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Surahs Qaf and Dhariyat
Qur'anic Exegesis
Javed Ahmad Ghamidi
(Tr. by:Dr. Shehzad Saleem)


Both these sūrahs form a pair with regard to their subject matter. The central theme of both is substantiation of the Day of Judgement and meting out warnings with its reference. In the second sūrah however, the historical arguments for substantiation of the Day of Judgement are presented in more detail than in the first sūrah. Besides this, the Qur’ānic warning of worldly punishment is also validated. Both address the Quraysh and it is evident from their subject matter that they were revealed in Makkah in the phase of indhār-i ‘ām of the Prophet Muhammad’s preaching mission.

Both sūrahs end on a note of assurance to the Prophet Muhammad (sws).



بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

ق وَالْقُرْآنِ الْمَجِيدِ (١) بَلْ عَجِبُوا أَن جَاءهُمْ مُنذِرٌ مِّنْهُمْ فَقَالَ الْكَافِرُونَ هَذَا شَيْءٌ عَجِيبٌ (٢) أَئِذَا مِتْنَا وَكُنَّا تُرَابًا ذَلِكَ رَجْعٌ بَعِيدٌ (٣)

In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Ever Merciful.

This is sūrah Qāf.1 The glorious Qur’ān [itself] is an evidence [over its own self.2 The reason for their denial is not the one they are presenting] but, indeed, because they are confounded by the fact that a warner from amongst themselves has come to them. So these disbelievers have said: “It is a strange thing that after we die and become dust [we would be returned to life again]. Such a return is very improbable.”3 (1-3)



قَدْ عَلِمْنَا مَا تَنقُصُ الْأَرْضُ مِنْهُمْ وَعِندَنَا كِتَابٌ حَفِيظٌ (٤) بَلْ كَذَّبُوا بِالْحَقِّ لَمَّا جَاءهُمْ فَهُمْ فِي أَمْرٍ مَّرِيجٍ (٥)

[They judge the extent of Our own knowledge on the basis of their own whereas] even what the earth consumes of their bodies is in Our notice and with Us is also a book which preserves everything.4 [No! What they are saying is not true]; in fact, they have denied the truth after it has come to them.5 So they are now in a state of contradiction.6 (4-5)



أَفَلَمْ يَنظُرُوا إِلَى السَّمَاء فَوْقَهُمْ كَيْفَ بَنَيْنَاهَا وَزَيَّنَّاهَا وَمَا لَهَا مِن فُرُوجٍ (٦) وَالْأَرْضَ مَدَدْنَاهَا وَأَلْقَيْنَا فِيهَا رَوَاسِيَ وَأَنبَتْنَا فِيهَا مِن كُلِّ زَوْجٍ بَهِيجٍ (٧) تَبْصِرَةً وَذِكْرَى لِكُلِّ عَبْدٍ مُّنِيبٍ (٨) وَنَزَّلْنَا مِنَ السَّمَاء مَاء مُّبَارَكًا فَأَنبَتْنَا بِهِ جَنَّاتٍ وَحَبَّ الْحَصِيدِ (٩) وَالنَّخْلَ بَاسِقَاتٍ لَّهَا طَلْعٌ نَّضِيدٌ (١٠) رِزْقًا لِّلْعِبَادِ وَأَحْيَيْنَا بِهِ بَلْدَةً مَّيْتًا كَذَلِكَ الْخُرُوجُ (١١)

[If they do not believe, then] have they not observed the sky above them? How We have fashioned and adorned it, and there is no flaw in it. And We have spread the earth and set upon it mountains, and brought forth in it all kinds of beautiful things as an insight and reminder for every person who is attentive.7 And We sent down blessed water8 from the skies with which We thence brought forth gardens and crops which are harvested9 and tall palm trees stacked with clusters of dates10 as a means of sustenance for men.11 And We enlivened a dead piece of land through this water. Likewise, shall be the rising [of the dead from the earth.]   (6-11)



كَذَّبَتْ قَبْلَهُمْ قَوْمُ نُوحٍ وَأَصْحَابُ الرَّسِّ وَثَمُودُ (١٢) وَعَادٌ وَفِرْعَوْنُ وَإِخْوَانُ لُوطٍ (١٣) وَأَصْحَابُ الْأَيْكَةِ وَقَوْمُ تُبَّعٍ كُلٌّ كَذَّبَ الرُّسُلَ فَحَقَّ وَعِيدِ (١٤) أَفَعَيِينَا بِالْخَلْقِ الْأَوَّلِ بَلْ هُمْ فِي لَبْسٍ مِّنْ خَلْقٍ جَدِيدٍ (١٥)

Before them the people of Noah and the dwellers of the al-Rass valley,12 the Thamūd, the ‘Ād, the Pharaoh,13 the brethren of Lot, the companions Aykah and the people of Tubb‘a also denied [on similar grounds]. Each denied My messengers; so [see], my threat materialized for them.14 Ask them: “Were We not able to create them the first time?” [Who can dare dispute this fact]? In fact, these people are in doubt about being created a second time.15 (12-15)



وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الْإِنسَانَ وَنَعْلَمُ مَا تُوَسْوِسُ بِهِ نَفْسُهُ وَنَحْنُ أَقْرَبُ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ حَبْلِ الْوَرِيدِ (١٦)

 We created man and We know whatever thoughts come in his mind, and We are closer to him than his life vein.16  (16)



إِذْ يَتَلَقَّى الْمُتَلَقِّيَانِ عَنِ الْيَمِينِ وَعَنِ الشِّمَالِ قَعِيدٌ (١٧) مَا يَلْفِظُ مِن قَوْلٍ إِلَّا لَدَيْهِ رَقِيبٌ عَتِيدٌ (١٨)

[They should remember] when two acquirers seated on the right and left acquire;17  not a word does a person utter but there is by him a vigilant guardian to note it down.18  (17-18)



وَجَاءتْ سَكْرَةُ الْمَوْتِ بِالْحَقِّ ذَلِكَ مَا كُنتَ مِنْهُ تَحِيدُ (١٩) وَنُفِخَ فِي الصُّورِ ذَلِكَ يَوْمُ الْوَعِيدِ (٢٠) وَجَاءتْ كُلُّ نَفْسٍ مَّعَهَا سَائِقٌ وَشَهِيدٌ (٢١) لَقَدْ كُنتَ فِي غَفْلَةٍ مِّنْ هَذَا فَكَشَفْنَا عَنكَ غِطَاءكَ فَبَصَرُكَ الْيَوْمَ حَدِيدٌ (٢٢) وَقَالَ قَرِينُهُ هَذَا مَا لَدَيَّ عَتِيدٌ (٢٣) أَلْقِيَا فِي جَهَنَّمَ كُلَّ كَفَّارٍ عَنِيدٍ (٢٤) مَّنَّاعٍ لِّلْخَيْرِ مُعْتَدٍ مُّرِيبٍ (٢٥) الَّذِي جَعَلَ مَعَ اللهِ إِلَهًا آخَرَ فَأَلْقِيَاهُ فِي الْعَذَابِ الشَّدِيدِ (٢٦)

[Alas! O people! You only kept on denying], and the agony of death arrived with [that] reality19 [which was concealed in this worldly life.]20  This is the very thing you had avoided. And [hark!] the trumpet has been sounded. This is the day about which We had warned. Every man has come forth with one who ushers him on and another who bears witness. You remained heedless of this day; so [today] We have removed the veil before you and sharp is your eyesight today.21 [And behold Our Court of justice has begun its proceedings], and the companion [–the ushering angel–] of this criminal said:22 “The one who was in my custody is present.” [It was ordered:] “Both of you cast into Hell23 every ungrateful person, rival, forbidder of good,24 crosser of limits, inflicted with doubts25 who has set up another god besides Allah;26 so, fling him into a severe torture.27  (19-26)



قَالَ قَرِينُهُ رَبَّنَا مَا أَطْغَيْتُهُ وَلَكِن كَانَ فِي ضَلَالٍ بَعِيدٍ (٢٧) قَالَ لَا تَخْتَصِمُوا لَدَيَّ وَقَدْ قَدَّمْتُ إِلَيْكُم بِالْوَعِيدِ (٢٨) مَا يُبَدَّلُ الْقَوْلُ لَدَيَّ وَمَا أَنَا بِظَلَّامٍ لِّلْعَبِيدِ (٢٩)

28[His companion [Satan] said:29 “O Lord! I did not make him rebellious; in fact, he himself remained far astray.”30 God said: “Dispute not in My presence; I had already informed you of My threat.31 My Word does not change, and I do not the least injustice to my servants.32 (27-29)



 يَوْمَ نَقُولُ لِجَهَنَّمَ هَلِ امْتَلَأْتِ وَتَقُولُ هَلْ مِن مَّزِيدٍ (٣٠) وَأُزْلِفَتِ الْجَنَّةُ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ غَيْرَ بَعِيدٍ (٣١) هَذَا مَا تُوعَدُونَ لِكُلِّ أَوَّابٍ حَفِيظٍ (٣٢) مَنْ خَشِيَ الرَّحْمَن بِالْغَيْبِ وَجَاء بِقَلْبٍ مُّنِيبٍ (٣٣) ادْخُلُوهَا بِسَلَامٍ ذَلِكَ يَوْمُ الْخُلُودِ (٣٤) لَهُم مَّا يَشَاؤُونَ فِيهَا وَلَدَيْنَا مَزِيدٌ (٣٥)

Keep in mind the Day when We will ask Hell: “Are you full?” and she will reply: “Are there some more?!”33 And Paradise shall be brought close to those who fear God and it shall not be far away.34 This is what had been promised to you – for every person who always turned [to God] and protected [the limits of his Lord],35 who had feared the Merciful God even though he had not seen Him,36 and has come with a heart inclined in devotion [towards God].37 [Go] enter [Our] Paradise with peace. This is the eternal day, and they will get there whatever they desire, and We have still more.  (30-35)



وَكَمْ أَهْلَكْنَا قَبْلَهُم مِّن قَرْنٍ هُمْ أَشَدُّ مِنْهُم بَطْشًا فَنَقَّبُوا فِي الْبِلَادِ هَلْ مِن مَّحِيصٍ (٣٦) إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَذِكْرَى لِمَن كَانَ لَهُ قَلْبٌ أَوْ أَلْقَى السَّمْعَ وَهُوَ شَهِيدٌ (٣٧)

38 [38[They should beware], how many a nation have We destroyed before them who were mightier in power than they. So [when the punishment came] their people went forth in the land wherever they possibly could find a place of refuge?39 In this, is a great reminder for people who have a heart [in their chests] or who attentively give ear.40  (36-37)




وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا فِي سِتَّةِ أَيَّامٍ وَمَا مَسَّنَا مِن لُّغُوبٍ (٣٨) فَاصْبِرْ عَلَى مَا يَقُولُونَ وَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ قَبْلَ طُلُوعِ الشَّمْسِ وَقَبْلَ الْغُرُوبِ (٣٩) وَمِنَ اللَّيْلِ فَسَبِّحْهُ وَأَدْبَارَ السُّجُودِ (٤٠)

 [They wonder at being raised to life again after death]. The actual truth is that We created the heavens and the earth and all between them in six days41 and no weariness came upon Us.42 So [O Prophet!] bear with patience what they say and glorify your Lord while celebrating His praises and blessings43 before the rising of the sun and before [its] setting,44 and glorify Him in the night also, and also after the times of the [sun’s] prostration.45 (38-40)



وَاسْتَمِعْ يَوْمَ يُنَادِ الْمُنَادِ مِن مَّكَانٍ قَرِيبٍ (٤١) يَوْمَ يَسْمَعُونَ الصَّيْحَةَ بِالْحَقِّ ذَلِكَ يَوْمُ الْخُرُوجِ (٤٢) إِنَّا نَحْنُ نُحْيِي وَنُمِيتُ وَإِلَيْنَا الْمَصِيرُ (٤٣) يَوْمَ تَشَقَّقُ الْأَرْضُ عَنْهُمْ سِرَاعًا ذَلِكَ حَشْرٌ عَلَيْنَا يَسِيرٌ (٤٤)

And listen for the day when the crier will call from a place near,46 the day when they will hear the clamorous sound [of the trumpet] with [the announcement of] that [day] which is certain to come. That will be the Day of [the dead] coming forth [from the graves]. It is a fact that it is We Who give life and We Who give death and [one day everyone has to] return to Us as well,47 on the Day when the earth shall be rent asunder from above them; they shall be rushing out it in haste. Easy for us is this gathering for Us. (41-44)


نَحْنُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا يَقُولُونَ وَمَا أَنتَ عَلَيْهِم بِجَبَّارٍ فَذَكِّرْ بِالْقُرْآنِ مَن يَخَافُ وَعِيدِ (٤٥)

 [Do not fret over them O Prophet[. We know what they are saying48 and [remember that] you have not been appointed as someone to use force over them. So remind through this Qur’ān those who fear My warning. (45)






sūrah Dhāriyāt

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

وَالذَّارِيَاتِ ذَرْوًا (١) فَالْحَامِلَاتِ وِقْرًا (٢) فَالْجَارِيَاتِ يُسْرًا (٣) فَالْمُقَسِّمَاتِ أَمْرًا (٤) إِنَّمَا تُوعَدُونَ لَصَادِقٌ (٥) وَإِنَّ الدِّينَ لَوَاقِعٌ (٦) وَالسَّمَاء ذَاتِ الْحُبُكِ (٧)

In the name of God, the Most-Gracious, the Ever-Merciful.

Fierce winds that scatter dust,49 then lift clouds filled with rain,50 then glide slowly,51 then distribute matters differently52 [bear witness] together with the striped sky53 that the punishment54 you are being threatened with is true and indeed reward and punishment shall certainly take place, 55 (1-7)



إِنَّكُمْ لَفِي قَوْلٍ مُّخْتَلِفٍ (٨) يُؤْفَكُ عَنْهُ مَنْ أُفِكَ (٩) قُتِلَ الْخَرَّاصُونَ (١٠) الَّذِينَ هُمْ فِي غَمْرَةٍ سَاهُونَ (١١) يَسْأَلُونَ أَيَّانَ يَوْمُ الدِّينِ (١٢) يَوْمَ هُمْ عَلَى النَّارِ يُفْتَنُونَ (١٣) ذُوقُوا فِتْنَتَكُمْ هَذَا الَّذِي كُنتُم بِهِ تَسْتَعْجِلُونَ (١٤

Indeed you are in a state of absolute contradiction.56 Only those who have lost their senses57 can evade this [warning of Ours]. Accursed be those who wildly guess [about it],58 who dwell in indifference, totally unaware.59 They ask: “When will the Day of Judgement come?”60 It will come on the day when they shall be baked in fire.61 Now taste of your mischief in which you remained involved. This is what you had sought to hasten. (8-14)



إِنَّ الْمُتَّقِينَ فِي جَنَّاتٍ وَعُيُونٍ (١٥) آخِذِينَ مَا آتَاهُمْ رَبُّهُمْ إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا قَبْلَ ذَلِكَ مُحْسِنِينَ (١٦) كَانُوا قَلِيلًا مِّنَ اللَّيْلِ مَا يَهْجَعُونَ (١٧) وَبِالْأَسْحَارِ هُمْ يَسْتَغْفِرُونَ (١٨) وَفِي أَمْوَالِهِمْ حَقٌّ لِّلسَّائِلِ وَالْمَحْرُومِ (١٩)

These righteous62 [on that day] shall be among gardens and springs,63 receiving64 what has been blessed to them by their Lord.65 They had been among the befitting before. They slept but little at night66 and in the early hours of dawn sought forgiveness [from their Lord],67 and in their wealth was a share of the deprived68 and of those who ask.  (15-19)



وَفِي الْأَرْضِ آيَاتٌ لِّلْمُوقِنِينَ (٢٠) وَفِي أَنفُسِكُمْ أَفَلَا تُبْصِرُونَ (٢١) وَفِي السَّمَاء رِزْقُكُمْ وَمَا تُوعَدُونَ (٢٢) فَوَرَبِّ السَّمَاء وَالْأَرْضِ إِنَّهُ لَحَقٌّ مِّثْلَ مَا أَنَّكُمْ تَنطِقُونَ (٢٣)

[Not merely in the winds and the clouds], for those who like to have conviction there are signs in the earth69 and in yourselves also are.70 Do you not see? And there is in the heavens your sustenance71 also and that too about which you are being threatened with.72 Thus, by the Lord of the heavens and the earth, this is certain to happen like the way you speak.73  (20-23).



هَلْ أَتَاكَ حَدِيثُ ضَيْفِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ الْمُكْرَمِينَ (٢٤) إِذْ دَخَلُوا عَلَيْهِ فَقَالُوا سَلَامًا قَالَ سَلَامٌ قَوْمٌ مُّنكَرُونَ (٢٥) فَرَاغَ إِلَى أَهْلِهِ فَجَاء بِعِجْلٍ سَمِينٍ (٢٦) فَقَرَّبَهُ إِلَيْهِمْ قَالَ أَلَا تَأْكُلُونَ (٢٧) فَأَوْجَسَ مِنْهُمْ خِيفَةً قَالُوا لَا تَخَفْ وَبَشَّرُوهُ بِغُلَامٍ عَلِيمٍ (٢٨) فَأَقْبَلَتِ امْرَأَتُهُ فِي صَرَّةٍ فَصَكَّتْ وَجْهَهَا وَقَالَتْ عَجُوزٌ عَقِيمٌ (٢٩) قَالُوا كَذَلِكَ قَالَ رَبُّكِ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْحَكِيمُ الْعَلِيمُ (٣٠) قَالَ فَمَا خَطْبُكُمْ أَيُّهَا الْمُرْسَلُونَ (٣١) قَالُوا إِنَّا أُرْسِلْنَا إِلَى قَوْمٍ مُّجْرِمِينَ (٣٢) لِنُرْسِلَ عَلَيْهِمْ حِجَارَةً مِّن طِينٍ (٣٣) مُسَوَّمَةً عِندَ رَبِّكَ لِلْمُسْرِفِينَ (٣٤) فَأَخْرَجْنَا مَن كَانَ فِيهَا مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ (٣٥) فَمَا وَجَدْنَا فِيهَا غَيْرَ بَيْتٍ مِّنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ (٣٦) وَتَرَكْنَا فِيهَا آيَةً لِّلَّذِينَ يَخَافُونَ الْعَذَابَ الْأَلِيمَ (٣٧)

[Signs of this also exist in history.]74 Has the tale of the honoured guests of Abraham reached you?75 When they came to him, they said: “Peace be on you!” “Peace be on you too,” he answered – these folks seem to be strangers.76 He then hastened secretively77 to his family and brought [for them] some roasted meat of a fatted calf78 and placed it before them. [But they did not extend their hands]. He said: “Why are you people not eating?” So [seeing their hesitation], he felt some fear in his heart.79 “Fear not,” said they to him and gave him glad tidings of a son blessed with knowledge.80 Then his wife [hearing this] came forward in astonishment,81 smote her forehead,82 and cried: “Will [now] a barren old woman [produce a child]?”83 “Thus says your Lord,” they replied. He is All-Wise and All-Knowing. [Abraham] asked: “Then O Messengers! What at present is your mission?” They replied: “We have been sent to a sinful people84 so that we may hurl upon them stones of clay, marked by your Lord85  for those who exceed the limits. Then We evacuated from that [city] all the believers and found there but one house of those who were Muslims.86 [Then We unleashed the stones] and We left in it a great sign [that teaches a lesson] for those who fear a grievous penalty.87  (24-37)



وَفِي مُوسَى إِذْ أَرْسَلْنَاهُ إِلَى فِرْعَوْنَ بِسُلْطَانٍ مُّبِينٍ (٣٨) فَتَوَلَّى بِرُكْنِهِ وَقَالَ سَاحِرٌ أَوْ مَجْنُونٌ (٣٩)  فَأَخَذْنَاهُ وَجُنُودَهُ فَنَبَذْنَاهُمْ فِي الْيَمِّ وَهُوَ مُلِيمٌ (٤٠)

And in the tale of Moses also [is this very sign] when We sent him forth to Pharaoh with a proof manifest;88 so he turned his back in arrogance and cried: “He is a sorcerer or one possessed.”89 As a result, We seized him and his forces, and threw them into the sea, and he ended up blameworthy.90 (38-40)



وَفِي عَادٍ إِذْ أَرْسَلْنَا عَلَيْهِمُ الرِّيحَ الْعَقِيمَ (٤١) مَا تَذَرُ مِن شَيْءٍ أَتَتْ عَلَيْهِ إِلَّا جَعَلَتْهُ كَالرَّمِيمِ (٤٢)

And in the tale of the ‘Ād too [there is this very sign], when We unleashed on them a devastating dry wind; it reduced to powder everything over which it swept. (41-42)



وَفِي ثَمُودَ إِذْ قِيلَ لَهُمْ تَمَتَّعُوا حَتَّى حِينٍ (٤٣) فَعَتَوْا عَنْ أَمْرِ رَبِّهِمْ فَأَخَذَتْهُمُ الصَّاعِقَةُ وَهُمْ يَنظُرُونَ (٤٤) فَمَا اسْتَطَاعُوا مِن قِيَامٍ وَمَا كَانُوا مُنتَصِرِينَ (٤٥)

And [this same sign] is in the tale of the Thamūd also when it was said to them: “Enjoy yourselves for a while.”91 But [even after this warning], they rebelliously defied the command of their Lord;92 so, they were struck by a thunder bolt93 whilst they looked on.94 Then they were neither able to get up nor could they save themselves.95 (43-45)



وَقَوْمَ نُوحٍ مِّن قَبْلُ إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا قَوْمًا فَاسِقِينَ (٤٦)

And before this, We similarly seized the folks of Noah too. They were also a disobedient people.96  (46)



وَالسَّمَاء بَنَيْنَاهَا بِأَيْدٍ وَإِنَّا لَمُوسِعُونَ (٤٧) وَالْأَرْضَ فَرَشْنَاهَا فَنِعْمَ الْمَاهِدُونَ (٤٨) وَمِن كُلِّ شَيْءٍ خَلَقْنَا زَوْجَيْنِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ (٤٩) فَفِرُّوا إِلَى اللهِ إِنِّي لَكُم مِّنْهُ نَذِيرٌ مُّبِينٌ (٥٠) وَلَا تَجْعَلُوا مَعَ اللهِ إِلَهًا آخَرَ إِنِّي لَكُم مِّنْهُ نَذِيرٌ مُّبِينٌ (٥١)

[Then what is the difficulty for Us to re-create them? Have you not seen that] We built the heavens with Our might97 and indeed We have a lot of capacity.98 And We have spread out the earth; so how excellently do We spread out!99 And We have created all things in pairs that you may receive a reminder;100 therefore, run towards God. I am from Him an open warner for you. And set up no God besides Allah. [When the Day of Judgement comes, none of them will be of any avail to you]. I am from Him an open warner. (47-51)



كَذَلِكَ مَا أَتَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِم مِّن رَّسُولٍ إِلَّا قَالُوا سَاحِرٌ أَوْ مَجْنُونٌ (٥٢) أَتَوَاصَوْا بِهِ بَلْ هُمْ قَوْمٌ طَاغُونَ (٥٣) فَتَوَلَّ عَنْهُمْ فَمَا أَنتَ بِمَلُومٍ (٥٤) وَذَكِّرْ فَإِنَّ الذِّكْرَى تَنفَعُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ (٥٥)

[Rest assured O Prophet!] Whenever a messenger came to their ancestors they similarly called him to be a sorcerer or one possessed. Have they been making this will to one another? [Nay!] They are but a people rebellious. So ignore them. There is no blame on you now.101 And keep on reminding because reminding benefits those who believe. (52-55)



وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ (٥٦) مَا أُرِيدُ مِنْهُم مِّن رِّزْقٍ وَمَا أُرِيدُ أَن يُطْعِمُونِ (٥٧) إِنَّ اللهَ هُوَ الرَّزَّاقُ ذُو الْقُوَّةِ الْمَتِينُ (٥٨)

[Leave these rebellious people to themselves]. I have created the jinn and men only that they worship Me [and this is what is required of them as well]. I seek no sustenance from them, nor do I want that they should feed Me.102 Indeed, God is the Provider, the Mighty and the Powerful.103  (56-58)


فَإِنَّ لِلَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا ذَنُوبًا مِّثْلَ ذَنُوبِ أَصْحَابِهِمْ فَلَا يَسْتَعْجِلُونِ (٥٩) فَوَيْلٌ لِّلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِن يَوْمِهِمُ الَّذِي يُوعَدُونَ (٦٠)

[Give them some respite because] for these wrongdoers,104 there is a time fixed like that of their companions before;105 so they should not ask to hasten it. For these disbelievers there is destruction at last on account of the day of theirs of which they are being warned. (59-60)


(Translated by Dr Shehzad Saleem)




22 August 2009











1. What the meaning of this name? I have presented my answer in detail to this question in the explanation of the second verse of sūrah Baqarah.

2. The actual words are: وَالْقُرْآنِ الْمَجِيدِ. The letter وَ here signifies an oath and the complement of oath is suppressed here. The reason is that it is self-evident from the context. Such oaths mentioned in the Qur’ān are meant to bear witness. The word الْمَجِيد occurs in the Qur’ān as an attribute of God and also as an attribute of the Qur’ān. It means: “exalted”, “glorious” and “majestic”. Imām Amīn Ahsan Islāhī writes:

… every discourse is a reflection of its author. Just as God is glorious and exalted, His word is also glorious and exalted and this is evident from each and every verse of the Qur’ān. It is not possible that a person of taste read or hear the Qur’ān and not be impressed and over-awed by its glory and majesty. If someone is not influenced by its glory and majesty, then it only means that he is a thick-headed person and that his heart has totally become devoid of the ability to savour the truth. This discourse would have shattered mountains to pieces had it been revealed to them not to speak of human beings, as is referred to by the Qur’ān. (Amīn Ahsan Islāhī, Tadabbur-i Qur’ān, vol. 7, 533)

3. This sentence begins with the word: بَلْ (in fact). This shows that a negative sentence is understood to be suppressed before it. I have pointed out this suppression in the translation. What is implied is that the reason for their rejection of the Qur’ān is not that they do in fact regard it to be something of the category of poetry, soothsaying, magic and sorcery or an inspiration from Satan and are satisfied that this is not the word of God; in fact, the reason for this rejection is their arrogance: they are not ready to accept a person from amongst themselves to be a messenger of God. Thus they have become rejecters of the Qur’ān and about the Day of Judgement too they say that it is absolutely improbable and far-fetched; how can a person who dies and decays into the earth be raised to life again?

4. That is, firstly there is God’s personal knowledge which is comprehensive, and secondly with Him is also a register preserving the record of all His creatures and containing all information to the minutest details about their souls and bodies. How can it be difficult for God to gather their dispersed parts, raise them to life again and hold them accountable for their words and deeds?

5.The implied meaning is that the reason for their denial of the Hereafter is not the one they are presenting: it is their stubbornness and obduracy. The fact is that they have deliberately denied a blatant truth and that too when it has come to them very clearly in the form of the Qur’ān.

6. That is, they believe in a thing and at the same time deny its obvious requirement. Thus they have been inflicted with such contradiction that they do not find any way out of it. Imām Amīn Ahsan Islāhī writes:

… the greatest role in a person being misguided is played by contradiction in his stance: either because of laziness he gathers in his mind all kinds of correct and incorrect views or, while pursuing his whims and desires, tries to amalgamate incorrect views with correct ones the result of which is that his life becomes an embodiment of contradiction. If a person keeps analyzing his views, does not allow his critical ability to die away and in pursuance of whims and desires does not amalgamate evil with the truth, he can remain shielded from the trials of Satan – but few people can do this. (Amīn Ahsan Islāhī,Tadabbur-i Qur’ān, vol. 7, 538)

7. Here the Almighty has directed our attention to His great power and wisdom which is evident in every part and section of the heavens and the earth, and which every person of insight can see with his own eyes. For this two words are used: تَبْصِرَةً  and ذِكْرَى. Imām Amīn Ahsan Islāhī has explained them thus:

The word تَبْصِرَةً means to create insight so that eyes are able to go past the external form and see what is beneath it, while the word ذِكْرَى means to bring someone out from his state of apathy and indifference. The implication is that the Almighty has filled every nook and corner of this universe with miracles and signs which are enough to open eyes and jolt and awaken hearts; however, these miracles can only be effective for those who are ready to accept their influence. For people who, by becoming slaves to the material world, have lost this subtle sense in them, this universe is a place of pitch darkness. (Amīn Ahsan Islāhī, Tadabbur-i Qur’ān, vol. 7, 539)

8. The actual words are: مَاءً مُّبَارَكًا. In them the attribute of مُّبَارَكًا is meant to elaborate the beneficial nature of rain which becomes a source of fertility and lushness for people.

9. This is a reference to an aspect of the elaborate arrangement of God’s providence: crops are not merely beneficial at the time they are in full bloom, but they can be stacked after being harvested and then continue to give benefit later on.

10. After orchards and crops, dates are specially mentioned. Imām Amīn Ahsan Islāhī writes:

… the reason that a specific category has been mentioned after  a general one is that this was a special grain found in Arabia and it was the best fruit for them and also a means of fulfilling their nutritional needs. Reference to the height of the date palms and to the clusters of dates is to awaken the sense of observation and the feeling of gratitude in the addressees so that they see these signs of providence and be moved the way sensitive and vibrant hearts are. (Amīn Ahsan Islāhī, Tadabbur-i Qur’ān, vol. 7, 541)

11. After power and wisdom, providence is highlighted here. The implied question is: how is it difficult for the God Whose signs of power, wisdom and providence they are witnessing, to raise them to life again after they die? And why should He not do it and hold them accountable for the favours He has blessed them with when He has made such elaborate arrangements for their nutrition and sustenance?

12. This is a reference to some ancient nations of Arabia to whom the Almighty sent His messenger, and as a punishment for denying Him the Almighty sent His torment to them.

13. Instead of the nation of Pharaoh, only the Pharaoh is mentioned because, because he was in fact the real criminal.

14. This is a reference to the established practice of God which manifests itself after conclusive communication of the truth by the messengers of God.

15. This is a sarcastic sentence. Imām Amīn Ahsan Islāhī writes:

In other words, when they can see with their own eyes that creating them the first time was not at all a bother for God, how can it be a bother to recreate them? These naïve people should be asked whether creating the first time is difficult or the second. If an artist can draw an illustration the second time better than the first, why can God not create more easily the second time? (Amīn Ahsan Islāhī,Tadabbur-i Qur’ān, vol. 7, 543)

16. The implication is that not only his words and deeds but even the latent thoughts which arise in a person’s mind are in God’s knowledge. God’s knowledge and power embraces every aspect of a person; nothing whether apparent or hidden is concealed from Him.

17. The actual words are: عَنِ الْيَمِينِ وَعَنِ الشِّمَالِ قَعِيدٌ. Here, the word قَعِيدٌ is suppressed after الْيَمِينِ according to linguistic principles keeping in view the brevity of the discourse.

18. For conclusive communication of the truth, a further arrangement made by God is that He has deputed two angels, one each to the right and left of each person so that they are able to prepare a record of his good and bad words and deeds for the court of God.

19. The actual words are: وَجَاءتْ سَكْرَةُ الْمَوْتِ بِالْحَقِّ. The past tense adopted here and in the subsequent verses is to express certainty and to portray the scene of the Day of Judgement before the eyes.

20. That is the Hereafter which begins right after death; a person gets to know his fate and what will happen to him later.

21. This is a sarcastic comment to humiliate the criminal. The implication is that what he regarded to be impossible has today materialized as a reality.

22. These words can be uttered by the ushering angel as well as the witnessing angel as both are mentioned earlier. In my opinion it is the former since the criminal will primarily be in his custody and it would be his responsibility to present him in the court.

23. This is merely the statement of the directive. It does not necessitate that the same two angels cast him into Hell. If they consign him to the custody of the angel who casts people into Hell, the directive will indeed stand fulfilled.

24. The word خَيْرِ is generally used for all virtuous acts; however, in the presence of contextual indication, it generally connotes spending in the way of God.

25. The Qur'ānic word used is: مُّرِيب. It refers to the person who is inflicted with doubts. Imām Amīn Ahsan Islāhī writes:

Though this word has a general connotation and includes doubts about monotheism and the Hereafter, yet in the Qur’ān, it is generally used for the doubt a person may have about the Day of Judgement – which is the topic of this sūrah. Here this attribute is mentioned as the primary attribute amongst all others which are mentioned earlier. It is the doubt regarding the Day of Judgement which makes a person ungrateful, rivalrous, stingy and transgressor of bounds. Thus after mentioning all the maladies, the real malady which is the source of all the others is mentioned. (Amīn Ahsan Islāhī,Tadabbur-i Qur’ān, vol. 7, 552)

26. Here the style has been changed in order to mention polytheism in an emphatic way. The styles of Arabic which are adopted in these verses are explained thus by Imām Amīn Ahsan Islāhī:

… when attributes are mentioned without the particle of conjugation, it means that all the attributes are simultaneously present in the noun they qualify. Another point that needs to be kept in consideration regarding these attributes is that the sequence in which they are mentioned progresses from corollaries to principles. They begin with ingratitude and stinginess and end with rejection of the Hereafter and polytheism. It is evident from this that if a person has doubts about the Day of Judgement and is also incriminated with polytheism, then his character is the one mentioned in these verses. (Amīn Ahsan Islāhī, Tadabbur-i Qur’ān, vol. 7, 552)

27. These words re-emphasize the directive of casting sinners into Hell given earlier. After referring to the attributes of the criminal, it is said with further stress and emphasis to fling him into the grave torment of Hell.

28. Further ahead the scenario after entry into Hell is described.

29. This is the same Satan about whom it is mentioned in verse thirty six of sūrah Zukhruf that as per the established practice of God it is deputed on people who become negligent in remembering God.

30. Satan has reasoned here that, as per the established practice of God, the person came into his grasp because he became liable for it due to his love for straying into error.

31. This is a reference to the threat mentioned in verse eighteen of sūrah A‘rāf: In it, Iblīs had challenged the Almighty that if he was given respite, he would lead the majority of mankind astray. In reply, the Almighty had said that whoever among the jinn and mankind become his followers would be thrown into Hell with him.

32. The actual words are: وَمَا أَنَا بِظَلَّامٍ لِّلْعَبِيدِ. Here the negation on the exaggerated statement is meant to exaggerate the negation. I have translated this expression keeping in view this fact. What is stated here is the same mentioned elsewhere in the Qur’ān thus: إِنَّ اللهَ لاَ يَظْلِمُ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ (٤٠:٤) (God is not the slightest bit unjust, (4:40)) and إِنَّ اللهَ لاَ يَظْلِمُ النَّاسَ شَيْئًا (٤٤:١٠) (God is not the slightest bit unjust to people, (10:44)).

33. This question and answer can be a depiction of the situation and also an actual happening. The implication is that the fuming wrath with which the Almighty will pose the question will be answered with the same fury by Hell. She will ask God to bring over if any more are left for she has a lot of space available. Imām Amīn Ahsan Islāhī writes:

This question and answer is an expression of God’s self-sufficient nature and also of His intense wrath: seeing the inhabitants of Hell fill it will not be any cause of hesitancy for him; He will, in fact, have them thrown in it without any concern and will then ask Hell if she is packed to capacity. The implication is that no one should be deceived by the fact that God will be saddened after throwing such a large number of people into Hell – people whom He Himself created. Such will be the extent of His wrath that if there are still more inhabitants to fill Hell, He will make them her fuel. (Amīn Ahsan Islāhī,Tadabbur-i Qur’ān, vol. 7, 557)

34. That is, Paradise will brought forth before them as an offer even though it will not be far off from them; however, it will be brought further near them to honour them. The words غَيْرَ بَعِيدٍ which occur to convey this meaning are, in the opinion of this writer, an accusative of state (hāl) from the word الْجَنَّةُ.

35. The actual words are: هَذَا مَا تُوعَدُونَ لِكُلِّ أَوَّابٍ حَفِيظٍ. The demonstrative pronoun هَذَا refers to the Paradise mentioned earlier; however, it occurs as a masculine noun with reference to its meaning because it refers to reward. An incomplete verb is suppressed in مَا تُوعَدُونَ as per linguistic principles of Arabic ie. مَا كُنْتُمْ تُوعَدُونَ. The implication is that such will be the character of people who will be regarded worthy of Paradise in contrast to the dwellers of Hell. Imām Amīn Ahsan Islāhī writes:

… if both these traits are reflected upon, it will become evident that one of them relates to the heart and the other to deeds. If a person’s heart is alive and vibrant, then in the humdrum of worldly activities his heart remains inclined towards his Lord. He never becomes so negligent or arrogant that he becomes forgetful of God’s limits and prohibitions and violates them. If because of some prompting from the soul, he at times exceeds limits his heart immediately realizes the error and through sincere repentance he reforms his attitude. (Amīn Ahsan Islāhī, Tadabbur-i Qur’ān, vol. 7, 559)

36. The Day of Judgement is a requirement of God’s mercy. Here the word الرَّحْمَن (merciful) is mentioned to allude to this reality. Thus it is mentioned in verse twelve of sūrah An‘ām that God has made mercy obligatory upon Himself so He will gather all mankind on the Day of Judgement.

37. The implication is that no state of sorrow or happiness, hope or despair can induce him to turn away from his Lord.

38. From here begin the closing verses of the sūrah, The general style of the Qur’ān is that at end of sūrahs of warning (indhār), the Prophet (sws) is sounded an assurance. From here begins its prelude.

39. This is a portrayal of the state of confusion, anxiety and fear which will arise in people when they behold the punishment. It does not mean that some of them will die and some will succeed in procuring a place of refuge.

40. If the heart is not alive and vibrant, then they should at least be  prepared to listen  attentively. Imām Amīn Ahsan Islāhī has explained this. He writes:

… being attentive too is a great blessing for a person. At times, this dispenses a person of negligence and the ability to learn lessons is revived in him. However, if a person is such a wretch that neither is his heart alive nor is he able to pay heed to the call of reason, how can sense and sanity make way in him? (Amīn Ahsan Islāhī, Tadabbur-i Qur’ān, vol. 7, 565)

41. The actual word is: أَيّام (days). These are the days of God and only He knows their time span. They should not be regarded as the days of this earth.

42. This sentence is sarcastic in style. The implication is that after creating once, God was not afflicted with such tiredness that He was not able to create a second time. He still has the power and strength that He had at the first creation. So whenever He intends, He will raise all mankind back to life. Concealed in these words is also a sarcastic remark, though in a secondary way, on the biblical statement that God created the heavens and the earth in six days and rested on the seventh.

43. This is an allusion to salāh (the prayer) with reference to remembering God. Imām Amīn Ahsan Islāhī writes:

… this remembrance of God has two parts: tasbīh and hamd. The former has a ring of negation in it and means “to absolve God from things which are against His majesty,” while the latter has a ring of affirmation in it and means “to affirm all attributes which are in accordance with His majesty.” Together this negation and affirmation firmly instil the true comprehension of God in the hearts of people and it is through this firm instilment that the relationship of a person with his Creator is established on sound footing, which is the fountainhead of all patience and trust. If some weakness or imbalance arises in them, then a person’s concept of God becomes defective and this mistake totally disrupts his thoughts and deeds. (Amīn Ahsan Islāhī,Tadabbur-i Qur’ān, vol. 7, 567)

44. A reference to the fajr and ‘asr prayers.

45. The Qur’ānic words used are: وَمِنَ اللَّيْلِ فَسَبِّحْهُ وَأَدْبَارَ السُّجُودِ. The words مِنَ اللَّيْلِ فَسَبِّحْهُ are placed in the beginning. The purpose is to point to the sequence of the prayers with respect to the status and rank each occupies. This same style is adopted in the one hundred and thirtieth verse of sūrah Tāhā. If these words were placed at the end, then it becomes evident about the word السُّجُودِ that the definite particle alif lām on it refers to the governing noun (mudāf ilayh) of rising and setting (طُلُوعِ  and غُرُوبِ) mentioned earlier. This refers to the zuhr and the ‘asr prayers since once of them falls at the beginning of the sun’s prostration and the other at its end. When it descends from the line of sight, the prostration begins and when it sets, the prostration ends.

This directive of the prayer is given as a measure to acquire patience because whoever is blessed with the urge to acquire it is blessed with it by God, and the sole means to acquire help from God is the prayer. The prescribed times of this prayer are the ones which are very apt for worshipping God and for the acceptance of supplications. Imām Amīn Ahsan Islāhī writes:

If one reflects on the times prescribed for prayer, it becomes evident that they are the ones in which some great change takes place in this universe, which reminds a person of the power and greatness of God and in which other prominent objects of this universe too can be witnessed prostrating before God. (Amīn Ahsan Islāhī,Tadabbur-i Qur’ān, vol. 7, 567)

46. This is a reference to the reality that these negligent people regard to be far fetched  today, but, on that day will feel as if the one who is calling towards it is calling them from inside their ears. This is a true portrayal of the Day of Judgement and of the way a sane person should always remain vigilant about it.

47. The implication is that when it is a reality that it is God alone Who gives life and death, why should raising to life again be considered improbable. Not only will He re-create mankind, but also its return too would be towards Him; none of their alleged deities and intercessors will there to give it refuge.

48. The implication is that when God knows what they are saying, then He will also take them to task for it, and they will have to necessarily bear the punishment of what they are saying.

49. The actual words are: وَالذَّارِيَاتِ ذَرْوًا. The word ذَرْوًا is to emphasize the verb. I have tried to give due regard to it by adding the word “fierce” in the translation. This is a special style of the Arabic language which is not easy to translate into Urdu.

50. The actual words are: فَالْحَامِلَاتِ وِقْرًا. This and the two succeeding attributes also relate to winds because they are conjugated to by the letter ف which signifies a sequence.

51. This is the state of the wind before they cause rain. Imām Amīn Ahsan Islāhī writes:

… it is a common norm that first fast and dust-laden winds blow; then they gather clouds from various places and stack them in layers on the place where they have been divinely directed to saturate; then these winds become slow and soft and they cause rain to come down.  (Amīn Ahsan Islāhī,Tadabbur-i Qur’ān, vol. 7, 579)

52. This means that where they have to cause rain they do so and the place they want to leave dry, they do so. In this manner, for one nation they bring glad tidings of mercy and for another they become a thunderous storm that ravages everything that comes in its way.

53. This is the picture of the clouds whose components are scattered about like sea waves one on top of another and like layered pieces of cotton. After the winds, this bearing of witness by the clouds is in fact meant to complete the topic for which the witness of the winds was mentioned in the previous oath. The reason for this is that winds and clouds are inseparable. In the destruction of previous nations, cold northern wind and red-striped winter clouds played a great role. Thus, this addition is made to highlight the destruction caused by the winds.

54. This refers to the worldly punishment which visits nations that deny their respective messenger.

55. This is the premise which is substantiated by the multifarious effects of winds. The implication is that many a time people have witnessed in the history of this world that winds bring forth clouds and rain down on rebellious nations in the form of such a storm that they are destroyed in the blink of an eye; and in the past such winds  became a source of mercy and blessing and a means of salvation from the enemies. Thus if the people of the Quraysh have vision, they can see that even now these incidents of reward and punishment which were caused by the winds and clouds bear evidence that both the punishment as well as the day of judgement whose warnings are being sounded to them are bound to come.

56. This refers to the fact that they believe in a thing but refuse to accept the consequences and outcome of this belief.

57. In other words, this is a person who has been deprived of the faculty of intellect and reason. This happens in accordance with the Almighty’s law of guidance. Thus when a person makes his intellect and reason a slave to his desires and biases, he is not able to see the thing of which testimony is being borne by his own being and by every nook and corner of the world spread out around him.

58. The implication is that those who have no reason to deny the Day of Judgement and indulge in mere guess work and conjecture have been overcome with speculative tendencies.

59. Here the Qur’ān cites the reason why these people have forsaken the light given to them by God and have fallen into speculation. The Qur’ānic words used are: الَّذِينَ هُمْ فِي غَمْرَةٍ سَاهُونَ. The word سَاهُونَ is the second enunciative (khabar) after the first which shows continuity of indifference and the word غَمْرَةٍ actually refers to the state of indifference with which a person is afflicted once he is lured away by his base desires.

60. This question is to make fun; it is meant to ridicule those who are warning them of its advent; they cheekily ask about its arrival.

61. The actual word is: يُفْتَنُونَ. While pointing to its eloquence, Imām Amīn Ahsan Islāhī writes:

here the word يُفْتَنُونَ refers to two meanings. First to the meaning of heating and burning something, and second to the meaning that the fire in which they will be burnt will be the fire of their desires and worldly adornments in which they had remained engrossed in the previous world and because of the love of which they became indifferent to the Day of Judgement.  (Amīn Ahsan Islāhī,Tadabbur-i Qur’ān, vol. 7, 586)

62. The actual word is: الْمُتَّقِينَ. Here it specially refers to the people who did not remain indifferent to the Day of Judgement and were fully aware that one day they will have to come into the presence of God and give an account of their words and deeds.

63. The implication is that they will be surrounded by gardens and springs. At every place, the favours of God will await them.

64. The actual word is: آخِذِينَ. It is an accusative of state (hāl) and is depicting the situation: they will be receiving at every instant what the Almighty has blessed them with.

65. ie. given in their total custody. The past tense has been used to convey this very meaning. Now they can use and be entertained by these things in whatever they want to at whatever time they want to.

66. It is evident from this that waking up in the night for worship is a special trait of the righteous and of those who do virtuous deeds in a befitting manner

67. After remaining awake in the later part of the night, at the advent of dawn they seek forgiveness from their Lord. Imām Amīn Ahsan Islāhī writes:

It is evident from this that neither did they expect that as reward for this practice they would be given a high status by God nor did they go after such a thing; their only desire was that God forgive their errors and mistakes. Thus their night worship would culminate in imploring the Almighty to pardon them. (Amīn Ahsan Islāhī,Tadabbur-i Qur’ān, vol. 7, 586)

68. This refers to needy people who don’t ask the affluent for money because of their self-esteem. At another place, the Qur’ān has directed people to try reach out to such needy people of their own accord.

69. That is, the signs of the Hereafter and the reward and punishment that will take place there for example, after rain luxuriant growth in the earth and the elaborate arrangement of providence for man. The latter entails that he be held accountable for the favours and blessings he has been given. Similarly, the ruins of ancient nations and the worldly judgement of the progeny of Abraham (sws) which every person of vision can see.

70. For example, the incompleteness found within man, his awareness of good and evil, his extra-ordinary desire for perfect justice and the various states of life, death and barzakh which are experienced by every person everyday while he is awake and is asleep.

71. That is, rain which becomes a means for sustenance and livelihood. Here by referring to the cause, its effect is implied.

72. This refers to the punishment which necessarily comes as a result of denying the messengers of God. Imām Amīn Ahsan Islāhī has explained the nature of the argument found in this verse. He writes:

… the implication of the verse is that every now and then the sky bears witness to reward and punishment. From it, the Almighty rains down their sustenance and from it He also unleashes His punishment for those who are rebellious and disobedient. He does not need to make any extra effort to shower His mercy nor any extra effort to let loose His torment. So if they are continuously witnessing this majesty and grandeur from Him, why do they think that it is not possible for Him to make the very source of life for them into a means of their destruction if He intends so? (Amīn Ahsan Islāhī,Tadabbur-i Qur’ān, vol. 7, 600)

73. Here the arguments offered earlier are put together and it is said that the heavens and the earth also bear witness and their Lord as well that the day of reward and punishment which these people are being reminded of is bound to come. There is no doubt in this. It will not be of the slightest bother for the Almighty. The Qur’ān thus says that it will happen in the blink of an eye in the very manner a person utters a word. Imām Amīn Ahsan Islāhī writes:

It should remain in consideration that this parable is merely meant to make us understand. For in reality, it is much easier for the Almighty to create the whole universe than it is for us to even utter a word. We need a number of means and systems given to us by God to utter a word. On the contrary, God needs none of these. (Amīn Ahsan Islāhī, Tadabbur-i Qur’ān, vol. 7, 602)

Here it needs to be kept in mind that the signs to which these verses direct our attention have the sequence of the nearest to the next nearest in them : first of all the signs in the earth, then those within the human soul and finally those in the earth. The human soul is mentioned in the middle and it should be placed in the middle because from one aspect it is inclined towards the earth and from another aspect towards the sky. Then with a parable related to the human soul, the whole argument is completed ie: مِّثْلَ مَا أَنَّكُمْ تَنطِقُونَ (the way you utter a word).

74. At the beginning of the sūrah, arguments are adduced from the signs found in the good and evil effects of winds and clouds. Now arguments are drawn from history. They begin with the anecdote of the prophets Abraham (sws) and Lot (sws). It is shown in it that the angels who brought forth punishment for the nation of Lot (sws), also came to Abraham (sws) before this campaign to give glad tidings of a knowledgeable son to him. It is the comprehensive nature of this anecdote that entailed that it be mentioned at the very beginning.

75. The addressed entity here is singular. This style is adopted when the addressees are a group or community and in order to direct the attention of each and every individual of that group, the addressed entity is singular. In technical words, it is called خطاب لغير معين (khitāb li ghayr mu‘ayyan: unspecified address). The interrogative style is adopted so that the addressees give importance to what is said and listen with full attention.

76. These words were not spoken by Abraham (sws) by his tongue; he said them in his heart. He was amazed at the existence of strangers in the settlement.

77. This has always been the way of decent, hospitable and noble hosts. They prepare feast for the guests without disclosing it to them lest the guest may diffidently request to not make such arrangements.

78. The actual words are: فَجَاء بِعِجْلٍ سَمِينٍ. This style is similar to the one in which is it said: he fed the guests with chicken. Thus in verse sixty nine of sūrah Hūd, the words used are:  عِجْلٍ حَنِيْذِ (roasted calf).

79. It is evident from this that when Abraham (sws) saw that they were not extending their hands to eat, he understood that they were angels who had come in the garb of human beings.

80. It is specified in verse seventy one of sūrah Hūd that these were glad tidings of the birth of Isaac (sws). In it the words “knowledgeable son” refer to the fact that this son would be a prophet.

81. The actual words are: فِي صَرَّةٍ. This is an idiom from صَرَّ الفَرْسُ أُذُنَيْهِ (the horse raised his ears) and expresses amazement and wonder.

82. The Qur’ānic words used are: فَصَكَّتْ وَجْهَهَا. A very typical way adopted by women to express wonder is to strike their forehead. Deliberation will show that in these two words the Qur’ān has fully portrayed their amazement and jubilation.

83. These glad tidings were given to Abraham (sws) so loudly that his wife standing behind him overheard them. Imām Amīn Ahsan Islāhī writes:

Who can imagine the amount of her happiness and amazement? Thus as she soon as heard them, she expressed wonder in a typical lady-like style by striking her forehead and said that she was a barren old lady and asked how she could give birth to a child at her age and in her situation. The extent of amazement, elation and further substantiation of these glad tidings reflected in each and every word of Sara’s sentence requires no explanation. (Amīn Ahsan Islāhī,Tadabbur-i Qur’ān, vol. 7, 609)

84. It is specified in verse seventy of sūrah Hūd that the angels had also taken the name of the people of Lot (sws). Here the name is suppressed so that all attention is focused on the fact that whatever ordeal the people of Lot (sws) had to go through was a punishment for their deeds.

85. The implication is that the stones were already reserved for this task; it would not be required to go and look for them somewhere. The tempestuous winds sent by the Lord would pick these stones from around their feet and hurl them upon them. It is evident from other instances of the Qur’ān that this punishment descended upon the people of Lot (sws) from the sand-storm punctuated with thunder and lightning that is mentioned at the beginning of the sūrah.

86. The words: مُؤْمِنِينَ  and مُسْلِمِينَ are used earlier on. What is the reason for this?  Imām Amīn Ahsan Islāhī writes:

… the previous verse mentions the practice of God regarding salvation from divine punishment, and as per this practice, only true believers are protected from such punishment. In the verse under discussion, it is stated that except for one family there was no other Muslim family in that area. The word مُسْلِمِينَ used for this family has a lot of scope in it. It can cover the weak in faith and the strong in faith as well as the mature and the immature. So much so, in the apparent sense, even the wife of the Prophet Lot (sws) was included in it but was excluded from it when the final time arrived. (Amīn Ahsan Islāhī,Tadabbur-i Qur’ān, vol. 7, 612)

87. Here the attention of the Quraysh is directed to the fact Sodom and Gomorrah which were the places inhabited by the people of Lot (sws) lie on pathways they often tread; they should see what happened to them when they denied their messenger.

88. This is a reference to the extra-ordinary miracles given to Moses (sws). It was as if they were a proof that he had been sent by God.

89. The implication is that when they saw the miracles, they said that he was a sorcerer and when they heard his preaching, they said that he was a man possessed who claimed to be a messenger of God.

90. At another place in the Qur’ān (44:29), the words are: neither did the heavens weep nor did the earth shed tears for them. It is evident from the indications of the Qur’ān and clear verses of the Bible that in this incident too the winds had a role to play – the winds whose testimony is mentioned in the beginning of the sūrah. It is stated in Exodus:

Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the LORD drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided. (Exodus 14:21)

91. This perhaps is the time when as a sign of punishment a she-camel was chosen and they were told that that was the only respite they would have. After this, they would have no further time.

92. The actual words are: فَعَتَوْا عَنْ أَمْرِ رَبِّهِمْ. When the verb عَتَوْا occurs with the preposition عَنْ as is the case here, then the meaning of “indifference” is incorporated in it.

93. The actual words is: الصَّاعِقَةُ. It is evident from the Qur’ān that it is comprehensive term for a violent storm of thunder, lightning and tempestuous winds. In verses 24-25 of sūrah Ahqāf, the Qur’ān has detailed this out.

94. The actual words are: وَهُمْ يَنظُرُونَ. Concealed in these two words are many things. Imām Amīn Ahsan Islāhī writes:

Firstly, the punishment came very openly; people saw it and could do nothing to save themselves.

Secondly, it came upon them all of a sudden after which they did not get a moment’s respite. At another place, the words used are: إِنَّا أَرْسَلْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ صَيْحَةً وَاحِدَةً فَكَانُوا كَهَشِيمِ الْمُحْتَظِرِ (54: 31) (We sent upon them a single shout and they became like the trampled hedge of a sheep-fold builder, (54:31)).

Thirdly, after seeing it, they were totally taken aback; they could not understand what to do. (Amīn Ahsan Islāhī, Tadabbur-i Qur’ān, vol. 7, 618)

95. In verse 91 of sūrah A‘raf, this subject is mentioned by stating that a shudder seized them, and they were left lying on their faces in their dwellings.

96. The anecdote of the people of Noah (sws) is mentioned at the end and mentioned in a concise manner as it required no detail because of its fame and ancient nature, and for this reason it was as if their story was the story of all the nations. Thus the style previously adopted in فِي مُوسَى and فِي عَادٍ has been changed so that the reader is informed that this anecdote has a special significance.

97. The actual word is: بِأَيْدٍ. It occurs as an undefined noun to signify grandeur and majesty (tafkhīm shā’n). The implication is that the God Who has such might and power that He can create the boundless sky will not find it at all difficult to re-create human beings after they die.

98. What is meant here is that after creating the heavens God did not become bereft of power. Even after their creation, He can create whatever He wants and whenever He wants to without any effort.

99. This verse directs our attention to the miraculous wisdom and providence found in the earth. Imām Amīn Ahsan Islāhī writes:

it is evident [from this] that the Creator of this world is not merely someone who possesses immense power but also just as His power is immense; similarly, there is no limit to His mercy, wisdom, sustenance and graciousness. All these attributes entail that He bring forth a day in which He administer justice to mankind and His complete justice and complete mercy manifest themselves on that day. If this does not happen, then His attributes of mercy and providence stand refuted whereas every part of this universe bears evidence of them. (Amīn Ahsan Islāhī,Tadabbur-i Qur’ān, vol. 7, 627)

100. That is, keep reminding them that when every object of this world occurs in pairs and in it causes have been joined to effects, potentials to their devices, natures to their intentions and souls to bodies and as a result are presenting a meaningful whole; whether a man or a woman, the earth or the heavens – nothing reaches its culmination without its counterpart, then the next world too is one member of the pair of which the other member is this world and both complement one another and become meaningful. Every sane person will accept that it is the next world which forms a pair with this world because the latter reaches its culmination with the former.

101.The implication is that the Prophet’s only responsibility is preaching; if these people do not accept his call, then he should let them be; he will not be held accountable for this by God and he will not be asked about them by Him; only they themselves are to blame and soon they will see its consequences.

102. This implies that neither is God dependent on them for any of His needs nor has He asked them for anything for Himself; He has only asked them to serve and worship Him and that too is their own need; the only reason that they were created was that they live as His servants on this earth. Whatever height they attain as a result, they will be rewarded for it. This is and should be  the purpose of their existence and their objective in life, and it is to remind them of this that God sends His messengers; they do not come to fulfil any of their own or God’s needs.

The worship which the verse demands is signified by the word: عبادت. Consequently, lexicographers generally explain worship as أصل العبودية الخضوع و التذلل (worship, in fact, is humility and servility); (Ibn Manzūr, Lisān al-‘arab, vol. 3, 271).

If humility and servility exist in a person with a true comprehension of the mercy, power, providence and wisdom of the Almighty then it is instrumental in totally humbling a person before Him with His great love and great fear. The Qur’ānic words khushū‘, khudū‘, ikhbāt, inābah, khashyah, tadarru‘, qunūt etc are used to depict this very state of a person – a state which originates from his inner-self and which then embraces his whole self. Dhikr (remembering God to attain peace and inner satisfaction), shukr (expressing immense gratitude to God on His abounding favours), taqwā (fearing God’s anger), ikhlās (devoting one’s self to God), tawakkul (trusting God), tafwīd submitting one’s self and all of one’s affairs to God), taslīm-o ridā (being content at all decisions of God) – all of these are the inner manifestations of this relationship between the worshipped God and His worshippers. Kneeling, prostrating, glorifying and praising the Lord, supplicating before Him and sacrificing life and wealth for His pleasure – all these are real forms of “worship”. However, since a person is not mere belief but also has a practical life in this world, “worship” relates to practical life as well and in this manner becomes inclusive of obedience. It now requires that a person’s outer-self also bow before the Creator before Whom his inner-self has bowed. His outer-self should also become subservient to the Creator to Whom his inner-self has become subservient, to the extent that no aspect of life should be left out of it. In other words, he should become a servant of his Lord in every sense of the word.

Jinn and mankind are mentioned in this verse as creatures of God having equal status. The reason for this is that God has blessed both of them with freedom of will and both are answerable to God and worthy of equal reward.

103. The actual word is: الْمَتِينُ. It is in the nominative case and its subject in my opinion is suppressed ie  قُوَّتُهُ الْمَتِينُ.

104. Here the word ظّالِمٌ connotes ظّالِمٌ لِنَفْسِهِ ie people who became rebellious before God and in this manner wronged their souls.

105. This is a reference to the nations mentioned earlier in the sūrah.

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