The Disbelievers are like Cattle; Rather they are more astray!

Bismillaah Al-Hamdulillaah wa salatu wa salaamu ‘ala rasulullaah

Shaykh al-‘Utaybi’s Explanation of Allaah’s Statement (which means):
The Disbelievers are like Cattle; Rather they are more astray!

During his lecture “Refraining From The Disobedience of Allaah,” Shaykh Abu ‘Umar al-‘Utaybi (hafidhahullaah Ta’aala) said:

Allaah, Subhanahu wa Ta’aala, said about the disbelievers – those who do not believe in Allaah and the Last Day – that they are like cattle:

وَلَقَدْ ذَرَأْنَا لِجَهَنَّمَ كَثِيرا ً مِنَ الْجِنِّ وَالإِنسِ لَهُمْ قُلُوب ٌ لاَ يَفْقَهُونَ بِهَا وَلَهُمْ أَعْيُن ٌ لاَ يُبْصِرُونَ بِهَا وَلَهُمْ آذَان ٌ لاَ يَسْمَعُونَ بِهَا أُوْلَائِكَ كَالأَنعَامِ بَلْ هُمْ أَضَلُّ أُوْلَائِكَ هُمُ الْغَافِلُونَ

And surely, We have created many of the jinns and mankind for Hell. They have hearts wherewith they understand not, they have eyes wherewith they see not, and they have ears wherewith they hear not (the truth). They are like cattle, nay even more astray! They are the heedless ones. (Al-A’raf, ayah 179)

They are like cattle —-> because they don’t learn the commands and prohibitions, and they don’t act upon them.

Rather they are more astray —–> Why are they more astray?

1- The first question is: Why did Allaah make the disbelievers as the cattle?
2- The second question is: Why did Allaah say: بَلْ هُمْ أَضَلُّ (Rather they are more misguided and astray)?

Allaah said the disbelievers are like the animals because they don’t learn Allaah’s Deen, nor do they implement it. Because the animals don’t learn. They don’t read or write or teach (Allaah’s Religion). They only eat and seek their pleasure.

Why are the disbelievers more astray than the animals? ——> Because the animals praise Allaah, whereas the disbelievers do not praise Allaah. The animal doesn’t commit polytheism. As for the disbeliever, he associates partners unto Allaah. For this reason, the disbeliever is more astray than the animal.

So the individual who is intelligent and has an intelligent mind will know why he is created and will work to fulfill that purpose. So whoever is intelligent, he will be successful.

Who is the intelligent?

Why is the intellect named in the Arabic language as ‘Aql?

The ‘Aql is derived from the root word of a rope that is tied.

So when one wants to captivate an animal, you tie it so it doesn’t run away. Because if the animal runs away, it doesn’t know where to find its own benefit, because it could do good or bad. But when you tie the animal, you make the animal only do good. You only use the animal for what is beneficial. So the human being has a brain, and the animal has a brain. But your brain knows what will benefit you and what will harm you. Hence, you do what will benefit you, and abstain from what will harm you.

So the one who ties himself down to do good and imprisons himself away from the prohibitions, he is the one who is ‘aaqil (has intellect). In the Arabic language, the intellect is also called a Hijr. It is a barrier that stands between an individual and evil.

Hence, we see that the person of true intellect is the one who deprives himself from what Allaah, The Mighty and Majestic, prohibited. So the true intellectual who does good and leaves evil, he is the one who is Sa’eed (successful, happy).

So this is the definition of having a true, insightful intellect, the intellect which orders you with good and prohibits you from evil.

It is not intended by intellect that a person knows the details of mathematics or he has knowledge of wordly matters that the believers and disbelievers share in. The intent of ‘aql (intellect) is the benfecial intellect which would help you stay away from entering the Hellfire.

What benefit would it serve a person if had knowledge of business or manufacturing or physics or chemistry, but he worships a cow or a stone or the dead – instead of worshipping Allaah, The Ever-Living Who does not die?

For this reason, Allaah said in the Qur`an regarding the disbelievers and hypocrites that they don’t have knowledge nor do they have the ability to analyze something intellectually.

Even the disobedient Muslim – a Muslim who commits disobedience – needs to rush to repent from his disobedience. Allaah says:

إِنَّمَا التَّوبَةُ عَلَى اللَّهِ لِلَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ السُّوءَ بِجَهَالَة ٍ ثُمَّ يَتُوبُونَ مِنْ قَرِيب ٍ فَأُوْلَائِكَ يَتُوبُ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلِيماً حَكِيما

Allaah accepts only the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and foolishness and repent soon afterwards; it is they to whom Allaah will forgive and Allaah is Ever Al­l-Knower, All-Wise. (An-Nisa`, ayah 17) Even the Muslim – when he disobeys Allaah – he is in a state of ignorance when he is disobeying Allaah. And when he does so, his intellect weakens. So when they commit these acts of disobedience, they do not think of these repercussions of these sins…

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