By Syed Akbar Hassan
The Qur’ān (25:72-76) says: “(And the true servants of Allah are) those who never bear witness to what is false, and whenever they pass by (people engaged in) frivolity, pass on with dignity; and who, whenever they are reminded of their Lord’s signs, do not fall deaf and blind to them; and who pray: ‘Our Lord! Grant us spouses and offspring who will be a joy to our eyes, and cause us to be foremost among the God- fearing.’ These will be rewarded for all their patient endurance (in life) with a high station in heaven, and will be met there with a greeting of welcome and peace, and there they shall abide; how goodly an abode and how high a station.”
“Those who never bear witness to what is false….” means that they never give false testimony, since such an action leads to usurping people’s rights and helps injustice. It also means that they do not attend any place or stay with any group where falsehood is said or done. They steer away from such places or company so as not to be party to anything that happens there. This is a more powerful meaning. The biggest falsehood is kufr (disbelief) and shirk, and the next in order comes the common lie and acts of sin.
They also steer away from all frivolity and idle talk: “Whenever they pass by people engaged in frivolity, pass on with dignity.” Ibn Abbas has said that these meetings or assemblies refer to infidel’s festivals, carnivals and field days; while Mujahid and Muhammad Ibn Hanifah are of the view that they relate to music concerts. According to Amr Ibn Qais, they refer to vulgar and cheap dance parties and Imam Malik term them as liquor drinking parties (Ibn Kathir).
In any case there is no contradiction in all these explanations because all such gatherings come under the definition of assembly of falsehood. A believer has more serious preoccupations that leave no time for frivolous and idle pursuits. His mind is full with what his faith requires of him so as to ensure that Allah’s message is delivered to mankind. This is sufficient preoccupation for anyone.
Another quality of theirs is that they are quick to remember when a reminder is given to them. Their hearts are open to the understanding of Allah’s signs and revelations: “And who, whenever they are reminded of their Lord’s signs, do not fall deaf and blind to them.” Allah’s true servants are fully aware of the truth in their faith, and in Allah’s signs and revelations. Hence, they accept the faith with open eyes, hearts and minds. They are free of fanaticism. When they show enthusiasm for their faith, it is an enthusiasm based on true knowledge and profound insight.
There is a new tendency among the younger generation and modern educated people to study the Qur’ān but to achieve this purpose they often deem it enough to study the Qur’ān and try to understand it through the translations of the Qur’ān on their own. This practice being against the correct principles of learning something, often makes them fall into misconceptions. It is a fact that education and knowledge cannot be imparted only through books unless guidance of a teacher is available for explaining the intricacies of the subject which normally go unnoticed by an ordinary reader. It is rather strange why people feel that this basic rule does not apply to the Qur’ān and its related subjects and try to indulge in interpreting the Qur’ān according to their own understanding and wishes. This type of study also falls under the purview of this ayah i.e., “they do not throw themselves upon as if they were blind and dumb”. However, by the grace of Allah, Dars-e-Qur’ān, Beyanul Qur’ān and Tafsir (commentary) by renowned scholars are now available in form of text, audio and video which have made the understanding of the Qur’ān easy to a great extent. May Allah lead us to the right path, aamin.
Finally, these true servants of Allah are not content with staying up far into the night offering their voluntary worship, prostrating themselves to Allah and allowing their other fine qualities to shine. They want something more. What they hope for is that they should have spouses of their type and children who follow in their footsteps, thus bringing them great joy. Not only so, but in this way, those who are classified as Allah’s servants will multiply.
They also pray that Allah will make of them a good example for those who are God-fearing: “And who pray: “Our Lord! Grant us spouses and offspring who will be a joy to our eyes, and cause us to be foremost among the God-fearing.” What is alluded here is that these true servants of Allah do not care about correcting themselves only, but also take care of the virtuous actions of their children and spouse, and keep trying for their improvement, and it is a part of their efforts that they pray to Allah to make them take the right path. That prayer is not meant for personal aggrandisement, but for the family members to follow the right path.
This is a natural feeling based on a profound sense of faith. Added to this natural feeling is the believers’ hope that they will provide examples of goodness to be followed by those who are keen to earn Allah’s pleasure. There is no element of selfishness or arrogance in such a wish, because all the God-fearing are on the way that Allah, the Exalted, defines.
What reward do Allah’s true servants receive? This outline of their qualities concludes with what they earn: “These will be rewarded for all their patient endurance (in life) with a high station in heaven, and will be met there with a greeting of welcome and peace, and there they shall abide; how goodly an abode and how high a station.”
True servants are received in this high position with a warm welcome, on account of their patient endurance of whatever they had to put up with in order to maintain their sound qualities. What is implied here is recognition of the strong willpower needed to restrain desire and resist temptation. This is not easy to do without a good degree of endurance that can only be shown by someone who is deservedly mentioned by Allah in His book, the Qur’ān.
In contrast to hell from which they pray to Allah, the Exalted, to save them, Allah rewards them with heaven where “they shall abide; how goodly an abode and how high a station.” There they are in the best state, enjoying Allah’s favours and blessings. May all of us be among them, aamin.