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In the Shade of the Qur'an - Surah # 106

In the Shade of the Qur'an - Surah # 106
Syed Qutb
Sura # 106                   

          In the name of Allah, the Beneficient, the Merciful!

  For the tradition of Quraish, their tradition of traveling in
  winter and summer. Let them worship the Lord of this House, Who
  provided them with food lest they should go hungry, and with
  security lest they should fear.

                          In the Shade of the Qur'an

  When Abraham, the friend (khalil) of Allah, completed the building of
  the house of worship (the Ka'ba) and had purified it he turned to Allah
  with the following prayer:
    Lord, make this a city of peace and sustain its inhabitants with
    the fruits (of the earth). (2:126)
  So Allah made that House one of peace; He made it free from all human
  authority and free from all tyranny. He granted security and peace to
  anyone seeking shelter in that House, while fear was all around it.
  Even when the people transgressed, ascribed Divinity to beings other
  than Allah and worshipped idols, there was peace and security; for
  Allah had designed a purpose for this sacred House.

  When the people of the Elephant marched to destroy the House, there
  happened to them what is described in the preceding surah, "The
  Elephant". Allah preserved for the House its peace, security and
  sacredness. Of those who lived around it, Allah says: "Do they not
  then see that We have made a secure Sanctuary, and that men are being
  snatched away from all around them?" (29:67)

  The Elephant incident had an added effect in greatly enhancing the
  sanctity of the House amongst the Arabs all over the Arabian peninsula.
  It also strengthened the position of the Quraish, the custodians of
  the House, in all Arabia. They were thus able to travel far and wide
  in peace and security. Wherever they went they met with generosity
  and high esteem. This encouraged them to establish two great routes
  for their commercial caravans, to the Yemen in the south and to Syria
  in the north. They organised two enormous trading expeditions; one to
  the Yemen in the winter and the other to Syria in the summer.

  In spite of very poor conditions of security in all parts of the Arabian
  peninsula at the time, and in spite of all the looting and plundering
  raids that were very common in that land, the sanctity of the House in
  the eyes of all Arabs guaranteed security and peace in their flourishing
  business to those who lived near it and were its custodians. It created
  for the Quraish a distinct and exclusive position and opened up to them
  extensive and guaranteed means of sustenance in peace, security and
  contentment. The Quraish became accustomed to these two profitable and
  peaceful trips, which were soon established among their traditional
  This is the specific grace of which Allah reminds the Quraish, as He
  had reminded them of the Elephant incident in the previous surah. It
  is the grace of their being accustomed to the trips of winter and
  summer, and the abundance with which He endowed them in these two
  fruitful journeys. It is by the grace of Allah that while their land
  is desolate and dry, they still live a comfortable life. Out of His
  grace He secured them from fear whether in their hearths and homes,
  next to Allah's house, or in their trips and journeys. Their security is
  the result of their being the custodians of the House, the sanctity of
  which is ordained and preserved by Allah against any violation.

  Allah reminds them of these graces in order that they may be ashamed
  of their submission to other beings, while He is the Lord of the House.
  Allah says to them in effect: for this tradition of Quraish, namely
  their trips of winter and summer, let them submit to the Lord of this
  House Who guaranteed their security and so encouraged them to take such
  beneficial trips. "Let them worship the Lord of this House, Who provides
  them with food lest they should go hungry." As their land is infertile,
  they would have starved had it not been for the sustenance supplied to
  them by Allah. "And with security lest they should live in fear." Poor
  as they are, and living in an insecure surroundings, their life would
  have been one of fear and apprehension. But Allah granted them security
  and allayed their fear. And this is a reminder which generates and leaves
  a deep shame in the hearts of the Quraish, who were not unaware of the
  great value of the House and the effect of its sanctity on their lives.
  At the moment of danger and difficulty, the Quraish used to appeal only
  to the Lord of that House and seek only His help. This was the case with
  Abdulmuttalib' who did not confront Abrahah with any army or physical
  strength. Instead Abdulmuttalib addressed himself only to the Lord of
  the House, because He was the only one who could protect His House.
  Abdulmuttalib did not appeal to any of the idols or graven images for
  any help. He did not even say to Abrahah that these "gods" will protect
  their House. He only said to him,
    I am only the master of the camels, but the House has its own Lord
    who is sure to protect it.
  But Ignorance does not listen to any logic, or acknowledge what is
  right, or accept any reasonable argument.

  This surah seems to be an extension of the preceding one, "The Elephant,"
  with regard to its subject matter and general tone. Nevertheless, it is
  an independent surah with the usual beginning of the Qur'anic surahs,
  namely, "In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful" Authorities
  state that nine surahs were revealed between the revelation of surah "The
  Elephant" and surah "Quraish", but these two were put next to each other
  in the Qur'an because of their close similarity of subject.





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