Has there not been over Man a long period of Time when he was nothing--(not even) mentioned? 5830 5831
Verily We created Man from a drop of mingled sperm in order to try him: so We gave him (the gifts) of Hearing and Sight. 5832
We showed him the Way: whether he be grateful or ungrateful (rests on his will). 5833
For the Rejecters We have prepared Chains Yokes and a Blazing Fire. 5834
As to the Righteous they shall drink of a Cup (of Wine) mixed with Kafur 5835
A Fountain where the Devotees of Allah do drink making it flow in unstinted abundance.
They perform (their) vows and they fear a Day whose evil flies far and wide. 5836 5837 5838
And they feed for the love of Allah the indigent the orphan and the captive 5839
(Saying) "We feed you for the sake of Allah alone: No reward do we desire from you nor thanks. 5840
"We only fear a Day of distressful Wrath from the side of our Lord." 5841
But Allah will deliver them from the evil of that Day and will shed over them a light of Beauty and a (blissful) Joy. 5842
And because they were patient and constant He will reward them with a Garden and (garments of) silk. 5843
Reclining in the (Garden) on raised thrones they will see there neither the sun's (excessive heat) nor (the moon's) excessive cold. 5844 5845
And the shades of the (Garden) will come low over them and the bunches (of fruit) there will hang low in humility. 5846
And amongst them will be passed round vessels of silver and goblets of crystal 5847
Crystal-clear made of silver: they will determine the measure thereof (according to their wishes). 5848
And they will be given to drink there of a Cup (of Wine) mixed with Zanjabil 5849
A fountain there called Salsabil. 5850
And round about them will (serve) youths of perpetual (freshness): if thou seest them thou wouldst think them scattered Pearls. 5851 5852
And when thou lookest it is there thou wilt see a Bliss and a Realm Magnificent.
Upon them will be green Garments of fine silk and heavy brocade and they will be adorned with Bracelets of silver; and their Lord will give to them to drink of a Wine Pure and Holy. 5853 5854
"Verily this is a Reward for you and your Endeavor is accepted and recognized."
It is We Who have sent down the Qur'an to thee by stages. 5855
Therefore be patient with constancy to the Command of thy Lord and hearken not to the sinner or the ingrate among them.
And celebrate the name of thy Lord morning and evening 5856
And part of the night prostrate thyself to Him; and glorify Him a long night through. 5857
As to these they love the fleeting life and put away behind them a Day (that will be) hard. 5858
It is We Who created them and We have made their joints strong; but when We will We can substitute the like of them by a complete change. 5859 5860
This is an admonition: whosoever will let him take a (straight) Path to his Lord.
But ye will not except as Allah wills; for Allah is full of Knowledge and Wisdom. 5861
He will admit to His Mercy Whom He will; but the wrongdoers for them has He prepared a grievous Penalty. 5862
The undoubted fact is mentioned in the form of a question, to get the assent of man. It is certain that the physical world existed long before man was ever heard of or mentioned, as geological records prove. It is also true that the world existed long before man came on the scene: see ii. 30-31. Man is here taken in a generic sense.
Dahr is Time as a whole, or for a long period.
Mingled: the female ovum has to be fertilised with the male sperm before a new animal can be born. Man as an animal has this humble origin. But he has been given the gift of certain faculties of receiving instruction (typified by Hearing) and of intellectual and spiritual insight (typified by Sight). His life has therefore a meaning: with a certain amount of free-will, he is to be vicegerent on earth (ii. 30). But he must be trained and tried, and that is the whole problem of human life.
Besides the gift of the faculties, Man has been shown the Way by means of Revelation, through men of the highest spiritual standing. If he is grateful, he will accept Guidance, be of the Righteous, and join the company of the Blessed. If not, he puts chains round himself, thus burdening himself with sin, and gets into the Blazing Fire of Punishment. See next verse. His choice rests on his will.
Cf. xiii. 5; xxxiv. 33 and xl. 71.
Kafur is literally Comphor. It is a fountain in the Realms of Bliss. It is a seasoning added to the Cup of pure, beatific Wine, which causes no intoxication (lvi. 18- 19), but stands for all that is wholesome, agreeable, and refreshing. Camphor is cool and refreshing, and is given as a soothing tonic in Eastern medicine. In minute doses its odour and flavour are also agreeable.
They: i.e., the Righteous: they are known in the present life by the virtues described in verses 7-10, and in the life of the Hereafter they will enjoy the Bliss described in verses 11-22.
Cf. xxii. 29. The vows must be vows of spiritual service, which of course includes service to humanity, such as is mentioned in the next verse. They are Devotees of Allah, and they must perform all vows and contracts (v. I and n. 682). Vows of the Pagan sort, savouring of a sort of "bribe" to the Deity, are not approved.
That is, they prepare for the Judgment to come, where the effects of Sin will not be transitory but far-reaching.
The captive: when taken literally, it refers to the old state of things when captives of war had to earn their own food, or their own redemption; even ordinary prisoners in jail for criminal offences often starved unless food was provided for them by private friends or from their own earnings.
These words need not be actually uttered. They express the true motives of pious and unpretentious Charity.
It is a Day of Distress for sin and evil. But the truly righteous are not self- righteous. They have the fear of Allah in their minds: they know they are human, and they fear lest they should be found wanting in the sight of Allah. But Allah in His Mercy gives them a bountiful Reward.
Cf. lxxv. 22-23.
Cf. xxii. 23.
Cf. xviii. 31.
The sun and the moon as we know them will be no longer there. It will be a new world on a different plane. But to give us an idea of comfort we recall the excessive heat of the sun especially in tropical climates, and the excessive cold of the moon especially in northern climates, and we negative them both. That is, the temperature will be just that delightful one that is most agreeable to our sensations as we know them now. The moon is not mentioned, but Zamharir (excessive cold) is sometimes used for the moon.
Without sun and moon there will of course be no shade in the literal sense of the word. But for full comfort, there will be sheltering shade for rest and change from whatever light there be.
Cf. xliii. 71, where "dishes and goblets of gold" are mentioned. The idea conveyed is that of rarity, preciousness, and spotless splendour.
That is, silver polished and white, and shining like crystal.
Cf. above, lxxvi. 5-6, and n. 5835, where the Cup of Kafur (Camphor) was mentioned for coolness and refreshment to the Righteous, who had just passed the great Event of Judgment. The second stage is described in verses 12-14, when they enter the Garden in Garments of Silk, and find that their former humility in the probationary life is rewarded with high honour in the new world they have entered. The third stage is in verses 15-21, where they settle down in Bliss, with Garments of fine silk and heavy brocades, with Ornaments and Jewels, with an ordered Feast of set service, and the Cup of Zanjabil. This word literally means Ginger. In Eastern medicine Ginger is administered to give warmth to the body and zest to the taste; this is appropriate for the Royal Feast which is now figured forth.
Salsabil: A fountain in Paradise.
Cf. lvi. 17 and n. 5231.
Pearls for beauty and splendour: scattered, because they are moving to and fro.
Cf. xviii. 31. The bracelets are there said to be of gold.
This would seem to be the culmination of the honour which the Blessed receive at the Royal and Divine Banquet. The words in the next verse express the sort of speech which will make the Guest a denizen of Heaven.
The Qur-an was being revealed stage by stage as the occasion demanded and at the date of this Sura it was still one of the earlier stages. Persecution, abuse, and false charges were being levelled against the man of Allah, but he is bidden to stand firm and do his duty. In a minor degree this applies to all of us who suffer in the cause of Truth.
Three methods of Prayer and Devotion are mentioned: (1) to remember and celebrate the holy name of Allah always; (2) to spend a part of the night in humble prostration; and (3) to glorify Him in the long hours of a weary night of waiting and watching. As to (1), "morning and evening" means all the waking hours of our life, but in the special hours of morning and evening the physical world without us, and the inner world within us, combine to make us specially receptive of spiritual influences. The "name" of Allah includes His attributes, as a locked golden casket might include priceless jewels. Any one may carry the casket, even though he may not be worthy to handle the jewels. If he carries the casket, he is in potential possession of the jewels, and he hopes some time to get the key which opens the jewels to him. So the tyro, who celebrates the holy name of Allah, hopes some day to see the "Face" of Allah and be blessed with the privilege of proximity to His Person. For (2) and (3) see next note.
See last note. (2) Humble prostration to Allah means some visible mode of dedication. That is best done at night, when the soul, free from worldly occupations, is alone with its God. (3) The weary hours of a long night are no longer weary, but become full of meaning when we join in concert with the whole Creation, which glorifies Allah: lvii. 1.
Fleeting life: Cf. lxxv. 20. They: the immediate reference was to the Pagan Quraish: the general reference is to the Unbelievers of all ages. They reject, or at least put away the thought of, a Hereafter, a Day that will be hard, for the easy pleasures of a fleeting life.
Allah has not only created men, but 'made their frame strong", i.e., given them the power and strength to withstand the temptations of Evil and stand firmly in the Path of Right,
If, in spite of Allah's loving care, any particular men or group of men, misuse their powers or wilfully disobey Allah's Law, Allah will set them aside, and substitute others in their place, with like powers. Allah's gifts are free, but let no one think that he can monopolise them or misuse them without being called to answer for the trust. And the man of Allah must not be discouraged by the whole world being at some moment completely against him. Allah can in a moment make a complete change. Either the same men that fought against him will be his zealous adherents, Or another generation will spring up, which will carry the flag of Righteousness to victory. Allah's Will and Plan work in their own good time.
Man in himself is weak; he must seek Allah's Grace; without it he can do nothing; with it he can do all, For Allah knows all things, and His wisdom comprehends the good of all.
That is according to His just and wise Plan. If the will is right, it obtains Allah's Grace and Mercy. If the will of man rejects Allah, man must suffer the Penalty.