Surah An‘am (128-165) (1/2)

Surah An‘am (128-165) (1/2)

Qur'anic Exegesis

وَ یَوۡمَ یَحۡشُرُہُمۡ جَمِیۡعًاۚ یٰمَعۡشَرَ الۡجِنِّ قَدِ اسۡتَکۡثَرۡتُمۡمِّنَ الۡاِنۡسِۚوَقَالَ اَوۡلِیٰٓؤُہُمۡ مِّنَ الۡاِنۡسِ رَبَّنَا اسۡتَمۡتَعَ بَعۡضُنَا بِبَعۡضٍ وَّ بَلَغۡنَاۤ اَجَلَنَا الَّذِیۡۤ اَجَّلۡتَ لَنَاؕ قَالَ النَّارُ مَثۡوٰىکُمۡ خٰلِدِیۡنَ فِیۡہَاۤ اِلَّا مَا شَآءَ اللّٰہُؕ اِنَّ رَبَّکَ حَکِیۡمٌ عَلِیۡمٌ﴿۱۲۸﴾ وَ کَذٰلِکَ نُوَلِّیۡ بَعۡضَ الظّٰلِمِیۡنَ بَعۡضًۢا بِمَا کَانُوۡا یَکۡسِبُوۡنَ﴿۱۲۹﴾ یٰمَعۡشَرَ الۡجِنِّ وَالۡاِنۡسِ اَلَمۡ یَاۡتِکُمۡ رُسُلٌ مِّنۡکُمۡ یَقُصُّوۡنَ عَلَیۡکُمۡ اٰیٰتِیۡ وَیُنۡذِرُوۡنَکُمۡ لِقَآءَ یَوۡمِکُمۡ ہٰذَاؕ قَالُوۡا شَہِدۡنَا عَلٰۤی اَنۡفُسِنَا وَغَرَّتۡہُمُ الۡحَیٰوۃُ الدُّنۡیَا وَ شَہِدُوۡا عَلٰۤی اَنۡفُسِہِمۡ اَنَّہُمۡ کَانُوۡا کٰفِرِیۡنَ﴿۱۳۰﴾ ذٰلِکَ اَنۡ لَّمۡ یَکُنۡ رَّبُّکَ مُہۡلِکَ الۡقُرٰی بِظُلۡمٍ وَّ اَہۡلُہَا غٰفِلُوۡنَ﴿۱۳۱﴾ وَ لِکُلٍّ دَرَجٰتٌ مِّمَّا عَمِلُوۡاؕ وَمَا رَبُّکَ بِغَافِلٍ عَمَّا یَعۡمَلُوۡنَ﴿۱۳۲﴾ وَ رَبُّکَ الۡغَنِیُّ ذُو الرَّحۡمَۃِ ؕاِنۡ یَّشَاۡ یُذۡہِبۡکُمۡ وَیَسۡتَخۡلِفۡ مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِکُمۡ مَّا یَشَآءُ کَمَاۤ اَنۡشَاَکُمۡ مِّنۡ ذُرِّیَّۃِ قَوۡمٍ اٰخَرِیۡنَ﴿۱۳۳﴾ؕ اِنَّ مَا تُوۡعَدُوۡنَ لَاٰتٍۙوَّ مَاۤ اَنۡتُمۡ بِمُعۡجِزِیۡنَ﴿۱۳۴﴾ قُلۡ یٰقَوۡمِ اعۡمَلُوۡا عَلٰی مَکَانَتِکُمۡ اِنِّیۡ عَامِلٌۚ فَسَوۡفَ تَعۡلَمُوۡنَۙ مَنۡ تَکُوۡنُ لَہٗ عَاقِبَۃُ الدَّارِؕ اِنَّہٗ لَا یُفۡلِحُ الظّٰلِمُوۡنَ﴿۱۳۵﴾

Keep in mind the day, when He will gather all these [wrongdoers,[1] and then will say:] "O groups of Jinn! You have led away many from mankind."[2] And their companions from humankind will immediately say: "Lord, we have thoroughly benefited from one another[3] and [today] we have reached the time you had prescribed for us[4] … God will say: "Now, fire is your abode; you will abide in it forever except if God wills. Indeed. Your Lord is All-Knowing,[5] Wise. We let these wrongdoers get hold of each other in this way because of their misdeeds. O Groups of Jinn and Humans! Have there not come to you messengers from among you who recited My revelations to you and warned you of the Day of Meeting?[6] They will say: "We bear [witness against our own selves." [Alas!] The life of this world deceived them and now they are testifying against themselves that they were disbelievers. [We sent] these [messengers] because your Lord will not destroy the cities because of their injustice when their inhabitants are not aware of [the reality]. The ranks of each of these are now according to his deeds, and your Lord is not unaware of they have been doing. Your Lord is self-sufficient and merciful.[7]If He wants He can take you away and after you bring forth in your place whosoever He wills just as He raised you from the offspring of others.[8] [Remember] that which you are promised is bound to come.[9] You cannot humble [God]. [O Prophet!] Say: "O People of Mine! You tread on your ways and I will tread on mine.[10] So, soon you will know who attains the final success.[11] In reality, the unjust will never succeed.[12] (128-135)

وَ جَعَلُوۡا لِلّٰہِ مِمَّا ذَرَاَ مِنَ الۡحَرۡثِ وَالۡاَنۡعَامِ نَصِیۡبًا فَقَالُوۡا ہٰذَا لِلّٰہِ بِزَعۡمِہِمۡ وَ ہٰذَا لِشُرَکَآئِنَاۚ فَمَا کَانَ لِشُرَکَآئِہِمۡ فَلَا یَصِلُ اِلَی اللّٰہِۚ وَمَا کَانَ لِلّٰہِ فَہُوَ یَصِلُ اِلٰی شُرَکَآئِہِمۡؕ سَآءَ مَا یَحۡکُمُوۡنَ﴿۱۳۶﴾ وَ کَذٰلِکَ زَیَّنَ لِکَثِیۡرٍ مِّنَ الۡمُشۡرِکِیۡنَ قَتۡلَ اَوۡلَادِہِمۡ شُرَکَآؤُہُمۡ لِیُرۡدُوۡہُمۡ وَ لِیَلۡبِسُوۡا عَلَیۡہِمۡ دِیۡنَہُمۡؕ وَلَوۡ شَآءَ اللّٰہُ مَا فَعَلُوۡہُ فَذَرۡہُمۡ وَ مَا یَفۡتَرُوۡنَ﴿۱۳۷﴾ وَ قَالُوۡا ہٰذِہٖۤ اَنۡعَامٌ وَّ حَرۡثٌ حِجۡرٌ ٭ۖ لَّا یَطۡعَمُہَاۤ اِلَّا مَنۡ نَّشَآءُ بِزَعۡمِہِمۡ وَ اَنۡعَامٌ حُرِّمَتۡ ظُہُوۡرُہَا وَ اَنۡعَامٌ لَّا یَذۡکُرُوۡنَ اسۡمَ اللّٰہِ عَلَیۡہَا افۡتِرَآءً عَلَیۡہِ ؕ سَیَجۡزِیۡہِمۡ بِمَا کَانُوۡا یَفۡتَرُوۡنَ ﴿۱۳۸﴾ وَ قَالُوۡا مَا فِیۡ بُطُوۡنِ ہٰذِہِ الۡاَنۡعَامِ خَالِصَۃٌ لِّذُکُوۡرِنَا وَ مُحَرَّمٌ عَلٰۤی اَزۡوَاجِنَا ۚ وَ اِنۡ یَّکُنۡ مَّیۡتَۃً فَہُمۡ فِیۡہِ شُرَکَآءُ ؕ سَیَجۡزِیۡہِمۡ وَصۡفَہُمۡ ؕ اِنَّہٗ حَکِیۡمٌ عَلِیۡمٌ ﴿۱۳۹﴾ قَدۡ خَسِرَ الَّذِیۡنَ قَتَلُوۡۤا اَوۡلَادَہُمۡ سَفَہًۢا بِغَیۡرِ عِلۡمٍ وَّ حَرَّمُوۡا مَا رَزَقَہُمُ اللّٰہُ افۡتِرَآءً عَلَی اللّٰہِ ؕ قَدۡ ضَلُّوۡا وَ مَا کَانُوۡا مُہۡتَدِیۡنَ ﴿۱۴۰﴾

[Their oppression has reached the extent that] they have set aside for God a share from the cultivated land created by Him and from the cattle. And they say: "This is for God" – they claim – "and this for our associates of God." Then what is for their associates cannot not reach God, but the share of God can reach their associates.[13] How ill is what they judge! In a similar way for many idolaters, their associates with God have made the killing of their children as alluring[14] so as to ruin them and to make their religion doubtful to them.[15] Had God willed, they would not have done so.[16] So, leave them to these falsehoods. They, in accordance with their whims, say: "These animals and these crops are prohibited. Only they may eat it whom we allow." [Similarly,] there are some animals whose backs are prohibited [according to them]. And there are some animals on which they do not pronounce the name of God, by concocting a lie on God. God will soon punish them for this lie. And they say: "Whatever is in the womb of these animals is only lawful for our men and unlawful for our women. However, if it is still-born, then both can share [in eating] it. God will soon punish them for these things. Indeed, He is wise and all-knowing.[17] Inflicted with loss are certainly those who killed their children out of foolishness without having any knowledge. And whatever sustenance God had granted them, they regarded it as unlawful by concocting a lie on God.[18] They have indeed gone astray and will never be guided. (136-140)

وَ ہُوَ الَّذِیۡۤ اَنۡشَاَ جَنّٰتٍ مَّعۡرُوۡشٰتٍ وَّ غَیۡرَ مَعۡرُوۡشٰتٍ وَّ النَّخۡلَ وَ الزَّرۡعَ مُخۡتَلِفًا اُکُلُہٗ وَ الزَّیۡتُوۡنَ وَ الرُّمَّانَ مُتَشَابِہًا وَّغَیۡرَ مُتَشَابِہٍ ؕ کُلُوۡا مِنۡ ثَمَرِہٖۤ اِذَاۤ اَثۡمَرَ وَ اٰتُوۡا حَقَّہٗ یَوۡمَ حَصَادِہٖ ۫ۖ وَ لَا تُسۡرِفُوۡا ؕ اِنَّہٗ لَا یُحِبُّ الۡمُسۡرِفِیۡنَ ﴿۱۴۱﴾ۙ وَ مِنَ الۡاَنۡعَامِ حَمُوۡلَۃً وَّ فَرۡشًا ؕکُلُوۡا مِمَّا رَزَقَکُمُ اللّٰہُ وَ لَا تَتَّبِعُوۡا خُطُوٰتِ الشَّیۡطٰنِ ؕ اِنَّہٗ لَکُمۡ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِیۡنٌ ﴿۱۴۲﴾ۙ

[It is not their associates; rather] it is God Who has created various types of orchards; [some of them] are creepers[19] and others not.[20]He,[similarly,] createddate-palmsand broughtforth crops which have fruits of all sorts and olives, and pomegranates alike and different to one another as well.[21] Eat of the produce of these when they ripen[22] and give away what is due of them upon the harvest day.[23] And do not waste away.[24] God does not like those who waste away [in this way]. He alone has created animals to carry you and to carry your burdens and others also who walk close to the ground.[25] Benefit from what God has given you[26] and do not walk in the footsteps of Satan;[27] he is your inveterate enemy. (142)

ثَمٰنِیَۃَ اَزۡوَاجٍ ۚ مِنَ الضَّاۡنِ اثۡنَیۡنِ وَ مِنَ الۡمَعۡزِ اثۡنَیۡنِ ؕ قُلۡ ءٰٓالذَّکَرَیۡنِ حَرَّمَ اَمِ الۡاُنۡثَیَیۡنِ اَمَّا اشۡتَمَلَتۡ عَلَیۡہِ اَرۡحَامُ الۡاُنۡثَیَیۡنِ ؕ نَبِّـُٔوۡنِیۡ بِعِلۡمٍ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمۡ صٰدِقِیۡنَ ﴿۱۴۳﴾ۙ وَ مِنَ الۡاِبِلِ اثۡنَیۡنِ وَ مِنَ الۡبَقَرِ اثۡنَیۡنِ ؕ قُلۡ ءٰٓالذَّکَرَیۡنِ حَرَّمَ اَمِ الۡاُنۡثَیَیۡنِ اَمَّا اشۡتَمَلَتۡ عَلَیۡہِ اَرۡحَامُ الۡاُنۡثَیَیۡنِ ؕ اَمۡ کُنۡتُمۡ شُہَدَآءَ اِذۡ وَصّٰکُمُ اللّٰہُ بِہٰذَا ۚ فَمَنۡ اَظۡلَمُ مِمَّنِ افۡتَرٰی عَلَی اللّٰہِ کَذِبًا لِّیُضِلَّ النَّاسَ بِغَیۡرِ عِلۡمٍ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ لَا یَہۡدِی الۡقَوۡمَ الظّٰلِمِیۡنَ ﴿۱۴۴﴾

[From this cattle] take eight males and females: two from the species of the sheep and two from the species of the goat. Then ask them:[28] "Has God forbidden you their males or females or the offspring that is in the wombs of their females?[29] Answer me with some basis if you are truthful."[30] [Similarly,] two from the species of the camel and two of the cow. Then ask: "Has God forbidden you their males or females or the offspring that is in the wombs of their females? Were you present at the time when God directed you about this?"[31] Then who can be more cruel than the person who fabricated a lie on God so that he can lead people astray without any knowledge. God will never guide such cruel people.[32] (143-144)

قُلۡ لَّاۤ اَجِدُ فِیۡ مَاۤ اُوۡحِیَ اِلَیَّ مُحَرَّمًا عَلٰی طَاعِمٍ یَّطۡعَمُہٗۤ اِلَّاۤ اَنۡ یَّکُوۡنَ مَیۡتَۃً اَوۡ دَمًا مَّسۡفُوۡحًا اَوۡ لَحۡمَ خِنۡزِیۡرٍ فَاِنَّہٗ رِجۡسٌاَ وۡ فِسۡقًا اُہِلَّ لِغَیۡرِ اللّٰہِ بِہٖ ۚ فَمَنِ اضۡطُرَّ غَیۡرَ بَاغٍ وَّ لَا عَادٍ فَاِنَّ رَبَّکَ غَفُوۡرٌ رَّحِیۡمٌ ﴿۱۴۵﴾

Tell them [O Messenger]: "I find not in what has been revealed to me through inspiration forbidden to a person who eats things which are edible,[33]unless it be carrion, or blood poured forth or the flesh of swine because all these are unclean[34]or in, disobedience to God, animals slaughtered in someone else's name.[35] But whoever is driven by necessity, neither intending to be desirous nor exceeding the limits,[36] then God is forgiving and ever-merciful." (145)

وَ عَلَی الَّذِیۡنَ ہَادُوۡا حَرَّمۡنَا کُلَّ ذِیۡ ظُفُرٍ ۚ وَ مِنَ الۡبَقَرِ وَ الۡغَنَمِ حَرَّمۡنَا عَلَیۡہِمۡ شُحُوۡمَہُمَاۤ اِلَّا مَا حَمَلَتۡ ظُہُوۡرُہُمَاۤ اَوِ الۡحَوَایَاۤ اَوۡ مَا اخۡتَلَطَ بِعَظۡمٍ ؕ ذٰلِکَ جَزَیۡنٰہُمۡ بِبَغۡیِہِمۡ ۫ۖ وَ اِنَّا لَصٰدِقُوۡنَ ﴿۱۴۶﴾ فَاِنۡ کَذَّبُوۡکَ فَقُلۡ رَّبُّکُمۡ ذُوۡ رَحۡمَۃٍ وَّاسِعَۃٍ ۚ وَ لَا یُرَدُّ بَاۡسُہٗ عَنِ الۡقَوۡمِ الۡمُجۡرِمِیۡنَ ﴿۱۴۷﴾

[This however is true that] for those who adopted Judaism, We forbade all animals with nails[37] and the fat of the goat and the cattle, except what adhered to their backs and intestines or to a bone.[38] This is the punishment We gave them for their rebelliousness[39] and We were absolutely truthful.[40] If they deny you even after this, then tell them: "Very vast is the mercy of your Lord [but at the same time, this also is a fact that if the respite given by Him expires, then] the punishment of the wrongdoers will not be warded off from them.[41] (146-147)

سَیَقُوۡلُ الَّذِیۡنَ اَشۡرَکُوۡا لَوۡ شَآءَ اللّٰہُ مَاۤ اَشۡرَکۡنَا وَ لَاۤ اٰبَآؤُنَا وَ لَا حَرَّمۡنَا مِنۡ شَیۡءٍ ؕ کَذٰلِکَ کَذَّبَ الَّذِیۡنَ مِنۡ قَبۡلِہِمۡ حَتّٰی ذَاقُوۡا بَاۡسَنَا ؕ قُلۡ ہَلۡ عِنۡدَکُمۡ مِّنۡ عِلۡمٍ فَتُخۡرِجُوۡہُ لَنَا ؕ اِنۡ تَتَّبِعُوۡنَ اِلَّا الظَّنَّ وَ اِنۡ اَنۡتُمۡ اِلَّا تَخۡرُصُوۡنَ ﴿۱۴۸﴾ قُلۡ فَلِلّٰہِ الۡحُجَّۃُ الۡبَالِغَۃُ ۚ فَلَوۡ شَآءَ لَہَدٰىکُمۡ اَجۡمَعِیۡنَ ﴿۱۴۹﴾ قُلۡ ہَلُمَّ شُہَدَآءَکُمُ الَّذِیۡنَ یَشۡہَدُوۡنَ اَنَّ اللّٰہَ حَرَّمَ ہٰذَا ۚ فَاِنۡ شَہِدُوۡا فَلَا تَشۡہَدۡ مَعَہُمۡ ۚ وَ لَا تَتَّبِعۡ اَہۡوَآءَ الَّذِیۡنَ کَذَّبُوۡا بِاٰیٰتِنَا وَ الَّذِیۡنَ لَا یُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ بِالۡاٰخِرَۃِ وَ ہُمۡ بِرَبِّہِمۡ یَعۡدِلُوۡنَ ﴿۱۵۰﴾

[In response to this] the polytheists will now say: "Had God willed, neither we nor our forefathers would have indulged in polytheism or would we have declared anything as unlawful."[42] In a similar way, those before them had also denied until they tasted Our punishment. Ask them: "Do you have any knowledge which you can present before us?" [In reality,] you are merely following conjecture and only making speculations. Tell them: "God now only has [for you] hujjah al-balighah.[43] Then [also think that] had He willed He would have guided all of you [and never cast you in polytheism and misguidance].[44] Tell them: "Bring forth those witnesses who will testify [on the basis of knowledge and reason] that God has regarded this thing to be prohibited." Then if they stand up with [false] witness [with stubbornness] do not bear witness with them and do not follow the desires[45] of those who have denied Our revelations, who do not believe in the Hereafter and associate partners with their Lord. (148-150)

[1].Ie., He will gather everyone – whether they are from humankind or from the miscreants of the jinn who inspired evil thoughts into human beings, as is mentioned earlier in verse 112.

[2].This is a reference to the statement of Iblis mentioned at other places in the Qur'an. He had claimed that very few people from the progeny of Adam (sws) would remain secure from his onslaughts and that the Almighty will find most of them to be ungrateful. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

... Ie., God will address these figurative descendents of Iblis and say that they have successfully accomplished the mission of their leader: they have led them away and how docile were these descendents that were lured away by them in such a naïve way. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 3, 163)

[3]. The deities provided enjoyed the worship, vows and sacrifices offered to them by their followers. On the other hand, the sorcerers, wizards engaged by these followers used these deities for their own purposes. In this way, jinn and mankind benefitted from one another.

[4]. It is evident from the succeeding sentence that this statement of the devils among humankind will be cut short. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

Here an aspect of eloquence of the discourse needs to be kept in mind: This statement of the devils among mankind will be a confession and an expression of shame and through this prelude they will seek God's forgiveness. However, it is evident from the style of the discourse that God will interject even before their statement is complete, and without giving them a chance to apologize, will declare His verdict that Hell is now their abode in which they will abide forever; so they must not try to present excuses; the doors to apology, excuse and forgivess now stand closed. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 3, 163)

[5].This exception needs our attention. The implication is that once these wrongdoers are consigned to Hell, all matters are subject to God's will and His will is governed by His knowledge and wisdom. In accordance with His knowledge and wisdom, He can reduce their punishment and can also burn them to ashes and bury them in Hell. All of this depends on His will. No one should have hope except from Him. In the words of Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi, no one's efforts, recommendation, say or pleading will of any benefit; The limits of authority will end with Him;the time for repentance and reform, shame and embarrassment will expire; the only thing that shall be left shall be God's will, and only He knows the secrets of His will. He is able to accomplish, come what may, whatever He intends (فَعَّالٌ لٍمَا يُرِيْد) and is all-wise and all-knowing.

[6]. This question will be posed to leave them with no excuse. A secondary information that we become privy to is that just as messengers were sent to humankind, they were also sent to jinnkind. The actual words used for this are: اَلَمۡ یَاۡتِکُمۡ رُسُلٌ مِّنۡکُمۡ.These words explicitly state this and are also in accordance with what is mentioned at other instances in the Qur'an about the advent of messengers of God viz. They belong to the same species as the one they are sent to.

The word یَقُصُّوۡنَ is also worthy of attention. Its conventional meaning is "to narrate tales." However, here it refers to narrating verses. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

... In my opinion, this word is used here because the word revelations here refers to the revelations that pertain to warning. A better part of them consists of the fate of the disbelievers and their anecdotes. Here too this is precisely the occasion. The implication of the question God will pose to them is: Did not My messengers warn you of the fate of the disbelievers and of the advent of that day so that you have now consigned yourself to eternal doom? (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 3, 166)

[7]. This sentence is a prelude to what is stated later. The implication is that God is simultaneously self-sufficient and merciful. If He has arranged for the people to be guided and invited them through His messengers to faith, then this is not because without all this any of His plans will not be be fulfilled.

[8]. The implication is that they should learn from their history. If God can create them from the offspring of their forefathers, it is also very easy for Him to replace them with others. It is only because of His mercy that they are still living. He can also seize them and annihilate them. No fear has He that if they do not exist in this world it will become devoid of people. He can create for His world any creation He wants at any time He wants. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi has pointed to a linguistic issue in this verse as well. He writes:

... The words are: یَسۡتَخۡلِفۡ مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِکُمۡ مَّا یَشَآءُ. Apparently the last part should have been: مَنْ یَشَآءُ. This is because the particle ماis mostly used for non-living things. In my opinion, the Almighty has used ماinstead of مَنْto express His profound power and to shatter the pride of the Quraysh. The implication is that these people have become arrogant because of their power and glory while such is the power of God that He can replace them with whichever thing of the desert He wants to. At one instance, Jesus (sws), while addressing the Israelites, is also reported to have said: "And do not think you can say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.'I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham," (Matthew, 3:9).The style of this verse intends to convey precisely this. In fact, the style of the Qur'an is much more forceful because of its general nature. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 3, 168)

[9]. Ie., the promise of not only the wordly punishment which visits those who deny their messenger but also of the Day of Judgement the signs of which are replete all around them and which can be heralded any time by the sound of a trumpet.

[10]. A parallel phrase has been suppressed in this verse: اِنِّی ۡعَامِلٌ عَلي مَكَانَتِي. The real meaning of مَكَانَةٌ is status and position; however, since the meaning of "way" is its implied meaning, contextual indications automatically incorporate this meaning in it. These words in fact sound a clear acquittal and severe warning which will become evident in the succeeding sentences.

[11]. The actual word is: عَاقِبَۃ. Its conventional meaning is that of fate. However, at times it refers to good fate because real fate is good fate.

[12]. It is not said that the disbelievers will not succeed or that the believers will necessarily succeed; on the contrary, it is just said that the wrongdoers will never succeed. What is the eloquence of this style? Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi has explained it thus:

… This style is very effective with regard to the wisdom found in it and also with regard to its message. It also bears witness to the fear and trust found in the prophets and the righteous. Only this much can be said of something which is still hidden from the eyes, on which a decision is still awaited and for the materialization of which many a peak needs to be surmounted. Making any claim beyond this is against the requisites of serving God and fearing Him. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 3, 170)

[13].The way this would happen was that if a goat dedicated to their idols died or was stolen or if harvested crop dedicated to them was stolen or was struck by a calamity, the loss was made up by the share dedicated to God. However, if the share dedicated to God was afflicted by any such mishap, this loss would not be covered through the share of the idols. In other words, to them, the share of their idols held predominance on that of God; and after all why should this not be the case. All the immediate needs of all the polytheists of this world are related to the partners they associate with God. In their opinion, even if they get something from God it is through the courtesy of these partners; in fact, if God does not even want to give something, these partners are able to secure it from Him.

[14].This heinous crime was committed to please certain jinn. Some shrines would be dedicated to certain jinn in the pre-Islamic times in Arabia. The keepers and custodians of these places would induce them to these crimes by threatening them of dire consequences from these jinn.

[15].Ie., make the religion which they inherited from Abraham (sws) and Ishmael (sws) doubtful.

[16].But God did not will this because such compulsion would have rendered meaningless the whole scheme of testing and trying people.

[17].Ie., since God is all-knowing and wise, it cannot be that He does not punish those who concoct such a lie in His name.

[18].This has been stated because all those baseless beliefs were based on their polytheistic superstitions but they were nevertheless attributed to God.

[19].Examples include grapes which need a support.

[20].Examples include musk-melons, water-melons and cucumbers of which the stems do not need support and spread and grow on the ground. In Surah 'Abas (80:20), the words used to convey this meaning is عِنَباً وَ قَضَباً.

[21].Here since the purpose is to direct our attention to the oneness of God and obligations human beings owe to Him, the variety found in orchards and crops as well as the diversity found in their produce is specially highlighted. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

… Evident in every part of this universe is unity in multiplicity, harmony in diversity, accord in discord. The same mud, air and water yield different types of produce in different colours, tastes, odours and heights. Moreover, all these are favours that satisfy man's taste buds and provide him with sustenance. It is clearly evident that the Creator Who has created in us the need for glucose and iron has filled pomegranates and grapes with juice which providesus with these needs. He Who has created taste buds in us has provided us with edibles to satisfy them. He Who has blessed our eyes to appreciate beauty and splendour has made everything around us an embodiment of beauty, splendour and majesty to everything. It is to this unity in the apparent disunity and diversity between various things that the Qur'an has directed our attention. This aspect points to the Creator of this universe and to the oneness of its governor. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 3, 183)

The necessary consequence of this is that a person should realize the obligation he owes to His Creator and remain grateful to Him all his life. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

... He Who has created all this is very generous and magnanimous, affectionate and caring. If He placed the need for food in people, He did not produce food merely to fill their bellies; on the contrary, He created a wide variety of foods. If He brought forth orchards, then they had a very large assortment. The dates and grains produced by Him were of so many types. Fruits including olives and pomegranates were produced in different kinds. It needs to be appreciated that such diversity, colour, kind and variation was not needed to keep people alive. However, the Creator of this world embellished it with such an innumerable range of products for us even though He Himself did not need us in any way. For those who think and reflect, the question arises: Why? The answer to this is that people come to know that their Lord is very magnanimous and merciful Who blessed them with these favours even though they are not entitled to them. The objective is that they realize from the bottom of their hearts to be grateful to God and also the obligations they owe to Him. This gratitude and sensitivity to acknowledge the truth is the … basis of religion. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 3, 183)

[22].The actual words are: کُلُوۡا مِنۡ ثَمَرِہٖۤ اِذَاۤ اَثۡمَرَ. Here and in the subsequent phrase یَوۡمَ حَصَادِہٖthe pronoun is singular, yet it refers to all the things enumerated. In Arabic, when a pronoun or a verb occurs in the singular, then the purpose is to refer to each and every entity individually.

[23].Ie., at the time of the … they should pay the right of God imposed on them in the form of zakah. It is evident from the verse that no produce is exempt from it except if the state grants a remission keeping in view the circumstances or imposes an exempted amount on the things it has imposed zakah. This is in fact an expression of gratitude by the farmer on the favour God has bestowed on him. In the current times, various other forms of produce which have come into existence like industrial production, rent, fees, salary on services should also be analogously regarded as produce and the same rates of zakah should be imposed on them as the ones on agricultural produce.

[24].This is because wealth is a favour of God and the correct attitude about it is that a person should spend on his lawful needs in a balanced and controlled way and regard whatever remains to be the right of the needy and he fulfils this right in a very cautious way. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

... A person who is extravagant and a spendthrift will not be able to fulfil the expenses of his own interests; so how will he fulfil the rights of others. Satan lures wealthly people the most in this manner. He entices them into various desires and wishes and these people become such slaves to their desires and luxurious ways that these things things become even more than necessities for them. How can such people think that the wealth which is scarcely enough to fulfil their extravagance also has a share for other people of God. As a result the dogs, falcons and hawks of such people live in luxury while their neighbours sleep in hunger. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 3, 185)

[25].Examples include sheep and goats etc. While mentioning orchards and cultivated lands, the words used are: مَّعۡرُوۡشٰتٍ وَّ غَیۡرَ مَعۡرُوۡشٰتٍ. In contrast, the words used for animals are حَمُوۡلَۃً and فَرۡشً. This is a very elegant comparison. In other words, just as in the orchards there are creepers that grow on vertical supports as well as those which spread along the ground, in a similar way, among animals there are those who are of tall stature like camels, horses and mules etc and those which pick their fodder from the ground like sheep, cattle and other animals of short stature.

[26].The actual word used is: کُلُوۡا. It does not occur here in its limited meaning; on the contrary, it is used here in its broad meaning of gaining benefit.

[27].Ie., people should not be led away by his evil suggestions about polytheism and regard as unlawful what is declared as lawful by God.

[28].Before the expression ثَمٰنِیَۃَ اَزۡوَاجٍ an imperative verb is suppressed, and the implication is that there are eight males and females. Take each of them individually and ask them.

[29].The implication is that when they also accept that originally these animals were lawful, from where do the prohibitions arise which these foolish people have invented because of their polytheistic superstitions as per which some of the animals are unlawful to eat, some can be used for conveyance, some can only be eaten by men and not women and some can be eaten by both in certain stipulated conditions.

[30].Ie., for this prohibition it is not sufficient that their forefathers regarded them to be prohibited. They should bring a clear logical reason for this that shows that these prohibitions are a consequence of human nature and reason or that a messenger of God has proclaimed their prohibition.

[31].This sentence is meant to communicate the final word to them. The implication is that there is nothing in reason and revelation regarding their claim; so, are they saying that they were present when God was prohibiting what they have regarded as forbidden on the basis of their own whims.

[32].Ie., God will neither guide them nor give them success in their campaign to mislead people. Viewed thus, this statement is a very subtle expression of success of the call of the truth.

[33].Ie., which originally belong to the category of pure and wholesome things and people have regarded them to be edibles and as such have consumed them. This automatically excludes things which are forbidden by man's nature and people have always thought of them as non-edibles like lions, tigers, elephants, eagles, crows, vultures, kites, snakes, and scorpions etc. The same is the case with horses, donkeys and other similar animals that are not wholesome for eating.

[34].The actual words are: فَاِنَّہٗ رِجۡسٌ. Though the pronoun used in this expression is singular, it refers to all the three things. The reason that occurs in the singular is that individually each of these three is referred to.

[35].Among things regarded as edibles by people, only these four are regarded as prohibited by God. Blood because it induces a person to savagery; carrion because blood remains in the veins of an animal that dies of natural death; pig because though it is from beasts which are like cattle that eat grass, yet it eats meat like carnivores; animals not slaughtered in the name of God because this is a blatant act of polytheism which only be committed by a person who is rebellious to God. Thus even if an animal is pure and wholesome, this filth in belief makes it impure. The word فِسۡقًاin the verse refers to this very aspect.

[36].The actual words are: غَیۡرَ بَاغٍ وَّلَا عَادٍ. In them the word بَاغٍ is a nomen agentis (ism fa'il) from the verb بغي. Since the word عَادٍis coordinated to it, its meaning, it is clear, is to desire and to wish. The verse actually states the exception in compelling circumstances that arise because of a lack of availability of food.

[37].Ie., animals whose hooves are not split and are in the form of a hoof and have nails on the frontal part. It is precisely for this reason that the Torah forbids the camel, the coney and the rabbit.

[38].For its details, see: Leviticus, 3:15-17; 7:22-25.

[39].The implication is that these things are neither impure nor unwholesome nor were they originally prohibited. They were prohibited because of the rebelliousness and arrogance of the Jews. The scriptures of the Bible mention this rebelliousness at many places. The heifer incident cited in Surah Baqarah is an example. Yet when God forbade these things to them, He promised to send an unlettered prophet to them and if they professed faith in Him then He would lift the heavy burden of prohibitions from them. Thus now exactly in fulfillment of that promise religion has been instituted in its real Abrahamic form and only those prohibitions remain which were always a part of this true religion.

[40].These are very subtle words. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

… The purpose in God emphasizing that He is truthful is not merely an expression of this reality; it also indicates that His adversaries are liars. The implication is that God is truthful in whatever He has stated about the nation of Abraham and theshari'ah of the Israelites and the Quraysh and the Jews who are indulging in this frivolous talk are absolute liars. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 3, 193)

[41].The actual words are: وَ لَا یُرَدُّ بَاۡسُہٗ عَنِ الۡقَوۡمِ الۡمُجۡرِمِیۡنَ. After the words رَّبُّکُمۡ ذُوۡ رَحۡمَۃٍ وَّاسِعَۃٍ the way these occur show that they are meant for istidrak. The translation gives due regard to this aspect.

[42].This was the last thing these idolaters would say when they were cornered. They would contend that since God had power over everything He would have stopped them had they been doing anything wrong. If He had not stopped them, then it meant that whatever they were doing was in accordance with God's will and command.

[43].Ie., In the scheme of God which is in currency in this world to test them there is no compulsion on them; only a sound argument that conquers the heart and the mind. He does not interfere in the freedom of will of people in this matter. He has given them liberty. It is only through arguments that He guides people.

[44].This is stated for the sake of accepting their premise: had God willed something He would have willed the guidance of people or forced them to set up partners with Him or compelled them to declare as unlawful what He had regarded as lawful. In other words, these foolish people should think about what they are saying.

[45].Ie., they should not follow the desires which have led these people to the quagmire of polytheism and religious innovation. Here these innovations of the Idolaters are called desires. The reason for this is that what is not corroborated by knowledge and intellect can only be corroborated by desires.


Articles by this author

Sūrah Shūrā

Surah Ha Mim al-Sajdah

Surah al-Mu’min

Surah al-Zumar

Surah Saffat

Surah Yasin

Surah Saba

Surah al-Qasas

Ghamidi on Farahi

Surah Luqman

Surah Ahzab

Sūrah al-Rūm

Surah al-‘Ankabut

Surah al-Naml (2/2)

Surah al-Naml (1/2)

Surah al-Shu‘ara’ (2/2)

Surah al-Shu‘ara’ (1/2)

Surah al-Furqan

People of Paradise

Surah al-Ra‘d

People of Paradise

Surah al-Ra‘d

Indications of Islam, Faith, Virtue and the Day of Judgement

Surah al-Nur (2/2)

Surah al-Nur (1/2)

Surah Mu’minun (2/2)

Surah Mu’minun (1/2)

Surah al-Hajj (2/2)

Surah al-Hajj (1/2)

Surah al-Anbiya (2/2)

Surah al-Anbiya (1/2)

Surah Taha (3/3)

Surah Taha (2/3)

Surah Taha (1/3)

Surah Maryam (2/2)

Surah Maryam (1/2)

Surah al-Kahf (2/2)

Surah al-Kahf (1/2)

Surah Bani Isra’il (1/3)

Surah al-Nahl (2/2)

Surah al-Nahl (1/2)

Surah Ibrahim – Surah al-Hijr (2/2)

Surah Ibrahim – Surah al-Hijr (1/2)

Surah Yusuf (3/3)

Surah Yusuf (2/3)

Surah Yusuf (1/3)

Surah Hud (3/3)

Surah Hud (2/3)

Surah Hud (1/3)

Surah Yunus (2/2)

Surah Yunus (1/2)

Surah al-Tawbah (61-129) (2/2)

Surah al-Tawbah (61-129) (1/2)

Surah al-Tawbah (38-60)

Surah al-Tawbah (1-37) (2/2)

Surah al-Tawbah (1-37) (1/2)

Is Democracy Compatible with Islam?

Surah al-Anfal (41-75) (2/2)

Surah al-Anfal (41-75) (1/2)

Surah al-Anfal (31-40)

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


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)