Allah-SWT blessed Prophet Musa-AS with His-SWT Book, which indeed contained His-SWT Own Words, and words always reflect the qualities of the Speaker. So the people should have dedicated themselves to the attainment of its knowledge, in order to rekindle their hearts by its light. But they reacted in accordance with their temperaments as Allah-SWT has granted man the wisdom and the power to choose. Some of them accepted the Divine Message while others outrightly rejected it. It was a great violation by His-SWT humble creation totally dependant on Him-SWT for sustenance. Had He-SWT not determined a Day of Reckoning for all mankind, He-SWT would have seized them instantly and decided their fate. These unfortunate people harbour doubts over the very occurrence of the Day of Reckoning. This doubt is the root cause of all waywardness in the world. But that Day is not very far away, whence Allah-SWT shall punish all those who had disbelieved in His-SWT Message prior to the raising of the Holy Prophet-SW, and all those who refuted him, his teachings and the Quran after that. Allah-SWT indeed is well Aware of their conduct.
So the Holy Prophet-SW must stand firmly on Allah-SWT's straight path as commanded and all those who have turned to Him, following the Holy Prophet-SW are under His-SWT direct Observation. This is the Ayah about which the Holy Prophet-SW had remarked that it had aged him. According to Hadhrat Ibn-e-Abbas-RAU the reason why he said so was this very Command for strict adherence.
This term refers to standing up straight, in without tending to lean on any side, not only in action but also in intentions deep in one's heart. It means that a person must tread the path defined by Allaah-SWT with such ardent love and sincerity that deviation becomes unbearable, and the very thought of violating His-SWT Orders dies in him. This is the state termed as Fana fi Rasul and Fana fi Allah-SWT, according to one's order of precedence. And the output of these meditations is also the aforesaid sincerity of intention in the practical life.
The root of every disorder in the world is deviation from adherence. This deviation includes all distortions attempted in Divine Commandments. The alterations may be in the basic tenets, or in the Unity or Attributes of Allah-SWT , or in the laws laid down by Him-SWT; whether people do it out of sheer devotion with straight intentions or out of blasphemy, they will be equally misguided.
Similarly the limits of exultation of the Messengers-AS and their love and adoration have been laid down by Allaah-SWT . If anyone attempts to raise or lower their status, such as to ascribe them partners in the Divine Attributes, he shall be thrown astray.
The Holy Prophet-SW has, therefore, exhorted the believers to abstain from innovations because a person may mistake them for Din and practise them in the hope of winning Allah-SWT's Pleasure, while the result is just the opposite. Therefore, a person must validate his beliefs and practices by comparing them with the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet-SW. If these are not endorsed by the Sunnah, he must abstain from them. This adherence and steadfastness on the right path is imperative in every sphere of life, be it beliefs, mutual dealings, morality, economics or politics. Any staggering shall lead to wickedness. The Commentators have listed a number of events in explanation, which are omitted for fear of distraction.
The Command to "transgress not", further defines steadfastness. It stresses upon the believers not to exceed the limits given by Allah-SWT in any matter nor show any inclination towards the transgressors; those who violate these limits. If any believer leans toward them in defiance of this Command, he too shall share the Hell with them. Any friendship with the transgressors at the cost of displeasing Allah-SWT will deprive a Muslim of all help. And whoever is rejected by Him-SWT is indeed left alone.
What is Inclination towards Transgressors?
To be influenced or impressed by those who disbelieve or disobey the Holy Prophet'-SW invites eternal misfortune. This influence includes even the mildest inclination towards them, or any affection, or to follow them because of being impressed by them, or to put trust in them. Qadhi Baidhawi asserts that wearing an appearance like the non believers, for instance by shaving the beard, dressing up like them or by adopting their fashion and lifestyle, is strictly forbidden. Similarly, calling on the evil rulers to gain some worldly benefit is a source of eternal deprivation, especially for religious scholars. According to Tafsir-e-Mazhari, no scholar is more likely to face Allah-SWT ’s Wrath than the one who visits an oppressor for a worldly gain. This Ayah not only forbids inclination towards disbelievers but also disallows any affinity with the innovators with equal vehemence. The quintessence of the Din is to live within the limits of Allah-SWT and to have no affiliation with the defiant.
Virtuous Conduct Neutralizes the Effects of Evil Deeds
The Holy Prophet-SW is being instructed to bend in Sajdah very frequently and offer Salat, so as to further strengthen his-SW relationship with that Beneficent Being. No one is of any consequence save Him-SWT . It is a Divine Law that piety not only leads to Allah-SWT ’s Nearness but also erases past sins. A good deed burnishes the heart removing its stains and darkness generated by misdeeds, and rekindles it with the love of Allah-SWT . This, however, is a great news only for those who wish to seek guidance. Moreover, perseverance must be concomitant to piety. There must remain no such misconceptions that practising piety will avert worldly turmoils. Had this been the case, no one I would have ever given up virtue. In this world the pious and the evil go through similar circumstances. They all experience health and sickness, affluence and poverty, friendships and enmities and the upheavals of time. However, the difference is that the hearts of the righteous are not touched by anxiety or despair. Therefore, patience is imperative, as the rewards promised on piety and good conduct are never wasted. Eventually it is piety which becomes the stepping stone to success.
Piety Refers to Noble Deeds and Restraint from Mischief
The nations that were erased could have been saved had there been amongst them pious people trying to restrain the rest from evil and mischief. It means that piety is not restricted to Zikr or worship alone. Worship must be substantiated by inviting others to piety and urging upon them to restrain from evil so that mankind can be saved from Allah-SWT ’s Wrath and is entitled to receive His-SWT Mercy. But unfortunately the noble were always few in those nations and thus could not deter them by force. The wicked majority refused to accept the Divine Message, continued to indulge in sin and they were eventually destroyed. The noble minority was, however, saved by Allah-SWT , for He-SWT does not harm the settlements of the righteous. It is indeed human transgression which invokes destruction.
Why Allah-SWT did not make Everyone Pious?
Some ask why Allah-SWT did not make everyone pious? Firstly, had Allah-SWT planned to do so He-SWT could have undoubtedly done it. But human beings would then have been nothing more than a type of angels. An angel executes Divine Commands incessantly but his status remains stagnant because he is programmed to obey. Whereas Allah-SWT has blessed man with understanding and wisdom and has given him the option to choose between this glamorous world or the splendour of His-SWT Grace and the warmth of His-SWT Nearness. Given this choice, different people acted differently. Some rejected all temporal pleasures in pursuit of His-SWT Nearness and Beauty while others preferred mundane joys over Him-SWT . Those among former who persevered on their choice were blessed by His-SWT Mercy as it reaches out to those who seek it. The very reason for creating mankind was that there be a creation which would, love Allah-SWT by its own choice, and have the courage to renounce everything in His-SWT Pursuit. Of course, it was in His-SWT Knowledge from the very beginning, and He-SWT had revealed it, that many Jinn and humans would fail to achieve the goal of their creation and end up as fuel for Hell. And Allah-SWT shall fill up the pit of fire with them, as it is the fate they would have deliberately chosen.
All these accounts pertaining to the Messengers-AS of the yore and their relics are only revealed to the Holy Prophet-SW so that he may be at ease. He should realize that it is a Law of Nature that when people are given the freedom to choose, their decisions do vary. They cannot possibly gather on a single choice. Therefore, he may feel comforted after knowing about the incidents of the Prophets-AS gone by, and the grief he feels for the disobedient may be mitigated. Another advantage of revealing these events is to convey facts to people and not mere fables, so as to admonish them and to warn the believers. Let those who are not ready to accept the truth, do whatever pleases them. The Holy Prophet-SW and the believers will continue to execute Allah-SWT's Commands, and together they wait for His-SWT Decree, which will settle everything.
All the secrets of the earth and the heavens are in His-SWT Knowledge and all matters within His-SWT Power. In other words. He-SWT Knows everything and can do whatever He-SWT wants. Hence the Holy Prophet-SW must continue to worship Him-SWT , for every action of life is done either in worship or in defiance. Faith demands His-SWT Worship under all circumstances which is only possible when one puts complete trust in Him-SWT . In trust lies the secret of obedience and submission. For if the hopes and trust are associated elsewhere then certainly that thing would be the one who would be worshipped. Allah-SWT , the Provider, is certainly not oblivious of the Holy Prophet-SW ‘s devotions and is watching very closely.