SURAH Al-Baqarah verse 4
وَالَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِمَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْكَ وَمَا أُنْزِلَ مِنْ قَبْلِكَ وَبِالْآخِرَةِ هُمْ يُوقِنُونَ
[And those who believe in (all) that which has been revealed to you, and that which was revealed before you, and also have (perfect) faith in the Hereafter.]
1). The use of “waw athaf” (the conjunction “and”) and isim maushuwl الَّذِينَ (alladzyna) at the beginning of this verse shows that this verse is actually the continuation of verse 2–about the qualities of the pious. That is, the fourth, (the pious are) those who believe in the Holy Book, namely the Qur’an, which was sent down to Prophet Muhammad. Please pay a special attention to the word أُنْزِلَ (sent down) in this verse in relation to the discussion of the word “dzālika” (demonstrative pronoun) in verse 2. This is important since it is related to the way to understand the Qur’an. Once we know that the Qur’an is something that was “sent down” from the “heaven”, there are two inevitable consequences of understanding this Holy Book: (1) the Arabic used is no longer “common” Arabic as spoken in daily life by the Arab people. The Arabic of the Holy Book is the Arabic which has previously been adopted by the Owner of the Revelation (Allah), Who has every transcendental, sacred, and spiritual value, and “sent it down” through the “mediation” of Ruh al-Qudus and ar-Ruh al-Amin (16:102-103 and 26:195). Therefore, automatically, the Arabic used also has experienced transcendental, sacred, and spiritual process, making its value beyond the daily spoken Arabic. This is probably the reason why Allah says: “Indeed We sent down (the Qur’an) as the reading in Arabic, may you aqal (understand it).” (12:2) The same thing happened in laws in the Qur’an, among others, the ones already practiced by the Arabs before, but once they were adopted by the Quran, the laws underwent the ratification process, making them no longer customary laws, but becoming the laws of Allah (13:37); and (2) although its value is beyond the Arabic used in daily life, of course it is still a human language, a language of the earth. When the Qur’an talks about the ‘behavior’ of God, so as to be understood, Allah used so-called tasybih (resemblance), in which Allah likens Himself as human behavior, such as seeing, hearing, knowing, living, having a seat and throne, being everywhere, and so on. (Close to this term, we have the term mutashabihat verse). Tamtsil (metaphor) is to explain things that are not empirical. However, so that such ‘behaviors’ are not misunderstood, Allah Himself gave the methodology to understand Him called tanzih – the release of human character — (42:11), and ta’wil – returning a meaning as the initial meaning — (3:7 and 4:59).
2). The fifth, the next quality of the pious people is believing in the Holy Books revealed before the Qur’an. Allah wants to say that the Qur’an, Prophet Muhammad, and Islam are the continuation of the previous divine religions. The Qur’an as shiratal mustaqym (The Straight Path) is the straight line connecting the previous straight line–not a straight line which stands alone and is separated from the previous straight line, so that the straight line is like a rope stretching from the “heaven” to the “earth”, from Prophet Adam through other prophets, then Prophet Muhammad, until the end of time. “He (Allah) sent down the Book (al-Qur’an) to you with al-Haq (containing the truth), confirming the previous Books, and (He also) Who sent down the Torah and the Bibel.” (3:3). With respect to such a function of the Qur’an, Allah commanded: “And all of you Hold to the rope (religion) of Allah, and do not you get apart …” (3:103).
3). The sixth, the last quality of the pious people is believing in the Hereafter. It is very important not only because the value of human action is determined by its purpose, but also because the Hereafter is a very important doctrine in any religion. There are six Pillars of Faith, but, in many verses, sometimes they are shortened to just two: the Faith in Allah and the Hereafter (eg 2:8, 5:69, 29:36, 65:2). The urgency of the discussion on the Hereafter starts from an Allah’s important question to man: “So where will you go?” (81:26). The answer to this question will really determine our attitude and perspective on life. The people who believe that life does not stop only in this world will certainly be prepared to welcome the next life. They will transform the entire life of their material world to the Hereafter. And it is called taqwa if it is the belief that every act, no matter how small, will eventually be accounted for in the Hereafter.
4). Then, what is the consequence of the word “to have faith” as defined in this verse? Is it just to believe? Of course not. Because, as mentioned earlier that faith is the driving force that drives a person to act according to what he believes in. Therefore, if we believe in the Holy Book, of course the logical consequence is TO READ and TO LEARN it. There is no evidence of faith in the absence of doing the activities. The same is true in relation to having faith in the hereafter. The logical consequence is that we consider our existence in this world just like a traveler while waiting for the final limit of our tourist visa. In these circumstances, the most important thing we do is pick up and buy whatever we can bring back ‘home’ as a ‘gift’ that will adorn our real home.
PRACTICAL APPLICATION: If you do not feel good before reading the news today, you should feel the same way toward the Qur’an if you really have faith in it. If the news you have read will pass quickly as soon as the new one comes, bear in mind, the news brought by the Qur’an will be found in the future, sooner or later. So, read the Qur’an at least 10 verses after each prayer …!