Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Surah Al Baqarah Ayahs 30-34
The next few ayahs will highlight the nobility of mankind, and emphasize on how humans are the creations of the highest rank compared to anything else. I will copy the next 3 verses in order to understand the beginning of the story of Adam (AS).
“And when your Lord said to the angels, “I am going to create a deputy on this earth!” they said, “Will You create there one who will spread disorder on the earth and cause bloodsheds, while we, along with Your praises, proclaim Your purity and sanctify Your name?” He (Allah SWT) said, “Certainly, I know what you do not know”. And he taught Adam the names, all of them; then presented them before the angels, and said, “Tell me their names, if you are right”. They said, “To You belongs all purity! We have no knowledge except what You have given us. Surely, You alone are the all-knowing, all-wise”. He said, “O Adam, tell them the names of all these.” When he told them their names, Allah said, “Did I not tell you that I know the secrets of the skies and of the earth, and that I know what you disclose and what you have been concealing.” (Verses 30-33)
This comes to show that Allah has given people a rank which is higher even than the angels, even though the angels continuously praise and glorify Allah, and always obey Him in the most perfect way. On the opposite extreme there is the Jinn, Shaitan, who completely disobeys Allah SWT. In between these two there are human beings. People are given a choice, whether they want to live like the angels of devil. The thing that makes humans better than the angels is knowledge.
The next ayah continues, “And, when We said to the angels: “Prostrate before Adam!” So they prostrated, all but Iblis. He refused and joined the infidels”. Telling the angels to prostrate before Adam (AS) is to convey respect for him, and by no way means that they are worshipping him. The fact is that before Prophet Muhammad (SAW)’s time, people were allowed to prostrate before other people to show respect, like Yusuf (AS)’s family did sajdah in front of him. It is only in our ummah that prostrating to anyone besides Allah is forbidden, along with other things that were previously allowed. Examples include making pictures of living things, offering salah (prayer) at those times when then infidels used to worship their idols, or putting one hand on the other (like you do in prayer) in respect of some other person. These things have been prohibited so that there is no way that idolatry or shirk can enter into anyone’s life. In our Shariah, doors are completely closed to things that can lead to the wrong path.
Now, Iblis was actually a jinn, not an angel. But he was so devoted to Allah and so pious that it was almost like he was from amongst the angels. However, he began to reason through the command of Allah (SWT), by saying that he will not prostrate to Adam (AS) because he was made of dirt and Iblis, like other jinns, is made of fire. So naturally, fire is stronger than dirt. Because of this, he disobeyed Allah, and immediately went from being one if His most devout worshippers to Allah’s enemy. This is all because of the pride of Iblis. His pride differentiates him from Adam (AS), who also made a mistake of eating the forbidden fruits, but later asked for Allah’s forgiveness. Iblis did not do this. In the next few ayahs we will discuss the story of Adam (AS).
May Allah save us from pride, which caused Shaitan to receive the wrath of Allah (SWT). Ameen.