Date :Sunday, August 19th, 2018 | Time : 06:59 |ID: 69023 | Print

Blind Fanaticism and Prejudice: Commentary of the Quran (Chapter 2:170-171) By: Mohammad Sobhanie

Commentary of the Quran (Chapter 2:170-171)
By: Mohammad Sobhanie
Blind Fanaticism and Prejudice
بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمُ اتَّبِعُوا مَا أَنزَلَ اللَّـهُ قَالُوا بَلْ نَتَّبِعُ مَا أَلْفَيْنَا عَلَيْهِ آبَاءَنَا ۗ أَوَلَوْ كَانَ آبَاؤُهُمْ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ شَيْئًا وَلَا يَهْتَدُونَ ﴿١٧٠﴾ وَمَثَلُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا كَمَثَلِ الَّذِي يَنْعِقُ بِمَا لَا يَسْمَعُ إِلَّا دُعَاءً وَنِدَاءً ۚ صُمٌّ بُكْمٌ عُمْيٌ فَهُمْ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ ﴿١٧١﴾
Translation:
2:170 When it is said to them: “Follow what Allah has revealed.” They say: “Nay! We follow what we found our fathers following.” (Are they going to follow their forefather’s faith) even though their fathers did not understand anything nor were they guided.
2:171 And the parable of those who disbelieve (in relation to the messenger) is as that of one (sphered) who shouts to (save from predators) those (flock of sheep) that hear nothing but call and cries. (They are) deaf, dumb and blind. So, they do not understand.
Commentary: Islam is the religion of logic and reason and invites people to reflect with open minds on the principles of faith and believe in them without coercion. In Chapter 2:256, the Quran states: “There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion. The right course has become clear from the wrong.”
لَا إِكْرَاهَ فِي الدِّينِ ۖ قَد تَّبَيَّنَ الرُّشْدُ مِنَ الْغَيِّ ۚ … ﴿٢٥٦﴾
Any fair-minded individual could discern the merits of Islam for instance, over idolatry. Unfortunately, prejudice blinds the human intellect and a blind mind forms an irrational opinion. An instance of blind fanaticism and prejudice is underscored in the verse 2:170.
When the Prophet (SAWA) presented the Quran and its teachings to disbelievers, they dismissed the Prophet (SAWA) on the ground that they would rather follow in the footsteps of their forefathers:
وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمُ اتَّبِعُوا مَا أَنزَلَ اللَّـهُ قَالُوا بَلْ نَتَّبِعُ مَا أَلْفَيْنَا عَلَيْهِ آبَاءَنَا …. ﴿١٧٠﴾
2:170 When it is said to them: “Follow what Allah has revealed.” They say: “Nay! We follow what we found our fathers following.”
A rational mind becomes speechless to the disbeliever’s answer. Nevertheless, the Quran asks:
… أَوَلَوْ كَانَ آبَاؤُهُمْ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ شَيْئًا وَلَا يَهْتَدُونَ ﴿١٧٠﴾
2:170 … (Are they going to follow their forefather’s faith) even though their fathers did not understand anything nor they were guided.
The verse 2:171 likens the invitation of disbelievers to faith to a shepherd who calls flocks of sheep to save them from predators. Even though the animals do not understand any words of the shepherd, they still react and listen to the call of the shepherd. The Prophet (SAWA) invites the disbelievers to faith, but the disbelievers do not listen and react to the call of the Prophet, although they understand the words of the Prophet:
وَمَثَلُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا كَمَثَلِ الَّذِي يَنْعِقُ بِمَا لَا يَسْمَعُ إِلَّا دُعَاءً وَنِدَاءً…..﴿١٧١﴾
2:171 And the parable of those who disbelieve (in relation to the messenger) is as that of one (shepherd) who shouts to (save from predators) those (flock of sheep) that hear nothing but call and cries. (They are) deaf, dumb and blind. So, they do not understand.
This is due to the fact that bias and prejudice have sealed the intellect and senses of the disbelievers:
.. صُمٌّ بُكْمٌ عُمْيٌ فَهُمْ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ ﴿١٧١﴾
2:171 ….(They are) deaf, dumb and blind. So, they do not understand.

اللَّهُمَّ أَحْسِنْ عَاقِبَتَنَا فِي الْأُمُورِ كُلِّهَا وَأَجِرْنَا مِنْ خِزْيِ الدُّنْيَا وَعَذَابِ الْآخِرَة
Appendix:
[(يَنْعِقُ)] = admonishing cry of a shepherd to his sheep
[(دُعَاءً)] = To call with loud voice
[(نِدَاءً)] = To call in general

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