Surah al-Hajj (1/2)

Surah al-Hajj (1/2)


بِسۡمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِیۡمِ

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

یٰۤاَیُّہَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُوۡا رَبَّکُمۡۚاِنَّ زَلۡزَلَۃَ السَّاعَۃِ شَیۡءٌ عَظِیۡمٌ﴿۱﴾ یَوۡمَ تَرَوۡنَہَا تَذۡہَلُ کُلُّ مُرۡضِعَۃٍعَمَّاۤ اَرۡضَعَتۡ وَتَضَعُ کُلُّ ذَاتِ حَمۡلٍ حَمۡلَہَا وَتَرَی النَّاسَ سُکٰرٰی وَ مَا ہُمۡ بِسُکٰرٰی وَ لٰکِنَّ عَذَابَ اللّٰہِ شَدِیۡدٌ﴿۲﴾

People![1] Fear your Lord.[2] The earthquake of the Day of Judgement is a very horrific thing indeed. The day you will see it, every suckling mother will forget her suckled child and every pregnant being will shed her burden and you will see people inebriated even though they will not be inebriated. In fact, the torment of God will be so severe.[3] (1-2)

وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَنۡ یُّجَادِلُ فِی اللّٰہِ بِغَیۡرِ عِلۡمٍ وَّ یَتَّبِعُ کُلَّ شَیۡطٰنٍ مَّرِیۡدٍۙ﴿۳﴾ کُتِبَ عَلَیۡہِ اَنَّہٗ مَنۡتَوَلَّاہُ فَاَنَّہٗ یُضِلُّہٗوَ یَہۡدِیۡہِ اِلٰی عَذَابِ السَّعِیۡرِ﴿۴﴾

On the other hand, the situation of people is that there are also such [foolish] among them[4] who without having any knowledge[5] dispute about God[6] and start to follow every rebellious devil[7] about whom it has been ordained[8] that whoever befriends him, he is bound to lead him astray and will lead him to the torment of Hell. (3-4)

یٰۤاَیُّہَا النَّاسُ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمۡ فِیۡرَیۡبٍ مِّنَ الۡبَعۡثِ فَاِنَّا خَلَقۡنٰکُمۡمِّنۡتُرَابٍ ثُمَّ مِنۡنُّطۡفَۃٍ ثُمَّ مِنۡ عَلَقَۃٍ ثُمَّ مِنۡ مُّضۡغَۃٍ مُّخَلَّقَۃٍ وَّ غَیۡرِ مُخَلَّقَۃٍ لِّنُبَیِّنَلَکُمۡؕ وَنُقِرُّ فِیالۡاَرۡحَامِ مَا نَشَآءُ اِلٰۤی اَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّی ثُمَّ نُخۡرِجُکُمۡ طِفۡلًا ثُمَّ لِتَبۡلُغُوۡۤا اَشُدَّکُمۡۚ وَمِنۡکُمۡ مَّنۡیُّتَوَفّٰی وَمِنۡکُمۡ مَّنۡ یُّرَدُّ اِلٰۤی اَرۡذَلِ الۡعُمُرِلِکَیۡلَا یَعۡلَمَ مِنۡۢبَعۡدِ عِلۡمٍ شَیۡئًاؕ وَتَرَی الۡاَرۡضَ ہَامِدَۃً فَاِذَاۤ اَنۡزَلۡنَا عَلَیۡہَا الۡمَآءَ اہۡتَزَّتۡ وَ رَبَتۡ وَ اَنۡۢبَتَتۡ مِنۡ کُلِّ زَوۡجٍۭ بَہِیۡجٍ﴿۵﴾ ذٰلِکَ بِاَنَّ اللّٰہَ ہُوَ الۡحَقُّ وَاَنَّہٗ یُحۡیِ الۡمَوۡتٰی وَ اَنَّہٗ عَلٰی کُلِّ شَیۡءٍ قَدِیۡرٌۙ﴿۶﴾ وَّ اَنَّ السَّاعَۃَ اٰتِیَۃٌ لَّا رَیۡبَ فِیۡہَاۙ وَاَنَّ اللّٰہَ یَبۡعَثُ مَنۡ فِی الۡقُبُوۡرِ﴿۷﴾

People! If you have any doubt on being raised to life again,[9] then reflect that We have created you from clay,[10] then from sperm, then from a clot of blood, then from a lump of flesh[11] which may be completed and also remain incomplete.[12] So that We make evident to you some facts [that you should understand].[13] Whatever We want, We place in the wombs till an appointed time. Then bring you forth in the form of a child. Then give time[14] so that you may reach your youth. And some from you are called back early[15] and some are made to reach pathetic [old] age so that even after knowing a lot know nothing.[16] Similarly, you see the earth dry. Then when We rain down water on it, it becomes lush and grows and sprouts exquisite things of all kinds. All this is because God is the real Lord and because He gives life to the dead and because He has power over all things and because the Hereafter is certain to come; there is no doubt about its coming and because God will certainly resurrect all those who are in the graves.[17] (5-7)

وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَنۡ یُّجَادِلُ فِی اللّٰہِ بِغَیۡرِ عِلۡمٍ وَّ لَا ہُدًی وَّ لَا کِتٰبٍ مُّنِیۡرٍۙ﴿۸﴾ ثَانِیَ عِطۡفِہٖ لِیُضِلَّ عَنۡ سَبِیۡلِ اللّٰہِؕ لَہٗ فِی الدُّنۡیَا خِزۡیٌ وَّ نُذِیۡقُہٗ یَوۡمَ الۡقِیٰمَۃِ عَذَابَ الۡحَرِیۡقِ﴿۹﴾ ذٰلِکَ بِمَا قَدَّمَتۡ یَدٰکَ وَاَنَّ اللّٰہَ لَیۡسَ بِظَلَّامٍ لِّلۡعَبِیۡدِ﴿۱۰﴾

In spite of this, such are people that there are those among them who without any knowledge, without any guidance and without any radiant book jerking their shoulders [in arrogance][18] argue about God to lead [people] astray from the path of God. For them is humiliation in the world[19] also and on the Day of Judgement We will make them taste the torment of the blazing fire – this is in exchange of your deeds which your hands sent ahead and [God's justice for you also] because God is not the slightest unjust to His servants.[20] (8-10)

وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَنۡ یَّعۡبُدُ اللّٰہَ عَلٰی حَرۡفٍۚ فَاِنۡ اَصَابَہٗ خَیۡرُۨ اطۡمَاَنَّ بِہٖ ۚوَاِنۡ اَصَابَتۡہُ فِتۡنَۃُۨ انۡقَلَبَ عَلٰی وَجۡہِہٖ ۟ۚ خَسِرَ الدُّنۡیَا وَ الۡاٰخِرَۃَ ؕذٰلِکَ ہُوَ الۡخُسۡرَانُ الۡمُبِیۡنُ﴿۱۱﴾ یَدۡعُوۡا مِنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰہِ مَا لَا یَضُرُّہٗ وَ مَا لَا یَنۡفَعُہٗ ؕذٰلِکَ ہُوَ الضَّلٰلُ الۡبَعِیۡدُ﴿ۚ۱۲﴾یَدۡعُوۡالَمَنۡضَرُّہٗۤ اَقۡرَبُ مِنۡ نَّفۡعِہٖ ؕلَبِئۡسَ الۡمَوۡلٰی وَ لَبِئۡسَ الۡعَشِیۡرُ﴿۱۳﴾اِنَّ اللّٰہَ یُدۡخِلُ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَ عَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ جَنّٰتٍ تَجۡرِیۡ مِنۡ تَحۡتِہَا الۡاَنۡہٰرُؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ یَفۡعَلُ مَا یُرِیۡدُ﴿۱۴﴾

And there are those among people also who worship God standing on the boundary.[21] Then if they received any benefit they became satisfied with God and if they faced any trial, they turn about their heels.[22] This cost them the world and the Hereafter too.[23] It is this which is an open loss. They call upon other beings besides God[24] which can neither harm nor benefit them. It is this which is extreme error. They call upon them: the ones whose harm is closer than their benefit.[25] How evil are these masters and how.evil are these companions of theirs [who have made them their masters[26]! On the other hand,] those who professed faith with all truth and did righteous deeds,[27] God will definitely admit them into orchards beneath which rivers flow. Indeed, God does what He intends.[28] (11-14)

مَنۡ کَانَ یَظُنُّ اَنۡ لَّنۡ یَّنۡصُرَہُ اللّٰہُ فِی الدُّنۡیَا وَالۡاٰخِرَۃِ فَلۡیَمۡدُدۡ بِسَبَبٍ اِلَی السَّمَآءِ ثُمَّ لۡیَقۡطَعۡ فَلۡیَنۡظُرۡ ہَلۡ یُذۡہِبَنَّ کَیۡدُہٗ مَا یَغِیۡظُ﴿۱۵﴾ وَ کَذٰلِکَ اَنۡزَلۡنٰہُ اٰیٰتٍۭ بَیِّنٰتٍۙ وَّ اَنَّ اللّٰہَ یَہۡدِیۡ مَنۡ یُّرِیۡدُ﴿۱۶﴾

[Tell them:] "He who thinks that God will never help him in this world and in the Hereafter[29] should stretch a rope [in his imagination] towards the sky [to climb up]. Then when he becomes sad [on seeing his destination to be far off,] he should sever it and see if this measure of his is able to alleviate his sorrow?"[30] We have revealed this Qur'an in this manner in the form of open arguments but how can they be guided who are deprived of God's grace because God guides whomsoever He wants to [according to His law[31]]. (15-16)

اِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَ الَّذِیۡنَ ہَادُوۡا وَالصّٰبِئِیۡنَ وَالنَّصٰرٰی وَالۡمَجُوۡسَ وَ الَّذِیۡنَ اَشۡرَکُوۡۤا٭ۖاِنَّ اللّٰہَ یَفۡصِلُ بَیۡنَہُمۡ یَوۡمَ الۡقِیٰمَۃِ ؕاِنَّ اللّٰہَ عَلٰی کُلِّ شَیۡءٍ شَہِیۡدٌ﴿۱۷﴾

[They argue about God. Tell them:] "Those who have accepted faith and those who adopted Judaism and the Sabeans and the Nazarenes and the Magians[32] and those who adhere to polytheism,[33] God will decide among all of them [about their disputes] on the Day of Judgement. Indeed, God knows everything."[34] (17)

اَلَمۡ تَرَ اَنَّ اللّٰہَ یَسۡجُدُ لَہٗ مَنۡ فِی السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ مَنۡ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ وَالشَّمۡسُ وَ الۡقَمَرُ وَ النُّجُوۡمُ وَ الۡجِبَالُ وَ الشَّجَرُ وَ الدَّوَآبُّ وَ کَثِیۡرٌ مِّنَ النَّاسِ ؕوَ کَثِیۡرٌ حَقَّ عَلَیۡہِ الۡعَذَابُ ؕوَ مَنۡ یُّہِنِ اللّٰہُ فَمَا لَہٗ مِنۡ مُّکۡرِمٍ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ یَفۡعَلُ مَا یَشَآءُ ﴿ؕٛ۱۸﴾

Do you not see that what is in the heavens and the earth all prostrate before God alone and the sun, the moon, the stars, the mountains, the beasts and many people as well.[35] And there are many for whom the torment of God has become mandatory [because they accepted the humiliation of prostrating before others.[36]] In reality, he who is humiliated by God cannot be given respect by anyone. God indeed does whatever He intends to [according to His law]. (18)

ہٰذٰنِ خَصۡمٰنِ اخۡتَصَمُوۡا فِیۡ رَبِّہِمۡ ۫ فَالَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا قُطِّعَتۡ لَہُمۡ ثِیَابٌ مِّنۡ نَّارٍ ؕ یُصَبُّ مِنۡ فَوۡقِ رُءُوۡسِہِمُ الۡحَمِیۡمُ ﴿ۚ۱۹﴾ یُصۡہَرُ بِہٖ مَا فِیۡ بُطُوۡنِہِمۡ وَ الۡجُلُوۡدُ ﴿ؕ۲۰﴾ وَ لَہُمۡ مَّقَامِعُ مِنۡ حَدِیۡدٍ ﴿۲۱﴾ کُلَّمَاۤ اَرَادُوۡۤا اَنۡ یَّخۡرُجُوۡا مِنۡہَا مِنۡ غَمٍّ اُعِیۡدُوۡا فِیۡہَا وَ ذُوۡقُوۡا عَذَابَ الۡحَرِیۡقِ ﴿ ۲۲﴾

All these groups are ones who have differed about God. So, those who have refused [to accept His oneness,] for them clothes of fire shall be carved out; boiling water will be poured on them from the top of their heads. Whatever is in their bellies will melt because of it and their skins [as well]. For their punishment, there will be iron hammers. Whenever they would desire to come out of any of its torment, they will be shoved back into it: "Now stay in it and taste the flavour of the punishment of burning."[37] (19-22)

اِنَّ اللّٰہَ یُدۡخِلُ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَ عَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ جَنّٰتٍ تَجۡرِیۡ مِنۡ تَحۡتِہَا الۡاَنۡہٰرُ یُحَلَّوۡنَ فِیۡہَا مِنۡ اَسَاوِرَ مِنۡ ذَہَبٍ وَّ لُؤۡلُؤًا ؕ وَ لِبَاسُہُمۡ فِیۡہَا حَرِیۡرٌ ﴿۲۳﴾وَ ہُدُوۡۤا اِلٰی الطَّیِّبِ مِنَ الۡقَوۡلِ ۚۖ وَ ہُدُوۡۤا اِلَی صِرَاطِ الۡحَمِیۡدِ ﴿۲۴﴾

God will however admit those who professed faith and did righteous deeds to orchards below which streams flow. There they will be adorned with bracelets of gold and necklaces of pearls.[38] Their clothes there shall be of silk and moreover they were blessed there by a word of pure guidance[39] and they were shown the path [of Paradise] of the praiseworthy God.[40] (23-24)

اِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا وَ یَصُدُّوۡنَ عَنۡ سَبِیۡلِ اللّٰہِ وَ الۡمَسۡجِدِ الۡحَرَامِ الَّذِیۡ جَعَلۡنٰہُ لِلنَّاسِ سَوَآءَۨ الۡعَاکِفُ فِیۡہِ وَ الۡبَادِ ؕ وَ مَنۡ یُّرِدۡ فِیۡہِ بِاِلۡحَادٍۭ بِظُلۡمٍ نُّذِقۡہُ مِنۡ عَذَابٍ اَلِیۡمٍ ﴿ ۲۵﴾

Indeed those who have rejected [God's messenger] and now they are stopping [people] from the path of God and from the Sacred Mosque[41] as well which We have made equally for all people whether they live there or outside it,[42] they have committed a grave oppression. [This is because the matter of this mosque is that] he who intends[43] some deviation, some oppression[44] in it, We will make him taste a painful torment. (25)

وَ اِذۡ بَوَّاۡنَا لِاِبۡرٰہِیۡمَ مَکَانَ الۡبَیۡتِ اَنۡ لَّا تُشۡرِکۡ بِیۡ شَیۡئًا وَّ طَہِّرۡ بَیۡتِیَ لِلطَّآئِفِیۡنَ وَ الۡقَآئِمِیۡنَ وَ الرُّکَّعِ السُّجُوۡدِ ﴿۲۶﴾ وَ اَذِّنۡ فِی النَّاسِ بِالۡحَجِّ یَاۡتُوۡکَ رِجَالًا وَّ عَلٰی کُلِّ ضَامِرٍ یَّاۡتِیۡنَ مِنۡ کُلِّ فَجٍّ عَمِیۡقٍ ﴿ۙ۲۷﴾ لِّیَشۡہَدُوۡا مَنَافِعَ لَہُمۡ وَ یَذۡکُرُوا اسۡمَ اللّٰہِ فِیۡۤ اَیَّامٍ مَّعۡلُوۡمٰتٍ عَلٰی مَا رَزَقَہُمۡ مِّنۡۢ بَہِیۡمَۃِ الۡاَنۡعَامِ ۚ فَکُلُوۡا مِنۡہَا وَ اَطۡعِمُوا الۡبَآئِسَ الۡفَقِیۡرَ ﴿۫۲۸﴾ ثُمَّ لۡیَقۡضُوۡا تَفَثَہُمۡ وَ لۡیُوۡفُوۡا نُذُوۡرَہُمۡ وَ لۡیَطَّوَّفُوۡا بِالۡبَیۡتِ الۡعَتِیۡقِ ﴿۲۹﴾

[Remind them] when We had made the place of this House[45] an abode[46] for Abraham with the directive: "Do not associate anyone with Me and keep my House pure for those who circumambulate, stand, kneel and prostrate,"[47] and directed: "Proclaim hajj among the people; they should come to you on foot and also on she-camels of all sorts that have become weak [because of travelling]. They will come from every far flung mountain passes that have become deep [because of caravans traveling in them.[48]] They will come in order to be present at their places of benefit[49] and in certain prescribed days[50] take the name of God[51] on the beasts God has blessed them with."[52] [Slaughter them;] so, eat from them and feed the feeble needy ones as well.[53] Then people should clean themselves of their dirt, fulfill their vows and circumambulate this ancient House.[54] (26-29)

ذٰلِکَ وَ مَنۡ یُّعَظِّمۡ حُرُمٰتِ اللّٰہِ فَہُوَ خَیۡرٌ لَّہٗ عِنۡدَ رَبِّہٖ ؕ وَ اُحِلَّتۡ لَکُمُ الۡاَنۡعَامُ اِلَّا مَا یُتۡلٰی عَلَیۡکُمۡ فَاجۡتَنِبُوا الرِّجۡسَ مِنَ الۡاَوۡثَانِ وَ اجۡتَنِبُوۡا قَوۡلَ الزُّوۡرِ ﴿ۙ۳۰﴾ حُنَفَآءَ لِلّٰہِ غَیۡرَ مُشۡرِکِیۡنَ بِہٖ ؕ وَ مَنۡ یُّشۡرِکۡ بِاللّٰہِ فَکَاَنَّمَا خَرَّ مِنَ السَّمَآءِ فَتَخۡطَفُہُ الطَّیۡرُ اَوۡ تَہۡوِیۡ بِہِ الرِّیۡحُ فِیۡ مَکَانٍ سَحِیۡقٍ﴿۳۱﴾ ذٰلِکَ ٭ وَ مَنۡ یُّعَظِّمۡ شَعَآئِرَ اللّٰہِ فَاِنَّہَا مِنۡ تَقۡوَی الۡقُلُوۡبِ﴿۳۲﴾ لَکُمۡ فِیۡہَا مَنَافِعُ اِلٰۤی اَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّی ثُمَّ مَحِلُّہَاۤ اِلَی الۡبَیۡتِ الۡعَتِیۡقِ ﴿ ۳۳﴾

These are the things [which Abraham was informed of. Understand them fully] and [bear in mind that] he who honours the sanctities of God,[55] then this is better for him in the eyes of his Lord. And [this also that the superstitions of these idolaters about animals are totally baseless.[56]] In reality, the cattle are allowed to you except those you are being been told of [in the Qur'an]. So, abstain from the filth of the idols and from falsehood as well [which you impute to God with their reference by regarding something to be prohibited and another to be allowed[57]] and honour His symbols while being fully devoted to God without associating partners with Him. And [remember that] he who associates partners with God, it is as if he has fallen down from the sky.[58] Now birds may snatch him away or the wind may take him away and throw him at a far off place.[59] These are things; [you must fully understand them] and [remember that] he who reveres the symbols[60] appointed by God, then this is from among the piety of the hearts. [These animals dedicated to God are also His symbols. But God's directive is that] there are various benefits in them for you till an appointed time.[61] Then they have to be taken towards the ancient House of God [for sacrifice].[62] (30-33)

وَ لِکُلِّ اُمَّۃٍ جَعَلۡنَا مَنۡسَکًا لِّیَذۡکُرُوا اسۡمَ اللّٰہِ عَلٰی مَا رَزَقَہُمۡ مِّنۡۢ بَہِیۡمَۃِ الۡاَنۡعَامِ ؕ فَاِلٰـہُکُمۡ اِلٰہٌ وَّاحِدٌ فَلَہٗۤ اَسۡلِمُوۡا ؕ وَ بَشِّرِ الۡمُخۡبِتِیۡنَ ﴿ۙ۳۴﴾ الَّذِیۡنَ اِذَا ذُکِرَ اللّٰہُ وَجِلَتۡ قُلُوۡبُہُمۡ وَ الصّٰبِرِیۡنَ عَلٰی مَاۤ اَصَابَہُمۡ وَ الۡمُقِیۡمِی الصَّلٰوۃِ ۙ وَ مِمَّا رَزَقۡنٰہُمۡ یُنۡفِقُوۡنَ ﴿۳۵﴾

For each community, We have regarded the worship of sacrifice to be a religious ritual[63] so that whatever cattle God has given them, they take God's name on it [and of none else]. So, your God is One. Then, surrender yourselves to Him only[64] [and bow down before Him only] and give glad tidings [O Prophet!] to those whose hearts are bent down before Him. They are those whose hearts tremble when the name of God is mentioned before them. They are steadfast on any calamity that comes their way and are diligent in the prayer and who spend [in Our cause] from whatever We have blessed them with.[65] (34-35)

____________

[1]. Though a general word is used, it refers to the arrogant among the Quraysh who had denied the Hereafter and asked to hasten the torment.

[2]. Ie., do not show rebelliousness against Him because His torment is something from which refuge should be sought and not something that should be demanded.

[3]. At one instance in this verse, the plural is used for the addressees and at another instance the singular. It has been explained at another place that when the singular is used in place of the plural, then the purpose is to address each person among the addressees individually and this imparts more emphasis to what is intended to be said than if the plural is used.

[4]. This style of وَ مِنَ النَّاسِ مَنْ is used both for praise and rebuke. Here, concomitant indications show that it is used in the latter meaning. By adding the word "foolish" in the text this meaning is conveyed.

[5]. I.e. without any sense and reason, knowledge and argument and testimony from the Book of God get ready to engage in a debate. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

... Such people are not many in number in a society; they only have a special faction. Their knowledge too is based on hearsay and memorized information. Yet they have a very sharp and boastful tongue. For this reason, the clever-minded become their agents and do well in leading away the simpletons of the society from the truth. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 5, 208)

[6]. This is a reference to the dispute they had created regarding God's oneness and accountability before Him. Thus they were not ready in any way to believe that the Day of Judgement would come. They contended that even if it were supposed that it would come, they would not have to face God alone; their deities would be there to help them.

[7]. Ie., whether he is from among the jinnkind or mankind.

[8]. This is a reference to the respite God has given Satan and in this way it is as if He has decided about him that he will continue to be like this till the Day of Judgement.

[9]. This is stated because the Idolaters of Arabia did in fact have a certain element of doubt about the Day of Judgement and they were hesitant about it; however, they would not blatantly deny it.

[10]. Ie., in the very beginning when man was created after passing through the same phases in the womb of the earth as he now does in the womb of the mother.

[11]. This is a mention of the major phases which were in the knowledge of even a common Beduoin.

[12]. Ie., it is not essential that it always undergo completion and take the form of an infant; at times, it also remains incomplete and no one has the power to complete it.

[13]. Here the actual discourse has been interrupted in order to shake and jolt the addressees and direct their attention to the real purpose. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

... The implication is that God was not dependent on all these phases in order to create human beings. He did not require the elaborate arrangement in which a drop of fluid first lodges itself in the womb of a female species, then assumes the shape of a clot of blood and foetus and then is artistically perfected to become a grand creation. Had God wanted He could have created scores of human beings in their final forms in one go by making them emerge from the mountains and the seas without underaking all this arrangement. But God wanted that a human being's creation should become a means of education for him regarding God's power, wisdom, and providence. It is through it that he is able to have cognizance of his own self and of the grand creator of this universe; his own being bears witness that He Who has created him in such an elaborate manner and shown favour to him has not made him a toy for amusement; on the contrary, there is a profound purpose hidden in his creation which is bound to manifest itself. From every single part of his body he comes to know that his creator has made him from the essence of clay and from the drop of a fluid and for this He was not the slightest bothered. If this is the case, then raising him to life again is very easy for the creator. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 5, 217)

[14]. This clause is suppressed and its presence is evidenced by the word لِتَبْلُغُوْا.

[15]. The words أَرْذَلِ الْعُمُرِ are used ahead in the verse. Parallel words to the effect في صباه او في شبابه are suppressed. This addition in the translation is made because of this reason.

[16]. The particle لconnotes purpose and ultimate end and the word عِلْم is undefined to magnify it. This is because here it occurs in parallel to لِكَيْلاَ يَعْلَمَ. The objective here is not to point to the actual reality of the knowledge of human beings which is but a drop in the vast ocean of knowledge.

[17]. After observing the facts to which attention had been directed earlier, these are self-evident consequences which can only be denied by a person who has lost his intellect.

[18]. This attitude is adopted by a person only when instead of knowledge and reasoning he makes the blind following of his forefathers the source of his faith and beliefs. This is a mention of such people as would reject the message of the Qur'an by saying that they would only follow the ways of their forefathers.

[19]. This is stated because the addressees of the messenger are under discussion here. About them, the established practice of God is that they are necessarily punished in this world for their conceit and arrogance.

[20]. The implication is that God has not done any injustice to them. They have only reaped the foul seeds they themselves had sown. This motif is mentioned by the words أَنَّ اللهَ لَيْسَ بِظَلَّامِ لّلْعًبِيْدِ. Here the negation on the exaggerated statement is meant to exaggerate the negation. What is stated here is the same mentioned elsewhere in the Qur'an thus: اِنَّ اللّٰہَ لَا یَظۡلِمُ مِثۡقَالَ ذَرَّۃٍ(4: 40)(God is not the slightest bit unjust, (4:40)) and اِنَّ اللّٰہَ لَا یَظۡلِمُ النَّاسَ شَیۡئًا (44:10) (God is not the slightest bit unjust to people, (10:44)). Examples of this style are found both in the Qur'an and in classical Arabic literature.

[21]. Ie., in a hypocritical way in which they want to please both God and Satan, good and evil. This is a different group than the conceited lot mentioned earlier. The style of the verse expresses amazement and hate and the word worship here also encompasses obedience. This is explained ahead.

[22]. Ie., leaving aside God, they go and plead at the tombs of others. In the words of Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi,they are desirous of flowers yet not willing to tolerate the pain of thorns.

[23]. This world because of the loss suffered here and the hereafter because they had shown aversion to God. Had they not done this, they would have lost the world only but would have secured for themselves the reward of the Hereafter.

[24]. The actual word used is: يَدْعُوْا. Its meanings include supplication, pleading, seeking help and mercy. It is repeated ahead encompassing sorrow and yearning.

[25]. This sentence does not occur directly as an object of يَدْعُوْا. It is a kind of a qualification on the earlier object: مَا لاَ يَضُرُّهُ وَ مَا لاَ يَنْفَعُهُ. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

... The implication is that those whom these people call upon are not only unable toharm or benefit them but such is their utter foolishness that their harm is closer than their benefit; if refuge is sought from someone who can neither cause any harm nor benefit, then this is foolishness but what is utter foolishness is that refuge is sought from someone whose harm is well known but whose benefit is totally vague. Those who have severed their relationhip from God and made others their guardians and protectors have deprived themselves of their real support. As for other alleged supporters, whether they can be of help to them is yet to be known and this too they will eventally see. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 5, 224)

[26]. Ie., the idolaters.

[27]. Earlier, it was said: مَنْ يَّعْبُدُ اللّهَ عَلَي حَرْفٍ. Now these words occur in parallel and the verb in them is in its ultimate form. The translation has been done keeping this in view.

[28]. This is a sentence of assurance: Muslims should not look at the adverse circumstances; their Lord can do whatever He intends. Nothing can impede His intentions from being implemented.

[29]. Ie., loses hope in God and shows despair in Him and makes evil estimations about Him that just as God has left him in this world, in the Hereafter too He will leave him alone. Thus he turns away from God and makes others his lord.

[30]. Ie., he should imagine that he is climbing upwards to the sky by stretching a rope towards it; however, when he sees that his destination is far off, grief overtakes him and he severs the rope. This is in fact a very eloquent parable about the people who are mentioned earlier: they worship God by standing at the edge and as soon as they are faced with a trial they sever their relationship with God and knock at the doors of others. They are told that in the trials of God the hope of His mercy is the rope which provides support to a person and by holding it climbs towards God; however, seeing that his destination is far off, if he cuts off the rope, what will be the result of this foolishness? Will this deliver him from his grief and anger or will he end up in the same situation which the Qur'an has stated in verse 31 ahead: it is as if he has been dropped from the sky and either a bird will snatch him or winds may take him away and throw him in a pit? He who knocks at the door of other deitiesfinally ends up in this fate. On the other hand, those who hold on to the hope of God's rope, soon or late are enveloped by His mercy. In the verse, the word كَيْدis used to cut the rope of hope. The reason for this is that this is merely self-deception being inflicted with which a person does this foolishness.

[31]. Ie., in accordance with His law that only those people will be guided who use their intellect and insight and value their innate guidance. As for those who become blind and deaf, their hearts shall be sealed and they will never be guided.

In this verse a part of the sentence is suppressed after and before. It is has been revealed in the translation.

[32]. The Jews, Christians and the Sabeans have been introduced in verse 62 of Surah al-Baqarah. Here Magians have been added. They were the followers of the religion of Zoroaster. It is generally believed that this religion too was primarily based on pure monotheism; however, it was badly distorted by the deviant creed of polytheism. Thus at the advent of Muhammad's prophethood, they too were inflicted with dualism, fire-worship and other polytheistic innovations.

[33]. Ie., the idolaters of Arabia who were originally followers of Abraham's religion.

[34]. This is an assurance to the believers and a warning and threat to the disbelievers. In this complete verse, the styles adopted are worthy of attention. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi has explained them. He writes:

Readers must have seen that in this verse the believers are mentioned the foremost, the idolaters at the end and in between other sects are referred to. Its reason ... is that these were the two groups which held the primary status in the ongoing debate and discussion. The rest of them were secondary. Thus in verse 19 ahead it is specified that the real groups are these two: the believers on the one hand and the disbelievers and idolaters on the other. He who is not with the believers is with the disbelievers whatever name he adopts and which religion he claims to follow.

The style adopted in the verse in citing various groups is also noteworthy. The Muslims, the Jews and the Idolaters are mentioned in the form of verbs while the Sabeans, the Nazarenes and the Magians are mentioned in the form of nouns. The reason for this is that practically the contesting forces there were the Muslims on one side and the Idolaters and Jews on the other. The Jews because of their jealousy and malice were very active in supporting the Idolaters and opposing the Muslims. As for the rest of the sects, though their sympathies were with the Idolaters, they were not very active. For this reason, the real groups in the contest are mentioned in the form of verbs and the others in the form of nouns. Those who have a literary taste know that there is a certain amount of stir and commotion found in verbs whereas nouns only serve to be signs of distinction. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 5, 228)

[35]. Ie., those people also prostrate who have an upright nature and with full cognizance have made their will and intention subservient to God's directive. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

Cited here is that argument in favour of monotheism which is testified to by every object of this universe by its very existence. We ... have referred to this fact that every object of this universe in its instinctive nature has an Abrahamic temperament. The sun, the moon, the stars, the mountains, the cattle are all following the directives of God. None of them deviates the slightest from laws prescribed for it by God. The sun, which has been regarded to be a deity and worshipped the most, bears witness from its very existence that day and night it stands, kneels and prostrates before its Lord. At the time of sunrise, it raises its head and remains standing till afternoon; after midday it kneels and at the time of sunset it prostrates before God and remains in this situation throughout the night. This fact is attested to by the moon through its waxing and waning and the stars too at their appearance and disappearance. Same is the case with the mountains, trees and the beasts. The shadow of each of these is always in a state of standing, kneeling and prostration. Deliberation shows that the nature of this shadow is so Abrahamic that it always remains in the opposite side to the sun. If the sun is in the East, the shadow spreads towards the West and vice versa. In other wods, the shadow of everything by its very existence teaches us that it is not the sun which is worthy of prostration but in fact its creator.

This argument in favour of monotheism is in the form of an insinuation and hence cannot be grasped by logic. Yet those who reflect on the system of this universe greatly value such insinuations. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 5, 229)

[36]. Ie., in spite of the fact that God had given them superiority over many creatures, they accepted the humiliation of prostrating before inferior beings regarding them to be deities.

[37]. This is the co-ordinated clause (معطوف عليه) which has been suppressed in accordance with linguistic principles of Arabic, ie. إخسَئَوْا فِيْهَا وَ ذُوْقُوْا عَذَابَ الْحَرِيْق.

[38]. The actual word is لُؤْلُؤً. It is co-ordinated to the grammatical placement of اَسَاوِرَ and hence is in the accusative for this reason.

[39]. This is a reference to the words of gratitude which will be uttered in abundance by the dwellers of Paradise when they see its favours.

[40]. The passive tenses used in the verse are meant to honour and respect them. Ie., in the company of angels they were put on the road which directly reaches to their abodes which the praiseworthy Lord has chosen for them.

Here it should be kept in mind that the details of Paradise and Hell belong to an unknown world. In order to make the addressees understand them, there is no option but to adopt styles which they are used to. The Arabs were influenced with the culture and civilization of the Egyptians and the Persians. Hence the style adopted to express favours is the one which either reflects their own concepts of favours and luxury or of those which they were broadly aware of. These concepts also vary with time; hence, instead of the words used, one should concentrate on the reality they convey. It should be believed that the dwellers of Paradise will receive all the favours cited in the Qur'an. As far as their reality is concerned, only God knows it. Just as various literary insinuations are used to symbolize certain facts, in a similar way the circumstances which will arise in the Hereafter are conveyed through similes and parables which are understood by the addressees. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 5, 234)

[41]. Ie., the Quraysh of Makkah who in those times were stopping people from God's religion through force and compulsion; so much so, they were even after stopping them from coming to the Sacred Mosque.

[42]. Till here is the inchoative (mubtada'). The enunciative (khabar) is suppressed; it has been revealed ahead. Here is a summary of the law about the Sacred Mosque stated in the verse: no family, tribe or nation has any sole authority on it; no one has any authority to impose any restriction on anyone who intends to visit it for God's worship and for hajj and 'umrah whether he belongs to the Quraysh or to some other tribe, whether he is an Arab or an non-Arab, whether he lives in the East or the West. The only exception is that if some restriction has to be imposed for some need or benefit of the pilgrims, the way governments of present times are doing. However, this too is a fact that some of the restrictions are needless and must necessarily be lifted.

Moreover, the rights of those who are stationed there and the ones who are traveling to it are equal; the Quraysh are not its rulers or sole owners; their status is that of its protectors and servers; it is their obligation that like Ishmael (sws) they should also make it a centre of worship for all the world and invite all mankind to visit the House of God and benefit from its blessings; thus the word used for them in the verse is: العَاكِف. This insinuates that they are in fact ones who are ceremonially stationed there and must always keep this status of theirs in mind.

The equality mentioned in the verse is not only regarding rights but also obligations. Thus all Muslims will be considered equally liable in protecting the House of God and if its servants and custodians at some time violate its sanctity or some external force dares to do this. In both situations it will be mandatory upon them to rectify the situation with full force. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

... In this regard, it would not be considered allowed to give any national or international treaty or some expediency any regard. If the government of some country stops people from partipating in this jihad even if the government is of some who are Muslims by name, it will be obligatory upon the believers to wage jihad against it. This is because the responsibility of protecting the House of God does not merely rest with the people of Makkah or their government. Every person who claims to be a Muslim is liable for it. This cannot in any way be regarded as an external dispute. Every Muslim equally shares the rights and obligations of the House of God. It is the heart of the Muslim ummah. Its existence guarantees the existence of the ummah and any disorder in it will create disorder in the whole ummah. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 5, 240)

[43]. The actual words are: مَنْ يُرِدْ فِيْهِ بِاِلْحَادٍ. The preposition بhere evidences that the verb يُرِدْ encompasses the meaning of هم which can also come into being because of a temporary inclination. The implication is that if some deviation takes place because of any temporary inclination of one's self not to speak of an intention, then its punishment, as stated ahead, will be very stern on the Day of Judgement.

[44]. Ie., whether that oppression relates to stopping people from the path of God and from coming to the Sacred Mosque or to contaminate the mosque with the filth of polytheism, which the Quraysh were guilty of in those times. This word إِلْحَاد has come as a permutative (badal) of ظُلْم and means "deviation and divergence." By this, the Qur'an has made evident the nature of deviation.

[45]. The actual word is الْبَيْت. The الon it is for definition and refers to the Sacred Mosque which is under discussion.

[46]. Ie., God had them settled here after migration. This is a mention of the incident when Abraham (sws) built this ancient House of God and at God's behest devoted his son to the service of this House. Thus he settled here. The Makkan Quraysh are from among his progeny and were proud of this history.

[47]. Tawaf (circumabulation) are rounds of vow. They are made around the House of God as a symbol of presenting one's life and wealth to God. They begin with the istitlam of the hajr-i aswad (the black stone). The words kneeling, prostrating and standing signify the prayer. It is evident from these words of the Qur'an that these were ancient worship rituals of the religion of Abraham (sws). Just as Muslims are aware of them now, in the same way the addressees of the Qur'an too knew them. Wherever the Qur'an has mentioned them, it is not in the form of a new directive but as worship rituals which were already known and introduced in the society. So their mere mention was enough to make the addressees know what they implied. The purpose here is to tell the Quraysh how from the very beginning the Almighty made elaborate arrangements to direct its custodians to have this House cleansed from amusement, idols and all types of apparent and hidden filth. Now they themselves should see how they behaved with this House and to add to their oppression they are now trying to stop people from worshipping in this House who want to revive its real status as a global centre of monotheism.

[48]. This is a portayal of the enthusiasm and fervour with which glad tidings have been given to Abraham (sws). It shows the zest of the pilgrim caravans when they arrive in the land of the Sacred Mosque in response to his call. It is stated that people will come in such large numbers and from such far flung areas that their camels will become weak because of the long journeys and the pathways will become deep and marked because of this abundant travel. These glad tidings were fufilled word for word. Deliberation shows that this portrayal is also a sarcastic comment on the attitude of the Quraysh: whereas the master of this House wants people to come to it with passion and fervour, they are after stopping people from coming to it.

[49]. Ie., the places which have been prescribed for the rites of hajj. When people come to these places for hajj and 'umrah, they carry away with them the true cognizance of God, the strength to fight Satan and the deep sentiment of the Muslim ummah's unity in their hearts. It is these benefits of these places which the verse is referring to.

[50]. This refers to the Day of Sacrifice (10th Dhu al-hijjah) and the three days which succeed it. The Almighty has prescribed certain times and places for some prescribed practices. These practices yield all their blessings only on those times and places. Just as spring has a season in God's world similarly worship rituals also have seasons and their benefits are acquired only when they are offered in their prescribed season.

[51]. Ie., they slaughter them by pronouncing God's name. This expression in the Qur'an is meant to convey this meaning and the reason for this inference is that in God's religion there is no admissibility of an animal being slaughtered without taking His name. Thus at another instance it has been specified that if an animal is slaughtered without taking God's name, then it is prohibited for eating.

[52]. The implication is that these animals have not become available to them of their own accord; nor has someone else given these to them. It is God Who has bestowed them with these animals. Thus it is essential that they be slaughtered in His name. If anyone does not do this he is guilty of the crime of violating the sanctity of a life on which he can be punished. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

... This style also urges people to be thankful to God as they have been blessed with these cattle and beasts by His grace and mercy. As a result, they owe this obligation to these favours to offer them to their Lord as an expression of their gratitude. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 5, 244)

[53]. This is stated here so that people do not mistakenly think that since they have slaughtered an animal for God, therefore its meat should be specific for Him alone. Thus it is explained ahead that God does not need it. The blood and meat of these slaughtered animals do not reach Him; it is the piety within that does.

[54]. This is the pinnacle of war against Satan which is symbolized by hajj. It is thus stated that though the hajj reaches its culmination after animal sacrifice, people should not go back to their homes from Mina; they should have a bath and clean themselves from the restrictions of ahram, fulfil any vows they may have made and then circumambulate the House of God before they return to their homes. This is a requirement for the honour and respect that the House of God has. The words used for the House of God are الْبَيْتِ الْعَتِيْقِ ie. the ancient house. It is evident from this that God's real and original House built by Abraham (sws) is this and not the Bayt al-Maqdis, as claimed by the Jews.

[55]. Ie, the sanctities which have been prescribed regarding the House of God, hajj, 'umrah and Makkah. The implication is that people should refrain in all circumstances from the attitude adopted by the Idolaters in this regard. This unjust lot has altered all the holy traditions set by Abraham (sws) in order to gain worldly benefits.

[56]. This is a reference to the superstitions which are mentioned in verse 103 of Surah al-Ma'idah. They were bahirah, sa'ibah, wasilah and ham etc.

[57]. This obviously is افتراء على الله (imputing falsity to God). It is also referred to as قَوْلَ الزُّوْرِ (a lie) in the verse. Thus it is stated that people must refrain from the filth of the idols and from a false statement also.

[58]. Ie., though he was soaring high in the sky by believing in one God, he fell down.

[59]. The implication is that now there is nothing but death and devastation for him. It may well be that some devil gets the better of him or his own base desires may plunge him into a deep pit.

[60]. This word is the plural of sha'irah (شعيرة), which means "a symbol." In religious parlance, they connote certain manifestations which have been fixed by God and His Prophet (sws) to ingrain the comprehension of certain realities in our minds. Although, the real purpose of the sha'air is the reality they symbolize, the sha'air themselves also become sacred by virtue of what they represent. However, it should also be kept in mind that the real significance of these sha'air are the realities for which they stand and objects only serve to embody them. If these realities do not remain alive and fresh in the minds, then these sha'air are reduced to mere symbols which are devoid of their spirit. It should also be kept in consideration that it is God and His Prophet (sws) who have determined the sha'air and who have also determined the manner in which these sha'air should be revered and paid respect to. Thus no one can either add to this list or change in any way the manner in which they are to be revered. Any deviation in this regard opens the door to religious innovation which has no place in religion.

[61]. Deriving benefit from the animals of sacrifice was generally regarded as prohibited. People thought that since they were from among the sha'airof God, they were to be taken for sacrifice untouched. The Qur'an has negated this notion. It says that this is not essential for the reverence of these sha'air. Till the time of sacrifice arrives, every benefit can be derived from these animals.

[62]. Ie., not to an idol temple or a shrine but to the ancient House of God for which these sha'airhave been prescribed.

[63].It is evident from this that animal sacrifice is an ancient ritual of worship which the Almighty has made part of His religion so that through it people can express their gratitude to Him. Viewed thus, animal sacrifice is the pinnacle of worship. When we make an animal stand or bow down in the direction of the Baytullah and present the sacrificed animal as an offering to God by saying: بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ وَ اللّٰهُ اَكْبَرْ, we offer that animal to God with the sentiment that it is we who are offering our selves to Him. This offered vow is the essence of Islam because the meaning of Islam is that one should surrender to God and submit ones most prized possession – so much so, his own life – to Him. Animal sacrifice is a symbolic expression of this reality. Viewed thus, it is our own sacrifice that is symbolized in the form of an animal.

[64]. This surrender is the real essence of Islam.

[65]. This style meant to urge and exhort should be kept in mind and so should be the relationship between the prayer and charity as without it the wisdom of religion cannot be understood.

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