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The Debate between the Might and the Truth within a Quranist Vision (1)

 

The Debate between the Might and the Truth within a Quranist Vision (1)

Published in December 13, 2017

Translated by: Ahmed Fathy

 

Firstly:the debate between the Might and the Truth, between this world and the Hereafter:

1- Almighty God has created human beings to live on earth and given them the absolute freedom of will and relative freedom of movement/mobility and of getting relative might. Human beings are created weak, and they attain a phase of strength followed by one of weakness, which is followed by death: "God is He Who created you weak, then after weakness gave you strength, then after strength gave you weakness and gray hair. He creates whatever He wills. He is the Omniscient, the Omnipotent." (30:54); "God created you; then He takes you away. Some of you will be brought back to the worst age, so that he will no longer know anything, after having acquired knowledge. God is Omniscient and Omnipotent." (16:70). This applies to the human history as well; states/countries emerge as weak, and they acquire might, then they grow weaker and experience gradual degeneration until they collapse/die and become mere lines of history.   

2- In the Hereafter, things are totally different; people lose their freedom since the moment of dying. People die unwillingly and in spite of themselves; they will lose their freedom also when they will be inescapably resurrected, gathered, and judged by Almighty God. The winners will enter into Paradise to enjoy its pleasures within their restored freedom for eternity. The losers will be tormented in Hell for eternity and continue losing their freedom forever since their moment of death. Freedom is always linked to might; human beings lose both might and freedom upon dying. The losers enjoy and misuse their might during their lifetimes on earth, and they will see on the Last Day that Might (or Power/Omnipotence) is only God's: "...If only the unjust ones would realize, when they see the torment; that all might is God's, and that God is severe in torment." (2:165). Thus, the Omnipotent God monopolizes might on the Day of Resurrection; human beings lose their might by death and what follows it; Paradise dwellers retrieve their lost freedom and gain limitless might of enjoying bliss forever, and this is real might.   

3- Within this transient life, some people grow too arrogant with their might, especially when they are in position of power an authority; their authority leads them to forget that might is transient and temporary, never remaining with them forever. This applies to states/countries as well; the mighty ones forget that might is relative and transient; other mighty countries/states preceded them and ended at one point in time. Within this arrogance derived from might, one might claim to monopolize the Truth; some others would go to an extreme of showing falsehoods as truths, not merely to deny the Truth, and they commit the sin of self-deification.    

4- In the Hereafter, things are totally different; God will monopolize might and the Absolute Justice and Truth, with no room for injustice on the Last Day. "The Day when they will emerge, nothing about them will be concealed from God. "To whom does the Might belong today?" "To God, the One, the Dominant." On that Day, every soul will be recompensed for what it had earned. There will be no injustice on that Day. God is quick to settle accounts." (40:16-17); "We will set up the scales of justice for the Day of Resurrection, so that no soul will suffer the least injustice. And even if it be the weight of a mustard-seed, We will bring it up. Sufficient are We as Reckoners." (21:47).

 

Secondly: the debate between the Might and the Truth on earth within Quranic stories of nations smitten and destroyed by God:

1- Quranic stories of the ancients are divided into two types: stories of nations/peoples destroyed by God and stories of prophets/messengers on whom God imposed self-defense fighting without divine interference of smiting the mighty aggressors. The Quranic stories of the divine torment/destruction inflicted on the mighty aggressors begin with the people of Noah and end in Moses' Pharaoh and his people and regime. 

2- Within the Quranic stories of nations destroyed by God, the tyrannical, affluent, powerful, disbelieving retinue members monopolized might on earth and used this might to oppress the weak ones and make them submit to them. They used their might to commit aggression, violence, and injustices and to oppose and reject the Truth. We tackle two examples mentioned in the Quran: the people of the Aad tribe and Moses' Pharaoh's people.

3- We make the points below about Aad.

3/1: God says in the Quran: "As for Aad, they turned arrogant on earth, and opposed justice, and said, "Who is mightier than us?" Have they not considered that God, who created them, is mightier than they? And they went on denying Our verses." (41:15). This shows that the people of Aad assumed to monopolize might on earth and they grew so haughty and arrogant as they descended into disbelief and forgot that God is more powerful and mightier than they were. Their prophet, Hud, talked to them using the logic of might to which they adhered, and he called them to believe in God within monotheism: ""O my people, ask forgiveness from your Lord, and repent to Him. He will release the sky pouring down upon you, and will add might to your own might. And do not turn away and be among the wicked."" (11:52).

3/2: The people of Aad derived their power from heavy rain on which their civilization depended; God punished them by winds that, instead of carrying clouds of rain, brought torment, destruction, and disgrace to them for a whole week: "We unleashed upon them a screaming wind, on a day of unrelenting misery. Plucking the people away, as though they were trunks of uprooted palm-trees." (54:19-20); "And as for Aad; they were annihilated by a furious, roaring wind. He unleashed it upon them for seven nights and eight days, in succession. You could see the people tossed around, as though they were stumps of hollow palm-trees." (69:6-7).

4- Moses' Pharaoh monopolized power on earth, within the land of Egypt; we make the points below about him.

4/1: Moses' Pharaoh grew too arrogant as a mighty ruler within the land of Egypt, and God used the word ''earth'' to show the power and might of Pharaoh who controlled the land of Egypt: "...Pharaoh was high and mighty on earth..." (10:83); "He and his troops acted arrogantly on earth, with no justification. They thought they would not be returned to Us." (28:39).

4/2: Moses' Pharaoh announced in a conference attended by his people that he was the sole owner of the land of Egypt: "Pharaoh proclaimed among his people, saying, "O my people, do I not own the Kingdom of Egypt, and these rivers flow beneath me? Do you not see?" (43:51). This means that Pharaoh controlled what has come to be known now as the media, in order to control the minds of his retinue members who obeyed him blindly, to their detriment.

4/3: Moses' Pharaoh divided the people of Egypt into factions and he oppressed some of them, the Israelites, as we know from the Quran: "Pharaoh exalted himself on earth, and divided its people into factions. He persecuted a group of them, slaughtering their sons, while sparing their daughters. He was truly a corrupter." (28:4). Within the Quranic story of Moses' Pharaoh, the Egyptian nation of peasants in farms/gardens and of and city dwellers are never mentioned; they were owned by Pharaoh and they served him in silence and deep fear, as they saw how Pharaoh inflicted torment and persecution on the Israelites. It is a Quranic fact that the Israelites, after the drowning of Pharaoh in the Red Sea along with his deep state and retinue members, inherited for a while the gardens, farms, etc. with their harvest and peasants, as we infer from these verses about Pharaoh and his people: "So We drove them out of gardens and springs. And treasures and noble dwellings. So it was. And We made the Israelites inherit them." (26:57-59). 

4/4: Moses' Pharaoh announced, within his conferences, his self-deification, thus he disbelieved in God, as we know from these verses: "Pharaoh said, "O nobles, I know of no god for you other than me. So fire-up the bricks for me O Haman, and build me a tower, that I may ascend to the God of Moses, though I think he is a liar."" (28:38); "And Pharaoh said, "O Haman, build me a tower, that I may reach the pathways. The pathways of the heavens, so that I may glance at the God of Moses; though I think he is lying." Thus Pharaoh's evil deeds were made to appear good to him, and he was averted from the path. Pharaoh's guile was only in defeat." (40:36-37); "And gathered and proclaimed. He said, "I am your Lord, the most high."" (79:23-24).

4/5: Moses' Pharaoh's might on earth tempted him to take falsehoods for truths and to impose this stance on others inside Egypt; for instance, he assumed he guided others and that Moses was a corrupter: "...Pharaoh said, "I do not show you except what I see, and I do not guide you except to the path of guidance."" (40:29); "Pharaoh said, "Allow me to kill Moses, and let him appeal to his Lord. I fear he may change your religion, or spread corruption on earth."" (40:26). The affluent courtiers, viziers, and retinue members among Pharaoh's people saw that the call of Moses to deliver his people from the grave injustices and the persecution inflicted on them by Pharaoh as corruption on earth: "The chiefs of Pharaoh's people said, "Will you let Moses and his people bring corruption on earth..." (7:127); they assumed that Moses sought to make the Israelites replace them as superiors on earth: "They said, "Did you come to us to divert us from what we found our ancestors following, and so that you become prominent on earth?..." (10:78).

4/6: The Almighty Lord God is Dominant over His servants: "He dominates over His servants. He is the Wise, the Expert." (6:18); "He is the Conqueror over His servants, and He sends guardians over you, until, when death overtakes one of you, Our envoys take him away, and they never fail." (6:61); "...God is the Creator of all things, and He is The One, the Dominant Lord" (13:16); "...there is no God except Allah - the One, the Conqueror." (38:65). Moses' Pharaoh was so arrogant with his transient might on earth and he assumed that he and his people dominant over the Israelites: "Will you let Moses and his people bring corruption on earth, and forsake you and your gods?" He said, "We will kill their sons, and spare their women. We have absolute power over them."" (7:127). God tormented Pharaoh and his affluent retinue members with plagues that were a mix of disgrace and pain, while sparing the rest of Egyptians and also the Israelites: "So We let loose upon them the flood, and the locusts, and the lice, and the frogs, and blood-all explicit signs-but they were too arrogant. They were a sinful people. Whenever a plague befell them, they would say, "O Moses, pray to your Lord for us, according to the covenant He made with you. If you lift the plague from us, we will believe in you, and let the Israelites go with you."" (7:133-134). This flood caused them to leave their palaces, and they suffered hunger as locusts ate the crops while lice and frogs filled their chambers, food, rink, clothes, and beds, while water turned into blood; as for the  plague, acnes and boils with pus spread on their faces and bodies. Eventually, their destruction made people who fear the Almighty Lord God draw a lesson: "So God seized him with an exemplary punishment, in the last and in the first. In this is a lesson for whoever fears." (79:25-26). The tyrants and the unjust ones have not taken heed – until now – nor drawn any lesson from the violent end of their imam/leader: Moses' Pharaoh: "He and his troops acted arrogantly on earth, with no justification. They thought they would not be returned to Us. So We seized him, and his troops, and We threw them into the sea. Observe, therefore, what was the end of the unjust ones." (28:39-40).  

4/7: Among the lessons drawn here is that Moses' Pharaoh grew too arrogant because he assumed to monopolize might on earth, and his punishment included his being stripped of the land he assumed to own and control, as the Israelites inherited them temporary after his death, before their exodus: "But We desired to favor those who were oppressed on earth, and to make them leaders, and to make them the inheritors.And to establish them on earth; and to show Pharaoh, Haman, and their troops, the very thing they feared." (28:5-6); "Moses said to his people, "Seek help in God, and be patient. The earth belongs to God. He gives it in inheritance to whomever He wills of His servants, and the future belongs to the righteous." They said, "We were persecuted before you came to us, and after you came to us." He said, "Perhaps your Lord will destroy your enemy, and make you successors on earth; then He will see how you behave."" (7:128-129); "And We made the oppressed people inherit the eastern and western parts of the land, which We had blessed. Thus the fair promise of your Lord to the Israelites was fulfilled, because of their endurance. And We destroyed what Pharaoh and his people had built, and what they had harvested." (7:137).

 

Lastly:

  Moses' Pharaoh was a tyrannical despot who murdered infants and crucified the believers after chopping off their limbs; how did Moses and Aaron deal with him? Both were conveying the message of Truth and seek justice, whereas Pharaoh monopolized might and claimed to own the absolute truth. We continue this topic in the next article.


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