Parables in the Quran Essay
Upon my reading of the Quran, I found that many themes of this text are wrapped up in parables. Being the Christian man that I am, I am fascinated not only with parables in the Bible, but also Parables in other religious text as well.
For this paper I will be focusing on parables and why they are key in many Muslims paths to spiritual ascension. According to the Ahlul Bayt Librabry, an online source for understand the Quran, the central theme of the Quran is training its follower to have an understanding of his duties in life. The Quran provides Muslims with a detailed and descriptive outline on their everyday lives.This outline is important because it guides Muslims to a point of spiritual ascension.
One way that the Quran helps this spiritual ascension is by the use of parables. The Quran shows Muslims how they should live their lives, and uses parables to show what happens to people when they do or don’t follow Allah’s word or Muhammad’s recommendations. In this paper I will illustrate how the Quran uses parables to help Muslim’s through their everyday problems.
Illustrating these parables is important because the Quran has been the legal authority over Muslim’s since the 7th century (Ahlul Bayt).The first parable that I will be discussing is the Parable of the Dog (Surah 7: 175-177). This parable is about people who turn away from the Ayat of Allah. Due to my limited background in the Quran I looked up the meaning of Ayat, and it means sign or evidence.
The parable of the dog is about people who deny the signs of Allah. This Surah compares the person that turns down the Ayat to a dog that pants when you give it what it wants and when you don’t. What this Surah is telling its readers is not to give in to worldly desires like the dog.The worldly desires are evident when the Surah says that “he clung to the earth and followed his vain desires”. I believe that this Surah tells its readers to be careful and follow the signs of Allah at every moment. It is easy to give into worldly desires, and evil will find you if the signs of Allah are rejected. The next parable that gives a guide for how people of Islam should live their lives is the Parable of the woman who untwists her Yarn (Surah An-Nahl 16:92).
This Surah teaches Muslims not to break the covenant that they made with others.Allah commands his followers to fulfill any promises that are made after confirming them. This Surah is illustrated by a telling of a woman who spins her yarn only to unravel it. To make a promise and then not fulfill it is to deceive yourself, and the person the promise was made to.
The last few lines of the Surah point out that Allah will clarify these promises on the day of resurrection. In my opinion this last line guides Muslims to not break their promises because if they do they will have to stand before Allah on resurrection day to face their sins.If this Surah were not a guide for Muslims, the last sentence would not be relevant or needed.
In my opinion this Surah unlike the Parable of the Dog guides Muslims by placing fear into their minds of having to be judged by Allah is they turned broke their promises. The next Parable that I will talk about is the Surah of Hamlet in Ruins (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:259). This parable is about questioning Allah’s power. Once day a man passed some ruins and thought how Allah would bring them back to life after their death.
Allah then caused the man to die for one hundred years and raised him from the dead. Allah asked him how long he had been dead, and the man said for maybe a day. The man later finds out that he has been dead for one hundred years, and all that he knew about the world had changed. When the man looked over at his food it was the same as the way he left it but is donkey was a skeleton. Allah then wrapped the donkey’s bones with meat, skin, and hair and told the man to tell everyone of what he witnessed.This parable is important to Islam because it teaches the reader to never question Allah’s power. This is an important concept because any circumstance can happen in life that humans may not be in control of but it is important to remember that Allah is always in control.
The fourth and final parable I will talk about in this essay is the Surah of A Grain of Corn (Al-Baqurah 2:261). This parable is about Allah the provider. This parable is about people who give their money to Allah. When this is done Allah will multiply the money given to whom he fills deserve it.Because Allah is all knowing he knows how to suffice all of his followers in order for them to be pleased. The parable uses the example of an ear of corn.
Once a corn seed is planted it sprouts seven ears of corn with hundreds of grains. One grain of corn multiplies and provides even more corn for those in need. This Surah guides Muslim’s by trusting in Allah to provide them with their needs once they give some of their money in his name. These four Surah’s like all of the Surah’s are important because they give Muslim’s a guide to how they should live their lives.These four Surah’s guide Muslim’s by the showing the rejection of Allah, fearing Allah, showing Allah’s power and Allah as the provider. Showing Allah in all these examples is important because it shows him as a deity that can give Muslim’s everything they need but also has the power to take away their needs if they do not fulfill is commands.
These parables like many others help guide Muslim’s through their lives, and will provide them with spiritual ascension upon following the word of Allah.