Surah Al Mulk (Arabic: سورة الملك) is the 67th Surah of Quran composed of 30 ayat (verses). It is classified as a Meccan Surah titled in English as “Sovereignty” or “Kingdom”.
Surah Mulk discusses the greatness and vastness of Allah and gives examples of the beauty of the universe He created. It is reminder to people that that this whole kingdom belongs to Allah and He controls everything.
It also re-states the message from previous chapters that there is no compulsion to Islam. The Qur’an and Prophet Muhammad are only distributors of knowledge to warn people. Ultimately, the choice is theirs.
“Say, ‘The knowledge is only with Allah, and I am only a clear warner’.”
One of the goals of the My Islam site is to make it easy to read and understand the Qur’an. Below every ayah you’ll find transliteration and translation to help with pronunciation and understanding. At the end of the Surah we’ve included tafseer for those looking to read commentary on this chapter of the Qur’an.
Read Surah Mulk with English Translation and Transliteration
Bismillah Hir Rahman Nir Raheem
In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious and The Most Merciful
تَبَـٰرَكَ ٱلَّذِى بِيَدِهِ ٱلْمُلْكُ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَىْءٍۢ قَدِيرٌ
Tabaarakal lazee biyadihil mulku wa huwa ‘alaa kulli shai-in qadeer
Ayat 1. Blessed is He in whose hand is dominion, and He is over all things competent –
ٱلَّذِى خَلَقَ ٱلْمَوْتَ وَٱلْحَيَوٰةَ لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ أَيُّكُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلًۭا ۚ وَهُوَ ٱلْعَزِيزُ ٱلْغَفُورُ
Allazee khalaqal mawta walhayaata liyabluwakum ayyukum ahsanu ‘amalaa; wa huwal ‘azeezul ghafoor
2. [He] who created death and life to test you [as to] which of you is best in deed – and He is the Exalted in Might, the Forgiving –
Allazee khalaqa sab’a samaawaatin tibaaqam maa taraa fee khalqir rahmaani min tafaawutin farji’il basara hal taraa min futoor
3. [And] who created seven heavens in layers. You do not see in the creation of the Most Merciful any inconsistency. So return [your] vision [to the sky]; do you see any breaks?
ثُمَّ ٱرْجِعِ ٱلْبَصَرَ كَرَّتَيْنِ يَنقَلِبْ إِلَيْكَ ٱلْبَصَرُ خَاسِئًۭا وَهُوَ حَسِيرٌۭ
Summar ji’il basara karrataini yanqalib ilaikal basaru khaasi’anw wa huwa haseer
4. Then return [your] vision twice again. [Your] vision will return to you humbled while it is fatigued.
وَلَقَدْ زَيَّنَّا ٱلسَّمَآءَ ٱلدُّنْيَا بِمَصَـٰبِيحَ وَجَعَلْنَـٰهَا رُجُومًۭا لِّلشَّيَـٰطِينِ ۖ وَأَعْتَدْنَا لَهُمْ عَذَابَ ٱلسَّعِيرِ
Wa laqad zaiyannas samaaa’ad dunyaa bimasaa beeha wa ja’alnaahaa rujoomal lish shayaateeni wa a’tadnaa lahum ‘azaabas sa’eer
5. And We have certainly beautified the nearest heaven with stars and have made [from] them what is thrown at the devils and have prepared for them the punishment of the Blaze.
وَلِلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا۟ بِرَبِّهِمْ عَذَابُ جَهَنَّمَ ۖ وَبِئْسَ ٱلْمَصِيرُ
Wa lillazeena kafaroo bi rabbihim ‘azaabu jahannama wa bi’sal maseer
6. And for those who disbelieved in their Lord is the punishment of Hell, and wretched is the destination.
إِذَآ أُلْقُوا۟ فِيهَا سَمِعُوا۟ لَهَا شَهِيقًۭا وَهِىَ تَفُورُ
Izaaa ulqoo feehaa sami’oo lahaa shaheeqanw wa hiya tafoor
7. When they are thrown into it, they hear from it a [dreadful] inhaling while it boils up.
تَكَادُ تَمَيَّزُ مِنَ ٱلْغَيْظِ ۖ كُلَّمَآ أُلْقِىَ فِيهَا فَوْجٌۭ سَأَلَهُمْ خَزَنَتُهَآ أَلَمْ يَأْتِكُمْ نَذِيرٌۭ
Takaadu tamayyazu minal ghaizi kullamaaa ulqiya feehaa fawjun sa alahum khazanatuhaaa alam yaatikum nazeer
8. It almost bursts with rage. Every time a company is thrown into it, its keepers ask them, “Did there not come to you a warner?”
قَالُوا۟ بَلَىٰ قَدْ جَآءَنَا نَذِيرٌۭ فَكَذَّبْنَا وَقُلْنَا مَا نَزَّلَ ٱللَّهُ مِن شَىْءٍ إِنْ أَنتُمْ إِلَّا فِى ضَلَـٰلٍۢ كَبِيرٍۢ
Qaaloo balaa qad jaaa’anaa nazeerun fakazzabnaa wa qulnaa maa nazzalal laahu min shai in in antum illaa fee dalaalin kabeer
9. They will say,” Yes, a warner had come to us, but we denied and said, ‘ Allah has not sent down anything. You are not but in great error.’ “
وَقَالُوا۟ لَوْ كُنَّا نَسْمَعُ أَوْ نَعْقِلُ مَا كُنَّا فِىٓ أَصْحَـٰبِ ٱلسَّعِيرِ
Wa qaaloo law kunnaa nasma’u awna’qilu maa kunnaa feee as haabis sa’eer
10. And they will say, “If only we had been listening or reasoning, we would not be among the companions of the Blaze.”
فَٱعْتَرَفُوا۟ بِذَنۢبِهِمْ فَسُحْقًۭا لِّأَصْحَـٰبِ ٱلسَّعِيرِ
Fa’tarafoo bizambihim fasuhqal li as haabis sa’eer
11. And they will admit their sin, so [it is] alienation for the companions of the Blaze.
إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ يَخْشَوْنَ رَبَّهُم بِٱلْغَيْبِ لَهُم مَّغْفِرَةٌۭ وَأَجْرٌۭ كَبِيرٌۭ
Innal lazeena yakhshawna rabbahum bilghaibi lahum maghfiratunw wa ajrun kabeer
12. Indeed, those who fear their Lord unseen will have forgiveness and great reward.
وَأَسِرُّوا۟ قَوْلَكُمْ أَوِ ٱجْهَرُوا۟ بِهِۦٓ ۖ إِنَّهُۥ عَلِيمٌۢ بِذَاتِ ٱلصُّدُورِ
Wa asirroo qawlakum awijharoo bihee innahoo ‘aleemum bizaatis sudoor
13. And conceal your speech or publicize it; indeed, He is Knowing of that within the breasts.
أَلَا يَعْلَمُ مَنْ خَلَقَ وَهُوَ ٱللَّطِيفُ ٱلْخَبِيرُ
Alaa ya’lamu man khalaq wa huwal lateeful khabeer
14. Does He who created not know, while He is the Subtle, the Acquainted?
هُوَ ٱلَّذِى جَعَلَ لَكُمُ ٱلْأَرْضَ ذَلُولًۭا فَٱمْشُوا۟ فِى مَنَاكِبِهَا وَكُلُوا۟ مِن رِّزْقِهِۦ ۖ وَإِلَيْهِ ٱلنُّشُورُ
Huwal lazee ja’ala lakumul arda zaloolan famshoo fee manaakibihaa wa kuloo mir rizqihee wa ilaihin nushoor
15. It is He who made the earth tame for you – so walk among its slopes and eat of His provision – and to Him is the resurrection.
ءَأَمِنتُم مَّن فِى ٱلسَّمَآءِ أَن يَخْسِفَ بِكُمُ ٱلْأَرْضَ فَإِذَا هِىَ تَمُورُ
‘A-amintum man fissamaaa’i aiyakhsifa bi kumul arda fa izaa hiya tamoor
16. Do you feel secure that He who [holds authority] in the heaven would not cause the earth to swallow you and suddenly it would sway?
أَمْ أَمِنتُم مَّن فِى ٱلسَّمَآءِ أَن يُرْسِلَ عَلَيْكُمْ حَاصِبًۭا ۖ فَسَتَعْلَمُونَ كَيْفَ نَذِيرِ
Am amintum man fissamaaa’i ai yursila ‘alaikum haasiban fasata’lamoona kaifa nazeer
17. Or do you feel secure that He who [holds authority] in the heaven would not send against you a storm of stones? Then you would know how [severe] was My warning.
Wa laqad kazzabal lazeena min qablihim fakaifa kaana nakeer
18. And already had those before them denied, and how [terrible] was My reproach.
أَوَلَمْ يَرَوْا۟ إِلَى ٱلطَّيْرِ فَوْقَهُمْ صَـٰٓفَّـٰتٍۢ وَيَقْبِضْنَ ۚ مَا يُمْسِكُهُنَّ إِلَّا ٱلرَّحْمَـٰنُ ۚ إِنَّهُۥ بِكُلِّ شَىْءٍۭ بَصِيرٌ
Awalam yaraw ilat tairi fawqahum saaaffaatinw wa yaqbidna; maa yumsikuhunna illaar rahmaan; innahoo bikulli shai im baseer
19. Do they not see the birds above them with wings outspread and [sometimes] folded in? None holds them [aloft] except the Most Merciful. Indeed He is, of all things, Seeing.
أَمَّنْ هَـٰذَا ٱلَّذِى هُوَ جُندٌۭ لَّكُمْ يَنصُرُكُم مِّن دُونِ ٱلرَّحْمَـٰنِ ۚ إِنِ ٱلْكَـٰفِرُونَ إِلَّا فِى غُرُورٍ
Amman haazal lazee huwa jundul lakum yansurukum min doonir rahmaan; inilkaafiroona illaa fee ghuroor
20. Or who is it that could be an army for you to aid you other than the Most Merciful? The disbelievers are not but in delusion.
أَمَّنْ هَـٰذَا ٱلَّذِى يَرْزُقُكُمْ إِنْ أَمْسَكَ رِزْقَهُۥ ۚ بَل لَّجُّوا۟ فِى عُتُوٍّۢ وَنُفُورٍ
Amman haazal lazee yarzuqukum in amsaka rizqah; bal lajjoo fee ‘utuwwinw wa nufoor
21. Or who is it that could provide for you if He withheld His provision? But they have persisted in insolence and aversion.
أَفَمَن يَمْشِى مُكِبًّا عَلَىٰ وَجْهِهِۦٓ أَهْدَىٰٓ أَمَّن يَمْشِى سَوِيًّا عَلَىٰ صِرَٰطٍۢ مُّسْتَقِيمٍۢ
Afamai yamshee mukibban ‘alaa wajhihee ahdaaa ammany yamshee sawiyyan ‘alaa siratim mustaqeem
22. Then is one who walks fallen on his face better guided or one who walks erect on a straight path?
قُلْ هُوَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أَنشَأَكُمْ وَجَعَلَ لَكُمُ ٱلسَّمْعَ وَٱلْأَبْصَـٰرَ وَٱلْأَفْـِٔدَةَ ۖ قَلِيلًۭا مَّا تَشْكُرُونَ
Qul huwal lazee ansha akum wa ja’ala lakumus sam’a wal absaara wal af’idata qaleelam maa tashkuroon
23. Say, “It is He who has produced you and made for you hearing and vision and hearts; little are you grateful.”
قُلْ هُوَ ٱلَّذِى ذَرَأَكُمْ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ وَإِلَيْهِ تُحْشَرُونَ
Qul huwal lazee zara akum fil ardi wa ilaihi tuhsharoon
24. Say, ” It is He who has multiplied you throughout the earth, and to Him you will be gathered.”
وَيَقُولُونَ مَتَىٰ هَـٰذَا ٱلْوَعْدُ إِن كُنتُمْ صَـٰدِقِينَ
Wa yaqooloona mataa haazal wa’du in kuntum saadiqeen
25. And they say, “When is this promise, if you should be truthful?”
قُلْ إِنَّمَا ٱلْعِلْمُ عِندَ ٱللَّهِ وَإِنَّمَآ أَنَا۠ نَذِيرٌۭ مُّبِينٌۭ
Qul innamal ‘ilmu ‘indallaahi wa innamaaa ana nazeerum mubeen
26. Say, “The knowledge is only with Allah, and I am only a clear warner.”
فَلَمَّا رَأَوْهُ زُلْفَةًۭ سِيٓـَٔتْ وُجُوهُ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا۟ وَقِيلَ هَـٰذَا ٱلَّذِى كُنتُم بِهِۦ تَدَّعُونَ
Falaammaa ra-awhu zulfatan seee’at wujoohul lazeena kafaroo wa qeela haazal lazee kuntum bihee tadda’oon
27. But when they see it approaching, the faces of those who disbelieve will be distressed, and it will be said, “This is that for which you used to call.”
قُلْ أَرَءَيْتُمْ إِنْ أَهْلَكَنِىَ ٱللَّهُ وَمَن مَّعِىَ أَوْ رَحِمَنَا فَمَن يُجِيرُ ٱلْكَـٰفِرِينَ مِنْ عَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍۢ
Qul ara’aytum in ahlaka niyal laahu wa mam ma’iya aw rahimanaa famai-yujeerul kaafireena min ‘azaabin aleem
28. Say, [O Muhammad], “Have you considered: whether Allah should cause my death and those with me or have mercy upon us, who can protect the disbelievers from a painful punishment?”
قُلْ هُوَ ٱلرَّحْمَـٰنُ ءَامَنَّا بِهِۦ وَعَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلْنَا ۖ فَسَتَعْلَمُونَ مَنْ هُوَ فِى ضَلَـٰلٍۢ مُّبِينٍۢ
Qul huwar rahmaanu aamannaa bihee wa ‘alaihi tawakkalnaa fasata’lamoona man huwa fee dalaalim mubeen
29. Say, “He is the Most Merciful; we have believed in Him, and upon Him we have relied. And you will [come to] know who it is that is in clear error.”
قُلْ أَرَءَيْتُمْ إِنْ أَصْبَحَ مَآؤُكُمْ غَوْرًۭا فَمَن يَأْتِيكُم بِمَآءٍۢ مَّعِينٍۭ
Qul ara’aytum in asbaha maaa’ukum ghawran famai yaateekum bimaaa’im ma’een
30. Say, “Have you considered: if your water was to become sunken [into the earth], then who could bring you flowing water?”
Tafsir of Surah Mulk
The Qur’an was sent down as a book of proof that Islam is the one true religion and to be a book of guidance. Beyond reading the book daily we should seek to understand its meaning and teachings.
There’s no one right way to do this, each person has a different learning style so you should do whatever is effective for you. It is our personal belief that written text provides a more structured format and is more dense than a formal talk. You can branch off easily and explore different ayat of different Surahs as needed and learn at your own pace. Below we have included three different tafseer of Surah Mulk. If you have any other recommendations you can send an email to our team and we’ll see if it can be added.
Surah Mulk Tafsir By Ibn Kathir
Imam Ahmad recorded from Abu Hurayrah that Allah’s Messenger said,
(Verily, there is a chapter in the Qur’an which contains thirty Ayat that will intercede on behalf of its reciter until he is forgiven. (It is): (Blessed be He in Whose Hand is the dominion.)) This Hadith was collected by At-Tirmidhi and the four Sunan Compilers. At-Tirmidhi said concerning it, “This is a Hasan Hadith.” At-Tabarani and Al-Hafiz Ad-Diya’ Al-Maqdisi both recorded from Anas that the Messenger of Allah said,
(There is a chapter of the Qur’an that will argue on behalf of its reciter until it causes him to enter into Paradise. (It is): (Blessed be He in Whose Hand is the dominion.))
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
Allah the Exalted glorifies His Noble Self and informs that the dominion is in His Hand. This means that He deals with all of His creatures however He wishes and there is none who can reverse His decree. He is not questioned concerning what He does because of His force, His wisdom and His justice. For this reason Allah says,
(and He is Able to do all things.) Then Allah says,
(Who has created death and life) Those who say that death is an existing creation use this Ayah as a proof because it is something that has been created. This Ayah means that He brought creation into existence from nothing in order to test the creatures. He examines them to see which of them will be best in deeds. This is similar to Allah’s statement,
(How can you disbelieve in Allah Seeing that you were dead and He gave you life.) (2:28) In this Ayah Allah named the first stage, which is non-existence, “death.” Then he named the origin or beginning of existence, “life.” This is why Allah says,
(Then He will give death, then again will bring you to life ( on the Day of Resurrection)) (2:28). Concerning Allah’s statement,
(He may test you which of you is best in deed.) it means best in deeds. This is as Muhammad bin `Ajlan said. It should be noted that Allah did not say “which of you does the most deeds.” Allah then says,
(And He is the Almighty, the Oft-Forgiving.) This means that He is the Almighty, the Most Great, the Most Powerful and the Most Honorable. However, along with this He is Most Forgiving to whoever turns to Him in repentance and seeks His pardon after having disobeyed Him and opposed His commandment. Even though Allah is Almighty, He also forgives, shows mercy, pardons and excuses. Then Allah says,
(Who has created the seven heavens one above the other;) meaning stacked one on top of the other. Are they connected to each other, meaning that they are in elevated ascension, some of them being stacked above others, or separated with space between them There are two views concerning this, and the most correct opinion seems to be the latter as is proven in the Hadith of Isra’ (the Prophet’s Night Journey) and other narrations. Concerning Allah’s statement,
(you can see no fault in the creation of the Most Gracious.) means, it (the creation) is done in a flawless manner, and these are connected with each other so as to forms a straight level, having no disunion, conflict, inconsistency, deficiency, flaw or defect. This is the reason that Allah says,
(Then look again. Can you see any rifts) meaning, look at the sky and pay close attention to it. Do you see any flaw, deficiency, defect or rifts in it Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Ad-Dahhak, Ath-Thawri and others said concerning Allah’s statement,
(Then look again. Can you see any rifts) that it means cracks. As-Suddi said that,
(Can you see any rifts) means any tears. Qatadah said,
(Can you see any rifts) means, `do you see any defects O Son of Adam (mankind)’ In reference to Allah’s statement,
(Then look again and yet again, ) Qatadah said, “It means (look) twice.”
(your sight will return to you Khasi’,) Ibn `Abbas said that Khasi’ means humiliated. Mujahid and Qatadah both said that it means despised.
(and worn out.) Ibn `Abbas said that this means it will be exhausted. Mujahid, Qatadah and As-Suddi all said that it means broken down fatigue that comes from weakness. Thus, the Ayah means that if you continuously looked, no matter how much you look, your sight will return to you.
(Khasi’) due to the inability to see any flaw or defect (in Allah’s creation).
(and worn out.) meaning, exhausted and broken down feebleness due to the great amount of repeated looking without being able to detect any deficiency. Then, after Allah negated any deficiency in the creation of the heavens, He explains their perfection and beauty. He says,
(And indeed We have adorned the nearest heaven with lamps, ) This refers to the stars which have been placed in the heavens, some moving and some stationary. In Allah’s statement,
(and We have made them (as) missiles to drive away the Shayatin,) The pronoun `them’ in His statement, “and We have made them” is the same type of statement as the stars being referred to as lamps. This does not mean that they are actually missiles, because the stars in the sky are not thrown. Rather, it is the meteors beneath them that are thrown and they are taken from the stars. And Allah knows best. Concerning Allah’s statement,
(and We have prepared for them the torment of the blazing Fire.) means, `We have made this disgrace for the devils in this life and We have prepared for them the torment of the blazing Fire in the Hereafter.’ This is as Allah said in the beginning of Surat As-Saffat,
(Verily, We have adorned the near heaven with the stars (for beauty). And to guard against every rebellious devil. They cannot listen to the higher group (angels) for they are pelted from every side. Outcast, and theirs is a constant (or painful) torment. Except such as snatch away something by stealing, and they are pursued by a flaming fire of piercing brightness.) ﴿37:6-7﴾ Qatadah said, “These stars were only created for three purposes: Allah created them as adornment for the heaven (sky), as missiles for the devils and as signs for navigation. Therefore, whoever seeks to interpret any other meanings for them other than these, then verily he has spoken with his own opinion, he has lost his portion and burdened himself with that which he has no knowledge of.” Ibn Jarir and Ibn Abi Hatim both recorded this statement.
Allah the Exalted says,
(and) meaning, `and We have prepared,’
(for those who disbelieve in their Lord is the torment of Hell, and worst indeed is that destination.) This means that this will be the worst end and a terrible destiny.
(When they are cast therein, they will hear its Shahiq) Ibn Jarir said, “This means the sound of shouting.”
(while it is simmering.) Ath-Thawri said, “It will boil them just as a small number of seeds are boiled in a lot of water.” Then Allah says,
(It almost bursts up with fury.) meaning, some parts of it almost break apart from other parts due to the severity of its rage and anger with them.
(Every time a group is cast therein, its keepers will ask: “Did no warner come to you” They will say: “Yes, indeed a warner did come to us, but we rejected him and said: `Allah never sent down anything; you are only in great error.”’) In these Ayat Allah reminds of His justice in dealing with His creatures and that He does not punish anyone until the proof has been established against them and a Messenger has been sent to them. This is similar to Allah’s statement,
(And We never punish until We have sent a Messenger.) ﴿17:15﴾ Allah also says,
(till when they reach it, the gates thereof will be opened. And its keepers will say, “Did not the Messengers come to you from yourselves, reciting to you the Ayat of your Lord, and warning you of the meeting of this Day of yours” They will say: “Yes,” but the Word of torment has been justified against the disbelievers!”) ﴿39:71﴾ Thus, they have no recourse but to blame themselves and they will feel remorseful when such remorse will be of no benefit to them. They will say,
(Had we but listened or used our intelligence, we would not have been among the dwellers of the blazing Fire!) meaning, `if we would have benefited from our intellects or listened to the truth that Allah revealed, we would not have been disbelieving in Allah and misguided about Him. But we did not have understanding to comprehend what the Messengers came with, and we did not have the intelligence to guide us to following them.’ Allah then says,
(Then they will confess their sin. So, away with the dwellers of the blazing Fire!) Imam Ahmad recorded from Abu Al-Bakhtari At-Ta’i that he heard from one of the Companions that the Messenger of Allah said,
(The people will not be destroyed until they themselves confess their guilt.)
Allah informs of he who fears standing before his Lord, being frightened about matters between himself and Allah when he is not in the presence of other people. So he refrains from disobedience and he performs acts of obedience when no one sees him except Allah. Allah mentions that this person will have forgiveness and a great reward. This means that his sins will be remitted and he will be rewarded abundantly. This is similar to what has been confirmed in the Two Sahihs,
(There are seven people whom Allah the Exalted will shade in the shade of His Throne on the Day when there will be no shade except its shade.) Then he mentioned that among those people are:
(A man who is tempted by a beautiful woman of high social status, but he says: `Verily, I fear Allah.’ Another person from among them is a man who gives charity and he conceals it so that his left hand does not know what his right hand spent.) Then He says, while informing that He is aware of the innermost conscience and secrets,
(And whether you keep your talk secret or disclose it, verily, He is the All-Knower of what is in the breasts.) meaning, that which occurs in the hearts (ideas, thoughts, etc.).
(Should not He Who has created know) This means, `doesn’t the Creator know’
(And He is the Most Kind and Courteous, All-Aware (of everything).)
Then Allah mentions His favor to His creation in subjugating the earth to them, and making it subservient to them. This is by His making it a stable abode and dwelling place. He placed in it mountains and caused water springs to gush forth from it. He fashioned pathways, and placed useful things in it and places fertile for the growth of fruit and vegetation. Allah says,
(He it is Who has made the earth subservient to you; so walk in the paths thereof) meaning, travel wherever you wish throughout its regions and frequent its countrysides and all the areas of its domain in your various journeys to seek earnings and trade. And know that your efforts will not benefit you anything unless Allah makes matters easy for you. Allah continues to say,
(and eat of His provision.) Thus, striving by using the means (to attain something) does not negate the necessity of depending upon Allah (At-Tawakkul). This is similar to what Imam Ahmad recorded from `Umar bin Al-Khattab, that he heard the Messenger of Allah say,
(If you would trust in Allah as He truly should be trusted in, He would surely provide for you as He provides for the birds. They set out in the morning with empty stomachs and return in the evening with full stomachs.) At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa’i and Ibn Majah all recorded this Hadith. At-Tirmidhi said, “Hasan Sahih.” So this confirms that the bird searches morning and evening for its sustenance while depending upon Allah. For He is the Subduer, the Controller and the One Who causes everything.
(And to Him will be the resurrection.) meaning, the place of return on the Day of Judgement. Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, As-Suddi and Qatadah all said that Manakibiha (its paths) means its outermost borders, its roads and its regions.
This is another indication of His gentleness and His mercy with His creatures. He is able to punish them because some of them disbelieve in Him and worship others besides Him, yet He is forbearing, He pardons, and He gives respite for an appointed time without hastening. This is as He says,
(And if Allah were to punish men for that which they earned, He would not leave a moving creature on the surface of the earth; but He gives them respite to an appointed term: and when their term comes, then verily, Allah is Ever All-Seer of His servants.) ﴿35:45﴾ Here Allah says,
(Do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven, will not cause the earth to sink with you, and then it should quake) meaning, that it would move back and forth, and be disrupted.
(Or do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven, will not send against you a Hasib) meaning, a wind containing gravel that will strike you, as Allah says in another Ayah,
(Do you then feel secure that He will not cause a side of the land to swallow you up, or that He will not send against you a violent sandstorm Then, you shall find no trustee.) ﴿17:68﴾ And similarly, here Allah threatens them with His statement,
(Then you shall know how has been My warning.) meaning, `how is My admonition and what will happen to those who disregard and reject it.’ Then Allah says,
(And indeed those before them rejected,) meaning, from the previous nations and the old generations that have passed. Then Allah says,
(then how terrible was My reproach) meaning, `how was My rebuke of them and my punishment of them.’ Meaning, it was great, severe and painful.
(Do they not see the birds above them, spreading out their wings and folding them in) meaning, sometimes they spread their wings out in the wind (gliding) and other times they gather and spread (flapping) the wings in flight
(None upholds them) meaning, in the air,
(except the Most Gracious.) meaning, Allah holds them up in the air by subjecting the air to them out of His mercy and His gentleness.
(Verily, He is the All-Seer of everything.) means, with what is beneficial and suitable for all of His creatures. This is similar to His statement,
(Do they not see the birds held in the midst of the sky None upholds them but Allah. Verily, in this are clear Ayat for people who believe.) ﴾16:79﴿
Allah addresses the idolators who worship others besides Him, seeking help and sustenance from them. Allah rebukes them for what they believe, and He informs them that they will not attain that which they hope for. Allah says,
(Who is it besides the Most Gracious that can be an army to you to help) imeaning, there is no protector or helper for you besides Him. This is the reason that Allah says,
(The disbelievers are in nothing but delusion.) Then Allah says,
(Who is it that can provide for you if He should withhold His provision) meaning, who is it that can provide for you if Allah cuts off your sustenance There is no one who gives, withholds, creates, provides and helps other than Allah alone, Who has no partner. This proves that they know this, yet they still worship others besides Him. Thus, Allah says,
(Nay, but they continue) meaning, they persist in their transgression, lying and misguidance.
(to be in pride, and flee.) meaning, they continue in obstinance, arrogance and fleeing away from the truth. They do not listen to it nor do they follow it.
Then Allah says,
(Is he who walks prone on his face, more rightly guided, or he who walks upright on a straight path) This is a parable which Allah made of the believer and the disbeliever. So the condition of the disbeliever is like one who walks prone on his face. This is like a person walking bent over on his face (with his head down) instead of walking upright. This person does not know where he is going or how. Rather, he is lost, astray and confused. Is this person more guided,
(or he who walks upright) meaning, he who stands erect.
(on a straight path) meaning, this person who walks upright is on a clear path, and he is straight within himself while his path is straight as well. This is their likeness in this world, and their likeness will be the same in the Hereafter. So the believer will be gathered (on the Day of Judgement) walking upright upon the straight path and the vast and spacious Paradise will be opened up for him. However, the disbeliever will be gathered walking down on his face to the Hellfire.
(Assemble those who did wrong, together with their companions and what they used to worship instead of Allah, and lead them on to the way of flaming Fire.) (37:22,23) “Companions” here means those like them. Imam Ahmad recorded from Anas bin Malik that it was said, “O Messenger of Allah! How will the people be gathered on their faces” So the Prophet replied,
(Is not He who made them to walk on their legs able to make them walk on their faces”) This Hadith is also recorded in the Two Sahihs.
(Say it is He Who has created you,) meaning, He initiated your creation after you were not even a thing worth mentioning (i.e., nothing). Then He says,
(and endowed you with hearing and seeing, and hearts.) meaning, intellects and powers of reasoning.
(Little thanks you give.) meaning, how little you use these abilities that Allah has blessed you with to obey Him, to act according to His commandments, and avoid His prohibitions.
(Say: “It is He Who has created you on the earth…”) meaning, He has spread and distributed you all througout the various regions and areas of the earth with your differing languages, colors, shapes, appearances and forms.
(and to Him shall you be gathered.) meaning, you all will come together after this separation and division. He will gather you all just as He separated you and He will bring you back again just as He originated you. Then while informing of the disbelievers who reject the final return, and doubt concerning its real occurrence, Allah said;
(They say: “When will this promise come to pass if you are telling the truth”) meaning, `when will this gathering after separation that you are informing us of, occur’
(Say: “The knowledge is with Allah only…”) meaning, `no one knows the time of the Day of Judgement exactly except Allah, but He has commanded me to inform you that it is real and it will definitely occur, so beware of it.’
(and I am only a plain warner.) meaning, `I am only obligated to convey, and verily I have performed my duty (of conveying) towards you.’ Then Allah says,
(But when they will see it approaching, the faces of those who disbelieve will be sad and grievous.) means, when the Day of Judgement begins, and the disbelievers witness it, and they see that the matter has drawn close, because everything that is to occur will occur, even if it takes a long time. So, when what they denied occurs, it will grieve them because they will know what is awaiting them there (in Hell) of the worst evil. This means that it will surround them and Allah will command what they were not able to reckon or fully comprehend to come to them.
(and there will become apparent to them from Allah what they had not been reckoning. And the evils of that which they earned will become apparent to them, and that which they used to mock at will encircle them.) (39:47,48) This is why it will be said to them in order to scold and repri- mand them,
(This is what you were calling for!) meaning, that you were seeking to hasten.
(say) `O Muhammad to these idolators who are associating partners with Allah and denying His favors,’
(Tell me! If Allah destroys me, and those with me, or He bestows His mercy on us – who can save the disbelievers from a painful torment) meaning, `save yourselves, for verily, there is nothing that can rescue you from Allah except repentance, turning to Him for forgiveness and returning to His religion. Your hopes that torment and exemplary punishment will strike us, will not benefit you. Whether Allah punishes us or has mercy on us, there is no escaping from Allah’s punishment and painful torment that you will suffer.’ Then Allah says,
(Say: “He is the Most Gracious, in Him we believe, and upon Him we rely.) meaning, `we believe in the Lord of all that exists, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful, and upon Him we rely in all of our affairs.’ This is as Allah says,
(So worship Him and rely upon Him.) (11:123) Thus, Allah continues saying,
(So, you will come to know who it is that is in manifest error.) meaning, `between Us and you, and to whom the final end (ultimate victory) will be for in this life and in the Hereafter.’
(Say: “Tell me! If your water were to sink away…”) meaning, if it were to go away, disappearing into the lowest depths of the earth, then it would not be reachable with iron axes nor strong arms. `Gha’ir’ (sinking) as used here in the Ayah, is the opposite of springing forth. This is why Allah says,
(who then can supply you with flowing water) meaning, springing forth, flowing, running upon the face of the earth. This means that no one is able to do this except Allah. So, it is merely out of His favor and His grace that He causes water to spring forth for you, and He makes it run to the various regions of the earth in an amount that is suitable for the needs of servants, be it little or abundant. So Allah’s is all the praise and thanks.
This is the end of the Tafsir of Surat Al-Mulk and all praise and thanks are due to Allah.
[67:1] Glorious is the One in whose hand is the Kingdom (0f the whole universe), and He is powerful over everything,
The Virtues of Surah Al-Mulk
Prophetic Tradition has named this Surah as Waqiyah (protector) and Munjiyah (saviour) as well. In a Tradition, the Holy Prophet ﷺ is reported to have said:
ھِیَ المانعۃ المنجیۃ تنجیہ من عذاب القبر
“It [ the Surah ] is the protector and saviour which will rescue and redeem him who recites it from the torment of the grave.” [ Transmitted by Tirmidhi who has graded it as ‘liasan, gharib’ as quoted by Qurtubl ]
Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas ؓ reports that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:
“It is my heart’s desire that Surah Al-Mulk be in every believer’s heart.” [ Tha` labi ]
Sayyidna Abu Hurairah ؓ narrates that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ has said:
“Verily, there is a Surah in the Book of Allah (Qur’an) containing thirty verses that will intercede on behalf of him who recites it until he is rescued from Hell and admitted to Paradise; and it is Surah Tabarak.” [ Qurtubi cites it from Tirmidhi ].
تَبَارَكَ الَّذِي بِيَدِهِ الْمُلْكُ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ (Glorious is the One in whose hand is the Kingdom [ of the whole universe ], and He is powerful over every thing…67:1). The word Tabaraka is derived from barakah, which literally means ‘to grow’ or ‘increase’. When it is related to Allah, it signifies ‘to be highest in all respects’ and it conveys a meaning similar to Allahu Akbar ‘Allah is the Highest’.
بِيَدِهِ الْمُلْكُ (in Whose hand is the Kingdom): The word Yad (hand) is attributed to Allah at many places in the Qur’an, whereas He is beyond having a body, limbs or organs. As a result, the word must, of necessity, be taken as one of the mutashabihat. We need to believe in its reality, but it is not possible for anyone to grasp its exact nature. It is improper to pursue this subject. The word Mulk (Kingdom) refers to the Kingdom of the whole universe, of the heavens and the earth and of the mortal world as well as of the Hereafter.
The verse under comment refers to four of the Divine attributes. Firstly, His existence; secondly, His comprehending all the attributes of perfection and being most Exalted; thirdly, His being the ruler of the heavens and earth; and fourthly, His having power over everything. The verses that follow are adduced as proofs of these attributes, which become clear by pondering over the creation of Allah. Therefore, the next verses refer to the various types of creation in the universe as proofs positive of the existence and Oneness of Allah and His all-encompassing knowledge and power. To begin with, reference is made to those proofs of the divine omnipotence that are available in human beings themselves who are the noblest creation in the universe. The words الَّذِي خَلَقَ الْمَوْتَ وَالْحَيَاةَ (the One who created death and life) are meant for this purpose, (as will be explained shortly). Then, several verses (3 to 5) invite consideration to the creation of heavens to find proofs of Allah’s omnipotence. Thereafter, verses 15 and 16 call our attention to the creation of the earth and its benefits. Lastly, the creatures living in the heavenly atmosphere, that is, the birds are mentioned in verse 19.
In short, the basic subject of the Surah is to prove the existence of Allah and His perfect knowledge and power by inviting consideration to the marvels of this universe. However, as a subsidiary subject, some other realities are also mentioned like punishment for unbelievers and reward for believers.
The proofs of the divine knowledge and power found in the man himself are indicated in the following two words:
[67:2] the One who created death and life, so that He may test you as to which of you is better in deeds. And He is the All-Mighty, the Most-Forgiving,
The Reality of Life and Death
خَلَقَ الْمَوْتَ وَالْحَيَاةَ (…the One who created death and life…67:2) Out of the human conditions, only two phenomena, i.e. life and death are mentioned here, because they cover all of human conditions and actions of his entire life. The creation of ‘life’ is quite obvious, because life is a positive reality that can be the object of creation and bringing into existence. However, one may ask how ‘death’ can be ‘created’, while it is a negative concept that refers to a state of non-existence. In answer to this question, the leading commentators have come up with different explanations. The most plausible one is that ‘death’ is not a state of pure non-existence. It actually refers to the removal of soul from the body and its transfer from one place to another. Thus it is a positive phenomenon. Just as ‘life’ is a phenomenon that relates to a human body, ‘death’ too is a phenomenon that overtakes him. Sayyidna ` Abdullah Ibn ` Abbas ؓ and other leading commentators have mentioned that ‘life’ and ‘death’ are two corporal entities. ‘Death’ has the corporal shape of a ram, and ‘life’ that of a mare. This statement apparently interprets the authentic Tradition which states that when the inmates of Paradise will have entered Paradise, and the inmates of Hell will have entered Hell, death will be brought in the form of a ram and will be slaughtered near Sirat (the Bridge) and it will be announced that there shall be no more death, and every one shall remain in the same state eternally as he or she will have attained. It may not necessarily be deduced from this Tradition that ‘death’ is a corporal entity in the mortal world also. There are many abstract conditions and actions in this world, which will assume concrete shapes and bodies in the Hereafter. This is verified by many authentic Traditions. ‘Death’, which is a condition that overtakes man, will also assume the shape of a concretised ram and will be slaughtered. [ Qurtubi ]
Tafsir Mazhari has stated that although ‘death’ is a negative phenomenon, it is not pure non-existence. It is a state of non-existence for a thing that will at some time come into existence. All such non-existent things have shapes in the World of Similitudes عالم المثال [ lam-ul-Mithal ] before coming into existence in the realm of creation عالم الناسوت[` Alam-un nasut ]. Such non-existent things are called a: الاعیان الثابتہ al-A` yan-uth-Thabitah. On account of these shapes, they do have some sort of existence even before they come into perceived existence. The existence of the World of Similitude [` Alam-ul-Mithal ] has been proved by the commentator through various ahadith. And Allah knows best!
Various Categories of Death and Life
It is stated in Tafsir Mazhari that Allah, with His Supreme Power and Consummate Wisdom, has divided His creation into different types. Each one is awarded ‘life’ befitting its type. The perfect and consummate life is awarded to man, which has been invested with the capability to recognise the Divine Being and His Attributes to a specific degree. It is on the basis of this recognition that he is made liable to carry out the sacred laws of Shari` ah, which has been termed by the Qur’an as a ‘trust’. The heavens, the earth and the mountains feared to bear the burden of this trust but man, on account of his God-given capability, bore it. The antonym of this type of ‘life’ is the particular type of ‘death’, which is mentioned in the verse:
أَوَمَن كَانَ مَيْتًا فَأَحْيَيْنَاهُ
‘Could it be that the one who was dead and We gave him life. [ 6:122] ‘
In this verse, a non-believer is referred to as ‘dead’ and a believer as ‘alive’, because a non-believer has wasted his ‘recognition of Allah’ that was the essential characteristic of this type of life. In other types or species of creation, this quality of life is absent, but they do possess senses and capability of movement, which is the second category of life. The antonym of this degree of life is the ‘death’ referred to by the Qur’an thus:
كُنتُمْ أَمْوَاتًا فَأَحْيَاكُمْ ۖ ثُمَّ يُمِيتُكُمْ ثُمَّ يُحْيِيكُمْ
‘…you were lifeless and He gave you life, then He will make you die, then make you live again. [ 2:28]
In this context, ‘life’ refers to the ability to sense and move, and ‘death’ refers to its cessation. Some of the existent entities do not even possess the ability of sensing and movement. They merely possess the capability of growth as in the case of trees and vegetables. ‘Life’ is attributed to them as well in a limited sense (of growing), and as opposed to this, their ‘death’ is to lose the ability to grow. In this sense, the Holy Qur’an has used the words ‘life’ and ‘death’ in the following verse:
يُحْيِي الْأَرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا
‘…how He brings the dead earth back to life. [ 30:50] ‘.
These degrees of life are confined to humankind, the animal kingdom and the vegetable kingdom. No other species of creation possesses these qualities of life. Therefore, idols made of stones are referred to in the Qur’an as
أَمْوَاتٌ غَيْرُ أَحْيَاءٍ
‘- dead, having no life_[ 16:21]
Nevertheless, inorganic matters too have a special (though very limited) element of ‘life’, which is necessary to the concept of existence. It is due to this element of ‘life’ that the Holy Qur’an says
وَإِن مِّن شَيْءٍ إِلَّا يُسَبِّحُ بِحَمْدِهِ
‘…And there is not a single thing that does not extol His purity and praise. [ 17:44]
This analysis also explains why ‘death’ in the above verse has been mentioned before ‘life’. The reason seems to be that death or non-existence is the state that comes before life. In other words, everything that came into existence was the beginning in a state of lifelessness or non-existence, then it was awarded life.
Another explanation of mentioning ‘death’ before ‘life’ could be that the verse itself has declared that the purpose of creating human death and life is ‘test’,
لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ أَيُّكُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلًا
‘…so that He may test you as to which of you is better in deeds. [ 2]
This test is more important and is of greater significance in ‘death’ rather than in ‘life’, because the one who thinks of death constantly will have the tendency to do more and more righteous deeds. No doubt, the element of test is available in ‘life’ too, because every step of one’s life reminds him of his own inability and powerlessness as against Allah’s absolute power, which creates in him the tendency to act righteously. The thought of death, however, is most effective in correcting one’s conduct. Sayyidna ` Ammar Ibn Yasir reports a Prophetic Hadith which says:
کفٰی بالموت وَاعِظَاً و کفٰی بالیقین غِنَی
“Death is sufficient as a preacher, and certitude is sufficient as a cause of being free from needs.” [ Transmitted by Tabarani ]
This signifies that witnessing the death of friends and relatives is the most effective preacher. If that does not exert any influence on one, nothing else will. And he whom Allah has granted the wealth of faith and certitude is the most need-free person.
Sayyidna Rabi` Ibn Anas ؓ has stated that the thought of ‘death’ makes man disgusted with this world and makes him inclined towards the Hereafter.
لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ أَيُّكُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلًا (…so that He may test you as to which of you is better in deeds…. 67:2). It should be noted here that Allah did not say ‘which of you does more deeds’, but said ‘which of you is better in deeds’. This indicates that it is not the quantity of actions that counts, but rather the quality of actions, that is, their being righteous and acceptable in the sight of Allah. That is why man’s actions will not be counted on the Day of Judgment, but they will be weighed. In some instances, the weight of one action would be heavier than a thousand actions.
What is a Good Action?Sayyidna Ibn ` Umar ؓ said that once the Holy Prophet ﷺ recited verse [ 2] and when he reached the words “better in deeds”, he stopped and explained that ‘better in deeds’ is the person who abstains most from the things Allah has forbidden and is always ready to obey Him. [ Qurtubi ]
[67:3] Who has created seven skies, one over the other. You will see nothing out of proportion in the creation of the Rahman (the All-Merciful). So, cast your eye again. Do you see any rifts?
ارْجِعِ الْبَصَرَ هَلْ تَرَىٰ مِن فُطُورٍ (So, cast your eye again. Do you see any rifts?…67:3). Apparently, this verse shows that it is possible to see the nearest sky with the naked eyes. Sky, in this context, does not necessarily refer to the bluish atmosphere seen over the earth. In fact, the sky may be very much higher than this, and the bluish colour may be that of the upper atmosphere, as claimed by the scientists. This, on the other hand, does not necessarily imply that the sky cannot be seen at all. It is possible that the bluish atmosphere, on account of being transparent, may not block the vision of the actual sky. However, if it is proved by any evidence that the sky cannot be seen with eyes, then the ‘casting ones eyes’ in this verse would refer to ‘intellectual observation’. [ Bayan-ul-Qur’ an ]
[67:4] Then cast your eye again and again, and the eye will come back to you abased, in a state of weariness.
[67:5] And We have decorated the nearest sky with lamps, and have made them devices to stone the devils, and We have prepared for them the punishment of Hell.
وَلَقَدْ زَيَّنَّا السَّمَاءَ الدُّنْيَا بِمَصَابِيحَ وَجَعَلْنَاهَا رُجُومًا لِّلشَّيَاطِينِ (And We have decorated the nearest sky with lamps, and have made them devices to stone the devils, and We have prepared for them the punishment of Hell….67:5). The word ‘masabih’ (translated above as ‘lamps’ ) stands for ‘stars’. The fact that the sky is decorated with stars does not necessarily imply that they should be studded with them inside or under the sky. The decoration is available also to the situation when the stars are far below the sky in space as modern research has proved it by observation. This is not contradictory to the classical interpretation.
The statement ‘[ We ] have made them [ stars ] devices to stone the devils’ probably implies that some fiery matters originating from the stars are used to shoot at them, and the stars themselves remain intact in their position. Since this illuminated matter seems to the common people as ‘falling stars’. [ Qurtubi ]. This further shows that devils who attempt to eavesdrop on celestial conversations for information are driven away before they can reach the stars. [ Qurtubi ]. Thus far evidence and proofs of Allah’s consummate knowledge and power were adduced with reference to the various types of creation. In the verses that follow the subject of punishment for unbelievers and of re-ward for believers and the obedient is taken up, thus:
وَلِلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بِرَبِّهِمْ عَذَابُ جَهَنَّمَ (And for those who disbelieve, there is the punishment of Jahannam …67:6). The subject runs through seven verses. Thereafter, the subject of Divine knowledge and power is revisited.
[67:6] And for those who disbelieve, there is the punishment of Jahannam, and it is an evil end.
[67:7] When they will be thrown in it, they will hear a terrible sound from it, and it will be boiling,
[67:8] seeming as if it will burst out of fury. Whenever a group is thrown into it, its keepers will say to them, Had no warner come to you?”
[67:9] They said, ‘Yes, a warner had come to us, but We had rejected, and said, ‘Allah has not revealed anything. You are only in great error’.”
[67:10] And they will say, “Had we been listening or understanding, we would not have been among the people of Hell.”
[67:11] Thus they will confess their sin. So, be the people of Hell away (from Allah’s mercy).
[67:12] Surely, for those who have awe of their Lord without seeing (Him), there is forgiveness and a big reward.
[67:13] And whether you keep your talk secret or make it aloud, He knows well what lies in the hearts.
[67:14] Is it (imaginable) that He who has created (them) will not have (such a) knowledge, while He is the Knower of the finest things, the A11-Aware?
[67:15] He is the One who has made the earth submissive for you, so walk on its shoulders, and eat out of His provision, and to Him will be the Resurrection.
هُوَ الَّذِي جَعَلَ لَكُمُ الْأَرْضَ ذَلُولًا (He is the One who has made the earth submissive for you …67:15) The word dhalul signifies ‘submissive’. When dhalul is used for an animal, it means that it is not insolent when someone is riding it. The word manakib is the plural of mankib, which means ‘shoulder’, which in animals refer to the upper part of their front legs. Normally, this is not the part of the animals where a rider would sit to ride them. Their back or neck is involved in riding. But an animal that offers its shoulders as well to the riders is very obedient and submissive. Therefore, the verse says that Allah ‘has made the earth submissive for you, so walk on its shoulders’. Allah has made the structure of earth such that it is not liquid like water so that it flows, nor is it like mud, mire or slime, because if the earth were to be in any of these states, it would not have been possible for man to live in it. Nor is it made hard like rocks or iron, for in that state it would not have been possible for him to plough the fields to sow his crops and derive various other types of benefit from the earth. Wells and rivers could not have been dug. It would not have been possible to dig trenches into the ground to lay foundations of huge buildings. With such well-balanced infrastructure, He granted him tranquility that it is possible for buildings to stand on it and for people, moving on its surface, to avoid slipping.
وَكُلُوا مِن رِّزْقِهِ (…and eat out of His provision …67:15). After directing man to travel on earth, it is said ‘eat out of His provision’. This probably indicates that commercial trips carried out for import and export are the doors for obtaining livelihood from Allah.
وَإِلَيْهِ النُّشُورُ (…and to Him is the Resurrection…67:15). This warning tells us that man is permitted to draw benefits of eating, drinking and living from the earth, but he is reminded at the same time not to be neglectful of death and life-after-death. Eventually, he will have to leave this world for the Hereafter. Whilst living on the earth, he must prepare for life-after-death. In this verse, man is warned that eventually he will return to Allah on the Day of Resurrection. The next verse warns that the Divine punishment can overtake him, even when living on the earth.
[67:16] Have you become fearless of Him who is in the sky if He makes you sink into the earth, and it starts trembling at once?
ءَاَمِنْتُمْ مَّنْ فِي السَّمَاۗءِ اَنْ يَّخْسِفَ بِكُمُ الْاَرْضَ فَاِذَا هِيَ تَمُوْرُ (Have you become fearless of Him who is in the sky if He makes you sink into the earth, and it starts trembling at once?…67:16). It means: Though Allah has granted the earth such a balanced infrastructure that man cannot go into it without digging, yet Allah has the power to make the earth swallow up all the communities living on its surface.
The next verse warns people of another type of punishment:
[67:17] Or, have you become fearless of Him who is in the sky if He looses a violent wind with stones against you? So, you will soon come to know how was My warning!
أَمْ أَمِنتُم مَّن فِي السَّمَاءِ أَن يُرْسِلَ عَلَيْكُمْ حَاصِبًا ۖ فَسَتَعْلَمُونَ كَيْفَ نَذِيرِ (Or, have you become fearless of Him who is in the sky if He looses a violent wind with stones against you? So, you will soon come to know how was My warning! – 67:17). In other words, they at the moment feel secure that the Supreme Being in the heaven will not release against them a sudden squall of stones together with violent wind. Soon they will realise how true the Divine warning was, but by the time they realise its veracity it would be too late. Now that they are safe, sound and secure, it is the time for them to give it a thought.
The next verse refers to the former nations who denied and rejected the truth and how they were annihilated by Divine scourge. Every person needs to draw a lesson from the punishment meted out to them.
وَلَقَدْ كَذَّبَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ فَكَيْفَ كَانَ نَكِيرِ (And of course, those before them [ also ] rejected [ the truth ]. So, how was My censure?…67:18)
The next verse turns once again to the central theme of the Surah, that is, the description of various forms and functions of Allah’s creation to prove His Oneness, His knowledge and power. Thus far human souls, forms and functions of the sky, the stars, the earth and so on were discussed. The next verse mentions birds that fly about in the atmosphere above us.
[67:18] And of course, those before them (also) rejected (the truth). So, how was My censure?
[67:19] Have they not looked to the birds above them spreading their wings, and (at times) they fold (them) in? No one holds them up except the Rahman (the All-Merciful). Surely He is watchful of everything.
أَوَلَمْ يَرَوْا إِلَى الطَّيْرِ فَوْقَهُمْ صَافَّاتٍ وَيَقْبِضْنَ ۚ مَا يُمْسِكُهُنَّ إِلَّا الرَّحْمَـٰنُ ۚ إِنَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ بَصِيرٌ (Have they not looked to the birds above them spreading their wings, and (at times) they fold (them) in? No one holds them up except the Rahman (the All-Merciful). Surely He is watchful of every thing…67:19)
This verse invites attention to the fact that the birds have weight, and in terms of the law of gravity, weighty bodies should fall down on the earth, if they are released from above. Normally, it is not possible for the air to hold them up. But Allah, through His consummate power, has created these birds in such a way that they can hold themselves up in the air. Apparently, they have no intellect, but Allah has taught them the art to make the air carry their burden and to fly in it by maneuvering their wings in such a way that at times they outspread them and at other times they fold them back. In this way they subjugate the air to their benefit. It is obvious that enabling air to hold them up, designing the wings of the birds on this particular shape and teaching them the art of controlling the air, all these functions were possible only by Allah’s Supreme Creative Power.
Thus far the conditions of various categories and species of existent beings were analysed and considered in order to provide evidence of Divine existence, His Oneness, His unique knowledge and power. If a fair-minded person were to consider them carefully, he will have no choice but to believe in Allah. From the next verse up to the end of the Surah, the non-believers and the unrighteous people of all categories are warned of the Divine scourge. First, they are admonished that if Allah decides to punish any nation, there is no power in the world that can stop Him. There is no fighting force or army of soldiers that can come to the support of the disbelievers and save them. Thus the next verse says:
[67:20] Now, who is there to become a force for you to help you, except the Rahman? The disbelievers are in nothing but delusion.
أَمَّنْ هَـٰذَا الَّذِي هُوَ جُندٌ لَّكُمْ يَنصُرُكُم مِّن دُونِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ ۚ إِنِ الْكَافِرُونَ إِلَّا فِي غُرُورٍ (Now, who is there to become a force for you to help you, except the Rahman? The disbelievers are in nothing but delusion…67:20).
Then the next verse warns the disbelievers that the sustenance Allah grants them by sending down rain from the clouds and by growing plants/ vegetation in the earth is not their personal property. It is a gift and bounty from Allah. If He wills, He can withhold it. This is the import of the following verse:
[67:21] Or, who is there to give you sustenance, if He withholds His sustenance? Still, they persist in rebellion and aversion.
أَمَّنْ هَـٰذَا الَّذِي يَرْزُقُكُمْ إِنْ أَمْسَكَ رِزْقَهُ ۚ بَل لَّجُّوا فِي عُتُوٍّ وَنُفُورٍ (Or, who is there to give you sustenance, if He withholds His sustenance? Still, they persist in rebellion and aversion. [ 67:21] ‘.
The last sentence of the verse purports to express the unbelievers’ sad state of affairs. They neither consider the Signs of Allah nor do they pay heed to other people’s good advice. They obstinately persist in insolence and deviation from the Truth.
Next, the conditions of non-believers and believers on the field of Resurrection are described. It is mentioned that the unbelievers will be brought to the field of Resurrection, crawling on their faces instead of walking on their feet. Bukhari and Muslim record on the authority of Sayyidna Anas that the noble Companions asked the Messenger of Allah ﷺ : “How will the non-believers walk on their faces on the Day of Resurrection?” The Messenger of Allah ﷺ replied: “Is Allah who made them walk on their feet not powerful enough to make them walk on their faces and their heads?” The following verse depicts the scene of such crawling:
[67:22] Then, tell me whether the one who walks falling down (frequently) on his face is better guided or the one who walks on a straight path?
أَفَمَن يَمْشِي مُكِبًّا عَلَىٰ وَجْهِهِ أَهْدَىٰ أَمَّن يَمْشِي سَوِيًّا عَلَىٰ صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ (Then, tell me whether the one who walks falling down [ frequently ] on his face is better guided or the one who walks on a straight path…67:22).
The phrase ‘the one who walks on a straight path’ refers to the believer who is rightly guided. The next verse describes the manifestation of Divine power and wisdom in the creation of man, thus:
[67:23] Say, “He is the One who has originated you, and made for you the ears and the eyes and the hearts. How little you pay gratitude”
قُلْ هُوَ الَّذِي أَنشَأَكُمْ وَجَعَلَ لَكُمُ السَّمْعَ وَالْأَبْصَارَ وَالْأَفْئِدَةَ ۖ قَلِيلًا مَّا تَشْكُرُونَ (Say, “He is the One who has originated you, and made for you the ears and the eyes and the hearts. How little you pay gratitude” …67:23).
Specifying ears, eyes and Heart
Of all the human sense organs, only three are mentioned here on which depends knowledge and perception of the external world. Philosophers have identified five sources of knowledge and perception that are called ‘five senses’: to see, hear, smell, taste or feel something. Allah has equipped man with ‘nose’ to smell, with ‘tongue’ to taste, with ‘ears’ to hear and with ‘eyes’ to see; Allah has spread ‘skin’ throughout man’s body to feel. But out of the five physical senses, only two have been mentioned, namely, ears and eyes, because man receives a very limited range of knowledge by smelling, tasting and feeling. Man depends for information largely on hearing and seeing. Of the two organs, his sense of hearing is mentioned first, because a careful analysis shows that most of the information gathered in human life is through hearing, not so much by seeing. The third organ mentioned specifically is the ‘heart’, because that is the centre of knowledge. Knowledge received through hearing and seeing depends on the human ‘heart’, unlike the theory of the philosophers and scientists who believe that the centre of knowledge is the human ‘brain’.
After this, the non-believers are threatened with punishment. Towards the end of the Surah, a statement is once again repeated to remind them which purports to say: ‘0 you who live on the earth, dig wells and drink water from it to quench your thirst and grow plants and vegetation, do not forget that none of these things is your personal property. They are a Divine gift. He sent down water, and loaded it in the form of ice and reserved it on the peaks of mountains, so that it may not putrefy. Then He caused the congealed water to melt gradually and allow it to seep or soak into the earth through the pores or small interstices of the mountains and allowed a network of melted water to spread throughout the earth without any pipeline. Whenever man requires, he could dig a few meters deep into the earth from its upper surface to obtain water. This is a Divine gift. If He wills, He could send the water down into the depths of the earth, and it would not be accessible to anyone. This is the import of the following verse.
[67:24] Say, “He is the One who has scattered you on the earth, and to Him you will be assembled.”
[67:25] And they say, “When will this promise (of the Day of Judgment) be fulfilled, if you are true?”
[67:26] Say, “The knowledge (of that day) is only with Allah, and I am only a plain warner.
[67:27] Then, once they will see it approaching, the faces of the disbelievers will be turned awkward, and it will be said, “This is what you were calling for!”
[67:28] Say, “Tell me, if Allah destroys me and those who are with me (as you wish), or has mercy on us (as we wish), who can (in either case) save the disbelievers from a painful punishment?”
[67:29] Say, “He is the Raman; we have believed in Him, and in Him we placed our trust. So, you will soon come to know who is in an open error.”
[67:30] Say, “Tell me if your water were to vanish into the earth, who will bring you a flowing (stream) water?
قُلْ أَرَأَيْتُمْ إِنْ أَصْبَحَ مَاؤُكُمْ غَوْرًا فَمَن يَأْتِيكُم بِمَاءٍ مَّعِينٍ (Say, “Tell me, Should your water vanish into the earth, who will bring you a flowing [ stream ] water?”…(67:30).
In other words, if all the water, which people draw from the wells easily, were to disappear into the depths of the earth, do they have any power through which they will be able to obtain pure running water? Obviously, the answer in negative.
It is recorded in a Tradition that when a person recites this verse, he should say اللہُ رَبُّ العَالَمِینَ “Allah, the Lord of the worlds” That is, it is Allah alone who can bring it back to us. None of us has the power.
The Commentary on
67. Surah Al Mulk (The Kingdom)
The Surah takes its name al-Mulk from the very first sentence.
Period of Revelation
It could not be known from any authentic tradition when this Surah was revealed, but the subject matter and the style indicate that it is one of the earliest Surahs to be revealed at Makkah.
Theme and Subject Matter
In this surah, on the one hand, the teachings of Islam have been introduced briefly, and, on the other, the people living in heedlessness have been aroused from their slumber in a most effective way. A characteristic of the earliest surahs of the Makkan period is that they present the entire teachings of Islam and the object of the Holy Prophet’s mission, not in detail, but briefly, so that they are assimilated by the people easily. Moreover, they are particularly directed to make the people shun heedlessness, to make them think, and to arouse their dormant conscience.
In the first five verses man has been made to realize that the universe in which he lives is a most well organized and fortified Kingdom in which he cannot detect any fault, any weakness or flaw, how ever hard he may try to probe. This Kingdom has been brought from nothing into existence by Allah Almighty Himself and All the powers of controlling, administering and ruling it are also entirely in Allah’s hand and His power is infinite. Besides, man has also been told that in this wise system he has not been created without a purpose, but he has been sent here for a test and in this test he can succeed only by his righteous deeds and conduct.
In vv. 6-11, dreadful consequences of disbelief which will appear in the Hereafter have been mentioned, and the people told that Allah, by sending His Prophets, has warned them of these consequences in this very world, as if to say “Now, if you do not believe in what the Prophets say and correct your attitude and behavior accordingly, in the Hereafter you will yourself have to admit that you really deserved the punishment that was being meted out to you.”
In vv. 12-l4, the truth that has been impressed on the minds is that the Creator cannot be unaware of His creation, as if to say: “He is aware of each open and hidden secret of yours, even of the innermost ideas of your hearts. Hence, the right basis of morality is that man should avoid evil, fearing the accountability of the unseen God, whether in the world there is a power to take him to task for this or not, and whether in the world there is a possibility of being harmed by such a power or not. Those who adopt such a conduct in the world alone will deserve forgiveness and a rich reward in the Hereafter.”
In vv. 15-23, making allusions, one after the other to those common truths of daily occurrence, which man does not regard as worthy of much attention, he has been invited to consider them seriously. It has been said: “Look: the earth on which you move about with full satisfaction and peace of mind, and from which you obtain your sustenance has been subdued for you by Allah; otherwise this earth might at any time start shaking suddenly so as to cause your destruction, or a typhoon might occur, which may annihilate you completely. Look at the birds that fly above you; it is only Allah Who is sustaining them in the air. Look at your own means and resources: if Allah wills to inflict you with a scourge, none can save you from it; and if Allah wills to close the doors of sustenance on you, none can open them for you. These things are there to make you aware of the truth, but you see them like animals, which are unable to draw conclusions from observations, and you do not use your sight, hearing and minds which Allah has bestowed on you as men; that is why you do not see the right way.”
In vv. 24-27, it has been said: “You have ultimately to appear before your God in any case. It is not for the Prophet to tell you the exact time and date of the event. His only duty is to warn you beforehand of its inevitable occurrence. Today you do not listen to him and demand that he should cause the event to occur and appear prematurely before you; but when it does occur, and you see it with your own eyes, you will then be astounded. Then, it will be said to you “This is the very thing you were calling to be hastened.”
In vv. 28-29 replies have been given to what the disbelievers of Makkah said against the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) and his Companions. They cursed the Holy Prophet and prayed for his and the believers destruction. To this it has been said: “Whether those who call you to the right way are destroyed, or shown mercy by Allah, how will their fate change your destiny? You should look after yourselves and consider who would save you if you were overtaken by the scourge of God?You regard those who believe in God and put their trust in Him as the misguided. A time will come when it will become evident as to who was misguided in actual truth.
In conclusion, the people have been asked this question and left to ponder over it “If the water which has come out from the earth at some place in the desert or hill country of Arabia and upon which depends your whole life activity, should sink and vanish underground, who beside Allah can restore to you this life giving water?”
In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.
1-14 Kingdom of the universe belong to Allah and Lower heaven is decorated with the lamps (stars) and Conversation between the dwellers of hell and her guards
(67:1) Blessed is He1 in Whose Hand is the dominion of the Universe,2 and Who has power over everything;3 (67:2) Who created death and life that He might try you as to which of you is better in deed.4 He is the Most Mighty, the Most Forgiving;5 (67:3) Who created the seven heavens one upon another.6 You will see no incongruity in the Merciful One’s creation.7 Turn your vision again, can you see any flaw?8 (67:4) Then turn your vision again, and then again; in the end your vision will come back to you, worn out and frustrated. (67:5) We have adorned the lower heaven9 with lamps,10 and have made them a means to drive away the satans.11 We have prepared for them the chastisement of the Blazing Fire. (67:6) The chastisement of Hell awaits those who disbelieve in their Lord.12 What a wretched destination! (67:7) When they will be cast into it, they will hear it roar as it boils,13 (67:8) as though it will burst with rage. Every time a multitude is cast into it, its keepers will ask them: “Did no warner come to you?”14 (67:9) They will say: “Yes, a warner came to us, but we gave the lie to him and said: ‘Allah has revealed nothing. You are surely in huge error.’15 (67:10) They will say: ‘If we had only listened and understood,16 we would not be among the inmates of the Blazing Fire.’” (67:11) Thus will they confess their sins.17 Damned are these inmates of the Blazing Fire. (67:12) Surely forgiveness and a mighty reward19 await those who fear Allah without seeing Him.18 (67:13) Whether you speak in secrecy or aloud, (it is all the same to Allah). He even knows the secrets that lie hidden in the breasts of people.20 (67:14) Would He not know, He Who has created,21 when He is All-Subtle,22 All-Aware?
1. Tabaraka is a superlative from barkat. Barkat comprehends the meanings of exaltation and greatness, abundance and plentiful, permanence and multiplicity of virtues and excellences. When the superlative tabaraka is formed from it, it gives the meaning that Allah is infinitely noble and great. He is superior to everything beside Himself in His essence and attributes and works. His beneficence is infinite, and His excellences are permanent and everlasting. (For further explanation, see (E.N. 43 of Surah Al-A’raf); (E.N. 1-4 of Surah Al-Muminoon); (E.Ns 1 and 19 of Surah Al-Furqan).
2. As the word al-Mulk has been used, it cannot be taken in any limited meaning. Inevitably, it would imply sovereignty over everything that exists in the universe. In Whose hand is the dominion does not mean that He has physical hands, but that He is possessor of all power and authority and no one else has any share in it.
3. That is, He can do whatever He wills, nothing can frustrate or hinder Him from doing what He pleases.
4. That is, the object of giving life to man in the world and causing his death is to test him to see which of them is best in deeds. Allusion has been made in this brief sentence to a number of truths:
(1) That life and death are given by Allah, no one else can grant life nor cause death.
(2) That neither the life nor the death of a creation like man, which has been given the power to do both good and evil, is purposeless. The Creator has created him in the world for the test. Life is for him the period of the test and death means that the time allotted for the test has come to an end.
(3) That for the sake of this very test the Creator has given every man an opportunity for action, so that he may do good or evil in the world and practically show what kind of a man he is.
(4) That the Creator alone will decide who has done good or evil. It is not for us to propose a criterion for the good and the evil deeds but for Almighty Allah. Therefore, whoever desires to get through the test, will have to find out what is the criterion of a good deed in His sight. Every person will be recompensed according to his deeds, for if there was no reward or punishment the test would be meaningless.
5. This has two meanings and both are implied here:
(1) That He is Almighty, in spite of being dominant over all His creatures, He is Merciful and Forgiving for them, not tyrannous and cruel.
(2) That He has full power to punish the evildoers. No one can escape His punishment. But He is forgiving for him who feels penitent, refrains from evil and asks for His forgiveness.
6. For explanation, see (E.N. 34 of Surah Al-Baqarah); (E.N. 2 of Surah Ar-Rad); ( E.N. 8 of Surah Al-Hijr); (E.N. 113 of Surah Al-Hajj); (E.N. 15 of Surah Al-Muminoon); (E.N. 5 of Surah As-Saffat); (E.N. 90 of Surah Al-Mumin).
7. Literally, tafawut is disproportion: two things being out of accord and in disagreement with each other. So, the divine words mean: You will not see any indiscipline, any disorder and discordance anywhere in the universe, there is nothing disjointed and out of proportion in this world created by Allah: all its parts are well connected and in perfect harmony and coordination.
8. The word futoor means a crack, rift, fissure, or a thing’s being split and broken. The verse means to say that the whole universe is so closely well-knit and everything in it, from a particle on the earth to the huge galaxies, so well connected and coherent that the continuity of the system of the universe seems to break nowhere, however hard one may try to probe and investigate. (For further explanation, see (E.N. 8 of Surah Qaf).
9. The world’s heaven: the heaven the stars and planets of which can be seen with the naked eye; the objects beyond that which can be seen only through telescopes are the distant heaven; and the heavens still farther away are those which have not yet been seen even with telescopes.
10. The word masabih in the original has been used as a common noun, and therefore, automatically gives the meaning of the lamp’s being splendid and glorious. It means: We have not created this universe dark, dismal and desolate, but have beautified and decorated it with stars, the glory and grandeur of which at night strike man with amazement.
11. This does not mean that the stars themselves are pelted at the Satans, nor that the meteorites shoot out only to drive away the Satans, but it means that the countless meteorites which originate from the stars and wander in space at tremendous speeds and which also fall to the earth in a continuous shower prevent the Satans of the earth from ascending to the heavens. Even if they try to ascend heavenward these meteorites drive them away. This thing has been mentioned here because the Arabs believed about the soothsayers, and this also was the claim made by the soothsayers themselves, that the Satans were under their control, or that they had a close contact with them, and through them they received news of the unseen, and thus, could foretell the destinies of the people. That is why at several places in the Quran, it has been stated that there is absolutely no possibility for the Satans ascending to the heavens and bringing news of the unseen. (For explanation, see (E.Ns 9-12 of Surah Al-Hijr), (E.Ns 6, 7 of Surah As- Saffat).
As for the truth about meteorites, man’s information in this regard is still without a scientific basis. However, the theory which seems best to account for all the facts known today and the information gathered from the examination of the meteorites fallen on the earth, is that meteorites originate from the disintegration of one or more planets and wander in space and sometimes fall to the earth under its gravitational pull. (See Encyclopedia Britannica, vol. XV, under Meteorites).
12. That is, the fate of all those, whether men or Satans, who disbelieve in their Lord. (For the explanation of the meaning of disbelieving in the Lord (Rabb), see (E.N 161 of Surah Al-Baqarah); (E.N. 178 of Surah An-Nisa); (E.N. 39 of Surah Al-Kahf); (E.N. 3 of Surah Al-Momin).
13. The word shahiq is used for producing a cry like the donkey’s braying. The sentence may also mean that it could be the sound of Hell itself, as well as that it would be the sound coming from Hell, where the people already flung into it would be screaming and crying. This second meaning is supported by (Surah Hud Ayat 106), where it has been said: Therein they will pant and hiss (because of thirst), and the first meaning is confirmed by (Surah Al-Furqan Ayat 12), which says: When the Hell will see them from afar, they will hear the sounds of its raging and roaring. On this basis, the correct meaning is that it would be the noise made both by Hell and by the dwellers of Hell.
14. The real nature of this question will not be of a question that the keepers of Hell would like to ask them whether a warner from Allah had come to them or not, but the object would be to make them realize that no injustice had been done to them by casting them into Hell. They would try to make them confess that Allah had not kept them uninformed and unwarned. He had sent the Prophets to them. He had informed them of the truth and of the right way. He had warned them that if they followed a way other than the right way, it would lead them to Hell, in which they had been cast. But they had not listened to the Prophets. Hence, they rightly deserved the punishment which was being meted out to them at that time.
This thing has been pointed out over and over again in the Quran that the test for which Allah has sent man in the world is not being conducted by keeping man absolutely unaware and uninformed of the requirements of the test only to see whether he found the right way by himself or not; but Allah has made the most appropriate arrangements that could possibly be made of guiding him to the right way, and it is that He has raised the Prophets and sent down the Books. Now the test of man lies in this whether he accepts the Prophets and the Books brought by them and adopts the straight way, or turns away from them to follow his own desires, wishes and speculations. Thus, the Prophethood, in fact, is Allah’s argument which He has established against man and his entire future life depends on its acceptance or rejection. No one, after the appointment of the Prophets, can present the excuse that he remained unaware of the truth, or that he has been caught and put to the hard test unawares, or that he is being punished while he was innocent. This theme has been presented in many different ways in the Quran; for instance, see (Surah Al-Baqarah Ayat 213, and E.N. 230); (Surah An-Nisa Ayats 41-42, 165 and E.Ns 64 and 208); (Surah Al-Anam Ayats 130-131 and E.Ns 98-100); (Surah Bani Israil, Ayat 15 and E.N. 17); (Surah Ta-Ha Ayat 134); (Surah Al-Qasas Ayats 47, 59, 65 and E.Ns 66, 83); (Surah Fatir, Ayat 37); (Surah Al-Momin, Ayat 50 and E.N. 66).
15. That is, not only you but the people who have believed in and followed you also are misguided and lost in grave error.
16. If we had listened or understood: If we had listened to the Prophets with attention as seekers after truth or used our intellect to understand what actually was the message they were presenting before us. Here listening has been given priority over understanding, the reason being that the pre-requisite of obtaining guidance is to listen to what the Prophet teaches, or to read if it is in the written form, like a seeker after truth. To ponder over it in an attempt to understand the truth is secondary. Without the Prophet’s guidance man cannot by himself reach the truth directly by using his intellect and common sense.
17. The word dhanb (sin) has been used in the singular. It means that the real sin because of which they became worthy of Hell was to belie the Messengers and refuse to obey them. All other sins are its consequences.
19. That is, there are two inevitable results of fearing God unseen.
(1) That whatever errors and sins one will have committed because of human weaknesses, will be forgiven provided these were not committed because of fearlessness of God.
(2) That whatever good acts a man performs on the basis of this belief, he will be rewarded richly for them.
20. The address is to all human beings, whether they are believers or unbelievers. For the believer, it contains the admonition that while living his life in the world he should always remember that not only his open and hidden deeds but even his secret intentions and innermost thoughts are not hidden from Allah. And for the unbeliever, the warning that he may do whatever he may please fearless of God, but nothing that he does can remain un-noticed and unseen by Him.
20. The address is to all human beings, whether they are believers or unbelievers. For the believer, it contains the admonition that while living his life in the world he should always remember that not only his open and hidden deeds but even his secret intentions and innermost thoughts are not hidden from Allah. And for the unbeliever, the warning that he may do whatever he may please fearless of God, but nothing that he does can remain un-noticed and unseen by Him.
21. Another translation can be: Would He not know His own creatures? In the original text khalaqa has been used, which may mean: Who has created as well as whom He has created, In both cases the meaning remains the same. This is the argument for what has been said in the preceding sentence. That is, how is it possible that the Creator should be unaware of His creation? The creation may remain unaware of itself, but the Creator cannot be unaware of it. He has made every vein of your body, every fiber of your heart and brain. You breathe because He enables you to breathe, your limbs function because He enables them to function, How then can anything of yours remain hidden from Him.
22. The word Latif as used in the original means the One Who works in imperceptible ways as well as the One Who knows the hidden truths and realities.
15-30 No one can help you against Allah and No one can provide you sustenance besides Allah and No one can save you from the punishment of Allah
(67:15) He it is Who made the earth subservient to you. So traverse in its tracks and partake of the sustenance23 He has provided. To Him will you be resurrected.24 (67:16) Do you feel secure that He Who is in the heaven25 will not cause the earth to cave in with you, and then suddenly it will begin to rock violently? (67:17) Do you feel secure that He Who is in the heaven will not let loose upon you a storm of stones?26 Then shall you know what My warning is like!27 (67:18) Those who came before them also gave the lie (to the Messengers): then how awesome was My chastisement!28 (67:19) Have they not seen birds above them spreading and closing their wings, with none holding them except the Merciful One?29 He oversees everything.30 (67:20) Which is your army that will come to your aid against the Merciful Lord?31 But the unbelievers are in utter delusion. (67:21) Who shall provide for you if He withholds His sustenance? Nay; but they persist in rebellion and aversion. (67:22) Who is better guided: he who walks grovelling on his face,32 or he who walks upright on a Straight Path? (67:23) Say: “He it is Who has brought you into being, and has given you hearing and sight, and has given you hearts to think and understand. How seldom do you give thanks!”33 (67:24) Say: “Allah it is Who multiplied you in the earth and to Him you will be mustered.”34 (67:25) They say: “If you are truthful, tell us when will this promise (of the Hereafter) be fulfilled?”35 (67:26) Say: “Allah alone knows about that; and I am no more than a plain warner.”36 (67:27) When they will see it near at hand, the faces of all those who had denied it will be distraught,37 and then they will be told: “This is the doom which you used to ask for.” (67:28) Say to them: “Did you ever consider: whether Allah destroys me and those that are with me, or shows mercy to us, who can protect the unbelievers from a grievous chastisement?”38 (67:29) Say to them: “He is Merciful, and it is in Him that we believe, and it is in Him that we put all our trust.39 Soon will you know who is in manifest error.” (67:30) Say to them: “Did you even consider: if all the water that you have (in the wells) were to sink down into the depths of the earth, who will produce for you clear, flowing water?”40
23 That is, this earth has not become subdued for you of its own accord, and the provisions also that you are eating have not become available here by themselves, but Allah has so arranged it by His wisdom and power that your life became possible here and this splendid globe became so peaceful that you are moving about on it with full peace of mind, and it has become such a vast table spread with food that it contains endless and limitless provisions for your sustenance. If you are not lost in heedlessness and look about yourself intelligently, you will find how much wisdom underlies in the making of this earth habitable for you and arranging in it immeasurable stores of provisions for you. (For explanation, see (E.Ns 73, 74, 81 of Surah An-Naml); (E.Ns 29, 32 of Surah YaSeen); (E.Ns 90, 91 of Al-Momin), (E.N. 7 of Surah Az-Zukhruf), (E.N. 7 of Surah Al-Jathiyah), (E.N. 18 of Surah Qaf).
24. That is, while you move about on the earth and eat of what Allah has provided for you here, you should not forget that ultimately you have to appear before God one day.
25. This does not mean that Allah lives in the heavens, but it has been so said because man naturally looks up to the heaven whenever he wants to turn to Allah, raises his hands heavenward in prayer and implores Allah turning his eyes up to heaven whenever he finds himself helpless in an affliction. Then whenever a calamity befalls him suddenly, he says it has descended from heaven; whenever something unusual happens, he says it has come from heaven; and he calls the Books revealed by Allah as heavenly Books. Accordingly to a tradition in Abu Daud, a person came before the Prophet (peace be upon him) with a black slavegirl and said: It has become obligatory on me to set a slave free; can I set this slave-girl free? Prophet (peace be upon him) asked the slave-girl: Where is Allah? She pointed heavenward with her forger. The Prophet (peace be upon him) asked: Who am I? She first pointed towards him and then towards the heaven, by which she obviously meant to say: You have come from Allah. Thereupon the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Set her free; she is a believer. (A story closely resembling this has been narrated in Muwatta, Muslim and Nasai also). About Khawla bint Thaibah, Umar once said to the people: She is the lady whose complaint was heard above the seven heavens. (In (E.N. 2 of Surah al-Mujadalah), we have given full details concerning this). All this clearly shows that it is natural with man that whenever he thinks of God, his mind turns to the heaven above and not to the earth below. In view of this very thing the words man fis-samaa (He Who is in the heaven) have been used about Allah. There is no room here for any doubt that the Quran regards Allah Almighty as living in the heaven. In fact, there cannot be any basis for this doubt, for in the very beginning of this Surah Al-Mulk, it has been stated: He Who created seven heavens, one above the other, and in Surah Al-Baqarah it has been said: You will face Allah in whatever direction you turn your face. (verse 115).
26. The object is to impress this: Your very survival and well-being on the earth are at all times dependent upon Allah Almighty’s grace and bounty: you are not strutting about on this earth at will by your own power: you are under obligation only to Allah’s protection for each moment of your life that you are passing here, otherwise Allah at any moment may cause such an earthquake to occur as may make this very earth to become your grave instead of the cradle that it is, or may cause a windstorm to blow razing all your towns and settlements to the ground.
27. My warning: the warning that was being given through the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the Quran to the disbelievers of Makkah to the effect: If you do not refrain from your disbelief and polytheism and do not accept the message of Tauhid being given to you, you will be overtaken by the scourge of God.
28. The allusion is to the communities who had belied the Messengers, who had come to them previously and consequently been afflicted with divine punishment.
29. That is, each bird that flies in the air, does so in the protection of the All-Merciful God. He it is Who has given to each bird the form and structure by which it became able to fly. He it is Who has taught each bird the method to fly. He it is Who has made the air obey the laws by which it became possible for the heavier than air bodies to fly in it, and He it is Who upholds every bird in the air, otherwise the moment Allah withdraws His protection from it, it drops to the ground.
30. That is, this is not confined only to birds, but whatever exists in the world, exists because of Allah’s keeping and guardianship. He alone provides the means necessary for the existence of everything, and He alone keeps watch that everything created by Him is provided with the necessities of life.
31. Another translation can be: Who is there beside the Merciful, who comes to your rescue as your army? The translation that we have adopted in the text above has relevance to the following sentence, and this second to the preceding discourse.
32. Walking fallen on his face: walking with face turned down like the cattle on the same track on which someone put him.
33. That is, Allah had made you men, not cattle. You were not meant to follow blindly whatever error and deviation you found prevailing in the world, without considering for a moment whether the way you had adopted was right or wrong. You have not been given these ears that you may refuse to listen to the one who tries to distinguish the right from the wrong for you, and may persist in whatever false notions you already had in your mind. You have not been given these eyes that you may follow others like the blind and may not bother to see whether the signs scattered around you in the world testified to the unity of God, which the Messenger (peace be upon him) of God is preaching, or whether the system of the universe is Godless, or is being run by many gods simultaneously. Likewise, you have also not been given this knowledge and intelligence that you may give up thinking and understanding to others and may adopt every crooked way that was enforced by somebody in the world, and may not use your own intellect to see whether it was right or wrong. Allah has blessed you with knowledge and intelligence, sight and hearing, so that you may recognize the truth, but you are being ungrateful to Him in that you are employing these faculties for every other object than the one for which these had been granted. (For further explanation, see (E.Ns 72, 73 of Surah An- Naml); (E.Ns 75, 76 of Surah Al-Mominoon); (E.Ns 17, 18 of Surah As-Sajdah); (E.N. 31 of Surah Al-Ahqaf).
34. That is, after being resurrected from death, you will be gathered together from every corner of the earth and presented before Allah.
35. They did not ask this question in order to know the time and date of Resurrection so that if they were told the year, the month, the day and time of its occurrence, they would accept it. But, in fact, they thought that Resurrection was impossible, and its occurrence remote from reason, and they asked this question in order to have an excuse for denying it. They meant to say: When will this strange story of Resurrection and gathering together, that you are telling us, materialize? What for has it been put off? Why don’t you make it appear forthwith so that we are assured of it? In this connection, one should understand that one can be certain of Resurrection only by rational arguments, and these have been elaborated at many places in the Quran. As for the date of its occurrence only an ignorant person could raise such a question about it, for even if it is told, it does not make any difference. The unbeliever would say: Well, when it does occur on the date you tell, I shall then believe in it; how can I believe today that it will actually occur on that very day? (For further explanation, see (E.N. 63 of Surah Luqman); (E.N. 116 of Surah Al-Ahzab); (E.Ns 5, 48 of Surah Saba) (E.N. 45 of YaSeen).
36. That is, this I know that it will certainly come, and knowing this much only is enough for warning the people before its actual occurrence. As for the question when it will actually come, the knowledge of it is with Allah, not with me, and there is no need of this knowledge for administering the warning. This can be better understood by an example. As to the exact time when a person will die, it is only known to Allah; however, all know that everyone has to die one day. Our this knowledge is enough that we may warn a heedless friend of ours that he should look after himself and his interests before death. For this warning it is not necessary to know the exact day on which he will die.
37. That is, they will be in the same agony as is suffered by the criminal who is being taken to the gallows.
38. When the Prophet (peace be upon him) started his mission in Makkah and the members of the different clans of Quraish began to embrace Islam, the people of every house started cursing him and his companions. They started practicing magic and charms on him to cause his death, even devising plots to kill him. At this, it was said: Say to them: what will it profit you whether we perish or we live by the grace of God? You should worry for yourselves as to how you will save yourselves from the punishment of Allah?
39. That is, we have believed in God, and you are denying Him; we have put our trust in Him, and you have put your trust in yourself, your own resources and false deities besides Allah; therefore, only we deserve to be shown mercy by Allah, not you.
40. That is, does anyone else another beside Allah have the power to restore these springs of water to you? If none else has this power, and you know well that none has it, then who is worthy of worship: God or your false deities, who do not have the power to restore them? Then ask your own selves as to who is misled and misguided, those who believe in One God or those who believe in many gods.