We will discuss:
Sura 16: Ayas 75-76 (Make Yourself Strong and Resourceful)
God gives an example---- someone enslaved, owned by another, has no power over anything, and someone else whom We have given good resources from ourselves and who spends from it at will, both privately and publicly. Are these two equal? Praise and thanks be to God: but most of them do not understand it.
And God gives the example of two men---one of them dumb, powerless, and a burden on his master: to whichever task is he directed he brings no good.
Can such a one be considered the equal of someone who commands justice and is on a firm path?
In these ayas two categories of people are described; there is a comparison between a person who is powerless and clueless, unable to do anything right, versus someone who is resourceful, free to act and is generous in helping others.
In both verses there is a rhetorical question: can these two people be considered equal? The answer is obvious. God wishes you and me to be resourceful and have the ability to accomplish our objectives and help others.
These verses tell us that if religious teachings contribute to personal growth, resourcefulness and fulfillment of potential for people who follow them then these represent the true purpose of religion. If on the other hand, religion is taught in ways that contribute to limitation, poverty and weakness then such teachings are false.
Note: Our discussions are based on Quran commentaries in the book " The Quran and The Life of Excellence". You can obtain a copy from Amazon.com or Barnes&Noble.com