Thoughts Lead To Appreciation
88. This is the Guidance of Allah with which He guides whom He will of His Slaves. If they had joined in worship others with Allah, all that they used to do would have been of no benefit to them.
Two meanings of His Ibadi:
i. His Slaves, meaning those instructed to obey and worship Allah among His Creation. The meaning will then be general, i.e. Allah guides Whom He pleases/ wishes of His Creation.
ii. His Worshippers, meaning those among His Slaves who acknowledge Allah as their Lord and Cherisher and choose to obey Allah seeking His Pleasure.
In context, this meaning is valid as the preceding Aayaat 83 to 87, parts of Ayah 88 and the next Aayaat 89 to 90, mentioned Noble Prophets Ibrahim and his offspring, Nuh and his progeny, Zakariyyah and his family, etc.
The meaning will then be that Allah’s Guidance of His Worshippers does not cease at initial submission, but is a continuous process.
The last part of this Ayah indicates the gravity of worshipping anyone except Allah, and the nullifying of good deeds by this act. It proves that the Prophets of Allah were free from this critical offence, and exonerates them against such accusations from some groups.
90. They are those whom Allah guided. Follow their Guidance. Say: “No reward do I ask of you for This (the Qur’an). It is only a Reminder for the Worlds (of humanity and jinn).”
We are to imitate the practices of our predecessors. This is proof against those who reject the Sunnah of the Prophet.
91. They did not assess Allah with His Proper Consideration when they said: “Allah has sent no Revelation to man.” Say: “Who then sent down the Book which Musa (Moses) brought, as a Beam and Guidance to humanity? You made it into sheets. You unveil it, though you simultaneously conceal much more. You were taught what neither you nor your ancestors knew.” Say: “Allah”. Thereafter, leave them to amuse themselves in the meaningless debate of theirs.
The question is: How do we estimate Allah properly? Or, how do we avoid the underestimation of Allah? To pick one Aayah of the Qur’an or one Hadeeth and cling to it without consideration of other related Aayaat and Ahadeeth is a definite recipe for improper views about Allah.
To understand Allah, we need a comprehensive analysis of His Words and those of His Messenger.
We must avoid the self-cheating of previous communities and steer clear of the adoption of only those parts of the Sharee’ah that conform to our personal and cultural beliefs.
Indeed, we know nothing of Allah except what Allah has taught us.