Surat Al-Zumar Ayat 55-56
وَاتَّبِعُوا أَحْسَنَ مَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكُم مِّن رَّبِّكُم مِّن قَبْلِ أَن يَأْتِيَكُمُ العَذَابُ بَغْتَةً وَأَنتُمْ لَا تَشْعُرُونَ ﴿٥٥﴾ أَن تَقُولَ نَفْسٌ يَا حَسْرَتَى علَى مَا فَرَّطتُ فِي جَنبِ اللَّهِ وَإِن كُنتُ لَمِنَ السَّاخِرِينَ ﴿٥٦﴾
As we continue to understand the many lessons in Surat Al-Zumar, this month we will cover verses 55-56. As a recap of last month’s verses, they began by describing a person that may have had everything they wished for or were very happy with where they were in life, then something took place that removed that blessing. Surely, it is a test from Allahﷻ. Allahﷻ wants these people not to lose hope in His mercy because surely Allah ﷻ forgives all sins together, as He is the exceedingly forgiving and most merciful. How should these people go about earning the mercy of Allahﷻ? By turning back and completely giving yourself up to Him before the punishment reaches them, because at that point, they shall not be helped.
“Follow the best of what has been revealed to you from your Lord before the chastisement suddenly comes upon you without you even being aware of it.”
وَاتَّبِعُوۡۤا اَحۡسَنَ مَاۤ اُنۡزِلَ اِلَيۡكُمۡ مِّنۡ رَّبِّكُمۡ
What does it mean to turn back to Allahﷻ in this life? It means to “follow the best of what has been revealed to you from your Lord.” In all revelation revealed by Allahﷻ, which is the best one? The Quran. Follow the Quran and His Messenger. Take what you have learned now and actually do it. Take what you learned from the story of Musa (as), Muhammadﷺ, Nuh (as) and actually do it. Do it at the level of excellence. Do it the best that you can.
Perhaps what may be one of the biggest issues that we, as Muslims face, is that we love listening to the stories of our beloved Prophets and Sahaba (peace be upon them). We enjoy learning about how they overcame their hardships. We respect the many lessons that their experiences teach. However, we do not actually implement these lessons into our lives. We do not use these lessons to perfect our morals and character. Unfortunately, these stories only remain stories for many. Rather, we need to use the experiences of our beloved Messengers and Sahaba, peace be upon them, to shape the way that we live our lives.
مِّنۡ قَبۡلِ اَنۡ يَّاۡتِيَكُمُ الۡعَذَابُ بَغۡتَةً وَّاَنۡتُمۡ لَا تَشۡعُرُوۡنَۙ
“Before the punishment comes to you out of nowhere.” Indeed, the punishment will come unexpectedly, without even a clue or warning.
“So that no soul shall say then, in regret: O alas for me, for all that I have neglected in regard to God! And, indeed, I was consciously of the wrongful scoffers.”
اَنۡ تَقُوۡلَ نَفۡسٌ يّٰحَسۡرَتٰى
Now, this is a dialogue between these people that decided to lose hope in the mercy of Allahﷻ. When they realize the mistake that they have made, they will state, “Oh my God. What have I done? This is the feeling of regret. Regret for losing hope in the only One who could save them or help them through their time of hardship: Allahﷻ.
عَلٰى مَا فَرَّطْتُّ فِىۡ جَنۡۢبِ اللّٰهِ
These people continue in their dialogue with Allahﷻ by saying, “In all of the times I fell short. I fell short of my expectations while Allahﷻ was right there in my company.”
وَاِنۡ كُنۡتُ لَمِنَ السّٰخِرِيۡنَۙ
They will claim, “I was amongst those who joked around.” Everything was a joke to these people. Everyone knows that person from their family or friend group that makes everything into a joke, even when something should be serious.
By Ahmad Salah