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The secret of real life through understanding of God’s warning

Al Habib’s word on the meanings of some Qur’anic verses as an elegy for the late Imam Al Habib Abdelkader Bin Ahmed Alsaqqaf

At Tabah Foundation’s prayer hall, Al Habib Ali talked after the Dhuhr prayer on Thursday 25th April 2010 about the meaning of the following Qur’anic verse: “ That he may warn therewith, whoever is alive, (able to comprehend what is being said to him — and such are the believers —) and that the Word, of chastisement [from God], may be fulfilled against the disbelievers, (who are like the dead, unable to comprehend what is said to them).” ( Ya-Sin: 70).

Al Habib explained that those who do not respond to God’s warning are not alive in the real sense of the word although they do possess life in the physical and bodily sense. He explained further that the first thing that comes to mind when pondering God’s warning is the meaning of a threat based on the Majesty aspect of the verse, but at the same time the Beauty aspect of the verse carries with it love, and mercy for His servants, in the same way a mother warns and reprimands her child as a true expression of love and care. Likewise God describes His prophet as being greatly concerned about people: “ Verily there has come to you a messenger from among yourselves ( Muhammad (s), for whom it is grievous that you should suffer, who is full of concern for you,
(that you should be rightly guided); to the believers profoundly compassionate, merciful.” (At-Taubah: 128)

And the life mentioned in the first verse above has different levels:

Life of the self: which no matter how often it perpetrates a wrong and oversteps the limits, it always comes back to blame and reprimand the person which means that it is still alive. This is what is called today the voice of conscience. Even a disbeliever’s living conscience may urge him to follow the ethical prescription of his natural disposition (towards the right path), and it is to such people that the warning is addressed.

Life of the mind: the bearer of this life/ the person endowed with this life does not allow his base desire to cast a veil over his mind/intellect such that it prevents him from seeing sound reason and realizing the truth. It is these kinds of people that God describes as “And We have indeed urged unto Hell many of the jinn and mankind, having hearts wherewith they do not understand, (the truth), and having eyes wherewith they do not perceive, (the proofs of God’s power with a perception that entails reflection), and having ears wherewith they do not hear, (the signs or the admonitions, in a way so as to reflect and take heed). These, they are like cattle, (in their failure to understand, perceive or listen) — nay, rather they are further astray, than cattle, they are the heedless” (Al-A’raf: 179), which means these organs are faulty and not functioning properly as they are not alive. This sense of life relates to Muslims and non-Muslims whom the message did not reach yet and it is to them that the warning is addressed.

Life of the heart: people with living hearts where they go or may find themselves, God brings through them life to the hearts of others. In fact, even their death is a source of life. It is worth to mention here our great late Imam Al Habib Abdelkader Bin Ahmed Alsaqqaf whose funeral led many people to repent to Allah and to come back to the right path.

And as Al-Qurtubi reported in his Tafseer on the authority of Al-Mada’ini that some scholars related the story of a man who was living an extravagant lifestyle in the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Then when the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) died he became more thrifty and more religious. He was told that if he did this at the time the Prophet (peace be upon him) was alive, the Prophet would have been happy. He replied that he had two safety assurances that he relied on, one of which has gone and the other still present. The first one is “But God was not about to chastise them, for what they requested, while you were among them, nor was God about to chastise them while they sought forgiveness” (Al-Anfal: 33) Such a life of the heart pertains only to monotheist believers.

Life of the soul: The life of the heart is a door that leads to the life of the soul “Whoever acts righteously, whether male or female, and is a believer, him verily We shall revive with a goodly life, And We shall surely pay them their reward according to the best of what they used to do.” (An-Nahl: 97) until he is returned to his Lord not with a multitude of deeds or wealth but with a sound heart instead “ the day when neither wealth nor children will avail, anyone. except him who comes to God with a heart that is sound ” (al-Shu‘ara’:88-89). May God the Most Generous show us the right way.

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