Surah al-A’raf (163-183)

Surah al-A’raf (163-183)


Qur'anic Exegesis

وَ سۡـَٔلۡہُمۡ عَنِ الۡقَرۡیَۃِ الَّتِیۡ کَانَتۡ حَاضِرَۃَ الۡبَحۡرِ ۘ اِذۡ یَعۡدُوۡنَ فِی السَّبۡتِ اِذۡ تَاۡتِیۡہِمۡ حِیۡتَانُہُمۡ یَوۡمَ سَبۡتِہِمۡ شُرَّعًا وَّ یَوۡمَ لَا یَسۡبِتُوۡنَ ۙ لَا تَاۡتِیۡہِمۡ ۚۛ کَذٰلِکَ ۚۛ نَبۡلُوۡہُمۡ بِمَا کَانُوۡا یَفۡسُقُوۡنَ ﴿۱۶۳﴾ وَ اِذۡ قَالَتۡ اُمَّۃٌ مِّنۡہُمۡ لِمَ تَعِظُوۡنَ قَوۡمَۨا ۙ اللّٰہُ مُہۡلِکُہُمۡ اَوۡ مُعَذِّبُہُمۡ عَذَابًا شَدِیۡدًا ؕ قَالُوۡا مَعۡذِرَۃً اِلٰی رَبِّکُمۡ وَ لَعَلَّہُمۡ یَتَّقُوۡنَ ﴿۱۶۴﴾ فَلَمَّا نَسُوۡا مَا ذُکِّرُوۡا بِہٖۤ اَنۡجَیۡنَا الَّذِیۡنَ یَنۡہَوۡنَ عَنِ السُّوۡٓءِ وَ اَخَذۡنَا الَّذِیۡنَ ظَلَمُوۡا بِعَذَابٍۭ بَئِیۡسٍۭ بِمَا کَانُوۡا یَفۡسُقُوۡنَ ﴿۱۶۵﴾ فَلَمَّا عَتَوۡا عَنۡ مَّا نُہُوۡا عَنۡہُ قُلۡنَا لَہُمۡ کُوۡنُوۡا قِرَدَۃً خٰسِئِیۡنَ ﴿۱۶۶﴾

And ask them about the settlement[1]which was near the sea shore[2]when they would transgress [the bounds of God] regarding the Sabbath[3]when their fish would come before them on their Sabbath with heads raised above the water and would not come on other days. In this way, We used to test them because they would be disobedient.[4]And [make them recall] when one of their groups said to [those who were counseling]:[5]"Why do you counsel people whom God is going to destroy or sternly punish?" They replied: "To present our excuse before your Lord and so that they are secure [from God's punishment]."[6] Then when they forgot everything they were reminded of, We delivered those who were forbidding from evil. And those who were unjust [to themselves], We seized them in a stern punishment because they had become defiant.[7]Thus when they continued to do rebelliously from which they were forbidden, We said to them: "Turn into despicable monkeys."[8](163-166)

وَ اِذۡ تَاَذَّنَ رَبُّکَ لَیَبۡعَثَنَّ عَلَیۡہِمۡ اِلٰی یَوۡمِ الۡقِیٰمَۃِ مَنۡ یَّسُوۡمُہُمۡ سُوۡٓءَ الۡعَذَابِ ؕ اِنَّ رَبَّکَ لَسَرِیۡعُ الۡعِقَابِ ۚۖ وَ اِنَّہٗ لَغَفُوۡرٌ رَّحِیۡمٌ ﴿۱۶۷﴾ وَ قَطَّعۡنٰہُمۡ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ اُمَمًا ۚ مِنۡہُمُ الصّٰلِحُوۡنَ وَ مِنۡہُمۡ دُوۡنَ ذٰلِکَ ۫ وَ بَلَوۡنٰہُمۡ بِالۡحَسَنٰتِ وَ السَّیِّاٰتِ لَعَلَّہُمۡ یَرۡجِعُوۡنَ ﴿۱۶۸﴾ فَخَلَفَ مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِہِمۡ خَلۡفٌ وَّرِثُوا الۡکِتٰبَ یَاۡخُذُوۡنَ عَرَضَ ہٰذَا الۡاَدۡنٰی وَ یَقُوۡلُوۡنَ سَیُغۡفَرُ لَنَا ۚ وَ اِنۡ یَّاۡتِہِمۡ عَرَضٌ مِّثۡلُہٗ یَاۡخُذُوۡہُ ؕ اَلَمۡ یُؤۡخَذۡ عَلَیۡہِمۡ مِّیۡثَاقُ الۡکِتٰبِ اَنۡ لَّا یَقُوۡلُوۡا عَلَی اللّٰہِ اِلَّا الۡحَقَّ وَ دَرَسُوۡا مَا فِیۡہِ ؕ وَ الدَّارُ الۡاٰخِرَۃُ خَیۡرٌ لِّلَّذِیۡنَ یَتَّقُوۡنَ ؕ اَفَلَا تَعۡقِلُوۡنَ ﴿۱۶۹﴾ وَ الَّذِیۡنَ یُمَسِّکُوۡنَ بِالۡکِتٰبِ وَ اَقَامُوا الصَّلٰوۃَ ؕ اِنَّا لَا نُضِیۡعُ اَجۡرَ الۡمُصۡلِحِیۡنَ ﴿۱۷۰﴾ وَ اِذۡ نَتَقۡنَا الۡجَبَلَ فَوۡقَہُمۡ کَاَنَّہٗ ظُلَّۃٌ وَّ ظَنُّوۡۤا اَنَّہٗ وَاقِعٌۢ بِہِمۡ ۚ خُذُوۡا مَاۤ اٰتَیۡنٰکُمۡ بِقُوَّۃٍ وَّ اذۡکُرُوۡا مَا فِیۡہِ لَعَلَّکُمۡ تَتَّقُوۡنَ ﴿۱۷۱﴾ اِنَّا لَا نُضِیۡعُ اَجۡرَ الۡمُصۡلِحِیۡنَ ﴿۱۷۰﴾ وَ اِذۡ نَتَقۡنَا الۡجَبَلَ فَوۡقَہُمۡ کَاَنَّہٗ ظُلَّۃٌ وَّ ظَنُّوۡۤا اَنَّہٗ وَاقِعٌۢ بِہِمۡ ۚ خُذُوۡا مَاۤ اٰتَیۡنٰکُمۡ بِقُوَّۃٍ وَّ اذۡکُرُوۡا مَا فِیۡہِ لَعَلَّکُمۡ تَتَّقُوۡنَ ﴿۱۷۱﴾

And [also make them recall] when your Lord informed [them] of this verdict [of His] that till the Day of Judgement, He will keep raising against them people who will inflict them with cruel punishments.[9]In reality, your Lord is very swift in retribution and indeed forgiving and very merciful.[10]We scattered their community in the land in the form of various groups. Among them, some are pious and some otherwise also.[11]We tested them through good and bad circumstances so that they may take heed. Then, after the earlier generations, such unworthy people became inheritors of the Book of God who reap benefits of this lowly world [in exchange for its verses], and say: "We shall be forgiven everything." And if they are given such lowly provision once again, they will take it as well. Was not a promise taken from them about this very Book that they will say nothing but the truth about God? And they have thoroughly read whatever has been [written] in this Book.[12][In reality,] the abode of the Hereafter is the best for those who fear God. Then do you not understand? [Indeed,] those who strongly hold on to the Book of God and are diligent in the prayer [are the ones who are reformers[13]and] We do not waste the reward of the reformers. [Do they remember] when We suspended the mountain above them as if it were a shadow and they were thinking that it is about to fall upon them.[14][God said:] "Hold fast[15]to what We have bestowed on you and remember whatever is [written] in it[16]so that you remain secure from God's wrath."[17](167-171)

وَ اِذۡ اَخَذَ رَبُّکَ مِنۡۢ بَنِیۡۤ اٰدَمَ مِنۡ ظُہُوۡرِہِمۡ ذُرِّیَّتَہُمۡ وَ اَشۡہَدَہُمۡ عَلٰۤی اَنۡفُسِہِمۡ ۚ اَلَسۡتُ بِرَبِّکُمۡ ؕ قَالُوۡا بَلٰی ۚۛ شَہِدۡنَا ۚۛ اَنۡ تَقُوۡلُوۡا یَوۡمَ الۡقِیٰمَۃِ اِنَّا کُنَّا عَنۡ ہٰذَا غٰفِلِیۡنَ ﴿۱۷۲﴾ۙ اَوۡ تَقُوۡلُوۡۤا اِنَّمَاۤ اَشۡرَکَ اٰبَآؤُنَا مِنۡ قَبۡلُ وَ کُنَّا ذُرِّیَّۃً مِّنۡۢ بَعۡدِہِمۡ ۚ اَفَتُہۡلِکُنَا بِمَا فَعَلَ الۡمُبۡطِلُوۡنَ ﴿۱۷۳﴾ وَ کَذٰلِکَ نُفَصِّلُ الۡاٰیٰتِ وَ لَعَلَّہُمۡ یَرۡجِعُوۡنَ ﴿۱۷۴﴾

[O Prophet![18]Remind them of the time] when your Lord brought forth from the loins[19]of the progeny of Adam their childrenand made them testify against themselves. [He had asked:] "Am I not your Lord?" They replied: "[You alone are our Lord.] We bear witness to it."[20]This We did lest you should say on the Day of Judgement: "We had no knowledge of that," or present the excuse: "Our forefathers had already adopted idolatry and we later became their children; so, will You destroy us on account of what these wrongdoers did?"[21]In this way, We explain Our revelations [so that people are left with no excuse to deny the truth[22]] and so that they may return to the right path. (172-174)

وَ اتۡلُ عَلَیۡہِمۡ نَبَاَ الَّذِیۡۤ اٰتَیۡنٰہُ اٰیٰتِنَا فَانۡسَلَخَ مِنۡہَا فَاَتۡبَعَہُ الشَّیۡطٰنُ فَکَانَ مِنَ الۡغٰوِیۡنَ ﴿۱۷۵﴾ وَ لَوۡ شِئۡنَا لَرَفَعۡنٰہُ بِہَا وَ لٰکِنَّہٗۤ اَخۡلَدَ اِلَی الۡاَرۡضِ وَ اتَّبَعَ ہَوٰىہُ ۚ فَمَثَلُہٗ کَمَثَلِ الۡکَلۡبِ ۚ اِنۡ تَحۡمِلۡ عَلَیۡہِ یَلۡہَثۡ اَوۡ تَتۡرُکۡہُ یَلۡہَثۡ ؕ ذٰلِکَ مَثَلُ الۡقَوۡمِ الَّذِیۡنَ کَذَّبُوۡا بِاٰیٰتِنَا ۚ فَاقۡصُصِ الۡقَصَصَ لَعَلَّہُمۡ یَتَفَکَّرُوۡنَ ﴿۱۷۶﴾ سَآءَ مَثَلَاۨ الۡقَوۡمُ الَّذِیۡنَ کَذَّبُوۡا بِاٰیٰتِنَا وَ اَنۡفُسَہُمۡ کَانُوۡا یَظۡلِمُوۡنَ ﴿۱۷۷﴾مَنۡ یَّہۡدِ اللّٰہُ فَہُوَ الۡمُہۡتَدِیۡ ۚ وَ مَنۡ یُّضۡلِلۡ فَاُولٰٓئِکَ ہُمُ الۡخٰسِرُوۡنَ ﴿۱۷۸﴾

And narrate to them also the account of the person[23]to whom We gave Our revelations. But he ran away from them.[24]The result was that Satan pursued him[25]until he became among those who had gone astray. If We wanted, We would have elevated him through these revelations[26]but he clung to the ground and began following his desires. Thus his example became like that of a dog: when you heave a stone at him, he pants and when you release it, he still pants.[27]This is the parable of the nation who denied Our revelations. So, narrate this tale to them that they may think. What an evil parable of the one of the nation who denied Our revelations and was unjust to its own self.[28][In reality,] those whom God forgives are the ones who are guided. And those He leads astray [according to His law] are the ones who will surely be the losers.[29](175-178)

وَ لَقَدۡ ذَرَاۡنَا لِجَہَنَّمَ کَثِیۡرًا مِّنَ الۡجِنِّ وَ الۡاِنۡسِ ۫ۖ لَہُمۡ قُلُوۡبٌ لَّا یَفۡقَہُوۡنَ بِہَا ۫ وَ لَہُمۡ اَعۡیُنٌ لَّایُبۡصِرُوۡنَ بِہَا ۫ وَ لَہُمۡ اٰذَانٌ لَّا یَسۡمَعُوۡنَ بِہَا ؕ اُولٰٓئِکَ کَالۡاَنۡعَامِ بَلۡ ہُمۡ اَضَلُّ ؕ اُولٰٓئِکَ ہُمُ الۡغٰفِلُوۡنَ ﴿۱۷۹﴾ وَلِلّٰہِ الۡاَسۡمَآءُالۡحُسۡنٰی فَادۡعُوۡہُ بِہَ ا۪وَ ذَرُوا الَّذِیۡنَ یُلۡحِدُوۡنَ فِیۡۤ اَسۡمَآئِہٖ ؕ سَیُجۡزَوۡنَ مَا کَانُوۡا یَعۡمَلُوۡنَ﴿۱۸۰﴾ وَ مِمَّنۡ خَلَقۡنَاۤ اُمَّۃٌ یَّہۡدُوۡنَ بِالۡحَقِّ وَ بِہٖ یَعۡدِلُوۡنَ﴿۱۸۱﴾ وَ الَّذِیۡنَ کَذَّبُوۡا بِاٰیٰتِنَا سَنَسۡتَدۡرِجُہُمۡ مِّنۡ حَیۡثُ لَا یَعۡلَمُوۡنَ﴿۱۸۲﴾ۚۖ وَ اُمۡلِیۡ لَہُمۡؕ۟ اِنَّ کَیۡدِیۡ مَتِیۡنٌ﴿۱۸۳﴾

[They should take heed that] We have created many among the jinn and mankind for Hell.[30]They have hearts through which they do not understand. They have eyes through which they cannot see. They have ears through which they do not hear.[31]They are like animals. In fact, they are even more misguided. They are the ones who are totally heedless.[32][Believers! Remember that] God only has good names. So, call Him by these only[33]and leave aside those who distort them.[34]Whatever they are doing, they shall soon receive its due. [Bear in mind that all are not the same.] Amongst those We have created, there also is a group who has guided people according to the truth and also passed judgement according to it. [On the other hand,] those who denied Our revelations, We are gradually leading them to destruction from where they cannot even imagine. [At this time,] I am granting them reprieve because My strategy is very secure.[35](179-183)

(Translated by Dr Shehzad Saleem)

[1].This style here is expressing anger and rebuke. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

The implication is that in spite of their mischief and misdeeds they do not desist from their arrogant claims of piety and regard themselves to be the favoured ones of God, then they ask them of the city that violated the sanctity and as a result God made them an exemplary lesson. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 3, 378)

[2].This location was most probably Ilah or Ilat or Ilut. Currently, Israel has made a seaport by this very name. The famous seaport of Jordan 'Aqbah also lies near it. In the times of the Prophet Solomon (sws), this was the principal port for his military and trade fleets for the Red Sea. Its location lies at the extreme end of the branch of the Red Sea which lies in the form of a long gulf between the eastern side of the island of Sinai and the western coast of Arabia.

[3]."Sabbath" means "holiday." It was originally on Friday but the Israelites changed it to the day following it. For the Israelites, that day was devoted to worshipping the Almighty generation after generation as a symbolic manifestation of the eternal covenant they had pledged. On that day, they were not allowed to do work, go out for hunting or entertainment and they could not even light their stoves and take service from their slaves.

[4].The words of the verse that mention that the fish would come above the water with heads raised are: اِذۡ تَاۡتِیۡہِمۡ حِیۡتَانُہُمۡ یَوۡمَ سَبۡتِہِمۡ شُرَّعًا. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

... The word شُرَّع is the plural of شارع. When this word is used for spears, it means those carried vertically. Here it is used for fish. Thus it meant fish that have raised their heads. If a person stands at the side of a pond containing grown up fish at the time when they appear, he will see this majestic view: fish will be seen with their heads raised above water as if they are vertical spears. At sea side places of hunting, this view must be even more fantastic and enchanting. In the shari'ah of the Jews, they were prohibited to work and hunt on the Sabbath (Saturday). However, they could not contain themselves. They invented various subterfuges to catch fish on Saturday. It is the practice of God that when a nation becomes adamant on disobedience and does not desist even after the good people among them try to stop it, then its trial toughens from one degree to another. This happens by it reaching the extent of utter defiance and becoming worthy of punishment. Thus God created this situation for the Israelites. On week days, these fish would not be seen or seen very little but on the Sabbath it would seem that they appeared in arrays and processions. This would incite the greed of the Israelites even more. It is well-known that a person begins to want more the things he is forbidden … the Israelites because of their evil ways became entangled in this double trial and then went so far in it that they did not receive warning of even God's torment, let alone the advice and counsel of the pious. Ultimately, God inflicted His curse on them. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 3, 378)

[5].This further explains that the people of the city had adopted a rebellious attitude even after the advisers among them had counseled and urged them to refrain from it.

[6].The real purpose of preaching and the final responsibility of all those who undertake this task is that they should adhere to it till the last breath of life and never cease their efforts of preaching. After the termination of the institution of prophethood, no phase can come when preachers can assume that they have completed their responsibility so that they can now leave those who do not believe in God's punishment.

[7].This punishment was given to the Israelites exactly in consonance with the law that had been prescribed for them with respect to their position of witnesses of God's religion on earth. It has no bearing on other nations of the world.

[8]. This is a sentence of curse. It is evident from its consequence stated in verse 66 of Surah al-Baqarah that their resemblance to monkeys was so manifest that the people of the surrounding cities learnt a lesson from them. It seems that when like monkeys they broke all limits in following their base desires, first their character became perverted and later their appearance also changed. So ultimately they became cursed monkeys from both their inside and their outside.

[9].The Israelites had been informed of this verdict since the very beginning. Thus it is mentioned at many places in Leviticus and Deuteronomy in the Bible. After that also, the prophets kept reminding them of it. The scriptures of Isaiah and Jeremiah and of all other prophets mention this warning. Finally, Jesus (sws) proclaimed it in the streets of Jerusalem. How was this verdict implemented? World history bears witness to it. At this time also, they are being gathered in the holy land for this purpose. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

… This adoption of residence is an invitation to a storm, after this all their assembled might will insha'Allah be utterly routed. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 3, 381)

[10].I.e., after the truth has been conclusively communicated, God does not delay the punishment, and if people mend their ways, He immediately forgives them. He is not merely swift in retribution, He is also very forgiving and ever merciful.

[11].The implication is that in individual capacities all types of good and bad people are present among them but at the collective level they have become deprived of all those traits that could make them rise among other nations of the world.

[12].The actual word is: دَرَسُوا. Its original meaning is "to rub." Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

… Here it is used derisively for the Jews that while reading the Book they have rubbed it but even after reading it so many times they could not grasp its message. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 3, 382)

[13].This sentence is suppressed in the verse because of brevity. It has been revealed in the translation.

[14].This was a manifestation of God's power and majesty. Its purpose was to make the Israelites always keep in mind the great extent of the power of the God with whom they were making the covenant and if they broke it they should well imagine how He would deal with them. In the Bible, this covenant is mentioned in the following words:

…Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain.Mount Sinai was covered with smoke,because theLorddescended on it in fire.The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, and the whole mountaintrembledviolently.(Exodus, 19:17-18)

[15].Ie., hold fast to it and follow its directives in all spheres of life with complete steadfastness and perseverance.

[16].The implication is that they should keep each and every word of it in mind whether it relates to its directives or to the warnings sounded in it if they evade its directives.

[17].The actual words are: لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُوْنَ. The context and occasion of the discourse evidence the fact that they should be taken to mean "to remain protected from God's wrath."

[18].After arguing on the basis of incidents that reflect God's worldly retribution, now the Quraysh are reminded of the pledge of nature owing to which all mankind will be held accountable to God on the Day of Judgement and no one will be able to present the excuse that the message of a prophet did not reach him or that he had opened in his eyes in an environment of polytheism and disbelief so it was not possible for him to confess to God's existence and the concept of monotheism. The way the Qur'an has mentioned this incident shows that this matter manifested itself in the form of a real-life incident and not something metaphorical. It becomes evident from it that the acknowledgement of a Creator is found in a person's nature. The very existence of creatures necessitates a creator. No logical reasoning is even required to prove His existence to them. The only thing needed is to direct their attention. No doubt, at times, man does deny this. However, this is mere arrogance. Thus at the very time he denies, he, in his sphere of quest and knowledge, seeks a governor for every governed, an intender for every intention, an adjective for every noun, a cause for every effect, a wise and knowledgeable administrator for every system. All his knowledge is a tale of this quest. This is a denial by his own practice which highlights in the ultimate sense the nature of his denial.

[19]. The actual words are: مِنۡۢ بَنِیۡۤ اٰدَمَ مِنۡ ظُہُوۡرِہِمۡ. The words مِنۡ ظُہُوۡرِہِمۡ are a badal (permutative) from مِنۡۢ بَنِیۡۤ اٰدَمَ. It is evident from this that this incident does not relate to Adam's progeny belonging to a certain era. On the contrary, it relates to all his progeny that will be born till the Day of Judgement and was done at the time before these spirits were blown into their bodies.

[20].Since man has been sent here for trial, the whole incident has been erased from his memory; however, its essence is etched on his heart and ingrained in his soul and nothing can obliterate it. Consequently, if man is reminded of it in the absence of any hindrance in his surroundings, he leaps to it the way a child leaps to its mother even though it never saw itself emerge from her womb and is drawn towards her with such conviction as if it already knew her. A person feels that this pledge of his with the Almighty is the answer to a very natural need found within him. Once he gets this answer, all the requirements of his psyche are also fulfilled simultaneously.

[21].Ie., as far as monotheism or self-obvious realities of human nature are concerned, the progeny of Adam shall be held accountable merely on the basis of this acknowledgement. Any deviation from them will not be a legitimate excuse for anyone before God. Not even the fact that the message of the prophets did not reach him or that he had adopted this deviation because of external influence and it was his forefathers and surroundings who were the real culprits in this regard. The Qur'an says that so certain is this testimony of a person's inner-self that each person will be held accountable before God merely on the basis of this testimony.

[22].Ie., further conclusive communication as result of which they will be held accountable in this world and in the Hereafter also their accountability will increase twofold. Otherwise, this conclusive communication, as has already been alluded to, is established on the basis of the innate knowledge found in human nature. An explanation of the signs of God is instrumental in reminding people of this knowledge. For this reason, the Qur'an calls itself ذِكْر (reminder) and ذِكْرى (reminder) and regards the messengers as مُذَكِّر (one who reminds).

[23].This is a parable of the Jews in their capacity of a nation. Further ahead, the Qur'an has itself alluded to this. However, since the word الَّذِي occurs in the verse, one is led to think of the various people it may refer to. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi has explained this. He writes:

Though the word الَّذِيprimarily connotes a defined entity but in parables it is not essential that it refer to a particular person that exists externally. A speaker in fact imagines the person whose parable he wants to cite in his mind and then mentions a certain description that also fully applies to that person. Since only a portrayal of the incident is meant, eloquence demands that he be mentioned as a defined entity. This transforms the parable into the portayal of a particular personality to the listener as if he is not merely hearing about him; he is also observing him. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 3, 395)

[24].Ie., they divested themselves of the respect and honour they were bestowed with in the form of the Book of God and in the words of Amin Ahsan Islahi became totally exposed in this regard.

[25].This happened in accordance with the established practice of God mentioned in verse 36 of Surah al-Zukhruf: a satan is deputed on those who turn away from God's remembrance and after that they spend their lives in his companionship.

[26].Ie., wanted in accordance with the law God has prescribed for people on whom He bestows His revelations. This law is that if people duly value them, they will succeed in this world and in the Hereafter through these revelations and if they evade them and become slaves to their desires, then they will be consigned to them.

[27].I.e., panting in this manner with tongue extending out of the mouth, he becomes a picture of greed and meanness. Whether someone pats him or shoves him away he continues to remain in this state. In the Urdu language, a person who is blinded by the greed of this world is on similar lines also called "a hound of this world."

[28].It is evident from this that this parable is not of some specific person; rather, it is the parable of the nation who after receiving God's revelations denied them. Students of the Qur'an know that this refers to the Jews.

[29].This is an assurance to the Prophet (sws) and a warning to the Quraysh. The implication is that the law of God about guiding people and leading them astray is one. According to this law, only those people are guided who want to be guided; as for those who become slaves to their desires, they are led astray. Such people never receive guidance. So everyone must know that whatever is happening is happening because of this law.

[30].This sentence expresses anger and warning. It means that if a large number of men and jinn who have adopted a rebellious attitude, it can be said that God has created them only for Hell. Thus, it is explained ahead why they will become the fuel of Hell. It is stated that that these people did not take any advantage of the faculties and abilities which the Almighty gave them to understand the truth. The consequence of this was that the very objective of their life became: coming into this world, spending time here and then ending up in Hell.

[31].This understanding, seeing and listening refer to their essence and reality; otherwise they fully understand, see and listen what these faculties demand in the perceptible sense to feed their hunger and satisfy their sexual urge.

[32].Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

… They are like animals because just as animals confine their efforts to satisfy the needs of their bodies, in a similar way, their endeavours too are restricted to their material needs and desires. They are less sensible than animals because animals at least take advantage of all the abilities found in their instincts and leave no stone unturned in this regard. On the other hand, human beings not only do not take real advantage of the higher abilities which the Almighty has bestowed on them, they also at times end up doing things which even an ox or a donkey would not do. For example, human beings in spite of being human beings become so foolish and silly that they start worshipping trees, stones and animals but an ox or a donkey can never be so imprudent. The Qur'an states that it is such people who are not aware in the real sense because even animals are not inflicted with this unawareness. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 3, 398)

[33].Ie., call him by names which are in accordance with the majesty of His oneness, His power, knowledge, wisdom and being self-sufficient. This is a further explanation of the monotheism which is mentioned earlier with reference to the covenant of nature.

[34].The actual word is: يُلْحِدُوْن. Here it is used to connote disrespect to the attributes of God. The implication is that they ascribe names and attributes to God which are not befitting for His majesty in any way, which are derisive to His being and attributes and from which He is exalted and beyond.

[35].This matter takes place with those people who are rebellious to God and resort to tyranny. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

... When a hunterhas full confidence in himself, he gives the fish reprieve to the ultimate extent. The fish thinks that it has won the day whereas the huntsman continues to give it respite because he knows that however much it may exert, it will never be able to escape his grasp, however much it may swim about will not help it flee from his hold. On the contrary, all its efforts will make it so tired that finally it will end up on the shore, haggard and exhausted. Similar is the case with God's planning. His plans are bound to materialize and His grasp is inescapable. No one can run away from His control. For this reason, He continues to give respite to people in spite of their rebelliousness. The rebellious think that they have succeeded in their plans whereas the more they try to run away, the closer they come to their own destruction. Only he who fears that his planning may fail is in a hurry. But he who is going to hit the bulls eye and hunt down his target come what may does not need to show haste. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 3, 400)

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