Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Surah Al Baqarah ayat 17-20

Translation

17. Their example is like the example of one who kindled a fire; then, when it lightened up everything around him, Allah took away their light and left them in darkness. (So) they could not see.
18. They are deaf, dumb, and blind, so they return not (to the Right Path).
19. Or like a rainstorm from the sky, wherein is darkness, thunder, and lightning. They thrust their fingers in their ears to keep out the stunning thunderclap for fear of death. But Allah ever encompasses the disbelievers (i.e. Allah will gather them all together).
20. The lightning almost snatches away their sight, whenever it flashes for them, they walk therein, and when darkness covers them, they stand still. And if Allah willed, He could have taken away their hearing and their sight. Certainly, Allah has power over all things.

there are two similies (examples) in these verses and there are two schools of thoughts or opinions regarding who these similies are for. the first opinion is that both the similies are for the hypocrites (munafiq) depending on the intensity of their hypocrisy i.e. there is still hope for some hypocrites who can still turn back and gain guidance. while the other group of hypocrites are in complete darkness and they can never get guidance.
the second opinion states that the first similie is for the non-believers (Kafir) and the second similie is for the hypocrites (munafiq). Dr Israr Ahmed agrees with the second school of thought.

so building the discussion on the second school of thought, the non-believers are like those who are in utter darkness and kindle a small light to illuminate the surroundings but Allah then takes away their sight leaving them in complete darkness again and they are dumb, deaf and blind, hence they can never get guidance.
the second similie refers to the hypocrites (munafiq). They walk on the guided path as long as things are in their favour, as long as things are easy they claim to be believers. But as soon as there is a difficulty or a period of trial they back out and move into darkness. They want to play safe to stay safe (i.e. when they see light they move towards it and as soon darkness prevails they stand still and stop walking). And if Allah wanted He can take away their sight and hearing. This implies that these hypocrites still have the chance to escape the wrath of Allah and attain His pleasure by being true believers by accepting the Faith in both good and bad times.

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