Hoarding God’s Provisions (3:180)

[3:180] Let not those who withhold and hoard GOD’s provisions think that this is good for them; it is bad for them. For they will carry their hoardings around their necks on the Day of Resurrection. GOD is the ultimate inheritor of the heavens and the earth. GOD is fully Cognizant of everything you do.

What If The Homeless Gave You Money?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZvYvOkqxA8

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Fear (3:175 – 3:179)

Fear: The Devil’s Tool

[3:175] It is the devil’s system to instill fear into his subjects. Do not fear them and fear Me instead, if you are believers.
[3:176] Do not be saddened by those who hasten to disbelieve. They never hurt GOD in the least. Instead, GOD has willed that they will have no share in the Hereafter. They have incurred a terrible retribution.
[3:177] Those who choose disbelief, instead of belief, do not hurt GOD in the least; they have incurred a painful retribution.
[3:178] Let not the disbelievers think that we lead them on for their own good. We only lead them on to confirm their sinfulness. They have incurred a humiliating retribution.
[3:179] GOD is not to leave the believers as you are, without distinguishing the bad from the good. Nor does GOD inform you of the future, but GOD bestows such knowledge upon whomever He chooses from among His messengers.* Therefore, you shall believe in GOD and His messengers. If you believe and lead a righteous life, you receive a great recompense.

*3:179 The end of the world is one example of future events revealed to God’s Messenger of the Covenant. See Footnote 72:27.

Fear and grief are indicators that we can use to determine how far we are from God. When we have fear it shows a lack of belief that God is running everything. When we have grief it shows that we are not a righteous person and have committed sins.

God leads the believers towards righteousness so it can be determined the level of their belief and righteousness. Similarly God allows the disbelievers to reach their potential of disbelief. God does this by giving them the resources and confidence to transgress to their maximum. Otherwise it wouldn’t be clear why each individual has achieved their status in the Hereafter.

Abraham Lincoln and Power

God is the one who distinguishes the bad from the good. This is something that is left to God to do.

When we experience any fear we should seek refuge in God.

[7:200] When the devil whispers to you any whisper, seek refuge in GOD; He is Hearer, Omniscient.

It is the devil’s system to instill fear into his subjects. We know that during war we can shorten our prayer and have people stand guard. Is standing guard displaying fear?

There is no fear in God’s kingdom. Fear is the opposite of faith. The same energy that it takes to have fear is the same energy that we could use in faith. To have fear is a choice we are making and determines if we trust in God or not. Fear is the opposite of trust. As soon as we remember God our fear disappears. Just like darkness cannot stand the presence of light.

Fear Is Not Real
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSKzLtRzY78

Psalm 34:4 – 8
4. I sought the LORD, and He answered me, And delivered me from all my fears.
5. They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces will never be ashamed.
6. This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him And saved him out of all his troubles.
7. The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, And rescues them.
8.O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!

The Righteous Do Not Really Die (3:169 – 3:174)

The Righteous Do Not Really Die*

[3:169] Do not think that those who are killed in the cause of GOD are dead; they are alive at their Lord, enjoying His provisions.

*3:169 We learn from the Quran that the righteous do not really die; they simply leave their worldly bodies and go directly to the same Paradise where Adam and Eve once lived (2:154, 8:24, 16:32, 22:58, 44:56, & 36:26-27; see also Appendix 17).

[3:170] They are rejoicing in GOD’s grace, and they have good news for their comrades who did not die with them, that they have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.
[3:171] They have good news of GOD’s blessings and grace, and that GOD never fails to reward the believers.
[3:172] For those who respond to GOD and the messenger, despite the persecution they suffer, and maintain their good works, and lead a righteous life, a great reward.
[3:173] When the people say to them, “People have mobilized against you; you should fear them,” this only strengthens their faith, and they say, “GOD suffices us; He is the best Protector.”
[3:174] They have deserved GOD’s blessings and grace. No harm ever touches them, for they have attained GOD’s approval. GOD possesses infinite grace.

One of the biggest blessings to the believers is to know that our time of death is predetermined. There is nothing we can do to extend or shorten anyone’s life. This relief gives us a peace of mind when someone passes that it was their time to go. This is further reassured in everything that happened in our life in 57:22

Profound Fact*

[57:22] Anything that happens on earth, or to you, has already been recorded, even before the creation. This is easy for GOD to do.

What a blessing to know that if someone who was a believer passes that it is not an occasion to be sad, but to be happy for them. Because in heaven they are not grieving they are happy with their Lord. This shows that the people in heaven have attained certainty that there is no longer any doubt in their heart about the true reality and that this world was just an illusion.

As believers persecution is something that we will have to face. This is part of our inevitable test.

Fair Weather Friends

[29:10] Among the people there are those who say, “We believe in GOD,” but as soon as they suffer any hardship because of GOD, they equate the people’s persecution with GOD’s retribution. But if blessings from your Lord come your way, they say, “We were with you.” Is GOD not fully aware of the people’s innermost thoughts?
[29:11] GOD will most certainly distinguish those who believe, and He will most certainly expose the hypocrites.

The Inevitable Test*

[3:186] You will certainly be tested, through your money and your lives, and you will hear from those who received the scripture, and from the idol worshipers, a lot of insult. If you steadfastly persevere and lead a righteous life, this will prove the strength of your faith.

It is interesting to contrast the response from the believers in 3:173 to the example with Moses :

Moses’ Crime Exposed

[28:19] Before he attempted to strike their common enemy, he said, “O Moses, do you want to kill me, as you killed the other man yesterday? Obviously, you wish to be a tyrant on earth; you do not wish to be righteous.”
[28:20] A man came running from the other side of the city, saying, “O Moses, the people are plotting to kill you. You better leave immediately. I am giving you good advice.”
[28:21] He fled the city, afraid and watchful. He said, “My Lord, save me from the oppressive people.”

Pray for Strenght Bruce Lee

Punched In The Face (3:165 con’t)

When Mike Tyson was being interviewed for a big upcoming fight one of the interviewers asked Tyson how did he feel that his upcoming opponent has been training his entire career to fight him. That he watched all his videos, studied his swings and foot work and is preparing day in and day out to fight Mike Tyson. Mike Tyson’s response was “everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” As believers it is inevitable that life will through punches our way as we go through our admission tests, the question is how do we responds to these punches. Do we buckle and roll over or do we continue persevering and maintain steadfastness? The choice is ours.

Punch in the face

Hard Times Exposes The Hypocrites and Strengthens The Believers (3:165 – 3:168)

[3:165] Now that you have suffered a setback, and even though you inflicted twice as much suffering (upon your enemy), you said, “Why did this happen to us?” Say, “This is a consequence of your own deeds.” GOD is Omnipotent.
[3:166] What afflicted you the day the two armies clashed was in accordance with GOD’s will, and to distinguish the believers.
[3:167] And to expose the hypocrites who were told, “Come fight in the cause of GOD, or contribute.” They said, “If we knew how to fight, we would have joined you.” They were closer to disbelief then than they were to belief. They uttered with their mouths what was not in their hearts. GOD knows what they conceal.
[3:168] They said of their kinsmen, as they stayed behind, “Had they obeyed us, they would not have been killed.” Say, “Then prevent your own death, if you are truthful.”

3:165 – 3:168 show what how the disbelievers react to a setback or hardship and 3:173 – 3:179 shows how a believer handles the same situation. This is similar to 33:9 – 14 and 33:21 – 24. We think that we are all believers, but God will bring out our true convictions.

In 3:165 What did the believers do that caused them to have a set back?
This may be related to the decision some did during the Battle of Uhud in 3:133 where they left their post to go after the spoils of war. This incident left those with doubt in their heart despondent, hopeless, and regretful. They thought that if only they behaved or acted different that the outcome would be different. This grief and regret is their punishment as they don’t understand God’s system.

The true believers realize that this is all for our own good. That the setback is designed to strengthen them. In the book the Triple Package the authors deconstruct why certain groups of people are disproportionately successful. The three reasons according to the author is a combination of a feeling of superiority and inferiority and impulse control. This is a perfect description of a submitter. A submitter realizes that if they abide by all God expects of them that they will be triumphant, but they also realize that they will be mocked, ridiculed and face a society that will look down on them. It is this contrast that creates the circumstances for growth.

The Triple Package: Amy Chua & Jed Rubenfeld at TEDxUMassAmherst 2014
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHUMcxaqm9U

http://www.amazon.com/The-Triple-Package-Unlikely-Cultural/dp/0143126350/ref=cm_cr_pr_sims_t/190-0729874-2994069

Our intentions only matter when we do the good deeds not the bad deeds. God holds us responsible for our innermost thoughts that we may not even be aware of.

[40:56] Surely, those who argue against GOD’s revelations without proof are exposing the arrogance that is hidden inside their chests, and they are not even aware of it. Therefore, seek refuge in GOD; He is the Hearer, the Seer.

True Intention and Belief

I think this set back is only looked as a negative for those who have doubt in their heart. This only strengthened the believers.
There doubt it causing them to be exposed. This constant doubt and regret in people’s lives is their own consequence because they lack trust and confidence in God.

Belief and Dishonesty Gandhi

Messenger: Blessing to the Believers (3:164)

[3:164] GOD has blessed the believers by raising in their midst a messenger from among them, to recite for them His revelations, and to purify them, and to teach them the scripture and wisdom. Before this, they had gone totally astray.

According to 3:164 the messenger has three purposes

  1. Recite the revelations of God
  2. Purify them (the revelations, the people, or the people’s belief?)
  3. Teach us the scripture and wisdom

God’s Messenger of the Covenant

[5:19] O people of the scripture, our messenger has come to you, to explain things to you, after a period of time without messengers, lest you say, “We did not receive any preacher or warner.” A preacher and warner has now come to you. GOD is Omnipotent.*

[2:151] (Blessings) such as the sending of a messenger from among you to recite our revelations to you, purify you, teach you the scripture and wisdom, and to teach you what you never knew.

Old Message New Messenger – By Dr. Rashad Khalifa
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFre6-YNZnU

Pleasing God (3:162)

[3:162] Is one who pursues GOD’s pleasure the same as one who incurs wrath from GOD and his destiny is Hell, the most miserable abode?

[3:163] They certainly occupy different ranks at GOD. GOD is Seer of everything they do.

According to 3:162 we should always seek to do what pleases God. This is the only job that we should strive for every day. What pleases God is what makes us become admitted into God’s paradise

[5:119] GOD will proclaim, “This is a day when the truthful will be saved by their truthfulness.” They have deserved gardens with flowing streams. They abide therein forever. GOD is pleased with them, and they are pleased with Him. This is the greatest triumph.

Lewis & The Five Ducklings