Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of
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[Verses 51 to 60]: Messengers receive Divine
55 So be patient; surely the promise of Allah is true; and ask protection for thy sina and celebrate the praise of thy Lord in the evening and the morning.
56 Those who dispute about the messages of Allah without any authority having come to them, there is naught in their breasts but (a desire) to become great, which they will never attain. So seek refuge in Allah. Surely He is the Hearing, the Seeing.
57 Assuredly the creation of the heavens and the earth is greater than the creation of men; but most people know not.a
55a. The words istaghfir-li-dhanbi-ka occurring here, and repeated in 47:19, do not negative the claim made repeatedly that the Prophet was sinless. Fully five times the Holy Prophet is described in the Holy Quran as being one who purified others from sin, in 2:129, 151; 3:164; 9:103, and 62:2. How could a sinful man purify others from sins? In fact, we do not find any prophet or reformer so plainly described as a purifier of others as the Holy Prophet Muhammad. Again, the Holy Prophet is repeatedly spoken of in the Holy Quran as walking in the way of perfect righteousness and entire submission to Allah. Obedience to the Messenger is obedience to Allah (4:80); if you love Allah, then follow me, Allah will love you (3:31). In the presence of these and a hundred other statements of a similar nature, sin could not be attributed to him. A perusal of the Holy Book further proves that the Quran does not allow us to attribute sin to any prophet: "They speak not before He speaks, and according to His command they act" (21:27).
The significance of dhanb has already been fully explained in 3:11a. The other word occurring here is istighfar. It is of the measure of istifal, and signifies the asking of ghafr or maghfirah. According to R, ghafr means the covering of a thing with that which will protect it from dirt. Hence the words ghufran and maghfirah on the part of Allah signify, according to the same authority, His granting protection to His servants against chastisement. And istaghfara is explained as meaning he sought of God covering or forgiveness or pardon (T, LL). It will thus be seen that the idea of protection is the dominant idea in the word ghafr and its derivatives, and the word not only signifies the forgiveness of sin, but also the covering of sin, which is really the granting of protection against sin. That ghafr means protection against the punishment of sin as well as protection against the commission of sin, is made clear by Qastalani in his commentary of Bukhari: Al-ghafru al-sitru wa huwa imma baina-l-abdi wa-l-dhanbi wa imma baina-l-dhanbi wa uqubatihi, i.e., ghafr means protection, and it is either a protection of the servant from sins or a protection from the punishment of sin. It is therefore protection in the first sense that is meant here, protection from sins, a protection from the imperfections of human nature, which make a man liable to sin unless he is protected by Allah. In fact, wherever the word ghafr or istighfar is used in connection with the righteous, as in 3:17, 7:151, 17:25, 40:7, etc., it is the protection from sin that is meant. See also 2:286a and 48:2a. [Back to verse 55]
57a. Man is insignificant as compared with the vast creation of the heavens and the earth, yet he deems himself so great that he would not bow his head before the great Creator of this vast creation. But according to Abu-l-Aliyah, by the nas (men) is here meant Dajjal, or Anti-Christ. The Maalim al-Tanzil quotes the following hadith: "Hisham ibn Amir relates having heard the Messenger of Allah saying that from the creation of man to the coming of the Hour, there is no creation greater in temptation than Anti-Christ". [Back to verse 57]