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#1 [Permalink] Posted on 18th December 2016 23:50
We have been taught that Allah created the Angels who can only do as ordered. They cannot sin, they can not cohabit, they can not disobey, they do not have desires and so on. They will not be held responsible for their actions.
 
There are animals, who do not need to pray, worship and so on. They cohabit with any other of their kind, their desires are endless. However they will not be judged for their actions and so on.
 
Then we have humans who are in between the angels and animals and can be considered better than the angels and the animals, because they can choose not to sin, they can choose to cohabit, they have the free will to obey Allah or they can disobey Him.
 
Hence the can be humans are better than the angels.
 
 
Something new I just learnt!
 
We had a choice of either being human or an angel!
 
An atheist asks Dr. Zakir Naik some good typical questions.
 
 
According the the talk, the humans (before they were human) we're asked if they wanted to be angels or humans and since they understood that the humans can be more superior than the angels, they chose to be humans because they wanted better, they wanted to out do the angels and end up in a much higher position.
 
 
Here is some text to go with the talk. I would highly appreciate it if others can shed more light on this in order to educate ourselves more.
 
72.
إِنَّا عَرَضْنَا الاٌّمَانَةَ عَلَى السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ وَالْجِبَالِ فَأبَيْنَ أَن يَحْمِلْنَهَا وَأَشْفَقْنَ مِنْهَا وَحَمَلَهَا الإِنْسَـنُ إِنَّهُ كَانَ ظَلُوماً جَهُولاً
Truly, We did offer the Amanah to the heavens and the earth, and the mountains, but they declined to bear it and were afraid of it. But man bore it. Verily, he was unjust and ignorant.
73.
 لِّيُعَذِّبَ اللَّهُ الْمُنَـفِقِينَ وَالْمُنَـفِقَـتِ وَالْمُشْرِكِينَ وَالْمُشْرِكَـتِ
So that Allah will punish the hypocrites, men and women, and the men and women who are idolators.
وَيَتُوبَ اللَّهُ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَـتِ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُوراً رَّحِيماً
And Allah will pardon the believers, men and women. And Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
How Man bore the Amanah
Allah says:
إِنَّا عَرَضْنَا الْأَمَانَةَ عَلَى السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَالْجِبَالِ فَأَبَيْنَ أَن يَحْمِلْنَهَا وَأَشْفَقْنَ مِنْهَا وَحَمَلَهَا الْإِنسَانُ إِنَّهُ كَانَ ظَلُومًا جَهُولًا ﴿٧٢ 
Truly, We did offer the Amanah to the heavens and the earth, and the mountains, but they declined to bear it and were afraid of it. But man bore it. Verily, he was unjust and ignorant.
Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn Abbas said,
"Al-Amanah means obedience.
This was offered to them before it was offered to Adam, and they could not bear it. Then Allah said to Adam:
`I have offered the Amanah to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, and they could not bear it. Will you take it on!'
He said, `O Lord, what does it involve!'
He said, `If you do good, you will be rewarded, and if you do evil, you will be punished.'
So Adam took the Amanah and bore it, and this is what is referred to in the Ayahوَحَمَلَهَا الْإِنسَانُ إِنَّهُ كَانَ ظَلُومًا جَهُولًا(But man bore it. Verily, he was unjust and ignorant.''
Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas said,
"Al-Amanah means Al-Fara'id (the obligatory duties). Allah offered them to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, (on the grounds that) if they fulfilled them, He would reward them; and if they failed, He would punish them. But they did not want to do that, and they were afraid of it, not because their intention was sinful, but because of their respect for the religion of Allah, in case they could not fulfill the obligations involved. Then Allah offered it to Adam, and he accepted it with all that it entailed. This is what is referred to in the Ayahوَحَمَلَهَا الْإِنسَانُ إِنَّهُ كَانَ ظَلُومًا جَهُولًا (But man bore it. Verily, he was unjust and ignorant).
meaning, he underestimated the command of Allah.''
This was also the view of Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Ad-Dahhak, Al-Hasan Al-Basri and others that Al-Amanahmeans Al-Fara'id.
Others said that it meant obedience.
Al-A`mash narrated from Abu Ad-Duha from Masruq that Ubayy bin Ka`b said: "Part of Al-Amanah means that woman was entrusted with her own chastity.''
Qatadah said: "Al-Amanah means religion, obligatory duties and prescribed punishments.''
Malik narrated that Zayd bin Aslam said:
"Al-Amanah means three things:
-                      prayer,
-                      fasting and
-                      performing Ghusl to cleanse oneself from sexual impurity.''
There is no contradiction between all of these views; they are all in agreement and all refer to responsibility and the acceptance of commands and prohibitions with their attendant conditions, which is that the one who fulfills this responsibility, will be rewarded; while the one who neglects it, will be punished. Man accepted this despite the fact that he is weak, ignorant and unjust -- except for those whom Allah helps, and Allah is the One Whose help we seek.
One of the reports which deal with Al-Amanah is the Hadithrecorded by Imam Ahmad from Hudhayfah, may Allah be pleased with him, who said:
"The Messenger of Allah told us two Hadiths, one of which I have seen and the other I am still waiting to see.
He told us that Al-Amanah is deeply rooted in the heart of man, then the Qur'an was revealed and they know it from the Qur'an and from the Sunnah.
Then he told us that Al-Amanah will be taken away.
He said,
يَنَامُ الرَّجُلُ النَّوْمَةَ فَتُقْبَضُ الْأَمَانَةُ مِنْ قَلْبِهِ، فَيَظَلُّ أَثَرُهَا مِثْلَ أَثَرِ الْمَجْلِ كَجَمْرٍ دَحْرَجْتَهُ عَلَى رِجْلِكِ، تَرَاهُ مُنْتَبِرًا وَلَيْسَ فِيهِ شَيْء
A man may sleep and Al-Amanah will be taken from his heart, leaving nothing but a trace like a blister left by a coal if you were to roll it over your leg -- you will see it protruding but there is nothing inside.
Then he took a pebble and rolled it over his leg, then he said:
فَيُصْبِحُ النَّاسُ يَتَبَايَعُونَ لَا يَكَادُ أَحَدٌ يُؤَدِّي الْأَمَانَةَ حَتَّى يُقَالَ: إِنَّ فِي بَنِي فُلَانٍ رَجُلًا أَمِينًا، حَتَّى يُقَالَ لِلرَّجُلِ مَا أَجْلَدَهُ وَأَظْرَفَهُ وَأَعْقَلَهُ وَمَا فِي قَلْبِهِ حَبَّةُ خَرْدَلٍ مِنْ إِيمَان
Then the people will start buying and selling, and hardly anyone will be paying attention to Al-Amanah, until it will be said that among the tribe of so-and-so there is a trustworthy man, and it will said of a man, `how strong he is, how nice and how wise,' and there is not even a mustard seed of faith in his heart.
No doubt, there came upon me a time when I did not mind dealing (bargaining) with anyone of you, for if he was a Muslim, his Islam would compel him to pay me what is due to me, and if he was a Christian, or Jew, the Muslim official would compel him to pay me what is due to me, but today, I do not deal except with such and such person among you.''
It was also recorded in the Two Sahihs from the Hadith of Al-A`mash.
Imam Ahmad recorded that Abdullah bin `Amr, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the Messenger of Allah said:
أَرْبَعٌ إِذَا كُنَّ فِيكَ فَلَا عَلَيْكَ مَا فَاتَكَ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا: حِفْظُ أَمَانَةٍ، وَصِدْقُ حَدِيثٍ، وَحُسْنُ خَلِيقَةٍ، وَعِفَّةُ طُعْمَة
There are four things, if you attain them, then whatever you miss in this world will not matter:
-                      preserving trust,
-                      speaking the truth,
-                      being of good character and
-                      moderation in eating.
The Result of taking on the Amanah
Allah says:
لِيُعَذِّبَ اللَّهُ الْمُنَافِقِينَ وَالْمُنَافِقَاتِ وَالْمُشْرِكِينَ وَالْمُشْرِكَاتِ ... 
So that Allah will punish the hypocrites, men and women, and the men and women who are idolators.
means, because the sons of Adam have undertaken to fulfill the Amanah, which means duties, Allah will punish the men and women among them who are hypocrites, who are those who make an outward display of faith because they fear the believers, but in their hearts they conceal disbelief and in fact are followers of the disbelievers.
وَالْمُشْرِكِينَ وَالْمُشْرِكَاتِ (and the men and women who are idolators).
these are the ones who both outwardly and inwardly associate others in worship with Allah and go against His Messengers.
... وَيَتُوبَ اللَّهُ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ ...
And Allah will pardon the believers, men and women.
means, He will show mercy to the believers among mankind, who believe in Allah and in His angels, Books and Messengers, and who obey Him.
... وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا ﴿٧٣﴾
And Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
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#2 [Permalink] Posted on 19th December 2016 15:38
Maulana Muhammad Taqi Usmani – Ma’ariful Quran – Volume 7 – Pages 251-256:

“In the cited vese (72), it was said that Allah Ta’ala placed this amanah (trust) before the heavens, the earth and the mountains and all of them refused to bear the burden of this responsibility shrinking from it out of the danger of not being able to fulfill its due right – but, man did.

Here, it is worth pondering that the heavens, the earth and the mountains that are inanimate and, obviously devoid of knowledge and consciousness, how then would it be possible to rationalize the presentation of such an offer before them and that of their response to it? Some early commentators have taken this to be a figure of speech – as the noble Qur’an has said elsewhere by way of comparison: (Had We sent down this Qur’an to a mountain, you would have seen it humbled, burst apart out of awe for Allah – Al-Hashr 59:21). It is obvious that this example has been given as a matter of supposition – not that it was really revealed to or on a mountain. So, these commentators haven taken the ‘offer’ of ‘trust’ to the heavens etc. also in a figurative sense.

But, in the sight of majority of Muslim scholars, it is not correct, because in the verse of Surah Al-Hashr, the Quran made it clear, by initiating the statement with the word ‘if,’ that it is just a hypothetical statement. On the contrary, the present tense is an affirmation of an incident in a descriptive style, and it is not permissible to take it in figurative or metaphorical sense without any proof. And if it is argued that these things have no senses and therefore no question can be asked from them and no answer is expected from them, then this argument stands rejected on the basis of other express statements of the Qur’an. The reason is that the Qur’an has explicitly said: (And there is not a single thing that does not extol His purity and praise – Al-Isra’, 17:44). And it is obvious that knowing Allah Ta’ala, realizing that He is the Creator, the Master, the highest and the best, and glorifying Him consequently is something not possible without knowledge and consciousness. Therefore, it stands proved from this verse that knowledge and consciousness do exist in all elements of creation to the extend that these are also there in what is considered to be inanimate. On the basis of this knowledge and consciousness, these can be addressed and a response can be expected from them. Their response could take different forms. It could take the form of words and letters and – it is not rationally impossible – that Allah Ta’ala could bestow on the heavens and the earth and the mountains the functional ability to verbalize and speak. Therefore, in the sight of the majority of the learned among the Muslim Ummah, the phenomenon of this ‘ard of amanah (the placement or offer of trust) came to pass in reality and these entities express their inability to bear the burden of this responsibility – also in reality. There is no simile or metaphor at work here.

The acceptance of the offer of the ‘trust’ was optional, not mandatory

A question may be asked here. When Allah Ta’ala personally made the offer of this great trust before the heavens and the earth and the mountains, how could they dare refuse it? If they had contravened the Divine order, they would have been destroyed totally. In addition to that, the obedience of the heaves and the earth to divine orders is also proved from the verse: (we come in obedience – Fussilat, 41:11) which means: When Allah Ta’ala ordered the heavens and the earth to come to implement His command, be it willingly or unwilling, both of these responses by saying that they were pleased to obey His command..

The answer is that, in the cited verse (41:11), the command given had a mandatory command with it where was also said that they were to come with pleasure, or without it but, no matter what is the case, they had to obey the commands. This is contrary to the present verse featuring the offer of the trust where following its presentation, they were given the choice of taking or not taking this awesome responsibility.

Ibn Kathir, with the support of various authorities, reported from several Sahabah and Tabi’in – Sayyidna Ibn ‘Abbas, Hasan al-Basri, Mujahid and others – the following details of this offer of the trust:

“When Allah Ta’ala offered first to the heavens, then to the earth, and then to the mountains as a matter of choice was: Would you undertake to carry out the responsibility imposed by this trust (obedience to given injunctions) from Us against a return fixed from it?’ Everyone asked, ‘What is the return?’ It was said, ‘If you fulfill the demands of this trust (obedience to given injunctions) to the best of you ability, you will have the best reward, and particularly the honor of having nearness to Allah, and if you failed to implement these injunctions, or fell short in it, you will be punished.’ Hearing this, all these huge big bodies responded by saying, ‘O our Lord, we are operating under Your command even now. But (now when we have been given a choice), we find ourselves weak and unable to bear the burden of this heavy responsibility. As reward, we do not want it, and as for punishment, we cannot bear it.’ Tafsir Qurtubi, with reference to Hakim Tirmidhi, has reported from Sayyidna Ibn ‘Abbas that the Holy Prophet said: ‘(And the offer of the trust to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, and after their response), Allah Ta’ala addressed Sayyidna ‘Adam and said: ‘We offered Our trust to the heavens and the earth but they expressed their inability to bear the burden of this responsibility. Now, would you assume this responsibility knowing that which goes with it? ‘Adam asked, ‘O Lord, what is it that goes with it?’ The answer was: ‘If you succeeded in fulfilling the demands of this trust to your best (that is, remained obediant to your best), you will be rewarded (which will be in the form of the nearness and pleasure of Allah and the eternal bliss of Jannah (Paradise), and if you let this trust go to waste, you will be punished.’ ‘Adam, (eager to advance towards nearness and pleasure of Allah Ta’ala) went ahead and assumed this responsibility. However, from the moment he assumed the burden of this heavy trust, not much time had passed, not even that much as it between the Salah of ‘Asr and Zukhr, within which the Satan snared him into that well-known slip and he was made to leave Jannah.

During which period of time did this event of the offer of trust take place?

From the narration Sayyidna Ibn ‘Abbas which has appeared immediately above, it seems that this offer of trust made to the heavens and the earth and the mountains was made before the creation of ‘Adam. Then, following the creation of Sayyidna ‘Adam, it was also said before him that this trust was also offered to the heavens and the earth earlier, and that they did not have the ability to bear burden of this responsibility, therefore, they excused themselves out of it.

And what is apparent here is that this event of the offer of trust came before the Covenant of Eternity, that is, the Covenant of ‘Alas because the Covenant: Am I not your Lord? is a phrase of this verse acceptance to carry out the responsibility of fulfilling the trust – and stands for taking solemn pledge to hold and discharge the responsibilities enjoined by an office.

For vicegerency on the earth, the ability to bear the responsibilities of the great trust necessary

As eternally predestined, Allah Ta’ala had already decided to appoint Sayyidna ‘Adam His Khalifah (vicegerent) on the earth and this Khilafah (vicegerent) could only be entrusted with one who bears the responsibility of upholding the essential obedience to Divine injunctions – because, it is the very objective of this Khilafah that the Law of Allah be implemented on the earth and that the creation of Allah be induced to obey Divine injunctions. Therefore, as a matter of creational imperative, Sayyidna ‘Adam agreed to bear the burden of the responsibility of this trust – although the inability of other humongous units of creation to bear it was already in his knowledge. (Mazhari and Bayan-ul-Qur’an).

In the last sentence of verse 72: Surely, he was unjust (to himself) unaware (of the end), the word: ‘Zalum’ means one who is unjust to himself, and ‘jahul’ means one who is unaware of the end. From this sentence, it is generally assumed that it has appeared here blaming man in an absolute sense, that is, so ignorant was man that he went ahead inflicting injustice upon himself by accepting to carry such a big burden of responsibility, something beyond his power.

But, in the light of explicit statement in the Qur’an, this is not actually so because ‘man’ may mean either Sayyidna ‘Adam or whole mankind. Now Sayyidna ‘Adam is, as a prophet, protected by Allah from committing sins. The burden of responsibility which he had assumed was carried out by him duly and certainly. As a result of this, he was made vicegerent of Allah (Khalidatullah) and sent to the earth. He was made the object of prostration by angels and, in the Hereafter, his station is far higher that that of the angels. And if ‘man’ must mean mankind, then, in this class, there are several hundred thousands of noble prophets and several millions of righteous men of Allah (awliya’ Allah) even angels emulate – those who proved by their conduct in life that they were capable of handling and deserving this Divine trust. It was because of the basis laid out by these very noble souls, who duly vacated the rights and demands inherent in the great trust, that the Holy Qur’an declared mankind to be the nobles of Divine creation: (And we bestowed dignity on the Children of Adam – Al-Isra, 17:70). This proves that neither is Sayyidna ‘Adam blameworthy, nor the mankind as a whole. Therefore, commentators have said that this sentence is not there to impute blame, rather, it appears there as description of the actual event with regard to the most of individuals in the class. As such, the sense if that the majority of human kind proved to be salum (one who inflicts injustice upon himself) and juhul (one who is unaware of the end) that failed to fufill the rights and demands of this trust and fell into the abyss of loss. And since this was the state of affairs with the majority, therefore, it was attributed to humankind. was that it could be ruined, but it simply means that the end of everyone born is death and the end of every building is falling into ruins.

The sense of the verse is that, as a result of man’s assumption of responsibility for the trust, mankind will split into two groups: (1) Disbelievers, hypocrites and others who will rebel against Divine orders and become wasters of the great ‘trust.’ They will be punished. (2) There will be believing men and believing women who, through their obedience to Divine injections, will fulfill the dictates of the trust reposed in them. They will be treated with mercy and forgiveness.

The Tafsir of the two words: Zlaum and Jahul that has been reported above from most Tafsir authorities finds addition support in this last sentence as well – that these words are not meant for the whole of mankind. In fact, they particularly refer to those individuals who wasted away the Divine trust reposed in them. And Allah, Pure and High, knows best.”

In short, in this verse, the two words (Zalum and Jahul) mentioned above have been used for theses particular individuals among human beings who did not obey the injuctions of the Shari’ah as they were expected to, and failed to fufill the right entailed by the amanah or trust places with them – that is, the disbelievers, hypocrites, transgressors, the wicked, and sinning Muslims of the community. This Tafsir has been reported by Sayyidna Ibn ‘Abbas, Sayyidna Ibn Jubayr, Hasan Al-Basri and others. (Qurtubi).

And there are others who have said that Zalum an Jahul has been used at this place in the sense of ‘naive’ as an affectionate form od address carrying the though that man, brimming, with love for his Creator and in quest of the station of nearness to Him, simply forgot the end of the whole thing. Similarly, the words coluld also be taken to have been spoken for the entire humankind. In Tafsir Mazhari, details of this aspect have been reported from Mujaddid Alf Thani and other noble Sufis.

(“With the result that Allah will punish hypocrites, men and women, and Mushriks, men and women and will accepts the repentance of the believing men and women . Surely Allah is Most-Forgiving, Very Merciful [73]).” The letter ‘lam’ used in the beginning of this verse is not for mentioning the cause or aim, as generally understood in common usage, but it is the lan of ‘aqibah in the terminology of Arabic linguistics. It points out to the end of something, as it appears in a line of Arabic poetry which reads: ‘Be born only to be dead and build only to be ruined.’

This does not mean that the aim of one’s birth was to be dead or that the aim of constructing of a building was that it could be ruined, but it simply means that the end of everyone born is death and the end of every building is falling into ruins.

The sense of the verse is that, as a result of man’s assumption of responsibility for the trust, mankind will split into two groups: (1) Disbelievers, hypocrites and otehrs who will rebel against Divine orders and become wasters of the great ‘trust.’ They will be punished. (2) There will be believing men and believing women who, through their obedience to Divine injunctions, will fulfill the dictates of the trust reposed in them. They will be treated with mercy and forgiveness.

The Tafsir of the two words: Zlaum and Jahul that has been reported above from most Tafsir authorities finds addition support in this last sentence as well – that these words are not meant for the whole of mankind. In fact, they particularly refer to those individuals who wasted away the Divine trust reposed in them. And Allah, Pure and High, knows best.”

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