August 30, 2014 by Saleha Waqar
إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَسْتَحْىِ أَن يَضْرِبَ مَثَلاً مَّا بَعُوضَةً فَمَا فَوْقَهَا فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ فَيَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّهِمْ وَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ فَيَقُولُونَ مَاذَآ أَرَادَ اللَّهُ بِهَـذَا مَثَلاً يُضِلُّ بِهِ كَثِيرًا وَيَهْدِي بِهِ كَثِيرًا وَمَا يُضِلُّ بِهِ إِلاَّ الْفَـسِقِينَ
Indeed, Allah is not timid to present an example – that of a mosquito or what is smaller than it. And those who have believed know that it is the truth from their Lord. But as for those who disbelieve, they say, “What did Allah intend by this as an example?” He misleads many thereby and guides many thereby. And He misleads not except the defiantly disobedient.
A Parable about the life of this World:
In this Ayah, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala stated that He does not shy away or hesitate from, giving an example or parable of anything, whether the example involves a significant or an insignificant matter.
This is an example that Allah has given for the life of this world. The mosquito lives as long as it needs food, but when it gets fat, it dies. This is also the example of people whom Allah mentioned in the Qur’an: when they acquire (and collect the delights of) the life of this world, Allah then takes them away.
It is stated for believers,
“And He guides thereby” meaning, with the parables,
Allah guides the believers with these parables, and the straying of the hypocrite increases when they reject the parables that Allah mentioned for them, which they know, are true. This is how Allah misleads them.”
وَمَا يُضِلُّ بِهِ إِلاَّ الْفَـسِقِينَ
“And He misleads thereby only the Fasiqin” (the rebellious, disobedient to Allah), meaning, the hypocrites.
In the these verses (2:26-27), it was affirmed that there’s no doubt about the authencity of the Qur’an. If someone should have a suspicion as to its being the Word of Allah, he should try to produce even a small Surah comparable to it.
Hypocrites had been saying that had the Qur’an been the Word of Allah, it would not have contained examples insignificant creatures like an ant or a gnat in its parables, for such a thing goes against the sublimity and majesty of Allah. The Qur’an points out that when one intends to speak of a detestable thing or person or situation, in a parable, the use of a gnat or something even more contemptible neither transgresses the principles of eloquence or logic, nor does it go against the sense of dignity or modesty, and hence Allah does not feel shy in using such imagery. The Qur’an also shows that doubts of this kind arise only in the minds of those whom their disbelief has drained of all power to see things in a proper perspective, while such empty misgivings never touch the minds and hearts of true believers.
Who are the Fasiqeen?
The word Fasiqeen comes from the root Fa-seen-qaf and it means ‘to go outside or to stray beyond a limit’. In the terminology of the Shari’ah, Fisq signifies ‘going beyond the circle of obedience to Allah, or transgressing the commandments of Allah’.
Now, transgression does not stop at being merely disobedient in one’s actions, but can sometimes lead to outright denial and disbelief. A Muslim who is a habitual sinner is also called a faasiq – this is how the jurists (Fuqahaa’) ordinarily use the word, making the faasiq a counterpart of the kaafir on the opposite side. That is to say, a man who commits a major sin and does not repent, or who insists on committing minor sins and makes it a habit, would be called a faasiq in the terminology of the Fuqahaa’.
الَّذِينَ يَنقُضُونَ عَهْدَ اللَّهِ مِن بَعْدِ مِيثَـقِهِ وَيَقْطَعُونَ مَآ أَمَرَ اللَّهُ بِهِ أَن يُوصَلَ وَيُفْسِدُونَ فِي الاٌّرْضِ أُولَـئِكَ هُمُ الْخَـسِرُونَ
Who break the covenant of Allah after contracting it and sever that which Allah has ordered to be joined and cause corruption on earth. It is those who are the losers.
This ayah is explaining the characteristics of the disbelievers and they contradict the qualities of the believers. The covenant that these deviant people broke is Allah’s covenant with His creation, that is, to obey Him and avoid the sins that He prohibited. This covenant was reiterated in Allah’s Books and by the words of His Messengers. Ignoring this covenant constitutes breaking it. It was said that the ayah (2:27) is about the disbelievers and the hypocrites among the People of the Book.
Living by the Covenant with Allah
The covenant that they broke is the pledge that Allah took from them in the Torah to follow Muhammad salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam when he is sent as a Prophet, and to believe in him, and in what he was sent with. Breaking Allah’s covenant in this case occurred when the People of the Book rejected the Prophet after they knew the truth about him, and they hid this truth from people, even though they swore to Allah that they would do otherwise. Allah informed us that they threw the covenant behind their backs and sold it for a miserable price.
These two ayaat refer to an objection raised by the disbelievers with regard to the Qur’an, and provide an answer to them.
Islam’s concern about Relationship with Others
The cutting asunder of what Allah has commanded should be joined includes all kinds of relationships — the one between Allah and His servant, the one between a man and his parents and relatives, between him and his neighbors and friends, between one Muslim and another, between one man and another. Actually, Islam means fulfilling one’s obligations with regard to all these relationships, and this is also the way to follow the Shari’ah. Deficiency in fulfilling these obligations produces all kinds of disorder among men, and thus the transgressors end up by being destructive for others and for themselves. It is these people that the Qur’an calls losers — in this world as in the other.
Points to Ponder:
1) The Quran will guide or misguide people based on their Intentions before reading it. If they are seeking guidance from it – Allah will guide them. If they are seeking criticism for it – Allah will misguide them through it.
2) Ayat 27 shows that it is essential for us to maintain the relationships which the Shari’ah has commanded us to keep intact, and that it is forbidden to break them. Indeed, religion itself signifies the divinely ordained laws which bind us to fulfill our obligations with regard to Allah (Huquq-ullah) and with regard to His servants (Huquq al-‘Ibad). According to this ayat, the fundamental cause of disorder in human society is the sundering of these relationships.
3) The Qur’an says that real losers are those who go against divine commandments. There is a suggestion here that real loss pertains to the other world, the loss of this world being too small a thing to be worthy of serious consideration.