“O Allah, grant me this day mental acumen and alertness, and keep me away from foolishness and dissemblance. Appoint me a share of every good that You send down in it with Your generosity, O Most Generous of the generous!”
What you heard was the special supplication for the 3rd day of the blessed fasting month of Ramadhan. May God Almighty accept your earnest endeavours, including your punctual recitation of the holy Qur’an. One should know that the best of things to do during the nights and days of the auspicious month of Ramadhan is to read the Qur’an as much as possible, and reflect over its timeless wisdom, as the Qur’an was revealed during this month. It is mentioned in a narration that for everything there is a springtime and the spring of the Qur’an is the month of Ramadhan. Moreover, it is recommended to complete a reading of the whole Qur’an in one month or at the most in six days. Yet, during the month of Ramadhan, if one has the time, the recitation of the Qur’an can be completed in only three days. Of course, while reading we ought to ponder on the meanings and purport of the ayahs, since the Qur’an is the Book of complete guidance, and whatever God has related in it, is for guiding us and saving us from pitfalls. Let us continue the
our yesterday’s discourse on the disobeying of God’s command by the genie, Iblis, to prostrate to Adam, the father of the human race.
In ayah 76 of Surah Suad, God informs us of his dialogue with Satan the outcast, by saying:
“O Iblis what prevented you that you should do obeisance to him whom I created with My two hands? Are you proud or are you of the exalted ones?
In response, as the next ayah of the same Surah states, Iblis resorted to an unjustified excuse and said:
“I am better than he; Thou has created me of fire, and him Thou didst create of dust.”
It is obvious from the contents of the ayah that Iblis thought fire is superior to clay. This was one of his biggest mistakes, since clay is the source of blessings and is the most important ingredient of life. And that was the reason God created Adam from clay and then infused His spirit in his body by granting humanitarian characteristics, which make a creature excel over others. No wonder, God decreed that such an excellent creature should be the Almighty’s representative on earth, and accordingly commanded the angels, including Iblis the genie, who was in their company as a divine trial, to prostrate to Adam. Ayahs 77 and 78 of Surah Suad now inform us of God’s displeasure at Iblis:
“Then get out of it, for surely you are driven away.”
“And surely My curse is on you to the day of judgment.”
This conversation warns that all misery of Iblis was the result of his pride. This egotism and self-superiority prevented him not only from prostrating to Adam but also from questioning God’s wisdom. Imam Ali (AS) the First Infallible Successor of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) says in his famous sermon that is titled al-Qas’ea in the bookd Nahj al-Balagha: Learn lessons from account of Ibils, who lost all the labour of his worship of 6 thousand years in a moment of pride.
Thus what brought about the fall of Iblis were his egotism, selfishness, pride, ignorance, jealousy and other negative characteristics, which he pursued by disobeying God’s command. When cast out from the heavens, instead of felling remorse or repentance for his cardinal sin, he merely asked God to give him respite in his state of evilness:
As ayah 79 of Surah Suad relates his words:
“My Lord! Then respite me to the day that they are raised.”
In response God answers in the next two ayahs of the same surah:
“Surely you are of the respited ones.”
“Till the period of the time made known.”
Ayahs 80 and 81 of Surah Suad
When the devil became content of the respite given to him, he further revealed his sinister goal and said:
“Then by Thy Might I will surely make them live an evil life, all”
“Except Thy servants from among them, the purified ones.”
These two ayahs 82 and 83 of Surah Suad, are followed by ayahs 16 and 17 of A’raaf which quote him as saying:
“I will certainly lie in wait for them in Thy straight path.”
“Then I will certainly come to them from before them and from behind them, and from their right-hand side and from their left-hand side; and Thou shalt not find most of them thankful.”
The Almighty God, Who had given Iblis respite till a determined time and not till the Day of Resurrection, tells him ayahs 64 and 65 of Surah al-Israad:
“And beguile whomsoever of them you can with your voice, and collect against them your forces riding and on foot, and share with them in wealth and children, and hold out promises to them; and the Shaitan makes not promises to them but to deceive”
“Surely (as for) My servants, you have no authority over them; and your Lord is sufficient as a Protector.”
Elsewhere in ayah 42 of Surah Hijr God says:
“Surely, as regards My servants, you have no authority over them except those who follow you of the deviators.”
And in ayah 18 of Surah A’raaf we read the clear displeasure in the divine tone as follows:
“Whoever of them will follow you, I will certainly fill hell with you all.”
Now let us have a glance at the 20th International Exhibition of the Holy Qur’ an, which is in progress these days at the sprawling Imam Khomeini Mosalla or prayer ground in Tehran where the atmosphere is indeed spiritual. This year pavilions at the exhibit are on a vast number of topics including the Islamic awakening in the region. In this section, the role of the holy Qur’an in fostering unity and solidarity among Muslims as well as awakening them from deep slumber are on display through excellent photographs and posters.