Brief Verse Interpretation / Tafsir
These Quranic verses tell us that Allah decides whatever happens on earth and in our lives. This realization should give us comfort that the administration of the whole universe is in the hands of the Supreme Almighty, and our responsibility is only to lead life as we have been directed to.
22. No calamity befalls on the earth or in yourselves but is inscribed in the Book of Decrees (Al-Lauh Al-Mahfooz), before We bring it into existence. Verily, that is easy for Allah.
23. In order that you may not grieve at the things that you fail to get, nor rejoice over that which has been given to you. And Allah likes not prideful boasters.
Reflections from these verses
- We as Muslims should accept Allah’s Decree both as it manifests itself around us and in our lives. It should be a relief to us that we aren’t the masters of our own destiny. We are only going to be tested about whether we reacted to it as true Momins – being patient in adversity and grateful in prosperity. (See the article on Qada wal-qadar “Dealing with Life’s Challenges and Difficulties”)
- The verse helps us overcome anxiety regarding our responsibility for our life and the events that come to pass. It helps us beat depression about things not working out the way we planned them; and gives relief from anguish connected with the why of what is happening around.
- The verse also shows how fruitless it is to indulge in lengthy analysis after an event, of the various possibilities that could have materialized if an alternative course had been taken.
- We are being assured that it’s pointless to grieve about what we missed of fortune, because if it had been destined for us, we wouldn’t have missed it.
- Complaining about the situation or experience intended for us, however disagreeable, is also futile, for we couldn’t have escaped it whatever we might have done to avoid it.
- Allah in His absolute Wisdom subjects us to varying fortunes to check us so that we avoid boasting before people about what He (SWT) has favored us with. For it isn’t we who earned it by our efforts. It came our way because Allah destined it for us.
- What Allah has granted us shouldn’t make us arrogant with others. Neither should we entertain the delusion that our intelligence and efforts excelling those of others, made us worthy of our good fortune. Pride is a vice that Allah wants us to discard.