The Blessings after Calamities: Commentary of the Quran (Chapter 2:153-157, Part-3) By: Mohammad Sobhanie

Commentary of the Quran (Chapter 2:153-157, Part-3)

By: Mohammad Sobhanie

The Blessings after Calamities

بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اسْتَعِينُوا بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلَاةِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ ﴿١٥٣﴾ وَلَا تَقُولُوا لِمَن يُقْتَلُ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ أَمْوَاتٌ ۚ بَلْ أَحْيَاءٌ وَلَـٰكِن لَّا تَشْعُرُونَ ﴿١٥٤﴾ وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُم بِشَيْءٍ مِّنَ الْخَوْفِ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَنفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ ۗ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ ﴿١٥٥﴾ الَّذِينَ إِذَا أَصَابَتْهُم مُّصِيبَةٌ قَالُوا إِنَّا لِلَّـهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ ﴿١٥٦﴾ أُولَـٰئِكَ عَلَيْهِمْ صَلَوَاتٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ وَرَحْمَةٌ ۖ وَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُهْتَدُونَ ﴿١٥٧

Translation:

2:153 O ye who believe! Seek help with patience, perseverance, and prayer; for Allah is with those who patiently persevere.

2:154 And do not say of those who are slain in the way of Allah, “they are dead.” In fact, they are alive but you do not perceive that life.

2:155 We will certainly test you with some fear and hunger, and some loss of possessions and lives and crops. But give good news to the steadfast (in these trials).

2:156 When a misfortune comes to them, they say, “We are Allah’s and we shall certainly return to Him.”

2:157 Their Lord will bestow great blessings and mercy upon them; such are the people who are rightly guided.

Commentary:  The verse 2:153-157 gives good news that the divine mercy and blessing [(صَلَوَاتٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ وَرَحْمَةٌ) follows after patiently bearing difficulties and hardship in the way of Allah (SWT) (فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ). With this view, a sincere believer realizes the beauty of divine blessing in every difficulty and challenge of life, as the noble lady Zaynab (AS), the daughter of Imam Ali (AS) did.

In Karbala (کربلا), Yazid bin Muawiyah (Arabic: يزيد بن معاويه) slayed the grandson of the Prophet, Imam Hussain, and his companions on the plains of the desert of Karbala. Afterward, Yazid’s army commanders took the Imam’s family members, which were mostly females and children, as prisoner captives. They were taken from Karbala to Kufa, and finally to Damascus while they were shackled and chained together.

In Kufa, Ibn-Zayad (ابن زیاد) was the governor of the time. He addressed the honorable daughter of Imam Ali (AS) in a demeaning tone and said to her: “How did you find the way Allah (SWT) treated your brother and your family?” The noble lady Zaynab (AS) answered: “I saw nothing but beauty”, (مَا رَأَیْتُ إِلَّا جَمِیلًا) with pride and poise.

Difficulties in the way of Allah (SWT) are analogous to the acute pain of labor and delivery of a child which a mother goes through. Though the pain of labor is unbearable, its outcome is a blessing in the form of a beautiful child. Those who have deep insight can perceive the beauty in suffering in the way of Allah (SWT); shallow-minded people fail to realize it.

In summary, the aforementioned verses bear the glad tidings to those who patiently persevere in adversity (وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ). In particular, those who “when afflicted with calamity, they say, “To Allah We belong, and to Him is our return,” (الَّذِينَ إِذَا أَصَابَتْهُم مُّصِيبَةٌ قَالُوا إِنَّا لِلَّـهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ). For their patience, Allah (SWT) will “bestow great blessings and mercy upon them; such are the people who are rightly guided” (أُولَـٰئِكَ عَلَيْهِمْ صَلَوَاتٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ وَرَحْمَةٌ ۖ وَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُهْتَدُونَ).

The term salawat” [Arabic: (صَلَوَاتٌ)]: The term “salawat” [Arabic: (صَلَوَاتٌ)] is the plural of “salat” [Arabic: (صلاةِ)] and it has been associated with God, angels, humans, and birds in the Quran.

When it is ascribed to man, it means turning to the Lord and invoking His divine blessing. It is typically translated to prayer. For instance, the term (وَصَلَوَاتِ الرَّسُولِ) in Chapter At-Tawba (9:99) means prayer of the messenger. The terms (وَصَلِّ عَلَيْهِمْ) and (صَلَاتَكَ سَكَنٌ لَّهُمْ) in Chapter At-Tawba (9:102) mean pray for them and your prayer is a source of tranquility for them, respectively.

The term “salat” [Arabic: (صلاةِ)] also refers to the five daily prayers. For example, the term (الَّذِينَ هُمْ فِي صَلَاتِهِمْ خَاشِعُونَ) in chapter Al-Muminum (23:2) means those who humble themselves in their prayers.

The word “salat” [Arabic: (صلاةِ)] is also attributed to birds flying. In chapter An-Nur (24:41), it is translated to prayer:

أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّـهَ يُسَبِّحُ لَهُ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَالطَّيْرُ صَافَّاتٍ ۖ كُلٌّ قَدْ عَلِمَ صَلَاتَهُ وَتَسْبِيحَهُ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ عَلِيمٌ بِمَا يَفْعَلُونَ ﴿٤١

24:41 Do you not observe that all those who are in the heavens and the earth, and the birds with outspread wings, glorify Allah? Each one knows the mode of its prayer and glorification, and Allah has full knowledge of all they do

Every creation in the universe seeks divine blessings for its existence; this act of invoking Allah (SWT) and seeking His blessings for the benefit of existence is called “salat” [Arabic: (صلاةِ)].

When the word is ascribed to angels, it implies that angels turn towards Allah (SWT) and invoke divine blessings on mankind. This could be asking for forgiveness as echoed in Chapter Ghafir (40:7), a blessing that leads man out of darkness into light as stated in Chapter Al-Ahzab (33:43), or a blessing that Allah (SWT) reserved for His messengers and special servants as stated in Chapter Al-Ahzab (33:56).

When this word is attributed to Allah (SWT), it implies that Allah (SWT) turns to His servants and wishes them mercy [(صَلَوَاتٌ)], followed by sending His mercy [(وَرَحْمَةٌ)] as stated in chapters Al-Ahzab (33:43) and Al-Baqara 2:157 [Al-Mizan, Vol.1, P543]:

أُولَـٰئِكَ عَلَيْهِمْ صَلَوَاتٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ وَرَحْمَةٌ ۖ وَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُهْتَدُونَ ﴿١٥٧

2:157 Their Lord will bestow great blessings and mercy upon them; such are the people who are rightly guided

 

 

 

 

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