Remain true to the Covenant with God

01 Mar Remain true to the Covenant with God

The Covenant

When your Lord drew forth from the Children of Adam from their loins, their descendants, and made them testify concerning themselves, (saying), “Am I not your Lord (Who cherishes and sustains you)?” They said, “Yes! We do testify!” (This), unless you should say on the Day of Judgment, “Of this we were never mindful.” [Surah al-‘Araf (7): 172]

The noble Qur’an demonstrates that the Covenant remains in force.

Creation is the first obvious sign of divine power. But let us not make the mistake of assuming “power” in the negative sense to mean only the power to destroy. No doubt punishments are mentioned in the noble Qur’an. If we were to look closely at them we would clearly see that the purpose behind them is to enforce the moral order embodied in the Covenant.

Creation really has no meaning without the moral order. Besides the physical world there are many signs of God’s CARING, RESPONSIBILITY and RESTRAINT.

Remember with gratitude Allah’s favour on you; for you were enemies and He joined your hearts in love, so that by His Grace, you became brothers; and you were on the brink of the Pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus Allah makes His Signs clear to you so that you may be guided. [Surah Aal-i-‘Imran (3): 103]

If Allah were to punish men according to what they deserve, He would not leave on the back of the (earth) a single living creature: but He gives them respite for a stated Term: when their Term expires, verily Allah has in His sight all His servants. [Surah fatir (35): 45]

These features of the relationship between God, as the one and only supreme deity, and humanity, are enshrined in the Covenant. These features also characterize proper relations among human beings.

God chooses to act which benefits humans. This in turn creates an obligation in us who are the beneficiaries. Thus we are obliged to do such things as worship Him, show gratitude and display benevolence towards His creation. The blessings of pure monotheism (Tawhid) in our hearts produce mercy towards creation.

Then will he be of those who believe, and enjoin patience, and enjoin deeds of kindness and compassion. [Surah al-Balad (90): 17]

Look at the noble Qur’an and the blessed Sunnah carefully and as widely as possible, and we will find that Allah is described with names that are morally admirable (e.g., ar-Rahmaan, ar-Ra’uf, al-Haleem, al-Wahhaab) numerous times. These names and attributes are far more than the names which can be understood as expressions of sheer, neutral power (e.g., al-qadeer, al-qahhaar, al-jabbaar, al-ghaalib).

Allah has bound Himself by His Covenant. This means we can count upon Allah to act consistently in a certain way. He has prescribed for Himself Mercy. He has forbidden injustice of any kind. When we bear witness that Allah is the only deity worthy of worship we affirm our commitment to the Covenant. That does mean in practice we must never allow ourselves to turn aside from the two noblest aims of the Shari’ah: Justice and Mercy.

Among the rewards that humans are to receive in return for keeping the Covenant are blessings, prosperity, power and Paradise.

See Surah al-Baqarah (2): 40, Surah an-Noor (24): 55, surah at-Tawbah (9): 111, and Surah al-Fath (48): 10.

So, in the twilight days of Ramadan when one of its nights is the Night of Power, let us say in earnest:

Allahumma innaka ‘affuwwun tuhibbul ‘afwa fa’fu ‘anneeO Allah You are The One Who pardons greatly, and loves to pardon, so pardon me. [at-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah]

The conclusive proof of all this will come in the Hereafter.

The Companions of the Garden will call out to the Companions of the Fire, “We have indeed found the promises of our Lord to us true: have you also found your Lord’s promises true?” They shall say, “Yes”; but a Crier shall proclaim between them, “The curse of Allah is on the wrong-doers.” [Surah al-‘Araf (7): 44]

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