B i s m i l l a a h i r R a h m a a n i r R a h e e m
Teachings of the Qur`aan
Aayaat 7 - 11
Ayub A. Hamid
Verses 4 and 5 mentioned how the Makkan pagans shunned the signs and rejected the truth presented to them. Instead, they demanded miracles of their liking, as if those miracles were the only missing link between them and their acceptance of the truth. The next few verses comment on their demands to show that even if the miracles they demanded came to happen, it would make no difference whatsoever in opening their closed minds. They would not be in any better position to accept the truth. Their doubts and uncertainties would remain as they had been. The only way they could accept the truth was if they opened their minds, and sincerely reflected on the signs of Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala and the history of the people before them.
These verses are addressed to the Prophet sall-Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam to console him that they deny the truth only because they do not want to accept it, not because there is anything wrong in his delivery of the message or any shortage of miracles.
7 Had we sent down to you (Muhammad) a book written on paper, so that they could touch it with their hands, the unbelievers would have certainly said, "This is nothing but sheer magic!"
The Qur-aan with its par excellence style, its stunning beauty and the sublimity of its message, was itself a living miracle that was attracting all good-hearted people to its message of truth. Seekers of the truth did not need any additional miracles. But those who did not want to accept its message would ignore the miracle of the Qur-aan on the basis that they did not know if it was really revealed or the Prophet sall-Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam himself compiled it and claimed it to be from Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala. They claimed that if a written book descended from heaven then they would know that it was from Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala and they would accept it. The reality was that even if a written book descended from heaven, they would simply disregard it as magic, just as they had disregarded many other miracles including the miracle of the Qur-aan itself. This expected response was consistent with their behaviour thus far as well as with the behaviour of the deniers of the past. The opponents of the messengers of the past such as Moosa (Moses)`alayhissalaam, accused them of being the magicians on account of their miracles and the opponents of`Eesa (Jesus) `alayhissalaam, regarded him to be aided by Shaytaan in performing his astounding miracles. Thus, the Makkans did not need a "convincing" miracle; they just needed to open their minds. There was sufficient evidence of the truth of the Qur-aan and the Prophet sall-Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam available to them if they were willing to open their eyes.
8 And they say, "Why is not an angel sent down to him?" Had we sent down an angel, their destiny would have been sealed and they would have not been allowed any respite. 9 And if We had sent an angel, We would have sent him in human form, causing them the same confusion as they currently suffer.
Another excuse they used to deny the Prophet sall-Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam was that if he, sall-Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam was the Messenger of Allaah, the Sovereign of the universe, why was there no angel seen to accompany, guard and protect him just as the representatives of kings had human guards and orderlies with them.While raising such questions, what the deniers conveniently forget is that the life in this world is a test where human beings are supposed to arrive at the truth through rational and intellectual means and then believe in the unseen.That is why people have not been given the capability to see angels. Unseen things such as angels will become visible only in the hereafter, when the test of the people in this world is over and they are to be judged for their deeds or when Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala has decided to punish people for their misdeeds. That will be too late for believing. Until that time, no one can see angels except the prophets. Thus, the only choice the Makkans had was to believe on the basis of intellectual evidence and rational approach, not physical evidence of things unseen.
For an angel to be seen by ordinary people, he would have to be sent as a human being. In that case, sending an angel would be useless because those sceptics who did not want to believe in the Prophet sall-Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam would be in no better shape to believe in the angel who would be like a human being in all respects. How would they know that he was an angel as he claimed? So instead of waiting for an angel, if they used a rational approach to evaluate the truth of the claims of the Prophet sall-Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam, they would see more than ample evidence in his life and his behaviour indicating that he, sall-Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam was for sure the Messenger of Allaah. Thus, their uncertainty and confusion was self inflicted and could not go away even if an angel was sent.
As for their mockery of the warnings of Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala's punishment, it was nothing new. The misguided, ignorant people of all ages have ridiculed their messengers but when the punishment of Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala came, they could not save themselves. Rather, they were overtaken and surrounded by the very punishment they were warned about and that they had derided
10 And all the messengers before you were derided, but eventually what they mocked at hemmed in the scoffers among them. 11 Say, "Travel around the country and see what was the end of the deniers."
If they would just look at the ruins of the people before them and discover what happened to them, that would be a good source of physical evidence to guide them aright.
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Note: This series is providing the teachings of the Qur`aan, not a literal translation. Instead of literal translation, it gives interpretive meanings of the verses, along with their contextual details. Please remember that any translation of the Holy Qur`aan is in fact only an expression of the translator's understanding of the Word of Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala, and hence cannot be equated with the Qur`aan itself. Only the original Arabic text can be called the Holy Qur`aan.
Ustaadz Ayub A. Hamidis a visionary and strategic Islamic thinker residing in Canada for the last 31 years. His recently published books are:
1. Islam - Does It Make Sense?
2. Unveiling the Commands -- The Truth about Hijaab, Khimaar and Jilbaab.
3. Finding A Soulmate - A Guide for Parents and Youth.