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Surah Al-Ankabut

This is a discussion on Surah Al-Ankabut within the Quranic Sciences forums, part of the Islamic Knowledge category; Syed Qutb gives a nice explanation in his tafsir of this section he calls it, The Frailty of the Powerful ...

  1. #11
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    Default Re: Surah Al-Ankabut

    Syed Qutb gives a nice explanation in his tafsir of this section he calls it,

    The Frailty of the Powerful

    Now that the destruction of despotic, wrongdoing and wicked unbelievers has been outlined, and bearing in mind what was said at the beginning of the sūrah about tests and temptation, the relative power of competing forces is described in a clear simile. There is only one true power and this belongs to Allah. Every other power is frail and flimsy. Whoever seeks support or protection from other than Allah is like a spider which clings to a frail home woven of silk that lacks strength. Both the spider and its web, or home, are without real support:

    Those who take anyone other than Allah for their protectors may be compared to the spider which makes for itself a home. Indeed the spider’s home is the frailest of all homes, if they but knew it. Allah certainly knows the nature of whatever people invoke instead of Him. He alone is Almighty, Wise. Such are the comparisons We draw for people’s benefit, but none will grasp their meaning except the people of knowledge.(Verses 41-43)

    This is an amazing but true picture of the powers operating in the universe. People sometimes overlook this truth and hence their values fall by the wayside. Indeed their concept of human relations grows corrupt and all their criteria become ill-balanced. They do not know which way to go, what to take up and what to leave. In this situation, the power of government deceives them. They feel it to be too strong, address their wishes and complaints to it, fear it and try to appease it so that they remain safe from its strong-handed measures. Similarly, they are deceived by other powers, such as that of wealth which they imagine to control people’s lives. They, thus, try to obtain wealth so that they can exercise power over others. The power of knowledge also deceives them as they consider it a source of strength, wealth and all other elements that give people power. Hence, they approach it with humility, just like a worshipper engaged in devotion. Whether controlled by individuals, communities or states, apparent power deceives them. They are pulled towards it like moths are attracted to light or swarm towards a fire.

    People are thus oblivious of the one power which creates all the little powers, owns, gives, directs and uses them as it pleases. They forget that seeking support and protection from these little powers is just like a spider taking refuge in its web. It remains a small powerless insect that has no power within itself or its flimsy web.

    The only real support and protection for man is with Allah. This is the main truth which the Qur’ān takes special care to instil in the minds of believers. It makes their community stronger than all the powers that try to obstruct it. Over the centuries it enabled the community of believers to place the arrogance of tyrants under its feet and to overcome tyranny in its strongest forts and seemingly impregnable lines. This great truth is established in every believer’s mind, it has filled every heart and become part of their very being. It is no longer a word we utter, or a subject for debate. It is the main idea in our lives, minds and senses.

    All power belongs to Allah. The only protection to be sought is from Allah.

    Everything else is weak, flimsy and powerless, however much it tries to inflict punishment, be tyrannical and overpowering. They are simply spiders, and what power has a spider other than the silk with which it weaves its web?:
    “Indeed the spider’s home is the frailest of all homes, if they but knew it.” (Verse 41)

    Advocates of the divine message who are often subjected to oppression and hardship, and also to temptation and deceit, should reflect on this great truth and keep it before their eyes. They must not allow themselves to forget this even for a moment as they face different forces, some trying to inflict harm on them or even crush them, and some trying to lure them to their own line, or to buy them out. But all these forces are no more than the threads of a spider’s web. This is their real estimation in Allah’s measure. It is also the measure when compared with true faith when people have the right concept of it.

    “Allah certainly knows the nature of whatever people invoke instead of Him.” (Verse 42)

    They seek the protection of patrons to whom they ascribe a share of divinity. Allah knows the reality of these patrons: they are no more than a spider seeking refuge in its frail web. “He alone is Almighty, Wise.” (Verse 42) He alone has power over all things, and in His wisdom, He conducts the affairs of the universe.

    “Such are the comparisons We draw for people’s benefit, but none will grasp their meaning except the people of knowledge.” (Verse 43)

    Devoid of knowledge and clear reasoning, some unbelievers took such comparisons as material for ridicule. They said that Muhammad’s Allah speaks about spiders and flies. They were uninspired by this remarkable description because they did not use their reason, while their knowledge too remained scanty:

    “None will grasp their meaning except the people of knowledge.”(Verse 43)

  2. #12
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    Default Re: Surah Al-Ankabut

    ^The above Tafsir bi-Ra'y is eloquent and very pertinent. May Allah have mercy on the author.

    I am just not a Tafsir bi-Ra'y type person. A couple of days ago I had typed up a detailed response for this thread drawing only on all the other Ayaat and their Tafsir that have the wording contained in this Ayah regarding 'taking Awliya besides Allah', however I clicked a button on the browser and lost it.

    There's just something about Tafsir al-Qur'an bil-Qur'an that amazes me and I never get unsatisfied with...(not saying that those who like Tafsir bi-Ra'y get 'bored' with other methods of Tafsir)

  3. #13
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    Default Re: Surah Al-Ankabut

    Quote Originally Posted by Abu Najm Muhammad View Post
    ^The above Tafsir bi-Ra'y is eloquent and very pertinent. May Allah have mercy on the author.

    I am just not a Tafsir bi-Ra'y type person. A couple of days ago I had typed up a detailed response for this thread drawing only on all the other Ayaat and their Tafsir that have the wording contained in this Ayah regarding 'taking Awliya besides Allah', however I clicked a button on the browser and lost it.

    There's just something about Tafsir al-Qur'an bil-Qur'an that amazes me and I never get unsatisfied with...(not saying that those who like Tafsir bi-Ra'y get 'bored' with other methods of Tafsir)
    No doubt, I wish you had not lost that post. I myself have been trying to find some time and check on some other mufasirun... it really is a powerful ayah.

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    Default Re: Surah Al-Ankabut

    Quote Originally Posted by Tisatashar View Post
    Assalamu alaykom brother.

    You are absolutely correct. My mistake. My mind wasn't focused on the ayah when I posted that. The story about the scientific proof that the "spiders web was the strongest natural substance known" was what I had focused on. May Allah SWT forgive me for posting something to imply the verse means something that is not there. I wish I could delete it now you have you brought it to my attention. May Allah SWT reward you for your efforts.

    To all readers - pay no attention to my post above. It does not interpret the Qur'anic verse. I had digressed from the point of the thread.
    the strength of the spiders web cant be entirely ignored

    the spiders web is strong against the weak, but it is weak against the strong - and shirk is weak against people with strong Eman, "verily the plan of Satan is weak"

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