Ch 2 Vs 17-20 (Metaphors of the Previous Condition)

This set of verses help us see the condition of people mentioned in 2/8-16. This is the psychology of lack of belief, in my opinion.

مَثَلُهُمْ كَمَثَلِ الَّذِي اسْتَوْقَدَ نَارًا فَلَمَّا أَضَاءَتْ مَا حَوْلَهُ ذَهَبَ اللَّهُ بِنُورِهِمْ وَتَرَكَهُمْ فِي ظُلُمَاتٍ لا يُبْصِرُونَ
To me, this metaphor shows people who have built means to achieve enlightenment (like the height of civilisation). However, Allah leaves this endeavour and despite the fire around them, they are stuck in levels of darkness.
صُمٌّ بُكْمٌ عُمْيٌ فَهُمْ لا يَرْجِعُونَ
Due to this condition, these people are deaf, dumb and blind and are unable to incline back to Allah. (10/15 helps understand this).
أَوْ كَصَيِّبٍ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ فِيهِ ظُلُمَاتٌ وَرَعْدٌ وَبَرْقٌ يَجْعَلُونَ أَصَابِعَهُمْ فِي آذَانِهِمْ مِنَ الصَّوَاعِقِ حَذَرَ الْمَوْتِ وَاللَّهُ مُحِيطٌ بِالْكَافِرِينَ
The clouds here could be potential for revelation and renewal. However, within are storms thus showing conflict and turmoil. This battle of ideas causes people to close themselves off to listening to the message.
يَكَادُ الْبَرْقُ يَخْطَفُ أَبْصَارَهُمْ كُلَّمَا أَضَاءَ لَهُمْ مَشَوْا فِيهِ وَإِذَا أَظْلَمَ عَلَيْهِمْ قَامُوا وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ لَذَهَبَ بِسَمْعِهِمْ وَأَبْصَارِهِمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
These turmoils do result in positive moments where these people are able to walk in the light. However , the darkness/oppression comes about once again and they stand still.
This shows that the condition of iman (the yu’minoo in 2/3, 4 and 6 shows that it must be continuous) leads to a state of constant evolution from Allah. However, this involves constant questioning, shifts in focus and action.
next: the address to humankind to contemplate this condition.
also: this shows the theme of baqarah/chapter 2 involves constant growth and success.

About Farouk A. Peru

I am a human being in the world, blogging my existence. My thought systems may be found in my website:
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1 Response to Ch 2 Vs 17-20 (Metaphors of the Previous Condition)

  1. Tina says:

    Peace, interesting analysis of the examples. Also about the metaphor in 2:20 we are told that if the God had willed he would have taken away their ability to see and hear. These are people who have the ability to hear and see (which they do each time it is lit up for them) but they are situated in a storm in which there is darkness (because of their behavior described in the verses before). And they use the light which is lit up for them (for brief periods of time like a lightning) to move forward. These examples tell us about the relationship between our faculties of perception and the enlightenment from the God. The God has given the rejecters the ability to see and hear (see 46:26), but the ones for whom he has not made a light, have no light (24:40).

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