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Sūratu’sh-Shu‘arā’ [The Poets]:(26:224-227).Part1

Sūratu’sh-Shu‘arā’ [The Poets]:(26:224-227).Part1

وَالشُّعَرَۤاءُ يَتَّبِعُهُمُ الْغَاوُۧونَۘ۝أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّهُمْ ف۪ي كُلِّ وَادٍ يَه۪يمُونَۙ۝وَأَنَّهُمْ يَقُولُونَ مَا لَا يَفْعَلُونَۙ۝إِلَّا الَّذ۪ينَ اٰمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ وَذَكَرُوا اللّٰهَ كَث۪يرًا وَانْتَصَرُوا مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا ظُلِمُوا

As for poets, only the misguided follow them. Do you not see that they roam confusedly through all the valleys (of falsehoods, thoughts, and currents). And they say what they themselves do not do. Except those who believe and do good, righteous deeds, and remember God much, and vindicate themselves when they have been wronged.

(Ash-Shu‘arā’ 26:224–227)

One of the most outstanding characteristics of the Qur’anic verses is that while they seem to be referring to some persons or events specifically, they also refer to many others indirectly. Both their direct and indirect addressees take their lessons from the verses. For example, the verses above are about the poets of the pre-Islamic Age of Ignorance. In that period, poets were the ones who claimed that they got information from the Unseen, who charmed the people around them with their rhymed words, and who had contact with the jinn like contemporary mediums or fortune-tellers. When the Qur’ān began to be revealed, those who opposed it continued to be regarded as poets. In the verses above the Qur’ān refers to those poets. The fact that those who followed them were the misguided ones gives us enough clues to understand their characteristics.

The verses above, which refer to the poets of the pre-Islamic Age of Ignorance directly, also make an indirect reference to those who resemble them in every age and place. If we view the verses from this perspective, the following realities will appear before us:

“As for poets, only the misguided follow them.”

That is, those who “deify” their lusts and desires and reject or ignore the religion and everything related to the religion, follow the poets who wander distracted in every valley and get lost in the maze.

Such poets “roam confusedly through all the valleys (of false-hoods, thoughts, and currents).” 

Following every vain thought, fancy, and whim and diving into the valleys of verse and prose such as romanticism, realism, rationalism, and naturalism, they neglect the basic issues of humanity and human existence. They roam confusedly and aimlessly through valleys of falsehood.

“They say what they themselves do not do.” 

Like lying hunters, such poets always lie in the name of literature; in the name of poetry and poetical currents.

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