Explanation Of Q 41:53

Question

Please explain the meaning of the following verse in detail:-

" Soon I will show them my signs in the furthest region of the earth and within themselves, till they believe this is the truth".


Answer

Before I explain the meaning of the verses I would like to make it clear that the Qur'an was revealed to the Arabs of the time of the Holy Prophet (Sws). The first objective of it revelation was to guide them in religious matters and explain the realities to them in ultimate form and leave them with no excuse to remain wandering in darkness. The Qur'an repeatedly asserts that it is in the most clear language so that the addressees are clear about the final guidance of the Almighty. Since rejecting the Qur'an entailed great significance and the future of the addressees on the earth and in the Last day depended on their response to the Qur'an it was imperative that the Almighty spoke to them in their language and that every word in it had clear meaning to them. Therefore the scholars have always been alive to the fact that the words of the Qur'an have to be understood as they were taken to mean by the Arabs of that time.

Another important thing is that every verse in the Holy Qur'an must be interpreted putting it in its proper context. Words and sentences in every discourse are interpreted in the context they are used and stripping them off the context would greatly spoil the meaning implied.

Now we take a look at the context of the verse in the Surah:

This verse forms last part of Surah 41 where the Almighty has dealt with the question that to say that the Hereafter is not certain to come because the time of the occurrence is not known (47-48). In the following verses the Almighty comments on the attitude of those people who persistently demanded why the promised punishment was not inflicted upon them then and there. The Almighty says that it is only to provide them with respite that the punishment is deferred not because God cannot do so or that it is never going to occur. (49-51) Then the Almighty warns them of the grave consequences of their attitude and asserts:

We will show them our signs in the external world and themselves, until it becomes manifest to them that this (i.e. Qur'an) is the Truth. Is it not enough that your Lord witnesses all things? Lo, they are in doubt as to the meeting of their Lord; Beware! He encompasses all things. (41:53-4)

It asks them that if the signs shown to them so far are not enough to make them believe that the Hereafter is sure to come then Allah will show them more signs in the world around them and make them manifest among themselves. Once these sings have manifested themselves they will not be able to reject the Qur'an, which repeatedly draws their attention to the Hereafter.

Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi explains:

This assertion contains solace for the Prophet (sws) and warning for the rejecters of the Book. The implication being that if these people are not to believe in the Qur'an on the basis of the arguments it provides and are persistent to demand Our sings then they are about to see around the city Makkah and among themselves (Quraysh) signs proving it to the degree that they would not be able to deny it. They would declare that this Qur'an is truly the word of God.

The word signs in this context connotes signs and indication of the domination of the truth and the defeat of the evil towards which the Qur'an has referred to variously. The prophecies in this regard have already been dealt with in this Surah in reference towards the historical proof of the claims. At first the Quraish made fun of these prophecies and then when Islam was established in Madinah and around Makkah and even the good natured among the Quraysh started to accept Islam then the enemies of the Message were alarmed. Later the supremacy of Islam was established in Arabia after the migration that even Byzantinian and Persian forces were proven no match to Islam, not to mention the Quraish. The same ahs been referred to in the verse 93 of the Surah al-Naml:

He will show you His sings and you will of course recognize them. (Tadubbar al Qur'an Vol. 7, page 128-9)

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