Surah Zamr (No. 39) Verses 53-55
Despair not of the Mercy of Allah

Despair Not of the Mercy of Allah

            Allah's Mercy is boundless. There is a message of hope in verseS 53 to 55 of Surah Zamr (XXXIX), even for those who have wronged their souls by neglect of the commandments of Allah, if they turn unto Him sincerely repentant. Pickthall has rendered the verses into English as follows:

"Say: 'O My servants who have been prodigal to their own hurt! Despair not of the mercy of Allah. Verily Allah forgiveth sins. Verily, He is the Forgiving, the Merciful.'" "Turn unto Him repentant, and surrender unto Him, before there come unto you the doom, when ye cannot be helped.

"And follow the best (guidance) of that which has been sent down to you from your Lord, before the doom cometh on you suddenly when ye know not."


            One of the rewards of firm faith is everlasting hope:

"Verily, none despaireth of Allah's mercy save disbelieving folk." (XII-87).

There is no occasion for remorse and regrets for one's sins of the past if one turns to Allah in sincere repentance, with a determination to remain firm on the Sirat-i-Mustaqim, or the Path of moral rectitude. The proof of sincere repentance lies in good deeds, as laid down in the Surah Furqan (XXV-70):

"Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful."

            The mass of Muslims seem to have strayed from Islam, the essence of which is moral rectitude. Reference has been made in earlier issues of the Yaqeen to a saying of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) related by Hazrat Abdullah-ibni-Masood which shows that Sirat-i-Mustaqim and Islam are the same thing. Sirat-i-Mustaqim is specifically defined in the 19th Ruku of Surah Al-Anaam (VI-152 to 154). The verses lay down simple and important rules of conduct. The salvation of mankind depends on compliance with these precepts.

We are here warned to follow the guidance of the Quran before the doom cometh on us suddenly. It is easy to find guidance in the book as the Book itself says:

"And, indeed We have made the Quran easy for guidance; but is there any seeker of guidance?"

This verse is repeated four times in Surah Qamar (LIV). In translating the word "Zikr" in text I have followed the translation of Shah Waliullah and his sons and Moulvi Ashraf Ali Thanvi (May blessings of Allah be on all of them). The opening verses of Surah Baqar and Surah Al-i-Imran indicate methods of seeking the guidance in the Quran:

" This is the Scripture, whereof there is no doubt, a guidance unto those who ward off (evil), who believe in that which is revealed unto thee (Muhammad) and that which was revealed before thee, and are certain of Hereafter. These depend on guidance from their Lord. They are the successful" (II-2 to 5)

            "He it is Who hath revealed unto thee (Muhammad) the Scriptures where-in the substance of the book - and others (which are) allegorical. But those in whose hearts is perversity, pursue, forsooth, that which is allegorical seeking (to cause) dissension by seeking to explain it." (III-7).

            Muslims of the world have been paying a heavy penalty for neglecting the teachings of the Quran. We can prosper again if we guide our thoughts and conduct in the light of the Quran, and become firmly set in the Sirat-i-Mustaqim, confident in the hope of Allah's Mercy and the gift of a good life:

"Whosoever doeth right, whether male or female, him verily We shall quicken with good life, and We shall pay them recompense in proportion to the best of what they used to do." (XVI-97).

There still remains some zeal for Islam amongst Muslims. The average Muslim has, at best, only a hazy idea of the meaning of Islam. The saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him) related by Hazrat Abdullah-ibni-Masood read with the 19th Ruku of Surah Al-Annam (VI-152 to 154) constitutes a definition of Islam which, it is important for every believer to remember. It is easy to find guidance in the Quran if one concentrates on the Ayat-i-Muhkamat (verses of plain meaning which is the substance of this Book). The teachings of the Quran impart to sincere believers an outlook on life which helps them to follow the path of moral rectitude, so that evil and iniquity of every sort become abhorrent to them. Freedom from fear and frustration is the reward of faith and good deeds as the Quran repeatedly tells us. A true believer has confidence and courage which enables him to meet dangers and disasters with equanimity. Sabr is one of the essential attributes of a believer. It means self discipline and control of one's selfish desires, anger, fear, and grief, and acting reasonably. The word means, in short, patient endeavour (mehnat saharna), as Shah Abdul Qadi tersely put in it in his book, Mahazul Quran. It is important to remember that in order to find guidance in the Quran one must fulfil the conditions laid down in the opening verses of Surah Baqar, namely, faith, Taqva (guarding against evil and self discipline), regular prayer and charity.

            The contrast between the teachings of the Quran and the conduct of the mass of Muslims must appear disheartening to the sincere well-wishers of Islam. We need not give way to despair. We can wipe out every sort of corruption and iniquity from our midst by turning to the All Merciful in humble repentance for our misdeeds and derelictions and working with determination to follow the Sirat-i-Mustaqim, and persuading others by example and precept to lead the good life of obedience to Divine laws. The Quran tells us to seek Allah's help in patient endeavour and prayer (II-153). That is how the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) and his immediate followers sought Allah's help. It is a historical fact that help came to them in such measure as to excite the wonder and admiration of the world. They were followers of the Divine guidance of the Quran in its pristine purity.

(Courtesy: Yaqeen International)





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