Surah Hud (2/3)

Surah Hud (2/3)

Surah Hud (1/3)

تِلۡکَ مِنۡ اَنۡۢبَآءِ الۡغَیۡبِ نُوۡحِیۡہَاۤ اِلَیۡکَ ۚ مَا کُنۡتَ تَعۡلَمُہَاۤ اَنۡتَ وَ لَا قَوۡمُکَ مِنۡ قَبۡلِ ہٰذَا ؕۛ فَاصۡبِرۡ ؕۛ اِنَّ الۡعَاقِبَۃَ لِلۡمُتَّقِیۡنَ ﴿۴۹﴾

These are the news of the unseen which [O Prophet!] We are revealing to you. You neither knew them before this nor were the people of your nation aware of them. So, remain steadfast. The final success is for those who fear God.[59] (49)

وَ اِلٰی عَادٍ اَخَاہُمۡ ہُوۡدًا ؕ قَالَ یٰقَوۡمِ اعۡبُدُوا اللّٰہَ مَا لَکُمۡ مِّنۡ اِلٰہٍ غَیۡرُہٗ ؕ اِنۡ اَنۡتُمۡ اِلَّا مُفۡتَرُوۡنَ ﴿۵۰﴾ یٰقَوۡمِ لَاۤ اَسۡـَٔلُکُمۡ عَلَیۡہِ اَجۡرًا ؕ اِنۡ اَجۡرِیَ اِلَّا عَلَی الَّذِیۡ فَطَرَنِیۡ ؕ اَفَلَا تَعۡقِلُوۡنَ ﴿۵۱﴾ وَ یٰقَوۡمِ اسۡتَغۡفِرُوۡا رَبَّکُمۡ ثُمَّ تُوۡبُوۡۤا اِلَیۡہِ یُرۡسِلِ السَّمَآءَ عَلَیۡکُمۡ مِّدۡرَارًا وَّ یَزِدۡکُمۡ قُوَّۃً اِلٰی قُوَّتِکُمۡ وَ لَا تَتَوَلَّوۡا مُجۡرِمِیۡنَ ﴿۵۲﴾ قَالُوۡا یٰہُوۡدُ مَا جِئۡتَنَا بِبَیِّنَۃٍ وَّ مَا نَحۡنُ بِتَارِکِیۡۤ اٰلِہَتِنَا عَنۡ قَوۡلِکَ وَ مَا نَحۡنُ لَکَ بِمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ ﴿۵۳﴾ اِنۡ نَّقُوۡلُ اِلَّا اعۡتَرٰىکَ بَعۡضُ اٰلِہَتِنَا بِسُوۡٓءٍ ؕ قَالَ اِنِّیۡۤ اُشۡہِدُ اللّٰہَ وَ اشۡہَدُوۡۤا اَنِّیۡ بَرِیۡٓءٌ مِّمَّا تُشۡرِکُوۡنَ ﴿ۙ۵۴﴾ مِنۡ دُوۡنِہٖ فَکِیۡدُوۡنِیۡ جَمِیۡعًا ثُمَّ لَا تُنۡظِرُوۡنِ ﴿۵۵﴾ اِنِّیۡ تَوَکَّلۡتُ عَلَی اللّٰہِ رَبِّیۡ وَ رَبِّکُمۡ ؕ مَا مِنۡ دَآبَّۃٍ اِلَّا ہُوَ اٰخِذٌۢ بِنَاصِیَتِہَا ؕ اِنَّ رَبِّیۡ عَلٰی صِرَاطٍ مُّسۡتَقِیۡمٍ ﴿۵۶﴾فَاِنۡ تَوَلَّوۡا فَقَدۡ اَبۡلَغۡتُکُمۡ مَّاۤ اُرۡسِلۡتُ بِہٖۤ اِلَیۡکُمۡ ؕ وَ یَسۡتَخۡلِفُ رَبِّیۡ قَوۡمًا غَیۡرَکُمۡ ۚ وَ لَا تَضُرُّوۡنَہٗ شَیۡئًا ؕ اِنَّ رَبِّیۡ عَلٰی کُلِّ شَیۡءٍ حَفِیۡظٌ ﴿۵۷﴾ وَ لَمَّا جَآءَ اَمۡرُنَا نَجَّیۡنَا ہُوۡدًا وَّ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا مَعَہٗ بِرَحۡمَۃٍ مِّنَّا ۚ وَ نَجَّیۡنٰہُمۡ مِّنۡ عَذَابٍ غَلِیۡظٍ ﴿۵۸﴾

[Similarly,] to 'Ad We sent their brother Hud.[60] He invited them: "People of My Nation! Worship God. No one else is your God. [In reality,] you are merely fabricating falsehoods [against Him.] People of My Nation! [I say this to you as your well-wisher.] I do not demand any reward from you on this. My reward is with He Who created me. Then do you not understand? People of My Nation! Seek forgiveness from your Lord. Then turn to Him,[61] He will pour down intense rain on you and increase your strength further.[62] Do not turn away as criminals." They replied: "Hud! You have not brought any clear sign[63] to us and it is our decision that we are neither leaving our deities merely at your bidding nor believing in you. We only say that you have been inflicted with a punishment from someone among your and our deities." Hud said: "I make God as a witness and you also be a witness that I am totally acquitted from those whom you worship besides God.[64] So, all of you may scheme against me [in whatever way you want to]; then do not give me the slightest respite. I have put my trust in God – my and your Lord. The forehead of every living being is in His hands. My Lord surely is on the straight path.[65] If you pay no heed even after this, then I have delivered the message with which I was sent to you. Now my Lord will grant authority to some other nation in your place and you will not be able to harm Him in any way.[66] Indeed, my Lord guards everything." [Then it ensued that] when Our judgement was passed; We delivered with Our mercy Hud and those who had believed with him, and in this manner saved them from a very harsh torment.[67] (50-58)

وَ تِلۡکَ عَادٌ ۟ۙ جَحَدُوۡا بِاٰیٰتِ رَبِّہِمۡ وَ عَصَوۡا رُسُلَہٗ وَ اتَّبَعُوۡۤا اَمۡرَ کُلِّ جَبَّارٍ عَنِیۡدٍ ﴿۵۹﴾ وَ اُتۡبِعُوۡا فِیۡ ہٰذِہِ الدُّنۡیَا لَعۡنَۃً وَّ یَوۡمَ الۡقِیٰمَۃِ ؕ اَلَاۤ اِنَّ عَادًا کَفَرُوۡا رَبَّہُمۡ ؕ اَلَا بُعۡدًا لِّعَادٍ قَوۡمِ ہُوۡدٍ ﴿۶۰﴾

These were the 'Ad. They rejected the revelations of their Lord, did not obey His messengers[68] and continued to follow the way of every tyrant and defiant person. Finally, a curse followed them in this world and on the Day of Judgement too. Listen! The 'Ad disbelieved in their Lord. Listen! The 'Ad were accursed, people of Hud's nation. (59-60)

وَ اِلٰی ثَمُوۡدَ اَخَاہُمۡ صٰلِحًا ۘ قَالَ یٰقَوۡمِ اعۡبُدُوا اللّٰہَ مَا لَکُمۡ مِّنۡ اِلٰہٍ غَیۡرُہٗ ؕ ہُوَ اَنۡشَاَکُمۡ مِّنَ الۡاَرۡضِ وَ اسۡتَعۡمَرَکُمۡ فِیۡہَا فَاسۡتَغۡفِرُوۡہُ ثُمَّ تُوۡبُوۡۤا اِلَیۡہِ ؕ اِنَّ رَبِّیۡ قَرِیۡبٌ مُّجِیۡبٌ ﴿۶۱﴾ قَالُوۡا یٰصٰلِحُ قَدۡ کُنۡتَ فِیۡنَا مَرۡجُوًّا قَبۡلَ ہٰذَاۤ اَتَنۡہٰنَاۤ اَنۡ نَّعۡبُدَ مَا یَعۡبُدُ اٰبَآؤُنَا وَ اِنَّنَا لَفِیۡ شَکٍّ مِّمَّا تَدۡعُوۡنَاۤ اِلَیۡہِ مُرِیۡبٍ ﴿۶۲﴾ قَالَ یٰقَوۡمِ اَرَءَیۡتُمۡ اِنۡ کُنۡتُ عَلٰی بَیِّنَۃٍ مِّنۡ رَّبِّیۡ وَ اٰتٰىنِیۡ مِنۡہُ رَحۡمَۃً فَمَنۡ یَّنۡصُرُنِیۡ مِنَ اللّٰہِ اِنۡ عَصَیۡتُہٗ ۟ فَمَا تَزِیۡدُوۡنَنِیۡ غَیۡرَ تَخۡسِیۡرٍ ﴿۶۳﴾

In a similar way, to the Thamud[69] We sent their brother Salih as a messenger. He invited them: "O People of My Nation! Worship God, there is for you no God except Him. He has created you from the earth and made you populate it. For this reason, seek forgiveness from Him; then turn to Him. My Lord is near and also one who accepts [the supplications of His people]." They replied: "Salih! Before this, a lot of hope was pinned in you among us; [but what a person you turned out to be!] Do you now want to stop us from the worship of the deities[70] that have been worshipped by our forefathers? We are in a great doubt that has confounded us because of that which you are calling us to."[71] He said: "People of My Nation! Reflect a little that if I am on a clear sign from my Lord and He has also granted me a [special] grace from Himself,[72] then who can save me from God's grasp if I disobey Him? So, [from what you desire,[73]] you will only increase in ruining me. (61-63)

وَ یٰقَوۡمِ ہٰذِہٖ نَاقَۃُ اللّٰہِ لَکُمۡ اٰیَۃً فَذَرُوۡہَا تَاۡکُلۡ فِیۡۤ اَرۡضِ اللّٰہِ وَلَا تَمَسُّوۡہَا بِسُوۡٓءٍ فَیَاۡخُذَکُمۡ عَذَابٌ قَرِیۡبٌ ﴿۶۴﴾ فَعَقَرُوۡہَا فَقَالَ تَمَتَّعُوۡا فِیۡ دَارِکُمۡ ثَلٰثَۃَ اَیَّامٍ ؕ ذٰلِکَ وَعۡدٌ غَیۡرُ مَکۡذُوۡبٍ ﴿۶۵﴾ فَلَمَّا جَآءَ اَمۡرُنَا نَجَّیۡنَا صٰلِحًا وَّ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا مَعَہٗ بِرَحۡمَۃٍ مِّنَّا وَ مِنۡ خِزۡیِ یَوۡمِئِذٍ ؕ اِنَّ رَبَّکَ ہُوَ الۡقَوِیُّ الۡعَزِیۡزُ ﴿۶۶﴾ وَ اَخَذَ الَّذِیۡنَ ظَلَمُوا الصَّیۡحَۃُ فَاَصۡبَحُوۡا فِیۡ دِیَارِہِمۡ جٰثِمِیۡنَ ﴿ۙ۶۷﴾ کَاَنۡ لَّمۡ یَغۡنَوۡا فِیۡہَا ؕ اَلَاۤ اِنَّ ثَمُوۡدَا۠ کَفَرُوۡا رَبَّہُمۡ ؕ اَلَا بُعۡدًا لِّثَمُوۡدَ ﴿۶۸﴾

People of My Nation! This is God's she-camel as a sign for you. Thus leave it that it may graze in the land and do not touch it with any evil intention otherwise a torment will soon visit you.[74] Then they hamstrung her.[75] At this, Salih warned them: "Thrive in your settlements for three more days; this warning is not a false one."[76] Thus when Our directive was given,[77] We delivered with Our special grace Salih and those who professed belief with him [from that torment] and saved [them] from the humiliation of that day.[78] There is no doubt that your Lord alone is powerful and mighty.[79] And a violent roar overtook those who had been unjust and they were left lying face down in their houses as if they never lived in them. Listen! The Thamud disbelieved in their Lord. Listen! The Thamud were cursed. (64-68)

وَ لَقَدۡ جَآءَتۡ رُسُلُنَاۤ اِبۡرٰہِیۡمَ بِالۡبُشۡرٰی قَالُوۡا سَلٰمًا ؕ قَالَ سَلٰمٌ فَمَا لَبِثَ اَنۡ جَآءَ بِعِجۡلٍ حَنِیۡذٍ ﴿۶۹﴾ فَلَمَّا رَاٰۤ اَیۡدِیَہُمۡ لَا تَصِلُ اِلَیۡہِ نَکِرَہُمۡ وَ اَوۡجَسَ مِنۡہُمۡ خِیۡفَۃً ؕ قَالُوۡا لَا تَخَفۡ اِنَّاۤ اُرۡسِلۡنَاۤ اِلٰی قَوۡمِ لُوۡطٍ ﴿ؕ۷۰﴾ وَ امۡرَاَتُہٗ قَآئِمَۃٌ فَضَحِکَتۡ فَبَشَّرۡنٰہَا بِاِسۡحٰقَ ۙوَ مِنۡ وَّرَآءِ اِسۡحٰقَ یَعۡقُوۡبَ ﴿۷۱﴾ قَالَتۡ یٰوَیۡلَتٰۤیءَ اَلِدُ وَ اَنَا عَجُوۡزٌ وَّ ہٰذَا بَعۡلِیۡ شَیۡخًا ؕ اِنَّ ہٰذَا لَشَیۡءٌ عَجِیۡبٌ ﴿۷۲﴾ قَالُوۡۤا اَتَعۡجَبِیۡنَ مِنۡ اَمۡرِ اللّٰہِ رَحۡمَتُ اللّٰہِ وَ بَرَکٰتُہٗ عَلَیۡکُمۡ اَہۡلَ الۡبَیۡتِ ؕ اِنَّہٗ حَمِیۡدٌ مَّجِیۡدٌ ﴿۷۳﴾

[And in the case of Lot, what happened was that first] Our angels came to Abraham with a glad tiding. They said: "Peace." Abraham replied: "Peace be to you too." Then not much time elapsed when Abraham brought to them a roasted calf [for their hospitality].[80] But when he saw that their hands were not reaching towards it, he felt some strangeness from them and began fearing them a little in his heart.[81] They said: "Fear not. We have been sent towards the people of Lot." Abraham's wife was standing nearby; so, she laughed [with joy].[82] Then We gave him glad tidings of Isaac and after Isaac, Jacob.[83] She said: "Alas! Will I beget a child when I myself am old and this husband of mine has also grown old? This is a very strangething."[84] The angels replied: "Do you express wonder on God's matter? Family of Abraham! God's mercy and blessings are on you.[85] Indeed, God has all praiseworthy attributes. He has great majesty. (69-73)

فَلَمَّا ذَہَبَ عَنۡ اِبۡرٰہِیۡمَ الرَّوۡعُ وَ جَآءَتۡہُ الۡبُشۡرٰی یُجَادِلُنَا فِیۡ قَوۡمِ لُوۡطٍ ﴿ؕ۷۴﴾ اِنَّ اِبۡرٰہِیۡمَ لَحَلِیۡمٌ اَوَّاہٌ مُّنِیۡبٌ ﴿۷۵﴾ یٰۤـاِبۡرٰہِیۡمُ اَعۡرِضۡ عَنۡ ہٰذَا ۚ اِنَّہٗ قَدۡ جَآءَ اَمۡرُ رَبِّکَ ۚ وَ اِنَّہُمۡ اٰتِیۡہِمۡ عَذَابٌ غَیۡرُ مَرۡدُوۡدٍ ﴿۷۶﴾

Then when Abraham's fear left him and glad tidings were received by him, He began arguing with Us[86] about the nation of Lot. In reality, Abraham was very gracious and very affectionate and one who was very focused towards his Lord – Abraham! Leave aside this debate. The directive of your Lord has been issued and now that torment is going to visit them which cannot be warded off.[87] (74-76)

[59].This is stated because in accordance with the established practice of God with regard to His messengers, these messengers and their followers always succeed and their enemies are doomed.

[60].The 'Ad are the most ancient nation of the Arabs. They were Semites and they inhabited the area of Ahqaf which lies between Hijaz and Yemen in the south west of al-Rub' al-Khali. They are proverbial in Arab literature for their ancient origin as well as for their splendour and majesty. Hud (sws) was one of their individuals who was sent to them as a messenger. To express God's favour, it is stated that He did not send any stranger to the 'Ad. In fact, He sent their brother Hud (sws) to them so that the truth was conclusively communicated to them.

[61].There are two components of tawbah (repentance): one, a person should not repeat his mistake, and two, he should revert to what is correct. For the first component, the Qur'an uses the word istighfar and for the second tawbah. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

... The first of these is based on fear and the second on love. Moreover, awareness and realization are an important part of them. Unless all these components exist simultaneously, merely repeating the words of tawbah and astaghfirullah will not bring about a tawbah which is acceptable to God. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 4, 145)

[62].This is an expression of the blessings of collective repentance on the preaching endeavour of messengers of God also mentioned at other instances in the Qur'an. They refer to an increase in sustenance and political power. The Almighty opens the doors of the heavens for these favours and paves the way for the political dominance and authority in this world for those who repent.

[63].Ie., some decisive miracle.

[64].Since what these people had said was absolutely senseless, Hud's (sws) regard and honour for monotheism flared up and he passionately declared his acquittal from monotheism. Moreover, in the succeeding verses, he even challenged them and their deities to do whatever they could against him; they would get to know what true faith in God was and on the basis of which he had taken up the preaching of monotheism.

[65].Ie., to acquire God's cognizance there is no need to pass through twisted and contorted routes and there is also no need to find intermediaries to reach His presence. Human intellect and nature can directly recognize God and if a person turns towards Him with full sincerity, He is right there before him on the straight path.

[66].The implication is that now a torment will visit them that will utterly rout and completely destroy them and some other nation will take their place. In spite of all their splendour and majesty, they will not be able to save themselves from God's grasp.

[67].How did this torment descend upon them? It is evident from its details found in the Qur'an that winter clouds appeared with thunder and lightning and a tempestuous wind shattered the whole city to extinction.

[68].Though only one messenger was sent to the 'Ad yet they would have adopted the same attitude whichever messenger had presented this message to them. Hence the disobedience to one messenger has been regarded as disobedience to all messengers.

[69].These are from the remnants of the 'Ad. For this reason, they are also called the second 'Ad. Among the ancient nations of Arabia, this is the second nation which achieved extraordinary fame after the 'Ad. They inhabited the land of al-Hijr which was in the north west of Arabia. According to both the Qur'an and Arab traditions, both the 'Ad and the Thamud had similar attributes.

[70].The actual words are: اَتَنۡہٰنَاۤ اَنۡ نَّعۡبُدَ. The letter عَنْ is suppressed in them. Ie, اَتَنۡہٰنَاۤ عَنْ اَنْ نَّعْبُدَ.

[71].Ie., to the worship of one God after leaving all other deities – a message with which every prophet begins his preaching.

[72].Precisely the same words occur earlier in the account of Noah (sws). They have been explained there.

[73].Reference is towards those expectations which the people of his nation had from Salih (sws). They thought that he would glorify their forefathers and enhance the honour and respect of their ancestral religion and national traditions.

[74].The implication is that Salih (sws) has earmarked a she-camel at the behest of God. It has been dedicated to God and in this respect she is God's camel. It is a sign of God's torment for them. If they harm it, then they will have lost their last hope for survival. After this, nothing will be able to stop the storm of God's wrath from entering their cities.

[75].Though one of their rebellious leaders had killed the she-camel, the Qur'an has ascribed this killing to the whole nation. The reason for this is that all other rebellious elements showed their consent in this.

[76].This she-camel was a benchmark to judge the rebelliousness of the nation. It became evident from its killing that these people did not deserve any further respite. Thus at the bidding of his Lord, Salih (sws) sounded this notice to them.

[77].Ie., the directive of punishment. The actual word used is: أَمْر. The eloquence in it is that as soon as the directive was given, the punishment was immediately meted out to them. It is as if the punishment was hidden in this one word.

[78].In this sentence, at one place a verb is suppressed and at another a related clause in accordance with linguistic principles. They have been revealed in the translation.

[79].There is assurance in this for the Prophet (sws) and his companions: they should rest assured that this might and power will manifestin the matter of the Quraysh and ultimately it is God Who is going to prevail.

[80].This is a measure of the hospitality and generosity of Abraham (sws): he immediately slaughtered a calf from his herd for his guests. Obviously, only some meat of this calf must have been presented to these guests. Yet the Qur'an in order to highlight this prominent trait of Abraham's character mentioned "calf" instead of "meat."

[81].The probable reason for fear was that if they were not eating the food prepared for them, then perhaps they may be angels and if they were angels then they had come in the form of human beings and if this was so then they might have come to warn him or his family for any mistake.

[82].If a person is in a state of fear and the reason for this fear suddenly goes away, then at times such a laugh ensues involuntarily.

[83].The angels gave these glad tidings on behalf of God and hence the words are: "We gave him glad tidings." In the words of Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi, the various aspects of the special blessing of God and completion of favourfound in these glad tidings do not need expression. Moreover, the glad tidings of a grandson after the son gave the assurance that the son would live a considerably long life and a famous grandson will be born of him.

[84].It is evident from the way this wonder is expressed that there is a strong desire to acquire satisfaction that the apparent hindrances found in the fulfillment of these tidings will be removed.

[85].The actual words are: رَحْمَتُ اللهِ وَ بَرَكَاتُهُ عَلَيْكُمْ اَهْلَ البَيْتِ. The pronoun in عَلَيْكُمْ is in the masculine plural. In Arabic, this is a very civilized and polite way of addressing women of a household. The elements of modesty and respect found in this address are quite evident to every person having literary taste.

[86].What was this argument about and how many aspects of love, affection, concern and sympathy of Abraham's personality were concealed in it as well as his great trust in God? For this, its account in the Bible must be read. It is recorded in the Book of Genesis:

The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the Lord.Then Abraham approached him and said: "Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it?Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?" The Lordsaid, "If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake." Then Abraham spoke up again: "Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes, what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five people?" "If I find forty-five there," he said, "I will not destroy it." Once again he spoke to him, "What if only forty are found there?" He said, "For the sake of forty, I will not do it." Then he said, "May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?" He answered, "I will not do it if I find thirty there." Abraham said, "Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?" He said, "For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it." Then he said, "May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?" He answered, "For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it." When the Lordhad finished speaking with Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned home. (18:22-33)

[87].It has been mentioned earlier that such is the nature of the punishment which comes to a nation once a messenger has conclusively communicated the truth to it. Once it comes, it only leaves when everything is destroyed.


Surah Hud (3/3)

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