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How to Treat Believers?
    Posted by: "Mohammad Usman" musman@kindasa.com usmankkkk
    Date: Tue Jul 22, 2008 6:38 pm

Commentary by Sayyid Qutb


Warn your nearest kindred, and spread the wing of your tenderness over
all of the believers who follow you. But if they disobey you, say: "I am
not accountable for what you do."

Place your trust in the Almighty, the Compassionate who sees you when
you stand, and (sees) your movement among those who prostrate themselves
(before Him). It is He alone who hears all and knows all.

Shall I tell you upon whom it is that the satans descend? They descend
upon every lying sinner. They eagerly listen, but most of them are
liars. As for the poets, only those who are lost in error follow them.
(The Poets: Al-Shu'ara: 26: 214-224)

The first few verses in this passage tell the Prophet (peace be upon
him) how to treat the believers who respond to God's message as a result
of his efforts: "Warn your nearest kindred, and spread the wing of your
tenderness over all of the believers who follow you." Thus the Prophet
is instructed to treat the believers gently, and to show his humility
and kindness. This instruction is given in a physical, tangible image
like a bird lowering its wings when in flight and wants to descend. The
Prophet adopted this attitude with believers throughout his life.
Indeed, his manners were a practical translation of the Qur'an.

The surah also tells him how he should treat those who are disobedient,
dissociating himself completely from them: "But if they disobey you,
say: I am not accountable for what you do." This order was given in
Makkah, before the Prophet was given permission to fight unbelievers.

The surah then tells the Prophet to turn to his Lord with whom he has a
permanent relationship of care: "Place your trust in the Almighty, the
Compassionate who sees you when you stand, and (sees) your movement
among those who prostrate themselves (before Him). It is He alone who
hears all and knows all." Leave them alone to their disobedience of
God's orders, dissociating yourself from their actions and turn to your
Lord with full trust, seeking His help in all your affairs. The surah
mentions the two divine attributes frequently mentioned earlier: might
and compassion. The Prophet is made to feel his closeness to God as his
Lord sees him when he stands up for prayer on his own, and sees him also
when he is praying with a congregation as they prostrate themselves to
God. He sees him in his solitude and when he is attending to the
congregation, organizing them and leading them in prayer. He sees all
his movements and is fully aware of his thoughts, listening to his
supplication: "It is He alone who hears all and knows all."

This sort of address was very comforting to the Prophet as he felt that
God was watching over him and looking after him.

Once more in this final passage of the surah, the Qur'an is brought in
focus. The first comment emphasized that it was revelation from the Lord
of all the worlds, brought to Muhammad through the trusted Spirit,
Gabriel. Secondly, it made clear that no evil spirit could deliver it.
Now the surah asserts that such evil ones do not come to a person like
Muhammad (peace be upon him), who is honest, truthful and advocates a
sound system. They go only to a liar, wicked fortune-teller. Such people
receive whatever evil spirits give them and circulate them widely after
they have exaggerated them: "Shall I tell you upon whom it is that the
satans descend? They descend upon every lying sinner. They eagerly
listen, but most of them are liars."

There were among the Arabs some fortune-tellers who claimed that the
jinn brought them news and information. People used to go to these
fortune-tellers seeking advice, and trusting their prophecies, but most
of them were liars. To believe them is to pursue myth and wishful
thinking. No such fortune-teller advocated any proper code of living, or
urged people to fear God, or counseled them to believe. When the Prophet
called on people to accept his message, he actually advocated a complete
code of virtuous living.

At times, the Arab unbelievers described the Qur'an as poetry, claiming
that the Prophet was a poet. This was due to their utter helplessness as
to how they should face up to the Qur'an, with its powerful discourse
which they realized was incomparable to anything they knew. They
realized that it touches people's hearts, strongly affecting their
feelings, overcoming their resistance, while they cannot stop it in any
way.

In this Surah the Qur'an itself explains to them that the way of life
Muhammad advocated and the Qur'an outlined was totally and fundamentally
different from that of poets and poetry. This Qur'an sets a clear method
and aims toward a definite objective. The Prophet does not say something
today, which he will be contradicting tomorrow. Nor does he pursue
fleeting desires and momentary feelings. He pursues the establishment of
his faith, following a straight system that admits no crookedness. Poets
are totally unlike that. They are often hostage to their reactions and
momentary feelings, which press for expression as they occur. They
describe something as black today, white tomorrow. When they are happy,
they say one thing, which they contradict when they are angry. Their
moods are never consistent. Besides, they create their own imaginary
world. They conjure up actions and results, and then imagine these to be
hard facts which influence their behavior. Hence, their concern for
realities is diminished because they create a different world in which
they live, imagining it to be the reality.

With Kind Regards

Mohammad Usman

Jeddah

SAUDI ARABIA



* "O Prophet (pbuh) preach to them (the Truth), for preaching proves
beneficial for the Believers" <Adh-Dhariyat:55>

** "O Messenger {Muhammad (pbuh)}! Proclaim (the Message) which has been
sent down to you from your Lord." <Al-Maidah:67>

*** Accept the True faith, do righteous deeds, recommend the Truth and
patience to one another. <As recommended in Al-Asr:03>

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