Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine
Rabi-Ul-Awwal \ Rabi-Ul-Akhir 1424 H
June 2003
Volume 16-06 No : 198
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Quran Speaks to you


The Hereafter is a Reality - Accept It!


The Hereafter is a Reality - Accept It!

Quran Speaks to You

In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Beneficent In was by Allah's grace that you have dealt gently with them. Had you been harsh and hard-hearted, they would surely have broken away from you. Therefore, pardon them and pray for forgiveness for them and consult with them on the conduct of public affairs, when you have resolved upon a course of action, put your trust in Allah. Allah loves those who put their trust in him. If Allah helps you, none can overcome you; but if He should forsake you, then who is it that can help you besides Him? It is in Allah that the believers should put their trust. It does not befit a prophet to act dishonestly, for he who acts dishonestly shall be faced with his dishonesty on the day of resurrection. Everyone will then be paid in full what he has earned, and none shall be wronged. i

(The House of Imran "Aal Imran" 3, 159-161)
Commentary by Sayyid Qutb. Translation by A.A.Shams


Reliance on Allah comes after a full consideration of any matter and after consultation. When a certain course of action has been chosen, a believer begins to implement it placing his trust in Allah. The Qur'anic comments tells us that Allah loves those who put their trust in Him.

In order to explain what placing one's trust in Allah means, the Surah states clearly that the power, which determines victory or defeat is Allah's power. It is from Him that support should be sought and through His help, defeat is avoided. Once the believers have done their preparations and mobilized all the forces they can muster, they turn to Allah for help, rely fully on Him and recognize that they have no say in determining the consequences. It is Allah's will that determines the outcome: if Allah helps you, none can overcome you; but if He should forsake you then who is it that can help you beside Him?

The Islamic concept of human life demonstrates the existence of a perfect balance between asserting that Allah's will is absolute in shaping all events and the fact that it comes into operation through man's own actions and activities. The divine law of nature establishes a cause and effect relationship in all matters, but causes do not "initiate" effects. The operative force is that of Allah who determines effects on the basis of causes according to His will. He then requires man to work hard, fulfill his duties and meet his obligations. It is in relation to how far man discharges his responsibility that Allah determines the results. This means that results and consequences will always be dependent on Allah's will, for it is He who alone brings them into being whenever and however He wills. An Equilibrium is thus established between the basic concept of a Muslim and his actions. He works as hard as he can and knows that the results of his actions depend on Allah's will. To him, there is no inevitability in the cause and effect relationship, because he does not claim that anything, which Allah may do, is inevitable.

In the particular case of military battle and its two possible results of victory or defeat, the Surah refers to Allah's will and reminds Muslims of His might. If Allah helps them, then they cannot be overcome by any force, and if His help is not forthcoming, then they will not be able to find anyone to bring them victory. This is the absolute truth: there is no ability, power or will other than that of Allah who determines all events. This basic truth, however, does not exempt Muslims from following Allah's method, obeying His directives and fulfilling their obligation, exerting all efforts and relying, after all that, on Allah alone: it is in Allah that believers should put their trust, Thus a Muslim does not seek anything from any source other than Allah. He has a direct relationship with the operative power in the universe, which means that he is in no need to seek help or protection from any other source. He relies totally on Allah to bring about events and results according to His wisdom. As for him, he accepts what Allah determines with total reassurance. That is perfect bliss, which no human being can experience except through Islam.

The Surah refers again to the moral qualities associated with the Prophet in order to stress the importance of honesty and to forbid deceit and cheating, reminding people that they will have to account for their deeds and that everyone will be given his fair reward: it does not befit a Prophet to act dishonestly, for he who acts dishonestly shall be faced with his dishonesty on the day of resurrection. Everyone will then be paid in full what he has earned, and none shall be wronged."

One of the reasons, which tempted the archers in the battle of Uhud to abandon their positions on top of the hill, was that they feared that the Prophet might not give them a share of the spoils of war. Some of the hypocrites had earlier suggested that a portion of the spoils of war the Muslims collected at Badr disappeared. They were so impudent as to even mention the Prophet by name in this connection. Here, the Surah gives a general statement, which makes it clear that no Prophet could ever act dishonestly. No Prophet would take money or a portion of the spoils of war to himself or his family or to give one section of the army more of it to the exclusion of another section, or to commit any deceitful action whatsoever: "it does not befit a Prophet to act dishonestly; it is repugnant to all prophets. The use of the negative here does not mean that it is not lawful for a Prophet to act dishonestly, but to make it plain that it is both inconceivable and impossible that a Prophet should ever do so. A Prophet is by nature honest, just and well contented. Hence, to be dishonest is to act against his very nature.

It is perhaps useful to add that according to the reading of Imam Al-Hussain of Basrah of this verse, the passive voice is used here, which means that it is totally unlawful that a Prophet be deceived, or that his followers should allow themselves to hide something from him. This meaning fits perfectly with the rest of the verse.

Those who are dishonest and try to take some thing which belongs to the public treasury or keep to themselves what they may have of the spoils of war are issued with this fearful warning: "He who acts dishonestly shall be faced with his dishonesty on the day of resurrection. Everyone will then be paid in full what he has earned, and none shall be wronged."

Imam Ahmad relates that Allah's Messenger appointed a man called Ibn Alutaibah, from the tribe of Azd, to collect Zakah. When he had completed his mission, he came back and said: "This belongs to you, and this has been given to me as a gift." Allah's Messenger (peace be on him) said from the pulpit: "How is it that a person whom we send to complete a certain assignment says" this belongs to you and this I have been given as a gift? Let him stay in his parentís home and find out whether any gift will be given to him. By Him who holds Muhammad's soul in His hand, anyone of you who does this will come on the day of resurrection carrying that thing on his shoulders, even though it may be a camel, a cow or a lamb making its particular noise." The Prophet then lifted his hands until his armpits were visible and said: "My Lord, have I conveyed your message"? He repeated that three times. (Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim).

Abu Umayah reports: Allah's Messenger (peace be on him) mentioned dishonesty as he was addressing us. He described how serious it was, and said: "Let me not see anyone of you on the day of resurrection carrying on his shoulder a camel making noise and say, 'Messenger of Allah, help me'. I will they say to him: I have no power to help you against Allah's judgement. I have conveyed to you Allah's orders. Let me not see anyone of you on the day of resurrection carrying any dumb load on his shoulders and appealing to me: Messenger of Allah help me. I will say to him: I cannot help you against Allah's judgements. I have conveyed to you His orders." (Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim).

The Prophet is reported to have said: "Anyone who does an assignment for us and conceals even a needle or anything bigger acts dishonestly. He will be faced with his dishonesty on the day of judgement." A black man from the Ansar (Whose name is, according to Mujahid, Sa'ad Ibn Ubadah) said: Messenger of Allah, accept what you have said from me. The Prophet said: What do you mean?" He said: "I have heard what you have said, and I repeat it entirely: Whoever does an assignment for us, let him bring it all, big or small. Let him take what he is given and leave alone what he is not given. "(Related by Muslim, Ahmad and Abu Dawood).

This Qur'anic verse in conjunction with the Prophet's Hadiths, have worked wonders in moulding the Muslim community, and made it unique in the value it attaches to honesty and to make deceit and cheating in any shape or form absolutely repugnant to them. An ordinary Muslim may lay his hand in a battle on something highly valuable when no one is observing him, and he takes it to his commander, entertaining no thought of keeping it to himself, so that he does not expose himself to what this Qur'anic verse says and he does not meet the Prophet on the day of resurrection in such a shameful situation. To a Muslim, the hereafter is a reality. He could see himself coming face to face with the Prophet and standing in front of Allah as the Prophet has described. Hence, he determines not to allow that to happen. This is the secret of his scrupulous nature. The hereafter was to him part of the reality he lives, not a remote promise or threat. He entertains no doubt that everyone will be rewarded for what he does, and that everyone will be paid in full what he earns.

In his 'history' Al Tabari reports that when the Muslims conquered Al Madaen and collected the spoils of war, a man came with something to give it to the one in charge of the spoils of war. He and his assistants said: We have never seen anyone like this man. None of our people can be compared to him. They asked him. Have you taken any part of it to yourself? The man answered: By Allah, had it not been for my fear of Allah I would not have given it to you. They asked him his name, but he said: I am not telling you or anyone else my name in order to be praised. I praise Allah and I am content with His reward. When he left, they sent one of them to follow him until he arrived in his camp. He inquired about him and they learned that he was called Amir Ibn Abd Qais.

After the battle of Qadisiyah, the spoils of war were sent to Umar in Madinah. Included in them was the crown of the Persian emperor and his throne. They were priceless. Umar looked at them happily and said: "Soldiers who tender this to their ruler are certainly honest."

This is how Islam has moulded the Muslim community in its remarkable way. When we hear such stories, we may think that these were legends. But the fact is that there is no legend in all this. It was the plain reality.

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