Qaf. By the Glorious Qur'an (Thou art Allah's Apostle). 4939 4940
But they wonder that there has come to them a Warner from among themselves. So the Unbelievers say: "This is a wonderful thing! 4941
"What! when we die and become dust (shall we live again?). That is a (sort of) Return far (from our understanding)." 4942
We already know how much of them the earth takes away: with Us is a Record guarding (the full account). 4943
But they deny the truth when it comes to them: So they are in a confused state. 4944
Do they not look at the sky above them? How We have made it and adorned it and there are no flaws in it? 4945
And the earth--We have spread it out and set thereon mountains standing firm and produced therein every kind of beautiful growth (in pairs) 4946 4947
To be observed and commemorated by every devotee turning (to Allah). 4948
And We send down from the sky Rain charged with blessing and We produce therewith Gardens and Grain for harvests;
And tall (and stately) palm-trees with shoots of fruit-stalks piled one over another 4949
As sustenance for (Allah's) Servants; and We give (new) life therewith to land that is dead: Thus will be the Resurrection.
Before them was denied (the Hereafter) by the people of Noah the Companions of the Rass the Thamud 4950
The `Ad Pharaoh the Brethren of Lut
The companions of the Wood and the people of Tubba; each one (of them) rejected the apostles and My warning was duly fulfilled (in them).
Were We then weary with the first Creation that they should be in confused doubt about a new Creation? 4951
It was We who created man and We know what dark suggestions his soul makes to him: for We are nearer to him than (his) jugular vein. 4952
Behold two (guardian angels) appointed to learn (his doings) learn (and note them) one sitting on the right and one on the left. 4953
Not a word does he utter but there is a sentinel by him ready (to note it). 4954
And the stupor of death will bring truth (before his eyes): "This was the thing which thou wast trying to escape!" 4955
And the Trumpet shall be blown: that will be the Day whereof warning (had been given). 4956
And there will come forth every soul: with each will be an (angel) to drive and an (angel) to bear witness. 4957
(It will be said:) "Thou wast heedless of this; now have We removed thy veil and sharp is thy sight this Day!" 4958
And his companion will say: "Here is (his record) ready with me!" 4959
(The sentence will be:) "Throw throw into Hell every contumacious Rejector (of Allah)! 4960
"Who forbade what was good transgressed all bounds cast doubts and suspicions;
"Who set up another god besides Allah: throw him into a severe Penalty."
His companion will say: "Our Lord! I did not make him transgress but he was (himself) far astray." 4961 4962 4963
He will say: "Dispute not with each other in My Presence: I had already in advance sent you Warning. 4964 4965
"The Word changes not before Me and I do not the least injustice to My Servants." 4966
One Day We will ask Hell "art thou filled to the full?" It will say "are there any more (to come)?" 4967
And the Garden will be brought nigh to the righteous no more a thing distant. 4968
(A voice will say:) "This is what was promised for you for everyone who turned (to Allah) in sincere repentance who kept (his law). 4969
"Who feared (Allah) Most Gracious unseen and brought a heart turned in devotion (to Him): 4970
"Enter ye therein in Peace and Security; this is a Day of Eternal Life!" 4971
There will be for them therein all that they wish and more besides in Our Presence. 4972
But how many generations before them did We destroy (for their Sins) stronger in power than they? Then did they wander through the land: Was there any place of escape (for them)? 4973
Verily in this is a Message for any that has a heart and understanding or who gives ear and earnestly witnesses (the truth). 4974
We created the heavens and the earth and all between them in Six Days nor did any sense of weariness touch Us. 4975 4976 4977
Bear then with patience all that they say and celebrate the praises of thy Lord before the rising of the sun and before (its) setting 4978
And during part of the night (also) celebrate His praises and (so likewise) after the postures of adoration. 4979
And listen for the Day when the Caller will call out from a place quite near 4980 4981
The day when they will hear a (mighty) Blast in (very) truth): that will be the day of Resurrection. 4982
Verily it is We Who give Life and Death; and to Us is the Final Goal--
The Day when the Earth will be rent asunder from (men) hurrying out: that will be a gathering together quite easy for Us. 4983 4984
We know best what they say; and thou art not one to ever awe them by force. So admonish with the Qur'an such as fear My Warning! 4985
This is an Abbreviated Letter. For Abbreviated Letters generally, see Appendix I. This particular Abbreviated Letter Qaf occurs only here as a single letter, and in combination at the beginning of S. xlii.
Majid (translated "Glorious") is one of the beautiful appellations of the Qur-an. Its glory is that of the rising sun: the more it rises on your mental and spiritual horizon, the more you are lost in admiration of its glory. Its meanings are manifest and inexhaustible. The greater your experience, the more light is your spiritual eye able to bear. And in that glory is a beauty that none can tell who has not experienced it in his soul. It is in itself the proof of the mission of the holy Prophet.
In a sense their wonder is natural: do we wonder at the glorious sun? In another sense it is unnatural: what should we say of a man who fails to see in broad daylight?
Cf. xxxvii. 16.
The earth only corrupts and takes away the body when they are dead; it has no power over the soul. The full account of the soul's doings is in Allah's Record.
If they deny what has been made clear to them, their minds must necessarily get into confusion. All nature declares the glory and goodness of Allah. Revelation explains the inequalities of this life and how they will be redressed in the Hereafter. If they do not accept this, they are not in a logical position. They cannot reconcile the known with the unknown.
The greatest philosophers have found a difficulty in understanding the sceptical position when they contemplate the wonder and mystery of the skies with all the countless beautiful stars and planets and light in them, and laws of order, motion, and symmetry, that respond to the highest mathematical abstractions without a flaw. Can blind Chance give rise to such conditions?
Cf. xiii. 3; and xv. 19 and n. 1955. The earth is round, and yet it appears stretched out as a vast expanse, like a carpet kept steady with the weight of the mountains.
Cf. xxii. 5, and n. 2777. Sex in plants may be hinted at: see n. 1804 to xiii. 3.
For all these things go into his very heart and soul. He loves to contemplate them, to remember them for himself as evidence of Allah's goodness and glory, and to mention and proclaim them.
A beautiful nature passage. How graphic and unforgettable to any one who has seen a spring and summer in an Arabian oasis!
Just the names of the peoples of Arabian tradition who were punished for their sins are mentioned; their stories will be found elsewhere. For the People of Noah, see xi. 25-48 and other passages. For the Companions of the Rass, see xxv. 38 and n. 3094; for the 'Ad and the Thamud, see xxvi. 123-158, and other passages; for Pharaoh and his People, see ii. 49-50 and other passages; for the Brethren of Lut, see vii. 80-84, and other passages; for the Companions of the Wood, see xv. 78-79, and n. 2000; and for the People of Tubba', see xliv. 37 and n. 4715.
Cf. xlvi. 33, and n. 4912.
Allah created man, and gave him his limited free-will. Allah knows the inmost desires and motives of man even better than man does himself. He is nearer to a man than the man's own jugular vein. The jugular vein is the big trunk vein, one on each side of the neck, which brings the blood back from the head to the heart. The two jugular veins correspond to the two carotid arteries which carry the blood from the heart to the head. As the blood-stream is the vehicle of life and consciousness, the phrase "nearer than the jugular vein" implies that Allah knows more truly the innermost state of our feeling and consciousness than does our own ego.
Two angels are constantly by him to note his thoughts, words, and actions. One sits on the right side and notes his good deeds and the other on the left, to note his bad deeds; corresponding to the Companions of the Right and the Companions of the Left mentioned in lvi. 27 and 41.
Then each "word" spoken is taken down by a guardian (raqib). This has been construed to mean that the guardian only records words, not thoughts which are not uttered. Thoughts may be forgiven if not uttered, and still more if they do not issue in action. At the stage at which we clothe a thought in words, we have already done an action. The Recorders mentioned in the last verse make a complete Record, in order to supply motives and springs of action, which will affect the degrees or status in the Hereafter. The three together, individuals or kinds, make the honourable Recorders, Kiraman Katibin, (plural, not dual number) mentioned in lxxii. 11.
What is stupor or unconsciousness to this probationary life will be the opening of the eyes to the next world: for Death is the Gateway between the two. Once through that Gateway man will realise how the things which he neglected or looked upon as remote are the intimate Realities, and the things which seemed to loom large in his eyes in this world were shadows that have fled. The things he wanted to avoid are the things that have really come to pass. Both Good and Evil will realise the Truth now in its intensity.
The next stage will be the Judgment, heralded with the blowing of the Trumpet. Every soul will then come forth.
Several interpretations are possible, leading to the same truth, that the Judgment will be set up; the Record will be produced; the good and bad deeds will speak for and against; and complete justice will be done, each act leading to its own due fruit. (1) The (angel) to drive and the (angel) to bear witness may be the Recording Angels of the left and the right (verse 17); or (2) it may not be angels, but the evil deeds will drive like task-masters, and the good deeds will bear witness for the soul on trial; or (3) his misused limbs and faculties will drive him to his doom, while his well-used limbs and faculties will witness for him.
The clearness of vision will now be even greater: see n. 4955 above.
Qarin: Companion. If we take No. 1 of the constructions suggested in n. 4957, the Companion will be one of the Recording Angels mentioned above, in verse 21, perhaps the one that drives; or perhaps the third one mentioned in verse 18, for he has the Record ready with him. If we take any of the other constructions mentioned in n. 4957, it will be the evil deeds or the misused faculties. In any case it will be the factors on whose testimony his conviction will be based.
The original for "throw", here and in verse 26 below, is in the dual number, which some Commentators explain by saying that the dual form is used for emphasis, as if the verb ("throw, throw") were twice repeated. Examples of this are found in Arabic. But is it possible that the dual refers to the two angels mentioned in verses 17 and 21? In that case the Companion in verse 27 will be the third one mentioned in verses 18 and 23. In any case the third one will be the one on whose Record the sentence will be passed.
See last note. But some people understand by "Companion" here an evil associate in the world, an evil one who misled.
Our Lord. One man speaks: "I did not", etc. Yet he uses the plural pronoun in saying, "Our Lord". This is beautifully appropriate, as he is speaking so as to include the person to be judged: as if he were to say. "Thou art my Lord, or the Lord of us angels or of all Creation, but Thou art his Lord also, for Thou didst cherish him and warn him, and he owed duties to Thee."
Neither the Recording Angels nor the misused limbs and faculties, nor anything else whatever was responsible for the Evil: it was the personal responsibility of the Doer himself, with his free-will.
It is suggested that sinners whose Record is black, driven into a comer, accuse others of misleading them: the others may be the Recorders, or their faculties or opportunities or surroundings or their associates in the world, or anything but themselves. Such recriminations are not allowed in the Court of Judgment.
Besides, personal responsibility had already been clearly preached to them in Allah's Message, and they had been warned of the consequences. "You" is in the plural number: 'all of you who are before the Judgment-Seat had clear warning of the consequences of your conduct.'
"'Abd" has two plurals: (1) 'Abid, as here, means all Servants of Allah, i.e., all his creatures; (2) 'Ibad has the further connotation of Servants of Allah, devoted to his service; I have translated it in many cases by the word "devotees". The Sentence before the Judgment-Seat is pronounced with perfect justice; it does not change, and requires no change; the inevitable consequences of sin must follow; the time for Mercy is past.
As the capacity of Reward is unlimited, so is the capacity of Punishment-unlimited. Hell is personified and asked, "Art thou sated to the full?" It replies, "If there are more to come, let them come. " It is not satisfied.
In this life, the ideas of the spirit, the accomplishment of the things in our hearts and our hopes, seem to be ever so far, seem even to recede as we think we come nearer. Not so in the Hereafter. The fruits of righteousness will no longer be in the distance. They will be realised. They will seem themselves to approach the Righteous.
The description of the Righteous is given in four masterly clauses: (1) those who turned away from Evil in sincere repentance; (2) those whose new life was good and righteous; (3) those who in their innermost hearts and in their most secret doings were actuated by Allah-fearing love, the fear that is akin to love in remembering Allah under His title of "Most Gracious"; and (4) who gave up their whole heart and being to Him.
Cf. xxxvi. 11 and n. 3952; and xxxv. 18, and n. 3902.
The true meaning of Islam: peace, security, salutation, and accord with Allah's Plan in all Eternity.
To get all that our purified wishes and desires comprehend may seem to sum up final Bliss; but there is something still wanting, which is supplied by the sight of Allah, the Light of His Countenance.
While virtue and righteousness will accomplish their final goal, what will be the End of Sin? Let the past tell its story. Many powerful and arrogant generations were swept away, to stray in the paths of misery, without any way of escape from the consequences of their sin. This was already seen in the life of this world. In the world to come, it will be worse, as already stated in verses 24-26 above.
As Christ said (Matt. xi. 15), "he that hath ears to hear, let him hear". These are matters of high moment. Many spiritual lessons can be learnt from these things by any one who has the heart and understanding to apply to Allah's teaching and can give genuine thought to what he sees, as a witness does who has to swear to the facts on his oath.
Allah's creation of the heavens and the earth in long stages or periods of time, as we count time, shows how things evolve in their own good time. We must therefore be patient if Good does not seem to come to its own according to our ideas. Our will should merge itself in Allah's Will, and we should praise Him, realising that He is All-Good, and that all adjustments will be in the Hereafter.
Cf. vii. 54, n. 1031; and xli. 12. n. 4477.
Cf. xxxv. 35.
Allah should be remembered at all times. But the best time for individual adoration is early in the morning before sunrise, late in the day before sunset, and a portion of the night, when there is stillness in the air, and man's spirit loves to commune with things spiritual. Those who would connect this with the five canonical prayers, instituted at a later stage in Madinah, would take the Fajr for the prayer before sunrise, the Zuhr and, the Asr for the afternoon prayers before sunset and the Magrib and the Ishaa for the night prayers.
The general meaning of "after the prostration" would be the contemplation and remembrance of Allah after prayers. Those who would connect this passage with the five canonical prayers understand these further prayers "following the sujud or prostration to mean the extra or supernumerary prayers known as nafl.
The Day of Resurrection, when the Call to the souls to arise and come to the Judgment-Seat will be immediately answered, and they will all arise and come forth. Cf. xxxvi. 49-53, and notes 3997 and 3999.
In the life of this world it seemed all so remote. In the new life at the Resurrection it will all be so near; for there will be neither time nor space as we know them here.
The word "saihatun" (mighty Blast) is used for the Resurrection (as here) or for the sudden punishment of the guilty on this earth, as in xi. 67, where see further references.
Men will hurry out from all corners of the earth to answer the call, and the earth itself will be rent asunder. In xxv. 25 the imagery used was the heaven being rent asunder, and angels coming out in ranks: see n. 3082. Cf. also lxxxiv. 1-4.
It may seem to our material imaginations a difficult task to collect together the souls of all sorts of men, who died in all sorts of conditions at different times, but it will be a different kind of world and creation altogether, and to Allah all things are not only possible but easy.
People may throw all sorts of doubts about the Judgment and the Hereafter. The Prophet's task is not to force them to accept anything. His task is to deliver the Message of the Qur-an, and admonish those who are spiritually fit and ready to receive admonition and to prepare themselves for the new and higher life destined for man.