In the first verse, Allah directed our intention to one prominent question, who is the people who are against Islam? Who are those who so brave that they disbelieve the existence of the Almighty Allah? The first verse creates suspense for the readers. We would like to know whether we are in those group of people who are cursed by Allah.
"Have you seen him who denies Our religion? It is he who harshly repels the orphan and does not urge others to feed the needy. Woe to those who pray but are heedless of their prayers; who put on a show of piety but refuse to give even the smallest help to others."
The next two verses proclaim the characteristics of those who denies islam. The one who harshly repel the orphan and does not help the poor who are in needs. Let us have a thought. Why is it so harsh the punishment given by Allah to those who do not help the orphan and the poor one? Why not Allah said the disbeliever are the one who are fighting against the deen, islam? Does the sin of not helping the orphan and needy is so big that Allah cursed them? How about another group of people who commit bigger sins, such as adultery and robbery? Is this justified?
"It is he who harshly repels the orphan and does not urge others to feed the needy. "
If someone take the literal meaning of this verse, he/she may think that he/she is protected from the curse of Allah is he/she does help the orphan and the needy ones. Thus, we might see many Muslims helping the orphan and the needy one but is this the objective of this surah? Why does Allah does not include the one who commit big sins into those who are called as the one who denies islam?
Let us look into the next part of this surah. The last three verses,
"Woe to those who pray but are heedless of their prayers; who put on a show of piety but refuse to give even the smallest help to others."These verses extended the characteristics of the one who denies islam. Allah mentioned in the Quran that the one who does not pray with khusyu' and careless, and the one who are arrogant by which they does not give help to other people, are the one who denies islam.
Let us think over these verses. The one who are heedless in the prayers and does not help people who are in needs. Are we in those category? Are our prayer is so great such that Allah accepted our prayer? How many years we have prayed such that we gained khusyu'? If we have prayed for the last 10 years, how many percent of those prayers truly reflect the way Prophet prays? Muhasabah always.
Let us reflect on the entire meaning of this surah. First, Allah questioned us, the weakling human, on the group of people who denies islam. Then, Allah gave His answer in the next couple of verses.
Whenever you read al-Quran, always contemplate deeply. Some verses, we can take the literal meaning and some have another interpretation.
Why does Allah mentioned two such kind of people that entirely different in behaviour? First, the group of people who does not conduct good behaviour towards other people and second the people who does not paid full attention in their prayer.
This surah is actually delivering the message of the true meaning of faith ie iman. Islam is not a way of life built on ostentation and superficiality. The apparent aspects of the different acts of worship are, according to Islam, meaningless unless they are motivated by sincerity and devotion to Allah. Worship sincerely motivated produces effects within the individual's heart which then cause him to act righteously and which are reflected in a social behaviour which elevates man's life on this earth.
Having true faith will make someone believe the greatness and the righteousness of islam and reflect the faith towards the physical acts. Islam is not a religion of spiritual neither full of physical acts. Islam is not a religion that can only be implemented at the place of worship neither islam only can be practised via charity deeds. Islam is both spiritual and physical and it is more than that. Islam is not to be equated to other religions on this temporal earth. Islam is not a religion that only suitable for certain events or place or times.
In essence, islam is the way of life!
Believing is not only a spiritual matter but it requires the implementation of those belief in life. Hence, Allah mention two groups of people who denies islam. First group, only implement the physical acts but deep inside in their heart, they are never sincere. The second group, only implement the spritual act ie prayer but again, they are never sincere.
Having said that, let us contemplate and reflect the surah onto ourself. Is our belief today at this very second truly reflects islam?
Remember, islam is the way of life. Islam is not a religion that suitable at the mosque nor does it only suits in moral act. Islam is more than that. See the bigger picture!
Have you seen him who denies Our religion? Are we in those group? How much do we believe in islam such that our everyday acts truly reflect and propagate the truth about islam?