بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Allah (swt) sent us a book of guidance more than 1400 years ago: the Quran. It consists of rights and wrongs, legal rulings, stories of the past, and also serves as a connection with our Creator. As Muslims living in the 21st century, it is sometimes hard for us to see that connection, it is difficult to personally reflect on the stories told and the examples provided. It may feel like the stories are from centuries past and we have no relationship with it. But, Allah (swt) tells us otherwise:
وَمَا هُوَ إِلَّا ذِكْرٌ لِّلْعَالَمِينَ
“But it is not except a reminder to the worlds.” [68:52]
He explicitly tells us that it is infact a reminder for all of us! In this series - Living the Parables of the Quran - we will inshAllah dive into the examples that Allah (swt) provides for us to learn from and reflect on.
Allah (swt) is the Most Wise, so why parables?
Allah (swt) is trying to explain something to us, He wants to make sure it is crystal clear. These examples, or parables, take concepts that can be abstract or unclear and provide us with a visual so that we can see them. Scholars say there are at least 40 parables in the Quran and they are used to illustrate various topics like disbelief, the dunya, the heart of a believer, spending in charity and others.
In Surah Al-Ankabut, Allah (swt) says to us:
وَتِلْكَ الْأَمْثَالُ نَضْرِبُهَا لِلنَّاسِ ۖ وَمَا يَعْقِلُهَا إِلَّا الْعَالِمُونَ
“And these examples We present to the people, but none will understand them except those of knowledge.” [29:43]
The ayah in Surah Al-Ankabut, clarifies that the goal behind these parables is to understand them and in turn reflect on them. Everytime, we come across a parable in the Quran we need to pause, make sure we understand it and our connection to it and then evaluate whether it is positive or negative. If it is a desirable trait, we should aim to achieve it but if it is a negative trait then our goal should be to avoid it.
We ask Allah (swt) to make us of those that do understand the examples He provides us and are able to reflect on them and learn from them. Ameen.