Surah Saba ayahs 4-5
This is a Meccan Surah. Thus the scene is the concerted and full opposition of the Quraish against Prophet Muhammad pbuh and his meager followers. The Quraish have channelized their wealth (money & endowments for their cause) their influence (their status and business relationships), their methods of reaching out to other people (media) and downright terrorization (physical, mental & emotional torture) of the Muslim Ummah and our Rasool pbuh.
Into this scenario comes this revelation. It is the words of Allah that hold a world of meaning, a long view of life and builds the strength of the Muslims against what appears to be the burgeoning aggression of the Islamophobes very much like the situation in the west today.
Women who are the most fragile section of society and most vulnerable were the first to be attacked not only physically but also with malicious gossip, and vindictive remarks and even violent acts of denying them the right to dress and behave modestly. (This was similar to what is happening in the western world with the banning of modest clothes, hijab and public humiliation and monetary fines on muslim women who try to follow their Deen) Such was the condition in those times and such is the condition of these times.
These two ayahs completely change the inner milieu of the Momin, giving him or her inner strength and Istiqamah in the face of what appears to be the rising tide against Islam and Muslims. It gives them assurance that what seems to be so overpowering now will crumble on the Day of Judgment and the winners will be those who are described in Ayah 4 and the losers will be those described in ayah 5.
These descriptions in the two ayahs of the end results of the actions of people and what they entail are enough to stiffen the backbone of the Muslims against the islamophobes and frighten to the core those who are spreading the vicious hate against Islam and Muslims.
لِّيَجْزِيَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ ۚ أُولَـٰئِكَ لَهُم مَّغْفِرَةٌ وَرِزْقٌ كَرِيمٌ ﴿٤﴾
[34:4] Sahih International
That He may reward those who believe and do righteous deeds. Those will have forgiveness and noble provision.
SUMMARY OF THE TAFSEER BY DR FARHAT HASHMI (translated from urdu)
Righteous deeds or Amaal e Sulehaat have two essential components:
1. Ikhlas lillah or sincerity to Allah in the act
2. Itteba’a e Rasool or obedience to the Sunnah of the Rasool.
Thus the Muslims are instructed to purify their actions instill them with sincerity and re-orient their Niyyah or intention towards Allah and obey the Rasool pbuh in following his Sunnah.
Purification of intent, action and resulting behavior requires doing the act of obedience to Allah and his Rasool pbuh with complete sincerity and in the format as He Subhanawataala has instructed in His guidebook and through His mortal teacher on earth the Rasool pbuh. Prophet Muhammad pbuh was a “living Quran” or a live translation of what and how Allah Subhanawataala wants us to purify our intention and actions.
Why does He want us to do that?
Allah Subhanawataala is preparing the best of the people (not Islamophobes) for a beautiful end point, which is eternal and complete in its perfection, beauty and ease. Thus prior to that the righteous will have to struggle hard to do righteous deeds (Amal e Saleh).
At this point it is important to evaluate the authenticity of ones acts of obedience to Allah and His Rasool (pbuh). The example of beautiful acts that have no sincerity or authenticity of Islam is like giving a gift of a lovely bottle of perfume but filled with water instead of perfume.
If despite the efforts of the Momin, any taint is left behind He Subhanawataala promises to erase it with His forgiveness and reward them with His “provision” which is an all encompassing term for the fruits and blessings that can only be imagined and only found in the beauty of Jannah.
Such people who do Amal e Saleh as defined above their reward is given by Allah. He washes away the misdeeds and hides or covers our sins and deficits. in order to allow us to enter Jannah.(Inshallah)
Defination of Success: Nahlul matloob ZAWAAL UL Makrooh. Get what is best and desired and discard and get release of what is undesirable. Allah has made the Day of of judgment for this.
وَالَّذِينَ سَعَوْا فِي آيَاتِنَا مُعَاجِزِينَ أُولَـٰئِكَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ مِّن رِّجْزٍ أَلِيمٌ ﴿٥﴾
34:5] Sahih International
But those who strive against Our verses [seeking] to cause failure – for them will be a painful punishment of foul nature.
In this brief and succinct ayah the message of Allah Subhanawataala to the Islamophobes and those terrorizing the muslims of the times of the Quraish and now is clear and frightening
Allah Subhanawataala defines those who are working hard with tremendous continuous effort against the message of the Quran as well as the message that Allah sent in other books. These people (islamophobes) are actively harnessing all their resources including their God given intellect, their wealth, their influence, their contacts, their innovative methods of reaching people (internet?) day in and day out with a focused hate towards the words of Allah.
All the concerted effort of these people is to demean and denigrate the Deen of Allah and are propelled by an intense desire fuelled by hate, to defeat Allah.
COMPARISON & CONTRAST
On one hand there are those who are working hard to attain success as ordained by Allah and earn the pleasure of Allah, purifying their deeds and actions and their reward is described in Ayah 4 of this surah beautifully described with a wealth of meaning wrapped in it.
While those who are described in this ayah 5 are those who are struggling to defeat Allah and here the example of Pharaoh is most apt. He in his arrogance and his fear of loss of status, wealth and power collected 70,000 magicians to disprove Allah and discredit Musa AS and to have a public demonstration to face off with Allah.
The last part of this ayah is cause for pause because of the intensity and depth of the punishment that Allah Subhanawataala guarantees for them (the islamophobes).
He Subhanawataala describes it as the most painful, torturous soul searing punishment.
Allah Subhanawataala promises this seriously hurting punishment to these people. Why? because their actions are not only hurting themselves but all those who want to bring harmony, peace and goodwill to mankind.
By opposing the laws of Allah these Islamophobes fill the earth with dissent, anger, hatred and violence, which results from the fitna they work hard to create. There untiring work is illustrated in their speech in their writings, their ads, there blackmail and their maligning the reputation of good Muslims and seeking out disadvantaged Muslims and torturing them emotionally and physically with their continuous and unremitting spate of disrespectful torrents of hate actions directed towards the physically weak Muslims.
It is thus that their punishment is also severe.
These two ayahs illustrate the hard work and continuous struggle for the good and the bad and its promised results on the Day of Judgment………….Which one are we struggling for?