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AL BAYAN - Surah AL IMRAN - Part 14 - Verses 100 - 104 - Javed Ahmed Ghamidi

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    Al-Bayan, Discourses on the Qur'an
    Javed Ahmad Ghamidi
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    Surah Aal i Imran
    Aayaat 100 to 104.
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    Gratitude is only for God,
    the Lord of the World,
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    and may His peace and mercy
    be on Muhammad, the trustworthy.
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    I seek refuge with God
    from the accursed Devil.
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    In the Name of God, the Most Gracious,
    the Ever Merciful.
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    Ladies and Gentlemen, We are beginning
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    the study of Surah Aal I Imran from
    verse 100 in the Quran.
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    Earlier, the first section of the chapter
    concluded on verse 99
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    This chapter is based on two sections,
    one introduction and one conclusion.
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    This is the structure of its subject
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    There is an introduction.
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    Then begins a section on the completion of
    proof on the People of the Book
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    and it reaches a conclusion on verse 99.
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    Now begins the second section which
    would finally lead
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    to the conclusion of the chapter.
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    This verse onwards the address is
    directed towards the Muslims.
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    The direction of the address has changed.
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    In these verses of the Quran, this
    method is generally adopted.
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    Either the address is
    directed towards the Muslims,
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    as in Surah Nisa and then the
    People of the Book are discussed.
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    After the introduction of the chapter,
    the chapter will either begin
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    by addressing the People of the Book
    and then the Muslims.
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    If you look here, the proof has been
    completed upon the People of the Book.
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    All proofs were given and as we
    say in the last lecture,
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    at the end of that topic, the Quran
    provided answers to the
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    three main objections raised by
    the people of the book.
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    After providing answers to their
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    they were sternly reprimanded and
    then they were also invited to Islam
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    and they were asked to not reject
    the Quranic verses
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    and not to stop people from Allah's
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    and not to malign those things that
    they have been made witness to
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    because this is not the correct attitude.
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    Now the address is directed
    towards the Muslims,
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    Muslims are first warned of the
    deviant schemes of the People of the Book
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    which they would employ to turn away
    the Muslims from the path of the truth
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    But they should stay steadfast
    on the path of Allah.
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    After this, the subject of purification
    and cleanliness of the Muslims will begin
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    In other words, Muslims should
    reform themselves,
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    they should fulfil their obligation
    towards islam,
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    they should hold on to the rope
    of Allah steadfastly,
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    they should follow the way of Allah
    and the Prophet (pbuh) in difficult times.
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    So, these things which are important
    for their purification, eduction
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    the purification of their wisdom and
    character will be discussed.
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    So, this is the structure of this
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    Yaaa ayyuhal lazeena aamanoo
    in tutee'oo fareeqam
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    minal lazeena ootul Kitaaba
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    Believers! If you yield to a group from
    among these People of the Book,
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    It is obvious that from all the things
    that have been said,
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    one of these includes telling the
    people of the book
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    about things they have been
    doing wrong.
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    On the other hand, since they are
    religious people
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    and they are at the forefront of religious
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    people look up to them with respect to
    these issues,
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    in a way, they have the status
    of religious leaders,
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    the common people of Arabia,
    those from the tribes of Aws and Khajraj
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    and people from other tribes think that
    these people have the best understanding
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    of issues relating to Prophethood for
    they have a whole history of Prophets.
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    We can make a mistake but
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    these people cannot make any
    mistakes in this regard.
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    So, these people would be influenced
    by them to an extent as well.
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    That is why this issue was introduced by
    stating that:
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    Believers! If you yield to a group
    from among these People of the Book,
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    By 'a group', Quran refers to those
    people who are stubborn
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    and these people usually include their
    religious leaders,
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    something which the Quran tells us.
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    They are the leaders and hence trusted
    by the common populace.
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    It is mostly those people.
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    By 'a group', Quran refers to those
    people only.
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    And By 'a group', Quran also refers to
    those people
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    who are not part of this group.
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    It Is not as thought every one from
    among the people of the Book
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    has become an ingrate.
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    A group from among them which also
    plays the leadership role
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    indulges in such activities.
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    If you yield to this group from
    among the People of the Book,
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    then what will these people do?
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    yaruddookum ba'da eemaanikum kaafireen
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    Yaaa ayyuhal lazeena aamanoo in
    tutee'oo fareeqam
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    minal lazeena ootul Kitaaba
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    Believers! If you yield to a group from
    among these People of the Book,
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    they will turn you back from belief to
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    Their real intention is that you
    yield to these people
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    so that they will also lead the
    Muslims into disbelief like themselves.
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    I have already mentioned that the people
    of justice from among them,
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    those people that the Quran will praise
    later on,
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    the Quran always mentions them by setting
    them apart from these people.
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    The Quran tells us that there are such
    people who talk of justice,
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    and don't act stubbornly at all.
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    Although it can be the case that
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    their minds may still lack
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    but they ask questions and they
    engage and then again
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    there are people who have a
    clarity in their thoughts
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    but their still persists a dissonance
    in their actions.
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    In other words, he pauses regularly
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    if his decision was right of not.
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    Even those people that have such
    ambiguities are different.
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    But these people are the ones who are
    in such a place
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    because of their stubbornness that if you
    listen to them,
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    then you should know their objective.
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    It is that they will also lead you into
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    just as they disbelieve out of
    their sheer stubbornness.
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    And you think that since they are
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    and hence they cannot lead you into
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    It is obvious that if religious leaders
    and believers are like that
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    then people feel that the leaders
    have no reason to lead them away.
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    The Quran stated that their religion
    is merely ritualistic
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    and they are the primary enemies of
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    They not only themselves are
    its disbelievers they will also
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    lead the Muslims into disbelief if the
    Muslims are led away by them.
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    The Quran stated that their actions
    would lead to such consequences.
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    Wa kaifa takfuroona wa antum
    tutlaa 'alaikum Aayaatul laahi
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    O Muslims [Be forewarned of this].
    In other words, [Be forewarned of them]
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    Be forewarned of what you have been told.
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    [just reflect] how can you disbelieve
    when God’s verses are being recited to you
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    It is understandable that they want
    to lead you away
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    but how can you disbelieve
    when God’s Book has been revealed to you
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    and His own Messenger is among you,
    when God’s verses are being recited to you
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    when the truth is being manifested
    before you
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    Wa kaifa takfuroona wa antum tutlaa
    'alaikum Aayaatul laahi
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    when God’s verses are being
    recited to you
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    wa feekum Rasooluh;
    and His own Messenger is among you.
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    If in spite of this they disregard
    the truth
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    then there is no bigger
    deprivation and misfortune than that.
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    They will now have no excuse to present
    before the Almighty
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    which in other words would mean
    that they have slipped in broad daylight.
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    The result would be that even though
    everything was visible even then
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    they surrendered themselves to the dark.
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    wa feekum Rasooluh; wa mai ya'tasim
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    billaahi faqad hudiya ilaa Siraatim
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    [So hold fast to God]
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    To hold fast to God” means that
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    in good and bad circumstances
    a person adheres to the truth
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    and does not swerve in any way from
    the directives of God
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    and the teachings of His Book.
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    [So hold fast to God] and [remember that]
    he who holds fast to God
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    [then know that] he shall be guided
    to the straight path.
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    So, he who holds fast to God
    shall never be misguided
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    If you hold fast to your own ego
    then you will face the same misfourtune
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    that these people have faced.
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    Yaaa ayyuhal lazeena aamanut
    taqul laaha haqqa tuqaatihee
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    Believers! Fear God as you rightly should
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    This is an explanation of what holding
    fast to God actually means:
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    When it was instructed to
    hold fast to God
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    and when it was said that
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    he shall be guided
    to the straight path
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    who holds fast to God and
    shall never be misguided.
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    So, what does holding fast to
    God actually mean?
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    The Quran makes clear its meaning in the
    next verse:
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    to fear God the way a person rightly
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    The word 'fear' that is usually used...
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    Here, the Quran uses the word
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    In other words, they should be vary of
    the limitations.
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    They should be wakeful with respect
    to Allah.
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    So, generally people feel that it is a
    way of intimidation.
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    Fear is both rational as well as
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    The fear of ghosts, for example, is a fear
    that stems from delusions
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    You come across such a situation when
    you, for instance,
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    visit some house.
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    It is a fear that stems from delusions.
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    Fear is also rational.
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    It is a rational fear when you know
    that the bridge in front of you
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    is broken and there are chances that
    you will fall off the bridge.
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    To be cautious about it...
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    In other words, a child is quite
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    He can catch hold of a snake.
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    But why?
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    Because, rationally speaking, he does
    not understand the concept of a snakebite.
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    By 'fear of God', it does not mean that
    you are frightened by a ghost.
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    It entails that you should be conscious of
    the fact that one day
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    you will stand before Allah.
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    He is your almighty.
    You have to face him.
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    If you go before him as a dishonest,
    fraudulent person,
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    if you are guided by stubborness
    and envy
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    do you know the consequence of such
    an action?
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    Every reasonable person should
    be apprehensive of it.
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    Our discourses are based on the
    same principle in this world as well.
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    This is what the Quran is
    trying to explain.
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    So, this is being stated.
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    The word 'righteousness' that has
    been used,
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    it is obvious that the Quran has said:
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    aamanut taqul laaha haqqa tuqaatihee
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    Believers! Fear God as you rightly should.
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    But Fearing God is required to the extent
    that a person is capable of.
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    The Qur’ān itself has explained this in
    Surah Tagaful.
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    Fataqul la masta ttaatu
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    You should fear god as much as you
    are capable of.
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    In other words, such an attitude
    is not detrimental for the individual.
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    It he is fearful and apprehensive,
    if he is conscious of the transgressions
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    and if he bound by the limits set
    by God,
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    he will do it to the extent that
    a person is capable of.
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    God doesn't ask you shoulder
    more responsibility
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    than you are capable of shouldering.
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    But he will fear god by accepting
    the truth of fearing god.
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    In other words, he will fear god
    with the consciousness that
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    he is dealing with God himself.
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    Firstly, the obligations a person owes to
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    are ones which he owes to no other person.
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    Secondly, the limits and bounds set
    by God
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    and the punishments for violating them
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    have been prescribed for the worldly
    and next-worldly benefit of people;
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    God does not stand to gain from obeying
    these limits; it is they who stand to gain
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    Even when we apply the system of
    recompense and Punishment
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    we do it for the reformation of the
    community and the people,
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    we do it for their benefits.
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    In other words, the system of
    recompense and Punishment
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    and the judicial system does not
    stand to benefit from it.
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    It is meant for human beings
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    And if they transgress the set limits
    then everyone feels
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    that they should be criticised.
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    So, the judicial system of
    recompense and Punishment
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    that has been legislated by Allah
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    is meant for the benefit of human beings
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    Thirdly, God is watching over
    everything; so much so,
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    He even knows what is in the
    hearts of people.
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    Fourthly, no one can save a person
    from God’s punishment
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    and the Almighty can punish a person
    both in this world
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    and in the Hereafter and this
    punishment can be eternal.
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    So, these the things which when an
    individual takes into consideration
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    while fearing god, it is only then that
    he fears god as he rightly should.
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    Unless a person keeps an eye on all these
    aspects of fearing God,
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    he cannot grasp the real meaning of
    fearing God.
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    it is the fear of god, his virtue
    that is stated here.
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    aamanut taqul laaha
    haqqa tuqaatihee
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    Believers! Fear God as
    you rightly should.
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    wa laa tamootunna illaa wa
    antum muslimoon
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    and when you leave this world
    leave it as followers of Islam whatsoever
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    In other words, when the time comes
    to leave this world
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    then you should be a follower
    of Islam
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    until that time.
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    Wa'tasimoo bi Hablil laahi jamee'anw
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    and together cling to the rope of God
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    wa laa tafarraqoo
    and let nothing divide you
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    These are the things that have
    been stated.
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    and we should take note of each
    of the aforementioned aspects.
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    wa laa tamootunna illaa wa
    antum muslimoon
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    It means that the instruction to fear
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    or when you are instructed to be
    obedient towards Allah,
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    it is a commitment for a lifetime.
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    There is no scope for to leave it.
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    Once you have become mature,
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    once god consciousness has become a
    part of your thought process,
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    once it has become part of your intellect,
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    then this struggle will go on until your
    last breath.
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    Therefore, you should be mindful.
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    If you leave this struggle before your
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    then your hardwork will go to waste.
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    So, when the Quran stated that:
    wa laa tamootunna illaa wa antum muslimoon
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    it entails that this matter is not meant
    for a day or two,
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    instead the duration that Allah has
    decided for this test,
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    the entire duration must be spent in
    piety, by fearing Allah.
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    It also makes clear that it is an
    uneven path,
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    we will face ups and downs,
    we will face difficulties,
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    we will face discord, we will face
    satan who will ambush us at night
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    and come across many hitches
    and obstacles from enemies.
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    At times, greed will try to lure people and, at others, fear will try to intimidate them.
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    Those who passed through all these phases while protecting their faith
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    and reached their destination that Allah has ordained for the believers...And what is the nature of that destination?
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    This is what the Quran has interpreted by
    using the word verse
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    cling to the rope of God steadfastly,
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    mentioned the Quran and
    then elaborated it at length.
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    What is the rope of Allah?
    It is the Quran.
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    This refers to the Qur’ān because this is the rope
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    which is stretched from the heavens
    to the earth between God and His servants
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    It is this rope which is the means to reach
    God and it is also our covenant with Him.
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    Consequently, holding firmly the rope of God means nothing but
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    to firmly grasp the Book of God and in no situation leave it.
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    Holding steadfast is qualified by the word verse
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    and then the Quran has used the words
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    the Quran has instructed us against
    any sort of dissension.
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    What does it mean?
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    This means that this requirement is from Muslims
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    in their collective and individual capacity to cling firmly to the rope of Allah.
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    They should not become divided
    by forsaking it.
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    While being united they should
    adhere to the Qur’ān,
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    read it and reflect on its verses.
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    They should gather counsel from it,
    turn to it in all their affairs
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    considering it to be a
    barometer of justice
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    and before its verdicts give no
    importance to any other thing whatsoever.
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    This is what verse would signify.
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    You should firmly grasp this rope
    of Allah as the Quran said:
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    Wa'tasimoo bi Hablil laahi jamee'anw
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    Take it that as it was said earlier that
    you should hold on to Allah firmly,
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    and a person holds on to Allah by fearing
    him and by fully obeying God
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    and once you have the fear of God,
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    then you are inclined towards
    the book of Allah
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    so that I do not transgress
    the limits set by Allah.
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    wazkuroo ni'matal laahi alaikum
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    And the Quran said:
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    and remember the favour
    God has bestowed upon you:
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    What favours?
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    iz kuntum a'daaa'an
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    Here, the companions are the addressee,
    that when you were enemies of one another
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    fa allafa baina quloobikum
    so He united your hearts
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    fa asbah tum bini'matiheee ikhwaananw
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    and with His grace you became brothers.
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    And remember, the Quran said:
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    wa kuntum 'alaa shafaa
    hufratim minan Naari
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    and [remember] when you stood
    at the very brink of an abyss of fire;
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    fa anqazakum minhaa;
    then He saved you from it
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    The companions, who were party to
    the Prophet are told
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    about the grace that Allah has bestowed
    upon them.
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    Anyone who is aware of the history
    of Pre-islamic Arabia knows that
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    Before the revelation of this Book,
    every tribe was an enemy of the other
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    and they would be engaged in
    fighting and warfare.
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    The stories of their warfare
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    are spread across their literature
    and poetry.
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    Their was no unifying thread
    between them on basis of religion also.
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    They were, each one of the them,
    the progeny of Abraham,
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    but only in name.
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    Each tribe had its own deities.
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    Their interests clashed with one
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    in the fields of politics and
    economics as well.
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    With the introduction of the Quran,
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    it knitted them together and
    weaved them into a locket of pearls
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    and foes became friends and well-wishers.
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    Here, they are reminded
    of the blessings bestow upon the arrival
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    of the Prophet and the Quran.
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    They were told that:
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    they stood at the very
    brink of an abyss of fire;
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    Warfare, hatred for each other, disbelief
    and internal grudges
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    which were founded on disbelief,
    and colliding with each others profits
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    had dragged you to a place
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    you stood at the very
    brink of that abyss of fire.
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    And the nature of that fire is such
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    it is quite extraordinary for nations
    in this world as well as in the next world
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    where it won't spare anyone indulging in
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    injustice and transgressions against
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    So, the Quran said:
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    then the Prophet and the Quran
    saved you from it.
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    kazaalika yubaiyinul laahu lakum
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    Thus God explains to you
    His revelations
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    la'allakum tahtadoon
    so that you may be guided.
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    Through these verses we come to know
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    one really important blessing from
    among God's blessings
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    bestowed upon a nation or a group is
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    a bond of love comes into
    being between them
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    The truth is that it doesn't happen
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    Hence, look at the words that the
    Quran uses:
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    iz kuntum a'daaa'an fa allafa
    baina quloobikum
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    Allah put love between you people
    when you were foes.
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    This is a great blessing by Allah.
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    Otherwise, minor issues result in
    the disintegration of nations.
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    The ego of human beings is such
    and it breeds suspicions so easily
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    and they are so prone to profits
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    that it is even difficult for 4
    people to walk together.
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    At every step we are anxious that
    they might fall in a ditch.
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    And internal conflicts, the sort that
    we see amongst Muslims...
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    People are slaves to profits.
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    If two people work together, then we
    do not expect them
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    to live their lives together and
    put faith in each other.
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    Mistrust is in the family and outside,
    it is in the society,
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    in the cultural and the political world.
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    In other words, they have engulfed the
    entire community.
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    If you look at the environment in
    your social milieu,
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    you will find out that moral
    degradation is exemplified
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    in communal discordance.
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    The entire community will become
    discordant and perturbed
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    because from a moral point of view,
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    people are not able to trust each other.
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    This environment of mistrust creates a
    crisis of trust.
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    And then it is very difficult to come out
    of it.
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    Hence, Allah has especially brought it to
    the attention of the Companions that:
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    my greatest blessing towards you was to
    turn your enmity into love
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    You became brothers because of my
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    And the situation of your nation was such
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    it would have resulted in a pit of fire
    in this world as well as the next
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    and Allah pulled you out of it.
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    Then the Quran stated that:
    this is the manner in which
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    Allah explains his verses.
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    And this is how Allah explains to
    you that
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    a slight mistake in this matter
    can result in grave trials.
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    if they want to sustain love
    and unity among them
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    In other words, Allah has
    united you
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    and if you want to sustain it
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    they must hold fast to this Book otherwise
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    they will revert to the age
    of ignorance they used to be in.
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    It was undeniable that they were
    standing at the brink of an abyss of fire
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    If you read their history, it becomes
    absolutely clear.
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    the Almighty caught them
    by their hands and saved them from it.
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    So now if they forsake this Book,
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    there is a strong chance that they
    will fall in this abyss
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    and then will not be able to
    save themselves from its flames.
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    This directive that was applicable to the
    muslim collectivity at that point of time
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    it is applicable in the same manner even
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    The discord and disagreement,
    the ugliness
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    which has become part of our
    culture, politics, economics,
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    one of the major reasons behind that
    is that
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    Muslims have abandoned the book
    of Allah.
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    The instructions and guidance that
    was there in the Quran,
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    the manner in which our moral being
    was made the real objective of our lives,
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    this is the most foundational and
    axial point of the Quran
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    that you have to purify your
    moral being,
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    you have to be of service to others,
    your wealth is not your own,
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    others have a right to it as well.
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    You have to spend in the way of your lord
    and it is obvious that when
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    someone is willing to spend their wealth
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    then how is it possible that he commits
    injustice and transgressions
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    and how is it possible for him
    to steal from others.
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    This is something which purifies human
    beings from a moral point of view.
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    This was the real message of the Quran.
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    Even today if you read the quran,
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    you will find that the Quran does not
    consist of things like
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    which are very common in our
    culture such as:
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    stories and ?
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    He invites human beings to the simple
    message that
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    they should try to verify the true
    essence of virtue.
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    That is the real faith in god.
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    It is a feeling of being present
    before him.
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    You should live with the sentiment
    that you will be accountable to god.
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    and the basis for this accountability
    is the purification of your moral being.
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    Moral being should be as pure as possible.
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    The Quran calls it verse
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    You should act in such a way that
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    it guides you, your culture, your
    environment to the straight path,
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    When things become part of a jargon
    then people stop focusing on its meaning.
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    It is a very beautiful interpretation.
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    In other words, there are certain
    actions which when commited
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    result in internal friction within
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    These actions stem discord at your home,
    in your community,
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    And then there is a sort of action
    which leads to goodness and success everywhere.
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    What is that action.
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    It is obvious that it is the same action
    where an individual has a cognition
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    of his moral being and confirms it.
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    He should recognise himself and
    the essence of his dignity.
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    I am a moral being and I will take
    moral purification to that level
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    where it is supposed to be and
    then I will achieve eminence.
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    If I fail to do that then there is no
    difference between myself and an animal.
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    So, this is the teaching of the Quran.
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    If you hold steadfast to the
    directives of the Qur’ān
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    and if you make it the center and
    axis of all things
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    which I always translate as the
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    The main reason for the decline of
    the muslim community is that
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    it neither made quran the center and
    axis of its knowledge
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    nor did it make the Quran the center and
    axis of its actions.
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    In terms of knowledge, if you visit
    the religious schools,
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    if you look at religious edition, philosophy
    or debates in jurisprudence
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    making quran the axis of your religion
    and then trying to comprehend the Quran
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    as the Quran wants us to do has escaped
    our knowledge.
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    Due to this reason we are left with
    the stories of fazeil, fables
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    the debates on ? and those things
    that have no relevance to our lives
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    The most important reality of our life
    is that which the Quran states as
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    the act of leading one's life with the
    sentiment of accountability before god
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    One day I will have to stand in the
    court of my lord
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    and I cannot take any chances.
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    I cannot deceive anyone, I cannot
    do adulteration,
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    I cannot be dishonest, I cannot
    be unjust towards others.
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    You will feel this sentiment only when
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    you will lead your life with the
    consciousness that
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    you are accountable to your lord.
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    And then there is the issue of making
    aspects of religion such as:
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    rituals, the organisation of the society,
    and reminder of things that are symbolic,
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    aspects that are, in fact, supplementary,
    but replace the real essence of religion.
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    The is the aspect that the Quran is
    explaining here.
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    Even today, if Quran becomes
    a central and axial part of our lives
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    then what will the consequences?
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    It will result you acquiring such a
    scale in religious matters
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    that you will be able to examine
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    If you overcome your grudges then
    you will be able to decide
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    between good and bad in a jiffy.
    You will find a way out of
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    those metaphysical debates that
    people found very interesting
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    in our tradition and such exceptional
    people surrendered themselves
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    to these debates.
    Then your entire focus...
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    It is obvious that when it becomes
    clear what God is,
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    what his love entails, his attributes
    and the correct method
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    to be accountable in the court of Allah.
    When these issues become clear
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    then you abandon the debates of philosophy
    and Kalam
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    and stand on the correct path, then only
    your entire focus will be on
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    natural sciences and development
    of your own life.
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    It will result in you focusing on
    scientific disciplines
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    and you will abandon superstitions.
    Quran germinates both these things
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    within you when you focus on the
    Quran. Here it is stated that:
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    hold steadfast to the rope of Allah,
    if you hold firmly the rope of Allah,
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    then it will have certain consequences
    and those consequences are the following:
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    kazaalika yubaiyinul laahu lakum
    aayaatihee la'allakum tahtadoon
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    Thus God explains to you His
    revelations so that you may be guided.
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    that you may be on the right path.
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    Waltakum minkum ummatuny yad'oona
    ilal khairi wa ya'muroona
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    bil ma'roofi wa yanhawna 'anil munkar;
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    Now muslims have become a community.
    A system has been established by them.
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    They have established their government
    in Medina even though it is of a tribal nature.
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    The community has become
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    There is a stage when people profess
    faith individually,
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    they don't even own a piece of land,
    they are spread throughout the world.
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    So, an organisation is not possible
    in such a scenario.
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    But when a society comes into being,
    when Muslims become a group
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    then the Quran tells them that
    they are in a position to do so.
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    First, the Quran gave an introduction.
    Fear Allah,
AL BAYAN - Surah AL IMRAN - Part 14 - Verses 100 - 104 - Javed Ahmed Ghamidi

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