Surah An‘am (100-127)

Surah An‘am (100-127)


Qur'anic Exegesis

وَ جَعَلُوۡا لِلّٰہِ شُرَکَآءَ الۡجِنَّ وَ خَلَقَہُمۡ وَ خَرَقُوۡا لَہٗ بَنِیۡنَ وَ بَنٰتٍۭ بِغَیۡرِ عِلۡمٍ ؕ سُبۡحٰنَہٗ وَ تَعٰلٰی عَمَّا یَصِفُوۡنَ ﴿۱۰۰﴾بَدِیۡعُ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضِ ؕ اَنّٰی یَکُوۡنُ لَہٗ وَلَدٌ وَّ لَمۡ تَکُنۡ لَّہٗ صَاحِبَۃٌ ؕ وَ خَلَقَ کُلَّ شَیۡءٍ ۚ وَ ہُوَ بِکُلِّ شَیۡءٍ عَلِیۡمٌ ﴿۱۰۱﴾ذٰلِکُمُ اللّٰہُ رَبُّکُمۡ ۚ لَاۤ اِلٰہَ اِلَّا ہُوَ ۚ خَالِقُ کُلِّ شَیۡءٍ فَاعۡبُدُوۡہُ ۚ وَ ہُوَ عَلٰی کُلِّ شَیۡءٍ وَّکِیۡلٌ ﴿۱۰۲﴾لَا تُدۡرِکُہُ الۡاَبۡصَارُ ۫ وَ ہُوَ یُدۡرِکُ الۡاَبۡصَارَ ۚ وَ ہُوَ اللَّطِیۡفُ الۡخَبِیۡرُ ﴿۱۰۳﴾

Yet [such is the extent of their foolishness that] they regard the jinn as God's equals,[1] even though He Himself has created them,[2] and without any knowledge have invented sons and daughters for Him.[3] Glory be to Him and exalted is He above what they say![4] He has brought the heavens and the earth into existence from nothingness. How should He have children when He does not even have a wife?[5] He created all things and has knowledge of all things.[6] Such is God, your Lord. There is no god but Him, the Creator of all things. Therefore, worship Him and He is the guardian of all things.[7] Eyes cannot see Him though He is able to see the eyes. He is very Discerning and all-Knowing.[8] (103)

قَدۡ جَآءَکُمۡ بَصَآئِرُ مِنۡ رَّبِّکُمۡ ۚ فَمَنۡ اَبۡصَرَ فَلِنَفۡسِہٖ ۚ وَ مَنۡ عَمِیَ فَعَلَیۡہَا ؕ وَ مَاۤ اَنَا عَلَیۡکُمۡ بِحَفِیۡظٍ ﴿۱۰۴﴾وَ کَذٰلِکَ نُصَرِّفُ الۡاٰیٰتِ وَ لِیَقُوۡلُوۡا دَرَسۡتَ وَ لِنُبَیِّنَہٗ لِقَوۡمٍ یَّعۡلَمُوۡنَ ﴿۱۰۵﴾

Insightful signs have come to you from your Lord. So he who shows insight will benefit his own self and he who remains blind will bear its consequences and [as far as I am concerned,] I am not your keeper.[9] Thus do We present Our revelations in various styles so that the truth is conclusively communicated to them[10] and so that they speak out:[11] "You have thoroughly read out to us," and so that We can make it fully clear to all those who want to know. (104-105)

اِتَّبِعۡ مَاۤ اُوۡحِیَ اِلَیۡکَ مِنۡ رَّبِّکَ ۚ لَاۤ اِلٰہَ اِلَّا ہُوَ ۚ وَ اَعۡرِضۡ عَنِ الۡمُشۡرِکِیۡنَ ﴿۱۰۶﴾وَ لَوۡ شَآءَ اللّٰہُ مَاۤ اَشۡرَکُوۡا ؕ وَ مَا جَعَلۡنٰکَ عَلَیۡہِمۡ حَفِیۡظًا ۚ وَ مَاۤ اَنۡتَ عَلَیۡہِمۡ بِوَکِیۡلٍ ﴿۱۰۷﴾

Follow [O Prophet!] what has been revealed to you from your Lord. [In reality,] there is no deity but Him. And [if they do not believe] ignore these polytheists. Had God willed, they would have not have indulged in polytheism. We have not appointed you their keeper nor are you their guarantor.[12] (106-107)

وَ لَا تَسُبُّوا الَّذِیۡنَ یَدۡعُوۡنَ مِنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰہِ فَیَسُبُّوا اللّٰہَ عَدۡوًۢا بِغَیۡرِ عِلۡمٍ ؕ کَذٰلِکَ زَیَّنَّا لِکُلِّ اُمَّۃٍ عَمَلَہُمۡ ۪ ثُمَّ اِلٰی رَبِّہِمۡ مَّرۡجِعُہُمۡ فَیُنَبِّئُہُمۡ بِمَا کَانُوۡا یَعۡمَلُوۡنَ ﴿۱۰۸﴾

[In spite of their foolishness,] do not abuse those, they invoke besides God, lest in their ignorance they cross the limits and start abusing God.[13] [This is because] We made the actions of each community seem pleasing to itself.[14] Then [one day] to their Lord shall they return. At that time, He will inform them what they had been doing.[15] (108)

وَ اَقۡسَمُوۡا بِاللّٰہِ جَہۡدَ اَیۡمَانِہِمۡ لَئِنۡ جَآءَتۡہُمۡ اٰیَۃٌ لَّیُؤۡمِنُنَّ بِہَا ؕ قُلۡ اِنَّمَا الۡاٰیٰتُ عِنۡدَ اللّٰه وَ مَا یُشۡعِرُکُمۡ ۙ اَنَّہَاۤ اِذَا جَآءَتۡ لَا یُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ ﴿۱۰۹﴾ وَ نُقَلِّبُ اَفۡـِٕدَتَہُمۡ وَ اَبۡصَارَہُمۡ کَمَا لَمۡ یُؤۡمِنُوۡا بِہٖۤ اَوَّلَ مَرَّۃٍ وَّ نَذَرُہُمۡ فِیۡ طُغۡیَانِہِمۡ یَعۡمَہُوۡنَ ﴿۱۱۰﴾وَ لَوۡ اَنَّنَا نَزَّلۡنَاۤ اِلَیۡہِمُ الۡمَلٰٓئِکَۃَ وَ کَلَّمَہُمُ الۡمَوۡتٰی وَ حَشَرۡنَا عَلَیۡہِمۡ کُلَّ شَیۡءٍ قُبُلًا مَّا کَانُوۡا لِیُؤۡمِنُوۡۤا اِلَّاۤ اَنۡ یَّشَآءَ اللّٰہُ وَ لٰکِنَّ اَکۡثَرَہُمۡ یَجۡہَلُوۡنَ﴿۱۱۱﴾

They emphatically and repeatedly swear by God that if a sign come to them they will definitely believe in it.[16] Say: "Signs are with God,"[17] but [Muslims] what do you know that even if they come, they will not believe?[18] We [at that time also] will turn away their hearts and eyes [from the truth] the way did they not believe in [in the Qur'an] the first time and leave them to wander in their rebelliousness.[19] If We sent angels down to them, and the dead also spoke to them, and We collected in groups all things [of the world] before them, they would still not have believed, except if God willed. But [in reality] most of them are afflicted with ignorance.[20] (109-111)

وَ کَذٰلِکَ جَعَلۡنَا لِکُلِّ نَبِیٍّ عَدُوًّا شَیٰطِیۡنَ الۡاِنۡسِ وَ الۡجِنِّ یُوۡحِیۡ بَعۡضُہُمۡ اِلٰی بَعۡضٍ زُخۡرُفَ الۡقَوۡلِ غُرُوۡرًاؕ وَ لَوۡ شَآءَرَبُّکَ مَا فَعَلُوۡہُ فَذَرۡہُمۡ وَ مَا یَفۡتَرُوۡنَ﴿۱۱۲﴾وَ لِتَصۡغٰۤی اِلَیۡہِاَفۡـِٕدَۃُالَّذِیۡنَ لَا یُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ بِالۡاٰخِرَۃِ وَلِیَرۡضَوۡہُ وَ لِیَقۡتَرِفُوۡا مَا ہُمۡ مُّقۡتَرِفُوۡنَ﴿۱۱۳﴾

[It is not just you who is faced with such a situation].[21] We have similarly made the mischievous among man and jinn to be the enemy of every prophet.[22] In order to deceive one another, they inspire falsehoods to one another.[23] Had your Lord intended, they would never have been able to do this.[24] So, leave them on their fabrications. [God made such enemies so that through them the truth of the truthful becomes evident] and so that the hearts of those who deny the Hereafter are inclined towards it and they are happy with it and they can earn whatever they intend to.[25] (112-113)

اَفَغَیۡرَ اللّٰہِ اَبۡتَغِیۡ حَکَمًا وَّ ہُوَ الَّذِیۡۤ اَنۡزَلَ اِلَیۡکُمُ الۡکِتٰبَ مُفَصَّلًاؕ وَالَّذِیۡنَ اٰتَیۡنٰہُمُ الۡکِتٰبَ یَعۡلَمُوۡنَ اَنَّہٗمُ نَزَّلٌ مِّنۡ رَّبِّکَ بِالۡحَقِّ فَلَا تَکُوۡنَنَّ مِنَ الۡمُمۡتَرِیۡنَ﴿۱۱۴﴾وَ تَمَّتۡ کَلِمَتُ رَبِّکَ صِدۡقًا وَّ عَدۡلًاؕ لَا مُبَدِّلَ لِکَلِمٰتِہٖ ۚوَہُوَ السَّمِیۡعُ الۡعَلِیۡمُ﴿۱۱۵﴾وَاِنۡتُطِعۡ اَکۡثَرَ مَنۡ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ یُضِلُّوۡکَ عَنۡ سَبِیۡلِ اللّٰہِؕ اِنۡ یَّتَّبِعُوۡنَ اِلَّا الظَّنَّ وَاِنۡ ہُمۡ اِلَّا یَخۡرُصُوۡنَ﴿۱۱۶﴾اِنَّ رَبَّکَ ہُوَ اَعۡلَمُ مَنۡ یَّضِلُّ عَنۡ سَبِیۡلِہٖ ۚوَہُوَ اَعۡلَمُ بِالۡمُہۡتَدِیۡنَ﴿۱۱۷﴾

[You are fighting with me.[26]] So, [tell me:] "Should I find a judge other than God even though it is He Who has revealed this Book of yours in which everything [related to religion and shari'ah] is mentioned in detail. And those to whom We have given the book [before this][27] know that it is the truth from your Lord. Thus do not become among those who doubt.[28] The word of your God [about these people] has been fulfilled with truth and justice. No one can change His words. And He hears and knows all.[29] There are most in this world are bound to lead you away from the path of God if you obey them.[30] They only follow conjecture. In reality, your Lord well knows who has strayed from His path and those rightly guided are also well known to Him.[31] (117)

فَکُلُوۡا مِمَّا ذُکِرَ اسۡمُ اللّٰہِ عَلَیۡہِ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمۡ بِاٰیٰتِہٖ مُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ﴿۱۱۸﴾وَ مَا لَکُمۡ اَلَّا تَاۡکُلُوۡا مِمَّا ذُکِرَ اسۡمُ اللّٰہِ عَلَیۡہِ وَقَدۡ فَصَّلَ لَکُمۡ مَّا حَرَّمَ عَلَیۡکُمۡ اِلَّا مَا اضۡطُرِرۡتُمۡ اِلَیۡہِ ؕوَاِنَّ کَثِیۡرًا لَّیُضِلُّوۡنَ بِاَہۡوَآئِہِمۡ بِغَیۡرِ عِلۡمٍؕ اِنَّ رَبَّکَ ہُوَ اَعۡلَمُ بِالۡمُعۡتَدِیۡنَ﴿۱۱۹﴾وَ ذَرُوۡا ظَاہِرَ الۡاِثۡمِ وَ بَاطِنَہٗ ؕاِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ یَکۡسِبُوۡنَ الۡاِثۡمَ سَیُجۡزَوۡنَ بِمَا کَانُوۡا یَقۡتَرِفُوۡنَ﴿۱۲۰﴾وَ لَا تَاۡکُلُوۡا مِمَّا لَمۡ یُذۡکَرِ اسۡمُ اللّٰہِ عَلَیۡہِ وَاِنَّہٗ لَفِسۡقٌؕ وَ اِنَّ الشَّیٰطِیۡنَ لَیُوۡحُوۡنَ اِلٰۤی اَوۡلِیٰٓئِہِمۡ لِیُجَادِلُوۡکُمۡۚ وَاِنۡ اَطَعۡتُمُوۡہُمۡ اِنَّکُمۡ لَمُشۡرِکُوۡنَ﴿۱۲۱﴾

So [do not pay heed[32]and] if you believe in His revelations,[33]then [without any hesitation] eat animals on which the name of God has been pronounced, and why should you not eat from things on which God's name has been pronounced, when He has detailed out [in His Book] what He has regarded as forbidden to you[34] with the exception that you are compelled [to eat] something.[35] In reality, most people without any knowledge spread erroneous concepts through their innovations.[36] God knows full well these who exceed limits. Leave aside the outer and inner aspect of this sin.[37] Those who commit this sin will soon be rewarded of this earning. Indeed it is defiance[38] and devils are suggesting their agents to fight with you [in this regard].[39] [So, be cautioned that] if you obey them, you too will end up as polytheists.[40] (118-121)

اَوَ مَنۡ کَانَ مَیۡتًا فَاَحۡیَیۡنٰہُ وَجَعَلۡنَا لَہٗ نُوۡرًا یَّمۡشِیۡ بِہٖ فِی النَّاسِ کَمَنۡ مَّثَلُہٗ فِی الظُّلُمٰتِ لَیۡسَ بِخَارِجٍ مِّنۡہَاؕ کَذٰلِکَ زُیِّنَ لِلۡکٰفِرِیۡنَ مَا کَانُوۡا یَعۡمَلُوۡنَ﴿۱۲۲﴾وَ کَذٰلِکَ جَعَلۡنَا فِیۡ کُلِّ قَرۡیَۃٍ اَکٰبِرَ مُجۡرِمِیۡہَا لِیَمۡکُرُوۡا فِیۡہَاؕ وَ مَا یَمۡکُرُوۡنَ اِلَّا بِاَنۡفُسِہِمۡ وَ مَا یَشۡعُرُوۡنَ﴿۱۲۳﴾ وَاِذَا جَآءَتۡہُمۡ اٰیَۃٌ قَالُوۡا لَنۡ نُّؤۡمِنَ حَتّٰی نُؤۡتٰی مِثۡلَ مَاۤ اُوۡتِیَ رُسُلُ اللّٰہِؕۘؔ اَللّٰہُ اَعۡلَمُ حَیۡثُ یَجۡعَلُ رِسَالَتَہٗ ؕسَیُصِیۡبُ الَّذِیۡنَ اَجۡرَمُوۡا صَغَارٌ عِنۡدَ اللّٰہِ وَعَذَابٌ شَدِیۡدٌۢ بِمَا کَانُوۡا یَمۡکُرُوۡنَ﴿۱۲۴﴾ فَمَنۡ یُّرِدِ اللّٰہُ اَنۡ یَّہۡدِیَہٗ یَشۡرَحۡ صَدۡرَہٗ لِلۡاِسۡلَامِۚ وَ مَنۡ یُّرِدۡ اَنۡ یُّضِلَّہٗ یَجۡعَلۡ صَدۡرَہٗ ضَیِّقًا حَرَجًا کَاَنَّمَا یَصَّعَّدُ فِی السَّمَآءِ ؕکَذٰلِکَ یَجۡعَلُ اللّٰہُ الرِّجۡسَ عَلَی الَّذِیۡنَ لَا یُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ﴿۱۲۵﴾وَ ہٰذَا صِرَاطُ رَبِّکَ مُسۡتَقِیۡمًاؕ قَدۡ فَصَّلۡنَا الۡاٰیٰتِ لِقَوۡمٍ یَّذَّکَّرُوۡنَ﴿۱۲۶﴾ لَہُمۡ دَارُ السَّلٰمِ عِنۡدَ رَبِّہِمۡ وَ ہُوَ وَلِیُّہُمۡ بِمَا کَانُوۡا یَعۡمَلُوۡنَ﴿۱۲۷﴾

[Pay no heed to them.] Can the person who was dead, We raised him to life, and gave him a light with which he is walking among people,[41] be similar to a person who is in darkness[42] from which he can never emerge?[43] The deeds of these disbelievers have been made to seem fair to them.[44] We have given respite in a similar way to the prominent wrongdoers of every settlement[45] so that they may plot schemes. They only plot schemes against themselves but were not aware of this.[46] When a sign came before them, they would say: "We will never believe in it until we are given what God's messengers were given."[47] God knows better whom to entrust with the position of His messengerhood.[48] Soon these wrongdoers will face a humiliating and severe torment with God for their intrigues. [They will not receive guidance] because whomsoever God wants to guide [according to His law[49]], He opens his heart to Islam. And whomsoever He wants to misguide, He narrows his heart and squeezes it in such a manner as if he has to climb the sky. In such a way, God afflicts with impurity those who do not believe.[50] [In reality,] this way is the straight way of your God.[51] [To clarify it,] We have explained Our revelations to those who pay heed. As reward for their deeds is a house of peace for them with their Lord and He is their protector.[52] (122-127)

(Translated by Dr Shehzad Saleem)

[1].Ie., in spite of the fact that they see all these majestic signs of God day and night, yet have the idiocy, silliness and naivety to regard the jinn and spirits to be God's partners and in this way it is as if they regard their superstitions to be God and worship them.

[2].This is a parenthetical sentence in between the discourse. Through it, the baseless nature of ascribing a creation of God to be His partner is refuted.

[3].The people of Arabia regarded the angels to be daughters of God. They would make their likenesses regarding them to be their deities and would worship them. A similar attitude was adopted by the Christians regarding Jesus (sws): they regarded him to be the son of God. All this was done without any logical or scriptural argument. Neither has God ever borne witness to this claim they make nor can any basis of it be furnished by human nature and intellect.

[4].The actual word is: سُبۡحٰنَہٗ. This word is meant to express a lack of negative attributes. However, a very clear argument of monotheism is also present in it. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

… It is an obvious requirement of human nature and intellect that no attribute should be ascribed to anyone which contradicts or negates any attribute which is established, universal and self-evident. If this is done, then its necessary consequence is that a fact which a person is accepts is negated by a hypothesis. If someone is a king, then attributes of a slave cannot be ascribed to him. Similarly, the attributes of an angel cannot be ascribed to Satan. Likewise, how can someone who is the creator, the master, is powerful and all-knowing and also noble and merciful be regarded to have attributes which creatures have. If someone does this, then he negates all the attributes acknowledging which is essential as per sense and reason and as a result of whose negation man is again engulfed with the darkness from which the light of God's attributes had led him out. If after accepting God as God, the jinn and the angels are regarded to be His associates, then how can He still be God? Then His peers and equals also exist and both His partners and rivals come into being. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 3, 130)

[5].I.e., when they do not regard Him to have a wife, then how do they ascribe children to Him? They also acknowledge that He is the Creator of everyone; then it is strange that they still regard the angels, the jinn and humankind to be His associates in His kingdom.

[6].Ie., when He has created and is aware of each and every thing of His creatures, then why do they leave Him and go to other deities and worship them?

[7].The implication is that if they are not able to see God, then it does not matter. Should the result of this be that they start to worship Him by making manifestations and idols of His being and put forth this explanation of the foolishness that man wants something tangible to worship. God can see every place at all times; hence, this information is and should be sufficient for their faith, trust, worship and obedience.

[8].Hence in order to remain informed of people He does not need the alleged means and sources on which they rely.

[9].These words emanate directly from the tongue of the Prophet (sws). Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

... It has not been said: "Tell these people ...," what needed to be said was stated by the Prophet (sws) himself. This style of revelation shows proximity of the soul of prophet to the divine. It is as if God is speaking from the tongue of the Prophet. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 3, 133)

[10].These words, in accordance with linguistic principles of Arabic, form the suppressed copulative clause of وَ لِیَقُوۡلُوۡا.They have been expressed in the translation.

[11].Ie., though they may not express it through their tongue, but their hearts cry out that the Prophet has read out in such a profound and thorough manner, it is as if he has rubbed down the book and in this way he has fully communicated the truth to the people.

[12].The implication is that had God intended, He could have forcibly stopped people from indulging in polytheism, and they would never have been able to do so. However, He intended that He test people by giving them the choice to accept the straight path of monotheism or the crooked one of polytheism. The Prophet (sws) has not been appointed as someone who is required to forcibly make them accept the faith. He is also their guarantor so that if they he would be held accountable if they do not accept faith. So the Prophet (sws) should continue to carry out his responsibility and leave them to themselves. They alone will bear the consequences of their misdeeds.

[13].This forms an apt guidance and has been given so that in view of the critique on polytheism earlier Muslims are not induced to exceed limits. Both intellect and justice entail that people should confine themselves to the critique and explanation of various principles, beliefs and ideologies. This is the right approach viz a viz preaching as well. Otherwise there is a chance that since the addressees do not have knowledge of God's attributes and His rights, they too will exceed the limits in return and in their bias for false deities end up abusing the real God.

[14].This is a further warning. The implication is that the love of customs, traditions and views has been engendered by God in every nation's nature. Thus beliefs and deeds should be cleansed; however, no such method should be adopted in this regard which may become a source of negatively inciting someone's emotions to these cherished things. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

Here the Almighty has ascribed the word "pleasing" (tazyin) to His own self. This is a reference to the fact that it is quite natural for a nation to have a bias and attachment for its cherished things and cultural and collective traditions. If this does not exist, then national unity cannot come into being. It is what binds families, nations and countries together. In its absence, people become leaves scattered about by the wind. Hence, it has a certain place in human life which is a requirement of nature and as such should be kept in consideration. It should be checked only when it starts to deviate from the truth and should be checked in a manner that the necessary obligation owed to it is not compromised. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 3, 136)

[15].Ie., the Prophet (sws) should rest assured that his task is only to explain the truth. If these people insist on their foolishness, they will be regarded as wrongdoers and will one day appear before God for accountability. There, they will bear the consequences of their misdeeds. The Prophet (sws) will not be responsible for them.

[16].This demand was only meant to be propaganda. By it, they wanted to give the impression that if they did not profess faith, the only reason for this was that they were not being shown any sign which could become decisive in favour of Muhammad's veracity. They would contend that this demand of theirs was very rational and that if it was fulfilled, then there would be no hindrance for them to profess belief.

[17].Ie., the type of signs these people are demand are only with God. It is up to Him to show them or not. In this regard, only He can decide on the basis of His knowledge and wisdom. As for him, he is only a messenger of God. His real obligation is to warn people of the Hereafter and give them glad tidings. Beyond this, he has no authority.

[18].These words are addressed to common Muslims. They show that after repeated demands from the disbelievers, Muslims too would contend that God had granted miracles to previous prophets, so why did God not show them the miracle that they demand so that they are able to adopt the right path. The Qur'an states that whatever miracle is shown to them, they will not believe because the real reason of their denial is not the one they put forth.

[19].The real reason for their lack of belief is stated here: rebelliousness,arrogance and conceit on their political status. Had this not been the case, they would have believed in the Qur'an the very first time. If now a miracle is shown to them, then this will further take them away from believing. This is because the law of God is that those who out of arrogance incline their hearts and sights away from the truth are turned away by God towards the direction they want to look. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

... It is the law of God that those that look in crooked directions instead of looking straight and tread the wrong path instead of the right one are made to end up with crooked hearts and ideologies. Then likesquint-eyed peoplethey are only able to see everything from their own angle. This established practice of God is mentioned in the Qur'an in the words: فَلَمَّا زَاغُوۡۤا اَزَاغَ اللّٰہُ قُلُوۡبَہُمۡ (5:61) (so, when they went astray, God led their very hearts astray 61:5)). Here, in the verse under discussion, this very established practice of God is referred to and Muslims are questioned as to how they think that if these people are shown a miracle on their demand, they will accept faith; after all, all these signs are found around people and within them –which the Qur'an has emphatically pinpointed and explained their arguments and insinuations. When none of these was able to set right the approach of their hearts and eyes, how can a new sign change them? How can the veil which stretches across them today be removed tormorrow and where will the blindness that obstructs them to see today go away when a sign manifests itself? They are bound to deny this sign the way they have been denying other signs. On that day too their hearts and eyes will deny the truth the way they are doing today. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 3, 141)

[20].The implication is that God guides to faith only those who are true seekers of the truth. The nature of ignorance which afflicts them and the conditions they impose instead of deciding on the basis of knowledge and arguments will never induce them to seek guidance.

[21].Ie., the opposition and antagonistic objections and demands the Quraysh are exhibiting before the Prophet (sws).

[22]. This is a reference to the established practice of God according to which miscreants are given respite so that they are able to do what they want. The verb that occurs in the sentence which conveys this meaning is ascribed to God in a way which is generally adopted by the Qur'an in stating established practices of God. Why are the miscreants and devils given this respite? The reasons are stated ahead.

[23].The actual words are: زُخۡرُفَ الۡقَوۡلِ. It is an attribute which is annexed to the noun it qualifies. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

… It refers to those polytheistic innovations which have been invented in every era by the collusion of devils among man and jinn; they would then label these as the shari'ah and give them currency in the society. When the prophets of God and the righteous called upon them to mend their ways, they began to dispute and debate with them. Thus, in this instance too, nothing different happened. When the Prophet (sws) called them to monotheism and pointed out the baselessness of the things they had prohibited on the basis of their idols and idolatrous beliefs, these leaders of polytheism rose up against him in antagonism. They tried to lead astray all those who they could inveigle and tried to convince the masses that Muhammad (sws) was trying to lead them away from the religion of their forefathers and from the ways of Abraham (sws). (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 3, 143)

[24].This sentence is meant to sound assurance to the Prophet (sws). He is to know that his Lord is not helpless before the fabrications of these people. He Himself has granted them this freedom. The purpose is to test them and this world has been created as a test, otherwise had God willed, He could have forcibly stopped these miscreants and devils from their fabrications.

[25].These are the reasons for giving them respite. The freedom given to the miscreants to make hay is to expose their evil fully and in this manner the truth of God is conclusively communicated to them. The verse states the attribute of those who follow their miscreants as the ones who deny the Hereafter. It is evident from this that the appeal of the miscreants mentioned here is effective for only those who do not believe that they will be raised to life again.

[26].Ie., they are fighting with him whether God's authority lies solely in His hands or there are other who share it with Him, and what are the things that He has allowed and disallowed.

[27].This refers to the righteous among the People of the Book. Their bearing witness is mentioned at some other instances in the Qur'an as well.

[28].Although these words address the Prophet (sws), it is very clear that they are directed at people who are the addressees of this surah.

[29].This refers to the statement of God which He made when Satan threatened that he will necessarily lead the progeny of Adam to polytheism and idolatry. God had said that if this happened then He would necessarily consign Satan and his followers to Hell. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

... This verdict conforms to the standards of both truth and justice. In other words, what God has said is not only true, it is also just. This is because God has conclusively communicated the truth to them. If, in spite of this, they insist on following the suggestions of Satan instead of following the guidance of God, they deserve the fate God has informed them of. The verdicts of God are subservient to the established practice set by Him. No one can change it. God hears and knows all. Neither are any of His actions based on a lack of knowledge nor is there any chance of a mistake or injustice in them. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 3, 146)

[30].This is because the majority of people follow the ways of the masses. Their decisions are not based on any reasoning or knowledge.

[31].The implication is that God is aware of both groups. He will deal with them in accordance with His knowledge. Mere claims made by people will be of no use to them in His presence.

[32].Ie., the Prophet (sws) should not pay heed to the propaganda they had launched against the reforms initiated by him. As per this propaganda, they would say that he was making lawful things which were unlawful ever since the times of their forefathers – Abraham (sws) and Ishmael (sws). These were mere conjectures they were following. The religion of Abraham (sws) and Ishmael (sws) was the same as the one that was being presented to them today after being cleansed from the stains of polytheism and religious innovation.

[33].These words are emphatically sounded to them and also have an element of warning – in fact admonishment in it. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

... Only God has the right to regard things as lawful or unlawful. If this right is granted to someone else as well, then this will mean that he is being given a share in the rights of God, and this precisely is polytheism. The implication is that the issue does not relate to merely eating one thing or abstaining from it. The issue is that once things which are regarded as unlawful on the basis of polytheistic superstitions are declared lawful by God, [they must be benefited from]. If they are still abstained from, then this will imply indirectly acceding to polytheism. Hence this becomes a matter of belief and disbelief. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 3, 154)

[34].This refers to the details found in this regard in this surah as well as at some other places in the Qur'an.

[35].The bounds and conditions of this exception have already been stated earlier in Surah al-Baqarah and Surah al-Ma'idah.

[36].The actual word is: اَہۡوَآءۡ. It means "desires." However, it is evident from the context here that it refers to polytheistic innovations which are regarded as religion merely because of desires. The words بِغَیۡرِ عِلۡمٍ(without knowledge) refer to this very aspect.

[37].Ie., leave aside the outer and inner aspect of polytheism. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

... One aspect of polytheism is to regard someone to be God's associate in His being, attributes and rights. A second one is its manifestation and forms like idols, divining arrows, bahirah, sa'ibah, wasilah, ham and other similar things. They are the practical forms of polytheistic belief. Obviously, both have a deep relationship with one another. They grow and develop through mutual support. For this reason, if a sin is to be totally rooted out both its essence and its manifestation need to be rooted out. Without adopting this strategy, this is not possible. If the forms and manifestations of a sin are ignored by thinking that since its essence has been refuted, then such a sin will continue to grow and develop through its forms and manifestations and gradually takes firm roots in the society. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 3, 156)

[38]. This is a further explantion by the Qur'an: an animal on which the name of somone other than God is not pronounced but at the same time no name has been pronounced is also equally prohibited. Thus it is said that just as it is fisq (defiance), this too is fisq. What are the reasons for this? Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

Firstly, every act that is begun without taking God's name and takbir is devoid of His blessings. It is essential to pronounce His name while benefitting from any of His favours whether big or small so that people are able to acknowledge this graciousness of God. Without this confession and acknowedgement, whatever use a person gains from a thing is robbery and a robbery is nothing but stubbornnesss and obduracy which makes a person worthy of punishment before God.

Secondly, it is a requirement for the sanctity of life that the name of God be pronounced at the time of slaughter. Life is sacred, whoeover it may belong to. Had God not given us the permission, it would not have been allowed for us to take the life of even an animal. It is only at God's behest that we have this right. For this reason, it is is essential that we pronounce His name whenever we take the life of an animal. If His name is not pronounced or if it is pronounced together with someone else's name or merely someone else's name is pronounced, then this will violate the sanctity of that animal's life as well as that of the Creator of life.

Thirdly, this shuts the door to the wide path of polytheism. Those who have studied history of religions know that the sacrifice of animals, their vows and offerings have always had a significant role in worship rituals. As a result of this signifance, they received great impetus in polytheistic religions. Nations who became religiously enamoured with a deity tried to win its pleasure through animal offerings and sacrifice. The challenge of Satan mentioned in the Qur'an in which he threatened to lead mankind astray also specially alludes to this way of misguiding them. In order to close all these doors that lead to polytheism, Islam has forbidden animals unless the name of God is pronounced on them at the time of their slaughter. If this is not done, then not only is it a wrong act in itself the animal also is forbidden for eating. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 3, 157)

[39].I.e., they are trying to urge people to raise a hue and cry which they themselves are raising on hearing that some of the things they regard as unlawful are actually lawful. Thus, they are informing their agents that the people who have brought a new religion regard their forefathers as people who consume unlawful things for these forefathers would slaughter animals without pronouncing the name of God and then eat the meat.

[40].Ie., once the Prophet (sws) strikes a compromise with them, then slowly other manifestations of polytheism will creep into his views and beliefs and the result would be that he will end up among the polytheists.

[41].This is a parable of the believers. In other words, the people who were inflicted with the death of disbelief and ignorance were given the life of faith by God and for their guidance He gave them a Book. They can now differentiate truth and falsehood in its light, tread the path of truth and also guide others to this path.

[42].This refers to the darkness of conjecture and speculation and of desires and innovations mentioned earlier.

[43].This parable has been narrated to encourage the believers. The implication is that whatever has been given to them should not be regarded by them to be something ordinary. They should, on the contrary, duly value it and communicate its vibrant message to others and should not pay attention to the foolish talk of people who have been left to wander about in the darkness because of their misdeeds.

[44].Ie., God has made the very darkness which they adopted for themselves seem fair to them.

[45].The actual word is: جَعَلۡنَا. It connotes giving respite and has thus been translated as such.

[46].The implication is that apparently, they were plotting these schemes against the truth but in reality they were plotting them against themselves. According to linguistic principles, an incomplete verb is suppressed before the verb in this sentence.

[47].This is an example of their schemes. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

... This is precisely what the leaders of the Quraysh would say, as has been detailed in the Qur'an. They too were afflicted with the same conceit as that of the rejecters of messengers and the haughty people of the past and asked that if God wanted to grant the position of messengerhood to someone, why could He only single out Muhammad (sws) for this position? Why did He not choose from among the leaders of Makkah and Ṭa'if? Obviously, they gave this statement only as a machination and an evil scheme. The purpose was to provide a cover to them for their egotism and self-deception and to fool the general masses. The simpletons among them highly regarded worldly means and resources. If they saw someone prominent and resourceful in this world, they thought that he must great in the sight of God as well. They would be very easily lured in this trap. For this reason, the Qur'an has called it a plot. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 3, 160)

[48]. This answer though is not stern with respect to the words used, yet it is very harsh if the meaning is taken into consideration. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi has explained it. He writes:

... The implication is that the position of messengerhood is not something which every Tom, Dick and Harry is entitled to. God knows full well who to choose for this. It is not a velvet or silky cloth that at times is even put on donkeys. It is in fact a divine appointment which is received only by those who are selected by God for it. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 3, 160)

It is further evident from this that the Almighty chooses only those people for this position who in the words of Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi stand at the pinnacle of humanity and who have exceptional qualities of head and heart.

[49].Ie., according to this law, only those will receive guidance who are its true seekers and those who spend their lives trying to find ways to evade it shall definitely be made to go astray.

[50].The implication is that the layers of disbelief and polytheism that cover their hearts and minds have become a hindrance for them to accept the truth. Hence, leaving their cherished things and religious innovations and accepting the clear and straight way of Islam seems very difficult to them. This means that God has deprived them of the urge to seek guidance. His law is that He opens the way to Islam for those who keep it pure from such filth and spend their lives as true seekers of the truth. On the other hand, He closes the hearts of those for guidance who become slaves to prejudices. This is God's established practice of guiding people to the truth and leading them away from it, and He never changes this established practice.

[51].The actual words are: ہٰذَا صِرَاطُ رَبِّکَ مُسۡتَقِیۡمًا. Since a demonstrative pronoun has the meaning of a verb in it, the word is an the accusative of state مُسۡتَقِیۡمًا from صِرَاطُ رَبِّکَ.

[52].Earlier, it had been stated: سَیُصِیۡبُ الَّذِیۡنَ اَجۡرَمُوۡا. This particular sentence occurs in parallel to it. In other words, contrary to the fate of the wrongdoers, the fate of the obedient will be that God will be their companion and they will live forever in the house of peace and comfort.

_______________




Articles by this author


Surah Nisa’ (153-176)

Surahs Muzzammil and Muddaththir

Surah al-Anfal (1-30)

Surah al-A’raf (184-205)

Surah al-A’raf (163-183)

Islamic Punishments

Surah al-A’raf (152-162)

Surah al-A‘raf (123-153)

Surah al-A‘raf (80-122)

Surah al-A‘raf (57-79)

Surah al-A‘raf (26-56) (2/2)

Surah al-A‘raf (26-56) (1/2)

Surah al-A‘raf (1-25)

Surah An‘am (128-165) (2/2)

Surah An‘am (128-165) (1/2)

Surah An‘am (100-127)

Surah An‘am (74-99)

Surah An‘am (46-73)

Surah An‘am (25-45)

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

Mosques

The Lawful and the Unlawful

Jihād and War in Islam

Head Covering for Women

Forbidding Wrong

The Question of Interest

Implementation of the Sharī‘ah (Divine Law)

Women Travelling with a Mahram

Islam and the Taliban [1]

Our Education System

Sūrah Āl-i ‘Imrān (118-143)

Sighting the Moon

Sūrah Al-i ‘Imrān (100-117)

Sūrah Al-i ‘Imrān (81-99)

Characteristic Values of Muslim Culture

Sūrah Al-i ‘Imrān (64-80)

Sūrah Āl-i ‘Imrān (42-63)

Sūrah Ali-Imran (21-41)

Sūrah Al-i ‘Imran (1-20)

Belief in Divine Books

Oaths and their Atonement

Islamic Customs and Etiquette

The Dietary Shari‘ah

The Penal Shari‘ah

The Shari‘ah of Jihad

The Shari‘ah of Preaching

The Economic Shari‘ah

The Political Shari‘ah

The Social Shari‘ah

The Shari‘ah of Worship Rituals

The Phases and Abodes of the Day of Judgement

The Signs and Events of the Day of Judgement

Belief in the Hereafter