The Best Guidance

The Qur’ān addresses hearts in the first instance and gives all its light and fragrance to an open mind which receives it with certainty and contentment. When a person’s mind is refreshed with firm belief, it can better appreciate the Qur’ān and understand far more of its meanings than we can imagine. It brings about miraculous changes in this life as one adopts a new way of life and discards his old one. All the systems, legislation and values the Qur’ān promotes are based first and foremost on faith. Hence, a person who does not, deep at heart, believe in God or accept that this Qur’ān is revealed by God or that its contents represent the system God wants implemented in human life, cannot find the desired guidance in the Qur’ān and will not share in the joyful news it brings.

Ta, Seen. These are the verses of the Qur’an and a clear Book. As guidance and good tidings for the believers. Who establish prayer and give zakah, and of the Hereafter they are certain [in faith].Indeed, for those who do not believe in the Hereafter, We have made pleasing to them their deeds, so they wander blindly. Those are the ones for whom there will be the worst of punishment, and in the Hereafter they are the greatest losers.” Al-Qur’an Suratu An-Naml 27:1-5

This book, the Qur’ān, contains inexhaustible treasures of guidance, knowledge and sound directives, but faith is the key to opening it all. Without this key, the Qur’ān does not yield its treasures to anyone. Hence those who truly believed in it were able to accomplish miracles. But when the Qur’ān was reduced to no more than chants set to charming tunes that people enjoyed hearing without touching their hearts, it remained an unopened treasure, incapable of achieving anything.

The sūrah outlines the qualities of those believers who find guidance and happy news in the Qur’ān. They are ones: “Who establish prayer and give zakah, and of the Hereafter they are certain [in faith].“(Verse 3) The first quality is to establish prayer, offering it as it should be offered, with their hearts and souls conscious of the fact that they are standing in front of God, in all His majesty. Thus they feel themselves in contact with His sublime presence, and their thoughts fully attentive to addressing and glorifying Him. Secondly, they give their zakāt, which is the obligatory charity. When they give it they purge their hearts of stinginess rising above the lure of wealth. They give their brethren some of what God has granted them, thus fulfilling their social duty towards their community. Finally, they firmly believe in the life to come, which means that their fate in the hereafter remains topmost in their thoughts. It prevents them from giving free rein to their desires and keeps the fear of God alive in their hearts. They dread lest they might be considered disobedient when they come before Him for judgement.

Strong emphasis is placed on believing in the hereafter; this in the form of a stern warning to those who refuse to believe, and persist with their erring ways: “Indeed, for those who do not believe in the Hereafter, We have made pleasing to them their deeds, so they wander blindly.“(Verse 4)

Believing in the life to come is the motive that keeps whims and desires in check, urging us to lead a life of moderation. When such belief is lacking, a person cannot restrain himself from pursuing wanton desires, thinking that his only chance for indulging in pleasure is that offered in this life. Yet life on earth is scarcely long enough to fulfil a small portion of what people desire or hope for. Besides, when someone has the means to lead a life of indulgence, what can stop him from pursuing his wildest pleasures unless he has to reckon with standing before God, awaiting His judgement, reward or punishment? Indeed, a person lacking belief in the hereafter will inevitably pursue every pleasure within his ability. No sense of shame or check will restrain him. It is in the nature of human beings that they love pleasure unless they are guided by a divine message that tells them of a future, permanent life that follows this short one, and that the latter is but preparation for that future life. If they heed this guidance then they will find much greater pleasure in different types of pursuits.

It is God who has moulded human nature in this fashion, giving it the propensity to follow His guidance when it opens its receptive faculties to this, and the opposite propensity to remain blind when it shuts such faculties down. His will is always done, in both situations. Hence, the Qur’ān says in reference to those who will not believe in the hereafter: “We have made pleasing to them their deeds, so they wander blindly.” (Verse 4) They choose not to believe, and thus God’s law comes into operation making their deeds seem fair and attractive to them. They cannot see any foul element in what they do and so remain unable to find a clear way leading them aright.

When evil is made to seem fair, the end result is well known: “Those are the ones for whom there will be the worst of punishment, and in the Hereafter they are the greatest losers.” (Verse 5) Whether suffering is meted out to them in this present life or in the life to come, they will have to face utter ruin in the hereafter. It will be their just recompense for pursuing what is evil.

Source: In The Shade of The Qur’an vol.13 page 84-86

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