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To God, All Things Shall Go Back

| July 15, 2016 | 0 Comments

Mankind! An aphorism is set forth; hearken, then, to it. Those beings whom you invoke instead of God cannot create a fly, even though they were to join all their forces to that end. If a fly robs them of anything, they cannot rescue it from him! Weak indeed is the seeker, and weak the sought! No true understanding of God have they. God is certainly most powerful, Almighty. God chooses message bearers from among the angels and from among men. God hears all and sees all. He knows all that lies open before them and all that is hidden from them. To God all things shall go back.
(The Pilgrimage, Al-Hajj: 22: 73-76)

This passage begins with a powerful, universal declaration that all deities people associate with God, including the ones to which the wrongdoers appeal for help are weak and powerless. Their weakness is shown in a bustling and captivating scene. Thus we see their miserable weakness in the most vivid image.
“Mankind! An aphorism is set forth; hearken, then, to it. Those beings whom you invoke instead of God cannot create a fly, even though they were to join all their forces to that end. If a fly robs them of anything, they cannot rescue it from him! Weak indeed is the seeker, and weak the sought!”

The Declaration is Loud and Clear
The address is universal, including everyone anywhere in the world, and the declaration is loud and clear: “Mankind!” When people have responded and gathered to listen, they are told that they are about to be given a statement of a general principle, not a particular case applicable on a certain occasion. “An aphorism is set forth; hearken, then, to it.” It is a statement of fact that applies in all situations: “Those beings whom you invoke instead of God cannot create a fly, even though they were to join all their forces to that end.” All false deities, be they idols and statues, human beings, traditions and values, to whom you appeal for support and with whom you seek to achieve victory and high esteem – all these “cannot create a fly even if they would join all their forces”, utilize all their knowledge and channel their resources into a supreme effort. Yet a fly is only a small and abject creature defying all the powers of these false gods.
Creating a fly is just as impossible as creating a camel or an elephant, because the fly also demonstrates the great secret of life. Hence, it is placed at the same level as camels and elephants with regard to the fact that it is impossible to be created by anyone other than God. The Qur’anic aphorism, however, cites the case of a little, despised fly in order to generate a more profound feeling of powerlessness, without compromising the underlying principle.
The Surah adds another dimension in describing their powerlessness: “If a fly robs them of anything, they cannot rescue it from him!” Those false deities, be they idols or humans, cannot retrieve anything from a fly when it robs them of it. Flies rob people of things that are precious indeed, and they remain unable to retrieve what is thus taken away. Flies are highlighted here because they are weak and contemptible. At the same time, a fly carries agents of some very serious diseases, such as tuberculosis, typhoid, dysentery and conjunctivitis. It can deprive a person of his eyes or other organs, or indeed deprive him of his life. A weak fly can rob a human being of what he can never retrieve.

Weak indeed is the Seeker
Here again we note how the Qur’anic style uses facts in a most effective way. Had the text referred to lions and similar wild animals adding that men cannot rescue anything such animals rob them of, it would generate an air of strength and force, rather than weakness. Besides, the most powerful animals cannot rob man of anything greater than what a fly can rob him of. This powerful image stating a clear aphorism is concluded with a simple comment: “Weak indeed is the seeker, and weak the sought!” The comment further emphasizes the effects generated by the verse as a whole.

Faulty Concept of God
At this moment when we realise how weak and contemptible these false deities are, the Qur’an denounces the unbelievers for their faulty concept of God, clearly stating God’s power: “No true understanding of God have they. God is certainly most powerful, almighty.” How could they understand Him as He really is when they associate with Him such powerless deities that cannot create a fly even though they would collaborate and bring in all their resources for the purpose? What understanding of God have they, when they see His highly sophisticated creation and yet they consider as equal to Him some beings that cannot create even a small fly? They even invoke such powerless creatures which cannot retrieve anything flies take away from them, instead of invoking God. So, how could it be claimed that they have a proper concept of God? It is a strong comment at a point which should arouse a feeling of submission to God alone.
The Qur’an then mentions that God Almighty chooses His angel messengers to deliver His revelations to prophets, and chooses His human messengers to address mankind. All this is done on the basis of immaculate knowledge and total ability: “God chooses message bearers from among the angels and from among men. God hears all and sees all. He knows all that lies open before them and all that is hidden from them. To God all things shall go back.”
The choice of both angel and human messengers is done by the Almighty, and it was from the Almighty that Muhammad, peace be upon him, received the message of Islam. It was God who had chosen Muhammad to be His messenger to mankind. “God hears all and sees all”, and as such “He knows all that lies open before them and all is hidden from them.” His knowledge is perfect, immaculate, complete. Nothing present or absent, near or distant escapes God’s knowledge.
“To God all things shall go back. He is the ultimate arbiter, who is powerful over all things.”

Category: Quran Speaks