English Book Translation

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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Excerpt From the Book:

الأمثال في القرآن الكريم

Al-Amthal fil Qur’an al-Kareem” – The Applied Examples (Parables) in the Noble Qur’an

by Imam Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah

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Excerpt One:

Section: Worldly Life and the Hereafter

From these examples, is Allāh’s Statement:

إِنَّمَا مَثَلُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا كَمَاءٍ أَنزَلْنَاهُ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ فَاخْتَلَطَ بِهِ نَبَاتُ الْأَرْضِ مِمَّا يَأْكُلُ النَّاسُ وَالْأَنْعَامُ حَتَّىٰ إِذَا أَخَذَتِ الْأَرْضُ زُخْرُفَهَا وَازَّيَّنَتْ وَظَنَّ أَهْلُهَا أَنَّهُمْ قَادِرُونَ عَلَيْهَا أَتَاهَا أَمْرُنَا لَيْلًا أَوْ نَهَارًا فَجَعَلْنَاهَا حَصِيدًا كَأَن لَّمْ تَغْنَ بِالْأَمْسِ ۚ كَذَ‌ٰلِكَ نُفَصِّلُ الْآيَاتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ

  “Verily the example of (this) worldly life is but like water (rain) which We have sent down from the sky that the plants of the earth absorb – (those) from which men and livestock eat – until, when the earth has taken on its adornment and is beautified and its people think that they have capability over it, there comes to it Our command by night or by day, and We make it as a (clean-mown) harvest, as if it had not flourished yesterday. Thus do We explain in detail the signs for a people who give thought.” [Yunus: 24]

Allāh The Most Glorious, draws a comparison of the worldly life in that it appears beautified in the eye of the beholder, so he becomes amazed and dazzled with its splendour, so that he becomes inclined to it and desires it and becomes misled by it – until he reaches the stage where he thinks he possesses it and has free reign over it, (then) all of a sudden it is snatched away from him when he needs it the most and a barrier is cast between him and it. Thus, Allāh, Most High, compares this situation with the land on which rain falls causing it to sprout vegetation and its plants attain perfection and its visual beauty attracts the onlooker, deceiving him and making him think that he has power over it and has complete ownership of it. Then out of a sudden, Allāh’s Command comes down upon it, and sudden disaster overtakes its vegetation, causing it to become as if previously it had amounted to nothing. He therefore becomes dejected and his hands retain nothing of it. Same is the condition of the world and the one who puts all his reliance on it.

This form of likening is from the most profound of similitude and analogies, because as this world is subject to these misfortunes, while Paradise is safe from it (as) Allāh, Most High Says: “And Allāh invites to the Home of Peace and guides whom He wills to a Straight path” – so here Allāh has called it “home of peace” due to it being safe from the worldly disasters. Allāh called to this guidance universally and chooses in particular whoever He wills for accepting this call to guidance – the former is from His Justice and the latter is His Favour.

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Excerpt Two:

Section: Deeds of the Disbelievers and the Blowing of Ashes

And from amongst these examples is Allāh’s Statement:

مَّثَلُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بِرَبِّهِمْ ۖ أَعْمَالُهُمْ كَرَمَادٍ اشْتَدَّتْ بِهِ الرِّيحُ فِي يَوْمٍ عَاصِفٍ ۖ لَّا يَقْدِرُونَ مِمَّا كَسَبُوا عَلَىٰ شَيْءٍ ۚ ذَ‌ٰلِكَ هُوَ الضَّلَالُ الْبَعِيدُ

 “The example of those who disbelieve in their Lord is that their deeds are like ashes on which the wind blows forcefully on a stormy day; they shall not get aught of what they have earned. That is the extreme error (of straying from the right path).” [Ibraheem: 18][1]

Here, Allāh has likened the deeds of the disbelievers in terms of their invalidity and lack of benefit, to ashes over which a strong wind blows on a stormy day. Thus, Allāh makes their deeds resemble dust particles that are scattered by a violent wind that may never be retrieved or collected when the disbelievers are most in need of them. This is a result of the deeds not being based upon Imān and Ihsaan, they are done for the sake of other than Allāh or they do not conform to His Commands. For this reason, the disbelievers will not benefit at all from their deeds on the Day of Judgement and neither will they receive a speck of reward from Allāh. This is because Allāh, Exalted is He, only accepts deeds that were performed sincerely for His sake (alone) and in conformity with His Laws. Thus deeds are of four types -: one type is accepted whereas the other three types are turned down. The accepted deeds are the correct and sincere deeds and the meaning (of correct) is: To be from the acts legislated by Allāh through His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him); and the meaning (of sincere) is: To be performed only for the sake of Allāh. As for the other three types of deeds, they are the deeds that fail to meet the set requirements of an accepted deed.

A marvellous secret lies in the comparison of their deeds to ashes, as they both share some similarity; that is, fire burns both of them, and uproots their origins. All deeds that are performed for the sake of other than Allāh, Most High, and are not in conformity with His laws, will be cast into Hell, and will be used to fuel the fire that will burn the ones who did these deeds, because Allāh replaces their nullified deeds with punishment and fire. He will also replace the good deeds of those who performed them sincerely for His sake, with grace and life (in Paradise). Therefore, note that Allāh will burn the nullified deeds until they become ashes, for whoever worships anything or anyone other than Allāh, will enter Hell, as its fuel, along with his idols.

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