Surah Qaf (in Arabic text: سورة ق) is the 50th chapter of the Qur’an with 45 ayat (verses). It is classified as a Meccan Surah titled “The Letter Qaf”.
The main subject and theme is around resurrection and how ultimate success is to those who believe and have faith in Allah and His messengers.
“And every soul will come, with it a driver and a witness.”
Surah Qaf Ayat 21
Read Surah Qaf with English Translation and Transliteration
Bismillah Hir Rahman Nir Raheem
In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious and The Most Merciful
قٓ ۚ وَٱلْقُرْءَانِ ٱلْمَجِيدِ
Qaaaf; wal Qur aanil Majeed
1. Qaf. By the honored Qur’an…
بَلْ عَجِبُوٓا۟ أَن جَآءَهُم مُّنذِرٌۭ مِّنْهُمْ فَقَالَ ٱلْكَـٰفِرُونَ هَـٰذَا شَىْءٌ عَجِيبٌ
Bal ‘ajibooo an jaa’ahum munzirum minhum faqaalal kaafiroona haazaa shai’un ‘ajeeb
2. But they wonder that there has come to them a warner from among themselves, and the disbelievers say, “This is an amazing thing.
أَءِذَا مِتْنَا وَكُنَّا تُرَابًۭا ۖ ذَٰلِكَ رَجْعٌۢ بَعِيدٌۭ
‘A-izaa mitnaa wa kunnaa turaaban zaalika raj’um ba’eed
3. When we have died and have become dust, [we will return to life]? That is a distant return.”
قَدْ عَلِمْنَا مَا تَنقُصُ ٱلْأَرْضُ مِنْهُمْ ۖ وَعِندَنَا كِتَٰبٌ حَفِيظٌۢ
Qad ‘alimnaa maa tanqu-sul-ardu minhum wa ‘indanaa Kitaabun Hafeez
4. We know what the earth diminishes of them, and with Us is a retaining record.
بَلْ كَذَّبُوا۟ بِٱلْحَقِّ لَمَّا جَآءَهُمْ فَهُمْ فِىٓ أَمْرٍۢ مَّرِيجٍ
Bal kazzaboo bilhaqqi lammaa jaaa’ahum fahum feee amrim mareej
5. But they denied the truth when it came to them, so they are in a confused condition.
أَفَلَمْ يَنظُرُوٓا۟ إِلَى ٱلسَّمَآءِ فَوْقَهُمْ كَيْفَ بَنَيْنَـٰهَا وَزَيَّنَّـٰهَا وَمَا لَهَا مِن فُرُوجٍۢ
Afalam yanzurooo ilas samaaa’i fawqahum kaifa banainaahaa wa zaiyannaahaa wa maa lahaa min furooj
6. Have they not looked at the heaven above them – how We structured it and adorned it and [how] it has no rifts?
وَٱلْأَرْضَ مَدَدْنَـٰهَا وَأَلْقَيْنَا فِيهَا رَوَٰسِىَ وَأَنۢبَتْنَا فِيهَا مِن كُلِّ زَوْجٍۭ بَهِيجٍۢ
Wal arda madadnaahaa wa alqainaa feehaa rawaasiya wa ambatnaa feehaa min kulli zawjim baheej
7. And the earth – We spread it out and cast therein firmly set mountains and made grow therein [something] of every beautiful kind,
تَبْصِرَةًۭ وَذِكْرَىٰ لِكُلِّ عَبْدٍۢ مُّنِيبٍۢ
Tabsiratanw wa zikraa likulli ‘abdim muneeb
8. Giving insight and a reminder for every servant who turns [to Allah ].
وَنَزَّلْنَا مِنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ مَآءًۭ مُّبَـٰرَكًۭا فَأَنۢبَتْنَا بِهِۦ جَنَّـٰتٍۢ وَحَبَّ ٱلْحَصِيدِ
Wa nazzalnaa minas samaaa’i maaa’am mubaarakan fa ambatnaa bihee jannaatinw wa habbal haseed
9. And We have sent down blessed rain from the sky and made grow thereby gardens and grain from the harvest
وَٱلنَّخْلَ بَاسِقَـٰتٍۢ لَّهَا طَلْعٌۭ نَّضِيدٌۭ
Wannakhla baasiqaatil laha tal’un nadeed
10. And lofty palm trees having fruit arranged in layers –
رِّزْقًۭا لِّلْعِبَادِ ۖ وَأَحْيَيْنَا بِهِۦ بَلْدَةًۭ مَّيْتًۭا ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ ٱلْخُرُوجُ
Rizqal lil’ibaad, wa ahyainaa bihee baldatam maitaa; kazaalikal khurooj
11. As provision for the servants, and We have given life thereby to a dead land. Thus is the resurrection.
كَذَّبَتْ قَبْلَهُمْ قَوْمُ نُوحٍۢ وَأَصْحَـٰبُ ٱلرَّسِّ وَثَمُودُ
Kazzabat qablahum qawmu Noohinw wa Ashaabur Rassi wa Samood
12. The people of Noah denied before them, and the companions of the well and Thamud
وَعَادٌۭ وَفِرْعَوْنُ وَإِخْوَٰنُ لُوطٍۢ
Wa ‘Aadunw wa Fir’awnu wikhwaanu loot
13. And ‘Aad and Pharaoh and the brothers of Lot
وَأَصْحَـٰبُ ٱلْأَيْكَةِ وَقَوْمُ تُبَّعٍۢ ۚ كُلٌّۭ كَذَّبَ ٱلرُّسُلَ فَحَقَّ وَعِيدِ
Wa Ashaabul Aykati wa qawmu Tubba’; kullun kazzabar Rusula fahaqqa wa’eed
14. And the companions of the thicket and the people of Tubba’. All denied the messengers, so My threat was justly fulfilled.
أَفَعَيِينَا بِٱلْخَلْقِ ٱلْأَوَّلِ ۚ بَلْ هُمْ فِى لَبْسٍۢ مِّنْ خَلْقٍۢ جَدِيدٍۢ
Afa’a yeenaa bilkhalqil awwal; bal hum fee labsim min khalqin jadeed
15. Did We fail in the first creation? But they are in confusion over a new creation.
وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا ٱلْإِنسَـٰنَ وَنَعْلَمُ مَا تُوَسْوِسُ بِهِۦ نَفْسُهُۥ ۖ وَنَحْنُ أَقْرَبُ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ حَبْلِ ٱلْوَرِيدِ
Wa laqad khalaqnal insaana wa na’lamu maa tuwaswisu bihee nafsuhoo wa Nahnu aqrabu ilaihi min hablil wareed
16. And We have already created man and know what his soul whispers to him, and We are closer to him than [his] jugular vein
إِذْ يَتَلَقَّى ٱلْمُتَلَقِّيَانِ عَنِ ٱلْيَمِينِ وَعَنِ ٱلشِّمَالِ قَعِيدٌۭ
‘Iz yatalaqqal mutalaqqi yaani ‘anil yameeni wa ‘anish shimaali qa’eed
17. When the two receivers receive, seated on the right and on the left.
مَّا يَلْفِظُ مِن قَوْلٍ إِلَّا لَدَيْهِ رَقِيبٌ عَتِيدٌۭ
Maa yalfizu min qawlin illaa ladaihi raqeebun ‘ateed
18. Man does not utter any word except that with him is an observer prepared [to record].
وَجَآءَتْ سَكْرَةُ ٱلْمَوْتِ بِٱلْحَقِّ ۖ ذَٰلِكَ مَا كُنتَ مِنْهُ تَحِيدُ
Wa jaaa’at sakratul mawti bilhaqq; zaalika maa kunta minhu taheed
19. And the intoxication of death will bring the truth; that is what you were trying to avoid.
وَنُفِخَ فِى ٱلصُّورِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ يَوْمُ ٱلْوَعِيدِ
Wa nufikha fis Soor; zaalika yawmul wa’eed
20. And the Horn will be blown. That is the Day of [carrying out] the threat.
وَجَآءَتْ كُلُّ نَفْسٍۢ مَّعَهَا سَآئِقٌۭ وَشَهِيدٌۭ
Wa jaaa’at kullu nafsim ma’ahaa saaa’iqunw wa shaheed
21. And every soul will come, with it a driver and a witness.
لَّقَدْ كُنتَ فِى غَفْلَةٍۢ مِّنْ هَـٰذَا فَكَشَفْنَا عَنكَ غِطَآءَكَ فَبَصَرُكَ ٱلْيَوْمَ حَدِيدٌۭ
Laqad kunta fee ghaf latim min haazaa fakashafnaa ‘anka ghitaaa’aka fabasarukal yawma hadeed
22. [It will be said], “You were certainly in unmindfulness of this, and We have removed from you your cover, so your sight, this Day, is sharp.”
وَقَالَ قَرِينُهُۥ هَـٰذَا مَا لَدَىَّ عَتِيدٌ
Wa qaala qareenuhoo haazaa maa ladaiya ‘ateed
23. And his companion, [the angel], will say, “This [record] is what is with me, prepared.”
أَلْقِيَا فِى جَهَنَّمَ كُلَّ كَفَّارٍ عَنِيدٍۢ
Alqiyaa fee Jahannama kulla kaffaarin ‘aneed
24. [ Allah will say], “Throw into Hell every obstinate disbeliever,
مَّنَّاعٍۢ لِّلْخَيْرِ مُعْتَدٍۢ مُّرِيبٍ
Mannaa’il lilkhayri mu’tadim mureeb
25. Preventer of good, aggressor, and doubter,
ٱلَّذِى جَعَلَ مَعَ ٱللَّهِ إِلَـٰهًا ءَاخَرَ فَأَلْقِيَاهُ فِى ٱلْعَذَابِ ٱلشَّدِيدِ
Allazee ja’ala ma’al laahi ilaahan aakhara fa alqiyaahu fil’azaabish shadeed
26. Who made [as equal] with Allah another deity; then throw him into the severe punishment.”
۞ قَالَ قَرِينُهُۥ رَبَّنَا مَآ أَطْغَيْتُهُۥ وَلَـٰكِن كَانَ فِى ضَلَـٰلٍۭ بَعِيدٍۢ
Qaala qareenuhoo Rabbanaa maaa atghaituhoo wa laakin kaana fee dalaahim ba’eed
27. His [devil] companion will say, “Our Lord, I did not make him transgress, but he [himself] was in extreme error.”
قَالَ لَا تَخْتَصِمُوا۟ لَدَىَّ وَقَدْ قَدَّمْتُ إِلَيْكُم بِٱلْوَعِيدِ
Qaala laa takhtasimoo ladaayya wa qad qaddamtu ilaikum bilwa’eed
28. [ Allah ] will say, “Do not dispute before Me, while I had already presented to you the warning.
مَا يُبَدَّلُ ٱلْقَوْلُ لَدَىَّ وَمَآ أَنَا۠ بِظَلَّـٰمٍۢ لِّلْعَبِيدِ
Maa yubaddalul qawlu ladaiya wa maaa ana bizal laamil lil’abeed
29. The word will not be changed with Me, and never will I be unjust to the servants.”
يَوْمَ نَقُولُ لِجَهَنَّمَ هَلِ ٱمْتَلَأْتِ وَتَقُولُ هَلْ مِن مَّزِيدٍۢ
Yawma naqoolu li’jahannama halim talaati wa taqoolu hal mim mazeed
30. On the Day We will say to Hell, “Have you been filled?” and it will say, “Are there some more,”
وَأُزْلِفَتِ ٱلْجَنَّةُ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ غَيْرَ بَعِيدٍ
Wa uzlifatil jannatu lil muttaqeena ghaira ba’eed
31. And Paradise will be brought near to the righteous, not far,
هَـٰذَا مَا تُوعَدُونَ لِكُلِّ أَوَّابٍ حَفِيظٍۢ
Haaza maa too’adoona likulli awwaabin hafeez
32. [It will be said], “This is what you were promised – for every returner [to Allah ] and keeper [of His covenant]
مَّنْ خَشِىَ ٱلرَّحْمَـٰنَ بِٱلْغَيْبِ وَجَآءَ بِقَلْبٍۢ مُّنِيبٍ
Man khashiyar Rahmaana bilghaibi wa jaaa’a biqalbim muneeb
33. Who feared the Most Merciful unseen and came with a heart returning [in repentance].
ٱدْخُلُوهَا بِسَلَـٰمٍۢ ۖ ذَٰلِكَ يَوْمُ ٱلْخُلُودِ
Udkhuloohaa bisalaamin zaalika yawmul khulood
34. Enter it in peace. This is the Day of Eternity.”
لَهُم مَّا يَشَآءُونَ فِيهَا وَلَدَيْنَا مَزِيدٌۭ
Lahum maa yashaaa’oona feehaa wa ladainaa mazeed
35. They will have whatever they wish therein, and with Us is more.
وَكَمْ أَهْلَكْنَا قَبْلَهُم مِّن قَرْنٍ هُمْ أَشَدُّ مِنْهُم بَطْشًۭا فَنَقَّبُوا۟ فِى ٱلْبِلَـٰدِ هَلْ مِن مَّحِيصٍ
Wa kam ahlaknaa qablahum min qarnin hum ashaddu minhum batshan fanaqqaboo fil bilaad, hal mim mahees
36. And how many a generation before them did We destroy who were greater than them in [striking] power and had explored throughout the lands. Is there any place of escape?
إِنَّ فِى ذَٰلِكَ لَذِكْرَىٰ لِمَن كَانَ لَهُۥ قَلْبٌ أَوْ أَلْقَى ٱلسَّمْعَ وَهُوَ شَهِيدٌۭ
Inna fee zaalika lazikraa liman kaana lahoo qalbun aw alqas sam’a wa huwa shaheed
37. Indeed in that is a reminder for whoever has a heart or who listens while he is present [in mind].
وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٰتِ وَٱلْأَرْضَ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا فِى سِتَّةِ أَيَّامٍۢ وَمَا مَسَّنَا مِن لُّغُوبٍۢ
Wa laqad khalaqnas samaawaati wal arda wa maa bainahumaa fee sittati ayyaamin wa maa massanaa mil lughoob
38. And We did certainly create the heavens and earth and what is between them in six days, and there touched Us no weariness.
فَٱصْبِرْ عَلَىٰ مَا يَقُولُونَ وَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ قَبْلَ طُلُوعِ ٱلشَّمْسِ وَقَبْلَ ٱلْغُرُوبِ
Fasbir ‘alaa maa yaqooloona wa sabbih bihamdi Rabbika qabla tuloo’ish shamsi wa qablal ghuroob
39. So be patient, [O Muhammad], over what they say and exalt [ Allah ] with praise of your Lord before the rising of the sun and before its setting,
وَمِنَ ٱلَّيْلِ فَسَبِّحْهُ وَأَدْبَـٰرَ ٱلسُّجُودِ
Wa minal laili fasabbih hu wa adbaaras sujood
40. And [in part] of the night exalt Him and after prostration.
وَٱسْتَمِعْ يَوْمَ يُنَادِ ٱلْمُنَادِ مِن مَّكَانٍۢ قَرِيبٍۢ
Wastami’ yawma yunaa dil munaadi mim makaanin qareeb
41. And listen on the Day when the Caller will call out from a place that is near –
يَوْمَ يَسْمَعُونَ ٱلصَّيْحَةَ بِٱلْحَقِّ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ يَوْمُ ٱلْخُرُوجِ
Yawma yasmaoonas sai hata bilhaqq zaalika yawmul khurooj
42. The Day they will hear the blast [of the Horn] in truth. That is the Day of Emergence [from the graves].
إِنَّا نَحْنُ نُحْىِۦ وَنُمِيتُ وَإِلَيْنَا ٱلْمَصِيرُ
Innaa Nahnu nuhyee wa numeetu wa ilainal maseer
43. Indeed, it is We who give life and cause death, and to Us is the destination
يَوْمَ تَشَقَّقُ ٱلْأَرْضُ عَنْهُمْ سِرَاعًۭا ۚ ذَٰلِكَ حَشْرٌ عَلَيْنَا يَسِيرٌۭ
Yawma tashaqqaqul ardu ‘anhum siraa’aa; zaalika hashrun ‘alainaa yaseer
44. On the Day the earth breaks away from them [and they emerge] rapidly; that is a gathering easy for Us.
نَّحْنُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا يَقُولُونَ ۖ وَمَآ أَنتَ عَلَيْهِم بِجَبَّارٍۢ ۖ فَذَكِّرْ بِٱلْقُرْءَانِ مَن يَخَافُ وَعِيدِ
Nahnu a’lamu bimaa yaqooloona wa maaa anta ‘alaihim bijabbaarin fazakkir bil quraani many yakhaafu wa’eed
45. We are most knowing of what they say, and you are not over them a tyrant. But remind by the Qur’an whoever fears My threat.
Tafsir of Surah Qaf
The Quran is a book that Islam is the one true religion and to be source for guidance. This is why it’s important we read the Quran regularly but also make it a study to learn its teaching and its message. Below you can read and benefit from commentary on Surah Qaf by Ibn Kathir and from Tafheem ul Quran by A’a Maududi.
Surah Qaf Tasfsir by Ibn Kathir
Imam Ahmad recorded that `Umar bin Al-Khattab asked Abu Waqid Al-Laythi, “What did the Prophet recite during the `Id Prayer” Abu Waqid said, “Surah Qaf and Surat Iqtarabat ﴿i.e. Surat Al-Qamar (54)﴾.” Muslim and the Four Collectors of the Sunan collected this Hadith. Imam Ahmad recorded that Umm Hisham bint Harithah said, “For around two years, or a year and a part of another year, our oven and the oven of the Prophet was one and the same. I memorized Surah,
(Qaf. By the Glorious Qur’an.) from the tongue of the Messenger of Allah who used to recite it every Friday while standing on the Minbar delivering the Friday sermon to the people.” Muslim collected this Hadith. Abu Dawud also recorded that the daughter of Al-Harith bin An-Nu`man said, “I only memorized Surah Qaf from the mouth of the Messenger of Allah who used to recite it in every Friday Khutbah. Our oven and the oven of the Messenger was one and the same.” Muslim and An-Nasa’i collected this Hadith. Therefore, the Messenger of Allah used to recite this Surah during large gatherings such as the `Ids and during Friday sermons. He did so because this Surah contains news of the beginning of creation, Resurrec- tion, the Return, Standing (before Allah), the Reckoning, Paradise, the Fire, Allah’s reward and punishment, lessons of encouragement, and lessons of discouragement. Allah knows best.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
(Qaf.) which is one of the letters of the alphabet that are mentioned in the beginning of some Surahs, such as,
(Nun. ) (68:1)
(Alif Lam Mim.) (2:1),
(Ha Mim.) (40:1), and
(Ta Sin) (28:1) and etc., Mujahid and several others said this. We also discussed this in the beginning of the explanation of Surat Al-Baqarah, and therefore, it is not necessary to repeat it here.
(By the Glorious Qur’an.) means by the Honorable and Great Qur’an, which,
(Falsehood cannot come to it from before it or behind it: (it is) sent down by the All-Wise, Worthy of all praise.)(41:42) The subject of the oath contained in this Ayah is specified afterwards, even though it does not appear by word, emphasizing prophethood, resurrection and affirming that they are true. There are similar kinds of oaths in the Qur’an, whose subject is included in the meaning but not by word, such as,
(Sad. By the Qur’an full of reminding. Nay, those who disbelieve are in false pride and opposition.)(38:1-2) Allah said here,
(Qaf. By the Glorious Qur’an. Nay, they wonder that there has come to them a warner from among themselves. So the disbelievers say: “This is a strange thing!”) They wondered at the wisdom behind sending a Messenger who is a human being. Allah the Exalted and Most Honored said in another Ayah
(Is it a wonder for mankind that We have sent Our revelation to a man from among themselves (saying): “Warn mankind.”) (10:2), meaning, this is not strange, for Allah chooses Messengers from angels and humans. Allah the Exalted and Most Honored mentioned that the disbelievers also wondered about the Resurrection and discounted its coming,
(When we are dead and have become dust. That is a far return.) They said, `after we die, disintegrate, with our organs torn apart and we become dust, how can we be brought back to our original shape and bodies,’
(That is a far return.) `it is not likely that it will ever occur.’ They thought that Resurrection was far from happening and will never occur. Allah the Exalted responded to their statement by saying,
(We know that which the earth takes of them.) meaning, `We know what the earth consumes of their dead bodies.’ Where and how the bodies disintegrated, what they turned into and how they have become, all of this is never absent from Allah’s knowledge.
(and with Us is a Book preserved,) `that keeps all records. Therefore, Our knowledge is encompassing and the Book of decrees has everything precisely recorded in it. Al-`Awfi narrated that `Abdullah bin `Abbas commented on the statement of Allah the Exalted,
(We know that which the earth takes of them,) “It refers to what the earth consumes of their flesh, skin, bones and hair.” A similar view was recorded from Mujahid, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak and several others. Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored, explained the reason behind their disbelief, rebellion and discounting the possibility of what is truly possible,
(Nay, but they have denied the truth when it has come to them, so they are in a Marij state.) This is the state of all those who defy the Truth: whatever they say and utter after denying the Truth, is utterly false. Marij means, in disarray, in a confused state and defying the characteristics of the Truth. Allah the Exalted said in another Ayah,
(Certainly, you have different ideas. Turned aside therefrom is he who is turned aside.)(51:8-9)
Allah the Exalted notifies the servants of His infinite power, which He demonstrated by creating what is bigger than that which they wondered about and whose possibility they discount,
(Have they not looked at the heaven above them, how We have made it and adorned it,) with lamps;
(and there are no Furuj in it) i.e., clefts, according to Mujahid. Others said that Furuj means, rifts, or cracks. All these meanings are close to one another. Allah the Exalted and Most Honored said,
(Who has created the seven heavens one above another; you can see no fault in the creation of the Most Gracious. Then look again: “Can you see any rifts” Then look again and yet again, your sight will return to you in a state of humiliation and worn out.) (67:2-4) fatigued, unable to discover any imperfection or shortcomings. The statement of Allah the Exalted, the Blessed,
(And the earth! We have spread it out, ) means, `We made it spacious and spread it out,’
(and set thereon Rawasi standing firm.) which are the mountains to save the earth from shaking along with its inhabitants,
(and We planted in it every lovely (Bahij) pair.) every kind and species of plant, fruit and vegetation,
(And of everything We have created pairs that you may reflect.)(51:49) Allah’s saying `Bahij’, meaning a beautiful scene,
(An insight and a Reminder for every servant who turns to Allah in repentance.) Allah says that observing the creation of the heavens and earth and all the great things that He has placed in them provides insight, proof and a lesson for every penitent servant who submits in humbleness and repentance to Allah feeling fear, in awe of Him. Allah the Exalted said,
(And We send down blessed water from the sky,) meaning beneficial,
(then We produce therewith Jannat), means special and public parks, gardens, etc.
(and grain that are reaped) grains that are harvested for food and for storage for later use,
(And date palms Basiqat,) meaning, tall and high, according to the explanation reported from Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Al-Hasan, Qatadah and As-Suddi. Allah said,
(with arrranged clusters.) producing fruits arranged in clusters,
(A provision for (Allah’s) servants.) for (Allah’s) creation,
(And We give life therewith to a dead land.) this is the land that was barren. However, when rain falls upon it, it is stirred to life; it swells and produces all of the lovely pairs such as flowers and the like — amazing on account of their beauty. All of this comes into existence after the land was without greenery, yet it was stirred back to life and became green. Indeed, this should provide proof of Resurrection after death and disintegration; thus Allah resurrects the dead. This sign of Allah’s ability that is seen and witnessed is greater than the denial of those who discount the possibility of Resurrection. Allah the Exalted and Most Honored said in other Ayat,
(The creation of the heavens and the earth is indeed greater than the creation of mankind;) (40:57),
(Do they not see that Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth, and was not wearied by their creation, is able to give life to the dead Yes, He surely is Able to do all things.)(46:33) and,
(And among His signs (is this), that you see the earth barren; but when We send down water to it, it is stirred to life and growth. Verily, He Who gives it life, surely is able to give life to the dead. Indeed He is Able to do all things.)(41:39)
Allah the Exalted warns the disbelievers of Quraysh and reminds them of the punishment and painful torment that He sent in this life on their likes, who disbelieved before them. For instance, Allah the Exalted punished the people of Nuh by drowning them in the encompassing flood that touched all the people of earth. There is also the end that struck the people of Ar-Rass, and we mentioned their story before in Surat Al-Furqan,
(…and Thamud, and `Ad, and Fir`awn, and the brethren of Lut,) the people of Sadum (Sodom) and the surrounding areas, to whom Lut was sent. Allah the Exalted shook the earth beneath them and turned their area into a reeking lake, as stinking as the disbelief, tyranny and defiance of the Truth that they had,
(And the Dwellers of Al-Aykah), they are the nation of Shu`ayb, peace be upon him,
(and the people of Tubba`), King of Yemen; we explained his story in the Tafsir of Surat Ad-Dukhan, and therefore, we do not need to repeat it here. All praise is due to Allah.
(Everyone of them denied (their) Messengers,) means, all of these nations and their generations belied their respective Messenger, and whoever denies even one Messenger, is as if he has denied all Messengers. Allah the Exalted and Most Honored said,
(The people of Nuh denied the Messengers.)(26:105) even though only one Messenger was sent to them, and indeed, if all the Messengers were sent to them, they would have disbelieved in them as well. Allah said,
(so My threat took effect.) meaning, the promise of torment and punishment that Allah delivered to them on account of their denial took effect. Therefore, all those who fear suffering the same end should be warned, especially since the latter have denied their Messenger, just as the former denied their Messenger.
Allah the Exalted said,
(Were We then tired with the first creation) meaning, `did starting the creation bring fatigue to Us, so as to cause doubt in them that repeating the creation was not possible’
(Nay, they are in confused doubt about a new creation.) meaning, `starting the creation did not tire Us, and repeating it is even easier.’ Allah the Exalted and Most Honored said,
(And He it is Who originates the creation, then He will repeat it; and this is easier for Him.)(30:27), and,
(And he puts forth for Us a parable, and forgets his own creation. He says: “Who will give life to these bones after they are rotten and have become dust” Say: “He will give life to them Who created them for the first time! And He is the All-Knower of every creation!”)(36:78-79) aWe mentioned earlier a Hadith collected in the Sahih,
(Allah the Exalted said, “Son of `Adam insults Me when he says, `He will not resurrect me as He created me before!’ But surely, originating creation is not easier for Me than reproducing it again.”)
Allah the Exalted affirms His absolute dominance over mankind, being their Creator and the Knower of everything about them. Allah the Exalted has complete knowledge of all thoughts that cross the mind of man, be they good or evil. In the Sahih, the Messenger of Allah said,
(Verily, Allah the Exalted has forgiven my Ummah (Muslims) for what they talk (think) to themselves about, as long as they do not utter or implement it.) The statement of Allah the Exalted,
(And We are nearer to him than his jugular vein.) means, His angels are nearer to man than his jugular vein. Those who explained `We’ in the Ayah to mean `Our knowledge,’ have done so to avoid falling into the idea of incarnation or indwelling; but these two creeds are false according to the consensus of Muslims. Allah is praised and glorified, He is far hallowed beyond what they ascribe to Him. The words of this Ayah do not need this explanation (that `We’ refers to `Allah’s knowledge’), for Allah did not say, `and I am closer to him than his jugular vein.’ Rather, He said,
(And We are nearer to him than his jugular vein. ) just as He said in the case of dying persons,
(But We are nearer to him than you, but you see not.) (56:85), in reference to His angels (who take the souls). Allah the Exalted the Blessed said,
(Verily, We, it is We Who have sent down the Dhikr and surely, We will guard it.) (15:9) Therefore, the angels brought down the revelation, the Qur’an, by the leave of Allah, the Exalted, the Most Honored. Thus, the angels are closer to man than his own jugular vein, by the power and leave of Allah. Consequently, the angel touches mankind, just as the devil touches them, for the devil is as close to them as the blood that runs in their veins; just as Allah’s Prophet , who is truthful and was told the truth, told us. Allah’s statement here,
((Remember) that the two receivers receive,) in reference to the two angels who receive and record the deeds of mankind.
(one sitting on the right and one on the left.) means ready to note,
(whatever he utters), in reference to the human,
(of a word), means any word that he or she speaks,
(but there is a watcher by him ready.) means, but there is a scribe whose job is to record it, leaving no word or movement unrecorded. Allah the Exalted said,
(But verily, over you (are appointed angels) to watch you, Kiraman (honorable) Katibin writing down (your deeds), they know all that you do.) (82:10-12) Therefore, the scribe records every word that is spoken, according to the explanation of Al-Hasan and Qatadah. This is also the apparent meaning of this Ayah. Imam Ahmad recorded that Bilal bin Al-Harith Al-Muzani said, “The Messenger of Allah said,
(Verily, a man might utter a word that pleases Allah the Exalted, unaware of how highly it will be regarded, and on its account Allah the Exalted and Most Honored decrees His pleasure of him until the Day he meets Him. A man might indeed utter a word that angers Allah the Exalted, unaware of how dreadful it will be and on its account Allah the Exalted decrees for him His anger until the Day he meets Him.)” `Alqamah used to say, “How many words did I not utter because of the Hadith that Bilal bin Al-Harith narrated.” At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa’i and Ibn Majah collected this Hadith. At-Tirmidhi said, “Hasan Sahih.” There is a Hadith similar to this in the Sahih.
Allah the Exalted and Most High said,
(And the stupor of death will come in truth: “This is what you have been avoiding!”) Allah the Exalted and Most Honored says, `O mankind! This is the stupor of death that has come in truth; now, I have brought forth to you the certainty that you were disputing,’
(This is what you have been avoiding!), means, `this is the end that you were trying to escape; it has come to you! Therefore, you will have neither a shelter nor a refuge nor a sanctuary nor an asylum from it.’ In the Sahih, the Prophet said, while wiping sweat from his face when the stupor of death overcame him,
(Glory be to Allah! Verily, death has its stupor.) The Ayah,
(This is what you have been avoiding!) has two possible meanings. One of them is this: `what you have been trying to avert, escape and flee from has come to you and resided in your home!’ The second meaning is, `you had no way of escaping or averting this end. ‘ At-Tabarani collected a Hadith in Al-Mu`jam Al-Kabir from Samurah who said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(The parable of whoever tries to avoid death is that of a fox that had a debt to pay to the earth. The fox went away and when he became tired and the time to sleep overtook him, he entered his den. The earth said to him, `O fox! Pay my debt!’ The fox went out howling and continued until his neck was cutoff, (i.e.,) he died.) This parable indicates that just as the fox had no way of escaping or avoiding the earth, likewise, man has no way of avoiding death. Allah the Exalted the Blessed said,
(And the Trumpet will be blown — that will be the Day of the threat.) Earlier we discussed the information about the blowing of the Trumpet, the fear that follows it, the death of everything and then resurrection, all this will occur on the Day of Resurrection. We also mentioned that the Messenger of Allah said in a Hadith,
(How can I feel comfort while the angel responsible for the Trumpet has placed the Trumpet to his mouth and lowered his forehead awaiting when he will be commanded (by Allah to blow in it)) They said, “O Allah’s Messenger, what should we say” He said,
(Say, “Allah is sufficient for us, and He is the best disposer of affairs.)” The Companions repeated this invocation, saying, “Allah is sufficient for us, and He is the best disposer of affairs (for us).” Allah said,
(And every person will come forth along with a Sa’iq and a Shahid.) meaning, an angel to drive him to the gathering place and an angel to bear witness against him with regards to his deeds. This is the apparent meaning of this honorable Ayah and it is the meaning that Ibn Jarir preferred. It was narrated from Yahya bin Rafi`, the freed servant of Thaqif, that he heard `Uthman bin `Affan, may Allah be pleased with him, giving a speech in which he recited this Ayah,
(And every person will come forth along with a Sa’iq and a Shahid.) and then said, “A Sa’iq to drive every person to Allah the Exalted, and a Shahid to witness against him what he has done.” The statement of Allah the Exalted,
(Indeed you were heedless of this. Now We have removed from you, your covering, and sharp is your sight this Day!) is directed at humanity. Allah said,
(Indeed you were heedless of this.), of this Day,
(Now We have removed from you, your covering, and sharp is your sight this Day!) `your sight is now clear and strong.’ Everyone, including the disbelievers, will have clear sight on the Day of Resurrec- tion. However, having sight will not be helpful to the dis- believers on that Day, for Allah the Exalted said,
(How clearly will they (disbelievers) see and hear, the Day when they will appear before Us!) (19:38), and,
(And if you only could see when the criminals hang their heads before their Lord (saying): “Our Lord! We have now seen and heard, so send us back (to the world), that we will do righteous good deeds. Verily, we now believe with certainty.)(32:12)
Allah the Exalted states that the scribe angel, who is entrusted with recording the deeds of mankind, will testify against him or her about the deeds he or she did on the Day of Resurrection. He will say,
(“Here is (his record) ready with me!”), here it is prepared and completed without addition or deletion. This is when Allah the Exalted will judge the creation with fairness, saying,
(Both of you throw into Hell every stubborn disbeliever.) It appears that Allah will say these words to the Sa’iq and Shahid angels; the Sa’iq drove him to the grounds where Reckoning is held and the Shahid testified. Allah the Exalted will order them to throw him in the fire of Jahannam, and worse it is as a destination,
(Both of you throw into Hell every stubborn disbeliever.) meaning, whose disbelief and denial of truth was horrendous, who used to stubbornly reject the truth, knowingly contradicting it with falsehood,
(Hinderer of good,) meaning for he did not fulfill the duties he was ordered, nor was he dutiful, keeping ties to kith and kin nor giving charity,
(transgressor,) meaning, he transgresses the limits in spending. Qatadah commented, “He is a transgressor in his speech, behavior and affairs.” Allah said,
(doubter,) meaning, he doubts and raises doubts in those who scrutinize his behavior,
(who set up another god with Allah.) meaning, he associated others with Allah and worshipped others besides Him,
(Then both of you cast him in the severe torment.) Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri said that the Prophet said,
(A neck from the Fire will appear and will speak saying, “Today, I have been entrusted with three: Every obstinate tyrant, everyone who ascribed another god with Allah, and he who took a life without right.” The neck will then close in on them and throw them in the midst of Jahannam.)”
(His companion will say), refers to the devil who is entrusted to every man, according to `Abdullah bin `Abbas, Mujahid, Qatadah and several othes. He will say,
(Our Lord! I did not push him to transgression,) meaning, the devil will say this about the human who came on the Day of Resurrection as a disbeliever. The devil will disown him, saying,
(Our Lord! I did not push him to transgression) meaning, “I did not lead him astray,”
(but he was himself in error far astray.) meaning, he himself was misguided, accepting falsehood and stubborn to the truth. Allah the Exalted and Most Honored said in another Ayah,
(And Shaytan will say when the matter has been decided: “Verily, Allah promised you a promise of truth. And I too promised you, but I betrayed you. I had no authority over you except that I called you, and you responded to me. So blame me not, but blame yourselves. I cannot help you, nor can you help me. I deny your former act in associating me as a partner with Allah. Verily, there is a painful torment for the wrongdoers.”) (14:22) Allah the Exalted said,
((Allah) will say: “Dispute not in front of Me.”) The Lord, the Exalted and Most Honored will say this to the man and his devil companion, who will be disputing before Him. The man will say, “O, Lord! This devil has misguided me away from the Remembrance after it came to me,” while the devil will declare,
(Our Lord! I did not push him to transgression, but he was himself in error far astray.) from the path of truth. The Lord, the Exalted and Most Honored will say to them,
(Dispute not in front of Me,) or `before Me,’
(I had already in advance sent you the threat.) `I have given you sufficient proof by the words of the Messengers, and I have sent down the Divine Books; the evidences, signs and proofs have thus been established against you,’
(The Sentence that comes from Me cannot be changed, ) “I have made My decision,” according to the explanation of Mujahid,
(And I am not unjust to the servants.) `I will not punish anyone, except on account of their sins after the proof has been established against them.’
Allah states that He will say to Jahannam on the Day of Resurrection, “Have you had your fill” Allah the Most Honored has promised Hell that it will have its fill from the Jinns and mankind. He, the Exalted and Most Honored, will decide who will be thrown into the Fire and she will keep saying, “Are there any more,” or, `Are there any more whom You will provide me with’ This is the apparent meaning of this Ayah which is supported by several Hadiths. Imam Ahmad recorded that Anas said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(The people will be thrown into Jahannam and it will say, `Are there any more’ Until the Mighty Lord puts His Foot over it and its corners will be collected together and it will say, “Enough, enough by Your grace and compassion!’ There will be sufficient empty space in Paradise until Allah creates another creation and He, the Exalted, makes them dwell in the empty parts of Paradise.)” Muslim also collected this Hadith. Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet said,
(Jahannam will be asked, “Are you full” and it will say, “Are there any more” Until the Lord, the Blessed and Most Honored, puts His Foot over it and it will say: “Enough! Enough!”) Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(Paradise and the Fire quarreled. The Fire said, “I have been favored with the arrogant people and tyrants.” Paradise said, “What is wrong with me that only the poor and humble people enter me” Allah the Exalted and Most Honored said to Paradise, “You are My mercy, with which I grant mercy to those whom I will among My servants.” He said to Hell, “You are My punishment which I inflict upon whom I wish from My servants, and I shall fill both of you.” As for Hellfire, it will not have its fill until Allah puts His Foot over it and she will say, “Enough! Enough!” She will become full and its sides will come close to each other. Allah the Exalted and Most Honored shall not be unjust to any one of His creatures. As for Paradise, Allah the Exalted and Most Honored will create another creation to fill it.) Allah the Exalted said,
(And Paradise will be Uzlifat to those who had Taqwa, not far off.) meaning, Paradise will be brought close and near to the pious, according to Qatadah, Abu Malik and As-Suddi,
(not far off), and this will occur on the Day of Resurrection, which is not far off. Surely that Day will come to pass and all that is bound to come, is near,
(This is what you were promised — (it is) for those returning) who go back to Allah in sincere repentance intending not to repeat sin,
(Hafiz), who preserve their covenant with Allah and do not break or betray it,
(Who feared Ar-Rahman unseen) who feared Allah in secret when only Allah the Exalted and Most Honored could see him. The Prophet said,
(And a man who remembered Allah the Exalted while alone, and his eyes became tearful.) Allah said,
(and brought a heart turned in repentance. ) meaning, he will meet Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored, on the Day of Resurrection with a heart turned in repentance to Him and absolutely free (of Shirk) and humbled to Him,
(Enter you therein), meaning Paradise,
(in peace and security), they will earn security from the torment of Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored, and the angels of Allah will greet them with the Salam, according to the explanation of Qatadah. The statement of Allah the Exalted and Most Honored:
(– this is a Day of eternal life!), meaning, they will reside in Paradise forever and will never die, neither be transferred from it nor wish to be transferred from it. The statement of Allah the All-Mighty,
(There they will have all that they desire), means, whatever delights they wish and desire, they will find it brought before them. Allah’s statement,
(and We have more.) is similar to His other statement,
(For those who have done good is the best and even more. )(10:26) In the Sahih, Muslim recorded that Suhayb bin Sinan Ar-Rumi said that `more’ refers to looking at the Most Honorable Face of Allah.
Allah the Exalted asks, `how many We have destroyed before these denying disbelievers’
(a generation who were stronger in power than they.) they were more numerous, mightier than they and who constructed on the earth and built on it more than they. The statement of Allah the Exalted,
(And they went about the land! Could they find any place of refuge) Ibn `Abbas commented, “They left the traces throughout the land,” Qatadah said, “They traveled throughout the land seeking provisions through trade and business, more than you have.” Allah’s statement,
(Could they find any place of refuge) means, `could they find a shelter from Allah’s decision and appointed destiny Have what they collected benefited them or averted Allah’s torment when it came to them on account of their denial of the Messengers Likewise, you will never be able to avert, avoid, or find refuge or shelter (from His torment).’ Allah the Exalted and Most Honored said,
(Verily, therein is indeed a reminder) and a lesson,
(for him who has a heart) meaning, a sound understanding with which he comprehends, or, a good mind, according to Mujahid,
(or gives ear while he is heedful.) meaning, he hears the speech, comprehends and understands it in his mind and grasps its indications with his intellect. Mujahid said that,
(or gives ear), means, he does not talk to himself but listens with an attentive heart. Ad-Dahhak commented, “The Arabs would say that someone has given ear when he hears with his ears, while his heart is present and not absent.” Ath-Thawri and several others said similarly. The statement of Allah the Exalted and Most Honored;
(And indeed We created the heavens and the earth and all that between them in six Days and nothing of fatigue touched Us.) is emphasis on the Resurrection because He Who is able to create the heavens and earth without fatigue, then surely He is able to resurrect the dead. Qatadah said, “The Jews, may Allah’s curses descend on them, said that Allah created the heavens and earth in six days and then rested on the seventh day, which was the Sabbath. This is why they call it a holiday. Allah the Exalted then sent down denial of their statement and false opinion.” Allah said, m
(and nothing of fatigue touched Us.) indicating that no sleep, exhaustion or weariness affects Him. Allah the Exalted the Blessed said in other Ayat,
(Do they not see that Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth, and was not wearied by their creation, is able to give life to the dead Yes, He surely is Able to do all things.)(46:33),
(The creation of the heavens and the earth is indeed greater than the creation of mankind.)(40:57) and,
(Are you more difficult to create or is the heaven that He constructed)(79:27) Allah the Exalted and Most Honored said,
(So bear with patience all that they say, ) in reference to those who deny the Prophet , ordering him to be patient with them and turn away from them in a good way,
(and glorify the praises of your Lord, before the rising of the sun and before (its) setting.) There were two ordained prayers prior to the Isra’ journey. One before the rising of the sun at dawn and the other before sunset in the evening. Qiyam Al-Layl, prayer at night, was a command for the Prophet and his followers for sometime but it was later abrogated for the Ummah. Later, during the Isra’ journey, Allah abrogated all of the previous orders for prayer by ordaining five daily prayers, including the prayers of Fajr before sunrise, and `Asr in the late afternoon. Imam Ahmad recorded that Jarir bin `Abdullah said, “When we were sitting with the Prophet , he looked at the full moon and said,
(Certainly you will be brought before your Lord and will see Him as you see this moon, and you will have no trouble in seeing Him. So, if you can avoid missing the prayer before the sunrise and the prayer before sunset, you must do so.) He then recited Allah’s statement,
(and glorify the praises of your Lord, before the rising of the sun and before (its) setting.)”’ The Two Sahihs and the rest of the Group collected this Hadith through the chain of Isma`il. Allah the Exalted said,
(And during a part of the night glorify His praises), meaning pray to Him. Allah said Ayah,
(And in some parts of the night offer the Salah with it, as an additional prayer for you. It may be that your Lord will raise you to Maqam Mahmud.) (17:79) Ibn Abi Najih reported that Mujahid said that Ibn `Abbas said that,
(and after the prostrations.) refers to Tasbih, i.e. glorifying Allah’s praises, after the prayers. There is a Hadith collected in the Two Sahihs that supports this meaning. Abu Hurayrah said, “Some poor migrants came and said, `O Allah’s Messenger! The wealthy people will get higher grades and will have permanent enjoyment. ‘ The Prophet said,
(Why is that) They said, `They pray as we do, fast as we do, yet they give charity, but we can not. They free slaves, but we can not.’ The Prophet said,
(Shall I tell you about something that, if you did it, you would catch up with those who have surpassed you and nobody would be better than you except those who would do the same Say, `Subhan Allah, Alhamdulillah and Allahu Akbar,’ thirty-three times each after every prayer.) Later, they came back and said, `O Allah’s Messenger! Our brethren, the wealthy Muslims, heard of what we did and they also did the same.’ The Prophet said,
(This is a favor and grace of Allah, and He grants it to whom He wills.)” There is another way of explaining the Ayah. It is that Allah’s statement,
(and after the prostrations.) refers to the two Rak`ahs after the Maghrib prayer. This was reported from `Umar bin Al-Khattab, `Ali bin Abi Talib and his son Al-Hasan, `Abdullah bin `Abbas, Abu Hurayrah and Abu Umamah, may Allah be pleased with them. This is also the saying of Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Ash-Sha`bi, An-Nakha`i, Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Qatadah, and others.
Allah the Exalted said,
(And listen) `O Muhammad,’
(on the Day when the caller will call from a near place.) to the gathering for the Day of Judgement,
(The Day when they will hear As-Sayhah in truth,) in reference to the blowing in the Trumpet which will bring forth the truth that most of them discounted and denied,
(that will be the Day of coming out.) from the graves,
(Verily, it is We Who give life and cause death; and to Us is the final return.) Allah is He Who starts creation and then brings it back to life, and the latter is easier for Him; to Him is the final return of all creations. At this time, He will recompense each according to his or her deeds, good for good and evil for evil. Allah the Exalted said,
(On the Day when the earth shall be cleft, from off them (they will come out) hastening forth.) Allah the Exalted and Most Honored will send down rain from the sky. From that rain the bodies of the creations will grow while they are in their graves, just as the seed grows in soil in the aftermath of rain. When the bodies grow to their full strength, Allah the Exalted will command angel Israfil and he will blow in the Trumpet (for a second time). The souls will be enclosed in a hole in the Trumpet. When Israfil blows in the Trumpet, the souls will depart from it and will fly between the heavens and earth. Allah the Exalted and Most Honored, will declare, “By My grace and power, each soul shall return to the body that it used to inhabit,” and indeed, every soul will return to its body. The soul will enter its body just as poison enters the body, then the earth will be uncovered from above them, and they will all stand and head towards the Reckoning place hastening to obey the command of Allah the Exalted and Most Honored,
(Hastening towards the caller. The disbelievers will say: “This is a hard Day.”)(54:8), and
(On the Day when He will call you, and you will answer (His Call) with (words of) His praise and obedience, and you will think that you have stayed (in this world) but a little while!) (17:52) In the Sahih, it is recorded that Anas said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(The earth will open up first around me.) Allah the Exalted and Most Honored said,
(That will be a gathering, quite easy for Us.) `bringing them back to life is easy for Us and effortless.’ Allah the Exalted and Most Honored said,
(And Our commandment is but one as the twinkling of an eye.)(54:50), and,
(The creation of you all and the resurrection of you all are only as of a single person. Verily, Allah is All-Hearer, All-Seer.) (31:28)
The statement of Allah the Exalted and Most High,
(We know best what they say.) means, `Our knowledge is all encompassing of the denial that the idolators are confronting you with, so do not be concerned.’ In similar Ayat, Allah said,
(Indeed, We know that your breast is straitened at what they say. So glorify the praises of your Lord and be of those who prostrate themselves (to Him). And worship your Lord until there comes unto you the certainty (i.e., death).) (15:97) Allah’s statement,
(And you are not the one to force them.) says, `it is not you who forces them to accept the guidance; this is not a part of your mission.’ Allah the Exalted and Most Honored said,
(But warn by the Qur’an; him who fears My threat.) meaning, `convey the Message of your Lord, for only those who fear Allah and dread His torment, and hope in His promise will remember and heed,’
(Your duty is only to convey (the Message) and on Us is the reckoning.)(13:40),
(So remind them — you are only one who reminds. You are not a dictator over them.)(88:21-22)
(Not upon you is their guidance, but Allah guides whom He wills.)(2:272) and,
(Verily, you guide not whom you like, but Allah guides whom He wills.) (28:56) Allah’s statement here,
(And you are not the one to force them. But warn by the Qur’an; him who fears My threat.) Qatadah used to invoke Allah by saying, “O Allah! Make us among those who fear Your threat and hope for Your promise, O Barr (Subtle, Kind, Courteous, and Generous), O Rahim (the Most Merciful).”
This is the end of the Tafsir of Surah Qaf. All praise is due to Allah, He is for us, the most excellent Trustee.
Tafseer by Abul A’la Maududi
50. Surah Qaf
The Surah derives its name from the initial letter Qaf, thereby implying that it is the Surah which opens with the alphabetic letter Qaf.
Period of Revelation
There is no authentic tradition to show as to when exactly this Surah was sent down. A study of the subject matter, however, reveals that its period of revelation is the second stage of the Holy Prophet’s life at Makkah, which lasted from the third year of the Prophethood till the fifth year. We have given the characteristics of this period in the Introduction to the Sarah Al-An’am. In view of those characteristics it can be said that this Surah might have been sent down in about the 5th year, when the antagonism of the disbelievers had become quite intense but had not yet assumed tyrannical proportions.
Theme and Topics
Authentic traditions show that the Holy Prophet used to recite this Surah generally in the Prayer on the Eid days. A woman named Umm Hisham bin Harithah, who was a neighbor of the Holy Prophet, says that she was able to commit Surah Qaf to memory only because she often heard it from the Holy Prophet in the Friday sermons. According to some other traditions he often recited it in the Fajr Prayer. This makes it abundantly clear that this was an important Surah in the sight of the Holy Prophet. That is why he made sure that its contents reached as many people as possible over and over again.
This reason for this importance can be easily understood by a careful study of the Surah. The theme of the entire Surah is the Hereafter. When the Holy Prophet started preaching his message in Makkah what surprised the people most was the news that people would be resurrected after death, and they would have to render an account of their deeds. They said that that was impossible; human mind could not believe that that would happen. After all, how could it be possible that when the body had disintegrated into dust the scattered particles would be reassembled after hundreds of thousands of years to make up the same body once again and raised up as a living body, Allah in response sent down this discourse. In it, on the one hand, arguments have been given for the possibility and occurrence of the Hereafter in a brief way, in short sentences, and, on the other, the people have been warned, as if to say: “Whether you express wonder and surprise, or you regard it as something remote from reason, or deny it altogether, in any case it cannot change the truth. The absolute, un-alterable truth is that Allah knows the whereabouts of each and every particle of your body that has scattered away in the earth, and knows where and in what state it is. Allah’s one signal is enough to make all the scattered particles gather together again and to make you rise up once again as you had been made in the first instance. Likewise, your this idea that you have been created and left free to yourselves in the world and that you have not been made answerable to anyone, is no more than a misunderstanding. The fact is that not only is Allah Himself directly aware of each act and word of yours, even of the ideas that pass in your mind, but His angels also are attached to each one of you, who are preserving the record of whatever you do and utter. When the time comes, you will come out of your graves at one call just as young shoots of vegetable sprout up from the earth on the first shower of the rain. Then this heedlessness which obstructs your vision will be removed and you will see with your own eyes all that you are denying today. At that time you will realize that you had not been created to be irresponsible in this world but accountable to all your deeds the meeting out of the rewards and punishments, the Hell and Heaven, which you regard as impossible and imaginary things, will at that time become visible realities for you in consequence of your enmity and opposition to the Truth you will be cast into the same Hell which you regard as remote from reason today and the ones who fear the Merciful God and return to the path of righteousness, will be admitted to the same Paradise at whose mention you now express wonder and surprise.
In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.
1-15 Life after death is a reality and there is nothing strange about it
(50:1) Qaf. By the glorious Qur’an.1 (50:2) Nay; they wondered that a warner should have come to them from among themselves.2 The unbelievers said: “This indeed is a strange thing. (50:3) What! When we are dead and reduced to mere dust, (shall we be raised to life)? Such a return is far-fetched.”3 (50:4) (Thus do they imagine, although) We know well what the earth takes away from them. With Us is a Record that preserves everything.4 (50:5) They gave the lie to the Truth when it came to them. So they are now in a state of great perplexity.5 (50:6) Did they6 never observe the sky above them: how We built it and beautified it;7 and it has no cracks;8 (50:7) and We have spread out the earth, and have set upon it firm mountains, and have caused it to bring out plants of all beauteous kinds?9 (50:8) All these are to serve as eye openers and as a lesson to every being who is prone to turn (to the Truth). (50:9) We also sent down blessed water from the heaven, wherewith We caused gardens and harvest-grain to grow, (50:10) and tall palm-trees with their thickly-clustered spathes; (50:11) all this as sustenance for Our servants. And thus We do bring the dead land back to life with water.10 Such shall be the coming forth (of human beings from the earth).11 (50:12) In the past Noah’s people, and the people of Rass12 and Thamud gave the lie (to Messengers), (50:13) and so did ‘Ad, and Pharaoh13 and Lot’s brethren, (50:14) and the people of Aykah, and the people of Tubba’.1415 They all gave the lie to the Messengers.16 Thereafter My threat of chastisement against them was fulfilled.17 (50:15) Did We, then, become worn out by the first creation? Not at all; but they are in doubt about a fresh creation.18
1. The word majeed is used for expressing two meanings in Arabic: for expressing the high rank, status, honor and dignity of a person, and for saying that somebody is highly generous, charitable and beneficent. This word has been used for the Quran in both these meanings. The Quran is great and glorious in the sense that no book of the world can be brought up against it. It is a miracle both in its language and literary excellence and in its teaching and wisdom. Humans were helpless to produce the like of it at the time when it was sent down and are likewise helpless even today. Nothing of it could ever be proved wrong in any age, nor can anything of it be proved wrong in the present age. Falsehood can neither attack it from the front nor from the rear nor can defeat it. And it is generous and beneficent in the sense that the more a man goes on trying to gain guidance from it, the more of guidance it goes on giving him. And the more he follows and obeys its commands and instructions, the more he continues to be blessed with good things of the world and the Hereafter. There is no limit to its benefits and advantages where a man may become independent of it, and where it may cease to be beneficial and useful for him.
2. This sentence is a unique example of eloquence. In it a vast subject has been compressed into a few brief words. The object for which an oath has been sworn by the Quran has not been mentioned. Instead, a subtle gap has been left and the sentence is resumed with “but”. If one thinks a little and also keeps in view the background in which this has been said, one comes to know what is the subject of the gap that has been left between the oath and “but”. In fact, what has been sworn of is this: The people of Makkah have not refused to acknowledge the Prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him) for any sound reason but for the highly unsound reason that a member of their own kind and an individual of their own nation has come to them as a Warner from God and this is something highly surprising for them. Whereas what would actually be surprising was if God had remained unconcerned about the well being and adversity of His servants and made no arrangement whatsoever to warn them; or had sent a nonhuman to warn the human beings; or a non Arab to warn the Arabs. Therefore, this basis of the denial is absolutely unsound, and a reasonable person cannot but admit that there must exist some arrangement from God to warn the servants, and in the form that the Warner himself should be a person from among the people to whom he is sent. As for the question whether Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the person whom God has sent on this mission, no other evidence is needed to settle it but this glorious and beneficent Quran, which he is presenting; this is by itself enough to provide a proof of it. This explanation shows that in this verse an oath has been sworn by the Quran to impress the point that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is really the Messenger of Allah and the disbelievers’ surprise and wonder about his apostleship is misplaced, and the fact of the Quran’s being majeed is a proof of this claim
3. This was the second cause of their surprise, the first being that a member of their own kind and clan had arisen with the claim that he had come as a warner to them from God. They were further surprised that the person was warning them to the effect that all men will be raised back to life after death and they will be produced all together in the court of Allah where their deeds will be subjected to accountability and they will be rewarded and punished accordingly.
4. That is, if it cannot be comprehended by intellect, it is their own narrow mind to blame. It does not mean that Allah’s knowledge and power also should be narrow. They think that it is in no way possible to collect the scattered particles of the bodies of the countless human beings who have died since the beginning of creation and will die till Resurrection. But the fact is that Allah directly knows each of those particles in whatever form and in whichever place they are. Furthermore, a full record of this is being maintained in the Register of Allah, which has not left out any particle un-recorded.
This verse also is one of those verses which point out that the life Hereafter will not only be a physical lift as it is in this world, but the body of every person also will be the same which he had in this world. If it were not so, it would be meaningless to tell the disbelievers: We know very well whatever the earth consumes of their bodies and We have a Book which preserves everything. (For further explanation, see(E.N. 25 of Surah Ha Mim As-Sajdah).
5. In this brief sentence a vast subject has been compressed. It means: These people did not rest content only with expressing wonder and declaring the thing to be far removed from reason, but when the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) presented his message of the truth, they denied it as falsehood without any hesitation. Its inevitable result was, and the same only could follow from it, that they do not agree on any one position with regard to the invitation and the Messenger who has presented it. Sometimes they brand him a poet, sometimes a sorcerer, and sometimes a madman. Sometimes they say that he is a magician and sometimes that he is bewitched. Sometimes they say that he has fabricated this thing by himself in order to establish his superiority. Therefore, leaving it aside, detailed reasoning is now being presented about the authenticity of the second thing which those people regarded as strange and far removed from reason and intellect.
6. Here, by the sky is implied the whole firmament that man finds spread over him, day and night, in which the sun shines in the day and the moon and countless stars glitter at night, which amazes him even when he sees it with the bare eye, but which appears as a vast, limitless universe when he looks at it through the telescope.
7. This universe seems to be starting from nowhere and ending nowhere. Millions of times larger planets than our earth are moving in it like tiny balls; thousands of times brighter stars than our sun are shining in it our this entire solar system is located in a corner of its only one galaxy; only in this one galaxy there exist at least three thousand million other stars like our own sun, and man’s observation has so far discovered one million such galaxies. Out of the millions of galaxies our nearest, neighboring galaxy is so distant from us that its light reaches the earth in ten million years traveling at the speed of 186,000 miles per second. This shows the vastness of that part of the universe which has so far been observed and explored by man. As to how vast is the entire universe of God we have no means to estimate and judge. May be that the known universe of man does not bear with the entire universe even that ratio which a drop of water bears with the ocean. If about the God Who has brought this huge and wonderful universe into being, this tiny talking animal, called man, who creeps on the earth, asserts that He cannot recreate him once again after death, it would be due to narrowness of his own mind. The power of the Creator of the universe would not at all be affected by it.
8. That is, in spite of its amazing vastness the wonderful order of the universe is so coherent and firm and its composition so perfect that there is no crack or cleft in it, and its continuity breaks nowhere. This can be understood by an example. Radio astronomers of the present age have observed a galactic system which they have named Source 3C 295. They think that its rays which are now reaching us might have left it more than four thousand million years ago. The question is: How could it be possible for the rays to reach the earth from such a distant source had the continuity and coherence of the universe between the earth and the galaxy been broken somewhere and its composition been split at some point. Allah, in fact, alludes to this reality and puts this question before man: When you cannot point out even a small breach in this system of My universe, how did the concept of any weakness in My power enter your mind, that after the respite of your test is over, if I like to bring you back to life to subject you to accountability before Me, would I not be able to do so?
This is not only a proof of the possibility of the Hereafter but also a proof of Tauhid. These rays’ reaching the earth from a distance of four thousand million light years and being detected by the man made instruments expressly point to the fact that from the galaxy to the earth the entire world has been made up of one and the same substance continuously, one and the same kind of the forces are working in it, and they are functioning according to the same laws without any difference and disparity. Were it not so, the rays could neither have reached here, nor detected by the instruments which man had made after understanding the laws working on the earth and its surroundings. This proves that One God alone is the Creator of this whole universe and its Master and Ruler and Controller.
9. For explanation, see (E.Ns 12-14 of Surah An-Nahl); (E.Ns 73-74 of Surah An-Naml); and (E.N. 7 of Surah Az-Zukhruf).
10. For explanation, set (E.Ns 73, 74, 81 of Surah An-Naml), (E.Ns 25, 33, 35 of Surah Ar-Room) and (E.N. 29 of Surah YaSeen).
11. The reasoning is this: Your conjecture about God Who made this sphere of the earth a suitable home for living creatures and Who by combining the lifeless clay of the earth with the lifeless water from the sky produced such a fine vegetable life that you witness flourishing in the form of your gardens and crops, and Who made the vegetation a means of sustenance for both man and beast, that He has no power to resurrect you after death, is a foolish and absurd conjecture. You witness almost daily the phenomenon that a land is lying barren and lifeless; then as soon as it receives a shower of rain, it gives birth to an endless chain of life all of a sudden, the roots lying dead for ages sprout up and a variety of insects emerge playfully from the layers of the earth. This is a manifest proof that life after death is not impossible. When you cannot deny this express observation of yours, how can you deny that when Allah wills, you too will sprout up from the earth as the vegetation sprouts up. In this connection, one may note that in many parts of Arabia it does not sometimes rain for as long as five years at a stretch and sometimes even for longer periods the land does not receive even a drop of rain. For such long intervals in the burning deserts it is not conceivable that the roots of grass and the insects of the earth would survive. In spite of this when a little of the rain falls at some place, grass sprouts up and the insects of the earth return to life. Therefore, the inhabitants of Arabia can understand this reasoning much better than those people who do not have to experience such long periods of drought.
12. Before this the people of Rass (Ashab ar-Rass) have been mentioned in (Surah Al-Furqan, Ayat 38), and now here, but at both places they have been only referred to as of those nations who rejected the Prophets. No other detail about them has been given. In the traditions of Arabia two places are well known by the name of ar-Rass, one in the Najd and the other in northern Hejaz. Of these ar-Rass of the Najd is better known and has been referred to more often in the pre-Islamic poetry of Arabia. Now it is difficult to determine which of these was the home of the Ashab ar- Rass. No reliable detail of their story is found in any tradition either. The most that one can say with certainty is that it was a nation which had thrown its Prophet into a well. But from the mere allusion that has been made to them in the Quran, one is led to think that in the time of the revelation of the Quran the Arabs were generally aware of this nation and its history, but the traditions about them could not be preserved in historic records.
13. Only the Pharaoh has been mentioned instead of the people of Pharaoh, for he had so dominated his people that they had been left with no independent opinion and will of their own, apart from him. They followed him wherever he led them. That is why he alone was held responsible for the deviation and degeneration of his people. Wherever there exists the freedom of will and action for a nation, it by itself bears the burden of its deeds, and wherever one man’s dictatorship may have rendered a nation powerless the one man alone takes on his shoulders the burden of the sins of entire nation. This doesn’t mean that the nation becomes absolved from its duty and responsibility when the one man alone has burdened himself with the responsibility. This is not so. The nation in such a case becomes responsible for the moral weakness shown by it in that why it allowed a man to overpower and dominate it so completely. The same thing has been alluded to in (Surah Az-Zukhruf, Ayat 54), thus: Pharaoh took his people to be light, and they obeyed him, for they were indeed a sinful people. (For explanation, see( E.N. 50 of Surah Az-Zukhruf).
18. This is a rational argument for the Hereafter. The person who is not a denier of God and is also not so foolish as to regard this excellently ordered universe and the creation of man in it as a mere accident, cannot help but admit that God alone has created man and this whole universe. Now this fact that we exist alive in this world and this great workhouse of the earth and heavens is functioning before us, by itself is an obvious proof that God is in no way powerless in creating us and this universe. Yet if a man says that after bringing about Resurrection the same God will not be able to bring about a new world order and will not be able to create us once again, he says an irrational thing. Had God been powerless, He would not have been able to create all this in the first instance. When He has created the universe in the first instance and we ourselves came into existence by virtue of that act of creation, what can then be the rational ground for assuming that He will become powerless to re-make the dismantled thing originally made by Himself?
16-29 Allah has assigned two angels to each person for noting down each single word that he utters and Every stubborn disbeliever will be thrown into hell
(50:16) Surely We19 have created man, and We know the promptings of his heart, and We are nearer to him than even his jugular vein.20 (50:17) Moreover, there are two scribes, one each sitting on the right and the left, recording everything. (50:18) He utters not a word, but there is a vigilant watcher at hand.21 (50:19) Lo, the agony of death has indeed come with the Truth.22 That is what you had sought to avoid.23 (50:20) And then the Trumpet was blown.24 This is the day of the promised chastisement. (50:21) Everyone has come, each attended by one who will drive him on, and another who will bear witness.25 (50:22) You were heedless of this. Now We have removed your veil and so your vision today is sharp.26 (50:23) His companion said:“ Here is he who was in my charge.”27 (50:24) The command was given: “Cast into Hell28 every hardened, stubborn unbeliever,29 (50:25) who hinders good,30 exceeds the limits,31 is immersed in doubts,32 (50:26) and has set up another deity with Allah. Hurl him into the grievous torment.”33 (50:27) His companion said:“ I did not incite him to rebel; he was far gone into error of his own accord.”34 (50:28) (It was said): “Do not remonstrate in My presence. I had warned you.35 (50:29) My Word is not changed;36 and never do I inflict the least wrong upon My servants.”37
19. After presenting the arguments for the Hereafter, it is being stated: Whether you believe in the Hereafter, or deny it, it has to come in any case, and it is such a reality which will certainly come about in spite of your denial. If you heed the warning given by the Prophets in advance and prepare for it, you will be doing good to yourselves. If you do not believe in it, you will be inviting your own doom. Your denial will not prevent the Hereafter from taking place and God’s law of justice will not became suspended.
20. That is, Our power and Our knowledge has so encompassed man from within and without that Our power and knowledge is closer to him than his own jugular-vein. We do not have to travel from a distance to hear what he says, but We directly know every thought that arises in his heart. Likewise, when We shall want to seize him, We will not have to seize him after covering a distance, for wherever he is, he is in Our grasp; and whenever We will, We will seize him.
21. That is, on the one hand, We directly know man’s actions and movements, even his hidden thoughts; on the other hand, every man has two angels appointed over him, who are recording whatever he does and says; none of his actions or words is left unrecorded. This means that when man is produced in the court of Allah, Allah at that time Himself will also be knowing what each person has done in the world. Besides, there will also be two witnesses who will produce documentary evidence of the person’s actions and deeds. As to what will be the nature of this documentary evidence, it is difficult for us to have a precise concept of it. But from the facts that we are witnessing today, it seems certain that the voices and pictures and marks of man’s actions and movements are being preserved and imprinted on every particle of the environment in which he lives and works, and each one of these can be reproduced in exactly the same form and voice so as to leave no difference whatsoever between the original and its copy. Man is doing this on a very limited scale with the help of his inventions, but the angels of God neither stand in need of these machines nor are bound by any limitation. Man’s own body and everything around it is their tape and their film upon which they can record every voice and every image along with its minutest and most delicate detail precisely and exactly, and can make man hear, on the Day of Resurrection, with his own ears, in his own voice, those very things which he talked in the world, and can make him see, with his own eyes, the pictures of all his misdeeds, whose genuineness he would not possibly be able to deny.
Here, one should also understand that in the court of the Hereafter, Allah will not punish anybody only on the basis of His own knowledge, but will punish him after fulfilling all the requirements of justice. That is why an exhaustive record is being prepared of every person’s words and deeds in the world so that a complete proof with undeniable evidence becomes available of everyone’s life work and activity.
22. “Come with the truth” implies that the agony of death is the starting point when the reality which had remained concealed in the world, begins to be uncovered. At this point man starts seeing clearly the other world of which the Prophet had forewarned him. Here, man also comes to know that the Hereafter is the very truth, and also this whether he is entering this second stage of life as favored or damned.
23. That is, this is the same reality which you refused to believe. You desired that you should live and go about as an unbridled rogue in the world, and there should be no other life after death, in which you may have to suffer for the consequences of your deeds. That is why you shunned the concept of the Hereafter and were not at all inclined to believe that this next world would ever be established. Now, you may see that the same next world is unveiling itself before you.
24. This implies that blowing of the Trumpet at which all dead men will rise back to life in their own physical bodies. For explanation, see (E.N. 47 of Suarh Al-Anaam); (E.N. 57 of Suarh Ibrahim); (E.N. 78 of Suarh TaHa); (E.N.1 of Suarh Al- Hajj); (E.Ns 46,47 of Suarh YaSeen), and (E.N. 79 of Suarh Az-Zumar).
25. Most probably this implies the same two angels who had been appointed for compiling the record of the words and deeds of the person in the world. On the Day of Resurrection, when every man will rise from his grave on the sounding of the Trumpet, the two angels will come forth immediately and take him into their custody. One of them will drive him to the divine court and the other will be carrying his record.
26. That is, you can clearly see that everything of which the Prophets foretold is present here.
27. Some commentators say that the companion implies the angel who has been referred to as a witness in( verse 21). He will say: I have this person’s record ready with me here. Some other commentators say that the companion implies the satan who was attached to the person in the world. He will say: This person whom I was controlling and preparing for Hell, is now presented before You. But the commentary that is more relevant to the context is the one that has been reported from Qatadah and Ibn Zaid. They say that the companion implies the angel who drove and brought the person to Allah’s court. He will say: Here is the person who had been given in my charge
28. As the context shows this command will be given to the two angels who had taken the culprit into their custody as soon as he had risen from the grave, and then brought him before the court.
29. The word kaffar as used in the text means an ungrateful person as well as a denier of the truth.
30. Khair in Arabic is used both for wealth and for goodness. According to the first meaning, the sentence means that he paid no one his dues from his wealth, neither the dues of Allah nor of the people. According to the second meaning, it would mean that he did not only withhold himself from the path of goodness but forbade others also to follow it. He had become a hindrance for the people in the way of goodness and exerted his utmost to see that goodness did not spread.
31. That is, he transgressed the bounds of morality in everything he did. He was ever ready to do anything and everything for the sake of his interests, his desires and his lusts. He amassed wealth by unlawful means and spent it in unlawful ways. He usurped the people’s rights, had neither control over his tongue nor over his hands, and committed every injustice and excess. He did not rest content with creating hindrances in the way of goodness but harassed those who adopted goodness and persecuted those who worked for it.
32. The word murib as used in the original has two meanings: a doubter and the one who puts others in doubt, and both are implied here. It means that he was not only himself involved in doubt but also created doubts in the hearts of others. He held as doubtful the Being of Allah and the Hereafter and the angels and the Prophethood and revelation and every other truth of religion. Anything that was presented by the Prophets as a truth was held as unbelievable by him, and the same disease he spread to other people. Whomsoever he came in contact with, he would create one or the other doubt, one or the other evil thought in his mind.
33. Allah, in these verses, has enumerated the qualities that make a man worthy of Hell:
(1) Denial of the truth.
(2) Ingratitude to Allah.
(3) Enmity for the Truth and the followers of the truth.
(4) To become a hindrance in the way of goodness.
(5) Failure to fulfill the rights of Allah and the people from his wealth.
(6) To transgress the bounds in his affairs.
(7) To commit injustices and excesses against others.
(8) To doubt the truths of religion.
(9) To create doubts in the hearts of the people.
(10) To hold another as an associate in the Godhead of Allah.
34. Here by companion is meant the satan who was attached to the disobedient person in the world. And this also becomes evident from the style that both the person and his satan are disputing between themselves in the court of Allah. He says: My Lord, this wretched one pursued me in the world and did not leave me until he succeeded in misleading me, therefore he alone should be punished. And the satan replies: Lord, I had no power over him. Had he not himself willed to become rebellious, I could not have seduced him forcibly. This wretched person himself fled from goodness and was fascinated by evil. That is why he did not like anything that the Prophets presented and went on yielding to every temptation and inducement presented by me.
35. That is, I had warned both of you as to what punishment will be given to the one who beguiles and what punishment will be suffered by him who is beguiled. In spite of this warning when you did not desist from committing your respective crimes, there is no use quarreling now. Both, the one who beguiled and the one who was beguiled have to be punished for the crimes committed by them.
36. That is, it is not My way to change the decisions once taken. The decision that I have taken to cast you into Hell cannot be withdrawn, nor can the law that I had announced in the world be changed that the punishment for misleading and for being misled will be awarded in the Hereafter.
37. The word zallam as used in the original means the one who is highly unjust. It does not mean: I am unjust to My servants but not highly unjust. But it means: If I were unjust to My own servants being their Creator and Sustainer, I would be highly unjust. Therefore, I am not at all unjust to My servants. This punishment that I am giving you is precisely the same punishment which you have made yourselves worthy of. You are not being punished an iota more than what you actually deserve, for My court is a court of impartial justice. Here, no one can receive a punishment which he does not actually deserve, and for which his being worthy has not been proved by certain and undeniable evidence.
30-35 Hell shall be asked, “Are you full” Hell will answer, “Are there any more?”
(50:30) On that Day We shall ask Hell: “Are you full?” And it will reply: “Are there any more?”38 (50:31) And when Paradise shall be brought close to the God-fearing, and will no longer be far away,39 (50:32) it will be said: “This is what you were promised, a promise made to everyone who turned much (to Allah)40 and was watchful of his conduct,41 (50:33) to everyone who feared the Merciful One though He is beyond the reach of perception,42 to everyone who has come with a heart ever wont to turn (to Him).43 (50:34) Enter this Paradise in peace.”44 That will be the Day of Eternity. (50:35) Therein they shall get whatever they desire; and with Us there is even more.45
38. This can have two meanings:
(1) There is no room in me for more men.
(2) Bring all other culprits who may be there.
According to the first meaning the scene depicted would be that Hell has been so stuffed up with culprits that it cannot hold any more; so much so that when it was asked: Are you full? It cried out, alarmed: Are there still more culprits to come? According to the second meaning, the scene depicted before the mind is that the wrath of Hell is so flared up against the culprits that it is constantly demanding more and more of them to be cast into it so that no culprit escapes un-punished.
Here, the question arises: What is the nature of Allah Almighty’s addressing Hell and its reply? Is it only something metaphoric, or is Hell actually a living and intelligent being which may be spoken to and it may respond and give replies? In this regard nothing can, in fact, be said with certainty. Maybe the meaning is metaphoric and only for the purpose of depicting the actual scene of the state of Hell it may have been described in the form of the question and answer, just as one may ask a motor car: Why don’t you move forward? And it may say: There is no fuel in me. But this also is quite possible that this conversation is based on reality. Therefore, it is not correct to assume about the things which are lifeless and mute for us in the world that they would be lifeless and mute for Allah as well. The Creator can have communication with any of His creatures and each of His creatures can respond to Him, no matter how incomprehensible its language may be to us.
39. That is, as soon as the judgment will be passed about a person from the court of Allah that he is righteous and worthy of Paradise, he will immediately find Paradise in front of him. He will not have to travel a distance on foot or by a conveyance to reach to it. There will be no interval between the pronouncement of the judgment and his entry into the Paradise. From this it can be judged how different the concept of space and time is between this world and the Hereafter. The concept of space and time that we are familiar in this world will become meaningless there.
40. The word awwab is very extensive in meaning. It implies the person who might have adopted the way of obedience and Allah’s goodwill instead of the way of disobedience, who gives up everything that is disapproved by Allah and adopts everything that is approved by him, who gets alarmed as soon as he swerves a little from the path of worship and obedience, and repents and returns to the path of worship and obedience, who remembers Allah much and turns to Him in all matters of life.
41. The word hafeez means the one who guards. This implies the person who takes care of the bounds and duties enjoined by Allah, who guards the trusts imposed by Allah and avoids the things forbidden by him, who keeps watch over his time, energies and activities to see that none of these is being misemployed or misused, who offers repentance, remains steadfast and keeps it strong and intact, who examines himself over and over again to see that he is not disobeying his Lord anywhere in word or deed.
42. That is, although he could not see the Merciful God and could not perceive Him by his senses in any way, yet he feared His disobedience. His heart was more dominated by the fear of the unseen Merciful God than the fear of other perceptible powers and visible and mighty beings, and in spite of knowing that He is All-Merciful, he did not become a sinner, trusting His Mercy, but feared His displeasure in whatever he said and did. Thus, this verse points to two of the believer’s important and basic characteristics: First, that he fears God although he cannot see and perceive Him; second, that he does not persist in sin in spite of his full awareness of God’s quality of mercy. These very two characteristics make him worthy of honor in the sight of Allah. Besides, there is another subtle point also in it, which Imam Razi has pointed out. In Arabic, there are two words for fear, khauf and khashiyyat, which have a difference in their shade of meaning. The word khauf is generally used for the fear that a man feels in his heart on account of his sense of weakness as against someone’s superior power and strength, and the word khashiyyat is used for the dread and awe with which a man is filled and inspired because of somebody’s glory and grandeur and greatness. Here, the word khashiyyat has been used instead of khauf, which is meant to point out that a believer does not fear Allah only on account of the fear of His punishment, but it is the sense of Allah’s glory and greatness that keeps him awe inspired at all times.
43. The word munib in the original is derived from inabat, which means to turn to one direction and to turn to the same again and again, just like the needle of the compass that points to the magnetic north persistently, however one may try to turn it away from that direction. Therefore, qalb-i-munib would mean such a heart as has turned away from every other direction and turned towards One Allah alone and then kept on turning towards Him again and again throughout life. The same sense has been conveyed by the devoted heart. This shows that in the sight of Allah the man of real worth is he who remains attached and devoted to Allah alone not merely verbally but also truly and sincerely.
44. If the word salam in udkhuluha bi-salamin is taken in the meaning of peace and security, it would mean: Enter this Paradise safe and secure from every kind of grief, sorrow, anxiety and affiliation; and if it is taken in the meaning of salam itself, it would mean: Enter this Paradise you are welcomed here with the greeting of peace by Allah and his angels.
In these verses Allah has mentioned the qualities because of which a person makes himself worthy of Paradise, and they are:
(1) Taqwa (piety),
(2) Turning towards Allah.
(3) Watching over and guarding his relationship with Allah.
(4) Fearing Allah although he has not seen Him, and has full faith in His quality of mercy.
(5) Coming into His presence with a devoted and captivated heart, i.e. remaining constant on the way of devotion and dedication till death.
45. That is, they will certainly get whatever they desire, but in addition We will also give them that which they have never conceived and, therefore, could not desire.
36-45 Admonish the unbelievers and bear with them in patience and Admonish with Al-Quran
(50:36) How many a nation did We destroy before them that were stronger in prowess than these. They searched about the lands of the world.46 But could they find a refuge?47 (50:37) Verily there is a lesson in this for everyone who has a (sound) heart and who listens with an attentive mind.48 (50:38) We created the heavens and the earth and all that is between them in six days,49 and weariness did not even touch Us. (50:39) Hence bear with patience whatever they say,50 and celebrate your Lord’s glory before the rising of the sun and before its setting; (50:40) and in the night, too, celebrate His glory, in the wake of prostration.51 (50:41) Hearken on the Day when the caller will call from a place nearby,52 (50:42) the Day when they shall hear the Blast in truth. That will be the Day (for the dead) to come forth.53 (50:43) Surely it is We Who give life and cause death, and to Us shall all return (50:44) on the Day when the earth will be rent asunder and people, rising from it, will hasten forth. To assemble them all will be easy for Us.54 (50:45) (O Prophet), We are well aware of what they say;55 and you are not required to force things on them. So exhort with the Qur’an all those who fear My warning.56
46. That is, they were not only powerful and strong in their own land but had also made incursions into other lands and brought under their sway far off lands as well.
47. That is, could their power and might save them when the time appointed by Allah came for their seizure? And could they find shelter and refuge anywhere? Now, on what trust do you hope that you will get refuge somewhere in the world when you have rebelled against Allah?
48. In other words, either one should have so much of native intelligence that one may think right of his own accord, or if not so, he should be so free from prejudice and neglect that he may listen with attention when another person tries to make one understand the truth.
49. For explanation, see (E.Ns 11 to 15 of the commentary of Surah HaMim As-Sajdah).
50. That is, the fact of the matter is that We have made this entire universe in six days and We did not become weary at the end so that We might be powerless to reconstruct it Now, if these ignorant people mock you when they hear the news of the life-after-death from you and call you a madman, have patience at it, listen to whatever nonsense they utter with a cool mind, and continue to preach the truth that you have been appointed to spread.
In this verse, there is a subtle taunt on the Jews and the Christians as well, whereas in the Bible the story has been fabricated that God made the earth and the heavens in six days and rested on the seventh day (Gen. 2:2). Although the Christian priests are now feeling shy of it and have changed rested into “ceased from working” in their translation of the Bible, yet in King James authorized version of the Bible, the words “and He rested on the seventh day” are still there, and the same words are also found in the translation that the Jews have published from Philadelphia in 1954. In the Arabic translation also the words are: fastraha ft! yaum as-sebi.
51. This is the means by which man gets the power and energy to continue his struggle to raise the word of the truth and to call the people towards righteousness throughout life with full determination even though he may have to pass through heart-breaking and soul-destroying conditions and his efforts may seem to be bearing no fruit. Praising and glorifying the Lord implies the Prayer here, and wherever in the Quran the praise and glorification has been associated with specific times, it implies the Prayer. The Prayer before sunrise is the Fajr Prayer, and the Prayers before sunset are the Asr and the Zuhr Prayers. The Prayers in the night are the Maghrib and the Isha Prayers, and the third, the Tahajjud Prayer, is also included in the glorification of the night. (For explanation, see (E.N. 111 of TaHa); (E.Ns 23, 24 of Surah Ar-Room). As for the glorification that has been commanded after being free from prostrations, it may imply the after-Prayer devotions as well as the offering of the voluntary prayers at the end of the prescribed obligatory Prayers. Umar, Ali, Hasan bin Ali, Abu Hurairah, Ibn Abbas, Shabi, Mujahid, Ikrimah, Hasan Basri, Qatadah, Ibrahim Nakhai and Auzai say that it implies the two rakats after the Maghrib Prayer. Abdullah bin Amr bin Aas, and according to a tradition, Abdullah bin Abbas also, held the opinion that it implies the after-Prayer devotions, and Ibn Zaid says that the object of this command is that voluntary Prayers should also be offered after the prescribed obligatory Prayers.
According to a tradition reported in Bukhari and Muslim, on the authority of Abu Hurairah, once the poor emigrants from Makkah came before the Prophet (peace be upon him), and said: O Messenger of Allah, the rich people have attained high ranks for themselves. The Prophet (peace be upon him) asked: What has happened? They said: They offer the Prayers as we offer, and they observe the fasts as we observe; but they practice charity, which we cannot, and they set the slaves free which we cannot. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Should I tell you a thing which if you practiced, you would surpass all others, except those who practiced the same that you practiced? It is this that you should pronounce Subhan-Allah, Al-Hamdu-lillah and Allahu-Akbar, 33 times each after every Prayer. After some time, the same people came and said: Our rich brothers also have heard this and they too have started practicing, it. Thereupon the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: This is Allah’s bounty and He bestows it on whomever He wills. According to a tradition these devotional words have to be repeated ten times each instead of 33 times each. Zaid bin Thabit has reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) instructed his companions that they should pronounce Subhan-Allah and AlHamdu-lillah 33 times each and Allahu-Akbar 34 times after every Prayer. Afterwards, an Ansar companion submitted: I have seen in a vision that somebody was telling me that it would be better if I pronounced these three devotional words 25 times each and then Lailaha illAllah 25 times. The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: Well, you may do likewise. (Ahmad, Nasai, Darimi).
Abu Saeed Khudri says: I have heard the Prophet (peace be upon him) pronounce the following words when he would return after the Prayers were over: Subhana Rabbika Rabbil-izzati anima yasifun wasalam-un alal-mursalin, walhamdu lillahi Rabb-il alamin. (Jassas Ahkam al-Quran).
Besides these, several other forms of the after-Prayer devotional pronouncements also have been reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him). Those who wish to act on this instruction of the Quran may select the one they find suitable from Mishkat. Bab adh-dhik-as-Salat, commit it to memory and practice it. Nothing can be better than what the Prophet (peace be upon him) himself has taught in this regard. But what one should bear in mind is that the real object of the devotional pronouncements is not to utter these words only as a matter of course but to refresh and fix their meaning in the mind. Therefore, the meaning of whatever devotions one pronounces should be understood well and then practiced with full consciousness of the meaning.
52. That is, wherever a dead person would be lying, or wherever his death had occurred is the world, the cry of the caller shall reach him there, which will urge him to rise and go before his Lord to render his account. This cry will be such that everybody who rises from death anywhere on the surface of the earth will feel as though the caller had called him from a nearby place. Simultaneously will this cry be heard everywhere on the globe equally clearly. From this also one can judge how different will be the concepts of space and time in the next world from what they are in this world, and what forces will be working there in accordance with the new laws.
53. The words yasmaun-as-saihata bil haqqi can have two meanings:
(1) That all the people will be hearing the cry of the right command.
(2) That they will be hearing the cry rightly.
In the first case the sentence will mean that the people will be hearing the same right command with their ears, which they were not inclined to accept in the world, which they had persistently refused to believe, and mocked the Prophets who had brought it. In the second case it will mean that they will certainly hear this cry, and they will realize that it is no fancy but indeed the cry of Resurrection; they will be left with no doubt that the Day of Resurrection of which they had been forewarned had arrived and the cry that was being raised was of the same.
54. This is the answer to the saying of the disbelievers that has been reproduced in verse 3 above. They said: How can it be that when we are dead and become dust, we shall be raised back to life once again. This resurrection is far removed from reason. In reply it has been said: This gathering together, i.e. raising back to life and gathering all the people of the former and latter times together, is very easy for Us. It is not at all difficult for Us to know as to where the dust of one particular person lies and where of the other. We shall also face no difficulty in knowing as to which are the particles of one and which of the other among the scattered particles of the dust. Gathering together all these particles separately and remaking each and every man’s body once again and then creating in that body the same very personality which had lived in it before, is not a task that may require any hard labor from Us, but all this can be accomplished immediately at one signal from Us. All those human beings who have been born in the world since the time of Adam till Resurrection can be brought together by one command of Ours. If your petty mind thinks it is far off, it may think so, but it is not beyond the power of the Creator of the Universe.
55. In this sentence there is consolation for the Prophet (peace be upon him) as well as a threat for the disbelievers. Addressing the Prophet (peace be upon him) it has been said: Do not care at all about what these foolish people utter about you. We are hearing everything and it is for Us to deal with it. The disbelievers are being warned to the effect: The taunting remarks that you are passing against Our Prophet will cost you dearly. We are hearing everything that you utter and you will have to suffer for its consequences.
56. This does not mean that the Prophet (peace be upon him) wanted to compel the people into believing and Allah stopped him from this. But, in fact, although the Prophet (peace be upon him) has been addressed, the disbelievers are being warned, as if to say: Our Prophet has not been sent as a dictator over you. He is not there to compel you to become believers even if you did not wish to believe. His only responsibility is that he should recite the Quran and make the truth plain to the one who would take the warning. Now, if you do not accept his invitation, We will deal with you, not he.