The Quran and Quran Tafsir with Islamic Scholar Ali Gomaa (على جمعة): Al-An’am (سورة الأنعام), “The Cattle” (Quran 6:5)
I have been studying chapter 6 of the Qur’an: The Cattle (Al-An’am). I have been learning from Ali Gomaa; a leading Islami scholar and jurist who studied and taught for many years at Cairo’s Al-Azhar University. Al-Azhar is recognized by many Muslims as a religious authority for Sunni Islam.
This is episode 8.
Sheikh Ali Gomaa’s Teaching About Surat Al’An’am
Ali Gomaa discusses the fifth ayah (verse),
YUSUF ALI: And now they reject the truth when it reaches them: but soon shall they learn the reality of what they used to mock at.
PICKTHAL: And they denied the truth when it came unto them. But there will come unto them the tidings of that which they used to deride.
SHAKIR: So they have indeed rejected the truth when it came to them; therefore the truth of what they mocked at will shine upon them.
“Therefore all this disbelief and those lies are without any proof and based on some lies…He named their doings, sayings, and conditions to lies, which is the opposite of truth, certainty, belief and the fact that Allah Glorified and Exalted Be He wanted. ‘So they already cried lies to the Truth as soon as it came to them.’ They cried lies to the truth, but not because they searched for it or after seeking it out, but after it came up to their door step without any effort only by the grace of Allah. However they did not give thanks to Allah for this blessing. They did not seek the truth, and after that when they discover something by coincidence about this truth they run away…Allah brought them the truth only by his grace, but they disbelieved it once more and did not give thanks for this blessing. ‘So they already cried lies to the truth.‘ This was the first disaster and the second was that ‘as soon as it came to them.’
Ali Gomaa teaches, “Hence Allah’s first gift to man was making his mind think and taught him how to think wisely.”
“There is nothing in humans that makes them against the truth or knowledge or makes them seek ignorance. As well as nothing that makes them against reason or seek imprudence. Man has been created with a proper natural disposition. ‘So they already cried lies to the Truth as soon as it came to them.‘ They should have contemplated on this Truth when it came to them and used the gift of reason, but they didn’t. They should have used their knowledge and contemplated while walking and regarding what is around them, linking events to each other. Anyone who contemplates in this universe must come to the conclusion that there is a god behind it. That this god is wise, able and innovative. He is the obtainer of all the Divine characteristics. But he did not use his knowledge in that. He should have left himself to be guided by his natural disposition, but he did not, then he obstructed the mind, knowledge and rightful thinking, as well as the senses that assist natural disposition. He obstructed all of this. Conversations are no longer useful. Persuasion and reason are useless. We are then only left with sense and materials.”
The Quran and the importance of interacting with biblical Christianity
Ali Gomaa teaching about knowledge and truth in this episode has many applications for the Muslim rejection of Jesus’ death on the cross:
- “They should have contemplated on this Truth when it came to them and used the gift of reason, but they didn’t.”
- “They should have used their knowledge and contemplated while walking and regarding what is around them, linking events to each other.”
- “Persuasion and reason are useless.”
Muslims have been very dismissive of God’s previous revelation and the great evidence for its trustworthiness and much of what Ali Gomaa teaches about unbelievers rejecting the truth sounds like Muslim rejection of God’s work in history.
In my pursuit of truth I am giving myself to thinking about the Quran and sunnah. I’m learning from Ali Gomaa, and I am thankful for the mind God has given both of us. I invite you to use Allah’s gift of your mind and think more carefully about the question, Is the Qur’an the Word of God? Don’t be like the unbelievers Ali Gomaa describes in his discussion of Quran 6:5. Don’t be like those who obstructed the mind and rightful thinking and the kind of people to whom conversations are no longer useful.