Part Two

11- Associating partners with God (shirk) is like falling from the sky - 22:31
12- How can God be called "The Believer"? 59:23
13- Who dictates the terms of a loan agreement? 2:282

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11- Associating partners with God (shirk) is like falling from the sky. - 22:31

You shall remain monotheist for God, and set up no partners with Him. Whoever sets up partners with God will be as if he has fallen down from the sky, then gets snatched up by the birds, or blown away by the wind to a distant place. 22:31

The allegory given in this verse is of those who set up partners with God being likened to having fallen down from the sky and being snatched by birds. The allegory used in this verse contains very interesting and precise information:

1- A person falling from the sky is in what is known as 'free fall'. A fall such as free fall is indeed a great fall since the full force of gravity takes control. This allegory informs us that whoever sets up partners with God has fallen the greatest fall (loss).

2- Since free fall is a state where there is no resistance to the force of gravity, it produces weightlessness, or 'zero-G'. The state of weightlessness, and no resistance, portrays the state of a person with no protection and thus in a totally vulnerable state.

3- The words "gets snatched up by the birds" indicate that anyone who has the tendency to set up partners with God, will be easy prey to the devils and their idolatrous invitations. The allegory here portrays the devils as the snatching birds.

4- The weight of a person on the ground is supported by the earth below his feet, but a person in 'free fall' has no support whatsoever for his plunging body, and is heading towards assured death. This is also the case of he who sets up partners with God. He would have no support whatsoever from God, this is because setting up partners with God (shirk) is the only unforgivable sin (4:48). As a result, such a person is heading for assured damnation. In contrast, God always supports the genuine believers to lead them out of the darkness into the light.

He is the One who supports you (believers), as well as His angels, to lead you out of darkness into the light. He is Merciful towards the believers. 33:43

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12- How can God be called "The Believer"? 59:23

He is God; there is no god but Him. The King, the Holy, the Peace, the 'Mu'min' (Believer), the All-Encompassing, the Dignified, the Powerful, the Proud. Glory to God; He is far above any partners they associate with Him. 59:23

The above verse provides several names for God, one of those is the "Mu’min", which literally means
"The Believer".

The Quranic definition of a believer is one who believes in God, the angels, the messengers of God and the Scriptures of God (2:185). God is the One who created the angels, the messengers and the Scriptures, so how can the description of "Believer" be applicable to God when He created everything?

1- As mentioned, the definition of belief (Iman) is to have faith in the existence of God, the angels, the messengers and the Scriptures of God.

2- Among humans, there are believers and also disbelievers. When we focus on the believers we find that the most sincere believers will still have a minute element of doubt in their hearts. This is due to the fact that the human cannot see God with his eyes.

The Quran relates the story of Abraham when he asked God to show him a sign, then God asked Abraham: "Have you not believed?" and Abraham replied: "Yes, but so that my heart is reassured." 2:260

We also have the example of Moses when he asked to see God for the same reason and God told him:

"You cannot see Me, but look at the mountain; if it stays in its place you will see Me." Then when his Lord manifested Himself to the mountain, He caused it to crumble, and Moses was struck unconscious. When he came to, he said, "Glory to You. I repent to You, and I am the first of the believers." 7:143

3- Even though Abraham and Moses were very sincere Prophets of God, they still had a tiny element of doubt simply because they could not see God with their own eyes. These Quranic examples tell us that there will always be a small element of doubt in the hearts of the most sincere believers.

4- Due to this element of doubt, no human being can be called a 'perfect believer' in an absolute sense.

5- God does not have any doubt whatsoever in anything since God is Lord and Creator of all things. As far as God is concerned all matters are absolute certainty, and for that we can say that God is the Only One who can be called the true and perfect "Believer".
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13- Who dictates the terms of a loan agreement? 2:282

O you who believe, if you transact a loan for a specified term, you shall write it down. A scribe shall do the writing for you justly. No scribe shall refuse to write as God has taught him. He shall write, while the one whom the debt falls on dictates to him. 2:282

In 2:282, we read about the rules of lending money. One of the rules is that if a loan is contracted between two individuals, the borrower is the one who dictates the terms of the loan. This may seem contrary to common practice; it is normal to see the lender as the one who dictates the terms and not the borrower, but God's wisdom is unequalled.

God decrees that since the lender is the one who is always in a stronger position, then the borrower should be the one who dictates the terms for the following reasons:

1- On the one hand, if the lender is left to dictate his terms he may impose unfair terms, which the borrower may have to accept due to his dire need for the money. This would result in a case of 'Riba' (usury).

2- However, if the borrower writes the terms, he will not write terms which are unfair to the lender because if he does, the lender (who is not in financial difficulty) will simply refuse to lend the money, as a result, the borrower will get nothing. Rather, the borrower will need to write fair terms for the lender to be willing to part with his money, but without writing unfair or exploitive terms. This rule will insure that fair terms will be written for both parties.