You know not!

Category: Faith & Spirituality, Featured Topics: Angels Views: 7849

For man, the enormity of darkness is more overwhelming than the intensity of dazzling sunlight. All day long, he enjoys the sunlight but little does he deliberate over the source and meaning of the rays of light. The days of affluence and comfort, however long they may be, scarcely have an impact upon his attitude and emotions. As the night falls, darkness vanquishes his faculties and he yearns for some safe haven to hide therein. As the adversities befall him, he yells and complains; and all he can see and feel is pain and anguish. So much so that other wretched people who have hitherto been somehow hidden from his eyesight suddenly come to his view. 'Oh God. Why this world? Are you not the Merciful? Are you not the all Powerful and the Almighty? Why this misery? Why this bloodshed?' The positive aspect of the world remains ignored and the negative comes to surface. The blessings are neglected and the miseries counted. This is man. The blessed creature! 

Perhaps the same is also true of other creations of God. The most obedient species is obviously the angels. They never get tired of praising and glorifying the Lord. They are commanded to do a task and the same is done without hesitation or thinking about self-interests not to mention any effort whatsoever to secure them. However, when God announces his scheme regarding a creation who would be vested with authority in the earth, all they see is innocent blood being shed. They launch a silent protest against the decision of the Lord about entrusting man with the status of a Khalifah (someone vested with authority) of this earth. 'Why settle this creation in this serene and peaceful land when they are going to abuse their authority and massacre their own fellow beings? We glorify You and hold You in reverence. Why give such creation the administration of the world, Lord? Why not just keep us only instead?' Their words are polite, as they should be, yet the style of expression unveils the reservations implied 1. The Quran records: 

And when your Lord said to the angels: Lo! I am about to place a Khalifah in the earth, they said: will You place therein one who will do harm therein and will shed blood, while we hymn Your praise and sanctify You? (Quran 2:30)

The angels quickly translated the word 'authority' into harm and bloodshed. There is nothing disputing the fact that authority does bring about persecution, disorder and anarchy in that the person vested with it will ultimately be given the potential to abuse it since, without such potential, there can be no question of authority. The reservations of the angels were not unfounded: what they expressed could well be envisaged in the perspective of 'authority'. But this was not it. All they saw was harm and bloodshed. The only picture of man that dangled before their eyes was disfigured and mutilated. The Lord is far from creating anything meaningless. He responded to their reservations: 

'Surely I know that which you know not'. (Quran 2:30)

This seems to be a simple reply, no doubt. But the profound meaning it implies is as deep as the depth of the unfathomable ocean. Man and the angels are the creation and God is the Creator. Add the fact that the Lord is the Wise and the Merciful - attributes which cannot be elaborated properly in human language at least vis-a-vis their true intensity and extent. Therefore know you O man your status. Know you O party of angels your rank. Never question the divine decrees after you have professed faith in the Lord with all His attributes. You know not! Always submit to what the Almighty decides for you. You know not! It is indeed a world of knowledge to know that you know not.

 

Note:

1. Based on Ghamidi's interpretation of the Quranic verse (2:29).

Source: Renaissance


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  18 Comments   Comment

  1. Sara from Singapore

    Thank you for the beautiful reminder. While bearing in mind the divine wisdom of Allah swt, shouldn't we also be actively looking for the meaning underlying each event that happens to us so that we are in constant communion with Him. Taking the verse superficially would seem to advocate fatalistic attitude towards life. Hence, I feel that emphasis should be made on having husnul-zan while we constantly remind ourselves that we know not what He knows. Warmest salams.

  2. Yahya Bergum from USA

    Jazak allah khair abdullahi jibiya - masha'Allah. I am wondering if the verses you mentioned might in some way relate to the verses of Quran 50:17-29, which seem maybe to suggest that this current life of ours also serves as a test not only for us but also for that which "motivates us" (so to speak). Now I realize that this is probably stretching things a bit but I am struck by an apparent similarity between those ayat and Quran 51:59-60 (which would seem to be talking about those who went before us) and Quran 81:7 (which perhaps relates to maybe some or maybe - who knows? - perhaps all or of course maybe none of those other referenced passages from the Qur'an).

    Unfortunately I am not very good with Tafsir, which I would currently suppose also contains explanations by the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wassalam). I have four different English translations of the Qur'an, which I try to compare, attempting to resolve whatever might perhaps seem like differences. My guess is that any apparent differences (and seemingly adamant footnotes) reflect influences of different schools of thought. Insha'Allah I could benefit from assistance by others insha'Allah. Allahu alim - warahmatullahi.

    Who knows? Perhaps this is simply a part of Allah's test for us insha'Allah. The good news is clearly that to Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) we return. May you be rewarded for good deeds and intentions - jazak Allahu khair! Wassalam wabarakatuhu.

  3. abdullahi jibiya from nigeria

    such articles as this help us remember the purpose of creation: seek knowledge of the Creator and serve Him with that knowledge, as the next ayah after the one quoted by the writer explicitly says. May Allah (SWT)give us the strength of will to seek knowledge for His sake and serve Him, with all our might, amin.

  4. Yahya Bergum from USA

    The following paragraph contains a statement of a strictly personal nature. If there is something within it that is helpful for someone else then masha'Allah.

    If a creature much inclined to rebel would strive in serving a good cause, habitually declining rewards except for that of simply serving a good cause, in such service insha'Allah (God willing) would be perceived Allah's glory. I seek refuge in Allah from what is evil.

    Once again, I would agree that I could benefit from a lot more of such articles insha'Allah. Peace be with you (Ameen). Barakatuhu.

    By the way, insha'Allah could someone explain why most of the English translations of Quran 1:2 appear to end with "the worlds" and Quran 37:79 with "the nations" while both of those verses in Arabic appear to have the same ending? Might it be that Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) knows something we know not - and perhaps we feel a just little bit embarrassed about admitting it? In any case, peace be upon all of Allah's prophets (peace be upon them). May all translators of the Qur'an and all others who have helped in sharing its message be rewarded for good deeds and intentions - and praise be to Allah for Saheeh International.

  5. omran from earth (muscati)

    I totally agree with Hassan, if there were no contrast betwen night and day how would you know what is day. If Adam (A.S) did not sin , how would we know the beauty , the magnificant station of tawba (repentance) , you need not to look at the lower nafs people but look at the the prophets and messengers, Luqman Al-Hakim, The sahaba, the ahl al-bayt( Imam Jafaar, Iman Ali, Iman, Hassan, Iman Hussain, Sheikh Abdul Qadir al-Julani)look at the inheritors of the prophets the Awliya Of Allah) , the angels love them and for other reasons realizied they are deservingly above them, did you not know that the prophet Mohammed (S.A) went up to the heavens where he arrived a certain point that Gibril could not go past or else he would have burned into ashes?

  6. Amjad from Dubai

    I agree Br. Hanif to some extent. While its true that we have to accept Quran as it is, we also need to ponder about what is said and the reason behind it. This reasoning would lead to a chain of other questions and in the process letting us assimilate more information.

    Insha Allah, we might be able to arrive at some logical conclusion in few cases and few might be just beyond our imagination. But being curious certainly is not doubting the authenticity of the revealation!

    Allah know the best!

  7. Osama Osman from Washington D.C.

    It`s a very good article which show the reason that we are created for.

  8. Yahya Bergum from USA

    Jazak allah khair umar. Common Era (for "C.E") even sounds more accurate than Christian Era - at least to me.

    [Quran 57:24] ...And if any turn back (from Allah's Way), verily Allah is Free of all Needs, Worthy of all Praise.

    wassalam

  9. Farah from uk

    A gentle reminder that we are on the earth to serve Allah!

  10. umar from USA

    Salaam Alaikum.. In response to Noon's query about "C.E" it stands for Common Era.. "B.C.E" stands for Before Common Era.. These acronyms have replaced A.D (Anno Domini) and B.C (Before Christ)as more "secular" ways of naming years, although the reference is the still the supposed birth of Christ. wassalam

  11. Sreedhar Ganapathy from India

    Wonderful Article. There are so many of God's Shaikh Khalifas for upholding righteousness and good.Keep it up.

  12. Hassan from Oman

    The article tells us to stop because we just don't know. However that is not true, sure we don't know much, but we know enough to answer the questions that we wonder about. In this case, Allah (swt) later told the Angels why he created Humans, that is when Adam (A.S) was endowed with knowledge and knew all the names Allah (swt) told the Angels that didn't I tell you I know what you don't. Hence he responded to the Angels and gave them a logical explanation rather than just stopping at you know not.

    Islam requires us to think logically and deduce the meaning of this life. Human beings endowed with knowledge and free choice can become at a higher level than the Angels and this is the beauty of our creation. By having free will we can be the best creation of the universe or the most evil. The choice is ours!

  13. Ahmed Asgher from bahrain

    Peace be upon all

    A very interesting article, of which there should be more. It requires the mind to meditate and ponder cause and effect.

    By creating 'khalifah' of man on earth, Allah has put a representative of himslef on earth. Thus it is incumbant upon every person to give utmost respect to the next person AS IF he or she is the representative of God.

    If we saw each other in this light, we would never abuse or disrespect each other. The noted Quranic verse has always taught me this interpretation PLUS God assuredly has elevated man above the angels for He asked the angels to bow down to man. For what reason? Because man is given free will and the angels generally have no such free will - sure Satan rejected to bow down to man perhaps out of free will - but unlike that of man. Therefore a pious person who is able to supress his desires for the sake of worshipping Allah is far higher in status to that creature who has no such inner desires to fight with in the first place. Thus the inner jihad being the ultimate struggle against the ills of this world, the inner desire that ultimately leads to destruction of self.

    The challenge that Satan threw to God was that he (the Satan) will lead man astray and God gave him an appointed time to do so but warned him that he can not lead the faithful to the wrong path - for God resides in the heart of the faithful and wherever HE resides there will be total protection from ALL harm.

    With clean faith all things are possible and it is all by the way, but the ultimate destination is TO BE with HIM.

    This world is the place of toil thro hard work. the next world is where we reap the reward of our good deeds. At least half of this equation is abundantly clear thro death.

    Glory be to Allah the All Knowing who has given us free will to do good and the inevitable death to join HIM. therefore take heed son of man! Peace to all.

  14. Najib Azhar from USA

    Mankind is neither angel nor beast, but is capable of exceeding the former and degrading below the latter. The misuse of authority is the biggest cause of bloodshed and mischief on the earth. If only we could take a lesson from the Prophet Mohammad's example of how to use authority. On the triumphant entry of the Muslims in Mecca, the residents of whom had mistreated them (beyond any injustices that Muslims may suffer today), he forgave all and granted general amnesty to the people of Mecca. His example evidences how man can be better than angels!

  15. Hashim Munawar from Hongkong

    Well said.

    Allah having all the knowledge.He is eternal and wise. Whatever happening in tnis world its bcos its already written in his Book. Allah said in Glorious Quran in the Sura named Hadith that

    57:22 No misfortune can happen on earth or in your souls but is recorded in a decree before We bring it into existence: That is truly easy for Allah

    57:23 In order that ye may not despair over matters that pass you by, nor exult over favours bestowed upon you. For Allah loveth not any vainglorious boaster,-

  16. Yahya Bergum from USA

    Assalamu alaikum. When I initially read this article I found the first paragraph to be quite depressing. The author might wish to consider including an expression such as "to Allah we return" towards the end of the first paragraph. Doing so might perhaps seem to be consistent with the behavior of the ones who receive guidance (Quran 2:155-157) - as long as the author appears to be attempting to offer the reader some guidance. Insha'Allah that sort of suggestion would be helpful.

    Also, NooN might perhaps have intended to comment on some other article. In response to NooN's question "CE" denotes "Christian Era" for example as in 2004 (CE). Wassalam.

  17. NooN from u$a

    Very Very Very Wise, as usual, Thank AllA U.

    Regarding the Mathmatician: What does "the year CE "

    translate to ??

    How can we study the works of this Mathmatician &

    the works he studied from, also.

    Please, guide us to understand that each ray of the sun brings life impulse & lite.

  18. Yahya Bergum from USA

    Salam. So, from a verse that might seem to provide an example of Allah's slaves politely questioning the will of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, we learn that a highly dangerous and readily misguided creature called man must never question divine decree (as understood by the elite among men). Does that about sum it up?

    Insha'Allah the "smiley face" will be taken to mean that I like these kinds of articles and would agree that there should a lot more of them. Insha'Allah I would unquestioningly accept that Allah surely knows what I know not - and would therefore strive to be patient and encourage patience among men. Wassalam.