Allah leaves to go astray whomsoever He wills, and He guides towards Him whomsoever turns to Him - The Wrath of Allah shall reach the disbelievers.
(27) وَ يَقُولُ الَّذينَ كَفَرُوا لَوْ لا أُنْزِلَ عَلَيْهِ آيَةٌ مِنْ رَبِّهِ قُلْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُضِلُّ مَنْ يَشاءُ وَ يَهْدي إِلَيْهِ مَنْ أَنابَ
27. " And those who disbelieve say: 'Why has a sign not been sent down upon him from his Lord ' Say: 'Verily Allah leaves to stray whomever He wills and guides unto Himself whomever turns (to Him in repentance) '. "
As there are so many topics of discussion concerning monotheism, resurrection and the mission of prophecy of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) included in this Sura, this verse deals once again with the Prophet of Islam's call, discussing one of the criticisms of those obstinate dissidents, saying that the pagans claim why it is that no miracle has been bestowed upon him from his Lord as they demanded. The verse says:
" And those who disbelieve say: 'Why has a sign not been sent down upon him from his Lord ?' ..."
They expect that the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) sits in isolation as an extraordinary being while each one of them calls on him and asks him to perform a miracle he must bring it on their request. No sooner they ask for the miracle than he has
performed. Even, not withstanding that, they do not accept the faith if they are willing to do so!
Responding them, the Qur'an answers that the Prophet should tell them that Allah lets whomever He wants go astray, and whoever returns to Him will be led by Him. The verse continues saying:
"... Say: 'Verily Allah leaves to stray whomever He wills and guides unto Himself whomever turns (to Him in repentance) '.
" Allusion is made to the fact that their deficiency is not a matter of miracles; rather that their deficiency is from within themselves. Their obstinacy, fanaticism, ignorance, and the sins which hinder and obstruct the road to success, cause them to disbelieve.
Anyway, every prophet must have a sign from his Lord to prove his claim of his prophetic mission, which is called 'miracle'. This miracle is naturally in some particular and identical affairs. But those obstinate persons who did not intend to accept the truth, asked the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) for miracles on their own request based upon their whims. Were they to stop being obstinate, the Qur'an by itself would provide them with the greatest miracle.
Sometimes, food and water is detrimental to the sick. However, this harm does not imply that there is anything wrong with the food or water. On the contrary, it is for the sake of their illness. Certainly, those who are mentally sick, in accepting the Divine and pure verses are upset like the ones whose body is ill, for they will be provoked as soon as they are confronting the truth, and they become obstinate immediately following its presentation, then they turn away from the Truth. And this is the very meaning of/ yud ill/ (leaves to stray) mentioned in the verse.
A Discussion on Leading and Misleading.
Divine leadership is of two kinds: the primary leadership and the supplementary leadership.
The Divine leadership concerns all mankind. The Qur'an says: "Verily We showed him the Way, "(1) However, supplementary leadership only concerns those who have already accepted the former general guidance. For instance, take the case of a teacher who offers his course in an identical and monotonous way to all his students. After sometime, he tends to do more favor to those of his students who are more strenuous and hard- working. The Qur'an says: "And (as for) those who follow the right direction, He increases them in guidance "(2)
And there are those who refuse to accept all the Divine verses as the Qur'an says about them. "And there never came unto them any sign from the signs of their Lord but they turned away from it " (Sura Al- 'An'am, No. 6, verse 4) "And had We sent down unto you a book, written on a paper, so that they touched it with their own hands, certainly (still) the disbelievers would have said: 'That is naught but a manifest sorcery'. " (Sura Al- 'An'am, No. 6, verse 7) " And (even) if they witness a miracle, they will not believe in it, " (Sura Al- 'An'am, No. 6, verse 25) . Would there be any other way of dealing with them except restraining them from favors and stamping them with the discarding seal ?
Anyway, Allah is Wise and Just and He does all according to " He guides whomever He pleases " (Sura Al- Baqarah, No. 2, verse 142) , and " leaves to stray whomever He wills " (verse under discussion) , and " Allah provides with
(1) Sura Al- 'Insan, No. 76, verse 3
(2) Sura Muhammad, No. 47, verse 17
sustenance for whomever He wills " (Sura Al- Baqarah, No. 2, verse 212) , and "He will forgive him whom He wills" and "He will punish whom He wills " (Sura Al- Baqarah, No. 2, verse 284) , and "He creates whatever He pleases " (Sura 'Al- i- 'Imran, No. 3, verse 47) . All the above are to be rendered into the basis of His Justice, Wisdom, Grace, and Favour.
That is, once He says: " He guides whomever He pleases, " it does not imply that He leads, regardless of all criteria, whomever He wants. As one can conclude, from other verses, on one occasion He considers 'Faith' as the condition for being led, saying: " and whomever believes in Allah, He guides aright his heart " (Sura At- Taqabun, No. 64, verse 11) . Elsewhere, securing of consent of Allah along with taking the right path are deemed necessary for being led. It says: "With it Allah guides whomever follows His pleasure into the ways of safety, " (Sura Al- Ma'idah, No. 5, verse 16) . Or once He says: " He leaves to stray whomever He wills "(1) , in another verse, He considers immoderation, hesitation and skepticism as factors for such a case of being misled. It says: " Allah misleads him who is extravagant, a doubter. " (Sura Al- Mu'min, No. 40, verse 34)
Anyway, if the opening of a container faces the sky the rain will enter into it, but if the opening of it faces the earth, it will not be filled with any rain and snow. So is the case with the man whose soul aspires towards material things. It is obvious that such a person will not benefit from the Divine spirituality. The Qur'an says: "That (Divine wrath) is because they have preferred the worldly life over the Hereafter, and definitely Allah does not guide the infidel people. " (Sura An- Nahl, No. 16, verse 107)
(1) The verse under discussion
1- The obstinate pagans often demand new miracles every moment. The issue in question is not an outstanding miracle. Rather, it is their inherent enmity. " Why has a sign not been sent down upon him "
2- Allah's way of treatment is concerned with leading all people: "Verily, it is incumbent on Us to lead (them) . " (Sura Al- Layl, No. 92, verse 12) . However, if someone took to the deviant path, Allah would ascribe to him his punishment in the form of being misled. " Allah leaves to stray whomever He wills ".
3- Submission and humility in face of Allah is the key to one's salvation and guidance " and guides unto Himself whomever turns (to Him in repentance)" .
4- Leading people is up to Allah, yet His leading will be confined to those who show their preparedness already for His leadership.
* * * *
(28) الَّذينَ آمَنُوا وَ تَطْمَئِنُّ قُلُوبُهُمْ بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ أَلا بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ
28. " (The guided are) those who believe and their hearts are set at rest by the remembrance of Allah. Behold! By Allah's remembrance (only) the hearts are set at rest. "
Those who acknowledge the unity of Allah and accept His attributes and the prophetic mission of His Prophet (p.b.u.h.) and embrace whatever has been revealed from Him, and their hearts are set at rest by the remembrance of Allah, allow Allah to soothe their hearts regarding His blessings and rewards with the thought of Him, and of His grace and favors, for Allah's promise is decisive and nothing will soothe the anxious hearts better than his Divine truthful promises.
To remember Allah does not mean merely paying lip service to Him, though it is one of the clear examples of thinking of Him. For what counts is thinking of Allah in all circumstances, in particular, at the time of committing sin.
Thinking of Allah brings with it numerous blessings, including: 1- The remembrance of His blessings leads one to show his gratitude for Him.
2- The remembrance of His Power causes one of putting his trust in Him.
3- The remembrance of His favours serves as the source of our love for Him.
4- The remembrance of His Wrath and fury inspires awe of Him in us.
5- The remembrance of His magnitude and greatness causes one's humility and submission towards Him.
6- The remembrance of His Omniscience in the open and hidden serves as an impetus for our chastity.
7- The remembrance of His forgiveness and generosity serves as our source of hope and repentance.
8- The remembrance of His justice serves as an impetus for our austerity and piety.
9- Man is searching the extremes and he wants absolute perfection. However, as everything, except Allah, is finite and is accidental in itself, it cannot leave one's heart in rest. In contrast to those whose hearts are set at rest by the remembrance of Allah, there are also some ones whose scope of mind and vision are limited and are content with so little in this world.
10- The prayers consist of the remembrance of Allah and are the source of one's comfort. The Qur'an says: " establish prayer for My remembrance. " (Sura Ta Ha, No. 20, verse 14)
The holy phrase "Behold! By Allah's remembrance (only) the hearts are set at rest. " might mean that by Allah's remembering you, your hearts will be at peace. That is, once we know that Allah is remembering us and we are in His presence, our hearts will be at peace. As Had rat Noah (a.s.) found peace of heart by means of the Divine words: "And make you the Ark under Our eyes, " (Sura Houd, No. 11, verse 37) And, Imam Hussayn (a.s.) found peace of mind while uttered it at the time of martyrdom of his son Ali Asqar, by expressing: "It is easy over me for verily it is before Allah. " Or, it is cited in 'Arafah supplication: "O Reminder of the reminders. "
Query: This verse remarks that all minds, and that of a believer in particular, find their peace by the remembrance of Allah, but some other verses denote that whenever the faithful believer remembers Allah, his heart trembles. Sura Al- 'Anfal, No. 8, verse 2 says: "Verily believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, their hearts quake, " Can this kind of trembling be compatible with one's peace of mind What is the justification for that ?
Answer: To imagine how the two incompatibles, that is the peace of mind and trembling of one's heart, can be present at the same time in one person, the following examples can be leading. First: Sometimes, one has peace of mind when he has made all kinds of preparations while, at the same time, he is anxious and fears the consequences as well. The example of it is a specialized surgeon who is confident of his knowledge and job though at the time of operation of a VIP he still has his anxieties.
Secondly: the children find their peace of mind once they are with their parents, while at the same time, they fear them too.
Thirdly: Sometimes, one is happy and has his peace of mind since he knows that whatever unpleasant happens is for his trial, development and promotion. However, he is going to be anxious for not being sure whether he will succeed in his duties or not.
Fourthly: Once the believers go on reading the Qur'anic verses of punishment, Hell or of the Divine outrage, they start trembling all over. However, once they read the holy verses concerning blessings, garden of Eden and paradise, they find a sweet kind of peace of mind which brings them warm feelings.
Imam Sajjad (a.s.) says in Abu Hamzah Supplication: "Whenever, I remember my sins (and Your justice and Your
wrath) , I cry, but when I consider Your grace and Your forgiveness, I regain hope. " As an evidence for this meaning, the writer of Al- Mizan, the Late, quotes the Qur'an to be its documentation: " whereat do shudder the skins of those who fear their Lord, then their skins and their hearts become pliant to the remembrance of Allah " (Sura Az- Zumar, No. 39, verse 23) . That is, one is anxious at first though he finds peace of mind gradually.
Fifthly: He who ignores the remembrance of Allah, does not have peace of mind, in which case life becomes troublesome for him. The Qur'an says: And whoever turns away from My remembrance, verily for him is a life straitened " (Sura TaHa, No. 20, verse 124)
Factors of Encourage and Peace of Mind:
There may be many different causes for one's certainty and peace of mind. However, at the top of all those factors stands specifically one's awareness and knowledge.
1- He who is aware of the fact that his slightest piece of work will be accounted for he is hopeful on his job properly and has peace of mind thereby. Sura Az- Zilzal, No. 99, verse 7 says: "So, whoever has done an atom's weight of good shall behold it. "
2- He who knows that he is created out of the Divine favor, wisdom, and blessings, he is calm and hopes for and confident of Allah's bounteousness. The Qur'an says: " (It will be said to some) O' you serene soul! " "Come back to your Lord well- pleased (with Him) and well- pleasing (Him) , " ( Sura Al- Fajr, No. 89, verses 27 and 28) . This means that the addressing of the Beneficent comes, saying: O' Heavenly confident and peaceful self, 'always remembering Allah'! Return, now, to your Lord
as you are pleased with His eternal blessings and He is content with your good deeds. Return and stay in line alongside My particular servants and enter My Paradise and Garden of Eden. It is for this reason and following His remarks in this noble verse that the faithful and intimate believers are always hopeful. As an example, one finds the Late Ayatullah- ul- 'Uzma Imam Khomayni, (may he rest in peace in Paradise) , remarks at the end of his very important will that: "I am departing from you while having peace of mind, and I am confident in heart, while I am happy from within and while I am hopeful in spirit for Allah's grace and forgiveness. "
3- He who knows that Allah is All- Wise and Omniscience, and He has not created anyone in vain, is optimistic.
4- He who knows that his leader and his Imam is a perfect man, elected by Allah, and is innocent of every deviance and error, will be having peace of mind. " Verily I have appointed you an Imam (leader) for mankind. " (Sura Al- Baqarah, No. 2, verse 124)
5- He who knows that his way of life is obvious and his future is going to be better than before, is confident in his soul. "While the world to come is better and more lasting. " (Sura 'A'la, No. 87, verse 17)
6- He who knows that Allah loves the righteous has warm feelings with regard to his righteous deed.
Factors Which Generate Anxiety and Worries.
One of the most common diseases of the present century is worries and anxieties, for which various reasons have been mentioned. The symptoms of this disease include, isolation, depression, inferiority complexes and purposelessness. A depressed person becomes so because of finding that nothing is in line with his wishes, while the one must not abandon
altogether those few instances which might be in keeping with his wishes for the sake of not having obtained all that he has desired.
A depressed person thinks as to why all people do not love him while such a thing is impossible in the case that even Allah and Gabriel also have got enemies. Therefore, one must not expect that all love him.
A depressed person thinks that all people are bad, while it is not so, and Allah, addressing the angels who thought so, answered them negatively.
A depressed person thinks that all the unpleasant things come from outside his self, while the main causes of frustration have their origin in reactions generating from within ourselves.
An anxious person is worried at the onset of every activity and thus he feels lonely and scared.
For repelling such a mood, Had rat Ali (a.s.) says: "When you are afraid of something, cast yourself in it. " (Bihar- ul- Anwar, vol. 71, p. 362)
This means that you may make yourself involved in whatever you are scared of, for fear of everything exceeds its own limits.
An anxious person worries as what will occur in future. This case may be treated by trusting Allah and by one's own perseverance.
As one has been frustrated in some of his affairs, he may worry as to be frustrated in all circumstances.
As one relies on individuals and some powers which are not sustaining, one will be anxious and worried once those sources of power are shaken.
Briefly, and concisely, such cases as lack of gratitude for one's services by the people, feelings of guilt, fear of death,
being brain- washed by the family as to the lack of one's power to cope with problems and his lack of knowledge of those things, and jumping to conclusions are some of the factors which cause anxieties and can be adequately dealt with by Allah's remembrance, His power, His amnesty, and His favor which all bring one's peace of mind. The verse says:
" (The guided are) those who believe and their hearts are set at rest by the remembrance of Allah. Behold! By Allah's remembrance (only) the hearts are set at rest. "
* * * *
(29) الَّذينَ آمَنُوا وَ عَمِلُوا الصَّالِحاتِ طُوبى لَهُمْ وَ حُسْنُ مَآبٍ
29. " Those who believe and do righteous deeds; joy is for them, and a goodly (final) return. "