In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Tafseer Surah Aal-Imran Ayaat 5 – 6
Nothing is hidden from Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala whether it is on the earth or in the heaven. Therefore, we should not consider ourselves safe. Who can escape His punishment? He has the knowledge of everything. Nothing is hidden from His watch. The sins that we commit in the dark, the words that we speak, the wrong we do to others, all is being noticed by Him. Unless we seek forgiveness for our errors and mend our ways, we cannot escape His punishment. The word yaghfa [يَخْفَىٰ] is from the root word kha-fa-ya khaffi means “to be hidden.”
If He knows what is apparent and what is hidden, then shouldn’t we listen to Him? His knowledge is limitless while our knowledge is limited. We should humbly accept what He tells us to do. If there is anything that we do not understand then we should ask Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala for understanding and hikmah. The scholars used to pray, “O Teacher of Ibraheem (‘alayhi salaam), teach me. O You who gave comprehension to Suleiman (‘alayhi salaam) give me comprehension.” They would not say, “I cannot understand this so I am not going to follow it.” The scholars would neither complain nor argue with Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. When they would not understand a thing they would make supplications to Him and do istighfar [repent]. They would not become stubborn or arrogant. They acknowledged that the problem is with them and not with the Qur’an.
“He it is Who shapes you in the wombs as He pleases…” He is Al-Mussawir. He shapes us how He wills, whether we will have brown hair or black is His choice. He is the Artist. The word yusawir [يُصَوِّر] is from the root word saad-wau-ra and it means “shape or form.” Yusawira is to give shape or form to something. He formed our gender and our internal and external features. Therefore, when we complain about our height, our skin color or other features we should remember Whose work we are criticizing. Our words are suggesting that we are not pleased with Allah’s artistry. May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala forgive us for our complaints and fix our self-esteem issues, ameen.
Sometimes, we do not complain about how we look but do not refrain from commenting on others’ looks. For example, the most common way of describing someone to someone else is: the fat one, the short one, the tanned one, the one with the pointed nose, etc. What kind of descriptions are these? They tell more about the describer than the one being described. We should remember that no one chooses their skin color, height or gender. It is solely Allah’s choice. Then who are we to comment on or criticize?
He reminds us that He can reach us in the darkness of our mother’s womb and shape us as He wills. Then how can man consider himself free and self-sufficient? The word arhaam [الْأَرْحَامِ] is from the root word ra-Ha-meem meaning “the womb.” He is the Creator and thus is the only deity worthy of worship without partners, and His is the perfect might, wisdom and decision. This ayah declares that ‘Eesa [Jesus] ‘alayhi salaam is a created servant similar to other human beings. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala created Him in the womb of his mother, Mariam [Mary] ‘alayhi salaam who was a human being too. Then how could ‘Eesa be divine as a group of people claim?
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is All-Mighty and All-Wise, He does what He wills and we cannot fathom His wisdom. We should fear His accountability and not stray away from the right path.
Explaining these two Names of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, Dr. Israr Ahmad (may Allah have mercy on him) says (in his lecture) that these are the two Names that repeatedly appear in pairs in multiple places in the Qur’an and there is a wisdom in pairing them together. In the world, if someone is in an authoritative position he can exploit his power as he wills. He can tyrannize people and treat them as it pleases him. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala tells us that while He is Azeez All-Powerful and All-Mighty, He is also Al-Hakeem [the All-Wise]. He doesn’t punish people because it pleases Him, rather there has to be a reason to do so. Likewise, if He chooses to forgive someone despite their errors then it is because Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is All-Wise, He knows what we do not know. The one who appears sinful in our eyes might be a person who has stronger emaan [faith] than many of us. Allah’s decisions are not like a tyrant ruler’s who abuses his authority. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is also Merciful and Forgiving and always waiting for His servants to return to Him with all their heart. SubhanAllah!
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has created and fashioned every human being, therefore, we should neither complain about our features nor criticize others’ looks. He did not only shape us but also decreed our provision. Whether we are rich or poor, we should be content with what we have. It is Allah’s decision for us.
It also means that we should not alter the way we look such us undergoing plastic surgery. Just because today’s world places immense emphasis on looks, it does not mean that we need to follow the latest trends and remain discontent with how we look. We cannot even see our own face without a mirror, yet we spend so much time on makeup and the “perfect” look. This is a trick from Shaytan to distract us from what is important and meaningful. Looking presentable is desired but this should not be our focus that we are standing before the checking ourselves out, going to the mall to buy new dresses and accessories. We need a worthy purpose in our lives than looking attractive.
A pregnant woman bears the child but she does not create or fashion it. It is Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala who shapes the baby the way He desires. He decides whether it will be a boy or a girl and what kind of a life it will have.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is Al-Hakeem [the All-Wise], therefore, whatever happens in our life is based on His wisdom. Ask Him for khair.
DOWNLOAD PDF: Tafseer Surah Aal-Imran Ayaat 5 – 6