SHAFAQNA- Remembering a Ne’mat means that a human is conscious that it is a blessing, a favor; it is something that is conferred by the Master, and the Master has honored us with it. Allah (SWT) also emphasizes the importance of remembrance (dhikr) of His bounties. For example, He (SWT) says:
“وذكروا نعمة الله عليكم وما أنزل عليكم من الكتاب والحكمة يعظكم به.”
And remember Allah’s favour upon you, and that he has sent down unto you the Book and the wisdom whereby He exhorted you. [2:231]
In reference to this verse, Tafseer Bayan Sa’ada explains that the more a believer treads the path of Wilayah Mutlaqa (absolute guardianship), it becomes a Ne’mat to him, and when he actually reaches that stage, the Ne’mat is completed and perfected on him. Rather, the believer himself becomes a Ne’mat! Anything that is associated with Wilayah whether derived from it or refers back to it is also a Ne’mat due to its association to it. In another verse where Allah addresses Bani Israel, He (SWT) says,
“يا بني إسرائيل اذكروا نعمتي التي أنعمت عليكم وأوفوا بعهدي أوفي بعهدكم وإياي فارهبون.”
O Children of Israel! Remember My Favour which I bestowed upon you, and fulfill (your obligations to) My Covenant (with you) and fear none but Me. [2:40].
The Jews of Medina opposed the prophethood of Muhammad (SA), betrayed him, and said that they know Muhammad (SA) is prophet and Ali (AS) is his Wasi (guardian), but they refuse to believe in either of them. Ayaashi narrates that Imam Al Sadiq (AS) explained that the above verse is in reference to fulfilling the obligation of Wilayah to Ali ibn Abi Talib (AS) and that He (SWT) will grant Paradise in return for fulfillment of this divine obligation. Moreover, in his exegesis, Fayd Al Kashani asserts that the instruction of “أوفوا بعهدي” (fulfilling the covenant) is in relation to that pledge which the Prophet (SA) took on their ancestors – their prophets.
The Jews were ordered to believe in the prophethood of Muhammad (SA) – the Arab, Quraishi, Hashemi whose characteristics is clearly described in their books. They were ordered to support he who is supported by miracles and who among his signs is Ali ibn Abi Talib (AS), his brother and companion who shares the same intellect, knowledge, and clemency as him and is the supporter of the religion by his sword. In the last part of this verse”وإياي فارهبون”(And fear none but Me), Allah (SWT) is instructing to fear Him and exercise Taqwa in regards to disobeying His Prophet in what he orders them, specifically the order of the Wilayah of Imam Ali (AS).
The divine instruction to remember His bounty is emphasized once again here:
“واذكروا نعمة الله عليكم وميثاقه الذي واثقكم به إذ قُلتم سمعنا وأطعنا واتقوا الله إن الله عليم بذات الصدور.”
And remember Allah’s Favour to you and His Covenant with which He bound you when you said: “We hear and we obey.” And fear Allah. Verily, Allah is All-Knower of that which is in (secrets of your) breasts [5:7].
The Mithaaq / covenant mentioned in this verse is the covenant of successorship taken on the journey back from the Farewell pilgrimage. Al Qummi states in his exegesis that when the Prophet (SA) took the covenant of Wilayah, the people answered “We hear and we obey”, but they broke their covenants afterwards. Hence, Allah (SWT) is reminding the people to beware lest they forget the Ne’mat and break their allegiance to Imam Ali (AS). After all, He (SWT) knows the secrets of the hearts and the thoughts of disobedience which is being entertained in the minds of some companions regarding the successorship of Ali ibn Abi Talib (AS).
Adapted from: “Brief Analysis of Ne’ma (Bounty) in the Holy Qur’an” by: “Jerrmein Abu Shahba”