The Parable of Those Who Revert to Disbelief After Faith and Good Deeds
Ayah 71 was revealed when some idolaters said to some Muslims, “Follow us and abandon the religion of Muhammad.” In the ayah, Allah subahanahu wa ta’ala is teaching the response to such invitations. He says,
In the ayah, the Muslims are being told to say, “Do you want us to worship a thing or a being who if we worship cannot bring us any benefit, and if do not worship such a thing or a being it cannot harm us?” Only Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala can benefit or harm us [depending on how we take our religion]. Other beings can neither benefit nor harm us.
If we were to leave Tawheed and revert to shirk then we would be turning back after Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala guided us. This is the way of the one who has been led astray by the Shayateen [devils] and whom the devils have caused to wander in confusion throughout the land.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala explains by the help of an example that if you revert to disbelief after you believed you are like a man who went with some people on a road, but he lost his way and the devils led him to wander in confusion over the land. Meanwhile, his companions on the road were calling him back saying, ‘Come back to us, for we are on the path.’ But, he refused to go back to them. This is the example of he who follows the devil after recognizing Muhammad [salAllahu `alayhi wa sallam], and Muhammad is the person who is calling the people to the path, and the path is Islam. Such a person doesn’t use his mind and he is perplexed. He is going this way and that way while his friends are calling him to the right path. Such is the state of a person who leaves the path of Allah.
The word is’tahwathu [اسْتَهْوَتْهُ] is from the root letters ha-wau-ya which means “desire or being fond of”. Literally, it means to fall from a height. When something falls from a high point one doesn’t know where it will fall. Is’tahwa is an expression for someone who has been made to lose his way. This description is of a person who is mentally insane. In the Arab culture, whenever someone showed psychological problems he was known to be possessed by the devils [this is not always the case but this is what the Mushrikeen believed].
A misguided person is baffled and does not know where to go. He follows the devils’ call thinking that is on the path of guidance, but by the morning he will find himself destroyed and perhaps they will eat him. The devils will then let him wander in a wasteland where he will die of thirst. This is the example of those who follow the false gods that are being worshiped instead of Allah, the Most Honored.
The guidance of Allah given through the Messenger salAllahu `alayhi wa sallam is the only guidance and whatever goes against it is misguidance. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says in Surah az-Zumar Ayah 37, “And whomsoever Allah guides, for him there will be none to misguide him.”
We were commanded to worship Allah in sincerity to Him alone, without partners and we were commanded to perform the prayer and to fear Allah in all circumstances and to Him will be gathered.
It is Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala Who has created the heavens and earth for a purpose and in justice. He is their Originator and Owner Who governs their affairs and the affairs of their inhabitants. And when He says, “Be” that Day which has been promised will come. Everything that is dead will come alive. And Allah’s Court will be established for judgment and compensation. It will definitely take place because Allah’s statement is Haq [without doubt]. The dominion belongs only to Him.
The Messenger of Allah salAllahu `alayhi wa sallam said,
إِنَّ إِسْرَافِيلَ قَدِ الْتَقَمَ الصُّورَ، وَحَنَى جَبْهَتَهُ يَنْتَظِرُ مَتَى يُؤْمَر فَيَنْفُخ
“Israfeel has held the Sur [trumpet] in his mouth and lowered his forehead, awaiting the command to blow in it.” [Saheeh Muslim]
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is Hakeem, Wise. He knows the wisdom behind holding a Day of Resurrection. He is Khabeer, Well-Acquainted that is He is fully aware of all that we have done.
– We have been prohibited from compromising or giving up the Deen and especially Tawheed [worshiping Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala alone]. When people are overcome by problems they turn to those other than Allah. People go to the graves of dead saints and sacrifice a goat in their name. This is shirk and compromising on Tawheed.
– When a person believes Allah is Ar-Razzaq, He is the Only Sustainer and then turns to others for help or sustenance is acting like a majnoon [an insane person].
DOWNLOAD PDF: Al Anaam Ayaat 71 – 73