Whatever is in the heavens and on earth doth declare the Praises and Glory of Allah: to Him belongs Dominion and to Him belongs Praise: and He has power over all things. 5479
It is He Who has created you; and of you are some that are Unbelievers and some that are Believers: and Allah sees well all that ye do. 5480
He has created the heavens and the earth in just proportions and has given you shape and made your shapes beautiful: and to Him is the final Goal. 5481 5482
He knows what is in the heavens and on earth: and He knows what ye conceal and what ye reveal: yes Allah knows well the (secrets) of (all) hearts. 5483
Has not the story reached you of those who rejected Faith aforetime? So they tasted the evil result of their conduct; and they had a grievous Penalty. 5484
That was because there came to them apostles with Clear Signs but they said: "Shall (mere) human beings direct us?" So they rejected (the Message) and turned away. But Allah can do without (them): and Allah is free of all needs worthy of all praise. 5485 5486
The Unbelievers think that they will not be raised up (for Judgment). Say: "Yea by my Lord ye shall surely be raised up: then shall ye be told (the truth) of all that ye did. And that is easy for Allah." 5487
Believe therefore in Allah and His Apostle and in the Light which We have sent down. And Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do. 5488
The Day that He assembles you (all) for a day of Assembly that will be a day of mutual loss and gain (among you). And those who believe in Allah and work righteousness He will remove from them their ills and He will admit them to gardens beneath which rivers flow to dwell therein forever: that will be the Supreme Achievement. 5489 5490 5491
But those who reject Faith and treat Our Signs as falsehoods they will be Companions of the Fire to dwell therein for aye: and evil is that Goal.
No kind of calamity can occur except by the leave of Allah: and if anyone believes in Allah (Allah) guides his heart (aright): for Allah knows all things. 5492
So obey Allah and obey His Apostle; but if ye turn back the duty of Our Apostle is but to proclaim (the Message) clearly and openly. 5493
Allah! there is no god but He: and on Allah therefore let the Believers put their trust.
O ye who believe! truly among your wives and your children are (some that are) enemies to yourselves: so beware of them! But if ye forgive and overlook and cover up (their faults) verily Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful. 5494 5495
Your riches and your children may be but a trial: but in the Presence of Allah is the highest Reward. 5496
So fear Allah as much as ye can; listen and obey; and spend in charity for the benefit of your own souls: and those saved from the covetousness of their own souls they are the ones that achieve prosperity. 5497 5498 5499
If ye loan to Allah a beautiful loan He will double it to your (credit) and He will grant you Forgiveness: for Allah is most Ready to appreciate (service) Most Forbearing 5500 5501
Knower of what is hidden and what is open exalted in Might Full of Wisdom. 5502
Cf. lxii. 1, and n. 5449. All things by their very existence proclaim the Glory and the Praises of Allah. He has dominion over all things, but He uses His dominion for just and praiseworthy ends. He has power over all things: therefore He can combine justice with mercy, and His Plan and Purpose cannot be frustrated by the existence of Evil along with Good in His Kingdom.
It is not that He does not see Rebellion and Evil, nor that He cannot punish them. He created all things pure and good, and if evil crept in by the grant of a limited free-will by Him, it is not unforeseen: it is in His wise and universal Plan, for giving man a chance of rising higher and ever higher.
Cf. xl. 64, and n. 4440: also vii. 11 and n. 996. In addition to the beauty and grandeur of all God's Creation, He has endowed man with special aptitudes, faculties and capacities, and special excellencies which raise him at his best to the position of vicegerent on earth. "Beautiful" also includes the idea of "adapted to the ends for which they were created".
"The final Return": not only of mankind, but of all things created, whether material or in the realm of ideas and events. All things return to Allah: as they derive their origin from Him, so is the return or destination of all of them to Allah.
Not only does He create and develop and sustain all things; but all thoughts, motives, feelings, ideas, and events are known to Him. Therefore we must not imagine that, if some evil seems to go unpunished, it is not known to Him or has escaped His notice. His Plan is wise and good in its fullest compass: sometimes we do not see its wisdom and goodness because we see only a broken fragment of it, as our own intelligence is narrow.
"The evil result of their conduct" begins to manifest itself in this very life, either in external events, or in internal restlessness and agonies of conscience. But its culminating force will be seen in the "grievous Penalty" of the Hereafter.
This is referred to in a more expanded form in xiv. 9-11, which see.
Their obedience is not necessary to Allah, nor will their rejection of Truth affect the validity of Truth or injure the progress of Truth. Allah is free of all needs or dependence on any circumstance whatever. He sends His Message for the good of mankind, and it is man who suffers by ignoring, rejecting, or opposing it.
In other words, they think that there is no future life, and no responsibility for our actions beyond what we see in the present life. If that were true, all the profits of fraud and roguery, which remain unpunished in this world-and many do remain unpunished in this world-will remain with the wicked; and all the losses and pain suffered by integrity and righteousness, if they find no compensation in this life, will never find any compensation. This would be an odd result in a world of justice. We are taught that this is not true,-that it is certain that the balance will be redressed in a better future world; that there will be a resurrection of what we call the dead; and that on that occasion the full import of all we did will be made plain to us, and our moral and spiritual responsibility will be fully enforced.
"The Light which We have sent down": i.e., the light of Revelation, the fight of conscience, the light of reason, and every kind of true light by which we may know Allah and His Will. If we play false with any such lights, it is fully known to Allah.
The Day of Judgment will truly be "a Day of Mutual Loss and Gain", as the title of this Sura indicates. Men who thought they were laying up riches will find themselves paupers in the Kingdom of Heaven. Men who thought they were acquiring good by wrong-doing will find their efforts were wasted; xviii. 104. On the other hand the meek and lowly of this life will acquire great dignity and honour in the next; the despised ones doing good here will be the accepted ones there; the persecuted righteous will be in eternal happiness. The two classes will as it were change their relative positions.
"Remove from them their ills". The ills may be sins, faults, mistakes, or evil tendencies; Allah will of His grace cover them up, and blot out the account against them; or they may be sorrows, sufferings, or disappointments: Allah may even change the evil of such persons into good, their apparent calamities into opportunities for spiritual advancement: xxv. 70. This is because of their sincere Faith as evidenced by their repentance and amendment.
"Gardens" the place of the highest Bliss, see ii. 25, n. 44; xiii. 35; xlvii. 15.
What we consider calamities may be blessings in disguise. Pain in the body is often a signal of something wrong, which we can cure by remedial measures. So in the moral and spiritual world, we should in all circumstances hold firmly to the faith that nothing happens without Allah's knowledge and leave; and therefore there must be some justice and wisdom according to His great universal Plan. Our duty is to find out our own shortcomings and remedy them. If we try to do so in all sincerity of heart, Allah will give us guidance.
The Messenger comes to guide and teach, not to force and compel. The Messenger's teaching is clear and unambiguous, and it is open and free to all. Cf. also v. 95.
In some cases the demands of families, i.e., wife and children may conflict with a man's moral and spiritual convictions and duties. In such cases he must guard against the abandonment of his convictions, duties, and ideals to their requests or desires. But he must not treat them harshly. He must make reasonable provision for them, and if they persist in opposing his clear duties and convictions, he must forgive them and not expose them to shame or ridicule, while at the same time holding on to his clear duty. Such cases occurred when godly men undertook exile from their native city of Makkah to follow the Faith in Madinah. In some cases their families murmured, but all came right in the end.
For the different words for "forgiveness", see n. 110 to ii. 109.
Children may be a "trial" in many senses: (1) their different ways of looking at things may cause you to reflect, and to turn to the highest things of eternal importance; (2) their relationship with you and with each other may confront you with problems far more complicated than those in separate individual lives, and thus become a test of your own strength of character and sense of responsibility; (3) their conflict with your ideals (see n. 5494 above) may vex your spirit, but may at the same time search out your fidelity to Allah; and (4) their affection for you and your affection for them, may be a source of strength for you if it is pure, just as it may be a danger if it is based on selfish or unworthy motives. So also riches and worldly goods have their advantages as well as dangers.
"Fear Allah" combined with "as much as you can" obviously means: "lead lives of self-restraint and righteousness": the usual meaning of Taqwa: see n. 26 to ii. 2.
Charity is meant to help and do good to other people who need it. But it has the highest subjective value for the person who gives it. Like mercy "it blesseth him that gives and him that takes". It purifies the giver's soul: the affection that he pours out is for his own spiritual benefit and progress. Cf. Coleridge: "He prayeth best who loveth best all things both great and small, for the Great God Who loveth us, Who made and loveth all".
Cf. lix. 9. Our worst enemy is within ourselves,-the grasping selfishness which would deprive others of their just rights or seize things which do not properly belong to it. If we can get over this covetous selfishness, we achieve real Prosperity in justice and truth.
Cf. ii. 245 and n. 276. Our Charity or Love is called a loan to Allah, which not only increases our credit account manifold, but obtains for us the forgiveness of our sins, and the Capacity for increased service in the future.
Cf. xiv. 5, n. 1877; and xxxv. 30, n. 3917. Allah's appreciation of our service or our love goes far deeper than its intrinsic merits or its specific expression on our side. His reward is beyond our deserts, and passes over out defects. He judges by our motives, which He can read through and through: see next verse.
Allah's Appreciation and Forbearing Kindness can reach so far beyond our merits, because (1) His universal knowledge comprehends hidden motives, which others cannot see in us; (2) His power is so great that He can afford to reward even the unworthy; and (3) His Wisdom is so great that He can turn even our weakness into our strength.