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Surah Al Baqra Verses 161-170

161 Those who reject faith and die rejecting on them is Allah's curse and the curse of angels and of all mankind.

162 They will abide therein: Their penalty will not be lightened nor will respite be their (lot). 164

163 And your Allah is one Allah; there is no god but He Most Gracious Most Merciful. 165

164 Behold! In the creation of the heavens and the earth; in the alternation of the night and the day; in the sailing of the ships through the ocean for the profit of mankind; in the rain which Allah sends down from the skies and the life which He gives therewith to an earth that is dead; in the beasts of all kinds that He scatters through the earth; in the change of the winds and the clouds which they trail like their slaves between the sky and the earth; (here) indeed are signs for a people that are wise. 166

165 Yet there are men who take (for worship) others besides Allah as equal (with Allah); they love them as they should love Allah. But those of faith are overflowing in their love for Allah. If only the unrighteous could see behold they would see the penalty that to Allah belongs all power and Allah will strongly enforce the penalty. 167

166 Then would those who are followed clear themselves of those who follow (them); they would see the penalty and all relations between them would be cut off.

167 And those who followed would say: "If only we had one more chance we would clear ourselves of them as they have cleared themselves of us." Thus will Allah show them (the fruits of) their deeds as (nothing but) regrets nor will there be a way for them out of the fire. 168

168 O ye people! eat of what is on earth lawful and good; and do not follow the footsteps of the evil one for he is to you an avowed enemy. 169

169 For he commands you what is evil and shameful and that ye should say of Allah that of which ye have no knowledge.

170 When it is said to them: "Follow what Allah hath revealed" they say: "Nay! we shall follow the ways of our fathers." What! even though their fathers were void of wisdom and guidance?


Commentry:

164 Therein - in the curse. A curse is not a matter of words: it is a terrible spiritual state, opposite to the state of Grace. Can man curse? Not of course in the same sense in which we speak of the curse of God. A mere verbal curse is of no effect. Hence the English saying: "A causeless curse will not come." But if men are oppressed or unjustly treated, their cries can ascend to God in prayer, and then it becomes God's "wrath" or curse, the deprivation of God's Grace as regards the wrong-doer. (2.162)

165 Where the terrible consequences of Evil, i.e., the rejection of God, are mentioned, there is always stress laid on God's attributes of Grace and Mercy. In this case Unity is also stressed, because we have just been told about the Qibla symbol of unity and are about to pass the theme of unity in diversity, in Nature and in the social laws of human society. (2.163)

166 This magnificent Nature passage stands out like a hill in a landscape, enhancing the beauty of our view, and preparing us for the every-day laws and ordinances which follow. (2.164)

167 Everything around and within us points to unity of purpose and design, - points to God. Yet there are foolish persons (unrighteous - those who deliberately use the choice given them to go wrong). They think something else is equal to God. Perhaps they even do lip service to God. If only the unrighteous could see the consequences, they would see the terrible Penalty, and that all Power is in God's hands, not in that of any one else. Who are these others who are used as fetishes by the misguided? It may be: (1) creatures of their own imagination, or of their faculties misused; the idea lying behind Idols is akin to this, for no intelligent idol-worshipper owns to worshipping stocks and stones; or (2) good leaders whose names have been misused out of perversity to erect them to a position of equality with God; or (3) Powers of evil that deliberately mislead. When it comes to the inevitable consequences of blasphemy and the rejection of God, the eyes of all are opened and these false and artificial relations dissolve. The idea which was created into a fetish disowns its follower, i.e. is seen to have no reasonable basis in the life of the follower, and the follower is forced to renounce it as false. The good ones would take an unholy delight in exposing the facts. The Reality is now irresistible but alas! at what cost? (2.165)

168 Our deeds are irrevocable and we must pass through the Fire of repentance and regrets. (2.167)

169 We now come to the regulations about food. First (ii. 168-71) we have an appeal to all people, Muslims, Pagans, as well as the People of the Book; then (ii. 172-73) to the Muslims specially; then (ii 174-76) to the sort of men who then (as some do now) either believe in too much formalism or believe in no restrictions at all. Islam follows the Golden Mean. All well-regulated societies lay down reasonable limitations. These become incumbent on all loyal members of any given society, and show what is "lawful" in that society. But if the limitations are reasonable, as they should be, the "lawful" will also coincide more and more with what is "good." (2.168)

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