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QUESTION: Hello Azam,

For me, the core cause of all discontent has always been one thing.

I've read the Koran, a couple of times; and I have to say, I'm surprised that it seems (to my outside understanding) not to have much to say about Vanity. I suppose that could be down to the specific translation; but, literally speaking, the word appears  only a few times, and that, also in what to my eyes is uncertain context. That said, I must consider also that I probably don't  understand the text the way a Muslim would. And so I thought I would ask one.

Could you elaborate a bit on what the Koran say about Vanity?

Thanks in advance,

Paul

ANSWER: As Salaam Alaikum(peace to you) Paul,

Only 5 verses where in vanity word appears int he entire Koran, but if look at the situations
its mentioned and punishments meted out, one can come to conclusion that it's a very gross sin.
(verses 'vanity' mentioned 6:32, 26:128,28:60, 29:64 & 47:36)

6:29
They say (subconsciously), "We live only this life; we will not be resurrected."
6:30
If you could only see them when they stand before their Lord! He would say, "Is this not the truth?" They would say, "Yes, by our Lord." He would say, "You have incurred the retribution by your disbelief."
6:31
Losers indeed are those who disbelieve in meeting God, until the Hour comes to them suddenly, then say, "We deeply regret wasting our lives in this world." They will carry loads of their sins on their backs; what a miserable load!
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?!

The above verse(31) on vanity was when Prophet Muhammad tried to talk sense to idol worshipers
to believe in the Almighty Allah and not be arrogant as all their wealth and strength was from
the creator of all the universes and should be thankful/grateful to the Almighty Allah.

26:128
"You build on every hill a mansion for vanity's sake.
The above verse (128) on vanity was towards people of Ad, who were powerful, rich, strong and
they displayed their wealth/riches through construction of tall towers & buildings with pride
and haughtiness. They were wicked/tyrant towards poor/weak & became idol worshipers and mocked
Prophet Hud, (through Bible/Torah is silent on prophet Hud but however biblical names of Ammi
Hud & Abi-Hud grandson of Benjamin appears in the chronicles)when he came to warn them against
the wrath of the Almighty Allah that finally struck these people in a flash by a thunderous
storm in the night killing all (Ptolemy refers to Adites) & destroyed/covered the tall towers  by a powerful sands storm that raged for 7 nights & 8 days.('Day after Tomorrow' movie).Even
today in cities near Hadraumath and Aden powerful winds blows away 2 wheelers etc. and forces
all the people indoors till it gets over. One will find ruins of these destroyed buildings &
towers between Yemen and Jordan route.

28:59
For your Lord never annihilates any community without sending a messenger in the midst thereof
, to recite our revelations to them. We never annihilate any community, unless its people are
wicked.
28:60
Everything that is given to you is only the material of this life, and its vanity. What is with God is far better, and everlasting. Do you not understand?
28:61
Is one whom we promised a good promise that will surely come to pass, equal to one whom we provide with the temporary materials of this life, then suffers eternal doom on the Day of Resurrection?

The Almighty Allah said that vanity will make people wicked & if carefully seen positioning
of 60 verse between 59 & 61 verse to understand what 59 & 61 verses is talking about.

29:64
This worldly life is no more than vanity and play, while the abode of the Hereafter is the real life, if they only knew.

The above verse on vanity in which the Almighty is reminding us that we only remember when
any calamity or difficulty strikes us and not when everything is going on fine that makes
us feel proud leading to a changed (haughty/arrogant) behavior towards the weak & poor.

47:36
This worldly life is no more than play and vanity. But if you believe and lead a righteous life, He will reward you, without asking you for any money.

Here again, the vanity is being talked to those people during Prophet Muhammad's time who used
to baost on tribal/riches superiority & looked down upon weaker sects.

Am sure you will agree that just mere mentioning number of times on vanity is not the criteria
to say that Koran has not much to say on vanity, but impact of the vanity that's mentioned only
in 5 verses of entire Koran followed with the punishments meted out to the communities that practiced vanity clearly speaks how much the Almighty Allah dislikes those who practices vanity

In a nutshell it is clearly that the Almighty Allah never likes arrogance/pride, haughtiness
and how the previous communities were annihilated and destroyed being so is a lesson that one
should learn.

May the Almighty Allah have mercy on us to forgive our sins and guide us all to the true path
of Islam as per the Koran for rest of our life.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hello Azam, and thank you for your considered and well-laid out reply.

It was not my intention to suggest that the Koran didn't mention vanity and as it were, enough. As you yourself suggest, much (as, indeed, with life itself) is in the context.

As a student of comparative religions and cultures, your closing prayer  stands out to me as quite familiar. This has me wondering if they are your own words or are they perhaps all or partly a common Muslim prayer?

Thanks again for your help,
Paul

Answer
As Salaam Alaikum Paul!

Sorry for the delayed reply as I joined my family for the weekend.

Well, the last prayer's words are my own words & I would also like to clarify as to why I said
'true path of Islam as per the Koran' & not other holy scriptures.

The Almighty Allah clearly said that Koran is the final testament given for the entire mankind
till the doomsday confirming the previous scriptures. Further the Almighty Allah has asked us
in the Koran to read the previous scriptures but unfortunately many do not read.

And am reproducing the verses on the Koran consummating and confirming all previous scriptures.

Further, I would like to inform you that a Muslim is the one who believes in the oneness of
the Almighty Allah (Elohim/Jehovah)and submits to the Almighty Allah alone and believes in all
the prophets of the previous scriptures & Koran confirming Prophet Mohammed as the final/last
prophet.

29:48
You did not read the previous scriptures, nor did you write them with your hand. In that case, the rejectors would have had reason to harbor doubts.
35:31
What we revealed to you in this scripture is the truth, consummating all previous scriptures. God is fully Cognizant of His servants, Seer.
5:46
Subsequent to them, we sent Jesus, the son of Mary, confirming the previous scripture, the Torah. We gave him the Gospel, containing guidance and light, and confirming the previous scriptures, the Torah, and augmenting its guidance and light, and to enlighten the righteous.
5:48
Then we revealed to you this scripture, truthfully, confirming previous scriptures, and superseding them. You shall rule among them in accordance with God's revelations, and do not follow their wishes if they differ from the truth that came to you. For each of you, we have decreed laws and different rites. Had God willed, He could have made you one congregation. But He thus puts you to the test through the revelations He has given each of you. You shall compete in righteousness. To God is your final destiny - all of you - then He will inform you of everything you had disputed.
6:92
This too is a blessed scripture that we have revealed, confirming the previous scriptures, that you may warn the most important community and all those around it. Those who believe in the Hereafter will believe in this (scripture), and will observe the Contact Prayers (Salat).
2:97
Say, "Anyone who opposes Gabriel should know that he has brought down this (Quran) into your heart, in accordance with God's will, confirming previous scriptures, and providing guidance and good news for the believers."
3:3
He sent down to you this scripture, truthfully, confirming all previous scriptures, and He sent down the Torah and the Gospel
12:111
In their history, there is a lesson for those who possess intelligence. This is not fabricated Hadith; this (Quran) confirms all previous scriptures, provides the details of everything, and is a beacon and mercy for those who believe.
46:30
They said, "O our people, we have heard a book that was revealed after Moses, and confirms the previous scriptures. It guides to the truth; to the right path.
3:199
Surely, some followers of the previous scriptures do believe in God, and in what was revealed to you, and in what was revealed to them. They reverence God, and they never trade away God's revelations for a cheap price. These will receive their recompense from their Lord. God is the most efficient in reckoning.
17:107
Proclaim, "Believe in it, or do not believe in it." Those who possess knowledge from the previous scriptures, when it is recited to them, they fall down to their chins, prostrating.
28:52
Those whom we blessed with the previous scriptures will believe in this.
57:16
Is it not time for those who believed to open up their hearts for God's message, and the truth that is revealed herein? They should not be like the followers of previous scriptures whose hearts became hardened with time and, consequently, many of them turned wicked.

May the Almighty Allah have mercy on us to forgive our sins and guide us all to the true path
of Islam as per the Koran for rest of our life.

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Azam Mohammaed

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I try to clarify doubts logically with Koran's guidance

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Mashallah 18 years since I got married to my wife who is a Protestant Christian by faith

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