3. ALLAH IS TALKING TO US THROUGH THE QUR’ᾹN (3) Prophet Ibrāhīm (Abraham) a.s. and his son Ismā‘īl (Ishmael) prayed to Allah after building the Ka‘bah in Makkah to send to the people of this area a messenger to guide them. They prayed: ً ِيه ْم َرس ْ َر َّب َنا َوا ْب َع اب َو ْالح ِْك َم َة َ ك َو ُي َعلِّ ُم ُه ُم ْال ِك َت َ ُول ِم ْن ُه ْم َي ْتلُو َعلَي ِْه ْم آ َيا ِت ِ ثف َ ك أَ ْن )921:ت ْال َع ِزي ُز ْال َحكِي ُم (البقرة َ يه ْم إِ َّن ِ َوي َُز ِّك Our Lord! And send amongst them a Messenger of their own, who shall recite to them Your Verses and instruct them in the Book (this Qur’an) and wisdom, and purify them. Verily, You are the Almighty, the All-Wise (Q. 2:129) The term ḥikmah (wisdom) in this verse means: full knowledge of Islamic laws and jurisprudence or the Sunnah of the Prophet s.a.w. About 25 centuries later this prayer was accepted with the advent of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. Allah said: ِين َ َل َق ْد َجا َء ُك ْم َرسُول مِنْ أَ ْن ُفسِ ُك ْم َع ِزيز َع َل ْي ِه َما َع ِن ُّت ْم َح ِريص َع َل ْي ُك ْم ِب ْالم ُْؤ ِمن َّ َرءُوف َرحِيم َفإِنْ َت َولَّ ْوا َفقُ ْل َحسْ ِب َي ُ ّللا ُ َل إِلَ َه إِ َّل ه َُو َعلَ ْي ِه َت َو َّك ْل ت )921-921:ش ْال َعظِ ِيم (التوبة ِ َْوه َُو َربُّ ْال َعر Verily, there has come to you a Messenger (Muhammad s.a.w.) from amongst yourselves. It grieves him that you should receive any injury or difficulty. He (Muhammad) is eager for you; for the believers he is full of pity, kind and merciful. But if they turn away, say (O Muhammad), “Allah is sufficient for me. None has the right to be worshiped but He, in Him I put my trust and He is the Lord of the Mighty Throne (Q. 9:128-129) The explanation of these two verses is as follows: “It grieves him that you should receive any injury or difficulty” means that it grieves him whatever would cause hardship to his people, that they might go to hell for their infidelity. “He (Muhammad s.a.w.) is eager for you “means that he is anxious that his people would receive guidance, believe and eventually enter Heaven. To believers among them he was ra’ῡf (merciful, compassionate; kind, benevolent; gracious) and raḥīm (merciful,
compassionate). These two attributes of the Prophet s.a.w., ra’ῡf and raḥīm share those of Allah, as in the following verse: )56 :اس لَ َرؤُ ف َرحِيم [الحج َ َّ َّ إِن... ِ ّللا ِبال َّن … Verily, Allah is, for mankind, Full of Kindness, Most Merciful (Q. 22:65) These are the last two verses of sῡrat al-Tawbah. The first verse is addressing the Arabs as he was the descendent of Prophet Isma’il a.s., according to the vast majority of Qur’an commentators, whereas according to al-Zajjāj, it is addressing the whole mankind. In the second verse Allah is addressing the Prophet to say, “But if they turn away, say (O Muhammad), Allah is sufficient for me…” indicating the existence of iltifāt (sudden transition). At first Allah talked to people in general, the human kind or particularly the Arabs in the time of the Prophet, to show how he was so concern with them, how eager he was to guide them. However, not all of them would follow him. To this, Allah told him to be patient and to put his trust in Him. If Allah talked to the Prophet in the Qur’an, how could we say that He also talked to us? As Muslims the Prophet is our model. As a human being he had faced many problems in his life, especially in delivering the message of Islam. As a prophet, a family man (a husband, a father), a leader of the community, a teacher, a judge, a general in the army, a persecuted person, a ruler, etc. he constantly received revelation from Allah to guide him. We might have similar problems with his. Then the revelation to solve them would also be applicable to ours, as if Allah is talking to us. Whatever our profession is, there is always guidance from Allah which He had given to the Prophet dealing with it, as if Allah is guiding us directly. Muslim scholars are not prophets, but the Prophet s.a.w. said that they were inheritors of prophets. He said: إِ َّن َما، إِنَّ ْاْلَ ْن ِب َيا َء لَ ْم ي َُورِّ ُثوا دِي َنارً ا َو َل دِرْ َهمًا، إِنَّ ْال ُعلَ َما َء َو َر َث ُة ْاْلَ ْن ِب َيا ِء... ) َف َمنْ أَ َخ َذهُ أَ َخ َذ ِب َحظ َوافِر(رواه أبو داؤد والترمذي وابن ماجة،َورَّ ُثوا ْالع ِْل َم … Verily, the ‘ulamā’ are the inheritors of prophets; verily prophets did not bequeath dinars, nor dirhams, but they bequeathed knowledge, and whoever takes it, he
will have abundant fortune. (Reported by Abu Dawud, al-Tirmidhi, and Ibn Majah) These ‘ulamā’ (Muslim scholars) are to give advice to people based on the knowledge they inherit from the Prophet. They are the people who know the spirit of Islamic injunction and prohibition. They are the people who know which verses of the Qur’an to be used as medicine to cure our spiritual sickness, for example, not to use verses dealing with war when we are in peace, and vice versa. B. Allah talked to people in general addressing them as َيا أَيُّها َ ال َناس (“O people”). These verses were mostly revealed in Makkah, before the Prophet’s migration to Madinah in 6122 CE. He talked to them directly starting with “O People” (Q. 2:29,951; 4:970, 974; 90:23, 67; 22:1, 5, 73; 31:33; 35:3, 5, 15; 49:1),1 or indirectly, starting with قُ ْل َيا “( أَيُّها َ ال َناسSay: O people”, Q. 7:961; 90:904,901; 22:41). They are in chapters called Makkan sῡrahs. Out of 114 sῡrahs in the Qur’an there are 85 of them. Some characteristics of the Makkan sῡrahs are as follows: (1) It contains the verse “( َيا أَيُّها َ ال َناسO people”), and does not contain the verse “( َيا أ ُّي َها الَّ ِذي َْن آ َم ُنواO believers”) (2) It contains negations َّ“( َكلnot at all!” “on the contrary!” “by no means!” “Certainly not!|” “never!” “no!”). The term indicates prevention and rebuke, mentioned in 33 times in 15 sῡrahs. (3) It contains the story of Adam and Iblis, except sῡrat al-Baqarah (Chap. 2) (4) It mentions the stories of ancient time, Allah and His Oneness (tawḥīd), the coming of the Resurrection and the Judgment Day. The main themes in these chapters are mainly Allah and His Oneness (tawḥīd), the coming of resurrection and judgment, and righteous conduct. The Arabs in pre-Islamic Arabia believed in the Supreme Power controlling the universe, but this belief was 1
It is excluded the statement of Prophet Sulaymān (Solomon) a.s. when he said “( َيا أَيُّها َ ال َناسO People”) in Q. 92:43.
corrupted because they worshiped idols. They were called pagans, because they did not believe in any chief religions of the world, such as Judaism and Christianity. They were also called idolaters because they worshiped idols. The examples for their belief in one God are found in their poems, such as the pre-Islamic poet al-Nābighah al-Dhubyānī (d. 604 CE) said, ”I swear without any margin of doubt, for who else can support man beside Allah? Another pre-Islamic poet Zuhayr ibn Abī Sulmá (d. 609) said, “The deeds are recorded in the scroll to be presented in the Judgment Day.” Allah says in the Qur’an: َّ َّْس َو ْال َق َم َر لَ َيقُولُن ِ َولَئِنْ َسأ َ ْل َت ُه ْم َمنْ َخ َل َق ال َّس َم َاوا َ ض َو َس َّخ َر ال َّشم َ ْت َو ْاْلَر ُّللا ض مِنْ َبعْ ِد َ ْ َو َلئِنْ َسأ َ ْل َت ُه ْم َمنْ َن َّز َل م َِن ال َّس َما ِء َما ًء َفأَحْ َيا ِب ِه ْاْلَر... .ون َ َفأ َ َّنى ي ُْؤ َف ُك َّ ََّم ْو ِت َها لَ َيقُولُن )53 ،59:ون (العنكبوت ِ َّ ِ ّللا ُ قُ ِل ْال َح ْم ُد َ ُ لِل َب ْل أَ ْك َث ُر ُه ْم َل َيعْ ِقل If indeed thou ask them who has created the heavens and the earth and subjected the sun and the moon (to His law) they will certainly reply ‘Allah!. How are they then deluded away (from the truth)?.... And indeed if thou ask them who it is that sends down rain from the sky, and gives life therewith to the earth after its death, they will certainly reply ‘Allah!’ Say ‘Praise be to Allah’ But most of them understand not. (Q. 29:61,63)2 Each tribe in pre-Islamic Arabia worshiped its own idols. The Kalb worshiped ( َو ًدWadd), the Hudhayl worshiped ً( س َُواعSuwā‘ ), َ ( َي ُغYaghῡth), the Hamdān worshiped َيعُوق the Quraysh worshiped وث (Ya‘ῡq, in the form of a horse), and the Ḥimyar worshiped َنسْ ر, (Nasr, in the form of Vulture). These idols are mentioned in the Qur’an as follows: َ َو َقالُوا َل َت َذرُنَّ آلِ َه َت ُك ْم َو َل َت َذرُنَّ َو ًدا َو َل س َُوا ًعا َو َل َي ُغ َ وث َو َيع )23:ُوق َو َنسْ رً ا (نوح And they have said: “You shall not leave your gods: not shall you leave, Wadd, nor Suwa, nor Yaguth, nor Ya’uq, nor Nasr” (Q. 71)
For similar verses, see Q. 43:9 and 87)
Their most ancient idol was called Manāt. Other idols were Allāt and Al-‘Uzzá which was erected at Nakhlah Shāmiyah between Makkah and Iraq. These idols are also mentioned in the Qur’an, as follows: َّ َو َم َنا َة.ت َو ْالع َُّزى َّ أَ َف َرأَ ْي ُت ُم َ الل )20-91:الثالِ َث َة ْاْل ُ ْخ َرى (النجم Have you then considered Al-Lat and Al-‘Uzza. And Manat, the other third? (Q. 53:19-20) There were also many other idols around and inside the Ka‘bah. The biggest idol was Hubal located inside the Ka‘bah in the form of a man carved of red granite. Ritual arrows stood beside it drawn by the soothsayer (kāhin) for divination in many purposes. For example, if someone wanted to know whether his baby was legitimate or not, he went to the soothsayer who drew one of the two arrows; if it was written ( َس ِريْحsarīḥ, “free”), the baby was legitimate. Otherwise, it was written صق َ ( م ُْلmulṣaq, “attached”), then the baby was illegitimate. The idols in pre-Islamic Arabia can be divided into three categories: (a) ( ْاْلَ ْو َثانal-awthān), carved metal or wooden images or statues resembling living forms; (b) ( ْْلَصْ َنامal-aṣnām), stone statues also resembling living forms; and (c) صاب َ ( ْاْلَ ْنal-anṣāb), shapeless masses of stone, pieces of volcanic or meteoric rock they made sacred because they believed that their origins were heavenly. Before traveling they touched their idols, and upon their return the first thing they did was to touch them again in reverence and gratitude. The pre-Islamic Arabs also worship the heavenly bodies, trees and dead heroes of their tribes. They worshiped the sun, and had their names connected to it, such as “( َع ْب ُد ال َّشمْسThe servant of the sun”), and “( َع ْب ُد ال ُّشر ُْوقthe servant of the rising sun”). The pre-Islamic Arabs believed that time can shape their destiny, that fate determined the course of their lives, which was a fatalistic view. Allah referred it in the Qur’an, as follows: ُ ِي إِ َّل َح َيا ُت َنا ال ُّد ْن َيا َنم ُوت َو َنحْ َيا َو َما ُي ْه ِل ُك َنا إِ َّل ال َّدهْ ُر َ َو َقالُوا َما ه
ُ ك مِنْ عِ ْلم إِنْ ُه ْم إِ َّل َي )24:ون (الجاثية َ ظ ُّن َ َِو َما لَ ُه ْم ِب َذل And they say, ‘What is there but our life in this world? We shall die and we live, and nothing but time can destroy us.’ But of that they have no knowledge: they merely conjecture. (Q. 46:24) It was the duty of the Prophet in this Makkan period to bring people from the darkness of the jahiliyyah (ignorance) to the light and guidance of Islam, from worshiping idols to worshiping Allah Alone, tawḥīd. There are three aspects of tawḥīd: a. Tawḥīd al-Rubῡbiyyah, Oneness of the Lordship of Allah. It is to believe that there is only one Lord for the entire universe; He is the Creator, Organizer, Planner, Sustainer, and the Giver of security; He is Allah the Almighty. The Arabs in pre-Islamic Arabia believed in this. b. Tawḥīd al-Ulῡhiyyah, Oneness of the worship of Allah. It is to believe that none has the right to be worshiped but Allah. This is what the pre-Islamic Arabs did not have. They worshiped idols. c. Tawḥīd al-Asmā’ wa ’l-Ṣifāt, Oneness of the Names and the Qualities of Allah. It is to believe that: (i) we must not name Allah or qualify Him except what He and the Prophet have named or qualified Him; (ii) none can be named or qualified with the names or qualifications of Allah. In other words, Allah’s names and qualifications are, in strict sense, attributed solely to Him, such as al-Karīm (“the [real] Noble, the [real] Beneficent, the [true] Generous, the [true] Honourable, the [real] Benefactor”(. We can be karīm (generous, honourable), but it is relatively and extremely very little, compared to Allah’s generosity and nobility. We are living in the era similar to that of the jāhiliyyah (preIslamic ignorance and un-Islamic practices) and we can call it the modern one. In some aspects, modern jāhiliyyah is worse that the classical pre-Islamic one. Therefore, as Allah talked to people
through the Prophet in the early jāhiliyyah era, He is talking to us in this modern jāhiliyyah era in order to solve our similar problems. For example, in modern time, by using modern and sophisticated arms, the victims of war are not only those who are engaged in the battlefield, but also non-combatants, civilians who are not in the battlefield, even animals. Buildings are destroyed, water and air become polluted and contaminated, and various sicknesses became rampant due to lack of food, clean water, medicine, and sanitation. Gambling becomes legal and can be done in many ways: buying lottery tickets, and going to gambling casinos. Gambling machines are installed in night clubs to entertain their customers. You can even gamble wherever and whenever you are through the internet and mobile-phones. In order to attract people to buy fund-raising tickets, they are also tempted and promised with prizes, as if they are buying lottery tickets. In Las Vegas, California, one welcomed its visitors, saying, “Welcome to the Gambling Capital of the World.” Another city of gambling is Monte Carlo near Nice, in Monaco. Instead of worshiping idols, people worship their jobs, positions, and wealth. In the early jāhiliyyah some people buried their infant girls alive, nowadays they kill their children before they are born, disregarding their gender through abortion. Living together out of matrimony, adultery, legalized prostitution, brothels in almost every big city, and alcohol drinking are made legal, with the exception of girls trafficking, the consumption of narcotics, the practice of money laundering, corruption, bribery. With the advance of science and technology, people feel that they can solve all their problems, and they become further and further away from religion and God, resulting with their lack of spirituality. Mental depression occur, especially among soldiers returning from the fronts in the Middle-East ending up in mental hospitalities, and sometimes with suicide.
With the invention of computer in 9119 called “Silicon Neuron” by scientist in California Technology laboratory in Boston, USA, people started relying on it in finding the solutions of their problems. The more advanced it is made, the more people rely on it, until it is treated like a sole adviser, and for atheists, this is their god, as it can think and analyze faster than man. Sometimes we say jokingly, “if you have any question, ask Shaykh Google.” Like the classical jāhiliyyah the modern jāhiliyyah can be solved with the application of the Islamic law. When Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei, declared on the 1st week of of May this year 2014, that he is applying the Shariah (Islamic law) in this country the West responded negatively, he replied: The West should worry about themselves, about their children shot dead at schools, or their prisons which have become too crowded that they cannot accommodate criminals any longer, the high rate of crimes, suicides, abortions, and the spread of AIDS in their countries. The West should open their eyes on what is happening in Syria, Bosnia, Rohingy, Palestine, Egypt, etc. where thousands of people have been killed. Not a single person has been killed after applying Islamic law in his country, and people accept it peacefully. (CIVIC, 16 May, 2014) :المراجع المكتبة الشاملة ( هـ390 .تفسير الطبري (ت ( هـ579 .تفسير القرطبى (ت ( هـ774 .تفسير ابن كثير (ت Ahmad von Denffer, ‘Ulῡm al-Qur’ān. Kuala Lumpur: A.S. Noodeen, 1991. http://www.islamedia.co/2014/05/diserang-dunia-barat-ini-jawaban -cerdas.html