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Interpretation of the Twenty-ninth Part of the Holy Qur’an


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Foreword by the Educator Prof. A. K. John, alias al-Dayrani.
Interpretation of Fortress 67‎ (AL-MULK SURAH).
Interpretation of Fortress 68‎ (AL-QALAM SURAH).
‎Interpretation of Fortress 69 (AL-HAQQA SURAH‏(‏‎.
Interpretation of Fortress 70‎ (AL-MA’ARIJ SURAH).
Interpretation of Fortress 71‎ (NUH SURAH).
Interpretation of Fortress 72‎ (AL-JINN SURAH)‎.
Interpretation of Fortress 73‎ (AL-MUZZAMMIL SURAH)‎.
Interpretation of Fortress 74 (AL-MUDDATHTHIR SURAH)‎.
Interpretation of Fortress 75‎ (AL-QIYAMA SURAH)‎.
Interpretation of Fortress 76‎ (AL-INSAN SURAH)‎.
Interpretation of Fortress 77‎ ‎‎(AL-MURSALAT SURAH).
A Glimpse into the Life of the Eminent Scholar Mohammad Amin Sheikho.
Glimpse into the Life of the Researcher & Islamic Scholar Prof. A. K. John Alias Al-Dayrani ‎
Excerpts from the Sciences of the Humane Scholar Mohammad Amin Sheikho.

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Interpretation of the Twenty-ninth Part of the Holy Qur’an

  1. 1. (HissoulhasbeensanctifiedbyAl’lah) Authoredby
  2. 2. Interpretation of the Twenty-ninth Part of the Holy Qur’an TABARAK Part 29
  3. 3. The Great Humane Eminent Scholar Mohammad min Sheikho (His soul has been sanctified by Al’lah) 1890-1964 Interpretation of the Twenty-ninth Part of the Holy Qur’an TABARAK PART Checked and Introduced by The Researcher and Intellectual Prof. A. K. John, alias Al-Dayrani
  4. 4. Interpretation of the Twenty-ninth Part of the Holy Qur’an TABARAK PART By the great humane eminent scholar Mohammad min Sheikho (His soul has been sanctified by Al’lah) Checked and introduced by The Researcher and Intellectual Prof. A. K. John, alias Al-Dayrani English Language Editing by S. M. Hopkins Email: Our web sites
  5. 5. 5 CONTENTS Foreword by Prof. Abdul-Kadir John, alias Al-Dayrani...................................................7 Interpretation of the Twenty-ninth Part of the Holy Qur’an – Tabarak Part Fortress (Surah) 67, Control of the Universe (al-Mulk).................................................17 Fortress (Surah) 68, The Godly Pen (al-Qalam) ................................................................39 Fortress (Surah) 69, Truth-Control (al-Haqqa)...................................................................62 Fortress (Surah) 70, The Ways of Ascent (al-Ma’arij) ..................................................89 Fortress (Surah) 71, Noah (Nuh)..................................................................................................113 Fortress (Surah) 72, The Jinn (al-Jinn) ...................................................................................128 Fortress (Surah) 73, The Associate (al-Muzzammil) ..................................................149 Fortress (Surah) 74, All Divine Perfection He Achieved (al-Muddaththir) ........173 Fortress (Surah) 75, The Resurrection (al-Qiyama) ......................................................200 Fortress (Surah) 76, Humane Man (al-Insan) ...................................................................222 Fortress (Surah) 77, Rain Sent Forth (al-Mursalat).......................................................239 A Glimpse and a Definition A glimpse into the life of the scholar Mohammad min Sheikho.....................260 A glimpse into the life of the researcher and Islamic scholar Prof. Abdul-Kadir John, alias Al-Dayrani............................................................................270 Excerpts from the sciences of the great humane scholar Mohammad min Sheikho.............................................................................................................................................274 Issued to the humane eminent scholar Mohammad min Sheikho.................291
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  7. 7. 7 Foreword by the Educator Prof. Abdul-Kadir John, alias al-Dayrani Praises are to God, the Provider of all worlds; best and perfect communication with Him and peace are attained by means of the shining lamp Mohammad (cpth) 1 who was sent as a mercy for all worlds, and through all his brothers in Prophecy and his companions. The earth now floats over a flood of misery and pain; life has become bitter and loathsome and humanity is mired in a vast swamp of gloominess and purposeless endeavour. People do not know the starting point nor do they know what end awaits them. Today’s pervasive culture of consuming and coveting has made humanity listless, for all the merchandise we desire is trite and corrupt and in the end only creates boredom and disgust in human spirits, since there is no actual benefit to these purchases, they are just things to have. The same is true for humanity’s sci- ences which have turned into inhumane sciences, focused on more efficient killing, destruction, and even extermination, they bring only arbitrariness and injustice to this world. In fact, before the great humane scholar Mohammad min Sheikho (his soul has been sanctified by Al’lah) revealed the sublime reality of the Islamic religion, the majority of people held misunderstandings about Islam. They had fallen prey to false interpretations and misleading stories, including contradic- tory explanations of the Holy Qur’an. This led to the religion, as perceived by public opinion, being forced into an inflexible and inaccurate mold, a portrayal of Islam inadequate for the needs and requirements of the age and incompatible with the intellec- tual currents; a religion that falls short when confronted with many modern problems and offers no answers for the many se- rious questions facing people today. 1 (cpth) is an acronym for ‘communication with Al’lah and peace are through him.’
  8. 8. FOREWORD 8 This faulty representation of Islam thus caused the majority of Muslims to abandon their Holy Book and religion. God says, ‘And the Envoy said, “Oh, my Lord, my people have turned their back to this Qur’an.” ’ 2 Thus, people were susceptible to theories such as Karl Marx’s pronouncement that ‘Religion is the opium for the masses.’ These false conjectures gained favour in people’s minds; worse, people believed that religion is merely rhetorical words with a hollow message, only a theory and not something applicable to their existence. They believed trying to apply religion to their lives would destroy human society. They see that these promises of Paradise which religions offer are merely castles made of sand, awaiting only the turn of the tide to meet their destruc- tion. This increasing shift toward godlessness led some to declare that the time of religion was over; and thus many people turned to lay laws to create rules in harmony with their whims, desires and greed. And so things grew worse: one crisis followed another on all levels and in all fields, bringing down communities, sinking na- tions to the lowest level and throwing countries into bankruptcy. Thus has suppression prevailed and civilisation fallen down after it was the hope of humanity to bring back the lost garden. But even that was not the end of the world, for unexpectedly the world shook and the spirit of the earth trembled with joy. A heavenly luminary shone over the earth that changed notions and concepts and even the course of history. This luminary turned heads and inspired bows as it illumi- nated the fields of thought and presented solutions to problems which had previously baffled the national intellect. It extricated the world’s thoughts from its loss, devotion to materialism and blind dependency and cleansed religious thought of all imper- fections, contradictions and differences. If humanity seeks guidance by this star, the legislation will return pure and clear just as it was upon its birth, flowing over 2 The Holy Qur’an, Fortress (Surah) 25, The Criterion (al-Furqan), verse 30.
  9. 9. FOREWORD 9 with good and blessings throughout day and night. The new luminosity revealed by the great humane scholar Mohammad min Sheikho (his soul has been sanctified by Al’lah) made the twentieth-century philosopher Sir John Bennett declare in 1953, ‘Indeed, all the scientific knowledge that we have obtained do not equal the sea of scientific understanding of that great scholar in the Orient.’ 3 And here are some jewels from the great revelations of Scholar Sheikho: The impeccability of the masters of creatures, the great Prophets and Envoys (cptt). 4 The scholar proved that these men are completely immaculate. They never fall into error and it is impossible for them to be at fault, make a mistake or be wrong in any matter. Therefore no one at all may have control over them. The Holy Qur’an described them that, ‘They do not speak till He has spoken, and they act by His Command.’ 5 Cupping, the simplest of all medical surgeries, has occu- pied the place of honour among all other medical sciences as it renders all cures by only a few incisions from a scalpel. This Prophetic Sunna, which scholar Sheikho brought to light once again in the year 2000, drives away all the incurable diseases for which modern medicine could offer neither treat- ment nor cure, including hereditary diseases (such as hemo- philia), cancer, immune system diseases, irreversible conditions (including paralysis and sterility). Thus the hand of Prophecy presented cure, good health, well-being and protection for all humankind and thereby brought a smile and hopeful words to lips that have long been suffering ailments and pains with no expectation of relief. 3 From Sir John Bennett’s memories of the humane scholar Mohammad min Sheikho, recorded in his book Journeys in Islamic Countries. 4 (cptt) is an acronym for ‘communication with Al’lah and peace are through them.’ 5 The Holy Qur’an, Fortress (Surah) 21, The Prophets (al-Anbiya’), verse 27.
  10. 10. FOREWORD 10 One of the scholar’s great revelations is the necessity of the pronunciation of the statement ‘Al’lah is Greater’ over animals when they are being slaughtered. This makes the meat we and our sweet children eat become pure and free of any germs, viruses or any other pathogenic factors and consequently spares us and our families suffering and disease. What is more, this pronunciation was the decisive word which protected the abundance of animal life in Syria and put an end to the epidemics and plagues that threatened to decimate it. This is a fact, it was proven in the large slaughterhouse of Dooma 6 when the slaughters abided by always pronouncing the statement ‘Al’lah is Greater’ over the poultry, sheep and calves killed therein. Had this measure been practiced in the other countries of the world they would have not been smitten with mad cow, bird flu and sheep plague nor would they have been obliged to throw their animals into fire instead of enjoying their production and gaining the benefits of eating them. 7 The sources of spring water in the world. All the tech- nology of civilisation, its instruments and sciences could not discover the source of the fresh, pure thirst- quenching water that all humanity drinks. As for our most eru- dite human, he unveiled this great scientific theory when he demonstrated that the ice of the north and south poles is the source of the water of all the springs. Not to mention, his wondrous explanation of the mean- ings of the first Fortress (Surah) of the Holy Qur’an (al- Fatiha) and all the other Fortresses, the matter with which he surpassed all other religious scholars. The wisdom of the Grand Creator behind the need to circumcise males and behind His perfect creation of the 6 Near the city of Damascus, Syria. 7 Kindly, refer to the book of the great humane scholar Mohammad min Sheikho Proclaiming God’s Love – The Scientific and Qur’anic Motivation for Halal Slaughter.
  11. 11. FOREWORD 11 foreskin, a matter that baffled the masters of medicine. The au- gust scholar clarified that the Godly Perfection requires the creation of the foreskin while the male embryo is in his mother’s womb. And then it requires it be cut after birth. This insightful discovery was completely unknown to all people of medicine un- til the great humane master revealed it. In the field of economics, the scholar explained how the theory of the distribution of almsgiving among those who deserve it (al-Zakat) offers the singular solution for all the economic problems that so thoroughly shake the world. He elucidated how to avoid these problems and even how to come out of them. This theory ‘the distribution of the portions of almsgiving’ annihilates all the destructive economic theories pertaining to godlessness. It produces mercy, love and peace for all humanity of our age and puts an end to poverty, misery, en- mity and loss. In fields of social sciences and psychology, he clarified the ways to avoid all manner of spiritual disease and desperation, and how to be cured of them forever – al- though all sciences of the East and West failed to treat them. Nevertheless, the scientists and scholars did not ponder on the great knowledge the scholar presented and explained, nor did they perceive the benefits and advantages his suggestions would have brought. Had they done so, people would now live in Paradise on this earth and happiness and bliss would prevail all over the world. The venerable scholar is the only man who not only un- veiled the tricks and malice of the magicians, but is also able to root out magic and destroy it. This is manifested in his book Unveiling the Secrets of Magic and Magicians. In linguistics, the scholar gave value to the vowel points of the Qur’anic letter when he clarified what it holds of significance and indications that inspire in spirits great
  12. 12. FOREWORD 12 appreciation for the Words of the Grand God. This is in addi- tion to the value he gave to the letter itself and the whole word, nay to every Fortress and verse of the Qur’an. Above all, he in- terpreted the Fortresses in a way that showed what they include of plot, correlation, meanings and heart visions, revealing they are similar to the plot and correlation of the strictly precise cos- mic order. This correlation put in our minds that the Maker of the universe and the Sayer of these holy Words is one and the same, that is the Great God (Glory to Him). By virtue of this amazing illustration of the meanings of the Qur’an, many people on diverse continents of the earth have, in these days, begun to turn in spirit towards the Omnipotent Creator and to see with His Light. If only humanity as a whole gave heed to this guideline, they would follow the Words of the Grand God and walk on the straight path. They would bear the stamp of truth because of what they would know of truth and would guide each other to what is right. And then, their spirits would perceive and realise that this revelation (the Holy Qur’an) is in agreement with the Perfection of He (Glory to Him), with His Beautiful Names and Supreme Self, as well as they would comprehend its suitability for all the present modern communi- ties. To God belong the Supreme Names; and so whatever comes from Him always includes good and charity. From His Side, no evil and no ill may ever issue. There is no wrong in the universe, for the judgement of justice prevails over all creation. Humans have their own choice and determina- tion, but the action is controlled by God alone, the Almighty Who revealed these Words (the Holy Qur’an). It is a fact that the Hand of God holds the reins of all His creation and servants. He does not give authority to one human over another unless the latter deserves be punished because of some evil he committed. A wronged person is absolutely a wrongdoer in his reality. How many times have we seen powerful people treating oth- ers wrongfully; but even in this justice manifests itself. This is
  13. 13. FOREWORD 13 because those whom we think ill-treated have, in fact, surely transgressed against other people weaker than they are and therefore they have rightfully fallen victim to the hands of peo- ple endowed with more power than they possess. Comparatively, no one has control over those who are on the right way. This is a firm law which applies to all people, indi- viduals and nations. God says, ‘Thus we let some of the wrong- doers have power over others because of what they are wont to earn.’ 8 Accordingly, injustice befalls only those who deserve it. When one merits no injustice, no one will rule over them. The Almighty also says, ‘What does Al’lah gain by your punishment if you are grateful [in offering good acts] and you believe? Al’lah is Worthy of thanks and Omniscient.’ 9 But what is certain is that those who do wrong do so only to themselves. For Al’lah does exist, and since He exists there is no injustice among His creatures at all. In a holy saying, the Al- mighty tells us, ‘Oh My obedient followers, I have decreed in- justice to be forbidden to My Self and made it so among you.’ 10 This absolute truth, which states that there is no injustice in the universe, was not revealed by any man before our humane scholar. 11 In this interpretation of the Holy Qur’an concerning the Taba- rak part, which we understood through his lofty and supreme rea- soning, gentle readers will perceive, as they perceived before in the interpretation of the Am’ma part, that Al’lah’s Love for hu- manity knows no bounds and that His Orders and Actions in- clude absolute logic, sheer goodness and perfect humanity. The scholar also showed the wisdom and the compas- sion that are folded within Islam’s pronouncements on 8 The Holy Qur’an, Fortress (Surah) 6, Livestock (al-An’am), verse 129. 9 The Holy Qur’an, Fortress (Surah) 4, Women (al-Nisa’), verse 147. 10 Narrated by Muslim. 11 Kindly, refer to the book of the great humane scholar Mohammad min Sheikho, The Sources of Spring Water in the World.
  14. 14. FOREWORD 14 the veil, divorce and polygamy. The misunderstanding of the benevolent knowledge behind these issues created a negative reputation for Islam and became a tremendous obstacle that spurred the West turn their back on the religion. But when some of those who turned away understood the high purpose behind these issues, they acknowledged their sublimity and set to support them seriously, even translating them to different languages so that others might also comprehend. These are only a few of the revelations of our venerable scholar; there are many others. And today a new heavenly sun of his great revelation has risen to allow us to bask in the beautiful light of an interpreta- tion of the Tabarak part of the Qur’an that implants in our hearts love for the Great God and fills them with appreciation for His limitless Favour. Praise is to God, the Provider of the worlds
  15. 15. 15 Interpretation of the Twenty-ninth Part of the Holy Qur’an TABARAK PART
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  17. 17. 17 FORTRESS 67 CONTROL OF THE UNIVERSE (AL-MULK SURAH) In the Name of God, the All-Compassionate, the All-Merciful {1} Blessed are the Graces of He Who holds control of the uni- verse in His Hands and Who does all things with proper judgement; {2} Who has created death and life so that He may test which of you excels. He is the All-Mighty, the All- Forgiving, {3} Who has created seven harmonious heavens, each one above the last. You will never find any fault with what the All-Compassionate creates. Look again! Do you see any flaws? {4} Look again and again! Your sight will turn back to you, weak and defeated. {5} We have adorned the nearest heaven with lamps, and made of them missiles to throw at devils; We have prepared for these fiends the torment that they deserve. {6} Those who do not believe in their Provider will inevitably suffer the torment of Gehenna [Hell], a grievous destination. {7} When they are thrown into it, they will hear its deafening howl. It blazes forth, {8} bursting with fury. Every time a group is thrown in, its keepers will ask, ‘Did no one ever come to warn you?’ {9} Those who did not believe will answer, ‘Yes, indeed a warner did come to us, but we didn’t believe him and said [to him], “Al’lah has revealed nothing, you are greatly misguided.” ’ {10} They will say, ‘If only we had listened, or reasoned [for ourselves], we would not be with the companions of the Fire that we deserve!’ 1 {11} In this way they will confess their sins. A terrible and deserved punishment awaits the companions of the Fire! {12} But those who come to 1 ‘The deserved Fire’ means that each of the Fire dwellers will suffer a degree of Fire and torment sufficient to purge and calm the amount of disease and agony within their spirits – their own personal, self-inflicted Hell, a spiritual fire of regret.
  18. 18. Fortress 67 CONTROL OF THE UNIVERSE 18 revere their Lord, upon perceiving realities hidden [from peo- ple], will receive forgiveness and a great reward. {13} Whether you speak privately or openly, He knows the contents of every heart. {14} How could He Who created not know His own creation, when He is the Most Kind, the All- Aware? {15} It is He Who has made the earth hospitable for you; so travel its regions and eat His Provision. It is His to distribute and allot as He wishes. {16} Are you absolutely sure that He, Who is in Heaven, will not cause the earth to collapse beneath you, that the ground will not tremble violently and swallow you up? {17} Are you confident that He, Who is in Heaven, will not send a terrible storm to rain down on you? In this way you will know what My Warning means. {18} Those who went before them also disbelieved [the En- voys of Al’lah], so what was their punishment for denying Me? {19} Have they never noticed the birds soaring above them, spreading and folding their wings? Nothing holds them aloft except the All-Compassionate; He watches over everything. {20} Who else but the All-Compassionate could help you with an army? The non-believers are deluded. {21} If Al’lah should deny you His Benefits, who else could provide for you? Yet they con- tinue to wallow in their pride and refuse to hear the truth. {22} Who is better guided: he who falls flat on his face, or he who stands tall and walks a straight road? {23} Say [oh Mohammad], ‘It is He Who made you; He Who endowed you with hearing, sight and hearts. But you do not offer even the smallest thanks!’ {24} Say, ‘It is He Who scat- tered you across the earth, and you will be gathered back to Him [in the Hereafter].’ {25} They say [scornfully], ‘When will this Promise be fulfilled, if you are telling the truth?’ {26} Reply [oh Mohammad], ‘Only Al’lah knows the exact time [of the Hour of destruction]: my only duty is to give clear warning.’ {27} When they realise that the time [foretold] is close, the faces of those who disbelieve will show their misery and they will be told, ‘This is what you refused to believe.’ {28} Say [oh Mohammad],
  19. 19. Surah 67 AL-MULK 19 ‘Just think – regardless of whether Al’lah destroys me and my followers or shows us His Mercy – who would possibly protect the non-believers from an agonising torment?’ {29} Say, ‘He is the All-Compassionate; we believe in Him and we trust in Him. Eventually you will come to understand who is obviously in the wrong.’ {30} Say [oh Mohammad], ‘Just think: if your water [that sustains you] were to soak deep into the earth, then who could supply you with the fresh water you require?’
  20. 20. 20 Interpretation of Fortress 67 CONTROL OF THE UNIVERSE (AL-MULK SURAH) {1} Blessed are the Graces of He - The generosity and abun- dance of Al’lah are endless. He is the One Who sows boundless and abundant goodness into all things; thus it is only through Him that a wheat kernel matures into ears of corn, and a seed renders fruit. Likewise has the Lord of the worlds taken a single drop of sperm and from it populated the entire earth. Al’lah has always and will always abundantly provide for them; His Bless- ing and Benevolence never cease. This verse also has particular relevance for the believers who are on the right path, those who listened to the words of the Envoy 1 (cpth) 2 and heeded them. Their spirits quivered with fear as they contemplated death and understood it was inevitable that they would one day leave this world. With this realisation, their obedience to Al’lah became unshakable. They turned com- pletely away from the unlawful, refusing to watch or speak of that which Al’lah forbids. Instead they contemplated the won- ders around them, the universe, the planets and galaxies, the sun and the moon, until they could not help but believe in God and witness that there is no god but Al’lah. And to such believers Al’lah always bestows more – more knowledge, paradises, and happiness – an ever increasing enjoyment and understanding which allows them to ascend from one degree of Paradise to higher and more blissful levels as their understanding of the Di- vine deepens and expands through His Revelations. He Who holds control of the universe in His Hands - Oh Man! Ask yourself: Whose hands rule the universe? If you objectively and intellectually consider this question you must realise and witness that the One Who gives without limit 1 The word ‘Envoy’ also means ‘Messenger.’ 2 (cpth) is an acronym for ‘communication with Al’lah and peace are through him.’
  21. 21. Surah 67 AL-MULK 21 and bestows without boundary is the One Whose Hands hold the control and Who directs and manages all affairs with perfect competence. Think about it. Who nurtures the tiny seed into a majestic tree? Nay, into a forest? Who masters and dispatches the elements? Who crafted the entire universe and every single thing in it? Who nourishes it and keeps it running smoothly? And Who does all things with proper judgement - In other words, every gift bestowed by Al’lah is given to you, oh Man, strictly in measure with what you have earned. In the second verse, God shares more insight, continuing to acquaint us with Himself. {2} Who has created death and life - God first created the spir- its, then fastened them to the spines of men and sent them to live on earth. But the full explanation is that the spirits chose to indulge in their desires and turn away from Him, thus discon- nected, they began to descend into darkness and oblivion. Mer- ciful Al’lah stopped their freefall and, although their actions made them forfeit their lives in Paradise, He attached them to the spine of our master Adam (pth), 3 and sent them to the physical world, halting their downward spiral. This verse explains the fate of the spirits who turned away from Al’lah. In al-Azal, the pre-material world, some spirits succumbed to the temptations of lust and therefore drifted far away from the Presence of Al’lah. They forsook their Provider, and their isolation from Al’lah, the Almighty, rendered them spiritually lifeless. 4 To halt their fall and give them a second 3 (pth) is an acronym for ‘peace is through him.’ 4 ‘Spiritually lifeless’ does not have a material or physical connotation. Non- believers are spiritually lifeless because they have forsaken their Provider Who is the Source of animation, beauty, perfection, and grandeur. He bestows all of these benefits along with light, happiness, and life to all creation as deserved. Consequently, people who are close to Al’lah will be blessed to live in light, hap- piness, and life. Eventually they will be admitted to Paradise. Those people who have turned away from Al’lah and now dwell far from Him will lose and squan- der everything they might gain in this world, their spirits will be empty and life- less. They will retain only the physical body, just as animals and plants do. Peo- ple who choose this path can only be healed through Fire.
  22. 22. Fortress 67 CONTROL OF THE UNIVERSE 22 chance, 5 Al’lah (Glory to Him) dispatched these spirits to the world in our present form – the human body – so they might have the opportunity to regain purity of heart and eternal life. Thus, if those chosen few, the spirits who bear the Trust, wish to recover the heart life that was lost when they turned away from God in al-Azal, they have only to contemplate the universe until they come to believe in God, and they must love Al’lah’s Envoy (cpth) who is the ideal for humankind. Only then will they return to their Provider and receive again the gift of heart life. God has created death and life, so that He may test - That is, He has created a context for humankind, an environment in which He may observe and examine the accomplishment of people to see which of you excels. - And which of you falls short in good deeds. This is the sole reason for our existence in this world. The Lord of the worlds created humanity and placed us in this setting because He wishes us to perform good works and selfless acts so that He can reward us with paradises. In short, He has put us here that we might achieve happiness. And since that is God’s Purpose and Goal, every human being should be- lieve that all that happens in this life is for their benefit and leads only to what is good for them. He is the All-Mighty, the All-Forgiving - That is, He is the Individual Being, the Regulator of affairs and the only Source of goodness. The Lord of the worlds has created and organised the universe with the specific goal that its perfection and harmony might encourage you to contemplate it for your own good. Thus if you meditate upon it earnestly, you will gain blessings, para- dises and happiness from Him, the Exalted. To say ‘All-Forgiving’ signifies ‘the Healer.’ It is He (Glory to Him) Who cures the human spirit of its affliction, delivers it 5 Conversely, some spirits did not turn away from their Provider and refused to surrender to lust, these were permitted to stay close to Al’lah in life, light, hap- piness, and Paradise. They never stopped ascending degree by degree and thus are endlessly rewarded with higher ranks of Paradise. These successful spirits come to this life as teachers of the path of belief for those spirits who failed but were granted a second chance in this life by Al’lah in His Mercy.
  23. 23. Surah 67 AL-MULK 23 from the filthy stain of wretched lust which has tarnished hu- mans since al-Azal, the pre-material world. Al’lah wants to re- store your spirit and heal it of its sickness – its love for this world – so that you will be fit to return to Him and rejoice in what awaits you there. {3} Who has created seven harmonious heavens, each one above the last. - The heavens are connected to each other and similar in goodness, but they are also separate and layered, one above the other, like steps on a staircase leading ever higher. Consider the sky as an illustration, the sun and moon both reside there, yet the sun swims within a heaven that is much higher and far- ther away, while the moon lingers within a heaven close to us, but still above that of the clouds, which also loll in an adjacent sky but lower still. Oh Man! With this example can you see the harmony of creation and function which exists just for you? You will never find any fault with what the All- Compassionate creates. - All creation is in consistent harmony, you will not find anything which is incompatible with its sur- roundings. Instead all that the universe contains is symbiotic, intertwined and interconnected, working and functioning to- gether in perfect rhythm. Oh Man! Consider Whose Hand cre- ated all these beings, Who supplies this interwoven universe and keeps it functioning seamlessly? Since Al’lah has stocked this entire world solely for your well-being, shouldn’t you turn to Him and seek closeness? He is the Almighty, He offers you food and drink, and ensures your comfort and happiness with His Generosity. Look again! Do you see any flaws? - Observe the universe and think deeply about what you see. Do you see any flaws? - Are there any shortcomings or instabilities in the whole of the uni- verse? Is anything inconsistent or damaged or even just out of sync? No, of course not, everything is precisely and particularly intertwined with everything else. For example, fruit may grow from a seed, but this cannot happen unless the seed receives air, sun and water in proper quantities. Without these elements, it
  24. 24. Fortress 67 CONTROL OF THE UNIVERSE 24 would remain forever a seed, yet Al’lah has thoughtfully pro- vided not only the seed but all that it needs to flourish as well. {4} Look again and again! - That is, look as much as you like, high and low and from different angles and places and still your sight will turn back to you, weak and defeated. - You will find only unity in this universe, no matter how diligently you search for exceptions. Weak and defeated. - No matter how you strain your eyes searching for discord, they will detect nothing, and find only exhaustion in the end. It does not matter how meticu- lously you examine the universe, there simply are no flaws to find. Rather, your vision will be overwhelmed and exhausted be- fore you will find a single imperfection or instability. And in the end, your strained eyes will be unable to see the Almighty’s many creations or gaze upon His innumerable Bounties. Likewise if a person meditates upon the harmony of the uni- verse, he will undoubtedly come to believe in the Provider and then he will love the people of perfection 6 and especially the master of those people, the Envoy of Al’lah (cpth). The beliefs which arise from contemplating the universe will lead a person to join with Mohammad (cpth) and emulate him. This compan- ionship with the Envoy (cpth) then helps that person to witness the pervasiveness of God’s Light through His Supreme Names in every part of His creation. Then your sight will turn back to you, weak and defeated. - For when someone uses their spiritual eyes instead of their physical ones, they can at last truly observe the Light of Al’lah and the light of the Envoy (cpth), and thus will they see truly, and recognise good as good and evil as evil. The Light of Al’lah will illuminate their thoughts so they finally understand that this world is despicable and worthless in its own right, and that everything of value comes from Al’lah, the Al- mighty. 6 The people of perfection, or the models of perfection, are the Prophets and Envoys and their master, our Prophet Mohammad; the believers and followers of truth are also included in this group.
  25. 25. Surah 67 AL-MULK 25 When you see this with your spiritual eyes and truly under- stand, then you will be humbled by what you have seen: weak and defeated. A human might dwell in the past, fretting and regretting what they wasted and lost before they saw the Light of Al’lah and understood what is truly important. They will berate them- selves and wish that they had discovered the truth sooner, in- stead of wasting years of their life in ignorant darkness. {5} We have adorned the nearest heaven with lamps - That is, the closest heaven was carefully and intentionally embellished with twinkling orbs, and made of them missiles to throw at dev- ils - These neighbouring celestial bodies may hurl forth meteors like weapons to singe those devils who presume to eavesdrop on the angels in heaven. Similarly, a person who follows the path of our master Abraham (pth) and eventually attains the Presence of our Provider also achieves a spiritual connection with Al’lah’s Envoy (cpth), who is the firm link to Al’lah. Protected by this connection, these believers are safe from devils who can neither approach them nor enter their spirits. These believers are be- yond the seduction of worldly pleasures because they receive from Al’lah such vast and unimagined wonderments and re- wards that this world ceases to interest them and they are easily able to resist its temptations. Such believers scorch the devils with their own light and the light of the Envoy (cpth). The rest of this noble verse declares, We have prepared for these fiends the torment that they deserve - Thus We are assured that on the Day of Resurrection these devils will receive an ap- propriate torment. All punishments meted out to the non- believers on that Day will be different and individually tailored, varying in severity and length according to the spirits they har- bour. Each spirit must accept their share of the Fire, allotted ac- cording to what it deserves, as determined by the scope of its dis- ease and the worthlessness of deeds rendered in its earthly life. {6} Those who do not believe in their Provider - Those who do not devote serious thought to their Lord and see clearly by the
  26. 26. Fortress 67 CONTROL OF THE UNIVERSE 26 Light of God, frequently, in their ignorance, commit transgres- sions and crimes. These culprits have failed to acquaint them- selves with the One Who sustains them and nourishes them, providing water and food. Such people will inevitably suffer the torment of Gehenna 7 [Hell] - In the beginning Al’lah offered humanity an elevated status but humans squandered the benefit bestowed upon them and so forfeited their privileged position. In time, those who do not believe will realise their mistake and be consumed by re- morse and anguish for their grievous error. A grievous destina- tion. - Because they did not believe their evil actions will haunt them and they will endure misery and suffer the Fire. {7} When they are thrown into it, they will hear its deafening howl. - Fire is a spirit just as you are. On Doomsday, it will cry in confusion, demanding of the unbelievers, ‘Why did you come to me? You forsook your Provider and your Paradise and come instead to me, although I possess nothing!’ It will speak thus be- cause it grieves for them and the terrible anguish they will en- dure when boiling in its flames. So, it blazes forth - The Fire rages strongly. {8} Bursting with fury. - The terrible fury the Fire will feel for these non-believers will cause its intensity to increase so drasti- cally that it will come close to exploding into harmless, scattered particles and ceasing to exist. Every time a group is thrown in, its keepers - The angels will ask, ‘Did no one ever come to warn you?’ - The merciful angels will ask the unbelievers with great concern, ‘Didn’t Al’lah, the Almighty, send Envoys to warn you and lead you on the correct path? Why then did you not believe? Why did you refuse to align yourselves with Al’lah through these Envoys and thus avoid the terrible end which now awaits you?’ 7 Gehenna (Hell): A spiritual inner fire of regret, grief and shame which ignites within the human spirit upon understanding its loss and failure, realising its ne- glect of Al’lah and the course of truth, and comprehending how it failed to achieve a prestigious position.
  27. 27. Surah 67 AL-MULK 27 {9} Those who did not believe will answer, ‘Yes, indeed a warner did come to us, but we didn’t believe him - Or follow his guide- lines, ‘and said [to him], “Al’lah has revealed nothing - The dis- believers will admit they claimed that the Envoy who was sent to them was not credible and that Almighty Al’lah had revealed nothing to him. They did not believe in God and therefore did not hesitate to call him a liar. Worse still, the disbelievers ac- cused the Envoys of being ‘ “greatly misguided.” ’ - That is, the disbelievers pointed out that the Envoys understand nothing of the world or its pleasures. Yet this phrase will be repeated at least once more, for on Doomsday the angels will again address the unbelievers and tell them, ‘ “You are greatly misguided.” ’ - Then the angels will say, ‘Today, your error has been magnified. Al’lah’s Envoys brought you countless reminders (of Paradise) in the worldly life and you could have benefited and gained a light for yourselves that would admit you into Paradise. But as of today your straying is irreversible, the means that were available to you in the worldly life are no longer at your disposal. Now, the universe and your physical body no longer exist and you are lost. It is no longer possible for you to perform the good deeds that might have brought you close to Al’lah (Glory to Him).’ {10} They will say, ‘If only we had listened - That is, ‘If we had only paid attention to the Envoys and heeded the truth they of- fered us.’ The Envoys showed them the right path but the unbe- lievers ignored them and did not implement their teachings. Their ears heard but their hearts did not. The ‘listening’ intended here is listening of the spirit, as re- ferred to in the following verse when God says, ‘If you two 8 turn in repentance to Al’lah, your hearts have indeed listened.’ 9 The unbelievers mistakenly assume that the material world has value. They believe that it offers happiness, pleasure, and 8 This noble verse is addressed to two ladies, Aisha and Hafza, who were wives of the Envoy Mohammad (cpth). 9 The Holy Qur’an, Fortress (Surah) 66, Prohibition (al-Tahrim), verse 4.
  28. 28. Fortress 67 CONTROL OF THE UNIVERSE 28 comfort and do not see past these distractions to the reality be- yond. They are blind to its cunning, deception, and hazards, for if they saw past the facade they would come to despise the de- based world and seek truth and sincerity instead. Upon surren- dering to these qualities, they would finally feel joy in their hearts. This joy had previously been denied to them because low and debased virtues go against human nature. The non-believers will wish that they had heeded the Envoys of God ‘or reasoned - Thought carefully on their truthful words, for then ‘we would not be with the companions of the Fire that we deserve!’ - That is to say, if they had but listened to the En- voys they would not find themselves about to be thrown into Al’lah’s blazing Fire, to help them forget the torment of Ge- henna (Hell) which burns their corrupted spirits, instead they would be joining the people of Paradise and happiness. If they had been open to the words of the Envoys and considered, prac- tised, and realised what they heard, they would never have met with Gehenna and deserved Al’lah’s blazing Fire. {11} In this way they will confess their sins. - But, what is the point of people confessing their sins in the Hereafter? Confess- ing them in the present world offers the chance of redemption and the possibility of escaping punishment. For example, when the brothers of our master Joseph (pth) sincerely confessed their faults and returned to Al’lah (Glory to Him) with true repen- tance they were elevated to higher ranks. So what purpose would it serve to confess sins in the Hereaf- ter, when there is no longer an opportunity to escape punish- ment? Confession in the Hereafter is valuable because it helps the confessor to understand that any punishment they suffer is due entirely to their own misdeeds, and this knowledge is calming. This is an example of God’s Mercy for the unbelievers, a way He relieves their suffering. When they finally understand that their punishment is their own doing, they are able to accept their situation because they realise their predicament is entirely their own fault and no one else is to blame.
  29. 29. Surah 67 AL-MULK 29 A terrible and deserved punishment awaits the companions of the Fire! - How terrible are the flames which will envelop them! But the cleansing Fire is not a pointless punishment, its function is to sear away the evil, wickedness, and arrogance which taints the spirits of these disbelievers. Only then they can turn towards Al’lah and purify their spirits so that they might gain admission to Paradise. {12} But, those who come to revere their Lord, upon perceiving realities hidden [from people] - These believers are the ones who observe and consider the obvious perfection manifested in the universe, and witnessing this perfection, they fear Al’lah and submit to Him and follow the Envoys (ptt). 10 The Divine Pres- ence was hidden from them; however, when the harbinger guided them to the way of belief they followed it. They deeply ponder and eventually come to believe, at that moment they will witness the Greatness of Al’lah and His Mercy. Then, certain of His Existence (Glory to Him) and aware that He is the Great Observer, they will not dare to disobey Him. Thus, those believers will receive forgiveness - Those who heed the words of the Envoys (ptt) and follow their path to God’s Presence, will be forgiven their previous transgressions. Their spirits will be cured of disease, filth, and wicked desires and, thus purified, their sublime intentions will encourage them to perform great deeds for which they will receive a great re- ward. {13} Whether you speak privately or openly - The choice is yours, oh Man! It doesn’t matter whether you keep your own counsel or you proclaim your thoughts to the world, He knows the contents of every heart. - Nothing is hidden from Al’lah, He is Cognizant of you and all your intentions. {14} How could He Who created not know His own creation - Do you think that He Who created and formed you and even 10 (ptt): an acronym for ‘peace is through them.’
  30. 30. Fortress 67 CONTROL OF THE UNIVERSE 30 now provides for you knows nothing about you? Your soul is in His Hands (Glory to Him) and your nourishment comes from Him. When He is the Most Kind - His Kindness surrounds you wherever you are. Al’lah is always gentle with humanity. He is the All-Aware - Al’lah is perpetually Aware of your condition and spirit. Al’lah has even dressed your spirit with a body. He made it, yet He allows you to move and manipulate it as you like. Al’lah has put it under your control so the body moves ac- cording to your spirit’s wishes. If He can do all of this, how would it even be possible for Him to not know everything about you? {15} It is He Who has made the earth hospitable for you - That is, Al’lah has made the earth tame enough for you to thrive upon it. If you farm it and cultivate the land, it, in turn, yields produce for your sustenance. Al’lah (Glory to Him) has made this earth submissive to you. Whatever you do with it you will find no re- sistance, indeed it surrenders to your wishes. Yet in this world you will hear people claim, ‘We have subdued nature!’ Why would they challenge the Work of God? So travel its regions - That is, walk all through this world on the path of righteousness. Should you stray from this straight path you will plunge into the carnal world and its pleasures and so ensnared you will soon forget Al’lah and lose your Paradise, and do yourself a grave injustice. And eat His Provision. - Every single human being has an al- lotted portion; thus you should be reasonable when seeking pro- visions to meet your needs. If you allow yourself to become im- mersed in the carnal world, you will inevitably turn away from God and your spirit will become far removed from Him (Glory to Him). As a result, soon you will believe that humans feed each other, forgetting entirely that Al’lah is the Sustainer. It is His to distribute and allot as He wishes. - It is He Who distributes resources over creation. If the rain should cease to fall, who can send it down again? It is Al’lah Who distributes
  31. 31. Surah 67 AL-MULK 31 these provisions among His servants, and every person receives what they deserve and what profits them. {16} Are you absolutely sure that He, Who is in Heaven - ‘He’ is Al’lah (Glory to Him) Who reveals Himself to His obedient followers, will not cause the earth to collapse beneath you - That is, how can you be sure He won’t send earthquakes to plague you? Oh Man! All your science and technology is of this earth, so if the ground should give way beneath your feet, then all your knowledge and progress will crumble with it. Has all your pro- gress and learning rendered you able to ward off even a small tremor or a storm? If you can’t do it by now, you will never be able to do it. Are you sure that the ground will not tremble violently and swallow you up? - Suppose that an earthquake turns the earth upside down. At first you are held in place by its spinning, but then you are plunged into darkness and imprisoned in its depths, where you can hope for nothing but deprivation, pain, and suffering. Can anyone other than Al’lah (Glory to Him) save you? {17} Are you confident that He, Who is in Heaven, will not send a terrible storm to rain down on you? - In a modern anal- ogy, are you sure nuclear bombs won’t plummet from the sky leaving only destruction and nothingness? But this disaster will take place on the day of the Greatest Hour, 11 and in this way you will know what My Warning means. - On that day you will un- derstand the harbinger’s mission and warning to humankind. When the Greatest Hour 12 is upon us, only then will you realise that everything the harbinger told you is true. No one spoke of 11 Please refer to the book The Envoy of Peace Looms on the Horizon, by the great humane scholar Mohammad min Sheikho. 12 The Greatest Hour will come in the near future accompanied by the return of Jesus Christ (pth) who walked this earth about two thousand years ago. At that time, World War III will break out and bring total destruction through the use of nuclear weapons. All Envoys and Prophets (ptt) have warned of this.
  32. 32. Fortress 67 CONTROL OF THE UNIVERSE 32 the Greatest Hour or about Jesus (pth) except the Prophet Mohammad, and so any words other than his are only ignorant gossip. Worse! It would be even worse than the ignorance of Arabs in the time before Islam. Oh Man! Do not mistake that these millions of people who feel self-satisfied and act confident are safely on the right path. They have neither heard nor considered the words of the har- binger, and so they are moving towards destruction. {18} Those who went before them - All previous nations, also disbelieved [the Envoys of Al’lah], so what was their punish- ment for denying Me? - What was the result of denying My Fa- vour and disavowing the word of the Envoys? {19} Have they never noticed the birds soaring above them - In order that they may understand the earth spins, let the non- believers watch birds flying in formation, literally spreading and folding their wings - Great flocks of innumerable birds all soar together, held aloft only by flapping their fragile wings in seem- ingly nothing but thin air. Nothing holds them aloft except the All-Compassionate. - Ask an observer on the ground who keeps them in the sky. It can be none other than the Almighty. Hence, Al’lah holds everything that He created in His Hands (Glory to Him). He animates His creations and guides their movements because their souls are cradled in His Hands. No other being takes any autonomous action, because just holding the power hastens them toward destruction. Thus, everything is held in His Hands (Glory to Him). He watches over everything. - He sees all and knows every- thing He has created. He nourishes everything and guides its movements, and it is He (Glory to Him) Who allows them to see reality with their heart’s eye that will be opened by Al’lah’s Light - if they pay heed. {20} Who else but the All-Compassionate could help you with an army? - Al’lah (Glory to Him) admonishes us, ‘You believe
  33. 33. Surah 67 AL-MULK 33 that power and strength come with knowledge and wealth and weapons, but would the best equipped and trained army be able to defeat disease, death, or an earthquake should I send any of them against you? Could they save you from a virus? Or death? Or would you and your material possessions be able to protect other people against any of these afflictions? No, not one of you has the ability to do so. Feeble are those who seek protection of this sort and those who offer it!’ The non-believers are deluded. - The non-believers are con- ceited and deluded. They are completely enamoured of each other and the world and are absorbed by its vanities. They make each other into false gods because they are fascinated by each other rather than being fascinated by Al’lah (Glory to Him) and His great Envoy (cpth). Thus confused and distracted, their spirits become tangled together although Al’lah clearly warned them against this, ‘Al- low your spirits to intertwine only with the true spirits of My obedient followers, My Envoys, so that you may become illumi- nated by My Light. Do not let your spirits mix with each other.’ And even though Al’lah has admonished against it, in this world you will often find people who say, ‘We enjoy raising our chil- dren and being in the company of women, and we satisfy our requirements with money.’ However the question is, do chil- dren, wealth, or women lead to increased knowledge and aware- ness of the Afterlife? Are they capable of saving you or releasing you from the torment of the grave, or from the terrors of the Hereafter, or from the Fire? {21} If Al’lah should deny you His Benefits, who else could pro- vide for you? - If Al’lah withholds water, and refuses to let the rain fall, then what can these atheists do about it? You take great pride in them, believing they are capable of action or possess power or strength, but can they bring rain to nourish your crops? Can they provide sunlight or air or water for you? They are un- able to quicken a fly! What could these atheists do about earth- quakes, hurricanes and volcanoes if they were plagued by them?
  34. 34. Fortress 67 CONTROL OF THE UNIVERSE 34 Yet they continue to wallow - False providers such as these are easy prey for worldly pleasures. Their quest for power and strength takes them deep into the earth, as they mine for gold and drill for oil and build factories to mass produce weapons of war. They are brought low in their pride - Because of their ex- treme arrogance, each seeks superiority over the other so they might boast that they are the strongest and the smartest. Thus they proclaim themselves deities and refuse to hear the truth. - That is to say, they shun the truth of the Envoy (cpth). The phrase they continue to wallow in their pride - also sig- nifies that these disbelievers continually scorn the Commands of God, one Command after another is cavalierly disregarded, until they become totally immersed and enmeshed in the worldly life and its pleasures and their spirits turn away entirely from Al’lah (Glory to Him) and His great Envoy (cpth). Soon, they begin to engage in crime and wars will break out among them. {22} Who is better guided: he who falls flat on his face - That is, someone who is completely engrossed in his worldly affairs, and ignores or disregards everything outside his narrow sphere and mean desires. Is such a person better guided, or he who stands tall and walks a straight road? So is a person wholly consumed with their own earthly affairs better guided than one who walks a righteous path seeking the truth and its people? If you consider the conduct of these two types of people it is easy to see they are not equal. Someone who is far from God goes through this life with his face pressed to the ground and blinkers on his eyes, keeping a very narrow focus. When you ex- amine the behaviour and morals of this person you will find only avarice and harshness, stinginess, injustice, and a mind con- stantly attacked with false whispers. Conversely, if you consider the conduct of a believer who turns towards Al’lah (Glory to Him) and follows His great Envoy (cpth), you will discover a compassionate and kind character, honest dealings, and a soft nature. The two types are not equal in any way, shape, or form.
  35. 35. Surah 67 AL-MULK 35 {23} Say - To them, oh Mohammad! ‘It is He Who made you’ - He created you in the wombs of your mothers. He took a single drop of sperm and turned you into a human being! ‘He Who endowed you with hearing’ - You must listen to the truth and the Words which God revealed to His Envoy (cpth) and act ac- cordingly. If you do this, that is, listen and take the proper action; if you contemplate the universe and carefully consider God’s Words, only then will Al’lah grant you a light and a heart-vision which will allow you to easily distinguish between truth and falsehood, between good and evil. This heart-vision is the true connotation of the word ‘sight’ in this verse. In addition to the gifts of deep emotional hearing and insight, God also endowed us with ‘hearts’ - The cores of the spirits within our bodies. But ask yourselves who made these organs for you? Certainly you should be grateful for His Favour upon you, and yet despite this regard ‘you do not offer even the smallest thanks!’ - That is, you do not try to gain access to belief! Oh Man! These many bounties were granted to you so that, through them, you might turn towards your Lord and perform righteous deeds on behalf of His creation. Yet people take these bounties and offer nothing in return. They do not turn towards Al’lah (Glory to Him) nor towards the noble Envoy (cpth). They do not perform good deeds to earn their life in the Hereafter; instead they act only to achieve their own purposes and interests in this world. They yield no good for humanity. {24} Say, ‘It is He Who scattered you across the earth - He brought us out of our mothers’ bellies to live on this earth. God used the word ‘scattered’ to stress to us that all humans are as tiny as atoms when compared to the universe. Oh Man! You are only a tiny speck in the enormous universe! Yet despite the vast- ness and greatness of the universe, it is still submissive and sur- renders always to Al’lah (Glory to Him). Surely you do not think you are bigger than the universe. Why then are you so ar-
  36. 36. Fortress 67 CONTROL OF THE UNIVERSE 36 rogant? Yield to your Provider so that He might grant you His Bounties. Truly, it is He Who bestows His Gifts upon the uni- verse and all creation, and you will be gathered back to Him [in the Hereafter].’ - That is, on Doomsday you will return to Him. {25} They say [scornfully], ‘When will this Promise be fulfilled - He, the Envoy of God (cpth), threatens the unbelievers with the Greatest Hour, with the total destruction of this life, but still they refuse to believe. Instead they challenge the Envoy, asking, ‘When will this Promise be fulfilled, if you are telling the truth?’ - Their love for the carnal world is strong and they become suspi- cious of his words. {26} Reply [oh Mohammad], ‘Only Al’lah knows the exact time [of the Hour of destruction]: my only duty is to give clear warn- ing.’- Only Al’lah truly knows the precise moment. The harbin- ger can only warn you that this day is to come, describe to you what will happen when it does, and instruct you on how you might escape from it and its terrors. {27} When they realise that the time [foretold] is close - When the Promise comes to pass and the day of destruction arrives, that is, at the time of death, humanity will witness everything. At that time, the faces of those who disbelieve will show their misery - That is to say, after their shunning of God and His Path, and their refusal to fear this day, everything the unbeliev- ers thought they achieved during their lives will bring them great unhappiness, and they will be told, ‘This is what you re- fused to believe.’ - They will be told, ‘This is what you did not want to hear.’ {28} As a last address to those who are far from God, He says, Say [oh Mohammad] - Tell them, oh My Envoy! ‘Just think – regardless of whether Al’lah destroys me and my followers or shows us His Mercy - Those people hope and strive to be rid of the Envoy (cpth) and the believers, then no one will stand be-
  37. 37. Surah 67 AL-MULK 37 tween them and their desires and decay. Thus, the Envoy said to them, ‘We will all definitely die. Each of us has been allotted a certain life span and that’s it. So, whether Al’lah (Glory to Him) destroys or has mercy upon us, you cannot avoid the punish- ment.’ The Envoy (cpth) says, ‘Who would possibly protect the non-believers from an agonising torment?’ - That is to say, ‘At the time of destruction who will protect you, unbelievers? Do you think that if Al’lah destroys us you will be safe from tor- ment?’ Let each one of us decide which party they will follow: choose either the party that is degraded and misled or the party that is elevated and noble-mannered. {29} Say, ‘He is the All-Compassionate’ - Al’lah is the Source of Mercy, the One Who is praised by all creation. ‘We believe in Him’ - We have witnessed His Supreme Names, ‘and we trust in Him.’ - We trust Him because He is Mercy, Affection and Kindness for us and for all of His creation. We know that what- ever afflictions He visits upon humans, it will always contain goodness and mercy, in fact, it is actually extra favour from Him (Glory to Him). Realising this, we put our trust in Him. ‘Even- tually you will come to understand - At the time of death and on the Day of Resurrection you will finally see ‘who is obviously in the wrong.’ - That is, who is now clearly straying from the truth. The Envoy of Al’lah (cpth) tirelessly explains to the unbelievers the misdirection and wickedness that they indulge in and offers them the means to change their conduct and enjoy happiness, yet they refuse and do not change their behaviour. Instead they say, ‘We are people of science and civilisation,’ but in reality they are people of disbelief, immorality, debauchery, misdirection, cruelty, criminality, injustice and degradation. And yet despite this ethical dearth, many who lack insight and perception look respectfully and reverently at these non-believers. {30} This is the final warning to humanity: Say [oh Mohammad], ‘Just think: if your water [that sustains you] were
  38. 38. Fortress 67 CONTROL OF THE UNIVERSE 38 to soak deep into the earth’ - Al’lah commands His Envoy (cpth) to speculate, what if the many sources of freshwater on this earth were to vanish, ‘then who could supply you with the fresh water you require?’ - Water is essential to life, all life, and if all the water were to dry up and drain away, would you then be able to bring it back? With all your learning and civilisation could you bring back the water? Indeed, it is sadly true that in these modern times the springs have run dry and the water that humanity drinks has become stagnant. All praise is to God, the Provider of the worlds.
  39. 39. 39 FORTRESS 68 THE GODLY PEN (AL-QALAM SURAH) In the Name of God, the All-Compassionate, the All-Merciful {1} Nun, 1 the Godly Pen and what they [the believers] inscribe {2} [testify that] you [oh Prophet] are not [mad, or] veiled from the Grace of your Lord, {3} and truly, you will receive a boundless reward, {4} for you are of sublime character. {5} Soon you will see, as will they, {6} by what means the captive is taken. {7} Your Pro- 1 These three English letters represent the name of an Arabic letter, it is the twenty-fifth letter of the Arabic alphabet; in fact, there are twenty-nine For- tresses in the Holy Qur’an which begin by mentioning one or more letters. Here ‘Nun’ signifies the very essence of light. Al’lah addresses His Envoy as ‘Nun’ to show us that he (cpth) is the owner of His Light. ‘Nun’ also refers to the Qur’an which serves as a light for all humanity. All the Prophets and Envoys have Al’lah’s Light and thus they are lamps for people. Our master Jesus said, ‘I am a light for the world and whoever walks a road other than mine certainly travels in utter darkness.’ But actually, these acronyms refer to the sublime qualities of the Envoy of God (cpth). The Almighty presents these qualities as symbols to catch our at- tention and force us to consider them with care so that we might understand them. God’s Use of symbols spurs us to ask ourselves: Who is intended by these letters? In this way, He encourages us to think and thought leads us to appreci- ate the Envoy (cpth) who is the conduit which guides us into God’s Presence and ultimately to a true spiritual intercession with him (cpth). Hence, when a Qur’anic Fortress begins with an acronym, it is intended as a symbol, a key word to aid in understanding the Qur’anic verse that follows. This understanding can be achieved by adopting the Envoy’s illuminated thinking, he (cpth) is the opener of all that is closed and the seal, the finish, of all that was re- vealed before him; there are no new revelations after Mohammad. It is he (cpth) who aids the truth by fidelity and who is a beacon to the Straight Path of God. Islamic scholars have utterly failed to decipher the esoteric meanings of these acronyms, declaring instead that they are one of Al’lah’s Miracles and none but Him shall comprehend their particular significance. Yet all these letters and many of the key words of the Qur’anic Fortresses were clearly explained by the venerable scholar Mohammad min Sheikho by virtue of his noble proximity to his Provider and his pure spirit and illuminated thoughts.
  40. 40. Fortress 68 THE GODLY PEN 40 vider knows best who strays from His Path, and it is He Who knows best who is rightly guided. {8} So do not yield to those who deny [the truth]. {9} They wish you to compromise [with them in matters of faith], so they might compromise [you]. {10} Do not yield to any contemptible swearer, {11} a self-indulger, gossiper, {12} hinderer of good, [or to anyone who is] aggressive and sinful, {13} a bearer [of others’ sins], and consequently degrades himself. {14} [He holds all these qualities] whatever wealth and children he may have. {15} When Our Signs are recited to him, he says, ‘Fa- bles of the ancient.’ {16} We shall brand him on the snout [nose]! {17} We have tried them just as We tried the people of the garden, they who swore that they would harvest its bounty in the morning, {18} and allow no share [for the needy]. {19} Then your Provider visited it [the garden] while they were sleeping. {20} And by morning it had become like a desolate land. {21} Still having risen for the morning, they called each other [unknow- ing], {22} ‘Go early to your gardens, if you mean to gather [the harvest].’ {23} So they went off, conversing in hushed tones, {24} ‘[Take care] that no destitute person enter there with you to- day!’ {25} They turned, firmly resolved in intent [that is, to collect the harvest and not share it with the needy, convinced that] they have power. {26} But when they saw it [the destruction], they said, ‘We must have lost our way! {27} No – rather we are deprived [of the fruits]!’ {28} Their moderator said, ‘Did I not say to you, “Why do you not glorify God?” ’ {29} They said, ‘Glory is to our Pro- vider! Truly, we have done wrong!’ {30} And then they looked at each other in mutual reproach. {31} They said, ‘Oh, woe to us! We have indeed transgressed! {32} But it may be that our Provider will give us something better in its place: we truly turn to our Pro- vider in hope.’ {33} Such is [the purpose of] the punishment [in this life], but greater still is the punishment in the Hereafter, if only they knew. {34} For the ones who become illuminated by Al’lah’s Light, there are Gardens of bliss with their Lord. {35} Should We treat those who submit [to Us] as We treat those who do evil! {36} This [universe] does not belong to you. How then can you [act as]
  41. 41. Surah 68 AL-QALAM 41 judge [in it]? {37} Or do you have a book from which you learn {38} that what is for you therein is whatever you choose? {39} Or have you done blessed performances [conferring benefits] upon Us until the Day of Resurrection? Do you have possession of that whereof you judge? {40} Ask them [Prophet] which of them may lead them in that [pretence]. {41} Or do they have partners [besides God]? Then let them produce their partners, if what they say is true. {42} On the Day when all that was driven will be manifest, and they will be invited to prostrate themselves, they will be incapable of it. {43} Downcast will be their eyes, abasement overwhelming them. They had been invited to prostrate them- selves while they were still safe and whole [but refused]. {44} So [Prophet] leave Me with those who deny this Word: We will lead them on, step by step, from where they do not know. {45} I fulfil for them [all their requirements], for truly My Plan is firm and unfailing. {46} Or is it that you asked them for some reward [in return for calling them to Our Word], and so they are heavily burdened with debt! {47} Or is the hidden 2 within their reach? Thus, it is they who transcribe [their fate]. {48} So wait patiently [Prophet] for your Lord’s Judgement, and do not be like the companion of the whale, who called out [to Us] choking inwardly [with distress]. {49} Had not a Grace from his Lord reached him, he would have been abandoned alone and bare, reproaching himself. {50} But his Lord chose him and made him one of those who are worthy [of His Gift]. {51} Those who disbelieve would [if they could] smite you with their looks when they hear the Reminder, and they say, ‘He must be mad!’ {52} But truly it is nothing other than a Reminder for all the worlds. 2 ‘The hidden world’: This is the immaterial world that contains things that can- not be seen or perceived by human eyes. Instead they can be looked upon only with the eye of the heart (the human spirit) by means of Al’lah’s Light. This is the world of realities that includes the past, the present and the future and it lasts forever. It includes realities beyond shapes, the angels, Paradise and Fire. This world is unknown to ordinary people. Only those people who have had their hearts’ eyes opened by Al’lah’s Light can witness and attend the world of realities and can see the Manifestation of Al’lah.
  42. 42. 42 Interpretation of Fortress 68 THE GODLY PEN (AL-QALAM SURAH) {1} Nun - Al’lah addresses His Envoy (cpth), saying, ‘You are the light for the world. Anyone who proceeds in this life with companions other than you, they proceed only in darkness.’ Nun - ‘Oh Mohammad! The Qur’an is a beacon in your hands for the believers; it enlightens the path to illumination by Al’lah’s Light.’ God says, ‘Oh people, a persuasive proof has come to you from your Lord and We have beamed a clear light down to you.’ 1 The light of the Qur’an saves humanity from darkness, blind- ness and ignorance. It contains true insight and the logical and just humanitarian guidelines. Understanding and following the instructions it contains leads not only to happiness, but causes pain and disease to vanish. This must occur, because the Qur’an is a revelation from the All-Merciful, the All-Compassionate. Before we came to inhabit this world, we were all mere spirits in the pre-material world. These spirits were not covered with a body, not covered with flesh, blood and bones. Rather God cre- ated all spirits from light, and so there was no difference nor disparity between them in anything. Then the Almighty Al’lah offered the Trust to the spirits; that is, He offered them free will and freedom of choice. He offered to give them the opportunity to independently choose the right path by their deeds and achievements and man accepted the Trust. So they agreed to come to this material world, where deeds might be performed, so that they might act righteously and carry out moral acts. Thus they requested to experience desire not from a longing to un- dergo want and lust and the pleasures they sometimes bring, but rather because they hoped it would be the impetus to do good deeds. However, after the spirits had accepted the Trust, God 1 The Holy Qur’an, Fortress (Surah) 4, Women (al-Nisa’), verse 174.
  43. 43. Surah 68 AL-QALAM 43 wished to temper the covenant by exposing them to desire; un- fortunately, they succumbed to the temptations; and, in turning away from Al’lah, they lost His Light and their right path. This is true of all the spirits except for the spirits of the Prophets and Envoys; they kept faith with their covenant and therefore their light was not extinguished, rather the brightness and illumina- tion of their lights increased. The greatest Envoy Mohammad (cpth) possessed the strongest light, its brightness eclipsed the light of all the Prophets and Envoys (ptt). Thus the Prophet Mohammad (cpth) became a source of light for them and re- mains so to this day, for his illumination can never be extin- guished or hidden. Hence, the beacon of the Prophet (cpth) will lead you to the Light of Al’lah, the Almighty, which is the Qur’an, and by his light (cpth) you can understand its significance and meaning. This explains the letters Nun. As for the term the Godly Pen, it refers to the Pen of the Divine Judgement, that is, to what was written and imprinted in the spirit of the Envoy (cpth). The Almighty Al’lah wove the words of the Holy Qur’an into the spirit of the Prophet Mohammad (cpth). He inscribed reali- ties there which were translated for the sake of the Prophet, into words and meanings which no mortal could produce, not so much as a word or even a single letter. He (cpth) also left behind his deeds, which the people that followed him and those yet to come have failed to replicate. These acts have never been ren- dered because his intentions (cpth) were so high, yet this is why he (cpth) could guide nations and generations, one after an- other. Due to the high purpose of the Envoy, God made him (cpth) the pen of His Divine Judgement which He ordains for us. He (cpth) engraves in the spirits of the believers what Al’lah has in- scribed onto his own noble chest: His Lights and Supreme Names and the realities of the Qur’an. The Supreme Names of Al’lah also include the lofty Gardens. In this verse, the Almighty confirms the mission of His En- voy, thus He mentioned Nun, then the Godly Pen and then:
  44. 44. Fortress 68 THE GODLY PEN 44 and what they [the believers] inscribe - ‘From you, comes this lofty Revelation which you requested from Me for the people’s sake, for their salvation and guidance, and which, if all human- kind and jinn-kind worked together to create a like revelation, they would surely fail and never be able to do so.’ Those who followed his teaching (cpth) and persisted until they loved Mohammad and joined with him: these are the ones who have light and happiness etched first in their own hearts and then in the hearts of their nations. They led humanity the right way, leading them from darkness and into the light. This statement may also be applied to the unbelievers when read as a question: and what [will] they inscribe? - ‘You are a light for them; so if they leave you, My Envoy, they will plunge into darkness, and what then will they inscribe?’ The people who decided to turn away from the noble Envoy (cpth) and ignore his teaching and his guidance, chose not to obey him (cpth), thus they have written a prescription of the Fire for themselves, merited because they destroyed nations and generations and caused humanity to live in suffering and misery. The Envoy Mohammad (cpth) seeks the truth; his tongue speaks only that which is true. He is the beacon by which one can become illuminated. He is a mercy for all the worlds, with- out him hearts and visions would become blind, and what can blind-hearted people hope to inscribe in their spirits? {2} All of this will [testify that] you [oh Prophet] are not [mad, or] veiled from the Grace of your Lord - ‘You stand in the light, thus the truth is not hidden from you. You are not ignorant of the Names of Al’lah (Glory to Him). This guidance which has led you to Al’lah proves that you possess a great degree of knowledge about Al’lah.’ It is a testimony bestowed from Al’lah to His Envoy (cpth) to show all that he is not veiled from the truth as people with blind hearts often claimed. They said, ‘He (the Envoy of Al’lah) needlessly deprives himself of the pleas- ures of the world, shuns joy and amusement. But as for us, peo- ple of science and civilisation, we do not deprive ourselves of
  45. 45. Surah 68 AL-QALAM 45 anything.’ They did not understand that acting unlawfully ulti- mately leads to misery and torment. That is why they drew un- happiness upon themselves and all those with them, nay upon all humanity. Their perspective was reversed because they be- trayed Al’lah and turned away from Him and thus they became confused. As for the Prophet (cpth) he never moved far from his Provider nor was he inconstant in his love for Him; no one can compete with him in this love. Thus, this verse makes known: ‘The light which is in your hands, that which is imprinted in your spirit, and that which others inscribe in themselves because of what they have learned from you: all of this testifies that you possess great knowledge about God.’ {3} And truly, you will receive a boundless reward. - That is, an endless and uninterrupted reward, a reward which grows and increases and progresses. This is because the duty of the Prophet (cpth) is continuous and his deeds still cover the whole of crea- tion. Also every righteous deed may only take place through him (cpth), thus without him good deeds cannot exist. This is be- cause people are living in darkness and how can a person work in darkness? {4} For you are of sublime character. - Because Mohammad dwells permanently in God’s Presence and harbours a great love for Al’lah, his Lord granted him aspects of perfection derived from His Mercy, Compassion, Affection and Kindness and let these define him (cpth). The Prophet Mohammad (cpth) as- similated these attributes until they became part of his nature. These characteristics shared mercy and tenderness with all of creation, and thus he (cpth) was able to patiently bear what other people cannot. Consequently, whoever believes in their Lord and loves the Envoy (cpth) to the extent they connect spiritually with him will feel deep reverence and honour towards him (cpth). From this bond they will attain good character and undoubtedly advance on the pathway leading to Al’lah (Glory to Him).
  46. 46. Fortress 68 THE GODLY PEN 46 This verse is a testimonial from Al’lah of His Envoy’s great nature. For whose words have more credibility than Al’lah’s? These lines unequivocally refute any wrongdoing or unflattering reports about him (cpth) and further they refute the claim that Al’lah the Almighty reproached him for his treatment of the blind man mentioned in God’s Saying, ‘He [the Envoy Mohammad] frowned and turned away, when there came to him the blind man.’ 2 {5} Soon you will see, - ‘You will observe their state,’ as will they - ‘And they will see your state. At that moment, remorse and un- derstanding will overcome them as they realise what they have wasted by the wrongs they have committed, and what they have lost by these transgressions. So tomorrow the truth will be obvi- ous to both of you as soon as you see the other.’ {6} By what means the captive is taken. - That is, they will see who was led astray from the truth by their fascination with the trappings of this world. Perhaps they were fascinated by each other; or wealth, women and children wholly consumed their hearts. But in this way they deceive themselves and others. They were so enamoured of their civilisation that they did not achieve perfection. Instead this admiration brought them only misery, anguish and regrets. {7} Your Provider - Oh Mohammad! Knows best - Al’lah Al- mighty, through His knowledge, had made you aware of Who strays from His Path - That is, the misled, the deniers, and the hypocrites, and it is He Who knows best who is rightly guided. - And He has made you aware of the truthful ones. No one but Al’lah knows all the hidden matters; Al’lah made His Envoy (cpth) aware of the state of all of creation because the Prophet (cpth) is the doctor and the saviour, and a doctor must know everything regarding his patients. For this reason, his knowledge (cpth) encompasses everything from the beginning of this life until the earth will stop its rotation. 2 The Holy Qur’an, Fortress (Surah) 80, He Frowned! (‘Abasa), verses 1–2.
  47. 47. Surah 68 AL-QALAM 47 {8} So do not yield to those who deny [the truth]. - ‘Go ahead and do not be distracted by the deniers. Do not disregard their mistakes, instead refute them with proof and logic. Perhaps they will change their conduct and follow the right path which will lead them to happiness and Paradise in this world and in the Hereafter.’ {9} They wish you to compromise [with them in matters of faith], so they might compromise [you]. - ‘They want to negoti- ate with you regarding religious matters so that you might pre- tend to be on friendly terms with each other.’ They also hope to convince the Prophet (cpth) to ignore the truth and side with them, overlooking their mistakes if they promise to side with him (cpth); but this he (cpth) will never do. {10} Do not yield to any contemptible swearer, - That is, to those who swear much without regard for the truth. The word swearer hallaf in Arabic also means ‘the allied’ muhalef. These people who swear to falsehoods are allied with this low world and its base pleasures. Their spirits are filled with vice, and therefore they swear to falsehoods. When they decided to follow the primrose path they chose not to ally themselves to Al’lah (Glory to Him) and His Envoy (cpth). In the pre-material world they pledged to their Provider that they would not turn away from Him when they came to this world, but they broke this oath. They promised to contemplate His Signs until they received illumination and attained a heart vision; they pledged to follow the Envoy. This is what the noble verse explains in God’s Saying, ‘And warn people of the Day when the torment will come to them, then the wrongdoers will say, “Our Lord, respite us for a short while; we shall answer Your Call and fol- low the Envoys.” [God will say to them], “Did you not swear before [in al-Azal] to keep in touch with Me? But now you have no escape.” ’ 3 3 The Holy Qur’an, Fortress (Surah) 14, Abraham (Ibrahim), verse 44.
  48. 48. Fortress 68 THE GODLY PEN 48 When they came to this world they betrayed their Lord and broke their oath to Al’lah, that is why they became contempti- ble - They are despicable. They humiliated themselves by chas- ing this low world and its desires. So intently do they seek to obtain what is in creation that they forget to seek what is found with the Creator. Hence, they debase themselves and become the lowest of the low, as glory belongs only to Al’lah and His Envoy and to the believers. {11} A self-indulger - They are fully absorbed in and confined by the carnal world. They are always occupied with satisfying their demands and fulfilling their desires, never concerned with whether or not their methods are lawful. They are submersed in their troubles, and therefore they always appear worried, dis- tressed and burdened. It was said, ‘Take whatever you want from this world, but suffer distress equal to it.’ They do not stop at misleading themselves, but instead strive to entice others with what they possess. They use their possessions to corrupt the hearts of Al’lah’s servants and lure them towards pleasures that lead to destruction. Gossiper - Gossips speak ill about a group of people in front of another group and then talk bad about the second group be- fore the first. They breed corruption amongst people by showing off their own affluence and so enticing the poor to envy them and fall into sin. They follow whatever whim rises in their spirits or crosses their minds. They talk freely about wealth, women and sex so as to make people’s hearts incline to these things, thus luring them to indulge in sins, theft, adultery and the for- bidden. This is what their distance from Al’lah and His Envoy (cpth) leads them to. In life they do not think or realise their deeds will have consequences, but when death comes they will understand the punishment they have brought upon themselves. Then they will see that this world is a mere stone, nothing in and of itself, and that everything in it comes from Al’lah. So, it is for a mere stone that they have turned away from their Lord! When comprehension dawns they will be overtaken by grief and
  49. 49. Surah 68 AL-QALAM 49 remorse, and fear and horror will overwhelm them until they find no shelter for themselves except the Fire. {12} Hinderer of good - This is their character. Anything they do causes evil and harm for other people. They are not only dis- obedient but they discourage others from doing good deeds and actively oppose the truth and its followers. [Or to anyone who is] aggressive - They aggressively attack people’s honour and property, they care for nothing except their own affairs and pos- sessions. And sinful - They have evil purposes. They have shrouded themselves in garments of sin and resentment and al- lowed themselves to be subsumed by it; therefore they commit morally reprehensible deeds and influence others to be like them. {13} A bearer [of others’ sins] - They will bear not only their own sins but the sins of others, and will be accountable for all. And consequently degrades himself. - They are censured by other people as well as degraded in their own self-esteem. No matter how much others may praise them, they know in their hearts that they have fallen. {14} [He holds all these qualities] whatever wealth and children he may have. - No matter how great their wealth or how many children they are blessed with, they never feel satisfied by worldly things because they have mistaken the high purpose be- hind them. Al’lah says, ‘Whatever wealth and children this man has,’ that is, whatever abundance Al’lah grants them, they are always greedy, seeking ever more unlawful wealth; likewise whatever children and adoring women they may have, they keep flirting with other beauties. This is their situation. The Pro- phetic saying denotes, ‘Two types of greedy people never be- come satiated: those greedy for acquiring knowledge and those greedy for wealth.’ 4 4 Al-Tabarani in his book al-Awsat, up to Ibn Abbas.
  50. 50. Fortress 68 THE GODLY PEN 50 The capacity of the human spirit can grow by acquiring either worldly things or otherworldly things relating to its Heavenly Provider. People who are far from their Lord do not look be- yond this world, instead they study it always. They strive to have ever more of it and, fearing poverty, do not give money to char- ity. The following verse clarifies the reason for that in God’s Saying, {15} When Our Signs are recited to him - ‘Our Signs’ signifies the Word of the Provider of the world which He has bestowed upon His Envoy (cpth). When the Prophet, in turn, delivered this revelation and its explanation to those who never even con- ceived of such splendid and sublime meaning, he says, ‘Fables of the ancient.’ - In their ignorance, they used to scoff whenever they were advised or instructed. They said, ‘If we followed this teaching we would deny ourselves joy, amusement and desires.’ Fables of the ancient - They claimed that the Prophet Mohammad composed these words from the speeches of men who lived in times long past. But since the men of old could not possibly know the meaning of even a single word he (cpth) had brought, they resorted instead to saying, ‘He (the Prophet) is a genius. He has a way with words that far surpasses his contem- poraries and has created beautiful verses with only a little help from other people. Thus this (revelation) was created by humans and there is no truth in it.’ They claimed that Mohammad fabri- cated all of this although it is the Lord of the worlds Who speaks through the tongue of His noble Envoy. This shows that they do not desire the truth but prefer its opposite, error and transgression. That is why God says, {16} We shall brand him on the snout [nose]! - ‘We will mark him on his nose.’ He will be humiliated every time he turns up his nose. Thus every arrogant rich man and everyone who is too worldly will be insulted by means of that which they cherish, be it their children, their property or their own spirit. Al’lah Al- mighty does not permit humanity to keep advancing in error. His Mercy calls for errors to be addressed, and the treatment
  51. 51. Surah 68 AL-QALAM 51 differs according to the severity of the deeds. The intent behind all of this is to encourage humans to relinquish their pride and regain their senses. Those who have mistaken the path of truth and happiness have fallen from grace and lost the position which God bestowed on them. He created humankind to be masters over all other beings, however, they became distracted and only concerned themselves with the world and its pleasures, forget- ting there is any life except the present. As treatment, God’s Mercy required such a person be inflicted with difficulties, dis- eases, poverty, hunger, tornados and earthquakes so that they might be guided to return to the right path and enter Paradise. {17} We have tried them just as We tried the people of the gar- den - ‘We have tested other people just like We tested the own- ers of farms and orchards,’ that is, those who were preoccupied with wealth and worldly pleasures. They who swore that they would harvest its bounty in the morning - They not only de- cided but actually swore that in the morning they would harvest and keep all the fruits of all their farms, their fields and their or- chards and not share any of it with the poor. They said, ‘This is only for us and our families.’ They did not want to give the poor and the needy their rightful share. They argued instead, ‘Why should we give to the poor? Let them work for themselves.’ God revealed their saying such in the noble verse, ‘ “Should we feed those that Al’lah could feed if He willed?” ’ 5 Those who seek to reap benefits only for themselves or their loved ones are indeed bereft of good because ‘Everything in creation is dependent on God.’ 6 As for these people, they cared only for their blood relations and forgot that kindness should reach all creation. {18} And allow no share [for the needy]. - They were deter- mined to harvest and hoard every last bit for themselves and not spare even a single fruit for others to enjoy. 5 The Holy Qur’an, Fortress (Surah) 36, Safe, Pure (Ya Sin), verse 47. 6 Al-Tabarani in his books al-Awsat and al-Kabeer, up to Ibn Abbas.
  52. 52. Fortress 68 THE GODLY PEN 52 {19} Then your Provider visited it [the garden] while they were sleeping. - At night a frost, or something similar, afflicted the trees and fruits of these selfish farmers, destroying their harvest. {20} And by morning it had become like a desolate land. - In the morning, no edible fruit was left on their land. The fruits had all been rendered dry and withered by the frost. {21} Still having risen for the morning, they called each other [unknowing] - In the morning, unaware of the destruction, they met up as planned and encouraged each other to harvest every- thing as arranged the night before. {22} ‘Go early to your gardens if you mean to gather [the har- vest].’ - ‘If you are steadfastly determined to deprive the poor of their share, then go to your fields now while it is early.’ This was because the poor were accustomed to come at a certain time and receive their share, but these people had decided to harvest prior to that time so they might avoid the needy altogether. {23} So they went off, conversing in hushed tones - They set off for their fields, whispering and hiding from the poor. {24} ‘[Take care] that no destitute person enter there with you today!’ - They were talking in secret because they did not wish to feed the poor or even be seen by them. {25} They turned, firmly resolved in intent [that is, to collect the harvest and not share it with the needy, convinced that] they have power. - They were so focused on not sharing with the poor that they forgot about God and became disconnected from Him. Instead they turned away and moved far from Him, the Almighty, as their spirits became stubborn. [Convinced that] they have power. - They were sure that they would be able to unilaterally implement their decision and thus had no need of the Almighty Al’lah.
  53. 53. Surah 68 AL-QALAM 53 {26} But when they saw it [the destruction] they said, ‘We must have lost our way! - At first they did not recognise their own fields and thought they must have gone to the wrong orchards. {27} ‘No – rather we are deprived [of the fruits]!’ - Then they understood they were in the right fields but their harvest was ruined. They said, ‘Oh no, these are our orchards, but Al’lah has deprived us of their fruits.’ Thus they wrongly attributed their loss to Al’lah, not realising that they had caused the affliction themselves with their bad intentions. {28} Their moderator said - Their sheikh, the leader who guided them to Al’lah, and the mediator between them and Al’lah, said, ‘Did I not say to you, “Why do you not glorify God?” ’ - ‘Why don’t you allow your spirits to bask in God’s Fa- vour and remember His Graces upon you?’ {29} They said, ‘Glory is to our Provider! - How Great He is! ‘Truly, we have done wrong!’ - Finally, they understood and confessed their sins. {30} And then they looked at each other in mutual reproach. - The best among them said, ‘Didn’t I tell you that it is forbidden to deprive the poor of their share?’ The others replied, ‘But why didn’t you try to stop us? You should not have gone along with us, instead you should have argued strongly against our deci- sion.’ {31} They said, ‘Oh, woe to us! We have indeed transgressed! - ‘We have left the path of justice. We violated the boundaries of humanity. What if we were poor and needy and the rich did not give us our share, what would we do then?’ {32} ‘But it may be that our Provider will give us something bet- ter in its place: we truly turn to our Provider in hope.’ - ‘Let us turn ourselves towards Al’lah.’ They repented of their bad inten-
  54. 54. Fortress 68 THE GODLY PEN 54 tions and strove to do better. Thus, their spirits returned to Al’lah and, desiring the Satisfaction of the Lord of the worlds, they performed good deeds with no motive other than ap- proaching Him, the Almighty. {33} Such is [the purpose of] the punishment [in this life] - Any punishment in this world intends only goodness for humanity. Al’lah sends afflictions and disasters so that someone who has strayed may be motivated to return to the right path and thus attain eternal happiness. Not one single person of any national- ity is deprived of the Mercy of Al’lah, rather Al’lah tailors His Treatments to each individual; He carefully chooses the most auspicious time and method for each treatment. But greater still is the punishment in the Hereafter - These earthly treatments pale in comparison to the punishments that await in the Hereaf- ter; when humans realise their evil deeds, their suffering will be far more severe. In the Hereafter, every guilty person will clearly comprehend their wrongdoings and, since they will return to their pure nature at that time, the wrongness of their actions will burn inside them and cause them to withdraw inside themselves. Then, in order to forget the torment of their spirits, Al’lah will make them suffer the pain of Fire. If only they knew. - If only they had believed and forged a link with God’s Envoy (cpth), then in this life they would have received a light and a heart vi- sion which would have shown them the torment that awaits those who do not believe, and, forewarned, they would have never committed wrongs and offences. {34} For the ones who become illuminated by Al’lah’s Light, there are Gardens of bliss with their Lord. - These paradises await everyone who repents and faithfully follows the right path until they attain belief and illumination by Al’lah’s Light. Al’lah’s Punishments intend only that the people afflicted should repent and return to belief so that they might ultimately enter Paradise and be delighted by its view. Suffering is a com- ponent, not the goal.
  55. 55. Surah 68 AL-QALAM 55 {35} Should We treat those who submit [to Us] as We treat those who do evil! - Are the wicked sinner and the right-minded equals? Does a hardened criminal have the same worth as a pi- ous believer? Would Al’lah value all His people equally, regard- less of their deeds? How could you 7 say, ‘My intercession will be only for the wrongdoers of my nation’? 8 Yet this saying (hadith) is ascribed to the Prophet (cpth) although he never said such a thing! These words are an invitation for lechery, sins and im- moralities, yet you condone it! {36} This [universe] does not belong to you. How then can you [act as] judge [in it]? - God tells us, ‘This universe is not yours, so… How then can you [act as] judge [in it]? - ‘How can you pronounce judgement over that which does not belong to you or create laws to govern a universe you did not create? Isn’t that a little ridiculous?’ All that is in the heavens and on the earth be- longs to Al’lah, while you possess your belief, your good deeds and Paradise. Thus if you do not pursue the truth, you will find only loss. {37} Or do you have a book from which you learn, - That is, are you only blindly quoting from a book? {38} That what is for you therein is whatever you choose? - Do you take from it only that which pleases you? Do you pick and choose, selecting whatever agrees with your whims? Alas, if you are not guided by the Book of Al’lah where will your course lead you? The reality is that this path leads only to misery, suffering, war, transgression, swindle, fraud, immorality, oppression, cru- elty, humiliation and defeat. {39} Or have you done blessed performances [conferring bene- fits] upon Us until the Day of Resurrection? - ‘Or have you per- 7 This is addressed to the scholars of religion who falsely attribute this saying to our Envoy Mohammad (cpth). 8 Narrated by al-Turmozy, al-Bayhaqi, Ahmad and Abu-Dawud.
  56. 56. Fortress 68 THE GODLY PEN 56 formed deeds splendid enough to outweigh your transgressions on Judgement Day? Have you done favours for Us or perhaps you even surpassed Our Achievements? Did you create a new universe? Or even so much as a new sun or moon? Do you have possession of that whereof you judge? - In your own home you make your own policies because it is your domain, but this uni- verse is the Dominion of Al’lah Almighty. Why then do you presume to legislate policies for it? Its property and creation do not belong to you. The one who creates an instrument has the best knowledge of it and can best prescribe directions for its use. Likewise, this universe is the Creation of God, so His Laws predominate, and you should abide by them. It is He Who gives you food and water, and the one who nourishes you must be obeyed. {40} Ask them [Prophet] - The Prophet (cpth) remonstrated with them and his proof convinced them they were wrong, which of them may lead them in that [pretence]. - Who could champion such a ridiculous claim? He (cpth) said to them: ‘Where is your favour? What special rights can you bestow? You have no favour. You cannot even create an ant!’ {41} Or do they have partners [besides God]? - Who could have brought the earth into existence, shaped and moulded it, and then let it run? Who causes night to follow day? Do these others bring water, air or vegetation? Why do they take pride in and seek these things they have nothing to do with instead of taking pride in their Provider and following His Guidance? Then let them produce their partners - If they believe some others pos- sess enough power to be capable of these mighty acts, then they should introduce them to us all. Oh, but they are dead. So they were not even capable of thwarting death. To be sure, they are ruled by the laws of this world but the one who sets a law does not come under it. If what they say is true. - If their claims are truthful, then surely their false gods can save them from any torment in the eternal life that follows.