Interpretation of Sura al-Fatir – Verses 24-26

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SHAFAQNA (International Shia News Association) 24.“Verily We sent you with truth as a bearer of glad-tidings and a Warner, and there was not a people but a Warner having gone in them (in the past).”

25. “And if they belie you, so indeed did belie those before them; their apostles had come unto them with clear proofs, and with scriptures, and with the enlightening Book.”

26. “Then did I seize those who disbelieved, so how (severe) was My punishment?”

Commentary

Allah is true, and He has appointed the training system by the means of prophets in the basis of the truth, too. So, in this verse, He says:

“Verily We sent you with truth as a bearer of glad-tidings and a Warner, and there was not a people but a Warner having gone in them (in the past).”

O’ Prophet! When you fulfil your duty in ‘glad tidings’ and ‘warning’ it is enough for you. You may convey them your call and give them the glad tidings of the Divine rewards and warn them of the retributions of Allah, whether they accept them or continue their stubbornness and enmity.

The Arabic word /xala-/, here, is derived from /xala’a/ which originally means a place wherein is not any curtain. This term is used for both time and place, and since time is always passing the ‘past times’ is called /’azminah xa-liyah/, because there is no trace from them at the present time and the world is empty of them.

Therefore the Qur’a-nic sentence saying: “… and there was not a people but a Warner having gone in them (in the past)” means that every nation of the ancient nations had had a Warner in the past.

This point is also noteworthy that according to the above verse all nations had a Divine Warner, viz., a Divine prophet, though some commentators have taken it with a vaster meaning which envelops the scholars, and learned ones who warn people, too.

Of course, this statement does not mean that in any town and city a prophet has been appointed, but when the invitation of Divine prophets and their words reach peoples it is enough, because the Qur’a-n says: “… a Warner having gone in them” (Fi-ha-) and it does not say /minha-/ (among them)

In the next verse, it implies that if they reject you it is not wonderful and, you should not be surprised and sorry, because the people who were before them rejected their prophets, too, while their messengers came to them with clear miracles, books containing admonitions, and the heavenly Books introducing ordinances, and enlightening laws to them. It says:

“And if they belie you, so indeed did belie those before them; their apostles had come unto them with clear proofs, and with scriptures, and with the enlightening Book.”

It is not only you who, with having miracles and heavenly Book, have been rejected by this ignorant group of people; the former prophets had encountered this difficulty, too. So you should not be sad and do stand firm in your path, and do know that those who must accept the truth will accept it.

What is the difference between ‘Bayyina-t’, ‘Zubur’, and ‘The enlightening Book’?

1- The Qur’a-nic term /bayyina-t/ means some clear proofs and miracles which prove the legitimacy of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.).

2- The purpose of Zubur is that part of the prophets’ Books which contained of only some admonitions, advices, and supplications, (like supplications of David) 37

3- The Qur’a-nic phrase /kita-b-il-Muni-r/ refers to that group of heavenly books which contain some ordinances, laws, and different social and individual instructions, such as Turat, Bible, and Qur’a-n.

In the last verse of the verses under discussion, the Qur’a-n, referring to the painful retribution of this group, implicitly says: It was not such that they could remain safe from the Divine retribution and would continue constantly their rejections, but Allah seized the disbelievers and punished them severely. The verse says:

“Then did I seize those who disbelieved, …”

The Arabic word /’axao(tu/ is derived from /’axao(a/ with the sense of ‘to take’, but its application in such cases indirectly means ‘punishment’, because taking and capturing someone is the beginning of punishment.

However, Allah caused some pagans to be faced with a tempest, another group with a destructive hurricane, and some people were destroyed by the heavenly Blast, lightning, and earthquake. Then at the end of the verse, for emphasis and stating the greatness and severity of their punishment, the Qur’a-n says:

“… so how (severe) was My punishment?”

In any case, on one side, these verses console and encourage all those who pave the path of Allah, particularly the true leaders of any nation in any time that they should not be despaired of the murmurs of the opponents and know that the Divine invitations have always been faced with the intensive oppositions from the side of aberrant zealous ones and cruel profit seekers, and in the meantime, there have been some sympathetic pure lovers who sacrificed their souls helping the claimers of the path of the truth.

And, on the other side, it is a threat against these aberrant opponents that they should know that they cannot continue their disgraceful and destructive deeds forever. Soon or late, the divine punishments will encompass them.

Notes:

37. The Arabic word /zubur/ is the plural form of /zabu-r/ which means the books the scriptures of which have been written to be permanent (like writings on the stone, and the likes that here it indicates to the firmness of their matters.

Adopted from the book : “The Light of the Holy Qur’an; Interpretation of Surah al-Fatir” by : “Sayyid Kamal Faghih Imani and a Group of Muslim Scholars”

 

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