Surah Ibrahim – Surah al-Hijr (1/2)

Surah Ibrahim – Surah al-Hijr (1/2)

Qur'anic Exegesis

Both these surahs form a pair with regard to their subject-matter. The first surah warns and threatens the Quraysh while the second one gives assurance to the Prophet (sws) for which the Quraysh were warned and threatened in the first surah. The assurance given to him is that he should be satisfied that the Qur'an in itself is a clear proof. If they do not accept it, then he should leave them alone; soon the time will arrive when they will regret adopting this attitude.

The theme of both is delivering warning and glad tidings which is continuing since the previous surahs. The difference, however, is that the consequences are stated in a very clear way and admonition and warning have given way to rebuke, and reprimand.

Both surahs are primarily addressed to the Quraysh and it is evident from their subject matter that they were revealed in Makkah in the phase of conclusive communication of the truth (itmam al-hujjah) of the preaching mission of the Prophet (sws).

سُوۡرَۃُ اِبۡرٰہِیۡمَ

بِسۡمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِیۡمِ

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

الٓرٰ ۟ کِتٰبٌ اَنۡزَلۡنٰہُ اِلَیۡکَ لِتُخۡرِجَ النَّاسَ مِنَ الظُّلُمٰتِ اِلَی النُّوۡرِ ۬ۙ بِاِذۡنِ رَبِّہِمۡ اِلٰی صِرَاطِ الۡعَزِیۡزِ الۡحَمِیۡدِ ۙ﴿۱﴾اللّٰہِ الَّذِیۡ لَہٗ مَا فِی السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ مَا فِی الۡاَرۡضِ ؕ وَ وَیۡلٌ لِّلۡکٰفِرِیۡنَ مِنۡ عَذَابٍ شَدِیۡدِۣ ۙ﴿۲﴾الَّذِیۡنَ یَسۡتَحِبُّوۡنَ الۡحَیٰوۃَ الدُّنۡیَا عَلَی الۡاٰخِرَۃِ وَ یَصُدُّوۡنَ عَنۡ سَبِیۡلِ اللّٰہِ وَ یَبۡغُوۡنَہَا عِوَجًا ؕ اُولٰٓئِکَ فِیۡ ضَلٰلٍۭ بَعِیۡدٍ ﴿۳﴾وَ مَاۤ اَرۡسَلۡنَا مِنۡ رَّسُوۡلٍ اِلَّا بِلِسَانِ قَوۡمِہٖ لِیُبَیِّنَ لَہُمۡ ؕ فَیُضِلُّ اللّٰہُ مَنۡ یَّشَآءُ وَ یَہۡدِیۡ مَنۡ یَّشَآءُ ؕ وَ ہُوَ الۡعَزِیۡزُ الۡحَکِیۡمُ ﴿۴﴾

This is Surah Alif Lam Ra.[1] This is the Book We have revealed to you so that you may bring out people from darkness into light[2] with the permission of their Lord[3] to the path of the God Who is powerful and has all praiseworthy attributes.[4] The God to Whom belongs whatever is in the heavens and the earth. [Would you reject Him? Bear in mind that] for those who reject this Book there is destruction through a severe torment. For those who give preference to the life of this world over the Hereafter and stop [people] from the way of God and want to create diversion in it.[5] These people have deviated far from the truth. [For them, this Book has been revealed in their language] and [Our practice is that] whichever messenger We sent, We have sent in the language of his nation so that he can make them fully understand. Then whoever God wants, He leads him astray [according to His law[6]] and guides whoever He wants. He is powerful; full of wisdom. (1-4)

وَ لَقَدۡ اَرۡسَلۡنَا مُوۡسٰی بِاٰیٰتِنَاۤ اَنۡ اَخۡرِجۡ قَوۡمَکَ مِنَ الظُّلُمٰتِ اِلَی النُّوۡرِ ۬ۙ وَ ذَکِّرۡہُمۡ بِاَیّٰىمِ اللّٰہِ ؕ اِنَّ فِیۡ ذٰلِکَ لَاٰیٰتٍ لِّکُلِّ صَبَّارٍ شَکُوۡرٍ ﴿۵﴾

[In a similar way,] We had sent Moses (sws) with Our signs:[7] "Bring out your people from darkness into light and remind them of the days of God [in which His law of worldly reward and punishment manifested itself[8]]." There is no doubt that in these there are great signs for every person who remains steadfast [during the trials of God] and is grateful[9] [to His favours and blessings]. (5)

وَ اِذۡ قَالَ مُوۡسٰی لِقَوۡمِہِ اذۡکُرُوۡا نِعۡمَۃَ اللّٰہِ عَلَیۡکُمۡ اِذۡ اَنۡجٰکُمۡ مِّنۡ اٰلِ فِرۡعَوۡنَ یَسُوۡمُوۡنَکُمۡ سُوۡٓءَ الۡعَذَابِ وَ یُذَبِّحُوۡنَ اَبۡنَآءَکُمۡ وَ یَسۡتَحۡیُوۡنَ نِسَآءَکُمۡ ؕ وَ فِیۡ ذٰلِکُمۡ بَلَآءٌ مِّنۡ رَّبِّکُمۡ عَظِیۡمٌ ﴿۶﴾وَ اِذۡ تَاَذَّنَ رَبُّکُمۡ لَئِنۡ شَکَرۡتُمۡ لَاَزِیۡدَنَّکُمۡ وَ لَئِنۡ کَفَرۡتُمۡ اِنَّ عَذَابِیۡ لَشَدِیۡدٌ ﴿۷﴾وَ قَالَ مُوۡسٰۤی اِنۡ تَکۡفُرُوۡۤا اَنۡتُمۡ وَ مَنۡ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ جَمِیۡعًا ۙ فَاِنَّ اللّٰہَ لَغَنِیٌّ حَمِیۡدٌ ﴿۸﴾

Recall when Moses said to his nation: "Remember the favours of God on your selves when He delivered you from the people of the Pharaoh who afflicted you with evil torments: they would ransack your sons to slaughter them and let your women live. There was a great favour in this[10] [for you] from your Lord." And remember when your Lord warned you: "If you are grateful, I will give you more and if you are ungrateful, My punishment is very severe."[11] And [together with this] Moses had warned: "If you show ingratitude and all the people of the earth also become ungrateful like this, you will not in any way harm God because God is self-sufficient and has all praiseworthy attributes."[12] (6-8)

اَلَمۡ یَاۡتِکُمۡ نَبَؤُا الَّذِیۡنَ مِنۡ قَبۡلِکُمۡ قَوۡمِ نُوۡحٍ وَّ عَادٍ وَّ ثَمُوۡدَ ۬ؕۛ وَ الَّذِیۡنَ مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِہِمۡ ؕۛ لَا یَعۡلَمُہُمۡ اِلَّا اللّٰہُ ؕ جَآءَتۡہُمۡ رُسُلُہُمۡ بِالۡبَیِّنٰتِ فَرَدُّوۡۤا اَیۡدِیَہُمۡ فِیۡۤ اَفۡوَاہِہِمۡ وَ قَالُوۡۤا اِنَّا کَفَرۡنَا بِمَاۤ اُرۡسِلۡتُمۡ بِہٖ وَ اِنَّا لَفِیۡ شَکٍّ مِّمَّا تَدۡعُوۡنَنَاۤ اِلَیۡہِ مُرِیۡبٍ ﴿۹﴾قَالَتۡ رُسُلُہُمۡ اَفِی اللّٰہِ شَکٌّ فَاطِرِ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضِ ؕ یَدۡعُوۡکُمۡ لِیَغۡفِرَ لَکُمۡ مِّنۡ ذُنُوۡبِکُمۡ وَ یُؤَخِّرَکُمۡ اِلٰۤی اَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّی ؕ قَالُوۡۤا اِنۡ اَنۡتُمۡ اِلَّا بَشَرٌ مِّثۡلُنَا ؕ تُرِیۡدُوۡنَ اَنۡ تَصُدُّوۡنَا عَمَّا کَانَ یَعۡبُدُ اٰبَآؤُنَا فَاۡتُوۡنَا بِسُلۡطٰنٍ مُّبِیۡنٍ ﴿۱۰﴾قَالَتۡ لَہُمۡ رُسُلُہُمۡ اِنۡ نَّحۡنُ اِلَّا بَشَرٌ مِّثۡلُکُمۡ وَ لٰکِنَّ اللّٰہَ یَمُنُّ عَلٰی مَنۡ یَّشَآءُ مِنۡ عِبَادِہٖ ؕ وَ مَا کَانَ لَنَاۤ اَنۡ نَّاۡتِیَکُمۡ بِسُلۡطٰنٍ اِلَّا بِاِذۡنِ اللّٰہِ ؕ وَ عَلَی اللّٰہِ فَلۡیَتَوَکَّلِ الۡمُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ ﴿۱۱﴾وَ مَا لَنَاۤ اَلَّا نَتَوَکَّلَ عَلَی اللّٰہِ وَ قَدۡ ہَدٰىنَا سُبُلَنَا ؕ وَ لَنَصۡبِرَنَّ عَلٰی مَاۤ اٰذَیۡتُمُوۡنَا ؕ وَ عَلَی اللّٰہِ فَلۡیَتَوَکَّلِ الۡمُتَوَکِّلُوۡنَ ﴿۱۲﴾وَ قَالَ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا لِرُسُلِہِمۡ لَنُخۡرِجَنَّکُمۡ مِّنۡ اَرۡضِنَاۤ اَوۡ لَتَعُوۡدُنَّ فِیۡ مِلَّتِنَا ؕ فَاَوۡحٰۤی اِلَیۡہِمۡ رَبُّہُمۡ لَنُہۡلِکَنَّ الظّٰلِمِیۡنَ ﴿ۙ۱۳﴾وَ لَنُسۡکِنَنَّـکُمُ الۡاَرۡضَ مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِہِمۡ ؕ ذٰلِکَ لِمَنۡ خَافَ مَقَامِیۡ وَ خَافَ وَعِیۡدِ ﴿۱۴﴾

Has not the news of those reached you who lived before you? The people of Noah, the 'Ad, the Thamud and those who were after them, who no one except God knows. Their messengers brought veritable signs to them; then they inserted their hands in their mouths[13] [that be silent] and said: "We do not believe in what you are calling us to; we are in a perplexing doubt about it." Their messengers said: "Do you have doubts about the God Who is the creator of the heavens and the earth?[14] He is calling you in order to forgive some of your sins [you did before this] and give you respite till an appointed time." They answered: "You are a mortal like us. You want to stop us from the worship of what our forefathers have been worshipping. [If this is true,] then bring before us a clear proof."[15] Their messengers said to them: "Indeed, we are but mortals like you; but God blesses whomsoever of His servants He chooses. It is not in our authority to show you a proof without God's permission. [So, we consign this demand of yours to God] and the believers should only trust God [in such matters]. And why should we not trust God when He has guided us about these ways of ours. We shall remain steadfast in all circumstances on the hurt you are causing us and [trust God because] those who trust should trust God alone." At this, the disbelievers said to their messengers: "We shall definitely banish you from our land or otherwise you will have to ultimately return to our way."[16] Then their Lord revealed to them: "We shall destroy these unjust people and after them make you inhabitants of this land.[17] This is a glad tiding for those who fear standing before me [for accountability] and who fear my threat." (9-14)

وَ اسۡتَفۡتَحُوۡا وَ خَابَ کُلُّ جَبَّارٍ عَنِیۡدٍ ﴿ۙ۱۵﴾مِّنۡ وَّرَآئِہٖ جَہَنَّمُ وَ یُسۡقٰی مِنۡ مَّآءٍ صَدِیۡدٍ ﴿ۙ۱۶﴾یَّتَجَرَّعُہٗ وَ لَا یَکَادُ یُسِیۡغُہٗ وَ یَاۡتِیۡہِ الۡمَوۡتُ مِنۡ کُلِّ مَکَانٍ وَّ مَا ہُوَ بِمَیِّتٍ ؕ وَ مِنۡ وَّرَآئِہٖ عَذَابٌ غَلِیۡظٌ ﴿۱۷﴾

They wanted a decision so the decision has been made and every tyrant and stubborn person ended up a loser. Now Hell is in front of him. There they shall be made to drink pus. He will sip it drop by drop but will not be able to swallow it. Death will be confronting him from all sides but he will not be able to die and another harsh punishment ahead awaits him. (15-17)

مَثَلُ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا بِرَبِّہِمۡ اَعۡمَالُہُمۡ کَرَمَادِۣ اشۡتَدَّتۡ بِہِ الرِّیۡحُ فِیۡ یَوۡمٍ عَاصِفٍ ؕ لَا یَقۡدِرُوۡنَ مِمَّا کَسَبُوۡا عَلٰی شَیۡءٍ ؕ ذٰلِکَ ہُوَ الضَّلٰلُ الۡبَعِیۡدُ ﴿۱۸﴾اَلَمۡ تَرَ اَنَّ اللّٰہَ خَلَقَ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضَ بِالۡحَقِّ ؕ اِنۡ یَّشَاۡ یُذۡہِبۡکُمۡ وَ یَاۡتِ بِخَلۡقٍ جَدِیۡدٍ ﴿ۙ۱۹﴾وَّ مَا ذٰلِکَ عَلَی اللّٰہِ بِعَزِیۡزٍ ﴿۲۰﴾

The example of the deeds[18] of those who have disbelieved[19] in their Lord is that of ashes on which a violent wind blows on a stormy day. They will not be able to have anything from whatever they did. This is a great deviation from the truth.[20] Have you not seen that God has created the heavens and the earth with truth? [It is because of the respite He has granted you that He is tolerating your disbelief and polytheism]. If He desires, He can take you away and bring forth a new creation [in your place]. This is not the slightest difficult for Him. (18-20)

وَ بَرَزُوۡا لِلّٰہِ جَمِیۡعًا فَقَالَ الضُّعَفٰٓؤُا لِلَّذِیۡنَ اسۡتَکۡبَرُوۡۤا اِنَّا کُنَّا لَکُمۡ تَبَعًا فَہَلۡ اَنۡتُمۡ مُّغۡنُوۡنَ عَنَّا مِنۡ عَذَابِ اللّٰہِ مِنۡ شَیۡءٍ ؕ قَالُوۡا لَوۡ ہَدٰىنَا اللّٰہُ لَہَدَیۡنٰکُمۡ ؕ سَوَآءٌ عَلَیۡنَاۤ اَجَزِعۡنَاۤ اَمۡ صَبَرۡنَا مَا لَنَا مِنۡ مَّحِیۡصٍ ﴿۲۱﴾

[This respite will end very soon] and everyone will come forth in the presence of God.[21] Then the weak will say to those who had posed to be of might: "We were your followers; so, will you save us to some extent from God's torment?" They will reply: "Had God shown us the way, we too would have shown you the way.[22] It is now the same for you and us to cry out or to be patient; there is no way out for us." (21)

وَ قَالَ الشَّیۡطٰنُ لَمَّا قُضِیَ الۡاَمۡرُ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ وَعَدَکُمۡ وَعۡدَ الۡحَقِّ وَ وَعَدۡتُّکُمۡ فَاَخۡلَفۡتُکُمۡ ؕ وَ مَا کَانَ لِیَ عَلَیۡکُمۡ مِّنۡ سُلۡطٰنٍ اِلَّاۤ اَنۡ دَعَوۡتُکُمۡ فَاسۡتَجَبۡتُمۡ لِیۡ ۚ فَلَا تَلُوۡمُوۡنِیۡ وَ لُوۡمُوۡۤا اَنۡفُسَکُمۡ ؕ مَاۤ اَنَا بِمُصۡرِخِکُمۡ وَ مَاۤ اَنۡتُمۡ بِمُصۡرِخِیَّ ؕ اِنِّیۡ کَفَرۡتُ بِمَاۤ اَشۡرَکۡتُمُوۡنِ مِنۡ قَبۡلُ ؕ اِنَّ الظّٰلِمِیۡنَ لَہُمۡ عَذَابٌ اَلِیۡمٌ ﴿۲۲﴾

And when the judgement shall be passed, Satan will say: "God indeed had made a true promise with you; [so, He fulfilled it] and I promised you but I have gone back on my word. And I had no power over you; I only invited you and you accepted my invitation. So, do not blame me; blame yourselves. Now, neither can I reach your pleading nor can you reach my pleading. I have already denied that you had made me a partner. In reality, it is such unjust people for whom there is a painful torment. (22)

وَ اُدۡخِلَ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَ عَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ جَنّٰتٍ تَجۡرِیۡ مِنۡ تَحۡتِہَا الۡاَنۡہٰرُ خٰلِدِیۡنَ فِیۡہَا بِاِذۡنِ رَبِّہِمۡ ؕ تَحِیَّتُہُمۡ فِیۡہَا سَلٰمٌ ﴿۲۳﴾

On the other hand, those who have professed faith and have done righteous deeds, they will be admitted to orchards below which rivers flow. They will abide there forever with the permission of their Lord. Their greeting with one another in those orchards will be: "Peace." (23)

اَلَمۡ تَرَ کَیۡفَ ضَرَبَ اللّٰہُ مَثَلًا کَلِمَۃً طَیِّبَۃً کَشَجَرَۃٍ طَیِّبَۃٍ اَصۡلُہَا ثَابِتٌ وَّ فَرۡعُہَا فِی السَّمَآءِ ﴿ۙ۲۴﴾تُؤۡتِیۡۤ اُکُلَہَا کُلَّ حِیۡنٍۭ بِاِذۡنِ رَبِّہَا ؕ وَ یَضۡرِبُ اللّٰہُ الۡاَمۡثَالَ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّہُمۡ یَتَذَکَّرُوۡنَ ﴿۲۵﴾

[This is because the foundation of their knowledge and deeds is a noble word.[23]] Have you not seen how God has mentioned the example of the noble word? It is like a noble tree whose roots are deep in the earth and whose branches are spread out in the air.[24] It bears fruit with the permission of its Lord in every season.[25] [This is the example of the noble word.] And God cites examples for people so that they are reminded.[26] (24-25)

وَ مَثَلُ کَلِمَۃٍ خَبِیۡثَۃٍ کَشَجَرَۃٍ خَبِیۡثَۃِۣاجۡتُثَّتۡ مِنۡ فَوۡقِ الۡاَرۡضِ مَا لَہَا مِنۡ قَرَارٍ ﴿۲۶﴾

And in contrast to it the example of the evil word[27] is an evil tree[28] that can be uprooted from above the earth; it has no stability.[29] (26)

یُثَبِّتُ اللّٰہُ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا بِالۡقَوۡلِ الثَّابِتِ فِی الۡحَیٰوۃِ الدُّنۡیَا وَ فِی الۡاٰخِرَۃِ ۚ وَ یُضِلُّ اللّٰہُ الظّٰلِمِیۡنَ ۟ۙ وَ یَفۡعَلُ اللّٰہُ مَا یَشَآءُ ﴿۲۷﴾

God will strengthen[30] the believers [both] in this world and in the hereafter through this strong word,[31] and those who are unjust [to their souls] God will lead them away [from their destination].[32] God does whatever He wants to [according to His knowledge and wisdom]. (27)

اَلَمۡ تَرَ اِلَی الَّذِیۡنَ بَدَّلُوۡا نِعۡمَتَ اللّٰہِ کُفۡرًا وَّ اَحَلُّوۡا قَوۡمَہُمۡ دَارَ الۡبَوَارِ ﴿ۙ۲۸﴾جَہَنَّمَ ۚ یَصۡلَوۡنَہَا ؕ وَ بِئۡسَ الۡقَرَارُ ﴿۲۹﴾وَ جَعَلُوۡا لِلّٰہِ اَنۡدَادًا لِّیُضِلُّوۡا عَنۡ سَبِیۡلِہٖ ؕ قُلۡ تَمَتَّعُوۡا فَاِنَّ مَصِیۡرَکُمۡ اِلَی النَّارِ ﴿۳۰﴾

Have you not seen[33] those people who were ungrateful to God's favour[34] and led their nation to the abode of destruction – Hell? They will enter it and what an evil abode it is. They associated partners with God in order to lead astray [people] from His path. Tell them: "Rejoice a while; your abode ultimately is towards Hell alone." (28-30)

قُلۡ لِّعِبَادِیَ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا یُقِیۡمُوا الصَّلٰوۃَ وَ یُنۡفِقُوۡا مِمَّا رَزَقۡنٰہُمۡ سِرًّا وَّ عَلَانِیَۃً مِّنۡ قَبۡلِ اَنۡ یَّاۡتِیَ یَوۡمٌ لَّا بَیۡعٌ فِیۡہِ وَ لَا خِلٰلٌ ﴿۳۱﴾

[O Prophet!] Tell my servants who have professed faith to adhere to the prayer and spend openly and secretly [in the way of God] from what We have given them[35] before that day arrives in which all trading shall cease nor will any friendship be of avail. (31)

اَللّٰہُ الَّذِیۡ خَلَقَ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضَ وَ اَنۡزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَآءِ مَآءً فَاَخۡرَجَ بِہٖ مِنَ الثَّمَرٰتِ رِزۡقًا لَّکُمۡ ۚ وَ سَخَّرَ لَکُمُ الۡفُلۡکَ لِتَجۡرِیَ فِی الۡبَحۡرِ بِاَمۡرِہٖ ۚ وَ سَخَّرَ لَکُمُ الۡاَنۡہٰرَ ﴿ۚ۳۲﴾وَ سَخَّرَ لَکُمُ الشَّمۡسَ وَ الۡقَمَرَ دَآئِبَیۡنِ ۚ وَ سَخَّرَ لَکُمُ الَّیۡلَ وَ النَّہَارَ ﴿ۚ۳۳﴾وَ اٰتٰىکُمۡ مِّنۡ کُلِّ مَا سَاَلۡتُمُوۡہُ ؕ وَ اِنۡ تَعُدُّوۡا نِعۡمَتَ اللّٰہِ لَا تُحۡصُوۡہَا ؕ اِنَّ الۡاِنۡسَانَ لَظَلُوۡمٌ کَفَّارٌ ﴿۳۴﴾

[Do these idolaters not see that] it is God Who created the heavens and the earth and sent down water from the sky. Then through it bore various fruits for your sustenance and put the ship to your service that it may sail in the sea at His behest and He put the seas to your service and both the sun and the moon also; they are moving continuously. Similarly, the day and night also He put to your service and has given you from everything you asked for.[36] If you would like to count the favours of God, you will not be able to. [Even then you associate partners with Him?] In reality, man is very unjust and very ungrateful. (32-34)

وَ اِذۡ قَالَ اِبۡرٰہِیۡمُ رَبِّ اجۡعَلۡ ہٰذَا الۡبَلَدَ اٰمِنًا وَّ اجۡنُبۡنِیۡ وَ بَنِیَّ اَنۡ نَّعۡبُدَ الۡاَصۡنَامَ ﴿ؕ۳۵﴾ رَبِّ اِنَّہُنَّ اَضۡلَلۡنَ کَثِیۡرًا مِّنَ النَّاسِ ۚ فَمَنۡ تَبِعَنِیۡ فَاِنَّہٗ مِنِّیۡ ۚ وَ مَنۡ عَصَانِیۡ فَاِنَّکَ غَفُوۡرٌ رَّحِیۡمٌ ﴿۳۶﴾رَبَّنَاۤ اِنِّیۡۤ اَسۡکَنۡتُ مِنۡ ذُرِّیَّتِیۡ بِوَادٍ غَیۡرِ ذِیۡ زَرۡعٍ عِنۡدَ بَیۡتِکَ الۡمُحَرَّمِ ۙ رَبَّنَا لِیُـقِیۡمُوا الصَّلٰوۃَ فَاجۡعَلۡ اَفۡئِدَۃً مِّنَ النَّاسِ تَہۡوِیۡۤ اِلَیۡہِمۡ وَارۡ زُقۡہُمۡ مِّنَ الثَّمَرٰتِ لَعَلَّہُمۡ یَشۡکُرُوۡنَ ﴿۳۷﴾رَبَّنَاۤ اِنَّکَ تَعۡلَمُ مَا نُخۡفِیۡ وَ مَا نُعۡلِنُ ؕ وَ مَا یَخۡفٰی عَلَی اللّٰہِ مِنۡ شَیۡءٍ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ وَ لَا فِی السَّمَآءِ ﴿۳۸﴾اَلۡحَمۡدُ لِلّٰہِ الَّذِیۡ وَہَبَ لِیۡ عَلَی الۡکِبَرِ اِسۡمٰعِیۡلَ وَ اِسۡحٰقَ ؕ اِنَّ رَبِّیۡ لَسَمِیۡعُ الدُّعَآءِ ﴿۳۹﴾رَبِّ اجۡعَلۡنِیۡ مُقِیۡمَ الصَّلٰوۃِ وَ مِنۡ ذُرِّیَّتِیۡ ٭ۖ رَبَّنَا وَ تَقَبَّلۡ دُعَآءِ ﴿۴۰﴾رَبَّنَا اغۡفِرۡ لِیۡ وَ لِوَالِدَیَّ وَ لِلۡمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ یَوۡمَ یَقُوۡمُ الۡحِسَابُ ﴿۴۱﴾

[This is the progeny of Abraham.] Narrate to them the incident when Abraham prayed:[37] "Lord! Make this city a city of peace[38] and distance me and my progeny[39] from worshipping idols. Lord! These idols have led many astray.[40] [They can also lead astray my progeny;] so, he [among them] who follow me is mine and he who disobeyed me, [his matter is consigned to you.] Then You are Forgiving and Ever-Merciful. Lord! I have settled some of my progeny near your sacred House in a barren valley. Lord! That they show diligence in the prayer [in this House].[41] So, incline the hearts of people towards them and grant them sustenance of fruits so that they may be grateful [to You].[42] Lord! You know what we conceal and what we reveal.[43] In reality,nothing is hidden from God, neither in the earth nor in the heavens. Gratitude be to God Who has blessed me with Ishmael and Isaac in this old age.[44] Undoubtedly, my Lord listens to invocations. Lord! Make me one who is diligent in the prayer and from my progeny also [who I am settling here]. Lord! And accept this invocation of mine. Lord! Forgive me and my parents[45] and all believers on the Day when accountability takes place.[46] (35-41)

وَ لَا تَحۡسَبَنَّ اللّٰہَ غَافِلًا عَمَّا یَعۡمَلُ الظّٰلِمُوۡنَ ۬ؕ اِنَّمَا یُؤَخِّرُہُمۡ لِیَوۡمٍ تَشۡخَصُ فِیۡہِ الۡاَبۡصَارُ ﴿ۙ۴۲﴾مُہۡطِعِیۡنَ مُقۡنِعِیۡ رُءُوۡسِہِمۡ لَا یَرۡتَدُّ اِلَیۡہِمۡ طَرۡفُہُمۡ ۚ وَ اَفۡـِٕدَتُہُمۡ ہَوَآءٌ ﴿ؕ۴۳﴾

Do not think [O Prophet!] that God is the slightest unaware of what these unjust people are doing. He is only deferring them for the day in which eyes will be bewildered. They will be running with their heads lifted. When their gaze [looks onwards,] it will not come back to them and their hearts will be trembling. (42-43)

وَ اَنۡذِرِ النَّاسَ یَوۡمَ یَاۡتِیۡہِمُ الۡعَذَابُ فَیَقُوۡلُ الَّذِیۡنَ ظَلَمُوۡا رَبَّنَاۤ اَخِّرۡنَاۤ اِلٰۤی اَجَلٍ قَرِیۡبٍ ۙ نُّجِبۡ دَعۡوَتَکَ وَ نَتَّبِعِ الرُّسُلَ ؕ اَوَ لَمۡ تَکُوۡنُوۡۤا اَقۡسَمۡتُمۡ مِّنۡ قَبۡلُ مَا لَکُمۡ مِّنۡ زَوَالٍ ﴿ۙ۴۴﴾وَّ سَکَنۡتُمۡ فِیۡ مَسٰکِنِ الَّذِیۡنَ ظَلَمُوۡۤا اَنۡفُسَہُمۡ وَ تَبَیَّنَ لَکُمۡ کَیۡفَ فَعَلۡنَا بِہِمۡ وَ ضَرَبۡنَا لَکُمُ الۡاَمۡثَالَ ﴿۴۵﴾وَ قَدۡ مَکَرُوۡا مَکۡرَہُمۡ وَ عِنۡدَ اللّٰہِ مَکۡرُہُمۡ ؕ وَ اِنۡ کَانَ مَکۡرُہُمۡ لِتَزُوۡلَ مِنۡہُ الۡجِبَالُ ﴿۴۶﴾

Warn them of the day when the torment will seize them. At that time, these people, who were unjust to their souls, will say: "Our Lord! Give us a little more respite; we will accept your message and follow the messengers" – Have you been not swearing oaths before this that you would not leave [your place]. You were settled in the cities of those people who had been unjust to their souls and it had become evident to you how We had dealt with them and We had cited their examples for you. They tried to contrive every scheme they could. These schemes of theirs are now lodged with God, even though such were their schemes that even mountains could be dislodged. (44-46)

فَلَا تَحۡسَبَنَّ اللّٰہَ مُخۡلِفَ وَعۡدِہٖ رُسُلَہٗ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ عَزِیۡزٌ ذُو انۡتِقَامٍ ﴿ؕ۴۷﴾یَوۡمَ تُبَدَّلُ الۡاَرۡضُ غَیۡرَ الۡاَرۡضِ وَ السَّمٰوٰتُ وَ بَرَزُوۡا لِلّٰہِ الۡوَاحِدِ الۡقَہَّارِ ﴿۴۸﴾وَ تَـرَی الۡمُجۡرِمِیۡنَ یَوۡمَئِذٍ مُّقَرَّنِیۡنَ فِی الۡاَصۡفَادِ ﴿ۚ۴۹﴾سَرَابِیۡلُہُمۡ مِّنۡ قَطِرَانٍ وَّ تَغۡشٰی وُجُوۡہَہُمُ النَّارُ ﴿ۙ۵۰﴾لِیَجۡزِیَ اللّٰہُ کُلَّ نَفۡسٍ مَّا کَسَبَتۡ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ سَرِیۡعُ الۡحِسَابِ ﴿۵۱﴾ہٰذَا بَلٰغٌ لِّلنَّاسِ وَ لِیُنۡذَرُوۡا بِہٖ وَ لِیَعۡلَمُوۡۤا اَنَّمَا ہُوَ اِلٰہٌ وَّاحِدٌ وَّ لِیَذَّکَّرَ اُولُوا الۡاَلۡبَابِ ﴿۵۲﴾

So, never even think that God will go back on His promises made with His messengers. Indeed, God is powerful; He takes revenge. Remember the day when this earth will be replaced by another and this sky too and everyone [alone and helpless] will come forth before God the One and Mighty. On that day, you will see the wrongdoers fettered in chains; their attire is of charcoal and fire is covering their faces. This is so because God rewards each person what he earned. Indeed, God is swift in reckoning. This is a declaration for the people so that the truth is conclusively conveyed to them and so that they are warned through it and so that they know that only He is God and so that the wise receive reminder [through it]. (47-52)

[1]. What is the meaning of this name? I have explained in detail my view about it while discussing verse 2 of Surah al-Baqarah.

[2]. The actual words are: ظُلُمَاتٌ and نُوْرٌ. The former is a plural and the latter is singular. The reason for this is that deviation from the truth can take place through a thousand ways but the way of guidance is only one which is called sirat al-mustaqim by the Qur'an.

[3]. This is said because the urge to receive guidanceis given through God's permission and only those are given this permission who prove worthy of it.

[4]. Thus it is only befitting that people should be fearful of Him only and He alone deserves to be shown gratitude to and pinned hopes on.

[5]. Ie., want to turn it away from God to the deities they have prescribed for their own selves.

[6]. Ie., those who are worthy of being guided according to God's law should be guided and those who want to deviate from the truth should be left to wander in darkness.

[7]. This is a mention of the signs which were given to Moses (sws) for the conclusive communication of the truth. They include the staff and the hand turning white.

[8]. Ie., the Almighty punished in this very world those who disbelieved His messengers like the nation of Noah (sws), Lot (sws) amd Shu'ayb (sws) etc. In the Qur'an, days of God refer to these events.

[9]. It is these two attributes which when found in a person make him turn to the signs of God and receive admonition from them.

[10]. Ie., in relieving them from the calamity.

[11]. At that time, the Jews also were secretly opposing the Prophet (sws), hence these words are directly addressed to them by the Almighty.

[12]. This in all probablity is a summary of the speech which has been cited in much detail in the Bible. This speech was delivered by Moses (sws) to the Israelites in the desert of Sinai sometime before he died. It can be looked up in chapters 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 28, 29 and 30 in the Book of Deuteronomy.

[13]. The actual words are: فَرَدُّوۡۤا اَیۡدِیَہُمۡ فِیۡۤ اَفۡوَاہِہِمۡ. When someone wants to hatefully and angrily stop a person from saying something, he places his hand on that person's mouth. His purport is that the person should shut his mouth and not utter a word any further. These words portray this situation. The word رَدّوْا here means جَعَلُوْا and this usage is common in Arabic.

[14]. This question is meant to express wonder. The implication is that since they believe in God, the messengers are only calling them to worship Him alone since only He is worthy of it. Worshipping him is an obvious consequence of believing in Him. If they are not believing this consequence, then are they inflicted with some doubt about God?

[15]. The implication is: how can they believe such harsh statements about their deities which come from a mortal like them? They would like to be shown some miracle which convinces them that he has really been sent by God.

[16]. This they have stated as per their own view because before their messenger started to call them to his message they thought that he too followed the same religion as theirs.

[17]. This is God's established practice about His messengers. We have been explaining it at various instances in this exegesis.

[18]. This obviously refers to the deeds they did thinking them to be acts of virtue. The Qur'an has made it evident at a number of places that with polytheism, no deed is acceptable to God.

[19]. Ie., deliberately associated partners with Him. Polytheism is disbelief with regard to its essence because in religion belief in God is only acceptable if it is based on full belief in monotheism. Thus the words الَّذِيْنَ كَفَرُوْا of the verse refer to the idolaters of the Quryash who are the addressees of the surah.

[20]. Ie., such a deviation from which any return has become impossible.

[21]. The implication is that no obstruction will remain for anyone. All supports will vanish and people will appear before their Lord alone and without any help.

[22]. Ie., given them the urge to use their intellect and tread the right path in the previous world.

[23]. Ie., the dictum of monotheism and beliefs based on it.

[24]. The actual words are: اَصۡلُہَا ثَابِتٌ وَّ فَرۡعُہَا فِی السَّمَآءِ. Here parallel clauses have been suppressed in accordance with linguistic principles. If the suppressed parts are revealed, the whole sentence would be: أَصْلُهَا ثَابِتٌ فِي الْأرْضِ وَفَرْعُهَا عَالٍ فِي السَّمَاء.

[25]. Ie., it is evergreen and does not see Autumn.

[26]. Here the Quraysh are warned to take heed and think about the realities God is reminding them of through this parable. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi has explained them thus:

By comparing the word "monotheism" to such a tree the Qur'an has firstly made evident the fact that its roots are not only deeply and firmly implanted in human nature but also it is the most highly-valued by God. In other words, the status it occupies in the heavens and earth is unparalleled.

The second reality that is explained is that it receives nourishment and strength from within human nature and from providence as well. This keeps it always lush and luxurious.

The third reality that is explained is that its blessings are abiding. Its benefits are everlasting. He who has this light in his heart will always remain prosperous and happy. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 4, 325)

[27]. Ie., the word polytheism and the beliefs based on it.

[28]. Ie., a tree which is like wild foliage. It neither bears fruit nor flowers. No one can sit in its shade or obtain food from it. In the words of Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi it is like a thorn-laden, wild, foul-smelling and useless bush which will bruise the hands if touched, cause the tongue to contort if tasted and the reeking stink of which will totally disrupt the faculty of smell.

[29]. The implication is that the word "polytheism" neither has any basis in reason and human nature nor in the teachings of the prophets. It is like a wild bush which only exists on the earth surface. It does not have any roots in the earth nor is spread high in the sky. If a person wants to uproot it, he can easily do it from above.

[30]. Ie., the word "monotheism."

[31]. The implication is that they will remain secure in this world from all types of worries and wanderings and in the hereafter reach their destination without any anxiety and disturbance – the destination they fervently sought. They will remain firm and steady both here and in the next world.

[32]. Ie., He will not let any of their deeds bear result. All their efforts will be wasted and they will end up in total failure. The word ظَالِمٌ in the verse means ظالم لنفسه. For this very reason, polytheism is called ظُلْمٌ عَظِيْمٌ by the Qur'an. Here also the word ظَالِميْنَ refers to the Idolaters of the Quraysh who are the addressees of this surah.

[33]. This style of address expresses amazement and rebuke. The addressees are the Quraysh and their leaders who had brought their people to the brink of the pit of disbelief and polytheism, as is mentioned ahead.

[34]. The reference is to the great favour which the Quraysh received by God's grace and as a blessing of Abraham's supplication. As a result of this, they were chosen as the fountainhead of monotheism for the whole world and as the custodians of the House of God.

[35]. The implication is that instead of adopting the attitude of their nation, they should be diligent in the prayer and in paying charity so that they are entrusted with what their brethren had showed dishonesty in.

[36]. Ie., gave human beings everything that was demanded by their bodies and provided in full conformity everything that was needed by them. It is evident from this that He Who has created them is also their nourisher and has provided them with all essential needs. No one else is His associate in this in any way.

[37]. It is evident from the succeeding verses that this supplication was made when Abraham (sws) brought his son Ishmael (sws) and his mother to the land of Makkah and had them settle there.

[38]. When Abraham (sws) made his progeny inhabit the land of Makkah, the city was not only deprived of civilization, culture, population and fertile land, it was also not secure from plundering by the wild and nomadic tribes. It was due to this reason that Abraham (sws) prayed to God. It was accepted by Him in such a way that firstly, fighting and waging waronly was immediately regarded as prohibited in it; secondly, four months were regarded as sacred so that people could travel to that land; the result was that the most dangerous of areas in its vicinity became absolutely safe and secure; thirdly, God blessed His House with such awe that in the first place no one dared attack it but if something of the sort happened, He helped its inhabitants by supplementing their frail defence with such powerful forces from the heavens that they completely routed the enemy.

[39]. The actual word is: بَنِيَّwhich means "sons." Here, however, it refers to children. This style is one in which everyone is meant to be included by addressing the dominant element.

[40]. The actual words are: اِنَّہُنَّ اَضۡلَلۡنَ کَثِیۡرًا مِّنَ النَّاسِ. Since the purpose is to portray the potent influence of the idols, the verbs and pronouns used are ones which refer to living beings.

[41]. The prayer is the foremost manifestation of our relationship with God. All other things emanate from it. Hence, Abraham (sws) has mentioned it: he fully knew that if people diligently adhered to the prayer with its true spirit, no part of religion would go amiss; in fact, the prayer would become instrumental in preserving everything.

[42]. This supplication was accepted in such a way that because of hajj and 'umrah many people started to visit the land. This lent a great impetus to trade and business. All sorts of foreign merchandise started to reach its markets. Moreover, because of the custodianship of the House of God, such was the respect the Quraysh received that their caravans were able to go to other countries unscathed. This extra-ordinarily changed the economy of the people who depended on herds and hunting for their living. Thus all sorts of grains and fruits became available in abundance in the city.

[43]. This sentence is very eloquent. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

... The eloquence of this sentence is beyond words. When a person supplicates before his Lord, he is faced with a great difficulty: he wants to say a few things but he is unable to express them; similarly, there are some things that are in the heart but he feels shy in expressing them because of some unknown reason. This sentence has included all such things because the knowledge of God extends to all that is hidden and all that is apparent. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 4, 334)

[44]. This is a mention of the favours of God which manifested themselves earlier and as such are cited in favour of the supplication. It is also evident from this that Abraham (sws) settled Ishmael (sws) and his mother not before his birth but at that time in the infertile land of Makkah when after the incident of the sacrifice, Isaac (sws) had already been born and Ishmael (sws) was old enough to carry out responsibilities as the custodian of the House of God.

[45]. The word واَلِدَيْن shows that Abraham (sws) included his father Azar also in this supplication. This is in accordance with the promise he made with him at the time of migration: سَأَسْتَغْفِرُلَكَ رَبِّي (47:19) (I will pray to my Lord for your forgiveness, (19:47)). It is evident from the Qur'an that later the Almighty stopped him from this. This supplication was obviously made before that.

[46]. In this supplication, the words رَبِّ and رَبَّنَا are repeated many times. What is the reason? Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

... This apparently seems a repetition. Yet this is a feature of a supplication; in fact, its essential. The real characteristic of a supplication is to show humility and to plead and beseech God. This made it essential that the attention of the one who is supplicated to is repeatedly asked for His attention. When a person supplicates to God by using the word رَبّيِ he wants to include as recommendation for his supplication the favour of God he has experienced. And when a person supplicates to God by using the word رَبَّنَا he wants to include as a recommendation for his supplication the favour which all of God's creatures are witnessing. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 4, 334)


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