Assalamualaikum.

Read Surah Ash Shura (in Arabic text: الشورى‎) is the 42nd chapter of the Qur’an and is classified as a Meccan Surah. It consists of a total of 53 ayats. 

This Surah explains how the message of the Qur’an is no different from the message the other Prophets (may peace be upon them) have revealed throughout history. The religion of Islam has been the same. He has given us freedom of choice to choose which is why we diverged.

One of the goals of the My Islam site it to make it easy to read and understand the Quran. Below you can read the entire Surah with Sahih international translation to help with understanding and transliteration to help with pronunciation of Arabic text. At the end of the Surah we’ve added different tafsir for those looking to benefit from learning through commentary of Surah Shuraa.

Notable Quote:

And whoever is patient and forgives – indeed, that is of the matters [requiring] determination.
Surah Ash Shura Ayat 43

Skip To Tafsir

Read Surah Ash Shura with English Translation and Transliteration

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

حمٓ

Haa Meeem
1. Ha, Meem.

عٓسٓقٓ

‘Ayyyn Seeen Qaaaf
2. ‘Ayn, Seen, Qaf.

كَذَ‌ٰلِكَ يُوحِىٓ إِلَيْكَ وَإِلَى ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكَ ٱللَّهُ ٱلْعَزِيزُ ٱلْحَكِيمُ

Kazaalika yooheee ilaika wa ilal lazeena min qablikal laahul ‘Azeezul Hakeem
3. Thus has He revealed to you, [O Muhammad], and to those before you – Allah, the Exalted in Might, the Wise.

لَهُۥ مَا فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَ‌ٰتِ وَمَا فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ ۖ وَهُوَ ٱلْعَلِىُّ ٱلْعَظِيمُ

Lahoo maa fis samaa waati wa maa fil ardi wa Huwal ‘Aliyul ‘Azeem
4. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth, and He is the Most High, the Most Great.

تَكَادُ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَ‌ٰتُ يَتَفَطَّرْنَ مِن فَوْقِهِنَّ ۚ وَٱلْمَلَـٰٓئِكَةُ يُسَبِّحُونَ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّهِمْ وَيَسْتَغْفِرُونَ لِمَن فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ ۗ أَلَآ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ هُوَ ٱلْغَفُورُ ٱلرَّحِيمُ

Takaadus samaawaatu yatafattarna min fawqihinn; walmalaaa’ikatu yusabbihoona bihamdi Rabbihim wa yastaghfiroona liman fil ard; alaaa innal laaha huwal Ghafoorur Raheem
5. The heavens almost break from above them, and the angels exalt [ Allah ] with praise of their Lord and ask forgiveness for those on earth. Unquestionably, it is Allah who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.

وَٱلَّذِينَ ٱتَّخَذُوا۟ مِن دُونِهِۦٓ أَوْلِيَآءَ ٱللَّهُ حَفِيظٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَمَآ أَنتَ عَلَيْهِم بِوَكِيلٍۢ

Wallazeenat takhazoo min dooniheee awliyaaa’al laahu hafeezun ‘alaihim wa maaa anta ‘alaihim biwakeel
6. And those who take as allies other than Him – Allah is [yet] Guardian over them; and you, [O Muhammad], are not over them a manager.

وَكَذَ‌ٰلِكَ أَوْحَيْنَآ إِلَيْكَ قُرْءَانًا عَرَبِيًّۭا لِّتُنذِرَ أُمَّ ٱلْقُرَىٰ وَمَنْ حَوْلَهَا وَتُنذِرَ يَوْمَ ٱلْجَمْعِ لَا رَيْبَ فِيهِ ۚ فَرِيقٌۭ فِى ٱلْجَنَّةِ وَفَرِيقٌۭ فِى ٱلسَّعِيرِ

Wa kazaalika awhainaaa llaika Qur-aanan ‘Arabiyyal litunzir aUmmal Quraa wa man hawlahaa wa tunzira Yawmal Jam’ilaa raiba feeh; fareequn fil jannati wa fareequn fissa’eer
7. And thus We have revealed to you an Arabic Qur’an that you may warn the Mother of Cities [Makkah] and those around it and warn of the Day of Assembly, about which there is no doubt. A party will be in Paradise and a party in the Blaze.

وَلَوْ شَآءَ ٱللَّهُ لَجَعَلَهُمْ أُمَّةًۭ وَ‌ٰحِدَةًۭ وَلَـٰكِن يُدْخِلُ مَن يَشَآءُ فِى رَحْمَتِهِۦ ۚ وَٱلظَّـٰلِمُونَ مَا لَهُم مِّن وَلِىٍّۢ وَلَا نَصِيرٍ

Wa law shaaa’al laahu laja’alahum ummatanw waahi datanw walaakiny yudkhilumany yashaaa’u fee rahmatih; waz zaalimoona maa lahum minw waliyyinw wa laa naseer
8. And if Allah willed, He could have made them [of] one religion, but He admits whom He wills into His mercy. And the wrongdoers have not any protector or helper.

أَمِ ٱتَّخَذُوا۟ مِن دُونِهِۦٓ أَوْلِيَآءَ ۖ فَٱللَّهُ هُوَ ٱلْوَلِىُّ وَهُوَ يُحْىِ ٱلْمَوْتَىٰ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَىْءٍۢ قَدِيرٌۭ

Amit takhazoo min dooniheee awliyaaa’a fallaahu Huwal Waliyyu wa Huwa yuhyil mawtaa wa Huwa ‘alaa kulli shai’in Qadeer (section 1)
9. Or have they taken protectors [or allies] besides him? But Allah – He is the Protector, and He gives life to the dead, and He is over all things competent.

وَمَا ٱخْتَلَفْتُمْ فِيهِ مِن شَىْءٍۢ فَحُكْمُهُۥٓ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ ۚ ذَ‌ٰلِكُمُ ٱللَّهُ رَبِّى عَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلْتُ وَإِلَيْهِ أُنِيبُ

Wa makh-talaftum feehi min shai’in fahukmuhooo ilallaah; zaalikumul laahu Rabbee ‘alaihi tawakkaltu wa ilaihi uneeb
10. And in anything over which you disagree – its ruling is [to be referred] to Allah . [Say], “That is Allah, my Lord; upon Him I have relied, and to Him I turn back.”

فَاطِرُ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَ‌ٰتِ وَٱلْأَرْضِ ۚ جَعَلَ لَكُم مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَ‌ٰجًۭا وَمِنَ ٱلْأَنْعَـٰمِ أَزْوَ‌ٰجًۭا ۖ يَذْرَؤُكُمْ فِيهِ ۚ لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِۦ شَىْءٌۭ ۖ وَهُوَ ٱلسَّمِيعُ ٱلْبَصِيرُ

Faatirus samaawaati wal ard; ja’ala lakum min anfusikum azwaajanw wa minal an’aami azwaajai yazra’ukum feeh; laisa kamislihee shai’unw wa Huwas Samee’ul Baseer
11. [He is] Creator of the heavens and the earth. He has made for you from yourselves, mates, and among the cattle, mates; He multiplies you thereby. There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the Hearing, the Seeing.

لَهُۥ مَقَالِيدُ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَ‌ٰتِ وَٱلْأَرْضِ ۖ يَبْسُطُ ٱلرِّزْقَ لِمَن يَشَآءُ وَيَقْدِرُ ۚ إِنَّهُۥ بِكُلِّ شَىْءٍ عَلِيمٌۭ

Lahoo maqaaleedus samaawaati wal ardi yabsutur rizqa limai yashaaa’u wa yaqdir; innahoo bikulli shai’in ‘Aleem
12. To Him belong the keys of the heavens and the earth. He extends provision for whom He wills and restricts [it]. Indeed He is, of all things, Knowing.

۞ شَرَعَ لَكُم مِّنَ ٱلدِّينِ مَا وَصَّىٰ بِهِۦ نُوحًۭا وَٱلَّذِىٓ أَوْحَيْنَآ إِلَيْكَ وَمَا وَصَّيْنَا بِهِۦٓ إِبْرَ‌ٰهِيمَ وَمُوسَىٰ وَعِيسَىٰٓ ۖ أَنْ أَقِيمُوا۟ ٱلدِّينَ وَلَا تَتَفَرَّقُوا۟ فِيهِ ۚ كَبُرَ عَلَى ٱلْمُشْرِكِينَ مَا تَدْعُوهُمْ إِلَيْهِ ۚ ٱللَّهُ يَجْتَبِىٓ إِلَيْهِ مَن يَشَآءُ وَيَهْدِىٓ إِلَيْهِ مَن يُنِيبُ

Shara’a lakum minad deeni maa wassaa bihee Noohanw wallazeee awhainaaa ilaika wa maa wassainaa biheee Ibraaheema wa Moosa wa ‘Eesaaa an aqeemud adeena wa laa tatafarraqoo feeh; kabura ‘alal mushrikeena maa tad’oohum ilaih; Allaahu yajtabee ilaihi mai yashaaa’u wa yahdeee ilaihi mai yuneeb
13. He has ordained for you of religion what He enjoined upon Noah and that which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], and what We enjoined upon Abraham and Moses and Jesus – to establish the religion and not be divided therein. Difficult for those who associate others with Allah is that to which you invite them. Allah chooses for Himself whom He wills and guides to Himself whoever turns back [to Him].

وَمَا تَفَرَّقُوٓا۟ إِلَّا مِنۢ بَعْدِ مَا جَآءَهُمُ ٱلْعِلْمُ بَغْيًۢا بَيْنَهُمْ ۚ وَلَوْلَا كَلِمَةٌۭ سَبَقَتْ مِن رَّبِّكَ إِلَىٰٓ أَجَلٍۢ مُّسَمًّۭى لَّقُضِىَ بَيْنَهُمْ ۚ وَإِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ أُورِثُوا۟ ٱلْكِتَـٰبَ مِنۢ بَعْدِهِمْ لَفِى شَكٍّۢ مِّنْهُ مُرِيبٍۢ

Wa maa tafarraqooo illaa mim ba’di maa jaaa’ahumul ‘ilmu baghyam bainahum; wa law laa Kalimatun sabaqat mir Rabbika ilaaa ajalim musammal laqudiya bainahum; wa innal lazeena oorisul Kitaaba mim ba’dihim lafee shakkim minhu mureeb
14. And they did not become divided until after knowledge had come to them – out of jealous animosity between themselves. And if not for a word that preceded from your Lord [postponing the penalty] until a specified time, it would have been concluded between them. And indeed, those who were granted inheritance of the Scripture after them are, concerning it, in disquieting doubt.

فَلِذَ‌ٰلِكَ فَٱدْعُ ۖ وَٱسْتَقِمْ كَمَآ أُمِرْتَ ۖ وَلَا تَتَّبِعْ أَهْوَآءَهُمْ ۖ وَقُلْ ءَامَنتُ بِمَآ أَنزَلَ ٱللَّهُ مِن كِتَـٰبٍۢ ۖ وَأُمِرْتُ لِأَعْدِلَ بَيْنَكُمُ ۖ ٱللَّهُ رَبُّنَا وَرَبُّكُمْ ۖ لَنَآ أَعْمَـٰلُنَا وَلَكُمْ أَعْمَـٰلُكُمْ ۖ لَا حُجَّةَ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمُ ۖ ٱللَّهُ يَجْمَعُ بَيْنَنَا ۖ وَإِلَيْهِ ٱلْمَصِيرُ

Falizaalika fad’u wastaqim kamaaa umirta wa laa tattabi’ ahwaaa’ahum wa qul aamantu bimaaa anzalal laahu min Kitaab, wa umirtu li a’dila bainakum Allaahu Rabbunaa wa Rabbukum lanaaa a’maa lunaa wa lakum a’maalukum laa hujjata bainanaa wa baina kumul laahu yajma’u bainanaa wa ilaihil maseer
15. So to that [religion of Allah ] invite, [O Muhammad], and remain on a right course as you are commanded and do not follow their inclinations but say, “I have believed in what Allah has revealed of the Qur’an, and I have been commanded to do justice among you. Allah is our Lord and your Lord. For us are our deeds, and for you your deeds. There is no [need for] argument between us and you. Allah will bring us together, and to Him is the [final] destination.”

وَٱلَّذِينَ يُحَآجُّونَ فِى ٱللَّهِ مِنۢ بَعْدِ مَا ٱسْتُجِيبَ لَهُۥ حُجَّتُهُمْ دَاحِضَةٌ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ وَعَلَيْهِمْ غَضَبٌۭ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌۭ شَدِيدٌ

Wallazeena yuhaaajjoona fil laahi mim ba’di mastujeeba lahoo hujjatuhum daahidatun ‘inda Rabbihim wa ‘alaihim ghadabunw wa lahum ‘azaabun shadeed
16. And those who argue concerning Allah after He has been responded to – their argument is invalid with their Lord, and upon them is [His] wrath, and for them is a severe punishment.

ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِىٓ أَنزَلَ ٱلْكِتَـٰبَ بِٱلْحَقِّ وَٱلْمِيزَانَ ۗ وَمَا يُدْرِيكَ لَعَلَّ ٱلسَّاعَةَ قَرِيبٌۭ

Allahul lazeee anzalal Kitaaba bilhaqqi wal Meezaan; wa ma yudreeka la’allas Saa’ata qareeb
17. It is Allah who has sent down the Book in truth and [also] the balance. And what will make you perceive? Perhaps the Hour is near.

يَسْتَعْجِلُ بِهَا ٱلَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِهَا ۖ وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ مُشْفِقُونَ مِنْهَا وَيَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّهَا ٱلْحَقُّ ۗ أَلَآ إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ يُمَارُونَ فِى ٱلسَّاعَةِ لَفِى ضَلَـٰلٍۭ بَعِيدٍ

Yasta’jilu bihal lazeena laa yu’minoona bihaa wallazeena aamanoo mushfiqoona minhaa wa ya’lamoona annahal haqq; alaaa innal lazeena yumaaroona fis Saa’ati lafee dalaalim ba’eed
18. Those who do not believe in it are impatient for it, but those who believe are fearful of it and know that it is the truth. Unquestionably, those who dispute concerning the Hour are in extreme error.

ٱللَّهُ لَطِيفٌۢ بِعِبَادِهِۦ يَرْزُقُ مَن يَشَآءُ ۖ وَهُوَ ٱلْقَوِىُّ ٱلْعَزِيزُ

Allahu lateefum bi’ibaadihee yarzuqu mai yashaaa’u wa Huwal Qawiyyul ‘Azeez (Section 2)
19. Allah is Subtle with His servants; He gives provisions to whom He wills. And He is the Powerful, the Exalted in Might.

مَن كَانَ يُرِيدُ حَرْثَ ٱلْءَاخِرَةِ نَزِدْ لَهُۥ فِى حَرْثِهِۦ ۖ وَمَن كَانَ يُرِيدُ حَرْثَ ٱلدُّنْيَا نُؤْتِهِۦ مِنْهَا وَمَا لَهُۥ فِى ٱلْءَاخِرَةِ مِن نَّصِيبٍ

Man kaana yureedu harsal Aakhirati nazid lahoo fee harsihee wa man kaana yureedu harsad dunyaa nu’tihee minhaa wa maa lahoo fil Aakhirati min naseeb
20. Whoever desires the harvest of the Hereafter – We increase for him in his harvest. And whoever desires the harvest of this world – We give him thereof, but there is not for him in the Hereafter any share.

أَمْ لَهُمْ شُرَكَـٰٓؤُا۟ شَرَعُوا۟ لَهُم مِّنَ ٱلدِّينِ مَا لَمْ يَأْذَنۢ بِهِ ٱللَّهُ ۚ وَلَوْلَا كَلِمَةُ ٱلْفَصْلِ لَقُضِىَ بَيْنَهُمْ ۗ وَإِنَّ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌۭ

Am lahum shurakaaa’u shara’oo lahum minad deeni maa lam yaazam bihil laah; wa law laa kalimatul fasli laqudiya bainahum; wa innaz zaalimeena lahum ‘azaabun aleem
21. Or have they other deities who have ordained for them a religion to which Allah has not consented? But if not for the decisive word, it would have been concluded between them. And indeed, the wrongdoers will have a painful punishment.

تَرَى ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ مُشْفِقِينَ مِمَّا كَسَبُوا۟ وَهُوَ وَاقِعٌۢ بِهِمْ ۗ وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ وَعَمِلُوا۟ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ فِى رَوْضَاتِ ٱلْجَنَّاتِ ۖ لَهُم مَّا يَشَآءُونَ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ ۚ ذَ‌ٰلِكَ هُوَ ٱلْفَضْلُ ٱلْكَبِيرُ

Taraz zaalimeena mushfiqeena mimmaa kasaboo wa huwa waaqi’um bihim; wallazeena aamanoo wa ‘amilus saalihaati fee rawdaatil jannaati lahum maa yashaaa’oona ‘inda Rabbihim; zaalika huwal fadlul kabeer
22. You will see the wrongdoers fearful of what they have earned, and it will [certainly] befall them. And those who have believed and done righteous deeds will be in lush regions of the gardens [in Paradise] having whatever they will in the presence of their Lord. That is what is the great bounty.

ذَ‌ٰلِكَ ٱلَّذِى يُبَشِّرُ ٱللَّهُ عِبَادَهُ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ وَعَمِلُوا۟ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ ۗ قُل لَّآ أَسْـَٔلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ أَجْرًا إِلَّا ٱلْمَوَدَّةَ فِى ٱلْقُرْبَىٰ ۗ وَمَن يَقْتَرِفْ حَسَنَةًۭ نَّزِدْ لَهُۥ فِيهَا حُسْنًا ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ غَفُورٌۭ شَكُورٌ

Zaalikal lazee yubash shirul laahu ‘ibaadahul lazeena aamanoo wa ‘amilus saalihaat; qul laaa as’alukum ‘alaihi ajran illal mawaddata fil qurbaa; wa mai yaqtarif hasanatan nazid lahoo feehaa husnaa; innal laaha Ghafoorun Shakoor
23. It is that of which Allah gives good tidings to His servants who believe and do righteous deeds. Say, [O Muhammad], “I do not ask you for this message any payment [but] only good will through kinship.” And whoever commits a good deed – We will increase for him good therein. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Appreciative.

أَمْ يَقُولُونَ ٱفْتَرَىٰ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ كَذِبًۭا ۖ فَإِن يَشَإِ ٱللَّهُ يَخْتِمْ عَلَىٰ قَلْبِكَ ۗ وَيَمْحُ ٱللَّهُ ٱلْبَـٰطِلَ وَيُحِقُّ ٱلْحَقَّ بِكَلِمَـٰتِهِۦٓ ۚ إِنَّهُۥ عَلِيمٌۢ بِذَاتِ ٱلصُّدُورِ

Am yaqooloonaf tara ‘alal laahi kaziban fa-iny yasha il laahu yakhtim ‘alaa qalbik; wa yamhul laahul baatila wa yuhiqqul haqqa bi Kalimaatih; innahoo ‘Aleemum bizaatis sudoor
24. Or do they say, “He has invented about Allah a lie”? But if Allah willed, He could seal over your heart. And Allah eliminates falsehood and establishes the truth by His words. Indeed, He is Knowing of that within the breasts.

وَهُوَ ٱلَّذِى يَقْبَلُ ٱلتَّوْبَةَ عَنْ عِبَادِهِۦ وَيَعْفُوا۟ عَنِ ٱلسَّيِّـَٔاتِ وَيَعْلَمُ مَا تَفْعَلُونَ

Wa Huwal lazee yaqbalut tawbata ‘an ‘ibaadihee wa ya’foo ‘anis saiyiaati wa ya’lamu maa taf’aloon
25. And it is He who accepts repentance from his servants and pardons misdeeds, and He knows what you do.

وَيَسْتَجِيبُ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ وَعَمِلُوا۟ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ وَيَزِيدُهُم مِّن فَضْلِهِۦ ۚ وَٱلْكَـٰفِرُونَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌۭ شَدِيدٌۭ

Wa yastajeebul lazeena aamanoo wa ‘amilu saalihaati wa yazeeduhum min fadlih; wal kaafiroona lahum ‘azaabun shadeed
26. And He answers [the supplication of] those who have believed and done righteous deeds and increases [for] them from His bounty. But the disbelievers will have a severe punishment.

۞ وَلَوْ بَسَطَ ٱللَّهُ ٱلرِّزْقَ لِعِبَادِهِۦ لَبَغَوْا۟ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ وَلَـٰكِن يُنَزِّلُ بِقَدَرٍۢ مَّا يَشَآءُ ۚ إِنَّهُۥ بِعِبَادِهِۦ خَبِيرٌۢ بَصِيرٌۭ

Wa law basatal laahur rizqa li’ibaadihee labaghaw fil ardi wa laakiny yunazzilu biqadarim maa yashaaa’; innahoo bi’ibaadihee Khabeerum Baseer
27. And if Allah had extended [excessively] provision for His servants, they would have committed tyranny throughout the earth. But He sends [it] down in an amount which He wills. Indeed He is, of His servants, Acquainted and Seeing.

وَهُوَ ٱلَّذِى يُنَزِّلُ ٱلْغَيْثَ مِنۢ بَعْدِ مَا قَنَطُوا۟ وَيَنشُرُ رَحْمَتَهُۥ ۚ وَهُوَ ٱلْوَلِىُّ ٱلْحَمِيدُ

Wa Huwal lazee yunazzilul ghaisa mim ba’di maa qanatoo wa yanshuru rahmatah; wa Huwal Waliyyul Hameed
28. And it is He who sends down the rain after they had despaired and spreads His mercy. And He is the Protector, the Praiseworthy.

وَمِنْ ءَايَـٰتِهِۦ خَلْقُ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَ‌ٰتِ وَٱلْأَرْضِ وَمَا بَثَّ فِيهِمَا مِن دَآبَّةٍۢ ۚ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ جَمْعِهِمْ إِذَا يَشَآءُ قَدِيرٌۭ

Wa min Aayaatihee khalqus samaawaati wal ardi wa maa bassa feehimaa min daaabbah; wa Huwa ‘alaa jam’ihim izaa yashaaa’u Qadeer (section 3)
29. And of his signs is the creation of the heavens and earth and what He has dispersed throughout them of creatures. And He, for gathering them when He wills, is competent.

وَمَآ أَصَـٰبَكُم مِّن مُّصِيبَةٍۢ فَبِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِيكُمْ وَيَعْفُوا۟ عَن كَثِيرٍۢ

Wa maaa asaabakum mim museebatin fabimaa kasabat aydeekum wa ya’foo ‘an kaseer
30. And whatever strikes you of disaster – it is for what your hands have earned; but He pardons much.

وَمَآ أَنتُم بِمُعْجِزِينَ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ ۖ وَمَا لَكُم مِّن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ مِن وَلِىٍّۢ وَلَا نَصِيرٍۢ

Wa maaa antum bimu’jizeena fil ardi wa maa lakum min doonil laahi minw wa liyyinw wa laa naseer
31. And you will not cause failure [to Allah ] upon the earth. And you have not besides Allah any protector or helper.

وَمِنْ ءَايَـٰتِهِ ٱلْجَوَارِ فِى ٱلْبَحْرِ كَٱلْأَعْلَـٰمِ

Wa min Aayaatihil ja waarifil bahri kal a’lam
32. And of His signs are the ships in the sea, like mountains.

إِن يَشَأْ يُسْكِنِ ٱلرِّيحَ فَيَظْلَلْنَ رَوَاكِدَ عَلَىٰ ظَهْرِهِۦٓ ۚ إِنَّ فِى ذَ‌ٰلِكَ لَءَايَـٰتٍۢ لِّكُلِّ صَبَّارٍۢ شَكُورٍ

Iny yashaaa yuskinir reeha fa yazlalna rawaakida ‘alaa zahirhi; inna fee zaalika la Aayaatil likulli sabbaarin shakoor
33. If He willed, He could still the wind, and they would remain motionless on its surface. Indeed in that are signs for everyone patient and grateful.

أَوْ يُوبِقْهُنَّ بِمَا كَسَبُوا۟ وَيَعْفُ عَن كَثِيرٍۢ

Aw yoobiqhunna bimaa kasaboo wa ya’fu ‘an kaseer
34. Or He could destroy them for what they earned; but He pardons much.

وَيَعْلَمَ ٱلَّذِينَ يُجَـٰدِلُونَ فِىٓ ءَايَـٰتِنَا مَا لَهُم مِّن مَّحِيصٍۢ

Wa ya’lamal lazeena yujaadiloona feee Aayaatinaa maa lahum mim mahees
35. And [that is so] those who dispute concerning Our signs may know that for them there is no place of escape.

فَمَآ أُوتِيتُم مِّن شَىْءٍۢ فَمَتَـٰعُ ٱلْحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنْيَا ۖ وَمَا عِندَ ٱللَّهِ خَيْرٌۭ وَأَبْقَىٰ لِلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ وَعَلَىٰ رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ

Famaa ooteetum min shai’in famataa’ul hayaatid dunyaa wa maa ‘indal laahi khairunw wa abqaa lillazeena aamanoo wa ‘alaa Rabbihim yatawakkaloon
36. So whatever thing you have been given – it is but [for] enjoyment of the worldly life. But what is with Allah is better and more lasting for those who have believed and upon their Lord rely

وَٱلَّذِينَ يَجْتَنِبُونَ كَبَـٰٓئِرَ ٱلْإِثْمِ وَٱلْفَوَ‌ٰحِشَ وَإِذَا مَا غَضِبُوا۟ هُمْ يَغْفِرُونَ

Wallazeena yajtaniboona kabaaa’iral ismi wal fawaa hisha wa izaa maa ghadiboo hum yaghfiroon
37. And those who avoid the major sins and immoralities, and when they are angry, they forgive,

وَٱلَّذِينَ ٱسْتَجَابُوا۟ لِرَبِّهِمْ وَأَقَامُوا۟ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَأَمْرُهُمْ شُورَىٰ بَيْنَهُمْ وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَـٰهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ

Wallazeenas tajaaboo li Rabbihim wa aqaamus Salaata wa amruhum shooraa bainahum wa mimmaa razaqnaahum yunfiqoon
38. And those who have responded to their lord and established prayer and whose affair is [determined by] consultation among themselves, and from what We have provided them, they spend.

وَٱلَّذِينَ إِذَآ أَصَابَهُمُ ٱلْبَغْىُ هُمْ يَنتَصِرُونَ

Wallazeena izaa asaabahumul baghyu hum yantasiroon
39. And those who, when tyranny strikes them, they defend themselves,

وَجَزَ‌ٰٓؤُا۟ سَيِّئَةٍۢ سَيِّئَةٌۭ مِّثْلُهَا ۖ فَمَنْ عَفَا وَأَصْلَحَ فَأَجْرُهُۥ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّهُۥ لَا يُحِبُّ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ

Wa jazaaa’u saiyi’atin saiyi’tum misluha faman ‘afaa wa aslaha fa ajruhoo ‘alal laah; innahoo laa yuhibbuz zaalimeen
40. And the retribution for an evil act is an evil one like it, but whoever pardons and makes reconciliation – his reward is [due] from Allah . Indeed, He does not like wrongdoers.

وَلَمَنِ ٱنتَصَرَ بَعْدَ ظُلْمِهِۦ فَأُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ مَا عَلَيْهِم مِّن سَبِيلٍ

Wa lamanin tasara ba’da zulmihee fa ulaaa’ika maa ‘alaihim min sabeel
41. And whoever avenges himself after having been wronged – those have not upon them any cause [for blame].

إِنَّمَا ٱلسَّبِيلُ عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ يَظْلِمُونَ ٱلنَّاسَ وَيَبْغُونَ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ بِغَيْرِ ٱلْحَقِّ ۚ أُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌۭ

Innamas sabeelu ‘alal lazeena yazlimoonan naasa wa yabghoona fil ardi bighairil haqq; ulaaa’ika lahum ‘azaabun aleem
42. The cause is only against the ones who wrong the people and tyrannize upon the earth without right. Those will have a painful punishment.

وَلَمَن صَبَرَ وَغَفَرَ إِنَّ ذَ‌ٰلِكَ لَمِنْ عَزْمِ ٱلْأُمُورِ

Wa laman sabara wa ghafara inna zaalika lamin ‘azmil umoor (section 4)
43. And whoever is patient and forgives – indeed, that is of the matters [requiring] determination.

وَمَن يُضْلِلِ ٱللَّهُ فَمَا لَهُۥ مِن وَلِىٍّۢ مِّنۢ بَعْدِهِۦ ۗ وَتَرَى ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ لَمَّا رَأَوُا۟ ٱلْعَذَابَ يَقُولُونَ هَلْ إِلَىٰ مَرَدٍّۢ مِّن سَبِيلٍۢ

Wa mai yudlilil laahu famaa lahoo minw waliyyim mim ba’dih; wa taraz zaalimeena lammaa ra awul ‘azaaba yaqooloona hal ilaa maraddim min sabeel
44. And he whom Allah sends astray – for him there is no protector beyond Him. And you will see the wrongdoers, when they see the punishment, saying, “Is there for return [to the former world] any way?”

وَتَرَىٰهُمْ يُعْرَضُونَ عَلَيْهَا خَـٰشِعِينَ مِنَ ٱلذُّلِّ يَنظُرُونَ مِن طَرْفٍ خَفِىٍّۢ ۗ وَقَالَ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓا۟ إِنَّ ٱلْخَـٰسِرِينَ ٱلَّذِينَ خَسِرُوٓا۟ أَنفُسَهُمْ وَأَهْلِيهِمْ يَوْمَ ٱلْقِيَـٰمَةِ ۗ أَلَآ إِنَّ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ فِى عَذَابٍۢ مُّقِيمٍۢ

Wa taraahum yu’radoona ‘alaihaa khaashi’eena minazzulli yanzuroona min tarfin khaifiyy; wa qaalal lazeena aamanooo innal khaasireenal lazeena khasiroon anfusahum wa ahleehim Yawmal Qiyaamah; alaaa innaz zaalimeena fee’azaabim muqeem
45. And you will see them being exposed to the Fire, humbled from humiliation, looking from [behind] a covert glance. And those who had believed will say, “Indeed, the [true] losers are the ones who lost themselves and their families on the Day of Resurrection. Unquestionably, the wrongdoers are in an enduring punishment.”

وَمَا كَانَ لَهُم مِّنْ أَوْلِيَآءَ يَنصُرُونَهُم مِّن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ ۗ وَمَن يُضْلِلِ ٱللَّهُ فَمَا لَهُۥ مِن سَبِيلٍ

Wa maa kaana lahum min awliyaaa’a yansuroonahum min doonil laah; wa mai yudlilil laahu famaa lahoo min sabeel
46. And there will not be for them any allies to aid them other than Allah . And whoever Allah sends astray – for him there is no way.

ٱسْتَجِيبُوا۟ لِرَبِّكُم مِّن قَبْلِ أَن يَأْتِىَ يَوْمٌۭ لَّا مَرَدَّ لَهُۥ مِنَ ٱللَّهِ ۚ مَا لَكُم مِّن مَّلْجَإٍۢ يَوْمَئِذٍۢ وَمَا لَكُم مِّن نَّكِيرٍۢ

Istajeeboo li Rabbikum min qabli any yaatiya Yawmul laa maradda lahoo minal laah; maa lakum mim malja iny yawma’izinw wa maa lakum min nakeer
47. Respond to your Lord before a Day comes from Allah of which there is no repelling. No refuge will you have that day, nor for you will there be any denial.

فَإِنْ أَعْرَضُوا۟ فَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَـٰكَ عَلَيْهِمْ حَفِيظًا ۖ إِنْ عَلَيْكَ إِلَّا ٱلْبَلَـٰغُ ۗ وَإِنَّآ إِذَآ أَذَقْنَا ٱلْإِنسَـٰنَ مِنَّا رَحْمَةًۭ فَرِحَ بِهَا ۖ وَإِن تُصِبْهُمْ سَيِّئَةٌۢ بِمَا قَدَّمَتْ أَيْدِيهِمْ فَإِنَّ ٱلْإِنسَـٰنَ كَفُورٌۭ

Fa-in a’radoo famaaa arsalnaaka ‘alaihim hafeezan in ‘alaika illal balaagh; wa innaaa izaaa azaqnal insaana minnaa rahmatan fariha bihaa wa in tusibhum saiyi’atum bimaa qaddamat aydeehim fa innal insaana kafoor
48. But if they turn away – then We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], over them as a guardian; upon you is only [the duty of] notification. And indeed, when We let man taste mercy from us, he rejoices in it; but if evil afflicts him for what his hands have put forth, then indeed, man is ungrateful.

لِّلَّهِ مُلْكُ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَ‌ٰتِ وَٱلْأَرْضِ ۚ يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَآءُ ۚ يَهَبُ لِمَن يَشَآءُ إِنَـٰثًۭا وَيَهَبُ لِمَن يَشَآءُ ٱلذُّكُورَ

Lillaahi mulkus samaawaati wal ard; yakhluqu maa yashaaa’; yahabu limai yashaaa’u inaasanw wa yahabu limai yashaaa’uz zukoor
49. To Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth; He creates what he wills. He gives to whom He wills female [children], and He gives to whom He wills males.

أَوْ يُزَوِّجُهُمْ ذُكْرَانًۭا وَإِنَـٰثًۭا ۖ وَيَجْعَلُ مَن يَشَآءُ عَقِيمًا ۚ إِنَّهُۥ عَلِيمٌۭ قَدِيرٌۭ

Aw yuzawwijuhum zukraananw wa inaasanw wa yaj’alu mai yashaaa’u ‘aqeemaa; innahoo ‘Aleemun Qadeer
50. Or He makes them [both] males and females, and He renders whom He wills barren. Indeed, He is Knowing and Competent.

۞ وَمَا كَانَ لِبَشَرٍ أَن يُكَلِّمَهُ ٱللَّهُ إِلَّا وَحْيًا أَوْ مِن وَرَآئِ حِجَابٍ أَوْ يُرْسِلَ رَسُولًۭا فَيُوحِىَ بِإِذْنِهِۦ مَا يَشَآءُ ۚ إِنَّهُۥ عَلِىٌّ حَكِيمٌۭ

Wa maa kaana libasharin any yukallimahul laahu illaa wahyan aw minw waraaa’i hijaabin aw yursila Rasoolan fa yoohiya bi iznuhee maa yashaaa’; innahoo ‘Aliyyun Hakeem
51. And it is not for any human being that Allah should speak to him except by revelation or from behind a partition or that He sends a messenger to reveal, by His permission, what He wills. Indeed, He is Most High and Wise.

وَكَذَ‌ٰلِكَ أَوْحَيْنَآ إِلَيْكَ رُوحًۭا مِّنْ أَمْرِنَا ۚ مَا كُنتَ تَدْرِى مَا ٱلْكِتَـٰبُ وَلَا ٱلْإِيمَـٰنُ وَلَـٰكِن جَعَلْنَـٰهُ نُورًۭا نَّهْدِى بِهِۦ مَن نَّشَآءُ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا ۚ وَإِنَّكَ لَتَهْدِىٓ إِلَىٰ صِرَ‌ٰطٍۢ مُّسْتَقِيمٍۢ

Wa kazaalika awhainaaa ilaika rooham min amrinaa; maa kunta tadree mal Kitaabu wa lal eemaanu wa laakin ja’alnaahu nooran nahdee bihee man nashaaa’u min ‘ibaadinaa; wa innaka latahdeee ilaaa Siraatim Mustaqeem
52. And thus We have revealed to you an inspiration of Our command. You did not know what is the Book or [what is] faith, but We have made it a light by which We guide whom We will of Our servants. And indeed, [O Muhammad], you guide to a straight path –

صِرَ‌ٰطِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلَّذِى لَهُۥ مَا فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَ‌ٰتِ وَمَا فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ ۗ أَلَآ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ تَصِيرُ ٱلْأُمُورُ

Siraatil laahil lazee lahoo maa fis samaawaati wa maa fil ard; alaaa ilal laahi taseerul umoor (section 5)
53. The path of Allah, to whom belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. Unquestionably, to Allah do [all] matters evolve.

Tafsir of Surah Shura

The revelation of the Qur’an was to call people to Islam and to be a book of guidance.

We should regularly read the Quran as I am sure you know, but let’s not neglect to study it’s message and it’s teaching. Below you can benefit from reading the commentary of Surah Shura by Ibn Kathir and from Tafheem ul Quran by Abul A’a Maududi.

Surah Ash Shura Tafsir by Ibn Kathir

Which was revealed in Makkah

 

﴿بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ﴾

 

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

The Revelation and Allah’s Might

We have previously discussed the individual letters.

﴿كَذَلِكَ يُوحِى إِلَيْكَ وَإِلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكَ اللَّهُ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ ﴾

 

(Likewise Allah, the Almighty, the All-Wise sends revelation to you as to those before you.) means, `just as this Qur’an has been revealed to you, so too the Books and Scriptures were revealed to the Prophets who came before you.’

﴿اللَّهِ الْعَزِيزِ﴾

 

(Allah, the Almighty) means, in His vengeance

﴿الْحَكِيمُ﴾

 

(the All-Wise) means, in all that He says and does. Imam Malik, may Allah have mercy on him, narrated that `A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said, “Al-Harith bin Hisham asked the Messenger of Allah , `O Messenger of Allah, how does the revelation come to you’ The Messenger of Allah said:

«أَحْيَانًا يَأْتِينِي مِثْلَ صَلْصَلَةِ الْجَرَسِ، وَهُوَ أَشَدُّهُ عَلَيَّ فَيَفْصِمُ عَنِّي وَقَدْ وَعَيْتُ مَا قَالَ، وَأَحْيَانًا يَأْتِينِي الْمَلَكُ رَجُلًا فَيُكَلِّمُنِي فَأَعِي مَا يَقُول»

 

(Sometimes it comes to me like the ringing of a bell, which is the most difficult for me; then it goes away, and I understand what was said. And sometimes the angel comes to me in the image of a man, and he speaks to me and I understand what he says.)” `A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said, “I saw him receiving the revelation on a very cold day, and when it departed from him, there were beads of sweat on his forehead.” It was also reported in the Two Sahihs, and the version quoted here is that recorded by Al-Bukhari.

﴿لَهُ مَا فِى السَّمَـوَت وَمَا فِى الاٌّرْضِ﴾

 

(To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth,) means, everything is subject to His dominion and control.

﴿وَهُوَ الْعَلِىُّ الْعَظِيمُ﴾

 

(and He is the Most High, the Most Great.) This is like the Ayat:

﴿الْكَبِيرُ الْمُتَعَالِ﴾

 

(the Most Great, the Most High) (13:9), and

﴿وَهُوَ الْعَلِىُّ الْكَبِيرُ﴾

 

(He is the Most High, the Most Great) (22:62). And there are many similar Ayat.

﴿تَكَادُ السَّمَـوَتُ يَتَفَطَّرْنَ مِن فَوْقِهِنَّ﴾

 

(Nearly the heavens might be rent asunder from above them,) Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah, As-Suddi and Ka`b Al-Ahbar said, “Out of fear of His might.”

﴿وَالْمَلَـئِكَةُ يُسَبِّحُونَ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّهِمْ وَيَسْتَغْفِرُونَ لِمَن فِى الاٌّرْضِ﴾

 

(and the angels glorify the praises of their Lord, and ask for forgiveness for those on the earth.) This is like the Ayah:

﴿الَّذِينَ يَحْمِلُونَ الْعَرْشَ وَمَنْ حَوْلَهُ يُسَبِّحُونَ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّهِمْ وَيُؤْمِنُونَ بِهِ وَيَسْتَغْفِرُونَ لِلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ رَبَّنَا وَسِعْتَ كُـلَّ شَىْءٍ رَّحْمَةً وَعِلْماً﴾

 

(Those who bear the Throne and those around it glorify the praises of their Lord, and believe in Him, and ask forgiveness for those who believe (saying): “Our Lord! You comprehend all things in mercy and knowledge,”) (40:7)

﴿أَلاَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ﴾

 

(Lo! Verily, Allah is the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.) This is a reminder, to take heed of this fact.

﴿وَالَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُواْ مِن دُونِهِ أَوْلِيَآءَ﴾

 

(And as for those who take as protecting friends others besides Him) This refers to the idolators,

﴿اللَّهُ حَفِيظٌ عَلَيْهِمْ﴾

 

(Allah is Hafiz over them.) meaning, He is Witness to their deeds, recording and enumerating them precisely, and He will requite them for them in full.

﴿وَمَآ أَنتَ عَلَيْهِم بِوَكِيلٍ﴾

 

(and you are not a trustee over them.) meaning, `you are just a warner, and Allah is the Trustee of all affairs.’

The Qur’an was revealed to serve as a Warning

Allah says, `just as We sent revelation to the Prophets before you,’

﴿أَوْحَيْنَآ إِلَيْكَ قُرْءَاناً عَرَبِيّاً﴾

 

(thus We have revealed to you a Qur’an in Arabic) meaning, plain, clear, and manifest

﴿لِّتُنذِرَ أُمَّ الْقُرَى﴾

 

(that you may warn the Mother of the Towns), i.e., Makkah,

﴿وَمَنْ حَوْلَهَا﴾

 

(and all around it,) means, all the lands, east and west. Makkah is called Umm Al-Qura (the Mother of the Towns) because it is nobler than all other lands, as indicated by much evidence that has been discussed elsewhere. Among the most concise and clear proofs of that is the report recorded by Imam Ahmad from `Abdullah bin `Adi bin Al-Hamra’ Az-Zuhri, who heard the Messenger of Allah say, as he was standing in the market place of Makkah;

«وَاللهِ إِنَّكِ لَخَيْرُ أَرْضِ اللهِ وَأَحَبُّ أَرْضِ اللهِ إِلَى اللهِ، وَلَوْلَا أَنِّي أُخْرِجْتُ مِنْكِ مَا خَرَجْت»

 

(By Allah, you are the best land of Allah, the most beloved land to Allah; were it not for the fact that I was driven out from you, I would never have left you.) This was also recorded by At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa’i and Ibn Majah; At-Tirmidhi said, “Hasan Sahih. ”

﴿وَتُنذِرَ يَوْمَ الْجَمْعِ﴾

 

(and warn (them) of the Day of Assembling) i.e., the Day of Resurrection, when Allah will assemble the first and the last in one plain.

﴿لاَ رَيْبَ فِيهِ﴾

 

(of which there is no doubt,) means, there is no doubt that it will happen and will most certainly come to pass.

﴿فَرِيقٌ فِى الْجَنَّةِ وَفَرِيقٌ فِى السَّعِيرِ﴾

 

(a party will be in Paradise and a party in the blazing Fire.) This is like the Ayah:

﴿يَوْمَ يَجْمَعُكُمْ لِيَوْمِ الْجَمْعِ ذَلِكَ يَوْمُ التَّغَابُنِ﴾

 

((And remember) the Day when He will gather you (all) on the Day of Gathering, — that will be the Day of mutual loss and gain) (64:9). which means that the people of Paradise and the people of Hell will gain and lose, respectively. And it is like the Ayah:

﴿إِنَّ فِى ذلِكَ لآيَةً لِّمَنْ خَافَ عَذَابَ الاٌّخِرَةِ ذلِكَ يَوْمٌ مَّجْمُوعٌ لَّهُ النَّاسُ وَذَلِكَ يَوْمٌ مَّشْهُودٌ – وَمَا نُؤَخِّرُهُ إِلاَّ لاًّجَلٍ مَّعْدُودٍ – يَوْمَ يَأْتِ لاَ تَكَلَّمُ نَفْسٌ إِلاَّ بِإِذْنِهِ فَمِنْهُمْ شَقِىٌّ وَسَعِيدٌ ﴾

 

(Indeed in that (there) is a sure lesson for those who fear the torment of the Hereafter. That is a Day whereon will be gathered together, and that is a Day when all (the dwellers of the heavens and the earth) will be present. And We delay it only for a term fixed. On the Day when it comes, no person shall speak except by His leave. Some among them will be wretched and (others) blessed.) (11:103-105) Imam Ahmad recorded that `Abdullah bin `Amr, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “The Messenger of Allah came out to us, holding two books in his hand. He said,

«أَتَدْرُونَ مَا هذَانِ الْكِتَابَانِ؟»

 

(Do you know what these two books are) We said, “We do not know unless you tell us, O Messenger of Allah.” Concerning the book in his right hand, He said:

«هَذَا كِتَابٌ مِنْ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ بِأَسْمَاءِ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ وَأَسْمَاءِ آبَائِهِمْ وَقَبَائِلِهِمْ، ثُمَّ أُجْمِلَ عَلى آخِرِهِمْ، لَا يُزَادُ فِيهِمْ وَلَا يُنْقَصُ مِنْهُمْ أبدًا»

 

(This is a book from the Lord of the worlds, containing the names of the people of Paradise and of their fathers and tribes; all of them are detailed, down to the last one of them, and nothing will be added or taken away from it.) Then concerning the book in his left hand, he said:

«هَذَا كِتَابُ أَهْلِ النَّارِ بِأَسْمَائِهِمْ وَأَسْمَاءِ آبَائِهِمْ وَقَبَائِلِهِمْ، ثُمَّ أُجْمِلَ عَلى آخِرِهِمْ، لَا يُزَادُ فِيهِمْ وَلَا يُنْقَصُ مِنْهُمْ أَبَدًا»

 

(This is the book of the people of Hell, containing their names and the names of their fathers and tribes, all of them are detailed down to the last one of them, and nothing will be added or taken away from it.) The Companions of the Messenger of Allah said, “Why should we strive if it is something that is already cut and dried” The Messenger of Allah said:

«سَدِّدُوا وَقَارِبُوا فَإِنَّ صَاحِبَ الْجَنَّةِ يُخْتَمُ لَهُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ، وَإِنْ عَمِلَ أَيَّ عَمَلٍ،وَإِنَّ صَاحِبَ النَّارِ يُخْتَمُ لَهُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ النَّارِ، وَإِنْ عَمِلَ أَيَّ عَمَل»

 

(Strive with your deeds as hard as you can for middle course or close to it, for the person who is destined for Paradise will die doing the deeds of the people of Paradise, regardless of what he did before, and the person who is destined for Hell will die doing the deeds of the people of Hell, regardless of what he did before.) Then he made a gesture with his fist and said,

«فَرَغَ رَبُّكُمْ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ مِنَ الْعِبَاد»

 

(Your Lord has settled the matter of His servants) and he opened his right hand as if throwing something;

«فَرِيقٌ فِي الْجَنَّة»

 

(A party in Paradise.) and he made a similar gesture with his left hand;

«فَرِيقٌ فِي السَّعِير»

 

(And a party in the blazing Fire.)” This was also recorded by At-Tirmidhi, and An-Nasa’i; At-Tirmidhi said, “Hasan Sahih Gharib.” Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Nadrah said, “One of the Companions of the Prophet , whose name was Abu Abdullah, was visited by some of his friends, and they found him weeping. They asked him, `What has caused you to weep Didn’t the Messenger of Allah say to you,

«خُذْ مِنْ شَارِبِكَ ثُمَّ أَقِرَّهُ حَتَّى تَلْقَانِي»

 

(Trim your moustache and adhere to that practice until you meet me)’ He said, `Yes, but I heard the Messenger of Allah say;

«إِنَّ اللهَ تَعَالَى قَبَضَ بِيَمِينِهِ قَبْضَةً وَأُخْرَى بِالْيَدِ الْأُخْرَى، قَالَ: هذِهِ لِهذِهِ، وَهذِهِ لِهذِهِ، وَلَا أُبَالِي»

 

(Allah picked up a handful in His Right Hand and another in His other Hand, and said, “This is for this and this is for this, and I do not care.”) `And I do not know in which of the two handfuls I am.”’ There are several Hadiths about Al-Qadr (the Divine Decree) in the books of Sahih, Sunan and Musnad. Including those narrated by `Ali, Ibn Mas`ud, `A’ishah and a large number of Companions, may Allah be pleased with them all.

﴿وَلَوْ شَآءَ اللَّهُ لَجَعَلَهُمْ أُمَّةً وَحِدَةً﴾

 

(And if Allah had willed, He could have made them one nation,) means, either all following guidance or all following misguidance, but He made them all different, and He guides whomsoever He wills to the truth and He sends astray whomsoever He wills, and He has complete wisdom and perfect proof. Allah says:

﴿وَلَـكِن يُدْخِلُ مَن يَشَآءُ فِى رَحْمَتِهِ وَالظَّـلِمُونَ مَا لَهُمْ مِّن وَلِىٍّ وَلاَ نَصِيرٍ﴾

 

(but He admits whom He wills to His mercy. And the wrongdoers will have neither a protector nor a helper.)

Allah is the Protector, Ruler and Creator

Here Allah denounces the idolators for taking other gods instead of Allah, and declares that He is the True God, and it is not right to worship anyone except Him Alone. He is the One Who is able to bring the dead back to life and He is Able to do all things. Then He says:

﴿وَمَا اخْتَلَفْتُمْ فِيهِ مِن شَىْءٍ فَحُكْمُهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ﴾

 

(And in whatsoever you differ, the decision thereof is with Allah.) means, in whatever issue you differ. This is general in meaning and applies to all things.

﴿فَحُكْمُهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ﴾

 

(the decision thereof is with Allah.) means, He is the Judge of that, according to His Book and the Sunnah of His Prophet . This is like the Ayah:

﴿فَإِن تَنَازَعْتُمْ فِى شَىْءٍ فَرُدُّوهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَالرَّسُولِ﴾

 

((And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger) (4:59).

﴿ذَلِكُمُ اللَّهُ رَبِّى﴾

 

(Such is Allah, my Lord) means, (He is) the Judge of all things.

﴿عَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلْتُ وَإِلَيْهِ أُنِيبُ﴾

 

(in Whom I put my trust, and to Him I turn in repentance. ) means, `I refer all matters to Him.’

﴿فَاطِرَ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ﴾

 

(The Creator of the heavens and the earth.) means, the Maker of them both and everything in between.

﴿جَعَلَ لَكُمْ مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَاجًا﴾

 

(He has made for you mates from yourselves,) means, of your own kind. As a blessing and a favor from Him, He has made your kind male and female.

﴿وَمِنَ الاٌّنْعَـمِ أَزْوجاً﴾

 

(and for the cattle (also) mates.) means, and He has created for you eight pairs of cattle.

﴿يَذْرَؤُكُمْ فِيهِ﴾

 

(By this means He creates you.) means, in this manner He creates you, male and female, generation after generation of men and cattle.

﴿لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَىْءٌ﴾

 

(There is nothing like Him,) means, there is nothing like the Creator of these pairs, for He is the Unique, the Self-Sufficient Master, Who has no peer or equal.

﴿وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ﴾

 

(He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.)

﴿لَهُ مَقَـلِيدُ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ﴾

 

(To Him belong the keys of the heavens and the earth. ) We have already discussed the interpretation of this phrase in Surat Az-Zumar (39:63), the conclusion of which is that He is the One Who is controlling and governing them.

﴿يَبْسُطُ الرِّزْقَ لِمَنْ يَشَآءُ وَيَقَدِرُ﴾

 

(He expands provision for whom He wills, and straitens.) means, He gives plentiful provision to whomsoever He wills and He reduces it for whomsoever He wills, and He is perfectly Wise and Just.

﴿إِنَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَىْءٍ عَلِيمٌ﴾

 

(Verily, He is the All-Knower of everything.)

The Religion of the Messengers is One

Allah says to this Ummah:

﴿شَرَعَ لَكُم مِّنَ الِدِينِ مَا وَصَّى بِهِ نُوحاً وَالَّذِى أَوْحَيْنَآ إِلَيْكَ﴾

 

(He (Allah) has ordained for you the same religion which He ordained for Nuh, and that which We have revealed to you,) Allah mentions the first Messenger who was sent after Adam, that is, Nuh, peace be upon them, and the last of them is Muhammad . Then He mentions those who came in between them who were the Messengers of strong will, namely Ibrahim, Musa and `Isa bin Maryam. This Ayah mentions all five, just as they are also mentioned in the Ayah in Surat Al-Ahzab, where Allah says:

﴿وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِنَ النَّبِيِّيْنَ مِيثَاقَهُمْ وَمِنْكَ وَمِن نُّوحٍ وَإِبْرَهِيمَ وَمُوسَى وَعِيسَى ابْنِ مَرْيَمَ﴾

 

(And (remember) when We took from the Prophets their covenant, and from you, and from Nuh, Ibrahim, Musa, and `Isa son of Maryam.) (33:7). The Message which all the Messengers brought was to worship Allah Alone, with no partner or associate, as Allah says:

﴿وَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ مِن رَّسُولٍ إِلاَّ نُوحِى إِلَيْهِ أَنَّهُ لا إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ أَنَاْ فَاعْبُدُونِ ﴾

 

(And We did not send any Messenger before you but We revealed to him (saying): None has the right to be worshipped but I, so worship Me.) (21:25). And according to a Hadith (the Prophet said):

«نَحْنُ مَعْشَرَ الْأَنْبِيَاءِ أَوْلَادُ عَلَّاتٍ، دِينُنَا وَاحِد»

 

(We Prophets are brothers and our religion is one.) In other words, the common bond between them is that Allah Alone is to be worshipped, with no partner or associate, even though their laws and ways may differ, as Allah says.

﴿لِكُلٍّ جَعَلْنَا مِنكُمْ شِرْعَةً وَمِنْهَـجاً﴾

 

(To each among you, We have prescribed a law and a clear way) (5:48). Allah says here:

﴿أَنْ أَقِيمُواْ الدِّينَ وَلاَ تَتَفَرَّقُواْ فِيهِ﴾

 

(saying you should establish religion and make no divisions in it.) meaning, Allah enjoined all the Prophets (peace and blessings of Allah be upon them all) to be as one and He forbade them to differ and be divided. t

﴿كَبُرَ عَلَى الْمُشْرِكِينَ مَا تَدْعُوهُمْ إِلَيْهِ﴾

 

(Intolerable for the idolators is that to which you call them.) means, `it is too much for them to bear, and they hate that to which you call them, O Muhammad, i.e., Tawhid.’

﴿اللَّهُ يَجْتَبِى إِلَيْهِ مَن يَشَآءُ وَيَهْدِى إِلَيْهِ مَن يُنِيبُ﴾

 

(Allah chooses for Himself whom He wills, and guides unto Himself who turns to Him in repentance.) means, He is the One Who decrees guidance for those who deserve it, and decrees misguidance for those who prefer it to the right path. Allah says here;

﴿وَمَا تَفَرَّقُواْاللَّهِ إِلاَّ مَنبَعْدِ مَا جَآءَهُمُ الْعِلْمُ﴾

 

(And they divided not till after knowledge had come to them,) means, their opposition to the truth arose after it had come to them and proof had been established against them. Nothing made them resist in this manner except their transgression and stubbornness.

﴿وَلَوْلاَ كَلِمَةٌ سَبَقَتْ مِن رَّبِّكَ إِلَى أَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى﴾

 

(And had it not been for a Word that went forth before from your Lord for an appointed term,) means, were it not for the fact that Allah had already decreed that He would delay the reckoning of His servants until the Day of Resurrection, the punishment would have been hastened for them in this world.

﴿وَإِنَّ الَّذِينَ أُورِثُواْ الْكِتَـبَ مِن بَعْدِهِمْ﴾

 

(And verily, those who were made to inherit the Scripture after them,) means, the later generation which came after the earlier generation which had rejected the truth.

﴿لَفِى شَكٍّ مِّنْهُ مُرِيبٍ﴾

 

(are in grave doubt concerning it. ) means, they do not have any firm conviction in matters of religion; they merely imitate their forefathers, without any evidence or proof. So they are very confused and doubtful.

This Ayah includes ten separate and independent ideas, each of which is a ruling on its own.

They (the scholars) said that there is nothing else like it in the Qur’an, apart from Ayat Al-Kursi ﴿2:255﴾, which also includes ten ideas.

﴿فَلِذَلِكَ فَادْعُ﴾

 

(So unto this then invite (people),) means, `so call people to this which We have revealed to you and which We enjoined upon all the Prophets before you,’ the Prophets of major ways ﴿of Shari`ah﴾ that were followed, such as the Messengers of strong will, and others.

﴿وَاسْتَقِمْ كَمَآ أُمِرْتَ﴾

 

(and stand firm as you are commanded, ) means, `adhere firmly, you and those who follow you, to the worship of Allah as He has commanded you.’

﴿وَلاَ تَتَّبِعْ أَهْوَآءَهُمْ﴾

 

(and follow not their desires) means, the desires of the idolators, in the falsehoods that they have invented and fabricated by worshipping idols.

﴿وَقُلْ ءَامَنتُ بِمَآ أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ مِن كِتَـبٍ﴾

 

(but say: “I believe in whatsoever Allah has sent down of the Book…”) means, `I believe in all the Books that have been revealed from heaven to the Prophets; we do not differentiate between any of them.’

﴿وَأُمِرْتُ لاًّعْدِلَ بَيْنَكُمُ﴾

 

(and I am commanded to do justice among you.) means, when judging according to the commands of Allah.

﴿اللَّهُ رَبُّنَا وَرَبُّكُمْ﴾

 

(Allah is our Lord and your Lord.) means, `He is the One Who is to be worshipped, and there is no true God but He. We affirm this willingly, and even though you do not do so willingly, everyone in the universe prostrates to Him obediently and willingly.’

﴿لَنَآ أَعْمَـلُنَا وَلَكُمْ أَعْمَـلُكُمْ﴾

 

(For us our deeds and for you your deeds.) means, `we have nothing to do with you. ‘ This is like the Ayah:

﴿وَإِن كَذَّبُوكَ فَقُل لِّى عَمَلِى وَلَكُمْ عَمَلُكُمْ أَنتُمْ بَرِيئُونَ مِمَّآ أَعْمَلُ وَأَنَاْ بَرِىءٌ مِّمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ ﴾

 

(And if they demy you, say: “For me are my deeds and for you are your deeds! You are innocent of what I do, and I am innocent of what you do!”) (10:41)

﴿لاَ حُجَّةَ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمُ﴾

 

(There is no dispute between us and you.) Mujahid said, “This means, no argument.” As-Suddi said, “This was before Ayah of the sword was revealed.” This fits the context, because this Ayah was revealed in Makkah, and Ayah of the sword ﴿22:39-40﴾ was revealed after the Hijrah.

﴿اللَّهُ يَجْمَعُ بَيْنَنَا﴾

 

(Allah will assemble us (all),) means, on the Day of Resurrection. This is like the Ayah:

﴿قُلْ يَجْمَعُ بَيْنَنَا رَبُّنَا ثُمَّ يَفْتَحُ بَيْنَنَا بِالْحَقِّ وَهُوَ الْفَتَّاحُ الْعَلِيمُ ﴾

 

(Say: “Our Lord will assemble us all together, then He will judge between us with truth. And He is the Just Judge, the All-Knower of the true state of affairs.”) (34:26).

﴿وَإِلَيْهِ الْمَصِيرُ﴾

 

(and to Him is the final return.) means, the final return on the Day of Reckoning.

A Warning to Those Who dispute concerning Matters of Religion

Here Allah warns those who try to hinder those who believe in Allah, from following His path.

﴿وَالَّذِينَ يُحَآجُّونَ فِى اللَّهِ مِن بَعْدِ مَا اسَتُجِيبَ لَهُ﴾

 

(And those who dispute concerning Allah, after it has been accepted,) means, those who dispute with the believers who have responded to Allah and His Messenger, and try to stop them from following the path of guidance.

﴿حُجَّتُهُمْ دَاحِضَةٌ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ﴾

 

(no use is their dispute before their Lord) means, it is futile before Allah.

﴿وَعَلَيْهِمْ غَضَبٌ﴾

 

(and on them is wrath,) means, from Him.

﴿وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ شَدِيدٌ﴾

 

(and for them will be a severe torment.) means, on the Day of Resurrection. Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, and Mujahid said, “They disputed with the believers after they responded to Allah and His Messenger, and tried to prevent them from following the path of guidance, hoping that they would return to Jahiliyyah.” Qatadah said, “These were the Jews and Christians who said to them, `Our religion is better than your religion, our Prophet came before your Prophet, and we are better than you and closer to Allah than you. ”’ This was nothing but lies. Then Allah says:

﴿اللَّهُ الَّذِى أَنزَلَ الْكِتَـبَ بِالْحَقِّ﴾

 

(It is Allah Who has sent down the Book in truth,) referring to all the Books which were revealed from Him to His Prophets.

﴿وَالْمِيزَانَ﴾

 

(and the Balance.) means, justice and fairness. This was the view of Mujahid and Qatadah. This is like the Ayat:

﴿لَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا رُسُلَنَا بِالْبَيِّنَـتِ وَأَنزَلْنَا مَعَهُمُ الْكِتَـبَ وَالْمِيزَانَ لِيَقُومَ النَّاسُ بِالْقِسْطِ﴾

 

(Indeed We have sent Our Messengers with clear proofs, and revealed with them the Scripture and the Balance that mankind may keep up justice) (57:25).

﴿وَالسَّمَآءَ رَفَعَهَا وَوَضَعَ الْمِيزَانَ – أَلاَّ تَطْغَوْاْ فِى الْمِيزَانِ – وَأَقِيمُواْ الْوَزْنَ بِالْقِسْطِ وَلاَ تُخْسِرُواْ الْمِيزَانَ ﴾

 

(And the heaven He has raised high, and He has set up the Balance. In order that you may not transgress (due) balance. And observe the weight with equity and do not make the balance deficient.)(55:7-9)

﴿وَمَا يُدْرِيكَ لَعَلَّ السَّاعَةَ قَرِيبٌ﴾

 

(And what can make you know that perhaps the Hour is close at hand) This is encouragement (to strive) for its sake, a terrifying warning, and advice to think little of this world.

﴿يَسْتَعْجِلُ بِهَا الَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِهَا﴾

 

(Those who believe not therein seek to hasten it,) means, they say, `when will this promise be fulfilled, if you are telling the truth’ But they say this by way of disbelief and stubbornness, thinking that it is unlikely to happen.

﴿وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مُشْفِقُونَ مِنْهَا﴾

 

(while those who believe are fearful of it) means, they are afraid of it happening.

﴿وَيَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّهَا الْحَقُّ﴾

 

(and know that it is the very truth.) means, that it will undoubtedly come to pass, so they prepare themselves for it and strive for its sake. It was reported through various chains of narration, a number reaching the level of being Mutawatir, in Sahih and Hasan narrations, in the Books of Sunan and Musnad. According to some versions, a man addressed the Messenger of Allah in a loud voice, when he was on one of his journeys, calling out to him, “O Muhammad!” The Messenger of Allah replied in a similar manner, “Here I am!” The man said, “When will the Hour come” The Messenger of Allah said,

«وَيْحَكَ إِنَّهَا كَائِنَةٌ فَمَا أَعْدَدْتَ لَهَا؟»

 

(Woe to you! It will most certainly come. What have you done to prepare for it) He said, “Love for Allah and His Messenger.” He said:

«أَنْتَ مَعَ مَنْ أَحْبَبْت»

 

(You will be with those whom you love.) According to another Hadith:

«الْمَرْءُ مَعَ مَنْ أَحَب»

 

(“A man will be with those whom he loves.) This is Mutawatir beyond a doubt. The point is that he did not answer his question about when the Hour would happen, but he commanded him to prepare for it.

﴿أَلاَ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُمَارُونَ فَى السَّاعَةِ﴾

 

(Verily, those who dispute concerning the Hour) means, who dispute whether it will happen and think it is unlikely ever to come,

﴿لَفِى ضَلَـلَ بَعِيدٍ﴾

 

(are certainly in error far away.) means, they are clearly ignorant, because the One Who created the heavens and the earth is even more able to give life to the dead, as Allah says:

﴿وَهُوَ الَّذِى يَبْدَأُ الْخَلْقَ ثُمَّ يُعِيدُهُ وَهُوَ أَهْوَنُ عَلَيْهِ﴾

 

(And He it is Who originates the creation, then He will repeat it; and this is easier for Him) (30:27).

The Provision of Allah in this World and the Hereafter

Here Allah speaks of His kindness towards His creation, in that He provides for every last one of them and does not forget anyone. When it comes to His provision, the righteous and the sinner are alike. Allah says:

﴿وَمَا مِن دَآبَّةٍ فِي الاٌّرْضِ إِلاَّ عَلَى اللَّهِ رِزْقُهَا وَيَعْلَمُ مُسْتَقَرَّهَا وَمُسْتَوْدَعَهَا كُلٌّ فِى كِتَابٍ مُّبِينٍ ﴾

 

(And no moving creature is there on the earth but its provision is due from Allah. And He knows its dwelling place and its deposit. All is in a Clear Book.) (11:6) And there are many similar Ayat.

﴿يَرْزُقُ مَن يَشَآءُ﴾

 

(He gives provisions to whom He wills.) means, He gives generously to whomsoever He wills.

﴿وَهُوَ الْقَوِىُّ الْعَزِيزُ﴾

 

(And He is the All-Strong, the Almighty.) means, there is nothing that can overpower Him. Then Allah says:

﴿مَن كَانَ يُرِيدُ حَرْثَ الاٌّخِرَةِ﴾

 

(Whosoever desires the reward of the Hereafter,) means, whoever does things for the sake of the Hereafter,

﴿نَزِدْ لَهُ فِى حَرْثِهِ﴾

 

(We give him increase in his reward, ) meaning, `We will give him strength and help him to do what he wants to do, and We will increase it for him. So for every good, We will multiply it and give him between ten and seven hundred good rewards,’ as much as Allah wills.

﴿وَمَن كَانَ يُرِيدُ حَرْثَ الدُّنْيَا نُؤْتِهِ مِنْهَا وَمَا لَهُ فِى الاٌّخِرَةِ مِن نَّصِيبٍ﴾

 

(and whosoever desires the reward of this world, We give him thereof, and he has no portion in the Hereafter.) means, whoever strives for the purpose of worldly gains, and never pays any heed to the Hereafter at all, Allah will deny him the Hereafter; and in this world, if He wills He will give to him and if He does not will, he will gain neither. So the one who strives with this intention in mind will have the worst deal in this world and in the Hereafter. The evidence for that is the fact that this Ayah is reinforced by the passage in Subhan (i.e., Surat Al-Isra’) in which Allah says: y

﴿مَّن كَانَ يُرِيدُ الْعَـجِلَةَ عَجَّلْنَا لَهُ فِيهَا مَا نَشَآءُ لِمَن نُّرِيدُ ثُمَّ جَعَلْنَا لَهُ جَهَنَّمَ يَصْلَـهَا مَذْمُومًا مَّدْحُورًا – وَمَنْ أَرَادَ الاٌّخِرَةَ وَسَعَى لَهَا سَعْيَهَا وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَأُولَـئِكَ كَانَ سَعْيُهُم مَّشْكُورًا – كُلاًّ نُّمِدُّ هَـؤُلاءِ وَهَـؤُلاءِ مِنْ عَطَآءِ رَبِّكَ وَمَا كَانَ عَطَآءُ رَبِّكَ مَحْظُورًا – انظُرْ كَيْفَ فَضَّلْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ وَلَلاٌّخِرَةُ أَكْبَرُ دَرَجَـتٍ وَأَكْبَرُ تَفْضِيلاً ﴾

 

(Whoever desires the quick-passing, We readily grant him what We will for whom We like. Then, afterwards, We have appointed for him Hell; he will (enter) burn therein disgraced and rejected. And whoever desires the Hereafter and strives for it, with the necessary effort due for it while he is a believer — then such are the ones whose striving shall be appreciated. On each — these as well as those — We bestow from the bounties of your Lord. And the bounties of your Lord can never be forbidden. See how We prefer one above another (in this world), and verily, the Hereafter will be greater in degrees and greater in preferment.) (17:18-21) It was reported that Ubayy bin Ka`b, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “The Messenger of Allah said:

«بَشِّرْ هذِهِ الْأُمَّةَ بِالسَّنَاءِ وَالرِّفْعَةِ وَالنَّصْرِ وَالتَّمْكِينِ فِي الْأَرْضِ، فَمَنْ عَمِلَ مِنْهُمْ عَمَلَ الْاخِرَةِ لِلدُّنْيَا، لَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ فِي الْاخِرَةِ مِنْ نَصِيب»

 

(Give the glad tidings to this Ummah of sublimity, high status, victory and power in the land. But whoever among them does the deeds of the Hereafter for the sake of worldly gain, will have no portion of the Hereafter.)”

Making Legislation for the Creatures is Shirk Allah says:

﴿أَمْ لَهُمْ شُرَكَاءُ شَرَعُواْ لَهُمْ مِّنَ الدِّينِ مَا لَمْ يَأْذَن بِهِ اللَّهُ﴾

 

(Or have they partners with Allah who have instituted for them a religion which Allah has not ordained) means, they do not follow what Allah has ordained for you of upright religion; on the contrary, they follow what their devils (Shayatin), of men and Jinn, have prescribed for them. They instituted taboos, such as the Bahirah, Sa’ibah, Wasilah or Ham. They also permitted eating flesh and blood of animals not slaughtered for consumption, gambling and other kinds of misguidance, ignorance and falsehood. These are things that they invented during Jahiliyyah, when they came up with all kinds of false rulings on what was permitted and what was forbidden, and false rites of worship and other corrupt ideas. It was recorded in the Sahih that the Messenger of Allah said:

«رَأَيْتُ عَمْرَو بْنَ لُحَيِّ بْنِ قَمَعَةَ يَجُرُّ قُصْبَهُ فِي النَّار»

 

(I saw `Amr bin Luhayy bin Qama`ah dragging his intestines in Hell) — because he had been the first one to introduce the idea of the Sa’ibah. This man was one of the kings of the Khuza`ah tribe, and he was the first one to do these things. He was the one who had made the Quraysh worship idols, may the curse of Allah be upon him. Allah said:

﴿وَلَوْلاَ كَلِمَةُ الْفَصْلِ لَقُضِىَ بَيْنَهُمْ﴾

 

(And had it not been for a decisive Word, the matter would have been judged between them.) means, the punishment would have been hastened for them, were it not for the fact that it had already been decreed that it would be delayed until the Day of Resurrection.

﴿وَإِنَّ الظَّـلِمِينَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ﴾

 

(And verily, for the wrongdoers there is a painful torment.) i.e., an agonizing torment in Hell, what a terrible destination.

The Terror of the Idolators in the Place of Gathering

﴿تَرَى الظَّـلِمِينَ مُشْفِقِينَ مِمَّا كَسَبُواْ﴾

 

(You will see the wrongdoers fearful of that which they have earned,) means, in the arena of Resurrection.

﴿وَهُوَ وَاقِعٌ بِهِمْ﴾

 

(and it will surely befall them.) means, the thing that they fear will undoubtedly happen to them. This is how they will be on the Day of Resurrection; they will be in a state of utter fear and terror.

﴿وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّـلِحَـتِ فِى رَوْضَـتِ الْجَنَّـتِ لَهُمْ مَّا يَشَآءُونَ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ﴾

 

(But those who believe and do righteous deeds (will be) in the flowering meadows of the Gardens. They shall have whatsoever they desire with their Lord.) What comparison can there be between the former and the latter How can the one who will be in the arena of resurrection in a state of humiliation and fear, deserving it for his wrongdoing, be compared with the one who will be in the gardens of Paradise, enjoying whatever he wants of food, drink, clothing, dwellings, scenery, spouses and other delights such as no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and has never crossed the minds of men. Allah says:

﴿ذَلِكَ هُوَ الْفَضْلُ الْكَبِيرُ﴾

 

(That is the supreme grace.) means, the ultimate victory and complete blessing.

Good News of the Blessings of Paradise for the People of Faith

Having mentioned the gardens of Paradise, Allah then says to His servants who believe and do righteous deeds:

﴿ذَلِكَ الَّذِى يُبَشِّرُ اللَّهُ عِبَادَهُ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّـلِحَـتِ﴾

 

(That is whereof Allah gives glad tidings to His servants who believe and do righteous good deeds.) meaning, this will undoubtedly come to them, because it is glad tidings from Allah to them.

﴿قُل لاَّ أَسْـَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ أَجْراً إِلاَّ الْمَوَدَّةَ فِى الْقُرْبَى﴾

 

(Say: “No reward do I ask of you for this except to be kind to me for my kinship with you.”) means, `say, O Muhammad, to these idolators among the disbeliever of Quraysh: I do not ask you for anything in return for this message and sincere advice which I bring to you. All I ask of you is that you withhold your evil from me and let me convey the Messages of my Lord. If you will not help me, then do not disturb me, for the sake of the ties of kinship that exist between you and I.’ Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, was asked about the Ayah:

﴿إِلاَّ الْمَوَدَّةَ فِى الْقُرْبَى﴾

 

(except to be kind to me for my kinship with you.) Sa`id bin Jubayr said, “To be kind to the family of Muhammad.” Ibn `Abbas said, “No, you have jumped to a hasty conclusion. There was no clan among Quraysh to whom the Prophet did not have some ties of kinship.” Ibn `Abbas said, “Except that you uphold the ties of kinship that exist between me and you.” This was recorded by Al-Bukhari. It was also recorded by Imam Ahmad with a different chain of narration.

﴿وَمَن يَقْتَرِفْ حَسَنَةً نَّزِدْ لَهُ فِيهَا حُسْناً﴾

 

(And whoever earns a good righteous deed, We shall give him an increase of good in respect thereof) means, `whoever does a good deed, We will increase him in good for it, i.e., in reward.’ This is like the Ayah:

﴿إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَظْلِمُ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ وَإِن تَكُ حَسَنَةً يُضَـعِفْهَا وَيُؤْتِ مِن لَّدُنْهُ أَجْراً عَظِيماً ﴾

 

(Surely, Allah wrongs not even of the weight of a speck of dust, but if there is any good, He doubles it, and gives from Him a great reward.) (4:40)

﴿إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ شَكُورٌ﴾

 

(Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Ready to appreciate.) means, He forgives many bad deeds and increases a small amount of good deeds; He conceals and forgives sins and He multiplies and increases the reward of good deeds.

The Accusation that the Prophet fabricated the Qur’an — and the Response to that

Allah’s saying;

﴿أَمْ يَقُولُونَ افْتَرَى عَلَى اللَّهِ كَذِباً فَإِن يَشَإِ اللَّهُ يَخْتِمْ عَلَى قَلْبِكَ﴾

 

(Or say they: “He has invented a lie against Allah” If Allah willed, He could have sealed up your heart.) means, `if you had invented any lies against Him, as these ignorant people claim,’

﴿يَخْتِمْ عَلَى قَلْبِكَ﴾

 

(He could have sealed up your heart.) means, `and thus caused you to forget what had already come to you of the Qur’an.’ This is like the Ayah:

﴿وَلَوْ تَقَوَّلَ عَلَيْنَا بَعْضَ الاٌّقَاوِيلِ – لأَخَذْنَا مِنْهُ بِالْيَمِينِ – ثُمَّ لَقَطَعْنَا مِنْهُ الْوَتِينَ – فَمَا مِنكُم مِّنْ أَحَدٍ عَنْهُ حَـجِزِينَ ﴾

 

(And if he had forged a false saying concerning Us (Allah), We surely would have seized him by his right hand, and then We certainly would have cut off his life artery, And none of you could have withheld Us from (punishing) him.) (69:44-47) which means, `We would have wrought the utmost vengeance upon him, and no one among mankind would have been able to protect him.’ And Allah said:

﴿وَيُحِقُّ الْحَقَّ بِكَلِمَـتِهِ﴾

 

(and establishes the truth by His Word.) means, He establishes it and strengthens it and makes it clear by His Words, i.e., by His evidence and signs.

﴿إِنَّهُ عَلِيمٌ بِذَاتِ الصُّدُورِ﴾

 

(Verily, He knows well what are in the breasts.) means, all that is hidden in the hearts of men.

Allah accepts Repentance and responds to Supplications

Here Allah reminds His servants that He accepts repentance. If they turn to Him and come back to Him, then by His kindness and generosity He forgives, overlooks and conceals (their sins), as He says:

﴿وَمَن يَعْمَلْ سُوءاً أَوْ يَظْلِمْ نَفْسَهُ ثُمَّ يَسْتَغْفِرِ اللَّهَ يَجِدِ اللَّهَ غَفُوراً رَّحِيماً ﴾

 

(And whoever does evil or wrongs himself but afterwards seeks Allah’s forgiveness, he will find Allah Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.) (4:110) It was reported in Sahih Muslim that Anas bin Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “The Messenger of Allah said:

«للهُ تَعَالَى أَشَدُّ فَرَحًا بِتَوْبَةِ عَبْدِهِ حِينَ يَتُوبُ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ أَحَدِكُمْ كَانَتْ رَاحِلَتُهُ بِأَرْضِ فَلَاةٍ، فَانْفَلَتَتْ مِنْهُ، وَعَلَيْهَا طَعَامُهُ وَشَرَابُهُ، فَأَيِسَ مِنْهَا فَأَتَى شَجَرَةً فَاضْطَجَعَ فِي ظِلِّهَا، قَدْ أَيِسَ مِنْ رَاحِلَتِهِ، فَبَيْنَمَا هُوَ كَذَلِكَ إِذَا هُوَ بِهَا، قَائِمَةً عِنْدَهُ، فَأَخَذَ بِخِطَامِهَا، ثُمَّ قَالَ مِنْ شِدَّةِ الْفَرَحِ: اللْهُمَّ أَنْتَ عَبْدِي وَأَنَا رَبُّكَ، أَخْطَأَ مِنْ شِدَّةِ الْفَرَح»

 

(Allah is more pleased with the repentance of His servant than anyone of you who loses his riding beast in a barren land, and it was carrying his food and drink; he despairs of ever finding it, so he comes to a tree and lies down in its shade, having given up all hope of finding his riding beast; then whilst he is there like that, suddenly he sees it standing near him, so he takes hold of its reins and because of his great joy he says, “O Allah,You are my slave and I am Your Lord!” — i.e,. he makes a mistake because of his great joy. )” A similar report was also narrated in the Sahih from `Abdullah bin Mas`ud, may Allah be pleased with him.

﴿وَهُوَ الَّذِى يَقْبَلُ التَّوْبَةَ عَنْ عِبَادِهِ﴾

 

(And He it is Who accepts repentance from His servants,) It was reported that Az-Zuhri said, concerning this Ayah, that Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “The Messenger of Allah said:

«للهُ أَشَدُّ فَرَحًا بِتَوْبَةِ عَبْدِهِ مِنْ أَحَدِكُمْ يَجِدُ ضَالَّتَهُ فِي الْمَكَانِ الَّذِي يَخَافُ أَنْ يَقْتُلَهُ فِيهِ الْعَطَش»

 

(Allah rejoices more over the repentance of His servant than one of you feels when he finds his lost camel in a place where he had feared that he would die of thirst.)” Hammam bin Al-Harith said, “Ibn Mas`ud was asked about a man who commits immoral sins with a woman and then marries her. He said, `There is nothing wrong with that,’ and recited:

﴿وَهُوَ الَّذِى يَقْبَلُ التَّوْبَةَ عَنْ عِبَادِهِ﴾

 

(And He it is Who accepts repentance from His servants).”

﴿وَيَعْفُواْ عَنِ السَّيِّئَـتِ﴾

 

(and forgives sins,) means, He will accept repentance in the future, and He forgives past sins.

﴿وَيَعْلَمُ مَا تَفْعَلُونَ﴾

 

(and He knows what you do. ) means, He knows all your deeds and actions and words, yet He still accepts the repentance of those who repent to Him.

﴿وَيَسْتَجِيبُ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّـلِحَـتِ﴾

 

(And He answers those who believe and do righteous good deeds,) As-Suddi said, “This means, He responds to them.” This was also the view of Ibn Jarir: “It means that He answers their supplication for themselves, their companions and their brothers.”

﴿وَيَزِيدَهُم مِّن فَضْلِهِ﴾

 

(and gives them increase of His bounty.) means, He answers their supplications and gives them more besides. Qatadah said, narrating from Ibrahim An-Nakha`i Al-Lakhmi about the Ayah:

﴿وَيَسْتَجِيبُ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّـلِحَـتِ﴾

 

(And He answers those who believe and do righteous good deeds,) — (this means) they intercede for their brothers; r

﴿وَيَزِيدَهُم مِّن فَضْلِهِ﴾

 

(and gives them increase of His bounty.) — (this means) they intercede for their brothers’ brothers.

﴿وَالْكَـفِرُونَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ شَدِيدٌ﴾

 

(And as for the disbelievers, theirs will be a severe torment.) — having mentioned the believers and the great reward that is theirs, Allah then mentions the disbelievers and the severe, painful, agonizing torment that they will find with Him on the Day of Resurrection, the Day when they are brought to account.

The Reason why Provision is not Increased

﴿وَلَوْ بَسَطَ اللَّهُ الرِّزْقَ لِعِبَادِهِ لَبَغَوْاْ فِى الاٌّرْضِ﴾

 

(And if Allah were to extend the provision for His servants, they would surely rebel in the earth,) means, `if We gave them more provision than they need, this would make them rebel and transgress against one another in an arrogant and insolent manner.’

﴿وَلَـكِن يُنَزِّلُ بِقَدَرٍ مَّا يَشَآءُ إِنَّهُ بِعِبَادِهِ خَبِيرُ بَصِيرٌ﴾

 

(but He sends down by measure as He wills. Verily, He is, in respect of His servants, the Well-Aware, the All-Seer.) means, but He gives them provision according to what is in their best interests, and He knows best about that. So He makes rich those who deserve to be rich, and He makes poor those who deserve to be poor.

﴿وَهُوَ الَّذِى يُنَزِّلُ الْغَيْثَ مِن بَعْدِ مَا قَنَطُواْ﴾

 

(And He it is Who sends down the rain after they have despaired,) means, after the people have given up hope that rain will fall, He sends it down upon them at their time of need. This is like the Ayah:

﴿وَإِن كَانُواْ مِن قَبْلِ أَن يُنَزَّلَ عَلَيْهِمْ مِّن قَبْلِهِ لَمُبْلِسِينَ ﴾

 

(And verily, before that (rain) — just before it was sent down upon them — they were in despair!) (30:49)

﴿وَيَنشُرُ رَحْمَتَهُ﴾

 

(and spreads His mercy. ) means, He bestows it upon all the people who live in that region. Qatadah said, “We were told that a man said to `Umar bin Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, `O Commander of the faithful, no rain has come and the people are in despair.’ `Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, said, `Rain will be sent upon you,’ and he recited:

﴿وَهُوَ الَّذِى يُنَزِّلُ الْغَيْثَ مِن بَعْدِ مَا قَنَطُواْ وَيَنشُرُ رَحْمَتَهُ وَهُوَ الْوَلِىُّ الْحَمِيدُ ﴾

 

(And He it is Who sends down the rain after they have despaired, and spreads His mercy. And He is the Protector, Worthy of all praise).” Meaning He is the One Who is in control of His creation, taking care of what will benefit them in this world and the Hereafter, and the consequences of all His decrees and actions are good, for which He is worthy of all praise.

Among the Signs of Allah is the Creation of the Heavens and the Earth

﴿وَمِنْ ءَايَـتِهِ﴾

 

(And among His Ayat) the signs which point to His great might and power,

﴿خَلْقُ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ وَمَا بَثَّ فِيهِمَا﴾

 

(is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and whatever moving creatures He has dispersed in them both.) means, whatever He has created in them, i.e., in the heavens and the earth.

﴿مِن دَآبَّةٍ﴾

 

(and whatever moving creatures) this includes the angels, men, Jinn and all the animals with their different shapes, colors, languages, natures, kinds and types. He has distributed them throughout the various regions of the heavens and earth.

﴿وَهُوَ﴾

 

(And He) means, yet despite all that,

﴿عَلَى جَمْعِهِمْ إِذَا يَشَآءُ قَدِيرٌ﴾

 

(is Able to assemble them whenever He wills.) means, on the Day of Resurrection, He will gather the first and the last of them, and bring all His creatures together in one place where they will all hear the voice of the caller and all of them will be seen clearly; then He will judge between them with justice and truth.

The Cause of Misfortune is Sin

﴿وَمَآ أَصَـبَكُمْ مِّن مُّصِيبَةٍ فَبِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِيكُمْ﴾

 

(And whatever of misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned.) means, `whatever disasters happen to you, O mankind, are because of sins that you have committed in the past.’

﴿وَيَعْفُواْ عَن كَثِيرٍ﴾

 

(And He pardons much.) means, of sins; `He does not punish you for them, rather He forgives you.’

﴿وَلَوْ يُؤَاخِذُ اللَّهُ النَّاسَ بِمَا كَسَبُواْ مَا تَرَكَ عَلَى ظَهْرِهَا مِن دَآبَّةٍ﴾

 

(And if Allah were to punish men for that which they earned, He would not leave a moving creature on the surface of the earth) (35:45). According to a Sahih Hadith:

«وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ مَا يُصِيبُ الْمُؤْمِنَ مِنْ نَصَبٍ وَلَا وَصَبٍ وَلَا هَمَ وَلَا حَزَنٍ إِلَّا كَفَّرَ اللهُ عَنْهُ بِهَا مِنْ خَطَايَاهُ، حَتْى الشَّوْكَةِ يُشَاكُهَا»

 

(By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, no believer is stricken with fatigue, exhaustion, worry or grief, but Allah will forgive him for some of his sins thereby — even a thorn which pricks him.) Imam Ahmad recorded that Mu`awiyah bin Abi Sufyan, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah say:

«مَا مِنْ شَيْءٍ يُصِيبُ الْمُؤْمِنَ فِي جَسَدِهِ يُؤْذِيهِ إِلَّا كَفَّرَ اللهُ تَعَالَى عَنْهُ بِهِ مِنْ سَيِّئَاتِه»

 

(No physical harm befalls a believer, but Allah will expiate for some of his sins because of it.)” Imam Ahmad also recorded that `A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said, “The Messenger of Allah said:

«إِذَا كَثُرَتْ ذُنُوبُ الْعَبْدِ وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ مَا يُكَفِّرُهَا، ابْتَلَاهُ اللهُ تَعَالَى بِالْحَزَنِ لِيُكَفِّرَهَا»

 

(If a person commits many sins and has nothing that will expiate for them, Allah will test him with some grief that will expiate for them.)”

Ships are also among the Signs of Allah

Allah tells us that another sign of His great power and dominion is the fact that He has subjugated the sea so that ships may sail in it by His command, so they sail in the sea like mountains. This was the view of Mujahid, Al-Hasan, As-Suddi and Ad-Dahhak. In other words, these ships on the sea are like mountains on land.

﴿إِن يَشَأْ يُسْكِنِ الرِّيحَ﴾

 

(If He wills, He causes the wind to cease,) means, the winds that cause the ships to travel on the sea. If He willed, He could cause the winds to cease, then the ships would not move and would remain still, neither coming nor going, staying where they are on the surface of the water.

﴿إِنَّ فِى ذلِكَ لآيَـتٍ لِّكُلِّ صَبَّارٍ﴾

 

(Verily, in this are signs for everyone patient) means, who is patient in the face of adversity

﴿شَكُورٍ﴾

 

(and grateful.) means, in the fact that Allah has subjugated the sea and He sends as much wind as they need in order to travel, there are signs of His blessings to His creation for everyone who is patient, i.e., at times of difficulty, and grateful, i.e., at times of ease.

﴿أَوْ يُوبِقْهُنَّ بِمَا كَسَبُوا﴾

 

(Or He may destroy them because of that which their (people) have earned. ) means, if He wills, He may destroy the ships and drown them, because of the sins of the people on board.

﴿وَيَعْفُ عَن كَثِيرٍ﴾

 

(And He pardons much.) means, of their sins; if He were to punish them for all of their sins, He would destroy everyone who sails on the sea. Some of the scholars interpreted the Ayah

﴿أَوْ يُوبِقْهُنَّ بِمَا كَسَبُوا﴾

 

(Or He may destroy them because of that which their (people) have earned.) as meaning, if He willed, He could send the wind to blow fiercely so that it would take the ships and divert them from their courses, driving them to the right or the left, so that they would be lost and would not be able to follow their intended path. This interpretation also includes the idea of their being destroyed. This also fits the first meaning, which is that if Allah willed, He could cause the wind to cease, in which case the ships would stop moving, or He could make the wind fierce, in which case the ships would be lost and destroyed. But by His grace and mercy, He sends the wind according to their needs, just as He sends rain that is sufficient. If He sent too much rain, it would destroy their houses, and if He sent too little, their crops and fruits would not grow. In the case of lands such as Egypt, He sends water from another land, because they do not need rain; if rain were to fall upon them, it would destroy their houses and cause walls to collapse.

﴿وَيَعْلَمَ الَّذِينَ يُجَـدِلُونَ فِى ءَايَـتِنَا مَا لَهُمْ مِّن مَّحِيصٍ ﴾

 

(And those who dispute as regards Our Ayat may know that there is no place of refuge for them. ) means, they have no means of escape from Our torment and vengeance, for they are subdued by Our power.

The Attributes of Those Who deserve that which is with Allah

Here Allah points out the insignificance of this worldly life and its transient adornments and luxuries.

﴿فَمَآ أُوتِيتُمْ مِّن شَىْءٍ فَمَتَـعُ الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا﴾

 

(So whatever you have been given is but (a passing) enjoyment for this worldly life.) means, no matter what you achieve and amass, do not be deceived by it, for it is only the enjoyment of this life, which is the lower, transient realm that will undoubtedly come to an end.

﴿وَمَا عِندَ اللَّهِ خَيْرٌ وَأَبْقَى﴾

 

(but that which is with Allah is better and more lasting) means, the reward of Allah is better than this world, and it will last forever, so do not give preference to that which is transient over that which is lasting. Allah says:

﴿لِلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ﴾

 

(for those who believe) means, for those who are patient in forgoing the pleasures of this world,

﴿وَعَلَى رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ﴾

 

(and put their trust in their Lord.) means, so that He will help them to be patient in doing what is obligatory and avoiding what is forbidden. Then Allah says:

﴿وَالَّذِينَ يَجْتَنِبُونَ كَبَـئِرَ الإِثْمِ وَالْفَوَحِشَ﴾

 

(And those who shun the greater sins, and Al-Fawahish,) We have already discussed sin and Al-Fawahish in Surat Al-A`raf.

﴿وَإِذَا مَا غَضِبُواْ هُمْ يَغْفِرُونَ﴾

 

(and when they are angry, they forgive.) means, their nature dictates that they should forgive people and be tolerant. Vengeance is not in their nature. It was reported in the Sahih that the Messenger of Allah never took revenge for his own sake, only when the sacred Laws of Allah were violated.

﴿وَالَّذِينَ اسْتَجَابُواْ لِرَبِّهِمْ﴾

 

(And those who answer the Call of their Lord,) means, they follow His Messenger and obey His commands and avoid that which He has prohibited.

﴿وَأَقَامُواْ الصَّلَوةَ﴾

 

(and perform As-Salah) — which is the greatest act of worship of Allah, may He be glorified.

﴿وَأَمْرُهُمْ شُورَى بَيْنَهُمْ﴾

 

(and who (conduct) their affairs by mutual consultation,) means, they do not make a decision without consulting one another on the matter so that they can help one another by sharing their ideas concerning issues such as wars and other matters. This is like the Ayah:

﴿وَشَاوِرْهُمْ فِى الاٌّمْرِ﴾

 

(and consult them in the affairs) (3:159). The Prophet used to consult with them concerning wars and other matters, so that they would feel confidant. When `Umar bin Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, was dying, after he had been stabbed, he entrusted the choice of the next Khalifah to six people who were to be consulted. They were `Uthman, `Ali, Talhah, Az-Zubayr, Sa`id and `Abdur-Rahman bin `Awf, may Allah be pleased with them all. Then all of the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, agreed to appoint `Uthman as their leader.

﴿وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَـهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ﴾

 

(and who spend of what We have bestowed on them.) this means kindly treating the creation of Allah, starting with those who are closest, then the next closest, and so on.

﴿وَالَّذِينَ إِذَآ أَصَابَهُمُ الْبَغْىُ هُمْ يَنتَصِرُونَ ﴾

 

(And those who, when an oppressive wrong is done to them, take revenge.) ameans, they have the strength to take revenge on those who commit aggressive wrong and hostile acts against them. They are not incapable of doing so and they are not helpless; they are able to take revenge against those who transgress against them, even though when they have the power to take revenge, they prefer to forgive, as when Yusuf, peace be upon him, said to his brothers:

﴿لاَ تَثْرَيبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْيَوْمَ يَغْفِرُ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ﴾

 

(No reproach on you this day; may Allah forgive you) (12: 92). even though he was in a position to take revenge on them for what they had done to him. The Messenger of Allah forgave the eighty people who intended to do him harm during the year of Al-Hudaybiyah, camping by the mountain of At-Tan`im. When he overpowered them, he set them free, even though he was in a position to take revenge on them. He also forgave Ghawrath bin Al-Harith who wanted to kill him and unsheathed his sword while he was sleeping. The Prophet woke up to find him pointing the sword at him. He reproached him angrily and the sword dropped. Then the Messenger of Allah picked up the sword and called his Companions He told them what had happened, and he forgave the man. There are many similar Hadiths and reports. And Allah knows best.

Forgiving or exacting Revenge on Wrongdoers

﴿وَجَزَآءُ سَيِّئَةٍ سَيِّئَةٌ مِّثْلُهَا﴾

 

(The recompense for an evil is an evil like thereof). This is like the Ayat:

﴿فَمَنِ اعْتَدَى عَلَيْكُمْ فَاعْتَدُواْ عَلَيْهِ بِمِثْلِ مَا اعْتَدَى عَلَيْكُمْ﴾

 

(Then whoever transgresses the prohibition against you, you transgress likewise against him) (2:194), and

﴿وَإِنْ عَاقَبْتُمْ فَعَاقِبُواْ بِمِثْلِ مَا عُوقِبْتُمْ بِهِ﴾

 

(And if you punish, then punish them with the like of that with which you were afflicted) (16:126). Justice, has been prescribed, in the form of the prescribed laws of equality in punishment (Al-Qisas), but the better way, which means forgiving, is recommended, as Allah says:

﴿وَالْجُرُوحَ قِصَاصٌ فَمَن تَصَدَّقَ بِهِ فَهُوَ كَفَّارَةٌ لَّهُ﴾

 

(and wounds equal for equal. But if anyone remits the retaliation by way of charity, it shall be for him an expiation) (5:45). Allah says here:

﴿فَمَنْ عَفَا وَأَصْلَحَ فَأَجْرُهُ عَلَى اللَّهِ﴾

 

(but whoever forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is with Allah. ) means, that will not be wasted with Allah. As it says in a Sahih Hadith:

«وَمَا زَادَ اللهُ تَعَالَى عَبْدًا بِعَفْوٍ إِلَّا عِزًّا»

 

(Allah does not increase the person who forgives except in honor.)”

﴿إِنَّهُ لاَ يُحِبُّ الظَّـلِمِينَ﴾

 

(Verily, He likes not the wrongdoers.) means, the aggressors, i.e., those who initiate the evil actions.

﴿وَلَمَنِ انتَصَرَ بَعْدَ ظُلْمِهِ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ مَا عَلَيْهِمْ مِّن سَبِيلٍ ﴾

 

(And indeed whosoever takes revenge after he has suffered wrong, for such there is no way (of blame) against them.) means, there is no sin on him for taking revenge against the one who wronged him.

﴿إِنَّمَا السَّبِيلُ﴾

 

(The way) means, the burden of sin,

﴿عَلَى الَّذِينَ يَظْلِمُونَ النَّاسَ وَيَبْغُونَ فِى الاٌّرْضِ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ﴾

 

(is only against those who oppress men and rebel in the earth without justification;) means, those who initiate wrongful actions against others, as it says in the Sahih Hadith:

«الْمُسْتَبَّانِ مَا قَالَا فَعَلَى الْبَادِىءِ، مَا لَمْ يَعْتَدِ الْمَظْلُوم»

 

(When two persons indulge in abusing each other, the one who initiated the wrongful action is to blame, unless the one who was wronged oversteps the mark in retaliation.)

﴿أُوْلَـئِكَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ﴾

 

(for such there will be a painful torment.) means, intense and agonizing. It was reported that Muhammad bin Wasi` said, “I came to Makkah and there was a security out post over the trench whose guards took me to Marwan bin Al-Muhallab, who was the governor of Basrah. He said, `What do you need, O Abu `Abdullah’ I said, `If you can do it, I need you to be like the brother of Banu `Adiy.’ He said, `Who is the brother of Banu `Adiy’ He said, `Al-`Ala’ bin Ziyad; he once appointed a friend of his to a position of authority, and he wrote to him: If you can, only go to sleep after you make sure that there is nothing on your back ﴿i.e., you do not owe anything to anyone﴾, your stomach is empty and your hands are untainted by the blood or wealth of the Muslims. If you do that, then there will be no way (of blame) against you —

﴿إِنَّمَا السَّبِيلُ عَلَى الَّذِينَ يَظْلِمُونَ النَّاسَ وَيَبْغُونَ فِى الاٌّرْضِ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ أُوْلَـئِكَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ ﴾

 

(The way is only against those who oppress men and rebel in the earth without justification; for such there will be a painful torment.)’ Marwan said, `He spoke the truth, by Allah, and gave sincere advice. ‘ Then he said, `What do you need, O Abu `Abdullah’ I said, `I need you to let me join my family.’ He said, `Yes ﴿I will do that﴾.”’ This was recorded by Ibn Abi Hatim. When Allah condemned wrongdoing and the people who do it, and prescribed Al-Qisas, He encouraged forgiveness:

﴿وَلَمَن صَبَرَ وَغَفَرَ﴾

 

(And verily, whosoever shows patience and forgives,) meaning, whoever bears the insult with patience and conceals the evil action,

﴿إِنَّ ذَلِكَ لَمِنْ عَزْمِ الاٍّمُورِ﴾

 

(that would truly be from the things recommended by Allah.) Sa`id bin Jubayr said, “This means, one of the things enjoined by Allah,” i.e., good actions for which there will be a great reward and much praise.

The State of the Wrongdoers on the Day of Resurrection

Allah tells us that whatever He wills happens and whatever He does not will does not happen, and no one can make it happen. Whomever He guides, none can lead astray, and whomever He leads astray, none can guide, as He says:

﴿وَمَن يُضْلِلْ فَلَن تَجِدَ لَهُ وَلِيًّا مُّرْشِدًا﴾

 

(but he whom He sends astray, for him you will find no protecting to lead him.) (18:17). Then Allah tells us about the wrongdoers, i.e., the idolators who associate others in worship with Allah:

﴿لَمَّا رَأَوُاْ اْلَعَذَابَ﴾

 

(when they behold the torment,) i.e., on the Day of Resurrection, they will wish that they could go back to this world.

﴿يَقُولُونَ هَلْ إِلَى مَرَدٍّ مِّن سَبِيلٍ﴾

 

(they will say: “Is there any way of return”) This is like the Ayah:

﴿وَلَوْ تَرَى إِذْ وُقِفُواْ عَلَى النَّارِ فَقَالُواْ يلَيْتَنَا نُرَدُّ وَلاَ نُكَذِّبَ بِـَايَـتِ رَبِّنَا وَنَكُونَ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ – بَلْ بَدَا لَهُمْ مَّا كَانُواْ يُخْفُونَ مِن قَبْلُ وَلَوْ رُدُّواْ لَعَـدُواْ لِمَا نُهُواْ عَنْهُ وَإِنَّهُمْ لَكَـذِبُونَ ﴾

 

(If you could but see when they will be held over the (Hell) Fire! They will say: “Would that we were but sent back! Then we would not deny the Ayat of our Lord, and we would be of the believers!” Nay, it has become manifest to them what they had been concealing before. But if they were returned, they would certainly revert to that which they were forbidden. And indeed they are liars.) (6:27-28)

﴿وَتَرَاهُمْ يُعْرَضُونَ عَلَيْهَا﴾

 

(And you will see them brought forward to it) means, to the Fire.

﴿خَـشِعِينَ مِنَ الذُّلِّ﴾

 

(made humble by disgrace,) means, in a befitting manner, because of their previous disobedience towards Allah.

﴿يَنظُرُونَ مِن طَرْفٍ خَفِىٍّ﴾

 

((and) looking with stealthy glance.) Mujahid said, “In a humiliated manner.” That is, they will steal glances at it, because they will be afraid of it. But the thing that they are afraid of will undoubtedly happen, and worse than that — may Allah save us from that.

﴿وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ﴾

 

(And those who believe will say) means, on the Day of Resurrection they will say:

﴿إِنَّ الْخَـسِرِينَ﴾

 

(Verily, the losers…) means, the greatest losers.

﴿الَّذِينَ خَسِرُواْ أَنفُسَهُمْ وَأَهْلِيهِمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ﴾

 

(are they who lose themselves and their families on the Day of Resurrection. ) means, they will be taken to the Fire and deprived of any pleasures in the Hereafter. They will lose themselves, and they will be separated from their loved ones, companions, families and relatives, and they will lose them.

﴿أَلاَ إِنَّ الظَّـلِمِينَ فِى عَذَابٍ مُّقِيمٍ﴾

 

(Verily, the wrongdoers will be in a lasting torment.) means, everlasting and eternal, with no way out and no escape.

﴿وَمَا كَانَ لَهُم مِّنْ أَوْلِيَآءَ يَنصُرُونَهُم مِّن دُونِ اللَّهِ﴾

 

(And they will have no protectors to help them other than Allah.) means, no one to save them from the punishment and torment which they are suffering.

﴿وَمَن يُضْلِلِ اللَّهُ فَمَا لَهُ مِن سَبِيلٍ﴾

 

(And he whom Allah sends astray, for him there is no way.) means, no salvation.

Encouragement to obey Allah before the Day of Resurrection

When Allah tells us about the horrors and terrifying events of the Day of Resurrection, He warns us about it and commands us to prepare for it:

﴿اسْتَجِيبُواْ لِرَبِّكُمْ مِّن قَبْلِ أَن يَأْتِىَ يَوْمٌ لاَّ مَرَدَّ لَهُ مِنَ اللَّهِ﴾

 

(Answer the Call of your Lord before there comes from Allah a Day which cannot be averted.) means, once He issues the command, it will come to pass within the blinking of an eye, and no one will be able to avert it or prevent it.

﴿مَا لَكُمْ مِّن مَّلْجَأٍ يَوْمَئِذٍ وَمَا لَكُمْ مِّن نَّكِيرٍ﴾

 

(You will have no refuge on that Day nor there will be for you any denying.) means, you will have no stronghold in which to take refuge, no place in which to hide from Allah, for He will encompass you with His knowledge and power, and you will have no refuge from Him except with Him.

﴿يَقُولُ الإِنسَـنُ يَوْمَئِذٍ أَيْنَ الْمَفَرُّ – كَلاَّ لاَ وَزَرَ – إِلَى رَبِّكَ يَوْمَئِذٍ الْمُسْتَقَرُّ ﴾

 

(On that Day man will say: “Where (is the refuge) to flee” No! There is no refuge! Unto your Lord will be the place of rest that Day.) (75:10-12)

﴿فَإِنْ أَعْرَضُواْ﴾

 

(But if they turn away,) refers to the idolators,

﴿فَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَـكَ عَلَيْهِمْ حَفِيظاً﴾

 

(We have not sent you as a Hafiz over them. ) means, `you have no power over them.’ And Allah says elsewhere:

﴿لَّيْسَ عَلَيْكَ هُدَاهُمْ وَلَـكِنَّ اللَّهَ يَهْدِى مَن يَشَآءُ﴾

 

(Not upon you is their guidance, but Allah guides whom He wills) (2:272).

﴿فَإِنَّمَا عَلَيْكَ الْبَلَـغُ وَعَلَيْنَا الْحِسَابُ﴾

 

(your duty is only to convey (the Message) and on Us is the reckoning) (13:40). And Allah says here:

﴿إِنْ عَلَيْكَ إِلاَّ الْبَلَـغُ﴾

 

(Your duty is to convey.) meaning, `all that We require you to do is to convey the Message of Allah to them.’

﴿وَإِنَّآ إِذَآ أَذَقْنَا الإِنسَـنَ مِنَّا رَحْمَةً فَرِحَ بِهَا﴾

 

(And verily, when We cause man to taste of mercy from Us, he rejoices there at;) means, when a time of ease and comfort comes to him, he is happy about it.

﴿وَإِن تُصِبْهُمْ﴾

 

(but when befalls them) means mankind.

﴿سَيِّئَةٌ﴾

 

(some evil) means, drought, punishment, tribulation or difficulty,

﴿فَإِنَّ الإِنسَـنَ كَفُورٌ﴾

 

(then verily, man (becomes) ingrate!) means, he forgets the previous times of ease and blessings and acknowledges nothing but the present moment. If times of ease come to him, he becomes arrogant and transgresses, but if any difficulty befalls him, he loses hope and is filled with despair. This is like what the Messenger of Allah said to the women:

«يَا مَعْشَرَ النِّسَاءِ، تَصَدَّقْنَ، فَإِنِّي رَأَيْتُكُنَّ أَكْثَرَ أَهْلِ النَّار»

 

)(O women, give in charity, for I have seen that you form the majority of the people of Hell.) A woman asked, “Why is that, O Messenger of Allah” He said:

«لِأَنَّكُنَّ تُكْثِرْنَ الشِّكَايَةَ وَتَكْفُرْنَ الْعَشِيرَ، لَوْ أَحْسَنْتَ إِلى إِحْدَاهُنَّ الدَّهْرَ ثُمَّ تَرَكْتَ يَوْمًا، قَالَتْ: مَا رَأَيْتُ مِنْكَ خَيْرًا قَط»

 

(Because you complain too much, and you are ungrateful to (your) husbands. If one of you were to be treated kindly for an entire lifetime, then that kindness was lacking for one day, she would say, `I have never seen anything good from you!’) This is the case with most women, except for those whom Allah guides and who are among the people who believe and do righteous deeds. As the Prophet said, the believer is the one who:

«إِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ سَرَّاءُ شَكَرَ، فَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَهُ، وَإِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ ضَرَّاءُ صَبَرَ، فَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَهُ، وَلَيْسَ ذَلِكَ لِأَحَدٍ إِلَّا لِلْمُؤْمِن»

 

(… if something good happens to him, he is thankful, and that is good for him. If something bad happens to him, he bears it with patience, and that is good for him. This does not happen to anyone except the believer.)

Allah tells us that He is the Creator, Sovereign and Controller of the heavens and the earth.

Whatever he wills happens, and whatever He does not will does not happen. He gives to whomsoever He wills and withholds from whomsoever he wills; none can withhold what He gives, and none can give what He withholds, and He creates whatever He wills.

﴿يَهَبُ لِمَن يَشَآءُ إِنَـثاً﴾

 

(He bestows female upon whom He wills.) means, He gives them daughters only. Al-Baghawi said, “And among them (those who were given daughters only) was Lut, peace be upon him.”

﴿وَيَهَبُ لِمَن يَشَآءُ الذُّكُورَ﴾

 

(and bestows male upon whom He wills.) means, He gives them sons only. Al-Baghawi said, “Like Ibrahim Al-Khalil, peace be upon him, who did not have any daughters.”

﴿أَوْ يُزَوِّجُهُمْ ذُكْرَاناً وَإِنَـثاً﴾

 

(Or He bestows both males and females,) means, He gives to whomsoever He wills both males and females, sons and daughters. Al-Baghawi said, “Like Muhammad .”

﴿وَيَجْعَلُ مَن يَشَآءُ عَقِيماً﴾

 

(and He renders barren whom He wills. ) means, so that he has no children at all. Al-Baghawi said, “Like Yahya and `Isa, peace be upon them.” So people are divided into four categories: some are given daughters, some are given sons, some are given both sons and daughters, and some are not given either sons or daughters, but they are rendered barren, with no offspring.

﴿إِنَّهُ عَلِيمٌ﴾

 

(Verily, He is the All-Knower) means, He knows who deserves to be in which of these categories.

﴿قَدِيرٌ﴾

 

(and is Able (to do all things).) means, to do whatever He wills and to differentiate between people in this manner. This issue is similar to that referred to in the Ayah where Allah says of `Isa, peace be upon him:

﴿وَلِنَجْعَلَهُ ءَايَةً لِّلْنَّاسِ﴾

 

(And (We wish) to appoint him as a sign to mankind) (19:21): i.e., proof for them of His power, for He created people in four different ways. Adam, peace be upon him, was created from clay, from neither a male nor a female. Hawwa’, peace be upon her, was created from a male without a female. All other people, besides `Isa, peace be upon him, were created from male and female, and this sign of Allah was completed with the creation of `Isa bin Maryam, may peace be upon them both, who was created from a female without a male. Allah says:

﴿وَلِنَجْعَلَهُ ءَايَةً لِّلْنَّاسِ﴾

 

(And (We wish) to appoint him as a sign to mankind) (19: 21). This issue has to do with parents, whilst the previous issue has to do with children, and in each case there are four categories. Glory be to the All-Knower Who is Able to do all things.

How the Revelation comes down

This refers to how Allah sends revelation. Sometimes He casts something into the heart of the Prophet , and he has no doubt that it is from Allah, as it was reported in Sahih Ibn Hibban that the Messenger of Allah said:

«إِنَّ رُوْحَ الْقُدُسِ نَفَثَ فِي رُوعِي أَنَّ نَفْسًا لَنْ تَمُوتَ حَتْى تَسْتَكْمِلَ رِزْقَهَا وَأَجَلَهَا، فَاتَّقُوا اللهَ وَأَجْمِلُوا فِي الطَّلَب»

 

(Ar-Ruh Al-Qudus ﴿i.e., Jibril﴾ breathed into my heart that no soul will die until its allotted provision and time have expired, so have Taqwa of Allah and keep seeking in a good (and lawful) way.)

﴿أَوْ مِن وَرَآءِ حِجَابٍ﴾

 

(or from behind a veil) — as He spoke to Musa, peace be upon him. He asked to see Him after He had spoken to him, but this was not granted to him. In the Sahih, it recorded that the Messenger of Allah said to Jabir bin `Abdullah, may Allah be pleased with him:

«مَا كَلَّمَ اللهُ أَحَدًا إِلَّا مِنْ وَرَاءِ حِجَابٍ، وَإِنَّهُ كَلَّمَ أَبَاكَ كِفَاحًا»

 

(Allah never speaks to anyone except from behind a veil, but He spoke to your father directly.) This is how it was stated in the Hadith. He ﴿Jabir’s father﴾ was killed on the day of Uhud, but this refers to the realm of Al-Barzakh, whereas the Ayah speaks of this earthly realm.

﴿أَوْ يُرْسِلَ رَسُولاً فَيُوحِىَ بِإِذْنِهِ مَا يَشَآءُ﴾

 

(or (that) He sends a Messenger to reveal what He wills by His leave.) as Jibril, peace be upon him, and other angels came down to the Prophets, peace be upon them.

﴿إِنَّهُ عَلِىٌّ حَكِيمٌ﴾

 

(Verily, He is Most High, Most Wise.) He is Most High, All-Knowing, Most Wise.

﴿وَكَذَلِكَ أَوْحَيْنَآ إِلَيْكَ رُوحاً مِّنْ أَمْرِنَا﴾

 

(And thus We have sent to you Ruh of Our command.) means, the Qur’an.

﴿مَا كُنتَ تَدْرِى مَا الْكِتَـبُ وَلاَ الإِيمَـنُ﴾

 

(You knew not what is the Book, nor what is Faith.) means, `in the details which were given to you in the Qur’an.’

﴿وَلَـكِن جَعَلْنَـهُ﴾

 

(But We have made it) means, the Qur’an,

﴿نُوراً نَّهْدِى بِهِ مَن نَّشَآءُ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا﴾

 

(a light wherewith We guide whosoever of Our servants We will. ) This is like the Ayah:

﴿قُلْ هُوَ لِلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ هُدًى وَشِفَآءٌ وَالَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ فِى ءَاذَانِهِمْ وَقْرٌ وَهُوَ عَلَيْهِمْ عَمًى﴾

 

(Say: “It is for those who believe, a guide and a healing. And as for those who disbelieve, there is heaviness (deafness) in their ears, and it (the Qur’an) is blindness for them.”) (41:44).

﴿وَأَنَّكَ﴾

 

(And verily, you) means, `O Muhammad,’

﴿لَتَهْدِى إِلَى صِرَطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ﴾

 

(are indeed guiding to a straight path.) means, the correct behavior. Then Allah explains this further by saying:

﴿صِرَطِ اللَّهِ﴾

 

(The path of Allah) meaning, His Laws which He enjoins.

﴿الَّذِى لَهُ مَا فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَمَا فِى الاٌّرْضِ﴾

 

(to Whom belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth.) means, their Lord and Sovereign, the One Who is controlling and ruling them, Whose decree cannot be overturned.

﴿أَلاَ إِلَى اللَّهِ تَصِيرُ الاٍّمُورُ﴾

 

(Verily, all matters at the end go to Allah.) means, all matters come back to Him and He issues judgement concerning them. Glorified and exalted be He far above all that the evildoers and deniers say.

***

This is the end of the Tafsir of Surat Ash-Shura

Tafseer by Abul A’la Maududi

42. Surah Ash Shura (The Consultation)

Name
It is derived frog the sentence, wa amru-hum shura baina hum, of verse 38, implying thereby that it is a Surah in which the word shura has occurred.

Period of Revelation
Although it could not be known from any authentic traditions, yet one feels after a study of its subject matter that this Surah might have been sent down consecutively after Ha-Miim As Sajdah, for it seems to be, in a way, a supplement to it. This will become clear to every person who first studies Surah Ha-Mim As Sajdah carefully and then goes through this Surah. He will see that in that Surah the Quraish chiefs had been taken to tack for their deaf and blind opposition so that anyone in Makkah and in its out-skirts, who had any sense of morality and nobility left in him, should know how unreasonably the chiefs of the people were opposing Muhammad (upon whom be Allah’s peace), and as against them, how serious he was in everything he said, how rational was his standpoint and how noble his character and conduct. Immediately after that warning this Surah was sent down, which did full justice to teaching and instruction, and made the truth of the Holy Prophet’s message plain in such an impressive way that anyone who had any element of the love of the truth in him and who had not been blinded by the errors of ignorance, could not help being influenced by it.

Theme and Subject Matter
The discourse begins in a way as if to say:”Why are you expressing surprise and amazement at what Our Prophet is presenting before you?What he says is not new or strange, nor anything novel, which might have been presented for the first time in history: that Revelation should come down to a man from God and he should be given instructions for the guidance of mankind. Allah has been sending similar Revelations with similar instructions to the former Prophets before this. It is not surprising that the Owner of the Universe should be acknowledged as Deity and Ruler, but what is strange is that one should accept another as divine and deity in spite of being His subject and slave. You are being angry with him who is presenting Tauhid before you, where as the shirk that you are practicing with regard to the Master of the Universe is such a grave crime as may cause the heavens to break asunder. The angels are amazed at this boldness of yours and fear that the wrath of Allah might descend on you any moment.”

After this the people have been told that a person’s being appointed to Prophethood and his presenting himself as a Prophet does not mean that he has been made master of the people’s destinies and he has come to the world with that very claim. Allah has kept the destinies in His own hand. The Prophet has come only to arouse the heedless and guide the strayed ones to the Right Path. To call to account those who do not listen to him and to punish or not to punish them is Allah’s own responsibility. and not part of the Prophet’s work. Therefore, they should take it out of their head that the Prophet has come with a claim similar to those that are made by their so called religious guides and saints to the effect that he who would not listen to them, or would behave insolently towards them, would be burnt to death: In this very connection, the people have also been told that the Prophet has not come to condemn them but he is their well wisher; he is warning them that the way they are following will only lead to their own destruction.

Then, an answer has been given to the question: Why didn’t Allah make all human beings righteous by birth, and why did He allow the difference of viewpoint owing to which the people start following each and every way of thought and action?The answer given is this: Owing to this very fact has it become possible for man to attain to the special mercy of Allah, which is not meant for other dumb creatures, but is only meant for those endowed with power and authority, who should take Allah as Patron and Guardian not instinctively but consciously by willing choice. Allah supports the man who adopts this way and guides and helps him to do good and right and admits him into His special mercy. On the contrary, the man who misuses his option and makes his patron those who are not, in fact, the guardians, and cannot be, are deprived of divine mercy. In this connection, it has also been made clear that only Allah is the Patron of man and of all other creatures. Others are neither the patron nor have the power to do full justice to patronage. Man’s success depends only on this that he should make no mistake in choosing a patron for himself by the use of his free choice, and should take only Him his Guide Who, in reality, is the real Patron.

After this, it has been explained what the Din being presented by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be Allah’s peace) really is:

Its primary basis that as Allah Almighty is the Creator, Master and real Patron of the Universe and Man, He alone is Man’s Ruler, He alone has the right to give Man Faith (Din) and Law (system of belief and practice) and judge the disputes of man and tell what is Truth and what is falsehood. No other being has any right whatever to be man’s lawgiver. In other words, like the natural sovereignty, the sovereignty with regard to lawmaking also is vested only in Allah. No man or creature, apart from Allah, can be the bearer of this sovereignty. And if a person does not recognize and accept this Divine rule of Allah, it is merely futile for him to recognize the natural sovereignty of Allah.

On this very basis has Allah ordained a Din (True Religion) for Man from the very beginning. It was one and the same Religion that was vouchsafed in every age to all the Prophets. No Prophet ever founded any separate religion of his own. The same one Religion has been enjoined by Allah for all Mankind since the beginning of creation, and all the Prophets have been following it and inviting others to follow it.

This Religion and Creed was not sent so that man may rest content only with believing in it, but it was sent with the purpose and intention that it alone should be introduced, established and enforced in the world, and no man made religion be made to prevail in Allah’s earth apart from His Religion. The Prophets had not been appointed only to preach this Religion but to establish it particularly in the world.

This same was the original Religion of mankind, but after the death of the Prophets, selfish people created new creeds by creating schisms for vested interests due to self conceit, vanity and ostentation. All the different religions and creeds found in the world today have resulted from corruption of the original Divine Truth.

Now, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be Allah’s peace,) has been sent so that he may present before the people the same and original Religion in place of the various practices and artificial creeds and man made religions, and may try to establish the same. On this, if instead of being grateful, you feel angry and come out to fight him, it is your folly; the Prophet will not abandon his mission only because of your foolishness. He has been enjoined to adhere to his faith at all costs and to carry out the mission to which he has been appointed. Therefore, the people should not cherish any false hope that in order to please thee he would cater to the same whims and superstitions of ignorance which has corrupted Allah’s Religion before.

You do not understand how great an impudence it is against Allah to adopt a man made religion and law instead of the Religion and Law enjoined by Allah. You think it is an ordinary thing and there is nothing wrong with it. But in the sight of Allah it is the worst kind of shirk and a grave crime whose punishment will be imposed on all those who enforced their own religion on Allah’s earth and those who adopted and followed their religion.

Thus, after presenting a clear and visible concept of Religion it is said:”The best possible method that could be employed for your instruction and for bringing you to the Right Path has already been employed. On the one hand, Allah has sent down His Book, which is teaching you the truth in a most impressive way in your own language; and on the other, the lives of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be Allah’s peace) and his Companions are present before you by which you can see for yourselves what kind of men are prepared by the guidance given in this Book. Even then if you do not accept this guidance, nothing else in the world can bring you to the Right Path. The only alternative, therefore, is that you should be allowed to persist in the same error in which you have remained involved for centuries, and made to meet with the same doom which has been destined by Allah for such wrongdoers.”

While stating these truths, brief arguments have been given, here and there, for Tauhid and the Hereafter, the world worshipers have been warned of the evil consequences and their punishment in the life hereafter, and the disbelievers have been criticized for the moral weaknesses, which were the real cause of their deviation from the truth. The Surah has been concluded with two important themes.

First, that the Holy Prophet was wholly unaware of this concept of the “Book” or the True Faith during the first forty years of his life and then his sudden appearance before the people with those two things, is a manifest proof of his being a Prophet.

Secondly, his presenting his own teaching as the teaching of God does not mean that he claims to have spoken to God, face to face, but God has conveyed to him this Guidance, as in the case of all other Prophets, in three ways: He speaks to His Prophets either through Revelation, or from behind a veil, or He sends an angel with the message. This thing was clarified so that the opponents did not have an opportunity of accusing the Holy Prophet of claiming to have spoken to God, face to face, and the lovers of the truth should know by what methods Allah gave instruction to the man whom He had appointed to the mission of Prophethood.

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


1-9 The heavens might have broken apart from above those who elevate Allah’s creatures to His rank if the angels were not begging forgiveness for the residents of earth


(42:1) Ha’. Mim. (42:2) Ayn. Sin. Qaf. (42:3) Thus does Allah, the Most Mighty, the Most Wise reveal to you even as (He revealed) to those (Messengers) who preceded you.1 (42:4) His is all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth; He is the Most High, the All-Great.2 (42:5) The heavens may well nigh rend asunder from above3 while the angels proclaim the praise of their Lord and ask forgiveness for those on earth.4 Lo, it is Allah, and He alone, Who is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful.5 (42:6) Those who have taken others than Him as their protectors beside Him,6 it is Allah Who oversees them; you are no guardian over them.7 (42:7) And thus did We reveal this Arabic Qur’an8 to you that you may warn the people of the Mother of Cities (to wit, Makkah) and those who dwell around it;9 and warn them of the Day of Gathering10 concerning which there is no doubt: whereon some will be in Paradise, and some in the Blazing Fire. (42:8) If Allah had so willed, He could have made them all a single community. But He admits whomsoever He pleases into His Mercy. As to those given to wrong-doing, they shall have none as protector or helper.11 (42:9) (Are they so foolish that) they have chosen others rather than Allah as their protectors? Yet it is Allah Who is the Protector and Who resurrects the dead and Who has power over everything.12


1. The style of the opening verses by itself shows that in the background there are the misgivings, wonder and amazement which were being expressed at that time in every assembly, every meeting place, every street and every house and shop of Makkah at the message of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the themes of the Quran. The people said; Where is this man bringing from new revelations to us every day? The like of these we have never heard nor seen before. How strange that he rejects as false the religion that our forefathers have been following in the past, the religion that is still being followed by all of us, and the traditions and ways that have been prevalent in the country for so many centuries; and he says that the religion that he presents only is right and true. They said: Had he presented even this new religion in a way as to substitute some of the falsehood he found in the ancestral paganism and prevalent customs with certain others which might be the result of his own thought, there could be a dialogue with him. But he says that what he recites is divine Word. How can we accept this? Does God visit him, or does he visit God? Or does some dialogue take place between him and God? It is in the background of such expression of wonder and doubt that although the address is apparently directed to the Prophet (peace be upon him), the disbelievers have in fact been told: Yes, these very things are being revealed by the All-Mighty, the All-Wise Allah, and with the same themes has its revelation been coming down to all the former Prophets.

Lexically, wahi means swift and secret instruction, i.e. an inspiration which is made with such haste and speed that none may know it except the inspirer and the one being inspired. As a term this word has been used for the guidance and instruction that is put in the mind of a man by Allah like a flash of lightning. What is meant to be said here is this: There is no question of Allah’s visiting somebody or somebody’s visiting Allah and speaking face to face with Him. He is All-Mighty and All-Wise. Whenever He pleases to have a contact with a servant for the guidance and instruction of mankind, nothing can obstruct His will and intention, for He adopts the method of revelation for the purpose by His wisdom. This very theme has been repeated in the last verses of the Surah with greater clarity and detail.

As to the people’s objection that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was presenting strange and novel things, it has been said: There is nothing strange and novel in what Muhammad (peace be upon him) presents. Allah has been giving the same guidance and instruction to the Prophets who came before him in the world.

2. These introductory sentences are not meant to be said merely in praise of Allah Almighty, but their each word has a deep link with the background in which these verses were sent down. The foremost basis of the objections of the people who were expressing wonder and doubts against the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the Quran was that he was inviting them to Tauhid and they were being alarmed at this and saying that if Allah alone is the Creator, Sustainer and Ruler, what would be the position of their saints and holy men? At this it has been said: This whole universe belongs to Allah. How can therefore the godhead of another work and operate in the kingdom of the real Sovereign, particularly when those others whose godhead is acknowledged, are themselves also His subjects? Then, it has been said: He is the High, the Great! That is, He is far above that somebody else should be equal to Him in rank and should become His associate in His Being, attributes, powers or rights.

3. That is, it is not a trivial matter that a creature should be joined in lineage with Allah and regarded as His son or daughter. Another regarded as fulfiller of the needs and the answerer of the petitions so that the people should start invoking him for help. Yet another taken as the maintainer of the entire world, and his devotees should start proclaiming that their holy saint heard the prayer of everyone at all places at all times and came to his help and answers his petition. Another invested with the authority to enjoin and prohibit things and declare them as lawful and unlawful, and the people should start obeying his commands, instead of the commands of God, as if he alone was their God. This boldness against God is such that they may well cause the heavens to break asunder. (This same theme has also been presented in (Surah Maryam, Ayats 88- 91).

4. It means: the angels shudder with disgust when they hear such nonsense being uttered by the people in respect of their Lord, and they regard it as a rebellion against Him. They say: Glorified be Allah! No one can have the position that he should become an associate with Allah, Lord of the worlds, in divinity and command; there is none beside Him who may be our and all other servants benefactor so that hymns be sung in his praise and he be thanked. So they feel that it is a grave crime being committed in the world, and it may provoke Allah Almighty’s wrath any moment. Therefore, they implore Allah for mercy again and again for the dwellers of the earth who have forgotten themselves and their God, and pray that they may yet be spared from the torment and given more respite to mend their ways.

5. That is, it is only Allah’s clemency, mercifulness and forgiveness that the people who have touched the extreme limits in disbelief, polytheism, atheism, sinfulness and tyranny, have been receiving respite after respite for years and years, even for centuries; yet they not only go on receiving their sustenance but are also acclaimed as the great people of the world and they are provided with such adornments of the worldly life as cause the ignorant people the misunderstanding that this world perhaps has no God.

6. The word auliya (sing. wali) as used in the text is very comprehensive in meaning. The different beliefs and all sorts of diverse practices with regard to the false deities held and worshiped by the polytheistic people, have been described as: taking others as auliya (guardians) instead of Allah in the Quran. According to the Quran, a person takes such a one his wali:

(1) Whom he obeys in all matters, whose instructions he carries out and whose ways and customs and rules he follows in all affairs of life (Surah An-Nisa, Ayats 118-120); (Surah Al-Aaraf, Ayats: 3,27-30);

(2) In whose guidance he has full faith, and who he thinks will lead him aright and save him from error and deviation (Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayat 257); (Surah Bani Israil, Ayat 97); (Surah Al-Kahf, Ayats 17-50); (Surah Al-Jathiah, Ayat 19).

(3) About whom he trusts that he will protect him from the torment of God in the Hereafter if it really existed (Surah An-Nisa, Ayats 123, 173); (Surah Al-Anaam, Ayat 51); (Surah Ar-Raad, Ayat 37); (Surah Al-Ankabut, Ayat 22); (Surah Al- Ahzab, Ayat 65); (Surah Az-Zumar, Ayat 3).

(4) About whom he has the belief that he helps him in the world in supernatural ways, protects him from disaster and afflictions, gets him jobs, blesses him with children, and fulfills his desires and all other needs. (Surah Houd, Ayat 20); (Surah Ar-Raad, Ayat 16); (Surah Al-Ankabut, Ayat 4l).

At some places in the Quran the word wali has been used in one of these senses and at others in all its meanings. The verse being commented upon is one of such verses. In it, taking others as guardians instead of Allah implies regarding them as one’s patron and supporter and helper in all the four above mentioned meanings.

7. Allah is watching over them and seeing whatever they are doing and is recording their conduct. It is His responsibility to call them to account and punish them. As for the words “You are not disposer of affairs over them”, these have been addressed to the Prophet (peace be upon him). They mean: Their destiny has not been placed under yow control so that you may burn to ashes anyone who does not listen to you, or depose him from power, or annihilate him. This, however, does not mean that, God forbid, the Prophet (peace be upon him) regarded himself as such, and this was said in order to remove his misunderstanding or self-conceit, but this was meant for the disbelievers. Although apparently the Prophet (peace be upon him) himself is the addressee, the real object is to tell the disbelievers that the Prophet of Allah has made no such claims as were usually made by their so-called saints who posed to possess great spiritual powers. Among the ignorant people it is generally thought that the so-called holy men have the power to ruin the destiny of anyone who behaves insolently towards them in any way; so much so that even after their death if somebody happened to dishonor their grave, or if nothing else, only nursed an evil thought about them in his mind, they destroyed him completely. Such a thought is in most cases spread by the holy men themselves. As for the good men who do not themselves say any such thing, their names are exploited by some other clever people, who spread such thoughts about them in order to promote their business. In any case this is regarded as a necessary corollary of spirituality and piety among the common people that one should possess the powers of making and marring destinies. To destroy the spell of this same fraud, Allah is addressing His Messenger (peace be upon him), as if to tell the disbelievers: You are no doubt Our Messenger and We have blessed you with Our revelations, but your duty is only to guide the people to the right path. Their destinies have not boon placed under yow control; they are in Our hands; therefore, to watch over the deeds and acts of the servants and to punish or not to punish them is Our own responsibility.” 7

8. The same thing which had been said in the beginning of the discourse has been said again with greater emphasis, and by making mention of the Arabic Quran, the listeners have been warned to the effect: The Quran is not in any foreign language but in your own language, you can understand it yourself directly, study its themes and see for yourself that the pure and selfless guidance that is being given in it can be from none other than the Lord of the Universe.

9. That is, arouse them from slumber and warn them that there is nothing but destruction in store for them in consequence of the errors of morality and conduct in which they are involved and of the perverse principle on which they have ordered their individual and collective lives.

10. That is, tell them also that this destruction is not confined only to this world but the Day has to come when Allah will gather together all mankind and subject them to accountability. Even if a person escaped the evil consequences of his deviation and wickedness in the world, there will be no chance of his escape on that Day, and highly unfortunate is he, who is doomed to a tragic fate both in this world and in the Hereafter.

11. This theme has three objects in this context:

First, it is meant to instruct and console the Prophet (peace be upon him), as if to say: Do not grieve so much at the ignorance and deviation of the disbelievers of Makkah and their stubbornness and obduracy. It is Allah’s will that man should be granted the freedom of choice and action. Then whoever desires to have guidance should be given guidance, and whoever wants to remain astray should be allowed to go astray. Had this not been Allah’s will, there was no need whatsoever of sending the Prophets and the Books. For this only a creative hint of Allah Almighty’s was enough, all human beings would have become as obedient as the rivers, mountains, trees, stones, and all other creatures. (In this connection, see (Surah Al-Anaam, Ayats 35-36, 107).

Secondly, its addressees are all those people who were involved in the confusion, and even now are, that if Allah really had wanted to show guidance to human beings and He did not like the differences of creed and practice that were prevalent among the people, and wanted to have the people adopt the way of the faith and Islam, there was no need for the revelation and the Book and the Prophethood. He could have easily achieved this object by creating everyone a believer and Muslim by birth. Another result of this confusion was also this reasoning: When Allah has not done so, the different ways that we are following, are approved by Him, and whatever we are doing, is according to His will. Therefore, nobody has any right to object to it. (To remove this misunderstanding also this theme has been mentioned at several places in the Quran. Please see (Surah Al-Anaam, Ayats 112, 137, 148-149); (Surah Yunus, Ayat 99); (Surah Houd, Ayats 118-119); (Surah An-Nahl, Ayats 9, 35 )and the relevant E.Ns).

Thirdly, its object is to make the believers realize the truth about the difficulties that one generally faces in the way of preaching religion and reforming the people. Those people who do not understand the reality of the God, given freedom of choice and will and of the resulting differences of temperament and methods, sometimes become despondent at the slow progress of the reformatory work and wish that some supernatural things should appear from Allah, which should change the hearts of the people, and are sometimes inclined to adopt unsound methods of bringing about reformation, owing to excessive enthusiasm. (For this object also this theme has occurred at some places in the Quran, for which see (Surah Ar-Raad, Ayat 31); (Surah An-Nahl, Ayats 91-93).

To highlight these objects a very important theme has been expressed in these brief sentences. Allah’s real vicegerency in the world and His Paradise in the Hereafter is not an ordinary blessing, which may be distributed over creatures of the rank of the earth and stones and donkeys and horses as a common blessing. This is indeed a special blessing and a blessing of a very high order for which even the angels were not considered fit. That is why Allah created man as a creature endowed with power and authority and placed vast means of His earth under his control and blessed him with these special powers so that he may pass through the test, success in which alone can entitle a servant to His blessings. This blessing is Allah’s own; no one has a monopoly over it, nor can anyone claim to have it on the basis of a personal right, nor has anyone the power to take it by force. He who presents service before Allah, who takes Him as his Guardian and comes under His protection, alone can have it. Then Allah blesses him with help, guidance and grace to pass this test, so that he may enter His Mercy. As for the unjust man who turns away from Allah Himself and instead takes others as his patrons, Allah has no need that he should become his guardian by force. And the others whom He takes as his guardians do not possess any knowledge and power and authority that they may enable him to achieve success by dint of their guardianship of him.

12. That is, protection or guardianship is not a thing of one’s personal choice and satisfaction that he may take anyone, he may please, as his guardian, and the other may also become his real and true guardian and may do full justice to the function of guardianship. This is a reality, which does not change with the whims of the people. The guardian is he who is really the guardian, whether someone regards and acknowledges him as his guardian or not, and the one who is not in reality the guardian is not the guardian, no matter whether someone continues to regard and acknowledge him as his guardian till the last moment. Now, as for the question: What is the proof of only Allah’s being the real guardian and of no one else’s being the guardian? The answer is: Man’s real guardian can be the one who changes death into life, who has created a living man by breathing life into inorganic substances, and who also possesses the powers and authority to do full justice to the function of guardianship. If there is such a one, apart from Allah, he may be made the guardian, and if He is Allah alone, then taking another beside Him as one’s guardian is nothing but ignorance and folly and selfdestruction.


10-19 Islam is the same Deen (way of life) which was enjoined on Nuh, Ibrahim, Musa (Moses) and Isa (Jesus) They were all ordered to establish Deen-al-Islam and do not create division (sects) in it


(42:10) The13 judgement on whatever you differ rests with Allah.14 Such is Allah,15 my Lord; in Him I have put all my trust and to Him I always turn in devotion.16 (42:11) The Originator of the heavens and the earth, He has appointed for you pairs of your own kind, and pairs also of cattle. Thus does He multiply you. Naught in the universe is like Him.17 He is All-Hearing, All-Seeing.18 (42:12) His are the keys of the heavens and the earth. He enlarges and straitens the sustenance of whomsoever He pleases. Surely He has knowledge of everything.19 (42:13) He has prescribed for you the religion which He enjoined upon Noah and which We revealed to you (O Muhammad), and which We enjoined upon Abraham and Moses and Jesus, commanding: “Establish this religion and do not split up regarding it.”20 What you are calling to is very hard upon those who associate others with Allah in His Divinity. Allah chooses for Himself whomsoever He pleases and guides to Himself whoever penitently turns to Him.21 (42:14) They did not split up except after knowledge had come to them,22 and then only because they wished to commit excesses against each other.23 Had your Lord not already decreed that judgement would be made later at an appointed time, the matter between them would surely have been decided once and for all.24 Indeed those who were later made the heirs of the Book are in disquieting doubt about it.25 (42:15) (This being so, O Muhammad), call people to the same religion and be steadfast about it as you were commanded, and do not follow their desires,26 and say (to them): “I believe in the Book Allah has sent down.27 I have been commanded to establish justice among you.28 Allah is our Lord and your Lord. We have our deeds and you have your deeds.29 There is no contention between us and you.30 Allah will bring us all together. To Him all are destined to return.” (42:16) Those who contend concerning Allah31 (after His call has been responded to), their contention is absolutely void in the sight of their Lord. Allah’s wrath is upon them and a grievous chastisement awaits them. (42:17) Allah it is Who sent down this Book with the Truth and the Balance.32 And what would make you know that the Hour (of Judgement) has drawn near?33 (42:18) Those who do not believe in it seek to hasten its coming. But those who believe (in it) hold it in dread and know that the Hour (of Judgement) is bound to come. Lo, those who dispute concerning the coming of the Hour are gone far in error. (42:19) Allah is Most Gentle to His servants34 and grants sustenance to whomsoever He pleases.35 He is All-Strong, Most Mighty.36


13. From here to the end of( verse 12), though the whole discourse is a revelation from Allah, the speaker is not Allah but the Messenger (peace be upon him) of Allah. In other words, Allah Almighty is telling His Prophet (peace be upon him) to make this proclamation to the people. Such themes in the Quran sometimes begin with qul (say, O Prophet) and sometimes without it. Only the style indicates that the speaker at a place is not Allah but Allah’s Messenger. Even at some places though the words are Allah’s, the speaker are the believers, as for example in Surah Surah Al-Fatiha. Or, the speaker are the angels as in (Surah Maryam, Ayats 64-65).

14. This is the natural and logical demand of Allah Almighty’s being the Master of the Universe and His being the real Guardian. When Sovereignty and Guardianship belong to Him only inevitably He alone is also the Ruler. And it is for Him to judge human beings’ mutual disputes and differences. Those who restrict it only to the Hereafter make a mistake. There is no argument to prove that Allah’s position as a Ruler has no effect in this world but is meant only for the life Hereafter. Likewise, those who restrict it only to beliefs and a few questions of religious nature are also in the wrong. The words are general and they clearly proclaim Allah as having the sole right to judge all disputes and differences. According to them, just as Allah is the Master of the Day of Judgment in the Hereafter; so He is the best of Judges in this world too. And just as He is the Settler of the differences pertaining to beliefs as to what is the truth and what is falsehood, so also in legal matters He is the Settler of differences as to what is pure for man and what is impure, what is lawful and desirable for him and what is forbidden and undesirable. What is evil and vicious in morals and what is good and virtuous, what are the rights of the people in their mutual dealings and what are the right practices in social political and economic life and what are wrong. On this very basis the Quran has declared this principle as the fundamental of law:

If there arises any dispute between you about anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger. (Surah An-Nisa, Ayat 59). And: It does not behoove a believing man and a believing woman that when Allah and His Messenger have given their verdict in a matter, they should exercise an option in that matter of theirs. (Surah Al-Ahzab, Ayat 36). And: O people, follow what has been sent down to you from your Lord and do not follow other patrons beside Him. (Surah Al-Aaraf, Ayat 3).

Then, in the context in which this verse has occurred, it gives another meaning also and that is: To decide differences is not only Allah’s legal right on accepting or rejecting which depends on man’s being a believer or an unbeliever, but Allah, in fact, practically also is deciding between the truth and falsehood due to which falsehood and its worshipers are ultimately being destroyed and the truth and the faithful are being honored and exalted, no matter how delayed the enforcement of this decision may seem to be. This theme occurs in (verse 24) below, and has been expressed at several places in the Quran. For this please see (Surah Ar-Raad, Ayats 17,41); (Surah Ibrahim, Ayats 24-27); (Surah Bani Israil, Ayat 8); (Surah Al-Anbiya, Ayats 18, 44 and the E.Ns).

15. The same Allah, Who is the real Settler of disputes.

16. These are two verbs one of which is in the past tense and the other in the present which contains the sense of perpetuity. In the past verb it was said: In Whom did I put my trust, i.e. I decided once and for all that as long as I live I have to rely on His help, on His guidance, on His support and protection, and on His decision. Then in the present verb it was said: To Whom I turn, i.e. Whatever situation I face in life, I turn only to Allah in it. I do not look towards others in an affliction or trouble or difficulty but invoke only Him for help. I seek only His refuge when I face a danger and depend on His protection. I turn to Him for guidance whenever I am confronted by a problem and seek its solution in His teaching and guidance. And I look up only to Him when I have a dispute with somebody with the belief that He alone will give the final decision, and have the faith that whatever decision He gives will be the right one.

17. Literally, “Nothing is like His likeness,” which implies this: Even if there were a likeness of Allah, nothing would be like it, not to speak of being like unto Allah Himself.

18. That is, at one and the same time He is hearing everybody and seeing everything in the Universe.

19. These are the arguments to prove why Allah alone is the true Guardian and why putting trust in Him alone is right and correct and why He alone should be turned to in all matters. (For explanation, see (Surah An-Naml, Ayats 60-66); (Surah Ar-Room, Ayats 20-22 and the E.Ns)).

20. Here the same thing as already mentioned in the first verse has been further elaborated. It clearly states that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is not the founder of any new religion, nor was any of the Prophets a founder of a separate religion, but it has been one and the same religion which all the Prophets have been presenting from Allah from the very beginning, and the same is being presented by Muhammad (peace be upon him). In this regard, the first name mentioned is of the Prophet Noah (peace be upon him), who was the first Prophet after the Flood. After him the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has been mentioned, who is the last of the Prophets; then the Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) has been mentioned, whom the Arabs acknowledged as their guide, and last of all, the Prophets Moses and Jesus (peace be upon them) have been mentioned to whom the Jews and the Christians attribute their religions. This does not mean that only these five Prophets had been enjoined this religion, but what is meant to be said is that all the Prophets who came to this world, brought one and the same religion and the names of the five illustrious Prophets have been mentioned only as examples through whom the world received the most well known codes of divine law.

As this verse throws important light on Deen (religion) and its aim, it is necessary that we should study it to understand it well.

Lexically, the word sharaa in sharaa lakum (ordained for you) means to make the way. As a term it implies appointing a way, a code and a rule. Accordingly, in Arabic the words tashri and shariat and shari are understood as the synonyms of legislation and law and law giver respectively. This divine legislation, in fact, is the natural and logical result of the fundamental truths which have been stated in( verses l, 9 and 10) above: that Allah alone is the Owner of everything in the Universe, and He alone is man’s real Guardian and it is for Him to judge the disputes that arise between human beings. Now, when Allah alone is the Owner and Guardian and Ruler, inevitably He alone is entitled to make the code of law for man and it is His responsibility that He should give this code of law to man. So, He has carried out His responsibility like this.

Then the words min-ad-din (of the nature of din) denote that the way appointed by Allah is legislation pertaining to deen. If the explanation of the word deen that we have given in (E.N. 3 of Surah Az-Zumar) above, is kept in view, there can be no difficulty in understanding that deen means nothing but acknowledging the sovereignty and leadership of someone and obeying his commands. And when this word is used in the meaning of the way, it implies the way which man must regard as obligatory for himself to follow and the one appointing it as the one whom he ought to obey. On this basis, calling God-appointed Way as legislation pertaining to deen clearly means that it is not merely recommendatory in nature or a mere counsel, but it is a law enjoined by the Master, which must necessarily be obeyed by the servants and disobedience of which is tantamount to rebellion, and the one who does not obey it, in fact, denies Allah’s being the Sovereign and Ruler and his own position of a servant.

Then, it has been said that this legislation which pertains to deen is the same as was enjoined on Noah. Abraham and Moses and the same now has been enjoined on Muhammad (peace be upon them all). This contains several points:

(1) That Allah did not send this legislation of His directly to every man, but appointed whenever He deemed proper and necessary a person as His Messenger and consigned the legislation w him.

(2) That this legislation has been the same from the beginning. It did not so happen that in one age one particular deen was appointed for a nation, and in another age another and contradictory deen was sent for another nation. Allah did not send many deens but on every occasion He sent one and the same deen.

(3) That it is an essential part of this deen to acknowledge the apostleship of those men through whom the legislation has been sent and the revelation in which the legislation has been couched, besides acknowledging the Sovereignty of Allah; and it is the demand of reason and logic too, that it should be a necessary part of it, for a man cannot obey this legislation at all unless he is satisfied that it is authentically from Allah.

Then it has been said that the Prophets were given this legislation pertaining to deen, with the express instruction: Aqim-ud-din; “Establish this deen”, or “Keep this deen established,” as variously translated by Shah Waliullah, Shah Rafiuddin and Shah Abdul Qadir. Both these translations are correct, for iqamat means both to establish and to keep established, and the Prophets were appointed to perform both the functions. Their first duty was to establish this din wherever it was not established, and the second that they should keep it established after they had established it, or had found it already established in a place. Obviously, a thing can be kept established only when it has already been established, otherwise the primary requirement would be to establish it first, and then make continuous effort to keep it established.

Here, two questions arise: First, what is the meaning of establishing the deen? Second, what is deen itself, which we have been enjoined to establish and then keep it established? Let us try to understand these questions well.

The word iqamat (to establish) when used in respect of a material or physical object implies causing it to rise from the sitting or lying positions or assembling the scattered parts of a thing and raising it up high. But when iqamat is used in respect of a thing which is not material but spiritual in nature, it does not merely imply preaching it, but also acting according to it as best as one can, introducing it and enforcing it practically. For example, when we say that so and so established his rule, it does not mean that he invited others to his government but that he subdued the people of the land and organized the different departments of the government in a way that the administration of the country began to function according to his orders. Similarly, when we say that courts have been established in the country, it means that judges have been appointed to do justice and they ate hearing the cases and giving judgments, and not that hymns in praise of justice are being sung and the people being impressed. Likewise, when the Quran enjoins the establishment of the Prayer (Salat), it does not imply that one should merely preach and exhort others to the Prayer but that one should not only perform it himself, observing all its conditions, but should also strive to make arrangement so that it becomes a regular practice among the believers. There should be mosques, there should be arrangements for offering the Prayer collectively and for the Friday congregational Prayer, and for making calls to the Prayer punctually. There should be the Imams to lead the Prayers and the scholars to give sermons, and the people should visit the mosques regularly and punctually and make offering the Prayer an essential part of their daily routine. After this explanation, there should remain no difficulty in understanding that when the Prophets were enjoined to establish the deen and to keep it established, it did not simply mean that they should practice it themselves and not only that they should preach it to others so that the people may accept its truth, but also that when the people have accepted it, steps should be taken to introduce and enforce the entire deen practically among them so that they may start living according to it forever afterwards. No doubt preaching is the primary necessary stage of this work without which there can be no second stage, but every intelligent person can himself see that in this command preaching has not been made the object, but the real object is to establish the deen and keep it established. Preaching is certainly a means to the end but not the end in itself, but nobody can say that it was the only and foremost object of the mission of the Prophets.

Now, let us take the second question. When some people saw that the deen which has been enjoined to be established is common among all the Prophets, and their shariahs have been different, as Allah Himself says: We appointed for each community among you a law and a way of life, they formed the view that inevitably this deen did not imply the shariah commandments, rules and regulations but only the acceptance of Tauhid, the Hereafter and the Book and the Prophethood and performance of certain acts of devotion to Allah, or at the most, it included some of the major moral principles which have been common to all the shariahs. But this is a superficial view, which has been formed after having a cursory glance over the unity of religion and the difference of the shariahs. This is, however, a dangerous view, which if not corrected in time, may well lead to the separation between deen (religion) and shariahs (law). It was this very view in, which St. Paul was involved, who presented the doctrine of the deen (religion) without shariah (law), and corrupted the community of the Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him). For, if shariah (law) is something separate from deen (religion) and the command is only for establishing the deen and not the shariah, inevitably the Muslims also, like the Christians, would regard the shariah as unimportant and overlook its establishment as not being the real object by itself, and would remain content with only beliefs and a few important moral principles. Instead of determining the meaning of deen from such speculations, let us turn to the Quran itself and see whether the deen which we have been enjoined here to establish implies the beliefs and a few important moral principles only, or the shariah values and commandments as well. When we explore the Quran we find that what it regards as deen includes the following things as well:

(1) And the only command they were given was to worship Allah, making their deen sincerely His, turning all their attention towards Him, and to establish the Salat and to pay the Zakat, this alone is the true and right deen. (Surah Al-Bayyinah, Ayat 5). This shows that the Salat and the Zakat are included in this deen, whereas the commandments pertaining to both have been different in the different shariahs. No one can say that in all the previous shariahs the Salat has had the same form, the same elements, the same number of the rakahs, the same direction of the qiblah, the same times and the same other commands concerning it. Likewise, no one can claim also about the Zakat that in all the shariahs the same has been the exemption limits, the same rates and the same injunctions concerning its collection and distribution. But in spite of the difference of the shariahs, Allah has regarded both these as part of deen.

(2) You are forbidden carrion and blood, the flesh of swine and of that animal which has been slaughtered in any name other than of Allah, and of the strangled animal, and of that beaten to death or killed by a fall or gored to death or mangled by a beast of prey, save of that you duly slaughtered while it was still alive, and of that which is slaughtered at (ungodly) shrines. It is also unlawful for you to try to find your fortune by means of divining devices, for all these things are sinful acts. Today the disbelievers have despaired of (vanquishing) your religion; therefore do not fear them but fear Me. Today I have perfected your deen for you and completed My blessing on you and approved Islam as the deen (way of life) for you. (Surah Al-Maidah, Ayat 3). This shows that all these shariah commandments are also deen.

(3) Fight with those from among the people of the Book, who do not believe in Allah nor in the Last Day; who do not make unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful, and do not adopt the right deen as their deen. (Surah At-Taubah, Ayat 29). This shows that besides belief in Allah and the Hereafter it is also deen to accept and follow the commands about the lawful and the unlawful, which have been given by Allah and His Messenger.

(4) The woman and the man guilty of fornication, flog each one of them with a hundred stripes, and let not any pity for them restrain you in regard to a matter prescribed in the deen of Allah, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day. (Surah An-Noor, Ayat 2). It did not behoove Joseph to seize his brother by the king’s deen. (Surah Yousuf, Ayat 76). This shows that the criminal law is also deen. If a man follows the criminal law prescribed by God, he is a follower of God’s deen and if he follows a king’s law, he is a follower of the king’s deen.

These are the four specimens in which the shariah commandments have been described as deen in clear words. But, besides these, a careful study shows that the eradication of the sins for which Allah has held out the threat of Hell (e.g. adultery, taking of interest, killing of a believer, consuming the property of the orphan, taking possession of the other peoples properties in unlawful ways etc.), and the crimes which become the cause of God’s torment, e.g. sodomy (the act of Prophet Lot’s people) and dishonesty in business dealings (as practiced by the Prophet Shuaib’s people) should necessarily be included in deen, for if deen cannot save one from Hell and Allah’s torment, what use could it be? Likewise, those shariah commandments also should be part of the deen, violation of which has been regarded as cause of entry into the Fire, e.g. injunctions relating to inheritance, after stating which it has been said: And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger and transgresses the limits prescribed by Him, Allah will cast him into the Fire wherein he will have a disgraceful torment. (Surah An-Nisa, Ayat 14). Likewise, the prohibition of those things whose prohibition Allah has mentioned with great emphasis and absoluteness, e.g. prohibition of the mother, sister and daughter and prohibition of wine, theft, gambling, false evidence, etc. if not included in the establishment of the deen, it would mean that Allah has given some unnecessary commands also, which are not meant to be introduced and enforced. Similarly, establishing those things which Allah has made obligatory, e.g. fasting and pilgrimage, cannot be excluded from the establishment of deen only on the pretext that the entire month of fasting of Ramadan had not been enjoined in the previous shariahs, and pilgrimage to the Kabah was enjoined only in the Shariah which was inherited by the Ishmaelite branch of the Prophet Abraham’s progeny.

As a matter of fact, the misunderstanding was caused only because the verse: We appointed for each community among you a law and a way of life, has been misconstrued to mean that since the shariah appointed for every community was separate and the command given was only to establish the deen (way of life) which was common to all the Prophets, the establishment of the shariah was not included in the establishment of the deen, whereas the real meaning of this verse is just the opposite of it. If the context(verses 41-50)in which this verse has occurred in Surah Al- Maidah is studied carefully, it will be seen that the correct meaning of this verse is: Whatever shariah was given by Allah to the community of a Prophet, was the deen for that community, and the establishment of the same deen was the object during his Prophethood. And since now is the period of the Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) Prophethood, the shariah which has been given to the Ummah of Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the deen of this time, and to establish the same is to establish the deen. As for the difference of the shariah, it does not mean that the shariahs sent by God were mutually contradictory, but it means that in their details there have been some differences owing to the different environments, take, for instance, the Prayer and the Fast. The Prayer has been obligatory in all the shariahs, but the qiblah of all the shariahs was not the same, and there was a difference in its times and rakahs and elements as well. Likewise, the Fast was obligatory in every shariah, but the month long fasting of Ramadan was not there in the other shariahs. From this it is not correct to conclude that the Prayer and the Fast as such are included in the establishment of deen but performing the Prayer in a particular way and observing the Fast at a particular time is excluded from it. However, the correct conclusion that one can draw is: To perform the Prayer and observe the Fast according to the rules and procedures that had been appointed for the people in the shariah of every Prophet amounted to establishment of deen in his time. In the present age the establishment of the deen is that these acts of worship be performed according to the procedures enjoined in the Shariah of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). The same is true about all other Shariah commandments as well.

Whoever studies the Quran carefully will see that this Book does not envisage that its adherents will live as subjects of the disbelievers and will pass a religious life under them, but it openly proclaims that it will have its own rule established; it demands from its followers that they should struggle with their lives for the intellectual, cultural, legal and political supremacy of the true faith; and it gives them a program for the reformation of human life, the major part of which can be acted upon only when political power and authority is in the believers’ hand. As stated by itself, the object of this Book’s being sent down is: We have sent down this Book to you with the truth so that you may judge between the people in accordance with the light that Allah has shown you. (Surah An-Nisa, Ayat 105). The Commandments given in this Book about the collection and distribution of the Zakat expressly envisage a government who should be responsible for collecting the Zakat and distributing it among the deserving people according to a laid down procedure. (Surah At-Taubah, Ayats 60,103). The prohibition of interest that has been enjoined in this Book and the declaration of war that has been made against those who do not abstain from taking interest (Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayats 275-279) can be enforced only when the political and economic system of the country is entirely in the believers’ hand. The Law of Retribution for murder (Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayat 178), cutting off of the hand for theft (Surah AI-Maidah, Ayat 38) and carrying out of the prescribed punishment for adultery and calumny (Surah An-Noor, Ayat 2-4) have not been enjoined on the assumption that the believers will remain subject to the police and courts of the disbelievers. The command to fight the disbelievers (Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayats 190,216) has not been given with the idea that the followers of this deen will carry out this command by getting enlisted in the army of disbelief. The command to take Jizyah from the followers of the former Books (Surah At-Taubah, Ayat 29) has not been given on the assumption that the Muslims will take Jizyah from them while being their subjects and will be responsible for their protection. And this thing is not true only about the Madinite Surahs; in the Makkan Surahs as well a discerning eye can clearly see that the scheme envisaged from the very beginning was of Islam’s supremacy and dominance and not of Islam’s and the Muslims’ subjugation under an un-Islamic rule. See, for instance, (Surah Bani Israil, Ayats 76-89); (Surah Al-Qasas, Ayats 85-86); (Surah Ar-Room, Ayats 1-6); (Surah As-Saaffat, Ayats 171-179); Surah Suad, Introduction, (Ayat 11 and E.N. 12 )on it.

Above all, this misinterpretation clashes with the great work that the Prophet (peace be upon him) himself accomplished during the 23 years of his Prophethood. Who can deny the fact that he subdued entire Arabia by means of both preaching and the sword and established in it a full fledged system of government with a detailed law, covering all aspects of life, from beliefs and rites of worship to personal conduct, collective morality, culture and civilization, economic and social life, politics and judiciary, peace and war. If this entire work of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is not accepted as a commentary of the command of iqamat deen (establishment of deen) which, according to this verse, he had been enjoined to undertake like all other Prophets, then it could have one of the two meanings: That earlier, God forbid, the Prophet (peace be upon him) should be blamed that he had been appointed only to preach and teach beliefs and a few important moral rules but he exceeded his mandate and established a government of his own whim and laid down a code of law, which was different from the common law of the Prophets as well as in excess of it; or that Allah should be blamed that after having made the above mentioned declaration in Surah Ash-Shura. He went back on His own word, and made His last Prophet do something which was not only much over and about and different from the objective of iqamat deen as stated in this Surah, but on the completion of this mission He also made this declaration, contrary to His first declaration: Today I have perfected your deen for you. (Surah Al-Maidah, Ayat 3). May Allah keep us safe from this! Apart from these two, if there is any third alternative, which makes this interpretation of iqamat deen plausible and also does not lay any blame on Allah or His Messenger, we would like to know it.

After giving the command for iqamat deen, the last thing that Allah has stated in this verse is this: La tatafarraqu fihi: Do not create schisms in the deen: Be not divided in it. Creating schisms in deen implies that one should introduce something new in religion for which there exists no sound basis, and then should insist that belief and unbelief depend on the acceptance of the innovation, and should separate along with those who have accepted it from those who have not accepted it. This new thing can be of several kinds:

(1) To introduce something entirely new into deen.

(2) To exclude from deen something which actually belonged to it.

(3) To tamper with the fundamentals of deen by misinterpretations and introduce new beliefs and novel practices.

(4) To distort the deen by making changes of fundamental nature in it, for example, by reducing what was important in it to un-important, by raising what was at most permissible to the position of imperative and obligatory, even to the position of the most fundamental pillar of Islam. Owing to such innovations, divisions first appeared in the communities of the Prophets; then gradually the creeds of the sects developed into wholly separate and mutually exclusive religious systems whose followers now do not have any idea that once they all belonged to one and the same origin. These divisions have nothing to do with the permissible and reasonable difference of opinion which naturally takes place among the scholars when they are engaged in understanding and studying the injunctions and fundamentals of the deen for the purpose of deriving and extracting points of law, and for which there is room in the words of the Book of Allah itself owing to the considerations of lexicon, idiom and rules of grammar. (For a detailed discussion of this subject, see( Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayat 213); (Surah Aal-Imran, Ayats 19, 50); (Surah An-Nisa, Ayat 171); (Surah Al-Maidah, Ayat 77); (Surah Al-Anaam, Ayat 159); (Surah An-Nahl, Ayats 118-124); (Surah Al- Anbiya, Ayats 92-93); (Surah Al-Hajj, Ayat 67); (Surah Al- Muminun, Ayats 53-54); (Surah Al-Qasas, Ayat 53); (Surah ArRoom, Ayat 32 and the E.Ns).

21. Here the same thing as stated in( verses 8-9) above, has been reiterated, and we have explained it in (E.N. 11) above. The object of repeating it here is as if to say: You are presenting the clear highway of religion before them but the foolish people, instead of appreciating the blessing, are becoming annoyed over it. But even among them there are the people of their own tribe, who are turning to Allah and Allah also is drawing them closer to Himself. But one should understand that Allah’s bestowal of His blessings is not blind. He draws only him towards Himself who is inclined to be drawn and not him who runs away from Him.

22. That is, the divisions were created not because Allah had failed to send the Prophets and the Books, and therefore, the people could not know the right way and so invented their own separate religions, sects, schools of thought and systems of life, but divisions appeared after knowledge had come to them from Allah. Therefore, Allah is not responsible for it, but the people who abandoned the clear principles of religion and commands of the Shariah and created their own creeds and religions are themselves responsible for it.

23. That is, the motive for creating the divisions was not good, but they resulted from the desire for ostentation, love of an independent entity, mutual rivalry and stubbornness, the urge to humiliate and defeat one another, and greed for worldly wealth and position. When the clever and ambitious saw that if the godly people followed the true religion honestly, there would only be One God before whom the people would bow, there would be one Messenger whom they would acknowledge as their guide and leader, there would be one Book which they would turn to and there would be a clearly defined creed and code of life which they would be following. In such a system there could be no place of distinction for themselves, on the strength of which they could have their own leadership flourish so that the people should rally round them, and bow to them and also make rich offerings to them. This was the real cause which became the motive of the invention of new creeds and philosophies, new ways and rites of worship and new systems of life, and diverted a large part of humanity from the highway of divine religion and misled them into blind alleys. Then the mutual disputes of the factions and their religious, economic and political conflicts gave rise to intense bitterness, which in turn led to bloodshed and violence among humanity.

24. That is, all such people who were guilty of inventing false systems and followed them would have been annihilated in the world itself by a torment, and only the righteous ones allowed to survive, which should have indicated as to who was a follower of the truth and who of falsehood in the sight of Allah. But Allah has deferred this decision till Resurrection, for after such a decision in the world, the trial of mankind becomes meaningless.

25. It means: After the passage of the time of every Prophet and his closest followers when the divine Book reached the later generations, they did not receive it with faith and conviction but were involved in doubts and suspicions and confusions about it. There were many causes for this state of affairs, which can be easily understood by a study of the case of the Torah and the Gospel. The earlier generations have not conveyed both these Books to the later generations well preserved in their original state and in their original words and language. They mixed up the divine word in them with the human word in the form of their commentary, history, verbal traditions and juristic hair-splitting. They made their translations prevail until the original was lost and only the translations remained. Their historical authenticity also was ruined, so much so that nobody now can say with certainty that the Book in his hand is the same that the world had once received through the Prophet Moses or the Prophet Jesus (peace be upon them). Then their elders in the different periods of history initiated such discussions on religion, divinity, philosophy, law, physics, psychology and sociology and invented such systems of thought that the people were lost in them and it became impossible for them to decide as to which was the straight highway of the truth among the countless crooked ways. And since the divine Book did not exist in its original, reliable state, they could neither turn to any authority that could help them to distinguish the truth from falsehood.

26. That is, do not make any change nor effect any increase or decrease in this religion only to please them. Do not resort to any compromises with the misguided people on the principle of give and take. Do not make any room in the religion for their whims, prejudices and practices of ignorance in the hope that they would embrace Islam. Let the one who wants to accept, accept the original, pure religion of God, as sent down by Him, straight forwardly; otherwise let him go and enter any hell that he chooses for himself. The religion of God cannot be changed for the sake of the people; if the people are desirous of their own well being and true success, let them change their ways and mold themselves according to it.

27. In other words, I am not like those schismatic people who believe in some Books sent down by God and disbelieve in others; I believe in every Book sent down by Him.

28. This sentence has several meanings:

(1) I have been appointed to discard the schisms and adopt true impartiality. I do not like to harbor prejudice in favor of one and against the other schism. I have one and the same kind of relationship with all human beings, and it is the relationship of justice and equity. I am a companion and supporter of everyone who follows the truth, whether he is an utter stranger for me, and an opponent of everyone who follows falsehood, whether he is a neighbor or a close kinsman.

(2) There is no place of distinction for anybody in the system of truth, which I have, been appointed to present before you. It honors everyone equally. It does not contain separate sets of the rights for the kindred and the stranger, the big and the small, the poor and the rich, the noble and the humble. Whatever is good in it is good for everyone, and whatever is sinful and unlawful and criminal in it is sinful, unlawful and criminal for everybody. In its just system, there is no exception even for my own self.

(3) I have been appointed to establish justice in the world. I have been entrusted with the mission of doing justice between the people and should put an end to their excesses and injustice, which are prevalent in your society.

Besides, there is also a fourth meaning of this sentence, which remained hidden in Makkan life but became clear after emigration to Madinah, and it was: I am a judge appointed by God, I am responsible to do justice between you.

29. That is, each one of us is himself responsible and accountable for his deeds. If you do good, you will yourself profit by its good results, and not we. If we do evil, we ourselves shall bear all its evil consequences, and not you. The same thing has been stated in (Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayat 139); (Surah Younus, Ayat 41); (Surah Houd, Ayat 35); and (Surah Al-Qasas, Ayat 55).

30. That is, we have done our best in conveying to you the message in a rational way. Now there is no use wrangling and disputing; therefore, even if you try to have a dispute with us, we have no desire to join in.

31. This is an allusion to the state of affairs that was being experienced in Makkah at that time almost daily. Whenever it became known about somebody that he had become a Muslim, the people would start treating him mercilessly. They would worry and vex him, would neither let him have peace in the house nor in the street nor in society. Wherever he went, they would start an endless discussion with the object to somehow make him abandon Muhammad (peace be upon him) and return to the same creed of ignorance which he had rejected.

32. Mizan (Balance): the Shariah of Allah, which, like a balance, brings out clearly the distinction between the right and the wrong, the truth and falsehood, justice and injustice, and righteousness and wickedness. In( verse 15) above, the Prophet (peace be upon him) has been made to say: I have been commanded to do justice between you. Here, it has been told that with this Book the Balance has come by which justice will be established.

33. That is, the one who is inclined to mend his ways, must mend his ways forthwith, he should not lose time under the delusion that the Hour of Judgment is yet far off. Man cannot be sure whether he will be able to take another breath or not, his present breath may be his last.

34. The word “Subtle” cannot fully convey the meaning of the word Latif as used in the original. This word contains two meanings: First, that Allah is very Kind and Compassionate to His servants; second, that He is a subtle observer and keeps in view even their minutest and most ordinary needs, which none else can see, and He fulfills them in such ways that they themselves do not perceive as to which need of theirs has been fulfilled at what time and by whom. Then the slaves here does not imply only the believers but all slaves. That is, Allah is Kind and Compassionate to all His slaves.

35. It means: The demand of His general kindness and compassion is not this that all the slaves should be given everything equally. For, although He is providing for each and every one from His treasures, there is no equality and uniformity in the measure of His provisions. He has given one thing to one and another to another. He has provided someone with something in a greater measure and another with another thing more generously.

36. That is, His system of providence is functioning undo His own might. No one has the power to change it or take away something forcibly from Him, or prevent Him from providing for somebody.


20-29 He who desires the harvest in the hereafter shall be given many folds, but he who desires in this life shall be given a portion here but shall have no share in the hereafter


(42:20) Whoever seeks the harvest of the Hereafter, We shall increase for him his harvest, and whoever seeks the harvest of this world, We shall give him thereof; but he will have no share in the Hereafter.37 (42:21) Do they have any associates (of Allah) who have laid down for them a way pertaining to faith which Allah did not sanction?38 But for the fact that a decree had already been made, the matter between them would have been decided once and for all. Surely a grievous chastisement awaits the wrong-doers.39 (42:22) You will see the wrongdoers fearful of the consequence of their deeds which will certainly overtake them. But those who have faith and do good deeds will be in the meadows of the Gardens, wherein they shall have whatever they desire from their Lord; that is the great Bounty. (42:23) That is the Bounty of which Allah gives tidings to His servants who have faith and do good deeds. Tell them, (O Prophet): “I do not ask you for any recompense for my work40 except love towards kinsfolk.”41 Whoever does a good deed, We shall increase its merit for him. Surely Allah is Most Forgiving, Most Appreciative.42 (42:24) Do they say: “He has forged a lie against Allah?”43 If Allah so wanted He could seal up your heart.44 Allah blots out falsehood and confirms the truth by His Words.45 He is well aware of all the secrets hidden in the breasts (of people).46 (42:25) He it is Who accepts repentance from His servants and forgives sins and knows all what you do,47 (42:26) and answers the prayers of those who believe and do good deeds and bestows upon them even more out of His Bounty. As for those who deny (the Truth), a grievous chastisement awaits them. (42:27) If Allah were to grant ample sustenance to His servants they would go about transgressing in the land. But He sends down in due measure whatever (sustenance) He wills. Surely He is Well-Aware and All-Seeing concerning matters that relate to His servants.48 (42:28) He it is Who sends down the rain after they despair of it, spreading out His Mercy. He is the Protector, the Immensely Praiseworthy.49 (42:29) And of His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the living creatures that He has spread out in them.50 He has the power to bring them together when He so wills.51


37. Two of the truths have been mentioned in the previous verse, which we are observing everywhere at all times:

(1) That Allah is Kind and Compassionate to all His servants.

(2) That the measure of His provisions is not the same for everybody, but it varies from man to man. Now, in this verse it is being told that although the partial differences in kindness and measures of provisions are countless, there is also a difference of fundamental nature, which is: there is one kind of the provision for the seeker of the Hereafter and of another kind for the seeker of the world.

This is a very important truth which has been stated here briefly. Let us understand it fully, for it helps every man to determine his attitude to life.

Both the seeker of the Hereafter and the seeker of the world have been likened to the farmer in this verse, who labors persistently hard right from the time he prepares the soil until the time his crop is ready for harvesting. He puts in all his labor so that he may reap and gather the crop of the seeds he sowed. But because of the difference of the intention and objective and also the difference of the attitude and conduct, to a large extent, a vast difference takes place between the farmer who sows for the Hereafter and the farmer who sows for this world. Therefore, Allah has ordained different results and consequences of the labors of each, although the place of activity of both is this very earth.

As to the farmer who is sowing for the Hereafter, Allah has not said that he will get no share from the world. The world, in a more or less measure, he will get in any case. For, he also has a share in the common provisions being bestowed by Allah, and every person, good or bad, is getting his sustenance here. But Allah has not given him the good news of the harvest of this world but that his harvest of the Hereafter will be increased, for he is a seeker of the same, and is concerned about his end there. There are several ways in which this harvest can be increased. For example, as he will go on doing righteous deeds with sincere intentions, he will be blessed with the grace to do more and more righteous deeds and his breast will be opened out for more and more good works. When he will make up his mind to adopt pure means for achieving pure aims, he will be blessed with pure means only and Allah will not let it so happen that all doors to goodness be closed and only doors to evil to remain open for him. Above all, his each good work, however small and insignificant, will at least be increased ten times over in the Hereafter, and there is no limit to this increase. Allah will increase it hundreds of thousands of times for whomever He may please.

As for the one who is only sowing for this world, and is not at all concerned about the Hereafter, Allah has plainly told him of two of the results of his labors:

(1) That, however hard he may struggle and strive, he will not get the whole of what he is trying for, but only a fraction of it, which Allah has ordained for him.

(2) That whatever he has to get, he will get only in this world, there is no share for him in the good things of the Hereafter.

38. In this verse the word shuraka (associates) obviously does not mean those beings whom the people invoke, or those in whose names they make offerings, or those before whom they carry out rites of worship, but inevitably it refers to those men whom the people regard as associates in the authority and sovereignty of Allah, whose thoughts, creeds, ideologies and philosophies they believe in, whose values they adopt, whose moral precepts and norms of civilization and culture they accept, and whose laws and rules and regulations they adopt to their rituals and rites of worship, in their personal and collective lives, in their trade and business dealings, in their politics and governments, as if they constituted the shariah that they had to follow faithfully. This is a complete code of life which the inventors invented against the legislation of Allah, Lord of the worlds, without His sanction and followed by the followers. This is the same sort of shirk as prostrating oneself before another and invoking another than Allah. (For further explanation, see (Surah An-Nisa, Ayat 60); (Surah Al-Maidah, Ayat 87); (Surah Al-Anaam, Ayats 121, 136,137); (Surah At-Taubah, Ayat 31); (Surah Younus, Ayat 59); (Surah Ibrahim, Ayat 22); (Surah An-Nahl, Ayats 115- 116); (Surah Al-Kahf, Ayat 52); (Surah Al-Qasas, Ayats 62-64); (Surah Saba, Ayat 41); (Surah YaSeen, Ayat 74 and the relevant E.N.s).

39. That is, this is such a boldness against Allah that had not judgment been deferred till Resurrection, the torment would have been sent down on every such person, who in spite of being Allah’s servant, enforced his own religion and way of life on Allah’s earth, and those people also would have been visited by it, who forsook Allah’s religion and accepted the religion invented by others.

40 That is, every effort that the prophet (peace be upon him) was making to save the people from Allah’s punishment and to enable them to become worthy of the promise of Paradise.

41. The word qurba in the original has been interpreted differently by the different commentators. One section of them takes it in the meaning of kinship and has given this meaning to the verse: I do not ask of you any reward for this service, but I do desire that you (O people of Quraish) should show some regard for the kinship that is there between me and you. You should have accepted my invitation, but if you do not accept it, you should not be so hard-hearted as to become my bitterest enemies in the entire land of Arabia. This is the interpretation given by Hadrat Abdullah bin Abbas, which has been cited by lmam Ahmad, Bukhari. Muslim. Tirmidhi, Ibn Jarir, Tabarani, Baihaqi. Ibn Said and others on the authority of many reporters and the same commentary has been given by Mujahid. Ikrimah, Qatadah, Suddi, Abu Malik, Abdur Rehman bin Zaid bin Aslam, Dahhak. Ata bin Dinar and the other major commentators.

The other section takes qurba in the meaning of nearness and interprets the verse to mean: I do not seek from you any other reward than this that you should develop in yourselves a desire for attaining nearness to Allah. That is, you should be reformed. That is my only reward. This commentary has been reported from Hasan Basri and a saying of Qatadah also has been cited in support of this, so much so that in a tradition by Tabarani this saying has also been attributed to Ibn Abbas. In the Quran itself, at another place, this same subject has been treated, thus: Tell them: I do not seek of you any reward for this work. I only ask of the one, who will, to adopt the way of his Lord. (Surah Al-Furqan, Ayat 57).

The third group takes qurba in the meaning of the kindred, and interprets the verse to mean this: I do not seek from you any other reward than this that you should love my near and dear ones. Then, some of the commentators of this group interpret the kindred to mean alt the children of Abdul Muttalib, and some others restrict it to Ali and Fatimah and their children. This commentary has been reported from Saeed bin Jubair and Amr bin Shuaib, and in some traditions it has been attributed to Ibn Abbas and Ali bin Hussain (Zainal Abedin), but this interpretation cannot be accepted for several reasons. Firstly, when Surah Ash-Shura was revealed at Makkah, Ali and Fatimah had not yet been married and, therefore, there could be no question of their children. As for the children of Abdul Muttalib, they were not all following the Prophet (peace be upon him) but some of them had openly joined with his enemies, and the enmity of Abu Lahab is well known. Second, the kindred of the Prophet (peace be upon him) were not only the children of Abdul Muttalib but he had his kindred among all the families of the Quraish through his mother and his father and his wife Khadijah. In all these clans he had his best supporters as well as his staunch enemies. Third, and this is the most important point, in view of the high position of a Prophet (peace be upon him) from which he starts his mission of inviting the people towards Allah, it does not seem fitting that he would ask the people to love his kindred in return for his services in connection with his great mission. No person of fine taste could imagine that Allah would have taught His Prophet (peace be upon him) such a little thing, and the Prophet would have uttered the same before the Quraish. In the stories that have been narrated of the Prophets in the Quran, we find that a Prophet after Prophet stands up before his people sad says: I do not ask of you any reward: my reward is with Allah, Lord of the worlds. (Surah Younus, Ayat 72); (Surah Houd, Ayats 29, 51); (Surah Ash- Shuara, Ayats 109, 127, 145, 164, l80). In Surah YaSeen the criterion given of a Prophet’s truthfulness is that he gives his invitation without any selfish motive. (verse 21). In the Quran the Prophet (peace be upon him) himself has been made to say again and again words to the effect: I demand no reward from you for this message. (Surah Al-Anaam, Ayat 90); (Surah Yousuf, Ayat 104); (Surah Al-Muminun, Ayat 72); (Surah Al-Furqan, Ayat 57); (Surah Saba, Ayat 47); (Surah Suad, Ayat 86); (Surah At-Toor, Ayat 40); (Surah Al- Qalam, Ayat 46). After this, what could be the occasion for the Prophet (peace be upon him) to tell the people that in return for his service of inviting them to Allah, they should love his relatives. Then it seems all the more irrelevant when we state that the addressees here are the disbelievers and not the believers. The whole discourse, from the beginning to the end, is directed to them. Therefore, there could be no question in this regard of asking the opponents for any reward, for a reward is asked of those who show some appreciation for the services that a person has rendered for them. The disbelievers were not at all appreciative of the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) services. On the contrary, they regarded them as a crime and had turned bitterly hostile to him.

42. That is, contrary to the culprits who commit disobedience knowingly, Allah’s affair with the servants who strive to do good, is like this:

(1) He makes them even more righteous than they could be solely by their own efforts.

(2) He overlooks the weaknesses that remain in their work, and the sins that are committed by them inadvertently, in spite of striving to become good.

(3) Allah appreciates whatever little provision of the good deeds they bring and rewards them richly and generously for it.

43. In this interrogative sentence the style is of severe reproach. It means: O Prophet (peace be upon him): Have these people become so bold and fearless that they do not feel any shame in accusing you of inventing a lie, and that too of a heinous sin against Allah? They calumniate you that you are forging the Quran yourself and then falsely attributing to Allah.

44. That is, such big lies are only uttered by those whose hearts have been sealed up. If Allah wills, He may include you also among them, but it is His mercy that He has kept you away from them. This answer contains a severe satire against the people who were so accusing the Prophet (peace be upon him). It means this: O Prophet, they think that you are a man like them. Just as they are in the habit of uttering any big lie only for the sake of a selfish motive, so they thought you also must have forged a lie for selfish ends. But it is Allah’s mercy that He has not sealed up your heart as He has sealed up theirs.

45. That is, it is Allah’s way that He does not grant stability to falsehood, and in the long run proves the truth to be true. Therefore, O Prophet (peace be upon him), you should go on doing your mission, without paying any attention to their false accusations. A time will come when this whole falsehood will vanish like dust, and the truth of that which you are presenting will become visible and manifest.

46. That is, He knows why you are being thus falsely accused and what are the actual motives that are working behind all this struggle that is being made to frustrate and defeat you.

47. Calling the people’s attention to repentance immediately after the preceding verse by itself gives the meaning, as if to say: O wicked people, why are you making yourselves still more worthy of God’s punishment by falsely accusing the true Prophet? If you desist from your misdeeds even now, and offer true repentance, Allah will forgive you. Repentance means that one should feel remorse for the evil he has done, and should refrain and desist from it in the future. Moreover, it is also an inevitable demand of true repentance that one should try his utmost to compensate for the evil he has done in the past, and wherever compensation is not possible, he should seek Allah’s forgiveness and should do more and more good to wipe off the blot from himself. But no repentance can be true repentance unless it is offered with the intention of pleasing Allah. Giving up an evil for some other reason or intention is no repentance at all.

48. If the context in which this thing has been said is kept in view, it appears that Allah here is alluding to the basic factor that was working in the rebellion of the disbelievers of Makkah. Although they were insignificant as against the mighty Roman and Iranian Empires and their position among the nations of the neighboring countries was no more than of a commercial tribe of a backward people, the relative prosperity and glory that they enjoyed among the other Arabs had made them so proud and arrogant that they were not inclined even to listen to the Prophet (peace be upon him) of Allah, and their chiefs of the tribes regarded it below their dignity that Muhammad bin Abdullah (peace be upon him) should be their guide and they his followers. On this it is being said: If We had actually opened up the gates of provisions for these mean people, they would have burst with pride. But We are watching over them, and are providing for them only sparingly so as to keep them within limits. According to this meaning this verse, in other words, is touching on the same subject which has already been treated in (Surah At- Taubah, Ayats 68-70); (Surah Al-Kahf, Ayats 32-42); (Surah Al-Qasas, Ayats 75-82); (Surah Ar-Room, Ayat 9); (Surah Saba, Ayats 34-36 )and (Surah Al-Mumin, Ayats 82-85).

49. Here, the word wali implies the Being who is the Governor of the affairs of all His creations, Who has taken the responsibility of fulfilling all the needs and requirements of His servants.

50. “In them both”: In both the earth and the heavens.

51. That is, just as He has the power to disperse them, so He has also the power to gather them all together. Therefore, it is wrong to think that Resurrection cannot take place, and all the former and the latter generations cannot be raised up and gathered all together.


30-43 Whatever afflictions befall upon people are the result of their own misdeeds and True believers are those who establish Salah, give charit and defend themselves when oppressed


(42:30) Whatever misfortune befalls you is a consequence of your own deeds. But much of it He forgives.52 (42:31) You cannot frustrate Him in the earth; you have no protector nor helper against Allah. (42:32) And of His Signs are the ships that sail in the sea like mountains. (42:33) If He so wills, He can cause the winds to become still so that they will remain motionless on its surface. Surely there are many Signs in this for those who are wont to be steadfast and give thanks.53 (42:34) He may, while forgiving much of the sins of those that ride these ships, drown them on account of some of their misdeeds. (42:35) Then those who wrangle about Our Signs will come to know that there is no escape for them.54 (42:36) That which has been given to you is only the wherewithal of the transient life of this world.55 But that which is with Allah is better and more enduring56 for those who believe and put their trust in their Lord;57 (42:37) who eschew grave sins and shameful deeds,58 and whenever they are angry, forgive;59 (42:38) who obey their Lord60 and establish Prayer; who conduct their affairs by consultation,61 and spend out of what We have bestowed upon them;62 (42:39) who, when a wrong is done to them, seek its redress.63 (42:40) The recompense64 of evil is evil the like of it.65 But he who forgives and makes amends, his reward lies with Allah.66Surely He does not love the wrong-doers.67 (42:41) There is no blame against him who avenges himself after he has been wronged. (42:42) Blame attaches only to those who subject people to wrong and commit excesses on earth. A painful chastisement awaits them. (42:43) But he who patiently endures and forgives, that is a conduct of great resolve.68


52. One should note that here the cause of all human afflictions is not being stated but the address is directed to the people who were at that time committing disbelief and disobedience at Makkah. They are being told: Had Allah seized you for all your sins and crimes, He would not have even allowed you to live. But the calamities (probably the allusion is to the famine of Makkah) that have descended on you, are only a warning so that you may take heed and examine your actions and deeds to see as to what attitude and conduct you have adopted as against your Lord. And you can try to understand how helpless you actually are against God against Whom you are rebelling, and know that those whom you have taken as your patrons and supporters, or the powers that you have relied upon, cannot avail you anything against the punishment of Allah.

For further explanation it is necessary to state that as regards to the sincere believer, Allah’s law for him is different. All the calamities and hardships that befall him go on becoming an atonement for his sins, errors and deficiencies. There is an authentic Hadith to the effect: Whatever sorrow and suffering, distress and grief, and affliction and worry that a Muslim experiences, even if it be a thorn prick, it is made an atonement by Allah for one or the other of his errors. (Bukhari, Muslim). As for the hardships that a believer faces in the way of raising Allah’s Word, they do not merely become an atonement for his deficiencies but also a means of the exaltation of ranks with Allah. In this connection, it cannot even be imagined that they descend as a punishment for sins.

53. Signs for him who patiently endures, who keeps himself fully under control and remains steadfast on the path of servitude under all circumstances, good or bad; who does not forget himself so as to become rebellious against God and cruel to the people, when favored with good times, and loses heart and stoops to anything when visited by evil times. A grateful person is every such person who regards it as a bounty of Allah and not the result of any merit or excellence in himself when he is exalted to any high place of honor in life by a divine decree, and keeps his mind concentrated on the blessings which remain available to man even under the worst circumstances instead of his deprivations when deposed to the lowest of the low position. Thus, he continues to thank his Lord in both prosperity and adversity with his tongue and heart.

54. The Quraish, in connection with their business and trade, had also to visit Habash and the coastal lands of Africa, and in these journeys they used sailing ships and boats for crossing the Red Sea, which is a very dangerous sea. It is generally stormy and abounds in submerged rocks which are a serious hazard for navigation especially during the storms. Therefore, the state that has been depicted here by Allah could be fully realized by the people of the Quraish in the light of their personal experiences.

55. That is, it is not a thing at which man should exult whatever worldly wealth a person has in his possession, he has it only for a short time. He uses it for a few years and then leaves the world empty-handed. Then, although the amount of the wealth may be very high in the ledgers, practically only a fraction of it is used by the man himself. To exult at such wealth does not behoove a man who understands the truth about himself, about his wealth and this world itself.

56. That is, that wealth is far more superior as regards to its nature and quality and is also eternal and everlasting.

57. Here, trust (tawakkul) in Allah has been regarded as an inevitable demand of the faith and a necessary characteristic for success in the Hereafter. Tawakkul means:

(1) That man should have full confidence in the guidance of Allah, and should understand that the knowledge of the truth, the principles of morality, the bounds of the lawful and the unlawful, and the rules and regulations of passing life in the world, that Allah had enjoined, are based on the truth and in following them alone lies man’s good and well being.

(2) That man should not place reliance on his own powers and abilities, means and resources, plans and schemes and the help of others than Allah, but he should keep deeply impressed in his mind the fact that his success in every thing, here and in the Hereafter, actually depends on the help and succor of Allah, and that he can become worthy of Allah’s help and succor only if he works with the object of winning His approval, within the bounds prescribed by Him.

(3) That man should have complete faith in the promises that Allah has made with those who would adopt the way of faith and righteousness and work in the cause of the truth instead of falsehood, and having faith in the same promises would discard all those benefits, gains and pleasures that may seem to accrue from following the way of falsehood, and endure all those losses, hardships and deprivations that may become his lot on account of following the truth steadfastly. From this explanation of the meaning of tawakkul it becomes obvious how deeply it is related with the faith, and why those wonderful results that have been promised to the believers who practice tawakkul cannot be obtained from the mere empty affirmation of the faith.

58. For explanation, see (Surah An-Nisa, Ayat 31); (Surah Al-Anaam, Ayat 151); (Surah An-Naml, Ayat 90); (Surah An- Najm, Ayat 32 and the E.Ns).

59. That is, they are not wrathful and crazy but are temperate and cool minded. They are not revengeful but forbearing and forgiving by nature. If ever they feel angry at something they control their rage. This characteristic is the best of man’s qualities, which has been highly commended in the Quran (Surah Aal-Imran, Ayat 134) and regarded as a major factor of the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) success (Surah Aal-Imran, Ayat 159). According to Aishah, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) never avenged himself on anybody, however, when a thing enjoined to be held sacred by Allah was desecrated, he would award the punishment. (Bukhari, Muslim).

60. Literally: “Who answer the call of their Lord”, that is they hasten to do whatever Allah enjoins them to do, and accept whatever Allah invites them to accept.

61. This thing has been counted here as the best quality of the believers and has been enjoined in( Surah Aal-Imran, Ayat 159). On this basis, consultation is an important pillar of the Islamic way of life, and to conduct the affairs of collective life without consultation is not only the way of ignorance but also an express violation of the law prescribed by Allah. When we consider why consultation has been given such importance in Islam, three things become obvious:

First, that it is injustice that a person should decide a matter by his personal opinion and ignore others when it involves the interests of two or more persons. No one has a right to do, as he likes in matters of common interest. Justice demands that all those whose interests are involved in a matter be consulted, and if it concerns a large number of the people, their reliable representatives should be made a party in consultation.

Second, that a man tries to do what he likes in matters of common interest either because he wants to usurp the rights of others for selfish ends, or because he looks down upon others and regards himself as a superior person. Morally both these qualities are equally detestable, and a believer cannot have even a tinge of either of these in himself. A believer is neither selfish so that he should get undue benefits by usurping the rights of others, nor he is arrogant and self-conceited that he should regard himself as all-wise and all-knowing.

Third, that it is a grave responsibility to give decisions in matters that involve the rights and interests of others. No one who fears God and knows what severe accountability for it he will be subjected to by his Lord, can dare take the heavy burden of it solely on himself. Such a boldness is shown only by those who arc fearless of God and heedless of the Hereafter. The one who fears God and has the feeling of the accountability of the Hereafter, will certainly try that in a matter of common interest he should consult all the concerned people or their authorized representatives so as to reach, as far as possible, an objective and right and equitable decision, and if there occurs a mistake one man alone should not be held responsible for it.

A deep consideration of these three things can enable one to fully understand that consultation is a necessary demand of the morality that Islam has taught to man, and departure from it is a grave immorality which Islam does not permit. The Islamic way of life requires that the principle of consultation should be used in every collective affair, big or small. If it is a domestic affair, the husband and the wife should act by mutual consultation, and when the children have grown up, they should also be consulted. If it is a matter concerning the whole family, the opinion of every adult member should be solicited. If it concerns a tribe or a fraternity or the population of a city, and it is not possible to consult all the people, the decision should be taken by a local council or committee, which should comprise the trustworthy representatives of the concerned people according to an agreed method. If the matter concerns a whole nation, the head of government should be appointed by the common consent of the people, and he should conduct the national affairs in consultation with the leaders of opinion whom the people regard as reliable, and he should remain at the helm of affair only as long as the people themselves want him to remain in that position. No honest man can try to assume the headship of a nation by force, or desire to continue in that position indefinitely, nor can think of coming into power by deception and then seek the people’s consent by coercion, nor can he devise schemes so that the people may elect representatives to act as his advisers not by their own free choice but according to his will. Such a thing can be desired only by the one who cherishes evil intentions, and such a fraud against the Islamic principle of consultation can be practiced only by him who does not feel any hesitation in deceiving both God and the people whereas the fact is that neither can God be deceived nor the people be so blind as to regard the robber, who is committing robbery in the bright day light openly, as their well wisher and servant.

The principle of consultation as enshrined in amru-hum shura baina-hum by itself demands five things:

(1) The people whose rights and interests relate to collective matters, should have full freedom to express their opinion and they should be kept duly informed of how their affairs are being conducted. They should also have the full right that if in the conduct of the affairs they see an error, a weakness or a deficiency, they can check it and voice a protest, and if they do not see any change for the better, they can change their rulers. To conduct the people’s affairs by keeping them silent and un-informed is sheer dishonesty which no one can regard as adherence to the principle of consultation in Islam.

(2) The person who is to be entrusted with the responsibility of conducting the collective affairs, should be appointed by the people’s consent, and this consent should be their free consent, which is not obtained through coercion, temptation, deception, and fraud, because in that case it would be no consent at all. A nation’s true head is not he who becomes its head by trying every possible method, but he whom the people make their head by their own free choice and approval.

(3) The people who are appointed as advisers to the head of the state should be such as enjoy the confidence of the nation, and obviously the people who win representative positions by suppression or by expending wealth, or by practicing falsehood and fraud, or by misleading the people cannot be regarded as enjoying the confidence in the real sense.

(4) The advisers should give opinion according to their knowledge and faith and conscience and they should have full freedom of such expression of opinion. Wherever this is not the case, wherever the advisers give advice against their own knowledge and conscience, under duress or temptation, or under party discipline, it will be treachery and dishonesty and not adherence to the Islamic principle of consultation.

(5) The advice that is given by a consensus of the advisers, or which has the support of the majority of the people, should be accepted, for if a person (or a group of persons) behaves independently and acts on his own whims, even after hearing the advice of others, consultation becomes meaningless. Allah does not say: They are consulted in their affairs, but says: They conduct their affairs by mutual consultations. This instruction is not implemented by mere consultation, but for its sake it is necessary that the affairs be conducted according to what is settled by consensus or by majority opinion in consultation.

Along with this explanation of the Islamic principle of consultation, this basic thing also should be kept in view that this consultation is not independent and autocratic in conducting the affairs of the Muslims, but necessarily subject to the bounds that Allah Himself has set by His legislation, and is subject to the fundamental principle: It is for Allah to give a decision in whatever you may differ, and if there arises any dispute among you about anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger. According to this general principle, the Muslims can hold consultations in Shariah matters with a view to determining the correct meaning of a text or verse and to find out the ways of implementing it so as to fulfill its requirements rightly but they cannot hold consultations in order to give an independent judgment in a matter which has already been decided and settled by Allah and His Messenger.

62. It has three meanings:

(1) They spend only out of what lawful provisions We have given them, they do not touch unlawful things for supplementing their expenditure.

(2) They do not set aside the provisions granted by us, but spend them.

(3) They spend out of what they have been given in the cause of Allah also, they do not reserve everything for personal use only.

The first meaning is based on this that Allah calls the lawful and pure provisions only as the provisions granted by Him. He does not call the provisions earned in impure and unlawful ways His provisions. The second meaning is based on that whatever Allah provides for man is provided so that he may spend it and not that he may set it aside and hoard it up like a miser. The third meaning is based on that according to the Quran, spending does not mean spending merely on his own self and for his personal needs, but it also contains the meaning of spending for the sake of Allah in His way. On account of these three reasons Allah here is counting spending of wealth among the best qualities of the believers because of which the blessings of the Hereafter have been reserved only for them.

63. This also is one of the best characteristics of the believers, they do not fall a prey to the tyrants. Their tender heartedness and forgiving nature is not the result of any weakness. They have not been taught to live humbly and meekly like the hermits and ascetics. Their nobility demands that when they are victors they should forgive the errors of the vanquished. When they possess the power, they should avoid vengefulness and when a weak or subdued person happens to commit a mistake they should overlook it. But when a powerful person, drunk with authority, commits violence against them, they should resist and fight him with all their might. A believer is never cowed by a wicked person nor bows to an arrogant man. For such people he proves to be a hard nut which breaks the teeth of those who try to break it.

64. The passage from here to the end of (verse 43) is an explanation of verse 39.

65. This is the first fundamental principle which must be borne in mind in retaliation. The right limit of retaliation is that one should return the same sort of ill treatment that he has received; he has no right to return a greater ill treatment.

66. This is the second principle. It means: Although it is permissible to retaliate against the one who has committed a violence, wherever pardoning can be conducive to reconcilement, pardoning is better for the sake of reconcilement than retaliation. And since man pardons the other by suppressing his own feelings, Allah says that the reward of such a one is with Him, for he has suppressed his own self for the sake of reforming the evil-doers.

67. In this warning allusion has been made to a third principle about retaliation, and it is this: One should not become a wrongdoer himself in the process of avenging a wrong done by the other. It is not permissible to do a greater wrong in retaliation for the wrong done. For example, if a person gives another a slap, the other can return only one slap; he cannot shower blows and kicks. Likewise, it is not right to commit a sin in retaliation for a sin. For example, if a wicked man has killed the son of someone, it is not right to go and kill the son of the former. Or, if a mean person has violated the chastity of a person’s sister or daughter, it is not lawful for him to commit rape on the former’s sister or daughter.

68. One should note that the qualities of the believers that have been mentioned in these verses, practically existed in the lives of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his companions, and the disbelievers of Makkah were their eye-witnesses. Thus, Allah has, in fact, told the disbelievers: The real wealth is not the provisions that you have received for passing the transitory life of the world, and are bursting with pride of it, but the real wealth are the morals and characteristics which the believers from your own society have developed by accepting the guidance given by the Quran.


44-48 The real losers are those who will lose on the Day of Resurrection


(42:44) He whom Allah lets go astray, none after Him can be his protector.69 You will see that when the wrong-doers observe the chastisement, they will exclaim: “Is there any way to go back?”70 (42:45) You shall see them, as they are brought face to face with the chastisement, in a state of abject humiliation, looking with a furtive glance.71 But the believers will say: “Surely the true losers are they who lose themselves and their kindred on the Day of Resurrection.” Lo, the wrong-doers will be in an enduring torment. (42:46) They shall have no protectors to help them against Allah. For he whom Allah causes to go astray will have no way to save himself. (42:47) Accept the command of your Lord before there comes a Day from Allah that cannot be averted.72 On that Day there shall be no shelter for you, and none may change your predicament.73 (42:48) (O Prophet), if they turn away from the Truth, know that We did not send you to them as their overseer.74 Your task is only to convey (the Message). Indeed when We give man a taste of Our Mercy, he exults in it. But if any misfortune afflicts them on account of their deeds, man is utterly ungrateful.75


69. That is, Allah sent the best Book like the Quran for the guidance of the people, which is giving them the knowledge of the reality in a rational and effective way and guiding them to the right way of life. He sent a Prophet like Muhammad (peace be upon him) for their guidance, a man of better character than whom they had never seen before. And then Allah also showed them the results of the teaching and training of this Book and this Messenger in the lives of the believers. Now, if after witnessing all this, a person turns away from the guidance, Allah casts him into the same deviation from which he has no desire to come out. And when Allah Himself has driven him away, who else can take the responsibility of bringing him to the right way.

70. That is, today when there is a chance of coming back, they are refusing to come back. Tomorrow when the judgment will have been passed and the sentence enforced, then seeing their fate they will wish to come back.

71. By nature man is such that when a dreadful scene comes before him and he knows that soon he is going to fall a prey to it, he closes his eyes forthwith in fear. Then, when he cannot hold himself any longer, he tries to see what kind of the calamity it is and how far away it is from him. But he does not find the courage to lift up his head and have a full view of it. Therefore, he opens his eyes a little again and again and sees it from the corner of the eye, and then again closes his eyes from fear. The same state of those who will be driven to Hell has been depicted here.

72. That is, neither will Allah Himself avert it, nor has anyone else the power to avert it.

73. This sentence has several other meanings also:

(1) You will not be able to deny any of your misdeeds.

(2) You will not be able to hide yourself even in disguise.

(3) You will not be able to protest or show any displeasure against any treatment that is meted out to you.

(4) It will not be in your power to change the condition in which you are placed.

74. That is, you have not been made responsible that you must bring them to the right path anyhow, nor will you be held accountable as to why these people did not come to the right path.

75. Man here implies the mean and shallow people who are the subject of the discourse here, who have gotten a measure of the worldly provisions and are exulting in this, and who do not pay any attention when they are admonished to come to the right path. But when they are visited by a disaster in consequence of their own misdeeds, they start cursing their fate, and forget all those blessings which Allah has blessed them with, and do not try to understand how far they themselves are to be blamed for the condition in which they are placed. Thus, neither does prosperity become conducive to their reformation nor can adversity teach them a lesson and bring them to the right path. A study of the context shows that this is, in fact, a satire on the attitude of the people who were the addressees of the above discourse, but they have not been addressed to tell them of their weakness directly, but the weakness of man has been mentioned in a general way and pointed out that what is the real cause of his sad plight. This gives an important point of the wisdom of preaching: the weaknesses of the addressee should not be made the target directly, but they should be mentioned in a general way so that he is not provoked, and if his conscience has still some life in it, he may try to understand his shortcoming with a cool mind.


49-50 It is Allah Who gives daughters and sons as He pleases


(42:49) The dominion of the heavens and the earth belongs to Allah.76 He creates whatever He pleases. He grants females to whomever He pleases and males to whomever He pleases, (42:50) or grants them a mix of males and females, and causes whomever He pleases to be barren. He is All- Knowing, All-Powerful.77


76. That is, if the people who are involved in disbelief and polytheism do not believe even after the admonition, they may not, for the truth is the truth. The kingdom of the earth and heavens has not been entrusted to the so-called kings and despots and chiefs of the world nor has any prophet, saint, god or goddess any share in it, but its Master is One Allah alone. His rebel can neither succeed by his own power, nor can any of the beings whom the people look upon as owners of divine powers by their own folly, come to their rescue and aid.

77. This is a manifest proof of Allah’s Sovereignty being absolute. No man, whether he be posing as owner of the highest worldly authority, or regarded as owner of great spiritual powers, has ever been able to produce children for himself according to his own choice and desire, not to speak of providing children for others. The one whom Allah made barren could not have children through any medicine, any treatment, any amulet or charm. The one whom Allah gave only daughters could not get a single son by any device, and the one whom Allah gave only sons could not have a single daughter by any means. In this matter everyone is absolutely helpless. Even after seeing all this if some one posed to be all-powerful in God’s kingdom, or regarded another as a possessor of the powers, it would be his own shortsightedness for which he himself will suffer, the truth will not change at all.


51-53 It is not vouchsafed for any human being that Allah should speak to him face to face


(42:51) It78 is not given to any human being that Allah should speak to him except through revelation,79 or from behind a veil,80 or that a messenger (an angel) be sent to him who reveals to him by Allah’s leave whatever He wishes.81 He is All-High, Most Wise.82 (42:52) Even so We revealed to you, (O Prophet), a spirit by Our command.83 (Ere to that) you knew neither what the Book nor what the faith was.84 But We made that spirit a light whereby We guide those of Our servants whom We please to the Right Way. Surely you are directing people to the Right Way, (42:53) the Way of Allah, to Whom belongs the dominion of all that is in the heavens and the earth. Lo, it is to Allah that all things ultimately revert.85


78. In conclusion, the same theme with which the discourse began has been reiterated. To understand it fully, please see the( first verse of this Surah and the E.N). on it.

79. Here, wahi means to inspire somebody with something, or to show something to somebody in a vision as were the Prophets Abraham and Joseph shown (peace be upon them). See (Surah Yousuf, Ayats 4, 100); (Surah As-Saaffat, Ayat 102).

80. That is, one may hear a voice without seeing the speaker, just as it happened in the case of the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) when he suddenly began to hear a voice from a tree on Mount Toor, while the speaker was hidden from him. See (Surah TaHa, Ayats 11-48), (Surah An- Naml, Ayats 8-12); (Surah Al-Qasas, Ayats 30 35).

81. This is the form of wahi by which all divine Scriptures have actually reached the Prophets of Allah. Some people have misinterpreted this sentence and given it this meaning Allah sends a messenger who by His command conveys His message to the common people. But the words of the Quran fa-yuhiya bi-idni-hi ma yasha (then He reveals by His command whatever He wills) show that this interpretation is absolutely wrong. The Prophets’s preaching before the common people has neither been called wahi anywhere in the Quran nor is there any room in Arabic for describing a man’s speaking to another man openly by the word wahi. Lexically, wahi means secret and swift instruction. Only an ignorant person will apply this word to the common preaching by the Prophets.

82. That is, He is far above that He should speak to a man face to face, and His wisdom is not helpless that He may adopt another method of conveying His instructions to a servant of His than of speaking to him face to face.

83. “And thus” does not refer only to the last method of wahi, but to all the three methods as mentioned in the preceding verses, and a spirit implies wahi (revelation), or the teaching given to the Prophet (peace be upon him) by revelation. Both the Quran and the Hadih confirm that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was given instruction by all these three methods:

(1) In a Hadith Aishah has stated that revelation in the beginning came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) in the form of true visions. (Bukhari, Muslim) This continued in later life also. Traditions mention many visions in which he was given some teaching or informed of something and in the Quran also a vision of his has been clearly mentioned (Surah Al-Fath, Ayat 27). Besides, several traditions also mention that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: I have been inspired with such and such a thing, or I have been informed of this and this, or I have been enjoined this, or I have been forbidden this. All such things relate to the first kind of the wahi and the divinely inspired traditions (Ahadith Qudsi) mostly belong to this category of the traditions.

(2) On the occasion of the Miraj (Ascension) the Prophet (peace be upon him) was honored with the second kind of the wahi also. In several authentic traditions the way mention has been made of the commandment of the Salat five times a day and the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) making submissions in that regard again and again clearly shows that at that time a similar dialogue took place between Allah Almighty and His servant Muhammad (peace be upon him) as had taken place between Allah and the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) at the foot of Mount Toor. As for the third kind, the Quran itself testifies that it was conveyed to the Prophet (peace be upon him) through Angel Gabriel, the trustworthy. (Surah Al- Baqarah, Ayat 97); (Surah Ash-Shuara, Ayats192-195).

84. That is, before his appointment to Prophethood, the Prophet (peace be upon him) had never had any idea that he was going to receive a Book, or that he should receive one, but he was completely unaware of the heavenly Books and the subjects they treated. Likewise, although he believed in Allah, intellectually he was not aware of the requirements of the faith in Allah, nor did he know that along with that belief it was also necessary that he should believe in other things, the angels, the Prophethood, the divine Books and the Hereafter. Both these things were such as were not hidden even from the disbelievers of Makkah. No one belonging to Makkah could bear witness that he had ever heard anything pertaining to a divine Book from the Prophet (peace be upon him) before his sudden proclamation of the Prophethood, or any such thing that the people should believe in such and such things. Obviously if a person had already been looking forward to becoming a prophet, it could not be that the people who remained socially associated with him day and night for 40 years should not have even so much as heard the word Book and the faith from him, and after 40 years he should suddenly have started making fiery speeches on the same themes.

85. This is the final warning that has been given to the disbelievers. It means: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said something and you heard and rejected it. The matter would not end there. Whatever is happening in the world, will be presented before Allah, and ultimately He Himself will decide what should be the end of every person.