by Safia Fatima
Today I want to shower some light upon the fifty seventh ayah of Surah Al-Qasas which represents the twenty eighth chapter of the Qur’an. In this ayah Allah records the statement of some people who would come to Rasool Allah (saw). These Meccans, to be specific, would privately say to Prophet Muhammad (saw) that if they follow the guidance along with him then they will be picked off. I will like to explain, in comfortable words, what these people meant.
Obviously the people mentioned above came with their matter after the Call to Islam was declared, which directly means that they had witnessed the brutal treatment of all those who had dared to believe in one God and Prophet Muhammad (saw). So these people were actually scared. What they meant when they approached Rasool Allah (saw) was that they are impressed with the Qur’an; they would like to hear what he has to say and, in short, they don’t have a doubt regarding it but there is just one tiny problem. Ever since people accepted Islam, they have been popular targets of not just discrimination but also of severe persecution. Even those converts who enjoyed status and luxuries in the society were suffering. And the people who came to Rasool Allah (saw) didn’t necessarily want to be victims. They feared that they will be kicked out from their own community, plucked out from their own land. These people were cool with the teachings of Islam; however they didn’t want to become targets.
At this point Allah starts to speak in the ayah. He says that isn’t it the case that He stationed them, gave them stability, gave them charge in a sacred land and from everywhere the best fruits are brought there as a Rizq from Him. Allah is reminding the people of the bounties and blessings which were bestowed upon them. Right at this moment, I want to tell you about the geographical placement of Mecca. This place was surrounded by tribes, giving all reasons to be attacked but Allah protected it. Mecca was a barren land where nothing could grow but even then the people there enjoyed not only the best fruits but also the out of season ones. We can imagine that today because of the transportation facilities being advanced but Allah made that possible fourteen hundred years ago. Subhan’Allah! In this amazing ayah Allah is telling the Meccans that He is the one who protects. And when He intends to protect not even an army of Elephants can do anything to harm them.
Now why is Allah mentioning all of His blessings towards the people of Mecca? Because He wants them, who are scared to adopt Islam, to know that the land belongs to Allah. The Rizq comes from Allah. If He is providing them with security and food in a barren place surrounded by tribes then why wouldn’t He provide them with the same things if they convert to Islam? Even if they are forced to leave their community, it is Allah who is still going to grant them the very things they are in need of. However most people don’t understand; this is what Allah mentions at the end of the ayah.
Alhamdulillah, Islam has become a widely spread religion. Today we witness people accepting Islam out of their own free will. The ayah we discussed above gives hope and encouragement to these very people who took the most difficult step in their life: the decision to follow Islam. And when they do so, they are subjected to discrimination and sometimes to open boycott, unfortunately, from their own disbelieving family. They are threatened to be cut off from the family tree. Muslim women lose jobs because they start to wear the Hijab. Young people, who belong to Muslim families, suffer because one day they decide to take their Islam seriously. Girls who choose to take Hijab in the presence of their male cousins are sometimes criticized instead of being appreciated.
Sadly the list goes on but I intend on wrapping up by giving the summary of the ayah. To a person, the disappearance of worldly benefits or fear of the opposing community should never serve to stop them from reaching Hidaya. Because guess what? The world and all its riches belong to Allah and He is the one who protects us from every kind of hardship. No doubt, practicing Islam is not always going to be easy. Sometimes we might even feel as if we are in darkness. But trust Allah. He brings forth the light, He protects us and He is by our side when the place next to us feels empty. May Allah make us of those who truly understand this beautiful ayah.