Norms of history mentioned in the Quran 2

Yes, in the next world only the culprits will be punished. But this worldly punishment is more extensive and affects the culprit and the innocent alike. Hence the two previous verses have nothing to do with the punishment that will be awarded on the Day of Judgement. They speak only of the norms of history and what a nation can achieve through its efforts. Another Example: They indeed wish to scare you from the land so that they may drive you out from there. In that case they will not be able to stay there for long. Same has been our method in the case of Our Messengers whom We sent before you, and you will not find Our method to be changing. (1)

This verse also lays stress on the norms of history. It says: You will not find Our method (Our law) to be changing. In other words, Allah assures that the way He treated the former Prophets is still valid because His law never changes. Allah says that the people of Makkah now want to harass the Prophet in order to drive him out from there, for they have failed to eliminate him, to silence his voice and to crush his mission. Now the only option left to them is to drive the Prophet out of their city. This is one of the norms of history which we propose to explain.

According to this norm the people of Makkah could not stay there for long when after the failure of all their efforts to resist the Holy Prophet they had become so desperate as to drive him out of this city. This did not mean that any chastisement was to befall them soon. Hence it cannot be said that no chastisement befell the people of Makkah while they successfully harassed the Holy Prophet and forced him to emigrate to Madina.

What the verse means is that they will not for long continue to be a fighting force, for because of their behaviour they will soon lose their position and will cease to be a force to be reckoned with. The Prophet who has baffled their designs so far, in future also will succeed in practically overawing them and breaking their resistance. And so it was. After the Holy Prophet left Makkah, they could not withstand for long. Their resistance was broken. Makkah fell and became a Muslim State. A few years later it became the second centre of Islam.

Thus the above quoted verse first speaks of a norm of history and then emphatically declares: You will never find our method to be changing. The following verses are other examples: There have been many examples before you. So travel across the land and see what has been the fate of the rejecters. (2)

This verse lays stress on the norms of history and urges people to follow the truth and look into historical events to learn a lesson from them and find out the trends of history. Messengers indeed have been denied before you, but they were patient under the denial and prosecution till Our help reached them. There is none to alter the words of Allah (the conditions of His promises). Already there have reached you some reports about the Messengers. (3)

This verse encouraging the Holy Prophet, tells him of what the past people experienced, and explains that in this respect there exists a law and a norm which is equally valid in his case as it has been in the case of the former Prophets. In accordance with this law which has already proved correct in the case of the former Prophets, he will soon receive divine help and will gain victory provided he fulfils all the pre-requisite conditions. These conditions are patience, perseverance etc. Success can be achieved only through these traits. That is why the Quran says: They were patient under the denial and the persecution till Our help reached them. There is none to alter the words of Allah - the conditions of His promises. (4)

According to this verse the words of Allah cannot be altered. In other words the pre-requisite conditions and the circumstances on the materialization of which the fulfilment of His promises depends, cannot change over history. Here `word' signifies the relation between success and the fulfillment of its conditions and other circumstance, as explained in different verses dispersed in the Qur'an. Only a hint has been made here. This relation is a norm of history.

Are the Norms of History Changeable?

On the basis of this norms the Qur'an says: When a Warner came to them, it aroused in them nothing but repugnance, arrogance in the land, and plotting evil; and the evil plot encloses only the men who make it. Then do they expect the application of a law different from that which applied to the people of the old? You will not find any change in Allah's law, nor will you find any case of its failure. (5) Did you suppose that you would enter paradise while yet you have not come to the like of that which befell those who passed away before you? They were afflicted by misery and hardship and were so severely shaken that the messenger and those who believed along with him said: `When comes Allah's help?' Now surely Allah's help is nigh! (6)

Allah criticizing these people, asks them why they expect that there should be an exception in their case with regard to the norms of history? They should not expect that the laws of history would fail to be effective in their case and they would enter paradise without leading the life of those nations which were successful and entered paradise. These nations passed a hard life so much so that in the words of the Quran, they were severely shaken. Hardships, worries and unfavourable circumstances are a sort of a training school for this Ummah and are a test of its will and perseverance.

They are an exercise which enables this Ummah to gain power gradually and occupy the position of the middle nation. Allah's help is nigh, but it has a method. It is not accidental, nor does anyone get it haphazardly. Allah's help is nigh, but according to the Qur'an, to get it, it is necessary to know historical norms and understand the logic of history, for it often happens that a patient has his medicine near at hand, but he does not use it because he is not aware of its medicinal properties.

The knowledge of the norms of history enables people to receive divine help. The above verse denounces those who wish to be an exception to the norms of history. The Quran says: We sent not to any township a warner, but it's pampered ones declared: `Surely we are disbelievers in that which you bring to us'. And they say we are (more than you) in wealth and children. (In the Hereafter too) we are not going to be punished. (7)

Continue in the next article: ( Norms of history mentioned in the Quran 3 )

NOTES:

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1. Surah Bani Isra'il, 17:76

2. Surah Ale Imran, 3:137

3. Surah al-An'am, 6:34

4. Surah al-An'am, 6:34

5. Surah al-Fatir, 35: 42-43

6. Surah al-Baqarah, 2:214

7. Surah Saba, 34:34 - 35

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