By November 2, 2016 Read More →

Practices in Reading the Quran Here and Now: Chapter Qalam (Pen) – Part 12

“On the day when the truth shall be laid bare, they will be called upon to prostrate themselves, but they will not be able to do so.” (68):43


Who are “they”?

They refer to people or our attitudes when we think that we ourselves or the objects around us are the Source of our satisfaction. Mostly when people are given a terminal illness or go bankrupt is when they realize that objects and their wealth is not the Source of their satisfaction. At the end, when reality is faced sharply i.e. when everything becomes evident, human beings are bound to admit the truth.

  • When death is very near, we start realizing that things are not the Source of existence of one’s satisfaction. Death is inevitable, isn’t it? THINK about it!!!

The verse is warning us not to let our life pass us by. It is reminding us that after a certain time (or age), it becomes too late to admit one’s reality, which is nothing but prostration in tune with our humanity. One moment after another, we are losing opportunity to get to know our reality. There is no better time to start reflecting on one’s existence than now. PLEASE DO NOT WAIT UNTIL YOU ARE AT THE RETIREMENT AGE TO THINK ABOUT REALITY BECAUSE IT WILL BE TOO LATE. Why will it be too late?

  • Not only are you getting old but you get used to a certain way of life and thinking as a robot. In other words, since you have prayed by your physical preferences to develop your abilities in a certain way, the Creator leads you in that way. In this regards, the Creator sets us free i.e. It develops our ability in the direction we take. That is, the result gets created as a result of one’s prayers.

It is not easy to change one’s mindset when one is used to a certain way of thinking about life or the universe. Even though one realizes such, it becomes difficult to switch gears because the tongue and the mind gets conditioned to doing things in a certain way i.e. action. Our actions should stretch us to think about why we do what we do (action wise prayers).

Again, it takes a longer time to reverse the process. No one can change overnight. Even the companions of the Prophets (PBUH) went through a process of accepting the message. That requires questioning the status quo and evaluating every action. In other words, while searching for the truth, they were training their thoughts in a certain way. Just like the Prophet (PBUH), the companions were not satisfied with the societal norms. They took heed of the Prophetic message because they realize in the course of time that the Prophet was not intending to impose any power of authority over them, a practice very uncommon specially when someone takes over leadership of a tribe. Mostly the tribal rulers would impose their authority over the people but particularly the poor ones and the slaves. But the Prophet (PBUH) took over the administration of Mecca and let the people go on with their routines i.e. farming and sheep herding mostly in Medina and Mecca respectively. He himself was living in the most modest way.

Our reality at present is that we are not appreciative of what is given to us and we impose our caprices on God saying: “I do not deserve a bankruptcy for example”. Instead think: WHAT DO I DESERVE?

  • Do I deserve my tongue which gives me the ability to taste and talk?
  • Do you deserve your hands which give you the ability to perform actions? After deep thinking, you will realize that we do not deserve anything. Then, why are we so ungrateful?
  • What we need to do is be grateful for all that we have.

Every day that passes enforces our wrongful habits and attitudes. Try to question yourself, your abilities and everything you see around you. If you do not question, your ability or the gift given to you to question dies. We are created in a way that if the gift of God is not used, then It takes it away from us. The way we think about the world develops our habits accordingly. If we do not start changing our worldview now, it becomes harder and harder to change. As a result, we will not be able to prostrate. That is really the main point that the verse is referring to.

  • Only people who question the legitimacy of the message change.
  • People who do not give the possibility to question the status quo are the most arrogant people.

At the time of the Prophet (PBUH), most people who embraced Islam were the ones searching for the truth. That is to say, they were questioning the legitimacy of the culture they were born in or the culture that was passed down by their ancestors.

  • Stop worshipping ancestral or tribal culture was the main Prophetic message along with stop worshipping idols, which was the ancestral culture.

Idols in Kabba (black monument) represented symbols for each tribe. Before Messengership was endowed to Muhammad, Muhammad was never happy with the idols in Kabba and like many followers of the Abrahamic tradition, he worshipped God of Kabba (i.e. one God) introduced by Abraham. Since Muhammad was not satisfied with tribal conflicts and every event/object being the Source of worship, he started his journey of search and investigation. It took him 40 years to come to a conclusion. After receiving the Message, bulk of 20 to 30 people gradually started to follow him and heed to the message in order to come to their own conclusions.

“Their eyes will be cast down, ignominy will cover them, they used to be called to prostrate themselves, while they were healthy and good.” (68):44

Similar to the points made in the previous verse, one needs not to wait for an undesired event to take place to question the Source of their existence. When youth is given, use it to question the existence of the universe. Do not squander it wastefully on just worldly gain i.e. education career. Instead use education to educate yourself on belief matters.

In conclusion, every moment is an opportunity to start your journey to searching for the truth and be constant in this search. That is belief.

Tags: , ,

Post a Comment