20. And they say, “If only a miracle was sent down to him from his Lord.” Say, “The realm of the unseen belongs to God; so wait, I am waiting with you.”
21. When We make the people taste mercy after some adversity has touched them, they begin to scheme against Our revelations. Say, “God is swifter in scheming.” Our envoys are writing down what you scheme.
22. It is He who transports you across land and sea. Until, when you are on ships, sailing in a favorable wind, and rejoicing in it, a raging wind arrives. The waves surge over them from every side, and they realize that they are besieged. Thereupon they pray to God, professing sincere devotion to Him: “If You save us from this, we will be among the appreciative.”
23. But then, when He has saved them, they commit violations on earth, and oppose justice. O people! Your violations are against your own souls. It is the enjoyment of the present life. Then to Us is your return, and We will inform you of what you used to do.
24. The likeness of the present life is this: water that We send down from the sky is absorbed by the plants of the earth, from which the people and the animals eat. Until, when the earth puts on its fine appearance, and is beautified, and its inhabitants think that they have mastered it, Our command descends upon it by night or by day, and We turn it into stubble, as if it had not flourished the day before. We thus clarify the revelations for people who reflect.
25. God invites to the Home of Peace, and guides whomever He wills to a straight path.
26. For those who have done good is goodness, and more. Neither gloom nor shame will come over their faces. These are the inhabitants of Paradise, abiding therein forever.
27. As for those who have earned evil deeds: a reward of similar evil, and shame will cover them. They will have no defense against God-as if their faces are covered with dark patches of night. These are the inmates of the Fire, abiding therein forever.
28. On the Day when We will gather them altogether, then say to those who ascribed partners, “To your place, you and your partners.” Then We will separate between them, and their partners will say, “It was not us you were worshiping.”
29. “God is sufficient witness between us and you. We were unaware of your worshiping us.”
30. There, every soul will experience what it had done previously; and they will be returned to God, their True Master; and what they used to invent will fail them.
I wanted to take my time with this verse. It’s extremely powerful to me and there is much wisdom within it given to Muhammad and now to us. We get a window into the conversations that took place between Muhammad and the people he was trying to guide. They ask him when a miracle will happen from God, and Muhammad is only to say that it comes with patience and even he will be patient too.
Line 21 shows that when the people received mercy from God, and experience good things, they seem to eventually forget about God. These could be generations later or just years later from a nation, but the lesson is that humans take things for granted after awhile of good fortune. They then begin to think of ways to gain more control and dismantle faith or belief in God. God’s “envoys”, which mean representatives from a form of government, are recording all of this that they do in misdeed.
I find it fascinating for the Quran to not use the word Angels, but instead describe them as representatives. I have to say, it makes sense that while we have governments to keep society in control and out of chaos, God has a form of government as well. It’s the highest form of governing without corruption. God is always on the believers’ side.
We learn in line 22 that Muhammad was told that so many humans have begged for their life when they are close to loosing it while searching for land. But as soon as God saves them, they forget and when they reach land their desires take over them causing them to transgress. They are allowed to transgress since God doesn’t intervene directly with them, but when they close their eyes for the last breath, that is when God will inform them of what they have done. As part of the total consciousness of the universe, the truth is revealed to them what part they chose to play and what they receive back to them energetically.
Gabriel warns Muhammad that while this life seems to be mastered by some in their wealth, luxury, and certain lifestyles, it can easily be taken away from them. So we must always have gratitude and never forget who gave us this experience in the first place.
Two different realities will be realized. Those who do good deeds, will have joy in their consciousness and reach paradise. Those who did wrongful deeds will see the consequences of their actions. Symbolically the light of dark and light faces will show what each individual will get to see in death.
Line 28 is saying that some gods and goddesses were not imagined, but actually could have been beings worshipped. They will be separated from their followers to ask if they asked to be worshipped, and they will deny it. They will say to their followers that there has only been One Creator, and even though they worshipped different gods, there has only been One God reflecting on their actions.
The last line is exactly how I see Hell. Every soul that has done wrong will experience it back to them and only after their realizations of truth and soul fulfillment in recognition of what they have done, can they come back to God-their True Master. No other gods or goddesses that they worshipped will be there for them on that day when we are all judged.