What It Means to Have the Book?
After Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala described the Qur’an stating that this is the straight He praises the Torah and its Messenger. He says,
We read previously that the commandments mentioned in Ayaat 151 – 153 are the same that were given to Musa `alayhi salaam. The Children of Israel had just come out of slavery of Pharoah [as we read in Surah al-Baqarah Ayaat 49 – 53]. Then Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala called Prophet Musa for an appointment of forty nights at Mount Sinai. Here, He provided him with the Ten Commandments that were essential for realizing their purpose and getting a meaningful direction in life. Later on, Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala sent down the Scripture to provide detailed explanation of all religious matters. It was complete and comprehensive.
This is denoted by the word tamama [تَمَامًا] which is derived from the word tamaam meaning entire. Here, in the Ayah the word denotes the meaning of “complete”.
And why was Prophet Musa favored with this? Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala says, “…making complete [Our favor] upon the one who did good…” As a reward for Musa `alayhi salaam’s doing good and obeying Allah’s commands and orders. This teaches us an important lesson that when one accepts what he has been given by Allah [no matter how much he dislikes it], Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala rewards him with more and better. We learn this from the story of Prophet Ibraheem `alayhi salaam too, it was said, “And, when Ibraheem was tried by his Lord with commands and he fulfilled them. [Allah] said, ‘Indeed, I will make you a leader for the people.’” [al-Baqarah:124]
In Surah Ar-Rahman Ayah 60, it was said, هَلْ جَزَآءُ الإِحْسَـنِ إِلاَّ الإِحْسَـنُ “Is there any reward for good other than what is best?”
The Ten Commandments were the basic principles of the religion, when he accepted them he was given more and it completed the favor of Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala.
Here we learn four characteristics of the Torah: (1) tamama it is complete (2) tafseelan explained everything that required an explanation (in the religion) (3) hudan guidance and (4) rahmatan mercy.
Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala ends the Ayah by saying, “…that perhaps in [the matter of] the meeting with their Lord they wouldbelieve.”
Ayah 155 and 156
Then Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala changes the subject from the Torah to the Qur’an. He says,
The word Mubarak has been used for the Qur’an this denotes that it has many blessings. It gathers everything in it. It has details, mercy, guidance and abundant benefits. All characteristics in one.
The Ayah calls to following the Qur’an. Allah encourages His servants to follow His Book (the Qur’an) and orders them to understand it, adhere to it and call to it. He also describes it as being blessed, for those who follow and implement it in this life and the Hereafter, because it is the Firm Rope of Allah.
A person who recites and understands the meaning of the Qur’an is happier than a person who doesn’t recite it.
Then Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala gives the reason for sending the Qur’an. The People of the Book had their Books which were written in their language. They would recite it among themselves and not share the knowledge with others that is the Arabs. The Arabs didn’t know Hebrew. Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala sent a Book towards the Arabs that was in “their” language [Arabic] so that on the Day of Judgment they don’t come up with the excuse, “We were not given a Book,” or that “The Book was not in our tongue,” or that “We were unaware of the message” or even “We didn’t know there is a Book that is to be read, understood and taught”.
Now Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala has sent a Book towards them in their language that must be read, understood and taught to others.
Continuing the possible excuses Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala says,
Meaning Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala also refuted this excuse, had they used it, that if a Book was revealed to us, just as the People of the Book received, we would have been better guided than them because our sharpness or intellect. The Arabs were proud of their memory and comprehension.
Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala now there has come to you from Me a Glorious Qur’an revealed to Muhammad, the Arab Prophet. In it is the explanation of the lawful and unlawful matters, guidance for the hearts and mercy from Allah to His servants who follow and implement it. It’s up to you whether you accept it or reject it.
If you reject it “Then who is more unjust than one who denies the Ayaat of Allah and turns away from them?” This refers to the ones who neither benefit from what the Messenger [sallAllahu `alayhi wa sallam] brought nor followed what he was sent with by abandoning all other ways.
The word Sadafa means to avoid something or to turn away from something. The ones who didn’t accept the Qur’an not only turned away from the Qur’an themselves but also discouraged and hindered people from following it.
A person who turns away and stops others from following the Ayaat of Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala is an unjust person. And for such a person there is worst punishment.
We seek refuge with Allah from such a behavior, aameen.
– We learn that Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala didn’t only give laws but He also explained them comprehensively. A Daee should not only tell people the dos and don’ts but also explain them the details such as the rewards, the punishments and the wisdom.
– Been given the knowledge of the Deen is the real blessing. A person can be filthy rich or be a popular celebrity yet he feels a void inside his heart. On the other hand, a person who is poor and has limited means but is blessed with the love of Allah finds contentment in his heart. There are some blessings that are apparent and those that are hidden. Therefore, a person should not get impressed by people who have money. The real blessing is the blessing of religion.
– The one who does ehsaan [good] is favored with even more good.
– We also learn the obligation of studying, understanding and teaching the Book of Allah that is the Qur’an by ourselves and to others. The Ayah talks about the dangers of abandoning or turning away from it. For such people a worst punishment awaits.
– We should not come up with silly excuses for not finding the time for studying the Book of Allah because in a way that’s turning away from it, being ungrateful and heedless and that calls for punishment.
DOWNLOAD PDF: al-Anaam Ayaat 154 – 157