Tafseer Surah Aal-Imran Ayaat 156 – 158
In these ayaat, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala reminds us to fix our aqeedah.
It has been noticed when someone passes away, people utter statements that do not befit a believer such as saying, “Had he not gone out he would not have been killed.”
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala forbids His believing servants from following the footsteps of the misguided or ignorant people and not saying such statements about those who go out in His cause.
Uttering such statements is a sign of weak or corrupt aqeedah for a true believer knows that our time of death is pre-written. It will not be delayed even by a millisecond. We will die in a way and at a place where it has been written for us. Therefore, a believer must refrain from uttering such statements.
لِيَجْعَلَ اللَّهُ ذَٰلِكَ حَسْرَةً فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ ۗ
“Allah makes that [misconception] a regret within their hearts…”
It means Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala creates this evil thought in their hearts so that their sadness and the grief they feel for their loss would increase. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala reminds us that it is He who gives life and death. The creation is under His power and the decision is His Alone. No one lives or dies except by Allah’s leave, and no one’s life is increased or decreased except by His decree.
His knowledge and vision encompass all His creation and none of their affairs ever escapes Him.
Why was Forgiveness and Mercy of Allah mentioned?
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says,
وَلَئِن قُتِلْتُمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ أَوْ مُتُّمْ لَمَغْفِرَةٌ مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَرَحْمَةٌ خَيْرٌ مِّمَّا يَجْمَعُونَ
“And if you are killed in the cause of Allah or die – then forgiveness from Allah and mercy are better than whatever they accumulate [in this world].”
Ibn Katheer comments that this indicates that death and martyrdom in Allah’s cause are a means of earning Allah’s mercy, forgiveness and pleasure. This, indeed, is better than remaining in this life with its short-lived delights.
We have learned previously that one will not enter Jannah based on their good deeds but on the mercy of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. For a martyr, we learn, all his sins are erased the moment his first drop of blood falls and he enters Jannah without the trial of the grave. This is the reward for fearing no one but Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and striving in His path. This reward, however, is not for him who owes something to someone. Therefore, we should take our debts seriously and pay them off as soon as possible.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala reminds us,
وَلَئِن مُّتُّمْ أَوْ قُتِلْتُمْ لَإِلَى اللَّهِ تُحْشَرُونَ
“And whether you die or are killed, unto Allah you will be gathered.”
It means whether we die striving in His path or in the comfort of our home, we have to return to Him anyway. No one can escape this. On the Day of Resurrection, He will reward His servants according to their good deeds or punish them based on their evil deeds. We ask Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala to enable us to strive in His path, die in His path and do good deeds while we are able to, ameen.
We learn that we should be conscious of our company. If we sit with those who are strong and knowledgeable believers that our emaan too will strengthen. If we sit with those who are weak or ignorant then we will be like them.
We must learn our Deen to know what to do and say in different situations. Our weddings and deaths are two events where we see the culture taking precedence over the religion. We have borrowed traditions from other cultures, therefore, our wedding ceremonies are anything but Islamic. We marry for all other reasons except faith and when we bury our dead, we utter statements or perform rituals that are not part of our Deen. We must ask ourselves, “Who are we taken knowledge from? Who are we following?”
We also learn that what a person says or does in a situation is a reflection of the state of his heart. People lose their loved ones and while they are in pain they are pleased with the decree of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. They know no one is here forever. Our loved ones have passed away and soon we will be following them. On the other hand, we see people wailing, beating their chest, pulling their hair or tearing their clothes and uttering statements, which are not only painful but go against the teachings of our Deen. Study the Seerah to learn how Rasoolullah salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam reacted to the death of his loved ones.
We must accept the decree of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and erase the word “If” from our vocabulary. “If she had not gone there. If he had not married her…” Remember, whatever happens in our life is a plan of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala – it was decreed that we will encounter this in life. Be pleased with His decree and focus on your Hereafter. “If” will keep you buried in regret. Accept and get over it.
Not resembling others is not limited to the outward appearance but also in our thinking and statements. Following other cultures, sometimes we say things that might fall under Shirk. Be conscious of your sources of “inspiration.”
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