The Believers must (eventually) win through 2865
Those who humble themselves in their prayers; 2866
Who avoid vain talk;
Who are active in deeds of charity;
Who abstain from sex 2867
Except with those joined to them in the marriage bond or (the captives) whom their right hands possess for (in their case) they are free from blame 2868
But those whose desires exceed those limits are transgressors
Those who faithfully observe their trust and their covenants; 2869
And who (strictly) guard their prayers 2870
Those will be the heirs 2871
Who will inherit Paradise: they will dwell therein (forever).
Man We did create from a quintessence (of clay); 2872
Then We placed him as (a drop of) sperm in a place of rest firmly fixed; 2873
Then We made the sperm into a clot of congealed blood; then of that clot We made a (foetus) lump; then We made out of that lump bones and clothed the bones with flesh; then We developed out of it another creature: so blessed be Allah the Best to create! 2874
After that at length ye will die. 2875
Again on the Day of Judgment will ye be raised up.
And We have made above you seven tracts; and We are never unmindful of (Our) Creation. 2876 2877
And We send down water from the sky according to (due) measure and We cause it to soak in the soil; and We certainly are able to drain it off (with ease). 2878
With it We grow for you gardens of date-palms and vines: in them have ye abundant fruits: and of them ye eat (and have enjoyment) 2879
Also a tree springing out of Mount Sinai which produces oil and relish for those who use it for food. 2880
And in cattle (too) ye have an instructive example: from within their bodies We produce (milk) for you to drink; there are in them (besides) numerous (other) benefits for you; and of their (meat) ye eat; 2881
And on them as well as in ships ye ride.
(Further We sent a long line of prophets for your instruction.) We sent Noah to his people: he said "O my people! worship Allah! Ye have no other god but Him: will ye not fear (Him)?" 2882 2883 2884
The chiefs of the Unbelievers among his people said: "He is no more than a man like yourselves: his wish is to assert his superiority over you: if Allah had wished (to send messengers) He could have sent down angels: never did we hear such a thing (as he says) among our ancestors of old." 2885
(And some said:) "He is only a man possessed: wait (and have patience) with him for a time." 2886
(Noah) said: "O my Lord! help me: for that they accuse me of falsehood!"
So We inspired him (with this message): "Construct the Ark within Our sight and under Our guidance: then when comes Our command and the fountains of the earth gush forth take thou on board pairs of every species male and female and thy family except those of them against whom the Word has already gone forth: and address Me not in favor of the wrongdoers; for they shall be drowned (in the Flood). 2887 2888 2889 2890
And when thou hast embarked on the Ark thou and those with thee say: "Praise be to Allah Who has saved us from the people who do wrong." 2891
And say: "O my Lord! enable me to disembark with Thy blessing: for Thou art the Best to enable (us) to disembark." 2892
Verily in this there are Signs (for men to understand); (thus) do We try (men). 2893
Then We raised after them another generation;
And We sent to them an apostle from among themselves (saying) "Worship Allah! ye have no other god but Him. Will ye not fear (Him)?" 2894
And the chiefs of his people who disbelieved and denied the Meeting in the Hereafter and on whom We had bestowed the good things of this life said: "He is no more than a man like yourselves; he eats of that of which ye eat and drinks of what ye drink.
"If ye obey a man like yourselves behold it is certain ye will be lost. 2895
"Does he promise that when ye die and become dust and bones ye shall be brought forth (again)?
"Far very far is that which ye are promised!
"There is nothing but our life in this world! We shall die and we live! But we shall never be raised up again! 2896
"He is only a man who invents a lie against Allah but we are not the ones to believe in him!" 2897
(The prophet) said: "O my Lord! help me: for that they accuse me of falsehood." 2898
(Allah) said: "In but a little while they are sure to be sorry!" 2899
Then the Blast overtook them with justice and We made them as rubbish of dead leaves (floating on the stream of Time)! So away with the people who do wrong! 2900 2901
Then We raised after them other generations.
No people can hasten their term nor can they delay (it).
Then sent We Our apostles in succession: every time there came to a people their apostle they accused him of falsehood: so We made them follow each other (in punishment): We made them as a tale (that is told): so away with a people that will not believe! 2902
Then We sent Moses and his brother Aaron with Our Signs and authority manifest 2903
To Pharaoh and his Chiefs: but these behaved insolently: they were arrogant people.
They said: "Shall we believe in two men like ourselves? And their people are subject to us!" 2904
So they accused them of falsehood and they became of those who were destroyed.
And We gave Moses the Book in order that they might receive guidance. 2905
And We made the son of Mary and his mother as a Sign: We gave them both shelter on high ground affording rest and security and furnished with springs. 2906 2907
O ye apostles! enjoy (all) things good and pure and work righteousness: for I am well-acquainted with (all) that ye do. 2908
And verily this Brotherhood of yours is a single Brotherhood and I am your Lord and Cherisher: therefore fear Me (and no other). 2909
But people have cut off their affair (of unity) between them into sects: each party rejoices in that which is with itself. 2910
But leave them in their confused ignorance for a time.
Do they think that because We have granted them abundance of wealth and sons
We would hasten them on in every good? Nay they do not understand. 2911
Verily those who live in awe for fear of their Lord;
Those who believe in the Signs of their Lord;
Those who join not (in worship) partners with their Lord;
And those who dispense their charity with their hearts full of fear because they will return to their Lord 2912
It is these who hasten in every good work and these who are foremost in them.
On no soul do We place a burden greater than it can bear: before Us is a record which clearly shows the truth: they will never be wronged. 2913 2914
But their hearts are in confused ignorance of this; and there are besides that deeds of theirs which they will (continue) to do 2915 2916
Until when We seize in Punishment those of them who received the good things of this world behold they will groan in supplication!
It will be said: "Groan not in supplication this day; for ye shall certainly not be helped by Us.
"My Signs used to be rehearsed to you but ye used to turn back on your heels
"In arrogance: talking nonsense about the (Qur'an) like one telling fables by night." 2917
Do they not ponder over the Word (of Allah) or has anything (new) come to them that did not come to their fathers of old? 2918
Or do they not recognize their Apostle that they deny him?
Or do they say "He is possessed"? Nay he has brought them the Truth but most of them hate the Truth.
If the Truth had been in accord with their desires truly the heavens and the earth and all beings therein would have been in confusion and corruption! Nay We have sent them their admonition but they turn away from their admonition. 2919
Or is it that thou askest them for some recompense? But the recompense of thy Lord is best: He is the Best of those who give sustenance. 2920
But verily thou callest them to the Straight Way;
And verily those who believe not in the Hereafter are deviating from that Way.
If We had mercy on them and removed the distress which is on them they would obstinately persist in their transgression wandering in distraction to and fro. 2921
We inflicted Punishment on them but they humbled not themselves to their Lord nor do they submissively entreat (Him)! 2922
Until We open on them a gate leading to a severe Punishment: then Lo! they will be plunged in despair therein! 2923
It is He Who has created for you (the faculties of) hearing sight feeling and understanding little thanks it is ye give! 2924
And He has multiplied you through the earth and to Him shall ye be gathered back.
It is He Who gives life and death and to Him (is due) the alternation of Night and Day: will ye not then understand? 2925
On the contrary they say things similar to what the ancients said. 2926
They say: "What! when we die and become dust and bones could we really be raised up again?
"Such things have been promised to us and to our fathers before! They are nothing but tales of the ancients!"
Say: "To whom belong the earth and all beings therein? (Say) if ye know!"
They will say "To Allah!" Say: "Yet will ye not receive admonition?" 2927
Say: "Who is the Lord of the seven heavens and the Lord of the Throne (of Glory) Supreme?" 2928
They will say "(They belong) to Allah." Say: "Will ye not then be filled with awe?" 2929
Say: "Who is it in whose hands is the governance of all things who protects (all) but is not protected (of any)? (Say) if ye know."
They will say "(It belongs) to Allah." Say: "Then how are ye deluded?" 2930
We have sent them the Truth: but they indeed practice Falsehood!
No son did Allah beget nor is there any god along with Him: (if there were many gods) behold each god would have taken away what he had created and some would have lorded it over others! Glory to Allah (He is free) from the (sort of) things they attribute to Him! 2931
He knows what is hidden and what is open: too high is He for the partners they attribute to Him! 2932
Say: "O my Lord! if Thou wilt show me (in my lifetime) that which they are warned against 2933
"Then O my Lord! put me not amongst the people who do wrong!"
And We are certainly able to show thee (in fulfillment) that against which they are warned.
Repel evil with that which is best: We are well-acquainted with the things they say. 2934
And say: "O my Lord! I seek refuge with Thee from the suggestions of the Evil Ones; 2935
"And I seek refuge with Thee O my Lord! lest they should come near me."
(In Falsehood will they be) until when death comes to one of them he says: "O my Lord! send me back (to life) 2936 2937
"In order that I may work righteousness in the things I neglected." "By no means! it is but a word he says before them is a Partition till the Day they are raised up. 2938 2939 2940
Then when the Trumpet is blown there will be no more relationships between them that day nor will one ask after another! 2941
Then those whose balance (of good deeds) is heavy they will attain salvation: 2942
But those whose balance is light will be those who have lost their souls; in Hell will they abide. 2943
The Fire will burn their faces and they will therein grin with their lips displaced. 2944
"Were not My Signs rehearsed to you and ye did but treat them as falsehoods?"
They will say: "Our Lord! our misfortune overwhelmed us and we became a people astray! 2945
"Our Lord! bring us out of this: if ever we return (to evil) then shall we be wrongdoers indeed!"
He will say: "Be ye driven into it (with ignominy)! and speak ye not to Me! 2946
"A part of My servants there was who used to pray `Our Lord! we believe; then do Thou forgive us and have mercy upon us: for Thou art the best of those Who show mercy!'
"But ye treated them with ridicule so much so that (ridicule of) them made you forget My Message while ye were laughing at them! 2947
"I have rewarded them this day for their patience and constancy: they are indeed the ones that have achieved Bliss..."
He will say: "What number of years did ye stay on earth?" 2948
They will say: "We stayed a day or part of a day: but ask those who keep account." 2949
He will say: "Ye stayed not but a little if ye had only known!
"Did ye then think that We had created you in jest and that ye would not be brought back to Us (for account)?" 2950
Therefore exalted be Allah the King the Reality; there is no god but He the Lord of the Throne of Honor!
If anyone invokes besides Allah any other god he has no authority therefor; and his reckoning will be only with his Lord! And verily the Unbelievers will fail to win through! 2951 2952
So say: "O my Lord! grant thou forgiveness and mercy! for Thou art the Best of those who show mercy!"
Aflaha: win through, prosper, succeed, achieve their aims or obtain salvation from sorrow and all evil. This verse connects on with verses 10 and 11 below. The success or victory may come in this world, but is certain and lasting in the world to come.
Humility in prayer as regards (1) their estimate of their own worth in Allah's presence, (2) as regards their estimate of their own powers or strength unless they are helped by Allah, and (3) as regards the petitions they offer to Allah.
The Muslim must guard himself against every kind of sex abuse or sex perversion. The new psychology associated with the name of Freud traces many of our hidden motives to sex, and it is common knowledge that our refinement or degradation may be measured by the hidden workings of our sex instincts. But even the natural and lawful exercise of sex is restricted to the marriage bond, under which the rights of both parties are duly regulated and maintained.
This is further explained and amplified in iv. 25.
Trusts may be express or implied. Express trusts are those where property is entrusted or duties are assigned by some one to some other whom he trusts, to carry out either immediately or in specified contingencies, such as death. Implied trusts arise out of power, or position, or opportunity; e.g., a king holds his kingdom on trust from Allah for his subjects. The subject of covenants, express and implied, has been discussed in n. 682 to v.1. Covenants create obligations, and express and implied trusts and covenants taken together cover the whole field of obligations.
In verse 2 we were directed to the spirit of humility and earnestness in our prayers. Here we are told how necessary the habit of regular prayer is to our spiritual well-being and development, as it brings us closer to Allah, and thus sums up the light of the seven jewels of our Faith, viz.,: (1) humility, (2) avoidance of vanity, (3) charity, (4) sex purity, (5) fidelity to trusts, and (6) to covenants, and (7) an earnest desire to get closer to Allah.
Cf. xxi. 105, where it is said that the righteous will inherit the earth. In the first verse of this Sura, the final success or victory is referred to. Truth will prevail even on this earth, but it may not be for any individual men of righteousness to see it: it may be in the time of their heirs and successors. But in the life to come, there is no doubt that every man will see the fruit of his life here, and the righteous will inherit heaven, in the sense that they will attain it after their death here.
In this beautiful passage, Allah's creative work, as far as man is concerned, is recapitulated, in order to show man's real position in this life, and the certainty of the future: to which he was referred for his reward in verses 10-11 above. For the various stages of creation, see n. 120 to ii. 117. Here we are not concerned with the earliest stage, the creation of primeval matter out of nothing. It is also a process of creation when inorganic matter becomes living matter. Thus inorganic constituents of the earth are absorbed into fiving matter by way of food and living matter reproduces itself by means of sperm. This is deposited in the ovum and fertilises it and rests for a time in security in the mother's womb. The first change in the fertilised ovum is the conversion into a sort of clot of thickly congealed blood; the zygote cells grow by segmentation; then the mass gradually assumes shape in its growth as a foetus. From the lump develop bones and flesh and organs and a nervous system. So far man's growth is like that of an animal, but a further process takes place which makes the infant animal into the infant man. This is the breathing from Allah's spirit into him (xv. 29). It may be a continuous process parallel to that of physical growth. The child is born; it grows; it decays and dies; but after death another chapter opens for the individual, and it is to remind us of this most momentous chapter that the previous stages are recapitulated.
The growth in the foetal stage is silent and unseen. The foetus is protected in the mother's womb like a king in a castle; it is firmly fixed, and gets the protection of the mother's body, on which it depends for its own growth until birth.
From a mere animal, we now consider man as man. Is it not a Sign of wonder in itself that from dry dust (turab, xxii. 5) or inorganic matter should be made protoplasm (moist clay or organic matter); from it should grow a new animal life; and out of it should grow human life, with all its capacities and responsibilities? Man carries within himself Signs of Allah's wisdom and power, and he can see them every day in the universe around him.
Our physical death in this mortal life seems to make a break. But if it were the end of all, our life becomes meaningless. Our own instinct tells us that it cannot be so, and Allah assures us that there will be a resurrection for judgment.
Taraiq: literally tracts, roads, orbits or paths. Here it means: seven heavens. The assurance given in the next clause, that Allah cares for us and all His Creation, calls out attention to Allah's goodness, which is further illustrated in the subsequent verses.
Allah's care for His Creation is ceaseless. A few examples of His care for our physical well-being are given in verses 18-22, and for our spiritual well-being, in Sections 2 to 5.
Normally the rain comes well distributed; it soaks into the soil; the moisture is retained for a long time in all high grounds; it soaks and penetrates through many layers of soil and forms the architecture of physical geography; the retentive powers of higher soil enable rivers to flow perennially even where, as in India, the rainfall is seasonal and confined to a few months in the year. Another form in which water comes down from the sky according to due measure is in snow and hail: these also have their place in the economy of air and soil. Were it not for snow and glaciers in the higher mountain regions, some of the rivers would fail in their abundant flow. As wonderful as the supply of water and moisture is its drainage. It retums to the sea and air in all sorts of ways, and the formation of mist and clouds repeats the cycle. Were it not for the drainage and the clearance of the waters, we should have floods and waterlogging, as happens when the normal processes of nature are temporarily obstructed. The same thing happens when the rain comes down in other than due measure. These abnormal conditions also have their value. But how grateful should man be for Allah's gifts in the ceaseless processes of nature on such an enormous scale!
Cf. vii. 19 and n. 776 to v. 69.
For Arabia the best olives grow round about Mount Sinai. The fig, the olive, Mount Sinai, and the sacred city of Makkah are mentioned together in association in xcv. 1-3, where we shall consider its meaning. Olive oil is an ingredient in medicinal ointments. If used for food, the olive has a delicious flavour, Cf. also xxiv. 35, where the olive is called a Blessed Tree, and n. 3000.
'Ibrat. the root meaning of the verb is "to interpret, or expound, or instruct", as in xii. 43; the noun means, an interpretation, or example or Sign that instructs, as here and in xvi. 66, or gives warning, as in iii. 13. From cattle we get milk and meat; also from their skins we make leather for shoes, boots, straps, saddlery, and numerous other uses; from camel's hair and sheep's wool we weave cloth, hangings, carpets, etc.; from the horns of cattle we make cups and articles of ornament or use; and camels, horses, donkeys, mules, etc., are used for riding, carrying loads, or drawing vehicles.
The material gifts having been mentioned, which we receive from a wise and kindly Providence, our attention is now directed to Allah's Providence in spiritual matters. He sent Teachers to instruct and guide us, and though they were mocked, rejected, and accused of falsehood and selfishness, they were protected by Allah, and Allah's Truth at length prevailed.
"People" here is almost equivalent to "contemporaries".
Cf. vii. 59. To fear Allah is to lead righteous lives and eschew evil.
They attribute altogether wrong motives to him (such as would have actuated them themselves), in saying that he was trying to establish his own personal superiority over them by his preaching. Then they accuse him of falsehood in claiming to bring a message of Allah. "If", they say, "Allah had wished to send us messengers, He would have sent angels, not a man like ourselves and from among ourselves. Our ancestors did not worship One God: why should we?"
I construe this to be a speech of another group among them. They thought he was mad, and best left alone. His madness would run out, or he would come to an evil end.
Cf. this whole passage with xi. 35-48, and notes thereon.
See n. 1533 to xi. 40.
See. 1534 to xi. 40.
See n. 1535 to xi. 40.
For istawa see 1386 to x. 3. Here the meaning is: mounted on board, ascended, embarked.
This second prayer was inspired when the Flood subsided, and the time came for disembarkation.
Noah's contemporaries had all sorts of chances and warnings. But they refused to believe and perished. But Allah's Truth survived, and it went to the next and succeeding generations. Will not mankind understand?
If this refers to any particular prophet, it must be Hud whose mission was to the 'Ad people, or to Salih, whose mission was to the Thamud people. That is the sequence after Noah in S. xi. 50-60 and 61-68. But I think that as the name is not mentioned, we are to understand in general the type of the post-Flood prophets until we come later on to Moses and Jesus. The object here is not to recount the stories, but to show that the resistance of the wicked made no difference to the triumph of Allah's holy Truth.
The type of the narrow Sybarite, who enjoys the good things of this life, denies a future life, and is jealous of any one who presumes to widen his horizon, is here described in a few masterly strokes. He is bored by any mention of the serious things beyond his ken. What good is it, he says, to talk about the future? Enjoy the present. The gain is all in the present: the loss is all in the future.
They seem to say; "There is no future life: that we shall die is certain; that we have this life is certain: some die, some are born, some live: and so the cycle continues: but how can dead men be raised to life?"
"He is only a fool, and invents things, and attributes them to Allah's inspiration! We are too wise to believe such things!"
See above, xxiii. 26. Every prophet is maligned and persecuted: it is always the same story with them, told in different ways.
When the Punishment comes, they will be sorry for themselves, but it will be too late then.
See xi. 66, and notes 1563 and 1561.
Gutha-un: rubbish of dead leaves, or scum floating on a torrent.
Their habitations and their organisation have been wiped out. What remains is merely a vague story of their existence, a tale that is told. Where their name remains, which is not always the case, it is only a by-word, suggesting all that is unstable and ephemeral,-"to point a moral and adorn a tale".
Moses and Aaron had a twofold mission: (1) to Pharaoh and his Court, which failed because of Egyptian arrogance; (2) to the Israelites, for whom the Law was received on Mount Sinai, but they repeatedly rebelled against Allah. In both cases there were miracles ("Clear Signs") and other proofs which showed that they came at Allah's command and were inspired by His authority.
Racial arrogance made the Egyptians say, 'These men belong to a race which we hold in subjection as our slaves: how can we accept them as messengers of Allah?'
Here the reference is to the second part of the mission of Moses, that to the Israelites, which the Israelites rendered ineffective by their want of faith. See n. 2903 above.
The virgin birth of Jesus was a miracle both for him and his mother. She was falsely accused of unchastity, but the child Jesus triumphantly vindicated her by his own miracles (xix. 27-33), and showed by his life the meanness of the calumny against his mother.
There is no need to look far for the place where mother and child were given secure shelter. It is described in xix. 22-26. It was the place to which she withdrew to be delivered when the time drew near. There was a fruitful palm-tree, evidently on high ground, for beneath it flowed a spring. She retired there in seclusion, and she and her child rested there until it was time for her to go to her people with her child.
Literally, "eat". See n. 776 to v. 69. The prophets of Allah do not pose as ascetics, but receive gratefully all Allah's gifts, and show their gratitude by their righteous lives.
Cf. xxi. 92-93. All prophets form one Brotherhood: their message is one, and their religion and teaching are one; they serve the One True God, Who loves and cherishes them; and they owe their duty to Him and Him alone.
The people who began to trade on the names of the prophets cut off that unity and made sects; and each sect rejoices in its own narrow doctrine, instead of taking the universal teaching of Unity from Allah. But this sectarian confusion is of man's making. It will last for a time, but the rays of Truth and Unity will finally dissipate it.
Worldly wealth, power, and influence may be but trials. Let not their possessors think that they are in themselves things that will necessarily bring them happiness.
Their hearts are full of reverence for Allah and fear lest their charity or their hearts be not good enough for acceptance before their Lord; for they have the certainty of a future life, in which they will stand before the Judgment Seat. They fear for their own worthiness, but they hope in Faith.
Cf. ii. 286 and n. 339.
The record speaks clearly, and shows exactly what each soul has done and thought, and what is due to it in justice. The worst will receive full justice. The best will receive far more than their due: xxviii. 84.
This is said of the Unbelievers who rejected Faith and rejoiced in the vanities of this world. In spite of the proclamation of Truth, they are doubtful of the future Life and Judgment.
In addition to their rejection of Faith, they have against them positive deeds of wrong-doing, from which, on account of their contempt of the Light from Allah, they will not desist until they are sharply pulled up for punishment: and then repentance will be too late!
Samir: one who remains awake by night, one who passes the night in talk or in the recital of stories of romances, a favourite amusement of the Days of Ignorance.
If they ponder over the matter, they will find that Allah's Message to humanity is as old as Adam. It is good for all ages. It never grows old, and it is never new.
Allah is All-Wise and All-Good, and His architecture of the universe is on a perfect Plan. If these poor, low, selfish, ignorant creatures were to plan it according to their hearts' desires, it would be a dreadful world, full of confusion and corruption.
This is the last of the questions, beginning with xxiii. 68 above, showing the absurdity of the position taken up by the Unbelievers. (1) The Message of Allah is as old as humanity: why do they fight shy of it? (2) They have known their Prophet to be true and righteous: why do they deny him? (3) Is it madness to bring the bitter Truth before them? (4) Does the Prophet ask any worldly reward from them? If not, why do they reject his unselfish efforts for their own good?
The reference is to a very severe famine felt in Makkah, which was attributed by the Unbelievers to the presence of the holy Prophet among them and his preaching against their gods. As this is a Makkan Sura, the famine referred to must be that described by Ibn Kathir as having occured in the 8th year of the Mission, say about four years before the Hijra. There was also a post-Hijra famine, which is referred to by Bukhari, but that was a later event.
Some Commentators understand the battle of Badr to be meant here; if so, this particular verse would be of the Madinah period. But it is better to understand it as referring to the same "distress" as in the preceding verse, or to punishments in general, which obstinate sinners refuse to take as warnings given to them to mend their ways and turn in repentance to Allah.
Cf. vi. 44. If the little trials in the present life will not open their eyes, will great trials do so? Unfortunately they only cause in the wicked a feeling of despair. In the final Punishment after the Judgment, it will be too late for them to repent, and despair will be their only lot.
As elsewhere, "heart" is to be understood as the seat both of feeling and intelligence. 'All the means by which knowledge can be gathered, judgment formed, and goodness cultivated, are provided for you by Allah. If you were grateful, you would use those in My service, which is expressed in your service to your fellow men. But instead you ignore these gifts, question Allah's Providence, and blaspheme against Him!'
The alternation of Night and Day stands here as a symbol for all the beneficent processes of Nature provided by Allah for the comfort and growth of man's outer and inner life.
And they are the more culpable, as they have received a later and completer revelation. Why should they now stand on the primitive ideas of their ancestors?
If their argument is that such things about a future life cannot be known or proved, they are referred to the things which are actually before them. The tangible things of the earth-can they postulate their order or government except by a Power or Force or Energy outside them? They will admit that there is such a Power or Force or Energy. We call it Allah. Go a step further. We see a sublime Universe in the heavens above, stretching far, far beyond our ken. They will admit its existence and its grandeur. We ask them to entertain a feeling of reverence for the Power behind it, and to understand their own littleness and their dependence upon that Power.
Cf. ix. 129.
See n. 2927 above. 'If this great and glorious Universe inspires you with awe, surely the Power behind is more worthy of your awe, especially if you compare your dependence and its dependence upon Him.'
'The order and unity of purpose in the Universe argue unity of design and goodness in its Maker. Is it not then sheer madness for you to run after fancies and fail to understand and obey His Will? It is delusion in you to seek other than Allah.'
Cf. xvii. 42. The multiplicity of gods is intellectually indefensible, considering the unity of Design and Purpose in His wonderful Universe.
To suppose that Allah has a son or family or partners or companions is to have a low idea of Allah, Who is high above all such relationships. He is the One True God, and there can be none to compare with Him.
In the first instance, this applied to the holy Prophet. His subsequent Hijrat from Makkah and the eventual overthrow of the Makkan oligarchy amply prove the fulfilment of the prophecy. But in general meaning it applies to all. We are taught that evil will be visited with a terrible punishment, not only in a future life, but in this very life when its cup is full and the time comes for punishment in Allah's Plan. If it has to come while we are still on the scene of this life, we are asked to pray that we may not be found in the company of those who draw such punishment on themselves. In other words we must eschew the society of evil ones.
Whether people speak evil of you, in your presence or behind your back, or they do evil to you in either of those ways, all is known to Allah. It is not for you to punish. Your best course is not to do evil in your tum, but to do what will best repel the evil. Two evils do not make a good. Cf. xli. 34, n. 4504.
But in any case, shun evil for yourself, and you cannot do this without seeking the help and protection of Allah. Not only must you shun all promptings of evil, but you must shun its proximity. It may be that in retaliating on evil, or even in your curiosity to discover what evil is, you may fall into evil yourself. You should avoid going near it or anything which brings it near to you. And in this matter you should seek Allah's help.
This verse I think connects on with xxiii. 90 above. Though Allah proclaims His Truth everywhere, the wicked cling to Falsehood until they face the reality of Death.
The verb for "send me back" is in the plural in Arabic, which is construed either (1) as an emphatic form, as if the singular were repeated, or (2) as a plural of respect, though such a plural is not ordinarily used in addressing Allah, or (3) as a plural addressed to the angels, after the address to Allah in "O my Lord!"
The unrighteous will ask for another chance. But it will be too late then. The time for repentance will then have passed.
Their request will mean nothing. It will be treated merely as an empty word of excuse. They had plenty of chances in this life. Not only did they reject them, but they did not even believe in Allah or ask for His assistance.
Barzakh: a partition, a bar or barrier; the place or state in which people will be after death and before Judgment. Cf. xxv. 53 and Iv. 20. Behind them is the barrier of death, and in front of them is the Barzakh, partition, a quiescent state until the judgment comes.
The old relationships of the world will then be dissolved. Each soul will stand on its merits.
Good and evil deeds will be weighed against each other. If the good deeds prevail, the soul will attain falah, i.e., prosperity, well-being, bliss, or salvation; if the contrary, there will be the misery and anguish of Hell.
The loss or perdition will not mean that they will die and feel no more: xiv. 17. The punishment will mean nothing, if there was no sensibility, but total annihilation.
That is to say, their faces will be disfigured with anguish, and their lips will quiver and fall out of place, exposing their teeth.
'The evil in us conquered us; it was our misfortune that we surrendered to evil, and went astray.' They forget that it was by their own deliberate choice that they surrendered to evil, and they are reminded in verses 109-110 of the ridicule with which they covered godly men in their life on earth.
After their flouting of Allah's Signs and their mockery of godly men on earth, they have forfeited their right to plead for mercy before Allah's Throne.
Literally, 'they made you forget My Message'. The ungodly were so occupied in the backbiting and ridicule of the godly that the godly themselves became the unconscious cause of the ungodly forgetting the warnings declared by Allah against those who do not treat His Signs seriously. Thus evil often brings about its own ruin through the instrumentality of those whom it would make its victims.
The Hafs reading is "Qala", "He will say". This follows the Kufa Qiraat. The Basra Qiraat reads "Qul", "Say" (in the imperative). The point is only one of grammatical construction. See n. 2666 to xxi. 4.
The question and answer about Time imply two things. (1) The attention of the ungodly is drawn to the extremely short time of the life in this world, compared to the eternity which they face: they are made to see this, and to realise how mistaken they were in their comparative valuation of things spiritual and things material. (2) Time, as we know it now, will have faded away and appear as almost nothing. It is just a matter relative to this life of temporary probation. Cf. the experience of the Companions of the Cave: xviii. 19.
Allah's Creation is not without a high serious purpose. It is not vain, or for mere play or sport. As far as man is concerned, the highest issues for him hang on his behaviour in this life. "Life is real, life is earnest, And the grave is not its goal", as Longfellow truly says. We must therefore earnestly search out Allah's Truth, encouraged by the fact that Allah's Truth is also, out of His unbounded mercy, searching us out and trying to reach us.
Not with any one else whatever, as Allah is the Eternal Reality. If men, out of the figments of their imagination, fancy other gods, they will be rudely undeceived. And Allah is Lord, i.e., our Cherisher as well as our Creator. In spite of all our shortcomings and our rebellions, He will forgive us if we go to Him not on our merits but on His grace.
See the same word used in describing the contrast with the Believers, in the first verse of this Sura. Righteousness must win and all opposition to it must fail. Thus the circle of the argument is completed.