Wednesday 13 March 2019

Surah Qaf - The Letter Qaf: Exegesis of 50th Chapter of the Holy Quran

Surah Qaf is the fiftieth surah with 45 ayahs with three rukus, part of the 26th Juzʼ  of the Holy Qur'an.

Surah Qaf takes its name from the letter Qaf at the beginning of the first verse. The chapter was revealed in Makkah and deals with the Resurrection and the Day of Judgement. The chapter both opens and closes with the mention of the Quran. The disbelievers in Makkah are warned and Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is reassured through previous generations of disbelievers. Creation is cited as an indication of Allah’s ability to bring the dead to life again and emphasis is placed on the powerlessness of man on the Day of Resurrection. 

There is no authentic tradition to show as to when exactly this Surah was revealed. A study of the subject matter, however, shows that its period of revelation is the second stage of the Holy Prophet's life at Makkah, which lasted from the third year of the Prophethood till the fifth year. It was the time when the antagonism of the disbelievers had become quite intense but had not yet assumed tyrannical proportions.

For the Holy Prophet (ﷺ), this surah was very important as he used to recite this Surah generally in the Eid prayers and also often recited it in the Fajr Prayers. This reason for this importance is its theme which entirely focuses on the Hereafter. When the Prophet of Allah disclosed to the pagans of Makkah the truth about life after death, they simply mocked him for raising of the dead was something beyond their comprehension. Thus in this surah,  in short sentences they have been warned, as if to say: "Whether you express wonder and surprise, or you regard it as something remote from reason, or deny it altogether, in any case it cannot change the truth. The absolute, unalterable truth is that Allah knows the whereabouts of each and every particle of your body that has scattered away in the earth, and knows where and in what state it is. Allah's one signal is enough to make all the scattered particles gather together again and to make you rise up once again as you had been made in the first instance. 

The surah both opens and closes with mention of the Quran. This chapter is thematically linked with the previous chapter (Surah Al Hujurat) because the previous chapter teaches the etiquette among Muslims, and this one teaches the proper behaviors for non-believers. It is thematically linked with the next chapter (Surah Al Dhariyat) through increasing reference to the Hereafter; the primary subject of the next chapter.

Let us now read more about the hereafter in the ensuing translation and exegesis in English of the Surah segmented into portions as per the subject matter (For Arabic Text / recitation, please listen to the video below):

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ 
"In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful"

قٓ ۚ وَالۡقُرۡاٰنِ الۡمَجِيۡدِۚ‏

1. QafBy the Glorious Qur'an.
[These letters (Qaf, etc.) are one of the miracles of the Qur'an, and none but Allah (Alone) knows their meanings].

The word "majeed" is used for expressing two meanings in Arabic: for expressing the high rank, status, honor and dignity of a person, and for saying that somebody is highly generous, charitable and beneficent. This word has been used for the Quran in both these meanings. The Quran is great and glorious in the sense that no book of the world can be brought up against it. It is a miracle both in its language and literary excellence and in its teaching and wisdom. Humans were helpless to produce the like of it at the time when it was sent down and are likewise helpless even today. Nothing of it could ever be proved wrong in any age, nor can anything of it be proved wrong in the present age. Falsehood can neither attack it from the front nor from the rear nor can defeat it. And it is generous and beneficent in the sense that the more a man goes on trying to gain guidance from it, the more of guidance it goes on giving him. And the more he follows and obeys its commands and instructions, the more he continues to be blessed with good things of the world and the Hereafter. There is no limit to its benefits and advantages where a man may become independent of it, and where it may cease to be beneficial and useful for him.

Verses 1-11 mention the polytheists who deny the Resurrection and the Quran refutes their arguments:
2. Nay, they wonder that there has come to them a warner (Muhammad ) from among themselves. So the disbelievers say: "This is a strange thing!
The verse 2 is a unique example of eloquence. In it a vast subject has been compressed into a few brief words. The object for which an oath has been sworn by the Quran has not been mentioned. Instead, a subtle gap has been left and the sentence is resumed with “but”. In view the background in which this has been said, one comes to know what is the subject of the gap that has been left between the oath and “but”. In fact, what has been sworn of is this: The people of Makkah have not refused to acknowledge the Prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him) for any sound reason but for the highly unsound reason that a member of their own kind and an individual of their own nation has come to them as a Warner from God and this is something highly surprising for them. Whereas what would actually be surprising was if God had remained unconcerned about the well being and adversity of His servants and made no arrangement whatsoever to warn them; or had sent a nonhuman to warn the human beings; or a non Arab to warn the Arabs. Therefore, this basis of the denial is absolutely unsound, and a reasonable person cannot but admit that there must exist some arrangement from God to warn the servants, and in the form that the Warner himself should be a person from among the people to whom he is sent. As for the question whether Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the person whom God has sent on this mission, no other evidence is needed to settle it but this glorious and beneficent Quran, which he is presenting; this is by itself enough to provide a proof of it. This explanation shows that in this verse an oath has been sworn by the Quran to impress the point that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is really the Messenger of Allah and the disbelievers’ surprise and wonder about his apostleship is misplaced, and the fact of the Quran’s being majeed is a proof of this claim.
3. "When we are dead and have become dust (shall we be resurrected?) That is a far return." 
This was the second cause of their surprise, the first being that a member of their own kind and clan had arisen with the claim that he had come as a warner to them from God. They were further surprised that the person was warning them to the effect that all men will be raised back to life after death and they will be produced all together in the court of Allah where their deeds will be subjected to accountability and they will be rewarded and punished accordingly.
4. We know that which the earth takes of them (their dead bodies), and with Us is a Book preserved (i.e. the Book of Decrees).
Verse 4 is one of those verses which point out that the life Hereafter will not only be a physical lift as it is in this world, but the body of every person also will be the same which he had in this world. If it were not so, it would be meaningless to tell the disbelievers: We know very well whatever the earth consumes of their bodies and We have a Book which preserves everything.  The same message appears in Surah As-Sajdah, "That is, “You became so absorbed in pleasure-seeking in the world that you totally forgot that you had to meet your Lord on this Day.”"
5. Nay, but they have denied the truth (this Qur'an) when it has come to them, so they are in a confused state (can not differentiate between right and wrong).
In this brief sentence (verse 5 above) a vast subject has been compressed. It means: These people did not rest content only with expressing wonder and declaring the thing to be far removed from reason, but when the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) presented his message of the truth, they denied it as falsehood without any hesitation. Its inevitable result was, and the same only could follow from it, that they do not agree on any one position with regard to the invitation and the Messenger who has presented it. They call him with many names to vent their anger on him like being a poet, a sorcerer, a madman, or a magician and even a man who is bewitched. Therefore, leaving it aside, detailed reasoning is now being presented about the authenticity of the second thing which those people regarded as strange and far removed from reason and intellect.

In verses 6-11, the disbelievers have been asked that why don't they look around and see what has provided for them by  Allah for them to live a comfortable life.
6. Did they never observe the sky above them: how We built it and beautified it; and it has no cracks; 
Here, by the sky is implied the whole firmament that man finds spread over him, day and night, in which the sun shines in the day and the moon and countless stars glitter at night, which amazes him even when he sees it with the bare eye, but which appears as a vast, limitless universe when he looks at it through the telescope.  And that in spite of its amazing vastness the wonderful order of the universe is so coherent and firm and its composition so perfect that there is no crack or cleft in it, and its continuity breaks nowhere. This can be understood by an example. Radio astronomers of the present age have observed a galactic system which they have named Source 3C 295. They think that its rays which are now reaching us might have left it more than four thousand million years ago. The question is: How could it be possible for the rays to reach the earth from such a distant source had the continuity and coherence of the universe between the earth and the galaxy been broken somewhere and its composition been split at some point. Allah, in fact, alludes to this reality and puts this question before man: When you cannot point out even a small breach in this system of My universe, how did the concept of any weakness in My power enter your mind, that after the respite of your test is over, if I like to bring you back to life to subject you to accountability before Me, would I not be able to do so?
7. And the earth! We have spread it out, and set thereon mountains standing firm, and have produced therein every kind of lovely growth (plants). 8. An insight and a Reminder for every slave turning to Allah (i.e. the one who believes in Allah and performs deeds of His obedience, and always begs His pardon). 9. And We send down blessed water (rain) from the sky, then We produce therewith gardens and grain (every kind of harvests) that are reaped. 10. And tall date-palms, with ranged clusters; 
11. all this as sustenance for Our servants. And thus We do bring the dead land back to life with water. Such shall be the coming forth (of human beings from the earth).
The reasoning in verse 11 is this: Your conjecture about God Who made this sphere of the earth a suitable home for living creatures and Who by combining the lifeless clay of the earth with the lifeless water from the sky produced such a fine vegetable life that you witness flourishing in the form of your gardens and crops, and Who made the vegetation a means of sustenance for both man and beast, that He has no power to resurrect you after death, is a foolish and absurd conjecture. When you cannot deny this express observation of yours, how can you deny that when Allah wills, you too will sprout up from the earth as the vegetation sprouts up. In this connection, one may note that in many parts of Arabia it does not sometimes rain for as long as five years at a stretch and sometimes even for longer periods the land does not receive even a drop of rain. For such long intervals in the burning deserts it is not conceivable that the roots of grass and the insects of the earth would survive. In spite of this when a little of the rain falls at some place, grass sprouts up and the insects of the earth return to life. Therefore, the inhabitants of Arabia can understand this reasoning much better than those people who do not have to experience such long periods of drought.

Verses 12-15 are a reminder of the preceding nations that denied Resurrection:
12. In the past Noah's people, and the people of Rass and Thamud gave the lie (to Messengers),
The people of Rass (Ashab ar-Rass) have been mentioned in (Surah Al-Furqan, Ayat 38: And in like manner were the 'Ad and the Thamud destroyed and the people of al-Rass and many a nation in the centuries in between.), and now here, but at both places they have only been referred to as of those nations who rejected the Prophets. No other detail about them has been given. In the traditions of Arabia two places are well known by the name of ar-Rass, one in the Najd and the other in northern Hejaz. Of these ar-Rass of the Najd is better known and has been referred to more often in the pre-Islamic poetry of Arabia. Now it is difficult to determine which of these was the home of the Ashab ar- Rass. No reliable detail of their story is found in any tradition either. The most that one can say with certainty is that it was a nation which had thrown its Prophet into a well. But from the mere allusion that has been made to them in the Quran, one is led to think that in the time of the revelation of the Quran the Arabs were generally aware of this nation and its history, but the traditions about them could not be preserved in historic records.
 13. And 'Ad, and Fir'aun (Pharaoh), and the brethren of Lut (Lot), 
Only the Pharaoh has been mentioned instead of the people of Pharaoh, for he had so dominated his people that they had been left with no independent opinion and will of their own, apart from him. They followed him wherever he led them. That is why he alone was held responsible for the deviation and degeneration of his people. Wherever there exists the freedom of will and action for a nation, it by itself bears the burden of its deeds, and wherever one man’s dictatorship may have rendered a nation powerless the one man alone takes on his shoulders the burden of the sins of entire nation. This doesn’t mean that the nation becomes absolved from its duty and responsibility when the one man alone has burdened himself with the responsibility. This is not so. The nation in such a case becomes responsible for the moral weakness shown by it in that why it allowed a man to overpower and dominate it so completely. The same thing has been alluded to in (Surah Az-Zukhruf, Ayat 54), "thus: Pharaoh took his people to be light, and they obeyed him, for they were indeed a sinful people." [A tremendous reality has been expressed in this brief sentence. When a person wishes to become autocratic in a country and contrives every plan openly to achieve his object, he practices every deception and trick. He buys and sells consciences and persecutes and crushes ruthlessly those who cannot be purchased. He, in fact, shows by his actions, whatever he may say to the contrary, that he takes the people of the country to be light as regards to their intellect, morals and manliness, and has formed the impression that he can drive the foolish, unscrupulous and cowardly people wherever he likes. Then, when he has succeeded in his designs and the people have become his obedient servants, they prove by their conduct and behavior that they are actually what the wicked man had taken them to be, and the main cause of their depravity is that they are basically a sinful people. They are not in the least concerned as to what is the truth and what is falsehood, what is justice and what is injustice, whether the noble traits of character are truthfulness and honesty or falsehood and dishonesty and meanness. Instead of this, only their personal interests are of real importance to them, for the sake of which they remain ever ready to cooperate with every wicked person, to yield to every tyrant, to accept every falsehood and to suppress every protest that is voiced in favor of the truth.]
14. And the dwellers of the Wood, and the people of Tubba'; everyone of them denied (their) Messengers, so My Threat took effect. 15. Were We then tired with the first creation? Nay, They are in confused doubt about a new creation (i.e. Resurrection)?
Verse 15 gives the rational argument for the Hereafter. The person who is not a denier of God and is also not so foolish as to regard this excellently ordered universe and the creation of man in it as a mere accident, cannot help but admit that God alone has created man and this whole universe. Now this fact that we exist alive in this world and this great workhouse of the earth and heavens is functioning before us, by itself is an obvious proof that God is in no way powerless in creating us and this universe. Yet if a man says that after bringing about Resurrection the same God will not be able to bring about a new world order and will not be able to create us once again, he says an irrational thing. Had God been powerless, He would not have been able to create all this in the first instance. When He has created the universe in the first instance and we ourselves came into existence by virtue of that act of creation, what can then be the rational ground for assuming that He will become powerless to re-make the dismantled thing originally made by Himself?

After presenting the arguments for the Hereafter, it is being stated: Whether you believe in the Hereafter, or deny it, it has to come in any case, and it is such a reality which will certainly come about in spite of your denial. If you heed the warning given by the Prophets in advance and prepare for it, you will be doing good to yourselves. If you do not believe in it, you will be inviting your own doom. Your denial will not prevent the Hereafter from taking place and God's law of justice will not became suspended.

In verses 16-29 the mention of two angels is made which Allah has assigned to each person for noting down each single word that he utters:

وَلَقَدۡ خَلَقۡنَا الۡاِنۡسَانَ وَنَعۡلَمُ مَا تُوَسۡوِسُ بِهٖ نَفۡسُهٗ ۖۚ وَنَحۡنُ اَقۡرَبُ اِلَيۡهِ مِنۡ حَبۡلِ الۡوَرِيۡدِ
16. Surely We have created man, and We know the promptings of his heart, and We are nearer to him than even his jugular vein.
That is, Our power and Our knowledge has so encompassed man from within and without that Our power and knowledge is closer to him than his own jugular-vein. We do not have to travel from a distance to hear what he says, but We directly know every thought that arises in his heart. Likewise, when We shall want to seize him, We will not have to seize him after covering a distance, for wherever he is, he is in Our grasp; and whenever We will, We will seize him.
17. (Remember!) that the two receivers (recording angels) receive (each human being after he or she has attained the age of puberty), one sitting on the right and one on the left (to note his or her actions) . 18. Not a word does he (or she) utter, but there is a watcher by him ready (to record it). 
In verses 17-18 the appointment of two angels and their task is explained. That is, on the one hand, We directly know man’s actions and movements, even his hidden thoughts; on the other hand, every man has two angels appointed over him, who are recording whatever he does and says; none of his actions or words is left unrecorded. This means that when man is produced in the court of Allah, Allah at that time Himself will also be knowing what each person has done in the world. Besides, there will also be two witnesses who will produce documentary evidence of the person’s actions and deeds. Here, one should also understand that in the court of the Hereafter, Allah will not punish anybody only on the basis of His own knowledge, but will punish him after fulfilling all the requirements of justice. That is why an exhaustive record is being prepared of every person’s words and deeds in the world so that a complete proof with undeniable evidence becomes available of everyone’s life work and activity.
19. Lo, the agony of death has indeed come with the Truth. That is what you had sought to avoid. 
“Come with the truth” implies that the agony of death is the starting point when the reality which had remained concealed in the world, begins to unfold. At this point man starts seeing clearly the other world of which the Prophet had forewarned him. Here, man also comes to know that the Hereafter is the very truth, and also this whether he is entering this second stage of life as favored or damned.

That is, this is the same reality which you refused to believe. You desired that you should live and go about as an unbridled rogue in the world, and there should be no other life after death, in which you may have to suffer for the consequences of your deeds. That is why you shunned the concept of the Hereafter and were not at all inclined to believe that this next world would ever be established. Now, you may see that the same next world is unveiling itself before you.
20. And the Trumpet will be blown, that will be the Day whereof warning (had been given) (i.e. the Day of Resurrection). 
This implies that blowing of the Trumpet at which all dead men will rise back to life in their own physical bodies. On the occasion of Resurrection, the Earth and the Heavens will not be totally destroyed but at the blowing of the First Trumpet, the existing physical system shall be disarranged. After this, between the blowing of the First and the Last Trumpet (Allah alone knows how long this interval will last), the present form and aspect of the earth and the heavens shall be transformed and a new physical system with new physical laws will come into existence. That will be the world of the Hereafter. When the Last Trumpet will be blown, all human beings from Adam to those born before the First Trumpet, shall be brought to life and appear before Allah. The Quran calls this Hashr which literally means “to muster and gather together”. It appears from the wording of the Quran and some clear statements in the traditions that this will take place on this Earth. The Seat of Judgment and the Scales will be established on the Earth and the decisions will be passed here. This is also clear from the Quran and the traditions that the life in the Hereafter will not merely be a spiritual life but the very physical and spiritual life which we are living now on this earth; and every individual shall receive his reward or punishment exactly in that personality in which he or she is living in the life of this world.
21. Everyone has come, each attended by one who will drive him on, and another who will bear witness. 
Most probably this implies the same two angels who had been appointed for compiling the record of the words and deeds of the person in the world. On the Day of Resurrection, when every man will rise from his grave on the sounding of the Trumpet, the two angels will come forth immediately and take him into their custody. One of them will drive him to the divine court and the other will be carrying his record.
22. (It will be said to the sinners): "Indeed you were heedless of this, now We have removed your covering, and sharp is your sight this Day!" 23. And his companion (angel) will say: "Here is (this Record) ready with me!" 
Some commentators say that the companion implies the angel who has been referred to as a witness in verse 21. He will say: I have this person’s record ready with me here. Some other commentators say that the companion implies the satan who was attached to the person in the world. He will say: This person whom I was controlling and preparing for Hell, is now presented before You. But the commentary that is more relevant to the context is: They say that the companion implies the angel who drove and brought the person to Allah’s court. He will say: Here is the person who had been given in my charge
24. The command was given: “Cast into Hell every hardened, stubborn unbeliever,. 
As the context shows this command will be given to the two angels who had taken the culprit into their custody as soon as he had risen from the grave, and then brought him before the court.

 مَّنَّاعٍ لِّلۡخَيۡرِ مُعۡتَدٍ مُّرِيۡبِ ۙ
25. "Hinderer of good, transgressor, doubter, 
Khair in Arabic is used both for wealth and for goodness. According to the first meaning, the sentence means that he paid no one his dues from his wealth, neither the dues of Allah nor of the people. According to the second meaning, it would mean that he did not only withhold himself from the path of goodness but forbade others also to follow it. He had become a hindrance for the people in the way of goodness and exerted his utmost to see that goodness did not spread.

The word murib as used in the original has two meanings: a doubter and the one who puts others in doubt, and both are implied here. It means that he was not only himself involved in doubt but also created doubts in the hearts of others. He held as doubtful the Being of Allah and the Hereafter and the angels and the Prophethood and revelation and every other truth of religion. Anything that was presented by the Prophets as a truth was held as unbelievable by him, and the same disease he spread to other people. Whomsoever he came in contact with, he would create one or the other doubt, one or the other evil thought in his mind.
26. "Who set up another ilah (god) with Allah, then (both of you) cast him in the severe torment." 
Allah has enumerated the qualities that make a man worthy of Hell:
  • Denial of the truth.
  • Ingratitude to Allah.
  • Enmity for the Truth and the followers of the truth.
  • To become a hindrance in the way of goodness.
  • Failure to fulfill the rights of Allah and the people from his wealth.
  • To transgress the bounds in his affairs.
  • To commit injustices and excesses against others.
  • To doubt the truths of religion.
  • To create doubts in the hearts of the people.
  • To hold another as an associate in the Godhead of Allah. 
27. His companion will say: "Our Lord! I did not push him to transgress, (in disbelief, oppression, and evil deeds) but he was himself in error far astray." 
Here by companion is meant the Satan who was attached to the disobedient person in the world. And this also becomes evident from the style that both the person and his Satan are disputing between themselves in the court of Allah. He says: My Lord, this wretched one pursued me in the world and did not leave me until he succeeded in misleading me, therefore he alone should be punished. And the Satan replies: Lord, I had no power over him. Had he not himself willed to become rebellious, I could not have seduced him forcibly. This wretched person himself fled from goodness and was fascinated by evil. That is why he did not like anything that the Prophets presented and went on yielding to every temptation and inducement presented by me.
28. Allah will say: "Dispute not in front of Me, I had already, in advance, sent you the threat. 
That is, I had warned both of you as to what punishment will be given to the one who beguiles and what punishment will be suffered by him who is beguiled. In spite of this warning when you did not desist from committing your respective crimes, there is no use quarreling now. Both, the one who beguiled and the one who was beguiled have to be punished for the crimes committed by them.

مَا يُبَدَّلُ الۡقَوۡلُ لَدَىَّ وَمَاۤ اَنَا بِظَلَّامٍ لِّلۡعَبِيۡدِ
29. The Sentence that comes from Me cannot be changed, and I am not unjust (to the least) to the slaves."
The word zallam as used in the original means the one who is highly unjust. It does not mean: I am unjust to My servants but not highly unjust. But it means: If I were unjust to My own servants being their Creator and Sustainer, I would be highly unjust. Therefore, I am not at all unjust to My servants. This punishment that I am giving you is precisely the same punishment which you have made yourselves worthy of. You are not being punished an iota more than what you actually deserve, for My court is a court of impartial justice. Here, no one can receive a punishment which he does not actually deserve, and for which his being worthy has not been proved by certain and undeniable evidence.

Verse 30 is specific to Hell when Hell shall be asked, "Are you full" Hell will answer, "Are there any more?"
30. On the Day when We will say to Hell: "Are you filled?" It will say: "Are there any more (to come)?" 
Verse 31-35 are specific to Paradise and about the delight of the pious and their description:
31. And when Paradise shall be brought close to the God-fearing, and will no longer be far away,
Verse 31: That is, as soon as the judgment will be passed about a person from the court of Allah that he is righteous and worthy of Paradise, he will immediately find Paradise in front of him. He will not have to travel a distance on foot or by a conveyance to reach to it. There will be no interval between the pronouncement of the judgment and his entry into the Paradise. From this it can be judged how different the concept of space and time is between this world and the Hereafter. The concept of space and time that we are familiar in this world will become meaningless there.

هٰذَا مَا تُوۡعَدُوۡنَ لِكُلِّ اَوَّابٍ حَفِيۡظٍ
32. (It will be said): "This is what you were promised, - (it is) for those oft-returning (to Allah) in sincere repentance, and those who preserve their covenant with Allah (by obeying Him in all what He has ordered, and worship none but Allah Alone, i.e. follow Allah's Religion, Islamic Monotheism). 
The word awwab is very extensive in meaning. It implies the person who might have adopted the way of obedience and Allah’s goodwill instead of the way of disobedience, who gives up everything that is disapproved by Allah and adopts everything that is approved by him, who gets alarmed as soon as he swerves a little from the path of worship and obedience, and repents and returns to the path of worship and obedience, who remembers Allah much and turns to Him in all matters of life.

The word hafeez means the one who guards. This implies the person who takes care of the bounds and duties enjoined by Allah, who guards the trusts imposed by Allah and avoids the things forbidden by him, who keeps watch over his time, energies and activities to see that none of these is being misused, who offers repentance, remains steadfast and keeps it strong and intact, who examines himself over and over again to see that he is not disobeying his Lord anywhere in word or deed.

مَنۡ خَشِىَ الرَّحۡمٰنَ بِالۡغَيۡبِ وَجَآءَ بِقَلۡبٍ مُّنِيۡبِۙ‏ 
33. "Who feared the Most Beneficent (Allah) in the Ghaib (unseen): (i.e. in this worldly life before seeing and meeting Him), and brought a heart turned in repentance (to Him - and absolutely free from each and every kind of polytheism), 
That is, although he could not see the Merciful God and could not perceive Him by his senses in any way, yet he feared His disobedience. His heart was more dominated by the fear of the unseen Merciful God than the fear of other perceptible powers and visible and mighty beings, and in spite of knowing that He is All-Merciful, he did not become a sinner, trusting His Mercy, but feared His displeasure in whatever he said and did. Thus, this verse points to two of the believer’s important and basic characteristics: First, that he fears God although he cannot see and perceive Him; second, that he does not persist in sin in spite of his full awareness of God’s quality of mercy. These very two characteristics make him worthy of honor in the sight of Allah.

Besides, there is another subtle point also in it, which Imam Razi has pointed out. In Arabic, there are two words for fear, khauf and khashiyyat, which have a difference in their shade of meaning. The word khauf is generally used for the fear that a man feels in his heart on account of his sense of weakness as against someone’s superior power and strength, and the word khashiyyat is used for the dread and awe with which a man is filled and inspired because of somebody’s glory and grandeur and greatness. Here, the word khashiyyat has been used instead of khauf, which is meant to point out that a believer does not fear Allah only on account of the fear of His punishment, but it is the sense of Allah’s glory and greatness that keeps him awe inspired at all times.

The word munib in the original is derived from inabat, which means to turn to one direction and to turn to the same again and again, just like the needle of the compass that points to the magnetic north persistently, however one may try to turn it away from that direction. Therefore, qalb-i-munib would mean such a heart as has turned away from every other direction and turned towards One Allah alone and then kept on turning towards Him again and again throughout life. The same sense has been conveyed by the devoted heart. This shows that in the sight of Allah the man of real worth is he who remains attached and devoted to Allah alone not merely verbally but also truly and sincerely.

اۨدۡخُلُوۡهَا بِسَلٰمٍ​ؕ ذٰلِكَ يَوۡمُ الۡخُلُوۡدِ
34. "Enter you therein in peace and security; this is a Day of eternal life!" 
If the word salam in udkhuluha bi-salamin is taken in the meaning of peace and security, it would mean: Enter this Paradise safe and secure from every kind of grief, sorrow, anxiety and affiliation; and if it is taken in the meaning of salam itself, it would mean: Enter this Paradise you are welcomed here with the greeting of peace by Allah and his angels.
35. There they will have all that they desire, and We have more (for them, i.e. a glance at the All-Mighty, All-Majestic).
Verses 36-45 are threatening the deniers of Resurrection and directions to the messenger:
36. And how many a generation We have destroyed before them, who were stronger in power than them, and (when Our Torment came) they ran for a refuge in the land! Could they find any place of refuge (for them to save themselves from destruction)? 
That is, they were not only powerful and strong in their own land but had also made incursions into other lands and brought under their sway far off lands as well. Despite that could their power and might save them when the time appointed by Allah came for their seizure? And could they find shelter and refuge anywhere? Now, on what trust do you hope that you will get refuge somewhere in the world when you have rebelled against Allah?
37. Verily, therein is indeed a reminder for him who has a heart or gives ear while he is heedful. 
That is, they were not only powerful and strong in their own land but had also made incursions into other lands and brought under their sway far off lands as well. Despite that could their power and might save them when the time appointed by Allah came for their seizure? And could they find shelter and refuge anywhere? Now, on what trust do you hope that you will get refuge somewhere in the world when you have rebelled against Allah?

وَلَقَدۡ خَلَقۡنَا السَّمٰوٰتِ وَالۡاَرۡضَ وَمَا بَيۡنَهُمَا فِىۡ سِتَّةِ اَيَّامٍ​ۖ  وَّمَا مَسَّنَا مِنۡ لُّغُوۡبٍ
38. And indeed We created the heavens and the earth and all between them in six Days and nothing of fatigue touched Us39. Hence bear with patience whatever they say, and celebrate your Lord's glory before the rising of the sun and before its setting; (i.e. the Fajr, Zuhr, and 'Asr prayers)
That is, the fact of the matter is that We have made this entire universe in six days and We did not become weary at the end so that We might be powerless to reconstruct it Now, if these ignorant people mock you when they hear the news of the life-after-death from you and call you a madman, have patience at it, listen to whatever nonsense they utter with a cool mind, and continue to preach the truth that you have been appointed to spread.

In this verse, there is a subtle taunt on the Jews and the Christians as well, whereas in the Bible the story has been fabricated that God made the earth and the heavens in six days and rested on the seventh day (Gen. 2:2). Although the Christian priests are now feeling shy of it and have changed rested into “ceased from working” in their translation of the Bible, yet in King James authorized version of the Bible, the words “and He rested on the seventh day” are still there, and the same words are also found in the translation that the Jews have published from Philadelphia in 1954. In the Arabic translation also the words are: fastraha ft! yaum as-sebi.
40. And during a part of the night (also), glorify His praises (i.e. Maghrib and 'Isha prayers), and (so likewise) after the prayers [As-Sunnah, Nawafil optional and additional prayers, and also glorify, praise and magnify Allah - Subhan Allah, Alhamdu lillah, Allahu-Akbar]. 
 41. And listen on the Day when the caller will call from a near place, 
That is, wherever a dead person would be lying, or wherever his death had occurred is the world, the cry of the caller shall reach him there, which will urge him to rise and go before his Lord to render his account. This cry will be such that everybody who rises from death anywhere on the surface of the earth will feel as though the caller had called him from a nearby place. Simultaneously will this cry be heard everywhere on the globe equally clearly. From this also one can judge how different will be the concepts of space and time in the next world from what they are in this world, and what forces will be working there in accordance with the new laws.
يَوۡمَ يَسۡمَعُوۡنَ الصَّيۡحَةَ بِالۡحَـقِّ​ ؕ ذٰ لِكَ يَوۡمُ الۡخُـرُوۡجِ‏ 
42.  the Day when they shall hear the Blast in truth. That will be the Day (for the dead) to come forth. 
The words yasmaun-as-saihata bil haqqi can have two meanings:
  • That all the people will be hearing the cry of the right command.
  • That they will be hearing the cry rightly.
In the first case the sentence will mean that the people will be hearing the same right command with their ears, which they were not inclined to accept in the world, which they had persistently refused to believe, and mocked the Prophets who had brought it. In the second case it will mean that they will certainly hear this cry, and they will realize that it is no fancy but indeed the cry of Resurrection; they will be left with no doubt that the Day of Resurrection of which they had been forewarned had arrived and the cry that was being raised was of the same.
43. Verily, We it is Who give life and cause death; and to Us is the final return, 44. On the Day when the earth shall be cleft, from off them, (they will come out) hastening forth. That will be a gathering, quite easy for Us. 
Verse 44: This is the answer to the saying of the disbelievers that has been reproduced in verse 3 above. They said: How can it be that when we are dead and become dust, we shall be raised back to life once again. This resurrection is far removed from reason. In reply it has been said: This gathering together, i.e. raising back to life and gathering all the people of the former and latter times together, is very easy for Us. We shall also face no difficulty in knowing as to which are the particles of one and which of the other among the scattered particles of the dust. Gathering together all these particles separately and remaking each and every man’s body once again and then creating in that body the same very personality which had lived in it before, is not a task that may require any hard labor from Us, but all this can be accomplished immediately at one signal from Us. All those human beings who have been born in the world since the time of Adam till Resurrection can be brought together by one command of Ours. If your petty mind thinks it is far off, it may think so, but it is not beyond the power of the Creator of the Universe.
45. We know of best what they say; and you (O Muhammad ) are not a tyrant over them (to force them to Belief). But warn by the Qur'an, him who fears My Threat.
In this sentence there is consolation for Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as well as a threat for the disbelievers. Addressing the Prophet (peace be upon him) it has been said: Do not care at all about what these foolish people utter about you. We are hearing everything and it is for Us to deal with it. The disbelievers are being warned to the effect: The taunting remarks that you are passing against Our Prophet will cost you dearly.

This does not mean that the Prophet (peace be upon him) wanted to compel the people into believing and Allah stopped him from this. But, in fact, although the Prophet (peace be upon him) has been addressed, the disbelievers are being warned, as if to say: Our Prophet has not been sent as a dictator over you. He is not there to compel you to become believers even if you did not wish to believe. His only responsibility is that he should recite the Quran and make the truth plain to the one who would take the warning. Now, if you do not accept his invitation, We will deal with you, not he.

We, therefore must establish regularity of prayers in our life and keep reminding ourselves and others of the message of Quran. It is the fear of the Hereafter together with prayers and understanding the message of Quran that can really make us change from within.

You may now like to listen to Arabic recitation of Surah Qaf with English subtitles:

وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is Our duty is only to convey to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible for making you accept it forcibly, and if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, you will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.
May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, which is embodiment of commandments of Allah contained in the Qur'ān. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 
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. It will also help the Muslims to have grasp over social issues and their answers discussed in the Qur'an and other matter related to inter faith so that they are able to discuss issues with non-Muslims with authority based on refences from Qur'an.

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

Note: When we mention God in our posts, we mean One True God, we call Allah in Islam, with no associates. Allah is the Sole Creator of all things, and that Allah is all-powerful and all-knowing. Allah has no offspring, no race, no gender, no body, and is unaffected by the characteristics of human life.

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.

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 have been taken from the Holy Quran officially published by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 
  • 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. 
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, 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 | 6 |
An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Holy Qur'an from authentic souses and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. However, the exegesis of the chapters of the Holy Quran are basically 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 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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