By Kazi Wadud Nawaz, New Age Islam
27 October 2016
“In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent and Merciful”
An oath in essence is a spiritual pursuit on the part of Oath-takers to honour and exalt the status of the object being sworn upon. However, a little thought on divine Oaths in the Holy Quran reveals the fact that Allah’s Oath encompasses entire domain of His Sovereignty and sets witness to His authority and Glory as the Lord of the Universe.
Ranging from tiniest particle of dust to solar system and largest galaxies Millions of light years away, from smallest organisms to the most complex forms of life- all reflect Divine Truth and hence have come under the purview of Divine Oaths. The smallest particle of dust bears the majesty of the earth as foundation of life and a tiny drop of rain falling from the heaven inheres the mystery and potential of the vast unfathomable ocean. Such is the beauty and glory of divine creations as witnessed in the Holy Qur’an!
At times Allah is swearing upon Himself and the Holy Quran, at times on human soul, Angels and the Day of Judgment, at times on Seen and Unseen Realities, Odd (the Creator) and Even (the Creations), and any other terrestrial and extra –terrestrial phenomena like Creation of Solar and Stellar System - Balanced Setting of Sun, Moon and Stars, alternation of day and night-that follow a well-disciplined Divine Order with least danger of dislocation due to overlapping and mutual interference. This is undoubtedly a great event in the Art-craft of Divine Creation. [Ref: Verse 56:75-76, Verse 53:1].Allah also swears on fiery oceans, wind, clouds, Thunder-storm and finally on TIME to convince humanity on the significance and truthfulness of His Signs. Of all these, ‘Allah’s Oath on Time’ is very vital and most powerful, since He Himself claims to be the ‘Time.’ Allah says “The son of Adam hurts me, for he abuses Time, though I am Myself, the Time. In My hands are all things and I cause the exchange of day and night” (Bukhari Vol 6 Hadith 351).
So, from Qura’nic point of view abusing Time is the Greatest Loss for human life and at the same time a great sin as it hurts Allah directly. [Refer Sura Asr Verse 103:1-3]
The Holy Quran claims that the whole universe has been created in Truth. And interpenetration of physical and spiritual realities as Signs of Eternal Entity, constitutes Foundation of this Truth. Oaths made by Allah in the Holy Quran, is a divine endeavour towards validation of Basic Quranic Principles. By Swearing upon the objects of His own creation Allah (SWT) exalts his own Status as Creator and at the same time, the status of His creation as Truth, however small and insignificant that might seem. [Refer Surah Az-Zumar Verse-39:5]
Allah has made oaths on Himself Six times in the Holy Quran on different issues and contexts [Refer Verses 64:7, 19:68, 15:92, 4:65, 15: (91-92-93), 51:23].These oaths have been made as witness to the Truth of Messenger-ship of Muhammed (pbuh), of the Holy Quran as Divine Book of Revelation, and genuineness of its process of Revelation. Besides confirmation of the Holy Quran’s authenticity as Divine Book of Guidance, the oaths also confirmed severe punishment for any misdeeds in dealing with it.
The following three verses of the Holy Qura’n have revealed close similitude between divine Signs of the Physical World and the Holy Quran itself. Allah Says:
“On the earth there are signs for those of assured faith. As also in your own selves: will ye not then see?” [Verse 51: 20-21]
“Then by the Lord of Heaven and Earth, this is the very Truth, as much as the fact that you can speak intelligently with each other.” [51:23]
Allah speaks with mankind, His Caliph on Earth in the language of Divine Signs pervading the physical world and through the Books of Revelation. Both are the Media of communication between the Creator and His Creations.
Allah through an Oath made in the following verses has confirmed the Surety of punishment due for fabrication and adulteration of the Holy Quran.
“(So also on such) who have made Quran into Shreds (as they please). Therefore, by thy Lord, We will, of a surety, call them to account, for all their misdeeds they committed with the Holy Quran.” [ Verses 15:(91-92-93)]
Any attempt towards distortion and fabrication of the Holy Quran is a grievous sin in the Eye of Allah and is liable to severe punishment.
If we look into the location of Oath- related verses we will see, most of the oaths have been made by Allah in early Chapters of the Holy Qur’an [Makki Suras] when the question of community acceptance of Basic Principles of Faith was of utmost priority. The Oaths display an intense urge on the part of Allah (SWT) to convince mankind on Quranic ‘Truths’ as basic principles of ‘FAITH’ and ‘to lead them from the depth of darkness into the light’ [57:9]. Divine oaths manifest Allah’s profound Love and Concern for mankind. When Allah takes Oath on Himself, He does it to convince mankind on the Truth of His Divine entity and Sovereign Authority as Creator and Sustainer of the Universe. When He refers to any object of His Own Creation He does it to glorify Himself through exposure of the majestic and exalted status of His creation.
These are the objects that man cannot disavow as most essential elements for sustaining his material as well as spiritual existence on earth. To deny these, is to deny the very existence of his own-self! Since the existence of the mankind depends on the support and services of divine creations, how can we deny the very existence of the creator himself? And here-in lies the logical relevance of Divine Oaths.
The objects of Oath as signs of Allah are all part of divine blessings bestowed on mankind that essentially constitute the regulating instruments of divine governance. They encompass diverse natural events that manifest Allah’s Uniqueness and Ingenuity as creator, and symbolize divine might and mercy. Since all forces of nature belong to Allah, taking oath on any one of them however insignificant it might seem, glorifies His Majesty and Sovereign authority as Lord of the Universe.
Divine Oaths in the Holy Quran Validate Basic Principles of Islamic Faith for the Believers on the one hand and nullify the claims of the unbelievers on the other. The oaths confirm the authenticity of the Holy Quran as Book of Revelation and Messenger-ship of our Holy Prophet (pbuh).
Qur’anic Oaths irrespective of the objects swearing upon, is an earnest and blissful divine endeavour to spell out any shred of doubt and confusion in human mind regarding unseen realities like Day of Judgment, Angels, Heaven and Hell, Reward for the virtuous and punishment for evil doers. The objects of Divine oath collectively constitute the Regulating instruments of Divine governance. These divine signs manifest itself in nature as well as in ourselves in tune with the Quranic verses as media of communication between Allah and His Caliph on Earth. This is the Eternal Truth that every Cell of our body, every drop of our blood, every beat of our heart up-hold in recognition of the glory and Sovereignty of Allah.
1. “He has made subject to you the Night and the Day; the Sun and the Moon and the stars are in subjection by His Command: Verily in this are signs for men who are wise.” [Verse 53:1]
2. “Furthermore I swear by the setting of the stars. And that is indeed a mighty adjuration if you but knew.” [Verse 56:75-76]
3. “( So also on such) who have made Quran into Shreds (as they please). Therefore, by thy Lord, We will, of a surety, call them to account, for all their misdeeds they committed with the Holy Quran.” [ Verses 15:91-92-93]
4. “On the earth there are signs for those of assured faith. As also in your own selves: will ye not then see?” [Verse 51: 20-21]
5. “Then by the Lord of Heaven and Earth, this is the very Truth, as much as the fact that you can speak intelligently with each other.” [51:23]
6. “-------Say: “Yea, by my Lord, you shall surely be raised up: then shall you be told (the truth)of all that you did. And that is for Allah.” [Verse 64:7],
7. “So, by your Lord, without doubt, We shall gather them together------“[19:68]
8. “But no, by thy Lord, they can have no (real) Faith, until they make thee judge in all disputes between them----“[4:65]
Engr. Kazi Wadud Nawaz is an NGO Development Consultant
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