We are doubtful and weak by nature. In heaven, and before their descent to earth, our parents were deceived by Satan after witnessing that God is the Truth. They hesitated and didn't firmly adhere to God's command. They chose to listen to Satan's advise and thought that such approach had no consequences. They were sent down to earth, as a final chance, to re-evaluate their stands and define who their lord is. This whole scenario represents all the children of Adam. We are on earth for the same final chance. We all hesitated to uphold God's absolute authority in Heaven after witnessing that God is the Truth (7:172-173). We all wanted to decide who our lord is later on our own (33:72).
The Most Merciful has designed a divine system to help us defeat our indecisiveness and weakness. Part of this system is that our salvation relies on divine straightforward teachings contained in a preserved and guarded Quran with no room left for confusion, ambiguity, or difficulty in decision making (3:7, 39:28). Once we fully trust in that, dwell on God's commands, and uphold righteousness, we automatically become in a well balanced zone; the righteous, Quran-based decisions we make become the only accurate scale for our inner strength, peace and stability as individuals and as communities. . Another component of that divine system to help us become righteously decisive and reach that well balanced zone is that throughout Quran we learn that any choice we make comes to ONE out of TWO totally distinct ones. It is God who made it that clear.. We are always left with only TWO opposite options to choose from. One is associated with all the good news and rewards, and the other is deliberately presented by Him in a very repulsive setting to warn us against, sufficiently and clearly. In any issuing or teaching, NO middle ground options are presented by God besides two contrasting ones to choose from ; "do" or "don't do", "shall" or "shall not". The "DOs" and the "SHALLs" are the elements of the RIGHT PATH and they lead to balance, peace, unity and prosperity in this life and the Hereafter.
This divine assistance is indeed a sign of God's infinite mercy and grace. The comparison between two opposites and the subsequent choice we make are narrowed down and less challenging this way.. True or false, right or left, straight or crocked, saved or doomed; nothing in between. However, and despite this clear contrast, only the intelligent (2:269), and the knowledgeable (29:43) will stand well-balanced on solid, unshakable ground promoting nothing but one divine truth, while the majority will end up making a miserable choice (17:89, 12:106,103 ) or choose a third, man-made, compromising, and hypocritical path (72:14-16) !
Please reflect on the following examples of contrast. Please pay attention to the fact that not only God almighty is presenting the dark side of Satan and His allies while promoting His truth, but also He is invalidating that path. If we are in a position to present both views, we are to follow that same divine example by expressing our unshakable support of the truth while sincerely discrediting falsehood and conjecture:
It's either God or Satan.
[21:92] Your congregation is but one congregation, and I alone am your Lord; you shall worship Me alone.
Satan: A Temporary "god" [2:30] Recall that your Lord said to the angels, "I am placing a representative (a temporary god) on Earth." They said, "Will You place therein one who will spread evil therein and shed blood, while we sing Your praises, glorify You, and uphold Your absolute authority?" He said, "I know what you do not know."
[2:208] O you who believe, you shall embrace total submission; do not follow the steps of Satan, for he is your most ardent enemy.
It's either belief or disbelief.
[3:177] Those who choose disbelief, instead of belief, do not hurt GOD in the least; they have incurred a painful retribution.
[32:18] Is one who is a believer the same as one who is wicked? They are not equal.
The absolute truth or falsehood and conjecture.
[10:32] Such is GOD, your rightful Lord. What is there after the truth, except falsehood? How could you disregard all this?
[10:36] Most of them follow nothing but conjecture, and conjecture is no substitute for the truth. GOD is fully aware of everything they do.
[22:62] It is a fact that GOD is the Truth, while the setting up of any idols beside Him constitutes a falsehood, and that GOD is the Most High, the Supreme.
Guiding with the Absolute Truth or with falsehood and conjecture?
[7:181] Among our creations, there are those who guide with the truth, and the truth renders them righteous.
[40:75] This is because you used to rejoice in false doctrines on earth, and you used to promote them.
Straight path, or a crooked one.
[7:45] "who repel from the path of GOD, and strive to make it crooked, and, with regard to the Hereafter, they are disbelievers."
[6:153] This is my path - a straight one. You shall follow it, and do not follow any other paths, lest they divert you from His path. These are His commandments to you, that you may be saved.
[2:256] There shall be no compulsion in religion: the right way is now distinct from the wrong way. Anyone who denounces the devil and believes in GOD has grasped the strongest bond; one that never breaks. GOD is Hearer, Omniscient.
We are either appreciative or unappreciative.
[76:3] We showed him the two paths, then he is either appreciative, or unappreciative.
Truthful or liars (hypocrites, idol worshipers, and compromisers).
[29:3] We have tested those before them, for GOD must distinguish those who are truthful, and He must expose the liars.
[5:119] GOD will proclaim, "This is a day when the truthful will be saved by their truthfulness." They have deserved gardens with flowing streams. They abide therein forever. GOD is pleased with them, and they are pleased with Him. This is the greatest triumph.
[16:39] He will then point out to everyone all the things they had disputed, and will let those who disbelieved know that they were liars.
[16:105] The only ones who fabricate false doctrines are those who do not believe in GOD's revelations; they are the real liars.
The Idols as Mediators
A Common Myth [39:3] Absolutely, the religion shall be devoted to GOD alone. Those who set up idols beside Him say, "We idolize them only to bring us closer to GOD; for they are in a better position!" GOD will judge them regarding their disputes. GOD does not guide such liars, disbelievers.
[63:1] When the hypocrites come to you they say, "We bear witness that you are the messenger of GOD." GOD knows that you are His messenger, and GOD bears witness that the hypocrites are liars.
[68:8] Do not obey the rejectors.
[68:9] They wish that you compromise, so they too can compromise.
Two destinies, Hell or Paradise.
[59:20] Not equal are the dwellers of the Hellfire and the dwellers of Paradise; the dwellers of Paradise are the winners.
[56:8] Those who deserved bliss will be in bliss.
[56:9] Those who deserved misery will be in misery.
Winners or Losers.
[23:102] As for those whose weights are heavy, they will be the winners.
[23:103] Those whose weights are light are the ones who lost their souls; they abide in Hell forever.
Temporary life or eternity.
God Controls All Provisions [13:26] GOD is the One who increases the provision for whomever He wills, or withholds it. They have become preoccupied with this life; and this life, compared to the Hereafter, is nil.
Rearranging Our Priorities [6:32] The life of this world is no more than illusion and vanity, while the abode of the Hereafter is far better for the righteous. Do you not understand?!
One Religion or disputing sects and divisions.
[23:52] Such is your congregation - one congregation - and I am your Lord; you shall reverence Me.
[23:53] But they tore themselves into disputing factions; each party happy with what they have.
Truthful or liar, guided or misguided, submitter or an idol worshiper, darkness or light, blind or seer, coolness or heat, knowledgeable or ignorant.... etc. It boils down to either redemption and eternal bliss, or eternal retribution. When we choose God, we try to seek His approval. This will NEVER be achieved unless we constantly strive and use our brains in order to firmly take all stands that are conforming with His commands. This is the divine balance, the unshakable solid ground, and the strength described by God as " the strongest bond". Coming up with a middle ground, and wavering in between right and left despite the contrasting display of what is right and what is left is a compromise, off balance, weak zone; a Satanic trick to slow down our redemption, and make us continue on his hypnotizing path. Gradually, we sell our souls to hypocrisy hanging in the middle to please all parties by dwelling on commonality while diluting the divine truth and validating conjecture and falsehood. Believers experience the divine balance and strength on the right path, not on a middle one. God invites those who have been deceived by Satan in an off balance compromise zone to change gears to the Right Path and grasp the strongest bond:
[72:14] " `Among us are the submitters, and among us are the compromisers.' " As for those who submitted, they are on the right path.
[72:15] As for the compromisers, they will be fuel for Gehenna.
[72:16] If they remain on the right path, we will bless them with abundant water.
[72:17] We will surely test them all. As for him who disregards the message of his Lord, He will direct him to ever increasing retribution.
[4:143] They waver in between, neither belonging to this group, nor that group. Whomever GOD sends astray, you will never find a way to guide him.
The Strongest Bond [31:22] Those who submit completely to GOD, while leading a righteous life, have gotten hold of the strongest bond. For GOD is in full control of all things.
Peaceful Friday, salaam, and God bless.