One of the beauties of the Qur’aan is that you can be reading any ayah, and just by pondering over it you can derive so many lessons from it. Earlier today, I was contemplating over soorat al-Ma`aarij and came over several verses that really stuck with me. In this series insha’Allaah I will go over some lessons I learnt and hope that it benefits those who read it as much as it benefited me, and that it also encourages the reader to pick up their own copy of the Qur’aan, sneak out into some still and quietness and ponder over the magnificence of this Book. I’m not going to follow a specific sequence in terms of listing the lessons, therefore I will not be going in order of the verses of the soorah, rather I will be writing in order of what affected me the most.
وَلَا يَسْأَلُ حَمِيمٌ حَمِيماً
يُبَصَّرُونَهُمْ يَوَدُّ الْمُجْرِمُ لَوْ يَفْتَدِي مِنْ عَذَابِ يَوْمِئِذٍ بِبَنِيهِ
وَفَصِيلَتِهِ الَّتِي تُؤْويهِ
وَمَن فِي الْأَرْضِ جَمِيعاً ثُمَّ يُنجِيهِ
And no friend will ask of a friend. Though they shall be made to see one another – the Mujrim, (criminal, sinner, disbeliever, etc.) would desire to ransom himself from the punishment of that Day by his children. And his wife and his brother. And his kindred who sheltered him. And all that are in the earth, so that it might save him.
‘حميم‘ is from the root ح م م which means heat/fever and is also used for passion, or love and affection for a very close and dear friend. حمّةٌ can also be used instead of حبّةٌ where م is the substitute for ب, for instance in this phrase: هو من حمّةِ نفسي ‘He is of the beloved of my soul’ [Lane’s Lexicon].
بصّر means to see something and recognize it. Our state on the Day of Judgment would be such that even the object of our love and passion will ignore us despite recognizing us. That is because of the fear and torment of that Day. Everyone will be preoccupied with their own state, their own deeds.
– Something that struck me hard was the ephemerality of human love. A mother’s love for her child, a wife’s love for her husband, love of siblings for each other, and the love of best friends for one another, is all transient. Our quest for that eternal love is nothing but phantasm, its futile because it doesn’t exist. There’s only One deity out there Who’s Love is forever enduring, and that is Allaah. The verses above teach us our priority in terms of love and relationships. That the common denominator in love in all relationships is Allaah, i.e. it should be solely for the sake of Allaah, otherwise it will bring us little to no benefit. When we say we love so and so for the sake of Allaah, we are essentially saying that no matter what the circumstance, seeking Allaah’s pleasure and fulfilling His rights over us takes precedence over everything and everyone else.
This leads to a further point of benefit and that is: staying away from the illusion of perfect love. There is no such thing as perfect love, therefore expecting perfection from our parents, spouses and friends is wrong. I want to refer here specifically to love between spouses. As humans, we are born with a certain longing in our hearts that we expect other humans to fulfill. And naturally we try to find that in the opposite gender. When we fail to find that perfection in a mere human, we find ourselves feeling utterly devastated and betrayed. What we don’t realize is that this longing belongs to our Creator, the One who nurtured us. We can only seek perfect happiness and love in Allaah, because expecting this from a human is placing a burden on him/her that they can never bear. Realizing that will help us minimize our expectations from each other and help preserve our relationships. I think it was Shakespeare who said:
“Roses have thorns, and silver fountains mud;
Clouds and eclipses stain both moon and sun,
And loathsome canker lives in sweetest bud.
All men makes faults…”
All men make faults, but Allaah is faultless and flawless. He is Perfect, and perfection can only be expected of Him.