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


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

ص وَالْقُرْآنِ ذِی الذِّكْرِ. بَلِ الَّذِيْنَ كَفَرُوا فِیْ عِزَّةٍ وَّشِقَاقٍ. كَمْ أَهْلَكْنَا مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ مِّنْ قَرْنٍ فَنَادَوْا وَّلَاتَ حِيْنَ مَنَاصٍ.

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

This is Surah Su‘ad.1 The Qur’an replete with reminders2 bears witness that they do not have any argument.3 In fact, these disbelievers4 are inflicted with great arrogance and mutual enmity. [They think that the torment is a far-fetched possibility for them!] Before them, how many a nation have We destroyed; so, they raised a hue and cry [in order to save themselves] but it was not the time for being saved. (1-3)


وَعَجِبُوْا أَنْ جَآءَهُمْ مُّنْذِرٌ مِّنْهُمْ وَقَالَ الْكَافِرُوْنَ هَذَا سَاحِرٌ كَذَّابٌ. أَجَعَلَ الْآلِهَةَ إِلَهًا وَّاحِدًا إِنَّ هَذَا لَشَيْءٌ عُجَابٌ. وَانْطَلَقَ الْمَلَأُ مِنْهُمْ أَنِ امْشُوْا وَاصْبِرُوْا عَلَى آلِهَتِكُمْ إِنَّ هَذَا لَشَيْءٌ يُّرَادُ. مَا سَمِعْنَا بِهَذَا فِیْ الْمِلَّةِ الْآخِرَةِ إِنْ هَذَا إِلَّا اخْتِلَاقٌ. أَأُنزِلَ عَلَيْهِ الذِّكْرُ مِنْ بَيْنِنَا بَلْ هُمْ فِیْ شَكٍّ مِّنْ ذِكْرِیْ بَلْ لَمَّا يَذُوقُوْا عَذَابِ.

 They are wonder-struck that a warner has come to them from among themselves.5 And these disbelievers said: “He is a magician;6 an absolute liar. Has he made so many gods into one God? 7 This is a very strange thing.” Their leaders got up: “Let us go and remain attached to our gods. Indeed, this is what is required.8 We have never heard this in this last nation.9 Nothing! It has been fabricated [by him]. Has this reminder only been revealed to Him among us?”10 No! these statements are baseless; in fact, they are in doubt from My reminder. In fact, the real thing is that until now they have not tasted the flavour of My torment.11 (4-8)


أَمْ عِنْدَهُمْ خَزَآئِنُ رَحْمَةِ رَبِّكَ الْعَزِيْزِ الْوَهَّابِ. أَمْ لَهُمْ مُّلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا فَلْيَرْتَقُوا فِی الْأَسْبَابِ. جُنْدٌ مَّا هُنَالِكَ مَهْزُومٌ مِّنَ الْأَحْزَابِ.

[They do not regard anyone but themselves to be worthy of My favours.] Are the treasures of your Lord, the Powerful, the Giver,<12 in their custody? Or the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth and whatever is in between them in their control? [If this is the case,] then let them climb the heavens13 [and block His mercy]. The greatest army14 among all armies is destined to be defeated [if it rises against God]. (9-11)


كَذَّبَتْ قَبْلَهُمْ قَوْمُ نُوحٍ وَعَادٌ وَّفِرْعَوْنُ ذُو الْأَوْتَادِ. وَثَمُوْدُ وَقَوْمُ لُوطٍ وَّأَصْحَابُ الأَيْكَةِ أُوْلَئِكَ الْأَحْزَابُ. إِنْ كُلٌّ إِلَّا كَذَّبَ الرُّسُلَ فَحَقَّ عِقَابِ. وَمَا يَنْظُرُ هَؤُلَاءِ إِلَّا صَيْحَةً وَّاحِدَةً مَّا لَهَا مِنْ فَوَاقٍ. وَقَالُوْا رَبَّنَا عَجِّل لَّنَا قِطَّنَا قَبْلَ يَوْمِ الْحِسَابِ.

Before them, Noah’s nation, the ‘Ad, the Pharaoh of the pegs,15 the Thamud and the nation of Lot and the dwellers of Aykah16 have already denied. These were the factions that were vanquished in this manner.17 Each of them denied My messengers; so, My torment surely descended on them. These too await a shout after which there is no respite.18 They have said: “Our Lord! Bring us to account before the day of accountability.” 19 [19 (12-16)


اصْبِرْ عَلَى مَا يَقُوْلُوْنَ وَاذْكُرْ عَبْدَنَا دَاوُودَ ذَا الْأَيْدِ إِنَّهُ أَوَّابٌ. إِنَّا سَخَّرْنَا الْجِبَالَ مَعَهُ يُسَبِّحْنَ بِالْعَشِيِّ وَالْإِشْرَاقِ. وَالطَّيْرَ مَحْشُورَةً كُلٌّ لَّهُ أَوَّابٌ. وَشَدَدْنَا مُلْكَهُ وَآتَيْنَاهُ الْحِكْمَةَ وَفَصْلَ الْخِطَابِ.

Be patient on whatever they say [O Prophet!] and recall Our mighty servant, David.20 In reality, He was an embodiment of repentance.21 We had subdued the mountains with him so that they glorified God day and night and birds too, flock after flock22 – all were those who turned to God. We had strengthened his kingdom, endowed him with wisdom and blessed him with the ability to deliver decisive verdicts in disputes. (17-20)


وَهَلْ أَتَاكَ نَبَؤُ الْخَصْمِ إِذْ تَسَوَّرُوا الْمِحْرَابَ.إِذْ دَخَلُوا عَلَى دَاوُودَ فَفَزِعَ مِنْهُمْ قَالُوْا لَا تَخَفْ خَصْمَانِ بَغَى بَعْضُنَا عَلَى بَعْضٍ فَاحْكُمْ بَيْنَنَا بِالْحَقِّ وَلَا تُشْطِطْ وَاهْدِنَا إِلَى سَوَآءِ الصِّرَاطِ.

Has the news of those people reached you23 who had come with a dispute? When they entered24 his abode25 after climbing the wall; at that time when they reached David, he was scared of  them. They immediately said: “Fear not. We are two litigants of a case, one has committed an excess over the other; so, decide between us with justice and do not be unfair in any way and show us the straight path.”26 (21-22)


إِنَّ هَذَا أَخِیْ لَهُ تِسْعٌ وَّتِسْعُونَ نَعْجَةً وَّلِیَ نَعْجَةٌ وَّاحِدَةٌ فَقَالَ أَكْفِلْنِيهَا وَعَزَّنِیْ فِی الْخِطَابِ. قَالَ لَقَدْ ظَلَمَكَ بِسُؤَالِ نَعْجَتِكَ إِلَى نِعَاجِهِ وَإِنَّ كَثِيْرًا مِّنْ الْخُلَطَآءِ لَيَبْغِیْ بَعْضُهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ إِلَّا الَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوْا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ وَقَلِيلٌ مَّا هُمْ وَظَنَّ دَاوُودُ أَنَّمَا فَتَنَّاهُ فَاسْتَغْفَرَ رَبَّهُ وَخَرَّ رَاكِعًا وَّأَنَابَ. فَغَفَرْنَا لَهُ ذَلِكَ وَإِنَّ لَهُ عِنْدَنَا لَزُلْفَى وَحُسْنَ مَآبٍ.

This is my brother. He has ninety nine ewes and I have only one.27 Now he says: “Give that to me as well,” and he has prevailed over me in argument.28 David said: “He has indeed been unjust29 to you by asking you to hand over your ewe in order to add it to his ewes, and in reality most parties of a case are unfair to one another in this manner.30 Only those are protected from it who have faith and do righteous deeds and very few are such people. At that time, David thought that this was a test that We have put him through. Thus he asked for forgiveness from his Lord and bent down in prostration before Him31 and turned to Him [with full attention.] Then We forgave that mistake32 of his and for him there certainly is a special place of nearness with Us and a good fate. (23-25)


يَا دَاوُودُ إِنَّا جَعَلْنَاكَ خَلِيْفَةً فِی الْأَرْضِ فَاحْكُم بَيْنَ النَّاسِ بِالْحَقِّ وَلَا تَتَّبِعِ الْهَوَى فَيُضِلَّكَ عَنْ سَبِيْلِ اللَّهِ إِنَّ الَّذِيْنَ يَضِلُّوْنَ عَنْ سَبِيْلِ اللَّهِ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ شَدِيْدٌ بِمَا نَسُوْا يَوْمَ الْحِسَابِ.

O David! We have made you a ruler in the land. So, pass judgement with fairness among people [in this manner] and follow not your desire so that it may lead you astray from the path of God.33 Those who go astray from the path of God, for them surely is a stern punishment because they forgot the day of accountability. (26)


وَمَا خَلَقْنَا السَّمَآءَ وَالْأَرْضَ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا بَاطِلًا ذَلِكَ ظَنُّ الَّذِيْنَ كَفَرُوا فَوَيْلٌ لِّلَّذِيْنَ كَفَرُوْا مِنَ النَّارِ. أَمْ نَجْعَلُ الَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوْا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ كَالْمُفْسِدِيْنَ فِی الْأَرْضِ أَمْ نَجْعَلُ الْمُتَّقِيْنَ كَالْفُجَّارِ.كِتَابٌ أَنْزَلْنَاهُ إِلَيْكَ مُبَارَكٌ لِّيَدَّبَّرُوْا آيَاتِهِ وَلِيَتَذَكَّرَ أُوْلُوا الْأَلْبَابِ.

[But it is bound to come34 because] We have not created the heavens and the earth and what is between them without any purpose.35 This is the notion of those who have become adamant on denial. So, for such disbelievers is the destruction of Hell. Will We make those who have accepted faith and done righteous deeds like those who spread disorder in the land? Or equate the God-fearing with those who are disobedient to Him? [Certainly not! It is precisely this towards which the Qur’an reminds;] it is a blessed book which We have revealed to you [O Prophet!] so that people ponder on its verses and so that those endowed with intellect are reminded by it. (27-29)


وَوَهَبْنَا لِدَاوُودَ سُلَيْمَانَ نِعْمَ الْعَبْدُ إِنَّهُ أَوَّابٌ.

And We gave36 David [a son like] Solomon.37 What a great servant he was!38 No doubt, He was very penitent towards God.39 (30)


إِذْ عُرِضَ عَلَيْهِ بِالْعَشِيِّ الصَّافِنَاتُ الْجِيَادُ. فَقَالَ إِنِّیْ أَحْبَبْتُ حُبَّ الْخَيْرِ عَنْ ذِكْرِ رَبِّی حَتَّى تَوَارَتْ بِالْحِجَابِ. رُدُّوهَا عَلَيَّ فَطَفِقَ مَسْحًا بِالسُّوقِ وَالْأَعْنَاقِ.

Recall40 when fine and thorough bred horses were presented for his inspection in the evening [and he became so engrossed in their inspection that he missed the prayer;41] so, he said: “I was overcome with the love of wealth while being negligent of God’s remembrance42 until the sun has hidden in the curtain [of sunset].43 Bring them back to me. [They were brought back;] so, [overcome with grief,] he began hacking their legs and necks with a sword.44 (31-33)


وَلَقَدْ فَتَنَّا سُلَيْمَانَ وَأَلْقَيْنَا عَلَى كُرْسِيِّهِ جَسَدًا ثُمَّ أَنَابَ. قَالَ رَبِّ اغْفِرْ لِیْ وَهَبْ لِیْ مُلْكًا لَّا يَنبَغِیْ لِأَحَدٍ مِّنْ بَعْدِیْ إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الْوَهَّابُ.فَسَخَّرْنَا لَهُ الرِّيحَ تَجْرِیْ بِأَمْرِهِ رُخَآءً حَيْثُ أَصَابَ.

We had put Solomon through [another] trial also and placed the likes of a body on his throne.45 Then he repented46 [and] prayed: “Lord! Forgive me and bless me with a kingdom which does not befit anyone but me.47 Indeed, you are very forgiving. So, We put the wind into his service which at his behest blew favourably in whichever direction he wanted to sail.48 (34-36)


وَالشَّيَاطِيْنَ كُلَّ بَنَّآءٍ وَّغَوَّاصٍ. وَّآخَرِيْنَ مُقَرَّنِيْنَ فِی الْأَصْفَادِ.

And also subdued rebellious jinn for him, competent artisans and divers of all sorts [who would remain engaged in work] and others too besides them, who would remain fettered in chains.49 (37-38)


هَذَا عَطَآؤُنَا فَامْنُنْ أَوْ أَمْسِكْ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ. وَإِنَّ لَهُ عِنْدَنَا لَزُلْفَى وَحُسْنَ مَآبٍ.

This is Our boundless blessing.50 [Give] you now [to people and] do them a favour or withhold it.51 [We had said to Solomon] and We certainly have for him [in future] a special place of nearness and a good fate. (39-40)


وَاذْكُرْ عَبْدَنَا أَيُّوبَ إِذْ نَادَى رَبَّهُ أَنِّیْ مَسَّنِيَ الشَّيْطَانُ بِنُصْبٍ وَّعَذَابٍ. اُرْكُضْ بِرِجْلِكَ هَذَا مُغْتَسَلٌ بَارِدٌ وَّشَرَابٌ. وَوَهَبْنَا لَهُ أَهْلَهُ وَمِثْلَهُمْ مَّعَهُمْ رَحْمَةً مِّنَّا وَذِكْرَى لِأُوْلِی الْأَلْبَابِ. وَخُذْ بِيَدِكَ ضِغْثًا فَاضْرِب بِّهِ وَلَا تَحْنَثْ إِنَّا وَجَدْنَاهُ صَابِرًا نِعْمَ الْعَبْدُ إِنَّهُ أَوَّابٌ.

And recall Our servant Job52 when he pleaded before his Lord: 53“Satan has inflicted me with great sorrow and pain.”54 We directed: “Strike your foot on the ground.”55 [He struck it and as a result a stream gushed forth.56 God said:] “This is cold water for you to bathe and drink. [This will restore your health.” Then] We gave him back his family again and with them more in the same number57 so as to show Our blessings to Him from Ourselves and so that those endowed with intellect are reminded.58 And said: “Grab a bunch of twigs in your hand and with them hit yourself and do not break59 [the oath60 you had sworn to punish yourself]. In reality, We found him steadfast [in all circumstances]. What a person he was! Without doubt, he was a very penitent servant of his Lord.61 (41-44)


وَاذْكُرْ عِبَادَنَا إبْرَاهِيْمَ وَإِسْحَقَ وَيَعْقُوْبَ أُوْلِی الْأَيْدِیْ وَالْأَبْصَارِ. إِنَّآ أَخْلَصْنَاهُم بِخَالِصَةٍ ذِكْرَى الدَّارِ. وَإِنَّهُمْ عِنْدَنَا لَمِنَ الْمُصْطَفَيْنَ الْأَخْيَارِ.

And recall Our servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, men of might62 and insight. We had selected them for a special task –  reminding of that House63 – and they surely were from Our chosen and righteous servants. (45-47)


وَاذْكُرْ إِسْمَاعِيْلَ وَالْيَسَعَ وَذَا الْكِفْلِ وَكُلٌّ مِّنْ الْأَخْيَارِ.

And recall Ishmael and Yasa‘64 and Dhu al-Kifl.65 All of them were from among the righteous also. (48)


هَذَا ذِكْرٌ وَإِنَّ لِلْمُتَّقِيْنَ لَحُسْنَ مَآبٍ. جَنَّاتِ عَدْنٍ مُّفَتَّحَةً لَّهُمُ الْأَبْوَابُ. مُتَّكِئِيْنَ فِيْهَا يَدْعُونَ فِيْهَا بِفَاكِهَةٍ كَثِيرَةٍ وَّشَرَابٍ. وَعِنْدَهُمْ قَاصِرَاتُ الطَّرْفِ أَتْرَابٌ. هَذَا مَا تُوْعَدُونَ لِيَوْمِ الْحِسَابِ. إِنَّ هَذَا لَرِزْقُنَا مَا لَهُ مِنْ نَّفَادٍ.

This is a reminder. [Pay heed to this reminder] and [remember that] for those who fear God there is surely the best abode, eternal orchards whose gates shall be open for them.66 They shall sit in them leaning on cushions. They shall be asking for many drinks and fruits [from their attendants]. There shall be bashful women of the same age with them – this is the thing you are being promised with for the day of accountability. Indeed, this is Our sustenance which shall never cease. (49-54)


هَذَا وَإِنَّ لِلطَّاغِيْنَ لَشَرَّ مَآبٍ. جَهَنَّمَ يَصْلَوْنَهَا فَبِئْسَ الْمِهَادُ. هَذَا فَلْيَذُوقُوْهُ حَمِيْمٌ وَّغَسَّاقٌ. وَّآخَرُ مِنْ شَكْلِهِ أَزْوَاجٌ.

On the one hand is this, and on the other for the rebellious surely there is a horrible abode, Hell which they will enter. So, what a dreadful place! This boiling water and pus; now they will taste it and other things of similar sort as well will be [present for them]. (55-58)


هَذَا فَوْجٌ مُّقْتَحِمٌ مَّعَكُمْ لَا مَرْحَبًا بِهِمْ إِنَّهُمْ صَالُوا النَّارِ. قَالُوْا بَلْ أَنْتُمْ لَا مَرْحَبًا بِكُمْ أَنْتُمْ قَدَّمْتُمُوْهُ لَنَا فَبِئْسَ الْقَرَارُ.قَالُوْا رَبَّنَا مَنْ قَدَّمَ لَنَا هَذَا فَزِدْهُ عَذَابًا ضِعْفًا فِی النَّارِ.

 [They will be told: “Here comes a multitude of your followers.] This multitude will also enter with you.” They will immediately say: “God’s curse be on them! These people are destined to enter Hell.” The followers will reply: “In fact, may the curse of God be on you! [Whatever we see] you have brought it in front of us.”67  So, what an evil abode will it be! [At that time,] they will say: “Our Lord! They who have brought it before us, doubly punish them in this [raging] fire.” (59-61)


وَقَالُوا مَا لَنَا لَا نَرَى رِجَالًا كُنَّا نَعُدُّهُمْ مِّنَ الْأَشْرَارِ. أَتَّخَذْنَاهُمْ سِخْرِيًّا أَمْ زَاغَتْ عَنْهُمُ الْأَبْصَارُ. إِنَّ ذَلِكَ لَحَقٌّ تَخَاصُمُ أَهْلِ النَّارِ.

[After this,] they will ask [one another:] “What is the matter! We do not see those people here whom we counted among the miscreants?68 Is it [because] we had made fun of them [merely as a prank] or [is it that they are also present here and] our eyes fail to see them? Undoubtedly, this argument of the dwellers of Paradise is a certain thing that is destined to happen. (62-64)


قُلْ إِنَّمَا أَنَا مُنْذِرٌ وَّمَا مِنْ إِلَهٍ إِلَّا اللَّهُ الْوَاحِدُ الْقَهَّارُ. رَبُّ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا الْعَزِيْزُ الْغَفَّارُ. قُلْ هُوَ نَبَأٌ عَظِيْمٌ. أَنْتُمْ عَنْهُ مُعْرِضُوْنَ.

Tell them [O Prophet!:] I am only a warner. [Since while relying on your deities, you are paying no heed to my warning, listen:] There is no deity but God; the only one and the dominant. It is He Who is the Lord of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them; Powerful and Forgiving. Say: What I am warning you of is a great [piece of] news69 and you are paying no heed to it. (65-68)


قُلْ إِنَّمَا أَنَا مُنْذِرٌ وَّمَا مِنْ إِلَهٍ إِلَّا اللَّهُ الْوَاحِدُ الْقَهَّارُ. رَبُّ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا الْعَزِيْزُ الْغَفَّارُ. قُلْ هُوَ نَبَأٌ عَظِيْمٌ. أَنْتُمْ عَنْهُ مُعْرِضُوْنَ. مَا كَانَ لِیَ مِنْ عِلْمٍ بِالْمَلَإِ الْأَعْلَى إِذْ يَخْتَصِمُوْنَ.إِنْ يُّوْحَى إِلَيَّ إِلَّا أَنَّمَآ أَنَا نَذِيْرٌ مُّبِيْنٌ.

I had no knowledge of the upper realm when the dwellers of Hell will be disputing there with one another.70 [These are the words of revelation and] I am sent this revelation only because I am an open warner [from God]. (69-70)


إِذْ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ إِنِّیْ خَالِقٌ بَشَرًا مِّنْ طِيْنٍ. فَإِذَا سَوَّيْتُهُ وَنَفَخْتُ فِيْهِ مِنْ رُّوحِیْ فَقَعُوْا لَهُ سَاجِدِيْنَ. فَسَجَدَ الْمَلَائِكَةُ كُلُّهُمْ أَجْمَعُوْنَ. إِلَّا إِبْلِيسَ اسْتَكْبَرَ وَكَانَ مِنْ الْكَافِرِيْنَ. قَالَ يَا إِبْلِيسُ مَا مَنَعَكَ أَنْ تَسْجُدَ لِمَا خَلَقْتُ بِيَدَيَّ أَسْتَكْبَرْتَ أَمْ كُنْتَ مِنَ الْعَالِيْنَ. قَالَ أَنَا خَيْرٌ مِّنْهُ خَلَقْتَنِیْ مِنْ نَّارٍ وَّخَلَقْتَهُ مِنْ طِيْنٍ. قَالَ فَاخْرُجْ مِنْهَا فَإِنَّكَ رَجِيْمٌ. وَإِنَّ عَلَيْكَ لَعْنَتِیْ إِلَى يَوْمِ الدِّينِ. قَالَ رَبِّ فَأَنظِرْنِیْ إِلَى يَوْمِ يُبْعَثُونَ. قَالَ فَإِنَّكَ مِنَ الْمُنظَرِيْنَ. إِلَى يَوْمِ الْوَقْتِ الْمَعْلُومِ. قَالَ فَبِعِزَّتِكَ لَأُغْوِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْمَعِيْنَ. إِلَّا عِبَادَكَ مِنْهُمُ الْمُخْلَصِيْنَ. قَالَ فَالْحَقُّ وَالْحَقَّ أَقُوْلُ. لَأَمْلَأَنَّ جَهَنَّمَ مِنْكَ وَمِمَّنْ تَبِعَكَ مِنْهُمْ أَجْمَعِيْنَ.

 [The reason for their denial O Prophet is precisely the same as that of Iblis.] Narrate to them the incident when your Lord said to the angels: “I am about to make a human being from clay. Then when I have perfected it and blown My spirit into it, prostrate before him.” Thus all the angels together fell down in prostration except Iblis. He showed arrogance and became among the rejecters. The Lord said: “Iblis! What stopped you from worshipping what I created from My hands? 71 Was this arrogance on your part or are you a superior being [in your conceited opinion]?” He replied: “I am far better than him. You have created me from fire and him from clay.”72 God said: “Alright. Get out from here73 because you are accursed and now My curse is on you until the Day of Judgement.” He said: “Lord! Give me respite until the day when people will be raised up.” God said: “Go, you have this respite until the day whose time is known.” He said: “Then I also swear by your honour that I shall certainly lead all these people astray74 except for those of your servants who you have chosen from among them.” God said: “Then this is the truth and I only speak the truth that I shall fill Hell with you and all those who follow you.” 75 (71-85)


قُلْ مَآ أَسْأَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ مِنْ أَجْرٍ وَّمَآ أَنَا مِنَ الْمُتَكَلِّفِيْنَ. إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا ذِكْرٌ لِّلْعَالَمِيْنَ. وَلَتَعْلَمُنَّ نَبَأَهُ بَعْدَ حِيْنٍ.

Tell them [O Prophet!: If I am reciting  this Qur’an to you,] I do not seek any reward from you on this nor am I one who falsely poses. This is only a reminder for the people of the world and rest assured that the news it is informing you of, its truth shall soon be known to you. (86-88) 


Kuala Lumpur

25th 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 1 of Surah al-Baqarah.

2. The Qur’an in fact is an embodiment of reminders. It reminds human beings of the facts which are innately found in their nature; it warns them of the truths that have been proclaimed by God’s messengers and  which human beings tend to forget; it harkens them to bear in mind the incidents of God’s worldly retribution and most of all reminds people of the Day of Judgement which everyone is to face after death.

3. The testimony of the Qur’an is presented here in the form of an oath. Thus this is the premise on which this testimony is presented and is not expressed in words since it is understood.

4. Ie., the Quraysh of Makkah who are the addressees of this surah.

5. They contended that he is a mortal like them and has taken it upon himself to warn them on behalf of God; if God wanted to send someone for this task, it should have been someone superhuman; how can God send a human being like them?

6. Ie., he is certainly not a messenger; he is a magician of words who casts a spell on people through his supreme eloquence.

7. They said this to incite people against him by contending that he was denying the divinity of the beings which were regarded sacred by them and worshipped.

8. Ie., inspite of all his efforts, the need is to adhere to their deities. This is a depiction of the attitude which the leaders of the Quraysh generally adopted to drive away people from the message of monotheism preached by the Prophet (sws). Thus whenever they saw that people were being influenced by him, they would leave the gathering saying something similar.

9. Ie., the statement that God is one and what this person is attributing to their elders like Abraham (sws) and Ishmael (sws) has not been heard by them from people who lived in the recent past; had these elders said such a thing it would have found mention in some way among the people of this last period.

A little deliberation shows that this reasoning is presented in this manner by people of every era.

10. They would utter this statement being inebriated with their position of authority. They asked why this person was selected, leaving aside their prominent leaders. This is an expression of conceit which is mentioned by the word ;عِزَّةٍ at the beginning of the surah.

11. The implication is that all this stubbornness and vanity are only because until now they are not convinced that the punishment with which they are being warned will actually come. In fact, also because they cannot be convinced by mere reasoning; unless they see something with their eyes they will never believe in anything.

12. Ie., the Lord Who is the sole master of all His treasures, has complete control over them and is also very generous. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: 

… He gives to those of His people in abundance who may not have any status in the eyes of these arrogant yet have a high status in the eyes of God. Thus these arrogant people should realize that if they have been given some ordinary things of life by God on which they are showing conceit, He has given the dominion of prophethood and wisdom to whomsoever He wanted to. No greater a status can be imagined beyond this. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 6, 515) 

13. The actual words are: فَلۡیَرۡتَقُوۡا فِی الۡاَسۡبَابِ. The word اَسْبَاب connotes اَسْبَاب السَّمٰوٰتِ. This word is also used for add-ons and borders of something.

14. The actual words are: جُنۡدٌ مَّا. The word جُنْدٌ is not defined to express its magnitude and extent, and the word مَّا is to further emphasize this magnitude.

15. Ie., having large armies. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: 

… In Arabic, pegs signify tents and from here this world is allegorically used for armies. This allegorical use of the word is similar to using the expression قُدُوْرٍ رَّاسِيَاتٍ to signify the generosity of a person. This expression is used in the Qur’an (34:13) to refer to the generosity of Solomon (sws). Here the expression ذُو الۡاَوۡتَادِ refers to the large number of the Pharaoh’s armies who lived in tents. At many places in the Qur’an, their plentiful number is referred to and all these armies had drowned with him when the divine scourge visited them. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 6, 516)  

16. This is a reference to the people of Madyan. The word أيْكَة  means “forest.” It seems that there was a forest near Madyan because of which its people were called thus.

17. The actual words are: اُولٰٓئِکَ  الۡاَحۡزَابُ. The enunciative (khabar) is suppressed. This is because it is self-evident from the occasion and context and the next part of the verse is pointing to it.

18. Ie., there is no possibility of any further respite.

19. The implication was to let the Day of Accountability they were being threatened with by him come so that it could be decided whether that person was truthful or only bluffing. They did not fear that any punishment would visit them and hence because of arrogance even uttered these words.

20. David (sws) should be remembered so that the Prophet (sws) receives assurance through his steadfastness and also directs the attention of his addressees that in spite of being mightier and wealthier than them, he was never inflicted by arrogance. This has been stated because David (sws) was God’s prophet as well as a great king of the Israelites. It has been stated earlier in the exegesis of Surah Saba that his kingdom extended from the Gulf of ‘Aqabah to the western shores of the Euphrates. He ruled this area until 965 BC.

21. Ie., power and might did not make him haughty; in fact, they increased his humility and penitence. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: 

... The Qur’an here by simultaneously mentioning both attributes of ذَا  الۡاَیۡدِ and اَوَّابٌ has shown that a person who has power and political authority will only be liked by the Almighty when, besides being powerful, he is also penitent. If power makes a person haughty and arrogant, then this turns him into a Nimrod and a Pharaoh who are cursed and have incurred the wrath of the Almighty. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 6, 522) 

22. Ie., when in his moving voice he sang the hymns of the Psalms the deserts and the mountains, the birds and the beasts joined him in this chanting. At another instance, the Qur’an has specified that every object of this universe glorifies God, yet human beings are unable to understand this. However, this was not the case of David (sws). In the words of Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi just as the Almighty had blessed David (sws) with the mellow voice to melt mountains and attract birds, He had also blessed him with the earnest ears to understand their glorification of the Almighty.

23. This style of address points to the significance of the incident and also has a general appeal for the addressees to listen to it with full attention.

24. Ie., in the private room of David (sws). There were several arches in royal palaces of those times. From here, the word also came to be used for rooms, verandas and sitting places. In the Urdu language also, this usage of the word is common.

25. The actual words are: اِذۡ  تَسَوَّرُوا  الۡمِحۡرَابَ. There is a tadmin in this expression and the overall expression would be to the effect: تَسَوَّرُوا الجِدَارَ وَ دَخَلُوا الْمِحْرَابَ (they climbed the wall and entered the mihrab).

26. It is evident from the case which is presented ahead that the two were not parties of an actual dispute. They were people who wanted to inform David (sws) of his mistake in a symbolic way and had entered the palace in this way. They may have been his well-wishers or could also have been  angels of God who came in human form and went away once their task was done. The Bible corroborates the first of these scenarios; however, deliberation shows that the second one is more plausible. This is because it is not easy at all to understand how a few subjects of the king can climb the wall and enter his private abode. However, this does show that David (sws) was a very God-fearing and forbearing king: he was not at all disgruntled at this happening; in fact, immediately took to hear the case because of his proclivity towards justice, even though it seems from the words لَا تُشۡطِطۡ that their style of conversation was not very polite.

27. In the societies of those times, ewes and sheep were the real wealth of people. Thus the parable mentions them.

28. His implication was that since that person is wealthy while he himself is a poor person, all those around are favouring him; so, he has been prevailed upong by him and cannot win in argument.

29. The actual words are: لَقَدۡ ظَلَمَکَ بِسُؤَالِ نَعۡجَتِکَ  اِلٰی نِعَاجِه. The word سُؤَالِ here connotes “demand.” It is commonly used in this meaning in Arabic. The preposition اِلی after it shows that it encompasses the meaning of ضّمَّ (add) or خَلَطَ (mix).

30. Ie., are guilty of injustice in this way by converting their 99 ewes into 100.

31. The actual words are: وَ خَرَّ   رَاکِعًا وَّ  اَنَابَ. The word خَرَّ shows that he did not merely kneel down; he even prostrated.

32. What was this mistake? The Qur’an has not specified it; hence we too should not strive to look for it. What most can be said in the light of the dispute that came to his knowledge in the form of a parable is that as a king a desire probably arose in his heart to exercise control on someone’s asset for private or public use or this desire was expressed by him in words. Ultimately, he was admonished by God in this way.

33. This directive obviously is for all rulers of the world as well.

34. Ie., the Day of Judgement.

35. The premise stated is corrborated here: if a Day of Judgement does not come about, it would mean that this world is a place of evil that has no purpose and its creator is a merry-maker who has created this world for his amusement; no distintion exists in it between good and evil. Such statements obviously can be given by those who have decided to accept everything except the Hereafter however indisputable the arguments in its favour may be.

36. The way this is mentioned here shows that Solomon (sws) was given to David (sws) as a reward for his thorough deeds.

37. Solomon ruled from 965 to 926 BC.

38. This is God’s testimony on the servitude of Solomon (sws). After this, what else can a believer desire in this world?

39. This attribute has been mentioned for David (sws) as well. It is thus evident that in the case of this attribute he was a reflection of his illustrious father. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: 

… The real majesty of a human being is that his heart is always attentive towards his God, and if there is any mistake in this regard he hurries back to God in the blink of an eye. It is this penitent attitude which the Almighty likes most in His creatures. A person is able to gain much more than what he loses because of a sin if he truly repents later. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 6, 530)  

40. Earlier, the penitent character of David was highlighted through an example; now an example of the same trait is being expressed about Solomon (sws).

41. This sentence has not been expressed by the Qur’an in words, but the succeeding sentence points towards it.

42. The word اَحۡبَبۡتُ is used in the verse with the preposition عَن. This indicates that the verb encompasses the meaning of evasion or heedlessness. Moreover, this too is evident that the prayer that was missed was the ‘asr prayer because this incident happened in the last part of the day before the setting of the sun. Here it should be kept in mind that the timings of the prayer have always remained the same in the religion of the prophets.

43. The actual words are: حَتّٰی تَوَارَتۡ بِالۡحِجَابِ. The subject of the verb تَوَارَتۡ which is الشَّمْس is suppressed here. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi has explained it. He writes:

… In Arabic, verbs and pronouns occur in such a way for known and famous objects. The subject of a verb or the antecedent of a pronoun is understood through contextual indications. Here the wordعَشِيّ is a contextual indication to the subject of the verb تَوَارَتْ and hence it was not needed at all to be expressed in words.  (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 6, 531) 

44. The word طَفِقَ indicates that Solomon (sws) was overcome with emotion. It was similar to the one with which ‘Umar (rta) was overcome when he heard that the Prophet (sws ) had died. As mentioned earlier, the Qur’an has narrated this incident to express Solomon’s zeal for repentance and his fervour to turn to God, and, viewed thus, it no doubt is a splendid incident. One should not try to deduce principles of religion from it.

45. Ie., Solomon (sws) was made so helpless and sorrowful that it seemed that only a souless body was lying on the throne. This is a reference to the situation in which his enemies had occupied most of his territory and spread such disorder in the remaining ones that the system of governance was afflicted with great disruption. It is evident from history that during that time Solomon (sws) stayed confined to his capital city. The Qur’an has depicted this whole situation in a very eloquent way by saying that the likes of a corpse was placed on the throne by the Almighty.

46. Ie., he did not lose hope even in such circumstances. In fact, thinking that he must have been punished for some mistake, turned to God in repentance.

47. Ie., in spite of his sins, he be granted such a kingdom which neither he deserves nor anyone after him. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: 

... The real emphasis in this prayer is not to receive an unparalleled majestic kingdom but on a kingdom which a person is not entitled to. Solomon (sws) actually meant that in spite of his folly he be granted a kingdom which no one after him is worthy of. The strong realization of his mistake found in this prayer bears testimony to Solomon’s humility and penitence. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 6, 534) 

48. The implication is that he had made such advancements in the art of sailing that the winds could be controlled through sails to such an extent that even during tempestuous storms, winds became favourable for sailing and his ships would reach wherever he wanted them to without any impediment. The word used for this is اَصَابَ. Ie., could make any destination he wished to be his target and would set off towards it whenever he wanted.

49. Ie., God had also blessed him with a discipline of knowledge through which mischievous jinn could be subdued. Thus some of them would be assigned tasks while others would remain imprisoned in chains so that when needed they too could be put to work. The words used in the verse are: کُلَّ  بَنَّآءٍ  وَّ غَوَّاصٍ. The word  كُلَّ here is meant to emphasize the attribute. It is like saying: هو العالم كل العالم.

50. Ie., something which is beyond their estimation and expectation, and which they cannot even imagine.

51. This is a mention of the authority which every owner has on his assets. The implication is that it was his discretion to give away or to withhold. He could use his authority on his possessions in any way he wanted within moral limits.

52. Like David (sws) and Solomon (sws), he too was an Israelite prophet whose period of prophethood was sometime in the 9th century BC.

53. There is a background to his pleading. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi has explained it. He writes: 

... It is evident from the Book of Job in the Bible that Job (sws) possessed great wealth and majesty. In spite of this, he was very sympathetic to the poor and very austere in worshipping the Almighty. Satan and his agents were very jealous of this state of his and they started a propaganda campaign against him. They asked what great achievement had been reaped by Job (sws) if he worshipped the Almighty day and night because a person who had so much wealth and so many means could easily afford this involvement. What else could he do? They continued this vicious campaign saying that only if he was deprived of those things by God and he still continued with such devotion in worship would they really acknowledge him as a great human being. At last, God deprived Job (sws) of all those things. He neither had any wealth left, nor any sons and grandsons nor other assets that had brought him such grandeur. However, in spite of this great affliction, he did not despair; on the contrary, he fell down in prostration before his Lord and said: “I was born naked from the womb of my mother and naked will I go to my Lord.” It is mentioned in the Book of Job (sws) that after this God said to Satan that the latter had seen how Job (sws) still remained God’s obedient servant in spite of being deprived of everything. Satan replied that this was because the deprivation related to wealth and children and he was patient in their loss; however, he would only be convinced if Job (sws) was ills inflicted with great bodily harm and he still showed such devotion in worship. So after this, Job’s body was afflicted with such harms that one shudders if one reads their details in the Bible. Yet in spite of this, he turned towards God in even greater devotion and he defeated Satan even in this trial. After this defeat of Satan, the Almighty blessed Job (sws) which much more than was taken away from him. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 6, 539) 

54. Job (sws) has attributed his sorrow and suffering to Satan. This is with respect to the cause. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: 

… All the trials a person goes through are at the bidding of God; however, one of their causes is Satan as well. Hence, as far as intention and will are concerned, trials are ascribed to God; but with regard to their reason they are ascribed to Satan. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 6, 539) 

55. Ie., God directed thus when he had defeated Satan.

56. This is nothing far-fetched. If the upper surface of the land on the shores of seas is dug by the hand or feet, such streams do gush out.

57. Details of this are found in the Book of Job. It is written:  

.. The Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before. All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house … The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys. And he also had seven sons and three daughters … After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. (42:10-16) 

58. Ie., reminded of the fact that in order to prove the faithfulness of His servants, the Almighty at times makes them pass through very severe trials. However, these trials do not exceed a certain limit and what secures a person from them is turning to God.

59. If an oath is instrumental in infringing on the rights of God, a person’s own self or of others, it is essential to break it. However, since it is actually making God as a witness on a promise and since promises have a great significance in religion, he was directed to fulfil it in this symbolic manner. This will not inflict him with any unwarranted harm and the oath will also stand fulfilled. An atonement for breaking an oath has been prescribed in religion. However, at that time, Job (sws) was neither financially in a position to atone for his oath nor physically able to do so. Thus this was the only option left through which he could assure his heart. This was a favour of God to save a peron from undue harm. One should not be audacious to go as far as to make it a pretext to lift the prohibition of something or to give relief to something mandatory or to fabricate excuses to not do a virtuous deed.

60. The reason probably for this was that in the times of trial, he uttered something which was against steadfastness and turning towards God. At this, he swore an oath that he will punish himself by whipping himself with a  certain number of lashes

61. This attribute has also been highlighted in the account of Solomon (sws). This directs our attention to the purpose for which these accounts have been narrated.

62. This is a reference to the patriarchal leadership which these illustrious prophets had among their people.

63. Ie., the House of the Hereafter. Prophets of God have primarily been sent for this purpose.

64. There are two prophets of God mentioned in the Bible with a similar name. One is Joshua which is closer in pronunciation. He preached around 713 BC. He lived at place called Abel-meholah on the banks of the river Jordan. The other is Isaiah whose period was around 620 BC.

65. Nothing is known about his account. However, this much is evident that he too was among the prophets whose distinctive trait was steadfastness.

66. Ie., will be opened before their arrival just as they are opened to welcome honourable guests.

67. In this sentence the inchoative (mubtada’) is repeated and there also is a parenthetical sentence between two inchoatives. It is as if intense anger is exuding from every single word.

68. Ie., they counted them among those who were ancestral enemies of their religion, humiliated their deities and disrupted national unity.

69. Ie., news of torment and the Hereafter.

70. This is a reference to the argument mentioned earlier.

71. Ie., created with such thoroughness by Him. This has been stated because a human being is a masterpiece of God with regard to his creation and has some extra-ordinary innate traits and abilities.

72. The leaders of the Quraysh were also under the same deception. Thus they would ask why was not this Qur’an revealed to some affluent person of Makkah or Ta’if? Why had it been revealed to such a poor person like him?

73. The actual word is: مِنْهَا. The antecedent of the pronoun in it is the same orchard in which Adam (sws) was kept and the angels and the jinn were asked to prostrate before him.

74. He meant that he will try his best to sabotage the scheme of the Almighty according to which He had selected the progeny of Adam (sws) for Paradise.

75. Found in these words obviously is a warning for the addressees that they can see their fate too as a reflection from this mirror.

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