The Quran about those who closed themselves. Part 2
In the name of God, the Gracious, the Merciful
History is full of precedents of a different types of nature closed from the truth. The problem of the closed condition arose at least from the history of the relationship between Adam and the disappointed (iblis). Refusing to fulfil the command of the Lord, the disappointed (iblis) closed himself from the execution of the order, which determined his status of the closed one.
When We said to the maintainers, “Prostrate before Adam”, so they prostrated, except for the disobedient. He refused and was arrogant and became of the closed ones. (2:34)
Closed nature of people manifests itself in the refusal of the message of God. Those who do not accept the truth, reject the person who brought it as well.
Said the eminent ones who closed themselves among his nation, “If you should follow Shu’ayb, indeed, you would then be losers.” (7:90)
So the eminent among those who closed themselves from his nation said, ” We do not see you but as a man like ourselves, and we do not see you followed except by those who are the lowest of us [and] at first suggestion. And we do not see in you over us any merit; rather, we think you are liars!” (11:27)
And it sailed with them through waves like mountains, and Nuh (Noah) called to his son who was apart [from them], “O my son, come aboard with us and be not with the closed ones!” (11:42)
But the eminent among those who closed themselves from his nation said, “This is not but a man like yourselves who wishes to take precedence over you; and if God had willed, He would have sent down maintainers. We have not heard of this among our forefathers! (23:24)
And the eminent among his nation who closed themselves and denied the meeting of the hereafter while We had given them luxury in the worldly life said, “This is not but a man like yourselves. He eats of that from which you eat and drinks of what you drink. (23:33)
Such human condition provokes the forthcoming and upbringing of generations that are closed from God.
And as for the boy, his parents were believers, and we feared that he would overburden them by transgression and closed nature. (18:80)
And Nuh (Noah) said, “My Lord, do not leave upon the earth from among the closed ones an inhabitant. Indeed, if You leave them, they will mislead Your servants and not beget except [every] wicked closed one! (71:26-27)
For an ordinary person, the nature closed from the truth does not cause an acute reaction, although the consequences of it can be quite sad.
And when Ibrahim (Abraham) said, “My Lord, make this a secure city and provide its people with fruits – whoever of them believes God and the last day!” God replied, “And whoever closed himself – I will grant him enjoyment for a little; then I will force him to the punishment of the fire, and wretched is the destination!” (2:126)
And he turned away from them and said, “O my nation! I had certainly conveyed to you the messages of my Lord and advised you, so how could I grieve for a closed nation?” (7:93)
And they were followed in this world with a curse and [as well] on the day of standing before God. Unquestionably, ‘Aad denied their Lord; then away with ‘Aad, the nation of Hud. (11:60)
And the shriek seized those who had wronged, and they became within their homes [corpses] fallen prone As if they had never prospered therein. Unquestionably, Thamud denied their Lord; then, away with Thamud! (11:67-68)
In constructive polemics, a person closed from God is doomed to the failure of his arguments.
Have you not considered the one who argued with Ibrahim (Abraham) about his Lord because God had given him kingship!
When Ibrahim (Abraham) said,
“My Lord is the one who gives life and causes death,”
He replied, “I give life and cause death.”
Ibrahim (Abraham) said,
“Indeed, God brings up the sun from the east. So bring it up from the west!” So the one who closed himself was overwhelmed. God does not guide the obscurantists! (2:258)
Righteous people try, after some effort, not to have anything in common with the people who closed themselves.
Yusuf (Joseph) said, “You will not receive food that is provided to you except that I will inform you of its interpretation before it comes to you. That is from what my Lord has taught me. Indeed, I have left the society of a people who do not believe in Allah, and they, from the hereafter, closed themselves! (12:37)
No matter how difficult, despair in the mercy of the Most High for a monotheist is not acceptable.
O my sons, go and find out about Yusuf (Joseph) and his brother and despair not of relief from God! Indeed, no one despairs of relief from God except the closed people!” (12:87)
Unfortunately, the signs provided for one’s own eye do not give guarantees from closed nature.
And [recall] when you said, “O Musa (Moses)! We can never endure one [kind of] food. So call upon your Lord to bring forth for us from the earth its green herbs and its cucumbers and its garlic and its lentils and its onions.” He replied, “Would you exchange what is better for what is less? Go to Egypt and indeed, you will have what you have asked.”
And they were covered with humiliation and poverty and returned with discontentment from God [upon them]. That was because they closed themselves from the signs of God and killed the prophets without right. That was because they disobeyed and were transgressing! (2:61)
Has there not reached you the message of those before you – the people of Nuh (Noah) and ‘Aad and Thamud and those after them? No one knows them but God!
Their messengers brought them clear proofs, but they returned their hands to their mouths and said, “Indeed, we are closed from that with which you have been sent, and indeed we are, about that to which you invite us, in disquieting doubt!” (14:9)
And that which she was worshipping other than God had averted her. Indeed, she was from a closed nation!” (27:43)
But when the truth came to them from Us, they said, “Why was he not given like that which was given to Musa (Moses)?”
Did they not close themselves from that which was given to Musa (Moses) before? They said, “Two works of magic supporting each other!”
They said, “Indeed we are, from both, closed themselves!” (28:48)
Closed nature is expressed in non-recognition, or rather with the announcement the messengers as liars.
Said the eminent ones who closed themselves among his nation, “Indeed, we see you in foolishness, and indeed, we think you are of the liars!” (7:66)
…And Musa (Moses) was denied, so I prolonged enjoyment for the closed ones; then I seized them, and how [terrible] was My reproach! (22:44)
And when he brought them the truth from Us, they said, “Kill the sons of those who have believed with him and keep their women alive.” But the plan of the closed ones is not except in error. (40:25)
However, even in the camp of believers there may be moments of closed nature.
And when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you close yourselves, indeed, My punishment is severe.’ “
And Moses said, “If you should close yourselves, you and whoever is on the earth entirely – indeed, God is Free of need and Praiseworthy!” (14:7-8)
Moreover, the heirs of the Prescription often close themselves from prescriptions.
And when there came to them a Prescription from God confirming that which was with them – although before they used to pray for victory against those who closed themselves – but [then] when there came to them that which they recognized, they closed themselves from it; so the curse of God will be upon the closed ones.
How wretched is that for which they sold themselves – that they would close themselves from what God has revealed through [their] outrage that God would send down His favor upon whom He wills from among His servants. So they returned discontentment upon discontentment. And for the closed ones is a humiliating punishment. (2:89-90)
And [recall] when We took your covenant and raised over you the mount, [saying], “Take what We have given you with determination and listen.” They said, “We hear and disobey.” And their hearts absorbed “the calf of closed nature”.
Say, “How wretched is that which your faith enjoins upon you, if you should be believers!” (2:93)
Cursed were those who closed themselves among the children of Israel by the tongue of Dawud (David) and of Isa (Jesus), the son of Maryam (Mary). That was because they disobeyed and [habitually] transgressed. They used not to prevent one another from wrongdoing that they did. How wretched was that which they were doing.
You see many of them becoming patrons of those who closed themselves. How wretched is that which they have put forth for themselves in that God has become angry with them, and in the punishment they will abide! (5:78-80)
The Jews say, “Ezra is the son of God”;
And the Christians say, “The Messiah is the son of God.”
That is their statement from their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who closed themselves [before them]. May God destroy them; how are they deluded? (9:30)
There were also those who accepted the Prescription, but not completely, which also caused God’s reproof.
Then, you are those killing one another and evicting a party of your people from their homes, cooperating against them in sin and aggression. And if they come to you as captives, you ransom them, although their eviction was forbidden to you. So do you believe in part of the Prescription and conceal the other part? Then what is the recompense for those who do that among you except disgrace in worldly life; and on the day of standing before God they will be sent back to the severest of punishment. And God is not unaware of what you do. (2:85)
Nature closed from the Prescription of God among the adepts themselves was not uncommon. The confirmation of it is the behaviour of the Jews.
Among the Jews are those who distort words from their usages and say, “We hear and disobey” and “Hear but be not heard” and “Save us” twisting their tongues and defaming the duty before God. And if they had said “We hear and obey”, “Hear what is heard!” and “Look after us!” it would have been better for them and more suitable. But God has cursed them for their closed nature, so they believe not, except for a few. (4:46)
For wrongdoing on the part of the Jews, We made unlawful for them pleasant things which had been lawful to them, and for their averting from the way of God many, for their taking of usury while they had been forbidden from it, and their consuming of the people’s wealth in vainness. And we have prepared for the closed among them a painful punishment. (4:161)
And the Jews say, “The hand of God is chained.” Chained are their hands, and cursed are they for what they say. Rather, both His hands are extended; He spends however He wills. And that which has been revealed to you from your Lord will surely increase many of them in transgression and closed nature. And We have cast among them animosity and hatred until the day of standing before God. Every time they kindled the fire of war, God extinguished it. And they strive throughout the land with corruption, and God does not like those who spread corruption.
And if only the holders of the Prescription had believed and were circumspect, We would have removed from them their misdeeds and admitted them to gardens of grace. And if only they upheld the Torah, the Gospel, and what has been revealed to them from their Lord, they would have consumed from above them and from beneath their feet. Among them is a moderate headship, but many of them – evil is that which they do!
O messenger! Announce that which has been revealed to you from your Lord, and if you do not, then you have not conveyed His message. And God will protect you from the people. Indeed, Allah does not guide the closed people!
Say, “O holders of the Prescription! You have nothing until you uphold the Torah, the Gospel, and what has been revealed to you from your Lord.” And that which has been revealed to you from your Lord will surely increase many of them in transgression and closed nature. So do not grieve over the closed people! (5:64-68)
A vivid example of the nature closed from the prohibition of the Creator is people’s fascination with witchcraft.
And they followed what the disobedient ones had recited during the reign of Suleiman (Solomon).
It was not Suleiman (Solomon) who closed himself, but the disobedient ones were of closed nature. They taught people magic and that which was revealed to the two maintainers at Babylon, Harut and Marut. But both of them do not teach anyone unless they say, “We are tempers, so do not be closed ones!” And they learn from them that by which they cause separation between a man and his wife. But they do not harm anyone through it except by permission of God. And the people learn what harms them and does not benefit them. But the children of Israel certainly knew that whoever purchased the magic would not have in the hereafter any share. And wretched is that for which they sold themselves, if they only knew. (2:102)
Of course, the Creator gives us great opportunities, for which we have to thank Him.
Said one who had knowledge from the book, “I will bring it to you before your glance returns to you.”
And when Solomon saw it placed before him, he said, “This is from the favor of my Lord to test me whether I will be grateful or closed. And whoever is grateful – his gratitude is only for himself. And whoever is closed – then indeed, my Lord is Free of need and Generous!” (27:40)
And We had certainly given Luqman judgement, “Be grateful to God!” And whoever is grateful is grateful for [the benefit of] himself. And whoever closes himself – then indeed, God is Free of need and Praiseworthy!” (31:12)
After all, in difficult situations we seek help from our Lord.
And when they went forth to Goliath and his soldiers, they said, “Our Lord, pour upon us patience and plant firmly our feet and give us victory over the closed people.” (2:250)
All the messengers of God met with the problem of closed nature.
But when Isa (Jesus) felt their closed nature, he said, “Who are my supporters before God?”
The disciples said,” We are supporters for God! We have believed God and testify that we humbled ourselves! (3:52)
We tell you the message about those cities. And certainly did their messengers come to them with clear proofs, but they were not to believe in that which they had denied before. Thus does God seal over the hearts of the closed ones! (7:101)
O you who have believed, be supporters of God, as when Isa (Jesus), the son of Maryam (Mary), said to the disciples, “Who are my supporters for God?” The disciples said, “We are supporters of God!” And a faction of the children of Israel believed and a faction closed itself. So We supported those who believed against their enemy, and they became dominant! (61:14)
But such a state had no influence on the messengers themselves.
When God said, “O Isa (Jesus), indeed I will take you and raise you to Myself and purify you from those who closed themselves and make those who follow you superior to those who closed themselves until the day of standing before God. Then to Me is your return, and I will judge between you concerning that in which you used to differ.
And as for those who closed themselves, I will punish them with a severe punishment in this world and the hereafter, and they will have no helpers!” (3:55-56)
When God will say, “O Isa (Jesus), Son of Maryam (Mary), remember My favor upon you and upon your mother when I supported you with the Pure Spirit and you spoke to the people in the cradle and in maturity; and when I taught you the Prescription and judgement and the Torah and the Gospel; and when you designed from clay [what was] like the form of a bird with My permission, then you breathed into it, and it became a bird with My permission; and you healed the blind and the leper with My permission; and when you brought forth the dead with My permission; and when I restrained the children of Israel from you when you came to them with clear proofs and those who closed themselves among them said, “This is not but obvious magic!” (5:110)
As already mentioned, in the camp of those who received the Prescription, the closed representatives are not a rare phenomenon.
They have certainly closed themselves who say that God is the anointed, the son of Maryam (Mary).
Say, “Then who could prevent God at all if He had intended to destroy the anointed, the son of Maryam (Mary), and his mother and everyone on the earth?”
And to God belongs the kingship of the heavens and the earth and whatever is between them. He creates what He wills, and God is over all things competent. (5:17)
They have certainly closed themselves who say, “God is the anointed, the son of Mary!” while the anointed has said, “O children of Israel! Serve God, my Lord and your Lord! Indeed, he who associates others with God – God has forbidden him the garden, and his refuge is the fire. And there are not for the obscurantists any helpers!”
They have certainly closed themselves who say, “God is the third of three.” And there is no god except one God. And if they do not desist from what they are saying, there will surely afflict the closed ones a painful punishment. (5:72-73)
This is the reason for the Lord’s appeal to the holders of the Prescription.
O holders of the Prescription! Why do you close yourselves from the signs of God while you witness? (3:70)
The holders of the Prescription themselves made every possible effort to prevent the spread of the Quran.
And a faction of the holders of the Prescription say, “Believe in that which was revealed to the believers at the beginning of the day and close yourself at its end so that they may turn back. And do not trust except those who follow your duty before God! (3:72)
What is more, they completely took the side of people closed from the One God.
Have you not seen those who were given a portion of the Prescription? They believe forecasters and transgression. It is said about those who closed themselves, “These are better guided than the believers as to the way”! (4:51)
In general, the topic of the nature closed from the message brought by the messengers is the foundation of human relationship with God.
Said those who were arrogant, “Indeed we, from that which you have believed, closed themselves!” (7:76)
The position of the nature closed from the divine source led to confrontation between the followers of the Prescription and their opponents.
And those who closed themselves said to their messengers, “We will surely drive you out of our land, or you must return to our community!”
So their Lord suggested to them, “We will surely destroy the obscurantists! (14:13)
This is also evident from the events that occurred with Muhammad.
Say to those who closed themselves, “You will be overcome and gathered together to Hell, and wretched is the resting place!”
Already there has been for you a sign in the two armies which met – one fighting in the way of God and another of closed nature. The closed ones saw them twice their number by eyesight. But God supports with His victory whom He wills. Indeed in that is edification for those of vision! (3:12-13)
And what struck you on the day the two armies met was by permission of God that He might make evident the [true] believers. And that He might make evident those who are venal.
For it was said to them, “Come, fight in the way of God or defend!”
They said, “If we had known the fighting, we would have followed you.” They were nearer to closed nature that day than to faith, saying with their mouths what was not in their hearts. And God is most Knowing of what they conceal (3:166-167)
When God promised you one of the two groups – that it would be yours – and you wished that the unarmed one would be yours. But God intended to establish the truth by His words and to eliminate the closed ones. (8:7)
When your Lord suggested to the maintainers, “I am with you, so strengthen those who have believed. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who closed themselves, so strike them upon the necks and strike from them every fingertip.” (8:12)
They want to extinguish the light of God with their mouths, but God refuses except to perfect His light, although the closed ones dislike it. (9:32)
If you do not aid him – God has already aided him when those who closed themselves had driven him out as one of two, when they were in the cave and he said to his companion, “Do not grieve; indeed God is with us.” And God sent down his tranquillity upon him and supported him with troops you did not see and made the word of those who closed themselves the lowest, while the word of God – that is the highest. And God is Exalted in Might and Wise. (9:40)
And among them is he who says, “Permit me and do not embarrass me.” Unquestionably, into embarrassment they have fallen. And indeed, Hell will encompass the closed ones. (9:49)
They swear by God that they did not say, while they had said the word of closed nature. They closed themselves after their humility. They were aware of that which they were not to attain. And they revenge when God and His Messenger do not enrich them of His bounty. So if they repent, it is better for them; but if they turn away, God will punish them with a painful punishment in this world and the hereafter. And there will not be for them on earth any patron or helper! (9:74)
And God repelled those who closed themselves, in their rage, not having obtained any good. And sufficient was God for the believers in battle, and ever is God Powerful and Exalted in Might! (33:25)
Those who accepted the truth through the Quran and those who followed it do not have to count on a quiet life.