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Quranic Terminology: Glory

 

Quranic Terminology: Glory

Published in March 17, 2018

Translated by: Ahmed Fathy

 

Introduction:

1- The Glorious is one of the Holy Names/Epithets of the Lord God in the Quran; it is repeated 60 times in the Quran to describe God.

2- The Holy Name (the Glorious) comes in the Quranic verses along with other Holy Names of the Lord God; this is exemplified by these verses: "...There is no God except He, the Glorious, the Wise." (3:6 + 3:18); "...He is the Glorious, the Wise." (62:3); "The revelation of the Glorious, the Merciful." (36:5); "And the sun runs towards its destination. Such is the design of the Glorious, the All-Knowing." (36:38); "Or do they possess the treasuries of the mercy of your Lord - the Glorious, the Giver?" (38:9); "The Lord of the heavens and the earth, and everything between them; the Glorious, the Forgiver."" (38:66); "He who created death and life - to test you - as to which of you is better in conduct. He is the Glorious, the Forgiving." (67:2); "They begrudged them only because they believed in God the Glorious, the Praiseworthy." (85:8); "...Your Lord is the Mighty, the Glorious." (11:66); "He is Allah. There is no God but He, the Knower of secrets and declarations. He is the Dominant Lord, the Merciful. He is Allah; besides Whom there is no god; the Sovereign, the Holy, the Peace-Giver, the Faith-Giver, the Overseer, the Glorious, the Omnipotent, the Overwhelming. Glory be to God, beyond what they associate. He is Allah; the Creator, the Maker, the Designer. His are the Holy Names. Whatever is in the heavens and the earth glorifies Him. He is the Glorious, the Wise." (59:22-24).

3- The term (Glorious) in other contexts describe the Quran itself: "Those who reject the Reminder when it has come to them - it is an Glorious Book." (41:41); yet, we cannot digress in this short article; we focus here only on the term (glory).

4- We trace the Quranic term (glory) in the points below.

 

Firstly: within the Quranic contexts of comparing between glory and lowliness:

1- Some believers among the companions who immigrated to the Yathreb city-state were very reluctant to participate in self-defense fighting, and some were too stingy to donate money for the military endeavors of self-defense; God has warned both types of these companions that they might be replaced: "O you who believe! What is the matter with you, when it is said to you, "Mobilize in the cause of God," you cling heavily to the earth? Do you prefer the present life to the Hereafter? The enjoyment of the present life, compared to the Hereafter, is only a little. Unless you mobilize, He will punish you most painfully, and will replace you with another people, and you will not harm Him at all. God has power over all things." (9:38-39); "Here you are, being called to spend in the cause of God. Among you are those who withhold; but whoever withholds is withholding against his own soul. God is the Rich, while you are the needy. And if you turn away, He will replace you with another people, and they will not be like you." (47:38). When Muhammad felt deep sorrow as some people discarded Islam after their initial belief in it, God has said the following to him: "And do not be saddened by those who rush into disbelief. They will not harm God in the least. God desires to give them no share in the Hereafter. A terrible torment awaits them. Those who exchange blasphemy for faith will not harm God in the least. A painful torment awaits them." (3:176-177); "O messenger! Do not let those who are quick to disbelief grieve you-from among those who say with their mouths, "We believe," but their hearts do not believe; and from among the Jews - listeners to lies, listeners to other people who did not come to you. They distort words from their places, and they say, "If you are given this, accept it; but if you are not given it, beware." Whomever God has willed to divert, you have nothing for him from God. Those are they whose hearts God does not intend to purify. For them is disgrace in this world, and for them is a great torment in the Hereafter." (5:41); "Whoever disbelieves-let not his disbelief sadden you. To Us is their return. Then We will inform them of what they did. God knows what lies within the hearts. We give them a little comfort; then We compel them to a harsh torment." (31:23-24). What concerns us here about the Quranic term (glory) is this verse about those companions who thought about recanting into their earlier disbelief: "O you who believe! Whoever of you goes back on his religion - God will bring a people whom He loves and who love Him, humble towards the believers, glorified above the disbelievers. They strive in the way of God, and do not fear the blame of the critic. That is the grace of God; He bestows it upon whomever He wills. God is Embracing and Knowing." (5:54). This contrast between glory and being humble shows that this trend of weak, fickle believers who are fluctuating between belief and disbelief existed during Muhammad's lifetime in Yathreb; in fact, this trend goes on within all eras until now; for instance, a Quranist thinker like our person suffer from the Muhammadans (with their weak/polytheistic  belief) who insist on rebuking, vilifying, and blaming us for our peaceful, intellectual jihad for introducing religious reform and our striving for the cause of God by showing that Quranism is the Only True Islam. Those Muhammadans hate us for being outspoken and vociferous as far as proclaiming the Quranic Truth is concerned; they want us to flatter people who deify Al-Bokhary and/or other authors; they blame us for shocking others with our Quranist articles and books; they desire that we might express half-truths or reveal the Truth only partially! To say one part of the Truth and hide other parts is to tell lies and to commit the grave sin of concealing the Quranic Truth. Our critics whose faith/belief is weak desire that we would not be too frank and would not expressing the whole Truth plainly so as not to make readers/viewers feel repulsed by Quranism! They never understand that a true believer must preach the Quranic Truth fully, within its totality and entirety, and then move away from the ignoramuses and the polytheists and disbelievers (see 7:199 and 15:94). They never understand that the Quranic Truth must be preached outspokenly without fearing to hurt the feelings of polytheists or worrying about shocking anyone. One's lifetime is short; one must be vociferous about preaching the Quranic Truth (i.e., God's True Religion of monotheism as per the Quran) before one dies. Besides, without shocking others, no one would be undeceived and get to know the Truth and how they must reject the earthly Sunnite, Shiite, and Sufi religions; they must get shocked to wake up and stop being heedless; we, as a Quranist thinker, bear patiently with being slandered, verbally abused, and vilified by our foes and critics.                    

2- Within the Quranic story of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, this Queen consulted her retinue members and when they reminded her of the military power of her kingdom, she wisely said the following: "..."When kings enter a city, they devastate it, and turn its glorified people into lowly ones. Thus they always do." (27:34). There is a comparison here between glory and lowliness; we remind readers that this is the view of this Queen at that era and that Quranic stories are NOT the source of Quranic sharia legislations; The same Queen changed her view later on as we infer from this verse:"..."My Lord, I have been unjust to myself, and I have submitted, with Solomon, to God, Lord of the Worlds."" (27:44).  

3- Leaders of the hypocrites in Yathreb were disbelievers who deemed Muhammad as lowly while they deemed themselves as confiscating all glory and power; their stance exposed their hypocrisy and disbelief: "They say, "If we return to the city, the more powerful therein will evict the lowly." But glory belongs to God, and His messenger, and the believers; but the hypocrites do not know." (63:8).

 

Secondly: glory within the culture of disbelievers:

1- All polytheistic disbelievers venerate/deify/sanctify so many gods/allies/saints and supplicate to them fervently to ward off evil and to bring benediction or any benefit; they seek glory and power from such deities and not from God, though all glory belongs to the Glorious Lord God: "And they took, besides Allah, other gods, to be for them a source of glory." (19:81); the other deities/allies/saints will reject their worshipers on the Last Day: "By no means! They will reject their worship of them, and become opponents to them." (19:82).

2- God says in the Quran: "Those who disbelieve are steeped in a false sense of glory and filled with disagreements. How many generations have We destroyed before them? They cried out when it was too late to escape." (38:2-3). This means that polytheists/disbelievers in all eras are arrogant and disagree and dispute among one another over countless issues. Thus, when imams/leaders and clergymen create earthly religions fashioned as per their whims and desires, they use it to control and dominate over their followers by many ways that include fabricating a false halo of glory, as they ascribe to themselves God-like qualities and descriptions that make their followers sanctify and deify them. Therefore, many disagreements, disputes, and conflicts arise among clergymen (among different denominations or even within the same sect) because of competition and vying for more power, wealth, and influence. This is why any earthly religion is subdivided later on into other sects, denominations, and doctrines. This phenomenon is obvious within the Christians and the Muhammadans. Of course, the gullible, naïve followers take pride in their self-deified  imams/clergymen within the countries of Muhammadans, and they seek glory by blindly following them, and this wretched state of affairs drive those followers to reject the Divine Truth (i.e., the Quran); of course, the Sunnite, Shiite, and Sufi Muhammadans quarrel among one another until now.           

3- The disbelievers among the people of the prophet Shuaib threatened to stone him if it had not been for his tribe; they reminded him that he was not dignified/glorified among them. Shuaib expressed his astonishment that they fear/dignify/glorify his tribe instead of the Almighty Lord God: "They said, "O Shuaib, we do not understand much of what you say, and we see that you are weak among us. Were it not for your tribe, we would have stoned you. You are not glorified among us." He said, "O my people, is my tribe more glorified to you than God? And you have turned your backs on Him? My Lord comprehends everything you do."" (11:91-92).  

4- Within the Quranic story of Moses and Pharaoh, the magicians swore by the glory of Pharaoh; they lost in the challenge before Moses, but they won as they passed the test of true faith when they adhered to the Truth within monotheistic belief and faced the self-deified Pharaoh without fearing being massacred by him: "So they threw their ropes and their sticks, and said, "By the glory of Pharaoh, we will be the winners."..."We have believed in the Lord of the Worlds...You will soon know. I will cut off your hands and feet on opposite sides, and I will crucify you all...We are eager for our Lord to forgive us our sins, since we are the first of the believers." (26:44-51).

5- These verses describe a type of people that exists in all societies and communities: "Among the people is he whose speech about the worldly life impresses you, and he calls God to witness what is in his heart, while he is the most hostile of adversaries. When he gains power, he strives to spread corruption on earth, destroying properties and lives. God does not like corruption. And when he is told, "Beware of God," his false sense of glory leads him to more sin. Hell is enough for him - a dreadful abode." (2:204-206). Of course, in our era, these verses apply to all clergymen of the earthly religions of the Muhammadans who are indeed eloquent hypocrites who deceive others by their sermons and sham/fake ostentatious signs of piety and religiosity to conceal their corruption and polytheism. Yet, they show their true colors when Quranists preach them and tell them to fear the Lord and beware of God; they are too proud to accept being preached to and warned; they feel they are the ones to preach others and not to hear any pieces of advice; this is why their pride, arrogance, and false sense of glory bring about their detriment in the Hereafter.              

 

Thirdly: glory is entirely for God:

 This is repeated in the Quran to assert that real glory is entirely for God and granted by Him only, whereas disbelievers have no glory at all.

1- Hypocritical companions among the immigrants in Yathreb allied themselves to the Meccan polytheistic aggressors while assuming they sided with the more powerful party that would achieve victory and glory; God refutes their stance here: "Those who ally themselves with the disbelievers instead of the believers. Do they seek glory in them? All glory belongs to God." (4:139).

2- Leaders of the hypocrites threatened to drive away Muhammad from Yathreb by force while claiming that they had all the glory and power while Muhammad had none as he appeared as lowly before their eyes; in response, God asserts here that glory is confined to Him, to His messenger, and to real believers: "They say, "If we return to the city, the more powerful therein will evict the lowly." But glory belongs to God, and His messenger, and the believers; but the hypocrites do not know." (63:8).

3- The Arab polytheists have leveled so many accusations against Muhammad and this saddened him very much; God has said the following to him: "And let not their sayings dishearten you. All glory is God's. He is the Hearer, the Knower. Certainly, to God belongs everyone in the heavens and everyone on earth. Those who invoke other than God do not follow partners; they follow only assumptions, and they only guess." (10:65-66).

 

Lastly:

1- God refutes and negates all descriptions that polytheists have ascribed to Him: "Exalted be your Lord, the Lord of Glory, beyond their assumptions." (37:180).

2- Iblis, or Satan, within his disobedience has sworn by God's Glory to tempt the vast majority of the progeny of Adam: "...By Your Glory, I will seduce them all. Except for Your loyal servants among them." (38:82-83).


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