Friday, December 29, 2017

The Covenant & Its Ratification


Abstract
Allah keeps His promises, and expects the same from us. The Quran mentions the covenant and from whom it has been taken. It also details the ratification of the covenant and the consequences of keeping or breaking it. 

Full Text
وَعْدَ اللَّهِ  
لَا يُخْلِفُ اللَّهُ وَعْدَهُ
 وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ
(It is the) Promise (of) Allah.  
(Does) not fail Allah (in) His promise,
but most (of) [the] people (do) not know.
[Al-Quran 30:6]

A promise must be kept. Allah keeps His promises, and expects the same from us. The Quran mentions the covenant taken from Adam, from the prophets, and by the prophets from the believers. It also details the covenant taken from the Bani Israel and its ratification. Surah al-Mu`minun begins with an introduction of what it means to be a Mu`min (Believer). The definition concludes as follows: 

وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ لِأَمَانَاتِهِمْ وَعَهْدِهِمْ رَاعُونَ
وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ عَلَىٰ صَلَوَاتِهِمْ يُحَافِظُونَ
أُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْوَارِثُونَ الَّذِينَ يَرِثُونَ الْفِرْدَوْسَ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ

And those who [they] of their trusts and their promise(s) (are) observers
And those who [they] over their prayers they guard
Those [they] (are) the inheritors Who will inherit the Paradise. They therein (will) abide forever.
[Al-Quran 23:8-11]

Surah al-Ma`arij reiterates the same:

وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ لِأَمَانَاتِهِمْ وَعَهْدِهِمْ رَاعُونَ
وَالَّذِينَ هُم بِشَهَادَاتِهِمْ قَائِمُونَ
وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ عَلَىٰ صَلَاتِهِمْ يُحَافِظُونَ
أُولَٰئِكَ فِي جَنَّاتٍ مُّكْرَمُونَ

And those who [they] of their trusts and their promise (are) observers,
And those who [they] in their testimonies stand firm,
And those who, [they] on their prayer keep a guard -
Those (will be) in Gardens, honored.
 [Al-Quran 70:32-35]


الَّذِينَ يَنقُضُونَ عَهْدَ اللَّهِ مِن بَعْدِ مِيثَاقِهِ
وَيَقْطَعُونَ مَا أَمَرَ اللَّهُ بِهِ أَن يُوصَلَ وَيُفْسِدُونَ فِي الْأَرْضِ
 أُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْخَاسِرُونَ

Those who break (the) Covenant (of) Allah from after its ratification,
and [they] cut what has ordered Allah it to be joined
and [they] spread corruption in the earth.
Those, they (are) the losers.
[Al-Quran 2:27]

When Pharaoh asked Moses about the ancients, he replied:

قَالَ عِلْمُهَا عِندَ رَبِّي فِي كِتَابٍ
لَّا يَضِلُّ رَبِّي وَلَا يَنسَى

He said, "Its knowledge (is) with my Lord, in a Record.
Not errs my Lord and not forgets."
[Al-Quran 20:52]

A common objection about The Quran is that seems to be addressing the men.  Believers generally assume that the male tense is gender-neutral in that it is addressing both men and women. However, from certain ayaats quoted below, it seems to me that the male descendants of Adam are under a covenant, which is why The Quran is primarily addressing them. (Notice the use of bani (son/children) and rajul (man) and mar (man) in the Arabic text)

Moreover, the male circumcision, the mark of the covenant, that we find mentioned in The Torah, ordered to Abraham for himself and all male members of his household and posterity, which is still performed by Jews and Muslims, also further confirms the foregoing notion of covenant from the male descendants of Adam. 

It is important to mention here that The Quran is very clear that all men and women are responsible and accountable, as it is Al-Insaan who volunteered to undertake the Trust:

إِنَّا عَرَضْنَا الْأَمَانَةَ عَلَى السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَالْجِبَالِ فَأَبَيْنَ أَن يَحْمِلْنَهَا وَأَشْفَقْنَ مِنْهَا 
وَحَمَلَهَا الْإِنسَانُ إِنَّهُ كَانَ ظَلُومًا جَهُولًا
لِّيُعَذِّبَ اللَّهُ الْمُنَافِقِينَ وَالْمُنَافِقَاتِ وَالْمُشْرِكِينَ وَالْمُشْرِكَاتِ
وَيَتُوبَ اللَّهُ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ
 وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا 

We offered the Trust to the heavens, the earth and the mountains; but they refused to bear it and feared it, 
yet the human being took it onHe has always been unjust and ignorant,
[This is in order that] God punishes the hypocrites, men and women, as well as the men and women who associate others with Him,
and why God turns mercifully towards the believing men and women, for God is the Ever-Forgiving, the Mercy Giver.
[Al-Quran 33:72 – 73, Translator: Safi Kaskas]


Translators have interpreted the Trust (Al-Amanah) variously. I think the Trust is whatever we have been given by Allah, must be used/spent for the general good, such as the giving of zakah, sadaqa, feeding of the poor, freeing slaves and other acts of reform, based upon our faith in Allah and the belief in the Day of Recompense (yaum-ud-Deen). Thus, a Believer willingly spends, while a hypocrite withholds spending, and instead tries to hoard. Interestingly, both spending and hypocrisy share the same root word in Arabic.    


Some Key Concepts
The following words convey key concepts that we need to notice in the Arabic text, as sometimes the translations do not seem to convey them exactly:

Ahd                 Covenant

Mithaq           Ratification of the Covenant

Nakatha         Breaking of the Covenant


Covenant of Adam

وَلَقَدْ عَهِدْنَا إِلَىٰ آدَمَ مِن قَبْلُ فَنَسِيَ وَلَمْ نَجِدْ لَهُ عَزْمًا
[Al-Quran 20:115]


Excerpt from Adam Facts   



Messengers/Prophets are Men  

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ إِلَّا رِجَالًا نُّوحِي إِلَيْهِم مِّنْ أَهْلِ الْقُرَىٰ أَفَلَمْ يَسِيرُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ فَيَنظُرُوا كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ وَلَدَارُ الْآخِرَةِ خَيْرٌ لِّلَّذِينَ اتَّقَوْا أَفَلَا تَعْقِلُونَ
And not We sent before you, but men We revealed to them from (among) (the) people (of) the townships. So have not they traveled in the earth and seen how was (the) end (of) those who (were) before them? And surely the home (of) the Hereafter (is) best for those who fear Allah. Then will not you use reason?
[Al-Quran 12:109]


وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ إِلَّا رِجَالًا نُّوحِي إِلَيْهِمْ فَاسْأَلُوا أَهْلَ الذِّكْرِ إِن كُنتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ
بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ وَالزُّبُرِ وَأَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الذِّكْرَ لِتُبَيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ مَا نُزِّلَ إِلَيْهِمْ وَلَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
And not We sent before you except men, We revealed to them, so ask (the) people (of) the Reminder if you (do) not know. With the clear proofs and the Books. And We sent down to you the Remembrance, that you may make clear to the mankind, what has been sent down to them and that they may reflect. 
[Al-Quran 16:43-44


All Prophets Male Descendants

إِنَّ اللَّهَ اصْطَفَىٰ آدَمَ وَنُوحًا وَآلَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَآلَ عِمْرَانَ عَلَى الْعَالَمِينَ
 ذُرِّيَّةً بَعْضُهَا مِن بَعْضٍ وَاللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ
Indeed, Allah chose Adam and Nuh, and (the) family (of) Ibrahim and (the) family (of) Imran over the worlds. 
Descendents, some of them from others. And Allah (is) All-Hearing, All-Knowing.
[Al-Quran 3:33-34]

Interestingly, the next few ayaat relate the story of the wife of Imran dedicating the child in her womb for Allah’s service, but when Maryam (Mary) is born, she wonders as it’s a female child and not male. However, Allah, the Creator, knew what he had created and graciously accepted Maryam, chose her from among all the women in the worlds (Q3:42), and made Jesus the son of Maryam, and thus Jesus was from the lineage of Imran, as discussed in Virgin Birth. In this context, noteworthy is the fact that Q33:4-5 advises us to call people by the names of their fathers, stating that its more just in the sight of Allah. Jesus is the only person mentioned in The Quran by his mother’s name, clarifying that he had no father.   


Muhammad Last Prophet

مَّا كَانَ مُحَمَّدٌ أَبَا أَحَدٍ مِّن رِّجَالِكُمْ وَلَٰكِن رَّسُولَ اللَّهِ وَخَاتَمَ النَّبِيِّينَ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمًا
Not is Muhammad (the) father (of) anyone of your men but (he is the) Messenger (of) Allah and Seal (of) the Prophets. And Allah is of every thing All-Knower.
[Al-Quran 33:40]


Covenant from the Prophets

وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِنَ النَّبِيِّينَ مِيثَاقَهُمْ وَمِنكَ وَمِن نُّوحٍ وَإِبْرَاهِيمَ وَمُوسَىٰ وَعِيسَى ابْنِ مَرْيَمَ وَأَخَذْنَا مِنْهُم مِّيثَاقًا غَلِيظًا
لِّيَسْأَلَ الصَّادِقِينَ عَن صِدْقِهِمْ وَأَعَدَّ لِلْكَافِرِينَ عَذَابًا أَلِيمًا
And when We took from the Prophets their Covenant and from you and from Nuh and Ibrahim and Musa and Isa, son (of) Maryam. And We took from them a covenant strong 
That He may ask the truthful about their truth. And He has prepared for the disbelievers a punishment painful.
[Al-Quran 33:7-8]



Covenant from Abraham & Ishmael

وَإِذْ جَعَلْنَا الْبَيْتَ مَثَابَةً لِّلنَّاسِ وَأَمْنًا وَاتَّخِذُوا مِن مَّقَامِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ مُصَلًّى وَعَهِدْنَا إِلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ أَن طَهِّرَا بَيْتِيَ لِلطَّائِفِينَ وَالْعَاكِفِينَ وَالرُّكَّعِ السُّجُودِ
Remember We made the House a place of assembly for men and a place of safety; and take ye the station of Abraham as a place of prayer; and We covenanted with Abraham and Isma'il, that they should sanctify My House for those who compass it round, or use it as a retreat, or bow, or prostrate themselves (therein in prayer).
[Al-Quran 2:125]

The Torah, Genesis 17, mentions the circumcision order to Abraham and for all male members of his household and posterity, as a mark of the covenant. This symbol of the covenant is still performed by Jews and Muslims.



Covenant from Bani Israel

يَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ اذْكُرُوا نِعْمَتِيَ الَّتِي أَنْعَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَأَوْفُوا بِعَهْدِي أُوفِ بِعَهْدِكُمْ وَإِيَّايَ فَارْهَبُونِ
O Children (of) Israel! Remember My Favor which I bestowed upon you and fulfill, My Covenant I will fulfill your covenant and Me Alone fear [Me].
[Al-Quran 2:40]


وَإِذْ أَخَذَ اللَّهُ مِيثَاقَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ
لَتُبَيِّنُنَّهُ لِلنَّاسِ
وَلَا تَكْتُمُونَهُ 
فَنَبَذُوهُ وَرَاءَ ظُهُورِهِمْ وَاشْتَرَوْا بِهِ ثَمَنًا قَلِيلًا فَبِئْسَ مَا يَشْتَرُونَ

And when Allah took a Covenant (from) those who were given the Book,
"You certainly make it clear to the mankind
and (do) not conceal it.
Then they threw it behind their backs and they exchanged [with] it (for) a little price. And wretched (is) what they purchase.
[Al-Quran 3:187]


Ratification of the Covenant with the Bani Israel

وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِيثَاقَكُمْ وَرَفَعْنَا فَوْقَكُمُ الطُّورَ خُذُوا مَا آتَيْنَاكُم بِقُوَّةٍ وَاذْكُرُوا مَا فِيهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ
Children of Israel, recall when We made a covenant with you, raised Mount Tur (Sinai) above you and told you to receive earnestly what We had given to you and bear it in mind so that you would protect yourselves against evil.
[Al-Quran 2:63, Translation: Muhammad Sarwar]

فَخَلَفَ مِن بَعْدِهِمْ خَلْفٌ وَرِثُوا الْكِتَابَ يَأْخُذُونَ عَرَضَ هَٰذَا الْأَدْنَىٰ وَيَقُولُونَ سَيُغْفَرُ لَنَا وَإِن يَأْتِهِمْ عَرَضٌ مِّثْلُهُ يَأْخُذُوهُ أَلَمْ يُؤْخَذْ عَلَيْهِم مِّيثَاقُ الْكِتَابِ أَن لَّا يَقُولُوا عَلَى اللَّهِ إِلَّا الْحَقَّ وَدَرَسُوا مَا فِيهِ وَالدَّارُ الْآخِرَةُ خَيْرٌ لِّلَّذِينَ يَتَّقُونَ أَفَلَا تَعْقِلُونَ وَالَّذِينَ يُمَسِّكُونَ بِالْكِتَابِ وَأَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ إِنَّا لَا نُضِيعُ أَجْرَ الْمُصْلِحِينَ
وَإِذْ نَتَقْنَا الْجَبَلَ فَوْقَهُمْ كَأَنَّهُ ظُلَّةٌ وَظَنُّوا أَنَّهُ وَاقِعٌ بِهِمْ خُذُوا مَا آتَيْنَاكُم بِقُوَّةٍ وَاذْكُرُوا مَا فِيهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ

Then succeeded [after] them successors (who) inherited the Book taking goods (of) this the lower (life) and they say, "It will be forgiven for us." And if comes to them goods similar to it they will take it. Was not taken on them Covenant (of) the Book that not they will say about Allah except the truth while they studied what (is) in it? And the home (of) the Hereafter (is) better for those who fear Allah. So will not you use intellect? And those who hold fast to the Book, and establish the prayer, indeed, We (will) not [We] let go waste (the) reward (of) the reformers.
And when We raised the mountain above them as if it was a canopy and they thought that it (would) fall upon them, (We said), "Take what We have given you with strength and remember what (is) in it so that you may fear Allah."
[Al-Quran 7:169-171]

The Quran extensively reminds of the ratification of the covenant with the Bani Israel:  


Screenshot of the list of usage as the noun mīthāq (مِّيثَٰق) from http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?q=wvq


وَمَا قَدَرُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ قَدْرِهِ إِذْ قَالُوا مَا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ عَلَىٰ بَشَرٍ مِّن شَيْءٍ قُلْ مَنْ أَنزَلَ الْكِتَابَ الَّذِي جَاءَ بِهِ مُوسَىٰ نُورًا وَهُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ تَجْعَلُونَهُ قَرَاطِيسَ تُبْدُونَهَا وَتُخْفُونَ كَثِيرًا وَعُلِّمْتُم مَّا لَمْ تَعْلَمُوا أَنتُمْ وَلَا آبَاؤُكُمْ قُلِ اللَّهُ ثُمَّ ذَرْهُمْ فِي خَوْضِهِمْ يَلْعَبُونَ
And (did) not they appraise Allah (with) His true appraisal, when they said, "Allah did not reveal on a human being [of] anything."
Say, "Who revealed the Book which brought [it] Musa (as) a light and guidance for the people? You make it (into) parchments, you disclose (some of) it and you conceal much (of it). And you were taught what not you knew and not your forefathers." Say, "Allah (revealed it)."
Then leave them in their discourse - playing.
[Al-Quran 6:91]

The Torah is a guidance for all anNaas, not just the bani Israel. They are under a ratified covenant to make it known to all people.

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَآمِنُوا بِرَسُولِهِ يُؤْتِكُمْ كِفْلَيْنِ مِن رَّحْمَتِهِ وَيَجْعَل لَّكُمْ نُورًا تَمْشُونَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
لِّئَلَّا يَعْلَمَ أَهْلُ الْكِتَابِ أَلَّا يَقْدِرُونَ عَلَىٰ شَيْءٍ مِّن فَضْلِ اللَّهِ وَأَنَّ الْفَضْلَ بِيَدِ اللَّهِ يُؤْتِيهِ مَن يَشَاءُ وَاللَّهُ ذُو الْفَضْلِ الْعَظِيمِ
O you who believe! Fear Allah and believe in His Messenger; He will give you double portion of His Mercy and He will make for you a light, you will walk with it, and He will forgive you. And Allah (is) Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
So that may know (the) People (of) the Book that not they have power over anything from (the) Bounty (of) Allah, and that the Bounty (is) in Allah's Hand; He gives it whom He wills. And Allah (is) the Possessor of Bounty the Great.
[Al-Quran 57:28-29]

The Quran is also a guidance for all people!
  

Covenant from the Believers 

وَاذْكُرُوا نِعْمَةَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَمِيثَاقَهُ الَّذِي وَاثَقَكُم بِهِ إِذْ قُلْتُمْ سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ بِذَاتِ الصُّدُورِ
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُونُوا قَوَّامِينَ لِلَّهِ شُهَدَاءَ بِالْقِسْطِ وَلَا يَجْرِمَنَّكُمْ شَنَآنُ قَوْمٍ عَلَىٰ أَلَّا تَعْدِلُوا اعْدِلُوا هُوَ أَقْرَبُ لِلتَّقْوَىٰ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَهُم مَّغْفِرَةٌ وَأَجْرٌ عَظِيمٌ

And remember (the) Favor (of) Allah upon you and His covenant which He bound you with [it] when you said, "We heard and we obeyed;" and fear Allah. Indeed, Allah (is) All-Knower of what (is in) the breasts.
O you who believe! Be steadfast for Allah (as) witnesses in justice, and let not prevent you hatred (of) a people [upon] that not you do justice. Be just it (is) nearer to [the] piety. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah (is) All-Aware of what you do.
Allah has promised those who believe and do the righteous deeds - for them (is) forgiveness and a reward great.
[Al-Quran 5:7-9]

The Quran condemns corruption, and declares oppression to be worse than war. Surah at-Taubah, begins with the annulment of treaty and notice of war, four months in advance, from God and His Messenger, after two decades of invitation to faith, to the people of Makkah, who had wronged and driven out the Muslims only because of their faith. Towards the end of the surah, we read:  

إِنَّ اللَّهَ اشْتَرَىٰ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَنفُسَهُمْ وَأَمْوَالَهُم بِأَنَّ لَهُمُ الْجَنَّةَ يُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ فَيَقْتُلُونَ وَيُقْتَلُونَ وَعْدًا عَلَيْهِ حَقًّا فِي التَّوْرَاةِ وَالْإِنجِيلِ وَالْقُرْآنِ وَمَنْ أَوْفَىٰ بِعَهْدِهِ مِنَ اللَّهِ فَاسْتَبْشِرُوا بِبَيْعِكُمُ الَّذِي بَايَعْتُم بِهِ وَذَٰلِكَ هُوَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ
Indeed, Allah (has) purchased from the believers their lives and their wealth, because for them (is) Paradise. They fight in (the) way (of) Allah, they slay and they are slain. A promise upon Him true, in the Taurat and the Injeel and the Quran. And who (is) more faithful to his promise than Allah? So rejoice in your transaction which you have contracted [with it]. And that it (is) the success the great.
[Al-Quran 9:111]

Surah al-Hadeed mentions iron in which there is both might and good, which has been sent to see who helps God and His messengers. Before the mention of iron, the text emphasizes the importance of spending, and reminds of the covenant:  

وَمَا لَكُمْ لَا تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالرَّسُولُ يَدْعُوكُمْ لِتُؤْمِنُوا بِرَبِّكُمْ 
وَقَدْ أَخَذَ مِيثَاقَكُمْ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ
And what (is) for you (that) not you believe in Allah while the Messenger calls you that you believe in your Lord,
and indeed, He has taken your covenant if you are believers.
[Al-Quran 57:8]

Note: The covenant is with Allah, and the pledge is taken by the Prophet:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُبَايِعُونَكَ إِنَّمَا يُبَايِعُونَ اللَّهَ يَدُ اللَّهِ فَوْقَ أَيْدِيهِمْ 
فَمَن نَّكَثَ فَإِنَّمَا يَنكُثُ عَلَىٰ نَفْسِهِ وَمَنْ أَوْفَىٰ بِمَا عَاهَدَ عَلَيْهُ اللَّهَ فَسَيُؤْتِيهِ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا
Indeed, those who pledge allegiance to you only they pledge allegiance (to) Allah. (The) Hand (of) Allah (is) over their hands.
Then whoever breaks (his oath) then only he breaks against himself, and whoever fulfils what he has covenanted with Allah, soon He will give him a reward great.
[Al-Quran 48:10]

A different pledge has been taken from the women:

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ إِذَا جَاءَكَ الْمُؤْمِنَاتُ يُبَايِعْنَكَ عَلَىٰ أَن لَّا يُشْرِكْنَ بِاللَّهِ شَيْئًا وَلَا يَسْرِقْنَ وَلَا يَزْنِينَ وَلَا يَقْتُلْنَ أَوْلَادَهُنَّ وَلَا يَأْتِينَ بِبُهْتَانٍ يَفْتَرِينَهُ بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِنَّ وَأَرْجُلِهِنَّ وَلَا يَعْصِينَكَ فِي مَعْرُوفٍ فَبَايِعْهُنَّ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُنَّ اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
O Prophet! When come to you the believing women pledging to you [on] that not they will associate with Allah anything, and not they will steal, and not they will commit adultery, and not they will kill their children, and not they bring slander, they invent it between their hands and their feet, and not they will disobey you in (the) right, then accept their pledge and ask forgiveness for them (from) Allah. Indeed, Allah (is) Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
[Al-Quran 60:12]



Men who keep their Covenant


مِّنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ رِجَالٌ صَدَقُوا مَا عَاهَدُوا اللَّهَ عَلَيْهِ 
فَمِنْهُم مَّن قَضَىٰ نَحْبَهُ وَمِنْهُم مَّن يَنتَظِرُ وَمَا بَدَّلُوا تَبْدِيلًا 

Among the believers (are) men (who) have been true (to) what they promised Allah [on it].
And among them (is he) who has fulfilled his vow and among them (is he) who awaits. And not they alter (by) any alteration –
[Al-Quran 33:23]


Men who maintain the Mosques

فِي بُيُوتٍ أَذِنَ اللَّهُ أَن تُرْفَعَ وَيُذْكَرَ فِيهَا اسْمُهُ يُسَبِّحُ لَهُ فِيهَا بِالْغُدُوِّ وَالْآصَالِ

رِجَالٌ لَّا تُلْهِيهِمْ تِجَارَةٌ وَلَا بَيْعٌ عَن ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ وَإِقَامِ الصَّلَاةِ وَإِيتَاءِ الزَّكَاةِ يَخَافُونَ يَوْمًا تَتَقَلَّبُ فِيهِ الْقُلُوبُ وَالْأَبْصَارُ
لِيَجْزِيَهُمُ اللَّهُ أَحْسَنَ مَا عَمِلُوا وَيَزِيدَهُم مِّن فَضْلِهِ وَاللَّهُ يَرْزُقُ مَن يَشَاءُ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ

In houses (which) Allah ordered that they be raised and be mentioned in them His name. Glorify [to] Him in them in the mornings and (in) the evenings.
Men - not distracts them trade and not sale from (the) remembrance of Allah and (from) establishing the prayer and giving zakah. They fear a Day will turn about therein the hearts and the eyes.
That Allah may reward them (with the) best (of) what they did, and increase them from His Bounty. And Allah provides whom He wills without measure.
[Al-Quran 24:36-38]

وَالَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُوا مَسْجِدًا ضِرَارًا وَكُفْرًا وَتَفْرِيقًا بَيْنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَإِرْصَادًا لِّمَنْ حَارَبَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ مِن قَبْلُ وَلَيَحْلِفُنَّ إِنْ أَرَدْنَا إِلَّا الْحُسْنَىٰ وَاللَّهُ يَشْهَدُ إِنَّهُمْ لَكَاذِبُونَ 
لَا تَقُمْ فِيهِ أَبَدًا لَّمَسْجِدٌ أُسِّسَ عَلَى التَّقْوَىٰ مِنْ أَوَّلِ يَوْمٍ أَحَقُّ أَن تَقُومَ فِيهِ فِيهِ رِجَالٌ يُحِبُّونَ أَن يَتَطَهَّرُوا وَاللَّهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُطَّهِّرِينَ
And those who take a masjid (for causing) harm and (for) disbelief, and (for) division among the believers, and (as) a station for whoever warred (against) Allah and His Messenger before. And surely they will swear, "Not we wish except the good." But Allah bears witness indeed, they (are) surely liars.
(Do) not stand in it ever. A masjid founded on the righteousness from (the) first day (is) more worthy that you stand in it. Within it (are) men who love to purify themselves, and Allah loves the ones who purify themselves.
[Al-Quran 9:107-108]



Allah will Question about The Covenant  

وَلَقَدْ كَانُوا عَاهَدُوا اللَّهَ مِن قَبْلُ 
لَا يُوَلُّونَ الْأَدْبَارَ 
وَكَانَ عَهْدُ اللَّهِ مَسْئُولًا

And certainly they had promised Allah before,
not they would turn their backs.
And is (the) promise (to) Allah to be questioned.
[Al-Quran 33:15]


أَلَمْ أَعْهَدْ إِلَيْكُمْ 
يَا بَنِي آدَمَ 
أَن لَّا تَعْبُدُوا الشَّيْطَانَ إِنَّهُ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ
وَأَنِ اعْبُدُونِي هَٰذَا صِرَاطٌ مُّسْتَقِيمٌ

Did not I enjoin upon you
O Children of Adam!
That (do) not worship the Shaitaan, indeed, he (is) for you an enemy clear, 
And that you worship Me? This (is) a Path Straight.
[Al-Quran 36:60-61]



Bani Adam witness over their NAFS
The Quran mentions an event, prior to our birth, when all bani Adam witnessed their NAFS and testified that Allah is their Rab:

وَإِذْ أَخَذَ رَبُّكَ مِن بَنِي آدَمَ مِن ظُهُورِهِمْ ذُرِّيَّتَهُمْ وَأَشْهَدَهُمْ عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِهِمْ أَلَسْتُ بِرَبِّكُمْ قَالُوا بَلَىٰ شَهِدْنَا أَن تَقُولُوا يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ إِنَّا كُنَّا عَنْ هَٰذَا غَافِلِينَ
أَوْ تَقُولُوا إِنَّمَا أَشْرَكَ آبَاؤُنَا مِن قَبْلُ وَكُنَّا ذُرِّيَّةً مِّن بَعْدِهِمْ أَفَتُهْلِكُنَا بِمَا فَعَلَ الْمُبْطِلُونَ
وَكَذَٰلِكَ نُفَصِّلُ الْآيَاتِ وَلَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ

And when your Lord took from (the) Children (of) Adam - from their loins - their descendants and made them witness over their NAFS, "Am I not your Lord?" They said, "Yes we have testified." 
Lest you say (on the) Day (of) the Resurrection, "Indeed, we were about this unaware." Or you say, "Only our forefathers associated partners (with Allah) before (us) and we are descendants after them. So will You destroy us for what did the falsifiers?" 
And thus We explain the ayaat so that they may return.
[Al-Quran 7:172-174]



Consequence of breaking the Covenant


وَالطُّورِ
By the Mount,  
[Al-Quran 52:1]

Surah at-Tur begins with a series of oaths, and then goes on to state:

إِنَّ عَذَابَ رَبِّكَ لَوَاقِعٌ مَّا لَهُ مِن دَافِعٍ 
Indeed, (the) punishment (of) your Lord (will) surely occur. Not for it any preventer.  
[Al-Quran 52:7-8]


إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَشْتَرُونَ بِعَهْدِ اللَّهِ وَأَيْمَانِهِمْ ثَمَنًا قَلِيلًا أُولَٰئِكَ لَا خَلَاقَ لَهُمْ فِي الْآخِرَةِ وَلَا يُكَلِّمُهُمُ اللَّهُ وَلَا يَنظُرُ إِلَيْهِمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَلَا يُزَكِّيهِمْ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ
Indeed, those who exchange (the) Covenant (of) Allah and their oaths (for) a price little, those - no share for them in the Hereafter and not will Allah speak to them, and not look at them (on the) Day (of) the Resurrection and not purify them, and for them (is) a punishment painful.
[Al-Quran 3:77]


إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ وَأَخْبَتُوا إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِمْ أُولَٰئِكَ أَصْحَابُ الْجَنَّةِ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ
Indeed, those who believe and do good deeds and humble themselves before their Lord, those (are the) companions (of) Paradise, they in it (will) abide forever.
 [Al-Quran 11:23]



Historical Evidence 
Each nation broke its covenant (Q7:102), as did the Pharaoh and his people:

So We sent on them the flood and the locusts and the lice and the frogs and the blood (as) signs manifest, but they showed arrogance and they were a criminal people.
And when fell on them the punishment, they said, "O Musa! Invoke for us your Lord by what He has promised to you. If you remove from us the punishment surely, we will believe [for] you and surely, we will send with you (the) Children (of) Israel."
But when We removed from them the punishment till a (fixed) term (which) they were to reach [it], then, they broke (the word).
So We took retribution from them and We drowned them in the sea because they denied Our Signs, and they were to them heedless.
[Al-Quran 7:133-136]

The same is reiterated in Q43:49-50

Related Post: Wronging the NAFS || Human: Body or Soul?    


Men on Heights (Ashaab-ul-Aaraaf)  
Another passage which further convinces me of the covenant having been taken from men is the mention of the ‘men on heights’ awaiting a decision about their fate.
A few ayaat earlier, Q7:40, it is mentioned that the arrogant falsifiers will not be able to enter heaven till the camel passes through the eye of the needle, probably a very distant time in the future.
Then the men on heights are mentioned, (Q7:46), who would be hopeful of ascending into the Gardens of Heaven, while also looking at the people in the Fire of Hell, praying that they be spared of that dreadful fate. Eventually, they will be granted entry into the Gardens of Eternity through the Mercy of Allah (Q7:49). 


And between them (will be) a partition, and on the heights (will be) men recognizing all by their marks. And they will call out (to the) companions (of) Paradise that "Peace (be) upon you." Not they have entered it but they hope.
And when are turned their eyes towards (the) companions (of) the Fire, they (will) say, "Our Lord! (Do) not place us with the people - the wrongdoers."
And (will) call out (the) companions (of) the heights (to) men whom they recognize by their marks saying, "Not (has) availed [to] you your gathering and what you were arrogant (about)."
Are these the ones whom you had sworn that Allah (will) not grant them Mercy? "Enter Paradise. (There will be) no fear upon you and not you will grieve."
[Al-Quran 7:46-49]




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Last updated on January 5, 2018