For Fast 25
Topic: (R) Revelation
Need for Revelation:
“Then Adam received (revealed) words from his Lord, and He turned to him (mercifully). Surely He is Oft-returning (to mercy), the Merciful. 1 We said: Go forth from this (state
of innocence) all. Surely a guidance from Me will come to you, then whoever
follows My guidance, no fear shall come upon them, nor shall they grieve. 2 And as to
those who disbelieve in and reject Our messages, they are the companions of the Fire;
in it they will abide 3.” — 2:37-39
1. The story of Adam symbolizes that man is found too weak to overcome the evil suggestions of the devil or the evil inclinations in him, however strong he may be to conquer the forces of nature. So God comes to his help and sends down revelation which, strengthening his faith in God, gives him the strength to overcome the devil and reject his suggestions.
2. This is a statement of a general law that Divine Revelation will be granted to the whole of humanity and prophets will appear everywhere from time to time, and by following the guidance sent by God through His prophets people will attain to a state in which “no fear shall come upon them, nor shall they grieve”. Those who truly follow the Divine Revelation shall have no fear of the devil misleading them, nor shall they grieve at wasting the opportunity given them in this life.
3. The people spoken of in this verse are those who not only disbelieve but also exert their utmost to oppose revealed truth and uproot it. They keep company with evil in this life, so the fire becomes their companion in the next to purge them of the evil consequences of their evil deeds.
Revelation brought guidance and light:
“Surely We revealed the Torah, having guidance and light. By it did the prophets who submitted themselves (to Allah) judge for the Jews, and the rabbis and the doctors of law, because they were required to guard the Book of Allah, …
And We sent after them in their footsteps Jesus, son of Mary, verifying what was (already) before him of the Torah; and We gave him the Gospel containing guidance and light, and verifying what was before it of the Torah, …
And We have revealed to you (O Prophet) the Book with the truth, verifying what is (already) before it of the Book and a guardian over it” — 5:44, 46, 48
Being a guardian over all previous revelation shows that whatever was of permanent value in the previous scriptures has been preserved in the Quran. The previous books contained a light and guidance for the people for whom they were meant, and they were commanded to judge by those books, but the Quran is now the Book which judges all truth, wherever it may have been.
Revelation gives life to hearts, as rain to dry earth:
“And Allah sends down water from above, and with it gives life to the earth after its death.” — 16:65
“And you see the earth barren, but when We send down water upon it, it stirs and swells and brings forth a beautiful (growth) of every kind.” — 22:5
The water from heaven is the Divine revelation, the death of the earth is the ignorance and corruption prevailing in people’s hearts and the giving of life signifies spiritual awakening. The “beautiful growth” is the development of moral character through revelation.
“Even as We have sent among you a Messenger from among you, who recites to you Our messages and purifies you and teaches you the Book and the Wisdom and teaches you what you did not know.” — 2:151
Muslims must believe in revelation of prophets as an article of faith:
“(Muslims are those) who believe in what has been revealed to you (Prophet Muhammad) and what was revealed before you” — 2:4
“O you who believe, believe in Allah and His Messenger and the Book which He has revealed to His Messenger and the Book which He revealed before.” — 4:136
Apart from revelation given to prophets to be conveyed to people at large for their guidance, the Quran also mentions experiences of personal communications from God:
“Now surely the friends of Allah, they have no fear nor do they grieve1—those who believe and keep their duty. For them is good news in this world’s life2 and in the Hereafter. There is no changing the words of Allah. That is the mighty achievement.” — 10:62-64
1. The friends of Allah are those who help the Divine cause and invite people to faith in God. They attain to that spiritual height where fear and grief are unknown.
2. By “good news in this world” are meant experiences of true dreams and visions, as explained by the Holy Prophet.
“And We revealed to Moses’ mother, saying: Suckle him; then when you fear for him, cast him into the river and do not fear, nor grieve; surely We shall bring him back to you and make him a messenger (of Ours).” — 28:7
Moses was born at a time when Pharaoh had commanded all male children born to the Israelites to be thrown into the Nile. Moses’ mother kept him concealed for three months, and at last, unable to hide him any longer, cast him upon the river in an ark of bulrushes, whence he was picked up by Pharaoh’s daughter. Moses’ mother was not a prophet, yet she received this revelation from God.
“And when the angels said: O Mary, surely Allah has chosen you and purified you and chosen you above the women of the world. O Mary, be obedient to your Lord and humble yourself and bow down with those who bow.” — 3:42-43
“And the pains of childbirth drove her (Mary) to the trunk of a palm-tree. She said: Oh, I wish I had died before this, and had been a thing quite forgotten! So a voice came to her from beneath her: Do not grieve, surely your Lord has provided a stream beneath you.” — 19:23-24
Mary, the mother of Jesus, was also not a prophet but received revelations from God.
Even people in general, who are non-religious, can have true dreams from God as in the story of Joseph his two fellow-prisoners as well as the king had true dreams:
“And two youths entered the prison with him. One of them said: I saw myself pressing wine. And the other said: I saw myself carrying bread on my head, from which birds were eating. (Joseph) Inform us of its interpretation; surely we see you to be from among the doers of good.” — 12:36
“And the king said: I have seen seven fat cows which seven lean ones devoured, and seven green ears and (seven) others dry. Chiefs, explain to me my dream, if you can interpret the dream.” — 12:43
The king’s chiefs could not interpret the dream, so Joseph was called to interpret it: “He said: You shall sow for seven years as usual, then what you reap, leave it in its ear, except a little which you eat. Then after that will come seven years of hardship, which will eat away all you have beforehand stored for them, except a little which you have preserved. Then after that will come a year in which people will have rain and in which they will press (grapes).” — 12:47-49.