January 2001: Page 1, 2, 3

Submitters Perspective

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Quran: Full of Lessons ... Cont'd from Page 1

Abraham, in his steadfastness, his courage and his total submission to God, is a lesson for us to reflect on and take to heart. This example (of Abraham) was rendered an everlasting lesson for subsequent generations; perhaps they redeem their souls. (43:28)

The entire Sura 12 is devoted to a history lesson. In Joseph and his brothers there are lessons for the seekers. (12:7) And Sura 28 is entitled “History” and God says in Verse 3: We recite to you herein some history of Moses and Pharaoh, truthfully, for the benefit of people who believe. How many valuable lessons might we learn from studying all that these messengers went through?

And not just the messengers. Throughout the Quran, particularly when speaking of the children of Israel, God begins a verse with “Recall” or “Remember.” Recall that we saved you…. (2:49) Recall that you said….(2:61) Recall that Abraham said….(14:35) Recall that Jesus, son of Mary, said….(61:6) We weren’t around in the time of Moses or Abraham or Jesus. God doesn’t expect us to actually recall what was said or done, but because He is relating it in the Quran, it’s worth our paying attention and learning from. 2:122 O Children of Israel, remember My favor which I bestowed upon you, and that I blessed you more than any other people. After all those blessings, all those miracles, the Children of Israel continually turned away from God and back to idols. We might not melt our jewelry into a golden calf to worship, but the lesson is still valuable for us today as we turn away from God to follow someone else’s opinion or place too much emphasis on material things.

And history isn’t just stories without proof. There is physical evidence as well. We left standing some of their ruins, to serve as a profound lesson for people who understand. (29:35) You still pass by their ruins by day. And by night. Would you understand? (37:137-8) (See also 22:45 and 29:38). Yet with all the history God recites to us, it’s still clear that it will only be heeded by those who believe, those who are seeking God.

God tells us about the community of Sheba and all their blessings. But instead of being appreciative, they sought to make things more difficult for themselves. God makes the religion easy; we are the ones who make it hard, adding more practices, prohibiting good things. The lesson to be learned from 34:15-9 is to be thankful to God for all He provides and to not add burdens in the name of “greater righteousness.”

But they (turned unappreciative and) challenged: "Our Lord, we do not care if You increase the distance of our journeys (without any stations)." They thus wronged their own souls. Consequently, we made them history, and scattered them into small communities throughout the land. This should provide lessons for those who are steadfast, appreciative. (34:19)

God provides us with lessons about death. God puts the souls to death when the end of their life comes, and also at the time of sleep. Thus, He takes some back during their sleep, while others are allowed to continue living until the end of their predetermined interim. This should provide lessons for people who reflect. (39:42) Death is simply the final step in our journey on this earth. It’s a release from the trials and tribulations of life as a human being and the beginning of life in the Hereafter. It’s as simple as sleeping, and its time is absolutely predetermined by God. Also, in 2:259 there’s the story of the man put to death for 100 years. The footnote for that verse says “The lesson we learn here is that the period of death—only the unrighteous die; the righteous go straight to Heaven—passes like one day.” This fleeting life is nothing in comparison with the Hereafter, and if we believe in God and work righteousness we don’t need to fear death since that’s the beginning of our real life—redeemed, God willing, back into His presence.

Other lessons offered by God are in the livestock. The miracle of a drink as delicious and nutritious as milk coming from the midst of digested food and blood (16:66) is both a gift and a lesson. And the livestock should provide you with a lesson. We let you drink (milk) from their bellies, you derive other benefits from them, and some of them you use for food. (23:21) All of our provisions (30:37, 39:52) should be lessons. The natural things all around us are lessons if we take the time to notice. God controls the night and day. This should be a lesson for those who possess eyes. (24:44)

There are also lessons that we should be able to learn by using the Quran in conjunction with our own life experiences. When I do my prayers and other practices faithfully and keep God foremost in my thoughts and remain steadfast in submission, my life is wonderful. I’m at peace, feeling happy, no matter what’s happening around me.

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