Exposition of the Holy Quran – 76 Ad-Dahr (G A Parwez)

Surah 76: Ad-Dahr
(Time)

(1) It is a fact that the human being (who now exists in the present form) was for a long time not something which could exist on its own. (Then, by passing him through various stages of evolutionary development, We brought him to this stage.)
(2) During this process, one of the stages was the initiation of his creation from a sperm. (It was not just a drop of fluid, but in actual reality) It was a collection of numerous mixed potentialities; and so We made arrangements whereby these latent potentialities would develop gradually. For this, while in the mother’s womb, it underwent many changes till it became a human being capable of hearing and seeing.
(3) It is because of this faculty of seeing and hearing (of intellect and reason) that he was not forced to adopt a particular set course, like the rest of the universe. He was given the discretion to select any one of the courses open to him. While his faculties can select a path, they cannot ensure that the selected course is also the right one. This can only be done through wahi. Hence Allah Almighty guided him to the right way through wahi; and then left him free to either adopt the right course or to deny it. That is why he is held responsible for his deeds, which are worthy of either reward or punishment.
(4) If he adopts the wrong path, there are chains and iron collars as well as destruction at every step along the way. (Chains refer to following blindly and iron collars to obedience of non-divine powers. It is to remove these that Our messenger has come – 7:157.)
(5) On the other hand, the consequence of treading the right path shall be a large heart and a vast vision. This faculty is developed by keeping one’s violent emotions under the guidance of wahi, which helps inculcate calmness and peace.
(6) This drink is available from the spring that the votaries of the Almighty bring out from the depths of their heart. Now it is within their discretion to make its channels flow in any direction (in other words they can use their capabilities as they like).
(7) These people voluntarily undertake the responsibility of universal Rabubiyya and then fulfill it cheerfully. They are always conscious that if such an action is not taken, then there is a possibility that the entire society would become polluted and that evil would spread far and wide. (There would be chaos all around.)
(8) In order to prevent this disorder and chaos, they make Allah’s Nizam-e-Rabubiyya available to all. In effect they arrange to provide means of nourishment to those who are incapable of earning; or to those who are left alone in society (without any support); and to those who are entrapped in some calamity. Although selfish instincts demand that everything should be collected and kept for one’s own self, irrespective of these desires, they arrange for the nourishment of others.
(9) And say to the people for whom they do all this, “We do not do this as a favour to you. No, not at all! We do not expect anything in return; not even a word of appreciation. In fact we are doing our duty; and our interest lies only in this. Accordingly, not only are our own selves nourished and developed, even the divine attributes grow in our personalities. This is the objective of human life.”
(10) If we do not make these arrangements We know that a calamitous atmosphere will prevail and all the pleasures of life will whither away. Life would become dismal. So many hardships and calamities would spread all around, that they would cause wrinkles on the faces of people. There would be no trace of peace or happiness visible anywhere.
(11) The outcome is that the Almighty’s law of Rabubiyya protects them from the evil effects of such an era; and instead, happiness and joy embraces them.
(12) It is through their steadfastness and firmness that they are rewarded with this blissful life, in which they live in comfort and luxury, surrounded by lush green gardens and an invigorating atmosphere.
(13) In those gardens they would be sitting on seats of authority and power. There would neither be excessive heat nor bitter cold.
(14) Thick shades of trees would bow down on them and the branches would be laden with fruit. Everything of comfort and ease would be within their reach. They would not require any effort to get them; for the branches themselves would hang low to come within their reach.
(15) Food in silver utensils and drinks in crystal clear goblets would be served all around them.
(16) The silver itself would shine like crystals; and all the utensils and goblets would be made exactly to measure.
(17) The drinks they receive would be invigorating, enabling them to grow and progress in the evolutionary process (83:27). (In other words, should emotions get out of control, the divine wahi would neutralize the effect – 76:5. On the other hand, should the effort slow down, the divine wahi would invigorate it.)
(18) This invigorating drink will be available from a spring which would continue flowing onwards (88:12). (In other words it would enable man to find new ways and avenues of life, moving onward amidst new inventions.)
(19) And children endowed with ornaments would be around them (56:17). On their faces would be perpetual freshness, alertness and brightness. You may imagine them as pearls scattered around; in that they would be physically healthy and their character would also be as pure as pearls. But they would not be in a shell. They would be moving around yet they would not let their character be polluted.
(20) In this society, wherever you look, you shall see peace and comfort; authority and power blended with beauty and grandeur; and a realm of delight and magnificence. (A combination of grandeur and beauty elevates the human personality to great heights.)
(21) Their life of comforts and luxuries will be clearly visible. They will be dressed in fine silk and brocade garments. And, as symbols of power, you will observe them wearing bracelets of authority. But this comfort and ease will neither create evils of joviality in them, nor will they become intoxicated with power or authority. Their Rabb shall provide them a drink that will purify their hearts and enlighten their vision (with the guidance of wahi).
(22) They will be told that all this is the consequence of their own endeavors, which has been manifested before them in the form of this reward. Now they have seen how their efforts have been recognized and rewarded.
(23) (This then, O Rasool, is the heavenly society for the formation of which) We have gradually revealed to you this code of life, the Qur’an, so that you can act upon it step by step.
(24) Therefore, hold fast to the divine code and be steadfast on the programme ordained by your Rabb. Do not listen to anyone going on the wrong path. By pursuing the erroneous path of selfishness, the creative faculties of human beings become either degraded or stay subdued. The condition of whoever listens to them will also become like theirs. (His human faculties will not develop and even if they did, they would go to waste in useless destructive work. They will make him lethargic.)
(25) The way to save yourself from this outcome would be to keep in your view, from morning till evening the divine attribute of Rabubiyya; and to be actively involved in establishing the Nizam-e-Rabubiyya.
(26) Whether it is day or night, you should always submit to His laws and devote your full energy towards accomplishing your programme (73:1-3).
(27) The people who are opposing you are pursuing their immediate gains. The only objective of their lives is to acquire physical comforts in this world. They, thus ignore this glorious revolution (which guarantees comforts and luxuries in the present and in the future – 75:10).
(28) (They are very proud that they are mighty and strong; but they forget that) We have created them; and We have given strength and stability to their countenances. If they oppose Our laws, then according to Our Law of Mashiyya (Allah’s programme, plan), it is not at all difficult for Us to wholly replace them with another nation.
(29) What is being presented before them is certainly a manifest reality. Hence, whoever so wishes can take heed, and adopt the path leading to Allah’s Nizam-e-Rabubiyya (universal sustenance).
(30) Tell them that the only way this can happen is if your own choice is in conformity with the divine laws. (You should desire only that which the divine law wishes, because) The divine law is based on knowledge and absolute wisdom – 74:56, 81:21.
(31) Should you so desire, the Almighty will bring you under the umbrella of His blessing and benevolence. However, if you do not desire what the divine law seeks, then this would amount to rebellion and zulm. (And remember) For those who resort to zulm and oppression, Our Law of Mukafat (retribution) has prepared a grievous chastisement.

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