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The People of Remembrance

The People of Remembrance

 

Published in April 28, 2018

Translated by: Ahmed Fathy

 

 

Introduction:

 We have received this question via email: (... Dear Sir, ... I wonder why the Quranic phrase (the people of Remembrance) is understood in different ways; many people of several sects of the Muhammadans assume that it refers to themselves as the only knowledgeable people in religion! Yet, the Quranic contexts of this phrase indicate to me that it refers to knowledgeable believers of the ancient eras ... What do you think?  ... Thank you ...).

 

OUR REPLY:

 

Firstly: the meaning of (Remembrance):

 It means the Divine Book or Scripture given by God to His messengers/prophets.

1- The prophet Saleh was given a Book/Scripture from the Lord God, and it is described as (Remembrance). The Thamood people/tribe of Saleh denied this Book out of envy because God has chosen him from among them (and not any other man) to make this Remembrance descend upon him; they accused Saleh of being a liar: "Thamood rejected the warnings. They said, "Are we to follow one of us, a human being? We would then go astray, and end up in Hell. Was the Remembrance given to him, out of all of us? In fact, he is a wicked liar."" (54:23-25).

2- The Qorayish tribesmen adopted the same stance regarding the Remembrance; i.e., the Quran, as they envied Muhammad for being chosen by God to preach the Quranic Message: "Was the Remembrance sent down to him, out of all of us?!" In fact, they are doubtful of My Remembrance. In fact, they have not yet tasted My torment." (38:8).

3- On the Last Day, God will question the mortal human gods/deities worshiped by polytheists in all eras: "On the Day when He gathers them, and what they worshiped besides God, He will say, "Was it you who misled these servants of Mine, or was it they who lost the way?"" (25:17); they will disown and deny their worshipers and will say that they forgot the Divine Book/Scripture or Remembrance: "They will say, "Glory be to You. It was not for us to take any allies besides You. But you gave them enjoyments, and their ancestors, until they forgot the Remembrance, and became ruined people."" (25:18).

4- On the Last Day, the unjust polytheists will regret their disbelief in vain when it is too late for them; they will wish they had followed the Messenger (i.e., God's Message) and will regret having friends who repelled them away from the Remembrance (i.e., the Divine Book) given to prophets/messengers of God: "On that Day, the unjust one will bite his hands, and say, "If only I had followed the Way with the Messenger. Oh, woe to me; I wish I never took so-and-so for a friend. He led me away from the Remembrance after it had come to me; for Satan has always been a betrayer of man."" (25:27-29). On the Last Day, Muhammad will disown those who abandoned the Quran: "And the Messenger will say, "My Lord, my people have abandoned this Quran."" (25:30). God says the following about enemies and foes of His prophets/messengers in all eras: "Likewise, to every prophet We assign enemies from among the criminals. But your Lord suffices as a Guide and Savior." (25:31)

 

Secondly: the Quran is described in the Quranic text many times as the (Remembrance):

1- God asserts that the Quran is the Remembrance: "Saad. And by the Quran of the Remembrance." (38:1).

2- God says the following about the revelation/descent of the Quranic text and its being preserved by Him: "Surely We revealed the Remembrance, and We will surely preserve it." (15:9).

3- God says the following about the Quranic revelation given to Muhammad: "This is what We recite to you of the Verses and the Wise Remembrance." (3:58).

4- God has commanded Muhammad to adhere to the Remembrance (i.e., the Quran) addressed to him and to his people and they will be asked, on the Last Day, about their adherence to it: "So adhere to what is revealed to you. You are upon a Straight Path. It is the Remembrance for you, and for your people; and you will be questioned." (43:43-44).

5- The term (Remembrance) is the name of the Quran which is linked to verses that describe the Meccan Qorayish people's rejection of, and disbelief in, the Quranic Message.  

5/1: Because of the Quranic Remembrance, the Qorayish disbelievers accused Muhammad of being a mad person and God refutes their accusation here: "And they said, "O you who received the Remembrance, you are insane."" (15:6); "Surely We revealed the Remembrance, and We will surely preserve it." (15:9).  

5/2: The disbelievers of Qorayish typically directed their looks of hatred and animosity at Muhammad when he recited the Remembrance and accused him of being a crazy person: "Those who disbelieve almost stab you with their glances when they hear the Remembrance, and say, "He is crazy!" But it is no less than a Remembrance to all the Worlds." (68:51-52). 

5/3: In the following verses, the Almighty Lord God defends His Word, the Quran, against those who disbelieved in this Remembrance: "Those who reject the Remembrance when it has come to them - it is a Glorious Book. Falsehood cannot approach it, from before it or behind it. It is a revelation from One Wise and Praiseworthy." (41:41-42).

5/4: It was of no use (as there was no hope at all) that the disbelievers of Qorayish who rejected the Quran might be guided; this is why God has said the following to Muhammad about his sole mission; i.e., to convey the Quranic Message, and then to focus only on warning and preaching those who followed the Remembrance: "It is the same for them, whether you warn them, or do not warn them - they will not believe.  You warn only him who follows the Remembrance, and fears the Dominant Lord inwardly. So give him good news of forgiveness, and a generous reward." (36:10-11); "We did not reveal the Quran to you to make you suffer. But only as a reminder for him who fears. A revelation from He who created the earth and the high heavens." (20:2-4).

 

Thirdly: about asking the people of Remembrance:

1- The Remembrance is God's Word, the Quran, which is the Last Message/Scripture of the Lord God to all human beings on earth till the end of days. Those knowledgeable persons among the People of the Book in Arabia knew about the fact that the time drew nearer for the Last Divine Message to be revealed in Arabia; some of them knew this fact and concealed it: "Those to whom We have given the Book recognize it as they recognize their own children. But some of them conceal the truth while they know." (2:146); "Those to whom We have given the Book recognize it as they recognize their own children; but those who have lost their souls do not believe." (6:20).

2- Some of those knowledgeable persons among the People of the Book immigrated into Yathreb to wait for the coming of the Last Prophet of the Lord God who is predicted in their Scriptures; some of them bragged to the people of Yathreb at the time that they will follow this prophet once he emerges; yet, when the ministry of Muhammad as a prophet began and he immigrated to Yathreb, many of those persons among the People of the Book disbelieved in the Quran and rejected Muhammad, the Prophet of the Gentiles, out of envy: "And when a scripture came to them from God, confirming what they have - although previously they were seeking victory over those who disbelieved - but when there came to them what they recognized, they disbelieved in it. So God's curse is upon the disbelievers. Miserable is what they sold their souls for - rejecting what God has revealed, out of resentment that God would send down His grace upon whomever He chooses from among His servants. Thus they incurred wrath upon wrath. And there is a demeaning torment for the disbelievers." (2:89-90). Yet, the presence of those persons among the People of the Book in Yathreb had a positive influence on most of the Yathreb dwellers who believed in the Quran with Muhammad and supported him (they are named as "the supporters" in the Quran) and they welcomed wholeheartedly the immigrants who settled in Yathreb: "And those who, before them, had settled in the homeland, and had accepted faith. They love those who immigrated to them, and find no hesitation in their hearts in helping them. They give them priority over themselves, even if they themselves are needy. Whoever is protected from his natural greed - it is they who are the successful." (59:9). 

3- Many of the those knowledgeable persons among the People of the Book who knew about the Seal of all Prophets and the Last Divine Message beforehand drew nearer to the Qorayish elite members and leaders inside Mecca before and after the ministry of Muhammad as a prophet and before he immigrated to Yathreb; in verses revealed in Mecca, we read about some of the People of the Book who believed in the Quran in contrast to the stance of the Meccan disbelievers of Qorayish who denied the Quran: "Say, "Believe in it, or do not believe." Those who were given knowledge before it, when it is recited to them, they fall to their chins, prostrating. And they say, "Glory to our Lord. The promise of our Lord is fulfilled."" (17:107-109); "It is a revelation from the Lord of the Worlds. The Honest Spirit came down with it. Upon your heart, that you may be one of the warners. In a clear Arabic tongue. And it is in the scriptures of the ancients. Is it not a sign for them that the scholars of the Israelites recognized it?" (26:192-197). This is why those believers who embraced Islam (i.e., the Quran) among the People of the Book (esp. those knowledgeable ones among the Israelites) in Arabia at the time are mentioned in the Quran as (the people of Remembrance).

4- Within the above context, God has told the Arabian disbelievers to ask (the people of Remembrance) about the Quran, and this is repeated twice in the Quranic text.

4/1: God says in the Quran: "We did not send before you except men, whom We inspired. Ask the people of Remembrance, if you do not know." (21:7); this means that if they doubted the Quran, they should have asked the People of the Book who believed in the Quran about the previous prophets as they were not angels but mortal men inspired by God Who gave them Divine Scriptures/Books, and consequently, Muhammad was no exception to this rule.

4/2: God says in the Quran: "We did not send before you except men whom We inspired. So ask the people of Remembrance, if you do not know. With the clarifications and the scriptures. And We revealed to you the Remembrance, that you may clarify to the people what was revealed to them, and that they may reflect." (16:43-44); this means that the previous prophets had received Books/scriptures from their Lord and that the Remembrance; i.e., the Quran, endorses and shows to people what is revealed in the previous Scriptures. 

5- So as not to let Muhammad feel doubts regarding the Quranic Revelation, God as told him to ask the people of Remembrance and the People of the Book: "If you are in doubt about what We revealed to you, ask those who read the Book before you. The Truth has come to you from your Lord, so do not be of those who doubt." (10:94).

 

Fourthly: the knowledgeable people in God's Book are the people of Remembrance:

 They are described as those knowledgeable ones, as those endowed with knowledge, and as those deeply rooted in knowledge; the combine between both deep knowledge and faith/belief, and we provide some details about them in the points below.

1- They are mentioned, for instance, in these Quranic verses: "The likeness of those who take to themselves allies other than God is that of the female spider as she builds a house. But the most fragile of houses is the female spider's house. If they only knew...These examples - We put them forward to the people; but none grasps them except the knowledgeable ones." (29:41-43); "Have you not seen that God sends down water from the sky? With it We produce fruits of various colors. And in the mountains are streaks of white and red - varying in their hue - and pitch-black...From among His servants, the knowledgeable ones fear God..." (35:27-28).

2- Those endowed with knowledge are monotheists who testify that (There is no God but Allah) and never mention any names of mortals in this testimony of monotheism: "God bears witness that there is no God but He, as do the angels, and those endowed with knowledge - upholding justice. There is no God but He, the Mighty, the Wise. Religion with God is Islam..." (3:18-19); this is the real testimony uttered during the five daily prayers by Quranists worldwide.

3- The following Quranic verses are about those who are deeply rooted in knowledge.

3/1: Among them are some of the People of the Book who believed in the previous Scriptures/Books of the Lord God and they believed in the Quran: "But those among them deeply rooted in knowledge, and the believers, believe in what was revealed to you, and in what was revealed before you; and the observers of prayers, and the givers of charity, and the believers in God and the Last Day-upon these We will bestow an immense reward." (4:162).

3/2: This is about those who are deeply rooted in Quranic knowledge: "It is He who revealed to you the Book. Some of its verses are definitive; they are the foundation of the Book, and others are similar. As for those in whose hearts is deviation, they follow the similar part, seeking dissent, and seeking to derive an interpretation. But none knows its interpretation except God and those deeply rooted in knowledge say, "We believe in it; all is from our Lord." But none recollects except those with understanding." (3:7); this means they unlike the imams/clergymen of the Muhammadans who select decontextualized (phrases of) the Quranic verses within attempts to 'support' or 'prove' their falsehoods, lies, and whims.

4- We write the following points about those who are endowed with knowledge.

4/1: They include those who face, refute, deny, and undermine devilish hadiths/narratives of the Satanist revelations that contradict the Divine Books/Scriptures given by the Almighty Lord God to His prophets/messengers who wish that their people would believe and save themselves, but Satan is bent to misguide as many human beings in all eras as possible till the end of days. God allows the existence of the Satanist revelations as a test; people are free to choose either the Divine Truth or Satan's hadiths and falsehoods; one cannot combine both choices at the same time. God says the following in the Quran: "We never sent a messenger before you, or a prophet, but when he had a desire Satan interfered in his wishes. But God allows what Satan interjects to remain, and God affirms His Verses. God is Omniscient and Wise. In order to make Satan's narratives as a test for those whose hearts are diseased, and those whose hearts are hardened. The unjust ones are in profound discord. And so that those endowed with knowledge may know that it is the Truth from your Lord, and so believe in it, and their hearts soften to it. God guides those who believe to the Straight Path." (22:52-54).

4/2: They include some of the People of the Book among the monotheists.

4/2/1: Some of them are mentioned within the context of the Quranic story of Quaroon: "And he went out before his people in his splendor. Those who desired the worldly life said, "If only we possessed the likes of what Quaroon was given. He is indeed very fortunate" But those who were endowed with knowledge said, "Woe to you! The reward of God is better for those who believe and do righteous deeds." Yet none attains it except the patient ones." (28:79-80).

4/2/2: Some of them are those in Arabia who believed in the Quran during Muhammad's lifetime; they also believed in the previous Scriptures of the Lord God: "You did not recite any Book before this, nor did you write it down with your right hand; otherwise the falsifiers would have doubted. In fact, it is Clear Verses in the hearts of those endowed with knowledge. No one renounce Our Verses except the unjust ones." (29:48-49).

4/3: They include some of the companions/contemporaries of Muhammad.

4/3/1: Some of them stood against those who attempted to undermine the Quranic verses: "As for those who strive against Our Verses, seeking to undermine them - for them is a torment of a painful plague. Those who are endowed with knowledge know that what is revealed to you from your Lord is the Truth..." (34:5-6).

4/3/2: Those endowed with knowledge were asked by mockers who denied and ridiculed the Quran: "Among them are those who listen to you, but when they leave your presence, they say to those endowed with knowledge, "What did he say just now?" Those are they whose hearts God has sealed, and they follow their own desires." (47:16).

4/3/3: God says the following about those believers who are endowed with deep monotheistic knowledge: "...God elevates those among you who believe, and those endowed with knowledge, many steps. God is Aware of what you do." (58:11).

5- On the Day of Resurrection, we know from the Quran that the following will take place.

5/1: The sinners will be surprised and swear they never lived but only for one hour (i.e., a very brief space of time), and those who are endowed with knowledge and faith will speak the truth: "On the Day when the Hour takes place, the sinners will swear they had stayed but an hour. Thus they were deluded. But those endowed with knowledge and faith will say, "You remained in God's Book until the Day of Resurrection. This is the Day of Resurrection, but you did not know."" (30:55-56).

5/2: God will ask the polytheists about their gods/deities whom they have defended, and those who are endowed with knowledge and faith will speak the truth: "Then, on the Day of Resurrection, He will disgrace them, and say, "Where are My associates for whose sake you used to dispute?" Those who are endowed with knowledge will say, "Today shame and misery are upon the disbelievers."" (16:27).

 

Lastly:

 We sincerely implore and supplicate to the Almighty Lord God to make our person among those witnesses, on the Day of Resurrection, who will bear testimony against their contemporaries. 

 

 


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