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Surah 37. As-Saffaat – Soldiers in Ranks
[Author’s Note] This is 37th Surah of the Qur’an. It has 182 verses. The diversity of concepts in this Surah is remarkable. It clarifies the relationship between the life of the world and the life to come. It slates the ‘occult sciences’, clairvoyants, Diviners, soothsayers and the fortunetellers. It tells us what the great sacrifice of Prophets Abraham and Ishmael truly was, contrary to the mythical stories found outside the Qur’an. It also clarifies for us the legend of ‘Jonah and the Whale’.
37:102 And when he was old enough to strive along with him, Abraham said, “O My dear son! I have a vision that I must give you to a life of test and tribulation for a Noble cause (37:107). So look, what do you think?” He said, “O My father! Do what you are commanded. God willing, you will find me of the steadfast.”
[Zibh and Zabh = Sacrifice = Disregard comfort for a Noble cause. Just as Qatl = To subdue, kill, fight, humiliate, bring low]
37:103 As both of them had surrendered themselves (to God), he made Ishmael prostrate on his forehead in gratitude. [Contrary to popular tradition, Abraham never envisioned or intended to slaughter his son. God does not play games with His servants]
37:104 We called unto him, “O Abraham!
37:105 You have already affirmed the vision. We – This is so - We must reward the doers of good.”
37:106 This was a trial, clear in itself. [Leaving the prestigious office of Chief Priesthood in Babylon and now the comfort of Syria for the wilderness of Makkah]
37:107 We exchanged his life for a Momentous Sacrifice. [Please notice here the absence of the Biblical and the traditional myth of a 'ram' sent from the heavens. Also, note that slaughtering of a sheep or goat, by no means, can be considered a Momentous Sacrifice. 14:37, 37:102]