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What The Qur'an Teaches: Which Type Of Comrade

Islamic Perspectives - Muslim Journals

Arab News & Information - By Adil Salahi

In the name of God, the Lord of Grace, the Ever Merciful We shall assign to whoever chooses to remain blind to the remembrance of the Lord of Grace an evil one as a comrade. These (evil ones) turn them away from the right path, making them think that they are rightly guided. When such a person comes to Us, he will say (to his comrade): ‘Would that I was as far away from you as the East is from the West.' Evil indeed are you for a comrade! Because of your wrongdoing, it will not be of any benefit to you that you are now to share your suffering. (Gold; Al-Zukhruf: 43: 36-39)

The surah moves on to explain the fate of those who are given plenty of the luxuries of this world but who remain unmindful of their duty of obedience to God and glorifying Him so as to deserve the great prize He grants on the Day of Judgment to those who fear Him.

The Arabic text uses the term "asha" as the choice of unbelievers. This term signifies a tiredness of the eyes that prevents them from seeing things. It mostly occurs when facing a glaring light which the human eye cannot look into, or in the evening as darkness begins to descend when a weak eye cannot see things clearly. It may also be the result of illness. Its usage here, signifies blindness and a willful turning away from God, the Lord of Grace.

"We shall assign to whoever chooses to remain blind to the remembrance of the Lord of Grace an evil one as a comrade." It has been God's will that when man chooses to neglect His remembrance, Satan finds his way to him and becomes his comrade, whispering to him and making evil things seem goodly and attractive. In the Arabic text, this verse is stated in the conditional form to express a consistent rule that makes the result inevitable when the cause occurs. Thus the evil comrade will certainly turn his comrade away from the right path, even though such a person may continue to think that he is on the right track: "These (evil ones) turn them away from the right path, making them think that they are rightly guided." This is the worst thing that one comrade can do for another: turning him away from the right path and not allowing him to wake up or reflect on what he is doing. Instead, he keeps him deluded, thinking that he is doing well, until he comes face to face with his inevitable end. Note, too, that the verse uses the present tense, implying that this is going on now before the eyes of onlookers, though those who are blind do not see it.

The end comes all of a sudden while they are still deluded: "When such a person comes to Us, he will say (to his comrade): ‘Would that I was as far away from you as the East is from the West." In an instant we move from this present world to the next. Those who chose to be blind unexpectedly arrive at their destination and wake up like a drunken person regains his consciousness. They open their weak eyes and each one of them looks at his evil comrade who led him to ruin while assuring him of safety. He is so enraged with him that he says to him: "Would that I was as far away from you as the East is from the West. Evil indeed are you for a comrade!" I wish I had never met you and that a great gulf had existed between us. The surah then makes this comment on the exchange between the two comrades: "Evil indeed are you for a comrade!"

As the curtain drops on them both, we hear a word that crushes all hope for them: "Because of your wrongdoing, it will not be of any benefit to you that you are now to share your suffering." The suffering of each is given in full measure. It is not something to share out among them so as to reduce its effect.

 

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