Monday, 16 May 2011

Surah al-Baqara (The Cow), Part 1 (2:1-20)

Alif. Lam. Mim.

This is the Book: in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear Allah; 

Who believe in the Unseen, are steadfast in prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them;

And who believe in the Revelation sent to thee, and sent before they time, and (in their hearts) have the assurance of the Heareafter

They are on (true) guidance, from their Lord, and it is these who will prosper.

The book.  The book that is the most important book to Muslims.  The Holy Qur'an.  The first copy of the Qur'an I actually read was when I was 15.  It was my father's.  I'm not entirely sure why he had it, but he did.  And he lent it to me after I'd had a Muslim penpal for four years at that point.  She and I are still friends, though through Facebook now.  But the book was a book of revelation, from Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) to Muhammad (salallahu alayhi wa salaam) through the Angel Jibreel (Gabriel).  The same angel that brought news of the virgin birth to Mary in the Christian New Testament.  And because we Muslims believe in this revelation, because we believe in the Prophet Muhammad (salallahu alayhi wa salaam), if we read and follow this holy book, we have the assurance of paradise.  It is, essentially, ours to loose.  The plan is laid out for us in the Holy Qur'an and the hadiths (teachings) of the Prophet Muhammad (salallahu alayhi wa salaam).  If we follow those plans, if we stay on the straight path.  The path that was mentioned in the Surah al-Fatihah, paradise is ours to loose, as we've already been given the assurance of it.

As to those who reject Faith, it is the same to them whether thou warn them or do not warn them; they will not believe.

Allah hath set a seal on their hearts and on their hearing, and on their eyes is a veil; great is the penalty they (incur).

Of the people there are some who say: "We believe in Allah and the Last Day;" but they do not (really) believe.

Fain would they deceive Allah and those who believe, but they only deceive themselves, and realise (it) not!

In their hearts is a disease; and Allah has increased their disease: And grievous is the penalty they (incur), because they are false to (themselves).

When it is said to them: "Make not mischief on the earth," they say: "Why, we only want to make peace!"

Of a surety, they are the ones who make mischief, but they realise (it) not.

When it is said to them: "Believe as the others believe."  They say "Shall we believe as the fools believe?"  Nay, of a surety they are the fools, but they do not know.

When they meet those who believe, they say: "We believe," but when they are alone with their evil ones, they say "We are really with you: We (were) only jesting."

Allah will throw back their mockery on them, and give them rope in their trespasses; so they will wander like blind ones (to and fro).

These are they who have bartered Guidance for error: But their traffic is profitless, and they have lost true direction.

Their similitude is that of a man who kindled a fire; when it lighted all around him, Allah took away their light and left them in utter darkness.  So they could not see.

Deaf, dumb and blind, they will not return (to the path).

Or (another similitude) is that of a rain-laden cloud from the sky: In it are zones of darkness, and thunder and lightning: 

They press their fingers in their ears to keep out the stunning thunder-clap, the while they are in terror of death.  But Allah is ever round the rejecters of Faith!

The lightning all but snatches away their sight; every time the light (Helps) them, they walk therein, and when the darkness grows on them, they stand still.  And if Allah willed, He could take away their faculty of hearing and seeing; for Allah hath power over all things.

There will always be those who deny the existence of God.  And the Holy Qur'an teaches us that those who deny the existence of the only and only God, even after hearing about Him, will be left deaf and blind, veering off the straight path, unable to return.  

But I often wonder - can someone who denied the existence of God, who has left the straight path, can they have the blinders removed, find God, and return to the straight path?  I believe they can.  But what I don't understand is people that don't believe that God exists.  Where do they think everything came from?  That it just spontaneously came into existence?  Lack of faith defies understanding to me.  But I know that those that defy my understanding, their own understanding of those of us who have faith is just as equally defied.  

So instead, I respect.  I respect that fact that my beliefs tell me that these people will not be going to paradise.  But I also respect them enough to not actually say this to them, as those that believe I, and those who believe like me, are going to hell just annoy me when they get on their bandwagon.  

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