“Surah Al-Bayyinah" - Ch. 98
1. In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
2. Those who disbelieved among the People of the Book and the polytheists were not to be parted (from misbelieve) until there came to them clear evidence -
3. A messenger from Allah, reciting pure pages;
4. Containing correct and straight laws from Allah.
5. And those who were given the Book did not disagree but after the clear proof came to them,
6. And they were not commanded except to worship Allah, being sincere to Him in religion, inclining to truth, and to establish prayer and to give Zakah. And that is the correct religion.
7. Indeed, they who disbelieved among the People of the Book and the polytheists will be in the fire of Hell, abiding eternally therein. Those are the worst of creatures.
8. Indeed, those who have faith and do righteous deeds,- they are the best of creatures.
9. Their reward with Allah will be gardens of perpetual residence beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever, Allah being pleased with them and they with Him. That is for whoever fears his Lord.
Those who reject the truth find themselves far from the divine messages to such an extent that these messages become inaccessible to them, despite the clear and precise proof that supports them (i.e. those divine messages). This is because those who reject this light of truth are stubborn. Why do they continue to walk further into this path that leads them to their misfortune, after that this clear and precise proof is presented to them? This religion which directs people in the right way is simple: worship and serve Allah, the True God, the Truthful, with a pure and sincere heart; To approach Him by means of prayer, such prayers that are performed with sincerity, and put yourselves at the service of all people with a spirit of charity and duty, and with a feeling of love for all creatures of Allah.
Allah loves us all without distinction. As a result, we cannot, and indeed cannot, have a different feeling for those who are like us. To do something contrary to this is synonymous with denying the Grace of Allah. But faith and a virtuous life lead us directly to our goal, that is, to acquire magnificent and eternal gardens and that great pleasure which the soul will enjoy in the presence of his Lord, a divinely mutual feeling (i.e. the soul being pleased with Allah and Allah being pleased with him also).
We will understand this great pleasure and reciprocal satisfaction better with this example:-
A mother loves her child with tender love and gives him/ her everything he/ she needs, in order to make him/ her become someone worthy of living in human society. The mother gives him wise advice and puts at his disposal all the necessary means so that he receives a complete development. This child in return appreciates all this and makes use of and put into practice all the kindness and advices of his mother.
Let’s say one day when this child goes to school, his mom decides to prepare for him his favourite cake. She prepares the cake with love; When the child comes home from school, he breathes in the aroma (good smell) of this cake when he enters the house, and in this way his love for his mother grows. When his mother hands him the cake, he is very happy; The satisfaction of the mother and his own satisfaction becomes so extraordinary when he tastes the cake in the presence of his mother.
This satisfaction was greater for the mother when she was preparing the cake (thinking of her child), and seeing the joy, pleasure and satisfaction of her child when he leaves school and comes back home and feels the aroma of the cake which she prepared for him. As a result, this satisfaction and pleasure is more for the mother and this satisfaction and this pleasure also touches the child and therefore it continues as a circuit between them. In this way, this act (i.e. of love and pleasure) illuminates the soul.
Let us then try to reach this state of mind through faith (Imaan), through good feelings, through an appreciation of the goodness of Allah and through good deeds.
Verses 2 & 3: Lam yakunil laziina kafaruu min Ahlil Kitaabi wal Mushrikiina munfakkiina hattaa ta’tiya humul Bayyinah. Rasuulum minallaahi yatluu suhufam mutahharah; Those who disbelieved among the People of the Book and the polytheists were not to be parted (from misbelieve) until there came to them clear evidence - A messenger from Allah, reciting pure pages;
(a) When the people of the book are mentioned here, this refers to the Jews and Christians who had received the scriptures in the same line of prophecy as our beloved Holy Prophet (pbuh). Their scripture was intended to prepare them to accept the arrival of this greatest prophet, i.e., Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh). For in the Holy Scriptures of the Jews, Allah has promised them that He (Allah) will send a Prophet like Moses to their brothers (for they were like the cousins and brothers of the Arabs - the biological and also spiritual descendants of Hazrat Ismail (as)). As in the Bible it is mentioned: “(I, your Lord) I will raise up for them a prophet like you (Moses) from among their brethren, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he will tell them all that I have commanded.” (Deuteronomy 18: 18). And Christ (Hazrat Isa (as)) had predicted and promised the coming of a Comforter, and he was on the verge of quoting his name (John 14: 26, 15: 26, 15: 7).
The people of the book have abandoned the true religion that has been established and they have taken different paths and they have refused to take the right path, the true path. And they declared to be convinced of the veracity of the promised prophet when the prophet shall make his appearance. But when the promised prophet came to them in the person of the Holy Prophet (pbuh), they rejected him because in reality they did not seek the truth but they wanted to follow their own whims and desires.
(b) In the past, the polytheists (i.e., idolaters), i.e. those who associate false deities with Allah, and the pagans had not accepted the scriptures. And even when a clear and precise proof came to them, they had a duty to understand it and to accept it. But instead, when the Holy Prophet (pbuh) came to them with the divine message, they rejected it as well as his message (i.e., the message of God). This shows clearly that in reality they were not in search of the truth, but they wanted to follow their own whims and desires.
(c) The clear and precise evidence, i.e., the Holy Prophet (pbuh), his life, his personality and his teachings, was a clear proof for all mankind. This is what has proved his greatness as a human and a perfect prophet and also the perfect role model that the universe has ever known; In all aspects, Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) was a role model.
Verse 4: Fiihaa kutubun qayyimaah; Containing correct and straight laws from Allah.
“Qayyim” encompasses the notions of 'right’ in contrast with perverse; 'Established’, in contrast with irregular; ’Defined and permanent’, in contrast with temporary or casual. It is in this recited page from Allah that all the notions of righteousness were encompassed, and it was in this book that the law of righteousness was written. Allah (SWT) has made life so easy for us, to teach us how to live our lives properly, and how we shall then become people who will always remain under the divine command, and our lives shall always be simple, right and filled with taqwa (righteousness and fear of Allah) and we shall also seek to cultivate the love of Allah in our hearts.
Verse 5: Wa maa tafarra qallaziina ’uutul kitaaba ’illaa mim ba’di maa jaaa’at humul Bayyinah; And those who were given the Book did not disagree but after the clear proof came to them;
The responsibility of the people of the book is greater than for the Pagans because the people of the book received warnings and had the opportunity to prepare themselves through the revelations they received. Despite all this, when the clear and precise proof (and criterion) reached them through Islam, they opposed it. And if this religion was not Islam, then what, according to you, is the religion that has no ambiguity (no detours, no complications), no rites, no ceremonies?
These three eternal principles, which I shall quote, will summarize everything, as is explained in the following verse.
Verse 6: Wa maaa ’umirtu ’illaa li-ya’budullaaha mukhlisiina lahud Diin : hunafaaa’a wa yuqiimus-salaata wa yu’tuz Zakaata wa zaalika Diinul Qayyimah; And they were not commanded except to worship Allah, being sincere to Him in religion, inclining to truth, and to establish prayer and to give Zakah. And that is the correct religion.
These three eternal principles of religions are:
(1) A sincere devotion to Allah, the Supreme Being.
(2) Prayer and praise/ glorification (of God) that bring man closer to Allah and the spiritual world; and
(3) The service we render to the creatures of Allah through charity acts and practices.
Verse 7: Innallaziina kafaruu min Ahlil kitaabi wal Mushrikiina fii naari Jahannama khaalidiina fiihaa. Ulaaa’ika hum shar-rul bariyyah; Indeed, they who disbelieved among the People of the Book and the polytheists will be in the fire of Hell, abiding eternally therein. Those are the worst of creatures.
The greatest madness that a creature, endowed with intelligence can do, especially when Allah has given him the ability to differentiate between good and evil is that he rejects truth and does not do justice to others. This madness will necessarily attract/ lead him to his own punishment. And this punishment will affect all infidels and evildoers, even if they say they are the children of Hazrat Ibrahim (as), or they claim to have redeemed themselves through Christ, or live their lives as the Pagans. In the eyes of Allah, honour does not depend on race or belief, but it depends entirely on good conduct filled with wisdom and virtues, guided by sincerity. Allah tells us in the Quran: “Verily, in the sight of Allah, the most virtuous among you are those who have the greatest honour.”
Verse 8: Innallaziina aamanuu wa amilus saalihaati ’ulaaa-’ika hum khayrul bariyyah; Indeed, those who have faith and do righteous deeds,- they are the best of creatures.
Let us compare this verse with the preceding one. He who lives his life faithfully and does good deeds will justify the period of life that Allah has given him on earth to prepare for the other world. He attains to the fulfilment of all his highest/ greatest wishes, the most elevated, and he receives a better life after death.
Verse 9: Jazaaa’uhum inda Rabbihim Jannaatu adnin tajrii min tahtihal anhaaru khaalidiina fiihaaa ’abbadaa : raziyal-laahu ’anhum wa razuu ’anh : zaalika liman khazhiya Rabbah; Their reward with Allah will be gardens of perpetual residence beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever, Allah being pleased with them and they with Him. That is for whoever fears his Lord.
Receiving the pleasure of Allah is a greater happiness. It is a way/ form to attain salvation. This pleasure is reciprocal (i.e. the pleasure is expressed two ways: from Allah to man and vice-versa). Anyone who can identify with the universal will of Allah can claim to be saved/ safe.
Fear combined with great love and deep respect for Allah is the true fear that we must have in us in order not to go against the Divine Law and the Holy Will of Allah. Such fear is dictated by a feeling of love for Allah; It is this fear that arises from the depths of ourselves so that we demonstrate this love and it makes us realize more and more that Allah is a God who is attentive to and/ or caring for all His creatures.
May Allah help us all to fully understand this commentary on Surah Al-Bayyinah. For man, it is certainly not easy for him to reach Allah. A believer who has true love for Allah in his heart will really do everything for the purpose of attaining his goal, i.e., Allah, and Allah also shall do everything in His power to become close to this believer, and will help him in every way so that his/ her desires are fulfilled, be it on this earth and in the hereafter. Ameen.
---Friday Sermon of 04 August 2017(11 Dhul Qaddah 1438 AH) delivered by Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Saheb (atba) of Mauritius.