The Holy Qur'an

Al-Tafsīr Al-Kabīr – The Grand Exegesis, Sūrah al-Falaq Part 9

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In the previous edition, we examined the various aspects of creation mentioned in the opening verses of Sūrah al-Falaq.

In this edition, the reason for Allah using the command ‘Say’ has been explained.

Translated by Murtaza Ahmad

Edited by The Review of Religions Translation Team.

Thus, in the verses of Sūrah al-Falaq, Allah Almighty instructs the believers that if they truly have faith in their hearts, they should challenge the entire world and, indifferent to the world and its comforts, announce to all that they have taken refuge with Allah Almighty, so that  if they act in a way contrary to this claim then everyone will be able to understand that they are liars; they utter one thing but do the opposite. The insertion of قُلْ before the verse أَعُوذُ بِرَبِّ الْفَلَقِ signifies that one ought to call the entire world as witness to this claim. It is as though man presents himself before God Almighty and says, ‘O God, I have severed my ties with everyone, and have tied my hands and feet [in total submission] and placed myself before You.’ But [it appears that] Allah Almighty tells man: ‘Do not come and say this to Me. Instead, go and say it to the rest of the world and make them bear witness that you are not concerned about anything except Allah Almighty. So that if your actions do not live up to your words, people may denounce you as a great perjurer and hypocrite. You say one thing but do another.’

By placing the word Qul here Allah Almighty explains: ‘Now that you have read the entire Holy Qur’ān, and faith has become embedded in your heart, it cannot remain concealed. Either you should disclose publicly that which you say to God – in fact, you ought to appoint people as your judge and arbiter so that if your deeds contradict your claim people may reproach you – or otherwise you must renounce your claim. I reject the claims you make privately with Me.’ Moreover, when he performs his prayers, man declares, أَعُوذُ بِرَبِّ الْفَلَقِ ‘O my Lord! I take refuge with you.’ Allah Almighty says: ‘Your claim implies that you have severed ties with all of creation and that you have instead established a connection with God Almighty and that now you will not place your trust in your parents, siblings, friends, dear ones, relatives, nation and government. All such relations have now been severed and a relationship has been forged with God Almighty. The truth of this claim cannot be determined until you appoint people as witnesses to bear testimony to your claim. And how can someone who truly attains this rank [of Refuge with Allah] remain content until he attests this claim with his deeds?

Some people come to me requesting prayers for a certain thing and at the same time ask if it is possible for me to intercede on their behalf with so-and-so, even though seeking such kinds of recommendations from me while praying contradicts having absolute trust in Allah. In fact, in such a situation a believer’s should sink into the earth in shame because once one forges a relationship with Allah Almighty, they should not put their trust in any kings, nor in any parliament, nor in the army, nor in any government or statesmen. A believer may claim in front of the world that his hand is in God’s hand but if he then persistently pleads with someone else to help him fulfil his needs – (It is not a sin for a person to seek help from someone who owes him his due because Allah Almighty instructs man to utilize the means at his disposal, as long as he does not put his trust in them. The sin lies in the fact that one trusts solely on intercession, and is saddened when his wish is not fulfilled and he insists upon somehow getting a recommendation.) – could there be any one more deplorable than this?

Maulavī Imām-ud-Dīn, the father of Qāzī Muḥammad Ẓahūruddīn Akmal, was very fond of tasawwuf [Sufism]. Before becoming an Aḥmadī, he was a follower of the Sufis. So whenever he had the chance, he would say to me that such-and-such Sufi has claimed to have prostrated upon the ‘Arsh [the Throne of Allah]; another Sufi is said to have prostrated upon a certain level of heaven, and yet another claimed to have seen Allah Almighty while in a state of prostration. However, we do not see such phenomena in Aḥmadiyyat. I would reply by giving him numerous arguments. However, a year or six months later, he would repeat this same question that he does not find in Ahmadiyya the same phenomena that the Sufis had experienced. One day Allah Almighty inspired me with the response to his question. I asked him, ‘Do you not see that those people who prostrate upon the ‘Arsh or the heavens are lower in rank than the Promised Messiah, peace be upon him? He replied, ‘I agree that all blessings are found in Aḥmadiyyat; however, prostrating upon the ‘Arsh is very significant.’ I responded, ‘I accept that they may have prostrated upon the ‘Arsh; however, there should also be some outward evidence of their relationship with Allah Almighty; even a person does not let down an acquaintance he barely knows. I asked him,Have you not seen the great burdens borne by the Promised Messiah (as)? In the beginning, guests came to the Promised Messiah (as) in scores, but towards the end, there were hundreds of guests who ate from his langar [kitchen] on a daily basis. The monthly hospitality expenses ranged from 1,500 to 2,500 rupees. However, he did not have a fixed and specific income. Indeed, the members of the Community also contributed to [the system of] chanda,  but this also was not a fixed and specific income. This is the trust the Promised Messiah (as) had in God Almighty that, despite having so many expenses and having no specific means of paying them or gaining income, see how God Almighty fulfilled his needs! Was this level of trust in God Almighty demonstrated by those who prostrated on the ‘Arsh? On hearing this, Maulavī Imām-ud-Dīn began to mull this over and a little while later remarked, ‘Today I have finally understood that their claim to prostrate upon the ‘Arsh is mere deception because when harvest time came, those who “prostrated on the throne” would say to the farmers: “Do send me a share of harvest.” I responded, ‘So see, this is the difference between one who truly relies on God and one falsely claims to rely on Him.’ In any case, a true believer relies on God Almighty and proclaims publicly: أَعُوذُ بِرَبِّ الْفَلَقِ  i.e. ‘I seek refuge with Rabb-ulFalaq’, and then he will not turn to anyone else. Rather, he believes only in God Almighty. The Promised Messiah’s (as) example is before us. He did not know whether the next day he would receive any money, yet his expenses continued. It was indeed due to the grace of Allah Almighty He prevented scarcity or hardship. Thus, a believer does not look towards people to fulfil his wishes, but he puts all his trust in Allah Almighty. Then it is left to the discretion of Allah Almighty, whether He chooses to test His servant with hunger and poverty, or with wealth and prosperity.

It is written that al-Sheikh ‘Abd al-Qādir al-Jilānī (rh) would wear the highest-quality garments and eat the best food. At times, each one of his garments would cost one thousand dinar i.e. two and half to three thousand rupees [ at the time that this commentary was written]. Some ignorant people would criticize him, but he would respond by saying: ‘I wear whatever I wear by Allah Almighty’s command; I never put on any clothes until after Almighty Allah commands me: “O ʿAbd al-Qādir! Wear this garment for my sake.”‘ Thus, to trust God means to become entirely His. He says قُلْ أَعُوذُ بِرَبِّ الْفَلَقِ i.e. ‘Go and tell the people of the world that you now belong to Allah Almighty and that you do not care about anyone else. If, due to this claim, they oppose you and harm you, then you should proclaim to them: ‘I do not care about your persecution, for I seek refuge with my Lord against it.’


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