ISTIQAMAH AND FACING THE OPPRESSOR: Surah Hud 11: 111-112

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وَإِنَّ كُلاًّ لَّمَّا لَيُوَفِّيَنَّہُم رَبُّكَ أَعمَـلَهُم إِنَّهُ  بِمَا يَعمَلُونَ خَبِيرٌ (١١١) فَٱستَقِم كَمَآ أُمِرتَ وَمَن تَابَ مَعَكَ وَلَا تَطغَواْ إِنَّهُ  بِمَا تَعمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ (١١٢)
And, of a surety, to all will your Lord pay back (in full the recompense) of their deeds: for He knoweth well all that they do. (111) Therefore stand firm (in the straight path) as thou art commanded― thou and those who with thee turn (unto Allah); and transgress not (from the Path): for He seeth well all that ye do. (112)

SUMMARY OF WHAT I UNDERSTAND FROM THE TAFSEER (translated from taleem ul Quran by Dr. Farhat Hashmi
When Allah Subhanawataala places a stress one time on a commandment, it is enough for us, but in ayah number 111, Allah Subhanawataala uses seven taqeeds, (stressing the point seven fold) thus drawing our attention to the extreme high level of the importance of the commandment that is coming up.  When it comes we realize that it is the pivot of our life here in this Dunya and our reward and final home in the Hereafter.

The command is istiqamaah!

The translation does not really do justice to the wealth of meaning of Istiqamaah. The Quran provides tafseer of its own words and injuctions and that is what is used in this tafseer.

What is Rasool Allah pbuh being commanded to have istiqamaah in?

The tafseer explains: it is steadfastness in an entire lifestyle, in face of adversity, both inside and outside.

This ayah is very strong and has no flexibility or vagueness, even though it came at a time when Rasool Allah and the few Muslims of Mecca were in the throes of extreme oppression and harassment by the Quraish.

The responsibility that was placed on the shoulders of Rasool Allah pbuh was the reason he said that “Surah Hud aged me well beyond my years”.

What does Istiqamah mean?
To stand straight and sure-footed, with steadfastness in what you have been commanded to do.
Here the dilution or even the hint of dilution or compromise is removed from the life a Muslim has to lead.

Allah Subhanawataala commands Rasool Allah pbuh here:
Do not do things other than the way you have been instructed, this includes finding tawheed in the many varieties of options available, in integrity, ikhlaas (sincerity) aqaid (beliefs) accuracy of ibadaat. Do them exactly as has been instructed.

The lack of flexibility is in the commandments of the obligations and in behavior.

Thus the command of the obligations e.g. salah cannot be changed in time, format or frequency, and it is to be presented to Allah with the behavior of ikhlaas (sincerity) and focus. i.e. one is not allowed to modify it to fit the ever-changing scene of ones own inclinations and desires

Who are these commandments for?

These commandments are not only for our Rasool pbuh but also every person who has turned to Allah and wishes to be on His path (in repentance).

WHO IS A DHALIM (OPRESSOR) AND HOW SHOULD WE BEHAVE TOWARDS HIM OR HER?
Allah SWT strictly prohibits even” inclining” towards the Dhalim (oppressor): previously defined in the Quran as someone or something that takes away the right of someone, or is excessive in gathering things for himself or herself and usurps other peoples rights over and beyond what are his or hers) as it dissolves istiqamah.

End tafseer summary

MY TAKE:

In my humble opinion perhaps all those people who dilute Allah’s commandments with their own interpretations or create new gods and prophets and give them the same status as Allah Subhanawataala and Prophet Muhammad pbuh most likely fall under the category of dhalims (opressors)

Allah knows best.

Why are they dhalims? Because they are taking away the rights of people.  Every human being has been endowed with fitra (an inner core of purity) and every child of Adam forever to come has taken the covenant with Allah accepting Him as his or her Lord. (Quran)

Thus people who may be innocent or ignorant and the dhalim (oppressor) knowingly entices them by making the process sweet and enticing, or by the use of force is not only not to be supported, but we are instructed not to even show an “inclination”

The Quraish had also sweetened the pot for RasoolAllah pbuh by asking him to compromise. They asked him that if he would just touch their gods with his hand fleetingly and then they (the Quraish) would become agreeable to his (pbuh) God. Rasool Allah pbuh refused (surah Al Kafiroon)

Many times one can fall into this enticement at the interfaith meetings where one can think “what harm can come from listening to someone proclaim Jesus Christ as your Lord and God, I am not that weak” and many times we even take our children who are at an impressionable age to go with us to listen to these talks and we do so with the excuse that we are being flexible and “tolerant”.

Allah SWT states that istiqamah which is an order from Him, dissolves in the face of even “inclining” towards a Dhalim.

Allah Subhanawataala states in this ayah and it is a very hard ayah,  that one cannot remain Mustaqim if we incline ourselves towards the Dhalim. and he also reminds us that we will be exactly rewarded for each of our actions, their content, intent and their level of sincerity, because he is Just and All Knowing.

Other kinds of Dhalim are those who modify Islam, (defined as the submission to Allah Subhanawataala to attain Peace) to fit their own criteria for the sake of personal ease, inclinations or desires, and or invent other Messengers of God after Prophet Muhammad pbuh).

Such people are clearly disobeying the words of Allah who states many times in the Quran:  “Obey me and the Rasool” and thus they disobey Allah by not obeying the Rasool (PBUH) who said in his last khutbah “No other prophet will come after me”………………

In the final analysis Allah Subhanawataala reminds us that in happiness and in health, in adversity and in calamity each one of us is responsible for our own actions and will be accountable and rewarded for each one of them accordingly.

Thus when I incline toward a Dhalim (God forbid) what has Allah Subhanawataala promised me (God forbid that this may happen) He has promised that I will be touched by the Fire of Jahannum, and there are no other protectors other than Allah and no one other than Him can help me.

Istiqamah has been ordered not only for our Rasool (pbuh) but also for all of those who have turned or wish to turn to the path of Allah Subhanawataala (in repentance).

One thought on “ISTIQAMAH AND FACING THE OPPRESSOR: Surah Hud 11: 111-112

  1. Pingback: Perihal Doa « Nughol’s say

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