In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Tafseer Surah Aal-Imran Ayaat 15 – 17
In the previous ayaat Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala mentioned some of the delights of this world such as women, children and material wealth and status. We learned that while there is no harm in enjoying the blessings of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala one should not get lost in them or use them to compete with one another, for they are the temporary treasures of this world. They were created only to sustain the worldly life and make our stay here a little pleasant. They will all exhaust one day and come to end. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala promises us an alternate to the temporary joy. He says,
The word aonabbi-okum [أَؤُنَبِّئُكُم] is from the root noon-ba-hamza and it means “important and beneficial news.” Starting a sentence with aao (shall I inform) raises the curiosity of the listener. The listener is tuned in to listen to what is being said.
The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is being instructed to ask, “Shall I inform you of things far better than those?”
What is better than the temporary delights and joys of this world? It is the Jannaat (plural of Jannah) under which rivers flow where God-fearing people will live forever. No earthquake or burglary will take place. There will be no war or persecution. No one will throw them out of their house, unlike the dunya. About these rivers, the Qur’an tells us they will be of milk, honey, non-intoxicating wine, and water. How will that be? Nobody knows because Jannah is a place that no eye has ever seen, no ear has ever heard and no heart has ever imagined.
“…purified spouses…” means they will be cleansed of the physical impurity such as that of menstruation, postnatal bleeding and other similar things. Not only will they be free from the physical filth and but also the dirt of the hearts that is anger, hatred, envy, resentment, etc.
But there is a condition? These delights are only for the God-fearing ones – those who have taqwa in their hearts. They are conscious of their steps and their decisions. Before doing anything they ask themselves: Will this please Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala? They don’t plunge into things for temporary joys and face bitter consequences later. They are conscious of their choices and decisions. They choose that which is pleasing to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, therefore they will not only dwell in Jannah forever but also enjoy His pleasure “forever.” That is the true success – enjoying the pleasure of Allah in this world and the Hereafter. About the pleasure of Allah, it appears in Surah at-Tawbah, “…the pleasure of Allah is greater…” (9: 72) meaning greater than the eternal delights that He has granted.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala concludes the ayah by saying that He is Al-Baseer meaning All-Seer. He can see what He has provided his servants with, how they treat the blessings (whether they thank Him or use the blessings to compete with one another) and how conscious they are of Him in their day-to-day matters. He gives provision to people according to their needs.
Ayaat 16 – 17 – Du’a and Attributes of the People of Jannah
In the next ayaat we learn the special attributes and a supplication of the people of Jannah (may Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala make us of them, ameen).
They say, “Our Lord! We have indeed believed, so forgive us our sins and save us from the punishment of the Fire.” They believe in Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, His Books, His Angels, His Messengers and all that He has commanded them to believe in. They ask Him to forgive their sins and errors because of their belief in Him.
This du’a teaches us two things:
-Emaan [faith] is a mean for forgiveness. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala will forgive because of their For that we have to work on our emaan and become true Muslims.
-Constantly seeking forgiveness for sins is one way of saving oneself from the punishment of the Fire and entering Jannah.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala then describes them as:
►The patient ones
►The truthful ones
►The obedient ones
►Those who spend in His way
►Those seek forgiveness in the early hours of dawn
They are patient in performing acts of obedience and abandoning the prohibitions. They are patient both in poverty and prosperity. They neither complain of their miseries nor show off their blessings.
They are truthful not only in their speech but also in all their dealings. They are honest in their promises. They do not deceive or harm others. They stand up with the truth and do not support falsehood. Above all, they are truthful in their proclamation of faith. They are truthful with themselves and Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.
They are constantly obedient and God-fearing. Both the hope and fear of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala keeps them on the Right Path. Their obedience is with humility. There is no arrogance in them.
They spend in His way both by obligatory charity [Zakat] and voluntary charity [sadaqah] and are ready to give without stinginess whenever a call is made to spend. This is the right use of wealth that one should not only spend money on upgrading one’s own lifestyle but also think about those who do not have even enough to meet their basic needs.
After doing all the good deeds, they still feel their deeds are insufficient. So, they wake up in the early hours of dawn [Tahajjud] when others are sleeping and seek forgiveness for their sins.
The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said,
يَنْزِلُ اللهُ تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالى فِي كُلِّ لَيْلَةٍ إِلى سَمَاءِ الدُّنْيَا حِينَ يَبْقَى ثُلُثُ اللَّيْلِ الْآخِرُ، فَيَقُولُ: هَلْ مِنْ سَائِلٍ فَأُعْطِيَهُ؟ هَلْ مِنْ دَاعٍ فَأَسْتَجِيبَ لَهُ؟ هَلْ مِنْ مُسْتَغْفِرٍ فَأَغْفِرَ لَهُ؟
“Every night, when the last third of it remains, our Lord, the Blessed, the Superior, descends to the lowest heaven saying, ‘Is there anyone to ask Me, so that I may grant him his request? Is there anyone to invoke Me, so that I may respond to his invocation? Is there anyone seeking My forgiveness, so that I may forgive him?’”
The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was the most righteous person and free of sins, yet he regularly woke up for the Tahajjud prayer and beseeched Allah’s forgiveness.
-Through these ayaat, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has informed us of what awaits for His righteous servants. We too can enjoy those blessings if we adopt the traits that please Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala: patience, truthfulness, obedience, generosity and humility.
-We learn that the true success of this world and the Hereafter is the pleasure of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. No worldly delight can please us if Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is not pleased with us.
-Seeking forgiveness for sins is not only for the criminals and those engaged in Kabair [major sins], but it has been the Sunnah of the prophets and all the righteous people. So, when someone tells us to do istighfaar we should not take it negatively. It’s a mean for getting our supplications accepted and drawing closer to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. We should fight against our souls and wake up for Tahajjud.
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