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Thursday 9th of December 2021
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Two Paths of Deviation

 

(7) صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنعَمْتَ عَلَيهِمْ غَيرِ المَغضُوبِ عَلَيهِمْ وَلاَ الضَّالِّينَ

" The path of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed Thy bounties, not (the path) of those inflicted with Thy wrath, nor (of those) gone astray."

Commentary :

Two Paths of Deviation

This verse is, indeed, a clear illustration of the ' Straight Path ' which was dealt with in the previous verse. It says that the person asks Allah to guide him onto the path of those on whom He has blessed with many kinds of bounties; (such as the blessings of guidance, success, the leadership of people of truth, knowledge, good actions, holy

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wars and martyrdom) ;not those who deserved His wrath because of their wrong doings, nor those who neglected the right path and went astray.

" The path of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed Thy bounties, not (the path) of those inflicted with Thy wrath, nor (of those) gone astray."

In fact, we are not familiar with the method of guidance, so the Lord's command, in this verse, is that we ask for the path of the prophets, good doers and all of those to whom Allah has extended His bounties, blessings and favours.

It also warns us that there are two deviated paths in front of us: the path of those inflicted with His wrath, and the path of those gone astray.

* * * *

Explanation :

1- Who are ' Those upon whom Allah has bestowed His bounties ' ?

Sura An-Nisa, No. 4, verse 69 has introduced these people, thus: " All who obey Allah and the Apostle are in the company of those on whom is the Grace of Allah,ö of the prophets (who teach) , the Sincere (lovers of Truth) , the Witnesses (who testify) , and the Righteous (who do good) : Ah ! What a beautiful Fellowship ! ".

As it demonstrates, this verse introduces the people on whom the bounties and Mercy of Allah are bestowed. They are four groups: the Prophets, the Sincere, the Witnesses, and the Righteous.

These four states may refer to an idea that: for the attainment of a sound, progressive and faithful society, prophets and Divine leaders should form the foundation.

After the prophets are the sincere truthful missionaries and preachers whose words attest to their actions by which they are able to extend the prophets' missions throughout their societies.

Following this period of the formation of these structural states, naturally, some evil-minded individuals, who serve as barriers on the path of truth, may appear in the way. There should be some others to stand against them. In this struggle a few of these defenders of truth may be gifted with martyrdom, whose blood would then water the tree of ' Theism '.

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The fruit of these struggles and devotions is yielded as 'the Righteous' with whom the society can be pure, efficient, and abounding with spirituality.

Therefore, in the Holy Sura Al-Fatihah (The Opening) , we are encouraged to repeatedly ask Allah, during the day and night, that we be led on the path of these previously mentioned four groups, and, obviously at each time, we must emphasize with sincere effort and endeavour, on one of these four states more than the others in order to perform our duty and mission well.

2- Who are the Last Two Groups in this Verse ?

The separation of these two groups from each other indicates that each group has some defining characteristics.

To make distinction between these two groups, there are three commentaries:

(A) From the application of these two words in the Qur'an, it is so understood that /maq dubi 'alayhim/ 'those inflicted with His Wrath' are in a worse condition than /dallin/ 'those gone astray'. In other words, 'those gone astray' are the ordinary misguided and /maq dubi 'alayhim/ 'those inflicted with His Wrath' are the misguided who are obstinate or hypocritical. And, for these two very reasons, the Curse and Wrath of Allah have been cited towards them in frequent occurrences in the Qur'an. The followings are some instances :

"... But such as open their breast to Unbelief,ö on them is Wrath from Allah, ...", (Sura An-Nahl, No. 16, verse 106) .

" And that He may punish the Hypocrites, men and women, and Polytheists, men and women, who imagine an evil opinion of Allah. On them is a round of Evil; the Wrath of Allah is on them. He has cursed them and got Hell ready for them: and evil is it for a destination ", (Sura Al-Fath, No. 48, verse 6) .

However, this group, ie. ' those inflicted with His Wrath ' were those who, besides their unbelief, pursued the path of obstinacy and enmity against Allah, and whenever they could, they even injured the Divine leaders and prophets (p.b.u.th.) . As Sura 'Al-i-'Imran, No. 3, verse 112 says: "...They draw on themselves Wrath from Allah, and pitched over them is (the tent of) destitution. This because they rejected the

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Signs of Allah, and slew the Prophets in defiance of right; this because they rebelled and transgressed beyond bounds ".

(B) Some of the commentators believe that /dallin/ 'those gone astray' refers to the misguided of the Christians; and /maq dubi 'alayhim/ 'those inflicted with His Wrath' refers to the misguided of the Jews.

This idea was formed because of the particular responses that these two groups showed in reply to the invitation to Islam. For, as the Qur'an has clearly pointed out in different verses, the misguided Jews used to show a special grudge and enmity against the invitation of Islam, though, at the beginning, their scholars and learned men were the bearers of the glad tidings of Islam. Very soon, though, under the effect of deviation of thought, belief and notion, and, also, because their financial gains were being endangered, they became the most obstinate enemies of Islam and they did whatever evil they could against the progression of Islam and Muslims. (Even today, Zionism and Zionists hold the same position regarding the manner in which they treat Islam and Muslims.)

 

Therefore, to render these people as ' those inflicted with His Wrath ' seems very correct.

But, the misguided of the Christians, who upon encountering with Islam were not so grudging, but were misled because of their misperception of the Divine religion and therefore refusing the Truth, were rendered into / dallin / ' those gone astray '. They believed in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost instead of clinging to true Monotheism, the worship of Allah. This is, in itself, one of the greatest examples of 'astray' and 'aberration'.

In the Islamic traditions, too, / maq dubi 'alayhim / ' those inflicted with His Wrath ' are interpreted as the Jews, and / dallin / ' those gone astray ' as the misguided of the Christians. The foundation of this interpretation is the same as was mentioned in the above.

(C) It is also probable that /dallin/ 'those gone astray' refers to those who are misguided but do not insist on making others go astray, while / maq dubi 'alayhim / ' those inflicted with His Wrath ' refer to those who both 'go astray' and ' lead others astray '. They try vigorously to change others to become like themselves.

 

The references to this meaning are the verses that introduce the

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persons who obstruct the way of guidance of others and are mentioned in the Holy Qur'an as 'those who would hinder (men) from the Path of Allah'. Sura Ash-Shura, No. 42, verse 16 says: " But those who dispute concerning Allah after He has been accepted,- futile is their dispute in the sight of their Lord: on them is Wrath,and for them will be Penalty terrible".

Other traditions have also been cited concerning the matter, including a narration from Amir-ul-Mu'mineen Ali (a.s.) . It says:

"Everyone who has disbelieved in Allah, on him is Wrath, and he is astray from His Path". (1)

In ' Ma'ani ', a book of traditions, it is narrated from the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) who said: " Shi'ah (the followers) of Ali (a.s.) are those on whom Allah has bestowed the bounty of ' Wilayat ', love of Ali-ibn-Abitalib (a.s.) ; His Wrath is not on them, and they are not on the wrong path". (2)

* * * *

Supplication :

O' Lord! Count us not among 'those inflicted with Your Wrath' and 'those gone astray', but consider us among true believers, the followers of the school of Ahlul-Bait (a.s) .

O' Lord! Guide us on the Straight Path in our every circumstance and in all our affairs!

O' Lord! We thank you for this Divine blessing and say : "Praise belongs to Allah (alone) Who set us among those holding steadfast to the love of Ali-ibn-Abitalib and the other immaculate Imams (a.s.) ."

The End

Sura Al-Fatihah

(The Opening)

(1) Tafsir-us-Safi, vol. 1, p. 74

(2) Maani-ul-Akhbar, p. 32, tradition 8; and, Tafsir Furat-ul-Kufi, vol. 1, p.52

 


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