Surah Al-Qalam With Transliteration, Translation and Tafsir

Assalamualaikum.

Surah Al Qalam (Arabic: القلم‎) is the 68th chapter of the Quran. It is classified as a Meccan Surah meaning it’s revelation was before Muhammad (ﷺ) and his followers escaped from Mecca to Medina. It’s title in English is “The Pen” and is composed of 52 ayat (verses).

Some of the lesson of Surah Qalam – it urges people to be charitable and do good by helping the less fortunate. Allah reminds us in this Surah of the people of a garden who denied charity to the poor and the outcome they suffered as a consequence.

One of the goals of the My Islam site it to make it easy to read and understand the Qur’an. Below every ayah you will find transliteration to help with pronunciation and Sahih international English translation to help with the understanding. For those looking to learn in detail, we’ve included three different tafseer.

Notable Quote:

“And do not obey every worthless habitual swearer [And] scorner, going about with malicious gossip – A preventer of good, transgressing and sinful, Cruel, moreover, and an illegitimate pretender.”
Surah Al Qalam Ayat 10-14

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Read Surah Qalam with Translation and Transliteration

Bismillah Hir Rahman Nir Raheem
In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious and The Most Merciful

نٓ ۚ وَٱلْقَلَمِ وَمَا يَسْطُرُونَ

Noon; walqalami wa maa yasturoon
1. Nun. By the pen and what they inscribe,

مَآ أَنتَ بِنِعْمَةِ رَبِّكَ بِمَجْنُونٍۢ

Maa anta bini’mati Rabbika bimajnoon
2. You are not, [O Muhammad], by the favor of your Lord, a madman.

وَإِنَّ لَكَ لَأَجْرًا غَيْرَ مَمْنُونٍۢ

Wa inna laka la ajran ghaira mamnoon
3. And indeed, for you is a reward uninterrupted.

وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلَىٰ خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍۢ

Wa innaka la’alaa khuluqin ‘azeem
4. And indeed, you are of a great moral character.

فَسَتُبْصِرُ وَيُبْصِرُونَ

Fasatubsiru wa yubsiroon
5. So you will see and they will see

بِأَييِّكُمُ ٱلْمَفْتُونُ

Bi ayyikumul maftoon
6. Which of you is the afflicted [by a devil].

إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَن ضَلَّ عَن سَبِيلِهِۦ وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِٱلْمُهْتَدِينَ

Innaa Rabbaka Huwa a’lamu biman dalla ‘an sabeelihee wa Huwa a’lamu bilmuhtadeen
7. Indeed, your Lord is most knowing of who has gone astray from His way, and He is most knowing of the [rightly] guided.

فَلَا تُطِعِ ٱلْمُكَذِّبِينَ

Falaa tuti’il mukazzibeen
8. Then do not obey the deniers.

وَدُّوا۟ لَوْ تُدْهِنُ فَيُدْهِنُونَ

Waddoo law tudhinu fa-yudhinoon
9. They wish that you would soften [in your position], so they would soften [toward you].

وَلَا تُطِعْ كُلَّ حَلَّافٍۢ مَّهِينٍ

Wa laa tuti’ kulla hallaa fim maheen
10. And do not obey every worthless habitual swearer

هَمَّازٍۢ مَّشَّآءٍۭ بِنَمِيمٍۢ

Hammaazim mash shaaa’im binameem
11. [And] scorner, going about with malicious gossip –

مَّنَّاعٍۢ لِّلْخَيْرِ مُعْتَدٍ أَثِيمٍ

Mannaa’il lilkhairi mu’tadin aseem
12. A preventer of good, transgressing and sinful,

عُتُلٍّۭ بَعْدَ ذَ‌ٰلِكَ زَنِيمٍ

‘Utullim ba’da zaalika zaneem
13. Cruel, moreover, and an illegitimate pretender.

أَن كَانَ ذَا مَالٍۢ وَبَنِينَ

An kaana zaa maalinw-wa baneen
14. Because he is a possessor of wealth and children,

إِذَا تُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْهِ ءَايَـٰتُنَا قَالَ أَسَـٰطِيرُ ٱلْأَوَّلِينَ

Izaa tutlaa ‘alaihi aayaatunaa qaala asaateerul awwaleen
15. When Our verses are recited to him, he says, “Legends of the former peoples.”

سَنَسِمُهُۥ عَلَى ٱلْخُرْطُومِ

Sanasimuhoo ‘alal khurtoom
16. We will brand him upon the snout.

إِنَّا بَلَوْنَـٰهُمْ كَمَا بَلَوْنَآ أَصْحَـٰبَ ٱلْجَنَّةِ إِذْ أَقْسَمُوا۟ لَيَصْرِمُنَّهَا مُصْبِحِينَ

Innaa balawnaahum kamaa balawnaaa As-haabal jannati iz ‘aqsamoo la-yasri munnahaa musbiheen
17. Indeed, We have tried them as We tried the companions of the garden, when they swore to cut its fruit in the [early] morning

وَلَا يَسْتَثْنُونَ

Wa laa yastasnoon
18. Without making exception.

فَطَافَ عَلَيْهَا طَآئِفٌۭ مِّن رَّبِّكَ وَهُمْ نَآئِمُونَ

Fataafa ‘alaihaa taaa’i fum mir rabbika wa hum naaa’imoon
19. So there came upon the garden an affliction from your Lord while they were asleep.

فَأَصْبَحَتْ كَٱلصَّرِيمِ

Fa asbahat kassareem
20. And it became as though reaped.

فَتَنَادَوْا۟ مُصْبِحِينَ

Fatanaadaw musbiheen
21. And they called one another at morning,

أَنِ ٱغْدُوا۟ عَلَىٰ حَرْثِكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ صَـٰرِمِينَ

Anighdoo ‘alaa harsikum in kuntum saarimeen
22. [Saying], “Go early to your crop if you would cut the fruit.”

فَٱنطَلَقُوا۟ وَهُمْ يَتَخَـٰفَتُونَ

Fantalaqoo wa hum yatakhaafatoon
23. So they set out, while lowering their voices,

أَن لَّا يَدْخُلَنَّهَا ٱلْيَوْمَ عَلَيْكُم مِّسْكِينٌۭ

Al laa yadkhulannahal yawma ‘alaikum miskeen
24. [Saying], “There will surely not enter it today upon you [any] poor person.”

وَغَدَوْا۟ عَلَىٰ حَرْدٍۢ قَـٰدِرِينَ

Wa ghadaw ‘alaa hardin qaadireen
25. And they went early in determination, [assuming themselves] able.

فَلَمَّا رَأَوْهَا قَالُوٓا۟ إِنَّا لَضَآلُّونَ

Falammaa ra awhaa qaalooo innaa ladaaalloon
26. But when they saw it, they said, “Indeed, we are lost;

بَلْ نَحْنُ مَحْرُومُونَ

Bal nahnu mahroomoon
27. Rather, we have been deprived.”

قَالَ أَوْسَطُهُمْ أَلَمْ أَقُل لَّكُمْ لَوْلَا تُسَبِّحُونَ

Qaala awsatuhum alam aqul lakum law laa tusabbihoon
28. The most moderate of them said, “Did I not say to you, ‘Why do you not exalt [Allah]?’ “

قَالُوا۟ سُبْحَـٰنَ رَبِّنَآ إِنَّا كُنَّا ظَـٰلِمِينَ

Qaaloo subhaana rabbinaaa innaa kunnaa zaalimeen
29. They said, “Exalted is our Lord! Indeed, we were wrongdoers.”

فَأَقْبَلَ بَعْضُهُمْ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍۢ يَتَلَـٰوَمُونَ

Fa aqbala ba’duhum ‘alaa ba’diny yatalaawamoon
30. Then they approached one another, blaming each other.

قَالُوا۟ يَـٰوَيْلَنَآ إِنَّا كُنَّا طَـٰغِينَ

Qaaloo yaa wailanaaa innaa kunnaa taagheen
31. They said, “O woe to us; indeed we were transgressors.

عَسَىٰ رَبُّنَآ أَن يُبْدِلَنَا خَيْرًۭا مِّنْهَآ إِنَّآ إِلَىٰ رَبِّنَا رَ‌ٰغِبُونَ

‘Asaa rabbunaaa any yubdilanaa khairam minhaaa innaaa ilaa rabbinaa raaghiboon
32. Perhaps our Lord will substitute for us [one] better than it. Indeed, we are toward our Lord desirous.”

كَذَ‌ٰلِكَ ٱلْعَذَابُ ۖ وَلَعَذَابُ ٱلْءَاخِرَةِ أَكْبَرُ ۚ لَوْ كَانُوا۟ يَعْلَمُونَ

Kazaalikal azaab, wa la’azaabul aakhirati akbar; law kaanoo ya’lamoon
33. Such is the punishment [of this world]. And the punishment of the Hereafter is greater, if they only knew.

إِنَّ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ جَنَّـٰتِ ٱلنَّعِيمِ

Inna lilmuttaqeena ‘inda rabbihim jannaatin na’eem
34. Indeed, for the righteous with their Lord are the Gardens of Pleasure.

أَفَنَجْعَلُ ٱلْمُسْلِمِينَ كَٱلْمُجْرِمِينَ

Afanaj’alul muslimeena kalmujrimeen
35. Then will We treat the Muslims like the criminals?

مَا لَكُمْ كَيْفَ تَحْكُمُونَ

Maa lakum kaifa tahhkumoon
36. What is [the matter] with you? How do you judge?

أَمْ لَكُمْ كِتَـٰبٌۭ فِيهِ تَدْرُسُونَ

Am lakum kitaabun feehi tadrusoon
37. Or do you have a scripture in which you learn

إِنَّ لَكُمْ فِيهِ لَمَا تَخَيَّرُونَ

Inna lakum feehi lamaa takhaiyaroon
38. That indeed for you is whatever you choose?

أَمْ لَكُمْ أَيْمَـٰنٌ عَلَيْنَا بَـٰلِغَةٌ إِلَىٰ يَوْمِ ٱلْقِيَـٰمَةِ ۙ إِنَّ لَكُمْ لَمَا تَحْكُمُونَ

Am lakum aymaanun ‘alainaa baalighatun ilaa yawmil qiyaamati inna lakum lamaa tahkumoon
39. Or do you have oaths [binding] upon Us, extending until the Day of Resurrection, that indeed for you is whatever you judge?

سَلْهُمْ أَيُّهُم بِذَ‌ٰلِكَ زَعِيمٌ

Salhum ayyuhum bizaa lika za’eem
40. Ask them which of them, for that [claim], is responsible.

أَمْ لَهُمْ شُرَكَآءُ فَلْيَأْتُوا۟ بِشُرَكَآئِهِمْ إِن كَانُوا۟ صَـٰدِقِينَ

Am lahum shurakaaa’u falyaatoo bishurakaaa ‘ihim in kaanoo saadiqeen
41. Or do they have partners? Then let them bring their partners, if they should be truthful.

يَوْمَ يُكْشَفُ عَن سَاقٍۢ وَيُدْعَوْنَ إِلَى ٱلسُّجُودِ فَلَا يَسْتَطِيعُونَ

Yawma yukshafu ‘am saaqinw wa yud’awna ilas sujoodi falaa yastatee’oon
42. The Day the shin will be uncovered and they are invited to prostration but the disbelievers will not be able,

خَـٰشِعَةً أَبْصَـٰرُهُمْ تَرْهَقُهُمْ ذِلَّةٌۭ ۖ وَقَدْ كَانُوا۟ يُدْعَوْنَ إِلَى ٱلسُّجُودِ وَهُمْ سَـٰلِمُونَ

Khaashi’atan absaaruhum tarhaquhum zillatunw wa qad kaanoo yud’awna ilassujoodi wa hum saalimoon
43. Their eyes humbled, humiliation will cover them. And they used to be invited to prostration while they were sound.

فَذَرْنِى وَمَن يُكَذِّبُ بِهَـٰذَا ٱلْحَدِيثِ ۖ سَنَسْتَدْرِجُهُم مِّنْ حَيْثُ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ

Fazarnee wa many yukazzibu bihaazal hadeesi sanastad rijuhum min haisu laa ya’lamoon
44. So leave Me, [O Muhammad], with [the matter of] whoever denies the Qur’an. We will progressively lead them [to punishment] from where they do not know.

وَأُمْلِى لَهُمْ ۚ إِنَّ كَيْدِى مَتِينٌ

Wa umlee lahum; inna kaidee mateen
45. And I will give them time. Indeed, My plan is firm.

أَمْ تَسْـَٔلُهُمْ أَجْرًۭا فَهُم مِّن مَّغْرَمٍۢ مُّثْقَلُونَ

Am tas’aluhum ajran fahum mim maghramim musqaloon
46. Or do you ask of them a payment, so they are by debt burdened down?

أَمْ عِندَهُمُ ٱلْغَيْبُ فَهُمْ يَكْتُبُونَ

Am ‘indahumul ghaibu fahum yaktuboon
47. Or have they [knowledge of] the unseen, so they write [it] down?

فَٱصْبِرْ لِحُكْمِ رَبِّكَ وَلَا تَكُن كَصَاحِبِ ٱلْحُوتِ إِذْ نَادَىٰ وَهُوَ مَكْظُومٌۭ

Fasbir lihukmi rabbika wa laa takun kasaahibil hoot; iz naadaa wa huwa makzoom
48. Then be patient for the decision of your Lord, [O Muhammad], and be not like the companion of the fish when he called out while he was distressed.

لَّوْلَآ أَن تَدَ‌ٰرَكَهُۥ نِعْمَةٌۭ مِّن رَّبِّهِۦ لَنُبِذَ بِٱلْعَرَآءِ وَهُوَ مَذْمُومٌۭ

Law laaa an tadaara kahoo ni’matum mir rabbihee lanubiza bil’araaa’i wa huwa mazmoom
49. If not that a favor from his Lord overtook him, he would have been thrown onto the naked shore while he was censured.

فَٱجْتَبَـٰهُ رَبُّهُۥ فَجَعَلَهُۥ مِنَ ٱلصَّـٰلِحِينَ

Fajtabaahu rabbuhoo faja’alahoo minas saaliheen
50. And his Lord chose him and made him of the righteous.

وَإِن يَكَادُ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا۟ لَيُزْلِقُونَكَ بِأَبْصَـٰرِهِمْ لَمَّا سَمِعُوا۟ ٱلذِّكْرَ وَيَقُولُونَ إِنَّهُۥ لَمَجْنُونٌۭ

Wa iny-yakaadul lazeena kafaroo la-yuzliqoonaka biabsaarihim lammaa saml’uz-Zikra wa yaqooloona innahoo lamajnoon
51. And indeed, those who disbelieve would almost make you slip with their eyes when they hear the message, and they say, “Indeed, he is mad.”

وَمَا هُوَ إِلَّا ذِكْرٌۭ لِّلْعَـٰلَمِينَ

Wa maa huwa illaa zikrul lil’aalameen
52. But it is not except a reminder to the worlds.

Tafseer of Surah Qalam

The Qur’an is a book of evidence to show that Islam is the one true religion and to be a book for guidance for all humanity. We should continue to read the Qur’an daily but we should also make the Qur’an a study.

There’s no one right way to do this, each person has a different learning style so you should do whatever is most effective for you. It is our personal belief that written text provides a more structured format and is more dense then 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 Qalam. If you have any other recommendations you can send an email to our team and we’ll see if it can be added.

Tafsir Surah Qalam by Ibn Kathir

Which was revealed in Makkah

 

﴿بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ ﴾

 

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

﴿ن﴾

 

(Nun), is like Allah’s saying,

﴿ص﴾

 

(Sad), and Allah’s saying,

﴿ق﴾

 

(Qaf), and similar to them from the individual letters that appear at the beginning of Qur’anic chapters. This has been dis- cussed at length previously and there is no need to repeat it here.

The Explanation of the Pen Concerning

Allah’s statement,

﴿وَالْقَلَمِ﴾

 

(By the pen) The apparent meaning is that this refers to the actual pen that is used to write. This is like Allah’s saying,

﴿اقْرَأْ وَرَبُّكَ الاٌّكْرَمُ – الَّذِى عَلَّمَ بِالْقَلَمِ – عَلَّمَ الإِنسَـنَ مَا لَمْ يَعْلَمْ ﴾

 

(Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous. Who has taught by the pen. He has taught man that which he knew not.) (96:3-5) Therefore, this statement is Allah’s swearing and alerting His creatures to what He has favored them with by teaching them the skill of writing, through which knowledge is attained. Thus, Allah continues by saying,

﴿وَمَا يَسْطُرُونَ﴾

 

(and by what they Yastur.) Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid and Qatadah all said that this means, “what they write.” As-Suddi said, “The angels and the deeds of the servants they record.” Others said, “Rather, what is meant here is the pen which Allah caused to write the decree when He wrote the decrees of all creation, and this took place fifty-thousand years before He created the heavens and the earth.” For this, they present Hadiths that have been reported about the Pen. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded from Al-Walid bin `Ubadah bin As-Samit that he said, “My father called for me when he was dying and he said to me: `Verily, I heard the Messenger of Allah say,

«إِنَّ أَوَّلَ مَا خَلَقَ اللهُ الْقَلَمُ فَقَالَ لَهُ: اكْتُبْ، قَالَ: يَا رَبِّ وَمَا أَكْتُبُ؟ قَالَ: اكْتُبِ الْقَدَرَ وَمَا هُوَ كَائِنٌ إِلَى الْأَبَد»

 

(Verily, the first of what Allah created was the Pen, and He said to it: “Write.” The Pen said: “O my Lord, what shall I write” He said: “Write the decree and whatever will throughout eternity.”)” This Hadith has been recorded by Imam Ahmad through various routes of transmission. At-Tirmidhi also recorded it from a Hadith of Abu Dawud At-Tayalisi and he (At-Tirmidhi) said about it, “Hasan Sahih, Gharib.”

Swearing by the Pen refers to the Greatness of the Prophet

Allah says,

﴿مَآ أَنتَ بِنِعْمَةِ رَبِّكَ بِمَجْنُونٍ ﴾

 

(You, by the grace of your Lord, are not insane.) meaning — and all praise is due to Allah — `you are not crazy as the ignorant among your people claim. They are those who deny the guidance and the clear truth that you have come with. Therefore, they attribute madness to you because of it.’

﴿وَإِنَّ لَكَ لاّجْراً غَيْرَ مَمْنُونٍ ﴾

 

(And verily, for you will be reward that is not Mamnun.) meaning, `for you is the great reward, and abundant blessings which will never be cut off or perish, because you conveyed the Message of your Lord to creation, and you were patient with their abuse.’ The meaning of:

﴿غَيْرُ مَمْنُونٍ﴾

 

(not Mamnun) is that it will not be cut off. This is similar to Allah’s statement,

﴿عَطَآءً غَيْرَ مَجْذُوذٍ﴾

 

(a gift without an end.) (11:108) and His statement,

﴿فَلَهُمْ أَجْرٌ غَيْرُ مَمْنُونٍ﴾

 

(Then they shall have a reward without end.) (95:6) Mujahid said,

﴿غَيْرُ مَمْنُونٍ﴾

 

(Without Mamnun) means “Without reckoning.” And this refers back to what we have said before.

 

The Explanation of the Statement: “Verily, You are on an Exalted Character.”

Concerning Allah’s statement,

﴿وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلَى خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ ﴾

 

(And verily, you are on an exalted (standard of) character.) Al-`Awfi reported from Ibn `Abbas, “Verily, you are on a great religion, and it is Islam.” Likewise said Mujahid, Abu Malik, As-Suddi and Ar-Rabi` bin Anas. Ad-Dahhak and Ibn Zayd also said this. Sa`id bin Abi `Arubah reported from Qatadah that he said concerning Allah’s statement,

﴿وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلَى خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ ﴾

 

(And verily, you are on an exalted (standard of) character.) “It has been mentioned to us that Sa`d bin Hisham asked `A’ishah about the character of the Messenger of Allah , so she replied: `Have you not read the Qur’an’ Sa`d said: `Of course.’ Then she said: `Verily, the character of the Messenger of Allah was the Qur’an.”’ `Abdur-Razzaq recorded similar to this and Imam Muslim recorded it in his Sahih on the authority of Qatadah in its full length. This means that he would act according to the commands and the prohibition in the Qur’an. His nature and character were patterned according to the Qur’an, and he abandoned his natural disposition (i.e., the carnal nature). So whatever the Qur’an commanded, he did it, and whatever it forbade, he avoided it. Along with this, Allah gave him the exalted character, which included the qualities of modesty, kindness, bravery, pardoning, gentleness and every other good characteristic. This is like that which has been confirmed in the Two Sahihs that Anas said, “I served the Messenger of Allah for ten years, and he never said a word of displeasure to me (Uff), nor did he ever say to me concerning something I had done: `Why did you do that’ And he never said to me concerning something I had not done: `Why didn’t you do this’ He had the best character, and I never touched any silk or anything else that was softer than the palm of the Messenger of Allah . And I never smelled any musk or perfume that had a better fragrance than the sweat of the Messenger of Allah.” Imam Al-Bukhari recorded that Al-Bara’ said, “The Messenger of Allah had the most handsome face of all the people, and he had the best behavior of all of the people. And he was not tall, nor was he short.” The Hadiths concerning this matter are numerous. Abu `Isa At-Tirmidhi has a complete book on this subject called Kitab Ash-Shama’il. Imam Ahmad recorded that `A’ishah said, “The Messenger of Allah never struck a servant of his with his hand, nor did he ever hit a woman. He never hit anything with his hand, except for when he was fighting Jihad in the cause of Allah. And he was never given the option between two things except that the most beloved of the two to him was the easiest of them, as long as it did not involve sin. If it did involve sin, then he stayed farther away from sin than any of the people. He would not avenge himself concerning anything that was done to him, except if the limits of Allah were transgressed. Then, in that case he would avenge for the sake of Allah.” Imam Ahmad also recorded from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah said,

«إِنَّمَا بُعِثْتُ لِأُتَمِّمَ صَالِحَ الْأَخْلَاق»

 

(I have only been sent to perfect righteous behavior.) Ahmad was alone in recording this Hadith. In reference to Allah’s statement,

﴿فَسَتُبْصِرُ وَيُبْصِرُونَ – بِأَيِّكُمُ الْمَفْتُونُ ﴾

 

(You will see, and they will see, which of you is afflicted with madness.) then it means, `you will know, O Muhammad — and those who oppose you and reject you, will know — who is insane and misguided among you.’ This is like Allah’s statement,

﴿سَيَعْلَمُونَ غَداً مَّنِ الْكَذَّابُ الاٌّشِرُ ﴾

 

(Tomorrow they will come to know who is the liar, the insolent one!) (54:26) Allah also says,

﴿وَإِنَّآ أَوْ إِيَّاكُمْ لَعَلَى هُدًى أَوْ فِى ضَلَـلٍ مُّبِينٍ﴾

 

(And verily (either) we or you are rightly guided or in plain error.) (34:24) Ibn Jurayj reported from Ibn `Abbas, it means “You will know and they will know on the Day of Judgement.” Al-`Awfi reported from Ibn `Abbas;

﴿بِأَيِّكُمُ الْمَفْتُونُ ﴾

 

(Which of you is Maftun (afflicted with madness) means which of you is crazy. This was also said by Mujahid and others as well. The literal meaning of Maftun is one who has been charmed or lured away from the truth and has strayed from it. Thus, the entire statement means, `so you will know and they will know,’ or `you will be informed and they will be informed, as to which of you is afflicted with madness.’ And Allah knows best. Then Allah says,

﴿إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَن ضَلَّ عَن سَبِيلِهِ وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِالْمُهْتَدِينَ ﴾

 

(Verily, your Lord is the best Knower of him who has gone astray from His path, and He is the best Knower of those who are guided.) meaning, `He knows which of the two groups are truly guided among you, and He knows the party that is astray from the truth.

Prohibition of giving in to the Pressure of the Disbelievers and Their Suggestions, and that They like to meet in the Middle of the Path

Allah says, `just as We have favored you and given you the upright legislation and great (standard of) character,’

﴿فَلاَ تُطِعِ الْمُكَذِّبِينَ – وَدُّواْ لَوْ تُدْهِنُ فَيُدْهِنُونَ ﴾

 

(So, do not obey the deniers. They wish that you should compromise with them, so they (too) would compromise with you.) Ibn `Abbas said, “That you would permit them (their idolatry) and they also would permit you (to practice your religion).” Mujahid said,

﴿وَدُّواْ لَوْ تُدْهِنُ فَيُدْهِنُونَ ﴾

 

(They wish that you should compromise with them, so they (too) would compromise with you.) “This means that you should be quiet about their gods and abandon the truth that you are upon.” Then Allah says,

﴿وَلاَ تُطِعْ كُلَّ حَلاَّفٍ مَّهِينٍ ﴾

 

(And do not obey every Hallaf (one who swears much) Mahin (liar or worthless person).) This is because the liar, due to his weakness and his disgracefulness, only seeks protection in his false oaths which he boldly swears to while using Allah’s Names, and he uses them (false oaths) all the time and out of place (i.e., unnecessarily). Ibn `Abbas said, “Al-Mahin means the liar.” Then Allah says,

﴿هَمَّازٍ﴾

 

(A Hammaz, ) Ibn `Abbas and Qatadah both said, “This is slander.”

﴿مَّشَّآءِ بِنَمِيمٍ﴾

 

(going about with Namim,) This refers to the one who goes around among people instigating discord between them and carrying tales in order to corrupt relations between people when they are good and pleasant. It is confirmed in the Two Sahihs that Mujahid reported from Tawus that Ibn `Abbas said, “The Messenger of Allah once passed by two graves and he said,

«إِنَّهُمَا لَيُعَذَّبَانِ وَمَا يُعَذَّبَانِ فِي كَبِيرٍ، أَمَّا أَحَدُهُمَا فَكَانَ لَا يَسْتَتِرُ مِنَ الْبَوْلِ، وَأَمَّا الْاخَرُ فَكَانَ يَمْشِي بِالنَّمِيمَة»

 

(Verily, these two are being punished, and they are not being punished for something major. One of them was not careful about protecting himself from urine (when relieving himself). The other one used to spread Namimah.)” This Hadith has been recorded by the Group in their books through routes of transmission that are all on the authority of Mujahid. Imam Ahmad recorded that Hudhayfah said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah saying,

«لَا يَدْخُلُ الْجَنَّةَ قَتَّات»

 

(The slanderer will not enter into Paradise.)” This Hadith has been reported by the Group except for Ibn Majah. Concerning Allah’s statement,

﴿مَّنَّاعٍ لِّلْخَيْرِ مُعْتَدٍ أَثِيمٍ ﴾

 

(Hinderer of good, transgressor, sinful,) it means, he refuses to give and withholds that which he has of good.

﴿مُعْتَدٍ﴾

 

(transgressor,) this means, in attaining that which Allah has made permissible for him, he exceeds the legislated bounds.

﴿أَثِيمٍ﴾

 

(sinful,) meaning, he delves into the forbidden things. Concerning Allah’s statement,

﴿عُتُلٍّ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ زَنِيمٍ ﴾

 

(`Utul, and moreover Zanim.) `Utul means one who is cruel, harsh, strong, greedy and stingy. Imam Ahmad recorded from Al-Harithah bin Wahb that the Messenger of Allah said,

«أَلَا أُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِأَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ؟ كُلُّ ضَعِيفٍ مُتَضَعِّفٍ لَوْ أَقْسَمَ عَلَى اللهِ لَأَبَرَّهُ. أَلَا أُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِأَهْلِ النَّارِ؟ كُلُّ عُتُلَ جَوَّاظٍ مُسْتَكْبِر»

 

(Shall I inform you of the people of Paradise (They will be) every weak and oppressed person. When he swears by Allah, he fulfills his oath. Shall I inform you of the people of the Fire Every `Utul (cruel person), Jawwaz and arrogant person.) Al-Waki` said, “It (`Utul) is every Jawwaz, Ja`zari and arrogant person.” Both Al-Bukhari and Muslim recorded this in their Two Sahihs, as well as the rest of the Group, except for Abu Dawud. All of its routes of transmission are by way of Sufyan Ath-Thawri and Shu`bah who both reported it from Sa`id bin Khalid. The scholars of Arabic language have said that Ja`zari means rude and harsh, while Jawwaz means greedy and stingy. Concerning the word Zanim, Al-Bukhari recorded from Ibn `Abbas that he said concerning the Ayah,

﴿عُتُلٍّ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ زَنِيمٍ ﴾

 

(`Utul (cruel), and moreover Zanim.) “A man from the Quraysh who stands out among them like the sheep that has had a piece of its ear cut off.” The meaning of this is that he is famous for his evil just as a sheep that has a piece of its ear cut off stands out among its sister sheep. In the Arabic language the Zanim is a person who is adopted among a group of people (i.e., he is not truly of them). Ibn Jarir and others among the Imams have said this. Concerning Allah’s statement,

﴿أَن كَانَ ذَا مَالٍ وَبَنِينَ – إِذَا تُتْلَى عَلَيْهِ ءَايَـتُنَا قَالَ أَسَـطِيرُ الاٌّوَّلِينَ ﴾

 

((He was so) because he had wealth and children. When Our Ayat are recited to him, he says: “Tales of the men of old!”) Allah is saying, `this is how he responds to the favors that Allah has bestowed upon him of wealth and children, by disbelieving in Allah’s Ayat and turning away from them while claiming that they are a lie that has been taken from the tales of the ancients.’ This is similar to Allah’s statement,

﴿ذَرْنِى وَمَنْ خَلَقْتُ وَحِيداً – وَجَعَلْتُ لَهُ مَالاً مَّمْدُوداً – وَبَنِينَ شُهُوداً – وَمَهَّدتُّ لَهُ تَمْهِيداً – ثُمَّ يَطْمَعُ أَنْ أَزِيدَ – كَلاَّ إِنَّهُ كان لاٌّيَـتِنَا عَنِيداً – سَأُرْهِقُهُ صَعُوداً – إِنَّهُ فَكَّرَ وَقَدَّرَ – فَقُتِلَ كَيْفَ قَدَّرَ – ثُمَّ قُتِلَ كَيْفَ قَدَّرَ – ثُمَّ نَظَرَ – ثُمَّ عَبَسَ وَبَسَرَ – ثُمَّ أَدْبَرَ وَاسْتَكْبَرَ – فَقَالَ إِنْ هَـذَآ إِلاَّ سِحْرٌ يُؤْثَرُ – إِنْ هَـذَآ إِلاَّ قَوْلُ الْبَشَرِ – سَأُصْلِيهِ سَقَرَ – وَمَآ أَدْرَاكَ مَا سَقَرُ – لاَ تُبْقِى وَلاَ تَذَرُ – لَوَّاحَةٌ لِّلْبَشَرِ – عَلَيْهَا تِسْعَةَ عَشَرَ ﴾

 

(Leave Me alone (to deal) with whom I created lonely (without any wealth and children etc.). And then granted him resources in abundance. And children to be by his side. And made life smooth and comfortable for him. After all that he desires that I should give more. Nay! Verily, he has been opposing Our Ayat. I shall oblige him to face a severe torment! Verily, he thought and plotted. So let him be cursed, how he plotted! And once more let him be cursed, how he plotted! Then he thought. Then he frowned and he looked in a bad tempered way. Then he turned back, and was proud. Then he said: “This is nothing but magic from that of old, this is nothing but the word of a human being!” I will cast him into Hellfire. And what will make you know what Hellfire is It spares not (any sinner), nor does it leave (anything unburned)! Burning and blackening the skins! Over it are nineteen (angels as keepers of Hell).) ﴿74:11-30﴾ Then Allah said here,

﴿سَنَسِمُهُ عَلَى الْخُرْطُومِ ﴾

 

(We shall brand him on the snout!) Ibn Jarir said, “We will make his matter clear and evident so that they will know him and he will not be hidden from them, just as the branding mark on the snouts (of animals).” Others have said,

﴿سَنَسِمُهُ﴾

 

(We shall brand him) This is the mark of the people of the Hell-fire; meaning, `We will blacken his face on the Day of Judgement,’ and the face has been referred to here as snout.

﴿إِنَّا بَلَوْنَـهُمْ كَمَا بَلَوْنَآ أَصْحَـبَ الْجَنَّةِ إِذْ أَقْسَمُواْ لَيَصْرِمُنَّهَا مُصْبِحِينَ – وَلاَ يَسْتَثْنُونَ – فَطَافَ عَلَيْهَا طَآئِفٌ مِّن رَّبِّكَ وَهُمْ نَآئِمُونَ – فَأَصْبَحَتْ كَالصَّرِيمِ – فَتَنَادَوْاْ مُصْبِحِينَ – أَنِ اغْدُواْ عَلَى حَرْثِكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ صَـرِمِينَ – فَانطَلَقُواْ وَهُمْ يَتَخَـفَتُونَ – أَن لاَّ يَدْخُلَنَّهَا الْيَوْمَ عَلَيْكُمْ مِّسْكِينٌ – وَغَدَوْاْ عَلَى حَرْدٍ قَـدِرِينَ – فَلَمَّا رَأَوْهَا قَالُواْ إِنَّا لَضَآلُّونَ بَلْ نَحْنُ مَحْرُومُونَ قَالَ أَوْسَطُهُمْ أَلَمْ أَقُلْ لَّكُمْ لَوْلاَ تُسَبِّحُونَ ﴾

(17. Verily, We have tried them as We tried the People of the Garden, when they swore to pluck the fruits in the morning,) (18. Without (saying: “If Allah wills.”)) (19. Then there passed over it a Ta’if from your Lord while they were asleep.) (20. So by the morning, it became like As-Sarim.) (21. Then they called out (one to another as soon) as the morning broke.) (22. Saying: “Go to your tilth in the morning, if you would pluck (the fruits).”) (23. So they departed, and they were whispering:) (24. “No poor person shall enter upon you into it today.”) (25. And they went in the morning with Hard Qadirin.) (26. But when they saw it, they said: “Verily, we have gone astray.”) (27. “Nay! Indeed we are deprived!”) (28. The Awsat among them said; “Did I not tell you, `Why do you not Tusabbihun.”’)29. They said: “Glory to Our Lord! Verily, we have been wrongdoers.”) (30. Then they turned one against another, blaming.) (31. They said: “Woe to us! Verily, we were Taghin.”) (32. “We hope that our Lord will give us in exchange better than it. Truly, we hope in our Lord.”) (33. Such is the punishment, but truly, the punishment of the Hereafter is greater if they but knew.)

A Parable of the Removal of the Earnings of the Disbelievers

This is a parable that Allah made of the behavior of the Quraysh disbelievers with the great mercy, and tremendous favors He granted them. The mercy and favor of sending of Muhammad to them. But they met him with denial, rejection and opposition. Therefore Allah says,

﴿إِنَّا بَلَوْنَـهُمْ﴾

 

(Verily, We have tried them) meaning, `We have tested them.’

﴿كَمَا بَلَوْنَآ أَصْحَـبَ الْجَنَّةِ﴾

 

(as We tried the People of the Garden,) This refers to a garden containing different types of fruits and vegetation.

﴿إِذْ أَقْسَمُواْ لَيَصْرِمُنَّهَا مُصْبِحِينَ﴾

 

(when they swore to pluck the fruits of the (garden) in the morning,) meaning, they vowed between themselves during the night that they would pluck the fruit of the garden in the morning so that poor and the beggars would not know what they were doing. In this way they would be able to keep its fruit for themselves and not give any of it in charity.

﴿وَلاَ يَسْتَثْنُونَ ﴾

 

(Without (saying: “If Allah wills.”)) meaning their vow that they made. Therefore, Allah broke their vow. He then said,

﴿فَطَافَ عَلَيْهَا طَآئِفٌ مِّن رَّبِّكَ وَهُمْ نَآئِمُونَ ﴾

 

(Then there passed over it a Ta’if from your Lord while they were asleep. ) meaning, it was afflicted with some heavenly destruction.

﴿فَأَصْبَحَتْ كَالصَّرِيمِ ﴾

 

(So by the morning it became like As-Sarim.) Ibn `Abbas said, “Like the dark night.” Ath-Thawri and As-Suddi both said, “Like the crop when it is harvested withered and dry.”

﴿فَتَنَادَوْاْ مُصْبِحِينَ ﴾

 

(Then they called out (one to another as soon) as the morning broke.) meaning, when it was (early) morning time they called each other so that they could go together to pick the harvest or cut it (its fruits). Then Allah said,

﴿أَنِ اغْدُواْ عَلَى حَرْثِكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ صَـرِمِينَ ﴾

 

((Saying:) “Go to your tilth in the morning, if you would pluck (the fruits).”) meaning, `if you want to pluck your harvest fruit.’

﴿فَانطَلَقُواْ وَهُمْ يَتَخَـفَتُونَ ﴾

 

(So they departed, and they were whispering:) meaning, they spoke privately about what they were doing so that no one could hear what they were saying. Then Allah, the All-Knower of secrets and private discussions, explained what they were saying in private. He said,

﴿فَانطَلَقُواْ وَهُمْ يَتَخَـفَتُونَ – أَن لاَّ يَدْخُلَنَّهَا الْيَوْمَ عَلَيْكُمْ مِّسْكِينٌ ﴾

 

(So they departed, and they were whispering: “No poor person shall enter upon you into it today.”) meaning, some of them said to others, “Do not allow any poor person to enter upon you in it (the garden) today.” Allah then said,

﴿وَغَدَوْاْ عَلَى حَرْدٍ﴾

 

(And they went in the morning with Hard) meaning, with strength and power.

﴿قَـدِرِينَ﴾

 

(Qadirin) meaning, they thought they had power to do what they claimed and what they were desiring.

﴿فَلَمَّا رَأَوْهَا قَالُواْ إِنَّا لَضَآلُّونَ ﴾

 

(But when they saw it, they said: “Verily, we have gone astray.”) meaning, when they arrived at it and came upon it, and it was in the condition which Allah changed from that luster, brilliance and abundance of fruit, to being black, gloomy and void of any benefit. They believed that they had been mistaken in the path they took in walking to it. This is why they said,

﴿إِنَّا لَضَآلُّونَ﴾

 

(Verily, we have gone astray.) meaning, `we have walked down a path other than the one we were seeking to reach it.’ This was said by Ibn `Abbas and others. Then they changed their minds and realized with certainty that it was actually the correct path. Then they said,

﴿بَلْ نَحْنُ مَحْرُومُونَ ﴾

 

(Nay! Indeed we are deprived (of the fruits)!) meaning, `nay, this is it, but we have no portion and no share (of harvest).’

﴿قَالَ أَوْسَطُهُمْ﴾

 

(The Awsat among them said,) Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, `Ikrimah, Muhammad bin Ka`b, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas, Ad-Dahhak and Qatadah all said, “This means the most just of them and the best of them.”

﴿أَلَمْ أَقُلْ لَّكُمْ لَوْلاَ تُسَبِّحُونَ﴾

 

(Did I not tell you, `Why do you not Tusabbihun’) Mujahid, As-Suddi and Ibn Jurayj all said that,

﴿لَوْلاَ تُسَبِّحُونَ﴾

 

(Why do you not Tusabbihun) this means “why do you not say, `If Allah wills”’ As-Suddi said, “Their making exception due to the will of Allah in that time was by glorifying Allah (Tasbih).” Ibn Jarir said, “It is a person’s saying, `If Allah wills.”’ It has also been said that it means that the best of them said to them, “Did I not tell you, why don’t you glorify Allah and thank Him for what He has given you and favored you with”

﴿قَالُواْ سُبْحَـنَ رَبِّنَآ إِنَّا كُنَّا ظَـلِمِينَ ﴾

 

(They said: “Glory to Our Lord! Verily, we have been wrongdoers.”) They became obedient when it was of no benefit to them, and they were remorseful and confessed when it was not of any use. Then they said,

﴿إِنَّا كُنَّا ظَـلِمِينَفَأَقْبَلَ بَعْضُهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ يَتَلَـوَمُونَ ﴾

 

(“…Verily, we have been wrongdoers.” Then they turned one against another, blaming.) meaning, they started blaming each other for what they had resolved to do, preventing the poor people from receiving their right of the harvested fruit. Thus, their response to each other was only to confess their error and sin.

﴿قَالُواْ يوَيْلَنَآ إِنَّا كُنَّا طَـغِينَ ﴾

 

(They said: “Woe to us! Verily, we were Taghin.”) meaning, `we have transgressed, trespassed, violated and exceeded the bounds until what this happened to us.’

﴿عَسَى رَبُّنَآ أَن يُبْدِلَنَا خَيْراً مِّنْهَآ إِنَّآ إِلَى رَبِّنَا رَغِبُونَ ﴾

 

(We hope that our Lord will give us in exchange better than it. Truly, we hope in our Lord.) It has been said, “They were hoping for something better in exchange in this life.” It has also been said, “They were hoping for its reward in the abode of the Hereafter.” And Allah knows best. Some of the Salaf mentioned that these people were from Yemen. Sa`id bin Jubayr said, “They were from a village that was called Darawan which was six miles from San`a’ (in Yemen). ” It has also been said, “They were from the people of Ethiopia whose father had left them this garden, and they were from the People of the Book. Their father used to handle the garden in a good way. Whatever he reaped from it he would put it back into the garden as it needed, and he would save some of it as food for his dependants for the year, and he would give away the excess in charity. Then, when he died, and his children inherited the garden they said, `Verily, our father was foolish for giving some of this garden’s harvest to the poor. If we prevent them from it, then we will have more.’ So when they made up their minds to do this they were punished with what was contrary to their plan. Allah took away all of what they possessed of wealth, gain and charity. Nothing remained for them.” Allah then says,

﴿كَذَلِكَ الْعَذَابُ﴾

 

(Such is the punishment,) meaning, such is the punishment of whoever opposes the command of Allah, is stingy with what Allah has given him and favored him with, withholds the right of the poor and needy, and responds to Allah’s blessings upon him with ungratefulness (or disbelief).

﴿وَلَعَذَابُ الاٌّخِرَةِ أَكْبَرُ لَوْ كَانُواْ يَعْلَمُونَ﴾

 

(but truly, the punishment of the Hereafter is greater if they but knew.) meaning, this is the punishment in this life, as you have heard, and the punishment of the Hereafter is even harder.

The Terror of the Day of Judgement

After Allah mentions that those who have Taqwa, will have Gardens of Delight with their Lord, He explains when this will be, and its actual occurrence. He says,

﴿يَوْمَ يُكْشَفُ عَن سَاقٍ وَيُدْعَوْنَ إِلَى السُّجُودِ فَلاَ يَسْتَطِيعُونَ ﴾

 

(The Day when the Shin shall be laid bare and they shall be called to prostrate themselves, but they shall not be able to do so.) meaning, the Day of Judgement and the horrors, earthquakes, trials, tests and great matters that will occur during it. Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri said that he heard the Prophet saying,

«يَكْشِفُ رَبُّنَا عَنْ سَاقِهِ، فَيَسْجُدُ لَهُ كُلُّ مُؤْمِنٍ وَمُؤْمِنَةٍ، وَيَبْقَى مَنْ كَانَ يَسْجُدُ فِي الدُّنْيَا رِيَاءً وَسُمْعَةً، فَيَذْهَبُ لِيَسْجُدَ، فَيَعُودُ ظَهْرُهُ طَبَقًا وَاحِدًا»

 

(Our Lord will reveal His Shin, and every believing male and female will prostrate to Him. The only people who will remain standing are those who prostrated in the worldly life only to be seen and heard (showing off). This type of person will try to prostrate at that time, but his back will made to be one stiff plate (the bone will not bend or flex).)” This Hadith was recorded in the Two Sahihs and other books from different routes of transmission with various wordings. It is a long Hadith that is very popular. Concerning Allah’s statement,

﴿خَـشِعَةً أَبْصَـرُهُمْ تَرْهَقُهُمْ ذِلَّةٌ﴾

 

(Their eyes will be cast down and ignominy will cover them;) means, in the final abode, due to their crimes and arrogance in the worldly life. Thus they will be punished with the opposite of what they did. When they were called to prostrate in the worldly life, they refused to do so even though they were healthy and secure. Therefore, they will be punished with the lack of ability to do so in the Hereafter. When the Almighty Lord makes Himself visible (before the believers), then the believers will fall down in prostration to Him, but no one of the disbelievers and hypocrites will be able to prostrate. rather, their backs will become one plate. Everytime one of them attempts to prostrate, he will bow his neck but will not be able to prostrate. This is just like in the life of this world, when these people were in opposition to what the believers were doing.

 

For Whoever denies the Qur’an

Then Allah says,

﴿فَذَرْنِى وَمَن يُكَذِّبُ بِهَـذَا الْحَدِيثِ﴾

 

(Then leave Me alone with such as belie this narration.) meaning, the Qur’an. This is a sever threat which means, `leave Me alone with this person; I know about him and how I will gradually punish him and increase him in his falsehood. I am giving him respite for a while, then I will seize him with a mighty and powerful punishment.’ Thus, Allah says,

﴿سَنَسْتَدْرِجُهُم مِّنْ حَيْثُ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ﴾

 

(We shall punish them gradually from directions they perceive not.) meaning, and they will not even be aware of it. Rather, they will believe that it is a noble blessing from Allah, but really the same matter is actually a form of humiliation (for them). This is similar to Allah’s statement,

﴿أَيَحْسَبُونَ أَنَّمَا نُمِدُّهُمْ بِهِ مِن مَّالٍ وَبَنِينَ – نُسَارِعُ لَهُمْ فِى الْخَيْرَتِ بَل لاَّ يَشْعُرُونَ ﴾

 

(Do they think that in wealth and children with which We expand them, We hasten unto them with good things. Nay, but they perceive not.) (23:55,56) Allah also said,

﴿فَلَمَّا نَسُواْ مَا ذُكِّرُواْ بِهِ فَتَحْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ أَبْوَابَ كُلِّ شَىْءٍ حَتَّى إِذَا فَرِحُواْ بِمَآ أُوتُواْ أَخَذْنَـهُمْ بَغْتَةً فَإِذَا هُمْ مُّبْلِسُونَ ﴾

 

(So, when they forgot that which they had been reminded, We opened for them the gates of everything, until in the midst of their enjoyment in that which they were given, all of a sudden, We punished them, and lo! They were plunged into destruction with deep regrets and sorrows.) Therefore, Allah says here,

﴿وَأُمْلِى لَهُمْ إِنَّ كَيْدِى مَتِينٌ ﴾

 

(And I will grant them a respite. Verily, My plan is strong.) meaning, `I will delay them, give them respite and extend their time. Yet, this is My plan, and My plot against them.’ Thus, Allah says,

﴿إِنَّ كَيْدِى مَتِينٌ﴾

 

(Verily, My plan is strong.) meaning, `great against whoever opposes My command, rejects My Messengers and dares to disobey Me.’ In the Two Sahihs it is recorded from the Messenger of Allah that he said,

«إِنَّ اللهَ تَعَالى لَيُمْلِي لِلظَّالِمِ حَتْى إِذَا أَخَذَهُ لَمْ يُفْلِتْه»

 

(Verily Allah the Exalted gives respite to the wrongdoer until He seizes him and he will not be able to escape Him.) Then he recited,

﴿وَكَذلِكَ أَخْذُ رَبِّكَ إِذَا أَخَذَ الْقُرَى وَهِىَ ظَـلِمَةٌ إِنَّ أَخْذَهُ أَلِيمٌ شَدِيدٌ ﴾

 

(Such is the punishment of your Lord when He seizes the towns while they are doing wrong. Verily, His punishment is painful (and) severe.) (11:102) In reference to Allah’s statement,

﴿أَمْ تَسْـَلُهُمْ أَجْراً فَهُم مِّن مَّغْرَمٍ مُّثْقَلُونَ – أَمْ عِندَهُمُ الْغَيْبُ فَهُمْ يَكْتُبُونَ ﴾

 

(Or is it that you ask them for a wage, so that they are heavily burdened with debt Or that the Unseen is in their hands, so that they can write it down) the explanation of these two Ayat prece- ded in Surat At-Tur. The meaning of it is, `you, O Muhammad, call them to Allah without taking any wages from them. rather, you hope for the reward with Allah. Yet, they reject that which you have brought to them simply due to ignorance, disbelief and obstinacy.’

﴿فَاصْبِرْ لِحُكْمِ رَبِّكَ وَلاَ تَكُن كَصَـحِبِ الْحُوتِ إِذْ نَادَى وَهُوَ مَكْظُومٌ ﴾
The Command to be Patient and to refrain from being Hasty like Yunus was

Allah says,

﴿فَاصْبِرْ﴾

 

(So wait with patience) `O Muhammad, persevere against the harm your people cause you and their rejection. For verily, Allah will give you authority over them, and make the final victory for you and your followers in this life and the Hereafter.’

﴿وَلاَ تَكُن كَصَـحِبِ الْحُوتِ﴾

 

(and be not like the Companion of the Fish) meaning, Dhun-Nun, who was Yunus bin Matta, when he went off angry with his people. Various things happened to him, such as riding on a ship at sea, being swallowed by a (large) fish, the fish carrying him off into the ocean, being in the darkness and depth of the sea and hearing the sea’s and its dwellers glorification of the Most High, the Most Able (Allah). For He (Allah) is the One Whose execution of divine decree cannot be resisted. After all of this, he (Yunus) called out from the layers of darkness,

﴿أَن لاَّ إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ أَنتَ سُبْحَـنَكَ إِنِّى كُنتُ مِنَ الظَّـلِمِينَ﴾

 

(“That none has the right to be worshipped but You (O Allah), Glorified (and Exalted) are You! Truly, I have been of the wrongdoers.”) (21:87) Then Allah said concerning him,

﴿فَاسْتَجَبْنَا لَهُ وَنَجَّيْنَـهُ مِنَ الْغَمِّ وَكَذلِكَ نُنجِـى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ﴾

 

(So We answered his call, and delivered him from the distress. And thus We do deliver the believers.) (21:88) Allah also says,

﴿فَلَوْلاَ أَنَّهُ كَانَ مِنَ الْمُسَبِّحِينَ – لَلَبِثَ فِى بَطْنِهِ إِلَى يَوْمِ يُبْعَثُونَ ﴾

 

(Had he not been of them who glorify Allah, he would have indeed remained inside its belly (the fish) till the Day when they are resurrected.) (37:143,144) So here (in this Surah), Allah says,

﴿إِذْ نَادَى وَهُوَ مَكْظُومٌ﴾

 

(when he cried out (to Us) while he was Makzum.) Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid and As-Suddi, all said, “while he was distressed.” Then Allah goes on to say,

﴿فَاجْتَبَـهُ رَبُّهُ فَجَعَلَهُ مِنَ الصَّـلِحِينَ ﴾

 

(Then his Lord chose him and made him of the righteous.) Imam Ahmad recorded from `Abdullah that the Messenger of Allah said,

«لَا يَنْبَغِي لِأَحَدٍ أَنْ يَقُولَ: أَنَا خَيْرٌ مِنْ يُونُسَ بْنِ مَتَّى»

 

(It is not befitting for anyone to say that I am better than Yunus bin Matta.) Al-Bukhari recorded this Hadith and it is in the Two Sahihs reported from Abu Hurayrah. Concerning Allah’s statement,

﴿وَإِن يَكَادُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ لَيُزْلِقُونَكَ بِأَبْصَـرِهِمْ﴾

 

(And verily, those who disbelieve would almost make you slip with their eyes) Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid and others have said,

﴿لَيُزْلِقُونَكَ﴾

 

(would make you slip) “In order to have some effect on you.”

﴿بِأَبْصَـرِهِمْ﴾

 

(with their eyes) meaning, `they will affect you by looking at you with their eyes (i.e., the evil eye).’ This means `they are jealous of you due to their hatred of you, and were it not for Allah’s protection of you, defending you against them (then their evil eye would harm you).’

The Effect of the Evil Eye is Real

In this Ayah is a proof that the effect of the evil eye and its affliction by the command of Allah is real. Many Hadiths have been reported concerning this through numerous routes of transmission. The Hadith of Buraydah bin Al-Husayb Abu `Abdullah bin Majah recorded from Buraydah bin Al-Husayb that the Messenger of Allah said,

«لَا رُقْيَةَ إِلَّا مِنْ عَيْنٍ أَوْ حُمَة»

 

(There is no Ruqyah except to cure the evil eye and the sting.) This is how Ibn Majah recorded this Hadith. Imam Muslim also recorded this Hadith in his Sahih on the authority of Buraydah himself, but he did not attribute it to the Prophet . There is a story concerning this incident (as reported by Buraydah in Sahih Muslim), and At-Tirmidhi recorded the Hadith in this manner (like Muslim’s version). This Hadith has also been recorded by Imam Al-Bukhari, Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi on the authority of `Imran bin Husayn, however, he did not attribute it to the Prophet . `Imran’s wording is,

«لَا رُقْيَةَ إِلَّا مِنْ عَيْنٍ أَوْ حُمَة»

 

(There is no Ruqyah except to cure the evil eye and the sting.)” Muslim recorded in his Sahih from Ibn `Abbas that the Prophet said,

«الْعَيْنُ حَقٌّ وَلَوْ كَانَ شَيْءٌ سَابَقَ الْقَدَرَ سَبَقَتِ الْعَيْنُ وَإِذَا اسْتُغْسِلْتُمْ فَاغْسِلُوا»

 

(The evil eye is real. If anything were to overtake the divine decree (and change it), then it would be the evil eye. And if you perform Ghusl (to remove the evil eye) then wash well.) Muslim was alone in recording this Hadith, as Al-Bukhari did not mention it. It is reported from Ibn `Abbas that he said, “The Messenger of Allah used to invoke Allah’s protection for Al-Hasan and Al-Husayn (his grandsons) by saying,

«أُعِيذُكُمَا بِكَلِمَاتِ اللهِ التَّامَّةِ مِنْ كُلِّ شَيْطَانٍ وَهَامَّةٍ، وَمِنْ كُلِّ عَيْنٍ لَامَّة»

 

(I seek protection for you two by the perfect Words of Allah from every Shaytan, and dangerous creature, and from every eye that is evil.) Then he would say:

«هَكَذَا كَانَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ يُعَوِّذُ إِسْحَاقَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ عَلَيْهِمَا السَّلَام»

 

(Thus, did Ibrahim used to seek protection for Ishaq and Isma`il (his sons).)” This Hadith was recorded by Al-Bukhari and the Sunan compilers.

The Hadith of Abu Umamah As`ad bin Sahl bin Hunayf

Ibn Majah recorded from Abu Umamah As`ad bin Sahl bin Hunayf that `Amir bin Rabi`ah passed by Sahl bin Hunayf while he was bathing and he said, “I haven’t seen the skin of a beautiful virgin girl nicer than this that I see today (i.e., commenting on how nice Sahl’s skin was).” So he did not leave before he (Sahl) fell down on the ground. So he was brought to the Messenger of Allah and it was said to him (the Prophet ) that Sahl had been afflicted by a seizure. The Prophet then said,

«مَنْ تَتَّهِمُونَ بِهِ؟»

 

(Who do you blame (or hold responsible) for this) The people replied, “”Amir bin Rabi`ah.” Then the Prophet said,

«عَلَامَ يَقْتُلُ أَحَدُكُمْ أَخَاهُ؟ إِذَا رَأَى أَحَدُكُمْ مِنْ أَخِيهِ مَا يُعْجِبُهُ فَلْيَدْعُ لَهُ بِالْبَرَكَة»

 

(Would one of you knowingly kill his brother If one of you sees something of his brother that he likes, then let him supplicate for blessings for him.) Then the Prophet called for some water and he commanded `Amir to perform Wudu’ with the water. So he washed his face, his hands up to his two elbows, his two knees, and the inside of his Izar. Then the Prophet commanded him to pour the water over Sahl. Sufyan said that Ma`mar related from Az-Zuhri that he said, “The Prophet ordered him to turn the water pot over (empty its contents over) him (Sahl) from behind him.” An-Nasa’i recorded this Hadith through different routes from Abu Umamah with the wording, “And he turned the pot over pouring its contents over him (Sahl) from behind him.”

The Hadith of Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri

Ibn Majah recorded that Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri said, “The Messenger of Allah used to seek refuge from the evil eye of the Jinns and the evil eye of humans. Then when the Mu`awwidhatan were revealed, he used them (for seeking protection) and abandoned everything else. This was recorded by At-Tirmidhi, and An-Nasa’i. At-Tirmidhi said, “Hasan.”

Another Hadith from Abu Sa`id Imam

Ahmad recorded from Abu Sa`id that Jibril came to the Prophet and said, “O Muhammad, are you suffering from any ailment” The Prophet said,

«نَعَم»

 

(Yes).” Then Jibril said,

«بِاسْمِ اللهِ أَرْقِيكَ مِنْ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ يُؤْذِيكَ، وَمِنْ شَرِّ كُلِّ نَفْسٍ وَعَيْنٍ تَشْنِيكَ، وَاللهُ يَشْفِيكَ، بِاسْمِ اللهِ أَرْقِيك»

 

(“In the Name of Allah I pray over you for healing (Ruqyah), from everything that bothers you, from the evil of every soul and every evil eye that hates you, may Allah cure you, in the Name of Allah I pray over you for healing.”) This Hadith has been recorded by Muslim and the Sunan compilers except for Abu Dawud. Imam Ahmad also recorded from Abu Sa`id or Jabir bin `Abdullah that the Messenger of Allah was bothered by some illness, and Jibril came to him and said,

«بِاسْمِ اللهِ أَرْقِيكَ مِنْ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ يُؤْذِيكَ، مِنْ كُلِّ حَاسِدٍ وَعَيْنٍ، اللهُ يَشْفِيك»

 

(In the Name of Allah I pray over you for healing (Ruqyah), from everything that bothers you, from every envious person and evil eye, may Allah cure you.)

Another Hadith from Abu Sa`id

Imam Ahmad recorded from Abu Sa`id that Jibril came to the Prophet and said, “O Muhammad, are you suffering from any ailment” The Prophet said,

«نَعَم»

 

(Yes).” Then Jibril said,

«بِاسْمِ اللهِ أَرْقِيكَ مِنْ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ يُؤْذِيكَ، وَمِنْ شَرِّ كُلِّ نَفْسٍ وَعَيْنٍ تَشْنِيكَ، وَاللهُ يَشْفِيكَ، بِاسْمِ اللهِ أَرْقِيك»

 

(“In the Name of Allah I pray over you for healing (Ruqyah), from everything that bothers you, from the evil of every soul and every evil eye that hates you, may Allah cure you, in the Name of Allah I pray over you for healing.”) This Hadith has been recorded by Muslim and the Sunan compilers except for Abu Dawud. Imam Ahmad also recorded from Abu Sa`id or Jabir bin `Abdullah that the Messenger of Allah was bothered by some illness, and Jibril came to him and said,

«بِاسْمِ اللهِ أَرْقِيكَ مِنْ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ يُؤْذِيكَ، مِنْ كُلِّ حَاسِدٍ وَعَيْنٍ، اللهُ يَشْفِيك»

 

(In the Name of Allah I pray over you for healing (Ruqyah), from everything that bothers you, from every envious person and evil eye, may Allah cure you.)

The Hadith of Asma’ bint `Umays

 

Imam Ahmad recorded from `Ubayd bin Rifa`ah Az-Zuraqi that Asma’ said, “O Messenger of Allah! Verily, Bani Ja`far are afflicted with the evil eye; should I seek to have Ruqyah ” The Prophet replied,

«نَعَمْ فَلَوْ كَانَ شَيْءٌ يَسْبِقُ الْقَدَرَ لَسَبَقَتْهُ الْعَيْن»

 

(Yes, for if anything could overcome the divine decree, it would be the evil eye.) This Hadith has been recorded like this by At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, and An-Nasa’i. At-Tirmidhi said concerning it, “Hasan Sahih.”

The Hadith of `A’ishah

Ibn Majah recorded from `A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, that the Messenger of Allah ordered her to have Ruqyah performed as a cure against the evil eye. This was reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim. The Hadith of Sahl bin Hunayf Imam Ahmad recorded from Abu Umamah bin Sahl bin Hunayf that his father informed him that the Messenger of Allah went out on a journey in the direction of Makkah and they (the Companions) accompanied him until they came to the valley of Kharrar from Al-Juhfah. They stopped there and Sahl took a bath. He (Sahl) was a white man, with a handsome body and nice skin. So the brother of Bani `Adi bin Ka`b, `Amir bin Rabi`ah looked at Sahl while he bathed and he said, “I haven’t seen the skin of a beautiful virgin girl nicer than this that I see today.” Then Sahl suddenly had a seizure and fell to the ground. So he (Sahl) was brought to the Messenger of Allah and it was said to him, “O Messenger of Allah! Can you do anything for Sahl By Allah, he has not lifted his head nor has he regained consciousness.” The Prophet then said,

«هَلْ تَتَّهِمُونَ فِيهِ مِنْ أَحَدٍ؟»

 

(Do you all blame (or hold responsible) anyone for what has happened to him) They said, “`Amir bin Rabi`ah looked at him.” So the Prophet called `Amir and he was very angry with him. He said,

«عَلَامَ يَقْتُلُ أَحَدُكُمْ أَخَاهُ، هَلَّا إِذَا رَأَيْتَ مَا يُعْجِبُكَ بَرَّكْتَ؟»

 

(Would one of you knowingly kill his brother Why don’t you ask Allah to bless your brother when you see something (of him) that you like) Then the Prophet said,

«اغْتَسِلْ لَه»

 

(Bathe for him.) So he (`Amir) washed his face, his hands, his elbows, his knees, his feet and the inside of his Izar (waist wrapper) in a drinking vessel. Then that water was poured over him (Sahl). A man poured it over Sahl’s head and his back from behind him, then the container was turned upside down and emptied behind him. This was done, and afterwards Sahl recovered and left with the people having nothing wrong with him.”

The Hadith of `Amir bin Rabi`ah

Imam Ahmad recorded in his Musnad that `Ubaydullah bin `Amir said, “`Amir bin Rabi`ah and Sahl bin Hanayf went off together intending to bathe. So they went about their business using coverings (to cover their nakedness). So `Amir removed a cloak of wool that he (Sahl) was using to conceal himself. He (`Amir) said, `I looked at him and my eye fell upon him while he was pouring water on himself bathing. Then I heard a loud splash in the water coming from where he was. So I went to him, and I called him three times, but he did not answer me. So I went to the Prophet and informed him. Then, the Prophet came walking, and he was wading in the water. I can still picture the whiteness of his shins. When he came to Sahl (who was unconscious), he hit him on his chest with his hand and said,

«اللْهُمَّ اصْرِفْ عَنْهُ حَرَّهَا وَبَرْدَهَا وَوَصَبَهَا»

 

(O Allah! Remove from him its heat, its cold and its pain.) He (Sahl) then stood up, and Allah’s Messenger said,

«إِذَا رَأَى أَحَدُكُمْ مِنْ أَخِيهِ، أَوْ مِنْ نَفْسِهِ، أَوْ مِنْ مَالِهِ مَا يُعْجِبُهُ، فَلْيُبَرِّكْ فَإِنَّ الْعَيْنَ حَق»

 

(If one of you sees in his brother, or himself, or his wealth that which pleases him, then he should ask Allah to bless it, for verily, the evil eye is real.)

The Accusation of the Disbelievers and the Reply to Them

Allah says,

﴿وَيَقُولُونَ إِنَّهُ لَمَجْنُونٌ﴾

 

(and they say: “Verily, he is a madman!”) meaning, they cut at him with their eyes and attack him with their tongues saying, “Verily, he is a madman.” They say this because he came with the Qur’an. Allah then says,

﴿وَمَا هُوَ إِلاَّ ذِكْرٌ لِّلْعَالَمِينَ ﴾

 

(But it is nothing else but a Reminder to all the creatures (`Alamin).)

***

This is the end of the explanation (Tafsir) of Surah Nun (or Al-Qalam), and all praise and blessing belong to Allah.

[68:1] Nun, by the pen and what they write,

Commentary

Linkage of Surahs

The preceding Surah dealt with the existence of Allah, His Oneness, and His knowledge and power, and adduced, as a positive proof of these attributes, was the fact that Allah is the Creator of death and life, and of the entire universe through whose component parts there runs the beautiful order that pervades the cosmos. He has created man to serve a sublime object and to achieve a noble goal. But man in his ingratitude has always rejected the Divine Message and consequently has been incurring Divine scourge. This is mentioned, in Surah Al-Mulk, with particular reference to the pagans of Makkah. The present Surah deals with the truth of the Holy Prophet’s ﷺ claim, and gives sound and solid proof of it. Thus it rebuts the criticisms and taunts of the pagans against the Holy Prophet ﷺ . Their first criticism was that he is [God forbid!] insane whereas he was perfectly sane person, an embodiment of knowledge and a paragon of virtues. Another reason why they probably called him insane is that whenever an installment of revelation descended upon the Holy Prophet ﷺ ، a physical change came over him. For instance the colour of his face would change and become red, or he would sometimes snore or he would at other times appear to be in grief, or there were times when he would hang his head down. When any of these states was over, he would recite the revealed verses to the people. This matter was beyond the understanding and perception of the pagans. Therefore, they regarded this experience of receiving revelation as insanity. Or they called him insane presumably because he put forward to his people and to the whole world that there is no object worthy of worship except Allah. He put it to them that their self-carved idols cannot be gods because they are insensate and lacking knowledge; and they lack the ability to benefit or harm anyone. His voice of Truth sounded alone yet with this lone voice of Truth without any apparent means and support, he stood unwaveringly against the whole world. People without any insight or foresight did not think that it was possible for him to achieve his goal and they called it insanity. Some called him insane for the sake of calling him insane, without any reason. Having no excuse to refute the teachings of Allah’s Messenger ﷺ ، all the pagans could do was to dub him insane. The initial verses of Surah Al-Qalam refute under emphatic oath their false charges.

ن وَالْقَلَمِ وَمَا يَسْطُرُ‌ونَ مَا أَنتَ بِنِعْمَةِ رَ‌بِّكَ بِمَجْنُونٍ (Nun, by the pen and what they write, with the grace of your Lord, you are not insane….68:1-2). The letter Nun is one of the isolated letters that have been revealed at the beginning of many Surahs. They are the secret signs and symbols and mysteries of Allah. Allah alone knows their hidden meaning, or Allah made their mysterious meanings known to His Messenger. The Ummah is not permitted to investigate the hidden meaning of such isolated letters.

Pen and its Significance
In the phrase wal-qalami, the waw is the particle of oath [translated here as ‘by the pen’]. ‘Qalam’ refers to ‘pen’, and there are three types of pen: [1] the pen of destinies; [2] the pen of angels; and [3] the pen of human beings. It could refer to any or all of these types of pen. A pen is an object that is used for writing anything [as is the view of Abu Hatim Al-Busti]. According to Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas ؓ ، it specifically refers to the pen of destinies. Sayyidna ` Ubadah Ibn Samit ؓ narrates regarding the pen of destinies that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “The first thing Allah created was the pen, and He told it to write, and when it asked Him what it should write, He told it to write what was predestined, so it wrote what would take place to all eternity.” [Transmitted by At-Tirmidhi, saying that this is a Tradition whose chain of narrators is gharib]. Sayyidna ` Abdullah Ibn ` Umar ؓ narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Allah recorded the destiny of all creatures 50, 000 years before creating the heavens and the earth.” [Sahib Muslim]. Qatadah (رح) says that pen is a great gift of Allah that He has endowed upon His servants. Some scholars say that Allah first created the pen, and that was the pen of decrees which recorded the destinies of the entire universe and all the creatures. Then He created the second pen that is used by the inhabitants of the earth. The second pen is referred to in Surah Iqra’ in verse [96:4], thus: عَلَّمَ بِالْقَلَمِ ‘{ He who} taught by the pen’. And Allah knows best!

If qalam ‘pen’ in the verse under comment refers to the pen of destinies, its greatness and its superiority over everything is quite obvious and swearing by it is quite understandable. If it is taken to refer to all pens in general, including the pen of destinies, the pen of angels, and also the pen of human beings, swearing an oath by it is apt because all great tasks are accomplished by pen. In the conquests of territories, pen play a mighty role: ‘The pen is mightier than the sword’ goes the famous saying. Abu HatimAl-Busti has encapsulated this idea in two short verses:

اذا اقسم الابطال یوما بسیفھم وَعدّوہ ممّا یکسب المجد وَ الکرم
When the brave people swear by their sword some day,
And count it among things that give honour and veneration to men,

کفٰی قلم الکتاب عزّا ورفعۃ مدی الدّھر انّ اللہ اقسم بالقلم
The writers’ pen is sufficient for their honour and superiority
For all times to come, because Allah has sworn oath by the pen

In any case, it is immaterial whether the pen in the verse refers to the pen of destinies or it refers to the pen of creation in general. Then it swears an oath by مَا يَسْطُرُ‌ونَ ‘what they write [1] ‘.

In other words, swearing an oath by what the pens have written or what they will record in the future, Allah refutes the unbelievers’ false charge of madness that they made against the Holy Prophet ﷺ ، thus:

مَا أَنتَ بِنِعْمَةِ رَ‌بِّكَ بِمَجْنُونٍ (with the grace of your Lord, you are not insane….68:2). The verse contains the phrases بِنِعْمَةِ رَ‌بِّكَ (with the grace of your Lord….68:2). It states not only the claim, but also evidence to support and substantiate the statement of claim. [See special note below.] Man is required to turn the pages of history, and he will realize that a person as great as the Messenger of Allah ﷺ ، upon whom Allah has conferred great blessings and grace, cannot be insane. Calling such a sane person insane is itself insanity.

Special Note
Scholars have explained the Qur’anic concept of ‘oath’: Wherever Allah has sworn an oath by an object or a phenomenon, its subject has been cited as evidence or testimony to support and substantiate the claim. Here the phrase مَا يَسْطُرُ‌ونَ ‘what they write [1] ‘. Is the proof of the claim, that is, world history has been cited as testimony for critics to look into the pages of history, if they can ever find a person of such lofty calibre as the Messenger of Allah ﷺ ، with high morals insane. He takes care of other people’s sanity. The next verse reinforces the subject.


[68:2] with the grace of your Lord, you are not insane.

[68:3] And you will definitely have a reward that will never end.

وَإِنَّ لَكَ لَأَجْرً‌ا غَيْرَ‌ مَمْنُونٍ (And you will definitely have a reward that will never end….68:3). The verse exposes the absurdity of the charge of madness. It purports to say that the actions of a madman produce no useful result, but the Holy Prophet will eminently succeed in fulfilling the object of his Divine mission, and in bringing about a wonderful revolution in the lives of his degenerate and demented people. This is the significance of the words in the verse ‘and for you is a reward that will never end.’ No insane person is ever rewarded for his actions. The next verse constitutes a further eloquent comment on the charge of insanity imputed to the Holy Prophet ﷺ ، thus:


[68:4] And you are surely on exalted quality of character.

وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلَىٰ خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ (And you are surely on exalted quality of character 68:4). In this verse, the demented people are invited to think carefully about the lofty morals of the Holy Prophet ﷺ .

The Holy Prophet’s Exalted Quality of Character
Sayyidna Ibn Abbas ؓ has said that ‘exalted quality of character’ signifies a ‘great religion, and it is Islam, a religion dearest to Allah’. Sayyidah A’ishah ؓ was asked about the Holy Prophet’s ﷺ character. She replied: “The Holy Prophet’s ﷺ character was the Qur’an itself’. In other words, he is the living example of the Qur’an that teaches high morals. Sayyidna ` Ali ؓ said that ‘exalted quality of character’ signifies the ‘good manners which the Qur’an has taught’. All these interpretations have almost the same significance. That is to say, not only that the Holy Prophet ﷺ is not an insane person, but he is the sublime and noblest of men possessing in full measure all the moral excellence that combine to make their possessor a perfect image of his Creator. The Holy Prophet’s ﷺ humanity was of the most perfect character. He was a complete embodiment of all good moral qualities that a man is capable of possessing. The Holy Prophet ﷺ himself said:

بعثت لاتمم مکارم الاخلاق
“I have only been sent to perfect noble character/conduct.” [Abu Hayyan].

Sayyidna Anas ؓ said:

“I served Allah’s Messenger ﷺ for ten years, and he never said a word of displeasure to me, nor did he ever say to me concerning something I had done: ‘Why did you do that?’ And he never said to me concerning what I had not done: ‘Why did you not do this?'” [Bukhari and Muslim].

Obviously, a ten-year period is a long time during which some unpleasant or objectionable thing might have happened.

Sayyidna Anas ؓ said:
“As a result of the Holy Prophet’s noble character, any slave-girl of Madinah would hold his hand and take him wherever she would like to.”

Sayyidah ` A’ishah ؓ said: “Allah’s Messenger ﷺ never struck anyone with his hands except when he was fighting in jihad in the cause of Allah.” It is confirmed that when he fought jihad in the cause of Allah, he killed unbelievers. Otherwise he did not hit any servant, nor any woman. He would never take revenge for any harm or mistake done. He would only implement Shar’ i punishment on those who violated Allah’s laws. [Transmitted by Muslim].

Sayyidna Jabir ؓ says that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ was never asked for anything for which he said ‘No’. [Bukhari and Muslim].

Sayyidah A’ishah ؓ said:

“Allah’s Messenger ﷺ was never vulgar, never pretended to be vulgar and he never shouted in the marketplaces. He never responded to evil by evil, but always pardoned and overlooked.”

Sayyidna Abu-d-Darda’ ؓ narrates that Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said:

“Noble character will be the heaviest thing on a Muslim’s scale of good deeds on the Day of Resurrection. Allah detests the rude and foul-mouthed person.” [Transmitted by Tirmidhi, grading it as a Tradition which is ‘hasan’].

Sayyidah ` A’ishah ؓ narrates that Allah’s Messenger ﷺ “said:

“Indeed by virtue of good character, a believer can attain the status of votaries who spend their nights in worship and their days in fasting.” [Abu Dawud].

Sayyidna Mu’dh Ibn Jabal ؓ narrates that when he placed his foot into the stirrup of his mount, as he was departing for Yemen as the governor of that province, Allah’s Messenger ﷺ advised him:
یا مَعَاذ اَحسِن خُلُقَکَ لِلنَّاس
“0 Mu` adh, display your best character with people.” [Transmitted by Malik].

All narratives cited here have been adopted from Tafsir Mazhari.


[68:5] So, you will see, and they will see

فَسَتُبْصِرُ‌ وَيُبْصِرُ‌ونَ بِأَييِّكُمُ الْمَفْتُونُ (So, you will see, and they will see which of you is demented….68:5-6]. The word maftun, in this context, means ‘demented’. In the preceding verses, the Holy Prophet ‘, was accused of being an insane and demented. This verse turns tables upon the accusers of the Holy Prophet , and making a prophecy, tells them in challenging words that time will show whether it was he or they who suffered from insanity, or whether his claim to be Allah’s Messenger ﷺ was the outpouring of heated brain, or whether they themselves were so demented as not to read the signs of time, and thus refuse to believe in him. These were the unfortunate, wretched ones who did not see the light of Truth and were thus disgraced and defeated in this world. But, on the other hand, there were thousands of other lucky ones who, at first did not see the light of Truth and denounced him as demented, soon saw the light and embraced the Faith of Islam. They took the love and obedience of the Holy Prophet as the capital asset of success, prosperity and happiness.


[68:6] which of you is demented.

[68:7] Surely your Lord knows best who has strayed from his way, and He is well-aware of those who are on the right path.

[68:8] So, do not obey those who reject (the true faith.)

فَلَا تُطِعِ الْمُكَذِّبِينَ وَدُّوا لَوْ تُدْهِنُ فَيُدْهِنُونَ (So, do not obey those who reject [the true faith]. They wish that you become flexible [in your faith], and they will become flexible [in their hostile attitude.]….68:8-9]. The interpretation of this verse as adopted in this translation is based on the interpretation of Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas ؓ as reported by Qurtubi.

Ruling
This verse indicates that any such compromise with the unbelievers is tantamount to mudahanah fid-din, flexibility in religion, and this is forbidden. [Mazhari]. Such a pact of leniency in matters of religion is not permissible, unless compelled by necessity.


[68:9] They wish that you become flexible (in your faith), and they will become flexible (in their hostile attitude.)


[68:10] And do not obey any contemptible one who swears much,

لَا تُطِعْ كُلَّ حَلَّافٍ مَّهِينٍ ﴿10﴾ هَمَّازٍ مَّشَّاءٍ بِنَمِيمٍ ﴿11﴾ مَّنَّاعٍ لِّلْخَيْرِ‌ مُعْتَدٍ أَثِيمٍ ﴿12﴾ عُتُلٍّ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ زَنِيمٍ ﴿13﴾
(And do not obey any contemptible one who swears much, a slanderer who goes about with calumnies, one who prevents good, [and who is] transgressor, sinful, harsh, [and] after all that, notorious,.. _68:10-13)

The word zanim refers to ‘a person whose legitimate birth from a father is not proved’. The person referred to in this verse was of doubtful birth or his lineage was uncertain.

The preceding verse prohibited any compromise with the unbelievers in general in matters of religion. The current verse prohibits specifically yielding to such mean leader of falsehood as Walid Ibn Mughirah, who possessed the base characteristics as listed in verses [10] to [13], the worst mischief-maker. [As transmitted by Ibn Jarir on the authority of Ibn ` Abbas ؓ . Having described this person’s bad manners and his arrogance in several verses that follow, verse [16] says:

سَنَسِمُهُ عَلَى الْخُرْ‌طُومِ (We will soon brand him on the snout…68:16). That is, as, disbelievers, out of pride and false sense of power rejected the Divine Message in this world, Allah will disgrace and humiliate them on the Day of Resurrection so that the earlier and later generations will be able to see it. His nose has been described by way of reproach as khurtum (snout). This refers specifically to the long nose of a pig or a trunk of an elephant.
لَا تُطِعْ كُلَّ حَلَّافٍ مَّهِينٍ ﴿10﴾ هَمَّازٍ مَّشَّاءٍ بِنَمِيمٍ ﴿11﴾ مَّنَّاعٍ لِّلْخَيْرِ‌ مُعْتَدٍ أَثِيمٍ ﴿12﴾ عُتُلٍّ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ زَنِيمٍ ﴿13﴾
(And do not obey any contemptible one who swears much, a slanderer who goes about with calumnies, one who prevents good, [and who is] transgressor, sinful, harsh, [and] after all that, notorious,.. _68:10-13)

The word zanim refers to ‘a person whose legitimate birth from a father is not proved’. The person referred to in this verse was of doubtful birth or his lineage was uncertain.

The preceding verse prohibited any compromise with the unbelievers in general in matters of religion. The current verse prohibits specifically yielding to such mean leader of falsehood as Walid Ibn Mughirah, who possessed the base characteristics as listed in verses [10] to [13], the worst mischief-maker. [As transmitted by Ibn Jarir on the authority of Ibn ` Abbas ؓ . Having described this person’s bad manners and his arrogance in several verses that follow, verse [16] says:


[68:11] a slanderer who goes about with calumnies,

[68:12] one who prevents good, (and who is) transgressor, sinful,

[68:13] harsh, (and) after all that, notorious,

[68:14] (do not obey such a person merely) because he is a man of wealth and sons.

[68:15] When Our verses are recited to him, he says, ” (These are) the tales of the ancient.”


[68:16] We will soon brand him on the snout.

سَنَسِمُهُ عَلَى الْخُرْ‌طُومِ (We will soon brand him on the snout…68:16). That is, as, disbelievers, out of pride and false sense of power rejected the Divine Message in this world, Allah will disgrace and humiliate them on the Day of Resurrection so that the earlier and later generations will be able to see it. His nose has been described by way of reproach as khurtum (snout). This refers specifically to the long nose of a pig or a trunk of an elephant.


[68:17] We have tested them as We had tested the Owners of the Garden, when they had sworn an oath that they would pluck its fruits on the next morning,

إِنَّا بَلَوْنَاهُمْ كَمَا بَلَوْنَا أَصْحَابَ الْجَنَّةِ (We have tested them as We had tested the Owners of the Garden….68:17). The preceding verses rebutted the criticisms of pagan Arabs levelled against Allah’s Messenger and gave reasons why the charges are not only unfounded, but also absurd. The present set of verses mentions a story of the past and the unbelievers of Makkah are threatened with punishment. ‘Testing them’ could refer to the forthcoming story, in which the owners of a garden were blessed with Divine favours, but they behaved ungratefully. As a result, a punishment came upon them and the favours were destroyed. The greatest Divine favour upon the Makkans was the advent of the Holy Messenger t. Besides, their businesses flourished and they prospered. This was a test for them to see whether they would behave gratefully to Allah and believe in Him and in His Messenger ﷺ ، or whether they would obstinately persist in disbelief. In the other case, they should draw lessons from the story of the owners of the orchard, lest they be visited by a similar punishment on account of ingratitude. This interpretation would apply even in the case where these verses are taken as Makki, but most commentators take them to be Madani. The ‘test’ referred to here is the terrible famine that held Makkah in its grip, as a result of the Holy Prophet’s prayer against them, for several years during which time people died of hunger and starvation, they were forced to eat carrion and leaves of trees till the Makkans begged the Holy Prophet ﷺ to pray for their deliverance from the scourge. This incident took place after the migration.

The Story of the Owners of a Garden
Some elders, such as Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas ؓ ، mentioned that this orchard was in Yemen. According to one version of Sayyidna Said Ibn Jubair’s narration, it was about six miles away from San` a’, the famous capital city of Yemen. Other scholars think that it was in Ethiopia [formerly known as Abyssinia] [Ibn Kathir]. They were from amongst the People of the Book. This incident took place a while after the Ascension of Sayyidna Isa (علیہ السلام) [Qurtubi].

They are referred to as the ‘Owners of the Garden’ in the above verse. The description of the story given in the verses indicates that they did not only have a garden, but they also had large tracts of land which they cultivated and had fields of crops. Possibly, side by side with the orchard there were tracts of cultivated land and fields of crops in between the trees. However, they were called the owners of the garden on account of the popularity of the garden. The incident is reported according to the narration of Muhammad Ibn Marwan on the authority of Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas ؓ as follows: There was a garden about two farsakhs (six miles) away from San` a’ of Yemen. Its name was Darawan. This garden was set up by a pious and righteous person. His practice was to pick the fruits or harvest the crops with sickle. He would give some of the crop to the poor and indigent who gathered grains for themselves and did their living.

Likewise, when the crop was thrashed, and the grain separated from the chaff, he would leave the grain for the poor. So also when fruits were picked from the trees of the orchard, some fruits would fall down, and he would leave them for the indigent. For this reason, the poor always gathered at the orchard at the time of picking the fruit, and separating the grain from the chaff. When the righteous person passed away, he had three sons who inherited the orchard and crop-fields. They held a family meeting and discussed that their family has grown large, and the produce of the orchard and land is not sufficient for them. Therefore, it is no longer possible for them to spare any fruit or grain for the poor. According to other narratives, these boys, like other youngsters, felt that their father was a fool to give so much of fruits and grains to them. They thought it was necessary to put a stop to this. The rest of the story is told in the following verses of the Qur’an.

إِذْ أَقْسَمُوا لَيَصْرِ‌مُنَّهَا مُصْبِحِينَ (…when they had sworn an oath that they would pluck its fruits on the next morning, and did not make any exception (by saying ‘insha’Allah’ )…. 68:17-18). In other words, they swore that they would harvest very early in the morning and return with it before the throng of poor people could arrive at the garden. They had so much of confidence in their plan that they did not say the redeeming words ‘If Allah wills’ whereas it is sunnah to say ‘insha’Allah’ when one mentions that one will do a particular work tomorrow.


[68:18] and did not make any exception (by saying ‘insha’Allah’ ).

وَلَا يَسْتَثْنُونَ (and did not make any exception (by saying ‘insha’Allah’ ). [68:18] ‘. The word isthisna’ in the original Arabic means ‘to make an exception by saying “insha’Allah”‘. However, some scholars interpret this word, in this context, to mean that ‘they would devour the entire harvest themselves, with no exception for the poor. [Mazhari].


[68:19] Then, there whirled around it a whirl (of calamity) from your Lord, while they were asleep.

فَطَافَ عَلَيْهَا طَائِفٌ مِّن رَّ‌بِّكَ (Then, there whirled around it a whirl (of calamity) from your Lord, while they were asleep….68:19). The word ‘whirl’ refers to ‘a whirl of calamity’ as a result of which Divine punishment overtook the garden in a sudden and swift sweep. Some narratives report that it was a fire which burnt every standing crop, and reduced it to black ashes.

وَهُمْ نَائِمُونَ (…while they were asleep…. 68:19). In other words, the devastating disaster overtook the entire garden while its owners were asleep.


[68:20] Thus, on the next morning, it was like a harvested field.

فَأَصْبَحَتْ كَالصَّرِ‌يمِ (Thus, on the next morning, it was like a harvested field ….68:20). The word sarim means to harvest or to collect a crop from the fields’. The word sarim in the context of the verse is used in the sense of masrum or maqtu`, meaning ‘harvested or cut’. This signifies that the fire burnt the field and stripped it bare. The word sarim also means ‘night’. From this point of view, the verse signifies ‘the field became burnt up and black like night’. [Mazhari].


[68:21] So, they called out each other as the morning broke,

فَتَنَادَوْا مُصْبِحِينَ (So, they called out each other as the morning broke 68:21). This means that they starting waking up each other in the early morning that they should set out early if they wanted to harvest.

وَهُمْ يَتَخَافَتُونَ (…while they were whispering to each other … 68:23). They were speaking in a low voice, lest a poor man should hear their talk and accompany them.


[68:22] saying, “Set out early, if you are going to pluck (the fruits).”

[68:23] So they set out while they were whispering to each other,

[68:24] saying, “Let no poor man enter into it upon you today.

[68:25] And in early hours they rushed quickly, while they were (assuming themselves) powerful (to pluck the fruits and prevent the poor.)

وَغَدَوْا عَلَىٰ حَرْ‌دٍ قَادِرِ‌ينَ And in early hours of the day they rushed quickly, while they were (assuming themselves) powerful (to pluck the fruits and prevent the poor.) [68:25] ‘. The word hard means ‘to prevent’ and ‘to express anger’.5 In other words, they thought they had the power to pick the fruit for themselves and prevent the poor people from having a share in it, and even if they do come to the garden, the owners of the garden decided to chase them out.
(5). This word also means ‘to rush quickly’. This meaning of the word has been adopted in the translation of the text. (Muhammad Taqi Usmani)


[68:26] But when they saw it (the place of the ruined garden), they said, “We have missed the way.”

فَلَمَّا رَ‌أَوْهَا قَالُوا إِنَّا لَضَالُّونَ (But when they saw it [the place of the ruined garden], they said, “We have missed the way.”….68:26). In other words, when they did not find their garden on that spot, they first thought that they must have lost their way and gone to the wrong place. But when they saw the surroundings, they realized that it was the right place they have gone to, but the garden had been burnt up and destroyed. So, they exclaimed: بَلْ نَحْنُ مَحْرُ‌ومُونَ “No, but we are deprived [of the fruits]….68:27)


[68:27] (Then, once they realized that the garden is the same, but it has been destroyed, they said,) “No, but we are deprived (of the fruits).”

[68:28] Said he who was the best among them, “Did I not say to you, ‘Why do you not pronounce tasbih (Allah’s purity)?”

قَالَ أَوْسَطُهُمْ أَلَمْ أَقُل لَّكُمْ لَوْلَا تُسَبِّحُونَ (Said he who was the best among them, “Did I not say to you, ‘Why do you not pronounce tasbih (Allah’s purity)?”….68:28). The middle brother was the best of them. He was righteous like his father. It used to please him to spend in the cause of Allah. He was not niggardly or stingy like the other brothers. He had advised them to recite tasbih which, literally, means to pronounce Allah’s purity. He told them that they were withholding the share of the poor with the fear that their fruit will be depleted and will not be replenished by Allah, if they gave the poor their share. He told them that Allah is pure from such pettiness. Instead, those who spend in the way of Allah, He will not only make their wealth full again or replace what they have spent, but also will give them over and above what they have spent. [Mazhari].


[68:29] They said, “We pronounce the purity of our Lord. No doubt, we were wrongdoers.”

قَالُوا سُبْحَانَ رَ‌بِّنَا إِنَّا كُنَّا ظَالِمِينَ (They said, “We pronounce the purity of our Lord. No doubt, we were wrongdoers.” 68:29). Neither of the brothers had paid heed to this brother’s advice at that point. But when the damage was done, they admitted that Allah is Pure, Free from any qualities of weaknesses and shortcomings, and that they were the wrongdoers, in that they were unjust to the poor intending to deprive them of their share and devour it themselves.

Warning
Although the best of the three brothers offered the right advice, he joined the other brothers in following their wrong opinion. So he suffered the same loss. This indicates that anyone who prevents other people from committing sins but does not abstain from them himself and joins them in doing the wrong acts, he will suffer the same fate as the others.

[68:30] Then, (at the beginning,) they started reproaching one another;

فَأَقْبَلَ بَعْضُهُمْ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ يَتَلَاوَمُونَ (Then, (at the beginning,) they started reproaching one another; 68:30). That is to say, at the beginning they made admission of guilt, but then they turned to face each other in mutual accusation, blaming each other for the punishment that visited them, whereas the crime was not committed by only a single person from among them, but it was committed jointly by all or most of them.

A note of caution
A common misdeed, in our days, is that when a calamity befalls a group of people due to their collective conduct, an additional scourge that befalls them is that, (instead of reforming themselves,) they start wasting their time in accusing each other.


[68:31] (and at last,) they said, “Woe to us! In fact, we (all) were outrageous.

قَالُوا يَا وَيْلَنَا إِنَّا كُنَّا طَاغِينَ ( [and at last] they said, “Woe to us! In fact, we [all] were outrageous….68:31). At the beginning, they accused one another of the sin. Then when they considered the matter carefully, they admitted that they were all on the wrong. As a result, they lamented and admitted their guilt that amounted to repentance. On the basis of this repentance they hoped that Allah will give them in exchange a garden better than the one destroyed.

Imam Baghawi reports from Sayyidna ` Abdullah Ibn Masud ؓ that, according to his information, when these brothers repented truly, Allah blessed them with a better vineyard that bore such large bunches of grapes that a single bunch could be loaded on a mule. [Mazhari].


[68:32] We hope that our Lord will give us in exchange something better than this. Truly we turn to Allah.”

[68:33] In this way the punishment comes. And, of course, the punishment of the Hereafter is even greater, if they but realize!

كَذَٰلِكَ الْعَذَابُ (In this way the punishment comes. And, of course, the punishment of the Hereafter is even greater, if they but realize!….68:33). After a brief reference to the famine faced by the Makkans and a detailed account of the People of the Garden whose garden was burnt as a punishment, the present verse sets down a general rule. When a Divine punishment visits, it visits in this way, and this kind of punishment in the mortal world does not serve as an expiation for the punishment in the Hereafter. The punishment of the Hereafter is greater and more severe.

The following verses give a description of the reward of the righteous, followed by refutation of another false claim of the pagans of Makkah. They denied that Resurrection will ever occur. They thought the story of Resurrection and accountability is fiction. Even if that does happen, they thought, they will get the same type of blessings and wealth as they have in this world. Several verses respond to their false belief. In verse [35] Allah poses the rhetorical question to the disbelievers: ‘Shall We make the obedient like the sinners? [35] This is a strange sort of assertion for which they have no authority, nor proof nor any celestial book. Nor is there any promise from Allah that they will get the same type of blessings.

A Rational Proof of Resurrection>br/>These verses give a solid proof to the necessity of the Day of Judgment, because accountability, rewarding the righteous and punishing the evil are all rationally necessary. It is witnessed by every person in this mortal world, and no one can deny, that the wicked, the evil, the unjust, the thieves and the bandits generally lead a comfortable and enjoyable life in the mortal world. A thief or a bandit sometimes in one night gains so much of wealth that a righteous person might not gain as much in his entire life. The former has no fear of Allah or the Hereafter, nor does he have any sense of shame. He fulfills his selfish desires as he likes – by hook or by crook. The latter fears Allah, and if he does not have that, his sense of shame among his brotherhood overwhelms him. In short, in the mortal world the wicked and the evil ones seem to be successful, and the good people seem to be unsuccessful. If there does not arise an occasion where fair play and justice is established – where the good people would be rewarded and the evil ones would be punished? It would be meaningless to refer to evil as evil. There would be no reason to stop a person from fulfilling his selfish desires and doing the evil acts. On the other hand, justice will have no meaning or significance. How will the believers in God’s existence respond to the following question: Where is God’s justice?

One may argue that a criminal is apprehended, he is exposed to disgrace and is punished. This distinguishes the innocent persons from the evil ones right here in this world. Laws and statutes of a government’ s establish standards of justice and fair play. But this is incorrect, because it is not possible for a government to keep an eye on every one, everywhere and in all circumstances. Wherever it does happen, it is not an easy task to gather the necessary judicial evidence, so that the guilty person may be convicted and punished. And even if the judicial evidence could be gathered, there are several escape doors through which the guilty person could get away, such as force, bribery, intercession and pressure. If we review the punishment history of the present-day governments and courts, it would appear that nowadays only those people are punished who are fools, brainless and helpless or without support. They are not cunning enough to find a loophole in the legal system, or an escape route, nor do they have enough money to pay for bribery, nor do they have an influential person to back them or intercede on their behalf or they cannot use these things because of their foolishness. The rest of the criminals are moving freely.


[68:34] Surely, for the God-fearing are the gardens of bliss.

[68:35] Otherwise, shall We make the obedient like the sinners?

This verse: أَفَنَجْعَلُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ كَالْمُجْرِ‌مِينَ (Otherwise, shall We make the obedient like the sinners?… 68:35). Clarifies that it is rationally necessary that there should come a time when people will have to give account of their deeds, a place where the guilty ones will find no escape routes, an ideal world where there will be absolute justice and fair play, where good and evil will be clearly distinguished. If this is not the state of affairs in the Hereafter, then no evil should be evil, and no sin should be sin in this mortal world. Divine justice would thus be rendered meaningless.

Since it is established that Resurrection is a reality and inevitable, the reward of good deeds is a reality and the punishment of evil deeds is a reality, the verses that follow describe the horrors of the Day of Judgment and the punishment of the evil ones, including the description of the exposure of the Shin [kashf-us-saq] in Verse 42 (the explanation of which may be seen in the foot-note given in the translation of that verse.)


[68:36] What has happened to you? How do you judge?

[68:37] Do you have a book in which you read

[68:38] that for you there is what you choose?

[68:39] Or do you have oaths sworn by Us, remaining effective up to the Day of Judgment, that you will get what you decide?

[68:40] Ask them which of them stands surety for that.

[68:41] Or do they have associate-gods (who have guaranteed safety for them? Then, let them bring their associate-gods, if they are true,

[68:42] on the Day when the Shin will be exposed, l and they will be called upon to prostrate themselves, but they will not be able to.

[68:43] With their eyes downcast, they will be enveloped by ignominy. And they used to be called upon to prostrate when they were healthy (but they did not.)


[68:44] So, leave Me alone with those who reject this discourse. We will draw them on little by little (towards Hell) from a way they do not know.

فَذَرْ‌نِي وَمَن يُكَذِّبُ بِهَـٰذَا الْحَدِيثِ (So, leave Me alone with those who reject this discourse. We will draw them on little by little (towards Hell) from a way they do not know…. 68:44). Here the phrase ‘So, leave me alone’ in the original Arabic is an idiomatic expression which signifies ‘Rely on Allah’. The disbelievers often demanded Divine punishment arguing that if they are really guilty in the sight of Allah, and if He has the power to punish, then why the punishment does not befall them forthwith. These were heart-rending demands on account of which the thought probably must have crossed the mind of the Holy Prophet ﷺ and he might have prayed to Allah to punish them sometime, in the hope that the rest of the people might draw lessons and amend their conduct. On that occasion, Allah revealed [in verse, 45] that He is the best aware of the wisdom behind His decisions. He does not punish them immediately, but He gives them respite to test them and to give them an opportunity to believe.

Towards the end, the story of Sayyidna Yunus (علیہ السلام) is concisely told that when his people constantly demanded punishment, he became indignant and prayed for the punishment to be sent down. The signs of the punishment started appearing. Sayyidna Yunus (علیہ السلام) left the place and transferred himself elsewhere. In the meantime the entire nation wept, wailed, sincerely repented and begged refuge from the Divine punishment. Allah pardoned them and took away the punishment. Sayyidna Yunus (علیہ السلام) felt embarrassed and thought that if he goes back to his people, they might think he was a liar. As a result, without the clear permission of Allah, he acted purely on his ijtihad [independent judgment] that he would not go back to his people. At this, Allah, in order to caution him, created a situation where he had to undertake sea voyage, and then was lowered into the sea where he was swallowed up by a fish. Being thus cautioned, Sayyidna Yunus (علیہ السلام) sought the Divine pardon. Consequently, Allah once again opened the doors of the former blessings to be restored to him. Full description of the event has been given in Surah Yunus (Verse 10:98) and other Surahs. The Holy Prophet ﷺ is comforted by this story not to be impressed by people’s demands nor to be anxious to get them punished hastily. Allah’s wisdom is profound and unfathomable. Allah alone knows what is in the best interests of the world. Allah should be trusted and relied on.


[68:45] And I give them respite. Indeed, My plan is firm.

[68:46] Is it that you ask them for a fee, due to which they are burdened with debt?

[68:47] Or do they have the (knowledge of the) Unseen, and they write it down?


[68:48] So, remain patient with your Lord’s judgment, and be not like the Man of the Fish, 2 he cried out while he was in anguish.

وَلَا تَكُن كَصَاحِبِ الْحُوتِ (So, remain patient with your Lord’s judgment, and be not like the Man of the Fish…68:48). It refers to Sayyidna Yunus (علیہ السلام) . He is named here as ‘Man of Fish’ because he was devoured by a fish and remained in its belly for some time.


[68:49] Had not a favour from His Lord come to his help, he would have been cast in the wilderness in a reproachable state.3

1-This is the literal translation of the Qur’anic phrase used here. The exegetes have explained it in two different ways. Some of them are of the view that, according to the Arabic usage, ‘exposure of the shin’ is an idiomatic expression for a severe state of distress. When a person is confronted with such a distress, he normally lays his shins bare. Therefore, exposure of the shin has been taken as indicative of such a state. Given this interpretation, the verse means that on the day when the disbelievers will face the severe distress, they will be called upon to prostrate themselves, but they will not be able to do so, because their backs will be made flat, with no elasticity to bow down. Some other commentators, however, take the phrase in its literal sense. They say that the ‘Shin’ referred to here is the Shin of Allah Ta’ala, which is one of His attributes, the exact nature of which is neither known to anybody, nor discoverable in this world. (But obviously, it is not like the shins of human beings). According to this interpretation, the verse means that, at some stage on the Day of Judgment, Allah Ta’ala will expose this attribute of His which is called ‘Shin’, and they will be called upon to prostrate before it. This interpretation is supported by an authentic hadith reported by Bukhari and Muslim.
2-It refers to Sayyidna Yunus (علیہ السلام) who was devoured by a fish after he left his nation. Full description of the event has been given in Surah Yunus. (Muhammad Taqi Usmani)
3-According to the explanation given to this verse by Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanawi (رح) ، ‘Favour from His Lord’ means the acceptance of his repentance, and ‘wilderness’ refers to the place where he was thrown by the fish. If this verse is read in juxtaposition with Verses 143, 144 of Surah As-Saffat, the sense appears to be that if Yunus had not offered tasbih and taubah, he would have remained in the belly of the fish for good, and if he had repented, but was not favoured by Allah with the acceptance of his taubah, he would have been cast by the fish into the wilderness, due to his repentance, but in a reproachable state. However, since Allah favoured him with accepting his taubah, he was no more reproachable. Some other scholars, however, suggest that ‘wilderness’ in this verse refers to the plain of Hashr, and the verse means that if Allah had not accepted his taubah, he would have been cast into the plain of Hashr in a reproachable state.
4-It means that they glare at you with such a hatred and anger as if they were to make you slip from your standpoint due to their aversion.


[68:50] Then his Lord chose him, and made him one of the righteous.

[68:51] And indeed the disbelievers seem to trip you up with their glances4 when they hear the Reminder, and say, “He is a madman indeed.”

وَإِن يَكَادُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُ‌وا لَيُزْلِقُونَكَ بِأَبْصَارِ‌هِمْ (And indeed the disbelievers seem to trip you up with their glances when they hear the Reminder, and say, “He is a madman indeed 68:51). The verb ‘layuzliqunaka’ is derived from izlaq which means ‘to trip up or to cause someone to fall or make a mistake’ [Raghib]. The verse says to the Holy Prophet that disbelievers cast angry looks at him that they might frighten him into giving up his mission or intimidate him into yielding to their pressure tactics. When they listen to Divine words, they call him a madman. But far from it, his teaching contains the quintessence of wisdom – the Qur’an puts it thus:

وَمَا هُوَ إِلَّا ذِكْرٌ‌ لِّلْعَالَمِينَ (And it is nothing else but a Reminder for all the worlds…. 68:52). Divine words are a Reminder and an admonition for the entire universe. The Reminder will lift the people from the lowest depths of degradation to the highest summits of greatness and glory. It would also cleanse them and free them from moral blemishes and raise their spiritual stature. Is it possible for an insane person to receive and deliver such a Sublime Divine Message? Can a Prophet of such a high caliber be called a madman? The earlier verses of this Surah rebutted the charge of insanity against the Holy Prophet ﷺ . Towards the end of the Surah, the same charge of lunacy is rebutted again in a different style.

Imam Baghawi (رح) and some other commentators have reported another event as background of this verse. The evil eye is a reality which causes loss, illness and destruction. Authentic Traditions report that it is a reality. The Arabs also believed that an evil eye is a reality. There was a person famous in Arabia to cast an evil eye on camels or animals to cause instant death or destruction. The pagans of Arabia were enemies of the Holy Prophet ﷺ and in every possible way they were after persecuting him and killing him. They left no stone unturned in harming him. They even contemplated afflicting him with an evil eye. They therefore decided to secure the services of the particular person who could effectively cast an evil eye. He was instructed to cast the evil eye on the Messenger of Allah ﷺ so that he would become ill. He exerted himself to the utmost, but to no avail. Allah protected him and he was unaffected. The verses were revealed in connection with this incident.

Special Note
Sayyidna Hasan Basri (رح) reports that if anyone is affected by the evil eye, these verses (51 52) may be recited and blown on the person: the ill effect will be dispelled.


[68:52] And it is nothing else but a Reminder for all the worlds.

Alhamdulillah
The Commentary on
Surah Al-Qalam
Ends here

Tafseer by Abul A’la Maududi

68. Surah Al Qalam (The Pen)

Name
This Surah is called Nun as well as Al-Qalam, the words with which it begins.

Period of Revelation
This too is one of the earliest surahs to be revealed at Makkah, but its subject matter shows that it was sent down at the time when opposition to the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) had grown very harsh and tyrannical.

Theme and Subject Matter
It consists of three themes: Replies to the opponents objections, administration of warning and admonition to them, and exhortation to the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) to patience and constancy.

At the outset, the Holy Prophet has been addressed, to the effect: “The disbelievers call you a madman whereas the Book that you are presenting and the sublime conduct that you practice, are by themselves sufficient to refute their false accusations. Soon they will see as to who was mad and who was sane; therefore, do not at all yield to the din of opposition being kicked up against you, for all this is actually meant to cow you and make you resort to a compromise with them.”

Then, in order to enlighten the common people the character of a prominent man from among the opponents, whom the people of Makkah fully well recognized, has been presented, without naming him:At that time, the Holy Prophet’s pure and sublime conduct was before them, and every discerning eye could also see what sort of character and morals were possessed by the chiefs of Makkah, who were leading the opposition against him.

Then, in vv. 17-33, the parable of the owners of a garden has been presented, who after having been blessed by Allah turned ungrateful to Him, and did not heed the admonition of the best man among them when it was given them. Consequently, they were deprived of the blessing and they realized this, when all they had lay devastated. With this parable the people of Makkah have been warned to the effect:”With the appointment of the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) to Prophethood, you, O people of Makkah, too, have been put to a test similar to the one to which the owners of the garden had been put. If you do not listen to him, you too will be afflicted with a punishment in the world, and the punishment of the Hereafter is far greater.”

Then, in vv. 34-47 continuously, the disbelievers have been admonished, in which the address sometimes turns to them directly and sometimes they are warned through the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace). A summary of what has been said in this regard, is this: Well being in the Hereafter inevitably belongs to those who spend their lives in the world in full consciousness of God. It is utterly against reason that the obedient servants should meet in the Hereafter the same fate as the guilty. There is absolutely no basis of the disbelievers misunderstanding that God will treat them in the manner they choose for themselves, whereas they have no guarantee for this. Those who are being called upon to bow before God in the world and they refuse to do so, would be unable to prostrate themselves on the Day of Resurrection even if they wanted to do so, and thus would stand disgraced and condemned. Having denied the Qur’an they cannot escape Divine punishment. The rein they are being given, has deluded them. They think that since they are not being punished in spite of their denial, they must be on the right path, whereas they are following the path of ruin. They have no reasonable ground for opposing the Messenger, for he is a preacher without any vested interest: he is not asking any reward of them for himself, and they cannot either make the claim that they know with certainty that he is not a true Messenger, nor that what he says is false.

In conclusion, the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) has been exhorted to the effect:”Bear with patience the hardships that you may have to face in the way of preaching the Faith till Allah’s judgment arrives, and avoid the impatience which caused suffering and affliction to the Prophet Jonah (peace be on him).”

In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.

1-16 Allah has declared Muhammad to be of the highest moral character and Do not yield any disbelieving oath monger, slanderer and wicked person


(68:1) Nun. By the pen and what the scribes write.1 (68:2) By your Lord’s Grace, you are not afflicted with madness,2 (68:3) and surely yours shall be a never-ending reward,3 (68:4) and you are certainly on the most exalted standard of moral excellence.4 (68:5) So you will soon see, and they too will see, (68:6) which of you is afflicted with madness. (68:7) Surely your Lord knows well those who have strayed from His Way just as He knows well those who are on the Right Way. (68:8) Do not, then, yield to those who reject the Truth, decrying it as false; (68:9) they would wish you to be pliant so that they too may be pliant.5 (68:10) And do not yield to any contemptible swearer,6 (68:11) the fault-finder who goes around slandering, (68:12) the hinderer of good,7 the transgressor, the sinful;8 (68:13) the coarse-grained, and above all mean and ignoble;9 (68:14) (who so acts) simply because he has wealth and sons,10 (68:15) and whenever Our verses are rehearsed to him, he says: “These are fairy- tales of times gone by.” (68:16) Soon shall We brand him on his snout.11


1. The great commentator Mujahid says that by pen here is meant the pen with which the Quran was being written down. From this it automatically follows that that which was being written implies the Quran itself.

2. That is, for which an oath has been sworn by the pen and by the Book. It means that this Quran which is being inscribed by the hands of the writers of revelation, is by itself enough to refute the slander of the disbelievers who say that the Prophet (peace be upon him) is, God forbid, a madman, Before his claim to the Prophethood, the people of Makkah looked upon him as the best of their men and trusted his honesty, intelligence and sagacity. But when he started reciting the Quran before them, they began to call him a madman. This meant that the Quran itself in their sight was the cause because of which they accused him of madness; Therefore, it was said: The Quran by itself is a sufficient proof for the refutation of this slander. The presentation of this highly eloquent revelation which consists of sublime themes, is an argument which proves that Muhammad (peace be upon him) has been especially favored by Allah, and nor an argument which might be used to prove that he has, God forbid, gone mad. Here, one should remember that although the address apparently is directed to the Prophet (peace be upon him), yet the real object is to nail the calumny of the disbelievers. Therefore, no one should have the doubt that this verse was sent down only to assure the Prophet (peace be upon him) that he was not mad. Obviously, the Prophet (peace be upon him) himself had no such doubt for removing which he might have stood in need of such an assurance. The object was to tell the disbelievers, as if to say: The Quran because of which you are calling the one presenting it a madman, is by itself an argument that your accusation is false. (For further explanation see (E.N. 22 of Surah At-Toor).

3. That is, you will get an unlimited and continuous reward, for although you have to hear discouraging and disturbing things in response to the efforts that you are making for the instruction and guidance of the people, yet you are steadfastly performing your mission of calling them to the right way.

4. Here, this sentence gives two meanings:

(1) That you stand exalted to a high and noble character; that is why you are enduring all these hardships in your mission of guiding the people to the right way, otherwise a man of weak character could not have done so.

(2) That besides the Quran, your high and noble character is also a clear proof that the accusation of madness that the disbelievers bring against you is absolutely false, for high morals and madness cannot co-exist in one and the same person.

A madman is he whose balance of mind is upset, who has lost his temperamental equilibrium. Contrary to this, the high morals of a person testify that he is a right-minded and sound-natured person, who possesses perfect temperamental equilibrium. The people of Makkah were not unaware of the morals and character possessed by the Messenger (peace be upon him) of Allah. Therefore, it was enough just to make a reference to them so that every reasonable man of Makkah was made to think how shameless were those people who were calling a man of such sublime morals and character a madman. Their absurd conduct was not at all harmful for the Prophet (peace be upon him) but for themselves, for maddened in their craze for opposition they were saying such a thing about him which could not be regarded as credible by any man of understanding. The same is also the case with those men of knowledge and scholarship, who in the modern time are accusing the prophet (peace be upon him) of having fits of madness and epilepsy. The Quran is available everywhere in the world and the Holy Prophet’s life also exists in the written form in entire detail. Every person can see it for himself what a foolish and meaningless thing is being uttered in their blind enmity by those who regard this man, who brought this unique and matchless Book and who possessed such sublime morals and character, as a mentally deranged person.

The best description of the Holy Prophet’s character has been given by Aishah in her statement: Kana khuluqu-hul- Quran: the Quran was his character. Imam Ahmad, Muslim, Abu Daud. Nasai, Ibn Majah, Darimi and Ibn Jarir have cited, with a little variation in wording, this saying with several chains of transmitters. This means that the Prophet had not merely presented the teaching of the Quran before the world but also given its practical demonstration by his personal example. Whatever was enjoined in the Quran was acted upon practically by himself in the first instance. Whatever was forbidden in it was shunned and avoided by himself most of all. His own self was characterized most of all by the moral qualities which were declared as sublime by it, and his own self was most free from those qualities which were declared as abhorrent and reprehensible by it. In another tradition Aishah has stated: The Prophet (peace be upon him) never hit a servant, never raised his hand on a woman, never used his hand to kill a person outside the battlefield, never avenged himself on anyone for an injury caused unless someone violated a sanctity enjoined by Allah and he avenged it for the sake of Allah. His practice was that whenever he had to choose between two things, he would choose the easier one unless it was a sin, and if it was a sin he would keep away from it most of all (Musnad Ahmad). Anas says: I served the Prophet (peace be upon him) for ten years. He never did so much as express even a slight disgust over what I did or said. He never asked why I had done what I had done, and never inquired why I had not done what I had not done. (Bukhari, Muslim).

5. That is, if you slackened a little in your propagation of Islam, they also would slacken in their opposition to you. Or, if you became inclined to effect some changes in your faith to suit these people, they too would effect a compromise with you.

6. The word mahin is used for a contemptible, degraded and mean person. This is indeed a necessary quality of a person who swears many oaths. He swears an oath for every minor thing because he himself has the feeling that the people take him for a liar and would not believe him until he swore an oath. For this reason he is not only degraded in his own eyes but commands no respect in society either.

7. Khayr in Arabic is used both for wealth and for good. If it is taken in the meaning of wealth, the meaning would be that he is miserly and stingy; he would not even spend a farthing on anyone. And if khayr is taken in the meaning of goodness and virtue, it would mean that he creates a hindrance in every good work as well as that he is very active in hindering the people from accepting Islam.

8. The word utul is used for a person who is stout and strong and greedy in eating and drinking and is also illmannered, quarrelsome and cruel at the same time.

9. The word zanim is used to describe a person of illegitimate birth, who does not, in fact, belong to a family but has joined it. Saeed bin Jubair and Shabi say that this word is used for a person who is notorious among the people for his evildoing.

The views of the commentators with regard to the person who has been described in these verses are different. Some one says it was Walid bin Mughirah; another one says it was Aswad bin Abdi Yaghuth, and still another has applied this description to Akhnas bin Shurayq, and some other people have pointed to some other persons. But the Quran has only described his attributes without naming him. This shows that in Makkah the man concerned was so notorious for his such qualities that there was no need to name him definitely. Hearing his description every person could understand who was being referred to.

10. This sentence may be connected with the preceding theme as well as with the following sentence. In the first case, it would mean: Do not yield to the influence of such a person just because he has plenty of wealth and children. In the second: He has become proud because he possesses abundance of wealth and children; so when Our revelations are recited to him, he says: These are tales of ancient times.

11. Because he thought he was a man of high prestige, his nose has been called a snout, and branding him on the snout means disgracing him. That is, We shall so disgrace him in the world and in the Hereafter that his mark of disgrace will become indelible.

17-33 What happened to the arrogant stingy owners of a garden who did not want to pay charity?


(68:17) We have put them [i.e., the Makkans] to test even as We put to test the owners of the orchard12 when they vowed that they would gather the fruit of their orchard in the morning, (68:18) without making any allowance (for the will of Allah).13 (68:19) Thereupon a calamity from your Lord passed over it while they were asleep, (68:20) and so by morning the orchard lay as though it had been fully harvested. (68:21) At daybreak they called out to one another: (68:22) “Hurry to your orchard14 if you would gather its fruit.” (68:23) So off they went, whispering to one another: (68:24) “No destitute person shall enter it today.” (68:25) They went forth early, believing that they had the power (to gather the fruit).15 (68:26) But as soon as they beheld the orchard, (they cried out): “We have certainly lost the way; (68:27) rather, we are utterly ruined.”16 (68:28) The best among them said: “Did I not say to you: why do you not give glory to (your Lord)?”17 (68:29) They cried out: “Glory be to our Lord! Certainly we were sinners.” (68:30) Then they began to reproach one another.18 (68:31) They said: “Woe to us! We had indeed transgressed. (68:32) Maybe our Lord will give us a better orchard in its place; to our Lord do we penitently turn.” (68:33) Such is the chastisement; and the chastisement of the Hereafter is assuredly even greater, if only they knew.


12. Here, one should also keep (Surah Al-Kahf, Ayat 32-44 )in view, in which the parable of the owners of two gardens has been cited for teaching a lesson.

13. That is, they were so sure and confident of their power and authority that they swore they would surely pluck the fruit of their garden next morning, without feeling any need to say: We shall do so if Allah so willed.

14. The word tilth probably has been used because in the garden there were also fields of crops in between the trees.

15. The word hurd in Arabic is used for hindering and withholding for a purpose and resolution and for making haste. Hence, the composite rendering adopted by us.

16. That is, on seeing the garden they didn’t believe it was their own garden, and they said: Perhaps we have lost our way and come to another place. But, when they considered it seriously and found it was their own garden, they cried out: Alas we are deprived.

17. This means that when they were saying on oath: We shall surely pluck the fruit of our garden tomorrow, this person had warned them at that time, saying: Have you forgotten God? Why don’t you say: If Allah so wills? But they did not listen to him. Then, while they were making up their mind not to give away anything to the needy, he again advised them to remember Allah and to desist from their evil intention, but they persisted in what they had resolved.

18. That is, each reproached and blamed the other that because of his wrong counsel they had forgotten God and resolved upon an evil course.

34-43 Allah is not going to treat the Muslims as He will treat the guilty Why disbelievers do not understand this?


(68:34) Surely19 the God-fearing shall have Gardens of bliss with their Lord. (68:35) What! Shall We treat those who have submitted (to Our command) like those who have acted as criminals? (68:36) What is the matter with you? How ill do you judge!20 (68:37) Or do you have a Book21 wherein you read (68:38) that (in the Hereafter) you shall have all that you choose for yourselves? (68:39) Or have We sworn a covenant with you which We are bound to keep till the Day of Resurrection, (a covenant requiring that whatever you ordain for yourselves shall be yours)? (68:40) Ask them: “Which of them can guarantee that?22 (68:41) Or has something been guaranteed by any of those whom they associate with Allah in His Divinity?” If so, let them bring forth their associates, if they are truthful.23 (68:42) On the Day when the dreadful calamity will unfold,24 when people will be summoned to prostrate themselves, and yet they will not be able to prostrate. (68:43) Their eyes shall be downcast and ignominy shall overwhelm them. For when they were safe and sound, they were summoned to prostrate themselves, (and they refused).25


19. This is, a rejoinder to the chiefs of Makkah, who argued with the Muslims, thus: The blessings that we are enjoying in the world are a sign that we are favorites of Allah, and the miserable lives that you are living are a proof that you are under the wrath of Allah. Therefore, even if there was any life after death, as you say, we shall have good time there too, and the torment would be imposed on you, not on us.

20. That is, it is against reason that God should not differentiate between the obedient servant and the guilty. How do you regard this as reasonable that the Creator of the universe should, like a blind ruler, not judge which people in the world obeyed His commands and refrained from evildoing, and which people committed every sin and crime and perpetrated every cruelty fearless of His punishment? You have seen the adversity of the believers and your own prosperity, but you have not appreciated the distinction between their good morals and your own evildoing, and have given your judgment without the thought that these obedient people will be treated like culprits by God and the guilty like you will be granted Paradise.

21. That is, the Book sent down by Allah.

22. Zaeem in Arabic is used for a person who stands a surety on behalf of another, or is a spokesman of others. Thus, the verse means to ask: Which of you will come forward and say that he has made such and such a covenant with Allah on your behalf.

23. That is, the judgment you are passing concerning yourselves has no basis whatever. It is against reason and you cannot show any such thing written in any divine Book either. No one can make the claim that he has made Allah promise some such thing, and you cannot make any of your deities vouch that they would take the responsibility of securing Paradise for you from God. How then have you been involved in such a misunderstanding.

24. Literally: The Day the Shin shall be uncovered. A section of the companions and their successors says that these words have been used idiomatically, for according to Arabic idiom, kashf-i-saq implies befalling of an affliction. Abdullah bin Abbas has also given this same meaning of this and has supported it by evidence from Arabic poetry. According to another saying that has been cited from Ibn Abbas and Rabi bin Anas, kashf-i-saq implies uncovering the facts and truths. In view of this interpretation, the meaning would be: The Day when all truths shall be bared and the people’s deeds shall become open and manifest.

25. It means: On the Resurrection Day it will be openly and publicly demonstrated as to who in the world had actually worshiped Allah and who was disinclined to do so. For this purpose the people will be called upon to prostrate themselves before Allah. Then, those who had been sincerely worshiping Allah in the world would prostrate themselves, and those who had declined to bow before Him in the world would be unable to do so. It will become impossible for them to put up a false show of being worshipers. Therefore, they will remain standing, degraded and downcast with shame.

44-52 Those who do not believe in Allah’s revelations are led step by step towards destruction


(68:44) So leave Me, (O Prophet), to deal with him who gives the lie to this Discourse.26 We shall draw them little by little (to their undoing) in a way that they will not know.27 (68:45) I am giving them a respite. Great is My scheme!28 (68:46) Or are you asking them for some compensation so that they feel burdened with debt?29 (68:47) Or do they have any knowledge of the Unseen which they are now writing down?30 (68:48) So bear with patience until the Judgement of your Lord31 comes, and do not belike the man in the fish (i.e., Jonah)32 who called out, choking with grief:33 (68:49) had his Lord not bestowed His favour upon him, he would have been cast upon that barren shore (and would have remained there) in disgrace.34 (68:50) But his Lord exalted him, and included him among His righteous servants. (68:51) When the unbelievers hear this Exhortation, they look at you as though they would knock you off your feet with their (hostile) glances.35 They say: “Surely he is afflicted with madness”; (68:52) although this is nothing but an Exhortation (to goodness) for everyone in the world.


26. That is, do not worry yourself as to how to deal with them, it is for Me to see how to chastise them.

27. A form of leading somebody to ruin in imperceptible ways is that an enemy of the truth and wicked person may be blessed in the world, and be granted health, wealth, children and worldly successes, by which he may be deluded into believing that whatever he is doing, he is doing well and right. There is nothing wrong with his acts and deeds. Thus, he may go on getting more and more deeply involved in enmity of the truth and wickedness and rebellious conduct and may not realize that the blessings he is being favored with are not a reward but, in fact, a means of his own ruin.

28. The word kayd in the original means to devise a secret scheme against another. It is an evil only in case it is devised to harm somebody unjustly, otherwise there is nothing wrong with it, especially when such a scheme is adopted against a person who has made himself worthy of it.

29. The question apparently is being asked of the Prophet (peace be upon him), but its real audience are the people, who were crossing all limits in their opposition to him. They are being asked: Is Our Messenger asking you for a reward which makes you feel so upset. You know that he is absolutely selfless in his invitation and is exerting himself only for your own benefit and well-being. If you do not want to believe in what he says, you may not, but why are you feeling so enraged at his this invitation to you. (For further explanation, see (E.N. 31 of Surah At-Toor).

30. This second question also appears to be directed to the Prophet (peace be upon him), but, in fact, its audience are his opponents. It means: Have you, O people, peered behind the unseen and found that the Messenger, in fact, is not a Messenger sent by God, and the truth that he is presenting before you is also false. That is why you are being so stubborn in belying what he says (For explanation, see (E.N. 32 of Surah At-Toor).

31. That is, the time when Allah will issue His decree about your success and victory and your opponents’ defeat, is yet far off. Till then you should go on enduring with patience whatever hardships and afflictions you may have to face in the way of preaching the faith.

32. That is, do not behave impatiently as did the Prophet Jonah (peace be on him), who an account of his impatience was driven into the fish’s belly. Immediately after exhorting the Prophet (peace be upon him) to have patience until Allah issued forth His decree, to tell him not to behave like the Prophet Jonah (peace be upon him) by itself gives the meaning that the latter had shown some kind of impatience before Allah gave His decision and thus had incurred His wrath. (For explanation, see( Surah Yunus, Ayat 98, and E.N, 99); (Surah Al-Anbiya, Ayat 87-88 and E.Ns 82 to 85); (Surah As-Saaffat, Ayat 139-148 and E.Ns 78 to 85).

33. In Surah Al-Anbiya it has been explained thus: From inside the fish’s belly and the darkness of the sea, the Prophet Jonah (peace be upon him) invoked Allah, saying: La ilaha ills anta subhanaka inni kuntu min-az-zalimin: There is no god but You; glory be to You: I had indeed committed a wrong. Thereupon Allah heard his prayer and delivered him from this affliction. (verses 87-88).

34. When this verse is read with ( Surah As-Saaffat, Ayats 142-146), one learns that at the time the Prophet Jonah (peace be upon him) was caused to be swallowed by the fish, he was blameworthy. But when he glorified Allah and confessed his fault, although he was thrown out from the belly of the fish on a bare beach in a state of sickness, he was not blameworthy at that time. Allah by His mercy caused a creeper to grow over him so that its leaves should provide him shade and its fruit food and drink.

35. Would make you slip: Would eat you up with their eyes. For a similar expression of the Makkan disbelievers’ rage and fury against the Prophet (peace be upon him), see also Surah Bani Isra’il: 73-77.

1. Surah Fatiha
2. Surah Baqarah
3. Surah Imran
4. Surah An-Nisa
5. Surah Maidah
6. Surah Al Anam
7. Surah Al A'raf
8. Surah Al Anfal
9. Surah At Taubah
10. Surah Yunus
11. Surah Hud
12. Surah Yusuf
13. Surah Ar-Ra'd
14. Surah Ibrahim
15. Surah Al Hijr
16. Surah An Nahl
17. Surah Al Isra
18. Surah Al Kahf
19. Surah Maryam
20. Surah Ta-Ha
21. Surah Al Anbiya
22. Surah Al Hajj
23. Surah Mu'Minoon
24. Surah An Nur
25. Surah Al Furqan
26. Surah Ash Shu'ara
27. Surah An Naml
28. Surah Al Qasas
29. Surah Ankabut
30. Surah Rum
31. Surah Luqman
32. Surah As Sajdah
33. Surah Al Ahzab
34. Surah Saba
35. Surah Fatir
36. Surah Ya Sin
37. Surah As Saffat
38. Surah Sad
39. Surah Az Zumar
40. Surah Ghafir
41. Surah Fussilat
42. Surah Ash Shura
43. Surah Az Zukhruf
44. Surah Ad Dukhan
45. Surah Al Jathiyah
46. Surah Al Ahqaf
47. Surah Muhammad
48. Surah Al Fath
49. Surah Al Hujurat
50. Surah Qaf
51. Surah Adh Dhariyat
52. Surah At Tur
53. Surah An Najm
54. Surah Qamar
55. Surah Ar Rahman
56. Surah Al Waqi'ah
57. Surah Hadid
58. Surah Mujadila
59. Surah Hashr
60. Surah Mumtahinah
61. Surah As Saff
62. Surah Jumuah
63. Surah Munafiqun
64. Surah Taghabun
65. Surah At Talaq
66. Surah At Tahrim
67. Surah Al Mulk
68. Surah Al Qalam
69. Surah Haqqa
70. Surah Al Ma'arij
71. Surah Nuh
72. Surah Al-Jinn
73. Surah Al Muzzammil
74. Surah Al Muddathir
75. Surah Al Qiyama
76. Surah Al Insan
77. Surah Mursalat
78. Surah An Naba
79. Surah An Naziat
80. Surah Abasa
81. Surah At Takwir
82. Surah Al Infitar
83. Surah Mutaffifin
84. Surah Al Inshiqaq
85. Surah Al Burooj
86. Surah At Tariq
87. Surah Al Ala
88. Surah Al Ghashiyah
89. Surah Al Fajr
90. Surah Al Balad
91. Surah Ash Shams
92. Surah Al Lail
93. Surah Ad Duha
94. Surah Ash Sharh
95. Surah At Tin
96. Surah Al Alaq
97. Surah Al Qadr
98. Surah Al Bayyina
99. Surah Az Zalzalah
100. Surah Al Adiyat
101. Surah Al Qariah
102. Surah At Takathur
103. Surah Al Asr
104. Surah Al Humazah
105. Surah Al Fil
106. Surah Quraish
107. Surah Al Maun
108. Surah Al Kawthar
109. Surah Al Kafirun
110. Surah An Nasr
111. Surah Al Masad
112. Surah Al Ikhlas
113. Surah Al Falaq
114. Surah An Nas

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