Subhan Allah it is already the 27th of Ramadan! Just a couple of more days left of this blessed month. May Allah swt accept our imperfect and inconsistent Ibadah, in His mercy and love for us. Ameen. Today the ayah we have is again from Surah Al Baqarah.
Allah is the Wali (Protector or Guardian) of those who believe. He brings them out from darkness into light. But as for those who disbelieve, their Auliya (supporters and helpers) are Taghut [false deities and false leaders, etc.], they bring them out from light into darkness. Those are the dwellers of the Fire, and they will abide therein forever. (Al Baqarah 2:257)
In this ayah Allah swt attributes His protection and His guidance for those who believe. The people who believe in His oneness, in His being the only Lord, in Islamic Monotheism. The believers who obey His commands and keep away from what is forbidden without any question or excuses. Grasping hold onto the rope of Allah, on Tawheed, is the most trusty Handhold; testifying that there is no god but Allah swt and worshiping Him alone in sincerity out of hope and fear.
Once you plant the seed of tawheed firmly in your heart and then strive sincerely to live by it, nurturing your life with its fruits, flowers and shade, you will have what Allah swt promises in this ayah, His Protection and His Guidance. He swt become your Wali, once you prove yourself to be on tawheed, worshiping Allah swt alone and no one else, in words and in deeds. Who can protect you more than Allah swt, and who can guide you to the truth more than Allah swt?
Allah swt promises you to bring you out of darkness into light. This can be understood in many ways. One, by this Allah swt means that the believer who holds onto tawheed will have grasped the most trustworthy handhold that will never break. (Ibn Kathir) Whoever follows Allah swt, and is obedient to Him, Allah swt will guide them to the paths of peace, that is Islam and eventually Paradise. Allah swt will deliver the believers from the darkness of disbelief, doubt and hesitation to the light of the plain, clear and explained truth. Islam being the light that brings humanity out of their darkness.
Also, mentioned in this ayah, are the ones destined for Hell forever. These are the ones from among the believers as well as the disbelievers. First, the disbelievers who are on kufr (disbelief) that is, they are not on tawheed or Islamic monotheism; who worship other deities and take many Gods for worship. Allah swt says about such people, that their eternal abode is Hell, where they will abide forever.
While most of us are safe, in sha Allah, from such kufr, and may Allah swt protect us from it, what is alarming is how believers fall into this category of people destined for Hell. Let’s take another look at the ayah.
Allah swt says about the people who disbelieve, that they follow their Auliya, who take them into darkness from light. These auliya areTaghut. What is important here, is to understand the meaning of the word Taghut. Scholars have explained the word taghut as anything that is worshiped other than Allah swt. Taghut can be the satan, false deities, idols, stones, sun , stars, moon, human beings, saints, graves, rulers or leaders, all these who are falsely worshiped and followed.
We need to be extremely careful when we are dealing with the aspects of tawheed. Sometimes, we are on the threshold of shirk, without even knowing it. For instance, when we take saints and their graves more than the required reverence, when we start making sujood on the graves of famous saints, it is a form of shirk. When we start seeking help of the dead people, however righteous and pious they might have been in their life, when we seek their help who lie lifeless in their graves instead of seeking it from Allah swt, the Ever Living, we are in a big problem. We need to learn to keep culture separate from Islam and whatever parts of our culture are not in lieu of Islam, should be shunned right away, without question.
Allah is All Knowing, All Seeing and All Hearing! He swt doesn’t need anyone on your behalf to tell Him swt what you want, or what you are going through. These saints and highly revered people should be respected for their deen and righteousnesses, no doubt in that, but they should not become intermediaries between you and Allah swt. Allah swt doesn’t need these intercessors on your behalf. He can directly hear from you! Call on me and I will respond, says Allah swt in Surah Ghafir (40:60).
Some people are of the belief that they are not religious enough, or pious enough to be speaking and seeking Allah swt’s help directly and that is why they need these auliya. Nothing is further than truth than this! No sinner is outside the realm of Allah swt’s mercy and forgiveness, when they sincerely turn to Him, even the ones who commit the Unforgivable Sin, Shirk! When they turn to Allah in sincere repentance and start their life on tawheed, Allah swt forgives them and brings them into light of Islam. Such is the mercy of Allah swt. When you believe you need to go by some special person, a saint, or a grave, to seek Allah swt’s help, you are demeaning this mercy. Astagfirullah! May Allah swt protect us.
You are an individual, you are born alone and you will die alone. You are born with the covenant of worshiping Allah swt, and whether you keep that covenant or not, and how you live by it, is what you will be taking away with you when you die. How your relationship is with Allah swt, here in this world, will determine how your relationship will be there with Him swt, how your eternal fate will be. Make sure you know what you are doing about it.
We ask Allah swt to be our Wali, our Protector and our Guardian and bring us from darkness into light. May He swt make His obedience easy for us, may He swt protect us from all kinds of shirk, hidden and apparent, which we knowingly or unknowingly commit. May He swt write us among the people of Jannah, and keep us away from even the glimpse of His wrath and the Hell.