Friday, July 27, 2012

Surah Al Anam (The Cattle)

The gist of the entire Surah is One-ness and Greatness of Allah. It tells us about the various attributes of Allah, his Mightiness and control of things. There are several signs through which He Gives us reason to believe in Him. It tells us about the grave consequences of not believing in Him and his Messengers and Verses (Quran). The Verse also reminds us several times that we all will be judged by Allah on the Day of Judgement. And also tells us of the Punishment that awaits the wrong doers after the Day of Judgement (Qayamat).

The Surah, which means 'The Cattle' begins with the verse that all praise is to Allah and goes on to prove that He is the Almighty and further goes on to list the Attributes of Allah SWT (Ayat 1 to 6)

1) He has created the heavens and the earth.
2) He has created us from mud and given us a specific life term known to Him.
3) He knows what we reveal and what we hide.
4) He has sent us many signs of his Greatness which we see all around us.
5) He has destroyed whole communities and generations and regions before us who have wronged and chose a path other than favoured by Allah.

But inspite of all the signs and proofs and the Messengers sent to us over various periods of time, there are still many who deny the truth and refuse to believe.

The Surah states that even if a written scripture was sent and they would touch it by the hands of those who do not believe, they would pass it off as Magic and refuse to believe.

Even if an Angel was sent, then also the Unbelievers would not believe. Many messengers and Prophets were sent before Prophet Muhammed SAS to prove the One-ness and Greatness of Allah (God), but they too were mocked and ridiculed. And all these people have earlier had a terrible end.

Then the Surah goes on to give the following message to Prophet Mohammed SAS and the believers (Ayat 12 to 15):

1) To Allah belongs the Earth and the Heavens
2) He is Merciful
3) He will assemble us all on the Day of Judgement and make us accountable for our actions.
4) To Allah belongs all that happens by night and by day.
5) He is the Hearer and the All Knower.
6) Why then should we take someone other than Allah as a protector and Creator of the Heavens while He feeds us. And He does not need to be fed.

And if you disobey the Lord, a tremendous punishment awaits us.

Ayat 17 to 19 go on to describe more attritubes of Allah :

1) If Allah touches us with adversity, only He can remove it.
2) And it is He who can bring us Good.
3) He is The Wise and Aquainted with All.

Ayat 20 gives us this final message which is the gist of all of the above:

Say, "What thing is greatest in testimony?" Say, " Allah is witness between me and you. And this Qur'an was revealed to me that I may warn you thereby and whomever it reaches. Do you [truly] testify that with Allah there are other deities?" Say, "I will not testify [with you]." Say, "Indeed, He is but one God, and indeed, I am free of what you associate [with Him]."

Ayat 22 to 25 tells of the consequence of not believing in Oneness of Allah and associating partners / dieties

And [mention, O Muhammad], the Day We will gather them all together; then We will say to those who associated others with Allah , "Where are your 'partners' that you used to claim [with Him]?"

Then there will be no [excuse upon] examination except they will say, "By Allah , our Lord, we were not those who associated."

See how they will lie about themselves. And lost from them will be what they used to invent

And among them are those who listen to you, but We have placed over their hearts coverings, lest they understand it, and in their ears deafness. And if they should see every sign, they will not believe in it. Even when they come to you arguing with you, those who disbelieve say, "This is not but legends of the former peoples."

Surah Al Anam mostly deals with the One-ness of Allah, the Importance of Believing in Allah and the Last Day (Qayamat). It states in Ayat 33 that those who call Mohammed SAS Untruthful are actually rejecting the Verses of Allah (God).

Here, Allah through the following verse also boosts the Morale of our Beloved Prophet not to be sad and be patient and tells him of the various messengers who were sent before him who were denied.

And certainly were messengers denied before you, but they were patient over [the effects of] denial, and they were harmed until Our victory came to them. And none can alter the words of Allah . And there has certainly come to you some information about the [previous] messengers (Ayat 34)

And We have already sent [messengers] to nations before you, [O Muhammad]; then We seized them with poverty and hardship that perhaps they might humble themselves. (Ayat 42)

Then why, when Our punishment came to them, did they not humble themselves? But their hearts became hardened, and Satan made attractive to them that which they were doing (Ayat 43)

Allah warns us through the following verses for taking partners besides Allah and refusing his Supremacy:

Say, "Have you considered: if Allah should take away your hearing and your sight and set a seal upon your hearts, which deity other than Allah could bring them [back] to you?" Look how we diversify the verses; then they [still] turn away (Ayat 46)

Say, "Have you considered: if the punishment of Allah should come to you unexpectedly or manifestly, will any be destroyed but the wrongdoing people?" (Ayat 47)

Futher verses in Surah Al Anam which prove the Greatness of Allah :

Allah is Aware of Everything. And Everything is under His Control.

And with Him are the keys of the unseen; none knows them except Him. And He knows what is on the land and in the sea. Not a leaf falls but that He knows it. And no grain is there within the darknesses of the earth and no moist or dry [thing] but that it is [written] in a clear record.

And it is He who takes your souls by night and knows what you have committed by day. Then He revives you therein that a specified term may be fulfilled.

He sends over you guardian-angels until, when death comes to one of you, Our messengers take him, and they do not fail [in their duties].
(Ayat 60-62)

Allah also sends us Tests to check our faith levels and how we score through it. This is proved through the following verses :

Say, "He is the [one] Able to send upon you affliction from above you or from beneath your feet or to confuse you [so you become] sects and make you taste the violence of one another." Look how We diversify the signs that they might understand.

(Afflictions from above and below are the various natural disastors which keep afflicting us all).

Then the Surah gives us the about how Signs were sent to Prophet Abraham so that He believes (Ayat 74 to Ayat 80)

And [mention, O Muhammad], when Abraham said to his father Azar, "Do you take idols as deities? Indeed, I see you and your people to be in manifest error."

And thus did We show Abraham the realm of the heavens and the earth that he would be among the certain [in faith]

So when the night covered him [with darkness], he saw a star. He said, "This is my lord." But when it set, he said, "I like not those that disappear."

And when he saw the moon rising, he said, "This is my lord." But when it set, he said, "Unless my Lord guides me, I will surely be among the people gone astray."

And when he saw the sun rising, he said, "This is my lord; this is greater." But when it set, he said, "O my people, indeed I am free from what you associate with Allah .

Indeed, I have turned my face toward He who created the heavens and the earth, inclining toward truth, and I am not of those who associate others with Allah ."

And his people argued with him. He said, "Do you argue with me concerning Allah while He has guided me? And I fear not what you associate with Him [and will not be harmed] unless my Lord should will something. My Lord encompasses all things in knowledge; then will you not remember?

Ayat 84 to Ayat 86 tells us of the Righteous People Chosen and Preferred and Guided by Allah, the Almighty.

And We gave to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob - all [of them] We guided. And Noah, We guided before; and among his descendants, David and Solomon and Job and Joseph and Moses and Aaron. Thus do We reward the doers of good.

And Zechariah and John and Jesus and Elias - and all were of the righteous.

And Ishmael and Elisha and Jonah and Lot - and all [of them] We preferred over the worlds.

The Bounties of Allah to Mankind are mentioned from Ayat 95 to 99:

Indeed, Allah is the cleaver of grain and date seeds. He brings the living out of the dead and brings the dead out of the living. That is Allah ; so how are you deluded?

[He is] the cleaver of daybreak and has made the night for rest and the sun and moon for calculation.

And it is He who placed for you the stars that you may be guided by them through the darknesses of the land and sea. We have detailed the signs for a people who know.

And it is He who produced you from one soul and [gave you] a place of dwelling and of storage.

And it is He who sends down rain from the sky, and We produce thereby the growth of all things. We produce from it greenery from which We produce grains arranged in layers. And from the palm trees - of its emerging fruit are clusters hanging low. And [We produce] gardens of grapevines and olives and pomegranates, similar yet varied. Look at [each of] its fruit when it yields and [at] its ripening. Indeed in that are signs for a people who believe.

More attributes of Allah thru futher verses :

1) He is a Creator of all things.
2) He does not have companions, so he cannot have a Son (or daughter or any other relative)
3) Vision perceives Him not, He perceives all Vision.

We are advised not to insult those who do not believe in Allah or deny His Verses as their hearts and sealed:

And do not insult those they invoke other than Allah , lest they insult Allah in enmity without knowledge. Thus We have made pleasing to every community their deeds. Then to their Lord is their return, and He will inform them about what they used to do. (Ayat 108)

And thus We have made for every prophet an enemy - devils from mankind and jinn, inspiring to one another decorative speech in delusion. But if your Lord had willed, they would not have done it, so leave them and that which they invent. (Ayat 112)

A few wrong-doers are mentioned in some of the further verses who spread wrong practices in Religion and made others follow :

And they say, "What is in the bellies of these animals is exclusively for our males and forbidden to our females. But if it is [born] dead, then all of them have shares therein." He will punish them for their description. Indeed, He is Wise and Knowing. (Ayat 139)

Those will have lost who killed their children in foolishness without knowledge and prohibited what Allah had provided for them, inventing untruth about Allah . They have gone astray and were not [rightly] guided. (ayat 140)

What is it that Allah expects of Us? And what should we convey to others?

Say, "Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited to you. [He commands] that you not associate anything with Him, and to parents, good treatment, and do not kill your children out of poverty; We will provide for you and them. And do not approach immoralities - what is apparent of them and what is concealed. And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed] except by [legal] right. This has He instructed you that you may use reason." (Ayat 151)

And do not approach the orphan's property except in a way that is best until he reaches maturity. And give full measure and weight in justice. We do not charge any soul except [with that within] its capacity. And when you testify, be just, even if [it concerns] a near relative. And the covenant of Allah fulfill. This has He instructed you that you may remember. (Ayat 152)

Through the above verses it is clear what a True Muslim is expected to do :

1) Do not Associate anyone with Allah
2) Do good to parents
3) Do not kill children out of Poverty (either when born or in womb) as Allah provides for all.
4) Give true and correct testification in matters of dispute or trial even if a close relative is involved in it.
5) Do not kill anyone except by legal right (here legal right means that if a person has killed someone, the relative of the deceased can command his killing as per Islamic law, or they can choose to forgive him/her and remand compensation money)
6) Do not cheat or squander an orphan's property till he reaches maturity (if u are his/ her guardian)
7) Do not do immoral things.
8) Be just and honest in Trade and do not overcharge someone beyond his/ her capacity

A warning to those who have made sects within Religion (this especially applies to Muslims):

Indeed, those who have divided their religion and become sects - you, [O Muhammad], are not [associated] with them in anything. Their affair is only [left] to Allah ; then He will inform them about what they used to do. (Ayat 159)

To conclude here is a guidance to us all, well said through Ayat 162 :

Say, "Indeed, my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah , Lord of the worlds.

The Surah has 165 Ayats, all clearly stating on following the Right Path, believing in the One-ness of Allah, the Day of Judgement and the consequences of going astray.

Reference :
Translated verses taken from :

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