TWO CLASSES MENTIONED IN SURATUL-‘ASR

“…A righteous person advances from the state where the self incites to evil and enters a state where the soul rebukes him for committing evil. This is why a distinguishing feature of the righteous is that they ‘establish’ or ‘set upright’ their formal Prayer, as it were, because in this too there is a kind of battle that ensues…”

“Once again, I return to my original discussion and state that two groups are alluded to in Suratul-‘Asr. Firstly, there is the class of the holy and pious, and then there are the disbelievers and sinners. The disbelieving and sinful class have been alluded to as follows:

Inna-l-insaana lafii khusr

Surely, man is in a state of loss.

Then, the other class of people have been distinguished as follows:

Illalladhiina aamanuu wa’amilus-saalihaat

That is to say, there is a group that is in a state of loss, but not the believers and those who do good deeds. From this we learn that those who are disbelievers and those who do not perform good deeds are in a state of loss. The Arabic word salah (i.e. being sound or pious), is only applicable where there are no traces whatsoever of fasad (which in Arabic means to be corrupt or devoid of virtue). A person can never become a salih (i.e. a virtuous person), until they cleanse themselves of ignoble and corrupt doctrines, and then their actions also become free from corruption. The word muttaqi (i.e. a righteous person), is in the measure of the form ifti’al and this form is used to convey a meaning of ‘forced or strained effort.’ This demonstrates that a righteous person is forced to struggle immensely and exert an effort in doing good; and in this state, the soul reproves him for committing evil. When a person is living a beastly life, they are subject to the self that incites to evil, but when they emerge triumphant over the state where struggle is required, they enter a state of rest. A righteous person advances from the state where the self incites to evil and enters a state where the soul rebukes him for committing evil. This is why a distinguishing feature of the righteous is that they ‘establish’ or ‘set upright’ their formal Prayer, as it were, because in this too there is a kind of battle that ensues. Satanic whisperings and doubts come forth again and again to terrify a person, but they are not perturbed, and these satanic whisperings do not make them helpless. Such a one seeks assistance from God Almighty incessantly, and cries before God and weeps, until finally they prevail. Similarly, when it comes to spending in the way of God, Satan holds them back and makes it seem to them as if spending in the cause of Allah and extravagance are one in the same, even though there is a world of difference between the two. A person who is extravagant wastes away their wealth, but a person who spends in the way of Allah, is returned everything that they spend in far greater proportion. This is why God Almighty states:

Mimmaa razaqnaahum yunfiquun.

They spend out of what We have provided for them”.

(Malfoozat vol.1, pp. 192-193)
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