Quranic Reflection No. 308 Āyat 30:60 – Do not be intimidated

وَلَا يَسْتَخِفَّنَّكَ الَّذِينَ لَا يُوقِنُونَ
Walā yastakhiffannakal-ladhīna lā yūqinūn
And let not those who have no conviction weaken you
(Sūratur Rūm, No.30, Āyat 60)

This verse is the last verse of Sūratur Rūm. The Sūra begins with a promise of victory and ends with a promise of help. The last verse tells believers to be patient and have faith in the promise of Allah and not let the disbelievers intimidate them and make them lose their spirit.

During the time of the Holy Prophet (s), people accused the Prophet and called him many names. They said he was a sorcerer, a mad man, an imposter. That he had fabricated tales after taking information from other people. They predicted his religion would die due to lack of support. They spread propaganda about the faith, ridiculing its adherence to noble virtues and its conviction in life after death. They tried hard to dishearten the Prophet and the early Muslims. But the Muslims persevered. Divine revelations in the form of Quranic verses lifted up their spirits, encouraging them to stand firm and not be daunted.

Muslims today are facing a similar situation. Those who do not believe in God or religion are bent on spreading skepticism and ridicule for religion. They blame Islam for a lot of the un-Islamic actions of its followers. Muslims are constantly having to defend themselves, to explain their faith, to appeal to people whose minds and hearts have become hardened. Unfortunately, within Muslims also there are great divides. One group tries to put down and condemn the other.

A believer’s spirit can easily be affected by this. It can be intimidating to be surrounded by such hatred. It is inescapable and cannot be ignored. It can create doubt, fear, nervousness, insecurity, lack of confidence, apathy, etc. – all negative emotions that slowly erode faith. Sometimes the faith is not completely eroded but it loses its luster and vitality.

To remain strong and firm and not become weakened by the surrounding disbelief we must:
• strengthen our conviction through knowledge and reflection
• be inspired by the sacrifice and devotions of early Muslims
• be positively and actively patient for the promise of Allah to be fulfilled
• remain productive through good actions and self-development
• counter propaganda with reason and wisdom
• work together with like-minded people to get strength through numbers

These may sound very general and too large to achieve, but small steps in these paths can lead to strength and firmness. There must be continuous action towards these goals. It can become the shield that will ward off the arrows of intimidation thrown at us.

The verse above is a reminder that we must not weaken. Make yourself less vulnerable to fear and intimidation as a believer by reciting this verse often. You and your conviction are strong enough to resist the efforts of those who wish to undermine you. It is after all, God that you are standing with. His Word will always have the last say.

Sources: Āyatullāh Nāsir Makārim Shirāzī (Ed.), Tafsīr-e Namūneh; Agha Muhsin Qarā’atī, Tafsīr-e Nūr.