Sunday 2 September 2018

Surah Al-Mutaffifin - The Defrauders (Summary of 83rd Chapter of Holy Quran)

Each chapter of Holy Qur'an has been revealed with specific purpose and clear message for those who transgress, cheat, defraud or are unjust in their dealing with a view to profit themselves at the cost of others. 

Thus Sūrat al-Muṭaffifīn is also one of these chapters of Qur'an which has a specific message for those in business who weight less and cheat their customers. Sūrat al-Muṭaffifīn has 36 verses and is divided into three parts. There is a dispute whether this chapter was revealed in Makkah or Medina, but Ibn Abbas, who is the narrator of many instances when the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had conveyed a divine message to the people in his company, has been quoted as saying:
"When the Prophet Muhammad came to the city of Medina, he found people not keeping the weights and measures honestly. The Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) recited the opening verses of this surah: "Woe to the Muṭaffifīn (those who give less in measure and weight)". Listening to these divine commandments, most of the people became fair in weights and measures.
The theme of this Surah too is the Hereafter. In the first six verses the people have been taken to task for the prevalent evil practice in their commercial dealings. When they had to receive their due from others, they demanded that it be given in full, but when they had to measure or weigh for others, they would give less than what was due. Taking this one evil as an example out of countless evils prevalent in society, it has been said that it is an inevitable result of the heedlessness of the Hereafter. Unless the people realized that one day they would have to appear before God and account for each single act they performed in the world, it was not possible that they would adopt piety and righteousness in their daily affairs. Even if a person might practice honesty in some of his less important dealings in view of "honesty is the best policy," he would never practice honesty on occasions when dishonesty would seem to be "the best policy". Man can develop true and enduring honesty only when he fears God and sincerely believes in the Hereafter, for then he would regard honesty not merely as "a policy" but as "a duty" and obligation, and his being constant in it, or otherwise, would not be dependent on its being useful or useless in the world.

Thus, after making explicit the relation between morality and the doctrine of the Hereafter in an effective and impressive way, in vv. 7-17, it has been said: The deeds of the wicked are already being recorded in the black list of the culprits, and in the Hereafter they will meet with utter ruin. Then in vv. 18-28, the best end of the virtuous has been described and it has been laid that their deeds are being recorded in the list of the exalted people, on which are appointed the angels nearest to Allah.

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ 
"In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful"
(1) Woe to those who give less [than due], (2) Who, when they take a measure from people, take in full. (3) But if they give by measure or by weight to them, they cause loss. (4) Do they not think that they will be resurrected (5) For a tremendous Day - (6) The Day when mankind will stand before the Lord of the worlds?
The message in the opening verses to cheaters and defrauders is clear in the fourth verse: "Do they not think that they will be resurrected (5) For a tremendous Day." This one verse alone sums up the message that life in this world is very short and temporary and a day is about to come when every man will be resurrected and will be asked for the wrongdoings committed for mere wordily gains and pleasures.On that day wealth accumulated due to cheating and hoodwinking others will be of no use and would save him from the hellfire. 

The above seven verses stand applicable even today for those cheating their customers by weighing less, even if they are believers, for there is no disparity between believers and nonbelievers when it comes to fraud and cheating others.

Verses 7-17 then talk of the punishment for those who deceived others by not maintaing weights and measures straight:
(7) Day! Surely the record of the wicked is (preserved) in Sijjin.(8) And what will explain to thee what Sijjin is? (9) (There is) a Register (fully) inscribed. (10) Woe, that Day, to those that deny (11) Those that deny the Day of Judgment. (12) And none can deny it but the Transgressor beyond bounds the Sinner! (13) When Our Signs are rehearsed to him, he says, "Tales of the ancients!" (14) By no means! but on their hearts is the stain of the (ill) which they do! (15) Verily, from (the Light of) their Lord, that Day, will they be veiled.(16) Further, they will enter the Fire of Hell. (17) Further, it will be said to them: "This is the (reality) which ye rejected as false!
It has been said in clear and plain words for those who mocked the prophets and the divine messages sent earlier and then: The deeds of the wicked are already being recorded in the black list of the culprits, and in the Hereafter they will meet with utter ruin. [1]

However, those who chose the path shown by the prophets based on the divine commandments and directions have been assured of rewards for being virtuous and fearing Allah and having faith on the End Day and the Day of Resurrection. Please read verses 18-28:
(18) Day, verily the record of the Righteous is (preserved) in 'Illiyin. (19) And what will explain to thee what 'Illiyun is? (20) (There is) a Register (fully) inscribed, (21) To which bear witness those Nearest (to Allah) (22) Truly the Righteous will be in Bliss: (23) On Thrones (of Dignity) will they command a sight (of all things): (24) Thou wilt recognize in their faces the beaming brightness of Bliss. (25) Their thirst will be slaked with Pure Wine sealed: (26) The seal thereof will be Musk: And for this let those aspire, who have aspirations: (27) With it will be (given) a mixture of Tasnim: (28) A spring, from (the waters) whereof drink those Nearest to Allah.
Verses 29-36 is a summary and reminder to the nonbelievers who mocked the believers when they spoke of their faith and of a day of rewards for those who feared Allah and remained steadfast despite mocking by the nonbelievers and those who had went astray:
(29) Those in sin used to laugh at those who believed, (30) And whenever they passed by them, used to wink at each other (in mockery); (31) And when they returned to their own people, they would return jesting; (32) And whenever they saw them, they would say, "Behold! These are the people truly astray!" (33) But they had not been sent as keepers over them! (34) But on this Day the Believers will laugh at the Unbelievers: (35) On Thrones (of Dignity) they will command (a sight) (of all things). (36) Will not the Unbelievers have been paid back for what they did?
Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, a revered Muslim scholar of Pakistan sums up the last verses: [1]
In conclusion, the believers have been consoled, and the disbelievers warned, as if to say: "The people who are disgracing and humiliating the believers today, are culprits who, on the Resurrection Day, will meet with a most evil end in consequence of their conduct, and these very believers will feel comforted when they see their fate."
You may now like to listen to Arabic recitation of Sūrat al-Inshiqāq with English subtitles:

You may refer to our post "114 Chapters (Sūrahs) of the Holy Qur'an" for translation, meaning and summary of other chapters (Though not complete but building up from 30th Part backwards for chapters in 30th Part are shorter and easier to understand)

Photo | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 |
An effort has been made to gather explanation of the surahs of the Holy Qur'an from authentic souses and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. However, those wanting detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to sites the references of which are given above.

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