Surah Bani Isra’il (3/3)

Surah Bani Isra’il (3/3)


Surah Bani Isra'il (2/3)

وَ لَقَدۡ صَرَّفۡنَا لِلنَّاسِ فِیۡ ہٰذَا الۡقُرۡاٰنِ مِنۡ کُلِّ مَثَلٍ ۫ فَاَبٰۤی اَکۡثَرُ النَّاسِ اِلَّا کُفُوۡرًا ﴿۸۹﴾ وَ قَالُوۡا لَنۡ نُّؤۡمِنَ لَکَ حَتّٰی تَفۡجُرَ لَنَا مِنَ الۡاَرۡضِ یَنۡۢبُوۡعًا ﴿ۙ۹۰﴾ اَوۡ تَکُوۡنَ لَکَ جَنَّۃٌ مِّنۡ نَّخِیۡلٍ وَّ عِنَبٍ فَتُفَجِّرَ الۡاَنۡہٰرَ خِلٰلَہَا تَفۡجِیۡرًا ﴿ۙ۹۱﴾ اَوۡ تُسۡقِطَ السَّمَآءَ کَمَا زَعَمۡتَ عَلَیۡنَا کِسَفًا اَوۡ تَاۡتِیَ بِاللّٰہِ وَ الۡمَلٰٓئِکَۃِ قَبِیۡلًا ﴿ۙ۹۲﴾ اَوۡ یَکُوۡنَ لَکَ بَیۡتٌ مِّنۡ زُخۡرُفٍ اَوۡ تَرۡقٰی فِی السَّمَآءِ ؕ وَ لَنۡ نُّؤۡمِنَ لِرُقِیِّکَ حَتّٰی تُنَزِّلَ عَلَیۡنَا کِتٰبًا نَّقۡرَؤُہٗ ؕ قُلۡ سُبۡحَانَ رَبِّیۡ ہَلۡ کُنۡتُ اِلَّا بَشَرًا رَّسُوۡلًا ﴿۹۳﴾

We have mentioned in this Qur'an various words of wisdom[109] for people in different ways. Even then most people are adamant on denying. They have said: "We will not believe in you unless you make a spring gush from the earth or an orchard of dates or grapes is produced for you; then you not make many canals run through it. Or unless, as you say, you make the sky fall upon us in pieces or unless you bring God and His angels to stand before us, or you not have a house of gold or you not climb to the sky [right before our eyes]. And We will not even believe in your climbing unless you reveal a book to us [from there] that we can read" – Tell them: "Exalted is my Lord.[110] Am I someone else besides a human being whom the Almighty has sent as a messenger?"[111] (89-93)

وَ مَا مَنَعَ النَّاسَ اَنۡ یُّؤۡمِنُوۡۤا اِذۡ جَآءَہُمُ الۡہُدٰۤی اِلَّاۤ اَنۡ قَالُوۡۤا اَبَعَثَ اللّٰہُ بَشَرًا رَّسُوۡلًا ﴿۹۴﴾ قُلۡ لَّوۡ کَانَ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ مَلٰٓئِکَۃٌ یَّمۡشُوۡنَ مُطۡمَئِنِّیۡنَ لَنَزَّلۡنَا عَلَیۡہِمۡ مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ مَلَکًا رَّسُوۡلًا ﴿۹۵﴾ قُلۡ کَفٰی بِاللّٰہِ شَہِیۡدًۢا بَیۡنِیۡ وَ بَیۡنَکُمۡ ؕ اِنَّہٗ کَانَ بِعِبَادِہٖ خَبِیۡرًۢا بَصِیۡرًا ﴿۹۶﴾ وَ مَنۡ یَّہۡدِ اللّٰہُ فَہُوَ الۡمُہۡتَدِ ۚ وَ مَنۡ یُّضۡلِلۡ فَلَنۡ تَجِدَ لَہُمۡ اَوۡلِیَآءَ مِنۡ دُوۡنِہٖ ؕ وَ نَحۡشُرُہُمۡ یَوۡمَ الۡقِیٰمَۃِ عَلٰی وُجُوۡہِہِمۡ عُمۡیًا وَّ بُکۡمًا وَّ صُمًّا ؕ مَاۡوٰىہُمۡ جَہَنَّمُ ؕ کُلَّمَا خَبَتۡ زِدۡنٰہُمۡ سَعِیۡرًا ﴿۹۷﴾ ذٰلِکَ جَزَآؤُہُمۡ بِاَنَّہُمۡ کَفَرُوۡا بِاٰیٰتِنَا وَ قَالُوۡۤاءَ اِذَا کُنَّا عِظَامًا وَّ رُفَاتًاءَ اِنَّا لَمَبۡعُوۡثُوۡنَ خَلۡقًا جَدِیۡدًا ﴿۹۸﴾ اَوَ لَمۡ یَرَوۡا اَنَّ اللّٰہَ الَّذِیۡ خَلَقَ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضَ قَادِرٌ عَلٰۤی اَنۡ یَّخۡلُقَ مِثۡلَہُمۡ وَ جَعَلَ لَہُمۡ اَجَلًا لَّا رَیۡبَ فِیۡہِ ؕ فَاَبَی الظّٰلِمُوۡنَ اِلَّا کُفُوۡرًا ﴿۹۹﴾

When guidance[112] came to these people, the only thing that stopped them from accepting faith was that they said: "Has God sent a human being as a messenger?" Tell them: "Had there been angels on earth walking about calmly,[113] We would have sent down from the heavens an angel as a messenger."[114] Say: "Sufficient is God between you and me as a witness."[115] Surely, He knows His servants; He sees them. In reality, he whom God guides [according to His law] only he will be guided and he whom He misleads, then for such misled you will not find any helper except Him.[116] On the Day of Judgement, We will gather them by dragging them by their faces.[117] The blind, the dumb and the deaf – their abode is Hell. Whenever its fire diminishes, We will ignite it further on them. This is their reward because they denied Our revelations and said: "When we become bones and reduced to dust, would we be raised again?" Have they not thought that the God Who has created the heavens and the earth has the power to create their likes again? And in reality He has appointed a time for them of which there is no doubt. Even then, these unjust are adamant in their denial.[118] (94-99)

قُلۡ لَّوۡ اَنۡتُمۡ تَمۡلِکُوۡنَ خَزَآئِنَ رَحۡمَۃِ رَبِّیۡۤ اِذًا لَّاَمۡسَکۡتُمۡ خَشۡیَۃَ الۡاِنۡفَاقِ ؕ وَ کَانَ الۡاِنۡسَانُ قَتُوۡرًا ﴿۱۰۰﴾

[They are wonder struck on the favour God has blessed you with.] Tell them: "If the treasures of my Lord's mercy were in your possession, you would have definitely withheld them for fear of being consumed." Surely, human beings are very miserly.[119] (100)

وَ لَقَدۡ اٰتَیۡنَا مُوۡسٰی تِسۡعَ اٰیٰتٍۭ بَیِّنٰتٍ فَسۡـَٔلۡ بَنِیۡۤ اِسۡرَآءِیۡلَ اِذۡ جَآءَہُمۡ فَقَالَ لَہٗ فِرۡعَوۡنُ اِنِّیۡ لَاَظُنُّکَ یٰمُوۡسٰی مَسۡحُوۡرًا ﴿۱۰۱﴾ قَالَ لَقَدۡ عَلِمۡتَ مَاۤ اَنۡزَلَ ہٰۤؤُلَآءِ اِلَّا رَبُّ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضِ بَصَآئِرَ ۚ وَ اِنِّیۡ لَاَظُنُّکَ یٰفِرۡعَوۡنُ مَثۡبُوۡرًا ﴿۱۰۲﴾ فَاَرَادَ اَنۡ یَّسۡتَفِزَّہُمۡ مِّنَ الۡاَرۡضِ فَاَغۡرَقۡنٰہُ وَ مَنۡ مَّعَہٗ جَمِیۡعًا ﴿۱۰۳﴾ۙ وَّ قُلۡنَا مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِہٖ لِبَنِیۡۤ اِسۡرَآءِیۡلَ اسۡکُنُوا الۡاَرۡضَ فَاِذَا جَآءَ وَعۡدُ الۡاٰخِرَۃِ جِئۡنَا بِکُمۡ لَفِیۡفًا ﴿۱۰۴﴾ؕ

[You ask for signs.] We had given Moses nine clear signs.[120] Then ask[121] the Israelites that when Moses came to them, the Pharaoh had said to him: "Moses! I think that you are under a magical spell."[122] Moses replied: "You very well know that these signs have been sent forth by the Lord of the heavens and the earth to open [your] eyes. And I think that O Pharaoh! You are [now] a person doomed." After this, the Pharaoh planned to totally uproot the Israelites from the land. So, We drowned him as well as those with him all and after this said to the Israelites: "Dwell in the land [without fear]." Then when the promise of the Hereafter arrives, We all bring forth all of you and assemble you.[123] (101-104)

وَ بِالۡحَقِّ اَنۡزَلۡنٰہُ وَ بِالۡحَقِّ نَزَلَ ؕ وَ مَاۤ اَرۡسَلۡنٰکَ اِلَّا مُبَشِّرًا وَّ نَذِیۡرًا ﴿۱۰۵﴾ۘ وَ قُرۡاٰنًا فَرَقۡنٰہُ لِتَقۡرَاَہٗ عَلَی النَّاسِ عَلٰی مُکۡثٍ وَّ نَزَّلۡنٰہُ تَنۡزِیۡلًا ﴿۱۰۶﴾ قُلۡ اٰمِنُوۡا بِہٖۤ اَوۡ لَا تُؤۡمِنُوۡا ؕ اِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ اُوۡتُوا الۡعِلۡمَ مِنۡ قَبۡلِہٖۤ اِذَا یُتۡلٰی عَلَیۡہِمۡ یَخِرُّوۡنَ لِلۡاَذۡقَانِ سُجَّدًا ﴿۱۰۷﴾ۙ وَّ یَقُوۡلُوۡنَ سُبۡحٰنَ رَبِّنَاۤ اِنۡ کَانَ وَعۡدُ رَبِّنَا لَمَفۡعُوۡلًا ﴿۱۰۸﴾ وَ یَخِرُّوۡنَ لِلۡاَذۡقَانِ یَبۡکُوۡنَ وَ یَزِیۡدُہُمۡ خُشُوۡعًا ﴿۱۰۹﴾

We have revealed this Qur'an with the truth and it is revealed with the truth[124] and [O Prophet!] We have sent you only to give glad tidings [to those who believe] and to warn [those who do not believe]. And We have revealed this Qur'an in parts so that you can gradually recite it to people and [for this purpose] We have revealed it in a very elaborate way.[125] Tell them: "Whether you believe in it or not, when it is recited before those who are given precisely this knowledge [from their Lord] before this, they fall on their chins in prostration and call out: 'Exalted is our Lord; [this was His promise and] the promise of Our Lord had to be fulfilled come what may.' [Hearing it,] they fall on their chins weeping and this only increases their humility."[126] (105-109)

قُلِ ادۡعُوا اللّٰہَ اَوِ ادۡعُوا الرَّحۡمٰنَ ؕ اَیًّامَّا تَدۡعُوۡا فَلَہُ الۡاَسۡمَآءُ الۡحُسۡنٰی ۚ وَ لَا تَجۡہَرۡ بِصَلَاتِکَ وَ لَا تُخَافِتۡ بِہَا وَ ابۡتَغِ بَیۡنَ ذٰلِکَ سَبِیۡلًا ﴿۱۱۰﴾ وَ قُلِ الۡحَمۡدُ لِلّٰہِ الَّذِیۡ لَمۡ یَتَّخِذۡ وَلَدًا وَّ لَمۡ یَکُنۡ لَّہٗ شَرِیۡکٌ فِی الۡمُلۡکِ وَ لَمۡ یَکُنۡ لَّہٗ وَلِیٌّ مِّنَ الذُّلِّ وَ کَبِّرۡہُ تَکۡبِیۡرًا ﴿۱۱۱﴾

[They object that why do you call Allah as Rahman.[127]] Tell them: "Whether you call Him by Allah or by Rahman, all good names are His."[128] And [O Prophet! Earlier, the special prayer you were directed to offer] do not offer that prayer of yours very loudly nor in a very low tone. In fact, adopt a middle way between the two.[129] [Continue to show diligence in the prayer in this beautiful manner] and proclaim: "Gratitude is for God Who neither has children nor is anyone His partner in His kingdom, neither does He need any helper[130] in times of helplessness," and declare His exaltedness the way it is befitting. (110-111)

Kuala Lumpur

20 Nov 2012

(Translated from Al-Bayan by Dr Shehzad Saleem)

[109]. The words مثل and أمثال are used in Arabic to connote words of knowledge and wisdom as well. Concomitant factors show there here it is used in precisely this meaning.

[110]. Ie., He is exalted from giving such authority to some human being and make him His partner in His kingdom.

[111]. This is a brief sentence but so eloquent that it is beyond praise. The implication is that the Prophet(sws) has never claimed to be God. He has never said that he has power over everything. He has never asserted that the heavens and the earth are under his control so that he can do whatever he likes with them. From the very first day, the only thing he has said is that he is a human being who has been sent by God as a messenger. So, what has this claim got to do with their demands? All these are tasks of God and he has never declared that he can accomplish these tasks.

[112]. Ie., God's guidance with all its arguments and proofs.

[113]. Ie., walking calmly the way human beings calmly frequent the earth. This has been stated because though angels do come intermittently on earth to implement the directives of God yet they are not its permanent inhabitants.

[114]. So that the barrier which is essential for trial remains. Otherwise if for angels, human beings had descended from the heavens and vice versa and communicated the message of God, what would have been left to test? Moreover, only the same species can be an example and ideal for each other.

[115]. Ie., sufficient as witness to whether they are deliberately denying out of stubbornness and obduracy or in fact the truth is not evident to them.

[116]. This is a statement of the established practice of God regarding guidance. The words mentioned ahead in the verse refer to the fact that they will go astray for these reasons and ultimately become the fuel of Hell because they remained blind, dumb and deaf in this world.

[117]. The actual words are: نَحْشُرُهُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ عَلَی وُجُوهِهِمْ. In them, the meaning to which عَلَی is pointing has been expressed in the translation.

[118]. Ie., instead of preparing for it, they are making lame excuses such as asking about its time of arrival and the reason for its delay.

[119]. The implication is that if they are miserly, why do they similarly think about God? In the words of Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi, God bestowed them with the pebbles they were worthy of and the pearls the Prophet (sws ) deserved even if this was detested by them and by the Israelites. This is His favour and why would He follow their biases with regard to His favours? If all this had been in their control, they would have definitely gathered it all for themselves and not let is pass into the hands of others.

[120]. Earlier in Surah al-A'raf, these signs have been mentioned. Ie., the staff becoming a serpent, the hand shining like the sun as soon as it was withdrawn from the arm pit, defeat of the magicians in public, drought in the whole country, then the calamities of storms, locusts, lice, frogs and blood which descended one after the other.

[121]. There is a subtle insinuation in this: the Qur'an has brought forth those people as witnesses at whose behest the Quraysh were demanding these miracles.

[122]. Precisely the same words were used for the Prophet (sws) by these people. Thus the implication is that they will not believe even if according to their demand they are shown miracles. The truth is that even if they are shown these miracles, they will still deny the way earlier nations did by making lame excuses.

[123]. Here the Qur'an, in accordance with its style, has also reminded people of the Hereafter: the joy of acquiring success at this time should not make them forget the Hereafter, because real success is success in the Hereafter.

[124]. Ie., it has been revealed in such a way that there is no adulteration of any evil either from the front or from behind. Everything it has said is a certain reality and it has come with true knowledge.

[125]. The disbelievers had raised the objection that since God did not need any preparation why was the Qur'an being revealed in parts. They contended that this meant that the Prophet (sws) contemplated on the situation and then recited whatever he was able to prepare. Here this objection is answered. It is said that this gradual revelation is in deference to his power of comprehension and so that it can be gradually made a part of his knowledge and deeds. Moreover, this too must be understood that the purpose of warning people and purifying their souls for which it has been revealed can only be achieved if it is revealed piecemeal and instructed in parts. It cannot be achieved if it is revealed to him in one instalment.

[126]. This is a mention of the righteous among the People of the Book who were aware of the prophecies of their prophets and scriptures and were thus awaiting a promised messenger and book. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

... It is a reference to this blessed group. The Prophet (sws) was directed that he was to declare to the disbelievers among the Quraysh and the Israelites that whether they accepted faith or not it was sufficient for his own satisfaction that there existed a group among the People of the Book that prostrated as soon as it heard the Qur'an and when it saw that God had fulfilled His promise, tears of both gatitude and humility trickled down from its eyes. Tears of gratitude are understandable. As far as tears of humility are concerned, they are because this reminds afresh the promise of the Hereafter that the Lord Who has fulfilled this promise will surely fulfil His promise of the Hereafter. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 4, 546)

[127]. Why was this objection raised? The reason was that though the Arabs used both names Allah and Rahman for God, the name Rahman was more used by the People of the Book. This instigated them to say that the Prophet (sws) was trying to impose the religion and traditions of the People of the Book over their religion and traditions and that the People of the Book were actually secretly helping him in this matter.

[128]. Ie., not just Rahman, He has several names. It is mere foolishness on their part that one of His names be made a hurdle to accepting faith. The righteous do not have a bias to merely a name. Hence whether God is called Allah or Rahman, He can be called with all names that befit His majesty.

[129]. Ie., in the tahajjud prayer, of which the specific directive for the Prophet (sws) has been mentioned earlier. The word occurs in the verse precisely for this reason. It does not relate to other prayers. For them, reading aloud or in the heart was already well known. It is evident from various narratives (eg. Abu Da'ud, 1329; Tirmidhi, 447) that those among the companions diligently offered the prayer were also given this directive by the Prophet (sws). Deliberation shows that this method is very appropriate for the prayer of tahajjud.

[130]. This is the same style which Imru' al-Qays has adopted in لا يهتدى بمناره. Ie., God is never afflicted with humiliation or subjugation so that He may need some helper to save Himself from it.

Surah Bani Isra'il (1/3)

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Courage

Appendix C: A Brief Biographical Sketch of Hamīd al-Dīn al-Farāhī (1863-1930) [1]

Appendix B:  A Brief Summary of the Views of Traditional and Radical Western Scholars

Appendix A:  A Summary of the View of Traditional Muslim Scholars

A Critical Evaluation of Farahī’s View on the Collection of the Qur’ān

A Citizen of Paradise (Written on the Martyrdom of Dr Habib ur Rahman)

Forgiveness

Gratitude

Your Questions Answered

Reason and Revelation

Your Questions Answered

Explanation of Some Qur’ānic Words

Explanation of Some Jarh Terms

The Warrior who became a Martyr

A Narrative on the Placement of Sūrah Anfāl (8) and…

A Critical Analysis of the Narratives on the… (Part 1/2)

A Critical Analysis of the Narratives on the… (Part 2/2)

Your Questions Answered

Travelling Alone!

A Narrative on the Schematic Arrangement of the Qur’ān (Part 2/2)

A Narrative on the Schematic Arrangement of the Qur’ān (Part 1/2)