Surah al-Anbiya (2/2)

Surah al-Anbiya (2/2)


قَالُوۡا حَرِّقُوۡہُ وَ انۡصُرُوۡۤا اٰلِہَتَکُمۡ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمۡ فٰعِلِیۡنَ ﴿۶۸﴾ قُلۡنَا یٰنَارُ کُوۡنِیۡ بَرۡدًا وَّ سَلٰمًا عَلٰۤی اِبۡرٰہِیۡمَ ﴿ۙ۶۹﴾ وَ اَرَادُوۡا بِہٖ کَیۡدًا فَجَعَلۡنٰہُمُ الۡاَخۡسَرِیۡنَ ﴿ۚ۷۰﴾

[At this,] they said: "If you intend to do something, then burn him in the fire and help your deities."[67] [Thus Abraham was cast into the fire. Thereupon,] We commanded: "O Fire! Cool down for Abraham and become safe."[68] They wanted to contrive a plot[69] [to get rid of Abraham] but We badly foiled it. (68-70)

وَ نَجَّیۡنٰہُ وَ لُوۡطًا اِلَی الۡاَرۡضِ الَّتِیۡ بٰرَکۡنَا فِیۡہَا لِلۡعٰلَمِیۡنَ ﴿۷۱﴾ وَ وَہَبۡنَا لَہٗۤ اِسۡحٰقَ ؕ وَ یَعۡقُوۡبَ نَافِلَۃً ؕ وَ کُلًّا جَعَلۡنَا صٰلِحِیۡنَ ﴿۷۲﴾ وَ جَعَلۡنٰہُمۡ اَئِمَّۃً یَّہۡدُوۡنَ بِاَمۡرِنَا وَ اَوۡحَیۡنَاۤ اِلَیۡہِمۡ فِعۡلَ الۡخَیۡرٰتِ وَ اِقَامَ الصَّلٰوۃِ وَ اِیۡتَآءَ الزَّکٰوۃِ ۚ وَ کَانُوۡا لَنَا عٰبِدِیۡنَ ﴿ۚۙ۷۳﴾

And We saved him [and his nephew] Lot taking them to a land in which We had placed blessings for people.[70] And [as a reward for his sacrifices] We gave him Isaac[71] and in addition Jacob also. And We made each of them righteous. And We bestowed leadership[72] on them that they guided [people of the world] according to Our direction and sent them the directive of doing pious deeds, being diligent in the prayer and paying the zakah and they were the ones who worshipped Us. (71-73)

وَ لُوۡطًا اٰتَیۡنٰہُ حُکۡمًا وَّ عِلۡمًا وَّ نَجَّیۡنٰہُ مِنَ الۡقَرۡیَۃِ الَّتِیۡ کَانَتۡ تَّعۡمَلُ الۡخَبٰٓئِثَ ؕ اِنَّہُمۡ کَانُوۡا قَوۡمَ سَوۡءٍ فٰسِقِیۡنَ ﴿ۙ۷۴﴾ وَ اَدۡخَلۡنٰہُ فِیۡ رَحۡمَتِنَا ؕ اِنَّہٗ مِنَ الصّٰلِحِیۡنَ ﴿۷۵﴾

We had granted Lot the power and knowledge[73] and similarly delivered him from that settlement whose people were involved in abominable acts.[74] Indeed, they were a very wicked and dreadful people. And [both in this world and the next] We admitted him into Our special mercy. Indeed, he was among the righteous. (74-75)

وَ نُوۡحًا اِذۡ نَادٰی مِنۡ قَبۡلُ فَاسۡتَجَبۡنَا لَہٗ فَنَجَّیۡنٰہُ وَ اَہۡلَہٗ مِنَ الۡکَرۡبِ الۡعَظِیۡمِ ﴿ۚ۷۶﴾ وَ نَصَرۡنٰہُ مِنَ الۡقَوۡمِ الَّذِیۡنَ کَذَّبُوۡا بِاٰیٰتِنَا ؕ اِنَّہُمۡ کَانُوۡا قَوۡمَ سَوۡءٍ فَاَغۡرَقۡنٰہُمۡ اَجۡمَعِیۡنَ ﴿۷۷﴾

We had dealt in the same way with Noah.[75] Recall when, before all these people, he pleaded.[76] So, We accepted his prayer and delivered him and his people[77] from a grave calamity, and to help him take revenge from the people[78] who had denied Our revelations. Indeed, they were a very wicked people. So, We drowned all of them.[79] (76-77)

وَ دَاوٗدَ وَ سُلَیۡمٰنَ اِذۡ یَحۡکُمٰنِ فِی الۡحَرۡثِ اِذۡ نَفَشَتۡ فِیۡہِ غَنَمُ الۡقَوۡمِ ۚ وَ کُنَّا لِحُکۡمِہِمۡ شٰہِدِیۡنَ ﴿٭ۙ۷۸﴾ فَفَہَّمۡنٰہَا سُلَیۡمٰنَ ۚ وَ کُلًّا اٰتَیۡنَا حُکۡمًا وَّ عِلۡمًا ۫ وَّ سَخَّرۡنَا مَعَ دَاوٗدَ الۡجِبَالَ یُسَبِّحۡنَ وَ الطَّیۡرَ ؕ وَ کُنَّا فٰعِلِیۡنَ ﴿۷۹﴾ وَ عَلَّمۡنٰہُ صَنۡعَۃَ لَبُوۡسٍ لَّکُمۡ لِتُحۡصِنَکُمۡ مِّنۡۢ بَاۡسِکُمۡ ۚ فَہَلۡ اَنۡتُمۡ شٰکِرُوۡنَ ﴿۸۰﴾

And We blessed David and Solomon with Our favour as well.[80] Recall, when they were passing a judgement on the dispute of the cultivated land when goats of some people had entered it[81] and We Ourselves were observing this judgement of theirs.[82] So, We guided Solomon about the dispute and We blessed both with power and knowledge.[83] And We had made the mountains and the birds sing together with David.[84] They would extol God [with him][85] and it is We Who would do [this for them].[86] And We had taught him the skill of a military attire for you so that it may protect you in battles.[87] [After receiving all these favours, he would express gratitude to his Lord]. Then will you also become grateful [like him]?[88] (78-80)

وَ لِسُلَیۡمٰنَ الرِّیۡحَ عَاصِفَۃً تَجۡرِیۡ بِاَمۡرِہٖۤ اِلَی الۡاَرۡضِ الَّتِیۡ بٰرَکۡنَا فِیۡہَا ؕ وَ کُنَّا بِکُلِّ شَیۡءٍ عٰلِمِیۡنَ ﴿۸۱﴾ وَ مِنَ الشَّیٰطِیۡنِ مَنۡ یَّغُوۡصُوۡنَ لَہٗ وَ یَعۡمَلُوۡنَ عَمَلًا دُوۡنَ ذٰلِکَ ۚ وَ کُنَّا لَہُمۡ حٰفِظِیۡنَ ﴿ۙ۸۲﴾

And We had made strong winds subservient to Solomon[89] which would blow at his directive to a land We had blessed.[90] And We were knowledgeable about every thing.[91] And We had also made subservient to him from among the devils[92] who would dive down [into the seas] for him and would do other errands as well and We alone were holding them.[93] (81-82)

وَ اَیُّوۡبَ اِذۡ نَادٰی رَبَّہٗۤ اَنِّیۡ مَسَّنِیَ الضُّرُّ وَ اَنۡتَ اَرۡحَمُ الرّٰحِمِیۡنَ ﴿ۚۖ۸۳﴾ فَاسۡتَجَبۡنَا لَہٗ فَکَشَفۡنَا مَا بِہٖ مِنۡ ضُرٍّ وَّ اٰتَیۡنٰہُ اَہۡلَہٗ وَ مِثۡلَہُمۡ مَّعَہُمۡ رَحۡمَۃً مِّنۡ عِنۡدِنَا وَ ذِکۡرٰی لِلۡعٰبِدِیۡنَ﴿۸۴﴾

And We had looked upon Job also with favour[94] when he called out to his Lord: "I am in distress and you are the most merciful among all the merciful."[95] [When he called out,] We heard his call and delivered him of the hardship he was suffering and restored to him his family too; in fact, as many more with them[96] from Our special grace and so that this is a reminder for those who worship God. (83-84)

وَ اِسۡمٰعِیۡلَ وَ اِدۡرِیۡسَ وَ ذَاالۡکِفۡلِ ؕ کُلٌّ مِّنَ الصّٰبِرِیۡنَ ﴿ۚۖ۸۵﴾ وَ اَدۡخَلۡنٰہُمۡ فِیۡ رَحۡمَتِنَا ؕ اِنَّہُمۡ مِّنَ الصّٰلِحِیۡنَ ﴿۸۶﴾

And the same favour was bestowed upon Ishmael, Idris and Dhu al-Kifl also. All of them were among the steadfast.[97] We admitted them into Our mercy. Undoubtedly, they were among [Our] pious people. (85-86)

وَ ذَاالنُّوۡنِ اِذۡ ذَّہَبَ مُغَاضِبًا فَظَنَّ اَنۡ لَّنۡ نَّقۡدِرَ عَلَیۡہِ فَنَادٰی فِی الظُّلُمٰتِ اَنۡ لَّاۤ اِلٰہَ اِلَّاۤ اَنۡتَ سُبۡحٰنَکَ ٭ۖ اِنِّیۡ کُنۡتُ مِنَ الظّٰلِمِیۡنَ ﴿ۚۖ۸۷﴾ فَاسۡتَجَبۡنَا لَہٗ ۙ وَ نَجَّیۡنٰہُ مِنَ الۡغَمِّ ؕ وَ کَذٰلِکَ نُــۨۡجِی الۡمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ ﴿۸۸﴾

And upon [Jonah] the companion of the Fish[98] also when he left [his people] in anger[99] and he thought that We will not question him.[100] But then he cried out in the [layers of] darkness:[101] ["Lord!] There is no deity except you. Exalted are you. Indeed, I am at fault."[102] Thereupon, We answered his prayer and relieved him of sorrow.[103] Thus do We deliver the believers.[104] (87-88)

وَ زَکَرِیَّاۤ اِذۡ نَادٰی رَبَّہٗ رَبِّ لَا تَذَرۡنِیۡ فَرۡدًا وَّ اَنۡتَ خَیۡرُ الۡوٰرِثِیۡنَ ﴿ۚۖ۸۹﴾ فَاسۡتَجَبۡنَا لَہٗ ۫ وَ وَہَبۡنَا لَہٗ یَحۡیٰی وَ اَصۡلَحۡنَا لَہٗ زَوۡجَہٗ ؕاِنَّہُمۡ کَانُوۡایُسٰرِعُوۡنَ فِی الۡخَیۡرٰتِ وَ یَدۡعُوۡنَنَا رَغَبًا وَّ رَہَبًا ؕوَ کَانُوۡالَنَا خٰشِعِیۡنَ ﴿۹۰﴾

And upon Zachrias also when he called out to his Lord: "Lord! Do not leave me alone[105] and you are the best of all heirs."[106] Then We answered this prayer of his[107] and blessed him with John and made his wife favourable for him.Indeed, these people would take the initiative in righteous deeds and would call Us in every state of hope and despair and would remain submissive Us.[108] (89-90)

وَ الَّتِیۡۤ اَحۡصَنَتۡ فَرۡجَہَا فَنَفَخۡنَا فِیۡہَا مِنۡ رُّوۡحِنَا وَ جَعَلۡنٰہَا وَ ابۡنَہَاۤ اٰیَۃً لِّلۡعٰلَمِیۡنَ ﴿۹۱﴾

And on that woman also[109] who kept herself chaste.[110] So, We blew into her Our Spirit[111] and made her and her son [Jesus] a sign for the people of the world. (91)

اِنَّ ہٰذِہٖۤ اُمَّتُکُمۡ اُمَّۃً وَّاحِدَۃً ۫ۖ وَّ اَنَا رَبُّکُمۡ فَاعۡبُدُوۡنِ ﴿۹۲﴾ وَ تَقَطَّعُوۡۤا اَمۡرَہُمۡ بَیۡنَہُمۡ ؕ کُلٌّ اِلَیۡنَا رٰجِعُوۡنَ ﴿۹۳﴾ فَمَنۡ یَّعۡمَلۡ مِنَ الصّٰلِحٰتِ وَ ہُوَ مُؤۡمِنٌ فَلَا کُفۡرَانَ لِسَعۡیِہٖ ۚ وَ اِنَّا لَہٗ کٰتِبُوۡنَ ﴿۹۴﴾

[Thus] it is a fact that this community of yours is one community[112] and I only am your Lord. So, worship Me alone.[113] But [such are these people that] they have torn their religion into pieces between themselves.[114] [Do not care about them]. All of them will return to Us. Then he who does righteous deeds and also has faith,[115] his effort will not go waste. We are writing it for him. (92-94)

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وَ حَرٰمٌ عَلٰی قَرۡیَۃٍ اَہۡلَکۡنٰہَاۤ اَنَّہُمۡ لَا یَرۡجِعُوۡنَ ﴿۹۵﴾ حَتّٰۤی اِذَا فُتِحَتۡ یَاۡجُوۡجُ وَ مَاۡجُوۡجُ وَ ہُمۡ مِّنۡ کُلِّ حَدَبٍ یَّنۡسِلُوۡنَ ﴿۹۶﴾ وَ اقۡتَرَبَ الۡوَعۡدُ الۡحَقُّ فَاِذَا ہِیَ شَاخِصَۃٌ اَبۡصَارُ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا ؕ یٰوَیۡلَنَا قَدۡ کُنَّا فِیۡ غَفۡلَۃٍ مِّنۡ ہٰذَا بَلۡ کُنَّا ظٰلِمِیۡنَ ﴿۹۷﴾

[Now[116] there is no need to go after these disbelievers, O Prophet! because] for whichever settlement We have destined destruction [according to Our law],[117] it is forbidden for them to turn to the truth[118] because they will never turn until that time arrives when Gog and Magog are let loose[119] and they launch an onslaught from every high place and the true promise [of the Day of Judgement] draws near and all of a sudden these disbelievers will stare in astonishment and will cry out: "It is our wretchedness! We remained indifferent to it. In fact, it is we who were unjust."[120] (95-97)

اِنَّکُمۡ وَ مَا تَعۡبُدُوۡنَ مِنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰہِ حَصَبُ جَہَنَّمَ ؕ اَنۡتُمۡ لَہَا وٰرِدُوۡنَ ﴿۹۸﴾ لَوۡ کَانَ ہٰۤؤُلَآءِ اٰلِہَۃً مَّا وَرَدُوۡہَا ؕ وَ کُلٌّ فِیۡہَا خٰلِدُوۡنَ ﴿۹۹﴾ لَہُمۡ فِیۡہَا زَفِیۡرٌ وَّ ہُمۡ فِیۡہَا لَا یَسۡمَعُوۡنَ ﴿۱۰۰﴾

You and your deities that you have been worshiping instead of God[121] are now the firewood of Hell. [Whether] you [plead or implore] you shall certainly enter it. Were they really deities, they would never have entered it – [these worshippers and the worshipped] all will remain in it eternally. Now the worshippers will cry out in it and those who you worshipped will hear nothing in it.[122] (98-100)

اِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ سَبَقَتۡ لَہُمۡمِّنَّا الۡحُسۡنٰۤی ۙ اُولٰٓئِکَ عَنۡہَا مُبۡعَدُوۡنَ ﴿۱۰۱﴾ۙ لَا یَسۡمَعُوۡنَ حَسِیۡسَہَاۚوَہُمۡ فِیۡمَا اشۡتَہَتۡ اَنۡفُسُہُمۡ خٰلِدُوۡنَ﴿۱۰۲﴾ۚ لَا یَحۡزُنُہُمُ الۡفَزَعُ الۡاَکۡبَرُ وَتَتَلَقّٰہُمُ الۡمَلٰٓئِکَۃُ ؕہٰذَا یَوۡمُکُمُ الَّذِیۡ کُنۡتُمۡ تُوۡعَدُوۡنَ﴿۱۰۳﴾

However, those who have been promised a good fate by Us[123] will be kept away from it. They will not even listen to its sound and will forever remain in a bliss they desire.[124] That great commotion[125] will not make them the slightest sorrowful and the angels of God will heartily welcome them, and will say: "This is that day of yours which you would be promised of." (101-103)

یَوۡمَ نَطۡوِی السَّمَآءَ کَطَیِّ السِّجِلِّ لِلۡکُتُبِؕ کَمَا بَدَاۡنَاۤ اَوَّلَ خَلۡقٍ نُّعِیۡدُہٗ ؕوَعۡدًا عَلَیۡنَاؕ اِنَّا کُنَّا فٰعِلِیۡنَ﴿۱۰۴﴾

The Day We will roll up the sky the way a parchment is rolled up. The way We began the first creation,[126] in the same way We will do it again. This is a definite promise[127] that We are responsible for. We are certain to do it. (104)

وَلَقَدۡ کَتَبۡنَا فِی الزَّبُوۡرِ مِنۡۢبَعۡدِ الذِّکۡرِ اَنَّ الۡاَرۡضَ یَرِثُہَا عِبَادِیَالصّٰلِحُوۡنَ﴿۱۰۵﴾اِنَّ فِیۡ ہٰذَا لَبَلٰغًا لِّقَوۡمٍ عٰبِدِیۡنَ﴿۱۰۶﴾ؕ وَ مَاۤ اَرۡسَلۡنٰکَ اِلَّا رَحۡمَۃً لِّلۡعٰلَمِیۡنَ﴿۱۰۷﴾ قُلۡ اِنَّمَا یُوۡحٰۤی اِلَیَّ اَنَّمَاۤ اِلٰـہُکُمۡ اِلٰہٌوَّاحِدٌۚفَہَلۡ اَنۡتُمۡمُّسۡلِمُوۡنَ﴿۱۰۸﴾ فَاِنۡتَوَلَّوۡا فَقُلۡ اٰذَنۡتُکُمۡ عَلٰی سَوَآءٍ ؕوَاِنۡ اَدۡرِیۡۤ اَقَرِیۡبٌ اَمۡبَعِیۡدٌ مَّا تُوۡعَدُوۡنَ﴿۱۰۹﴾ اِنَّہٗ یَعۡلَمُ الۡجَہۡرَ مِنَ الۡقَوۡلِ وَیَعۡلَمُ مَا تَکۡتُمُوۡنَ﴿۱۱۰﴾ وَاِنۡ اَدۡرِیۡلَعَلَّہٗ فِتۡنَۃٌ لَّکُمۡ وَمَتَاعٌ اِلٰی حِیۡنٍ﴿۱۱۱﴾

We have written in the Psalms after the reminder[128] that [on that day] the earth[129] [that will come into existence] will be inherited by My righteous servants. In it is a great awareness[130] for those who worship [Us. They demand the torment from you] and We [O Prophet] have only sent you as a mercy for mankind. Tell them: "This only is revealed to me that your God is one God. So, do you submit yourselves to Him?" Then if they turn away, say: "I have warned all of you equally.[131] I do not know whether that time you are being promised is near or far off. [Now the matter rests with God]. Indeed, He alone knows the words you utter openly and those also that you conceal.[132] And I do not know whether perhaps this time is a trial for you and a respite to gain benefit till a specific time." (105-111)

قٰلَ رَبِّ احۡکُمۡبِالۡحَقِّؕوَرَبُّنَا الرَّحۡمٰنُ الۡمُسۡتَعَانُ عَلٰی مَا تَصِفُوۡنَ﴿۱۱۲﴾

The Prophet prayed: "My Lord! Judge with fairness," and said: "Our Lord is surely the merciful from whom We seek help against what you say."[133] (112)

Kuala Lumpur

15 April 2013

[67]. Their implication was that if this disorder was not stopped at that time, the religion of their fathers would be destroyed. Hence, they should immediately take action and in defence of their deities kill this youn man; no less a measure should be taken against him; at this time, this is the only way that can save their religion.

[68]. The promise of God to His messengers is that they are never vanquished by their enemies. It is a manifestation of this promise that the fire could not hurt Abraham (sws) the slightest.

[69]. What whas this plot? It shall insha'Allah be explained under verse 98 of Surah al-Ṣaffat.

[70]. This is a reference to the land of Canaan. The Almighty had appointed it a centre of His preaching message for almost two thousand years. By its blessings is implied the preaching and guidance that sprung from this land for all the people of the world.

[71]. It is indicated in the Qur'an that Isaac (sws) was given to Abraham (sws) in reward for his sacrifice of Ishmael (sws).

[72]. Ie., the leadership of the Israelites who were chosen under the leadership of these prophets to bear witness to the religion of truth to all the people of the world.

[73]. Ie., the true power of decision making and the knowledge of prophethood. The first of these traits is acquired because of the purity of intellect and nature and the second through the blessing of divine revelation.

[74]. This is a reference to pederasty and to sexual immorality and vulgaritywhich arise as its result with which the people of Lot (sws) were afflicted with.

[75]. The word نوح occurs in the verse in the accusative. This is because of the meaning that emanates from the discourse.

[76]. This is a reference to the supplication which Noah (sws) ultimately made after a very long time of preaching to his nation when he was left with no option. In Surah Nuh, this supplication is cited in detail.

[77]. The actual word used is: أهل. This is used for the family and followers of a person. Here too it is used in this meaning.

[78]. The actual words are: وَ نَصَرۡنٰہُ مِنَ الۡقَوۡمِ الَّذِیۡنَ کَذَّبُوۡا بِاٰیٰتِنَا. Here the presence of مِن after نَصَرْنَا indicates here this word encompasses the meaning of إنتقمنا. The translation has been done while keeping this aspect in consideration.

[79]. Ie., when they were not willing to believe after almost 950 years of preaching and conclusive communication of the truth, the Almighty cleansed the earth from that filth.

[80]. The words دَاوٗدَ وَ سُلَیۡمٰنَ occur in the accusative for the same reason as نُوْحًا stated earlier.

[81]. The Almighty has not divulged any more details of this dispute other than a herd of goats entering the cultivated fields of someone and that person bringing his case before David (sws) in order to be compensated. The reason for this is that the purpose of the Qur'an is not to present the details of the case but to show how careful David (sws) was in taking decisions in spite of the fact that he was a ruler and a prophet and how he was always prepared to accept his fault even if a subordinate directed his attention to it.

[82]. This is because the rule and reign of a prophet is in fact the rule of God. All its decisions are taken directly under His guidance. Thus if a mistake occurs at any place it is rectified by God immediately.

[83]. Ie., although both were blessed with the power of decision making and with the knowledge of prophethood, David (sws) was not able to reach the crux of the matter. Thus his son Solomon (sws) gave his opinion which was more correct and closer to justice. David (sws) decided the case in accordance with the opinion of Solomon (sws). He did not disregard it thinking that it will make the weakness of his own opinion more prominent.

[84]. In the verse, the verb يُسَبَّحْنَ is preposed to طَيْر even though it relates to both جِبَال and طَيْر and apparently should have come after them. The reason for this, in the opinion of this writer, is that we all hear the song of the birds; however, the singing of the mountains is a unique phenomenon. Thus it was essential to highlight it.

[85]. The implication is that just as David (sws) governed the affairs of state with justice, in the same way he would sing hymns and prayers with great devotion. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

... It is evident from the Torah that David (sws) was a very melodious singer and also had a very moving voice. Moreoever, all his prayers and supplications are in the forms of hymns and these hymns are divine. If we read the Pslams, we can see that the poetical essence in the translation of these hymns has been lost but even then hearts shudder on reading them. When a tuneful singer like David (sws) would have chanted these divine hymns while sitting among the valleys of the mountains in the exhilerating early hours of morning, then surely the mountains would have sung with him together with the birds. These words should not be regarded as some poetic utterance; they are a fact. The Qur'an has specified that each and every object of this universe is extolling the Almighty but we are not able to understand it. This liking for extolling the Almighty is enhanced when a person chants a song that recflects their feelings. At that time, they become ecstatic and join that person in singing. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 5, 173)

[86]. Ie., the favours were not acquired by them because of their own abilities; it was God Who bestowed these on them.

[87]. The implication is that in those times, such scientific advancements were also made that high quality armour was manufactured. This made David's army unconquerable as a result of which they became the greatest political force of their times. The word used in the verse is عَلَّمۡنٰہُ. The antecedent of the pronoun in it is David (sws) but this should not cause any misconception. The nature of this ascription is the same as when it is said: "Shah Jahan constructed the Taj."

[88]. Earlier, three things were mentioned: truthfulness, such devotion in worship that even the mountains and birds become co-reciters of hymns and great political power. What else after this can be desired by a person? The Qur'an here has directed the attention of its addressees: their affluence has made them conceited whereas here is a servant of God who after receiving all these favours neither became conceited of his religiousity nor because of his affluence and political authority; he continued to thank God and never became rebellious before Him; so, will they too follow suit by giving up rebelliousness and becoming grateful?

[89]. Ie., put into Solomon's service. The particle لin لِسُلَيْمَانَ indicates that the verb سخرنا is suppressed here.

[90]. This is a specific term for the areas which were specified for the Israelites and both religious and temporal blessings were placed in them. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

... It is evident from history that David (sws) had a very large land force but it was in the reign of Solomon that the sea force made unparallelled advancements. He had invented ships with sails which travelled to India and to western islands. Their naval fleet was the most powerful in its times. In the Red sea, its centre was Tarsis which is in the Gulf of 'Aqabah and there were sea ports in Suwar, Ta'ir and Yafah. Till that time sails were the only means to control sea winds. These sails also served as engines for the ships. Solomon (sws) had invented such sails which would allow ships to navigate smoothly in stormy winds. They would make long trips to their destinations in all types of favourable or unfavourable winds without any fear. Since all this was the consequence of the science taught by God, it has been stated that God had made strong winds subservient to Solomon (sws) which would blow at this behest. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 5, 175)

[91]. Ie., not only knew that the person who has been blessed with the power to control winds in fact deserves this honour but also how he would use this God-granted power.

[92]. Ie., the devils among the jinn. At another place, the Qur'an has specified this.

[93]. The implication is that the knowledge with which these winds were controlled was also God-given and after that their real guardian was God too. It was not possible for any of the jinn to run away or disobey Solomon (sws).

[94]. Ie., blessed Job (sws) with knowledge and wisdom the way the prophets mentioned earlier were. The way Job (sws) is mentioned in the Qur'an shows that he too was among the Israelite prophets who lived around the 9th century BC. It is mentioned in the Bible that he was very wealthy. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

... The Almighty had blessed him with a large family and a lot of wealth. He had seven sons and three daughters. He also had seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, one thousand oxen and five hundred donkeys who would carry their burdens. He had several servants. No one was as wealthy as him in the East. However, in spite of this splendour he was very grateful and obedient to God. He never got incriminated with any sin. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 5, 175)

[95]. The background of this supplication is mentioned in Job's scripture in the Bible: in spite of this wealth, Job (sws) was very pious and virtuous; this made Satan and his agents very jealous of him and they started to say that all this virtue, piety and devoutness is because of the wealth God had given him; if he is stripped of these favours, then he too will not show such gratitude. After this, Job (sws) was put through various trials. First he lost his wealth and family. But Job (sws) did not lose hope in God; he in fact knocked his door in earnest. The Bible records:

At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worshipand said: "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The Lordgave and the Lordhas taken away;may the name of the Lordbe praised." (Job: 1, 20-22)

After this began the period of distress mentioned in the supplication and matters reached the extent that blisters and sores erupted all over his body from head to toe and he would rub his body with dry mud slabs and would sit on ashes. It was at that juncture that Job (sws) made this supplication. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

... Consider the eloquence of the supplication: though Job (sws) referred to his pain and suffering, he did not utter the purpose of the supplication and left it to God's mercy. He said that he was afflicted with sorrow and that God is the most merciful among all the merciful. The implication is that he is presenting his grief before him and consigning his matter to Him; whatever God will do will be befitting to His mercy and this will have blessings for Job (sws). It is this state which is called complete contentment on the decisions of God. He who attains this state gains the status of رَاضيَّةً مَرْضِيَّةً in the Hereafter. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 5, 178)

[96]. Ie., when they succeeded in this trial of patience and contentment God blessed him with what he had supplicated for and that too which he did not consider himself worthy of because of his humility. The Bible records:

After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lordrestored 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. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the Lordhad brought on him, and each one gave him a piece of silverand a gold ring. The Lordblessed 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. The first daughter he named Jemimah, the second Keziah and the third Keren-Happuch. Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job's daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers. After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. (Job, 42:10-16)

[97]. Ie., they too were made to pass through various trials of patience and contentment and and remained steadfast in every sense of the word. The trial of Ishmael (sws) is well known; however, the accounts of Idris and Dhu al-Kifl are not known at all. About them, we only know that much which the Qur'an has divulged here and at other instances.

[98]. Jonah (sws) was sent to Nineveh, an ancient city of Iraq. At that time, its population was one hundred thousand. Since he had been swallowed by fish, the Qur'an has affectionately mentioned him in this way and to refer to this incident has alluded to him as companion of the fish.

[99]. The established practice of God regarding His messengers is that if after conclusive communication of the truth their addressees are still adamant on rejecting them, a messenger is asked to leave the area. After that, a torment visits these people. Jonah (sws) thought that he had done whatever needed be done in order to make his nation understand; he reckoned that they are a very callous people and have decided to reject the truth and hence the time of his migration has arrived. Thus without receiving any directive of this from God, out of utter frustration and sorrow, he left his nation. The words of the verse refer to this incident.

[100]. Ie., he thought that he was taking this step after fulfilling the requirements of preaching to the utmost and at the right time, hence there was no reason for being questioned for it. However, this decision was incorrect because whether the truth has been conclusively conveyed to a people or not is a matter which a person cannot decide or form an opinion about. Thus he was held accountable for this. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

This thought of Jonah (sws) in itself was based on pure sentiments but the trials which the Almighty has subjected his people to are bound to take their course. After being disenchanted with his nation he embarked on a ship which was about to set off for a journey. After sailing for sometime, the ship was caught in a storm. When the storm did not pass away, the sailors, in accordance with the general superstition of those times in this regard, thought that a runaway slave has boarded the ship; unless he is thrown overboard, they will not be delivered from the storm. Finally lots were cast to find out who this person might be. It is indicated in Surah al-Ṣaffat that it was Jonah (sws) who was given the responsibility of casting lots. The reason for this perhaps would have been that the people of the ship thought that he was the most respectable among them. Nevertheless, lots were cast and it fell upon Jonah (sws) and a result he was thrown into the sea. There a large fish, most probably a whale, swallowed him. (All these details are based on the statements and insinuations of the Book of Jonah of the Bible and the Qur'an). (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 5, 181)

[101]. Ie., in the belly of the fish from the depths of darkness where only the Lord of the heavens and the earth can listen to someone's pleadings. The plural used for darkness is meant to refer to its intensity and boundless expanse.

[102]. This supplication is also mentioned in the Book of Jonah and a detailed supplication of similar contents is cited in it. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

... In this supplication, Jonah (sws) has not expressed any desire or demand; he only expressed and confessed his mistake. After this, he left the matter to his Lord accepting that His verdict would be the best and have wisdom and mercy in it because God is absolved of all defects. First of all, he expressed that only God is worthy of worship and obedience and all matters turn to Him. After that, he regarded God to be above and beyond all faults. Then he confessed his mistake that whatever has happened is the consequence of his blemish; he was unjust to his soul and God was never unjust to him. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 5, 183)

[103]. Ie., relieved him of the sorrow which was inflicted on him by his nation and also from the one he faced from God's accountability after leaving his nation. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

... The Almighty accepted his supplication and the fish cast him on the sandy shore. There, in order to save his emaciated body from the heat of the sun, the Almighty had grown a pumpkin creeper or some similar plant where he was able to find refuge. When he recovered from this accident and felt some energy in his body, he was directed to go again to the people of Nineveh and warn them of the Hereafter. It is evident from Book of Jonah in the Bible that the Almighty created an effective means for this: the creeper which had given refuge to Jonah (sws) in its shade suddenly became dry for some reason. People who are grateful to God's favours value the smallest of His favours. When the creeper withered away, it deeply affected Jonah (sws). At this, the Almighty directed his attention to the fact that if he has been aggrieved by the withering away of a trivial creeper in whose cultivation and nourishing he had no role, then he should reflect how can God consign the people of the city of Nineveh to torment who were created and brought up by Him? God then asked him to go again and invite them to His message; it may well be that they listen to this call and become worthy of God's mercy. In accordance with this directive, Jonah once again went to the people of Nineveh to warn them of the Hereafter. Such was the profound effect of his call that everyone from the common man to the king started to tremble. All of them professed faith in God. The king took off his royal robe and attired himself in sackcloth. He gave a royal decree to the masses that everyone should desist from evil, fast, plead to God and be penitent. (All these details are based on the statements and insinuations of the Book of Jonah of the Bible and the Qur'an). (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 5, 181)

[104]. This sentence connects the whole anecdote to the circumstances of those times: in other words, the Prophet (sws) and his companions were assured that the depths of darkness which had engulfed them at that time would soon give way to light in a similar way.

[105]. Ie., he should not be left childless and be given an heir who could carry forward his tradition and that of Jacob's clan. It is specified in verses 5-6 of Surah Maryam that Zachria's wife was barren and he had made this supplication when he himself had entered old age. There this anecdote has been mentioned in detail.

[106]. This sentence highlights a specific aspect of the supplication. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

The implication of Zachria's supplication was that he was only pleading to God so that this family was not deprived of the honour of serving God's religion which He Himself had bestowed upon them; Zachria knew that God would give this responsibulity to whomsoever He wanted and was not dependent on any anyone in this regard. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 5, 184)

[107]. This supplication was made for a momentous religious objective and hence was accepted.

[108]. Ie., they were sincere servants of God. Their characters were not hypocritcal or polytheistic. This is a mention of Zachria's family and those associated with him. His paternal side cannot be understood to be implied here because their grave state of affairs has already been stated in Surah Maryam.

[109]. This is a reference to Mary. The attributes mentioned ahead have become so specific to her that without taking her name every reader of the Qur'an knows who is implied.

[110]. The actual words are: أَحْصَنَتْ فَرْجَهَا. Here the word فَرْجَ means "a place of threat." It is an Arabic idiom in much the same way as سد الثلمة, رتق الفتق and جبر الكسر. The implication is that she guarded every limb of her body from where evil could penetrate into it. In the succeeding verses, it is stated that as a reward of this attitude, the Almighty chose her for the manifestation of a great sign and sent down a sign for her which in the words of Imam Amin Ahsan Islahiwas not sent for anyone in the annals of mankind.

[111]. Ie., in her case, the birth of a son took place against the normal practice and God directly revealed His directive to her the way He revealed it for Adam and Eve.

[112]. After mentioning all the prophets, it is stated in summary that all of their followers are one community because the religion and preaching of all those who they consider to be their religious guides was always the same from the beginning to the end. As far as the primary content of religion is concerned, they did not bring separate religions; they invited people in the same manner to the One God.

[113]. This is a summary of the preaching message to which all prophets of God invited their followers.

[114]. Ie., the different editions of God's religions which have been created because of various debates between themselves are an invention of people and they have divided the religion of truth into many religions. These divisions have no relation with God and the prophets He has sent.

[115]. This is an essential condition for the acceptance of a good deed. Without it, no deed carries any weight in the eyes of God. The only deed that is acceptable to Him is the one done for Him and with belief in Him.

[116]. From here onwards are the closing verses of the surah. The same topic is taken up again in them with which the surah began. This style is called عود علی البدء (return to the beginning). The purpose of this is that if the real purport starts to elude the eyes, it is refreshed in the mind of the addressees at the end.

[117]. The verb أَهْلَكْنَا occurs in the verse. It is used to express intention.

[118]. This sentence is suppressed. It is explained by the words أَنَّهُمْ لاَ يَرْجِعُوْنَ. The implication is that the addressees of the Prophet (sws) were facing an established practice of God. Hence they would reach the same fate which was met by earlier nations. It was then not possible for them to be guided to repentance and to giving up evil turning towards the truth. Because of their stubbornness, destruction had been ordained for them.

[119]. Ie., when the certain signs of the manifestation of the Day of Judgement appear and it becomes an indisputable reality. It is evident from the next verse that this situation will arise after the onslaught of Gog and Magog. Both of them are from the descendents of Noah's son Japeth who inhabited the northern areas of Asia. Later, some of their tribes reached Europe and after that settled in America and Australia. In the book of Ezekiel, they are called the leaders of Russia, Moscow and Tobalsac:

The word of the LORD came to me: Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Rush, Meshech and Tubal; prophesy against him. (Ezekiel, 38:1-2)

Son of man, prophesy against Gog and say: This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Rush, Meshech and Tubal. I will turn you around and drag you along. I will bring you from the far north. (Ezekiel, 39:1-2)

It is evident from the revelation of John the Divine that the onslaught of Gog and Magog will begin sometime after a thousand years have passed after the advent of Muhammad (sws) as a Prophet. At that time, they will surround the earth from all sides. When the disorder they spread reaches its culmination, fire will descend from the heavens and the tremors of the Day of Judgement will begin:

When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth – Gog and Magog – to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God's people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. (Revelation, 20:7-9)

It may be noted that "the camp of God's people" is a reference to Madinah, and "the city he loves" is a reference to Makkah. So evident are these allusions that anyone acquainted with the style of divine scriptures and with the history of these two cities cannot fail to decipher them.

[120]. Ie., it is not as though no one came to warn them and they remained indifferent; on the other hand, by rejecting the warners and making fun of their warnings they themselves were guilty of this injustice to their own selves.

[121]. Ie., their idols and stones. Here the Idolaters are the addresses, hence it is they who are implied. A further indication of this is the use of مَاin this verse. At another place, the Qur'an (2:23) has made this very clear by the words وَقُوْدُهَا النَّاسُ وَ الحِجَارَةُ. The reason to make these stones the fuel of Hell is not to punish these stones but to humiliate their worshippers so that they can see the horrible fate of what they were worshipping. Besides them, also included in them are those human beings and the jinn who worshipped those idols instead of God.

[122]. The actual words are: ہُمۡ فِیۡہَا لَا یَسۡمَعُوۡنَ. Even cursory reflection on the verse makes it clear that the antecdent of the pronoun هُمْ are the deities of the worshippers for which the words وَ مَا تَعْبُدُوْنَ have been used earlier. At first sight, it appears that the antecdent of the pronoun is ambiguous. However, if there is no possibility of any confusion in the antecedent, then, in the words of Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi, this actually gives brevity and hence a certain elegance to the discourse. At the same time, it should also remain in consideration that here the same pronouns and verbs are used for the deities as are used for cognizant beings. This is done in deference to the concept of the worshippers regarding them. The reason for this is that they regarded those deities to hear and see and supplicated to them as such and expected the supplications to be answered.

[123]. This promise is mentioned earlier in verse 94.

[124]. This is a reference to the fact that these people will never get bored by the monotony of whatever is given to them nor get tired of it and desire something new. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

... Human beings are species who have a will and intention. For this reason, they prefer the greatest of bliss on their own conditions. To give due regard to this requirement of their nature, the Almighty has made Paradise for the believers in such a way that they can create variety according to what they desire. Not the slightest hindrance will be a barrier to any of their wishes. Obviously, this eternal bliss and creation of diversity whenever desired is something which the greatest of emperors ruling this world neither had nor can ever have. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 5, 193)

[125]. This is a reference to the apprehension and calamity with which all the universe will be struck when the trumpet is blown. The horrific picture of that time can be seen in the surahs of the last group.

[126]. The actual words are: اَوَّلَ خَلۡقٍ. They denote a locus the way the words أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ occur at other instances.

[127]. The actual words are: وَعْدًا عَلَيْنَا. The verbal noun in it is for emphasis. The translation keeps this aspect in consideration.

[128]. This is a reference to Psalm 37. A look at it shows that it has a repetitive line after every group of lines in which after stating words of counsel and advice a line is continuously repeated. This line says that God's pious people will be the inheritors of this earth and this inheritance will be forever. The Qur'an has referred to this by the words بَعْدَ الذِّكْرِ of the verse. Here is an excerpt from this Psalm:

Do not fret because of those who are evil … Trust in the Lordand do good … He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,your vindication like the noonday sun … For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lordwill inherit the land. A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found. But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity … The righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever. (1-29)

Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

... The Psalms is an anthology of hymns revealed to David (sws). As is mentioned in this surah, David (sws ) was not only a prophet, he was also a mighty king of this earth. It could only be suitable through the tongue of a king that the declaration be made that the real and final inheritors of this earth will only be God's people. When a potent and powerful kind made this proclamation, who else can dare open his mouth in this regard. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 5, 198)

[129]. The actual word is: الۡاَرۡض. The Qur'an states that none but the righteous servants of God will be its inheritors. Precisely the same has been stated in the Pslam referred to earlier. There it has been specified that that inheritance will be eternal. It is thus evident from this that the word الۡاَرۡض refers to the earth of the new world that will come into being with new laws after the Day of Judgement. It is about this earth that it has been stated in verse 48 of Surah Ibrahim: غَیۡرَ الۡاَرۡضِ یَوۡمَ تُبَدَّلُ الۡاَرۡضُ (remember the day when this earth will be changed into a new one).

[130]. The actual word is بَلٰغًا. It is undefined to magnify it. As regards its meaning, it includes both a general proclamation and general glad tidings.

[131]. Ie., warned the poor and the rich, the lower in status and the higher, the followers and their leaders all without any discrimination.

[132]. The implication is that He knows their demand as well as what is hidden in the demand. He knows everything. So, it is now He Who will decide their fate according to His law and wisdom.

[133]. At the end of the surah, this is a supplication of the Prophet (sws) and also farewell to His rejecters at that juncture of migration and acquittal. After this, obviously, the only thing left is to wait for the verdict.

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The Noble Wives of the Prophet (sws)

Surah An‘am (1-24)

Islamic Punishments

Surahs Falaq-Nas

Surahs Lahab-Ikhlas

Surahs Kafirun-Nasr

Surahs Ma‘un-Kawthar

Surah Fil – Surah Quraysh

Surah ‘Asr – Surah Humazah

Surah Qari‘ah – Surah Takathur

Surah Zilzal – Surah ‘Aadiyat

Khilafah

Surahs Qadr-Bayyinah

Surahs Tin – ‘Alaq

State and Government

Surahs Duha-Alam Nashrah

Surahs Shams-Layl

Islam and the State: A Counter Narrative

Surahs Fajr-Balad

The Basis of Legislation

The Shari‘ah of Preaching

Surahs A‘la - Ghashiyah

Variant Readings

Surahs Mutaffifin - Inshiqaq

Surahs Buruj – Tariq

Itmam al-Hujjah [1] of God’s Messengers

Theory of Evolution (2)

Surahs ‘Asr-Humazah

Theory of Evolution (2)

Surahs Nazi‘at-‘Abas

Surahs Mursalat-Naba

Dealings and Practices of God

Is Democracy Compatible with Islam?

Wudū and Nail Polish

Surahs Qiyamah-Dahr

Surahs Takwir - Infitar

Sūrahs Muzzammil and Muddaththir

Downfall of the Muslims

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi on Hadith

Your Questions Answered

Surahs Nuh and Jinn

Birth Control

An Interview with the Indian Media

Surahs Haqqah and Ma‘arij

Roles and Responsibilities of Muslims in the West

Surahs Mulk - Qalam

The Punishment of Intentional Murder

Hajj and ‘Umrah

Sūrahs Hashr – Mumtahinah

Religious Extremism

Sūrahs Hadīd – Mujādalah

The Right to make a Will

Talks of the Prophet Muhammad (sws)

Surah Waqi‘ah

The General and the Specific

Sūrah Qamar and Sūrah Rahmān

Surah Tur and Surah Najm

Inheritance of an Orphaned Grandchild

The Sharī‘ah of Preaching

The Source of Religion

Sūrah Mā’idah (90-120)

The Prayer

Sūrahs Qāf and Dhāriyāt (Part 2/2)

Sūrahs Qāf and Dhāriyāt (Part 1/2)

Sūrah Mā’idah (32-63) part (1/2)

Sūrah Mā’idah (32-63) part (2/2)

Dealings and Practices of God

Age of ‘Ā’ishah (rta) at her Marriage

Sūrah Mā’idah (1-31) part (1/2)

Sūrah Mā’idah (1-31) part (2/2)

Sūrah Nisā’ (153-176)

Belief in the Prophets

Sūrah Nisā’ (101-152)

Belief in the Hereafter

Sūrah Nisā’ (58-100)

The Consensus of Muslims

Sūrah Nisā’ (36-57)

Islam and the State

Our Call to Humanity

Sūrah Nisā’ (15-34)

The Rule of an Islamic Government

Sūrah Nisā’ (1-14)

Ijtihād

Verdicts of God

The Right to Punish a Wife

The Right to Divorce

Punishment for Blasphemy against the Prophet (sws[1])

Distribution of Inheritance

Abortion

Sūrah Āl-i ‘Imrān (144-200)

Insurance

Hifz al-Furūj (Guarding the Private Parts)

Organ Transplantation

The Fast

Fundamentals of Understanding Islam

Are Muslims a Single Nation?

Subject Matter of the Holy Qur’ān

Etiquette of Sexual Intimacy