By S. Arshad, New Age Islam
25 May 2021
The Quranic Verses Say Prosperity Or Ruin Reach Man Gradually
1. Nothing in this universe happens suddenly
2. Success or failure in material life of man comes gradually according to his good or bad deeds
3. Man advances on spiritual journey from stage to stage
The universe is controlled by the Supreme Power or the Supreme Creator. All the affairs of the universe are governed by principles laid down by the Supreme Creator. There is an undisturbed discipline in the universe. The sun, the moon, the planets are constantly in motion and follow a strict discipline.
Another aspect of the universe is that the universe is governed by the divine principle of gradual change. In the beginning the universe was in a raw form and has come to acquire its present shape as a result of gradual development or evolution. The morning breaks gradually and the night also falls gradually. Therefore nothing in this universe happens all of a sudden. God plans his affairs and executes them according to His principle of gradual development or evolution.
Similarly, affairs in the lives of human beings and all other creatures also follow this principle of gradual change. A living creature is born, grows up, reaches old age and then dies. The life of human beings also follows this principle of gradual change ( for better or for worse).The condition of the lives of human beings changes gradually according their deeds and efforts. If a man's deeds are good and he puts in hard work with right planning his material life improves gradually not suddenly. Similarly, if he indulges in misdeeds and does not make efforts to make progress his life perishes gradually. This is the divine principle of gradual change.
According to the holy Quran, the fortunes of good individuals improve stage by stage. This also proves true in case of communities and empires. We have many examples of individuals, or communities and empires before us. They prospered or perished gradually. This is because the Nature or the Divine Power encourages good individuals by showing the fruits of their good deeds to continue with their good deeds and right efforts. In the same way, the Divine Power shows loss or harm of misdeeds to the bad people and this way warns them against further misdeeds. The Divine Power gives man the opportunity to reform himself and abstain from misdeeds. The small loss and harm he suffers acts as a warning. That's why he does not meet his doom suddenly. But if he still persists on his wrongdoing despite warnings, he gradually meets his doom or ruin and then cannot complain to God about what he gets in the end.
God hints at this principle of gradual change in some of the verses in the Quran.
"You shall certainly travel from stage to stage." (Al Inshiqaq:19)
"And We shall bring them down step by step from where they will not know."(Al Qalam:44)
The two verses clearly point to the divine principle of gradual change ( for better or for worse). This principle applies both in the religious and secular meaning. In the religious sense, the righteous or those who struggle for the cause of God will prosper from stage to stage and those who are the enemies of God or righteous people, will descend to humiliation and ignominy from stage to stage.
In a secular sense, those who do hard work and lead a disciplined life gradually prosper and achieve their goal and those who waste time in unproductive or destructive acts gradually perish.
This also conveys the message that man should not wait for miracles. His prosperity, success and dignity depends on hard work, wise planning and pure thoughts. God wants man to have trust in Him but at the same time He wants man to have faith in his own abilities that He has bestowed in him. On the other hand, God warns man that if he embarks on the wrong path and persists on his misdeeds, he will gradually reach his doom or ruin. In the past many communities, empires and individuals perished gradually due to their misdeeds. They could not realise how things went wrong and how they gradually lost their material and social status.
The verse in surah Inshiqaq may also be interpreted from the spiritual point of view. An spiritual aspirant tries to acquire self-realisation through piety and rigorous spiritual training under a spiritual guide. He strictly follows the path of God and abstains from carnal desires and material ambitions. He attains self-realisation or enlightenment after years of spiritual discipline.
Therefore, the divine principle of gradual change governs the material and spiritual life of human beings on earth.
Sohail Arshad is a columnist with NewAgeIslam.com.
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