Commentary on 'Surah At Tin': Second & Final Part
In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful; By the Fig and the Olive, And the Mount of Sinai, And this City of security; We have indeed created man in the best of moulds, Then do We reduce him to the lowest of the low, Except for those who believe and do righteous deeds, for they shall have a reward uninterrupted; Then what can, after this, contradict thee, as to the judgment (to come)? Is not Allah the Best of judges?” (And at the end, we reply: Bala! Wa ana ala Zaaleka minash Shahideen - “Indeed, I am among those who testify to this). (At-Tin 95: 1-9).
By the grace of Allah, I continue my sermon today on the same subject as last Friday, i.e., on Surah At-Tin (Chapter 95). Last week I expounded on the first verse, on the Fig and the Olive and today I shall give you an explanation on the rest of the verses of this Surah.
3.Wa Tuuri siiniina
And the Mount of Sinai
It is on Mount Sinai that Hazrat Musa (as) received the Torah (the divine laws) - most particularly the ten commandments - which had been revealed for the Jews. That exceptional moment when he received those revelations, Allah manifested Himself to Hazrat Musa (as) in the form of an Extraordinary Bright Light. But the Jews did not remain true to the commandments of Allah and they disobeyed Him. They thus had to pay for the consequences of their acts and they shall still suffer like this because of the disobedience which they show before Allah.
This is indeed a lesson for all of you that, whenever Allah sends His commandments for us - i.e. to revive the teachings of the Holy Quran in particular - and His reformer to revive (or bring back) those lost teachings, therefore you should never leave that clean path which leads to the salvation of our souls, for otherwise, if you disregard this and take the wrong path and turn your backs to the divine manifestations, signs and commandments of Allah, your consequences shall be grievous (before Allah).
And in the next verse, Allah says:
And this City of security;
There is no doubt that “this City of security” is Mecca. Even in the times when people used to pray idols, Mecca had already acquired the reputation of being a sacred place and nobody used to wage war in it. Despite its reputation as a sacred place which existed ever since the times of Hazrat Ibrahim (as), this did not hinder the people of Mecca to persecute our beloved prophet Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh). Due to the great persecutions, he had to leave his natal place and seek refuge in the town of Medina. And he adopted that town with a great heart, so much so that this town has become the second most sacred town after Mecca.
Therefore, Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) accompanied by Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (ra) and later on by the other companions left Mecca for Medina so as to be safe from all the atrocious persecutions which the Meccans had reserved for them. After the open proclamation of Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) as being an Envoy of Allah, those people wanted to kill him. They thought that if they kill him, they would be able to put an end to Islam (i.e. the religion of Muhammad (pbuh)) also. Like this adage say: “No one is prophet in his own land!”
But later on, Allah turned the situation in the favour of the Muslims and gave victory to His beloved prophet (pbuh) when He enabled His prophet to enter Mecca with honour and perform the sacred pilgrimage (Hajj). Allah upturn the situation in such a way that the majority of those who used to persecute him became Muslims - accepted Islam - and the rest (who did not accepted Islam) accepted his presence amidst them without seeking to harm him (the Holy Prophet (pbuh)).
When that moment of glory came, Mecca regained its honour as a truly sacred place and the Ka'aba most particularly got back its splendour for all idols which were in it and around it were destroyed, and once again the light of the unicity of Allah shone again in that sacred town. That is the beauty of the history of Mecca, whereby with the advent of Islam, it had gained back its dignity and honour and no Shirk came to touch it and Allah purified it so much so that till today, it continues to be a place where people who are truly sincere towards Allah come for the pilgrimage (Hajj) and get the blessings of receiving the mercy and forgiveness of Allah because they sacrifice themselves in that sacred path so as to accomplish the Hajj. Indeed, it is Allah alone who has the capacity to judge the faith (Iman) of people!
In the next verse, Allah says:
5.Laqad khalaqnal-‘insaana fiii ‘ahsani taqwiim,
We have indeed created man in the best of moulds.
“Taqwiim” means: form, mould, nature, symmetry, constitution. There is no mistake or defect in the creation of Allah. Allah has perfected man in a most pure and best form compared to His other creatures. As a result, man has the duty now to preserve that God-given form and cultivate a good character and attitude so as to perfect that form, like Allah ordains in the Quran:
“So direct your face toward the religion, inclining to truth. (Adhere to) the fitrah of Allah (the nature made by Allah) upon which He has created (all) people. No change should there be in the creation of Allah. That is the correct religion, but most of the people do not know.” (Ar-Roum 30: 31).
Allah has created man in such a way that he acquires the power of reflection and controls himself according to the instructions of Allah. When Allah has bestowed upon him this favour, He has given him (man) a superior position even to that of the angels. The angels were ordered by Allah to show submission before man (i.e. Adam (as)) and to obey him. But man in capacity as administrator of his own life needs to use his own will and intelligence so that he may use in a good way this particular favour (i.e. intelligence and proximity to Allah etc.) which Allah has bestowed upon him. He needs to take the maximum benefit from all these favours so that Allah may be pleased with him and through his good deeds, his status before the eyes of Allah increase. But on the other hand, if he misuses those favours, i.e. the faculties which Allah has given him, therefore there is a major risk that his state becomes worse than an animal, and therefore, he loses Allah and all the favours which he could have gotten if only he had shown himself sincere to Allah.
Like Allah Himself says in the Quran:
“Except for those who believe and do righteous deeds, for they shall have a reward uninterrupted” (At-Tin 95: 7).
“O children of Adam, We have bestowed upon you clothing to conceal your private parts and as an adornment. But the clothing of righteousness - that is best. Such are among the Signs of Allah, that they may be mindful!” (Al-Arraf 7: 27).
In the next verse, Allah says:
6. Summa radadnaahu ‘asfala Saafiliin
Then do We reduce him to the lowest of the low,
From this verse, it is clear that Allah is informing us that if man revolts against Allah - when he rejects His divine commandments (instructions) and prefers to continue doing wrong and attach himself more to temporal vain things instead of Allah - therefore, it shall be his own fault (not the fault of Allah). Due to his own stupidity he decreases his moral and spiritual levels whereby he returns to the state of a repugnant animal which is detestable in the eyes of Allah. When comes the moment when Allah shall judge him, i.e. Judgement Day, there shall no other Judge Who shall be more Just than our Creator that day. And there is no doubt that such a day shall dawn on us where each one of us shall have to account for his or her deeds before Allah.
7.‘Illal-laziina ‘aamanu wa ‘amilus-saalihaati falahum ‘ajrun ghayru mamnuun.
Except for those who believe and do righteous deeds, for they shall have a reward uninterrupted.
According to this verse, Allah (swt) is making us well understand that if someone improves his condition (behaviour) and accepts and follows the divine message whenever Allah sends His Messenger to revive His teachings (i.e. the Quran) which had been lost, therefore for such a person Allah has decreed a really extraordinary and beautiful destiny, whereby his moral and spiritual conditions increase as well as his overall conditions, all because he has obeyed Allah and His Messengers. For these kinds of people, their rewards shall be (good and) eternal with Allah and they begin receiving these rewards in this very life (i.e., on earth) itself.
In the next verse, Allah says:
8. Famaa yukazzibuka ba'-du bid-Diin?
Then what can, after this, contradict you, as to the judgment (to come)?
Here “you” can either refer to the Holy Prophet (pbuh) or to humanity as a whole. “After this” means that after you have been well informed and made to understand that it is Allah alone Who has created mankind so that he can become sincere, pure and truthful, and so that he may well behave in society - and also to well understand that it is Allah alone Who guides mankind as a whole - therefore, all those who revolt against His commandments and reject His signs, orders, divine manifestations and messengers, He shall punish them and abandon them in this very life and the life to come.
There is a verse in the Quran where Allah is addressing the believers. Allah says:
“O you who believe! do not make friends with a people with whom Allah is wroth; indeed they despair of the hereafter as the unbelievers despair of those in tombs.” (Al-Mumtahana 60: 14).
In the light of this verse, Allah is informing mankind as a whole that there shall come a day - Judgement Day - where all people shall have to give an account of all their deeds, be him a believer or a non-believer. In the verse, Allah is making the believers understand that they should not take as allies people who have turned their backs to the signs of Allah and who have invited upon themselves the wrath of Allah. Why did they turn their backs to Allah? Do they not ponder that there shall come such a Day - Judgement Day - where they shall have to account for all their deeds before Allah? This is what Allah is explaining; for such people (who turn their backs to Him and His signs, instructions and messengers) there is no hope for them in the afterlife. They are like the non-believers; it is as if there is no difference between them and the non-believers.
Is not Allah the Best of judges?
Allah rewards someone for all his good deeds, even the minimal ones which can be as tiny as an atom. And He also metes out punishment for all wrong deeds, even the little ones. It is thus a great favour that Islam has received from Allah whereby Allah has established for the believers five times prayers a day and along with then, they recite the Holy Quran and they remember Allah through Zikrullah (His Remembrance). Allah knows very well that we, humans are indeed very weak. Therefore, those who are righteous and just have no fear or worry to take in this regard. It is only those who turn their backs to the divine instructions, signs and messengers who need to fear for it is them who shall be retributed with a severe punishment from Allah, and their chastisement shall be eternal. There shall be no escape from such punishment!
There is a verse in the Quran where Allah says:
“Surely those who disbelieve and turn away from the Path of Allah and oppose the Messenger after that guidance has become clear to them cannot harm Allah in any way, and He will make null their deeds.” (Muhammad 47: 33).
And it is with the advent of a Messenger and the divine manifestations that you come to discover/ witness the true face of people, and the maladies in their hearts. Indeed, it is with divine manifestations that those maladies also become manifest. Allah says in a verse of the Quran:
“Or do those in whose hearts is a disease, think that Allah will not bring to light all their rancour?” (Muhammad 47: 30).
And Allah says that He shall never forgive them and they shall die without faith. This is because they follow everything which ignites the wrath of Allah and they hate to please Allah in any way. Thus, Allah renders all their deeds vain/ valueless. As for the believers, when they hear this verse: ‘Alay-sallaahu bi-‘Ahkamil-haakimiin? - Is not Allah the Best of judges?
They (i.e. the believers) reply: Bala! Wa ana ala Zaaleka minash Shahideen - “Indeed, I am among those who testify O Allah that You are truly the Best of Judges and that the religion which You have bestowed upon us is the religion of truth which shall triumph over all other religions.” Insha-Allah.
Therefore, O my disciples and all my Muslim brothers and sisters, we have testified to the grandeur of Allah, and we also bore witness that this (i.e., Islam) is indeed a religion of truth (true religion) which has been bestowed upon us by Allah. Therefore, shall we let this religion be reduced to dust? Shall we renounce to the engagement we made or do we need to do everything in our power to please Allah and re-establish His unicity by our (humble) efforts. Even a little effort counts a lot before the eyes of Allah. Insha-Allah, may all Muslims realise this, and we purify ourselves by our good intentions and actions and we give the best example for humanity. Insha-Allah, Ameen.
---Friday Sermon of 21 July 2017(26 Shawwal 1438 AH) delivered by Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Saheb (atba) of Mauritius.
For Part I of the Commentary, click here.