In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Tafseer Surah Aal-Imran Ayah 18
The subject of Tawheed [Oneness of Allah] which began with the opening ayaat of Surah Aal-Imran appears in a very special manner. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala states the three witnesses who testify His Oneness.
The word shahida [شَهِدَ] is from the root word sheen-ha-dal. Shahada means “to inform of something that one has knowledge of.”
What does it mean that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala testifies His Oneness? It means that He has informed us that there is no God except Him. His Books and Messengers confirm this. His attributes and the manifestations of His power and creativity around us are all open signs of His Oneness. If there was more than one god then certainly there would have been fasad – power struggle. But since there is only One God managing the affairs, therefore, we see utmost discipline. Nothing is out of balance and everything works according to its stated purpose.
“La ilaha illah hu [there is no deity except Him],” Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala alone is the Lord and God of all creation; everyone and everything else is His servant, creation and in need of Him while He is free of needs.
Who else testifies to the Oneness of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala? It is the angels and the people who have been given ilm [knowledge]. Which ilm is this? It is not a degree in Biology but rather the knowledge of the Book and the knowledge of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. They carry out His instructions and bear testimony (knowing and seeing) that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala alone is worthy of worship. Ibn Katheer writes that this ayah emphasizes the virtue of those who have knowledge. By mentioning them in the ayah, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has honored them. Therefore, we should never shy away from gaining knowledge; we should rather ask Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala to bless us with beneficial knowledge and wisdom.
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ عِلْمًا نَافِعًا ، وَرِزْقًا طَـيِّـبًا ، وَعَمَلًا مُتَقَبَّلًا
“O Allah, I ask You for knowledge which is beneficial and sustenance which is good, and deeds which are acceptable.”
رَّبِّ زِدْنِي عِلْمًا
“My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.”
اللَّهُمَّ انْفَعْنِي بِمَا عَلَّمْتَنِي، وَعَلِّمْنِي مَا يَنْفَعُنِي، وَزِدْنِي عِلْمًا
“O Allah, benefit me with what You have taught me and teach me what benefits me, and increase me in knowledge.”
“[He is] maintaining [creation] in Justice…” The word qaimma [قَائِما] is from the root qaf-wau-meem which means “to stand, to maintain or look after something.” In the ayah it means that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is maintaining, upholding and looking after His entire creation with qisth. The word qisth [قِسْط] is from the root qaf-seen-Ta and it means “a portion of something or to divide something.” In the ayah, it gives us the meaning of justice. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala does not commit injustice this is what the angels and the people of knowledge confirm. It also means that His commands are just, as we read in the Qur’an: Allah does not burden a soul beyond what it can bear. If we take our worship, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala knows that it is possible for mankind to take out time for Him five times a day, therefore, the Salah was made obligatory five times a day. He knows that we can fast one entire month once a year so He made fasting in Ramadan obligatory. Today, science proves that fasting helps detox our system. There is health benefit in it. He obligated that we give 2.5% of our entire wealth once a year to the poor. It has been seen those who are generous live a stress-free life they are not attached to their wealth.
Allah’s being Just means that His servants too should not be unjust to His creation. In a Hadeeth Qudsi it appears that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says: I have forbidden oppression for Myself and I have forbidden it among you, so do not oppress one another. Abu Huraira radhiAllahu ‘anhu narrated that one day the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam asked the Companions radhiAllahu ‘anhum who the real bankrupt was. They replied that it was he who neither had dirham nor wealth. The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “The real bankrupt of my Ummah will be he who would come on the Day of Resurrection with prayers and fasts and Zakat but (he would find himself bankrupt on that Day as he would have exhausted his funds of virtues) since he hurled abuses upon others, brought calumny against others and unlawfully consumed the wealth of others and shed the blood of others and beat others, and his virtues would be credited to the account of one (who suffered at his hand). And if his good deeds fall short to clear the amount, then his sins would be entered in (his account) and he would be thrown in the Hell-Fire.” [Saheeh Muslim]
We need to look at our conduct and our dealings with other people. Even if we are regular with our prayers and give Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala His rights, if we are not kind to the people and just in our dealings then all of our good deeds will be wasted. Justice is giving others their rights.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala reminds us that He is “…the All-Mighty, the All-Wise…” He does not submit to weakness due to His might and greatness, and He is Wise in all His statements, actions, legislation and decrees.
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