18. QALB- THE HEART
1. Had you been rude and hard-hearted they would long been dispersed from around thee (3: 159)
C. Both friendship and leadership can really be best based on sympathetic and compassionate attitudes indicative of a good heart and a caring character. Muslims need to cultivate these qualities if they want to integrate more and achieve more extensive and effective cooperation.
2. “This is (the Garden) promised to you, for each and every repentant and dutiful one! The one who trembles at the thought of the All-Gracious despite not seeing Him and comes with a (God-) oriented heart (50: 32- 33)
C. Obviously the heart can only be purified by orienting itself towards God, the Source of all light and purity. How can a man have a shining face if he turns his face from an only light source and looks in the opposite direction? How can a mind be elevated in noble thoughts if it dwells in the darkness of deep caves full of poisonous gases and filthy gutters full of deadly infective agents? It must instead look upwards from and outside of these habitats for light and purification and move home there. Such a liberation is possible only when we embrace the true faith and board the vehicle of transport which its commandments are. Faith is belief without tangible proof and its truth or falsity necessarily depends as proofs on its objective results in our lives. Truer and more sincere is a faith when the faithful improve in character and conduct as well as satisfaction with their lives in a fundamental sense.
Nowadays most people either subscribe to a not true enough faith with not enough sincerity and as a result make little progress towards having a satisfactory personal life. They moan, groan and complain a lot and only very occasionally feel at the top of the world and that often for wrong reasons and for a brief spell. How long a cheat or oppressor enjoy his euphoria, seeing that he may eventually be brought to book and often has been? Only a God-oriented person does not fear anything or anybody and can enjoy an unbroken spell of top of the world experience of the most innocent and inoffensive kind, free from jealousy from others.
3. Only those who come to Allah with healthy, purified hearts find benefit (26: 89)
C. Salvation is squarely and also exclusively based on our purification of heart whereby we achieve good mental, emotional and moral health. A community should aspire at educating their citizens (beginning with the upcoming generations) in a comprehensive or holistic way. Not only academic knowledge and technical skills should be imparted to them; they should also be provided with morally and spiritually exemplary people as their mentors and exemplars if the community wants to raise in all kinds of legitimate and decent power. On an individual level, each and everyone of us need our personal maturation and spiritual ennoblement go hand in hand at all times so that when our time to meet our Lord comes we are ready.
4. Let whoever is en enemy of Gabriel know that it is he who, with the permission of Allah, brought down the Qur’an to thy heart as a Guidance, confirming what came before it and as a good-news for the believers (2: 97)
C. Terribly alarmed and envious of Muhammad sws the Jews of Medina, unable to challenge the Prophet sws at a theological and legal level (both Islam’s creed and law made perfect sense) were saying that they were betrayed by Gabriel whom they regarded an old enemy not quite to their taste as self-seeking elitists. Allah is exposing their hatred of Gabriel and informing them that hating Allah’s Chosen Angelic Messenger Gabriel was the same as hating Allah and all truth emanating from Him which clashed with their prejudices. The Qur’an did not come in a physical sense from the sky in a physical form but was brought from the Divine level to the prophetic level by the Holy Spirit which Gabriel was endowed with. The address of delivery was the Prophet’s heart which represents both his intellectual and emotional minds. It branded itself on his heart and became indelible and came to be in full charge of all his thoughts, emotions and hearts. Which means the sign that we also come to be endowed with the Holy Spirit, a possibility Allah severally indicates in His Qur’an, is that we also attain the power of always thinking and living and acting from Allah and thereby becoming most enviable as well as lovable persons in the view of many with at least some reasonable spiritual discernment.
5. (O Muhammad sws,) the Trustworthy Spirit brought it (the Qur’an) down to thee in plain Arabic tongue in order that thou becomest one of the warners (26: 193- 195)
C. The Holy Spirit is trustworthy to perfection. It means once a servant is endowed with the Spirit of Allah (Allah’s loving merciful and wise attitude towards the creation) he or she cannot go wrong. Allah’s full knowledge comes to his help and Allah’s Will towards His creatures becomes his. How can he then err? A rare but most enviable prospect. Only Allah’s messengers come near enough to it to deserve Allah’s commission. Still, the more we can approach such an aim the more happiness for us. The Prophet sws as the top achiever in this respect enjoyed a Message in purest and best Arabic ever endowed with an eloquence never seen before or since. Why do you think the words of some good servants of Allah are so impressively true and hard-hitting if not thanks to Allah’s Spirit in them? Their words are not from them but from Allah. So are their acts and as a results their acts bless and save.
6. Or are they saying “He (the Prophet sws) invented a lie against Allah”? Had Allah willed He could seal thy heart (so that you could receive no messages from Him). Instead Allah is destroying the Lie (of polytheistic idolatry) and exposing the True by His Words. He indeed knows what is in the hearts (42: 24)
C. A man with Allah’s Spirit in him will not resort to any lies about Allah and in fact he will tell not a single malicious lie. Had Muhammad been prone to lying Allah would simply cut and seal him off from His Revelations and inspirations. Similarly, false spiritual masters can only either quote or plagiarise from true masters or tell lies outright to deceive their audience. Which means nobody should play the spiritual teacher without first being connected to and filled by the Holy Spirit. Then what he says he says truly and sincerely and what he does blesses. Allah appointed Muhammad sws to disestablish paganism as well as audit both Judaism and Christianity and offer corrective advice and in fact renew them in their most universal and enduring version which Islam is.
7. Do not conceal the witness. Whoever conceals things while giving witness he just becomes a sinner in heart. Allah is Aware of all you do (2: 283)
C. Being economical with truth when some rights are at stake is the sign of a diseased heart. We should never cheat anybody of his rights by concealing things in his favour when we are consulted. Mind you, almost all politics and a lot of other transactions are routinely conducted by concealment of things in favour of the opposite party. That is why peace and justice never arrive among people most of the time. Not only religious pretenders but businessmen, public officials, employees, scientists and doctors… occasionally cheat by being economical with the truth and any truths they serve are also often spiced with a lot of hyperbole and spin. All such liars’ hearts are sick and will have to be given bitter medicines.
8. Whoever denies Allah after his believing - except when forced to while his heart is still settled with faith- (yea,) whoever opens heart to blasphemy then on him is Allah’s wrath and for him is a painful punishment (16: 106)
C. Man cannot stoop lower when, tempted by this world’s benefits, embraces blasphemy despite having already tasted the true faith. Allah’s wrath is upon him, i.e. he is from then on doomed to live a miserable even if materially prosperous life because of a very badly guilty conscience. Having tasted true faith for a while is such an indelible experience and makes one so responsible towards His Creator (represented in his deepmost heart) that his soul cannot rest from the moment he defects to blasphemy but must suffer at the most fundamental if a subconscious level. May Allah steady our feet on His Path. Amen.
9. Persevere in the company of those who call out to Allah morning and evening, wishing for His Face and instead do not divert thy eyes from them coveting the embellishments of this world’s life (as you see the ignorant enjoying). Do not obey the one whose heart we have emptied of our remembrance and he followed his vanity and his work has been outrageous (18: 28)
C. Very clearly Allah is advising us to belong to a group of men who are all for Allah in their outlook and desire. These were the true great sahaba and after them those who inherited their piety which later on came to be known as Sufis although labels are not always helpful and many superb servants of Allah must have come and gone without being labelled with anything distinctive while many labelled as Sufis could not be more corrupt. But that a group of superbly pious and very rightly-guided people always do exist is a fact and seeking them out and joining them is mandatory if we want salvation. The single most central trait of such people is their exclusive concern with pleasing Allah in every matter they live through and in that respect they will not mind what the worldly price be. Against them are the totally impious; such a person ignores Allah/noble truths and demands completely and instead concentrates on all the lowly interests of this world and will not hesitate to stoop to any disgraceful act to obtain his mean ends. Why Allah is warning any basically spiritual-oriented people against falling for the crooked criminals of this world? Because such criminals are interested in corrupting others, especially the more pious fellows they meet. They are instinctively jealous of them and to comfort their impious hearts would like to see pious fellows also fall and crawl like themselves. Their bait is their worldly luxuries. Unfortunately these deceivers sometimes succeed and increase the population of Hell.
10. Hast thou seen the one who adopted his vanity as his god and who Allah sent astray on account of a knowledge and whose heart He sealed up and before the eyes of his He put a veil? Who else can then guide him after Allah? Will you not contemplate? (45: 23)
C. A man who admires himself too much because he thinks he knows a lot is one of the easiest of preys for the Devil, for Devil himself was and still is like that. This man’s admiration of himself is so total that it is as if he took himself for god and will only listen to his own counsel and no other’s. So full of himself, his heart (mind) shuts its doors and windows to all outside advice and becomes blinded to all truths which will not fit in with his system of prejudices. Because He abandoned Allah he is abandoned by Allah and as such none else can show him the right way. How can a man who shuts himself from Allah can benefit from either Allah’s or Allah’s servants’ guidance?
11. No disaster strikes except by Allah’s permission. Whoever believes in Allah then Allah guides his heart ((64: 11)
C. Because Allah’s permission is essential before anything unpleasant happens to us we better keep good relations with Him Almighty. But we are not infallible or perfect. Sometimes we may be struck by an upsetting experience. But if we have faith in Allah His guidance will come to our rescue; He will inspire us with the right thoughts, insights and acts to see us out of the woods eventually and with a lot of growth achieved. Without faith a person hit by an upset either rages like hell or collapses like a house of cards and will not recover. May Allah both give us faith and spare us from all disasters. Amen.
12. (Abraham asks his Lord to show him how He revived the dead. Allah questions him as to why asking for a demonstration, was not Abraham a believer?). “Yes sure” said Abraham “but just for my heart to settle” (then Allah gave a demonstration) (2: 260)
C. Even a prophet may not entirely meet the challenges of faith and may wonder whether there is more to find to convert his faith into witness. The same for those less than a prophet whatever their lights otherwise. See next entry for more.
13. (The disciples of Jesus AS ask for food to be sent down from the heaven and are similarly challenged by Jesus as to whether they are not full believers). They replied “In order that we eat of it and our hearts settle and we know that thou toldest us the truth and become witnesses (to the reality itself) (5: 112- 113)
C. Again, neither prophet or saint none can witness the realities behind the verbal truths Allah issued in His Books and otherwise through His messengers and as a result some slight doubt or hesitation remains. Now let anybody not tell me that either prophets or saints are only too perfect to remain without full witness of Divine truths. Allah’s Word is above theirs and Allah did not mince His Words. He just issued them only too unambiguously. What is more and obviously unexpected by the ‘absolutists’ obeying Allah DESPITE some residual if only slight doubt, especially when a tribulation is about is such an act of heroic determination and sacrifice that its rewards are greater than any absolute witness of the heart can deliver. For life is trial, all trial and trial again and anybody with absolute witness of realities can hardly be tested by anything. Whatever pain strikes him he will not even wince simply because he already knows that he is entirely safe and the experience for him can mean nothing more than a friend’s joke. Such an easy life can bring no rewards. Lastly, the prophets are our exemplars and to set an example for us they have to share in our fallibilities. Allah loves them and us more for it, not less and the only thing that matters is Allah’s merciful love for us.
14. Allah did not create two hearts inside a man… (33: 4)
C. Avoid the ‘divided heart’ syndrome! Give yourself whole-heartedly to Allah. Nothing can frustrate anybody more than intractable indecision. Decide for Allah once and for all and see the glorious difference it makes to your life.
15. We will cast terror in the hearts of the blasphemers because they are ascribing partners to Allah despite Allah not sending down any proof thereof. Their home is the Fire; what an awful destination is it! (3: 151)
C. Because all men are created on the nature of Islam (capable of greatest benefit to themselves through a conviction of the Oneness of God, i.e., all beings and happenings are controlled by a Single Intelligence, any less truthful conviction must leave them morally weak and morale-wise unstable. Like one with many and diverse masters a man divided between many loyalties and interests is a loser and loser for good.
16. Remember when (at Badr) thy Lord was inspiring to His angels “I am indeed behind you; steady those who believe. In the hearts of those who blaspheme I shall strike terror; therefore strike them on their necks and strike them on each and every finger (8: 12)
C. Almost explicit statement that most of the time most of Allah’s help to His believers fighting against the unbelievers (or the victims against their oppressors) comes in the form of demoralisation of the party in the wrong. Angels being mainly spiritual beings they best relate to and influence our souls or psychology. Although creditable hadiths report angels visibly visiting the battle ground and striking down infidels this verse taken directly suggests a more spiritual operation than physical. What is more Allah repeatedly tells us that He supported His Messenger sws and the companions of His Messengers with “Junoodin lem tarawha”, i.e., armies you have never seen (e.g. 9: 26 where the battle role of the angels is mentioned and their invisibility stressed ). Aren’t these too explicit?
17. Allah hath reconciled their (thy companions’) hearts. Wert thou (o Muhammad) to give all in the land (to them) thou couldst never reconcile their hearts but Allah did effected reconciliation between them. Allah is Ever-Victorious and All-Wise (8: 63)
C. However generous and rich a man he cannot really unite people around him by bribing them with gifts of this lower world. Only Allah, i.e., that deepmost sense of the Divine in man, when switched on for good, can persuade him to regard others as his beloved and trusted brothers and what all prophets and saintly spiritual guides do is arousing that deep-set and blessed sense of the Divine into action. Which means best leaders of men are those who are in constant contact with the Divine in them and can stir their following to attain the same consciousness. In fact public education should have this priority above all others in order to produce the most superb citizenry possible under any set of circumstances. Usually not doing this even in Muslim countries nations end up like wild beasts kept in check mainy by brutal surveillance and impositions of the forces of law. Given their godless reluctance for honesty and altruism people find a thousand ways to hit back at the law by skilful cheatings and avenge their fear of it by indulging their greeds and lusts at the show of even the briefest of opportunities.
18. We then sent many messengers after him (Noah) to their people. They brought them miracles but their people were not to believe what they had been denying already. Thus do We seal up the hearts of the impious extremists (10: 74)
C. Hardened unbelievers are almost impossible to crack; even most explicit miraculous signs or most forceful statements about ultimate truths (which Allah’s verses are) can move them. So withdrawn from spirituality and instead immersed in materialism, they simply lose their sense of the Divine (except perhaps in polytheistic bastard forms). This amounts to Allah sealing them up in their cocoons of crass paganism.
19. Then no prophet would come to them but they would ridicule him. Thus do We insert it in the hearts of the (hardened) sinners (15: 11- 12)
C. Denial and ridicule of the sacred results directly from habitual and persistent sinning. Today’s modern and supposedly advanced societies are in the same quandary. Pickled in all kinds of sordid sins many are so hardened as sinners that any spiritual advice simply enters from one ear and exists from the other without even a warm-up! At state schools and colleges I could hardly come across a religious believer among teachers or pupils. Instead, any mention of God or something religious could make people frown worriedly and either change the subject or make abusive comments about religion. Most could not apparently wait for the weekend to arrive and stuff themselves with drinks, drugs, music, dance and sex! At the slightest hearing of the sound of music (most gut-resonating kind) people would begin to hum and sway. Indulging the senses whatever the cost and complications is the modern culture and only form of spirituality in the sense that it is perceived as a mollifier of life’s inevitable frustrations.
20. These are those who believe and whose hearts are settled by the remembrance of Allah. Beware that only by the remembrance of Allah hearts are settled (13: 28)
C. A test to see whether we have genuine faith or we are just assuming we have is this: Remembering Allah settles our heart although nothing may have changed in our external circumstances. For the believer Allah is enough for everything which may concern him and this is the best news and the best gift Islamic faith supplies its believers. From another equally valid angle the verse means this: Anytime your heart is troubled remember Allah and it will calm down and settle. Mind you, remembering does not consist only of recalling Allah as a simple act of memory but also remembering asking for His guidance and help. What is more, a lot of heart unsettling experiences we have are caused by our less than good or honourable thoughts and acts and without discarding and repenting of them the peace of mind (heart) cannot return.
21. It is so: Whoever shows respect to Allah’s ‘Sha’air’/reminders/mementoes that is because of the piety of the hearts (22: 32)
C. A very important if often missed wisdom; many believers are too abstract in their conception of Allah in the sense that they separate Allah too much from His creation and think that they can please Allah in a sense which excludes all creation from the blessing. The fact is that almost the exact opposite is true. Allah Himself needs nothing from nobody whatsoever but in order to make us happy like Himself for blessings His servants He employs us to represent Him in the delivery of his gifts. Let us take a bird. Birds do not need us, the rest of the nature around them give them all they need. Wild birds can even live better in an land uninhabited by men than a land so inhabited. But when we meet a bird which is too unwell to move let alone fly and we nurture and treat it back to health what we are doing is not taking over from Allah the bird’s care but it is being employed by Allah to do what is ultimately His kindness to the bird. In actual fact all creatures we come across are reminders of Allah and we do need to respect them. In a narrower and more canonical sense ‘sha’air’ of Allah are those objects especially sanctified by Allah, like the Kaaba, the hills Safa and Marwa and most possibly Allah’s prophets and good servants on whose sight or hearing about we reverently and thankfully remember Allah. Unfortunately some misguided mystics in the past failed to appreciate such objective reminders Allah especially sanctified and for example, could say arrogant maxims like this:
“Humaneness is in your head, it is not in Mecca, the Kaaba and the Hajj” meaning thereby that if you think you are a perfect character you need not make hajj. They similarly dismiss salat and sawm and allow alcoholic drinks explaining that if you are an enlightened enough person you do not need any contributions to your nobility from salat and sawm, nor do you need fear alcohol since “you know how to drink like a man”. Some fringe Shia sects think just like this and their members in their millions live among Muslims in ghettos or large ghettoised areas all over the Muslim geography. Ironically though, these very same abstractist moralists who turn their backs on any objective reminders of Allah embellish their homes and community centres (they hate to call them mosques) with icons of imaginary Ali and his descendants making their places looking like Christian sites, worship their imaginary masters at their graves and their religious communal services consist of theatrical shows and rituals which often descend into music and dance all the while strong liquor raki (equivalent of vodka) is sipped by all, male and female. Lastly, they bow to their chief elder called ‘dedeh’ or grandfather and is a hereditary leader who may be just a teenager inheriting from his father the cloak and aura of automatic sanctity as well as the stereotyped words designed to address stereotyped questions and situations. The worshipful respect and obedience shown to both the dedeh and the sect’s saints as well as the mementoes and relics of them is so idolatrous and servile that their dismissing Kaaba as a mere material object becomes totally despicable. They are like people who criticise others swallowing a sparrow while they themselves swallow a whole camel.
22. Have not they (thy objectors) travelled in the land while in possession of hearts with which they could think and ears with which they could hear? The fact is that it is not the eyes which go blind (to spiritual truths behind things) but it is the hearts within bosoms which go blind (22: 46)
C. If mere sight were enough to understand things cats and cows could be astronomers like men, for they see the same sky as men. There are some defective people who are so unable to notice the moods of others that he may meet a person on whose face pain and mourning is etched and begin to crack silly jokes as if the other fellow is in good moods like himself. In general such blindness to other’s moods and needs is called an inability to read the body language of others and as such is a very good example on a reduced scale the condition of unbelievers who are unable to read the body language of the universe and deduce that it is run by a Majestic Intelligence and Power Who is behind all the blessings the universe potentially contains and actually delivers. An unbeliever sees, at one and the same time in two mutually exclusive propositions, namely, that the universe is an accidental object whose origins nobody knows and accidents call all the tunes and also that it is run by inflexible laws as if designed by a superb engineer, a system in which everything is under law and no accidents or free wills exists. The same silly person will however hold you responsible for anything you do that he does not like, this time believing that you had a free will after all.
23. We thus inserted it (unbelief) in their hearts; they will not believe it (the Qur’an) until they see the painful punishment (26: 200-201)
C. Hardened sinners cannot afford to suspect that they might be abusing themselves and wasting their lives and doing injustices to others. The last thing they want to hear is a speaker like the Qur’an which will reveal them their terrible wrongs. They will resist to the end to maintain their self-congratulating belief that they are alright as they are; they will only shake and crack when they see the punishments promised them by Allah. Their hearts are dead and can only be revived by a terrible disaster hitting them where it hurts most- their ignorant, proud and arrogant hearts.
24. Thus Allah seals the hearts of those who do not know (30: 59)
C. Deliberate ignorance is perhaps the deadliest of all heart poisons. The attitude “I don’t want to know” so frequently met in determined unbelievers ensures that they never come to know until hit by the ultimate disaster Allah promised.
25. When Allah is exclusively mentioned the hearts of those who deny the hereafter are depressed; when those other than Him are mentioned then they cheer up (39: 45)
C. If unblessed by Allah’s Messengers most men’s mentality loves polytheism and abhors monotheism. That is because polytheism nurtures their wrongful need for never obeying a central authority with a singe law and single standard but have many smaller and partial authorities among which they can play one against the other and end up the only winners as they see it. Therefore stating that only Allah is the true god and His exclusive Will must be obeyed is the most distasteful statement an immature and deranged soul can hear. As a result and despite many messengers having come and gone many societies remained polytheists. But even worse happened. Those societies who somehow submitted to monotheism always produced individuals and groups who introduced the old religion by the back door. They either invented new or revived the old gods which they called gods, or, imaginarily raised the statuses (ranks) of some persons among themselves and embellishing them in their imaginations with all or almost all the Divine qualities and powers installed them as their additional gods- except in name!
In the West, behind this delusion lies Platonic philosophy, especially its reformed version Neo-Platonism and in the East the cause is the very old middle and East Asian religions like Hinduism and Buddhism. In fact most scholars are of the opinion that Greek Gnostic philosophy owes very much to the Indian and the Egyptian. These cannot stand a universe singly and to them strictly and sternly run by a too great and total god; They take a joyful sigh of relief when they populate their world with a multitude of lesser and partial gods, a lot made of men subsequently deified. From this division of labour and will as well as dissipation of authority they think they can eke out more comfortable and genial lives. That cheerful outlook must be behind that obsession with music, dance and drama which characterise pagan religions and also the lack of conscience characterising their many laws, traditions and enterprises. Greek mythology, for example, is full of men cheating and even beating their gods and retaining their gains as well. Gods themselves are often as unscrupulous and plain mean, on top of being also sometimes unaware of what is going on. With such gods as models one can imagine what sort of worshippers these gods will inspire. This tendency to multiply the ‘worshippables’ hit also some Muslims. In the case of those Muslims dismissing hajj and praising liquor we find a trinity consisting of Allah, Muhammad and Ali, incidentally Ali being the prettiest.
26. When those who disbelieved had put in their hearts as zeal the zeal of Ignorance. As for Allah He sent down on His Messenger sws and the believers and enabled them to stick to the word of piety. In fact they were most entitled to and worthy of it. Allah has always been knowing of everything (48: 26)
C. Spiritual ignorants who all unbelievers are get their motivation from high-sounding ideals as silly as themselves. Today’s unbelievers are no different. From the “dictatorship of the proletariat” slogan of the Marxists to the “freedom of sexual orientation” claim of all sexual perverts these unbelievers in God (I mean real God as God’s prophets taught) many groups shout, publish, demonstrate, lobby and take ‘direct action’ (i.e. illegal acts to create faits accompli) and overall give battle to win their deluded cases. The restlessness of their souls, the extremism of their acts and the fiery anger of their moods give them away as people of Hell. Against this true and pious believers in Allah enjoy tranquilty of mind and heart at all times, especially at critical times and they never depart from telling the pious truth. Which means in all our dealings with any nasty militant blasphemous groups we should remember Allah and keep our composure and poise and deal with them in ways either positively gracious or at least far less rough and confrontational than theirs.
27. And We then sent Jesus son of Mary in their (earlier prophets’) footsteps and gave him the Gospel and put tenderness and loving mercy in the hearts of those who followed him (57: 27)
C. Allah gave the Gospel, i.e., the Book of Good-News of the coming of a last and final universal prophet, namely Muhammad sws, until whose advent the followers of Jesus should keep their peace and dedicate their lives to loving, selfless charity in order to deserve the new prophet on the way. In John’s Gospel Jesus explicitly and positively talks of another messenger from God to come whose name would be Paraclete, the Intercessor for all humanity, which name was ‘Ahmad’ in its original Aramaic, the tongue of Jesus AS. All who awaited the coming of Muhammad sws but died in the process surely attained paradise and to deserve either Muhammad’s sws company or paradise or both they had to be tender hearted and lovingly merciful people wholeheartedly engaged in charitable activities. Some Christians lived to this ideal and may Allah bless them and grant them all they wished for.
28. You (the two wives of the Prophet sws) would rather turn to Allah repentfully, for your hearts were bent (a bit). If you instead show solidarity (of the guilty) with each other against him (the Prophet sws) then Allah is his guardian as are Gabriel and all good believers and after them all angels will be supportive (of him) (66: 4)
C. Here we are! Even when our companion is a prophet we can grow too complacent about him and may fulfil the prediction saying “Familiarity breeds contempt”. Aisha RA and Hafsa RA were not only the two youngest wives of the Prophet sws but also, of all persons, were the respective daughters of Abu Bakr RA and Umar RA, the Prophets nearest friends and confidantes. Yet their hearts were sickened and bent in their womanly zeal on account of womanly jealousy. This shows that low emotions like jealousy and greed do not abandon anybody completely except the prophets and if not careful all of us may fall into their trap and deserve a rebuke and a threat from Allah because of it. Let all believers, especially Sufi aspirants beware!
29. After all these (being repeatedly sent messengers and failing tests of faith o Jews) your hearts hardened until now they are as hard as rocks or even harder. In fact from among rocks there are rocks from which water gushes out. Again from among them there are such which fall down from the fear of Allah. Allah is not unaware of what you do (2: 74)
C. Although rocks can be used as metaphors for hardened hearts (the shameless and unscrupulous psychology of hypocritical, self-seeking religionists) that is as far as one can go. Rocks are innocent beings and as such are submissive to Allah (Natural Law as scientists put it, unaware of the Cosmic Consciousness and Will behind all). As a further insult to selfish and narcissistic religionists Allah praises rocks for being more beneficial than such people. Lastly, as all creatures whether they look us living or inanimate rocks also relate to Allah in their own way among which is fearing their Maker. Remember: In their own way.
30. Remember (o followers of the Prophet sws) that you were enemies of each other and Allah had united your hearts and thanks to His grace you had become brothers (3: 103)
C. Muhammad sws has been the most successful of all messengers of Allah in that Allah helped him most among all his kind, the prophets. Both the two deadly rival tribes of Medina, namely Aws and Haraj, who together formed the Helpers (al Ansar) and those who emigrated to Medina with Muhammad sws were quickly converted into a single community. The Prophets sws aura and charisma, thanks to the Holy Spirit being permanently with him, were such that even the Jews of Medina could not resist joining with the rest to make up that community, a fact which made the Medina community the first multi-faith, multi-race democratic community on earth. At least initially the opinion on and the disposition towards the Prophet sws of the Jewish community could be called mildly favourable and a lot of bad blood which came to come between the Muslims and Jews did not owe little to the bad work of the Arab hypocrites in Medina. To achieve such a unity among almost total strangers in a township based on clan fanaticism was no mean feat; in fact it was such a miracle that only Allah could do it. With all the sophisticated Islam that we have today have been able to unite even a village today? Even the huge Arab nation is divided into forty states behind artificial borders but all the same showing quite real jealousy and hostility to each other!
Lastly only sincere faith and a great saintly and giant calibre leader well obeyed can unite Muslims. Because that is what is necessary the Devil never leaves Muslims to be seriously pious or entertain desire to spot and appoint a truly great leader to lead them. Apparently a pious leader threatens the corrupt habits of ambitious Muslims who are so addicted to nepotism, favouritism, theft and embezzlement etc. History always testified that too pious leaders, however competent rulers, were not tolerated for long by the corrupt elite class topping their subjects.
32. (Concerning the setback at and the disappointments and tribulations of the Battle of Uhud) After that heartbreak Allah sent down on you a sense of assurance whereby drowsiness was covering some of you. Another group, deadly scared about their lives, were entertaining thoughts similar to the Ignorance (they were in before), asking “What business is to us all this? (We should have none of this affair). Say “All affair belongs to Allah entirely… (All such upsets and painful doubts and regrets) has been for Allah to probe what was in you and then cleanse your hearts. Allah knows of everything in the bosoms (3: 154)
C. Stunning insight into the operation of the Divine Mind, thanks to its revelation of itself in this verse! The overwhelming majority of the companions of the Prophet sws were so taken aback and demoralised by the sudden reverse in the battle that all what Allah is reporting above came to pass. Even Umar RA had fled in terror without looking back! On the mitigating side however was the false news that the Prophet sws was killed for good. Some even almost apostatised as described above- YET, granting the difficulty of the situation, Allah was not offended but made haste to reclaim the deserters back into the fold of faith. He explained that His test was deliberately designed to make believers aware of their psychological shortcomings and eject such defects thanks to the help from Allah. Which means all testing situations believers are cast into by Providence simply serve the purpose of increased awareness of their inner shortcomings and begin the process of their eviction. Obviously there is not least harm meant; all are for our good thanks to our Gracious Creator.
33. Say o Prophet sws to your prisoners of war (from Badr) “If Allah knows that there is good in your hearts He gives you what is better than (the ransom monies) taken from you and also pardons you. He is Mercifully Forgiving (8: 70)
C. Look how Allah and His Messenger (TRUE ISLAM) are treating blasphemous prisoners of war who had set out to stamp out the whole Islam! Fundamentally no execution, no torture but a civilised transaction of setting free against financial compensation, as if what they were guilty of was something like one of today’s no casualty involving traffic offence. But Allah is even more merciful than that; He makes haste to sooth the psychological pain the prisoners were going through as a result of their ignominious defeat at the hands of a technically and numerically very inferior force and the humiliation of having to pay up and sent home creatfallen unable to look their wives in the face. That was the worst prospect for a chauvinistic, macho Arab male. Allah takes pity on them and implies in compensation that they could soon come to thank for their discomfiture. The only requirement for the reprieve was having some good in one’s heart, that is to say, feeling ashamed of their arrogant opposition to Allah and His Messenger sws and tentatively thinking of making some amends. To all such Allah intended the gift of faith and a career in Islam. It came to pass that way. Which means rapacity against captured enemies is against Allah’s Wish and the captors should always harbour charitable thoughts and intentions, albeit secretly, in their hearts. Have such policies ever been thought of let alone proclaimed or practiced by any warring party before Muhammad sws or since? Look how high are the spiritual benchmarks of Islam!
34. There is no (spiritual) liability for things done by mistake; liability comes in when your hearts knowingly go for a (wrong) thing. Allah is Mercifully Forgiving (33: 5)
C. We all worry about the spiritual (i.e., in the hereafter) responsibilities we may incur as a result of our doings. Our Gracious Lord is here telling us that so long we did not intend a harm but produced it unknowingly we have nothing to answer; we just make istighfar and end of the matter- provided of course that our act did not do the harm to another person or living thing without justification. Suppose that you throw away good food by mistake. It was in the wrong bag and you thought it was rubbish. This did not harm anybody outside you. This is forgivable. But if you throw away another person’s food by mistake you are liable to pay him the cost or replace the item. Had we thrown away the other person’s food knowingly and with malicious intent we would incur serious liability.
35. Know ye that among you is Allah’s Messenger sws; had he followed your lead in many matters you could end up in trouble. Instead Allah made you to love faith and glamourised it in your hearts while made unbelief and disobedience disgusting to you; such are the matured (49: 7)
C. In our incurable ignorance about Divine and prophetic matters we sometimes fail to understand and appreciate Allah’s dealings with us or others and the Prophet’s sws commands or acts having to do with our lives’ direction. Instead of submitting to Allah or His Messenger sws we may wrongly think that something is not quite to our taste in what they ordain for us. As a result we may pray Allah wrong prayers or resent and not pray at all. As for the Prophet sws some companions would sometimes sulk at his judgment or action and complain and ask for something else to be done or given. Were Allah or His Prophet sws to listen to us and go ahead and do what we wanted we could end up in deep trouble. How many things we once resented in our lives we later came around and thanked for. We must never forget this. Lastly, the reason why we do not object to Allah’s or His Prophet’s choices for us is that Allah not only made us believe in His Message in a mere intellectual sense but He made faith very dear to us and made our hearts witness its glories. Which means true and effective faith is based on admiring, worshipping love.
36. O Messenger! Let not those who say “we believe” by their (mere) mouths and those Jews who rush to blasphemy sadden thee…. They are those whose heart Allah does not want to purify… (5: 41)
C. Those who want to deceive the Prophet or the believers while pretending Islam and those Jews who try to discredit and subvert Islam by any means are just condemning themselves as nothing else could condemn them. Given their determination to oppose their Creator why should the Creator give them purer hearts while they are enjoying their dirty hearts so much? Each gets what he deserves and that is justice pure and simple. One cannot drink poison and
then ask why the poison did not make them healthier like honey or milk would.
37. Among them (o Muhammad sws) are some who listen to thee only to come out and ask those given knowledge (Jewish scholars) “What did he just say?” These are those whose hearts Allah has sealed up, who follow their vanity (47: 16)
38. Those who believe say “Would that a Surat/Chapter be sent down about jehad”. But once an explicit (muhkamat) Surat is sent down thou seest those with a disease in their hearts looking at thee with a gaze covered over by death. That just befits them (*)
C. Hard pressed both spiritually and physically the caring and sharing Helpers and Emigrants making up the early Muslim community of Medina increasingly began to voice their desire for jehad to be allowed by Revelation from Allah. At last the desired Revelations came only to find a section of that community expose themselves not quite up to the challenge. Before the Revelations all community seemed totally sincere simply because any lukewarms did not dare to look less zealous than the fully sincere and had joined the pious clamour. But Allah caught them out by suprising them with the explicit verses allowing the jehad. What is important here are at least two things: Firstly, Allah describes less than sincerely committed Muslims as having a disease in their hearts. All evidence indicate that the disease is the love of this world. Secondly, we meet in this verse the word ‘muhkamat’ which is the singular of ‘muhkamaat’ we met in verse 7 of Surat Ali Imran where Allah describes His verses as belonging either to a class of of explicit, literally meant verses with a legal message or to another class of verses which need be taken metaphorically and refer to spiritual matters in however worldly-looking statements, like those describing the hereafter.
39. When to one such Our verses are recited he says “Tales of the ancients”. No! It is that their doings dirtied their hearts (83: 13- 14)
C. Let us have no doubt that any who spurns and ridicules the verses of the Qur’an or pious statements based on them spurns and ridicules them simply because he is up to his neck in sinful addictions and therefore cannot afford or bear to be told or even implied that he may be wrong in his habits and ambitions. This is a tried and tested observation and therefore an infallible diagnostic test.
40. Consider when Moses had said to his people “O my people, why are you persecuting me despite knowing that I am Allah’s messenger to you?”. Once they abandoned the Path We had bent their hearts. Allah will not guide a break-away people (61: 5)
C. Condemnation from Allah arrives the moment a people begin, out of their worldly ambitions, to question and then subtly persecute holy men Allah appointed to steer them to His Pleasure. Because the dissenters are motivated by worldly ambitions and are determined to get their way Allah makes their hearts’ determination permanent so that one day they may come to know their error the most expensive way and attain a too late self-discovery. We take refuge in Allah from such an outcome.