03 Nov Sūratu’sh-Shu‘arā’ [The Poets]:(26:224-227).Part2
وَالشُّعَرَۤاءُ يَتَّبِعُهُمُ الْغَاوُۧونَۘأَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّهُمْ ف۪ي كُلِّ وَادٍ يَه۪يمُونَۙوَأَنَّهُمْ يَقُولُونَ مَا لَا يَفْعَلُونَۙإِلَّا 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.
“Except those who believe and do good, righteous deeds.”
Those who are referred to in this part of the verse are believing poets. They believe in God, the Prophet, and the Qur’ān; follow the Qur’ān and the Prophet in their lives; and therefore do not deviate into other, misleading ways and are not confused. Therefore, those who follow them share the same thoughts and feelings with them. Indeed, they never tell lies because they consider saying what they do not do as one of the biggest sins in God’s sight. They do not sacrifice their values for the sake of rhyme or what they consider literary merits. They are believers; they are embodiments and representatives of safety, security, and confidence, inspiring assurance and safety around them. In fact, their speeches are in accord or harmony with their actions, and they always act in virtuous circles in which one virtue follows another. Thus, nothing else is to be expected from these people who remember God morning and night and vindicate themselves when they have been wronged.
Obviously, a very important condition of benefiting from the Qur’ān is that, bearing its universality in mind, all people should approach it with the conviction that the Qur’ān addresses them directly. Then the Qur’ān will express and address itself to anybody who approaches it, and the door to its blessings and benefits will be opened.
To sum up, like many other occupations, literature—whether it be in prose or verse—varies according to those who are occupied with it. In the hands of those who believe and do good deeds; explain and advocate faith, good deeds, and virtues in their verse and prose; use their artistic capacities and skills in the service of truth and its exaltation without wasting them on fantasies; and support right and the rightful and vindicate themselves when they have been wronged while supporting right and truth—in the hands of those men of letters (like Hansā, Ka‘b ibn Zuhayr, Ka‘b ibn Mālik, Hassan ibn Thābit, ‘Abdullāh ibn Rawāha and similar others) who are confirmed and supported with the Spirit of Holiness, any literary work, whether in prose or verse, will be an influential voice or a “magic” that captivates people in the name of truth as a means to defend and advocate it. But in the hands of human lusts, desires, and fantasies, literature turns into a means of misguidance and deception. Literary men or women who follow their lusts and fantasies and roam in the valleys of misguidance deceive people, regard something which they declared yesterday to be generosity as wastefulness today, disparage today those whom they exalted yesterday, present the brightest truths as whims or fantasies, stir up carnal appetites by praising outer beauty and ignoring the real, abstract beauty. They deify nature while describing it and show something impossible as possible and something possible as impossible. They make art and literature into means of deception, exaggeration, and demagogy. All of these behaviors and manners are devilish.