Surah At-Taghabun (Arabic: سورة التغابن) is the 64th Surah of the Quran composed of 18 ayat. It is classified as a Medinan Surah titled “Loss, Deprivation”.
This Surah invites all to faith and obedience of Allah. It warns against the evil consequences of misdeed and to have good morals. You will be held accountable on the day of judgement which is when the real success or loss will be decided.
Below you can read the entire Surah with transliteration and Sahih International English translation. For those looking to read a commentary on this Surah we’ve included different tafseer at the end.
“No disaster strikes except by permission of Allah . And whoever believes in Allah – He will guide his heart. And Allah is Knowing of all things.”
Surah At-Taghabun Ayat 11
Read Surah Taghabun with Translation and Transliteration
Bismillah Hir Rahman Nir Raheem
In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious and The Most Merciful
يُسَبِّحُ لِلَّهِ مَا فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٰتِ وَمَا فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ ۖ لَهُ ٱلْمُلْكُ وَلَهُ ٱلْحَمْدُ ۖ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَىْءٍۢ قَدِيرٌ
Yusabbihu lillaahi maa fis samaawaati wa maa fil ardi lahul mulku wa lahul hamd, wa Huwa ‘alaa kulli shai ‘in Qadeer
1. Whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth is exalting Allah . To Him belongs dominion, and to Him belongs [all] praise, and He is over all things competent.
هُوَ ٱلَّذِى خَلَقَكُمْ فَمِنكُمْ كَافِرٌۭ وَمِنكُم مُّؤْمِنٌۭ ۚ وَٱللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ
Huwal lazee khalaqakum faminkum kaafirunw wa min kum mu’min ; wallaahu bimaa ta’maloona Baseer
2. It is He who created you, and among you is the disbeliever, and among you is the believer. And Allah, of what you do, is Seeing.
خَلَقَ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٰتِ وَٱلْأَرْضَ بِٱلْحَقِّ وَصَوَّرَكُمْ فَأَحْسَنَ صُوَرَكُمْ ۖ وَإِلَيْهِ ٱلْمَصِيرُ
Khalaqas samaawaati wal arda bilhaqqi wa sawwarakum fa ahsana suwarakum wa ilaihil maseer
3. He created the heavens and earth in truth and formed you and perfected your forms; and to Him is the [final] destination.
يَعْلَمُ مَا فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٰتِ وَٱلْأَرْضِ وَيَعْلَمُ مَا تُسِرُّونَ وَمَا تُعْلِنُونَ ۚ وَٱللَّهُ عَلِيمٌۢ بِذَاتِ ٱلصُّدُورِ
Ya’lamu maa fis samaawaati wal ardi wa ya’lamu maa tusirroona wa maa tu’linoon; wallaahu ‘Aleemum bizaatis sudoor
4. He knows what is within the heavens and earth and knows what you conceal and what you declare. And Allah is Knowing of that within the breasts.
أَلَمْ يَأْتِكُمْ نَبَؤُا۟ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا۟ مِن قَبْلُ فَذَاقُوا۟ وَبَالَ أَمْرِهِمْ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌۭ
Alam yaatikum naba’ul lazeena kafaroo min qablu fazaaqoo wabaala amrihim wa lahum ‘azaabun aleem
5. Has there not come to you the news of those who disbelieved before? So they tasted the bad consequence of their affair, and they will have a painful punishment.
ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُۥ كَانَت تَّأْتِيهِمْ رُسُلُهُم بِٱلْبَيِّنَـٰتِ فَقَالُوٓا۟ أَبَشَرٌۭ يَهْدُونَنَا فَكَفَرُوا۟ وَتَوَلَّوا۟ ۚ وَّٱسْتَغْنَى ٱللَّهُ ۚ وَٱللَّهُ غَنِىٌّ حَمِيدٌۭ
Zaalika bi annahoo kaanat taateehim Rusuluhum bilbaiyinaati faqaaloo a basharuny yahdoonanaa fakafaroo wa tawallaw; wastaghnal laah; wallaahu ghaniyyun hameed
6. That is because their messengers used to come to them with clear evidences, but they said, “Shall human beings guide us?” and disbelieved and turned away. And Allah dispensed [with them]; and Allah is Free of need and Praiseworthy.
زَعَمَ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوٓا۟ أَن لَّن يُبْعَثُوا۟ ۚ قُلْ بَلَىٰ وَرَبِّى لَتُبْعَثُنَّ ثُمَّ لَتُنَبَّؤُنَّ بِمَا عَمِلْتُمْ ۚ وَذَٰلِكَ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ يَسِيرٌۭ
Za’amal lazeena kafarooo al-lany yub’asoo; qul balaa wa rabbee latub’asunna summa latunabba’unna bimaa ‘amiltum; wa zaalika ‘alal laahi yaseer
7. Those who disbelieve have claimed that they will never be resurrected. Say, “Yes, by my Lord, you will surely be resurrected; then you will surely be informed of what you did. And that, for Allah, is easy.”
فَـَٔامِنُوا۟ بِٱللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِۦ وَٱلنُّورِ ٱلَّذِىٓ أَنزَلْنَا ۚ وَٱللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرٌۭ
Fa-aaminoo billaahi wa rasoolihee wannooril lazeee anzalnaa; wallaahu bima ta’maloona khabeer
8. So believe in Allah and His Messenger and the Qur’an which We have sent down. And Allah is Acquainted with what you do.
يَوْمَ يَجْمَعُكُمْ لِيَوْمِ ٱلْجَمْعِ ۖ ذَٰلِكَ يَوْمُ ٱلتَّغَابُنِ ۗ وَمَن يُؤْمِنۢ بِٱللَّهِ وَيَعْمَلْ صَـٰلِحًۭا يُكَفِّرْ عَنْهُ سَيِّـَٔاتِهِۦ وَيُدْخِلْهُ جَنَّـٰتٍۢ تَجْرِى مِن تَحْتِهَا ٱلْأَنْهَـٰرُ خَـٰلِدِينَ فِيهَآ أَبَدًۭا ۚ ذَٰلِكَ ٱلْفَوْزُ ٱلْعَظِيمُ
Yawma yajma’ukum li yawmil jam’i zaalika yawmut taghaabun; wa many-yumim billaahi wa ya’mal saalihany yukaffir ‘anhu sayyi aatihee wa yudkhilhu jannaatin tajree min tahtihal anhaaru khaalideena feehaaa abadaa; zaalikal fawzul ‘azeem
9. The Day He will assemble you for the Day of Assembly – that is the Day of Deprivation. And whoever believes in Allah and does righteousness – He will remove from him his misdeeds and admit him to gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever. That is the great attainment.
وَٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا۟ وَكَذَّبُوا۟ بِـَٔايَـٰتِنَآ أُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ أَصْحَـٰبُ ٱلنَّارِ خَـٰلِدِينَ فِيهَا ۖ وَبِئْسَ ٱلْمَصِيرُ
Wallazeena kafaroo wa kazzaboo bi aayaaatinaaa ulaaa’ika ashaabun naari khaalideena feehaa wa bi’sal maseer
10. But the ones who disbelieved and denied Our verses – those are the companions of the Fire, abiding eternally therein; and wretched is the destination.
مَآ أَصَابَ مِن مُّصِيبَةٍ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِ ٱللَّهِ ۗ وَمَن يُؤْمِنۢ بِٱللَّهِ يَهْدِ قَلْبَهُۥ ۚ وَٱللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَىْءٍ عَلِيمٌۭ
Maaa asaaba mim musee batin illaa bi-iznil laah; wa many yu’mim billaahi yahdi qalbah; wallaahu bikulli shai;in Aleem
11. No disaster strikes except by permission of Allah . And whoever believes in Allah – He will guide his heart. And Allah is Knowing of all things.
وَأَطِيعُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا۟ ٱلرَّسُولَ ۚ فَإِن تَوَلَّيْتُمْ فَإِنَّمَا عَلَىٰ رَسُولِنَا ٱلْبَلَـٰغُ ٱلْمُبِينُ
Wa atee’ul laaha wa atee’ur Rasool; fa in tawallaitum fa innamaa ‘alaa Rasoolinal balaaghul mubeen
12. And obey Allah and obey the Messenger; but if you turn away – then upon Our Messenger is only [the duty of] clear notification.
ٱللَّهُ لَآ إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ ۚ وَعَلَى ٱللَّهِ فَلْيَتَوَكَّلِ ٱلْمُؤْمِنُونَ
Allaahu laaa ilaaha illaa Hoo; wa ‘alal laahi falyata wakkalil mu’minoon
13. Allah – there is no deity except Him. And upon Allah let the believers rely.
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓا۟ إِنَّ مِنْ أَزْوَٰجِكُمْ وَأَوْلَـٰدِكُمْ عَدُوًّۭا لَّكُمْ فَٱحْذَرُوهُمْ ۚ وَإِن تَعْفُوا۟ وَتَصْفَحُوا۟ وَتَغْفِرُوا۟ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ غَفُورٌۭ رَّحِيمٌ
Yaaa ayyuhal lazeena aamanooo inna min azwaaji kum wa awlaadikum ‘aduwwal lakum fahzaroohum; wa in ta’foo wa tasfahoo wa taghfiroo fa innal laaha ghafoorur Raheem
14. O you who have believed, indeed, among your wives and your children are enemies to you, so beware of them. But if you pardon and overlook and forgive – then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.
إِنَّمَآ أَمْوَٰلُكُمْ وَأَوْلَـٰدُكُمْ فِتْنَةٌۭ ۚ وَٱللَّهُ عِندَهُۥٓ أَجْرٌ عَظِيمٌۭ
Innamaa amwaalukum wa awlaadukum fitnah; wallaahu ‘indahooo ajrun ‘azeem
15. Your wealth and your children are but a trial, and Allah has with Him a great reward.
فَٱتَّقُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ مَا ٱسْتَطَعْتُمْ وَٱسْمَعُوا۟ وَأَطِيعُوا۟ وَأَنفِقُوا۟ خَيْرًۭا لِّأَنفُسِكُمْ ۗ وَمَن يُوقَ شُحَّ نَفْسِهِۦ فَأُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ هُمُ ٱلْمُفْلِحُونَ
Fattaqul laaha mastat’tum wasma’oo wa atee’oo waanfiqoo khairal li anfusikum; wa many-yooqa shuha nafsihee fa-ulaaa’ika humul muflihoon
16. So fear Allah as much as you are able and listen and obey and spend [in the way of Allah ]; it is better for your selves. And whoever is protected from the stinginess of his soul – it is those who will be the successful.
إِن تُقْرِضُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ قَرْضًا حَسَنًۭا يُضَـٰعِفْهُ لَكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ۚ وَٱللَّهُ شَكُورٌ حَلِيمٌ
In tuqridul laaha qardan hasanany yudd’ifhu lakum wa yaghfir lakum; wallaahu Shakoorun Haleem
17. If you loan Allah a goodly loan, He will multiply it for you and forgive you. And Allah is Most Appreciative and Forbearing.
عَـٰلِمُ ٱلْغَيْبِ وَٱلشَّهَـٰدَةِ ٱلْعَزِيزُ ٱلْحَكِيمُ
‘Aalimul-Ghaibi wash-shahaadatil ‘Azeezul Hakeem
18. Knower of the unseen and the witnessed, the Exalted in Might, the Wise.
Tafsir of Surah At-Taghabun
The Qur’an was revealed as a book of proof that Islam is the one true religion and to be a book of guidance. We’ve added this section on the commentary of Surah Taghabun for those looking to learn and study the Qur’an to understand its timeless teachings. We have included three different tafseer including one by Ibn Kathir.
Tafsir of Surah Taghabun by Ibn Kathir
(In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
This is the last Surah among Al-Musabbihat. We mentioned before that all creatures praise the glory of Allah, their Creator and Owner. Allah the Exalted said,
(His is the dominion, and to Him belongs the praise,) meaning, He is the One Who has control over all creation, the One praised for all He created and decreed. Allah’s statement,
(and He is Able to do all things.) means that whatever He wills occurs without resistance, and whatever He does not will, never occurs. Allah said,
(He it is Who created you, then some of you are disbelievers and some of you are believers.) meaning, Allah created you with these characteristics and He willed that for you. Therefore, there will be believers and disbelievers. Surely, Allah is the One Who sees those who deserve guidance and those who deserve misguidance. He is the Witness over His servant’s deeds and He will completely recompense them. This is why Allah the Exalted said,
(And Allah is All-Seer of what you do. ) Allah said,
(He has created the heavens and the earth with truth,) with equity and wisdom,
(and He shaped you and made good your shapes.) He made you in the best shapes and forms. Allah the Exalted said,
(O man! What has made you careless about your Lord, the most Generous Who created you, fashioned you perfectly and gave you due proportion; in whatever form He willed, He put you together.) (82:6-8) And His saying,
(Allah, it is He Who has made for you the earth as a dwelling place and the sky as a canopy, and has given you shape and made your shapes good (looking) and has provided you with good things.) (40:64) and His saying;
(And to Him is the return.) means the return and final destination. Allah then informs of His knowledge of all that there is in the heavens, in the earth and in the souls, He said:
(He knows what is in the heavens and on earth, and He knows what you conceal and what you reveal. And Allah is the All-Knower of what is in the breasts.)
Informing about the past nations and the torment and disciplinary lessons that they suffered because of opposing the Messengers and denying the truth. Allah says;
(Has not the news reached you of those who disbelieved aforetime) meaning, information about them and what happened to them,
(And so they tasted the evil result of their disbelief.) They tasted the evil consequences of their denial and sinful actions. And it refers to the punishment and humiliation they received in the life of the world,
(and theirs will be a painful torment.) in the Hereafter, added to the torment they received in this life. Allah explained why;
(That was because there came to them their Messengers with Bayyinat,) supporting arguments, evidence, and clear proofs,
(but they said:”Shall mere men guide us”) They discounted and dismissed the possibility that the Message would be sent to a human and that their guidance would come by the hands of a man like themselves,
(So they disbelieved and turned away.) they denied the truth and turned away from abiding by it,
(But Allah was not in need.) of them,
(And Allah is not need, Worthy of all praise.)
Allah the Exalted informs about the disbelievers, idolators and the atheists that they claim that they will not be resurrected,
(Say: “Yes! By my Lord, you will certainly be resurrected, then you will be informed of what you did…”) meaning, `you will be informed of all of your actions, whether major or minor, big or small,’
(and that is easy for Allah.) `resurrecting and recompensing you is easy for Allah.’ This is the third Ayah in which Allah orders His Messenger to swear by His Lord, the Exalted and Most Honored, that Resurrection occurs. The first is in Surah Yunus,
(And they ask you to inform them: “Is it true” Say: “Yes! By my Lord! It is the very truth! and you can not escape it!”) (10:53), The second is in Surah Saba’,
(Those who disbelieve say: “The hour will not come to us.” Say: “Yes, by my Lord, it will come to you…”) (34:3), and the third is this Ayah,
(The disbelievers pretend that they will never be resurrected. Say: “Yes! By my Lord, you will certainly be resurrected, then you will be informed of what you did; and that is easy for Allah.”) Allah the Exalted said,
(Therefore, believe in Allah and in His Messenger and in the Light which We have sent down.) that is, the Qur’an,
(And Allah is All-Aware of what you do.) none of your deeds ever escapes His knowledge.
(The Day when He will gather you on the Day of Gathering,) meaning the Day of Resurrection. This is the Day when the earlier and later generations will all be gathered in one area, a caller would be heard by them all, and one’s vision would easily see them all. Allah said,
(That is the Day whereon mankind will be gathered together, that is a Day when all will be present.) (11:103), and,
(Say: “(Yes) verily, those of old, and those of later times. All will surely be gathered together for appointed meeting of a known Day.”) (56:49-50) Allah’s statement,
(that will be the Day of At-Taghabun) Ibn `Abbas said, “It is one of the names of the Day of Judgement, and that is because the people of Paradise will have gained over the people of the Fire.” Qatadah and Mujahid said similarly. Muqatil bin Hayyan said, “There is no mutual loss and gain greater than these entering Paradise and those being taken to the Fire.” Allah explained His statement saying;
(And whosoever believes in Allah and performs righteous deeds, He will expiate from him his sins, and will admit him to Gardens beneath which rivers flow (Paradise), to dwell therein forever; that will be the great success. But those who disbelieved and denied Our Ayat, they will be the dwellers of the Fire, to dwell therein forever. And worst indeed is that destination.) We explained these meanings several times before.
Allah informs us as He did in Surat Al-Hadid,
(No calamity occurs on the earth or in yourselves but it is inscribed in a record before We bring it into existence. Verily, that is easy for Allah.) (57:22) Allah said here,
(No calamity occurs, but by the permission of Allah,) Ibn `Abbas said; “By the command of Allah,” meaning from His decree and will.
(and whosoever believes in Allah, He guides his heart. And Allah is the All-Knower of everything.) meaning, whoever suffered an affliction and he knew that it occurred by Allah’s judgement and decree, and he patiently abides, awaiting Allah’s reward, then Allah guides his heart, and will compensate him for his loss in this life by granting guidance to his heart and certainty in faith. Allah will replace whatever he lost for Him with the same or what is better. `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn `Abbas,
(and whosoever believes in Allah, He guides his heart.) “Allah will guide his heart to certainty. Therefore, he will know that what reached him would not have missed him and what has missed him would not have reached him.” There is an agreed upon Hadith ﴿that Al-Bukhari and Muslim collected and﴾ which states,
(Amazing is the believer: There is no decree that Allah writes for him, but is better for him. If an affliction strikes him, he is patient and this is better for him. If a bounty is granted to him, he is thankful and this is better for him. This trait is only for the faithful believer.)
(Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger;) Allah commands obedience to Him and to His Messenger in all that His legislates and in implementing His orders. Allah also forbids one from all that His Messenger forbids and prohibits. Allah the Exalted said,
(but if you turn away, then the duty of Our Messenger is only to convey clearly.) meaning, `if you refrain from abiding by the faith, then the Messenger’s mission is to convey and your mission is to hear and obey. ‘Az-Zuhri said, “From Allah comes the Message, its deliverance is up to the Messenger, and the adherence is up to us.”
Allah states that He is the One, Whom all creations need and seek, the One other than Whom there is no (true) God.
(Allah! La ilaha illa Huwa. And in Allah therefore let the believers put their trust.) So, He first informs about Tawhid and its meaning. The implied meaning is to single Him out for deifica- tion, being purely devoted to Him, and relying upon Him, as He said;
(The Lord of the east and the west; La ilaha illa Huwa. So take Him alone as Trustee.) (73:9)
Allah states that some wives and children are enemies to their husbands and fathers, in that they might be busied with them rather than with performing the good deeds. Allah said in another Ayah,
(O you who believe! Let not your properties or you children divert you from the remembrance of Allah. And whosoever does that then they are the losers.) (63:9) Allah the Exalted said here,
(therefore, beware of them!) for your religion, according to Ibn Zayd. Mujahid explained the Ayah ,
(Verily, among your wives and your children there are enemies for you;) by saying, “They might direct the man to sever his relation or disobey his Lord. The man, who loves his wives and children, might obey them in this case.” Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn `Abbas said to a man who asked him about this Ayah,
(O you who believe! Verily, among your wives and your children there are enemies for you; therefore beware of them!) “There were men who embraced Islam in Makkah and wanted to migrate to Allah’s Messenger . However, their wives and children refused to allow them. Later when they joined Allah’s Messenger , they found that those who were with him (the Companions) have gained knowledge in the religion, so they were about to punish their wives and children. Allah the Exalted sent down this Ayah,
(But if you pardon (them) and overlook, and forgive, then verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.)” At-Tirmidhi collected this Hadith and said that it is Hasan Sahih. Allah’s statement,
(Your wealth and your children are only a Fintah, whereas Allah! With Him is a great reward.) Allah said that the wealth and children are a test and trial from Allah the Exalted for His creatures, so that He knows those who obey Him and those who disobey Him. Allah’s statement,
(whereas Allah! With Him) meaning, on the Day of Resurrection,
(is a great reward.) As Allah said;
(Beautified for men is the love of things they covet; women children, Qanatir Al-Muqantarah of gold and silver, branded beautiful horses, cattle and well-tilled land. This is the pleasure of the present world’s life; but Allah has the excellent return with him.) (3:14), and the Ayah after it. Imam Ahmad recorded that Buraydah said, “The Messenger of Allah was giving a speech and Al-Hasan and Husayn came in wearing red shirts, walking and tripping. The Messenger descended from the Minbar, held them and placed them in front of them and said,
(Allah and His Messenger said the truth,`Verily, your wealth and your children are a Fitnah.’ I saw these two boys walking and tripping and could not be patient until I stopped my speech and picked them up.)” This was recorded by the Sunan compilers, and At-Tirmidhi said, “Hasan Gharib.”
(So have Taqwa of Allah as much as you can;) meaning, as much as you are able and can bear or endure. The Two Sahihs recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(When I command you to do something, do as much as you can of it, and whatever I forbid for you, then avoid it.) Allah’s statement,
(listen and obey,) means, obey what Allah and His Messenger command you to do and do not stray from it to the right or left. Do not utter a statement or make a decision before Allah and His Messenger issue a statement or decision. Do not ignore what you were ordered to do, nor commit what you were forbidden from doing.
Allah the Exalted said,
(and spend in charity; that is better for yourselves.) meaning, give from what Allah has granted you to your relatives, the poor, the needy and the weak. Be kind to Allah’s creatures, just as Allah was and still is kind with you. This will be better for you in this life and the Hereafter. Otherwise, if you do not do it, it will be worse for you in this life and the Hereafter. Allah said;
(And whosoever is saved from his own greed, then they are the successful ones.) This was explained with a similar Ayah in Surat Al-Hashr, where we also mentioned the relevant Hadiths. Therefore, we do not need to repeat them here, all praise and gratitude is due to Allah. Allah the Exalted said,
(If you lend to Allah a handsome loan, He will double it for you, and will forgive you.) meaning, whatever you spend, then Allah will replace it, and on Him will be the reward of whatever you give away in charity. Allah considered giving charity as if it is a loan to Him, just as Allah said in a Qudsi Hadith,
(“Who will give a loan to He Who is neither unjust nor poor”) This is why Allah the Exalted said in Surat Al-Baqarah,
(So that He may multiply it to him many times) (2:245) Allah said;
(and will forgive you.) meaning, He will erase your mistakes,
(And Allah is Shakur) meaning, He gives abundantly in return for what was little,
(Halim) means, He forgives, pardons, covers and absolves the sins, mistakes, errors and shortcomings,
(All-Knower of the unseen and seen, the Almighty, the All-Wise.) Its explanation has already preceded several times.
This is the end of the Tafsir of Surat At-Taghabun, all the praise and appreciation is due to Allah.
هُوَ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ فَمِنكُمْ كَافِرٌ وَمِنكُم مُّؤْمِنٌ (He is the One who created you, then some of you are disbelievers, and some of you are believers…64:2). In the phrase fa-minkum, the particle ‘fa’ [translated here as ‘then’] denotes ‘one thing happening after another’. In this instance, the phrase ‘khalaqakum’ [created you] indicates that at the inception of creation there were no unbelievers [kafis]. Human beings were, subsequently, divided into believers and non-believers by their own free will and choice with which Allah has invested them. They are rewarded or punished on account of exercising the free will and choice. A Prophetic Tradition states: کُلُّ مَولُودٍ یُّولَدُ علَی الفِطرَۃِ فَاَبَوَاہُ یُھِّدَانِہٖ وَ یُنَصِّرَانِہٖ (Everyone is born a Muslim, but his parents make him a Jew, a Christian…) [Qurtubi].
Two Nations Theory
The Holy Qura’ n has divided mankind here into two groups: a believing group and a non-believing one. This indicates that the children of ‘Adam (علیہ السلام) is one single brotherhood, and all human beings are members of this brotherhood. Kufr [unbelief] is the only dividing line that severs relationship with this brotherhood and creates another group. He who becomes a Kafir has severed the relationship of human brotherhood. Thus group-formation can only take place on the basis of ‘Iman and Kufr. Neither colour nor language, neither lineage nor family, neither land, territory or geographical region can divide human brotherhood into rival groups. The offspring of one father may live in different cities, or use different languages, or have different colours, but it does not divide them into different groups. Despite differences of colour, language, country or territory, they are members of the same brotherhood. No sane person will ever regard them as different groups.
[64:3] He has created the heavens and the earth with truth, and shaped your figures, and made your figures good, and to Him is the final return. وَصَوَّرَكُمْ فَأَحْسَنَ صُوَرَكُمْ (…and shaped your figures, and made your figures good…64:3). Shaping the figures of the creatures is one of the exclusive attributes of Allah, that is why Al-Musawwiru [the shaper] is one of His attributive names. If we analyze or look carefully into the universe, there are several classes of things. Each class has several species and each species has several sexes. Each sex has billions of members. No single shape ever resembles another shape. Among humankind, for instance, on account of difference of country or territory or difference of stock and nations, there is clear distinction in the shapes and faces of individuals. The face and shape of each individual is so amazingly unique and that it baffles the human imagination. The human face is no more than six to seven square inches, and there are uncountable faces of the same type, and yet one face does not look exactly like the other one so that distinguishing one from the other would be difficult. The present verse mentions figure-making as one of the Divine blessings and immediately thereafter it goes on to say فَأَحْسَنَ صُوَرَكُمْ (and made your figures good). In the entire universe, Allah made the human shape the most beautiful. No matter how ugly a man or an individual might seem in his community, he is still beautiful in his own right, relative to the shapes of all other non-human creatures.
[64:4] He knows all that is in the heavens and the earth, and He knows whatever you conceal and whatever you reveal. And Allah is All-Aware of what lies in the hearts. [64:5] Did the news of those people not come to you who disbelieved earlier, and tasted (in this world) the evil consequence of their conduct, and for them (in the Hereafter) there is a painful punishment? [64:6] That is because their messengers used to bring them clear proofs, but they said, “ Shall some mortals give us guidance?” Thus they disbelieved and turned away, and Allah did not care. And Allah is All-Independent, Ever-Praised. فَقَالُوا أَبَشَرٌ يَهْدُونَنَا (…but they said, “ Shall some mortals give us guidance?”…64:6). Though the word basher [mortal (s)] is singular, but in meaning it is plural. Therefore, the verb يَهْدُونَنَا ‘give us guidance’ is plural. All unbelievers held the notion that prophets and messengers cannot be human beings. The Qur’ an has time and again falsified and refuted this notion of the unbelievers. Alas, there is also a group of Muslims who denies the mortality of the Allah’ s Messenger. They need to think in which direction they are moving. His mortality is not contradictory to his prophet-hood, nor is it incompatible with his high station of messenger-ship, nor is his being a Messenger inconsistent with his being a Nur (light). He is Nur (light) as well as a mortal. It is a false analogy to compare his light with that of a lamp or of the sun or the moon.
[64:7] The disbelievers claim that they will never be raised again (after death). Say, “ Why not? By my Lord, you will be raised again, then you will be told about what you did. And that is easy for Allah.” [64:8] So, believe in Allah and His Messenger, and in the light We have sent down. And Allah is All-Aware of what you do. فَآمِنُوا بِاللَّـهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَالنُّورِ الَّذِي أَنزَلْنَا (So, believe in Allah and His Messenger, and in the light We have sent down…64:8). The word Nur [light] in this context refers to the Qur’ an. ‘Light’ fulfils two functions: In the first place it is itself luminous and in the second place it makes other things luminous and bright. The Qur’ an, on account of its miraculous nature, is itself luminous, and it illuminates what pleases or displeases Allah, the sacred laws, injunctions and commands, and the realities of the Hereafter, which human being ought to know.
[64:9] (Be mindful of) the day He will gather you for the Day of Gathering. That will be the Day of loss and gain. And whoever believes in Allah, and does righteously. He will write off his evil deeds, and will admit him to gardens beneath which rivers flow, where they will live forever. That is the great achievement. يَوْمَ يَجْمَعُكُمْ لِيَوْمِ الْجَمْعِ ۖ ذَٰلِكَ يَوْمُ التَّغَابُنِ ([Be mindful of] the day when He will gather you for the Day of Gathering. That will be the Day of loss and gain…64:9) ‘The Day of Gathering’ and ‘the Day of Loss and gain’ are both the names of the Day of Judgment. The reason why that day is called ‘The Day of Gathering’ is quite obvious. On that day all creations, the earlier generation as well as the later generations, will be brought together to give account of their deeds and for reward and punishment. The reason for calling the day a ‘The Day of Loss and Gain’ is because the word taghabun is derived from ghabn which means ‘loss’. Financial loss as well as mental deficiency is referred to as ghabn. Imam Raghib Isfahani in his Mufrada-ul-Qur’ an says that when the word refers to financial loss, it is expressed in the passive voice thus ghubina fulanun ‘so-and-so suffered financial loss’. When one wants to say that ‘he was or became deficient in his opinion or judgment’, one would express it thus ghabina from the tri-literal verb form, the second radical being vowelled with kasrah [-i-] on the measure of sami’ a. the word taghabun is a two-way process and signifies ‘mutuality of actions’, where two parties mutually cause loss of each other, or they make manifest each other’ s loss. In the context of this verse, however, it is one-sided or one-way process of making manifest of non-believer’ s loss. The latter sense is also its recognized use. ‘The Day of Loss and Gain’ is so called because, according to authentic Traditions, Allah has created two abodes for everyone in the Hereafter_one in Hell and another in Paradise. Before admitting the righteous believers to Paradise, they will be shown the abode in Hell, which they would have received if they failed to believe and act righteously, so that they may appreciate their abode in Paradise more highly and thank Allah more profoundly. On the other hand, the non-believers will be shown their abode in Paradise, which they would have received had they believed and acted righteously, so that they may regret more bitterly and be more remorseful. These narratives also tell us that the abodes in Paradise that were prepared for the non-believers will be given to the believers in Paradise, and the abodes in Hell that were prepared for the believers will be given to the non-believers in Hell. These Traditions are elaborately recorded in the two Sahihs and other collections of Traditions. When the inmates of Paradise will attain the places originally prepared for the disbelievers, the latter will realize what they have lost what they have gained. Sahih Muslim, Tirmidhi and others record on the authority of Sayyidna Abu Hurairah ؓ that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ asked the noble Companions: “ Do you know who is a pauper?” They replied: “ One who has no possessions.” The Messenger ﷺ said that a pauper in my community is one who will come on the Day of Judgment with a heap of righteous deeds, such as prayers, fasting, alms-giving and so on, but he might have reviled someone in the world, or he might have slandered another person, or he might have killed or murdered some other person, and he might have taken away someone’ s property unlawfully. All these people will gather around him and demand their rights. One will take away his prayers, another will snatch away his fasts, someone will take away his alms and a third person will carry away his other good deeds. When all his good deeds would be exhausted, the sins of the oppressed will be loaded on the oppressor, and in this way the score will be settled. Consequently, he will be purshed into the Fire of Hell. [Mazhari] It is recorded in the Sahih of Bukahri that the Holy Prophet ﷺ has said, “ Whoever has an obligation towards someone should discharge it or ask his obligor to forgive it here in this world. Otherwise, he will have no dirhams or dinars (money) there in the Hereafter to set off his liabilities. The obligors will be given the good deeds of the debtor in lieu of their unfulfilled rights. When his good deeds will be exhausted, the sins of the oppressed will be added to the account of the oppressor.” Sayyidna Ibn ‘Abbas ؓ and other leading authorities on Tafsir have given the foregoing reason for naming the Day of Judgment as ‘The Day of Loss and Gain’. Other authorities express the view that the grief of loss will not only be felt by the miserable non-believers, but also by the righteous believers. The latter will feel a sense of loss in that they will bitterly regret that they wasted much of their time in life and failed to carry out more good deeds, so as to attain more blessings and favours in Paradise, as is stated in a Prophetic Tradition. مَن جَلَسَ مَجلِسًا لَّم یَذکُرِ اللہَ فِیہِ کَانَ عَلَیہِ تِرَۃً یَومَ القِیامَۃِ (He who sits in an assembly and does not remember Allah in the entire session, this assembly will be a source of bitter regret for him.) Qurtubi writes that on that Day every believer will feel a sense of loss on account of shortcomings in the fulfillment of his duties and obligations in life. Naming the Judgment Day as the ‘Day of Loss and Gain’ is like its being named as ‘The Day of (Bitter) Regret’ in Surah Maryam, thus وَأَنذِرْهُمْ يَوْمَ الْحَسْرَةِ إِذْ قُضِيَ الْأَمْرُ ‘And warn them of the Day of (Bitter) Regret when the affair will be resolved…19:39). Ruh-ul-Ma’ ani interprets this verse as implying that on that day the unjust and unrighteous people will bitterly regret their shortcomings, and the righteous believers will regret their shortcomings in the performance of their righteous deeds. In this way, everyone on the Day of Judgment will regret and have a feeling of loss as his shortcomings. Therefore, this day is named as the ‘Day of Loss and Gain’.
[64:10] And those who disbelieve and reject Our signs – they are the people of the Fire. And it is an evil place to return. [64:11] And no calamity befalls (one), but with the leave of Allah. And whoever believes in Allah, He guides his heart. And Allah is All-Knowing about everything.
مَا أَصَابَ مِن مُّصِيبَةٍ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِ اللَّـهِ ۗ وَمَن يُؤْمِن بِاللَّـهِ يَهْدِ قَلْبَهُ (And no calamity befalls [one], but with the leave of Allah. And whoever believes in Allah, He guides his heart…64:11) In other words, it is a reality that not even a particle can move without the Divine will. Without the will of Allah no one can harm or benefit anyone. If a person does not believe in Allah and the Divine destination, he would not have any means of comforting himself when a calamity befalls him. He receives it with despair, and gropes for means of alleviating it. A believer, on the other hand, who reposes his faith in Divine will and destination is guided by Allah, and his heart is filled with peace and tranquility. Allah will guide his heart to certainty that whatever difficulty afflicts him could never have missed him, and whatever adversity has missed him could never have afflicted him. As a result of this belief, he is promised a reward in the Hereafter, which he keeps in view all the time. This strong belief in the promise of a reward in the Hereafter alleviates the worst calamity of this world.
Scholars have deduced from the above verse that if the family members to anything in violation of the sacred laws, it is not appropriate to be disappointed with them totally, or to be hostile towards them, or to hate or curse them. [Ruh]
[64:15] Your riches and your children are but a trial. As for Allah, with Him is a great reward.
Wealth and Children are a Trial
إِنَّمَا أَمْوَالُكُمْ وَأَوْلَادُكُمْ فِتْنَةٌ (Your riches and your children are but a trial…64:14). The word fitnah means ‘test or trial’. The purport of the verse is to say that Allah tests man by means of his wealth and children as to whether he is so much engrossed in the love of wealth and children as to become heedless of Divine laws and injunctions, or he maintains his love for them within limits and remains heedful of his duties and obligations toward Allah.
[64:16] So, observe taqwa (total obedience to Allah in awe of Him) as far as you can, and listen and obey, and spend (in Allah’ s way), it being good for you. And those who are saved from the greed of their souls are the successful. فَاتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُمْ (So, observe taqwa [total obedience to Allah in awe of Him] as far as you can…64:16). When the verse اتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ (…Observe taqwa as is His due…3:102] was revealed, the blessed Companions felt it very difficult, because it was impossible for anyone to observe taqwa of Allah ‘as is due to Him’. On that occasion, the present verse was revealed which clarified that no imposition is made on man more than he can bear. Taqwa too must be observed as far as it is possible for man to observe. If a person tries to obey Allah’ s due. [Ruh – condensed] [64:17] If you advance a good loan to Allah, He will multiply it for you, and will forgive you. And Allah is Appreciative, forbearing, [64:18] the Knower of the unseen and the seen, the All-Mighty, the All-Wise. Alhamdulillah The Commentary on Surah At-Taghabun Ends here
Tafseer by Abul A’la Maududi
64. Surah At Taghabun (Mutual Loss and Gain)
The Surah takes its name from the sentence Dhalika yaum-ut taghabun of verse 9, thereby implying that it is the Surah in which the word at taghabun has occurred.
Period of Revelation
Muqatil and Kalbi say that it was partly revealed at Makkah and partly at Madinah. Hadrat Abdullah bin Abbas and Ata bin Yasar say that vv. 1-13 were revealed at Makkah and vv. 14-18 at Madinah. But the majority of commentators regard the whole of the surah as a Madinan Revelation. Although there is no internal evidence to help determine its exact period of revelation, yet a study of its subject matter shows that it might probably have been sent down at an early stage at Madinah. That is why it partly resembles the Makkah surahs and partly the Madinan Surahs.
Theme and Subject Matter
The theme of this surah is invitation to the Faith and obedience (to Allah) and the teaching of good morals. The sequence followed is that the first four verses are addressed to all men; verses 5-10 to those men, who do not believe in the invitation of the Qur’an; and verses 11-18 to those who accept and believe in this invitation.
In the verses addressed to all men, they have been made aware in a few brief sentences of the four fundamental truths:
First, that the universe in which they live is not Godless, but its Creator, Master and Ruler is an All Powerful God, and everything in it testifies to His being most Perfect and absolutely faultless.
Second, that the universe is not without purpose and wisdom, but its Creator has created it with truth no one should be under the delusion that it is a mock show, which began without a purpose and will come to an end without a purpose.
Third, that the excellent form that God has created you with and the choice that He has given you to choose between belief and unbelief is not a useless and meaningless activity so that it may be of no consequence whether you choose belief or unbelief. In fact, God is watching as to how you exercise your choice.
Fourth, that you have not been created irresponsible and un-answerable. You have to return ultimately to your Creator, and have to meet the Being who is aware of everything in the universe, from Whom nothing is hidden, to Whom even the innermost thoughts of the minds are known.
After stating these four fundamental truths about the Universe and Man, the address turns to the people who adopted the way of unbelief, and their attention is drawn to a phenomenon which has persisted throughout human history, namely that nation after nation has arisen and ultimately gone to its doom. Man by his intellect and reason has been explaining this phenomenon in a thousand ways, but Allah tells the real truth and declares that the fundamental causes of the destruction of the nations were only two:
First, that they refused to believe in the Messengers whom He sent for their guidance, with the result that Allah too left them to themselves, and they invented their own philosophies of life and went on groping their way from one error to another.
Second, that they also, rejected the doctrine of Hereafter, and thought this worldly life to be an end in itself, and that there was no life hereafter when they would have to render an account of their deeds before God. This corrupted their whole attitude towards life, and their impure morals and character so polluted the world that eventually the scourge of God itself had to descend and eliminate them from the scene.
After stating these two instructive truths of human history, the deniers of the message of Truth have been admonished to wake up and believe in Allah, His Messenger and the Light of Guidance that Allah has sent in the form of the Qur’an if they want to avoid the fate met by the former peoples. Besides, they have been warned that the Day shall eventually come when all the former and the latter generations will be collected at one place and the fraud and embezzlement committed by each will be exposed before all mankind. Then the fate of each man will be decided finally on the basis as to who had adopted the path of the Faith and righteousness and who had followed the way of disbelief and denial of the Truth. The first group shalt deserve eternal Paradise and the second shall be doomed to everlasting Hell.
Then, addressing those who adopt the way of the Faith, a few important instructions have been given:
First, that whatever affliction befalls a person in the world, it befalls him by Allah’s leave. Whoever in this state of affliction remains steadfast to the Faith, Allah blesses his heart with guidance; otherwise although the affliction of the one who in confusion or bewilderment turns away from the path of the Faith, cannot be averted except by Allah’s leave, yet he becomes involved in another, the greatest affliction of all, namely that his heart is deprived of the guidance of Allah.
Secondly, that the believer is not required to affirm the faith with the tongue only, but after the affirmation of the Faith he should practically obey Allah and His Messenger. If he turns away from obedience he would himself be responsible for his loss, for the Holy Messenger of Allah (upon whom be His peace) has become absolved from the responsibility after having delivered the message of Truth.
Thirdly, that the believer should place his trust in Allah alone and not in his own power or some other power of the world.
Fourthly, that the worldly goods and children are a great trial and temptation for the believer, for it is their love which generally distracts man from the path of faith and obedience. Therefore, the believers have to beware some of their children, and wives lest they become robbers for them on the Way of God directly or indirectly; and they should spend their wealth for the sake of God so that their self remains safe against the temptations of Satan.
Fifthly, that every man is responsible only to the extent of his power and ability. Allah does not demand that man should exert himself beyond his power and ability. However, the believer should try his best to live in fear of God as far as possible, and should see that he does not transgress the bounds set by Allah in his speech, conduct and dealings through his own negligence.
In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.
1-10 To Allah belongs the kingdom of heavens and earth, and He knows all that you conceal and reveal and Surely there will be life after death, day of judgement and reward for good and bad deeds
(64:1) All that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth extols Allah’s glory.1 His is the sovereignty2 and to Him is all praise due;3 He has power over everything.4 (64:2) He it is Who has created you: and among you are those that deny the Truth5 and among you are those that believe in it.6 Allah observes all that you do. (64:3) He created the heavens and the earth with Truth and shaped you, giving you excellent shapes. And to Him is your ultimate return.7 (64:4) He knows what is in the heavens and the earth, and knows what you conceal and what you disclose.8 Allah even knows what lies hidden in the breasts of people.9 (64:5) Has the news of the unbelievers of the past not reached you? (They disbelieved) and then tasted its evil consequence. A grievous chastisement awaits them.10 (64:6) This was because their Messengers would come to them with Clear Signs,11 but they would say: “Shall mortals (like ourselves) guide us to the Right Way?”12 They rejected the Truth and turned away. Thereupon Allah became unconcerned with them, for Allah is Self-Sufficient, Innately Praiseworthy.13 (64:7) The unbelievers have vehemently contended that they shall not be raised to life.14 Say to them: “Yes, by my Lord, you shall surely be raised to life,15 and you shall certainly be fully informed of all that you did. 16 That is easy enough for Allah.”17 (64:8) So believe in Allah and in His Messenger and in the Light that We have sent down.18 Allah is fully aware of what you do. (64:9) (You shall come to know that) when He will assemble you on the Day of Gathering.19 That shall be the Day (to determine) mutual gains and losses.20 Whoever believes in Allah and acts righteously,21 Allah will have his evil deeds expunged and will admit him to Gardens beneath which rivers flow. Therein they shall abide forever. That is the supreme triumph. (64:10) As for those who disbelieved and gave the lie to Our Signs:22 they shall be the inmates of the Fire, and will abide in it. That is a woeful resort!
1. For explanation, see (E.N. 1 of the commentary on Surah Al-Hadid). A study of the following theme by itself shows why the discourse has ban begun with this sentence. What has been stated below about the universe and man is that Allah alone is their Creator, Master, Ruler, and He has not made this universe without purpose and wisdom, that man has not been created and left irresponsible, so that he may act as he may please, and there should be nobody to call him to account, and that the Ruler of this universe is not a care-free and ignorant king so that he may have no knowledge of what is happening in his kingdom. The best introduction to this theme could be the same as has been couched in this brief sentence. In view of the context, the introduction means: In whichever direction you may turn your gaze, from the earth to the limitless vastnesses of the heavens, you will clearly see that everything from a particle to the great galaxies not only testifies to the existence of God but also bears evidence that its God is free from every defect, every weakness and error. Had there been the least probability of a defect or fault, weakness or deficiency, in His essence and attributes, in His acts and decrees, this perfect and wise system could not have come into being at all, nor continue to function so consistently and immutably from eternity to eternity.
2. That is, the Kingdom of the universe solely belongs to Him. He has not just created it and left it alone after giving it the initial creation, but He alone is actually ruling over it every moment. No one else has any role or share whatsoever in this rule and sovereignty. If others possess temporarily and on a limited scale some powers of ownership or rule somewhere in the universe, these are not their personal powers, which they might have acquired by virtue of their own ability, but these have been granted to them by Allah. They possess these powers as long as Allah wills, and they can be withdrawn as and when He so desires.
3. In other words; He alone is worthy of all praise. Whatever other being has any praiseworthy quality, it has ban granted by Allah. And if hamd (praise) be taken in the sense of shukr (thankfulness), the meaning would be: In reality Allah alone is worthy of being thanked, for all good things in the world have been created by Him, and He alone is the real Benefactor of all kinds of creation. When we thank another being for favor, we thank it for the reason that Allah conveyed His blessing through it or him to us, otherwise neither the being itself is the creator of the blessing nor could it convey the blessing to you without Allah’s permission and help.
4. That is, He is the possessor of absolute power: He can do whatever He wills, there is no power to restrain or limit His Omnipotence.
5. It has four meanings and all are correct in their respective places:
First, that He alone is your Creator, yet some of you deny His being the Creator and others acknowledge this truth. This meaning becomes obvious when the first and the second sentences are read together.
Second, that He Himself has created you with the nature that if you choose to adopt unbelief, you may do so, and if you choose to affirm belief, you may do so. He has not compelled you to either accept or reject the faith. Therefore, you yourselves are responsible for your adopting belief or unbelief. This meaning is confirmed by the following sentence: Allah sees whatever you do. That is, by giving you this choice He has put you to the test, and He is watching how you exercise this choice.
The third meaning is, He has created you with a sound, wholesome nature, which demands that you should all adopt the way of the faith, yet some of you adopted unbelief, which was opposed to the nature and purpose of their creation, and some of you adopted the way of the faith, which was in conformity with their nature. This theme becomes obvious when this verse is read along with (verse 30 of Surah Ar-Room) which says: Set your face sincerely and truly towards faith, and be steadfast on the nature whereupon Allah has created mankind. There can be no alteration in the nature made by Allah. This is the right and true faith. And this very theme is explained by several Ahadith in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) has repeatedly stated that every man has been created on true human nature; then polytheism and deviation befall him from outside (For further explanation, see( E.Ns 42 to 47 of the commentary of Surah Ar-Room). Here, it may he pointed out that no divine Book has ever presented the concept of man’s being a sinner by birth, which Christianity has embraced as its fundamental doctrine for 1,500 years. Recently even Catholic scholars themselves have started expressing the view that there is no basis for this doctrine in the Bible. The famous German biblical scholar Rev. Herbert Haag writes in his book, Is Original Sin in Scripture: Among the earliest Christians, at least till the 3rd century A.D. there existed no such creed that man was a sinner by birth, and when this idea started spreading among the people, the Christian scholars continued to contradict it for two centuries. At last in the 5th century A.D. St Augustine by the power of his logic made this idea a part of the fundamental beliefs of Christianity. Mankind is heir to the original sin committed by Adam, and there is no way to salvation for man except through the Atonement made by Christ.
The fourth meaning is: Only Allah brought you into existence from nonexistence: you were not, then you became. This was such a simple thing that if you had thought over it seriously and seen that life is the real blessing through which you are benefiting by the other blessings in the world, none of you would have adopted the attitude of disbelief and rebellion against your Creator. But some of you did not give it due thought or thought wrongly, and adopted the way of disbelief, and some others adopted the same way of belief and faith which was the very demand of correct thinking.
6. In this sentence seeing does not merely mean to see, but it automatically gives the meaning that man will be rewarded or punished according to his actions and deeds. It is just like a master’s taking a person into service and then telling him: I shall see how you perform your duties, which implies: If you perform your duties well, I shall reward you fully; otherwise I shall call you to account for your negligence.
7. In this verse three things have been stated in their sequence, which are well connected logically:
First, it has been said that Allah has created this universe with the truth. When the word with the truth is spoken for a news, it means a true news; when it is spoken for a command, it means a command based on justice; when it is spoken for a statement, it means a correct statement; and when it is used for an act, it implies an act which is wise, reasonable and useful. Now, khalq (to create) is an act; therefore, to say that the universe has been created with the truth, would inevitably mean that the universe has not been created for fun but it is a serious work of a Wise Creator: everything in it has a rational object and purpose, and the element of its being purposeful is so evident that if a sensible person understands the nature of a thing well, it cannot be difficult for him to know the rational and wise purpose for which it has been created. All of modern science testifies that whenever man has succeeded in understanding the true nature of a thing by careful thought, research and investigation, he has also come to know eventually the purpose and object of its creation, and this understanding of its purpose has led him to countless inventions which are now being used in civilized human life. This could not be possible, had this universe been the plaything of a carefree person, devoid of any wisdom and purpose. (For further explanation, see (E.N. 46 of Surah Al- Anaam); (E.N. 11 of Surah Yunus); (E.N. 26 of Surah Ibrahim); (E.N. 46 of Surah An-Nahl); (E.Ns 15, 16 of Surah Al-Anbiya), (E.N. 102 of Surah Al-Mominoon); (E.N. 75 of Surah Al-Ankabut); (E.N. 6 of Surah Ar-Rum); (E.N. 34 of Surah Ad-Dukhan); (E.N. 28 of Surah Al-Jathiyah).
Secondly, it has been said that in this universe Allah has created man in the best shape. Shape here does not imply only man’s face but his whole bodily structure; it also includes all those powers and abilities which man has been granted to function in this world. In both these aspects man has been given the best shape and form among the creatures of the earth, and on the same basis he has become worthy to rule over all the universe. He has been given an erect stature; he has been given most appropriate feet to walk on; he has been given most suitable hands to work with; he has been given such senses and organs to acquire knowledge by which he obtains every kind of information; he has been given a powerful mind to think and understand and deduce results from the body of acquired information; he has been given a moral sense and a power of discrimination by which he distinguishes between good and evil, right and wrong; he has been given the power of decision by using which he selects his own course of action, and decides as to where he should employ his efforts and where he should not. He has even been given the freedom that he may acknowledge his Creator and serve Him if he so likes and reject Him if he pleases, or may make whomever he likes his gods, or rebel even against Him Whom he regards as his God. Along with all these capabilities and powers Allah has granted him the authority to appropriate everything created by Him, and he is practically using this authority in the world. (For further explanation, see (E.N. 91 of Surah Al-Momin).
The third thing which logically follows from the first two, as explained above has been stated in the third sentence of the verse: To Him you have to return in the end. Obviously, when a creature endowed with power and authority has been created in a wise and purposeful system of the universe, wisdom does not require that he should be left to live irresponsibly in the world, but it necessarily requires that that creature should be accountable to the Being Who has granted it this position and rank and blessed it with these powers; Returning in this verse does not merely mean to return but to return for accountability. In the following verses it has been explained that this return will not be in this life but into the second life after death, and its right time will he when all mankind will be resurrected and gathered together simultaneously for accountability, and in consequence of the accountability man will be rewarded or punished on the ground whether he had used the powers given him by God in the right way or the wrong way. As for the question, why cannot this accountability be held in the present life of the world, and why is its right time only the second life after death, and why is it necessary that this accountability be held only when all mankind has passed away from this world, and all the former and the latter generations have been resurrected and gathered together simultaneously? If man only uses his common sense a little, he can understand that all this is perfectly rational as well as the very demand of wisdom and reason that accountability should be held in the second lift and of all mankind together. The first reason is that man is accountable for his whole life-work. Therefore, the right time of his accountability should necessarily be when his life-work has come to an end. The second reason is that man is responsible for all those effects and influences which he produces by his acts on the lives of others, and those influences and effects do not come to an end with his death but continue to influence others till ages after him Therefore, true accountability call he held only when the life-work of entire mankind has come to an end and all the former and the latter generations are gathered together simultaneously for accountability. (For further explanation, see (E.N. 30 of Surah Al-A’raf); (E.Ns 10, 11 of Surah Yunus); (E.N. 105 of Surah Hud); (E.N. 35 of Surah An- Nahl); (E.N. 9 of Surah AI-Hajj); (E.N. 27 of Surah An-Naml); (E.Ns 5, 6 of Surah Ar-Rum); (E.Ns 29, 30 of Surah Sad), (E.N. 80 of Surah Al-Ghafir), (E.Ns 27 to 29 of Surah Al- Jathiyah).
8. Another translation can be: Whatever you do secretly and whatever openly.
9. That is, He is aware not only of those acts of man, which come to the notice of the people but He knows also those acts which remain hidden from them. Moreover, He does not only see the superficial form of the acts, but also knows what intention and purpose underlay each act of man and with what motive and aim he did whatever he did. This is such a truth that if man ponders over it seriously, he can fully understand that justice can be done only in the Hereafter, and only in God’s court can real justice be possibly done. Man’s own intellect itself demands that man must be punished for each of his crimes. But everyone knows that in the world most of the crimes remain hidden, or the culprit escapes punishment because of insufficient evidence, or even if the crime becomes revealed, the culprit is so influential and powerful that he cannot be punished. Then the intellect of man also requires that man should not be punished only because his behavior resembles a criminal act, but it should be ascertained that he has committed the act intentionally and deliberately and at the time he committed it, he was acting as a responsible agent, his intention, in fact, was to commit the crime, and he knew that what he was doing was a crime. That is why the worldly courts inquire into these things when they decide the cases, and regard such an inquiry as a demand of the rule of justice. But are there any means available in the world by which these things may be precisely ascertained beyond every shadow of doubt? Considered from this viewpoint, this verse also bears a deep logical relevance to Allah Almighty’s saying: He has created the earth and the heavens with truth. The necessary demand of creating them with truth is that perfect justice should prevail in this universe. Such justice can be established only when every act of a responsible man may not only remain concealed from the eyes of the one administering justice but the intention with which a person performed an act also should not remain hidden from him. And obviously, there cannot be any being, apart from the Creator of the universe, who can administer such justice. Now, if a person denies Allah and the Hereafter, he in fact, asserts that we humans live in a universe which is devoid of justice, which is rather a place where justice cannot possibly be done. The person whose intellect, mind and conscience feel satisfied at such an assumption would be a shameless creature if be thought he was being progressive and rationalistic and those people antiquated and retrogressive who accept a highly rational concept about the universe, which the Quran presents.
10. That is, the evil that they tasted in the world in consequence of their misdeeds was neither the real punishment of their crimes nor the full punishment. The real and full punishment they have yet to suffer in the Hereafter. However, the people can learn a lesson from the torment that visited them. They can see how the nations which adopted an attitude of unbelief against their Lord, went an degenerating and consequently met with an evil and disgraceful end. (For further explanation, see (E.Ns 5, 6 of Surah Al-Aaraf), (E.N. 105 of Surah Hud).
11. The word bayyinet as used in the original has a vast meaning. Bayyin (singular of bayyinat) in Arabic is something which is very clear and manifest. Saying about the Prophets that they came with bayyinat gives the meaning that firstly, they brought such manifest signs as bore clear testimony to their having been appointed by Allah. Secondly, they presented whatever they presented with rational and clear arguments. Thirdly, there was no ambiguity in their teaching. They clearly explained what was the truth and what was falsehood, what was lawful and what was unlawful, what path man should follow and what he should avoid.
12. This was then the foremost and basic cause of their degeneration and ruin mankind could not have known the right course of action in the world unless their Creator gave them the correct knowledge, and there could be no practical means of bestowing such knowledge by the Creator unless He blessed some of the human beings with the knowledge and entrusted them with the duty to convey it to other human beings. For this purpose, He sent the Prophets with the manifest signs (bayyinat) so that there was no reasonable ground for the people to doubt their being on the truth. But the people refused to believe that a human being could be a Messenger of God. Then, obviously there could be no other way for them to receive guidance. (For further explanation, see (E.N. 11 of Surah YaSeen). In this connection, however, a strange manifestation of the ignorance and folly of human beings is seen. They have in fact, never shown any hesitation in accepting the guidance of men, so much so that they have carried out gods of wood and stone according to their guidance, they have made human beings themselves God, the incarnation of God, even son of God. And they have adopted such strange viewpoints by following the guidance of their misleaders blindly, which ruined human civilization and morals altogether. But when the Messengers of God came to them with the truth, and they presented the pure truth before them without any selfish motive, they said: Shall mere human beings show us guidance? This amounted to saying that if a human begin misled them, they would follow his guidance willingly, but if he showed the right path to them, his guidance was not acceptable.
13. That is, when they treated the guidance sent down by Allah with indifference, then Allah also became indifferent to them and did not care what pit they fell in. Allah did not stand in need of their acknowledging Him as God in order to sustain and support His Godhead. Nor was He in need of their worship, nor of their praise and adoration. He, in fact, willed to show them the right path only for their own good and well-being. But when they turned away from it, Allah also became heedless of them. Then, neither He gave them guidance, nor remained responsible for their protection, nor saved them from being afflicted with calamities, nor prevented them from bringing about their own ruin for they themselves were not keen for His guidance and help.
14. That is, this was the second basic error in which the deniers of the truth have been involved in every age, and which has ultimately brought about their ruin. Although no denier of the Hereafter ever had any means of knowing, nor has he today, nor will he have in the future, that there is no life after death, but these ignorant people have always asserted the same thing, whereas there neither exists any intellectual basis for denying the Hereafter with absolute certainty nor any scientific basis for it.
15. This is the third place where Allah Almighty has instructed His Prophet to tell the people by swearing an oath by his Lord that such a thing shall certainly happen. First, in Surah Younus, it was said: They ask, is what you say really true. Tell them: Yes, by my Lord, it is absolutely true and you have no power to avert it.(verse 53). Then, in Surah Saba, it was said: The disbelievers say: How is it that Resurrection is not overtaking us. Say: By my Lord, it will surely overtake you. (verse 3).
Here, the question arises: What difference does it make for a disbeliever in the Hereafter whether you give him the news of its coming by swearing an oath or without swearing an oath. When he does not believe in it at all, will he believe in it only because you are asserting this on oath. The answer is: In the first place, the addressees of the Prophet (peace be upon him) were the people who knew from their personal knowledge and experience that he had never uttered a lie in his life. Therefore, even if they might have forged the most shameless slander against him with their tongue, yet in their hearts they could never conceive that a truthful man like him could say a thing on oath by Allah of which he himself was not convinced by knowledge and experience. Secondly, the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not only present the doctrine of the Hereafter but also gave highly rational arguments for it. What distinguishes a Prophet from others is that the arguments, however strong and cogent, that others may give for the Hereafter, can at the most make the listener admit that the occurrence of the Hereafter is more reasonable and probable than its absence. On the contrary, a Prophet stands at a notch higher level than a philosopher. His real position is not that be has arrived at the conclusion of the necessity of the Hereafter by the exercise of reason. But his real position is that he has the knowledge that the Hereafter shall occur and says with conviction that it shall surely occur. Therefore, only a Prophet can swear an oath to declare this but not a philosopher. Then, faith in the Hereafter can be generated only by a Prophet’s statement; the reasoning of a philosopher does not have the power to induce even himself to adopt it as his religious creed on the basis of his own argument, not to speak of another person. If the philosopher is really correct, he cannot go beyond, should be or ought to be. Only a Prophet can assert with conviction that a thing is and certainly is.
16. This is the purpose for which the children of Adam will be resurrected. This also contains the answer to the question: What is the special need for it. If one keeps in view what has been discussed concerning verse 1,4 above, one can easily understand that in this universe, which has been created with the truth, it would be highly unreasonable to imagine about man who has been given freedom to choose either belief or unbelief, who has been granted authority to appropriate many of the things in this universe, and who after choosing the way of belief or unbelief has accomplished much good or done evil on his own responsibility by making the right or the wrong use of his authority during his life. That when he has done all this the good done by the virtuous and the evil committed by the criminal, one should neither bear any fruit, nor should there be any time when his deeds and actions should be subjected to security. The person who asserts such an irrational thing inevitably commits one of the two absurdities: either he thinks that although this universe is based on wisdom, yet a creature like man, who has been endowed with authority, has been created and left irresponsible here; or he thinks that this universe is a random creation devoid of the wisdom of a Wise Creator. In the first place, he makes a contradictory statement, for the existence of an irresponsible creature, endowed with authority, in a universe based on wisdom, is clearly against justice and wisdom. In the second case, he cannot give any rational being like man should come into being in a haphazardly created, foolish universe, and how he conceived the idea of justice. Only a stubborn person could uphold the belief that folly could generate wisdom and injustice could generate justice, or the one who has become a mental patient because of his obsession for hair splitting.
17. This is the second argument for the Hereafter. The first argument was for its necessity and this second is for its possibility. Obviously, when God could create such a grand and wonderful system of the universe without any difficulty and when He could create human beings in the world in the first instance, it cannot be difficult for Him to resurrect the same human beings and summon them before Himself for the purpose of accountability.
18. That is, when this is the truth and the whole human history testifies that the real cause of the destruction of the nations has been their disbelieving the Messengers and their denial of the Hereafter, then they should not insist on meeting the same doom by following their example, but should believe in the guidance presented by Allah and His Messenger and the Quran. Here, as the context itself shows, by the light that We have sent down, means the Quran. Just as light itself is clearly seen and reveals everything that was hidden in darkness around it, so is the Quran a light whose being based on the truth is self-evident; in its light man can solve and understand every problem that he cannot solve and understand exclusively by means of his own knowledge and intellect. Anyone who has the light can clearly see the straight path of truth out of the countless, crooked paths of thought and action, and can follow the straight path throughout life in such a way that at every step he can know where the crooked bypaths are misleading and where the pitfalls of destruction are situated on the way, and what is the path of safety and security among them.
19. The Day of Gathering: the Resurrection, when all human beings born in the world from the beginning of creation till the Last Day will be gathered together simultaneously. This theme has been fully explained in the Quran at several places; e.g. in Surah Houd it has been said: That will be the Day when all the people shall gather together and will witness everything that will happen there. (verse 103). And in Surah Al-Waqiah: Say to them; Surely, the former and the latter, all shall be gathered together one day, the hour of which has already been appointed. (verse 50).
20. The word yaum-ut-taghabun as used in the original is too vast in meaning to be explained in a word, or even a sentence, of any other language. Of all the names of the Resurrection that occur in the Quran, this name probably is the most meaningful. Therefore, an explanation is necessary to understand its meaning.
Taghabun is from ghabn, which can be pronounced both as ghabn and as ghaban. Ghabn is mostly used concerning commercial and business transactions and ghaban concerning opinion. Lexically, it has other meanings also, e.g. heedlessness, forgetfulness, a person’s being deprived of his share, a man’s harming another inadvertently in business or mutual dealing, etc.
The derivative taghabun implies the occurrence of ghabn between two or more persons. Thus, taghabun-al-qaum means some people’s treating others fraudulently, or a person’s harming another person and the other’s being harmed and damaged by him, or one’s taking away the share of another and the other’s being deprived of his share, or a person’s incurring loss in business and another’s gaining a profit, or some people’s proving heedless or weak-minded in comparison to others.
Now consider that in this verse it has been said about the Resurrection: That will be a Day of taghabun (mutual loss and gain) among the people. These words automatically give the meaning that in the world taghabun is a common thing, but this taghabun is superficial and deceptive, not the real and factual taghabun, the real taghabun will take place on the Day of Resurrection. There it will become manifest as to who actually incurred the loss and who actually earned the profits, who actually was deceived and who proved to be prudent and sensible, who actually had invested all his life capital in a wrong bargain and become bankrupt and who had invested all his energies and abilities, wealth and time, in a good bargain and earned all the benefits and gains, which the former also could have earned had he not been deceived in understanding the truth about the world.
The commentators while explaining the meaning of youmut- taghabun have given several meanings of it, which are all correct, and throw light on different aspects of its meaning. Some commentators have explained that on that Day the dwellers of Paradise will take away that share of the dwellers of Hell which they would have had in Paradise had they done good deeds in the world as did the dwellers of Paradise and the dwellers of Hell will take away that share of the people of Paradise, which they would have had in Hell had they done evil deeds is the world. This is supported by a Hadith, which Bukhari has related in kitab ar-Riqaq, on the authority of Abu Hurairah, saying that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Whoever goes to Paradise will be shown the place which he would have had in Hell had he done evil deeds in the world so that he may give more and more thanks to God; and whoever goes to Hell will be shown the place which he would have had in Paradise had he done good deeds in the world so that he may feel more and more remorseful.
Some other commentators say that on that Day, the wronged one will take away so many of the good deeds done by the wrongdoer as may be a suitable compensation for the wrong suffered, or the wrongdoer will be equal in weight with his usurped rights. For on the Day of Resurrection man will not possess any wealth which he may give to make up for the wrong done, there the only commodity worth exchange will be one’s conduct. Therefore, whoever had wronged another in the world, will have to make up for the wrong done by surrendering some of his own good deeds in his favor, or by taking some of his sins on himself and suffering the punishment for them. This theme also has been reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him) in Ahadith. In Bukhari (Kitab ar-Riqaq) a tradition has been related from Abu Hurairah, saying that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Whoever bears a burden of a wrong done to his brother, should compensate him for it here, for in the Hereafter no one will have any wealth or money for compensation. There, some of his good deeds will he taken from him and given away to the wronged person, or if he did not have enough good deeds, some of the sins of the wronged person will be transferred to him. Likewise, in Musnad Ahmad there is a tradition from Jabir bin Abdullah bin Unais, saing that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: No dweller of Paradise will enter Paradise and no dweller of Hell will enter Hell until he will have compensated the other person for the wrong done to him so much so that one will have to compensate even for a slap given to another person. We asked; How will this compensation be made when on Resurrection we shall be naked and penniless? The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: Compensation will be made by means of the good deeds and the evil deeds. In Muslim and Musnad Ahmad there is a tradition from Abu Hurairah, saying that the Prophet (peace be upon him) once asked the people sitting in his assembly: Do you know who is poor. The people replied: He who has nothing to possess. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: In my ummah the poor is he who appeared before his God on the Day of Resurrection with his acts of the Prayer and the Fast and the payment of the Zakat, while he had abused some one, usurped the property of another, and shed blood or hit still another. Then his good deeds were taken away and given over to each of the wronged and when nothing was left of his good deeds to make compensation, some of the sins of each wronged one were transferred to him and he was east into Hell. In another Hadith which Muslim and Abu Daud have related on the authority of Buraidah, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: If in the absence from home of a soldier for the cause of Allah, a person treats his wife and the people of his house treacherously, the person would be made to stand before the soldier on the Day of Resurrection, and the latter would be asked to take away whatever he liked from his good deeds. Saying this, the Prophet (peace be upon him) turned to us and said: Then what do you say. That is, what do you think he would leave with him.
Some other commentators say that tile word taghabun is mostly used concerning commerce and business, and in the Quran at several places the attitude that the believer and the unbeliever adopt in their worldly lives has been compared to trade and commerce. If the believer giving up disobedience adopts obedience and invests his life and wealth and effort for the cause of God, he is giving up a bad bargain and investing his capital in a business which will fetch him much gain and profit in the end. On the contrary, if an unbeliever abandons the way of obedience and invests his entire capital in the way of disobedience to God, he in fact, is a trader who has purchased deviation for guidance, and will incur loss in the end. The gain and the loss of both will become manifest on the Day of Resurrection. It may well so happen in the world that the believer appears to be the loser and the disbeliever the gainer. But in the Hereafter they will see who actually had made the right bargain and who the wrong bargain This theme has occurred at many places in the Quran, e.g. in (Surah Al- Baqarah, Ayats 16,175, 207); (Surah Al-Imran, Ayats 77, 177); (Surah An-Nisa, Ayat 74); (Surah At-Taubah, Ayat 111); (Surah An-Nahl, Ayat 95); (Surah Fatir Ayat 29); (Surah As- Saff, Ayat 10).
Yet another from of taghabun is that in the world the people go on cooperating with one another in unbelief and sin, injustice and wickedness, with full peace of mind with the confidence that they are enjoying fully mutual love and friendship. The mutual intrigues and comradeship of the members of wicked families’ immoral guides and their followers, gangs of thieves and robbers, alliances of corrupt and unjust officers and officials, groups of dishonest traders, industrialists and land owners, groups established to spread deviation, error and mischief, and nations and governments which support and uphold injustice and wickedness in the world, is based on the same confidence. The individuals belonging to each of these groups harbor the impression that they are good companions of one another and their mutual cooperation is proving very successful. But when these people reach the Hereafter, they will suddenly wake up to the realization that they had been grievously mistaken and deceived. Each one of them would feel that the one whom he considered his best father, brother, wife, husband, child, friend, companion, leader, guide, disciple or supporter and helper, had been, in fact, his worst enemy. Every kind of relationship and friendship and bond of love and reverence will change into enmity. They will all abuse and curse each other and each one will desire that maximum responsibility of his crimes be laid an the other and will strive to get him severely punished. This theme also has occurred at many places in the Quran, e.g. in (Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayat 167); (Surah Al-Aaraf, Ayats 37 to 39); (Surah Ibrahim, Ayats 21-22); (Surah Al-Mominoom, Ayat 101); (Surah Al-Ankabut, Ayats 12, 13, 25); (Surah Luqman, Ayat 33) (Surah Al-Ahzab, Ayats 67,68); (Surah Saba, Ayats 31 to 33); (Surah Fatir, Ayats 18); (Surah As- Saffat, Ayats 27 to 31); (Surah Sad, Ayats 59 to 61); (Surah HaMim Ayat 29; As-Sajdah, Ayat 29); (Surah Az-Zukhruf, Ayat 67); (Surah Ad-Dukhan, Ayat 41); (Surah AI-Maarij, Ayats 10 to 14); (Surah Abasa, Ayats 34 to 36).
21. Believing in Allah does not merely imply believing that Allah exists but believing in Him in the way Allah Himself has taught through His Messenger and His Book. This belief by itself includes belief in apostleship and belief in the Book. Likewise a good act also does not imply every such act as man may himself have adopted considering it a good act, or following a man-made criterion of morality, but it implies the righteous act that is in accordance with the law sent down by God. Therefore no one should have the misunderstanding that believing in Allah and doing good deeds, without the medium of the Messenger and the Book will lead to the results being mentioned below. Whoever studies the Quran carefully cannot remain unaware that according to it no such belief is genuine belief in Allah and no such act is righteous at all.
22. These words by themselves make manifest the meaning of unbelief (kufr). Unbelief is nothing but denying the verses of Allah’s Book to be divine revelation, rejecting the truth expressed therein and refusing to follow and obey the commandments given in them; its results are those being mentioned below.
11-18 No affliction can ever befall except by the leave of Allah and Among your wives and children there are some who are your enemies, be aware of them
(64:11) No misfortune23 ever befalls unless it be by Allah’s leave.24 And whosoever has faith in Allah, Allah directs his heart along the Right Path.25 Allah has knowledge of everything.26 (64:12) Obey Allah and obey the Messenger. But if you turn away from obedience, (then know that) Our Messenger has no other duty than to clearly convey the Truth.27 (64:13) Allah there is no god but He; in Allah should the believers put all their trust.28 (64:14) Believers, there are enemies to you from among your spouses and your off-spring, so beware of them. But if you forgive and overlook their offences and pardon them, then surely Allah is Most Forgiving, Most Compassionate.29 (64:15) Your possessions and your offspring are nothing but a trial for you. And there awaits a great reward30 for you with Allah. (64:16) So hold Allah in awe as much as you can,31 and listen and obey, and be charitable. This is for your own good. And whoever remains safe from his own greediness, it is such that will prosper.32 (64:17) If you give Allah a goodly loan, He will increase it for you several fold33 and will forgive you. Allah is Most Appreciative, Most Forbearing.34 (64:18) He knows that which is beyond the ken of perception as well as that which can be perceived. He is the Most Mighty, the Most Wise.
23. The discourse now turns to the believers. While reading this passage one should keep in mind the fact that at the time when these verses were revealed. Muslims were passing through great hardships. After years of persecution at Makkah they had left their home and emigrated to Madinah, where the sincere Muslims who had given them refuge had been doubly burdened. On the one hand, they had to support and sustain hundreds of the emigrants who were coming to them from different parts of Arabia. On the other, they had become the target of the persecution and enmity of the enemies of Islam of entire Arabia.
24. This same theme has also occurred in (Surah Al-Hadid, Ayats 22-23) above and we have explained it in (E.Ns 39 to 42 of the commentary of that Surah). The same circumstances under which this thing was said there and the same object for which it was said underlie the verses here as well. This means that afflictions and hardships do not descend of themselves, nor has anyone in the world the power to cause an affliction to descend on anyone he may like by his own authority. All calamities wholly depend on Allah’s leave. He may allow an affliction to descend upon someone or may disallow it. And Allah’s leave in any case is based on one or other wisdom, directed to some ultimate good, which man neither knows, nor can understand.
25. That is, it is only belief in Allah which keeps man on the right path even in the face of an onslaught of afflictions and does not let him waver under the most trying circumstances. The one whose heart is devoid of belief either looks upon afflictions as a result of mere chance, or thinks they are brought or prevented by worldly powers, or considers them to be the work of such imaginary powers which human superstition regards as potent in bringing good and causing evil, or believes that God is the real Doer of everything but does not believe so truly and sincerely in all these different cases man degenerates. He endures the affliction, but then yields and bows to every false god, accepts every humiliation, is ready to do any mean thing and commit any wrong act he does not hesitate to abuse God, even commits suicide. On the contrary, the heart of the person who knows and believes sincerely that everything is in the hands of Allah. He alone in the Master and the Ruler of the universe. That only by His permission can an affliction befall and only by His command can it be averted. Such a person is blessed by Allah with the grace of patience and submission and of acquiescing in divine will, and is granted the power to face every circumstance with determination and courage. Even under the most straitened circumstances the candle of the hope of Allah’s bounty lights up his way. No affliction, however severe and trying, can dishearten him as to cause him to swerve from the right path or bow to falsehood, or invoke others than Allah for the redress of his grievances. Thus, every affliction opens up for him a new door to well-being and happiness and no affliction remains an affliction for him. In fact, it becomes, in the final, a blessing in disguise. For whether he falls a victim to it or passes through if safely, in each case he emerges successful from the trial set for him by his Lord. This same thing has been stated by the Prophet (peace be upon him) in a Hadith which has been reported unanimously by all the reporters, saying: Strange is the affair of the believer! Whatever Allah decrees for him is good for him. When an affliction befalls him, he endures it patiently, and this proves good for him. When he is blessed with prosperity, he thanks his Lord, and this too proves good for him. Such a good fortune only falls to the lot of a believer.
26. In this context this has two meanings: First, that Allah knows who really believes and what is the measure of his belief. So, on the basis of His knowledge, He grants guidance only to that heart, which has belief in it, and grants it guidance precisely in accordance with the measure of belief. Another meaning can also be: That Allah is not unaware of the condition of His believing servants. He has not left them alone after having invited them to faith and subjected them at the same time to severe trials and temptations of the world. He knows exactly what hardships a believer is passing through in the world, and under what circumstances he is fulfilling the demands of his faith. Therefore, O believers, you should rest assured that whatever affliction descends upon you by Allah’s leave, in Allah’s knowledge it must be directed to some ultimate good, which must be for your own well-being. For Allah is well-wisher of His believing servants. He does not will to subject them to afflictions and hardships without good reason.
27. In view of the context, it means: Whatever the circumstances, good or bad, you should remain steadfast to obedience to Allah and His Messenger. But if under the pressure of hardships you turned away from obedience, you would only harm your own selves. The only responsibility of Our Messenger was to guide you to the right path, which the Messenger has fulfilled in the best way possible.
28. That is, all divine powers belong to Allah alone. No one else has any power to make or mar your destiny. He alone can bring about a good time and He alone can avert a bad time. Therefore, whoever believes sincerely that Allah is One, has absolutely no other choice than to place his full trust in Him and to continue doing his duty as a believer with the conviction that goodness and well being only lie in the way that Allah has shown him. If he attains to success in this way, it will only be by Allah’s help and leave; there is no other helper. And if he encounters difficulties, hardships, dangers and disasters in this way, Allah alone will rescue him, for there is no other rescuer beside Him.
29. This verse has two meanings:
According to the first meaning, it applies to most of those difficulties which are encountered by many believing men from their wives and the women from their husbands and the parents from their children in following the way of God. It seldom so happens in the world that a man has a wife or a wife has a husband, who are full companions and helpers of each other in the matter of faith and righteousness, and that both may also have such children as may be the comfort of their eyes as regards to faith and deeds, morals and conduct. But generally it so happens that if the husband is righteous and honest, the wife and children look upon his honesty and piety and righteousness as a misfortune for themselves, and want that the husband and the father should earn Hell for their sake, and, by giving up the distinction between the lawful and the unlawful, should provide means of luxury and enjoyment, sin and vice, for them in every passable way. On the contrary, many a time a pious believing woman happens to have a husband, who does not at all approve her obedience to the laws of God. And the children, following in the footsteps of the father, make the life of the mother miserable by their deviation and evil deeds. Then, particularly, when during the conflict between Islam and unbelief a man’s faith demands that he should suffer losses for the sake of Allah and this religion, run risks, emigrate from the country or even endanger his life by joining the war against unbelief, the greatest hindrance in his way are the people of his own household.
The second meaning relates to those special circumstances which most of the Muslims were facing at the time these verses were sent down, and also today they are faced by every person who embraces Islam in a non-Muslim society. At that time in Makkah and in other parts of Arabia a situation that was commonly being experienced was that a man would embrace Islam but his wife and children would not only be disinclined to accept it but would try their best to press him to give up Islam. And similar were the situation encountered by the women who alone embraced Islam in the family.
Addressing the believers who may be confronted with either situation, three things have been impressed:
First, they have been warned as if to say: Although from the worldly point of view these are the dearest relations of man, yet from the religious point of view, they are your enemies. This enmity may be for the reason that they hinder you from good and induce you to do evil, or that they restrain you from belief and pull you towards unbelief, or that their sympathies are with he unbelievers, and through you if they ever come to know any of the war secrets of the Muslims, they convey it to the enemies of Islam. Owing to these the nature and quality of enmity may vary, but in any case it is enmity; and if you hold your faith dearer to your heart, you should regard them as your enemies. In their love you should never forget that between you and them there stands the barrier of belief and unbelief, or of obedience and disobedience.
Then, it is said: Beware of them. That is, you should not ruin your eternal life for the sake of their worldly life. Let not their love so overwhelm you that they become a hindrance for you in your relationship with Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him) and your loyalty to Islam. Do not place such reliance on them that the secrets of the Muslim community should come to their notice and through them reach your enemies only by your negligence and carelessness. This is the first thing of which the Prophet (peace be upon him) has warned the Muslims in a Hadith: A person will be brought up on the Day of Resurrection, and it will be proclaimed: His wife and children ate up all his good deeds.
In the end, it is said: If you pardon and overlook and forgive, Allah is surely All-Forgiving, All-Merciful. It means: You are being made aware of their enmity so that you may beware of them and do your best to save your faith from them. This warning does not, however, mean that you should treat your wife and children harshly, or strain your relations with them so as to make your own and their domestic lift miserable and wretched. For if you did so, two of the disadvantages would obviously result: First, it may close down every avenue to the reformation of the wife and children forever; second, it may give rise to suspicions and misgivings against Islam in the society and the people around may form the impression that a Muslim turns unduly rigid and ill-tempered for his own children in his own house as soon as he has embraced Islam. In this connection, one should also keep in mind that in the beginning when the people became Muslims, they encountered a special difficulty if their parents were unbelievers. They would press their children to give up the new faith. They would face another difficulty when their wives and children (or in case of women, their husbands and children) persisted unbelief and would force them to abandon the faith of truth. About the first difficulty, instruction was given in (Surah Al-Ankabut, Ayat 8) and (Surah Luqman, Ayat 14-15), saying: Treat your parents well but if they press you to join with Me another about whom you have no knowledge, do not obey them at all. About the second difficulty the instruction has been given here, saying: You must try to save your faith from your children and family members but do not treat them harshly, but rather politely and leniently. (For further explanation, see (Surah At-Taubah, Ayats 23-24); (E N. 37 of Surah Al-Mujadalah); (E.Ns 1 to 3 of Surah Al- Mumtahanah); (E.N. 18 of Surah Munafiqoon).
30. For explanation, see (E.N. 23 of Surah Al-Anfal). Here one should also keep in view the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) saying which Tabarani has related on the authority of Abu Malik al-Ashari, saying: Your real enemy is not he whom, if you kill there is success for you, and if he kills you, there is Paradise for you; but your real enemy may be your own child who is born of your own loins, or the wealth of which you are the owner. That is why here as well as in Surah (Al-Anfaal, Ayat 28), Allah says: If you save yourselves from the temptation and allurements of worldly possessions and children and succeed in keeping love of them subject to the love of Allah, there are rich rewards for you with Allah.
31. At another place in the Quran it has been said: Fear Allah as rightfully He should be feared. (Surah Aal-Imran, Ayat 102). At still another place: Allah does not burden any one with a responsibility heavier than he can bear. (Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayat 286) And here: Fear Allah as much as you can. When these three verses are read together it appears that the first verse sets an ideal which every believer should try to attain. The second verse lays down the principle that no one has been required to exert himself beyond his power and ability, for in Allah’s religion one has been made responsible only for what is within his power and ability. This verse enjoins every believer to try to attain piety and consciousness of God as far as he can. He should carry out His commands and avoid His disobedience as best as he possibly can. For if he shows laxity in this regard, he will not be able to escape punishment. However, one will not be held accountable for what was beyond his power and Allah alone can decide best what was really beyond a person’s power and ability.
32. For explanation, see (E.N. 19 of Surah Al-Hashr).