Ramadan Tafseer Series: Through the Good and the Bad

Al An’aam [6: 42]

Sahih International

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 [to Us].

  • Allah, in this ayah, is addressing the message of p saw
  • once the message was initiated, the mushrikeen of Makkah responded to the message with hostility
  • Allah provided consolation to the prophet saw, strength and conviction to the believers and warning to those who were opposing the message
  • Allah said that He sent other prophets to other nations as well
  • when those nations responded negatively, they dealt with 2 situations:

1. extremely difficult (mufasireen say, بَأْسَاءِ (hunger and proverty) and ضَّرَّاءِ (illness and loss of wealth and lives)

  • Allah did this so it might humble the person
  • when everything’s going well, it’s difficult to be humble, person doesn’t have clarity of thought
  • when person finds himself in a very tough spot,  person might be humble and ask forgiveness from Allah
  • result of that humility is that they would accept iman, ask for Allah’s forgiveness and they would believe in the message and  submit to the will of Allah

Al An’aam [6:43]

Sahih International

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.

  • but this only made them more hostile and stubborn
  • so Allah says their hearts became hard
  • shaytaan began to beautify what they were doing – one of the most powerful tricks of shaytaan
  • in beginning of surah Al Baqarah – don’t cause destruction on earth but they responded, ‘we are not the destructors but rather we are the ones fighting the corruption.’
  • they completely missed the point
  • the بَأْسَاءِ and ضَّرَّاءِ  were sent to shake them up

Quran tells us to look at difficulty in a different light

  1. as a test from Allah
  2. when a person is living life in a manner that is displeasing to Allah, this difficulty is a wake up call, that it’s time to wake up and realize there is something better to do with their life
  • sometimes the wake up call is like that ignored alarm clock so there needs to be a back up plan

Al An’aam [6:44]

Sahih International

So when they forgot that by which they had been reminded, We opened to them the doors of every [good] thing until, when they rejoiced in that which they were given, We seized them suddenly, and they were [then] in despair.

2. so Allah opens up the doors of everything upon them, they find extreme luxury in their hands, but this is also a reminder to wake them up

  • so they will maybe see the bounty and realize
  • like a teacher of parent might punish or give child a reward and that maybe that will make them realize
  • this a very strong evidence for how merciful Allah is
  • Allah tries from all ways to make them understand. He sends difficulties, they don’t respond, He sends blessings, they don’t respond either
  • but they don’t even respond to this either, they don’t realize the blessings of Allah
  • they began to enjoy themselves and become completely heedless
  • and Allah snatched them up
  • word بَغْتَةً – implies somebody being taken all of a sudden and don’t even realize the punishment. It comes quietly when it’s the least expected, because they’re completely lost in their comfort and luxury
  • then they become very desperate
  • word ابلاَس : this means when somebody completely despairs from any type of good coming to him
  • it’s like when person is asking for someone’s help knowing that the person is not going to help
  • that is what their situation has become

Al An’aam [6:45]

Sahih International

So the people that committed wrong were eliminated. And praise to Allah , Lord of the worlds.

  • each and every single last of them is destroyed
  • look at all these nations, they were wiped out, not even one of them remained to tell the tale
  • at the end, why praise of Allah?
  • Because we thank Allah for helping the believers,
  • for sending the divine mercy in this manner (through prophets)
  • that He hasn’t made us from these type of people
  • because we’re witnessing his splendor and might
  • Allah describes that many times just because we find ourselves in luxury, we need to analyze ourselves
  • we cannot assume it to be a blessings, maybe it’s a test, maybe it’s a wake up call
  • these are 2 situations Allah sends upon the people, both are wake up calls
  • the message is the same:  whatever the situation, we should turn to Allah, constantly be mindful and careful of what situation we are in
  • difficulty doesn’t necessarily means you are doomed and vice versa
  • at all times, we need to reassess our own situations
  • anything that we deal with we need to use it as a motivation to get closer to Allah
  • even with good things, use that as motivation to become closer to Allah and try to better ourselves

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