Commentary of the Quran (Chapter 2:27, Part-1) – By: Mohammad Sobhanie

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Shafaqna (International Shia News Agency)

Commentary of the Quran (Chapter 2:27, Part-1)

By: Mohammad Sobhanie

 

The Divine Covenant

 

بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

الَّذِينَ يَنقُضُونَ عَهْدَ اللَّـهِ مِن بَعْدِ مِيثَاقِهِ وَيَقْطَعُونَ مَا أَمَرَ اللَّـهُ بِهِ أَن يُوصَلَ وَيُفْسِدُونَ فِي الْأَرْضِ ۚ أُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْخَاسِرُونَ ﴿٢٧﴾

Translation: Those who break the covenant made with Allah after having pledged it solemnly, and sever what Allah has commanded to be joined, and cause corruption on the earth—it is they who are the losers.

Commentary: A covenant is a formal agreement between two parties that establishes mutual agreements between them. The Quran details the covenant between Allah (SWT) and humanity, which consists of mankind worshipping Allah, performing noble deeds, and refraining from evil1. The covenant between Allah and mankind is different than agreements human beings are accustomed to forming on a daily basis.  Nobody can recall signing a written agreement, or having a verbal agreement between themselves and Allah, so how can there be a covenant between the Almighty God and mankind?

The God-given nature of humans is evidence of this covenant; it is designed so that we may worship, praise, and call for help to Allah in times of both abundance and need.  Even those who openly reject the presence of God will acknowledge the manifestation of Allah in times of great fear or need. The Quran states2:

فَإِذَا رَكِبُوا فِي الْفُلْكِ دَعَوُا اللَّـهَ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ فَلَمَّا نَجَّاهُمْ إِلَى الْبَرِّ إِذَا هُمْ يُشْرِكُونَ ﴿٦٥﴾

“When they embark in the ships, they sincerely pray to God with pure faith. But when We (Allah) bring them safely to land, they begin to associate others with Allah in His Divinity2”.

Humans are gifted with an intellect that allows them to distinguish truth from falsehood or, simply put, right from wrong. Through this gift, men respect and value the virtue of righteousness and have disdain for wickedness. More importantly however, it is through this gift that Allah draws a covenant from us, one that we should strive to never break.

Allah has also provided further guidance to nurture and cultivate mankind’s intellect3. This form of guidance is found through the divine scriptures; particularly the Quran, the traditions of the Prophet (PBUH), and the Ahlul-Bayt of the Prophet (PBUT). The obligations in Islam provide for a time of reflection and growth in man’s intellect. Praying five times a day and fasting during the month of Ramadan brings man closer to blessings of Allah, and draws them away from the clutches of Shaitaan. The covenant then makes it incumbent upon us to use our intellect towards purification, in order so that we may grow closer to Allah.

In summary, Allah has gifted to mankind a human nature which is instinctively good and pure, and features a faculty of intellect and divine guidance. Through these gifts, Allah took an agreement from mankind to worship Him, perform noble deeds and refrain from evil1. Those who commit sin, indeed, act against their God-given nature, intellect and the divine guidance. Consequently, they break their sacred covenant with Allah. On the Day of Judgment, Allah will ask them1:

أَلَمْ أَعْهَدْ إِلَيْكُمْ يَا بَنِي آدَمَ أَن لَّا تَعْبُدُوا الشَّيْطَانَ ۖ إِنَّهُ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ ﴿٦٠﴾ وَأَنِ اعْبُدُونِي ۚ هَـٰذَا صِرَاطٌ مُّسْتَقِيمٌ ﴿٦١﴾

“Did I not make a covenant with you, O children of Adam, that you should not obey Shaitaan? Indeed he is a manifest enemy to you. “And that you should worship Me alone. This is a straight path (for you to follow).”

References:

1-      The Quran [36:60-61]

2-      [29:65]

3-      Nahjul-Balagha, Sermon -1

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