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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Surah Al Waqi'a - The (Inevitable) Event: Exegesis/Tafsir 56th Chapter of Qur'an (Part II)


Sūrah Al Waqi'a " الواقعة‎ "- The (Inevitable) Event is the fifty sixth sürah with 97 āyāt with three rukus, part of the 27th Juzʼ  of the Qur'ān. The surah was revealed in Makkah, specifically around 7 years before the Hegira (622), the migration of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, to Medina. Its theme is the Hereafter, Tauhid and refutation of the Makkan disbelievers' suspicions about the Qur'an. 

The tafsir/exegesis of the sürah will be presented into two parts keeping in view its length and two distinct subject matters discussed in it:

Part I
  • Ruku One: (verses 1-56). Wherein verses 1-38 paint scene of the doomsday when mankind will be divided into three groups, A Reward for the forehand group. Verses are 27-38 explain the Reward for the right-hand group, while verses 39-56 reveal the Punishment for the left-hand group
  • Ruku Two consisting of verses 39-74 explain the Admonition to the disbelievers with the examples of creation
Part II: Ruku Three (verses 75-96)  are about Testimony of Allah about the Quran

We have already presented the overview / summary of the sürah, which also includes its recitation in Arabic with English subtitles and Part I (covering the first two ruku) . Let us now read the verse by verse translation and exegesis / tafseer of Ruku III. You may also listen to eminent Muslim scholar Nouman Ali Khan explaining the Surah in English at the end of this post.

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ 
"In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful"
Ruku Three:  Verses 75-96:  
In verses 75-82 their suspicions in respect of the Qur'an have been refuted and they have been made to realize how fortunate they are that instead of deriving any benefit from the great blessing that the Qur'an is, they are treating it with scant attention and have set only this share of theirs in it that they deny it. If one seriously considers this matchless argument that has been presented in two brief sentences about the truth of the Qur'an, one will find in it the same kind of firm and stable system as exists among the stars and planets of the Universe, and the same is the proof of the fact that its Author is the same Being Who has created the Universe. Then the disbelievers have been told that this Book is inscribed in that Writ of Destiny which is beyond the reach of the creatures, as if to say "You think it is brought down by the devils to Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), whereas none but the pure angels has any access to the means by which it reaches Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) from the well guarded Tablet."

فَلَاۤ اُقۡسِمُ بِمَوٰقِعِ النُّجُوۡمِۙ‏‏ 
( 75 )   Then I swear by the setting of the stars,
That is, "The truth is not what you seem to think it is." Here, the use of the word la (nay) before swearing an oath by the Qur'an's being Allah's Revelation by itself shows that the oath has been sworn to refute certain objections that the disbelievers wen raising with regard to the Qur'an.  

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: Allah swears to the Greatness of the Qur'an:
The usage of La (in Fala) is not an extra character without meaning, as some of the scholars of Tafsir say. Rather it is used at the beginning of an oath when the oath is a negation. This is like when `A'ishah, may Allah be pleased with her said, "La by Allah! Allah's Messenger did not touch any woman's hand at all. So in this way, the meaning is, "No! I swear by the Mawaqi` of the stars. The matter is not as you people claim - about the Qur'an - that it is a result of magic or sorcery, rather it is an Honorable Qur'an.'' 

Ibn Jarir said, "Some of the scholars of the Arabic language said that the meaning of:
(فَلاَ أُقْسِمُ Fala! I swear) is, `The matter is not as you people have claimed.' Then He renews the oath again by saying, `I swear.'''
(فَلاَ أُقْسِمُ بِمَوَقِعِ النُّجُومِ (Fala! I swear by the Mawaqi` of the stars.) Mujahid said, "The setting positions of the stars in the sky,'' and he said that it refers to the rising and setting positions. This was said by Al-Hasan, Qatadah and preferred by Ibn Jarir. Qatadah also said that it means their positions. 

Muhammad Asad Explanation: Or: "the setting [or "orbiting"] of the stars". The term mawqi' (of which mawaqi' is the plural) denotes the "time [or "place" or "manner"] at which something comes down". Although many of the commentators think that the phrase mawaqi' an-nujum relates to the break-up of the stars at the Last Hour, Ibn 'Abbas, 'Ikrimah and As-Suddi were definitely of the opinion, strongly supported by the subsequent verses, that this phrase refers to the step-by-step revelation - or "coming-down in parts (nujum)" - of the Qur'an (cf. Tabari and Ibn Kathir; see also 53:1 ). By "calling to witness" the gradual manner of its revelation, the Qur'an points implicitly to the astounding fact that it has remained free of all inconsistencies and inner contradictions (cf. 4:82 and the corresponding note [97]) despite all the dramatic changes in the Prophet's life during the twenty-three years of the "unfolding" of the divine writ: and this explains, too, the subsequent parenthetic clause (verse {76}). 

Javed Ahmed Ghamidi  Explanation: The actual words are: فَلَا٘ اُقْسِمُ بِمَوٰقِعِ النُّجُوْمِ. The word لَا before اُقۡسِمُ is meant to negate the falsities people were inventing against the Qur’ān. I have translated this expression while revealing this suppression. 

Imām Amīn Aḥsan Iṣlāḥī writes: … This style of language is a very natural style and for this reason is found in every language. It is even present in other languages. When it is said: “No by God! The truth is this,” we employ this very style and the objective is to negate some notion, view or objection of an addressee before affirming the real truth. The eloquence in this style is that so baseless is the objection of the objector that the speaker does not even want to wait for a moment to put up with it. He is not even ready to negate it after explaining the true aspect. (Amīn Aḥsan Iṣlāḥī, Tadabbur-i Qur’ān, vol. 8, 182)

"I present as witness the abodes where stars fall"  This is a mention of the places on which shooting stars are pelted according to the Qur’ān so that devils are not able to sit there and eavesdrop on divine secrets. Here, the word مَوٰقِع is used which means the place where something happens or falls. The purpose of using this word is to point to the targets of the shooting stars. In verse 9 of Sūrah al-Jinn, these places are called مَقَاعِد because there the meaning of ambuscade is implied. The word نُجُوۡم refers to shooting stars. It is specified in verse 5 of Sūrah al-Mulk that the stars which light up the skies become a means of bombardment on the devils (رُجُوۡمًا لِّلشَّيٰطِيۡنِ).

وَاِنَّهٗ لَقَسَمٌ لَّوۡ تَعۡلَمُوۡنَ عَظِيۡمٌۙ‏ 

( 76 )   And indeed, it is an oath - if you could know - [most] great.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: (And verily that is indeed a great oath, if you but know.) meaning, `this is a great vow that I -- Allah -- am making; if you knew the greatness of this vow, you will know the greatness of the subject of the vow,' 

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: The glory of the firmament as it exists, and the wonder of its passing away, are both evidence, to the discerning mind, of the Future which Allah has prepared, but this evidence can only be effective if men but knew, ie., turned their earnest attention to it.

Javed Ahmed Ghamidi Explanation: This is an apt parenthetical sentence. The implication is that if people try to understand, then this is a very important secret of this universe which has been revealed by the Almighty so that they do not indulge in baseless allegations about the Qur’ān which have been hitherto doing and also understand that the place of its origin can never be accessed by the devils.

اِنَّهٗ لَـقُرۡاٰنٌ كَرِيۡمٌۙ‏ 
( 77 )   Indeed, it is a noble Qur'an
The positions of the stars" : the positions and phases and orbits of the stars and planets. The oath implies that just as the system of the celestial bodies is firm and stable, so also is this Divine Word firm and stable. The same God Who has coated that system has also sent down this Word. Just as there exists perfect. consistency and harmony among the countless stars and planets found in the countless galaxies of the Universe, whereas apparently they seem to be scattered, so also this Book presents a perfectly consistent, and systematic code of life in which detailed guidance has been given, on the basis of belief, about morals, modes of worship, civilization and culture, economic and social life, law and justice, peace and war, in short, about every aspect of human life, and there is nothing out of harmony with the other, whereas this system of thought has been expressed in scattered verses and discourses given on different occasions. Then, just as the system of the heavens set and planned by God is stable and unalterable, and does not ever admit of the slightest variation, so also are the truths and instructions given , in this Book stable and unalterable: no part of these can be changed or displaced in any way.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: (That (this) is indeed an honorable recitation.) means, verily, this Qur'an that was revealed to Muhammad is a Glorious Book,

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Your attention is drawn to the momentous issues of the Future by the Qur-an. It is a Revelation described by four characteristics. (1) It is most honourable, karim, which implies, besides the fact that it is worthy of receiving honour, that it confers great favours on those who receive it. (2) It is well-guarded, maknun; precious in itself, and well- preserved in its purity; see n. 5234 to lvi. 23; see also xv. 9, and n. 1944. (3) None but the clean shall touch it,-dean in body, mind, thought, intention, and soul; only such can achieve real contact with its full meaning. (4) It is a Revelation from the Lord of the Worlds, and therefore universal for all.

Javed Ahmed Ghamidi Explanation: The complement of oath (muqsam ‘alayh) extends from here until verse 80. It is this premise on which evidence is presented on the protection of the Qur’ān at the time of its revelation.

فِىۡ كِتٰبٍ مَّكۡنُوۡنٍۙ‏ 
( 78 )   In a Register well-protected;
This implies the well-guarded Tablet (lohe-mahfuz). For it the word kitabin maknun has been used, which means a writing kept hidden, i.e. a writing that is inaccessible to all. The Quran’s having been inscribed in this well guarded Book means that before its being sent down to the Prophet (peace be upon him) it lay inscribed in the divine writ of destiny in which there is no possibility of any alteration or corruption taking place, for it is inaccessible to every kind of creation.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir:  (In a Book Maknun.) meaning glorious; in a glorious, well-guarded, revered Book.

Javed Ahmed Ghamidi Explanation: This refers to the Guarded Tablet. The actual words are: كِتٰبٍ مَّكْنُوْنٍ which means a writing that has been concealed.

لَّا يَمَسُّهٗۤ اِلَّا الۡمُطَهَّرُوۡنَؕ‏ 
( 79 )   None touch it except the purified.
This is a refutation of the accusation that the disbelievers used to loud against the Qur'an. They regarded the Holy Prophet as a sorcerer and asserted that he was being inspired with the Word by the jinn and satans. An answer to it has been given at several places in the Qur'an, e.g. in Surah Ash-Shu'ara', where it has been said: "This (lucid Book) has not beer brought down by satans, nor does this work behoove them, nor arc they able to do it. They have indeed been kept out of its hearing." (vv. 210-212). The same theme has been expressed here, Saying: 'None but the purified can touch it." That is to say "Not to speak of its being brought down by the satans, or its being tampered within any way when it is being revealed, none but the pure angels can come anywhere near it when it is being revealed from the well-guarded Tablet (Lauh-mahfuz; : to the Prophet. " The word mutahharin has been used for the angels in the sense that Allah has kept them free of every kind of impure feeling and desire. This same commentary of this verse has been given by Anas bin Malik, Ibn 'Abbas, Sa'id bin Jubair, 'Ikrimah, Mujahid, Qatadah, Abul 'Aliyah, Suddi, Dahhak and Ibn Zaid, and the same also fits in with the context. For the context itself shows that after refuting the false concepts of the Makkan disbelievers about Tauhid and the Hereafter, now their false accusations against the Qur'an are being answered, and by swearing an oath by the positions of the stars, it is being stated that the Qur'an is an exalted Book, which is inscribed in the well-guarded Divine Writ, in which there is no possibility of any interference by any creation, and it is revealed to the Prophet in such a safe way that none but the pure angels can touch it.

Some commentators have taken la in this verse in the sense of prohibition, and have interpreted the verse to mean: "None who is unclean should touch it. " Although some other commentators take la in the sense of negation and interpret the verse to mean: "None but the clean and pure touch this Book," they express the opinion that this negation is a prohibition in the same way as the Holy Prophet's saying is a prohibition: "A Muslim is a brother of a Muslim: he does not treat him unjustly." Although in it, it has been said that a Muslim does not treat the other Muslim unjustly, you it enjoins that a Muslim is not to treat the other Muslim unjustly. Likewise, although in this verse it has been state that none but the clean and pure angels touch this Book, yet it enjoins that unless a person is purified, he should not touch it.

The fact, however, is that this commentary does not conform to the context of the verse. Independent of the context, one may take this meaning from its words, but if considered in the context in which the verse occurs, one does not sec any ground for saying that "None is to touch this Book except the clean and purified people. " For the addressees here are the disbelievers and they arc being told, as if to say: `This Book has been sent down by Allah Lord of the worlds. Therefore, your suspicion that the satans inspire the Prophet with it, is wrong. " What could be the occasion here to enunciate the Shari'ah injunction that no one should touch it without purification? The most that one could say in this regard is that although this verse has not been sent down to enjoin this command, yet the context points out that just as only the purified (mutahharin) can touch this Book in the presence of Allah, so in the world also the people who at least believe in its being Divine Word should avoid touching it in the impure and unclean state.

The following are the traditions that bear upon this subject:

(1) Imam Malik has related in Mu' atta this tradition on the authority of 'Abdullah bin Abi Bakr Muhammad bin 'Amr bin Hazm: "The written instructions that the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) had sent to the Yarnanite chiefs by the hand of 'Amr bin Hazm contained this instruction also: La yamass-ul Qur an a illa tahir-un. No one should touch the Qur'an except the pure one." This same thing has been related by Abu Da'ud from Imam Zuhri in the Traditions which are immediately traced to the Holy Prophet (marasil), saying that the writing that he had seen with Abu Bakr Muhammad bin 'Amr bin Hazm contained this instruction as well.

(2) The traditions from Hadrat 'Ali in which he says: 'Nothing prevented the Holy Prophet of Allah from reciting the Qur'an but the state of uncleanness due to sexual intercourse." (Abu Da'ud, Nasa'i, Tirmidhi).

(3) The tradition of Ibn 'Umar in which he states: "The Holy Messenger of Allah said: The menstruating woman and the one who is unclean on account of sexual intercourse should not read any portion of the Qur'an. " (Abu Da'ud. Tirmidhi).

(4) The tradition of Bukhari in which it has been said that the letter which the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) sent to Heraclius, the Roman emperor, also contained this verse of the Qur'an: Ya ahl al-Kitab-i to 'alau ila kalimat-in sawaa'un bainana wa baina-kum .. .

The views that have been related from the Holy Prophet's Companions and their immediate followers are as follows:

Salman, the Persian, saw no harm in reading the Qur'an without the ablutions, but even according to him touching the Qur'an with the hand in this state was not permissible. The same also was the view of Hadrat Sa`d bin Abi Waqqas and Hadrat 'Abdullah bin 'Umar. And Hadrat Hasan Basri and Ibrahim Nakha'i also regarded touching the Qur'an with the hand without the ablutions as disapproved, (AI-Jassas, Ahkam al-Qur an)). The same has been reported from 'Ata', Ta'us, Sha'bi and Qasim bin Muhammad also. (Ibn Qudamah, Al-Mughni). However, according to all of them, reading the Qur'an without touching it with the hand, or reciting it from memory, was permissible even without the ablutions.

Hadrat 'Umar, Hadrat 'Ali, Hadrat Hasan Basri. Hadrat Ibrahim Nakha'i and Imam Zuhri regarded reading the Qur'an in the state of uncleanness due to sexual intercourse and menstruation and bleeding after childbirth as disapproved. But Ibn 'Abbas held the view, and the same also was his practice, that one could recite from memory the portion of the Qur'an that one usually recited as one's daily practice. When Hadrat Sa'id bin al-Musayyab and Sa`id bin Jubair were asked about their view in this regard, they replied: "Is not the Qur'an preserved in the memory of such a person ? What then is the harm in reciting it ?" (AI-Mughni, .9l-Muhalla by Ibn Hazm).

The following are the viewpoints of the jurists on this subject:

The Hanafi viewpoint has been explained by Imam `Ala-'uddin al-Kashani in his Bada I as-Sana i, thus "lust as it is not permissible to offer the Prayer without the ablutions, so also it is not permissible to touch the Qur'an without the ablutions, However, if the Qur'an is in a cast or a cover, it may be touched. " According to some jurists, the case or cover implies the binding, and according to others, the bag or the envelope or the wrapper in which the Qur'an is kept and can also be taken out. Likewise, the books of the commentary also should not be touched without the ablutions, nor anything else in which a Qur'anic verse may have been written. However, the books of Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence) may be touched although preferably they too may not be touched without the ablutions, for they also contain Qur'anic verses as part of argument and reasoning. Some Hanafi jurists hold the opinion that only that part of the Qur'an where the Text may have been written should not be touched without the ablutions. As for the margins there is no harm in touching it, whether they are blank or contain notes on the Text. The .correct thing, however, is that the margins also are a part of the Book and touching them amounts to touching the Book. As for reading the Qur'an, it is permissible without the ablutions. " In Fatawa 'Alamgiri children have been made an exception from this rule. The Qur'an can be given in the children's hand for teaching purposes whether they are in the state of ablutions or not..

The Shafi'i viewpoint has been stated by Imam Nawawi in Al-Minhaj, thus, "As it is for the Prayer and the circumambulation of the Ka'bah, it is also forbidden to handle the Qur'an or to touch a leaf of it without the ablutions. Likewise, it is also forbidden w touch the binding of the Qur'an, and also a bag, or a bow containing the Qur'an, or a tablet on which a part of the Qur'an may have been written for instructional purposes. However, it is lawful to touch the baggage of a person containing the Qur'anic inscription. A child may touch the Qur'an without the ablutions, and a person without ablutions may turn over a leaf with a piece of wood, or something else, if he wants to read the Qur'an.

The Maliki position as stated in Al-Fiqh 'alal-Madhahib al- Arbah is: They concur with the other jurists in this that the state of ablutions is a prerequisite for touching the Qur'an, but in the matter of imparting instruction in the Qur'an they make both the teacher and the taught an exception from the rule, and allow even a menstruating woman to touch the Qur'an if she is engaged in learning or teaching it. Ibn Qadamah has cited in Al-Mughni this saying of Imam Malik: Although reading the Qur'an in the state of uncleanness due to sexual intercourse is forbidden, the woman who is discharging the menses is permitted to read it, for she would forget her recitations if prohibited from reading the Qur'an for along time. The Hanbali viewpoint as stated by Ibn Qadamah is as follows: In the state of uncleanness due to sexual intercourse and menstruation and bleeding after childbirth it is not permissible to read the Qur'an or any complete verse of it. However, it is permissible to recite bismillah, al-hamdu-lillah, etc. for although these also are parts of one or the other verse, their recitation does not amount to recitation of the Qur'an. As for handling the Qur'an, it is not permissible in any case without the ablutions. However, one is not forbidden to touch a letter, or a book of Fiqh, or some other writing containing a Qur'anic verse. Likewise, one may handle even without the ablutions, something that contains the Qur'an. The state of ablutions is also no pre-requisite for .handling the books of exegesis. Furthermore, if a person who is not in the state of ablutions is required to handle the Qur'an under an immediate need, he may do so after purification with the dust (tayammum). " AI-Fiqh `alal-Madhahib al- `Arabah contains this ruling also of the Hanbali Fiqh: It is not right for the children to handle the Qur'an without ablutions even when receiving instruction in it, and it is the duty of their guardians to make them perform the ablutions before they give the Qur'an to them.

The Zahiri viewpoint is that reading the Qur'an and handling it is permissible under all conditions, whether one is without the ablutions, or unclean due to sexual intercourse, or even if the woman is menstruating. Ibn Hazm has discussed this question fully in Al-Muhalla (vol. 1, pp. 77-84) and given arguments for the validity of this viewpoint and has concluded that none of the conditions laid down by the jurists for reading the Qur'an and handling it, is supported by the Qur'an and the Sunnah.  

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: (Which none touches but the pure ones.) he said, "The Book that is in heaven.'' 

Al-`Awfi reported from Ibn `Abbas about: (Which none touches but the pure ones.) that `the pure ones' means: "The angels.'' Similar was said by Anas, Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Ad-Dahhak, Abu Ash-Sha`tha' Jabir bin Zayd, Abu Nahik, As-Suddi, `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam and others. 

Ibn Jarir narrated that Ibn `Abdul-A`la said that Ibn Thawr said that Ma`mar said from Qatadah about: (Which none touches but the pure ones.) that he said, "None can touch it, with Allah, except the pure ones. However, in this life, the impure Zoroastrian and the filthy hypocrite touch it.'' And he said, "In the recitation of Ibn Mas`ud it is: (مَا يَمَسُّهُ إِلَّا الْمُطَهَّرُونَ) (It is not touched, except by the pure ones.)

Abu Al-`Aliyah said: (Which none touches but the pure ones.) "It does not refer to you, because you are sinners!'' Ibn Zayd said, "The Quraysh disbelievers claimed that the devils brought down the Qur'an. 

Allah the Exalted stated that only the pure ones touch the Qur'an, as He said: (And it is not the Shayatin who have brought it down. Neither would it suit them nor they can (produce it). Verily, they have been removed far from hearing it.)(26:210-212)'' This saying is a good saying, and does not contradict those before it.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: I.e., which only the pure of heart can truly understand and derive benefit from. As for the preceding reference to "a well-guarded [i.e., incorruptible] divine writ" (kitab maknun), see {85:21-22} and explanation.

تَنۡزِيۡلٌ مِّنۡ رَّبِّ الۡعٰلَمِيۡنَ‏ 
( 80 )   [It is] a revelation from the Lord of the worlds.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: (A revelation from the Lord of all that exists. ) meaning this Qur'an is a revelation from the Lord of all that exists, not as they say that it is magic, sorcery or poetry. Rather it is the truth, no doubt about it; there is none beyond it of useful truth.

اَفَبِهٰذَا الۡحَـدِيۡثِ اَنۡتُمۡ مُّدۡهِنُوۡنَۙ‏ 
( 81 )   Then is it to this statement that you are indifferent
Literally, idhan (from which mudhinun of the Text is derived) means to treat something with contempt, to deny its due importance, to regard it as unworthy of serious attention, to hold it in light esteem. 

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: (Is it such a talk that you are Mudhinun) Al-`Awfi reported from Ibn `Abbas that Mudhinun means, "You do not believe in and deny.'' Similar to this was said by Ad-Dahhak, Abu Hazrah and As-Suddi. Mujahid said, (Mudhinun) means "You want to fill yourselves with and rely upon.''

Muhammad Asad Explanation: (Would you, now, look down with disdain on a tiding like this,) I.e., the message of resurrection and judgment.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: (Is it such a Message that ye would hold in light esteem? ) The Message being such as is described in the last note, how can any one ignore it or treat it with contempt or refuse to allow it to improve his life?

وَتَجۡعَلُوۡنَ رِزۡقَكُمۡ اَنَّكُمۡ تُكَذِّبُوۡنَ‏ 
( 82 )   And make [the thanks for] your provision that you deny [the Provider]?
In his commentary of taj `aluna rizqa-kum, Imam Razi has expressed the view that probably the word rizq here means livelihood. Since the disbelieving Qaraish regarded the message of the Qur'an as harmful to their economic interests and feared that if it succeeded it would deprive them of their means of livelihood, the verse may also mean this: "You have made the denial of this Qur'an a question of your economic interests, and for you the question of the right and wrong is of no consequence; the only thing of real importance in your sight is the bread for the sake of which you would least hesitate to oppose the truth and adhere to the falsehood."

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: (And you make your provision your denial!) some of them said that provision here has the meaning of gratitude, meaning: you deny without any gratitude. `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn `Abbas that he recited it as: (وَتَجْعَلُونَ شُكْرَكُمْ أَنَّكُمْ تُكَذِّبُونَ) (And your show of your gratitude by denying!) Ibn Jarir narrated from Muhammad bin Bashshar, who narrated from Muhammad bin Ja`far, who narrated from Shu`bah, from Abu Bishr, from Sa`id bin Jubayr who said that Ibn `Abbas said, "It has never rained upon a people except that some of them became disbelievers by saying, `Such and such position of a star sent rain!''' And Ibn `Abbas recited: (وَتَجْعَلُونَ شُكْرَكُمْ أَنَّكُمْ تُكَذِّبُونَ) (And you show of your gratitude by denying.) This chain of narration is Sahih to Ibn `Abbas. In his Muwatta', Malik reported from Salih bin Kaysan, from `Ubaydullah bin `Abdullah bin `Utbah bin Mas`ud, from Zayd bin Khalid Al-Juhani who said, "The Prophet led us in the Subh (dawn) prayer at Al-Hudaybiyah after a rainy night. 

On completion of the prayer, he faced the congregation and said, (Do you know what your Lord has said (revealed)) Those present replied, `Allah and His Messenger know best.'
He said, (Allah has said, "During this morning some of my servants remained as true believers in Me and some became disbelievers. Whoever said that the rain was due to the blessings and the mercy of Allah, had belief in Me, and he disbelieves in the stars; and whoever said that it rained because of a particular star, had no belief in Me, but believes in that star.'')'' This Hadith is recorded in the Two Sahihs, Abu Dawud and An-Nasa'i, all using a chain of narration in which Imam Malik was included. Qatadah said, "Al-Hasan used to say, `How evil is that all that some people have earned for themselves from the Book of Allah, is denying it!''' Al-Hasan's statement means that such people gained no benefit from the Book of Allah because they denied it, as Allah said: (Is it such a talk that you Mudhinun And you make your provision that you deny!)

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: The worst indictment of an enemy of Revelation would be that he should make Falsehood a source of filthy lucre for himself, or that he should let his precious life be corrupted by such unholy occupation.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: Here the Qur’ān is regarded to be God’s sustenance; in ancient scriptures also this expression is used for divine revelation. Jesus (sws) is reported to have said: “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God,” (Matthew, 4:4)).

Imām Amīn Aḥsan Iṣlāḥī writes: … The verse would mean that the Almighty revealed divine sustenance for them so that they could attain eternal life from it; however, it is their misfortune that they are showing a degrading attitude towards it and not giving it its due importance. (Amīn Aḥsan Iṣlāḥī, Tadabbur-i Qur’ān, vol. 8, 185)

Conclusion (83-96): Man has been warned, as if to say: "You may brad and boast as you like and may shut your eyes to the truths in your arrogance of independence, but death is enough to open your eyes. At death you become helpless: you cannot save your own parents; you cannot save your children; you cannot save your religious guided and beloved leaders. They all die in front of your vary eyes while you look on helplessly. If there is no supreme power ruling over you, and your this assumption is correct that you are all in all in the world, and there is no God, then why don't you restore to the dying person his soul? Just as you are helpless in this, so it is also beyond your power to stop Allah from calling the people to account and mete out rewards and punishments to them. You may or may not believe it, but every dying person will surely see his own end after death. If he belongs to those nearest to God, he will see the good end meant for them if he be from among the righteous, he will see the end prepared for the righteous; and if he be from among the deniers of the truth, he will see the end destined for the criminals.

فَلَوۡلَاۤ اِذَا بَلَغَتِ الۡحُـلۡقُوۡمَۙ‏ 
( 83 )   Then why, when the soul at death reaches the throat

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: When the Soul reaches the Throat at the Time of Death, it cannot be brought back; this proves Reckon.

Allah the Exalted said, (Then why do you not (intervene) when it reaches), in reference to the soul, (Al-Hulqum), i.e., the throat, at the time of death. 

Allah the Exalted said in other Ayat, (Nay, when (the soul) reaches to the collar bone, and it will be said: "Who can cure him (and save him from death)'' And he will conclude that it was (the time) of parting (death); And one leg will be joined with another leg (shrouded). The drive will be on that Day to your Lord (Allah).)(75:26-30)

Muhammad Asad Explanation: (Why, then,when [the last breath] comes up to the throat [of a dying man],) The elliptic implication is: "If, then, as you claim, you are really independent of any Supreme Power, why do you not...", etc., thus connecting with verses {57-74}.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: (Then why do ye not (intervene) when (the soul of the dying man) reaches the throat) There is a hiatus after "why do ye not?"-and two parenthetical clauses,-after which the clause "why do ye not?" is resumed again in verse 86 below, with its complement in verse 87. It is permissible to the translator to add some such word as "intervene" here, to make the translation run smoothly.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: (So if you are subservient to no one, then at the time when a dying person’s soul reaches his throat ) The actual words are: فَلَوْلَا٘ اِذَا بَلَغَتِ الْحُلْقُوْمَ. The subject of the verb بَلَغَتِ is suppressed. The eloquence found in it is that because of the ambiguity created the terrifying nature of the incident becomes more pronounced.

وَاَنۡتُمۡ حِيۡنَـئِذٍ تَـنۡظُرُوۡنَۙ‏ 
( 84 )   And you are at that time looking on -

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: (And you at the moment are looking,) at the dying person and witnessing the stupor of death that he is experiencing,

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: (And ye the while (sit) looking on) The dying man's friends, relatives, and companions may be sitting round him and quite close to him in his last moments, but Allah is nearer still at all times for He is nearer than the man's own jugular vein (I. 16), and one of Allah's own titles is "Ever Near" (xxxiv. 50).

وَنَحۡنُ اَقۡرَبُ اِلَيۡهِ مِنۡكُمۡ وَلٰـكِنۡ لَّا تُبۡصِرُوۡنَ‏ 
( 85 )   And Our angels are nearer to him than you, but you do not see -

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: (But We are nearer to him than you, ) with Our angels, (but you see not.) you cannot see the angels. 

Allah the Exalted said in another Ayah, (He is the Irresistible over His servants, and He sends guardians (angels) over you, until when death approaches one of you, Our messengers (angel of death and his assistants) take his soul, and they never neglect their duty. Then they are returned to Allah, their true Protector. Surely, for Him is the judgement and He is the swiftest in taking account.)(6:61-62)

فَلَوۡلَاۤ اِنۡ كُنۡتُمۡ غَيۡرَ مَدِيۡنِيۡنَۙ‏ 
( 86 )   Then why do you not, if you are not to be recompensed,

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: (Then why do you not -- if you are not Madinin -- return the soul,) means, `Will you not return this soul, that has reached the throat, to its body as it used to be, if you are exempt from the reckoning and recompense' Sa`id bin Jubayr and Al-Hasan Al-Basri said: (Then why do you not -- if you are not Madinin. ..), "If you do not believe that you will be reckoned, recompensed, resurrected and punished, then why do you not return this soul to its body'' 

Mujahid said that, (...if you are not Madinin), means, "if you are not certain.''

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: (Then why do you not if you are exempt from (future) account) These words resume the sentence begun at verse 83 above and interrupted by the two parenthetical clauses in verses 84 and 85. 

تَرۡجِعُوۡنَهَاۤ اِنۡ كُنۡتُمۡ صٰدِقِيۡنَ‏ 
( 87 )   Bring it back, if you should be truthful?

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Call back the soul if ye are true (in your claim of Independence)? The sentence may now be briefly paraphrased. 'If you disbelieve in Revelation and a future Judgment, and claim to do what you like and be independent of Allah, how is it you cannot call back a dying man's soul to his body when all of you congregate round him at his death-bed? But you are not independent of Judgment. There is a Day of Account, when you will have to be judged by your deeds in this life.'

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: (then why do you not restore his [departing] soul, if you are truthful?) The implication is that helplessness in death shows that man is totally subservient to someone. Whenever God wants, He will summon them to His presence; people observe this helplessness day and night and in spite of this regard themselves to wield absolute power and subservience to none. If they are true in their claim, they should try to stop the angel of death from claiming the soul of some dear one.

فَاَمَّاۤ اِنۡ كَانَ مِنَ الۡمُقَرَّبِيۡنَۙ‏ 
( 88 )   And if the deceased was of those brought near to Allah,

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: The Condition of People at the Time of Their Death:
These are the three types of conditions that people face upon their death. Either they are among the near believers or those below their rank on the right, or those who denied the truth, were led astray from the guidance and were ignorant about Allah. 

Allah said, (Then if he), in reference to the dying person, (be of the Muqarrabun) who fulfilled the obligations and the recommended acts of worship and avoided the forbidden and disliked matters and even some of the allowed,

Muhammad Asad Explanation: ([ALL OF YOU are destined to die.] Now if one happens to be of those who are drawn close unto God,) I.e., the "foremost" spoken of in verses {10-11} of this surah.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: (Thus then if he be of those Nearest to Allah) See above. lvi. 11-26

فَرَوۡحٌ وَّ رَيۡحَانٌ ۙ وَّجَنَّتُ نَعِيۡمٍ‏
( 89 )   Then [for him is] rest and bounty and a garden of pleasure.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: (then for him Rawh, Rayhan and a Garden of Delights.) Theirs will be Rawh and Rayhan; and the glad tidings of these traits will be conveyed to them by the angels at the time of death. 

We mentioned before the Prophet's Hadith narrated from Al-Bara' in which the angels of mercy say (to a dying, believing person), (O good soul in the good body that you inhabited, come to Rawh, Rayhan and a Lord Who is not angry.) `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn `Abbas, "Rawh means rest, and Rayhan means place of rest.'' Mujahid said similarly that Rawh means rest. Abu Hazrah said that Rawh means: "Rest from the world.'' Sa`id bin Jubayr and As-Suddi said that it means to rejoice. 

And from Mujahid: (Rawh and Rayhan) means: "Paradise and delights.'' Qatadah said that Rawh means mercy. Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid and Sa`id bin Jubayr said that Rayhan means provisions. All of these explanations are correct and similar in meaning. The near believers who die will earn all of these; mercy, rest, provision, joy, happiness and good delights,

(and a Garden of Delights.) Abu Al-`Aliyah said, "None of the near believers will depart (this life) until after he is brought a branch of the Rayhan of Paradise and his soul is captured in it.'' Muhammad bin Ka`b said, "Every person who dies will know upon his death if he is among the people of Paradise or the people of the Fire.'' 

In the Sahih, it is recorded that the Messenger of Allah said, (The souls of the martyrs live in the bodies of green birds flying wherever they wish in the Gardens of Paradise, and then rest to their nests in chandeliers hung from the Throne of the Almighty....) 

Imam Ahmad recorded that `Ata' bin As-Sa'ib said, "The first day I saw `Abdur-Rahman bin Abi Layla, I saw an old man whose hair had become white on his head and beard. He was riding his donkey and following a funeral. I heard him say, `So-and-so narrated to me that he heard the Messenger of Allah say, (He who likes to meet Allah, Allah likes to meet him, and he who hates to meet Allah, Allah hates to meet him.) The people around him started weeping, and he asked them why they wept. They said, `All of us hate death.' He said,

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: ((There is for him) Rest and Satisfaction and a Garden of Delights. ) Raihan: sweet-smelling plants, as in Iv. 12. Here used as an indication of Satisfaction and Delight.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: (for him is bliss and ecstasy and an orchard of delight.) The actual word is: رَيۡحَان. Originally, it means “a flower.” However, it is also used to connote its consequences like fragrance and the bliss felt because of this fragrance. 

وَاَمَّاۤ اِنۡ كَانَ مِنۡ اَصۡحٰبِ الۡيَمِيۡنِۙ‏ 
( 90 )   And if he was of the companions of the right,

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: (And if he be of those on the right,) means, if he, the dying person, is among those on the right,

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: ( And if he be of the Companions of the Right Hand) See above, lvi. 27-38

فَسَلٰمٌ لَّكَ مِنۡ اَصۡحٰبِ الۡيَمِيۡنِؕ‏ 
( 91 )   Then [the angels will say], "Peace for you; [you are] from the companions of the right."

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: (Then Salam (peace) to you from those on the right) meaning, the angels will deliver the good news to them by saying, "Peace be upon you,'' i.e., be calm, you will be led to safety, you are among those on the right, as `Ikrimah said, "The angels will greet him with the Salam and convey to him the news that he is among those on the right. '' 

This is a good explanation, and it conforms with Allah's statement, (Verily, those who say: "Our Lord is Allah.'' and then they stand firm, on them the angles will descend (at the time of their death) (saying): "Fear not, nor grieve! But receive the glad tidings of Paradise which you have been promised! We have been your friends in the life of this world and are (so) in the Hereafter. Therein you shall have (all) that your souls desire, and therein you shall have (all) for which you ask. An entertainment from the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.'') (41:30-32).

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: (For him is the salutation) "Peace be unto thee" from the Companions of the Right Hand. In lvi. 26 above the salutation of "Peace, Peace!" is addressed to those Nearest to Allah. Here we learn that it is also addressed to the Companions of the Right Hand. Both are in Gardens of Bliss; only the former have a higher Dignity than the latter.

وَاَمَّاۤ اِنۡ كَانَ مِنَ الۡمُكَذِّبِيۡنَ الضَّآلِّيۡنَۙ‏ 
( 92 )   But if he was of the deniers [who were] astray,

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: (But if he be of the denying, the erring, then for him is an entertainment with Hamim (boiling water) and entry in Hellfire.) meaning, if the dying person is one of those who denied the truth, who were led astray from guidance,

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: (And if he be of those who treat (truth) as Falsehood who go wrong ) Cf. above, lvi. 51-55.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:  These people are mentioned with reference to their crime instead of being mentioned as the companions of the left hand. The purpose is that the discourse becomes fully applicable to the addressees and the nature of their crime is also evident.

فَنُزُلٌ مِّنۡ حَمِيۡمٍۙ‏ 
( 93 )   Then [for him is] accommodation of scalding water

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: (فَنُزُلٌ then for him is an entertainment,) meaning, as a guest, (مِنْ حَمِيمٍ with Hamim) that dissolves his intestines and skin, (وَتَصْلِيَةُ جَحِيمٍ  And entry in Hellfire.) he will reside in Hellfire, which will engulf him from every direction. 

وَّتَصۡلِيَةُ جَحِيۡمٍ‏ 
( 94 )   And burning in Hellfire

اِنَّ هٰذَا لَهُوَ حَقُّ الۡيَـقِيۡنِۚ‏
( 95 )   Indeed, this is the true certainty,

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: (Verily, this! This is an absolute truth with certainty.) meaning, this news is the truth; there is no doubt about it, nor escape from it for anyone,

Muhammad Asad Explanation: Lit., "a truth of certainty", i.e., a truth most certain. The pronoun "this" in the above sentence relates not merely to the announcement of resurrection and life after death, but also - and primarily - to the stress on man's utter dependence on God.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: "The assurance of the Hereafter" is one of the strongest features of Faith. For without it the apparent inequalities and injustices of this Life cannot be satisfactorily explained.

فَسَبِّحۡ بِاسۡمِ رَبِّكَ الۡعَظِيۡمِ‏ 
( 96 )   So exalt the name of your Lord, the Most Great.
Hadrat `Uqbah bin `Amir Juhni relates that when this verse was sent down the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah's peace) commanded that the people put it in their ruku`, i.e. they should recite Subhana Rabbi -yal-`Azim in ruku ' position in the Prayer. And when the verse Sabbih-ismi-Rabb-i- kal-A'la was Sent down, he enjoined that they put it in their sajdah, i.e. they should recite Subhana Rabb-i -yal-a na in sajdah. (Musnad Ahmad, Abu Da'ud, Ibn Majah, Ibn Hibban, Hakim). This show that even the most minor details of the procedure enjoined by the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah's peace) for the Prayer are derived from the allusions given in the Qur'an.  

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: (So, glorify with praises the Name of your Lord, the Most Great.) 

Jabir narrated that the Messenger of Allah said, (He who says, "Glory be to Allah the Magnificent and with His praise!'' then a date tree will be planted for him in Paradise.) This Hadith was collected by At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa'i; At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan Gharib.'' 

Al-Bukhari recorded in his book (Sahih) that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said, ((There are) two statements that are light on the tongue, but heavy on the Balance, and most beloved to Ar-Rahman: "Glory be to Allah and with His praise, glory be to Allah the Magnificent.'') The Group, with the exception of Abu Dawud, collected this. This is the end of the Tafsir of Surat Al-Waqi`ah, all praise and thanks are due to Allah and all the favors come from Him.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Cf. lvi. 74 above. That was the conclusion of the argument about the Future from the examples of Allah's goodness in nature. Now we have the conclusion of the same argument from Allah's revelation through His inspired Messengers.

You may now like to listen to Part 5 of the explanation of the sürah by eminent Muslim scholar Nouman Ali Khan:

Please refer to our Reference Page "114 Chapters (Sūrahs) of the Holy Qur'an" for translation, explanation and exegesis of all other chapters of the Qur'an. You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Quran.
Reading the Holy Quran should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully. An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Holy Qur'an from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that:
  • The plain translation and explanation has been taken from the Holy Quran officially published by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. [1]
  • The exegesis of the chapters of the Holy Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi.  [2]
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided by [2], additional input has been interjected from following sources (links to Reference Pages given below):  
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Al-Quran, Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Qur'an Wiki
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
  • Tafsir Nouman Ali Khan
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
In addition the references of  other sources which have been explored have also been given below. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites:

Photo | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 67 | 8 | 9

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Saturday, November 27, 2021

Lessons and Secrets of Surah Al Kahf (The Cave)

Sūrah Al Kahf (The Cave) , the 18th chapter in Juz 15-16, is one of the most important chapters of the Qur'an for it contains four stories from the bygone days from which one can draw many relevant lessons to strengthen one's faith and beliefs. The importance of this chapter can be attributed to a saying of The Prophet ﷺ who once said:
“One who memorized the first ten verses of Surah al Kahf will be secure against the Dajjal (Anti-Christ).” (Muslim)

Due to its importance, it is attributed to the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ that Surah Al-Kahf should be read after the Friday / Jumu’ah prayers, for whosoever recites this surah on Friday, he/she is saved from all calamities till next Friday. 

The four stories mentioned in the surah in fact point towards four important  lessons or guidelines from which the men of faith can draw their strength. These stories are:

  • The Story of the people of the cave – A Trial of Faith
  • The Story of the man who owns two gardens – A Trial of Wealth
  • The Story of Musa and Al-Khidr – A Trail of Knowledge
  • The Story of the Dhul Qarnayn (A Righteous King) – A Trial of Power
We have already posted a detailed exegesis of the Surah Al Kahf in four parts. The purpose of this part is to exclusively concentrate on the lessons and secrets of the surah.

You may now like to listen to  eminent Muslim scholar Nouman Ali Khan, who in his lecture explains the secrets and the lessons one can draw from this surah:


Please refer to our Reference Page "114 Chapters (Sūrahs) of the Holy Qur'an" for translation, explanation and exegesis of all other chapters of the Qur'an. You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Quran.
Reading the Holy Quran should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully. An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Holy Qur'an from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. 

If you like Islam: My Ultimate Decision, and to keep yourself updated on all our latest posts to know more about Islam, follow us on Facebook

Please share this page to your friends and family members through Facebook, WhatsApp or any means on Social Media so that they can also be benefited by it and better understand Islam and the Holy Qur'an - Insha Allah (Allah Willing) you shall be blessed with the best of both worlds.

Monday, November 15, 2021

Three Good Doers whom Allah likes the Most

There is a misnomer among some people that if they just abide by the obligatory five times prayers a day, keep fasts during the month of Ramadan and pay Zakat, they will be among the most liked Muslims by Allah. But perhaps they may be wrong, for all obligatory actions are to be observed as these have been directed to be done by Allah for all adult Muslims and violators will be punished for refusing the Divine commandments.

But then who are the one's Allah likes the most? Well at many places, Allah has spelt the properties of the people whom Allah likes and will grant them befitting rewards both in this world and the hereafter. One set of three blessed people have been mentioned in the 134th verse of Surah 3. Al-i'Imran as under:

الَّذِيۡنَ يُنۡفِقُوۡنَ فِى السَّرَّآءِ وَالضَّرَّآءِ وَالۡكٰظِمِيۡنَ الۡغَيۡظَ وَالۡعَافِيۡنَ عَنِ النَّاسِ​ؕ وَاللّٰهُ يُحِبُّ الۡمُحۡسِنِيۡنَ​ۚ‏ 
(3:134) who spend in the way of Allah both in plenty and hardship, who restrain their anger, and forgive others. Allah loves such good-doers." 

The devouring of interest had created greed, avarice, parsimony and selfishness in those who took interest; hatred, anger, enmity and jealousy in those who had to pay it, and these moral evils contributed to some extent to the setback in the Battle of Uhd. Therefore Allah has condemned and prohibited interest and prescribed charity as an antidote to it. It is obvious that Paradise has been reserved for those who practice charity and spend money generously, and not for those greedy persons who practice money-lending on interest. (Please refer also to verse 278 of Surah 2. Al-Baqarah.) 

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir
(" الَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ فِى السَّرَّآءِ وَالضَّرَّآءِ " Those who spend (in Allah's cause) in prosperity and in adversity)  in hard times and easy times, while active (or enthusiastic) and otherwise, healthy or ill, and in all conditions, just as Allah said in another Ayah:
(Those who spend their wealth (in Allah's cause) by night and day, in secret and in public) (2:274) These believers are never distracted from obeying Allah, spending on what pleases Him, being kind to His servants and their relatives, and other acts of righteousness. 
Allah said, (" وَالْكَـظِمِينَ الْغَيْظَ وَالْعَـفِينَ عَنِ النَّاسِ " who repress anger, and who pardon men;) ﴿3:134﴾ for when they are angry, they control their anger and do act upon it. Rather, they even forgive those who hurt them. 

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Prophet said, (The strong person is not he who is able to physically overcome people. The strong person is he who overcomes his rage when he is angry.)

This Hadith is also recorded in the Two Sahihs. Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn `Abbas said that the Messenger of Allah said, (He who gives time to a debtor or forgives him, then Allah will save him from the heat of Jahannam (Hell-fire). Behold! The deeds of Paradise are difficult to reach, for they are on top of a hill, while the deeds of the Fire are easy to find in the lowlands. The happy person is he who is saved from the tests. Verily, there is no dose of anything better to Allah than a dose of rage that the servant controls, and whenever the servant of Allah controls it, he will be internally filled with faith.)

This Hadith was recorded by Imam Ahmad, its chain of narration is good, it does not contain any disparraged narrators, and the meaning is good.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Sahl bin Mu`adh bin Anas said that his father said that the Messenger of Allah said, (Whoever controlled rage while able to act upon it, then Allah will call him while all creation is a witness, until He gives him the choice of any of the Huris (fair females with wide, lovely eyes - as mates for the pious) he wishes.) 

Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah collected this Hadith, which At-Tirmidhi said was "Hasan Gharib''.

Ibn Marduwyah recorded that Ibn `Umar said that the Messenger of Allah said, (There is not a dose of anything that the servant takes which is better than a dose of control of rage that he feels, when he does it seeking Allah's Face.) Ibn Jarir and Ibn Majah also collected this Hadith.

Allah said, (" وَالْكَـظِمِينَ الْغَيْظَ " who repress anger) meaning, they do not satisfy their rage upon people. Rather, they refrain from harming them and await their rewards with Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored. 

Allah then said, (" وَالْعَـفِينَ عَنِ النَّاسِ " and who pardon men;) They forgive those who treat them with injustice. Therefore, they do not hold any ill feelings about anyone in their hearts, and this is the most excellent conduct in this regard. 

This is why Allah said, (" وَاللَّهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ "verily, Allah loves the Muhsinin (the good-doers)).

This good conduct is a type of Ihsan (excellence in the religion). There is a Hadith that reads, (I swear regarding three matters: no charity shall ever decrease the wealth; whenever one forgives people, then Allah will magnify his honor; and he who is humble for Allah, then Allah will raise his rank.)

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Another definition of the righteous (vv. 134-35). So far from grasping material wealth, they give freely, of themselves and their substance, not only when they are well-off and it is easy for them to do so, but also when they arc in difficulties, for other people may be in difficulties at the same time. They do not get ruffled in adversity, or get angry when other people behave badly, or their own good plans fail. On the contrary they redouble their efforts. For the charity-or good deeds-is all the more necessary in adversity. And they do not throw the blame on others. Even where such blame is due and correction is necessary, their own mind is free from a sense of grievance, for they forgive and cover other men's faults. This as far as other people are concerned. But we may be ourselves at fault, and perhaps we brought some calamity on ourselves. The righteous man is not necessarily perfect. In such circumstances his behaviour is described in the next verse.

Qur'an Wiki Explanation:
The emphasis laid on this characteristic has particular relevance to the Battle of Uĥud. Reference to spending in the sūrah is made several times and in the same way as the repeated condemnation of those who refuse to come forward with their money for the cause of God.
 
They “restrain their anger, and forgive their fellow men.” Fearing God also works in this respect, providing similar motives and leaving similar effects. Anger is a human reaction which is normally combined with or followed by a fit of temper. It is both natural and essential to man. However, it can only be overcome through that higher perception made possible by the positive effects of fearing God and the spiritual strength which man achieves through looking up to horizons which are far superior and more sublime than man’s own needs and interests.
 
Restraining anger is only the first stage; it is not sufficient on its own. A person may restrain his anger but harbour a grudge. His outward fury becomes a deeply- seated, inward rancour. Needless to say, anger and fury are preferable to harbouring grudges and rancour. The Qur’ānic verse emphasises that the God-fearing do not allow their anger to become a grudge. They forgive others and do not harbour any ill feelings. When anger is deliberately restrained it becomes a burden, a fire which burns internally sending its smoke over man’s conscience in order to blur his vision. Forgiveness, however, ensures a release from that burden. It gives peace of heart and conscience, as well as an easy movement in a more sublime world.
 
“God loves the benevolent.” Those who spend their money at times of prosperity and hardship are benevolent. Similarly, those who do not hesitate to forgive others after having been angered by them are also benevolent. The Qur’ānic verse tells us that God loves all who are benevolent. Use of the term “love” here is significant. Its pleasant, friendly, bright and compassionate shades are in perfect harmony with the pleasant and honourable atmosphere of help and forgiveness.
 
Because God loves the benevolent and the good turns they do, those who love God also love to be benevolent. They have the best of all motives. The final comment is, then, not only an inspiring description, it is a statement of fact.
 
The community which enjoys God’s love and, in turn, loves God and in which forgiveness replaces anger and rancour is a strong, brotherly and closely-knit community. We see here how this directive is clearly relevant to both the military battle and to the battle of life.

May Allah help us understand Qur'ān and help us to act upon the commandments of Allah contained therein. Aameen. May we be among the three good doers mentioned above so that we too are included in the list of those whom Allah likes the most. Ameen.

For more Selected Verses, please refer to our reference page: Selected Verses from the Qur'anYou may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.
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Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully.

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Qur'ān from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that the exegesis of the chapters of the Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi.  
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided, additional input has been interjected from following sources: 
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Al-Quran, Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
In addition the references of other sources which have been explored have also been given above. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites.

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Please share this page to your friends and family members through Facebook, WhatsApp or any means on Social Media so that they can also be benefited by it and better understand Islam and the Qur'ān - Insha Allah (Allah Willing) you shall be blessed with the best of both worlds.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Basic Differences between Sunni and Shia Sects - A Dispassionate Comparison


Islam is the second largest religion of the world after Christianity and is fast growing taking its roots in many non Muslim countries. Most of the Muslims belong to the Sunni sect of Islam while a sizeable number of Muslims around the world follow the Shia sect of Islam. And this division often creates questions as how to clearly distinguish between Sunni and Shia? 

And thus it is one of the major decisions that a new Muslim upon reversion to Islam is to take as to which of the two leading sects of Islam, that is Sunni or Shia, should he adopt. There are many videos and lectures available on the net to guide a raw mind. But some are really very intricate and even misleading that further the miseries of a reverted Muslim. I too, being a born Muslim, get confused as to what really major differences when seen dispassionately without any prejudice.

Recently I came across a video on the subject which I found to have tackled the issue of major differences between Sunni and Shia sects and I thought by sharing this video, many a basic doubts would be addressed and a clearer picture would emerge for a reverted Muslim to make up his mind.

The video is by Islamic scholar Dr. Abbu Ammar Yasir Qadhi, is a Pakistani-American preacher and imam. Since 2001, he has served as Dean of Academic Affairs at the Al-Maghrib Institute, an international Islamic educational institution with a center in Houston, Texas. He also taught in the Religious Studies department at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee.

Please watch the video as shared below. You may further your research on the subject by taking this lecture as a base before making any conclusive final decision:
T

These are just to basic differences. For more detailed discussions and information, please search  for such discussions where the matter is discussed without any prejudice rather than bumping into hardcore scholars from both side.

May Allah helps us understand Islam better by pondering over the verses of the Qur'an and acting upon the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. Aameen

For more Q&A about Understanding Islam, please refer to our reference page: Understanding Islam - Frequently asked Q&A

If you like Islam: My Ultimate Decision, and to keep yourself updated on all our latest posts to know more about Islam, follow us on Facebook

Please share this page to your friends and family members through Facebook, WhatsApp or any means on Social Media so that they can also be benefited by it and better understand Islam and the Holy Qur'an - Insha Allah (Allah Willing) you shall be blessed with the best of both worlds.

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Surah Al Waqi'a - The (Inevitable) Event: Exegesis/Tafsir 56th Chapter of Qur'an (Part I)

Sūrah Al Waqi'a " الواقعة‎ "- The (Inevitable) Event is the fifty sixth sürah with 97 āyāt with three rukus, part of the 27th Juzʼ  of the Qur'ān. The surah was revealed in Makkah, specifically around 7 years before the Hegira (622), the migration of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ , peace be upon him, to Medina. Its theme is the Hereafter, Tauhid and refutation of the Makkan disbelievers' suspicions about the Qur'an. 

Talking of virtues of Surat Al-Waqi`ah, Ibn-Kathir quotes that Abu Ishaq reported from `Ikrimah from Ibn `Abbas that Abu Bakr said, "O Allah's Messenger! You are becoming gray'' The Messenger replied,
«شَيَّبَتْنِي هُودٌ وَالْوَاقِعَةُ وَالْمُرْسَلَاتُ وَعَمَّ يَتَسَاءَلُونَ وَإِذَا الشَّمْسُ كُوِّرَت»
(Hud (chapter 11), Al-Waqi`ah (56), Al-Mursalat (77), `Amma Yatasa'alun (78) and Idha Ash-Shamsu Kuwwirat (81) have made me gray.) At-Tirmidhi collected this Hadith and said, "Hasan Gharib.''

The tafsir/exegesis of the sürah will be presented into two parts keeping in view its length and two distinct subject matters discussed in it:

Part I (This Post)
  • Ruku One: (verses 1-56). Wherein verses 1-38 paint scene of the doomsday when mankind will be divided into three groups, A Reward for the forehand group. Verses are 27-38 explain the Reward for the right-hand group, while verses 39-56 reveal the Punishment for the left-hand group
  • Ruku Two consisting of verses 39-74 explain the Admonition to the disbelievers with the examples of creation
Part II: Ruku Three (verses 75-96)  are about Testimony of Allah about the Quran (To be covered in one of the next posts).

We have already presented the overview / summary of the sürah, which also includes its recitation in Arabic with English subtitles. Let us now read the verse by verse translation and exegesis / tafseer in English of Part I (Ruku 1 and 2)You may also listen to eminent Muslim scholar Nouman Ali Khan explaining the Surah in English at the end of this post.

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ 
"In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful"
Ruku One (1-38)  In the first two ruku, the theme is the Hereafter, Tauhid and refutation of the Makkan disbelievers' suspicions about the Qur'an. What they regarded as utterly incredible was that Resurrection would ever take place, then the entire system of the earth and heavens would be upset, and when all the dead would be resurrected and called to account, after which the righteous would be admitted to Paradise and the wicked cast into Hell. They regarded all this as imaginary, which could not possibly happen in actual fact. In answer to this, it was said: "When the inevitable event will take place, there will be none to belie its happening, nor will anyone have the Power to avert it, nor prove it to, be an unreal happening. At that time all peoples will be divided into three classes: (1) The foremost in rank and position; (2) the common righteous people and (3) those who denied the Hereafter and persisted in disbelief and polytheism and major sins till the last." How these three classes of the people will be rewarded and punished has been described in detail in vv. 7-56.

اِذَا وَقَعَتِ الۡوَاقِعَةُ ۙ‏ 
( 1 )   When the Occurrence occurs,
I.e., the Last Hour and Resurrection.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: Al-Waqi`ah (the occurrence), is one of the names of the Day of Resurrection, because that Day is real and will surely come. Allah the Exalted said in other Ayat:
فَيَوْمَئِذٍ وَقَعَتِ الْوَاقِعَةُ  (Then on that Day shall the Waqi`ah occur.)( 69:15)

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: The Event Inevitable is the Hour of Judgment. People may doubt now whether it will come. But when it comes, as it will come, suddenly upon them, it will come with such tremendous reality that it will be burnt deep into the experience of every soul. No one can then be deceived or entertain false notions about it.

لَيۡسَ لِـوَقۡعَتِهَا كَاذِبَةٌ​ ۘ‏ 
( 2 )   There is, at its occurrence, no denial.
Opening the discourse with this sentence by itself signifies that this is an answer to the objections that were than being raised in the disbelievers conferences against Resurrection. This was the time when the people of Makkah had just begun to hear the invitation to Islam from the Holy Prophet Muhammad (upon be Allah's peace and blessing). In it what seemed most astonishing and remote from reason to them was that the entire system of the earth and heavens would one day be overturned and then another world would be set up in which all the dead, of the former and the latter generations, would be resurrected. Bewildered they would ask: `This is just impossible ! Where will this earth, these oceans, these mountains, this moon and sun go? How will the centuries-old dead bodies rise up to life ? How can one in his senses believe that there will be another life after death and there will be gardens of Paradise and the fire of Hell ?" Such were the misgivings that were being expressed at that time everywhere in Makkah. It was against this background that it was said: "When the inevitable event happens, there shall be no one to belie it. "

In this verse the word "wagi ah " (event) has been used for Resurrection, which nearly means the same thing as the English word 'inevitable', signifying thereby that it is something that must come to pass. Then, its happening has been described by the word "waqi'ah, " which is used for the sudden occurrence of a disaster. Laisa li-waq'at-i-ha kadhibat-un can have two meanings:

(1) That it will not be possible that its occurrence be averted, or stopped, or turned back; or, in other words, there will be no power to make it appear as an unreal event; and

(2) that there will be no living being to tell the lie that the event has not taken place. 

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: means, when He commands the Day of Resurrection to begin, none can stop it from happening or prevent it from beginning.

Allah also says: 
(Answer the call of your Lord before there comes from Allah a Day which can not be averted.) (42:47),
(A questioner asked concerning a torment about to occur -- upon the disbelievers, which none can avert.)(70:1-2),
(And on the Day He will say: "Be!'' -- and it is! His Word is the Truth. His will be the dominion on the Day when the Trumpet will be blown. All-Knower of the unseen and the seen. He is the All-Wise, Well Aware.)(6:73)
As for the meaning of "كَاذِبَةٌ" (Kadhibah) Muhammad bin Ka`b said: "It will certainly occur,'' while Qatadah said, "It shall not be discontinued, taken back or aborted.

خَافِضَةٌ رَّافِعَةٌ ۙ‏ 
( 3 )   It will bring down [some] and raise up [others].
Literally: "that which causes (something or somebody j to rise and to Fall. " Its one meaning can be that it will upset every order: it will turn things up-side-down. Another meaning also can be that it will exalt the lowly and bring low the high and mighty; that is, on its advent the decision as to who is noble and who is ignoble among the people will be made on quite a different basis. Those who posed as honorable people in the world, would become contemptible and those who were considered contemptible would become honorable.  

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: indicates that Al-Waqi`ah lowers some people to the lowest parts of the Fire, even if they had been mighty in this life. It also elevates others to the highest grades in the residence of eternal delight, even if they were weak in this life. This was said by Al-Hasan, Qatadah and others. 

Al-`Awfi reported from Ibn `Abbas: "It made the near and the far hear it,'' while `Ikrimah said, "It lowered, and thus those who were close heard it, and elevated, and thus those in the distance heard it.'' Ad-Dahhak and Qatadah said similarly.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: There will be a sorting out of Good and Evil. Or rather, (verse 7 below), there will be three main classes. Among the Good there will be the specially exalted class, those nearest to Allah (muqarrabun, lvi. 11-26), and the righteous people generally, called the Companions of the Right Hand (Ashab-ul-maimana, lvi. 27-40). And there will be those in agony, the Companions of the Left Hand (Ashab-ul-mash-ama, lvi. 41-56). Many who were high and mighty in this life will be brought low for their sins, and many who were lowly but virtuous will be exalted to various ranks and degrees. The old landmarks will be lost in the inner world, as they will be in the outer world.

اِذَا رُجَّتِ الۡاَرۡضُ رَجًّا ۙ‏ 
( 4 )   When the earth is shaken with convulsion
That is, it will not be a local earthquake that may occur in a restricted area, but it will shake the whole earth to its depths all of a sudden, and it will experience a tremendous jolt and tremors all through. 

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: meaning, it is shaken and moved violently over all of its surface and through its depths. 

Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Qatadah and others said about Allah's saying:, (When the earth will be shaken with a terrible shake.) it means "Violently shaken.'' Ar-Rabi` bin Anas said, "The earth will be shaken with all that is in it, just as a sifter is shaken with its contents.'' 

This is like Allah's saying:
(When the earth is shaken with its earthquake.)(99:1) and,
(O mankind! Have Taqwa of your Lord! Verily, the earthquake of the Hour is a terrible thing.)(22:1).
وَّبُسَّتِ الۡجِبَالُ بَسًّا ۙ‏ 
( 5 )   And the mountains are broken down, crumbling

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: meaning, relentlessly pulverized. This was said by Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, `Ikrimah and Qatadah and others. 

Ibn Zayd said: "The mountains will become just like Allah described them, (A heap of sand poured out.)(73:14).''

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: The old physical world will disappear in the New Creation.

فَكَانَتۡ هَبَآءً مُّنۡۢبَـثًّا ۙ‏ 
( 6 )   And become dust dispersing.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: Abu Ishaq narrated from Al-Harith, from `Ali: "It will become like the rising dust storm that soon fades away leaving no trace of itself behind.'' 

Al-`Awfi reported from Ibn `Abbas about Allah's saying: (So that they will become floating dust particles.) "It describes the rising embers from the fire when it is kindled, but when the embers land, they are extinguished quickly.'' `Ikrimah said, "The floating dust particles that the wind scatters all around,'' 

While Qatadah said, (floating particles), "Like the dry parts of trees that the wind scatters all about.'' This Ayah is similar to several other Ayat that indicate that the mountains will be moved from their places, demolished and blown off their bases, becoming like carded wool on the Day of Resurrection.

وَّكُنۡـتُمۡ اَزۡوَاجًا ثَلٰـثَـةً ؕ‏ 
( 7 )   And you become [of] three kinds:
Although the address apparently is directed to the people to whom this discourse was being recited, or who may read it or hear it read now, in fact the entire mankind is its addressee. All human beings who have been born since the first day of creation and will be born till the Day of Resurrection, will ultimately he divided into three classes.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: (Three Categories of People on the Day of Resurrection). Allah's statement: (And you (all) will be in three groups.) This means that people will be divided into three categories on the Day of Resurrection. Some will on the right of Allah's Throne, and they are those who were brought forth from `Adam's right side. This category will be given their Books of Records in their right hand and will be taken to the right side. As-Suddi explained that they will comprise the majority of the residents of Paradise. Another category is those who will be placed to the left of Allah's Throne, and they are those who were brought forth from `Adam's left side. This category will be given their Books of Records in their left hands and will be taken to the left side. They are the residents of the Fire, may Allah save us from their actions. A third category is comprised of those who are the foremost and nearest before Allah. They are in a better grade and status and nearer to Allah than those on the right side. They are the chiefs of those on the right side, because they include the Messengers, Prophets, true believers and martyrs. They are fewer than those on the right side; so Allah said,
 
فَاَصۡحٰبُ الۡمَيۡمَنَةِ ۙ مَاۤ اَصۡحٰبُ الۡمَيۡمَنَةِ ؕ‏ 
( 8 )   Then the companions of the right - what are the companions of the right?
The word maintanah in ashab al-maimanah, in the original, stay have been derived from Yamin, which means the right hand, and also from yumn, which means good omen. If it is taken to be derived from yamin, ashab almaimanah would mean: `those of the right hand." This, however, does not imply its lexical meaning, but it signifies the people of exalted rank and position. The Arabs regarded the right hand as a symbol of strength and eminence and honor, and therefore would seat a person whom they wished to do honor, on the right hand, in the assemblies. And if it is taken as derived from yumn, ashab almaimanah would mean fortunate and blessed people.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: (Explanation of verses 8-10) "(So those on the right -- how will be those on the right! And those on the left -- how will be those on the left! And those foremost will be foremost.) 

Allah divides people into these three groups upon their death, as indicated by the end of this Surah. Allah mentioned them in His statement as well," (Then We gave the Book as inheritance to such of Our servants whom We chose. Then of them are some who wrong themselves, and of them are some who follow a middle course, and of them are some who are, by Allah's leave, foremost in good deeds.)(35:32)

Muhammad bin Ka`b, Abu Hazrah Ya`qub bin Mujahid said that, (And those foremost will be foremost.) is about the Prophets, peace be upon them, while As-Suddi said that they are the residents of the utmost highs (Ahl Al-`Illiyyin, in Paradise). The meaning of foremost is that they were foremost in performing the acts of righteousness just as Allah commanded them,
(And march forth in the way to forgiveness from your Lord, and for Paradise as wide as the heavens and the earth.)(3:133) and,
(Race with one another in hastening towards forgiveness from your Lord, and Paradise the width whereof is as the width of the heaven and the earth.)(57:21) 
Therefore, those who rush to obey Allah in this life and are foremost in performing acts of righteousness, will be among the foremost believers honored in the Hereafter. Verily, the reward is according to the kind of deed, and as one does, so he is judged.

وَاَصۡحٰبُ الۡمَشۡـئَـمَةِ ۙ مَاۤ اَصۡحٰبُ الۡمَشۡـئَـمَةِؕ‏ 
( 9 )   And the companions of the left - what are the companions of the left?
The word mash 'amah in ashab al-mash'amah, in the original, is from shu'm which means misfortune, ill-luck and bad omen; in Arabic the left hand also is called shuma. The Arabs regarded shimal (the left hand) and shu'm (bad omen) as synonyms, the left hand being a symbol of weakness and indignity. If a bird flew left on the commencement of a journey, they would take it as a bad omen; if they made a person sit on their left, it meant they regarded him as a weak man. Therefore, ashab al-mash'amah implies ill-omened people, or those who would suffer disgrace and ignominy, and would be made to stand on the left side in the Court of Allah.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: Lit., "those [or "the people"] of the left side". Similarly to the use of the expression maymanah as a metonym for "attaining to what is right", the term mash'amah is used to denote "losing oneself in evil" (e.g., in 90:19 ). The origin of both these metonyms is based on the belief of the pre-Islamic Arabs that future events could be predicted by observing the direction of the flight of birds at certain times: if they flew to the right, the event in question promised to be auspicious; if to the left, the contrary. This ancient belief was gradually absorbed by linguistic usage, so that "right" and "left" became more or less synonymous with "auspicious" and "inauspicious". In the idiom of the Qur'an, these two concepts have been deepened into "righteousness" and unrighteousness", respectively.

وَالسّٰبِقُوۡنَ السّٰبِقُوۡنَۚ  ۙ‏ 
( 10 )   And the forerunners, the forerunners -
Sabiqoon (the Foremost) implies the people who excelled others in virtue and love of the truth and in good works and responded to the call of Allah and His Messenger before others. They were also in the forefront in their response to the call for Jihad, for expending their wealth for the sake of the needy and for public services, or for inviting others to virtue and truth, in short, for spreading the good and wiping out evil and making sacrifices and exerting themselves whenever there was need for it. On this very basis, in the Hereafter too, they will be placed in the forefront.

Thus, mankind, so to say, will be ranged in Allah's Court like this: On the right hand, there will be the righteous, on the left the wicked, and in the forefront (nearest in Divine Presence) the Sabiqin (the Foremost in Faith and good deeds). According to a Hadith reported by ,Hadrat `A'ishah the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah's peace) asked the people: "Do you know who, on the Day of Resurrection, will he the first to be accommodated under the Divine Shade ?" The people said Allah and His Messenger only had the best knowledge. Thereupon the Holy Prophet replied: "Those who were such that when the Truth was presented before them, they accepted it forthwith; when a right was asked of them, they discharged it gracefully; and their decision in respect of others was the same as in respect of their own selves." (Musnad Ahmad).

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Foremost (in Faith)": there are two meanings, and both are implied (1) Those who have reached the highest degree in spiritual understanding, such as the great prophets and teachers of mankind, will also take precedence in the Hereafter. (2) Those who are the first in time-the quickest and readiest-to accept Allah's Message-will have the first place in the Kingdom of Heaven. Verses 8, 9 and 10 mention the three main categories or classifications after Judgment. In the subsequent verses their happiness or misery are described. This category, Foremost in Faith, is nearest to Allah.

اُولٰٓـئِكَ الۡمُقَرَّبُوۡنَ​ۚ‏ 
( 11 )   Those are the ones brought near [to Allah]

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Reference note to verse 3. Nearness to Allah is the test of the highest Bliss.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: From verses 13-16 the Rewards of the Foremost in Faith are mentioned.
Allah states that the foremost of the close believers are a multitude, a crowd among the earlier generations and a few from the latter generations. There is a difference over the meaning of the first generations and the later generations. Some said that the former means earlier (believing) nations, while the later refers to this Ummah. This was reported from Mujahid and Al-Hasan Al-Basri, in the collection of Ibn Abi Hatim, and this is the preference of Ibn Jarir. 

He considered it supported by the saying of Allah's Messenger : (We are the later nation, but the foremost on the Day of Resurrection.) Ibn Jarir did not mention any other interpretation nor did he attribute this view to anyone else. There is another Hadith that could support this meaning. 

Imam Abu Muhammad bin Abi Hatim recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that when these Ayat were revealed,

فِىۡ جَنّٰتِ النَّعِيۡمِ‏ 
( 12 )   In the Gardens of Pleasure,

ثُلَّةٌ مِّنَ الۡاَوَّلِيۡنَۙ‏ 
( 13 )   A [large] company of the former peoples

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: when the verse " ثُلَّةٌ مِّنَ الاٌّوَّلِينَ وَثُلَّةٌ مِّنَ الاٌّخِرِينَ  " were revealed. The Prophet then said, (I hope that you will comprise a quarter of the residents of Paradise, a third of the residents of Paradise. Rather, you are a half of the residents of Paradise, and will have a share in the other half.) Imam Ahmad also recorded this. However, this opinion that Ibn Jarir chose is questionable, rather it is a deficient interpretation. This is because this Ummah is the best of all nations, according to the text of the Qur'an. Therefore, it is not possible that the foremost believers from earlier nations are more numerous than those of in this Ummah; the opposite is true. The latter opinion is the correct one, that, (" ثُلَّةٌ مِّنَ الاٌّوَّلِينَ  " A multitude of those will be from the first ones), refers to the earlier generations of this Ummah,

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Of great Prophets and Teachers there were many before the time of the holy Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. As he was the last of the Prophets, he and the great Teachers under his Dispensation will be comparatively fewer in number, but their teaching is the sum and flower of all mankind's spiritual experience.

وَقَلِيۡلٌ مِّنَ الۡاٰخِرِيۡنَؕ‏ 
( 14 )   And a few of the later peoples,
The commentators have differed as to who are implied by the former And the latter people '`

One group of them has expressed the view that the "former people" were the communities that passed away since the time of the Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) till the time of the Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace and blessings), and the ¦people of the latter day" those who will have lived in the world since the advent of the Holy Prophet till the Day of Resurrection. Accordingly the verse would mean: "The number of the Sabqin (the Foremost in Faith and good deeds) among the people who passed away during the thousands of years before the advent of the Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace and blessings) would be greater, and the number of those who would attain to the rank of the Sabiqin among those people who have been born since the advent of the Holy Prophet, or will be born till the Day of Resurrection, will be less. "

The second group says that the former and the latter in this verse imply the former and the latter people of the Holy Prophet's own Ummah itself. That is, in his Ummah the people belonging to the earliest period were the former among whom the number of the Sabiqin will be greater, and the people of the later periods are the latter among whom the number of the Sabiqin will be smaller.

The third group holds the view that this- implies the former and the latter people of every Prophet's own Ummah. That is, there will be numerous Sabiqin among the earliest followers of every Prophet, but among his later followers their number will decrease. The words of the verse bear all the three meanings, and possibly all three ate implied, for there is no contradiction between them. Besides, they give another meaning also and that too is cornet: every early period of a Prophet's following the proportion of the Sabiqin in human population would be greater and in the later period less, for the number of the workers of good and right does not increase at the rate of increase of the human populations. They may be more numerous as against the Sabiqin of the earliest period. but on the whole their number as against the world population goes on becoming less and less.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: " وَقَلِيلٌ مِّنَ الاٌّخِرِينَ  " refers to the latter people of this Ummah. 

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that As-Sari bin Yahya said that Al-Hasan recited this Ayah, " وَالسَّـبِقُونَ السَّـبِقُونَ - أُوْلَـئِكَ الْمُقَرَّبُونَ فِى جَنَّـتِ النَّعِيمِ ثُلَّةٌ مِّنَ الاٌّوَّلِينَ  " (And those foremost will be foremost. These will be the nearest (to Allah). In the Gardens of Delight. A multitude of those will be from the first ones.), Then he commented, "A multitude from the earlier generation of this Ummah.'' 

Ibn Abi Hatim also recorded that Muhammad bin Sirin commented: "They stated, or hoped that they will all be from this Ummah.'' Therefore, these are the statements of Al-Hasan and Ibn Sirin that those foremost in faith are all from this Ummah. There is no doubt that the earlier generations of each nation were better than the latter generations. In this pretext, this Ayah might include all previous believing nations.

In this regard, it is confirmed in the authentic Hadith compilations, from more than one route, that the Messenger of Allah said; (The best people are my generation, then the next generation, then the next generation....) He also said: (A group of my Ummah will always remain on the truth and dominant, unharmed by those who fail to support them and those who defy them, until the Last Hour begins.) 

In another narration: (..until Allah's command comes while they are like this.) This Ummah is more honored than any other Ummah. The foremost believers of this Ummah are more numerous and hold a higher rank than those of other nations, due to the status of their religion and Prophet. In a Mutawatir Hadith, the Prophet mentioned that seventy thousand of this Ummah will enter Paradise without reckoning. In another narration of this Hadith, the Prophet added, (With each thousand, another seventy thousand.) 

In yet another narration, he said, (With every one of them is another seventy thousand.)

Muhammad Asad  Explanation: The above stress on the "many" and the "few" contains an allusion to the progressive diminution, in the historical sense, of the element of excellence in men's faith and ethical achievements. (See also explanation on verses {39-40}.)

عَلٰى سُرُرٍ مَّوۡضُوۡنَةٍۙ‏ 
( 15 )   On thrones woven [with ornament],

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: Ibn `Abbas said, "Woven with gold.'' Similar was reported from Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Zayd bin Aslam, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak and others. 

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Cf. xv. 47; xxxvii. 44, Iii. 20, and xxxviii. 13.

مُّتَّكِـئِيۡنَ عَلَيۡهَا مُتَقٰبِلِيۡنَ‏ 
( 16 )   Reclining on them, facing each other.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: indicating that they will face each other, and none of them will be in the back lines,

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: But they will not be separate each in his own corner. They will face each other. For they are all one, and their mutual society will be part of their Bliss.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: (as explained for the 47th verse of Surah 15, AL Hijr) I.e., all being equal in dignity, and therefore free from envy. As Razi points out, the plural noun surur (sing. sarir), which literally denotes "couches" or, occasionally, "thrones", signifies also "seats [or "thrones"] of eminence" or "of happiness (surur)", from which latter word the noun sarir and its plural surur may be derived. The sublime quality of these "thrones of happiness" is in some instances further symbolized by expressions like "gold-encrusted" ( 56:15 ) or "raised high" ( 88:13 ).

يَطُوۡفُ عَلَيۡهِمۡ وِلۡدَانٌ مُّخَلَّدُوۡنَۙ‏ 
( 17 )   There will circulate among them young boys made eternal
This implies boys who will ever remain boys and stay young. Hadrat 'AIi and Hadrat Hasan Basri say that these will be those children of the people, who died before reaching their maturity; therefore, they will neither have any good works to their credit for which they may be rewarded, nor any evil deeds for which they may be punished, But obviously, this could imply those people who would not deserve Paradise. For, as for the true believers, about them Allah has guaranteed in the Qur'an that their children will be joined with them in Paradise (At-Tur: 21). This is also supported by the Hadith, which Abu Da'ud Tayalisi, Tabarani and Bazzar have related on the authority of Hadrat Anas and Hadrat Samurah bin Jundub, according to which the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah's peace) said that the children of the polytheists will be attendants of the people of Paradise. 

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: who will never grow up, get old or change in shape,

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Cf. lii. 24, and note. The youth and freshness with which the attendants will serve is a symbol of true service such as we may expect in the next world. That freshness will be perpetual, and not subject to any moods, or chances, or changes.

بِاَكۡوَابٍ وَّاَبَارِيۡقَ ۙ وَكَاۡسٍ مِّنۡ مَّعِيۡنٍۙ‏ 
( 18 )   With vessels, pitchers and a cup [of wine] from a flowing spring -
Here the word kaas (cup) only has been used and there is no mention of the wine. But in Arabic the use of kass always implies wine. The cup which contains milk or water, instead of wine, or is empty, is not called kaas. The word kaas is used for a cup only when it contains wine.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: these cups do not have handles or spouts, while the jugs sometimes do and sometimes do not. All of them, including the glasses, will contain wine drawn from a flowing spring, not from containers that might get empty. Rather, this spring of wine flows freely,

Muhammad Asad Explanation: This is evidently a symbolic allusion to the imperishable quality - the eternal youthfulness, as it were - of all the experiences in the state described as "paradise". (See also next two notes.)

لَّا يُصَدَّعُوۡنَ عَنۡهَا وَلَا يُنۡزِفُوۡنَۙ‏ 
( 19 )   No headache will they have therefrom, nor will they be intoxicated -
The explanation of this verse can be found in the three surahs as under:
Surah As-Saaffat: That is, the wine of Paradise will be free from both the evils which are found in the wine of the world. The wine of the world, first of all, afflicts man with its stink; then it embitters his taste, upsets his stomach, affects his mind and causes illusion; then it affects the liver and spoils the health generally. Then, when the intoxication is gone, it leaves behind other ill-effects on the body. Its other evil is that man gets drunk with it, talks nonsense and brawls. This is how the wine affects man’s mind and reason. Man suffers both these evil effects of the wine only for the sake of delight and pleasure. Allah says that the wine of Paradise will certainly afford and give full pleasure and delight, but it will be free from the kinds of the evils that go with the worldly wine.

Surah Muhammad: In an Hadith reported directly from the Prophet (peace be upon him), it has been explained: This wine will not have been distilled from rotten fruit by beating and fermenting, like the wine in the world, but Allah will produce it also in the form of springs and cause it to flow into canals; then its quality will be such that it will be delightful for the drinkers. That is, it will not be bitter and foul-smelling like the wines of the world, which cannot be drunk even by the most habitual drinker without showing some distaste. In Surah As-Saffat, another quality of it has been described: Neither will the drinker be harmed physically thereby nor become drunk. (verse 47).

Surah At-Toor: That is, the wine of Paradise will not intoxicate that they should get drunk and talk nonsense, or use abusive language, or conduct and behave indecently as drunkards. 

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: meaning, they will never get headaches from this wine nor intoxicated. Rather, this wine does not affect their minds, even though it has a strong and tremendously delightful taste. Ad-Dahhak reported from Ibn `Abbas: "The wine (of this life) has four side-effects, it intoxicates, gives headaches, induces vomiting and causes excessive urine. So Allah mentioned the wine of Paradise free of these characteristics.'' 

Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, `Atiyah Al-`Awfi, Qatadah and As-Suddi said that Allah's statement, (Wherefrom neither Yusadda`un) means, "It does not give them a headache.'' 

While they said that (nor will they "  يُنۡزِفُوۡنَۙ " Yunzifun.) means that "It does not change their sense of reasoning.''

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: The Feast of Reason and the Flow of Soul are typified by all that is best in the feasts in this imperfect world, but there will be none of the disadvantages incident to such feasts in this world, such as satiety, aches, excess, a sense of exhaustion, or loss of senses, etc. Cf. xxxvii. 47, and note. A goblet is a bowl without handles; a beaker has a "lip" and a stem; "cup" is a general term.

وَفَاكِهَةٍ مِّمَّا يَتَخَيَّرُوۡنَۙ‏ 
( 20 )   And fruit of what they select

وَلَحۡمِ طَيۡرٍ مِّمَّا يَشۡتَهُوۡنَؕ‏ 
( 21 )   And the meat of fowl, from whatever they desire.
As explained in Surah At Toor: There is the mention of providing the dwellers of Paradise with every kind of meat generally. We do not know what exactly will be the nature of this flesh. But just as in some expressions of the Quran and in some Ahadith it has been said about the milk of Paradise that it will not have been drawn from the udders of animals, and about the honey of Paradise it has been said that it will not have been produced by the bees, and about the wine of Paradise it has been said that it will not have been distilled froth rotten fruit, but these things will flow out of the springs into the canals by the power of Allah, so it can be argued by analogy that this flesh too will not be obtained from slaughtered animals but this too will be a natural product. The God Who can produce milk and honey and wine directly from earthly substances can also produce tasty flesh of every kind from the same substances, which should even surpass the flesh of animals in taste and delight. 

(For further explanation, see( E.N. 25 of Surah As- Saaffat), (E.Ns 21 to 23 of Surah Muhammad).

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: Verses 20-21: (And with fruit that they may choose. And with the flesh of fowls that they desire.) meaning, whatever fruits they wish for will be distributed among them. This Ayah is a proof that we are allowed to choose the fruits that we prefer and wish to eat. 

Imam Ahmad recorded that Thabit said that Anas said that the Messenger of Allah liked dreams. A man might have a dream, so he would ask about him if he did not know him, and would like to hear the dream if that man was praised for his good qualities. Once a woman came to him and said, "O Allah's Messenger! I had a dream that I was taken out of Al-Madinah and entered Paradise. I heard noise because of which Paradise wept. I looked and found so-and-so, so-and-so,' and she mentioned the names of twelve men whom the Prophet had sent with a military expedition. They were later brought on (in Paradise, in the dream) with their wounds still bleeding. It was said, `Take them to the river Baydakh or -- Baydhakh.' They were taken to that river and submerged in it and their faces turned as radiant as the full moon. They were brought a plate made of gold containing green dates. They ate as much of the green dates they wanted to and whenever they turned that plate around, they would eat from the fruit it contained, as much as they wanted, and I (the woman said) ate with them.'' Later on, that army sent an emissary to convey the news (of the battle) and he said that so-and-so and so-and-so died, mentioning the names of the twelve men who were mentioned in the dream. So, Allah's Messenger called the woman and again asked her to mention her story, and she did. This is the narration that Abu Ya`la collected, and Al-Hafiz Ad-Diya' said, "This Hadith meets the criteria of Muslim.'' 

Allah said, (And with the flesh of fowls that they desire.) Imam Ahmad recorded that Anas said that the Messenger of Allah said, (Birds of Paradise are like Bukht camels that graze in the trees of Paradise.) Abu Bakr commented, "O Allah's Messenger! Surely, these birds must be wonderful.'' 

The Messenger said, (Those who eat them are more wonderful.) and repeated this statement thrice. 

The Prophet went on, (And I hope that you will be among those who eat from them.) Only Imam Ahmad collected this Hadith using this chain of narration. 

Muhammad Asad Explanation: Regarding this and any other Qur'anic description of the joys of paradise, see 32:17 and, in particular, the corresponding note to verse 38. The famous hadith quoted in that note must be kept in mind when reading any Qur'anic reference to the state or quality of human life in the hereafter.

وَحُوۡرٌ عِيۡنٌۙ‏ 
( 22 )   And [for them are] fair women with large, [beautiful] eyes,

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: The companionship of Beauty and Grace is one of the highest pleasures of life. In this bodily life it takes bodily form. In the higher life it takes a higher form.

The same has been explained for the 54th verse of Surah xliv. Dukhan: "So; and We shall Join them to Companions with beautiful big and lustrous eyes. "
The Maidens, like the scene, the dress, the outlook, and the fruit, will be beautiful. There will be life, but free from all earthly grossness. The women as well as the men of this life will attain to this indescribable bliss.
Hur implies the following ideas: (1) purity, (2) beauty, especially of eyes, where the intense white of the eye-balls stands out against the intense black of the pupil, thus giving the appearance of lustre, and intense feeling, as opposed to dullness or want of expression; and (3) truth and goodwill.
كَاَمۡثَالِ اللُّـؤۡلُـوٴِالۡمَكۡنُوۡنِ​ۚ‏ 
( 23 )   The likenesses of pearls well-protected,
The maidens / hoors have been mentioned in many parts of Quran. The explanation of these verses is mentioned herein under:

Surah Assafat: Probably, these will be the girls who died before attaining the age of discretion in the world, and whose parents did not deserve to enter Paradise. This can be said on the basis of analogy that just as the boys similarly placed will be appointed for the service of the dwellers of Paradise, and they will ever remain boys, so will the girls be made the houris and they will ever remain young and beautiful. The correct knowledge, however, is with Allah.

Surah Ar Rahman: The pavilions probably will be similar to those pitched for the nobles and rich people in the public parks. Most probably the wives of the dwellers of Paradise will live with them in their palaces, and in their parks there will be tents pitched here and there in which there will be the hoors to entertain them. Our this presumption is based on this that in the foregoing verses beautiful and chaste wives have been mentioned; now, here, mention of the hoors signifies that they will be a different kind of women from the wives. This presumption is further strengthened by the Hadith which Umm Salamah has reported. She says: I asked: O messenger of Allah, who are better, the women of the world or the hoors. The Prophet replied (peace be upon him), the women of the world are superior to the hoors in the same way as the outer layer of a garment is superior to its lining. I asked: On what grounds? He replied: On the ground that the women have offered their Prayers, observed their Fasts, and performed other devotions. (Tabarani). This shows that the wives of the dwellers of Paradise will be the women who affirmed the faith in the world and left the world while they practiced good and right. They will enter Paradise in consequence of their faith and good deeds, and will deserve the blessings of Paradise on merit. They would either become the wives of their previous husbands of their own free will and choice if they (the previous husbands) too happened to be dwellers of Paradise. Otherwise, Allah will wed them to some other dweller of Paradise, if the two would like to live together as husband and wife. As for the hoors, they will not be entitled to dwell in Paradise as a result of any righteous deed of their own, but Allah will create them as young, beautiful women and bestow them also as a blessing among the other blessings on the dwellers of Paradise so that they may enjoy their companionship. But they will not in any case be creatures of the kind of the jinn and fairies, for man cannot cohabit with a kind other than his own. Therefore, most probably these would be those innocent girls who died immature and Allah will recreate them as young and beautiful women.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Cf. lii. 24, where this description is applied to the youths who serve.  In lvi. 78 below the adjective maknun is applied to the Qur'an, "the well guarded Book".

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: indicating that they are just as white and pure fresh pearls. We mentioned Allah's statement, (As if they were eggs preserved.)(37:49), in Surat As-Saffat (chapter 37), and also their description in Surat Ar-Rahman (chapter 55). 

This is why Allah said afterwards,

جَزَآءًۢ بِمَا كَانُوۡا يَعۡمَلُوۡنَ‏ 
( 24 )   As reward for what they used to do.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: meaning, `these delights that We granted them are rewards for the good deeds that they performed (in this life).'

لَا يَسۡمَعُوۡنَ فِيۡهَا لَغۡوًا وَّلَا تَاۡثِيۡمًا ۙ‏ 
( 25 )   They will not hear therein ill speech or commission of sin -
This is one of the major blessings of Paradise, which has been mentioned at several places in the Qur'an, viz. that in Paradise human ears will remain secure against idle and frivolous talk, lying, backbiting slander, invective, boasting and bragging, taunts and mockery, satire and sarcasm. It will not be a society of foul-mouthed, indecent people who will throw mud at each other, but a society of noble and civilized people free of such frivolities. A person who has been blessed with some decency of manner and sense by Allah can very well feel what an agony it is in worldly life a hope of deliverance from which has been given to man in Paradise.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Cf. lii. 23. Apart from physical ills worldly feasts or delights are apt to suffer from vain or frivolous discourse, idle boasting, foolish flattery, or phrases pointed with secret venom or moral mischief. The negation of these from the enjoyment of the Garden.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: (Verse 25-26: No Laghw (evil vain talk) will they hear therein, nor any sinful speech. But only the saying of: "Salaman (peace,)! Salaman (peace.)!'') meaning they will not hear foul or unnecessary speech in Paradise.

(Where they shall neither hear harmful speech nor falsehood.) (88:11), meaning, no foul words are uttered therein. Allah said, (nor any sinful speech.) meaning, nor speech that contains foul words,

اِلَّا قِيۡلًا سَلٰمًا سَلٰمًا‏ 
( 26 )   Only a saying: "Peace, peace."
Some commentators and translators have taken the words, illa gilan salam-an salama, to mean that in Paradise one will hear only the greeting of 'Peace, peace' on every side; the correct view, however, is that it implies healthy and wholesome speech, i.e. such speech as may be free of the vices and blemishes, faults and evils, that have been mentioned in the preceding sentence. Here the word salam has been used nearly in the same sense as the English word sane.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: they will greet each other with Salam, just as Allah said in another Ayah, (Their greeting therin will be: "Salaman (peace!).'') (14:23) And, as we mentioned, their words will be free from impure and needless speech.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Qil is best translated "saying", rather than "word". For the saying is an act, a thought, a fact, which may be embodied in a word, but which goes far beyond the word. The "Peace of Allah" is an atmosphere which sums up Heaven even better than "Bliss".

وَاَصۡحٰبُ الۡيَمِيۡنِ ۙ مَاۤ اَصۡحٰبُ الۡيَمِيۡنِؕ‏ 
( 27 )   The companions of the right - what are the companions of the right?

Muhammad Asad Explanation: Lit., "those on the right hand". According to some commentators, it is those who had not always been "foremost in faith and good works", but have gradually, after erring and sinning, attained to righteousness (Razi). However, though they may not have been as perfect in life as the "foremost", their ultimate achievement brings them to the same state of spiritual fulfilment as those others.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: The Reward of Those on the Right After - Allah mentioned the final destination of those foremost in faith, the nearest to Him, He next mentioned the end of those on the right, the righteous believers. Maymun bin Mihran said that those on the right side are lesser in rank than the foremost in faith. 

Allah said, " وَأَصْحَـبُ الْيَمِينِ مَآ أَصْحَـبُ الْيَمِينِ " (And those on the right -- how (fortunate) will be those on the right) who are those on the right, what is their condition and what will their final destination be like Allah next answers this question by saying:

فِىۡ سِدۡرٍ مَّخۡضُوۡدٍۙ‏ 
( 28 )   [They will be] among lote trees with thorns removed
That is, lote-trees without thorns on them. This will be a superior kind of the lote-tree to be only found in Paradise, and its fruit likewise will be much superior to that found in the world. 

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: Ibn `Abbas, `Ikrimah, Mujahid, Ibn Al-Ahwas, Qasamah bin Zuhayr, As-Safr bin Nusayr, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, `Abdullah bin Kathir, As-Suddi, Abu Hazrah and several others said, "The kind without thorns.'' And from Ibn `Abbas: "It is the one that is laden with fruits.'' This is also reported from `Ikrimah and Mujahid. Similar was also said by Qatadah as we mentioned. So it is the one with a full load of fruits without thorns. So it appears that both meanings apply here. The lote tree, of this life is thorny and carries few fruits. In the Hereafter, it is the opposite; it does not have thorns and carries plenty of fruit, the weight of which strains its trunk. `Utbah bin `Abd As-Sulami said, "I was sitting with Allah's Messenger , when a Bedouin came and said, `O Messenger of Allah! Have you heard about the tree that has more thorns than any other being in Paradise' Meaning the Talh tree. So Allah's Messenger said: (For each spot that there was a thorn on it, Allah instead put fruit, similar to a castrated tight skinned ram, a food having seventy colors, each different than the other.) 

Muhammad Asad Explanation: As explained in Surah 53 An Najam:14, I.e., on the occasion of Prophet Muhammad's ﷺ mystic experience of the "Ascension" (mi'raj). Explaining the vision conveyed in the expression sidrat al-muntaha, Raghib suggests that owing to the abundance of its leafy shade, the sidr or sidrah (the Arabian lote-tree) appears in the Qur'an as well as in the Traditions relating to the Ascension as a symbol of the "shade - i.e., the spiritual peace and fulfilment - of paradise. One may assume that the qualifying term al-muntaha ("of the utmost [or "farthest"] limit") is indicative of the fact that God has set a definite limit to all knowledge accessible to created beings, as pointed out in the Nihayah: implying, in particular, that human knowledge, though potentially vast and penetrating, can never - not even in paradise (the "garden of promise" mentioned in the next verse) - attain to an understanding of the ultimate reality, which the Creator has reserved for Himself (cf. note [6] above).

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: As mentioned in verse 16 of Surah 34 Saba "But they turned away (from Allah) and We sent against them the flood (released) from the Dams and We converted their two Garden (rows) into "gardens" producing bitter fruit and tamarisks and some few (stunted) Lote trees."

The flourishing "Garden of Arabia" was converted into a waste. The luscious fruit trees became wild, or gave place to wild plants with bitter fruit. The feathery leaved tamarisk, which is only good for twigs and wattle-work, replaced the fragrant plants and flowers. Wild and stunted kinds of thorny bushes, like the wild Lote-tree, which were good for neither fruit nor shade, grew in place of the pomegranates, the date-palms and the grape-vines. The Lote-tree belongs to the family Rhamnaceae, Zizyphus Spina Christi, of which (it is supposed) Christ's crown of thorns was made, allied to the Zizyphus Jujuba, or ber tree of India. Wild, it is shrubby, thorny and useless. In cultivation it bears good fruit, and some shade, and can be thorn less, thus becoming a symbol of heavenly bliss.

وَّطَلۡحٍ مَّنۡضُوۡدٍۙ‏ 
( 29 )   And [banana] trees layered [with fruit]

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: refers to large thorny shrub that used to grow in the area of Hijaz (Western Arabia). Mujahid said that " مَّنْضُودٍ " (Mandud) means: "Its fruits are piled on top of each other. Allah is reminding the Quraysh of these kinds of trees, since they used to like the shade that the Talh and Sidr provided for them.'' 

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Abu Sa`id said that (Talh Mandud) means: "The banana tree.'' And he (Ibn Abi Hatim) said, "Similar is reported from Ibn `Abbas, Abu Hurayrah, Al-Hasan, `Ikrimah, Qasamah bin Zuhayr, Qatadah and Abu Hazrah. '' Mujahid and Ibn Zayd said similalry, Ibn Zayd added, "The people of Yemen call the banana tree, Talh.'' Ibn Jarir mentioned no other explanation for Talh. 

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Talh: some understand by this the plantain or banana tree, of which the fruit is borne in bunches, one tier above another; but the banana tree does not grow in Arabia and its ordinary Arabic name is Mauz; perhaps it is better to understand a special kind of Acacia tree, which flowers profusely, the flowers appearing in tiers one above another.

وَّظِلٍّ مَّمۡدُوۡدٍۙ‏ 
( 30 )   And shade extended

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Prophet said, (In Paradise, there is a tree that a rider can travel for a hundred years under its shade but would not be able to pass it. Recite if you will: (And in shade extended.)) Muslim also collected this Hadith. 

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said, (There is a tree in Paradise the shade of which a rider would take one hundred years to pass. Recite if you will: (And in shade extended.)) Muslim, Al-Bukhari and `Abdur-Razzaq collected this Hadith. 

Muhammad Asad Explanation: As explained for the 57th verse of Surah 4 An Nisa: The primary meaning of zill is "shade", and so the expression zill zalil could be rendered as "most shading shade" - i.e., "dense shade". However, in ancient Arabic usage, the word zill denotes also "a covering" or "a shelter" and, figuratively, "protection" (Raghib); and, finally, "a state of ease, pleasure and plenty" (cf. Lane V, 1915 f.), or simply "happiness" - and in the combination of zill zalil, "abundant happiness" (Razi) - which seems to agree best with the allegorical implications of the term "paradise".

وَّ مَآءٍ مَّسۡكُوۡبٍۙ‏ 
( 31 )   And water poured out

وَّفَاكِهَةٍ كَثِيۡرَةٍۙ‏ 
( 32 )   And fruit, abundant [and varied],

لَّا مَقۡطُوۡعَةٍ وَّلَا مَمۡنُوۡعَةٍۙ‏ 
( 33 )   Neither limited [to season] nor forbidden,
The word !a maqtu ah of the Text means: This fruit will neither be seasonal that its supply may fail when the season is over, nor its production will cease as it happens in a garden after its fruits has been picked. But in Paradise every kind of fruit will remain available in abundance in every season and will continue to be produced and supplied no matter how much of it is consumed. And la mamnu'ah means that there will be no prohibition or hindrance in obtaining fruit as it is in the gardens of the world, nor will it be out of reach because of thorns or height.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: (Verses 32-33: And fruit in plenty, whose supply is not cut off nor are they out of reach.) indicating that they will have plenty of fruits of various kinds, that which no eye has ever seen, no ear has ever heard of and no heart has ever imagined, as Allah said:
(Every time they will be provided with a fruit therefrom, they will say: "This is what we were provided with before, "and they will be given things in resemblance.)(2:25) 

The shape will appear similar, but the taste is different. In the Two Sahihs, Sidrat Al-Muntaha (the tree in the seventh heaven) is described as:
(...its leaves were like the ears of elephants and its Nabir fruits resembled the clay jugs of Hajar.) The Two Sahihs also collected a Hadith from Ibn `Abbas, who said, "The sun was eclipsed and Allah's Messenger led the people in the Eclipse prayer. They asked, `O Allah's Messenger, we saw you reach out for something while standing (in prayer), but then you stepped back.' 
He said, (I saw Paradise and reached out for a cluster of fruit from it. Had I done so, you would have kept eating from it for the remainder of the life of the world.)'' Imam Ahmad recorded that `Utbah bin `Abd As-Sulami said, "A Bedouin man came to the Messenger of Allah and asked him about the Hawd and Paradise. The Bedouin asked, `Does Paradise have fruits' 

The Prophet said, (Yes, and it also has a tree called Tuba.) ﴿(He ) said something more saying but I could not recall it﴾. The Bedouin asked, `Does it look like any of the trees that grow in our area' 

The Prophet said, (There is nothing resembling it among the trees in your land.) The Prophet then asked him, (Have you traveled to Ash-Sham area) The Bedouin said: `No.' 

The Prophet said, (It looks like a tree that grows in Ash-Sham area and is called Al-Jawzah, which stands on one stem but its branches grow all around to the fullest extent.) The bedouin asked, `How big is the cluster of its fruits' 

The Prophet said, (The distance that the crow flies in one month without rest.) The bedouin asked, `How huge its trunk is' The Prophet said, (If a four-year old she-camel that your family owns travels it, it will not completely pass its trunk until its shoulders break from old age.) The man asked, `Does it bear grapes' The Prophet answered in yes. 

The Bedouin asked, `How big are the grapes' The Prophet said, (Has your father ever slaughtered a ram) The Bedouin answered, `Yes,' and the Prophet asked him, (And then he skinned it and gave the skin to your mother and asked her to make a hanging bucket out of it) The bedouin again said yes and said, `This grape would suffice for me and my family!' The Prophet agreed and said, (Yes, and also for the rest of your clan.)''

Allah's statement, " لاَّ مَقْطُوعَةٍ وَلاَ مَمْنُوعَةٍ  " (Whose supply is not cut off nor are they out of reach.) The supply of these fruits never runs out, winter or summer. Rather, they are always available for those who want to eat from them, forever. Whenever these fruits are desired, they will be available and easy to grasp by Allah's power. Qatadah said, "Nothing will prevent them from reaching out to get these fruits, no branches, thorns or distance.'' We mentioned a Hadith before that states that whenever someone takes a fruit in Paradise, another one grows in its place. 

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: As it is not like earthly fruit, its season is not limited, nor is there any prohibition by law or custom or circumstance as to when or how it is to be consumed.

وَّ فُرُشٍ مَّرۡفُوۡعَةٍؕ‏ 
( 34 )   And [upon] beds raised high.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: meaning, high, soft and comfortable

Muhammad Asad Explanation: Or: "[they will rest on] couches raised high". The rendering adopted by me is regarded as fully justified by some of the most outstanding commentators (e.g., Baghawi, Zamakhshari, Razi, Baydawi, etc.), and this for two reasons: firstly, because in the classical Arabic idiom, the term firash (lit., "bed" or "couch") is often used tropically to denote "wife" or "husband" (Raghib; also Qamus, Taj al-'Arus, etc.); and, secondly, because of the statement in the next verse that God "shall have brought them (hunna) into being in a life renewed". (In the context of this interpretation, Zamakhshari quotes also 36:56 , which thus refers to the inmates of paradise: "...in happiness will they and their spouses on couches recline". There is no doubt that the "spouses raised high" - i.e., to the status of the blest - are identical with the hur mentioned in verse {22} above as well as in 44:54 , 52:20 and 55:72 .

اِنَّاۤ اَنۡشَاۡنٰهُنَّ اِنۡشَآءًۙ‏ 
( 35 )   Indeed, We have produced the women of Paradise in a [new] creation

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: (verses 35-38: Verily, We have created them a special creation. And made them virgins.`Urub, Atrab. For those on the right.) The Ayat describe the women who will be on the beds and couches, but since mentioning the beds hints to them, they were not directly mentioned. 

For instance, Allah said that Sulayman said, (When there were displayed before him, in the afternoon, well-trained horses of the highest breed. He said, "I did love the good instead of remembering my Lord,'' till the time was over, and it had hidden in the veil (of night).) (38:31-32), "it'' (Tawarat) refers to the sun setting, according to the scholars of Tafsir. 

Al-Akhfash said that Ayah, (إِنَّآ أَنشَأْنَـهُنَّ Verily, We have created them), implied the maidens of Paradise although it did not mention them directly. Abu `Ubaydah said that they were mentioned before in Allah's statement, (وَحُورٌ عِينٌ - كَأَمْثَـلِ اللُّؤْلُؤِ الْمَكْنُونِ  And Hur (fair females) with wide lovely eyes. Like preserved pearls.) 

Therefore, Allah's statement, (إِنَّآ أَنشَأْنَـهُنَّ - verse 22 above - Verily, We have created them), meaning, in the other life, after they became old in this life, they were brought back while virgin, youthful, being delightfully passionate with their husbands, beautiful, kind and cheerful. 

Abu Dawud At-Tayalisi recorded that Anas said that the Messenger of Allah said, (In Paradise, the believer will be given such and such strength for women.) Anas said, "I asked, `O Allah's Messenger! Will one be able to do that' He said, (He will be given the strength of a hundred (men).)'' At-Tirmidhi also recorded it and said, "Sahih Gharib.'' 

Abu Al-Qasim At-Tabarani recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah was asked, "O Allah's Messenger! Will we have sexual intercourse with our wives in Paradise'' He said, (The man will be able to have sexual intercourse with a hundred virgins in one day.) Al-Hafiz Abu `Abdullah Al-Maqdisi said, "In my view, this Hadith meets the criteria of the Sahih, and Allah knows best.'' 

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: The pronoun in Arabic is in the feminine gender. It is made clear that these maidens for heavenly society will be of special creation,-of virginal purity, grace, and beauty, inspiring and inspired by love, with the question of time and age eliminated,

فَجَعَلۡنٰهُنَّ اَبۡكَارًاۙ‏ 
( 36 )   And made them virgins,
This signifies the virtuous women of the world, who will enter Paradise on the basis of their faith and good works. Allah will make them young no matter how aged they might have died in the world; will make them beautiful whether or not they were beautiful in the world; and will make them virgins whether they died virgins in the world or after bearing children. If their husbands also entered Paradise with them, they would be joined with them, otherwise Allah will wed them to another dweller in Paradise. This very explanation of this verse has been reported from the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) in several Ahadith. According to Shama il Tirmidhi, an old woman requested the Holy Prophet to pray for her admission to Paradise. The Holy Prophet replied: "No old woman will enter Paradise." Hearing this the woman went back crying. Thereupon the Holy Prophet said to the people: "Tell her that she will not enter Paradise as an old woman, for Allah says: `We shall create them anew and make them virgins'." Ibn Abi Hatim has related, on the authority of Hadrat Salamah bin Yazid, that he heard the Holy Prophet ( upon whom be peace) explain this verse, thus: "This implies the women of the world; whether they died virgins or married." Tabarani contains a lengthy tradition related from Hadrat Umm Salamah according to which she asked the Holy Prophet the meaning of the several references in the Qur'an to the women of Paradise. In answer, he explained this very verse and said: "These are the women who died as aged and decayed women, with sticky eyes and gray hair; alter this old age Allah will again make them young and virgins." Hadrat Umm Salamah asked: "If a woman had several husbands in the world, one after the other, to whom will she belong in Paradise ?'' The Holy Prophet replied "She will he asked to make her own choice, and she will choose the one who had the best moral character. She will say: O my Lord, make me his wife, for he was the best in his conduct and dealings with me. O Umm Salamah, good moral conduct has carried off all the good of this world and the Hereafter."

(For further explanation, see below verse 72 of Surah Ar-Rahman).
55:72 There shall be maidens sheltered in the tents
The tents probably will be similar to those pitched for the nobles and rich people in the public parks. Most probably the wives of the dwellers of Paradise will live with them in their palaces and in their parks there will be tents pitched here and there in which there will be the houris to entertain them. Our this presumption is based on this that in the foregoing verses beautiful and chase wives have been mentioned; now, here, mention of the houris signifies that they will be a different kind of women from the wives. This presumption is further strengthened by the Hadith which Hadrat Umm Salamah has reported. She says: 'I asked: O messenger of Allah, who are better: the women of the world or the houris! The Holy Prophet replied: The women of the world are superior to the houris in the same way as the outer layer of a garment is superior to its lining. I asked: On what grounds ? he replied: On the ground that the women have offered their Prayers, observed their Fasts, and performed other devotions." (Tabarani). This shows that the wives of the dwellers of Paradise will be the women who affirmed the faith in the world and left the world while they practiced good and right. They will enter Paradise in consequence of their faith and good deeds, and will deserve the blessings of Paradise on merit. They would either become the wives of their previous husbands of their own free will and choice. if they too happened to be dwellers of Paradise, or Allah will wed them to some other dweller of Paradise, if the two would like to live together as husband and wife. As for the houris they will not be entitled to dwell in Paradise as a result of any righteous deed of their own, but Allah will create them as young, beautiful women and bestow them also as a blessing among the other blessings on the dwellers of Paradise so that they may enjoy their companionship. But they will not in any case be creatures of the kind of the jinn and fairies, for man cannot cohabit with a kind other than his own. Therefore, most probably these would be those innocent girls who died immature, and whose parents did not deserve Paradise so that they could be admitted to Paradise with them as the children of their righteous torrents. 

Muhammad Asad Explanation: Lit., "and We shall have made them virgins". According to a number of authentic Traditions (quoted in full by Tabari and Ibn Kathir), the Prophet stated on several occasions that all righteous women, however old and decayed they may have been on earth, will be resurrected as virginal maidens and will, like their male counterparts, remain eternally young in paradise. 

عُرُبًا اَتۡرَابًاۙ‏ 
( 37 )   Devoted [to their husbands] and of equal age,
The word 'عُرُبًا uruban is used for the best feminine qualities of the woman in Arabic. This signifies a woman who is graceful and elegant, well-mannered and eloquent, and brimful of feminine feelings, who loves her husband with all her heart, and whose husband also loves her with all his heart. 

اَتۡرَابًاۙ‏ " This can have two meanings:

(1) That they will be of equal age with their husbands; and

(2) that they will be of equal age among themselves; i.e. all the women in Paradise will be of the same age and will eternally stay young.

Both these meanings may be correct at one and the same time, i.e. these women may be of equal age among themselves and their husbands also may be made of equal age with them. .According to a ,Hadith, "When the dwellers of Paradise enter it, their bodies will be without hair, their mustaches will be just appearing, but will yet he beardless, they will be handsome and fair-complexioned, with sturdy bodies and collyrium- stained eyes; they will all be 33 years of age." (Musnad Ahmad: Marwiyat Abi Hurairah). Almost the same theme has been related in Tirmidhi by Hadrat Mu'adh bin Jabal and Hadrat Abu Sa`id Khudri also.  

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: (عُرُباً `Urub,) Sa`id bin Jubayr reported that Ibn `Abbas said, "They are in an infatuated state with their husbands, haven't you ever seen a she-camel in heat She is like that.'' Ad-Dahhak reported from Ibn `Abbas who said, "The Urub and their husbands are their sweet hearts, and they are their husbands' sweet hearts.'' Similar was said by `Abdullah bin Sarjis, Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Abu Al-`Aliyah, Yahya bin Abi Kathir, `Atiyah, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak and others. Ad-Dahhak reported from Ibn `Abbas;

(أَتْرَاباً For those on the right.) meaning, these women were created, kept or given in marriage to those on the right. It appears that the meaning here is that they were created for those on the right side, because Allah said, (إِنَّآ أَنشَأْنَـهُنَّ إِنشَآءً - فَجَعَلْنَـهُنَّ أَبْكَـراً - عُرُباً أَتْرَاباً - لاًّصْحَـبِ الْيَمِينِ  Verily, We have created them a special creation. And made them virgins. `Urub, Atrab. For those on the right.) This is the view of Ibn Jarir. 

لِّاَصۡحٰبِ الۡيَمِيۡنِؕ‏ 
( 38 )   For the companions of the right [who are]

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: It is possible that Allah's statement, (لاًّصْحَـبِ الْيَمِينِ For those on the right.) refers to the description that came just before, (عُرُباً أَتْرَاباً - لاًّصْحَـبِ الْيَمِينِ Atrab. For those on the right.) meaning, in their age. 

Al-Bukhari and Muslim recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said, (The first group to enter Paradise will be (shining) like the moon when it is full. The next group will be like the most radiant planet in the sky. They will not urinate, relieve nature, spit or blow their noses. Their combs will be of gold and their sweat of musk; and censers of aloes wood will be used. Their wives will be from Al-Hur Al-`Ayn. Their shape will be similar to each other, the shape of their father `Adam, sixty cubits high in the sky.) 

Muhammad Asad Explanation: I.e., equal in dignity with all other inmates of paradise. As regards the term atrab (sing. tirb), rendered above - as well as in 38:52 and 78:33 - as "well-matched", there is no doubt that it primarily denotes "[persons] of equal age" (a meaning adopted by most of the commentators); however, as pointed out by all philological authorities, this term is also used in the sense of "[persons] equal in quality", that is, "well-matched": a significance which, to my mind, is eminently appropriate here inasmuch as it is meant to stress the equal excellence of all who have attained to righteousness, whether they be men or women; or, alternatively, the equal attraction towards one another and, thus, a mutual fulfilment of their spiritual and emotional needs; or both of the above meanings.

Ruku Two (39-74):

ثُلَّةٌ مِّنَ الۡاَوَّلِيۡنَۙ‏ 
( 39 )   A company of the former peoples

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: This class-the righteous-will be a large company in Heaven, belonging to all the ages of the world. Cf. n. note to lvi. 13 above. Such is the unbounded Bounty of Allah.

وَثُلَّةٌ مِّنَ الۡاٰخِرِيۡنَؕ‏ 
( 40 )   And a company of the later peoples.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: ( ثُلَّةٌ مِّنَ الاٌّوَّلِينَ وَثُلَّةٌ مِّنَ الاٌّخِرِينَ - A multitude of those will be from the first generation. And a multitude of those will be from the later generations.) means, a multitude of those on the right will come from the earlier generations and a multitude from the latter generations. 

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said, "We were with the Prophet one night and in the next morning we went to him and he said, (Some Prophets and their nations were displayed before me. A Prophet would pass in front of me with a group of men, and another with three men, and another with nobody with him.) Qatadah, one of the narrators of the Hadith, then recited this Ayah, (Is there not among you a single right-minded man)(11:78)

(Until Musa, son of `Imran passed me, with a great crowd from the Children of Israel.) So he said; (Until Musa, son of `Imran passed me, with a great crowd from the Children of Israel.) So he said; (So, I asked my Lord, "Who is this'' He said, "This is your brother Musa, son of `Imran, and those who followed him among the Children of Israel.'' I said, "O Lord! Where is my Ummah'' Allah said, "Look to your right on the hill,'' and I looked and saw faces of men. Allah said, "Are you pleased,'' and I said, "I am pleased O Lord!'' Allah said, "Look to the horizon to your left,'' and I saw faces of men. He again asked, "Are you pleased,'' and I said, "I am pleased, O Lord!'' He said, "And with them are seventy-thousand who will enter Paradise without reckoning.'') `Ukkashah bin Mihsan from Bani Asad, one of those who participated in the battle of Badr, said, `O Allah's Messenger! Invoke Allah to make me one of them.' 

The Prophet said, (O Allah, make him one of them.) Another man said, `O Allah's Messenger, invoke Allah to make me one of them.' The Prophet said, (`Ukkashah beat you to it.) 

Allah's Messenger said, (Therefore, may I sacrifice my father and mother for you! Try to be among the seventy (thousands), or among the crowds on the right, or the crowds that covered the side of the horizon, because I saw large crowds gathering on that side.) 

He continued: (I hope that you will be a fourth of the people of Paradise.) and we said, `Allahu Akbar. ' He said, (I hope that you will be a third of the people of Paradise.) and we said, `Allahu Akbar.' The Prophet said, (I hope that you will be half of the people of Paradise,) and we said `Allahu Akbar.' 

Then Allah's Messenger recited this Ayah: ( ثُلَّةٌ مِّنَ الاٌّوَّلِينَ وَثُلَّةٌ مِّنَ الاٌّخِرِينَ A multitude of those will be from the first generation. And a multitude of those will be from the later generations.) We said to each other, `Who are those seventy thousand' We then said, `They are those who were born in Islam and did not associate (anything or anyone in the worship of Allah).' 

When what we said reached the Prophet , he said, (They are the people who do not get treated by cauterization themselves, do not ask for Ruqyah (get oneself treated by the recitation of some verses of the Qur`an) and do not draw an evil omen from (birds), but put their trust (only) in their Lord.)'' This Hadith has many chains of narration collected in the Sahihs and other collections of Hadith.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: In contrast with "the foremost", who have always been "drawn close unto God" - and of whom there are less and less as time goes on (see note to verse 14 above) - there will always be many of those who attain to righteousness after initial stumbling and sinning.

وَاَصۡحٰبُ الشِّمَالِ ۙ مَاۤ اَصۡحٰبُ الشِّمَالِؕ‏ 
( 41 )   And the companions of the left - what are the companions of the left?

Muhammad Asad Explanation: I.e., until their death. Literally, the phrase reads, "those on the left hand" (see note to verse 9 above).

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: Verses 41-57 are about Those on the Left and Their Recompense

After Allah mentioned the condition of those on the right hand, He then mentioned the condition of those on the left hand, `What is the condition of those on the left,' then explains His statement, by saying:

فِىۡ سَمُوۡمٍ وَّحَمِيۡمٍۙ‏ 
( 42 )   [They will be] in scorching fire and scalding water

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir:  (in Samum,) means, a fierce hot wind, (and Hamim.) i.e., boiling water,

Muhammad Asad Explanation: As explained for the part of verse 70 of Surah 6 Al An'am: "it shall not be accepted from him. It is [people such as] these that shall be held in pledge for the wrong they have done; for them there is [in the life to come] a draught of burning despair,"
That is Among the various meanings attributable to the word hamim are the concepts of intense heat as well as of painful cold (Qamus, Taj al-'Arus). In the eschatology of the Qur'an it invariably refers to the suffering of the sinners in the life to come, and since all Qur'anic references to life after death are, necessarily, allegorical, the term hamim may be rendered as "burning despair".

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Notice the parallelism in the contrast between those in Bliss and those in Misery. The description in each case pursues the idea of contrast. The fierce Blast of Fire and the Boiling Water are in contrast to the happy Lote-tree and the flowers and fruits in verses 28-29 above. 

وَّظِلٍّ مِّنۡ يَّحۡمُوۡمٍۙ‏ 
( 43 )   And a shade of black smoke,

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: (And a shadow from Yahmum,) the shadow of smoke, according to Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Abu Salih, Qatadah, As-Suddi and others. 

In a similar statement, Allah said, ("Depart you to that which you used to deny! Depart you to a shadow in three columns, neither shady nor of any use against the fierce flame of the Fire. '' Verily, it throws sparks like fortresses, as if they were yellow camels or bundles of ropes. Woe that Day to the deniers.)(77:29-34). 

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Even the Shades get a different quality in the Abode of Misery: shades of black smoke in contrast to the cool and refreshing long extended shades of trees by brooks in verses 30-31 above. 

لَّا بَارِدٍ وَّلَا كَرِيۡمٍ
( 44 )   Neither cool nor beneficial.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: (Neither Barid nor Karim,) means, it neither brings soft, cool breeze nor appears clear. 

Al-Hasan and Qatadah commented on Allah's statement, (nor Karim) "Its sight is not pleasant.'' Ad-Dahhak said, "Every drink that is not fresh, is not Karim (pleasant). Then, Allah the Exalted stated that they deserve this end:

  ۖاِنَّهُمۡ كَانُوۡا قَبۡلَ ذٰ لِكَ مُتۡرَفِيۡنَۚ
( 45 )   Indeed they were, before that, indulging in affluence,

Muhammad Asad Explanation: I.e., to the exclusion of all moral considerations. For the meaning of the term mutraf, see explanation of surah {11} Hud. verse [116] as appended below:
 " .... - [people] who would speak out against the [spread of] corruption on earth - except the few of them whom We saved [because of their righteousness], whereas those who were bent on evildoing only pursued pleasures which corrupted their whole being,"
Explanation: The verb tarifa means "he enjoyed a life of ease and plenty", while the participle mutraf denotes "one who enjoys a life of ease and plenty" or "indulges in the pleasures of life", i.e., to the exclusion of moral considerations. The form mutarraf has an additional significance, namely, "one whom a life of softness and ease has caused to behave insolently", or "one whom the [exclusive] pursuit of the pleasures of life has corrupted" (Mughni). Hence my above rendering of the phrase ma utrifu fihi.
Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Cf. xxxiv. 34, and xliii. 23. We must read verses 45-46 together. They had wealth and the good things of life, but they used them in self-indulgence and shameless crime, and now they are in humiliation. A) Wickedness supreme: i.e. their associating others with Allah in His divinity.

وَكَانُوۡا يُصِرُّوۡنَ عَلَى الۡحِنۡثِ الۡعَظِيۡمِ​ۚ‏ 
( 46 )   And they used to persist in the great violation,
That is, "Their prosperity had an adverse effect on them. Instead of being grateful to Allah Almighty, they had become deniers of His blessings. Lost in pleasure-seeking they had forgotten God and persisted in heinous sinning. "Heinous sinning" includes disbelief, polytheism and atheism as well as every grave sin of morality and conduct."

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: ( وَكَانُواْ يُصِرُّونَ And were persisting), means, they persisted and did not intend to repent, (عَلَى الْحِنثِ الْعَظِيمِ in great sin.) in disbelief in Allah and claiming that the idols and rivals were gods besides Allah. It means idolatry, according to Ibn `Abbas. This is also the meaning reported from Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah, As-Suddi and others. 

وَكَانُوۡا يَقُوۡلُوۡنَ ۙ اَـئِذَا مِتۡنَا وَكُنَّا تُرَابًا وَّعِظَامًا ءَاِنَّا لَمَبۡعُوۡثُوۡنَۙ‏ 
( 47 )   And they used to say, "When we die and become dust and bones, are we indeed to be resurrected?

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Their want of belief and ridicule of Allah's Message contrasts with the stern reality which they see around them now.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: Verse 47-48:" وَكَانُواْ يِقُولُونَ أَءِذَا مِتْنَا وَكُنَّا تُرَاباً وَعِظَـماً أَءِنَّا لَمَبْعُوثُونَ أَوَ ءَابَآؤُنَا الاٌّوَّلُونَ  " They said this while denying and rejecting the idea that resurrection will ever occur. 

اَوَاٰبَآؤُنَا الۡاَوَّلُوۡنَ‏ 
( 48 )   And our forefathers [as well]?"

قُلۡ اِنَّ الۡاَوَّلِيۡنَ وَالۡاٰخِرِيۡنَۙ‏ 
( 49 )   Say, [O Muhammad], "Indeed, the former and the later peoples

لَمَجۡمُوۡعُوۡنَ ۙ اِلٰى مِيۡقَاتِ يَوۡمٍ مَّعۡلُوۡمٍ‏ 
( 50 )   Are to be gathered together for the appointment of a known Day."

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: Verses 49-50 meaning, `Say, O Muhammad, that the earlier and latter generations of the Children of Adam will be gathered for the Day of Resurrection and none of them will be left out. 

Allah the Exalted said: (That is a Day whereon mankind will be gathered together, and that is a Day when all 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) 

He also said here, ( لَمَجْمُوعُونَ إِلَى مِيقَـتِ يَوْمٍ مَّعْلُومٍ All will surely be gathered together for appointed meeting of a known Day.) because that time is precisely designated and will not come late, early, nor increase or decrease.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: In xxvi, 38 (given below) the phrase "a day well-known" is used for a solemn day of festival, when the multitude of people gather together. The Day of Judgment is such a day in the supreme sense of the word.
Note to verse 38 surah xxvi: A day well-known: a solemn day of festival: see xx. 59. The object was to get together as large a concourse of people as possible. It was confidently expected that the Egyptian sorcerers with all their organisation would win with their tricks against these amateur Israelites, and so the State cult of the worship of Pharaoh would be fastened on the necks of the people more firmly than ever.
ثُمَّ اِنَّكُمۡ اَيُّهَا الضَّآلُّوۡنَ الۡمُكَذِّبُوۡنَۙ‏ 
( 51 )   Then indeed you, O those astray [who are] deniers,

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: Verses 51-52: (Then verily, --- you the erring-ones, the deniers! You verily, will eat of the trees of Zaqqum. Then you will fill your bellies therewith.) indicating that they will be seized and made to eat from the Zaqqum tree until their stomachs become full, 

لَاٰكِلُوۡنَ مِنۡ شَجَرٍ مِّنۡ زَقُّوۡمٍۙ
( 52 )   Will be eating from trees of Zaqqum
Zaqqum is a tree of the cactus species found in Tihamah. It is bitter in taste, obnoxious in smell and sheds a milk like juice when cut or broken.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: As explained for a similar verse 62 of Surah 37 As Saffat:
According to the lexicographers, the noun zaqqum (which occurs, apart from the present instance, in 44:43 and in 56:52 as well) denotes any "deadly food"; hence, the expression shajarat az-zaqqukm, a symbol of hell, may be appropriately rendered as "the tree of deadly fruit" (undoubtedly identical with "the tree cursed in this Qur'an", mentioned in 17:60 ), symbolizing the fact that the otherworldly sufferings which the Qur'an describes as "hell" are but the fruit - i.e., organic consequence - of one's evil deeds done on earth.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: This is the Cursed Tree mentioned in xvii, 60, explanation given below:

The tree Zaqqum, a bitter and pungent tree described as growing at the bottom of Hell, a type of all that is disagreeable. See xxxvii. 62-65; xliv. 43-46; and lvi. 52. All these are Surahs chronologically earlier than this Surah. The application of the name to a tree of the myrobalan kind in the region of Jericho is, I think, of post-Quranic date. It is a trial for wrong-doers.  

Cf. also xxxvii. 62. 

فَمٰلِـُٔوۡنَ مِنۡهَا الۡبُطُوۡنَ​ۚ‏ 
( 53 )   And filling with it your bellies

فَشٰرِبُوۡنَ عَلَيۡهِ مِنَ الۡحَمِيۡمِ​ۚ‏ 
( 54 )   And drinking on top of it from scalding water

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: (Verses 54-55: And drink the Hamim on top of it. And you will drink (that) like Al-Him!) Hamim is boiling water, while Al-Him means thirsty camels, according to Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr and `Ikrimah. As-Suddi said "Al-Him is a disease that strikes camels, causing them to feel thirst, and they drink until they die.'' Therefore, he said, the people of Hell, will never quench their thirst from drinking Hamim.

فَشٰرِبُوۡنَ شُرۡبَ الۡهِيۡمِؕ‏ 
( 55 )   And will drink as the drinking of thirsty camels.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: A terrible picture of Misery in contrast to the Companionship of the Good, the True, and the Beautiful, on raised couches, for the Companions of the Right Hand, in verses 34-38 above.

هٰذَا نُزُلُهُمۡ يَوۡمَ الدِّيۡنِؕ‏ 
( 56 )   That is their accommodation on the Day of Recompense.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: `this, what We have described, is their entertainment with their Lord on the Day of their Reckoning.' Allah the Exalted said in the case of the believers,

(Verily, those who believe and do righteous good deeds, shall have the Gardens of Al-Firdaws (Paradise) for their entertainment.)(18:107), i.e., hospitality and honor.

In verses 57-74 arguments have been given, one after the other, to prove the truth of the two basic doctrines of Islam, which the disbelievers were refusing to accept, viz. the doctrines of Tauhid and the Hereafter. In these arguments, apart from every thing else that exists in the earth and heavens, man's attention has been drawn to his own body and to the food that he eats and to the water that he drinks and to the fire on which he cooks his food, and he has been invited to ponder the question : What right do you have to behave independently of, or serve any other than, the God Whose creative power has brought you into being, and Whose provisions sustain you And how can you entertain the idea that after having once brought you into existence He has become so helpless and powerless that He cannot recreate you once again even if he wills to?

نَحۡنُ خَلَقۡنٰكُمۡ فَلَوۡلَا تُصَدِّقُوۡنَ‏ 
( 57 )   We have created you, so why do you not believe?
The arguments from here to verse 74 provide the reasoning to prove both the doctrines of `Tauhid and of Hereafter rationally. For it was there two basic doctrines of the Holy Prophet's teaching that the people of Makkah were debating and objecting to at that time. 

That is, "Why don't you confine that We alone are your Lord and God and We have the power to create you once again?" 

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: Proof that Resurrection will occur - Allah asserts that Resurrection will occur and refutes the misguided atheists who deny it, those who said:

(When we die and become dust and bones, shall we then indeed be resurrected) ﴿56:47﴾ They said this statement in denial and discounting Resurrection. 

Allah the Exalted said, (نَحْنُ خَلَقْنَـكُمْ We created you,) meaning, `We have created you after you were nothing. Therefore, is not that Who is able to start the creation, more able to bring it back' Allah's statement, (فَلَوْلاَ تُصَدِّقُونَ then why do you believe not) `why do you not then believe in Resurrection' Then Allah said, while bringing forth evidence that Resurrection occurs,

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Man is apt to forget his Creator, and even the fact that he, man, is a created being. The seed of his body, out of which his physical life starts, is not created by man, but by Allah in the process of the unfoldment of the world. Why will not man recognise and bear witness of this fact by a life of obedience to Allah's Law?

اَفَرَءَيۡتُمۡ مَّا تُمۡنُوۡنَؕ‏ 
( 58 )   Have you seen that which you emit?

Muhammad Asad Explanation: This refers to both the male semen and the female ovum, and thus, by implication, to the awe-inspiring, complex phenomenon of procreation as such.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: (Verse 58-59 Do you not see the semen you emit. Is it you who create it, or are We the Creator) meaning, `do you make the semen remain in the wombs and create life from it therein, stage after stage Or is Allah the One Who does all this' Allah said,

ءَاَنۡتُمۡ تَخۡلُقُوۡنَهٗۤ اَمۡ نَحۡنُ الۡخٰلِقُوۡنَ‏ 
( 59 )   Is it you who creates it, or are We the Creator?
In this brief sentence a very important question has been put before man. Apart from all other things in the world, if man only considers as to how he himself has come into being, he can then neither have any doubts left about the doctrine of Tauhid presented by the Qur'an nor about its doctrine of the Hereafter. The process of man's own creation starts when the male has conveyed his sperm to the womb of the female. But the question is: Has the sperm by itself become endowed with the capability of producing a child, and necessarily a human child ? Or, has it been created by man himself, or, by another than God? And, is it in the power of the man, or of the woman, or of another agency in the world, to cause conception by this sperm? Then, who is responsible for the gradual formation and development of the fetus in the mother's womb, its shaping and molding into a unique child, the provision in a particular proportion of different mental and physical powers and qualities in each child, so that it develops into a unique person, except One God? Has another than God any role to play in this? Is it done by the parents themselves? Or, by a doctor? Or, by the prophets of saints, who were themselves created in this very way? Or, by the sun and the moon and the stars, which arc themselves subject to a law? Or, by nature, which is devoid of any knowledge, wisdom, will and authority? Then, is it also in the power of another than God to decide whether the child is to be a boy or a girl? Whether it is to be beautiful or ugly, strong or weak, blind and deaf and a cripple or sound bodied, intelligent or stupid? Then, is it another than God who decides as to people of what caliber, good or and are to be created in a particular nation at a particular time, who would cause its rise or fall? If a person is not obdurate and stubborn, he will himself realize that no rational answer can be given to these questions on the basis of polytheism and atheism. Their rational answer is only one and it is this Man is wholly and entirely the creation of God; and when the truth is this, what right has this man, the creation of God, to claim freedom and independence as against his Creator, or serve another beside Him?

As it is for Tauhid, so it is with regard to the Hereafter too. Man is created from a germ which cannot be seen without a powerful microscope. This gene combines in the darkness of the mother's body with the ovum (female germ) which is like itself an insignificant microscopic germ. Then by their combination a tiny living cell comes into being, which is the starting-point of human life. This cell also is too small to be seen without a microscope. Allah develops this insignificant cell in the mother's womb for nine months or so into a living human, and when its development and formation becomes complete, the mother's body itself pushes it out to raise a storm in the world. All human beings have been born into the world in this very way and are witnessing day and night this phenomenon of the birth of human beings like themselves. After this, only a foolish person could assert that the God Who is creating human beings in this way today would not be able to create the human beings created by Himself in some other way tomorrow.  

نَحۡنُ قَدَّرۡنَا بَيۡنَكُمُ الۡمَوۡتَ وَمَا نَحۡنُ بِمَسۡبُوۡقِيۡنَۙ‏ 
( 60 )   We have decreed death among you, and We are not to be outdone
That is, "Like yow birth yow death too, is under Our control. We decide as to who is to die in the mother's womb itself, who is to die soon after birth, and who is to die at a later stage. No power in the world can cause death to a person before the time appointed for his death by Us, nor can keep him alive after it even for a moment. The dying ones die in big hospitals even before the eyes of eminent doctors; and the doctors themselves also die at their appointed time. Never bas anyone been able to know the time of death in advance, nor has anyone been able to avert the approaching death, nor to find out as to how and where and by what means will a certain person die."

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: (We have decreed death to you all,) meaning, `We made death exist between you.' Ad-Dahhak commented, "Allah made the residents of the heavens and earth equal with regards to death.'' Allah said, (وَمَا نَحْنُ بِمَسْبُوقِينَ and We are not outstripped,) meaning, `We are never unable,'

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Just as Allah has created this life that we see, so He has decreed that Death should be the common lot of all of us. Surely, if He can thus give life and death, as we see it, why should we refuse to believe that He can give us other forms when this life is over? The Future Life, though indicated by what we know now, is to be on a wholly different plane.

عَلٰٓى اَنۡ نُّبَدِّلَ اَمۡثَالَـكُمۡ وَنُـنۡشِئَكُمۡ فِىۡ مَا لَا تَعۡلَمُوۡنَ‏  
( 61 )   In that We will change your likenesses and produce you in that [form] which you do not know.
That is, "Just as We were not powerless to create you in your present form and appearance, so also We are not powerless to change the method of your creation and bring you into being in another form and shape with another set of qualities and characteristics. Today the method We have adopted for your creation is that conception takes place by your sperm then you arc gradually form and developed in your mother's womb, and then you are brought out as a child. This method of creation also has been devised by Us. But this is not the only method apart from which We may not he knowing, or may not be able to adopt, any other method. On the Day of Resurrection We can create you in the form of the man of the same age at which you died. Today We have set one particular measure for your sight and hearing and other faculties. But this is not the only measure that We have for man, which We may not have the power to change. On the Day of Resurrection We shall change it absolutely; so much so that you will be able to see and hear things which you cannot see and cannot hear here. Today your skin and your limbs and your eyes do not possess the power of speech. But, it is We Who have given the tongue the power of speech; so We are not powerless to cause your every limb and every part of the skin of yow body to speak by Our command on the Day of Resurrection. Today you live up to a certain age and then die. Your this living and dying also is controlled by a law ordained by Us. Tomorrow We can make another law to control yow life under which you may never die. Today you can endure punishment only to a certain extent: you cannot survive if the punishment is increased beyond it. This rule also has been made by Us. Tomorrow We can make another rule for you Under which you will be able to suffer much severer punishments endlessly, and death would not come to you even if you were given the severest torment. Today you cannot imagine that an old man could return to youth, that he could never become ill, that a young man could never be old, and, that he could stay young for ever and ever. But youth here changes into old age according to the biological laws made by Us. Tomorrow We can make some other laws for your life under which every old man may become young as soon as he entered Paradise and stay young and healthy eternally.  

Muhammad Asad Explanation: Lit., "changing your likenesses (amthal)". However, the term mathal signifies also, tropically, the state, condition and the qualities (sifat) of a thing or person - in brief, "the nature of his [or its] existence".

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: ( عَلَى أَن نُّبَدِّلَ أَمْثَـلَكُمْ To transfigure you), meaning, `to change your current shapes, on the Day of Resurrection,' (وَنُنشِئَكُمْ فِى مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ and create you in that you know not.) meaning, `out of shapes and forms.' Allah the Exalted said:

وَلَـقَدۡ عَلِمۡتُمُ النَّشۡاَةَ الۡاُوۡلٰى فَلَوۡلَا تَذَكَّرُوۡنَ‏ 
( 62 )   And you have already known the first creation, so will you not remember?
That is, "You already know how you were created in the first instance, how the sperm was transferred from the loins of the father by which you came into being, how you were nourished in the mother's womb, which was no less dark than the grave, and formed into a living human being, how an insignificant speak was developed and endowed with the heart and brain, eyes and ears, and hands and feet, and how it was blessed with the wonderful faculties of intellect and sense, knowledge and wisdom, workmanship and inventiveness, etc. Is this miracle in any way less wonderful than raising the dead back to life ? And when you are witnessing this wonderful miracle with your own eyes and are yourselves a living evidence of it in the world, why don't you then learn the lesson that the same God Who by His power is causing this miracle to take place day and night, can also cause the miracle of life after death, Resurrection and Hell and Heaven to take place by the same power?"

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: (And indeed, you have already known the first form of creation, why then do you not remember) meaning, `you know that Allah has created you after you were nothing. He created you and gave you hearing, sight and hearts. Will you not then remember and take heed that He Who is able to create you in the beginning is more able to bring you back and resurrect you to life anew' 

Allah the Exalted said in other Ayat:
(And He it is Who originates the creation, then He will repeat it; and this is easier for Him.)(30:27),
(Does not man remember that We created him before, while he was nothing)(19:67),
(Does not man see that We have created him from Nutfah. Yet behold he (stands forth) as an open opponent. And he puts forth for Us a parable, and forgets his own creation. He says: " Who will give life to these bones after they are rotten and have become dust'' Say: "He will give life to them Who created them for the first time! And He is the All-Knower of every creation.'')(36:77-79), and,
(Does man think that he will be left neglected Was he not a Nutfah of semen emitted Then he became an `Alaqah (a clot); then shaped and fashioned in due proportion. And made of him two sexes, male and female. Is not He able to give life to the dead)(75:36-40)
اَفَرَءَيۡتُمۡ مَّا تَحۡرُثُوۡنَؕ‏ 
( 63 )   And have you seen that [seed] which you sow?

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: Allah's Oneness demonstrated by causing the Plants to grow, sending down the Rain -Allah the Exalted said, (Do you not see what you sow.) in reference to tilling the earth and planting seeds inside it,

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Having appealed to our own nature within us, He appeals now to the external nature around us, which should be evidence to us (1) of His loving care for us, and (2) of its being due to causes other than those which we produce and control. Three examples are given : (1) the seed which we sow in the soil; it is Allah's processes in nature, which make it grow; (2) the water which we drink; it is Allah's processes in nature, that send it down from the clouds as rain, and distribute it through springs and rivers: (3) the fire which we strike; it is again a proof of Allah's Plan and Wisdom in nature.

ءَاَنۡتُمۡ تَزۡرَعُوۡنَهٗۤ اَمۡ نَحۡنُ الزّٰرِعُوۡنَ
( 64 )   Is it you who makes it grow, or are We the grower?
The above question drew the people's attention to the truth that they have been developed and nourished by Allah Almighty and have come into being by His act of creation. Now this second question draws their attention to this important truth that the provisions which sustain them, are also created only by Allah for them, as if to say: "Just as in your own creation human effort has nothing more to do than that your father may cast the sperm in your mother, so in the supply of the provisions for you also human effort has nothing more to do than that the farmer should sow the seed in the soil. The land in which cultivation is done, was not made by you. The power of growth to the soil was not granted by you. The substances in it that become the means of your food are not provided by you. The seed that you sow is not made capable for growth by you. The capability in every seed that from it should sprout up the tree of the same species of whose seed it is, has not been created by you. The process for changing this cultivation into blooming crops that is working under the soil and of arranging the required kind of weather and air and water above it does not owe anything in any way to your planning and skill. All this is the manifestation of Allah's power and providence. Then, when you have come into being only by His act of creation and are being sustained by His provision, how can you then have the right to pose yourself as independent of Him, or save another than Him as your deity?

Although apparently this verse reasons out Tauhid, yet if one considers its theme a little more deeply, one finds in it the argument for the Hereafter, too. The seed that is sown in the soil is by itself dead, but when the farmer buries it under the soil, Allah infuses it with plant life, which puts out sprouts and blooms into spring. Thus, these countless bodies are rising from the dead in front of our eyes daily. Is this miracle in any way less wonderful so that a person may regard the other wonderful miracle of the life hereafter, which is being foretold by the Qur'an, as impossible?

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: ( أَءَنتُمْ تَزْرَعُونَهُ Is it you that make it grow,) `do you cause these seeds to grow inside the earth,' ( أَمْ نَحْنُ الزَرِعُونَ or are We the Grower) Allah says, `rather it is We Who cause the seeds to remain firmly and grow inside the earth.' 

Ibn Jarir recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said, (Do not say, "Zara`tu (I made it grew),'' but say, "Harathtu (I sowed tilled).'') Abu Hurayrah added, "Have you not heard Allah's statement, ( أَفَرَءَيْتُم مَّا تَحْرُثُونَ - أَءَنتُمْ تَزْرَعُونَهُ أَمْ نَحْنُ الزَرِعُونَ  Do you not see what you sow. Is it you that make it grow, or are We the Grower)''

لَوۡ نَشَآءُ لَجَـعَلۡنٰهُ حُطَامًا فَظَلۡتُمۡ تَفَكَّهُوۡنَ‏ 
( 65 )   If We willed, We could make it [dry] debris, and you would remain in wonder,

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: ( لَوْ نَشَآءُ لَجَعَلْنَاهُ حُطَـماً Were it Our will, We could crumble it to dry pieces,) meaning, `We caused the seeds to grow with Our compassion and mercy and left them intact inside the earth as mercy for you. If We will, We would turn them dry before they ripen and get ready to be harvested,' ( فَظَلْتُمْ تَفَكَّهُونَ and you would be Tafakkahun.) 

Allah explained this statement by saying, ((Saying:) "We are indeed Mughramun! Nay, but we are deprived!'') Allah says, `if We crumble the plants into dry pieces, you would be wondering regarding what happened, sometimes saying: we are indeed Mughramun, i.e., ruined.' Mujahid and `Ikrimah said that Mughramun means, being the subject of revenge. Qatadah commented, "You would say, `We were punished,' sometimes, and, `We were deprived,' some other times.'' `Ikrimah said that `You will be Tafakkahun' means `You will blame each other (and yourselves),' or, feel sorrow, according to Al-Hasan, Qatadah and As-Suddi. They will be feeling grief for what they spent or for the sins that they have committed in the past (which cost the destruction of their plants). Al-Kisa'i said, "Tafakkaha is both the synonym and the antonym.'' The Arabs say Tafakkahtu when they mean that they have enjoyed something or felt grief. 

اِنَّا لَمُغۡرَمُوۡنَۙ‏ 
( 66 )   [Saying], "Indeed, we are [now] in debt;

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: The cultivator contracts debts for seed and gives labour for ploughing, sowing, watering, and weeding, in the hope of reaping a harvest. Should he not give thanks to Allah when his harvest is in?

بَلۡ نَحۡنُ مَحۡرُوۡمُوۡنَ‏ 
( 67 )   Rather, we have been deprived."

اَفَرَءَيۡتُمُ الۡمَآءَ الَّذِىۡ تَشۡرَبُوۡنَؕ‏ 
( 68 )   And have you seen the water that you drink?

ءَاَنۡـتُمۡ اَنۡزَلۡـتُمُوۡهُ مِنَ الۡمُزۡنِ اَمۡ نَحۡنُ الۡمُنۡزِلُوۡنَ‏ 
( 69 )   Is it you who brought it down from the clouds, or is it We who bring it down?
That is, "We have not only made arrangements of satisfying your hunger, but also of satisfying your thirst, This water that is even more essential for your life than bread has been arranged by Us, not by you The seas in the earth have been created by Us. It is the heat of Our sun that causes their water to evaporate, and it is Our winds that cause the vapors to rise. Then it is by Our power and wisdom that the vapors collect and form into clouds. Then, by Our command the clouds divide in a particular proportion and spread over different regions of the earth so that the share of the water appointed for a particular region, should reach it. And in the upper atmosphere also We bring about the cool that causes the vapors to change back into water We have not only brought you into being but are also busy making all these arrangements for your sustenance without which you could not survive at all. Then, when the fact is that you have come into being by Our act of creation, arc eating Our provisions and drinking Our water, where from have you got the right that you should pose to be independent of Us and serve another beside Us?"

لَوۡ نَشَآءُ جَعَلۡنٰهُ اُجَاجًا فَلَوۡلَا تَشۡكُرُوۡنَ‏ 
( 70 )   If We willed, We could make it bitter, so why are you not grateful?
In this sentence an important manifestation of Allah's power and wisdom has been pointed out. Among the wonderful properties that Allah has created in water one property also is that no matter what different substances are dissolved in water, when it changes into vapor under the effect of heat, it leaves behind all adulterations and evaporates only with its original and actual component elements. Had it not possessed this property the dissolved substances also would have evaporated along with the water vapors. In this case the vapors that arise from the oceans would have contained the sea salt, which would have made the soil saline and uncultivable wherever it rained. Then, neither could man have survived by drinking that water, nor could it help grow any vegetation. Now, can a man possessed of any common sense claim that this wise property in water has come about by itself under some blind and deaf law of nature? This characteristic by virtue of which sweet, pure water is distilled from saltish seas and falls as rain, and then serves as a source of water-supply and irrigation in the form of rivers, canals, springs and wells, provides a clear proof of the fact that the Providence has endowed water with this property thoughtfully and deliberately for the purpose that it may become a means of sustenance for His creatures. The creatures that could be sustained by salt water were created by Him in the sea and there they flourish and multiply. But the creatures that He created on the land and in the air, stood in need of sweet water for their sustenance and before making arrangement of the rainfall for its supply He created this property in water that at evaporation it should rise clear and free of everything dissolved in it.  

In other words, "Why do you commit this ingratitude in that some of you regard the rainfall as a favor of the gods, and some others think that the rising of the clouds from the sea and their raining as water is a natural cycle that is working by itself, and still others, while acknowledging it as a mercy and blessing of God, do not admit that God has any such right on them that they should bow to Him alone? How is it that while you derive so much benefit from this great blessing of Allah, in return you commit sins of disbelief and polytheism and disobedience of Him?" 

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: The wonder of the two streams of water, one sweet and the other salt, constantly mingling, and yet always separate, is referred to more than once. The never-ending circuit is established by streams and rivers mingling with the ocean, the ocean sending forth mists and steam through a process of evaporation which forms clouds, and the clouds by condensation pouring forth rain to feed the streams and rivers again.

See explanation of verse 53 of Surah xxv Al Furqan: "It is He Who has let free the two bodies of flowing water: one palatable and sweet and the other salt and bitter; yet has He made a barrier between them a partition that is forbidden to be passed."
Maraja: literally, let free or let loose cattle for grazing. Bahrain: two seas, or two bodies of flowing water; for bahr is applied both to the salt sea and to rivers. In the world taken as a whole, there are two bodies of water, viz.,: (1) the great salt Ocean, and (2) the bodies of sweet water fed by rain, whether they are rivers, lakes or underground springs: their source in rain makes them one, and their drainage, whether above-ground or underground, eventually to the Ocean, also makes them one. They are free to mingle, and in a sense they do mingle, for there is a regular water-cycle: see n. 3106 above: and the rivers flow constantly to the sea, and tidal rivers get sea-water for several miles up their estuaries at high tide. Yet in spite of all this, the laws of gravitation are like a barrier or partition set by Allah, by which the two bodies of water as a whole are always kept apart and distinct. In the case of rivers carrying large quantities of water to the sea, like the Mississippi or the Yangtse-Kiang, the river-water with its silt remains distinct from sea-water for a long distance out at sea. But the wonderful Sign is that the two bodies of water, though they pass through each other, remain distinct bodies, with their distinct functions.
In Allah's overall scheme of things, bodies of salt and sweet water, which are adjoining and yet separate, have significant functions. Weaving a harmonious fabric out of these different fibres shows both Allah's power and wisdom. Incidentally, this verse points to a fact which has only recently been discovered by science. This fact relates to the oceans of the world: they meet and yet each remains separate for Allah has placed "a barrier, a partition" between them. 
Also see explanation of verse 19 of Surah lv. Ar Rahman: As given below: 
As given in explanation of xxv. 53 (quoted above), it is explained how the two bodies of water, salt and sweet, meet together, yet keep separate, as if there was a barrier or partition between them. This is also one of the favours of Allah. Sea-water is a sanitating agent, while fresh water is sweet and palatable to drink.
اَفَرَءَيۡتُمُ النَّارَ الَّتِىۡ تُوۡرُوۡنَؕ‏ 
( 71 )   And have you seen the fire that you ignite?

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: (Do you not see the fire which you kindle. ) `and the fire you start with the use of trees,'

ءَاَنۡتُمۡ اَنۡشَاۡتُمۡ شَجَرَتَهَاۤ اَمۡ نَحۡنُ الۡمُنۡشِـُٔـوۡنَ‏ 
( 72 )   Is it you who produced its tree, or are We the producer?
The tree here either implies the tree that supplies wood for lighting a fire, or the trees of markh and 'afar, green sticks of which were struck one against the other to produce sparks in ancient Arabia.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: (Is it you who made the tree thereof to grow, or are We the Grower) meaning, `rather We have made kindling fire possible.' The Arabs had two kinds of trees called Al-Markh and Al-`Afar (that they used to ignite a fire). When they would rub a green branch from each of these two trees against each other, sparkles of fire would emit from them.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: Lit., "its tree": a metonym pointing to the plant-origin, direct or indirect, of almost all the known fuels, including mineral fuels like coal, which is but petrified wood, or petroleum, which is a liquefied residue of plant-nourished organisms buried in the earth for millions of years.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: The relation of Fire to Trees is intimate. In nearly all the fire that we burn, the fuel is derived from the wood of trees. Even mineral coal is nothing but the wood of prehistoric forests petrified under the earth through geological ages. Fire produced out of green trees is referred to in xxxvi. 80; and n. 4026 there gives instances.

نَحۡنُ جَعَلۡنٰهَا تَذۡكِرَةً وَّمَتَاعًا لِّلۡمُقۡوِيۡنَ​ۚ‏ 
( 73 )   We have made it a reminder and provision for the travelers,
Making the fire "a means of remembrance" means; "The fire by virtue of its quality of being kindled at, all times reminds man of his forgotten lesson that without it human life could not be any different from animal life. Because of the fire only did man learn to cook food for eating instead of eating it raw like the animals, and then new and ever new avenues to industry and invention went on opening up before him. Obviously, if God had not created the means of kindling the fire and the substances that could be kindled, man's inventive potentialities would have remained dormant. But the man has forgotten that his Creator is a wise Sustainer, Who created him with human capabilities on the one hand, and on the other, created such materials on the earth by which his these capabilities could become active and operative. If he is not lost in Heedlessness, the fire alone is enough to remind him of the favors and bounties of his Creator, which he is so freely enjoying in the world."

The word " لِّلۡمُقۡوِيۡنَ​ۚ‏ " muqwin in the original has been interpreted differently by the lexicographers. Some have taken it in the meaning of the travelers who have halted in the desert, some in the meaning of a hungry man, and some take it in the meaning of all those who derive benefit from the fire, whether it is the benefit of cooking food or of light or of heat. 

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: ( نَحْنُ جَعَلْنَـهَا تَذْكِرَةً We have made it a Reminder,) of the Hellfire, according to Mujahid and Qatadah. 

Qatadah said, "We were told that the Messenger of Allah said, (O people, this fire of yours that you kindle, is but one part out of seventy parts of the fire of Hell.) They said, "O Allah's Messenger! This fire alone is sufficiently hot.'' 

The Messenger said, (It was submerged in the water twice so that the Children of `Adam would be able to benefit from it and draw closer to it.) 

This narration from Qatadah which is Mursal, was recorded by Imam Ahmad in his Musnad from Abu Hurayrah, from the Prophet ; (Verily, this fire of yours is one part out of seventy parts of the fire of Hell. It was struck twice against the sea, otherwise, Allah would not have made benefit in it for anyone.) 

Imam Malik also recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that Allah's Messenger said, (The fire that the Children of `Adam kindle is one part out of seventy parts of the fire of Hell.) They said, "O Allah's Messenger! This fire alone is sufficiently hot.'' 

He said, ((The fire of Hell) was made sixty-nine times hotter.) Al-Bukhari collected this Hadith from Malik and Muslim from Abu Az-Zinad.

Allah's statement, ( وَمَتَـعاً لِّلْمُقْوِينَ and an article of use for the Muqwin.) Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak and An-Nadr bin `Arabi said, "The meaning of Al-Muqwin is travelers.'' This is also what Ibn Jarir chose, and he said, "From it comes the saying Aqwat Ad-Dar (the house has become empty), when its people traveled.'' `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said that here Al-Muqwi means the hungry. 

Layth bin Abi Sulaym reported that Mujahid said about the Ayah, ( وَمَتَـعاً لِّلْمُقْوِينَ and an article of use for the Muqwin.) "For those who are present at their homes and travelers, for every kind of food that requires cooking by fire.'' Ibn Abi Najih also reported that Mujahid said, "`For the Muqwin, means, all people who enjoy (eating food cooked by fire).'' Similar was mentioned from `Ikrimah, and this explanation is more general than the previous, since those who are in their own locale and traveling, whether rich or poor, all need fire for cooking, heating and lighting purposes. It is out of Allah's kindness that He has made the quality of kindling fire in some elements, such as stones, that people can use and take in the baggage for their journeys. When a traveler needs fire at his campsite for cooking and heating, he takes out these substances and uses them to kindle fire. He feels comfort next to the fire and he can use it for various needs that he has. Allah mentions this favor specifically in the case of travelers, even though everyone benefits from the fire. 

Muhammad Asad Explanation: Inasmuch as "fire" (in the widest sense of this word) is the source of all light known to man, it is apt to remind him that "God is the light of the heavens and the earth" (see 24:35 and the corresponding notes).

The participial noun muqw is derived from the verb qawiya, "it became deserted" or "desolate". From the same root is derived the noun qawa' (or qiwa'), which signifies "desert", "wilderness" or "wasteland" as well as "hunger" or "starvation". Hence, muqw denotes "one who is hungry" as well as "one who is lost [or "who wanders"] in a deserted place". In the above verse this expression is evidently used tropically, for it is difficult to imagine that, as some commentators assume, it relates merely to "wayfarers in the desert". My composite rendering of al-muqwin as "all who are lost and hungry in the wilderness", on the other hand, is literal and tropical at the same time, inasmuch as it describes people who are lonely, unfortunate and confused, and who hunger after human warmth and spiritual light.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: That is, the ordinary fire in this world is a reminder of the Great Fire of the next world to all those who heed and reflect.

A fire in a desert is a sign of human habitation; by following it you may get human society and human comfort. A fire, or light, or beacon in many places directs a traveler or the way. Lighthouses at sea and beacons in modem aerodromes serve the same purpose for mariners and airmen. Another parable about fire will be found in ii. 17-18, and n. 38.

فَسَبِّحۡ بِاسۡمِ رَبِّكَ الۡعَظِيۡمِ‏ 
( 74 )   So exalt the name of your Lord, the Most Great.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: (Then glorify with praises the Name of your Lord, the Most Great.) meaning, the One by Whose ability these things opposites were created. He created the fresh tasty water, and had He willed, He would have created it salty like seawater. He also created the fire that burns, and made a benefit in it for the servants, suitable for their livelihood in this life and as a warning and a punishment for them in the Hereafter.

You may now like to listen to Part I of the explanation of the sürah by eminent Muslim scholar Nouman Ali Khan:
For remaining three parts go to YouTube at: Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4. Part 5 is referred to in Part II of exegesis of the Surah.

Here we come to the end of Part I (First two ruku) of the tafsir/exegesis of Surah Al Waqi'a - The (Inevitable) Event. The third ruku (verses 75-96)  which is about Testimony of Allah about the Qur'an will be covered in Part II.

Please refer to our Reference Page "114 Chapters (Sūrahs) of the Holy Qur'an" for translation, explanation and exegesis of all other chapters of the Qur'an. You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Quran.
Reading the Holy Quran should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully. An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Holy Qur'an from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that:
  • The plain translation and explanation has been taken from the Holy Quran officially published by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. [1]
  • The exegesis of the chapters of the Holy Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi.  [2]
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided by [2], additional input has been interjected from following sources (links to Reference Pages given below):  
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Al-Quran, Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Qur'an Wiki
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
  • Tafsir Nouman Ali Khan
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
In addition the references of  other sources which have been explored have also been given below. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites:

Photo | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 67 | 8 | 9

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