The Prohibition of Hiding the Truth and distorting it with Falsehood
In this ayah, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says,
When the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam informed the people that he was the messenger of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and that his description also appears in the previous Scriptures, the people went to the Jewish Rabbis to confirm if this was indeed true. The Rabbis, instead of telling the truth, uttered statements that confused the people. They could not distinguish what is right and what is incorrect. For example, the Rabbis would say: Yes, he is a Messenger, but not for us. He is only for the illiterate (the Arabs of Makkah). Now, the people were confused. They could not ascertain whether they are to follow Prophet Muhammad salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam or not.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala warns the Children of Israel and after them all of us to not conceal the truth. Whatever knowledge of the Deen that we have must be shared with other people. Often times, we fear other people and do not speak up. We see people committing all kinds of wrong acts in Deen and we remain mute. Our reason for keeping quiet could be not risking our relationships. Because we love other people so much that we do not want to spoil our relationships with them, by pointing out their error.
People are in need of authentic knowledge and we choose to not be bothered about it. Understand this by an example:
There is a hungry person who might die if he does not get any food, are you going to leave him to die or are you going to feed him?
With so many distorted messages around us, our sirat-e-mustaqeem has become blurred. People are in need of being guided or they will lose their path and end up in the Hellfire. And we are not bothered?
Another reason for hiding knowledge or not sharing it with others can be: personal goals. Because we are so busy with our own lives; our career, our spouse, our children, our family, our personal endeavors are so important to us that we cannot take out time to learn or teach other people Allah’s Deen. Many people who gain Islamic education leave it all aside when they get married. Now, their new focus and ‘purpose’ in life becomes their personal life and pleasures.
Do not mix falsehood with the truth…how have we mixed falsehood with the truth?
Cultural practices have seeped into our lives such that now people cannot distinguish what is culture and what is religion. For example, religion tells us there is no dowry from the bride’s side, but the girl has a share in the inheritance. Culture, on the other hand, has trained us to have an extravagant wedding ceremony…show how rich you are…flaunt the dowry that you are giving to your daughter…and don’t leave her any share in the inheritance. Her dowry suffices as her inheritance share.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala reminds us of our religious commitments:
The Jews had some form of prayer left in their religion but they had abandoned congregational prayers. Similarly, they replaced charity with interest (riba). Today, Muslims are doing the same. Mosques are only filled either on a Friday, during Ramadan or on Eid Day. With banks opening up new branches every month, Muslims feel no shame in earning riba or purchasing their cars and homes on interest-based loans.
Bow down with those who bow hints towards the importance of teamwork. Muslims must learn how to work collectively in teams. In being united is our strength.
About the congregational prayer the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said,
“By the One in Whose hand is my soul, I had thought of ordering that wood be gathered, then I would command the call to prayer to be given, and I would appoint a man to lead the people in prayer, then I would go to men [who do not attend the congregational prayer] and burn their houses down around them. By the One in Whose hand is my soul, if anyone of you had known that he would receive a bone covered with meat or two (small) pieces of meat in a sheep’s foot, he would come for ‘Isha’ prayer.” [Al-Bukhari, 7224; Muslim, 651]
Ibn al-Mundhir (may Allah have mercy on him) said: The fact that he was thinking of burning down the houses of people who did not attend the prayer is the clearest evidence that attending prayer in congregation is obligatory, because it would not be permissible for the Prophet ﷺto do this with regard to something that was mustahabb and not obligatory. Al-Awsat, 4/134
POINT OF REFLECTION:
This shows our priorities. We can travel long distances in search of halal zabiha meat, in search of better clothing, to meet family and strangers, for a social or professional event, but we cannot make the same effort for attending prayers in the mosque.
Not informing people of the truth is similar to leading them into the Fire because WE know the truth and we CHOOSE to remain silent. Either due to laziness or lack of concern for other’s Hereafter. What will we tell Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala on the Judgment Day?