اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ بِجَمِیعِ مَحَامِدِه کُلِّهَا عَلَی جَمِیعِ نِعَمِهِ کُلِّهَا… اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ مالِکِ الْمُلْکِ مُجْرِی الْفُلْکِ مُسَخِّرِ الرِّیاحِ فالِقِ الاْصْباحِ دَیّانِ الدّینِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمینَ اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ عَلی حِلْمِهِ بَعْدَ عِلمِهِ وَالْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ عَلی عَفْوِهِ بَعْدَ قُدْرَتِهِ وَالْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ عَلی طُولِ اَناتِهِ فی غَضَبِهِ وَهُوَ قادِرٌ عَلی ما یُریدُ
Praise is to God with all his praises, for all his blessings. . . Praise is to God, the owner of the property, the operator of the orbit, the bender of the wind, the glory of the morning, the religion of the beliefs, lord of the worlds; praise is to God for his dream after his knowledge and thank God for forgiveness after his power, and praise be to God for his long patience in his wrath and he is capable to do what he wills
و نشهد أن لا اله الا الله وحده لا شریک له، و أَنَّ محمداً عبده و رسوله ارسله بالهدی و دین الحق لیظهره علی الدین کله و لو کره المشرکون اوصیکم عبادالله و نفسی بتقوی الله و اتباع امره و نهیه، و اخوفکم من عقابه
And we bear witness that there is no god but God alone, without partner, and that Muhammad is his servant and messenger, he sent him with guidance and the religion of truth, that he might proclaim it over all religion, even if the polytheists hated it.
Common principles in the life of the prophets
Principle 9: Divine covenant (promise)
One of the common principles in the life of all divine prophets is their prominence about covenant which is reported in the holy Qur’an.
The holy Qur’an speaks of a day when a divine promise was taken from all human beings:
وَإِذْ أَخَذَ رَبُّكَ مِنْ بَنِي آدَمَ مِنْ ظُهُورِهِمْ ذُرِّيَّتَهُمْ وَأَشْهَدَهُمْ عَلَى أَنْفُسِهِمْ أَلَسْتُ بِرَبِّكُمْ قَالُوا بَلَى شَهِدْنَا أَنْ تَقُولُوا يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ إِنَّا كُنَّا عَنْ هَذَا غَافِلِينَ؛ أَوْ تَقُولُوا إِنَّمَا أَشْرَكَ آبَاؤُنَا مِنْ قَبْلُ وَكُنَّا ذُرِّيَّةً مِنْ بَعْدِهِمْ أَفَتُهْلِكُنَا بِمَا فَعَلَ الْمُبْطِلُونَ.
When your Lord took from the Children of Adam, from their loins, their descendants and made them bear witness over themselves, [He said to them,] ‘Am I not your Lord?’ They said, ‘Yes indeed! We bear witness.’ [This,] lest you should say on the Day of Resurrection, ‘Indeed we were unaware of this,’ or lest you should say, ‘Our fathers ascribed partners [to Allah] before [us] and we were descendants after them. Will You then destroy us because of what the falsifiers have done?’ (A’raf: 172 – 173)
This divine covenant is a general promise taken from all human beings in the testament of monotheism. Of course, where was this divine covenant? And what was the quality? And what is the use of it? It is one of the topics that have been frequently discussed by the commentators of the holy Qur’an. Different narrators have talked about this issue. Baba Taher Oryan, referring to this verse and the divine covenant, has uttered two famous mystical verses:
I’m worried about “they said yes”, I’ve more guilt than leaves and rain drops
If “don’t despair” does not aid me, I’m afraid of “woe to us”
The second verse refers to the holy verse of
قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَى أَنْفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِنْ رَحْمَةِ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ؛
Say [that Allah declares,] ‘O My servants who have committed excesses against their own souls, do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed Allah will forgive all sins. Indeed, He is the All-forgiving, the All-merciful. (Zomor: 53)
Its meaning is the hope to divine forgiveness, and the condemnation of despair. And also several verses that are the language of the present or the words of the people of hell and the punishment of the hereafter, are mentioned in the holy Qur’an with the interpretation of “woe to us”, such as
وَلَئِنْ مَسَّتْهُمْ نَفْحَةٌ مِنْ عَذَابِ رَبِّكَ لَيَقُولُنَّ يَا وَيْلَنَا إِنَّا كُنَّا ظَالِمِينَ؛
Should a whiff of your Lord’s punishment touch them, they will surely say, ‘Woe to us! We have indeed been wrongdoers!’ (Anbia: 46)
Sometimes in mystical poems, this covenant and this day have been interpreted as “the day of Elast” and “the day of eternity”. Hafez says:
O Zahid, pure of nature censure not the profligates; For, against thee, they will not record another’s crime.
If I be good I am for myself or if I be bad I am for myself Go thou be thyself about thy work; In the end, every one reapeth that work that at this time he sowed.
Every one, whether sensible sober or insensible, is the seeker of the true beloved; Every place, whether the mosque or the church is the house of love.
Of the former kindness established in eternity without beginning, make me not hopeless; What knowest thou, behind the screen who is good, who is bad.
And Sheykh Baha’ei utters;
How long will physical interests remain in the well of nature?
Take a breath, come to your senses and see who you are close to, who you are;
No tears, no pale face, God, how painless you are!
On “Elast Day”, you said “yes”; today, you slept on the bed of “La”;
Covenant of the Prophets
In addition to this general covenant and divine promise, the holy Qur’an mentions the private covenant of God to the prophets and says:
وَإِذْ أَخَذَ اللَّهُ مِيثَاقَ النَّبِيِّينَ لَمَا آتَيْتُكُمْ مِنْ كِتَابٍ وَحِكْمَةٍ ثُمَّ جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ مُصَدِّقٌ لِمَا مَعَكُمْ لَتُؤْمِنُنَّ بِهِ وَلَتَنْصُرُنَّهُ قَالَ أَأَقْرَرْتُمْ وَأَخَذْتُمْ عَلَى ذَلِكُمْ إِصْرِي قَالُوا أَقْرَرْنَا قَالَ فَاشْهَدُوا وَأَنَا مَعَكُمْ مِنَ الشَّاهِدِينَ.
When Allah took a compact concerning the prophets, [He said,] ‘Inasmuch as I have given you [the knowledge] of the Book and wisdom, should an apostle come to you thereafter confirming what is with you, you shall believe in him and help him.’ He said, ‘Do you pledge and accept My covenant on this condition?’ They said, ‘We pledge.’ He said, ‘Then be witnesses, and I, too, am among the witnesses along with you.’ (Al Emran: 81)
In this private covenant, the prophets make a promise with God to be both the true prophet for the tribes of prophets before them and the evangelist to the divine prophets after them, so that the line of divine guidance throughout history will always remain without distortion and deviation. And if the tribe and people of any prophet became deviant after that prophet, they should return from deviation by believing in the next prophet. As the holy Qur’an quotes from the language of Jesus Ibn Maryam, peace is upon him, and says:
وَإِذْ قَالَ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ يَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ إِنِّي رَسُولُ اللَّهِ إِلَيْكُمْ مُصَدِّقًا لِمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيَّ مِنَ التَّوْرَاةِ وَمُبَشِّرًا بِرَسُولٍ يَأْتِي مِنْ بَعْدِي اسْمُهُ أَحْمَدُ؛
And when Jesus son of Mary said, ‘O Children of Israel! Indeed I am the apostle of Allah to you, to confirm what is before me of the Torah, and to give the good news of an apostle who will come after me, whose name is Ahmad.’ But when he brought them manifest proofs, they said, ‘This is plain magic.’ (Saff: 6)
The special covenant of the resolute prophets
In the holy Qur’an, there is a third covenant which is dedicated to the resolute prophets and says:
وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِنَ النَّبِيِّينَ مِيثَاقَهُمْ وَمِنْكَ وَمِنْ نُوحٍ وَإِبْرَاهِيمَ وَمُوسَى وَعِيسَى ابْنِ مَرْيَمَ وَأَخَذْنَا مِنْهُمْ مِيثَاقاً غَلِيظاً؛ لِيَسْأَلَ الصَّادِقِينَ عَنْ صِدْقِهِمْ وَأَعَدَّ لِلْكَافِرِينَ عَذَاباً أَلِيماً.
[Recall] when We took a pledge from the prophets, and from you and from Noah and Abraham and Moses and Jesus son of Mary, and We took from them a solemn pledge; so that He may question the truthful concerning their truthfulness. And He has prepared for the faithless a painful punishment. (Ahzab: 7 – 8)
In this holly verse, according to the second verse, all three covenants are apparently mentioned. And in the second verse, disbelievers are mentioned who disobedient this divine covenant and suffer the punishment of the hereafter, in contrast there are people who receive the reward of their truthfulness and adherence to the divine covenant, as the holy verse says:
مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ رِجَالٌ صَدَقُوا مَا عَاهَدُوا اللَّهَ عَلَيْهِ فَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ قَضَى نَحْبَهُ وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ يَنْتَظِرُ وَمَا بَدَّلُوا تَبْدِيلاً؛ لِيَجْزِيَ اللَّهُ الصَّادِقِينَ بِصِدْقِهِمْ وَيُعَذِّبَ الْمُنَافِقِينَ إِنْ شَاءَ أَوْ يَتُوبَ عَلَيْهِمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ غَفُوراً رَحِيماً.
Among the faithful are men who fulfill what they have pledged to Allah: there are some among them who have fulfilled their pledge, and some of them who still wait, and they have not changed in the least; that Allah may reward the true for their truthfulness, and punish the hypocrites, if He wishes, or accept their repentance. Indeed Allah is all-forgiving, all-merciful. (Ahzab: 23 – 24)