CHAPTER XI / Strengthening Believers’ Resolve

Strengthening Believers’ Resolve

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Thus, the four sections in this second purpose or theme of the surah, which calls on the Israelites to believe in Islam, are completed.

We have seen how the surah arranges them and follows that arrangement step by step.

If we now look very carefully at this last section, we realise that the Qur’an makes use of its position to achieve two distinct objectives.

Thus, it serves as a bridge between two purposes that are widely apart.

On the whole it is a special address from God to the Prophet and the believers concerning some private matters of their faith.

But this special address is made in two parts, each coloured with the purpose to which it relates. Thus, the two purposes are interlinked in this section.

It starts by telling the believers what their enemies used to say about some Islamic principles.

It then clarifies these principles over which those enemies have raised doubts so as to ensure that they continue to shine with the truth. Thus, the beginning signifies the end of those long battles against falsehood.

The thrust is then directed to the strengthening of the believers so that they may hold fast to those principles, whether they relate to theoretical or practical matters.

They are encouraged in several verses to adhere to those principles.

It is, then, most appropriate to make this conclusion a beginning of a new purpose in which the believers are guided to learn the details of Islamic teachings.

This is, indeed, what this special address implies, long as it is and directed slowly towards this new purpose.

Anyone who carefully reflects on this can discern within this last section an implicit statement that says:

We have now finished fighting with the enemies, and We turn now to Our servants to teach and guide them. We have closed the book that relates to the evildoers and opened the book of the righteous.

This last page of address to the Israelites is only the advance battalion of a large army...

or indeed the first rays of a dawn of guidance which will usher in the bright new day of faith and replace the black night of falsehood and disbelief.

The whole battlefield is now clear of all Israelite ghosts that were covered with the darkness of falsehood when they tried to attack you.

You can no longer perceive any of them now or hear even a whisper of them.

Do you see these first rays of the sun of the Islamic law coming to you in the form of general and theoretical principles, to be followed by a host of practical details?

The rest of the details will then follow until this sun has reached its zenith in the sky.

Thus, all ears are now open, eager to listen to the details of Islamic legislation.

If they are now related in full, we will not feel that such a discussion comes in an abrupt, unprepared way.

Yet the Qur’an, following as it does the most accurate of literary criteria which best fulfils people’s needs, does not address this purpose immediately without further preparation.

It prefers to provide a resting place where the traveller may relax for a while before embarking on a second long trip towards the next goal.

Page V

The Creator and the Legislator

The third purpose or theme of the surah has a gateway taking up verses 163-177. It is like a corridor stretching from the door of a house to its main building..

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