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Surah Yasin
Qur'anic Exegesis
Javed Ahmad Ghamidi
(Tr. by:Dr. Shehzad Saleem)


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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


يس. وَالْقُرْآنِ الْحَكِيْمِ. إِنَّكَ لَمِنَ الْمُرْسَلِيْنَ. عَلَى صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيْمٍ. تَنْزِيْلَ الْعَزِيْزِ الرَّحِيْمِ. لِتُنْذِرَ قَوْمًا مَّآ أُنْذِرَ آبَاؤُهُمْ فَهُمْ غَافِلُوْنَ. لَقَدْ حَقَّ الْقَوْلُ عَلَى أَكْثَرِهِمْ فَهُمْ لَا يُؤْمِنُوْنَ. إِنَّا جَعَلْنَا فِیْ أَعْنَاقِهِمْ أَغْلاَلاً فَهِيَ إِلَى الْأَذْقَانِ فَهُمْ مُّقْمَحُوْنَ. وَجَعَلْنَا مِنْ بَيْنِ أَيْدِيْهِمْ سَدًّا وَّمِنْ خَلْفِهِمْ سَدًّا فَأَغْشَيْنَاهُمْ فَهُمْ لاَ يُبْصِرُوْنَ. وَسَوَآءٌ عَلَيْهِمْ أَأَنذَرْتَهُمْ أَمْ لَمْ تُنذِرْهُمْ لاَ يُؤْمِنُوْنَ. إِنَّمَا تُنْذِرُ مَنِ اتَّبَعَ الذِّكْرَ وَخَشِيَ الرَّحْمَنَ بِالْغَيْبِ فَبَشِّرْهُ بِمَغْفِرَةٍ وَّأَجْرٍ كَرِيْمٍ. إِنَّا نَحْنُ نُحْیِ الْمَوْتَى وَنَكْتُبُ مَا قَدَّمُوْا وَآثَارَهُمْ وَكُلَّ شَيْءٍ أحْصَيْنَاهُ فِیْ إِمَامٍ مُبِيْنٍ.

This is Surah Yasin.1 This Qur’an replete with wisdom bears witness that you surely are among the messengers,2 upon a very straight path.3 It has been revealed with great diligence and planning from the Being Who is powerful, ever-merciful.4 It is has been revealed so that you may warn those people whose predecessors had not been warned. Hence, they are inflicted with negligence.5  For many of them, Our word has been fulfilled;6 thus, they will not embrace faith. [So arrogant are they that] it is as if We have put yokes around their necks which have reached as far as their chins; so, their heads are forever in an elevated position.7 We have raised a wall in front of them and another behind them as well. In this way, We have covered them; so, now they are not being able to see anything. It is equal for them whether you warn them or not; they will not believe. You can only warn those [O Prophet] who follow advice and fear the most merciful God even though they have not seen Him. So give glad tidings to such people of forgiveness and an honorable reward [from God]. Surely, [one day] it is We Who will raise the dead and [their accountability will not be of the slightest bother to Us because] whatever they have sent forward and whatever they have left behind We are writing down all of it and We have noted everything in a clear book.8 (1-12) 


وَاضْرِبْ لَهُمْ مَّثَلًا أَصْحَابَ الْقَرْيَةِ إِذْ جَآءَهَا الْمُرْسَلُوْنَ. إِذْ أَرْسَلْنَآ إِلَيْهِمُ اثْنَيْنِ فَكَذَّبُوهُمَا فَعَزَّزْنَا بِثَالِثٍ فَقَالُوْا إِنَّا إِلَيْكُمْ مُّرْسَلُوْنَ. قَالُوْا مَآ أَنْتُمْ إِلَّا بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُنَا وَمَآ أَنْزَلَ الرَّحْمنُ مِنْ شَيْءٍ إِنْ أَنْتُمْ إِلَّا تَكْذِبُوْنَ.

Narrate to them the example of the city-dwellers9 when messengers had come to them10 [such that] when We sent two messengers to them,11 they denied both. Then We helped them through a third individual;12 so they said to the people: “Undoubtedly, We have been sent to you as messengers.” 13 The people replied: “You are but a mortal like us and the merciful God has not revealed anything; you are merely lying.” (13-15)


قَالُوْا رَبُّنَا يَعْلَمُ إِنَّآ إِلَيْكُمْ لَمُرْسَلُوْنَ. وَمَا عَلَيْنَآ إِلَّا الْبَلاَغُ الْمُبِيْنُ. قَالُوْا إِنَّا تَطَيَّرْنَا بِكُمْ لَئِنْ لَّمْ تَنْتَهُوْا لَنَرْجُمَنَّكُمْ وَلَيَمَسَّنَّكُمْ مِّنَّا عَذَابٌ أَلِيْمٌ. قَالُوْا طَآئِرُكُمْ مَّعَكُمْ أَئِن ذُكِّرْتُم بَلْ أَنْتُمْ قَوْمٌ مُّسْرِفُوْنَ.

The messengers said: “Our Lord bears witness that We have surely been sent to you as messengers, and our only responsibility is to clearly communicate.”14 People said: “We regard you to bring bad luck.15 If you people do not desist, We will stone you to death and you will definitely be painfully punished from us.” The messengers replied: “Your bad luck is with you.16 Is it merely because you have been sounded a reminder? No, in fact, you are people who exceed bounds.” (16-19)


وَجَآءَ مِنْ أَقْصَا الْمَدِينَةِ رَجُلٌ يَّسْعَى قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ اتَّبِعُوا الْمُرْسَلِيْنَ. اتَّبِعُوْا مَنْ لَّا يَسْأَلُكُمْ أَجْرًا وَّهُمْ مُّهْتَدُوْنَ. وَمَا لِیَ لَآ اَعْبُدُ الَّذِیْ فَطَرَنِیْ وَإِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُوْنَ. ءَأَتَّخِذُ مِنْ دُونِهِ آلِهَةً إِنْ يُّرِدْنِ الرَّحْمَنْ بِضُرٍّ لَّا تُغْنِ عَنِّیْ شَفَاعَتُهُمْ شَيْئًا وَّلَا يُنْقِذُوْنِ. إِنِّیْ إِذًا لَّفِیْ ضَلاَلٍ مُّبِيْنٍ. إِنِّیْ آمَنْتُ بِرَبِّكُمْ فَاسْمَعُوْنِ. قِيْلَ ادْخُلِ الْجَنَّةَ قَالَ يَا لَيْتَ قَوْمِیْ يَعْلَمُوْنَ. بِمَا غَفَرَ لِیْ رَبِّیْ وَجَعَلَنِیْ مِنَ الْمُكْرَمِيْنَ.

[It was at this instance when God helped them through the third such that] a person came running from the far end of the city17 [and after coming over] said: “People of my nation! Follow the messengers. Follow the people who do not demand any reward and are also rightly guided. [You want to turn me away also from guidance? But I ask you:] “Why should I not worship that Being Who has created me and all of you will be returned to Him? Should I set up other deities besides Him? If the merciful God wants to afflict some hardship on me, their intercession will be of no avail to me and neither will they be able to save me. If I do this, then undoubtedly I will fall into open error. I have professed faith in your Lord; so, you also listen to me.” 18 – It was said: “Enter Paradise.” [When he heard this glad tiding,] he said: “Would thaْt my nation could have known my forgiveness from God and His including me among the honourable.” 19 (20-27)


وَمَآ أَنْزَلْنَا عَلَى قَوْمِهِ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ مِنْ جُنْدٍ مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ وَمَا كُنَّا مُنزِلِيْنَ. إِنْ كَانَتْ إِلَّا صَيْحَةً وَّاحِدَةً فَإِذَا هُمْ خَامِدُوْنَ. يَا حَسْرَةً عَلَى الْعِبَادِ مَا يَأْتِيهِم مِّنْ رَّسُوْلٍ إِلَّا كَانُوْا بِهِ يَسْتَهْزِؤُوْن. أَلَمْ يَرَوْا كَمْ أَهْلَكْنَا قَبْلَهُم مِّنْ الْقُرُوْنِ أَنَّهُمْ إِلَيْهِمْ لَا يَرْجِعُوْنَ. وَإِنْ كُلٌّ لَّمَّا جَمِيْعٌ لَّدَيْنَا مُحْضَرُوْنَ.

After him,20 We did not send down any army on his nation from the heavens and We are not One Who even send down [for such tasks]. It was only a shout and suddenly they were extinguished.21  – What a pity on people. Whichever messenger came to them, they have only been making fun of him. [Your addressees too O Messenger are doing the same.] Have they not seen how many nations before them have We destroyed so that their people will now never return to them and there is no doubt that [one day] all of them will be gathered to Our presence.22 (28-32)


وَآيَةٌ لَّهُمُ الْأَرْضُ الْمَيْتَةُ أَحْيَيْنَاهَا وَأَخْرَجْنَا مِنْهَا حَبًّا فَمِنْهُ يَأْكُلُوْنَ. وَجَعَلْنَا فِيْهَا جَنَّاتٍ مِّنْ نَّخِيْلٍ وَّأَعْنَابٍ وَّفَجَّرْنَا فِيْهَا مِنْ الْعُيُوْنِ. لِيَأْكُلُوْا مِنْ ثَمَرِهِ وَمَا عَمِلَتْهُ أَيْدِيْهِمْ أَفَلَا يَشْكُرُوْنَ.

[They ask for signs.] In reality, the dead land is a very big sign for them. We enlivened it [by sending down water from the heavens] and from it produced grain so that they eat from it. And We planted orchards of dates and grapes in it and made fountains to flow in it so that they may eat its fruits23 – These have not been made by their hands. Then do they not show gratitude? (33-35)


سُبْحَانَ الَّذِیْ خَلَقَ الْأَزْوَاجَ كُلَّهَا مِمَّا تُنْبِتُ الْأَرْضُ وَمِنْ أَنفُسِهِمْ وَمِمَّا لَا يَعْلَمُوْنَ.

Glorious is the Being24 Who made all the pairs, of things which the earth sprouts and from among these people themselves too and also of things which they do not know.25 (36)


وَآيَةٌ لَّهُمْ اللَّيْلُ نَسْلَخُ مِنْهُ النَّهَارَ فَإِذَا هُمْ مُّظْلِمُوْنَ. وَالشَّمْسُ تَجْرِیْ لِمُسْتَقَرٍّ لَّهَا ذَلِكَ تَقْدِيْرُ الْعَزِيْزِ الْعَلِيْمِ. وَالْقَمَرَ قَدَّرْنَاهُ مَنَازِلَ حَتَّى عَادَ كَالْعُرْجُونِ الْقَدِيْمِ. لَا الشَّمْسُ يَنبَغِیْ لَهَا أَنْ تُدْرِكَ الْقَمَرَ وَلَا اللَّيْلُ سَابِقُ النَّهَارِ وَكُلٌّ فِیْ فَلَكٍ يَّسْبَحُوْنَ.

And for them, the night too is a great sign. We pull out the day from it; so all of a sudden they are plunged in darkness. [For precisely this purpose,] the sun moves on a prescribed path. This is a measure set by the powerful and all-knowing God. And We have appointed phases for the moon [for this purpose] until [after passing through them] it once again becomes a withered date-twig. Neither can the sun dare catch up with the moon nor can the night overtake the day. All of them are moving in their own path.26 (37-40)


وَآيَةٌ لَّهُمْ أَنَّا حَمَلْنَا ذُرِّيَّتَهُمْ فِی الْفُلْكِ الْمَشْحُوْنِ. وَخَلَقْنَا لَهُم مِّنْ مِّثْلِهِ مَا يَرْكَبُوْنَ. وَإِن نَّشَأْ نُغْرِقْهُمْ فَلَا صَرِيْخَ لَهُمْ وَلَا هُمْ يُنقَذُوْنَ. إِلَّا رَحْمَةً مِّنَّا وَمَتَاعًا إِلَى حِيْنٍ.

And a great sign for them is also that We have carried their progeny27 in ships laden with them and like the ship We have made for them things28 [for traveling by land] on which they embark. And if We want, We can drown them. Then there will neither be anyone who hears their pleadings nor can they be saved. Except that it is Our mercy and to let them benefit till an appointed time [is the scheme]. (41-44)


وَإِذَا قِيْلَ لَهُمُ اتَّقُوْا مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِيْكُمْ وَمَا خَلْفَكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُوْنَ. وَمَا تَأْتِيْهِمْ مِّنْ آيَةٍ مِّنْ آيَاتِ رَبِّهِمْ إِلَّا كَانُوْا عَنْهَا مُعْرِضِيْنَ. وَإِذَا قِيْلَ لَهُمْ أَنْفِقُوْا مِمَّا رَزَقَكُمْ اللَّهُ قَالَ الَّذِيْنَ كَفَرُوْا لِلَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوْا أَنُطْعِمُ مَنْ لَّوْ يَشَآءُ اللَّهُ أَطْعَمَهُ إِنْ أَنْتُمْ إِلَّا فِیْ ضَلَالٍ مُّبِيْنٍ.

When they are warned: “[The heavens and the earth that surround you] from your front and back,29 fear them30 so that mercy be shown to you,” they pay no heed.31 And whichever sign among the signs of their Lord comes to them, they only ignore it. And when they are told: “Spend [for His cause] from the sustenance God has blessed you with,” these people who have rejected [the messenger] say to the believers: “Should we feed those whom God can feed Himself if He chose? You people are in glaring error.”32 (45-47)


وَيَقُوْلُوْنَ مَتَى هَذَا الْوَعْدُ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ صَادِقِيْنَ. مَا يَنْظُرُوْنَ إِلَّا صَيْحَةً وَّاحِدَةً تَأْخُذُهُمْ وَهُمْ يَخِصِّمُوْنَ. فَلَا يَسْتَطِيعُوْنَ تَوْصِيَةً وَّلَا إِلَى أَهْلِهِمْ يَرْجِعُوْنَ.

They ask: “So when will this threat [of punishment] materialize [for us] if you people are truthful?” These people only await a shout which will seize them33 while they will be arguing. Then they will neither be able to make a will nor will they be able to return to their people. (48-50)


وَنُفِخَ فِی الصُّوْرِ فَإِذَا هُمْ مِّنَ الْأَجْدَاثِ إِلَى رَبِّهِمْ يَنْسِلُوْنَ. قَالُوْا يَا وَيْلَنَا مَنْ بَعَثَنَا مِنْ مَّرْقَدِنَا هَذَا مَا وَعَدَ الرَّحْمَنُ وَصَدَقَ الْمُرْسَلُوْنَ. إِنْ كَانَتْ إِلَّا صَيْحَةً وَّاحِدَةً فَإِذَا هُمْ جَمِيْعٌ لَّدَيْنَا مُحْضَرُوْنَ.

And [similarly, one day] the trumpet shall be sounded;34 then suddenly they will come out of the graves one after the other and walk towards their Lord! [At that time,] they will say: “Our wretchedness! Who raised us from our grave?” This is the same thing which your Lord had promised you and [see that] the messengers had stated the absolute truth.35 That too will only be a shout and suddenly all of them will be made to come to Our presence.36 (51-53)


فَالْيَوْمَ لَا تُظْلَمُ نَفْسٌ شَيْئًا وَّلَا تُجْزَوْنَ إِلَّا مَا كُنْتُمْ تَعْمَلُوْنَ. إِنَّ أَصْحَابَ الْجَنَّةِ الْيَوْمَ فِیْ شُغُلٍ فَاكِهُوْنَ. هُمْ وَأَزْوَاجُهُمْ فِیْ ظِلَالٍ عَلَى الْأَرَآئِكِ مُتَّكِؤُوْنَ. لَهُمْ فِيْهَا فَاكِهَةٌ وَلَهُم مَّا يَدَّعُوْنَ. سَلَامٌ قَوْلًا مِّنْ رَّبٍّ رَّحِيْمٍ.

So, today37 no person will suffer any injustice and you will get the return what you have been doing. Indeed, the dwellers of Paradise will today be engrossed in their interests.38 They and their wives will be sitting leaning on thrones in shades.39 For them, there will be fruits there and whatever they demand, will be available to them. They will be conveyed salam from the Lord who is ever-merciful. 40 (54-58)


وَامْتَازُوا الْيَوْمَ أَيُّهَا الْمُجْرِمُوْنَ. أَلَمْ أَعْهَدْ إِلَيْكُمْ يَا بَنِي آدَمَ أَنْ لَّا تَعْبُدُوا الشَّيْطَانَ إِنَّهُ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِيْنٌ. وَّأَنْ اعْبُدُونِیْ هَذَا صِرَاطٌ مُّسْتَقِيْمٌ. وَلَقَدْ أَضَلَّ مِنْكُمْ جِبِلًّا كَثِيْرًا أَفَلَمْ تَكُوْنُوْا تَعْقِلُوْنَ. هَذِهِ جَهَنَّمُ الَّتِیْ كُنْتُمْ تُوعَدُوْنَ. اِصْلَوْهَا الْيَوْمَ بِمَا كُنْتُمْ تَكْفُرُوْنَ.

And you wrongdoers! Detach today [from My servants. Now your world is separate and their world is separate]. Children of Adam! Had I not made it mandatory upon you to not worship Satan41 because he is your open enemy and that worship Me alone? This only is the straight path. In spite of this, he has led astray a large group among you. Then did you not understand? This is the same Hell from which you would be warned. Now enter it because of your disbelief. (59-64)


اَلْيَوْمَ نَخْتِمُ عَلَى أَفْوَاهِهِمْ وَتُكَلِّمُنَآ أَيْدِيْهِمْ وَتَشْهَدُ أَرْجُلُهُمْ بِمَا كَانُوْا يَكْسِبُوْنَ.

Today We will seal their mouths42 and their hands will inform us and their feet will bear witness to what they have been doing. (65)


وَلَوْ نَشَآءُ لَطَمَسْنَا عَلَى أَعْيُنِهِمْ فَاسْتَبَقُوا الصِّرَاطَ فَأَنَّى يُبْصِرُوْنَ. وَلَوْ نَشَآءُ لَمَسَخْنَاهُمْ عَلَى مَكَانَتِهِمْ فَمَا اسْتَطَاعُوْا مُضِيًّا وَّلَا يَرْجِعُوْنَ. وَمَنْ نُّعَمِّرْهُ نُنَكِّسْهُ فِی الْخَلْقِ أَفَلَا يَعْقِلُوْنَ.

If We wanted,43 We would have effaced their eyes; then if they moved to the path, from where would they have seen? And if We intended, We would have deformed them at their very place; then they would neither have been able to move forward nor move backward.44 [Do they not see that] he who is given a long life, We gradually reverse him in his creation.45 Then do they not understand? (66-68)


وَمَا عَلَّمْنَاهُ الشِّعْرَ وَمَا يَنْبَغِیْ لَهُ إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا ذِكْرٌ وَقُرْآنٌ مُّبِيْنٌ. لِّيُنْذِرَ مَنْ كَانَ حَيًّا وَّيَحِقَّ الْقَوْلُ عَلَى الْكَافِرِيْنَ.

[You call it poetry?46] We have not taught poetry to Our messenger and this is also not appropriate for him.47 This is only a reminder48 and a clear Qur’an49 so that he can warn [through it] those who are alive50 and God’s argument is conclusively conveyed  to the disbelievers. (69-70)


أَوَلَمْ يَرَوْا أَنَّا خَلَقْنَا لَهُمْ مِّـمَّا عَمِلَتْ أَيْدِيْنَا أَنْعَامًا فَهُمْ لَهَا مَالِكُوْنَ. وَذَلَّلْنَاهَا لَهُمْ فَمِنْهَا رَكُوْبُهُمْ وَمِنْهَا يَأْكُلُونَ. وَلَهُمْ فِيْهَا مَنَافِعُ وَمَشَارِبُ أَفَلَا يَشْكُرُوْنَ.

Have they not pondered that among that We have made beasts for them from among things which created from Our hands51 and they are now their masters?52 And We put them into their service such that they ride some among them and eat the meat of some, and there are other benefits in them for them as well and [specially] things to drink.53 Then do they not show gratitude? 54 (71-73)


وَاتَّخَذُوْا مِنْ دُوْنِ اللَّهِ آلِهَةً لَّعَلَّهُمْ يُنْصَرُوْنَ. لَا يَسْتَطِيْعُوْنَ نَصْرَهُمْ وَهُمْ لَهُمْ جُنْدٌ مُّحْضَرُوْنَ. فَلَا يَحْزُنْكَ قَوْلُهُمْ إِنَّا نَعْلَمُ مَا يُسِرُّوْنَ وَمَا يُعْلِنُوْنَ.

They have made other deities besides God hoping that they will be helped. They will not be able to help them; in fact, they will be called to presence as their army.55 So, let not what they say grieve you [O Prophet!] We know whatever they conceal and whatever they reveal.56 (74-76)


أَوَلَمْ يَرَ الْإِنْسَانُ أَنَّا خَلَقْنَاهُ مِنْ نُّطْفَةٍ فَإِذَا هُوَ خَصِيْمٌ مُّبِيْنٌ. وَضَرَبَ لَنَا مَثَلًا وَّنَسِيَ خَلْقَهُ قَالَ مَنْ يُّحْیِ الْعِظَامَ وَهِیَ رَمِيْمٌ. قُلْ يُحْيِيْهَا الَّذِیْ أَنْشَأَهَا أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ وَهُوَ بِكُلِّ خَلْقٍ عَلِيْمٌ. الَّذِیْ جَعَلَ لَكُمْ مِّنَ الشَّجَرِ الْأَخْضَرِ نَارًا فَإِذَآ أَنْتُمْ مِّنْهُ تُوقِدُوْنَ. أَوَلَيْسَ الَّذِیْ خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ بِقَادِرٍ عَلَى أَنْ يَّخْلُقَ مِثْلَهُمْ بَلَى وَهُوَ الْخَلَّاقُ الْعَلِيْمُ. إِنَّمَا أَمْرُهُ إِذَا أَرَادَ شَيْئًا أَنْ يَّقُوْلَ لَهُ كُنْ فَيَكُوْنُ. فَسُبْحَانَ الَّذِیْ بِيَدِهِ مَلَكُوْتُ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَّإِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُوْنَ.

[They express wonder on how they can be raised to life after they die.] Does not a human being57 know that We created him from a drop of fluid; then he became an open adversary? He made fun of Us58 and forgot His creation. He says: “Who can give life to bones when they will decay?” Say: It is He Who will bring them back to life Who had given them life in the first time and He knows all His creatures full well.59 He Who made fire for you from a lush green tree;60 then now you make fire from it. Does He Who created the heavens and the earth not have the power to create people like them? Why not! He is the grand creator, all-knowing. Such is His matter that when He decides to accomplish something, He need only say: “Be.” And it is done.61 So, glorious is He in Whose hands is the control of everything.62  And you will be returned to Him alone. (77-83)


Kuala Lumpur

9th May 2014


(Translated by Dr Shehzad Saleem)





1. What is the meaning of this name? I have explained in detail my view about it while discussing verse 2 of Surah al-Baqarah.

2. This is because only God’s messenger can present such wise and miraculous words in which one can see God speaking; it should be a discourse that explains everything that is necessary for mankind and which was never explained by any human being; it should guide them in affairs in which there is no other means of guidance; a discourse to which our intuition bears witness, which is corroborated by established facts derived from knowledge and reason, which enlivens dead hearts the way rain enlivens desolate terrains, which has the same majesty and grandeur felt in each and every word by every person who knows the language of the Qur’an.

3. The actual words are: عَلَى صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيْمٍ. This is the second enunciative (khabar) after the first that has come without a particle of co-ordination. The reason is that the testimony of the Qur’an presented here relates simultaneously to two premises: one, he is God’s messenger and two, he is on the straight path. The translation keeps this aspect into consideration.

4. The word تَنۡزِیۡلَ is in the accusative because of a suppressed verb and two attributes are mentioned of the being to whom it is ascribed:  الۡعَزِیۡزِ (powerful) and الرَّحِیۡمِ (merciful). Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: 

... The first one is for warning and the second one for giving glad tidings. In other words, those who deny this Book should bear in mind that this Book is not the request of an implorer. It is the directive of a powerful and sovereign being that has to be followed at all cost. He will punish all the arrogant. At the same time, He is merciful as well and He has actually revealed this Book to show His mercy. So those of His people who duly value this Book will receive His unbounded mercy and blessings. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 6, 401

5. This is a reference to the Ishmaelites to which no messenger had come in the previous two and a half thousand years.

6. Ie., what the Almighty had said in reponse to Satan’s statement. He had said that whoever follows Satan, whether they were from among the jinnkind or humankind, He would consign them to Hell. It is cited in the Qur’an that the Almighty had said these words when Satan threatened that he would lead astray most of Adam’s progeny.

7. Ie., their necks have become stuck in this position so that they are not being able to observe any reality that lies upwards and downwards, rightwards and leftwards. This is a picture of the arrogant. It is such people who are forever deprived of the blessing of confession. This is in accordance with the established practice of God prescribed for providing guidance to people. It is precisely because of this that the Qur’an has attributed this state of theirs to God.

8. This constitutes a warning: no one should be misled by the doubt as to how and who would hold such a large number of people of this vast world to account.

9. The Qur’an has not named the city. However, it is evident from subsequent indications that the reference is to Egypt of which the account has been narrated at a number of instances in the Qur’an in order to induce the Quraysh to learn from the  fate of the Egyptians. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi has elaborated on these insinuations in his exegesis Tadabbur-i Qur’an.

10. Ie., the way a messenger has now come to the Quraysh.

11. These obviously refer to Moses (sws) and Aaron (sws). In the known history of prophets, there was no nation except the Israelites to which two messengers were sent simultaneously.

12. It is evident from the way he has been mentioned here that he was not a messenger but like Abu Bakr (rta) was sent as a special help to these messengers. Thus just as Abu Bakr (rta) was  ثاني اثنين(second of the two), this person was ثالث ثلاثة (third of the three). In the anecdote of Moses (sws) and Aaron (sws), this status is occupied only by that stalwart of the royal family whose unmatched speech is cited in verses 26-45 of Surah Mu’min. The real meaning of the word عَزَّزۡنَا used by the Qur’an for him becomes evident from that speech and his rank and status also becomes apparent from it.  Similarly, it also becomes evident how courageously and eloquently he had cited arguments in favour of the truth in the court of the Pharaoh at a very precarious time. It is because of this marvelous and abiding feat of his that he is mentioned here by the words فَعَزَّزۡنَا بِثَالِثٍ (so We helped [them] with a third). Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

 … He was obviously not a messenger in the formal sense the way Moses (sws) and Aaron (sws) were. Yet he was the most powerful, the most fearless, the most righteous and the most sincere companion of these two. That is why the Almighty has given him the position of the third of the three. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 6, 401

13.This linguistic style is one in which the dominant element is implied. In other words, if the position that stalwart had taken in supporting the truth is taken into account, it would not be wrong to say that he was also sent by the Almighty.

14. The implication is that after this the messengers will have done their duty. It is now their responsibility to accept or reject and they too shall have to bear the consequences.

15. It is evident from Surah al-A‘raf that they uttered these words in Egypt, when after Moses (sws) had presented his message, they were continuously afflicted by calamities. These calamities descended upon them to warn them but they on the other hand regarded Moses (sws) and his companions to be a source of this bad luck for them.

16. Ie., whatever they are facing is the consequence of their misdeeds and hence if there is some bad luck, it is this that has inflicted them. This answer of the messenger is a case of mujanasah, several examples of which can be seen earlier.

17. This is a portrayal of the help Moses (sws) received from the third of the three mentioned earlier. It is evident from the verse that his house was at the far end of the city; however, when he came to know of the danger that lurked for Moses (sws), he dashed there. In spite of being a member of the royal family, he was prepared to endanger all his interests, in fact his own life, to support Moses (sws) and to bear witness to the truth.

18. Moses (sws) meant that instead of wasting their time to lead him away from the right path, they should pay heed to what he is saying and accept what they too regard as the truth.

19. This glad tiding was probably given at the time of his death. This is also evident from the words mentioned ahead.

20. Ie., after he had passed away.

21. Ie., God did not need to send down an army of angels from the heavens for this purpose. A single shout was enough. This actually is a reference to the torment which visited the people of Egypt after the Pharaoh and his chiefs had drowned. The Qur’an has mentioned this in very explicit terms in verse 137 of Surah al-A‘raf. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: 

... Though this punishment visited the Pharaoh and his people for denying Moses (sws) and Aaron (sws), it has been mentioned here as if it came because of denying the true believer. This expresses the exaltedness of the companions of a messenger in the eyes of God because denying them becomes tantamount to denying the messenger and the fate of this denial is the same as that of the denial of the messenger. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 6, 418

22. The actual words are: وَ اِنۡ کُلٌّ  لَّمَّا جَمِیۡعٌ لَّدَیۡنَا مُحۡضَرُوۡنَ. The اِنۡ is actually إِنَّ and the word لَمَّا instead of the usual ل  has come here to maintain the sound since a rhythmic vacuum is created by pronouncing it alone.  

23. Ie., the fruits of the land. The masculine pronoun has occured in the verse on the style of addressing the dominant element. It is an indication that it refers to بلد طيب. This is because here the purpose is to mention the abundant produce of the land and this can only be expected from a fertile land.

24. Ie., His glory entails that no one can be His partner nor that it be thought of Him that He has created this world without a purpose.

25. Thus it can be seen that in spite of this diversity and variety, there exists great harmony among the members of a pair with respect to the purpose they have. This harmony by its very existence bears witness that this universe is governed by a single God Who has no partners.

26. And in this manner bearing witness that there is a poweful, dominant, all-knowledgeable and wise being Who has subjected everyone to a prescribed plan. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: 

… This is very clear evidence of the fact that the reins of everything are in the hands of the all-powerful and almighty God and He alone is the master of all and He alone has authority over everything. Had there been someone else with Him involved in administering this universe, it would have been destroyed because of a clash between its conflicting elements. What is very evident in particular is that the more prominent an object is, as a result of which prominence people regard it to be a deity and worship it, the more it declares from its very existence that it is subject to authority the most; it cannot dare deviate from its prescribed path in the slightest way. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 6, 426

27. Ie., their fellow beings. It refers to the children of Adam (sws).

28. Ie., horses and camels etc. New means of conveyance that have been invented in recent times should also be regarded under this directive.

29. These words are suppressed in the original. They have been revealed by the Qur’an in verse 9 of Surah Saba.

30. Lest the earth is thrust somewhere with them and parts of the heavens are dropped on them

31. This is the answer to the conditional clause that has been suppressed because of concomitant indications.

32. What they meant was that they are being told to do something which God never wanted, even though His treasures are brimful. The Qur’an has not commented on this remark. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:  

… Its foolishness and callousness are so evident that no comment is required. The purpose is to show that when hearts and intellects get perverted, this is how people efnd up. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 6, 428

33. The implication is that no great preparation is needed to fulfil this demand of theirs. Only one shout from God will be sufficient to rout this world and everyone will be seized from wherever he is. It is God’s affection and mercy that He is giving them respite. Instead of uttering these foolish things, they should benefit from this respite.

34. It is not possible for anyone to understand the nature of this trumpet because it relates to the mutashabihat. However, the word used gives us some idea about it. In ancient times, a trumpet would be sounded at the times of a royal procession or the declaration of war. In Arabic, this trumpet is called  صُوْر. It is evident from the Qur’an that something similar to it will be sounded first to herald the advent of the Day of Judgement and the second time to bring out the dead from the graves.

35. These words would probably be uttered by the angels to humiliate and disgrace these people.

36. Ie., summoned to God’s presence the way criminals are.

37. This style depicts a scene as if it is happening now. It is as if that day has come and the addressees are being narrated its events and circumstances.

38. The actual word is: شُغُل. It is undefined to magnify it.

39. Ie., they will sit the way kings do.

40. The mubtada’ (inchoative) is suppressed in the verse so that all attention can be directed on the khabar (enunciative). This is a mention of the greatest success a believer can imagine for himself. In the words of Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi, who can even imagine this success reaped by the dwellers of Paradise on receiving salutations from their benevolent and merciful Lord: بریں مژده گرجاں فشانم رواست (even sacrificing one’s life for these glad tidings is acceptable)

41. The preposition إلی occurs with عَهْد in the verse which incorporates the meaning of “making someone responsible for something or making it mandatory upon him.”

42. This is because tongues can lie. Here it may be noted that the style has become indirect. This is because this style is more appropriate to portray helplessness.

43. The actual words are: وَلَوْ نَشَآء. There is an incomplete verb suppressed before the indefinite verb. The actual construction would be: وَلَوْ كُنَّا نَشَآء.

44. The implication is that it is this fate which they deserved because of their wrongdoings but it is God’s graciousness that He has granted them respite.

45. Ie., God returns a person to the state of weakness with which he began his life. This is actually a proof of the threat sounded earlier. It has been furnished from our everyday observations. If the Almighty can reverse the physical development of a human being, how can it be difficult for Him to obliterate their eyes and deform their bodies?

46. When the addressees of the Qur’an saw that people were being influenced by its message and miraculous eloquence, they tried to divert the attention of the people from it by saying that it was not necessary to regard it as divinely inspired; it was merely poetic articulacy that had woven a spell and subdued their hearts in order to convince them that he was God’s messenger. Subsequent verses respond to this ploy.

47. This is because poets are not men of their words. They do not follow what they uphold and are merely indulge in sweet talk. Their poetic compositions are an amalgam of contradictions and their followers are generally people who are prone to emotions and have little to do with sense and reason. It is obvious that none of these behoves a prophet. Thus the serious and solemn ambience of the Qur’an, its unmatched revelation of unknown facts, the rare unity of principles and their corrollaries found in it, the immaculate relationship between its words and their meanings, the mention of divine law and wisdom in it – all of this is much superior to see the cadences and the presence of rhyme and rhythm in it and consign it to the category of poetry. Before the Qur’an, the Psalms was also a masterpiece of this style. It is no longer found in its original language; however, whatever does remain clearly shows that it is a divine work of literature.

48. How is it a reminder? Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:  

… It reminds people of the facts innately found in human nature; it also reminds people of the history of divine guidance that stretches from Adam (sws) to Muhammad (sws) and also reminds them of the consequences they will have to face in this world and the next if they deny the messengers of God. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 6, 426

49. Ie., a Book that explains facts without any ambiguity in an expicit way.

50. Ie., whose hearts are alive. This signifies the life of intellect and spirituality. The Qur’an has made it clear at many instances that God does not guide the dead. His guidance is only for those who keep alive their faculties of intellect and decision-making. This is God’s established practice regarding providing guidance.

51. Ie., made specially through His power and wisdom in whose creation no one has any role. From here onwards the topic with which the surah began has been brought up again in a new style.

52. Ie., God has given these animals in their full control so that they can use them to their benefit in any way they desire.

53. Ie., milk and its various products.

54. The implication is that the obligation they owed to these favours was showing gratitude to God and worshipping Him only. But when they were reminded of this reality, they regarded it to be poetry and tried to find ways and means to evade it.

55. Ie., instead of God’s army, they will come to His presence as the army of these deities and there the punishment they deserve will be decided.

56. Hence, will hold them answerable too.

57. The word “human being” refers to the Quraysh who are the addressees of this surah; a generic word has been used to express aversion to them.

58. The actual words used are: ضَرَبَ لَنَا مَثَلًا. When occasion and context entail, they are used in the meaning expressed in the translation.

59. Ie., He does not become unware of them when they die and mingle in dust. On the contrary, He is aware of each and every particle of their being.

60.This is a reference to the trees of which the branches would be used by desert travelers as firestone. The addressees of the surah fully knew them. Thus the Qur’an has used it as an example of the creation of an opposite from an opposite so that they know how they will appear forth from their decayed bones.

61. Ie., it is done in a manner that has been prescribed for it: at times in the blink of an eye and at times in thousands of years.

62. Hence the addressees of the surah must also regard God to be beyond any defect and accept the fact that He had no partners in creating this universe and in governing it.

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