Sura Al-Imran (Tafseer-ul-Maariful Quran), Part-21



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Things usually considered bad may ultimately prove not to be that bad:
Towards the end of the verse, the expression بِيَدِكَ الْخَيْرُ translated as 'in Your hand lies the good' needs some explanation. It will be noticed that in the earlier part of the verse both giving and taking of power and bestowing of honour and bringing of disgrace were mentioned side by side. It would have seemed in keeping with the occasion if the word, 'sharr' (evil) would have been coupled with 'khair' (good). But, the text to elects to use the word, 'khair' (good) alone and thereby points out to someting real and significant in human affairs. The point worth noting is that a person or a people may regard something as unwelcome, and it may even be so for that particular person or people, but looked at from the wider angle of the whole community of nations, it may not be really evil. The Arab poet, Mutanabbi has put it very succinctly when he said:

مصاءب قوم عند فواءد
The calamities of one group are the gains of another.
In short, the evil of things we regard as evil is partial. Looked at from its relationship to the Creator of the Universe and the Lord of all there is, and viewed in the perspective of the totality of the world of our experience, nothing is really evil or bad as such. So given the wisdom, the power and the consideration of the created universe as a whole, everything is good, 'khair' as the verse sees sufficient to say.

The second verse (27) demonstrates that Allah controls all spaces and heavenly bodies and employs the sun and the moon to make the days longer than nights and the nights longer than the days at His will and command.

Mentioned after that is His unrivalled power of 'bringing the living out from the dead' such as, a chick from an egg, or a human infant from the sperm, or a tree from a seed and of 'bringing the dead out from the living' such as eggs from birds and beasts, sperm from humans or fruit from trees and dried grain from plants.

If we were to take 'the living' and 'the dead' in a broad and general sense, this will become inclusive of the learned and the ignorant, the perfect and the imperfect and the believer and the disbeliever (the Muslim and the Kafir). It only goes to show that Allah's perfect power exercises absolute control over all phenomena, both physical and spiritual, through which He can make a Muslim out of a Kafir, a perfect believer out of a staunch disbeliever, a scholar out of an ignorant person if He so wills. And if He so wills, He can let a believer turn into a disbeliever or a rustic into a scholar. He brought Ibrahim out of an idol-worshipper. He let the son of Prophet Nuh (A) remain an infidel. Strange but true, the son of an 'alim (scholar) can remain illiterate and the son of someone illiterate can become an 'alim.

A discerning reader will not fail to notice the eloquent order in which Allah's most perfect power that reigns and runs the universe from the cosmos to the soul of man has been demonstrated so effectively.

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