Surah Al Furqan (No.25) Verses 63 - 74
Servants of the Merciful
EBAD-UR-RAHMAN (Servants of the Merciful)
The following verses which are numbers 63 to 75 of Chapter XXV (Al Furqan) - mention some of the characteristics of slaves (servants) of The Merciful which is the cherished appellation of devout Muslims:
"The (faithful) slaves of The Beneficent are they who walk upon the earth modestly, and when the foolish ones address them answer: Peace;
"And who spend the night before their Lord, prostrate and standing;
"And who say: 'Our Lord! Avert from us the doom of hell; verily the doom thereof is anguish;
'Verily, it is wretched as abode and station;
"And those who, when they spend, are neither extravagant nor miserly, and there is ever a firm station between the two;
"And those who cry not unto any other god along with Allah, nor take the life which Allah hath forbidden save in (the course of) justice, nor commit immorality - and whoso doeth this shall pay the penalty;
"The doom will be doubled for him on the Day of Resurrection, and he will abide therein disdained for ever;
"Save him who repenteth and believeth and doth righteous; as for such, Allah will change their evil deeds to good deeds. Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful;
"And whosoever repenteth and doeth good, he verily repenteth toward Allah with true repentance -
'And those who will not testify falsely, and when they pass near senseless play, pass by with dignity;
"And those who when they are reminded of the revelation of their Lord, fall not deaf and blind thereat;
'And those who say: 'Our Lord! Grant us from our wives and offspring that which may cheer our eyes and make us models for those who ward off (evil);'
'They will be awarded the high place forasmuch as they were steadfast and they will meet therein with welcome and the word of peace.'
In a previous article, in verses 152 to 154 of Chapter VI (AI-Anaam) which define Sirat-i-Mustaqim were quoted with reference to a saying of the Prophet (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) that Sirat-i-Mustaqim means Islam. Obedience to the ordinances laid down in those verses is necessary to enable one to call oneself a Muslim. In the verses quoted above some of the attributes of those are mentioned who have attained a high degree of piety and are described as Ebad-ur-Rahman. It would be well for believers to remember these characteristics. All believers are expected to have the attributes mentioned which may be enumerated for the sake of convenience:
- Humility is an important attribute of believers, because Allah loveth not the haughty (XVI-24). Arrogance and haughtiness are repeatedly condemned in the Quran, as they are incompatible with good sense and the higher human qualities.
- The obligatory prayers are short and the times fixed for them are convenient so that they do not interfere with one's worldly duties. They are a safeguard against indecency and evil and help one to acquire the habits of cleanliness and punctuality. Those who aim at closer communion with Allah rise at night to say supererogatory prayers (Tahajjud) which bring about a high degree of self-discipline and spiritual advancement, if performed in the right spirit.
- Ebad-ur-Rahman know that breaches of Allah's laws are to be answered for in the Hereafter and they pray for the deliverance from Hell.
- They are thankful to Allah for such wealth as He may give them. They make the best use of it. Miserliness and extravagance are both reprehensible and constitute ingratitude. Wealth is a trial, as beneficial use of it is a religious duty.
- They rely on Allah alone and seek only His help for the fruition of their efforts. They avoid breaches of Allah's law like taking of a life (save in the course of justice) and acts of immorality (which in effect amount to iniquity almost equal to the taking of a life). Whoso does any of these acts shall have to pay the penalty in the hereafter, if not also in this world. If one sincerely repents and returns to a life of faith and good deeds his evil deeds of the past will be wiped out and changed into good deeds. Allah's Mercy is boundless. Genuine repentance toward Allah produces in the repentant an abhorrence of evil.
- They do not testify falsely and when they pass senseless play such as improper amusements, they pass by with dignity.
- Ebad-ur-Rahmaan are not deaf and blind to the revelation of their Lord. They guide their lives according to the teachings of the Quran.
- They are not anxious for their spiritual advancement only. They are equally anxious for their families and pray for the joy seeing in them patterns for those who lead the good life of piety and freedom from evil and iniquity.
Believers should remember the attributes of Ebad-ur-Rahman and do their best to be counted amongst them.