Free Essay On The Quran – Meccan Surahs And The Essence Of Humanity
Meccan Surahs being revealed in two parts have their own thematic justice to them in the Quran. They mostly consist of the themes of generosity, of the spirits and man, of prayer, patience and the deeds which all true believers much carry out in order to maintain their faith (Sells).
Some of the Meccan surahs in the Quran mostly center on the values that a believer in Islam needs to uphold in order to be affirmed as a true believer. One of the most important themes discussed in some of these surahs was the essence of humanity and what it means to be a human being. Within this parameter, the importance of how a human being deals with another and incorporates religion into his life is also discussed.
This theme is justified through two very significant texts from the Quran, namely “The Tearing” which is the 82nd Surah. In one of these Surahs, there are clear guidelines as to how a believer is supposed to life his life and what exactly it means for one to be human.
In the 82nd Surah, even though there is not direct or literal reference to how humans are to live their lives, the message being given is quite clear. Allah in this chapter of the Quran is explaining the fate of the various types of people who are in this world. The fate described in these verses clarifies the way and path of life for a true believer. In this verse, Allah speaks directly to non-believers and questions them over the causes of their lapse in faith. By this means, the text describes the traits of non-believers and in turn making it clear for those who believe what they’re supposed to abstain from. The verse teaches us the importance of what we need to know if anyone wants to follow the religion the way it is meant for believers. In “Approaching the Quran”, Michael Sells very covers the purpose of this Surah by explaining the premise of it. Even though it opens with verses which depict an “apocalyptic vision”, we see that there is a deeper meaning to it.
In these verses Allah, being the creator is narrating the path for the righteous by telling them of the rewards and punishments they shall receive based upon their deeds. Those who have been kind during their lives shall be rewarded with the bounties of afterlife, but those who have strayed away from the path shall be punished. The Surah narrates that each human soul shall be questioned upon their deed which quite clearly means that there is a certain way humans are expected to live their lives if they choose to be believers. They are supposed to be and generous and as this will be a major question asked upon on the Day of Judgment. The fact that this question is posed to “insan” which means human clearly affirms that Allah expects all humans whether man or woman to follow uphold certain values and depict them through their deeds. The end of the Surah again emphasizes the need for humans to understand the need for humanity because the Day of Judgment is one which no human will be able to escape and neither will one human be able to help out another. This verse clearly affirms that humans need to be able to have weight in their deeds so that when held accountable they can hold their heads high and stand by their virtuous character.
This theme is also highlighted in “The Night” which is the 92nd Surah in the Quran. The verses in this chapter speak with clarity of the deeds that are expected out of a believer as compared to “The Tearing” which uses the device of retribution to make beckon believers. This Surah starts with the explanation of the two polarities of the human beings in the form of male and female and goes on to explain what it means to be a human being. The Surah explains very clearly that a human being is supposed to vigilant with his faith. This vigilance has been worded as “taqwa” which means to maintain vigilance with your faith and be watchful of one’s own moral values.
The Surah speaks of greed and how humans are to abstain from it, rather should use their wealth to help other human beings. The fact that this verse twice speaks of wealth as a means to pure one’s soul clearly means that the humans under this text are to not seek material wealth but are supposed to develop moral values which render them to be a good human being. This verse also speaks of the fire which one would be punished with in case he or she fails to follow the path that they as human beings are supposed to follow. The most important thing however is the way this verse hints at internal discomfort and kindness and generosity being the only values which can protect one from internal decay. Here, the Creator again is giving guidelines to those who accumulate wealth and are being told of the side effects this accumulation would have not only on their religious but also psychological lives.
In the Surah “The Tearing” the Day of Judgment was explained in terms of non-believers and believers were told of those things which they had to abstain from if they wished to avoid punishment. However, in “The Night” the believers are given guidelines directly to be righteous human beings and how those who are kind to their fellow humans find their path in this world and the life hereafter much smoother.
Whether by means of an apocalyptic vision or by explaining the fate of those who are “morally watchful”, both these Surahs manage to convey the key essence of humanity to the readers and hence justify the theme explained by Michael Sells.
Sells, Michael Anthony. Approaching The Qur’an. Ashland, Or: White Cloud Press, 1999. Print.