In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
The First Differing and Its Perfect Solution
Allaah [The Exalted] said:
كَانَ ٱلنَّاسُ أُمَّةً۬ وَٲحِدَةً۬ فَبَعَثَ ٱللَّهُ ٱلنَّبِيِّـۧنَ مُبَشِّرِينَ وَمُنذِرِينَ وَأَنزَلَ مَعَهُمُ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبَ بِٱلۡحَقِّ لِيَحۡكُمَ بَيۡنَ ٱلنَّاسِ فِيمَا ٱخۡتَلَفُواْ فِيهِۚ وَمَا ٱخۡتَلَفَ فِيهِ إِلَّا ٱلَّذِينَ أُوتُوهُ مِنۢ بَعۡدِ مَا جَآءَتۡهُمُ ٱلۡبَيِّنَـٰتُ بَغۡيَۢا بَيۡنَهُمۡۖ فَهَدَى ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لِمَا ٱخۡتَلَفُواْ فِيهِ مِنَ ٱلۡحَقِّ بِإِذۡنِهِۦۗ وَٱللَّهُ يَهۡدِى مَن يَشَآءُ إِلَىٰ صِرَٲطٍ۬ مُّسۡتَقِيمٍ
Mankind were one community and Allah sent Prophets with glad tidings and warnings, and with them He sent the Scripture in truth to judge between people in matters wherein they differed. And only those to whom (the Scripture) was given differed concerning it after clear proofs had come unto them through hatred, one to another. Then Allah by His Leave guided those who believed to the truth of that wherein they differed. And Allah guides whom He wills to a Straight Path. [Surah Al-Baqarah. Aayah 213]
Allaah [The Exalted] said: [وَمَا كَانَ ٱلنَّاسُ إِلَّآ أُمَّةً۬ وَٲحِدَةً۬ فَٱخۡتَلَفُواْۚ وَلَوۡلَا ڪَلِمَةٌ۬ سَبَقَتۡ مِن رَّبِّكَ لَقُضِىَ بَيۡنَهُمۡ فِيمَا فِيهِ يَخۡتَلِفُونَ – Mankind were but one community (i.e. on one religion – Islamic Monotheism), then they differed (later), and had not it been for a Word that went forth before from your Lord, it would have been settled between them regarding what they differed]. [Surah Yunus. Aayah 19]
Ibn Abbaas [may Allaah be pleased with him and his father] said: “There were ten generations between Nooh and Aadam – all of them used to be upon the true path [i.e. upon Islaam – worshipping Allaah alone], then they differed and started worshipping idols, false deities and images, so Allaah sent Messengers with clear proofs and evidences. (1)
Al-Allaamah Rabee Bin Haadi Al-Mad’khalee [may Allaah preserve him] said: Shirk is the greatest sin that can be committed in disobedience to Allaah. The Prophets brought the greatest knowledge and that is the knowledge of Tawheed, and they warned against the greatest wrong doing and that is to ascribed partners to Allaah. Allaah said: [ إِنَّ ٱلشِّرۡكَ لَظُلۡمٌ عَظِيمٌ۬ – Verily! Associating partners to (Allaah in worship) is a great wrong indeed]. [Surah Luqmaan’ Aayah 13] (2)
Shaikhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: And even though there is something in the paths of analogical reasoning and reflection that will lead to knowledge, however sometimes it cannot give detail explanation in a dispute between the people of the earth due to the minute details and ambiguities [in that dispute], and at other times due to the fact the people differ when prioritising necessities. Therefore, due to this Allaah [The Most High] commanded us to return to the revelation in times of dispute. Allaah [The Most High] said: [كَانَ ٱلنَّاسُ أُمَّةً۬ وَٲحِدَةً۬ فَبَعَثَ ٱللَّهُ ٱلنَّبِيِّـۧنَ مُبَشِّرِينَ وَمُنذِرِينَ وَأَنزَلَ مَعَهُمُ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبَ بِٱلۡحَقِّ لِيَحۡكُمَ بَيۡنَ ٱلنَّاسِ فِيمَا ٱخۡتَلَفُواْ فِيهِۚ – Mankind were one community (i.e. upon Tawheed and Allaah’s Sharee’ah) and Allah sent Prophets with glad tidings and warnings, and with them He sent the Scripture in truth to judge between people in matters wherein they differed]. [Surah Al-Baqarah’ Aayah 213] Therefore, Allaah [The Most High] designated the revealed Books [i.e. the Qur’aan being the final of them] as the judge between the people in matters wherein they differ]. [Dar Ta’aarud Al-Aql Wan-Naql: 9/17-18]
Allaah [The Exalted] said: [وَمَنۡ أَحۡسَنُ مِنَ ٱللَّهِ حُكۡمً۬ا لِّقَوۡمٍ۬ يُوقِنُونَ – – And who is better in judgement than Allah for a people who have firm Faith]. [Surah Al Maa’idah. Verse 50]
Imaam As-Sadi [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: Whoever utilises sound intellect to examine what the Messengers brought [i.e. the revelation] – what they commanded and guided the people to, such as knowledge and Awareness of Allaah, the worship of Allaah alone, turning to Allaah in repentance and obedience with true Faith (Islamic Monotheism) and the command to fulfil all the rights (of the people) based on courteous good will, perfecting one’s actions (i.e. based on sincerity to Allaah alone) and treating others with kindness (by sincerely seeking to benefit them though one’s knowledge, wealth or position), and that which they (i.e. Messengers) forbade; then thereafter he examines what the Mul’hidoon [i.e. who either deviate from the path of the Messengers completely or to some extent) call to, he will know that good (outcomes), success, sound rectification of the hearts and deeds, (sound rectification of) the worldly affairs and (sound rectification of the religious affairs and their end results in the afterlife) are all in agreement with what the Messengers called to. On the other hand, he will know that the call of the Mul’hidoon is designed to do away with good manners (traits, characteristics etc), whose end result is nothing but complete chaos and a state in which one goes along with lust (or evil desires of the soul) until the animals become more noble and beneficial than humans. This is no doubt their state of affairs – clearly manifested by what they are upon and what they proclaim with their tongues. Among the most amazing of affairs is that many contemporary writers and politicians seek to remedy the many social ills and try to do so do from many angles, however as for the problem related to deviation from Allaah’s revelation and the call of the Messenger -whose surge has carried away the majority of young people, they have not rushed to stop it by returning to sound Eemaan and certainty; rather they have been abandoned to wander blindly in their misguidance and wavering in beguilement, and thus the social ills they seek to remedy gives birth to other social ills- because if the path to remedying social ills is not based on Eemaan and sound Deen, they will increase and become worse. (3)
Shaikh Saaleh Aala Ash-Shaikh [may Allaah preserve him] stated: I praise and thank Allaah, who knows everything about what He has created and He is the Most Kind and Courteous (to His slaves), All-Aware (of everything). He is praised with all good – praised for His commands, prohibitions, divine legislation and what He has created. It is He who guided humankind and commanded them with what will lead them to perfection and wellbeing in their worldly life and afterlife. He alone is deserving of abundant (unlimited) praise just as He bestowed on us abundant (innumerable) blessings. I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah alone and He has no partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad is Allaah’s slave and Messenger. May Allaah’s peace and blessings be upon him, his family and companions. To proceed:
O my brothers! Indeed, these are blessed hours when one learns something about his religion which he did not know or he (recalls) and consolidate what he forgot after a period of time – affairs he forgot unintentionally due to the many affairs and being preoccupied with other things.
There is no doubt that no other divine legislation came to the people that is more perfect than the Islamic legislation. Allaah gave every Prophet a law and a path, and He made Muhammad’s law a complete and perfect law, perfectly suitable until the day of judgement- suitable for every era and place. (a) Muhammad’s law solves every problem, preserves every obligation that should be fulfilled, raises every affair that honours the human being, honours the Muslim and raises him because he carries the message of pure Islamic monotheism. So due to this, it is obligated on everyone to be acquainted with the virtues of this divine legislation, know its rulings, its goals and underlying wisdoms, the obligations it has laid down and what inspires them to preserve and call to it, and that they do not pay attention to any caller to misguidance – those who want to hinder humankind from the truth through different terms and slogans. [i.e. Those who are eager to ridicule and make it look repugnant, in order to make people flee from it. See Tafseer As-Sadi. Surah Ibraaheem. Verses 1-3]
We praise and thank Allaah for including us amongst those who have accepted and submitted to this divine legislation- those who learn and strive to follow the behaviour of Allaah’s Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah upon him].
Allaah created the heavens and the earth for the fulfilment of two obligations – His Rights and the rights of His servants. Every Messenger and the divine scriptures were sent to explain these two obligations- worship Allaah alone, disbelieve in all the rivals and dieties that are associated with Him as partners, and obey His Messenger in that particular era and place. Allaah revealed His Books and sent His Messengers to establish these two obligations.
Allaah [The Exalted] said: [لَقَدۡ أَرۡسَلۡنَا رُسُلَنَا بِٱلۡبَيِّنَـٰتِ وَأَنزَلۡنَا مَعَهُمُ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبَ وَٱلۡمِيزَانَ لِيَقُومَ ٱلنَّاسُ بِٱلۡقِسۡطِ – Indeed We have sent Our Messengers with clear proofs, and revealed with them the Scripture and the Balance (justice) that mankind may keep up justice]. [Surah Al-Hadeed. Aayah 25]
Allaah said: [وَلَقَدۡ بَعَثۡنَا فِى ڪُلِّ أُمَّةٍ۬ رَّسُولاً أَنِ ٱعۡبُدُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَٱجۡتَنِبُواْ ٱلطَّـٰغُوتَ – And verily, We have sent among every Ummah (community, nation) a Messenger (proclaiming): “Worship Allah (Alone), and avoid (or keep away from) Taghut (all false deities, etc. i.e. do not worship Taghut besides Allah).”] [ Surah An-Nahl. Aayah 36]
And because of this, the Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said: “O Mu’adh, do you know what is the right of Allah upon His servants?” I said, “Allah and his messenger know best.” The Prophet said, “To worship Him alone and to associate none in worship with Him. And do you know what is their right upon Him?” I said, “Allah and his messenger know best.” The Prophet said, “Not to punish them if they do so.” [Bukhaari 6938]
The obligations which all the divine laws brought in general and the Islamic legislation in specific are: To fulfil Allaah’s Right, fulfil the rights of the creation and the rights of the human being. There is no doubt that this will be made very clear when you contemplate on Allaah’s Book and the Sunnah of His Messenger. (4)
Footnote a: The implementation of Sharee’ah Law is the responsibility of Muslim governments and not the insurgents, such as ISIS and their ilk. Likewise, the call to Islaam does not begin with the call to establish an Islamic State nor the implementation of Sharee’ah Law on the people, rather it begins with the call to pure Islamic Monotheism. See here the Methodology of the Prophets in calling to the path of Allaah: http://www.troid.org/media/pdf/methodology.pdf
Rectification of Society – By Imaam Abdul Azeez Bin Baaz [may Allaah have mercy upon him]: https://salaficentre.com/2021/01/10/rectification-of-modern-societies-by-imaam-abdul-azeez-bin-baaz-rahimahullaah/
The Perils of Desires and Opinion
Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: Everyone with a bit of (sound) intellect knows that the corruption of the world and its ruin occurs due to giving precedence to opinion over the divine revelation and (evil) desires over sound intellect. These two corrupt motives are not entrenched in a heart except that its destruction becomes inevitable nor in a nation except that its affairs are completely corrupted. (5)
Shaikh Abdur Razzaaq Al-Badr [may Allaah preserve him] said: “If you say that the intellect is to be given precedence over the revelation, then which intellect should we follow? Are the intellects of the people combined in the intellect of one man or do they differ? There are intellects of the philosophers, the atheists, the heretics, the people of evil desires and those who confound truth with falsehood; and due to this one of the Salaf said, “Had the desires been one, it would have been considered to be the [basis of] truth”; therefore, we say, “Had the intellects been one, it would have been considered to be the [basis of] truth”.(6)
Allaah [The Exalted] said:
فَأَعۡرِضۡ عَن مَّن تَوَلَّىٰ عَن ذِكۡرِنَا وَلَمۡ يُرِدۡ إِلَّا ٱلۡحَيَوٰةَ ٱلدُّنۡيَا
ذَٲلِكَ مَبۡلَغُهُم مِّنَ ٱلۡعِلۡمِۚ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعۡلَمُ بِمَن ضَلَّ عَن سَبِيلِهِۦ وَهُوَ أَعۡلَمُ بِمَنِ ٱهۡتَدَىٰ
Therefore withdraw (O Muhammad) from him who turns away from Our Reminder (this Qur’an) and desires nothing but the life of this world. That is what they could reach of knowledge. Verily, your Lord it is He Who knows best him who goes astray from His Path, and He knows best him who receives guidance. [Surah An-Najm. Verses 29-30]
When it is the case that this is the abiding behaviour of these polytheists – that they do not have any aim to follow the truth; rather their only aim and intent is that which their souls desire, so Allaah [The Exalted] commanded His Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] to turn away from the one who has turned away from Allaah’s Reminder, which is the Wise Reminder- the Great Qur’aan and the Noble News. They turn away from the beneficial subject matters and they do not want except the worldly life, and this is the beginning and end of their desire. It is well known that the servant does not act except for something he wants, so their deeds are limited to the worldly, its pleasures and desires. This is where their knowledge stops and its purpose. As for those who believe in the Hereafter- those who testify to the truthfulness of it, the people of sound understanding and sound intellect, their utmost concern and desire is the home of the afterlife. Their sciences are the most virtuous and the loftiest, and that is knowledge taken from the Qur’aan and the (authentic) of Allaah’s Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him].
Allaah knows who deserves guidance and guides him; and the one who is not deserving of it, he is left to himself and forsaken, so he deviates from the path of Allaah. And due this due Allaah said: [إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعۡلَمُ بِمَن ضَلَّ عَن سَبِيلِهِۦ وَهُوَ أَعۡلَمُ بِمَنِ ٱهۡتَدَىٰ – Verily, your Lord it is He Who knows best him who goes astray from His Path, and He knows best him who receives guidance – Meaning, Allaah [The Exalted] places blessings exactly where it should be. [An Excerpt from Tafseer As-Sadi]
Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: The Creation [i.e. Humans and Jinns] find themselves within two types of neediness. The first type of neediness is inevitable. It is a type of neediness that applies to everyone – the righteous and the wicked. It neither necessitates praise nor dispraise, neither reward nor punishment; rather it is solely due to the fact that the creation are created beings [i.e. absolutely in need and completely dependent on their Creator in every way].
The second type of neediness is one based on choice from which emanates two noble aspects of knowledge. The first one is the servant’s knowledge and awareness of his Lord and the second is knowledge and awareness of oneself in reality. As soon as one acquires these two types of knowledge, it brings about a type of neediness that becomes a person’s distinguished and most precious source of wealth, the means to success and happiness in [this life and the next]. The people’s different stations in this type of neediness depends on their different stations in these two affairs of knowledge.
Whoever knows that his Lord is the only One Who is Self-Sufficient [absolutely free from all wants and to Whom everyone and everything depends, and cannot do without in the twinkling of an eye], then he will know that he is completely in need.
Whoever knows that his Lord alone is the Possessor of Perfect Ability [possessor of All-encompassing Ability and able to do all things], he will know that he is completely unable [cannot do anything in the twinkling of an eye without the help of] his Lord.
Whoever knows that his Lord is The All-Mighty, he will know that he is one completely in a state of [complete poverty, weakness and want unless his Lord provides for him etc]. Whoever knows that his Lord is the possessor of All- Encompassing knowledge and Wisdom, he will know that he is ignorant.
Allaah brought the servant out of his mother’s womb whilst he knew nothing, not able to do anything and owned nothing; neither able to give nor take; neither able to harm nor benefit. This state of neediness until he reached a more perfect state is something witnessed and tangible for everyone [to see], and i is well known that this is the very essence of the human being and he remains upon that state. He does not move from this state and enters into a state of Lordship – a state in which he becomes absolutely self-sufficient and not need of anyone and anything; rather he does not cease being a slave, a needy one to his Rabb [Allaah the Creator, All-Provider and the Only One Who Controls and Sustains Everything] and His Faatir [Allaah, The Originator and Creator of Everything].
However, after the human being was granted blessings, shown mercy, granted the means to reach a more perfect state, and Allaah -out of His Perfect Kindness and Generosity- granted him apparent blessings [i.e. to recognize the Messengers who were sent with Islamic Monotheism, granted him the lawful pleasures of this world, including health, good looks, etc.] and the hidden blessings [i.e. granted him the innate disposition to recognize his Lord when the Messenger calls him to Eemaan, and granted him knowledge, wisdom, guidance for doing righteous deeds, and also the pleasures and delights of the Hereafter in Paradise, etc.], granted him hearing, sight and a heart, and taught him [i.e. gave him the means to knowledge], granted him ability, subjugated things to him, granted him [the desire and enthusiasm to pursue what is beneficial, and take action], enabled him to receive the service of those of his kind [i.e. gave him authority over other humans], subjugated to him horses and camels, gave him the ability to capture the animals in the sea, drop birds from the sky, subjugate wild animals, dig wells [irrigate water etc], plant trees, dig the earth, learn how to build, acquire the things that are of benefit to him, guard against and protect himself from that which is harmful to him; then the Miskeen [i.e. this absolutely poor, dependent human being] thinks that he has a share of authority and claims – for himself – a kingship [or authority] similar to that of Allaah [Glorified be Allaah and free is Allaah from all imperfections, partners, coequals, similarities etc], and begins to see himself in a manner other than what he was at first, forgets his [prior] state of non-existence, poverty and neediness, until he becomes as if he was not that poor and needy thing. (7)
Al-Allaamah Rabee Bin Haadee [may Allaah preserve him] said: We must know the value of this [sharee’ah] knowledge in our possession, which many people deliberately ignore and seek to degrade its value. They do not consider this knowledge to be anything, and those who study the sciences of the Sharee’ah – in their view- are deficient and unadvanced [or unprogressive] because they do not possess knowledge of medicine and engineering. If medicine, engineering and chemistry are not placed below [and regulated by] the knowledge which the Prophets brought, they become nothing; [rather] they will only increase the people in corruption. The knowledge brought by the Prophets is [a means of] rectification for the people [in their religious and worldly affairs], a guide for them towards the right path and removes them from the darkness they are living in – the darkness of kufr and ignorance.
As for the knowledge of the philosophers and the heretics, then what Allaah has stated [i.e. in Surah Ghaafir’ Aayah 83] truly applies to it. [Allaah said]: [فَلَمَّا جَآءَتۡهُمۡ رُسُلُهُم بِٱلۡبَيِّنَـٰتِ فَرِحُواْ بِمَا عِندَهُم مِّنَ ٱلۡعِلۡمِ وَحَاقَ بِهِم مَّا كَانُواْ بِهِۦ يَسۡتَہۡزِءُونَ -Then when their Messengers came to them with clear proofs, they were glad [and proud] with that which they had of the knowledge [of worldly things]: And that at which they used to mock, surrounded them [i.e. the punishment]. [Surah Ghaafir’ Aayah 83]
It is the knowledge which the people boast about nowadays, whether it is medicine, engineering, astronomy, [modern] politics and economics. After the Prophets came to them – to remove them from the darkness of ignorance and enter them into the light of the knowledge [of divine revelation] and Eemaan- they became glad and boastful with the knowledge they possess, [just as Allaah has stated]:
[فَلَمَّا جَآءَتۡهُمۡ رُسُلُهُم بِٱلۡبَيِّنَـٰتِ فَرِحُواْ بِمَا عِندَهُم مِّنَ ٱلۡعِلۡمِ وَحَاقَ بِهِم مَّا كَانُواْ بِهِۦ يَسۡتَہۡزِءُونَ -Then when their Messengers came to them with clear proofs, they were glad [and proud] with that which they had of the knowledge [of worldly things]: And that at which they used to mock, surrounded them [i.e. the punishment]. [Surah Ghaafir’ Aayah 83]
[Likewise, Allaah informed us that] Qaaroon said: [إِنَّمَآ أُوتِيتُهُ ۥ عَلَىٰ عِلۡمٍ عِندِىٓۚ – This [i.e. vast wealth] has been given to me only because of knowledge I possess. [Surah Al-Qasas’ Aayah 78]
They [i.e. the people] rebuke him [i.e. Qaaroon] because he did not want to spend from his wealth based on what Allaah has commanded and Allaah’s revelation, so Allaah said that he said: [إِنَّمَآ أُوتِيتُهُ ۥ عَلَىٰ عِلۡمٍ عِندِىٓۚ – This [i.e. vast wealth] has been given to me only because of knowledge I possess. [Surah Al-Qasas’ Aayah 78]
Likewise, Allaah said: [وَإِذَآ أَنۡعَمۡنَا عَلَى ٱلۡإِنسَـٰنِ أَعۡرَضَ وَنَـَٔا بِجَانِبِهِ – And when We bestow Our Grace on man (the disbeliever), he turns away and becomes arrogant, far away from the Right Path. [Surah Al-Israa’ Aayah 83]
[Allaah said]: [ثُمَّ إِذَا خَوَّلۡنَـٰهُ نِعۡمَةً۬ مِّنَّا قَالَ إِنَّمَآ أُوتِيتُهُ ۥ عَلَىٰ عِلۡمِۭۚ بَلۡ هِىَ فِتۡنَةٌ۬ وَلَـٰكِنَّ أَكۡثَرَهُمۡ لَا يَعۡلَمُونَ – Then when We have (rescued him from that harm and) changed it into a favour from Us, he says: “Only because of knowledge (that I possess) I obtained it.” Nay, it is only a trial, but most of them know not! [Surah Az-Zumar’ Aayah 49]
Allaah said that he [i.e. the ungrateful human being says after being rescued from hardship]: [قَالَ إِنَّمَآ أُوتِيتُهُ ۥ عَلَىٰ عِلۡمِۭۚ – he says: “Only because of knowledge (that I possess) I obtained it]; but Allaah said: [ وَلَـٰكِنَّ أَكۡثَرَهُمۡ لَا يَعۡلَمُونَ – Nay, it is only a trial, but most of them know not!]
These sciences become a trial and tribulation if they are not placed below [and regulated by] the knowledge which Muhammad [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] brought. (8)
Allaah [The Most High] says in Surah Al-A’raaf Verses 100-102:
[ أَوَلَمۡ يَهۡدِ لِلَّذِينَ يَرِثُونَ ٱلۡأَرۡضَ مِنۢ بَعۡدِ أَهۡلِهَآ أَن لَّوۡ نَشَآءُ أَصَبۡنَـٰهُم بِذُنُوبِهِمۡۚ وَنَطۡبَعُ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِہِمۡ فَهُمۡ لَا يَسۡمَعُونَ- Is it not clear to those who inherit the earth in succession from its (previous) possessors, that had We willed, We would have punished them for their sins. And We seal up their hearts so that they hear not?]- Meaning: Allaah [The Most High] informs those who inherit the earth in succession from those who preceded them, that He [The Most High] destroyed their forefathers due to their sins, yet they commit the same sins that were committed by their forefathers! Do they not take heed that had Allaah willed He would punish them due to their sins, for this is the manner in which Allaah deals with mankind – both the previous nations and those who inherited the earth after them. Allaah [The Most High] warned those who inherited the earth from the previous nations, but they did not take heed; sent them reminders but they did not reflect; showed them guidance through signs, but they did not follow guidance, so Allaah punished them by sealing their hearts – neither did truth enter their hearts nor did good reach their hearts; nor did they give an attentive ear [to the truth]; rather they only heard that which established the proofs against them.
Then Allaah [The Most High] said:[تِلۡكَ ٱلۡقُرَىٰ نَقُصُّ عَلَيۡكَ مِنۡ أَنۢبَآٮِٕهَاۚ وَلَقَدۡ جَآءَتۡہُمۡ رُسُلُهُم بِٱلۡبَيِّنَـٰتِ فَمَا ڪَانُواْ لِيُؤۡمِنُواْ بِمَا ڪَذَّبُواْ مِن قَبۡلُۚ كَذَٲلِكَ يَطۡبَعُ ٱللَّهُ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِ ٱلۡڪَـٰفِرِينَ – Those were the towns whose story We relate unto you (O Muhammad). And there came indeed to them their Messengers with clear proofs, but they were not such as to believe in that which they had rejected before. Thus Allah does seal up the hearts of the disbelievers (from each and every kind of religious guidance)]-Meaning: Messengers came and called them to that which will lead to happiness [in the life and the next]. Those Messengers were given manifest signs and clear evidences to clarify the truth, but the people did not listen and thus were not benefited. And because they belied those manifest signs and clear proofs after being well aware of them, Allaah [The Most High] prevented them from accepting the sound and infallible creed ordained by Allaah. This was punishment on them because they rejected the truth, just as Allaah [The Most High] said in Surah Al-An’aam Verse 110]
[وَنُقَلِّبُ أَفۡـِٔدَتَہُمۡ وَأَبۡصَـٰرَهُمۡ كَمَا لَمۡ يُؤۡمِنُواْ بِهِۦۤ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ۬ وَنَذَرُهُمۡ فِى طُغۡيَـٰنِهِمۡ يَعۡمَهُونَ – And We shall turn their hearts and their eyes away (from guidance), as they refused to believe therein for the first time, and We shall leave them in their trespass to wander blindly].
Then Allaah [The Most High] says in Ayah 102 Surah Al-A’raaf: [وَمَا وَجَدۡنَا لِأَڪۡثَرِهِم مِّنۡ عَهۡدٍ۬ۖ وَإِن وَجَدۡنَآ أَڪۡثَرَهُمۡ لَفَـٰسِقِينَ – And most of them We found not (true) to their covenant, but most of them We found indeed Fasiqun (rebellious, disobedient to Allah)]-Meaning: The majority of the nations -to whom Allaah [The Most High] sent Messengers – were not true to their covenant. Neither were they steadfast nor did they adhere to the commands of Allaah, nor did they submit obediently to the commands of Allaah which the Messengers ordered them to obey; rather they followed their desires, except a very few of them. The majority of them turned away from guidance out of arrogance, so Allaah sent them various types of punishment. (9)
Finally: Reflection On This Tremendous Supplication
يَا حَيُّ يَا قَيُّومُ بِرَحْمَتِكَ أَسْتَغيثُ أَصْلِحْ لِي شَأْنِيَ كُلَّهُ وَلاَ تَكِلْنِي إِلَى نَفْسِي طَرْفَةَ عَيْنٍ
O Ever Living! O The Self Subsisting, Upon Whom Everything Depends! By Your mercy I seek assistance; rectify for me all of my affairs and do not leave me to myself, even for the blink of an eye. [Imaam Albaani declared it Hasan in Silsilah As-Saheehah Number 227]
Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: This is where those forsaken have been forsaken and those granted success [well-being, guidance etc] have been granted well-being [guidance etc]. The forsaken one is veiled from his reality- he forgets himself; he forgets his poverty [in the presence of Allaah]; his need of [Allaah] and his [state of absolute dependence on his Lord for all his means of subsistence], therefore he transgresses all bounds [in crimes, sins, disbelief etc], becomes insolent and thus deserves a wretched end. [Allaah (The Most High)] said:
كَلَّا إِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ لَيَطْغَىٰ
أَن رَّآهُ اسْتَغْنَىٰ
Nay! Verily, man does transgress all bounds (in disbelief and evil deed, etc.). Because he considers himself self-sufficient. [Surah Al-Alaq. Verses 6-7]
فَأَمَّا مَنْ أَعْطَىٰ وَاتَّقَىٰ
وَأَمَّا مَن بَخِلَ وَاسْتَغْنَىٰ
As for him who gives (in charity) and keeps his duty to Allah and fears Him; And believes in Al-Husna; We will make smooth for him the path of ease (goodness). But he who is greedy miser and thinks himself self-sufficient; And gives the lie to Al-Husna; We will make smooth for him the path for evil. [Surah Al-Layl. Verses 5-10]
The most perfect [person] is that one who is more perfect in his servitude [to Allaah], the greatest in his acknowledgement of his poverty, dependence and neediness [in the presence of Allaah]. (10)
Listen to lecture by Shaikh Abu Iyaadh [may Allaah preserve him] titled: An Explanation of the Aayah ‘Evil has appeared on land and sea’. https://www.masjidbinbaz.co.uk/an-explanation-of-the-ayah-evil-has-appeared-on-land-and-sea/
[Ref 1: Misbaah Al-Muneer Fee Ta’dheeb Tafseer Ibn Katheer]
[Ref 2: Marhaban Yaa Taalibal Ilm’ pages 104-106]
[Ref 3: An Excerpt from ‘Al-Adillatul Qawaatiq Wal-Baraaheen Fee Ibtaalil Usoolil Mulhideen. 48-49]
[Ref 4: https://youtu.be/wRkeYjcJ728 ]
[Ref 5: I-laam Al-Muwaqqi’een 1/67-69]
[Ref 6: Muqaddimah Fee Diraasah At-Tawheed. Lesson: 3]
[Ref 7: An Excerpt from Tareequl Hijratayn. pages 9-10. slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 8: Marhaban Yaa Taalibal Ilm’ pages99-100]
[Ref 9: An Excerpt from Tafseer As-Sadi]
[Ref 10: An Excerpt from ‘Tareequl Hijratayn pages 25-26]