This ayah is revealed at a time when Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is surrounded by the Qaum ud Dhalimoon. In it is Allah’s promise of justice that will be meted out to the Dhalimoon “suddenly and openly”. A promise by which the weak and the opressed believers live and know that Dhulm cannot surpass the justice of Allah now or ever.
My take: When we think of Dhulm we think in a global context of nations and organizations commiting oppression. However the Dhulm as defined here is on a very personal level. When we continuously tolerate small injustices in and around us, we desensitize ourselves from the more Kabeer (huge) injustices, and then we are shocked when Allah sends His punishment “suddenly and openly”. We then try to rationalize it as being a ” A freak of nature”.
This Ayah is a stern warning to the Dhalimoon (inadequately translated as “those who do wrong”)
We should never be without the fear of Allah. As we look around there is no constancy in life and environment, it can change any moment. The only constant is Allah SWT. Even sleep cannot be taken for granted. We may never awaken, after sleep, which is the reason Prophet Muhammad, would make the dua on awakening. (Farhat Hashmi’s tafseer)
The instructions from Allah to “rush to do good” i.e. do not put off performing a good deed are for a reason as the opportunity may not come again.
(picture)The rights of friendship being given at the retreat by two sisters:
The outcome of the Dhalim (one who commits dhulm/opression) knowingly or out of heedlessness is glaringly apparent in this brief ayah:
6:47 Say: “Think ye, if the punishment of Allah comes to you, whether suddenly or openly, will any be destroyed except those who do wrong?
Qul araaytakum in atakum AAathabu Allahi baghtatan aw jahratan hal yuhlaku illa alqawmu alththalimoona
قُلْ أَرَأَيْتَكُمْ إِنْ أَتَاكُمْ عَذَابُ اللّهِ بَغْتَةً أَوْ جَهْرَةً هَلْ يُهْلَكُ إِلاَّ الْقَوْمُ الظَّالِمُونَ (6:47)
DEFINATION OF DHULM:
What is dhulm and what does it do to the human being?
Dhulm is the death of the ‘human’ in the human being, the human is gone and being is left.
Dhulm is to deprive someone of their rights
1. The Rights of a person over his goods and things or rights as a human being (human rights)
2. The Rights of Allah, rushing through salaat, in adequate or mindless wudu, distracted ibadat (worship) In all of these actions we are not fulfilling the rights of Allah on us by giving priority to the created over the Creator.
3. The rights of human relations such as the rights of the spouse, the child, parents, the neighbors, the orphan etc (Huqooq al Ebad).
4. To usurp rights by harming people directly or indirectly such as preparing ways and means and tools and objects to destroy human beings.
What is Qaum ud Dhalimoon? It is a Nation of Dhalimeen or a nation of people who do dhulm),
Allah reminds us that If He (SWT) is allowing Dhulm to happen it is merely to see if human beings will give up this behavior (Dhulm) and return to Allah. He is giving us a long leash, a second and third chance and a glimpse of his infinite rahma and patience with His (SWT) disobedient Abds.
Will we obey?
My exercise each day before istighfaar must be : Look into yourself……..and ask yourself every day did I usurp any rights today? Painful question but necessary.