Sura Al-Lail : The sagacity in contraries

Sura Al-Lail is the 92nd sura of Holy Quran and has been revealed in Mecca. In this sura, polar opposite concepts are emphasized to indicate mankind about their trade on this planet and what would be the possible consequences of such trade and results of religious “deeds”.

Here, Allah(j.j) oaths to night and day and femininity and masculinity probably to warn mankind that our actions’ consequences will vary with such sharp degrees on the judgement day. The sura starts with such a confrontation where mankind usually fail to discover the miraculous nature of usual processes like night following day and day following night, and how such processes effect the spirit of mankind.

By the Night as it conceals (the light);

By the Day as it appears in glory;

By (the mystery of) the creation of male and female

Verily, (the ends) ye strive for are diverse. (Al-Lail 92/1-4)

Modern day readers might insist on disdaining the beauty and wisdom in conceptualization of such “normal, everyday” processes but one should note that Holy Quran has been sent to “every human” being, not to those who wish to bury themselves in a whirlpool of intellectual frequencies. If one fails to “tafakkur” over night and day cycles, it is really in vain that he discovers the far side of the universe, he would still fail to appreciate the divine design behind the cosmos.

After diverting our gaze to polar opposites, we witness two prototypes of human behavior, the generous one and the thrifty one.

Asbab-ı Nuzool of this sura, “the reason of revelation” is considered to be about two persons, one is Abu-Bkar(r.a), one the closest and one of most generous companions of Prophet Muhammad(saw) and one other person is Umayya bin Halaf, who was infamous for his parsimony.

So he who gives (in charity) and fears (Allah),

And (in all sincerity) testifies to the best,-

We will indeed make smooth for him the path to Bliss. (Al-Lail 92/5-7)

After such clear description, the sura warns mankind who resembles “the thrifty” one and the one who also denies the divine truth of Allah(j.j).

Nor will his wealth profit him when he falls headlong (into the Pit). (Al-Lail 92/11

Here, the pit is considered as HellFire by the mufassirs.

What is really important here, that the one who believes in judgement day and spends his wealth for charity considers the “return” from Allah(j.j) only doesn’t evolve his soul into some sort of “charity business dealer” where we witness today, many spend their money for charity simply for political gains and boosting their social status. By these ayats such behavior is strictly forbidden in Islamic aqeedah as one expects the end-return from Allah(j.j) only, and probably not in this life-time.

We don’t give charity to gain popularity in Islam, we give it to clean our souls from the very vain it might contaminate our wealth.

But those most devoted to Allah shall be removed far from it,-

Those who spend their wealth for increase in self-purification,

And have in their minds no favour from anyone for which a reward is expected in return,

But only the desire to seek for the Countenance of their Lord Most High; (Al-Lail 92/17-20)


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