation should also keep in mind the fundamental reality that in order to achieve further development and ascendancy towards greater heights, two things are important: firstly to have an ideology or concept of life which has the inherent capacity to grow, flourish and achieve pleasant results; and secondly, righteous deeds which help lift this ideology skywards.
On the other hand, the plans of those people who adopt a negative or erroneous way of life, and create chaos in society, end in fiasco and they themselves fall into the inferno of destruction.
(11) Your own life is a living example of how the correct ideology rises through constructive human effort. Allah Almighty, according to His law, initiated your own creation from inorganic matter. The evolutionary process then progressed to a stage where procreation started from a drop of semen, for which purpose one species got split into two parts (one male, the other female). Thereafter, with the inter-mixing of both according to the divine law, the female conceives and gives birth. The law of nature fixed by God, determines who lives a long life and whose life is shortened (If one lives according to the natural laws, one lives longer. If one goes against them, life is shortened – 3:144). All this happens without any difficulty.
(12) Similarly, if you observe the outer world you see different schemes in operation. Streams flow underground. If you dig a well in one place, the water would be sweet and pleasant, while at another it would be salty and brackish. Both waters are not the same; sweet and pleasant rivers flow side by side with brackish water (25:53). And from these you take out fresh fish to eat and pearls which you wear for adornment.
You also see how boats sail, piercing through the waves, so that you can seek your subsistence and your efforts bear fruit.
(13) Just look at the rotation of the day and night; how the darkness of the night slowly disappears into the day and how the day turns into night again. See how the sun and the moon have been harnessed by the divine laws, each following its determined course for the term set for it.
This then is Allah, whose laws and authority prevail in the entire universe. It is He who has provided all sources of nourishment for you; whereas those whom you invoke do not have the least power and authority.
(14) Whether they are statues made of stone or dead bodies buried deep down, if you call them they will not listen to your call. Even if they can hear you, they cannot give you a reply. On the day of judgement, all these elders (whether dead or alive, to whom you ascribe authority besides Allah) will totally disown that they ever asked you to associate them with the Almighty.
O Rasool! You could only know such things through wahi, for there was no other source which could have told you such things.
(15) Tell these people that it is they who are solely dependent on Him for their existence and nourishment, whereas He does not need them at all. The entire universe is running beautifully and producing excellent results. Whoever ponders over it or looks at it, spontaneously showers his greatest appreciation and praise.
(16) On the issue of Him needing you, His power and your helplessness is such that if He so wills, he can do away with you (all mankind) and in your stead bring a new creation.
(17) And this is not at all difficult for Allah.
(18) (Therefore always keep in view Our Law of Mukafat and remember that all those beings, whether dead or alive, which you assume can help you, can never be of any use to you. This is because according to Our Law of Mukafat) No one can carry the burden of another. Even if someone is being crushed under the heavy load of his misdeeds and calls on another to share some of it, he will not be able to do so; even if the person called upon is closely related to him.
(This is Our Law of Mukafat. Now think for yourself how, if you take to the wrong path, you can get away from its consequences.) The only people who can benefit from this warning are those who trust the Law of Mukafat without waiting to see its results; and who believe in the imperceptible truths and realities according to which the result of their deeds are compiled, both in this world and in the hereafter. In this way they remain conscious about the consequences of their misdeeds. To avoid this, they establish the Nizam-us-sala. (Accordingly, they provide nourishment to mankind, as they are fully convinced that) Whoever provides nourishment to others, receives the same in return; and all his affairs are settled according to the divine law, for that is the ultimate destination.
(19) (Now both groups of people are before you: one which lives according to divine guidance; and the other which takes to the erroneous path. Do you think that both the groups will receive equal grading? Before you answer this question, ask) Are the blind and the ones who can see, equal?
(20) Are darkness and light alike?
(21) Are the cool shade and the scorching sun alike?
(22) Are the living and the dead alike?
If these are not equal (and they can never be), then both the groups mentioned above cannot be alike (11:24, 13:16-19).
(But even after such visible and convincing arguments they do not take the right path because) The divine law is that only those who want to listen can hear. You cannot make the dead who are lying in their graves listen to you.
(23) You can only caution people about the destructive results of their misdeeds.
(24) We have sent you along with the book which contains the truth, so that you can caution people and make them aware of the consequences of living either the right or the wrong way of life. And all this is not something new, for there has never been a community to which a Warner (like you) was not sent.
(25) And there never was a community which did not belie these messengers. Therefore neither you going to them nor their rejection of the truth is new. The messengers who came to the previous nations brought with them visible evidence such as books of divine wisdom and lucent revelations. (But those nations did not listen.)
(26) Thus when they ignored everything, Our Law of Mukafat caught hold of them; and just turn the pages of history to see how awful Our seizure was.
(27) (Obedient and rational people wonder why such benevolent, clear and eye-opening knowledge was opposed. However, this is not all that strange. People’s mind-set and attitudes are different from each others, and you will see this everywhere. This can be eliminated by following divine guidance.)
Don’t you see how water comes down from the clouds, following which different fruits of varied colours are produced (all fruits and crops are not the same)? And look at the mountains. Although you observe streaks of white and various shades of red as well as others which are jet black, these mountains are basically the same.
(28) The same applies to men, animals and cattle of various kinds. Such creations of nature are living proof of the working of divine laws. However, only those who reflect over them with intellect and reason bow in submission to Him. Only they deserve to be called scholars, and only they can comprehend how over-powering and supreme Allah’s law is. Whoever lives accordingly is provided with sufficient means of protection.
(29) (This variety of natural products is created by nature and not by the things themselves. However, the differences amongst mankind are created by themselves; and for this they themselves are responsible. One will also see the results of whatever path one chooses. Therefore of) Those who follow the divine laws; establish Nizam-us-sala; use whatever Allah has provided them, be it their latent potentialities or a product of their efforts, and ensure that everything is openly kept available for the nourishment of others (or secretly if the situation demands so); they are doing a business which never goes in loss (9:111, 61:10, 62:11).
(30) Not only will they be fully rewarded in this business, they will gain over and above this out of His bounty. The fact is that those who obey the divine laws shall remain safe from all types of destruction and in addition, shall obtain ample reward for their efforts.
(31) This then is the law which We have revealed to you through wahi. This is the very truth and it is also capable of proving that everything which was revealed earlier (through different anbiya) is true. This is because the law is being revealed from that Almighty who is well aware of the needs of His followers and is all-seeing.
(32) (All that was important or necessary has been revealed and preserved in the Qur’an, because after this the institution of wahi is being closed. The only thing required now is to establish a system according to these laws and for human society to be formed under this guidance. For this purpose a group (ummah) is required. This ummah has been selected (2,143, 3:109) and the book has been entrusted to them.
But the condition of this ummah will be such that some of them will commit zulm on themselves by abandoning it; some will abandon it partially and some will be foremost in working according to the divine laws. They will be the ones who deserve high ranks.
(33) They will establish a society in which they will enjoy all the pleasant things of life and leadership. They will enjoy all the signs of a high stature, symbolized by gold and pearl bracelets; and they will be clad in garments of silk and gold brocade (22:23).
(34) Upon seeing such luxuries, comforts and grandeur, they will spontaneously exclaim, “He Who has removed all anxiety and grief from us is worthy of all hamd. Now we have seen with our own eyes that this system has inherent safety measures to keep destructive elements away and also to provide full rewards for our efforts.
(35) Such are the blessings of this system, that we will be living in a society where no strenuous labour is required (20:118). We will also not have any mental strain, psychological depression or weariness arising out of the complications of mutual dealings which can create unnecessary worries for man. (Such a state will exist in this world under the divine system, and also in the hereafter.)
(36) (On the other hand) A destructive chastisement awaits those who are bent upon opposing this system. This suffering will be unique, in that it will neither consume them so fully that they die; nor will its torment be lessened so that they may have some respite (14:17, 20:74, 87:13). And this is not meant for a particular nation. This is Our unalterable law that Whoever takes to the erroneous path is requited this way.
(37) There they will cry out and say, “O our Rabb! Take us out of this torment just once, and then see how we will leave aside our previous way of life and do righteous deeds according to the Your guidance.”
They will be told, “Did We not give you a span of life which was long enough for those who wanted to learn from Our laws, to do so? Moreover, the Rasool had also come to you. (He was persistently cautioning you that this way of life will take you straight to jahannam. But you did not listen to him.) Now taste the bitter fruit of your deeds. (No one can help you now as) Those who do zulm (injustice) have none to succour them.”
(38) (This is because nothing can remain outside the reach of Allah’s Law of Mukafat.) He knows even the hidden realties of the heavens and the earth; and He also has full knowledge of what lies in (the depths of) their hearts.
(39) According to this very Law of Mukafat, He makes one nation replace another. (A nation which loses its capability to live becomes non-existent and in its place comes a living nation full of abilities and excellent qualities). Thus, a nation which rejects this law and adopts its own self-made course has to face the destructive results. Remember, the result of rejecting the right path can be nothing else but deprivation of divine bounties. As they take further steps in this direction, each step leads to greater losses.
(40) Ask the people who are treading the wrong path, “Have you ever given thought to those beings and powers to which you ascribe a share in His authority? Have they ever created anything on earth? Do they have a share in any part of the heavens? Or have We ever given them a book wherein it says that you should consider these beings as having a share with the Almighty?” Not in the least! The fact is that those who want to take advantage of others by suppressing human rights advise each other to leave the divine laws and work according to their own preferences. All this is nothing but deceit.
(41) Everything functions according to the divine laws and no one has any power or authority to make even the slightest change in the results produced by these laws. If you want to see how mighty and powerful His laws are, just observe how He is holding the huge celestial bodies and the earth. Fastened to the chains of His law, they are completely subservient to Allah’s laws and none can deviate even a little from them. And if they deviate, there is no power which can bring them to their original position. So very powerful and forbearing is He, Who is safeguarding the entire universe!
(42) These people who are bent on denying the truth used to swear by Allah, with the utmost solemn oaths, that if His messenger would ever come to them, they would set an example and follow the guidance better than anyone had ever done so before. However, when a messenger came to them they started getting further away in their aversion.
(43) They do so, not because they see anything wrong in what he presents to them, but because he stops them from their aggressive and rebellious attitudes. Also, he stops them from devising crafty plans which create disorder and chaos in society; and these people are not ready to give up their ways. Little do they realize that such crafty plans engulf none but the authors themselves. Now they are waiting to see the same (doom) which struck the earlier generations. That is surely going to happen because Allah’s law is unalterable. Neither will there be any change in its resultant effects, nor will its direction ever alter so that somebody else is punished in place of the wrong-doers.
(44) Have they not travelled the land to see, with their own eyes, the fate of the earlier generations which were far more powerful than them? Human beings and their strength included, there is no authority or power in the universe which can subdue divine laws and make these laws so helpless that they would be incapable of gripping the evil- doers. (Likewise, O Rasool, how can your opponents escape His grip?) For, He is all-knowing, and infinite in His power.
(45) In fact there is a time gap between the action and the manifestation of its results. If that were not the situation, and Allah were to (immediately) take men to task for whatever wrong they commit, not one soul among the opponents would be left on the face of this earth. When the period of their respite is over, they will all be seized; for this respite does not mean that their misdeeds have gone out of sight. Nothing is out of His sight; He is ever watchful of everything His followers do (16:61).
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