Quran 3:190. In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, are signs for people of understanding.
191. Those who remember God while standing, and sitting, and on their sides; and they reflect upon the creation of the heavens and the earth: “Our Lord, You did not create this in vain, glory to You, so protect us from the punishment of the Fire.”
192. “Our Lord, whomever You commit to the Fire, You have disgraced. The wrongdoers will have no helpers.”
193. “Our Lord, we have heard a caller calling to the faith: `Believe in your Lord,' and we have believed. Our Lord! Forgive us our sins, and remit our misdeeds, and make us die in the company of the virtuous.”
194. “Our Lord, and give us what You have promised us through Your messengers, and do not disgrace us on the Day of Resurrection. Surely You never break a promise.”
195. And so their Lord answered them: “I will not waste the work of any worker among you, whether male or female. You are one of another. For those who emigrated, and were expelled from their homes, and were persecuted because of Me, and fought and were killed—I will remit for them their sins, and will admit them into gardens beneath which rivers flow—a reward from God. With God is the ultimate reward.”
196. Do not be impressed by the disbelievers’ movements in the land.
197. A brief enjoyment, then their abode is Hell. What a miserable resort.
198. As for those who feared their Lord: for them will be gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever—hospitality from God. What God possesses is best for the just.
199. Among the People of the Scripture are those who believe in God, and in what was revealed to you, and in what was revealed to them. They are humble before God, and they do not sell God’s revelations for a cheap price. These will have their reward with their Lord. God is swift in reckoning.
200. O you who believe! Be patient, and advocate patience, and be united, and revere God, so that you may thrive.
So this is from the commentary.
On the one hand, they are described as remembering God in the midst of all worldly affairs and worldly pursuits, standing and sitting and lying on their sides, being thus fully conscious of the Divine presence everywhere and in all conditions; and, on the other they set out for the conquest of nature with the full consciousness that nothing has been created in vain and that a purpose underlies the whole of creation. This is the grand object which Islåm sets before its followers, to conquer self by remembrance of God and to conquer nature by pursuit of knowledge.
The last section, while predicting victory for the Muslims, requires them to be humble in the hour of triumph, as in the last chapter. The concluding verse speaks of three things as the key to success. The first is ©abr, which conveys the significance of endurance and perseverance in trials and perseverance in the doing of good. The second is mu©åbarah, which means vying in ©abr or steadfastness with each other, or trying to excel the enemy in endurance. The third is ribå∆, which means guarding or stationing the army on the frontiers, to guard it against the enemy. All three words carry a temporal as well as a spiritual significance. What is inculcated here is, on the one hand, showing endurance in wars, excelling the enemy in endurance and to remain in readiness on the frontiers of the Muslim territory to meet the enemy, and, on the other, remaining steadfast in keeping away from evil and keeping to obedience to God, trying to excel each other in the quality of endurance and to remain on guard against the Evil one on the frontiers. What is meant by the last is explained in a √adßth of the Prophet: “What is lawful is manifest and what is unlawful is manifest and between these two are doubtful things which many people do not know. So whoever guards himself against the doubtful things, he keeps his religion and his honour unsullied, and whoever falls into doubtful things is like the herdsman who grazes his cattle on the borders of a reserve — he is likely to enter it. Know that every king has a reserve and know that the reserve of Allåh in His land is what He has forbidden”. The Qur’ån thus, while not neglecting the temporal needs of man, aims at his spiritual perfection.
The church, the one I was raised in, didn't talk about the Muslims. I had no idea Muslims existed. Somehow I expected Ishmael's family to show up in the new testament. But connecting Ishmael to the Muslim faith was not something the church deals with. And so.... I've been ignorant for well over half a century.... oh that sounds horrible.
Quite frankly, until I started reading the Bible on my own.... I thought Ishmael's family was always trying to kill Isaac's family. As I understood it, when the PLO started their stand in the 70's, I thought they were Ishmael's ancestors who were all doomed to Hell because they don't believe in Jesus. I was of the opinion the Muslims were worse than the Jews in God's eyes. I was dead wrong!
Now back to the chapter. If I'm going to endure and be patient and be on constant watch..... then I need something to concentrate on. I need a project or an object or an idea to keep my mind steady. Most of the time, when I tire, I think of the latest Bible study I did.... or now the latest thing I read in the Quran. I try to figure out how that study is important on that day.... for me. I choose to keep my eye on God.
I read, yesterday, that the kids growing up today are shelving God. They don't believe like we did when I was a kid sitting up in Mr. Whipple's apple trees. They don't spend a lot of time arguing over the beginning of Angels. They don't talk about miracles in the spectacular way we did 65 years ago when I was a kid. Things have really changed for Christians.
When I was a kid.... everyone went to church on Sunday morning. That's the way it was. We went to different churches but we all went to church or to mass. Most of the people I knew growing up were either Baptist or Adventist. We even read a scripture in school and recited the Lord's Prayer... right after the pledge of allegiance and the singing of "Our country tis of thee" or "America the Beautiful". Now our kids are "too smart" to be wasting their time on church where they are taught "to be mean to one another" according to a "kid" I know.
When I saw verse 197 this morning.... I thought of Ocean City or Atlantic City.... over the weekend, they were supposed to have so much fun and make so much money. The pandemic is almost completely under control. People can fly again. People are ready for a lot of sunshine and smiles..... but the weather.... the weather.... put the people back in their hotel rooms... or made them stay home altogether. Ah the best laid plans of mice and men.....
It's what we don't know.... like what the weather is going to do.... or when we might pass away... or when we might loose a loved one... or when a meteor is going to hit the earth.... or that huge earthquake is going to break the ring of fire open.... that we must leave in God's hands. I wonder.... where do people who don't know God get the where-with-all to live through those trials? I've had God to talk to since I was a little thing, 65 years ago. I don't remember a day without God to depend on for the big stuff. What do the kids of today, the ones who didn't have to say the Lord's Prayer at the beginning of each school day, have to depend on?
There is so much stuff we don't understand. I am of the opinion that without God to depend on.... I have no clue. That to me is worrisome.
To me life without God would be like living in an Ocean town when a storm is churning the waves and I have no where to go.
To me life without God would be a miserable resort.