INTERMEDIATE SUMMARY ABOUT NAFS
From all the foregoing it transpires that from one angle the human nafs is a single entity which amounts to the identity, the I’ness of each and every one of us respectively; hence its translation as ‘soul’. Because soul is normally conscious and we traditionally think that our consciousness lies in our hearts the word ‘nafs’ also needs be translated as ‘heart’. The reason why heart looks like being our seat of consciousness is that its rhythms closely correspond to our moods. If one is angry his heart beats in a way which reflects his anger, for example; it is then powerful and fast and this helps an aggressive act to be performed against the ‘offender’.
From another angle nafs is an evolving entity which keeps gaining newer and newer layers of development. Initially it is both selfishness and innocence itself. It is so in young babies as well as psychopaths who are those who cannot outgrow their selfishness despite outgrowing all else. In fact psychopaths are pests in human form and being incurable because they are genetic accidents they sometimes are or must be treated like pests. In our time if one of them is proven to have committed a murder the sentence passed may be life confinement to a secure psychiatric hospital. If the attendants there drop their guard they may become the victims of the psychopath’s charge though. Normally however nafs admits reform and refinement and these are imparted to it by both informal and formal education. Like a seed which is a single if composite entity which, helped by natural favourable environmental factors as well as by a good gardener’s care, germinates and diversifies into a root, a stalk, branches, leaves, flowers and fruit the human nafs also, under general social influences as well as the special care of good parents and teachers, breaks into a series of more and more desirable and useful stages of developments, the top prized element being, as Islam puts it, a God-conscious most charitable personality. Before it can produce this fruit however other less perfect layers must evolve from it and these Sufis love to name as variously named layers of the nafs, namely the ‘ammaratun bis sui’ as Joseph AS said, which means ‘demander of impieties’, then the ‘lawwama’ and the rest as explained in the commentary to verse 10 above.
These in fact are not layers in a physical sense or any layers at all but the fluid elements in our heart which may momentarily take their turns to dominate our thinking and then go away to be replaced by another. It is so that we find ourselves vacillating between generosity and miserliness, courage and cowardice, sacrifice and exploitation all of which may rule our mood in the course a single minute until one definitely wins. This interpretation closes perhaps the unnecessary gap between a single or mono-block nafs and a composite, multi-layered one. It is like ourselves. As grown ups we are in part still children, some indelible personality in us remains the child that we began life as and demands our attention and its own satisfactions. We may suddenly feel like flying a kite again or playing with marbles or playing practical jokes at a child’s level. These are not imperfections but part of our increasing perfection. It is this full survival of the child in us which enables us to understand our children and teach them things insightfully and effectively. Our beloved prophet sws, like many of us- could instantly go to children’s level and play with them to their great delight. Please notice that those adults in whom childhood moods and skills are dead cannot relate to children properly, in fact they cannot bear children and as such do not make good parents and should rather not produce children. They are stiff, too serious or grim and unforgiving of others. If they are ‘believers’ or practicing Muslims they are the least lovable of the lot and always need a cautious approach lest they eject some venom.
In the final analysis nafs is what or who we are and remain even in Paradise, distinct from Allah yet closely relating to Him. The relation is absolute but of varying quality. A worst offender is no less under the intimate care of Allah than the highest saint. But in the offender’s case the relation is sad and bad while in the saint’s case it is happy and good. It is like a mother caring equally for all her children though she is happy with the good child and unhappy about the not so good. Yet, the spirit of man and his nafs are not entirely identical. The spirit is pure and good at all times because it comes direct from Allah but once born into flesh it reacts with it like in a chemical reaction and the product is the nafs. Like every chemical compound the body and the spirit can be split up again but the spirit so separated is not as pure as when it had entered the flesh, because it now has memories and habits etched on to it throughout its compound stage on earth. Again THESE ARE MATAPHORS and should not be too much read-into and too literal conclusions drawn from.
Instead we must be practical and understand that truer and fuller understanding of spiritual realities so mataphorised must await our full development of our spiritual powers though higher and higher piety with a stronger and stronger faith in Allah. Amen.
29. Turn to your Maker in repentance and kill your ‘anfus’ (plural of nafs) (2: 54)
C. Here we have a sub-meaning of ‘nafs’- it means ‘ego’ which has a derogatory connotation. By ‘ego’ we mean a person’s selfish aspect which is shameful and embarrassing. This aspect of the nafs need be banished and kept under lock. Why? Because without banishing the ego no repentance can stick but offences must be repeated. This in fact is what much of Sufism is about.
30. Do not kill your anfus; indeed Allah are merciful towards you. Whoever does this (killing) in rancour and injustice We shall be casting him into the Fire (4: 29- 30)
C. Here we have a general meaning of ‘nafs’ which carries none of the derogatory connotation of the sense in the previous verse above. Nafs here means ‘person’ and persons we must not kill. The verse means “do not kill (murder) each other on account of personal rivalries and hostilities or for plain greed or lust. THIS ALWAYS POSSIBLE AMBIGUITY OF TERMS IN THE QUR’AN SHOULD NEVER BE FORGOTTEN WHEN INTERPRETING IT. Context and reason should always be referred to. Therefore, as already severally pointed out, too much word-analysis or literal hair-splitting of the wording of the verses is not a safe way for extracting gnosis from the Qur’an. Had it been so, as Ghazali points out, Allah also would have to die because He also refers to Himself as ‘Nafs’ and said about nafs “Each nafs is to taste death”. Here Ghazali is referring to verse 5: 112 which we already quoted as 15 above.
31. Allah gives death to the anfus (plural of nafs) when they are to die and also to those who are not to die, but just in its sleep. The one for which He decreed death He retains while the other He sends back to (resume conscious life) until an appointed term. In this there are signs for a thoughtful people (39: 42)
C. This verse gives a priceless clue to what nafs means. Since Allah is telling us that both death and sleep are caused by the removal of the nafs from the body by Allah nafs can only mean consciousness and not all life in the body. A sleeping person is ‘dead’ only in the sense that he is unconscious of his environment in any effective sense although he may sometimes and for short periods be aware of himself in the form of dreaming. Since he is asleep while dreaming, according to the verse above his nafs (soul) must be in Allah’s Hand and this fits very well indeed with the mythical or metaphorical contents of dreams. After all almost all dreams have some myth, I mean figures and situations which are not fully or always experienced in waking hours, figures like horrible or angelic beings and situations like flying in air or seeing a person who has been long dead. Since Allah is saying that both a dead person’s and sleeping person’s souls are with Him death must have something like a dream state for the soul concerned but from other statements about after death these ‘dream’ states must be more about the state of the conscience of the dead person which means his prides and regrets in earthly life must be its main preoccupations. Incidentally, since we cannot call a sleeping person a dead person the sleeper’s life, when fully unconscious, must be like a plant’s- a fully-automated physical functioning. This is like the ‘life’ of a brain-dead person although the normal sleeper’s is temporary and reversible.
32. By thy Lord, they are no believers until they consult thee to arbitrate on what arise amongst them and then find no opposition in their hearts (‘anfusihim’- in their ‘nafsas’) against what thou decided upon but submit with full submission to it (4: 65)
C. The bluntest description of faith ever. It is easier to claim belief in Allah when an objective test is not there to test the claim. That also explains why Islam’s faith formula does not only consist of ‘la ilaha illallah’ but ‘Muhammadun rasulullah’ must be added (sws). An apparently sincere claim about truly believing in Allah may be exposed as not quite so when the believer is tested by a case which involves obedience to another person as sanctioned by Allah. A believer must obey the Prophet sws if he is a true believer and also his parents, his commander, his boss etc. as applicable, so long their demands are not against Allah’s Commandments. In case of disobedience to such the believer is entitled to defend his disobedience by explaining his reluctance- like the demand being unwise or too dangerous and be released from the duty of obedience if he is justified in his excuses. But against the Prophet sws he has not so much room for manoeuvre and in principle must always submit to the Prophet sws unless the Prophet sws tells him that his heeding is optional, for the Prophet sws is known to suggest things without insisting that they should be taken up. Of course in our times when the Prophet sws is not physically around this obedience becomes obedience to the Prophet’s sws demands recorded in reliable hadiths. In Sufism such obedience extends to obeying one’s sheikh. In the case of the Prophet sws and also the sheikh which the pupil regards as the Prophet’s sws deputy the fellow’s referring his differences with others to the Prophet’s sws or to his sheikh’s arbitration and then submitting to the decision given is a definite sign of the sincerity of the fellow’s faith.
But there is a qualification here as well: Allah imposes both on the Prophet sws and any other issuers of commands to remain within the limits of “MA’RUF”, i.e., what is known to be reputable either in religion or in honoured tradition which does not clash with Islam. Allah describes His Prophet sws as “He “enjoins them al ma’ruf and bans them al munkar, and legalises for them good things” (7: 157). ‘Al munkar’ here means something any decent and reasonable person would find objectionable. If that is a limitation on the Prophet then it is also on a sheikh. The subject of the Prophet sws or the sheikh and in fact all those in any form of authority over a Muslim should only demand from the Muslim things his commonsense and conscience finds acceptable on account of that thing being a reputable thing and NOT an unheard-of thing disturbing heart and mind. EVEN ALLAH HIMSELF BINDS HIS DIVINE PERSON FROM PRESSING THE CREDULITY AND CAPACITY TO BEAR OF HIS BELIEVERS, an example being in this verse: “He is not asking from you your entire wealth; were He to ask and insist you would show miserliness and He would expose your rancour (the indelible residue of ego’s opposition to Allah which remain in everybody despite everything) (47: 36- 37).
Against this we have some extremist Sufi stories in which the sheikh orders the murid to give away all his wealth to the last penny, abandon all his relations and recognisable things and subject himself to the sheikh like a dead corpse in the hands of a washer and wrapper of of dead bodies for burial. In fact no great and reputable Sufi sheikh ever demanded such total subjection from his murids. The story of Moses AS and Khidr AS- if he was Khidr- is given as proof that the murid’s obedience to his sheikh should be that total but that story is a truthful myth and a Divine metaphor whose aim is entirely different. It is so profound a thing that we will insha Allah compose another article on it on another occasion. Islam, whether in its normal or Sufi form is about moderation in both in spiritual claims and in the practice of submission and piety and the Prophet sws said so.
At the cost of repeating ourselves, this fact, that even Allah, in His Mercy, limits Himself to demands on His servants which are bearable by them and not more, rules out the feasibility of any creature’s possession of absolute and arbitrary authority on other creatures, no matter the demanding servant’s status or pretensions. Unfortunately, the Satan sometimes invades our hearts and induces us to make impossible demands on ourselves or on others. In the case of ourselves we become extreme self-sacrificers and in the case of others we become extreme tyrants, both of which are devilic and eventually disastrous. It is on this point that some spiritual fools or pretenders give themselves away: They become spoiled by the adulation they managed to induce in their followers and are carried away by their inflated influence and ridden by their egos they begin to demand from their followers all their assets and all sorts of indecent favours as the case may be. As late Winston Churchill said “Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely”. Therefore never be taken in by anybody claiming spiritual authority if he is asking you or others to submit to his demands too comprehensively or too absolutely. Even Allah does not do that because He limits His demands by His Mercy.
33. Had We written on (demanded from) them things like “Kill yourselves (anfusakum)” or “Leave your homes” (for Allah) they would not do it except a few. Had they done what they were advised it would be better for them and more consolidating (of their faith) (4: 66)
C. This verse continues from the previous. It adds more detail to the subject of Allah’s limiting His demands by His Mercy. Actually we should kill our egos as the great Sufis insist on pointing out. Killing our egos means perfecting our obedience to Allah so much that His Will becomes our own happy and not reluctant will. Had this been possible we could attain highest happiness imaginable. A few may come near enough though. For the great majority less is possible and therefore they lead less happy lives. Of course the more legalist interpretation which says that “Kill yourselves” means “Be fully prepared to sacrifice your lives for Allah in battle” is also valid. On this score many sahaba were very successful. In either case, the willingness to sacrifice as many things for Allah as possible consolidates one’s faith as nothing else. So, o believer and sufi aspirant, do your best to enhance your willingness to sacrifice your many things for Allah if you want to climb up the ranks of iman. The less willing you are to sacrifice and more willing to benefit from the sacrifices of others the nearer to disbelief and hypocrisy you are. We take refuge in Allah from being such fools. But please remember- perfection is impossible for anything and anybody; we can only try to impart perfection to our pupils or to become perfect under our tutors’ instruction. Although we will never achieve perfection we will be rewarded by Allah as if we achieved it if we tried hard enough, I mean to the extent that we could bear without breaking down.
34. In the land there are signs for the convinced; and also in yourselves (fee anfusikum)- will you not see? (51: 21)
C. Wherever we look at on this earth we see many wonderful things which are not our making and to which anything we make is incomparable. Our most sophisticated products like computers or surgicial operation robots cannot compare even with a bacterium in range and level of powers. A bacterium is a very sophisticated self-perpetuating and self-multiplying system human technology has still to match. Micro-organisms are so intelligently designed that only a supra-human intelligence can account for them. But we also have signs of the existence of Allah in ourselves. We are in possession and to a certain extent also in charge of an inner universe which is at least potentially greater than the outer. The more capable among us have been able to compress the whole geometry and mechanics of the outer universe to simple mathematical formulae like E= mc2. Human intelligence, imagination and range of emotions are such wonders as to dwarf all wonders outside man and are even more indicative of the existence of Allah. Since I exist in such glory my creator must also exist and that in infinitely more glory!
35. We will show them Our Signs in the horizons as well as their souls (anfusihim) until it becomes manifest to them that It (the Qur’an or Allah) is True (41: 53)
C. As the confirmations of the messages in the Qur’an keep arriving from the witnessing of the events all over the world and deep into the space men will come to recognise that the Qur’an has been speaking the truth. All real science has an uncanny agreement with the Qur’an. We have seen many examples of this in our academy’s Qur’an commentary and in fact there are independent books on this subject. One notable example was the expansion of the universe. This modern theory has a creditable echo in the Qur’an when He Almighty says “And the sky We have built it up and We are the Expanders” (51: 47).
Similarly Allah is promising us to show us His Signs (about the truth of the Qur’an) in our own souls. As we grow older and get to understand things better and deeper we may begin to wonder if there was not more to life and existence than a materialist understanding allows for. In the course of our lives we may experience some prophetic dreams of our own which come true only too literally or at least metaphorically.
Additionally sometimes some soothsayers prophesy and even astrologers sometimes predict for us some future affairs which come uncannily true, even down to the names and types of the actors in the future events. Although such successes are very rare they do occur all the same and in fact the prophet sws explained such events as the predictor’s psychic agents pilfering information about the future from the discourses of the angels. God’s prophets for their parts and true saints as well, being ‘angelised’ in some respect may prophesy parts of the future quite legitimately. We also may have some personal glimpses into the future whether through dreams or premonitions which come true. These are Signs that there are more to reality than science is willing to and able to consider.
There is still Signs- we may be shocked to find that after committing some injustice somebody or something else comes into our life and does an uncannily similar injustice to us ‘as if’ God is avenging on us our sin. Many other ‘coincidences’ may similarly make us stop and wonder: Are these just coincidences or some intelligent, deliberate if intangible moral force operating on a universal and impartial level making sure that wrongs do not go unpunished or good acts unrewarded? As old age closes in and especially when we have done some work towards our piety newer and stranger spiritual experiences may begin to happen to us which imply an increasingly more convincing confirmation of the threats and promises in the Qur’an as regards the Hereafter. Lastly and at the time of death many bright confirmations may break unto us such as those reported in certain books in which a researcher researches the near-death experiences of some people who come very close to death but survive to tell his story. In any case Allah promises to all of us His eventual convincing us of the truth of the Qur’an but whether this conviction comes in time to help us correct ourselves or too late is another matter.
36. Those who frustrated their souls become unable to believe (in Allah) (6: 20)
C. Those who insist on harming their best and long-term interests by recklessly and irresponsibly indulging their lusts and greeds stunt and distort their moral and spiritual side so badly that like diseased people who find nice things intolerable and bad things irresistible they shirk from any thought of Allah and delight in denying and despising Him. There are addicts who will never drink pure good water but must have beer or wine and even whiskey. There are addicts who prefer cannabis or opium to food which they take just to survive and without relish. There are men who cannot resist pursuing any woman any time whatever the risks and complications. There are people who must always lie, cheat or abuse others. None of such people can afford to take God or religion seriously. This explains why sins, when insisted upon often leads to most intractable forms of blasphemy and why devilic people encourage others to indulge their lusts so that they become unable to have religious faith. Today’s unbridled lust-indulging ethos in the West and in those Eastern places aping the West religious faith is dwindling and in many parts is almost extinct.
37. These (idols) are nothing but names you and your ancestors named. Allah has not sent down any endorsement of them. They (the idolaters) are just following their idle opinion and following the instigations of their egos (anfus). Yet a Guidance has (now) come to them (in this Prophet sws and in this Qur’an) (53: 23)
C. This superb verse is laying bare the very anatomy of polytheism and idol worship. All false gods are figments of imagination and essentially are no more than mere names named by the idolaters; in other words they do not represent any spiritual realities even by a far margin. The motivation is no more than the instigations of the vain egos of the founders of idolatry. While Allah creates and fashions man for good reasons and for a good end the idol-mongers, playing creator, create and fashion their idols to legitimise their ego desires. In its most basic forms idols began as tribal gods entirely designed to justify tribal ends no matter how just those ends were in view of other tribes’ rights. From those days we moderns inherit the habit of creating idols in the form of national or ideological and even artistic heroes which we treat like gods and creating idolatries in the form of ideals like nationalism or communism whose pantheons we staff by our leaders in those ideologies.
38. Allah will not change the condition a people are in until and unless they change what is in their hearts (anfusihim) (13: 11)
C. Both very good and very bad news! It means that to know what Allah will do to us we only have to look into our hearts. Are we happy with Allah, in fact so happy that we are unable to forget Him but keep remembering and glorifying Him in loveliest terms and cannot wait to obey any of His commandments and be ready to beat off any temptations that may beckon at us. On top of them do any good we may do to anybody within reason and all that for Allah’s Sake. Then we may thank Allah for blessing us thus and begging Him only to increase His blessings and fearing that He may punish us for our failings.
If on the other hand what you find in your heart is a reluctant and hesitant faith which translates into reluctant and hesitant acts of piety which in any case are few and far in between while sinful opportunities just blow you off your feet then rest assured that you are getting nowhere with your weak faith and be on your guard against meeting the blows coming your way. Nations are the same as the persons. If Muslim nations are doing badly it is because they are relating to Allah as badly. This is not a fanciful religious delusion but unbreakable spiritual law. Let us take a very simple example. Suppose you are put in charge of a department or a person you could not care less or hate more. However hard you think you are trying to give your best service you find that you are cold, disgusted and uninspired. You forget crucial things while you jump at opportunities when you can avoid your responsibilities thanks to a passable excuse. If, for example, you fall into a traffic jam on your way to the carrying out an obligation towards your charge you sing happily as the traffic gets worse. You see, you won’t be doing much for him thanks to the bad traffic conditions.
Most Muslims love this world simply too much, are too badly addicted to their wrongs like pursuing a blood feud or treating women or find their lucrative corrupt practices too delicious and profitable to relinquish, all of which alienate them from Allah and make them quite reluctant if not secretly disgusted servants of Allah. Do you know that most Muslim governments are unable to collect taxes as they are supposed to simply because the both the taxmen and the tax-payers are experts in avoiding the collection and solve the problem by exchanging bribes? The tax-payer bribes the taxman to accept false accounts showing small profit or a loss and the taxman accedes to the plot. I personally never crossed a single Muslim border where bribes did not fly around at every point and step. In one case for refusing to pay bribes some of my goods were retained in customs until a decent higher officer I applied to ordered their release. Once at home I opened my packs only to find all items variously destroyed, for example a washing machine punctured at several places one hole going all the way through the drum. It had to be discarded. You see, you either be a good boy and pay the bribes instead of the more costly custom duties or they punish you any way they can!
When the government cannot collect its taxes and other revenue it must print money to pay for its expenses which is the major cause of endemic inflation in all corrupt countries. Money printed without the assets behind them are so low in buying power that when the paymaster the government pays for its own obligations towards the public it cheats them back. This is just one example of the woeful spiritual condition of Muslims and in fact all the so-called Third World or ‘Developing’ nations a lot of which are ‘Christian’ as well. It is not a matter of religious label but of national character in itself. Only long, good education can help but where is that? Islam should not remain just a label but must be a character in us which is able to keep us on the path of righteousness, honesty and charity. Until and unless this foul culture is replaced by a bright one Muslims will keep botching up every good thing they attempt and rush to every opportunity to fit another nail into their coffin by the commission of their addicted impieties.
39. We did not made them witness the creation of the heavens and the earth, nor to the creation of their selves (18: 51)
C. All mystic claims that so-and-so, on account of his exceptional standing with the Creator pre-existed all other creation and witnessed Allah’s Divine Acts like the primordial creation are put to rest with this powerfully categorical Divine statement. Mysticism is a very dangerous and dubious asset if one is not careful: It is more based on the systematic or instinctive manipulation of one’s dreaming mind which going into the hypnotised mode delivers ‘information’ about the so-called ‘spiritual secrets’ which only confirms the secret prejudices of the mystic experimenter. This of course does not mean that there are true spiritual secrets worthy of pursuing. There certainly are but the way to them is through true faith and true piety and lo and behold the secrets gradually unveil themselves throughout our lives. Otherwise the comparison of delusional mystic ‘discoveries’ to true prophetic revelation is like the comparison of masturbation to actual sex. The first only deceives even at its most satisfactory while second not only satisfies but also produces a great and very desirable and necessary reality: Children and all the blessings of a happy family life! And that happiness is not only for the family but blesses the whole society.
40. The Prophet (sws) is dearer to the believers even than themselves (anfusahum) and his wives are their (spiritual) mothers (33: 6)
C. For the Prophet sws is the one on whom a believer’s whole future depends as far as his human relations are concerned. Without the teachings and example of the Prophet sws a believer is almost as disadvantaged as an unbeliever. It is one thing to say “it seems that a Creator must exist” and quite another to be fully briefed by a Prophet about the Creator and taught the way to attaining the Creator’s highest blessings. Similarly all who or which belong to the Prophet sws must be dear to a believer: We must love and respect his wives, his offspring and his companions more than anybody else. Only with such ethos of ardent love and total reverence can we attain the strength of God-consciousness which can motivate us with enough motivation to attain the level of godliness enough to save us. Amen.
41. When you heard it (slanderous news about Aisha RA the Prophet’s wife) the opinion of the believers in their heart of hearts had to be good (24: 12)
C. This refers to the notorious slander campaign started by the hypocrites against Aisha RA who had lost the caravan headed by the Prophet sws and had to be rescued and brought back to the caravan by a scout trailing the caravan as the army rearguard. This special occasion and the lesson can and has been generalised: No believer is allowed to entertain a bad opinion about anybody the Prophet sws (or a highly-esteemed fellow believer) did not explicitly accuse of any wrongdoing but instead honoured and loved. Therefore we should keep both our hearts and tongues from accusing or doubting the honour of all the friends of the Prophet sws (and other distinguished Muslims) and see any of their differences as naturally divergent honest and honourable differences of pious opinion even when some bitterness appear to have been exchanged between them. We are only entitled to criticise a fellow believer if his or her alleged bad behaviour has come into the open and even then we must more hurt inside as if it was our own selves had lapsed than delight in the condemnation of the person. At the same we should avoid publicising the wrong and pray for Allah’s forgiveness for ourselves and the person affected.
42. Do not be like those who forgot Allah and Allah made them to forget themselves (own souls) (59: 19)
C. Our souls and Allah are so closely and inseparably linked that forgetting Allah automatically leads to forgetting our best interests and groping blindly after many wrong things until we crash on the rocks. For example remembrance of Allah automatically brings to the fore His Mercy in our minds and our hearts is filled with mercy. When the mercy fills our hearts we act mercifully, make good friends as a result and deserve and often get mercy in return when we need it. When we forget Allah and remain alone with our egos we also forget mercy and may act like ferocious wild beasts. News are daily filled with atrocious crimes simply because those responsible were acting with no God in their hearts. Incidentally we must remark that sins like drinking, gambling and illicit sex are very effective in making people forget all about Allah and act from bestial instincts on the slightest pretext of provocation. A recent piece of news read like this: Three soldiers drank at a pub, came out walking on the pavement and met an a total stranger decently on his way home. They swore at him without reason he ignored them keeping his head down yet they surrounded and attacked him and one hit him with the empty drink bottle in the eye which was destroyed as a result. Passers-by found the victim in a pool of blood etc. and only security cameras enabled the police to identify the culprits etc. Similarly, at schools some nasty pupils so badly harass and bully their shier and more decent classmates that the victim is driven to committing suicide. Such news demonstrate what Godlessness can lead to. Equally detestable are religious fanatics who persecute and harm others in the name of God but have no doubt that the God they are acting on behalf of is not the True God but a bad caricature of it, in fact a Satan masquerading as God in such nasty people’s hearts.
43. Man cannot say anything but with him is an ever-ready monitor (recording angel). When the drunkenness of death comes for real- (it is said to him) that has been what you have been running away from (50: 18- 19)
C. Life is a marathon of man acting and monitor angels noting and recording until the moment of death knocks. Suddenly the man realises that his term is up, really up and his escape has been in vain. Then come the interminable rolls of charges each slapping him on the face like a heavy whip laden with steel balls at the end. The game is up, pretences down and excuses all but forgotten because they were false. Death is the ultimate moment of truth and we should be very careful to plant all truth and no lies for our last day.
44. Beware, when the soul reaches the shoulder bone and it is said “Is there a physician?” and he (the dying) thinks that it is the separation time. Leg winds around leg- “To thy Lord is the despatch today”. Because he had not admitted the truth and had not performed the prayers but instead he had denied and turned away and had gone to his folks trotting flippantly (what he hears is) “Woe to thee, again woe to thee”. Is man thinking that he has been let loose (like runaway cattle to graze freely at any grazing ground)? Was he not a drop of sperm squirted which had then become a bloodclot clinging (to the womb) from which He (Allah) formed and fashioned made male and female (forms)? Is not This (Creator) Able to revive the dead? (75: 26- 40)
C. Overwhelming and unanswerable argument by the Almighty Creator to the effect that He is Able both to create and recreate simply because He has created infinite numbers and forms of creatures none can, all without help from anybody else and because He is constantly recycling dead matter into living matter with complete ease it must be a foregone conclusion that He can revive each and every human being He once gave life. How and when He will do it is His business; He neither needs our help or advice nor are we worth or entitled to be told how or when. Yet, in His Kindness He put in our hands to choose in what state of blessing or unblessing we prefer to be revived and it will be our responsibility if we fail ourselves despite so much warning and guidance having been given us in good time.