Tuesday 23 April 2019

Surah Ash Shura - The Consultation: Exegesis of 42nd Chapter of the Holy Quran

Sūrat ash-Shūrā is the forty second surah with 53 ayahs with five rukus, part of the 25th Juzʼ  of the Holy Qur'an. It derives its title from the word "Shūrā" - consultation that is mentioned in verse thirty-eight describing the characteristics of a community of believers.

Sūrat ash-Shūrā is one of the seven consecutive surahs of the Holy Quran which are affixed the Letters Ha-Meem " حٰمٓ ". Chronologically they all belong to the same Makkan Period, and these immediately follow the last Sürah in time. The other six surahs that begin with same dis-joined words are:
However, in addition to the disjoined letters حٰمٓ ", this surah also has another set of disjoined letters " عسق " in its very second verse - and the only surah to use this set of disjoined letters.

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

Let us now read the translation and exegesis in English of the Surah segmented into portions as per the subject matter. For Arabic Text, please refer to the references given at the end and may also listen to its recitation in Arabic with English subtitles:

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ 
"In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful"
(1)   حٰمٓ Ha, Meem.
(2)   عسق  'Ayn, Seen, Qaf.
[These disjoined letters are one of the miracles of the Qur'an, and none but Allah (Alone) knows their meanings - see our earlier post for details: Understanding the Holy Quran: Huroof Muqatta’at - Disjoined Letters].

Continuing with the surah translation / exegesis, Verses 3-9 warn that the heavens might have broken apart from above those who elevate Allah's creatures to His rank if the angels were not begging forgiveness for the residents of earth
(3)   Thus does Allah, the Most Mighty, the Most Wise reveal to you even as (He revealed) to those (Messengers) who preceded you  
This surah was revealed at a time when there were misgivings, wonder and amazement being expressed at that time in Makkah at the message of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the themes of the Quran. The people said; Where is this man bringing from new revelations to us every day? The like of these we have never heard nor seen before. How strange that he rejects as false the religion that our forefathers have been following in the past, the religion that is still being followed by all of us, and the traditions and ways that have been prevalent in the country for so many centuries; and he says that the religion that he presents only is right and true. It is in the background of such expression of wonder and doubt that although the address is apparently directed to the Prophet (peace be upon him), the disbelievers have in fact been told: Yes, these very things are being revealed by the All-Mighty, the All-Wise Allah, and with the same themes has its revelation been coming down to all the former Prophets.
(4) To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth, and He is the Most High, the Most Great.  
These introductory sentences are not meant to be said merely in praise of Allah Almighty, but each word has a deep link with the background in which these verses were sent down. The foremost basis of the objections of the people who were expressing wonder and doubts against the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the Quran was that he was inviting them to Tauhid and they were being alarmed at this and saying that if Allah alone is the Creator, Sustainer and Ruler, what would be the position of their saints and holy men? At this it has been said: This whole universe belongs to Allah. How can therefore the godhead of another work and operate in the kingdom of the real Sovereign, particularly when those others whose godhead is acknowledged, are themselves also His subjects? Then, it has been said: He is the High, the Great! That is, He is far above that somebody else should be equal to Him in rank and should become His associate in His Being, attributes, powers or rights.
(5) The heavens almost break from above them, and the angels exalt [Allah] with praise of their Lord and ask forgiveness for those on earth. Unquestionably, it is Allah who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.
That is, it is not a trivial matter that a creature should be joined in lineage with Allah and regarded as His son or daughter. Another regarded as fulfiller of the needs and the answerer of the petitions so that the people should start invoking him for help. Yet another taken as the maintainer of the entire world, and his devotees should start proclaiming that their holy saint heard the prayer of everyone at all places at all times and came to his help and answered his petition. Another invested with the authority to enjoin and prohibit things and declare them as lawful and unlawful, and the people should start obeying his commands, instead of the commands of God, as if he alone was their God. This boldness against God is such that they may well cause the heavens to break asunder. (This same theme has also been presented in (Surah Maryam, Ayats 88- 91).

The angels shudder with disgust when they hear such nonsense being uttered by the people in respect of their Lord, and they regard it as a rebellion against Him. They say: Glorified be Allah! No one can have the position that he should become an associate with Allah, Lord of the worlds, in divinity and command; there is none beside Him who may be our and all other servants benefactor so that hymns be sung in his praise and he be thanked.

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

وَالَّذِيۡنَ اتَّخَذُوۡا مِنۡ دُوۡنِهٖۤ اَوۡلِيَآءَ اللّٰهُ حَفِيۡظٌ عَلَيۡهِمۡ​ۖ
وَمَاۤ اَنۡتَ عَلَيۡهِمۡ بِوَكِيۡلٍ
(6) Those who have taken others than Him as their protectors beside Him, it is Allah Who oversees them; you [O' Muhammad] are no guardian over them.
The word auliya (sing. wali) as used in the text is very comprehensive in meaning. The different beliefs and all sorts of diverse practices with regard to the false deities held and worshiped by the polytheistic people, have been described as: taking others as auliya (guardians) instead of Allah in the Quran. According to the Quran, a person takes such a one his wali:
  • Whom he obeys in all matters, whose instructions he carries out and whose ways and customs and rules he follows in all affairs of life (Surah An-Nisa, Ayats 118-120); (Surah Al-Aaraf, Ayats: 3,27-30);
  • In whose guidance he has full faith, and who he thinks will lead him aright and save him from error and deviation (Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayat 257); (Surah Bani Israil, Ayat 97); (Surah Al-Kahf, Ayats 17-50); (Surah Al-Jathiah, Ayat 19).
  • About whom he trusts that he will protect him from the torment of God in the Hereafter if it really existed (Surah An-Nisa, Ayats 123, 173); (Surah Al-Anaam, Ayat 51); (Surah Ar-Raad, Ayat 37); (Surah Al-Ankabut, Ayat 22); (Surah Al- Ahzab, Ayat 65); (Surah Az-Zumar, Ayat 3).
  • About whom he has the belief that he helps him in the world in supernatural ways, protects him from disaster and afflictions, gets him jobs, blesses him with children, and fulfills his desires and all other needs. (Surah Houd, Ayat 20); (Surah Ar-Raad, Ayat 16); (Surah Al-Ankabut, Ayat 4l).
At some places in the Quran the word wali has been used in one of these senses and at others in all its meanings. The verse being commented upon is one such verse. In it, taking others as guardians instead of Allah implies regarding them as one’s patron and supporter and helper in all the four above mentioned meanings.

Allah is watching over them and seeing whatever they are doing and is recording their conduct, for it is His responsibility to call them to account and punish them. As for the words “You are not disposer of affairs over them”, these have been addressed to the Prophet (peace be upon him). They mean: Their destiny has not been placed under yow control so that you may burn to ashes anyone who does not listen to you, or depose him from power, or annihilate him. Although apparently the Prophet (peace be upon him) himself is the addressee, the real object is to tell the disbelievers that the Prophet of Allah has made no such claims as were usually made by their so-called saints who posed to possess great spiritual powers. Among the ignorant people it is generally thought that the so-called holy men have the power to ruin the destiny of anyone who behaves insolently towards them in any way; so much so that even after their death if somebody happened to dishonor their grave, or if nothing else, only nursed an evil thought about them in his mind, they destroyed him completely. Such a thought is in most cases spread by the holy men themselves. As for the good men who do not themselves say any such thing, their names are exploited by some other clever people, who spread such thoughts about them in order to promote their business. In any case this is regarded as a necessary corollary of spirituality and piety among the common people that one should possess the powers of making and marring destinies. To destroy the spell of this same fraud, Allah is addressing His Messenger (peace be upon him), as if to tell the disbelievers: You are no doubt Our Messenger and We have blessed you with Our revelations, but your duty is only to guide the people to the right path. Their destinies have not boon placed under yow control; they are in Our hands; therefore, to watch over the deeds and acts of the servants and to punish or not to punish them is Our own responsibility."
(7)   And thus, We have revealed to you an Arabic Qur'an that you may warn the Mother of Cities [Makkah] and those around it and warn of the Day of Assembly, about which there is no doubt. A party will be in Paradise and a party in the Blaze.
The same thing which had been said in the beginning of the discourse has been said again with greater emphasis, and by making mention of the Arabic Quran, the listeners have been warned to the effect: The Quran is not in any foreign language but in your own language, you can understand it yourself directly, study its themes and see for yourself that the pure and selfless guidance that is being given in it can be from none other than the Lord of the Universe.

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

That is, tell them also that this destruction is not confined only to this world but the Day has to come when Allah will gather together all mankind and subject them to accountability. Even if a person escaped the evil consequences of his deviation and wickedness in the world, there will be no chance of his escape on that Day, and highly unfortunate is he, who is doomed to a tragic fate both in this world and in the Hereafter.‏ 
( 8 )   And if Allah willed, He could have made them [of] one religion, but He admits whom He wills into His mercy. And the wrongdoers have not any protector or helper.
This theme has three objects in this context:
  • First, it is meant to instruct and console the Prophet (peace be upon him), as if to say: Do not grieve so much at the ignorance and deviation of the disbelievers of Makkah and their stubbornness and obduracy. It is Allah’s will that man should be granted the freedom of choice and action. Then whoever desires to have guidance should be given guidance, and whoever wants to remain astray should be allowed to go astray. Had this not been Allah’s will, there was no need whatsoever of sending the Prophets and the Books. For this only a creative hint of Allah Almighty’s was enough, all human beings would have become as obedient as the rivers, mountains, trees, stones, and all other creatures. (In this connection, see (Surah Al-Anaam, Ayats 35-36, 107).
  • Secondly, its addressees are all those people who were involved in the confusion, and even now are, that if Allah really had wanted to show guidance to human beings and He did not like the differences of creed and practice that were prevalent among the people, and wanted to have the people adopt the way of the faith and Islam, there was no need for the revelation and the Book and the Prophethood. He could have easily achieved this object by creating everyone a believer and Muslim by birth. Another result of this confusion was also this reasoning: When Allah has not done so, the different ways that we are following, are approved by Him, and whatever we are doing, is according to His will. Therefore, nobody has any right to object to it. (To remove this misunderstanding also this theme has been mentioned at several places in the Quran. Please see (Surah Al-Anaam, Ayats 112, 137, 148-149); (Surah Yunus, Ayat 99); (Surah Houd, Ayats 118-119); (Surah An-Nahl, Ayats 9, 35 ).
  • Thirdly, its object is to make the believers realize the truth about the difficulties that one generally faces in the way of preaching religion and reforming the people. Those people who do not understand the reality of the God, given freedom of choice and will and of the resulting differences of temperament and methods, sometimes become despondent at the slow progress of the reformatory work and wish that some supernatural things should appear from Allah, which should change the hearts of the people, and are sometimes inclined to adopt unsound methods of bringing about reformation, owing to excessive enthusiasm. (For this object also this theme has occurred at some places in the Quran, for which see (Surah Ar-Raad, Ayat 31); (Surah An-Nahl, Ayats 91-93).
To highlight these objects a very important theme has been expressed in these brief sentences. Allah’s real vicegerency in the world and His Paradise in the Hereafter is not an ordinary blessing, which may be distributed over creatures of the rank of the earth and stones and donkeys and horses as a common blessing. This is indeed a special blessing and a blessing of a very high order for which even the angels were not considered fit. That is why Allah created man as a creature endowed with power and authority and placed vast means of His earth under his control and blessed him with these special powers so that he may pass through the test, success in which alone can entitle a servant to His blessings. This blessing is Allah’s own; no one has a monopoly over it, nor can anyone claim to have it on the basis of a personal right, nor has anyone the power to take it by force. He who presents service before Allah, who takes Him as his Guardian and comes under His protection, alone can have it. Then Allah blesses him with help, guidance and grace to pass this test, so that he may enter His Mercy. As for the unjust man who turns away from Allah Himself and instead takes others as his patrons, Allah has no need that he should become his guardian by force. And the others whom He takes as his guardians do not possess any knowledge and power and authority that they may enable him to achieve success by dint of their guardianship of him.
( 9 )   Or have they taken protectors [or allies] besides him? But Allah - He is the Protector, and He gives life to the dead, and He is over all things competent.
Reading the verse 9 above, a question may arise in the mind of non Muslims: What is the proof of only Allah’s being the real guardian and of no one else’s being the guardian? The answer is: Man’s real guardian can be the one who changes death into life, who has created a living man by breathing life into inorganic substances, and who also possesses the powers and authority to do full justice to the function of guardianship. If there is such a one, apart from Allah, he may be made the guardian, and if He is Allah alone, then taking another beside Him as one’s guardian is nothing but ignorance and folly and self-destruction.

Verses 10-19 explain that Islam is the same Deen (way of life) which was enjoined on Nuh, Ibrahim, Musa (Moses) and Isa (Jesus) They were all ordered to establish Deen-al-Islam and do not create division (sects) in it
( 10 ) The judgment on whatever you differ rests with Allah. Such is Allah, my Lord; in Him I have put all my trust and to Him I always turn in devotion.
From here to the end of verse, though the whole discourse is a revelation from Allah, the speaker is not Allah but the Messenger (peace be upon him) of Allah. In other words, Allah Almighty is telling His Prophet (peace be upon him) to make this proclamation to the people. Such themes in the Quran sometimes begin with qul (say, O Prophet) and sometimes without it. Only the style indicates that the speaker at a place is not Allah but Allah’s Messenger. Even at some places though the words are Allah’s, the speaker are the believers, as for example in Surah Surah Al-Fatiha. Or, the speaker are the angels as in (Surah Maryam, Ayats 64-65).
This is the natural and logical demand of Allah Almighty’s being the Master of the Universe and His being the real Guardian. When Sovereignty and Guardianship belong to Him only inevitably, He alone is also the Ruler. And it is for Him to judge human beings’ mutual disputes and differences. Those who restrict it only to the Hereafter make a mistake. There is no argument to prove that Allah’s position as a Ruler has no effect in this world but is meant only for the life Hereafter. Likewise, those who restrict it only to beliefs and a few questions of religious nature are also in the wrong. The words are general and they clearly proclaim Allah as having the sole right to judge all disputes and differences. According to them, just as Allah is the Master of the Day of Judgment in the Hereafter; so He is the best of Judges in this world too. And just as He is the Settler of the differences pertaining to beliefs as to what is the truth and what is falsehood, so also in legal matters He is the Settler of differences as to what is pure for man and what is impure, what is lawful and desirable for him and what is forbidden and undesirable. What is evil and vicious in morals and what is good and virtuous, what are the rights of the people in their mutual dealings and what are the right practices in social political and economic life and what are wrong? On this very basis the Quran has declared this principle as the fundamental of law:

In the context in which this verse has occurred, it gives another meaning also and that is: To decide differences is not only Allah’s legal right on accepting or rejecting which depends on man’s being a believer or an unbeliever, but Allah, in fact, practically also is deciding between the truth and falsehood due to which falsehood and its worshipers are ultimately being destroyed and the truth and the faithful are being honored and exalted, no matter how delayed the enforcement of this decision may seem to be. This theme occurs in (verse 24) below, and has been expressed at several places in the Quran. For this please see (Surah Ar-Raad, Ayats 17,41); (Surah Ibrahim, Ayats 24-27); (Surah Bani Israil, Ayat 8); (Surah Al-Anbiya, Ayats 18, 44).
(11) [He is] Creator of the heavens and the earth. He has made for you from yourselves, mates, and among the cattle, mates; He multiplies you thereby. There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the Hearing, the Seeing. (12) To Him belong the keys of the heavens and the earth. He extends provision for whom He wills and restricts [it]. Indeed, He is, of all things, Knowing.
These are the arguments to prove why Allah alone is the true Guardian and why putting trust in Him alone is right and correct and why He alone should be turned to in all matters. (For explanation, see (Surah An-Naml, Ayats 60-66); (Surah Ar-Room, Ayats 20-22).
( 13 )   He has ordained for you of religion what He enjoined upon Noah and that which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], and what We enjoined upon Abraham and Moses and Jesus - to establish the religion and not be divided therein. Difficult for those who associate others with Allah is that to which you invite them. Allah chooses for Himself whom He wills and guides to Himself whoever turns back [to Him].
Verse 13 clearly states that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is not the founder of any new religion, nor was any of the Prophets a founder of a separate religion, but it has been one and the same religion which all the Prophets have been presenting from Allah from the very beginning, and the same is being presented by Muhammad (peace be upon him). In this regard, the first name mentioned is of the Prophet Noah (peace be upon him), who was the first Prophet after the Flood. After him the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has been mentioned, who is the last of the Prophets; then the Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) has been mentioned, whom the Arabs acknowledged as their guide, and last of all, the Prophets Moses and Jesus (peace be upon them) have been mentioned to whom the Jews and the Christians attribute their religions. This does not mean that only these five Prophets had been enjoined this religion, but what is meant to be said is that all the Prophets who came to this world, brought one and the same religion and the names of the five illustrious Prophets have been mentioned only as examples through whom the world received the most well known codes of divine law.

Here the same thing as stated in verses 8-9 above, has been reiterated. The object of repeating it here is as if to say: You are presenting the clear highway of religion before them but the foolish people, instead of appreciating the blessing, are becoming annoyed over it. But even among them there are the people of their own tribe, who are turning to Allah and Allah also is drawing them closer to Himself. But one should understand that Allah’s bestowal of His blessings is not blind. He draws only him towards Himself who is inclined to be drawn and not him who runs away from Him.
( 14 )   And they did not become divided until after knowledge had come to them - out of jealous animosity between themselves. And if not for a word that preceded from your Lord [postponing the penalty] until a specified time, it would have been concluded between them. And indeed, those who were granted inheritance of the Scripture after them are, concerning it, in disquieting doubt.
That is, the divisions were created not because Allah had failed to send the Prophets and the Books, and therefore, the people could not know the right way and so invented their own separate religions, sects, schools of thought and systems of life, but divisions appeared after knowledge had come to them from Allah. Therefore, Allah is not responsible for it, but the people who abandoned the clear principles of religion and commands of the Shariah and created their own creeds and religions are themselves responsible for it.

If Allah wanted all such people who were guilty of inventing false systems and followed them would have been annihilated in the world itself by a torment, and only the righteous ones allowed to survive, which should have indicated as to who was a follower of the truth and who of falsehood in the sight of Allah. But Allah has deferred this decision till Resurrection, for after such a decision in the world, the trial of mankind becomes meaningless.
( 15 )   So to that [religion of Allah] invite, [O Muhammad], and remain on a right course as you are commanded and do not follow their inclinations but say, "I have believed in what Allah has revealed of the Qur'an, and I have been commanded to do justice among you. Allah is our Lord and your Lord. For us are our deeds, and for you your deeds. There is no [need for] argument between us and you. Allah will bring us together, and to Him is the [final] destination."
In verse 15, the Prophet of Allah has been commanded: Do not make any change nor effect any increase or decrease in this religion only to please them. Do not resort to any compromises with misguided people on the principle of give and take. Do not make any room in the religion for their whims, prejudices and practices of ignorance in the hope that they would embrace Islam. Let the one who wants to accept, accept the original, pure religion of God, as sent down by Him, straight forwardly; otherwise let him go and enter any hell that he chooses for himself. The religion of God cannot be changed for the sake of the people; if the people are desirous of their own wellbeing and true success, let them change their ways and mold themselves according to it.

And that we have done our best in conveying to you the message in a rational way. Now there is no use wrangling and disputing; therefore, even if you try to have a dispute with us, we have no desire to join in.
(16) And those who argue concerning Allah after He has been responded to - their argument is invalid with their Lord, and upon them is [His] wrath, and for them is a severe punishment.
This is an allusion to the state of affairs that was being experienced in Makkah at that time almost daily. Whenever it became known about somebody that he had become a Muslim, the people would start treating him mercilessly. They would worry and vex him, would neither let him have peace in the house nor in the street nor in society. Wherever he went, they would start an endless discussion with the object to somehow make him abandon Muhammad (peace be upon him) and return to the same creed of ignorance which he had rejected.
( 17 )   It is Allah who has sent down the Book in truth and [also] the balance. And what will make you perceive? Perhaps the Hour is near.
The Shariah of Allah, which, like a balance "Meezan" as used in this verse, brings out clearly the distinction between the right and the wrong, the truth and falsehood, justice and injustice, and righteousness and wickedness. In( verse 15) above, the Prophet (peace be upon him) has been made to say: I have been commanded to do justice between you. Here, it has been told that with this Book the Balance has come by which justice will be established.

Thus one who is inclined to mend his ways, must mend his ways forthwith, he should not lose time under the delusion that the Hour of Judgment is yet far off. Man cannot be sure whether he will be able to take another breath or not, his present breath may be his last.
( 18 )   Those who do not believe in it are impatient for it, but those who believe are fearful of it and know that it is the truth. Unquestionably, those who dispute concerning the Hour are in extreme error.( 19 ) Allah is Subtle with His servants; He gives provisions to whom He wills. And He is the Powerful, the Exalted in Might.
In verse 19, Latif - one of the 99 attributes of Allah has been used and the word “Subtle” cannot fully convey the meaning of the word Latif. This word contains two meanings: First, that Allah is very Kind and Compassionate to His servants; second, that He is a subtle observer and keeps in view even their minutest and most ordinary needs, which none else can see, and He fulfills them in such ways that they themselves do not perceive as to which need of theirs has been fulfilled at what time and by whom. Then the slaves here does not imply only the believers but all slaves. That is, Allah is Kind and Compassionate to all His slaves.

But this also does not mean: The demand of His general kindness and compassion is not this that all the slaves should be given everything equally. For, although He is providing for each and every one from His treasures, there is no equality and uniformity in the measure of His provisions. He has given one thing to one and another to another. He has provided someone with something in a greater measure and another with another thing more generously. And that His system of providence is functioning undo His own might. No one has the power to change it or take away something forcibly from Him, or prevent Him from providing for somebody.

Verses 20-29 talk of men, who who desire the harvest in the hereafter, shall be given manifold, but he who desires in this life shall be given a portion here but shall have no share in the hereafter
( 20 )   Whoever desires the harvest of the Hereafter - We increase for him in his harvest. And whoever desires the harvest of this world - We give him thereof, but there is not for him in the Hereafter any share.( 21 )   Or have they other deities who have ordained for them a religion to which Allah has not consented? But if not for the decisive word, it would have been concluded between them. And indeed, the wrongdoers will have a painful punishment.
In verse 21 the word shuraka (associates) obviously does not mean those beings whom the people invoke, or those in whose names they make offerings, or those before whom they carry out rites of worship, but inevitably it refers to those men whom the people regard as associates in the authority and sovereignty of Allah, whose thoughts, creeds, ideologies and philosophies they believe in, whose values they adopt, whose moral precepts and norms of civilization and culture they accept, and whose laws and rules and regulations they adopt to their rituals and rites of worship, in their personal and collective lives, in their trade and business dealings, in their politics and governments, as if they constituted the shariah that they had to follow faithfully. This is a complete code of life which the inventors invented against the legislation of Allah, Lord of the worlds, without His sanction and followed by the followers. This is the same sort of shirk as prostrating oneself before another and invoking another than Allah. (For further explanation, see (Surah An-Nisa, Ayat 60); (Surah Al-Maidah, Ayat 87); (Surah Al-Anaam, Ayats 121, 136,137); (Surah At-Taubah, Ayat 31); (Surah Younus, Ayat 59); (Surah Ibrahim, Ayat 22); (Surah An-Nahl, Ayats 115- 116); (Surah Al-Kahf, Ayat 52); (Surah Al-Qasas, Ayats 62-64); (Surah Saba, Ayat 41); (Surah YaSeen, Ayat 74).
( 22 )   You will see the wrongdoers fearful of what they have earned, and it will [certainly] befall them. And those who have believed and done righteous deeds will be in lush regions of the gardens [in Paradise] having whatever they will in the presence of their Lord. That is what is the great bounty.( 23 )   It is that of which Allah gives good tidings to His servants who believe and do righteous deeds. Say, [O Muhammad], "I do not ask you for this message any payment [but] only good will through kinship." And whoever commits a good deed - We will increase for him good therein. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Appreciative.
The word Kinship in verse 23 may mean: I do not ask of you any reward for this service, but I do desire that you (O people of Quraish) should show some regard for the kinship that is there between me and you. You should have accepted my invitation, but if you do not accept it, you should not be so hard-hearted as to become my bitterest enemies in the entire land of Arabia. [This is the interpretation by most of the scholars.]

However, some others interpret it like this: I do not seek from you any other reward than this that you should develop in yourselves a desire for attaining nearness to Allah. That is, you should be reformed. That is my only reward. In the Quran itself, at another place, this same subject has been treated, thus: Tell them: I do not seek of you any reward for this work. I only ask of the one, who will, to adopt the way of his Lord. (Surah Al-Furqan, Ayat 57).

Yet another group of interpreters takes qurba in the meaning of the kindred, and interprets the verse to mean this: I do not seek from you any other reward than this that you should love my near and dear ones. Then, some of the commentators of this group interpret the kindred to mean alt the children of Abdul Muttalib, and some others restrict it to Ali and Fatimah and their children. This commentary has been reported from Saeed bin Jubair and Amr bin Shuaib, and in some traditions it has been attributed to Ibn Abbas and Ali bin Hussain (Zainal Abedin), but this interpretation cannot be accepted for several reasons. Firstly, when Surah Ash-Shura was revealed at Makkah, Ali and Fatimah had not yet been married and, therefore, there could be no question of their children. As for the children of Abdul Muttalib, they were not all following the Prophet (peace be upon him) but some of them had openly joined with his enemies, and the enmity of Abu Lahab is well known. Second, the kindred of the Prophet (peace be upon him) were not only the children of Abdul Muttalib but he had his kindred among all the families of the Quraish through his mother and his father and his wife Khadijah. In all these clans he had his best supporters as well as his staunch enemies. Third, and this is the most important point, in view of the high position of a Prophet (peace be upon him) from which he starts his mission of inviting the people towards Allah, it does not seem fitting that he would ask the people to love his kindred in return for his services in connection with his great mission. No person of fine taste could imagine that Allah would have taught His Prophet (peace be upon him) such a little thing, and the Prophet would have uttered the same before the Quraish.

At many other places in the Quran, we find that a Prophet after Prophet stands up before his people and says: I do not ask of you any reward: my reward is with Allah, Lord of the worlds. (Surah Younus, Ayat 72); (Surah Houd, Ayats 29, 51); (Surah Ash- Shuara, Ayats 109, 127, 145, 164, l80). In Surah YaSeen the criterion given of a Prophet’s truthfulness is that he gives his invitation without any selfish motive. (verse 21). In the Quran the Prophet (peace be upon him) himself has been made to say again and again words to the effect: I demand no reward from you for this message. (Surah Al-Anaam, Ayat 90); (Surah Yousuf, Ayat 104); (Surah Al-Muminun, Ayat 72); (Surah Al-Furqan, Ayat 57); (Surah Saba, Ayat 47); (Surah Suad, Ayat 86); (Surah At-Toor, Ayat 40); (Surah Al- Qalam, Ayat 46).

After this, what could be the occasion for the Prophet (peace be upon him) to tell the people that in return for his service of inviting them to Allah, they should love his relatives. Then it seems all the more irrelevant when we state that the addressees here are the disbelievers and not the believers. The whole discourse, from the beginning to the end, is directed to them. Therefore, there could be no question in this regard of asking the opponents for any reward, for a reward is asked of those who show some appreciation for the services that a person has rendered for them. The disbelievers were not at all appreciative of the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) services. On the contrary, they regarded them as a crime and had turned bitterly hostile to him.
( 24 )   Or do they say, "He has invented about Allah a lie"? But if Allah willed, He could seal over your heart. And Allah eliminates falsehood and establishes the truth by His words. Indeed, He is Knowing of that within the breasts.
Verse 24 implies that big lies are only uttered by those whose hearts have been sealed up. If Allah wills, He may include you also among them, but it is His mercy that He has kept you away from them. This answer contains a severe satire against the people who were so accusing the Prophet (peace be upon him). It means this: O Prophet, they think that you are a man like them. Just as they are in the habit of uttering any big lie only for the sake of a selfish motive, so they thought you also must have forged a lie for selfish ends. But it is Allah’s mercy that He has not sealed up your heart as He has sealed up theirs.

And that Allah does not grant stability to falsehood, and in the long run proves the truth to be true. Therefore, O Prophet (peace be upon him), you should go on doing your mission, without paying any attention to their false accusations. A time will come when this whole falsehood will vanish like dust, and the truth of that which you are presenting will become visible and manifest. and that He knows why you are being thus falsely accused and what are the actual motives that are working behind all this struggle that is being made to frustrate and defeat you.
( 25 )   And it is He who accepts repentance from his servants and pardons misdeeds, and He knows what you do.
Calling the people’s attention to repentance immediately after verse 24 by itself gives the meaning, as if to say: O wicked people, why are you making yourselves still more worthy of God’s punishment by falsely accusing the true Prophet? If you desist from your misdeeds even now, and offer true repentance, Allah will forgive you. Repentance means that one should feel remorse for the evil he has done, and should refrain and desist from it in the future. Moreover, it is also an inevitable demand of true repentance that one should try his utmost to compensate for the evil he has done in the past, and wherever compensation is not possible, he should seek Allah’s forgiveness and should do more and more good to wipe off the blot from himself. But no repentance can be true repentance unless it is offered with the intention of pleasing Allah. Giving up an evil for some other reason or intention is no repentance at all.
( 26 )   And He answers [the supplication of] those who have believed and done righteous deeds and increases [for] them from His bounty. But the disbelievers will have a severe punishment.( 27 )   And if Allah had extended [excessively] provision for His servants, they would have committed tyranny throughout the earth. But He sends [it] down in an amount which He wills. Indeed He is, of His servants, Acquainted and Seeing.
 If the context in which this thing in verse 27 has been said is kept in view, it appears that Allah here is alluding to the basic factor that was working in the rebellion of the disbelievers of Makkah. Although they were insignificant as against the mighty Roman and Iranian Empires and their position among the nations of the neighboring countries was no more than of a commercial tribe of a backward people, the relative prosperity and glory that they enjoyed among the other Arabs had made them so proud and arrogant that they were not inclined even to listen to the Prophet (peace be upon him) of Allah, and their chiefs of the tribes regarded it below their dignity that Muhammad bin Abdullah (peace be upon him) should be their guide and they his followers. On this it is being said: If We had actually opened up the gates of provisions for these mean people, they would have burst with pride. But We are watching over them, and are providing for them only sparingly so as to keep them within limits. According to this meaning this verse, in other words, is touching on the same subject which has already been treated in (Surah At- Taubah, Ayats 68-70); (Surah Al-Kahf, Ayats 32-42); (Surah Al-Qasas, Ayats 75-82); (Surah Ar-Room, Ayat 9); (Surah Saba, Ayats 34-36 )and (Surah Al-Mumin, Ayats 82-85).
( 28 )   And it is He who sends down the rain after they had despaired and spreads His mercy. And He is the Protector, the Praiseworthy.
The the word wali used in original in verse 28 implies the Being who is the Governor of the affairs of all His creations, Who has taken the responsibility of fulfilling all the needs and requirements of His servants.
( 29 )   And of His signs is the creation of the heavens and earth and what He has dispersed throughout them of creatures. And He, for gathering them when He wills, is competent.
That is, just as He has the power to disperse them, so He has also the power to gather them all together. Therefore, it is wrong to think that Resurrection cannot take place, and all the former and the latter generations cannot be raised up and gathered all together.

Verses 30-43 mention that whatever afflictions befall upon people are the result of their own misdeeds and True believers are those who establish Salah, give charit and defend themselves when oppressed
( 30 )   And whatever strikes you of disaster - it is for what your hands have earned; but He pardons much.
In verse 30, the people of Makkah are being told: Had Allah seized you for all your sins and crimes, He would not have even allowed you to live. But the calamities (probably the allusion is to the famine of Makkah) that have descended on you, are only a warning so that you may take heed and examine your actions and deeds to see as to what attitude and conduct you have adopted as against your Lord. And you can try to understand how helpless you actually are against God against Whom you are rebelling, and know that those whom you have taken as your patrons and supporters, or the powers that you have relied upon, cannot avail you anything against the punishment of Allah.
( 31 )   And you will not cause failure [to Allah] upon the earth. And you have not besides Allah any protector or helper.( 32 )   And of His signs are the ships in the sea, like mountains. ( 33 )   If He willed, He could still the wind, and they would remain motionless on its surface. Indeed in that are signs for everyone patient and grateful.( 34 ) Or He could destroy them for what they earned; but He pardons much. ( 35 ) And [that is so] those who dispute concerning Our signs may know that for them there is no place of escape.
The Quraish, in connection with their business and trade, had also to visit Habash and the coastal lands of Africa, and on these journeys, they used sailing ships and boats for crossing the Red Sea, which is a very dangerous sea. It is generally stormy and abounds in submerged rocks which are a serious hazard for navigation especially during storms. Therefore, the state that has been depicted here by Allah could be fully realized by the people of the Quraish in the light of their personal experiences.
(36 ) So whatever thing you have been given - it is but [for] enjoyment of worldly life. But what is with Allah is better and more lasting for those who have believed and upon their Lord rely (37)   And those who avoid the major sins and immoralities, and when they are angry, they forgive,
That is, they are not wrathful and crazy but are temperate and cool minded. They are not revengeful but forbearing and forgiving by nature. If ever they feel angry at something they control their rage. This characteristic is the best of man’s qualities, which has been highly commended in the Quran (Surah Aal-Imran, Ayat 134) and regarded as a major factor of the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) success (Surah Aal-Imran, Ayat 159). According to Aishah, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) never avenged himself on anybody, however, when a thing enjoined to be held sacred by Allah was desecrated, he would award the punishment. (Bukhari, Muslim).

 وَالَّذِيۡنَ اسۡتَجَابُوا لِرَبِّهِمۡ وَاَقَامُوۡا الصَّلٰوةَ وَاَمۡرُهُمۡ شُوۡرٰى بَيۡنَهُمۡ
 وَمِمَّا رَزَقۡنٰهُمۡ يُنۡفِقُوۡنَ​ۚ‏
(38) And those who have responded to their lord and established prayer and whose affair is [determined by] consultation among themselves, and from what We have provided them, they spend.
Literally, the verse means: “Who answers the call of their Lord”, that is they hasten to do whatever Allah enjoins them to do, and accept whatever Allah invites them to accept.

This thing has been counted here as the best quality of the believers and has been enjoined in( Surah Aal-Imran, Ayat 159). On this basis, consultation is an important pillar of the Islamic way of life, and to conduct the affairs of collective life without consultation is not only the way of ignorance but also an express violation of the law prescribed by Allah. When we consider why consultation has been given such importance in Islam, three things become obvious:
  • First, that it is injustice that a person should decide a matter by his personal opinion and ignore others when it involves the interests of two or more persons. Justice demands that all those whose interests are involved in a matter be consulted, and if it concerns a large number of the people, their reliable representatives should be made a party in consultation.
  • Second, that a man tries to do what he likes in matters of common interest either because he wants to usurp the rights of others for selfish ends, or because he looks down upon others and regards himself as a superior person. Morally both these qualities are equally detestable, and a believer cannot have even a tinge of either of these in himself. A believer is neither selfish so that he should get undue benefits by usurping the rights of others, nor he is arrogant and self-conceited that he should regard himself as all-wise and all-knowing.
  • Third, that it is a grave responsibility to give decisions in matters that involve the rights and interests of others. No one who fears God and knows what severe accountability for it he will be subjected to by his Lord, can dare take the heavy burden of it solely on himself. Such a boldness is shown only by those who arc fearless of God and heedless of the Hereafter. The one who fears God and has the feeling of the accountability of the Hereafter, will certainly try that in a matter of common interest he should consult all the concerned people or their authorized representatives so as to reach, as far as possible, an objective and right and equitable decision, and if there occurs a mistake one man alone should not be held responsible for it.
A deep consideration of these three things can enable one to fully understand that consultation is a necessary demand of the morality that Islam has taught to man, and departure from it is a grave immorality which Islam does not permit. The Islamic way of life requires that the principle of consultation should be used in every collective affair, big or small. If it is a domestic affair, the husband and the wife should act by mutual consultation, and when the children have grown up, they should also be consulted. If it is a matter concerning the whole family, the opinion of every adult member should be solicited. If it concerns a tribe or a fraternity or the population of a city, and it is not possible to consult all the people, the decision should be taken by a local council or committee, which should comprise the trustworthy representatives of the concerned people according to an agreed method. If the matter concerns a whole nation, the head of government should be appointed by the common consent of the people, and he should conduct the national affairs in consultation with the leaders of opinion whom the people regard as reliable, and he should remain at the helm of affair only as long as the people themselves want him to remain in that position.
The principle of consultation as enshrined in amru-hum shura baina-hum by itself demands five things:
  • (1) The people whose rights and interests relate to collective matters should have full freedom to express their opinion and they should be kept duly informed of how their affairs are being conducted. To conduct the people’s affairs by keeping them silent and un-informed is sheer dishonesty which no one can regard as adherence to the principle of consultation in Islam.
  • (2) The person who is to be entrusted with the responsibility of conducting collective affairs, should be appointed by the people’s free consent, which is not obtained through coercion, temptation, deception, and fraud. A nation’s true head is not he who becomes its head by trying every possible method, but he whom the people make their head by their own free choice and approval.
  • (3) The people who are appointed as advisers to the head of the state should be such as enjoy the confidence of the nation, and obviously the people who win representative positions by suppression or by expending wealth, or by practicing falsehood and fraud, or by misleading the people cannot be regarded as enjoying the confidence in the real sense.
  • (4) The advisers should give opinion according to their knowledge and faith and conscience and they should have full freedom of such expression of opinion. Wherever this is not the case, it will be treachery and dishonesty and not adherence to the Islamic principle of consultation.
  • (5) The advice that is given by a consensus of the advisers, or which has the support of the majority of the people, should be accepted, for if a person (or a group of persons) behaves independently and acts on his own whims, even after hearing the advice of others, consultation becomes meaningless. Allah does not say: They are consulted in their affairs, but says: They conduct their affairs by mutual consultations. This instruction is not implemented by mere consultation, but for its sake it is necessary that the affairs be conducted according to what is settled by consensus or by majority opinion in consultation.
Along with this explanation of the Islamic principle of consultation, this basic thing also should be kept in view that this consultation is not independent and autocratic in conducting the affairs of the Muslims, but necessarily subject to the bounds that Allah Himself has set by His legislation, and is subject to the fundamental principle: It is for Allah to give a decision in whatever you may differ, and if there arises any dispute among you about anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger. According to this general principle, the Muslims can hold consultations in Shariah matters with a view to determining the correct meaning of a text or verse and to find out the ways of implementing it so as to fulfill its requirements rightly but they cannot hold consultations in order to give an independent judgment in a matter which has already been decided and settled by Allah and His Messenger.

It has three meanings: (1) They spend only out of what lawful provisions We have given them, they do not touch unlawful things for supplementing their expenditure. (2) They do not set aside the provisions granted by us, but spend them. (3) They spend out of what they have been given in the cause of Allah also, they do not reserve everything for personal use only.

The first meaning is based on this that Allah calls the lawful and pure provisions only as the provisions granted by Him. He does not call the provisions earned in impure and unlawful ways His provisions. The second meaning is based on that whatever Allah provides for man is provided so that he may spend it and not that he may set it aside and hoard it up like a miser. The third meaning is based on that according to the Quran, spending does not mean spending merely on his own self and for his personal needs, but it also contains the meaning of spending for the sake of Allah in His way. On account of these three reasons Allah here is counting spending of wealth among the best qualities of the believers because of which the blessings of the Hereafter have been reserved only for them.
39)   And those who, when tyranny strikes them, they defend themselves,
This also is one of the best characteristics of believers, they do not fall prey to tyrants. Their tender-heartedness and forgiving nature is not the result of any weakness. Their nobility demands that when they are victors, they should forgive the errors of the vanquished. When they possess the power, they should avoid being vengeful and when a weak or subdued person happens to commit a mistake, they should overlook it. But when a powerful person, drunk with authority, commits violence against them, they should resist and fight him with all their might. A believer is never cowed by a wicked person nor bows to an arrogant man. For such people he proves to be a hard nut which breaks the teeth of those who try to break it.

The passage from here to the end of (verse 43) is an explanation of verse 39.
(40) And the retribution for an evil act is an evil one like it, but whoever pardons and makes reconciliation - his reward is [due] from Allah. Indeed, He does not like wrongdoers. (41) And whoever avenges himself after having been wronged - those have not upon them any cause [for blame]. (42) The cause is only against the ones who wrong the people and tyrannize upon the earth without right. Those will have a painful punishment. (43) And whoever is patient and forgives - indeed, that is of the matters [requiring] determination.
One should note that the qualities of the believers that have been mentioned in these verses, practically existed in the lives of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his companions, and the disbelievers of Makkah were their eye-witnesses. Thus, Allah has, in fact, told the disbelievers: The real wealth is not the provisions that you have received for passing the transitory life of the world, and are bursting with pride of it, but the real wealth are the morals and characteristics which the believers from your own society have developed by accepting the guidance given by the Quran.

Verses 44-48 explain that the real losers are those who will lose on the Day of Resurrection
(44) And he whom Allah sends astray - for him there is no protector beyond Him. And you will see the wrongdoers, when they see the punishment, saying, "Is there for return [to the former world] anyway?"
Allah sent the best Book like the Quran for the guidance of the people, which gives them the knowledge of reality in a rational and effective way and guides them to the right way of life. He sent a Prophet like Muhammad (peace be upon him) for their guidance, a man of better character than whom they had never seen before. And then Allah also showed them the results of the teaching and training of this Book and this Messenger in the lives of the believers. Now, if after witnessing all this, a person turns away from the guidance, Allah casts him into the same deviation from which he has no desire to come out. And when Allah Himself has driven him away, who else can take the responsibility of bringing him to the right way. And while there is still a chance of coming back, they ignore the warnings. And when tomorrow when the judgment will be passed and the sentence enforced, then seeing their fate they will wish to come back.
(45) And you will see them being exposed to the Fire, humbled from humiliation, looking from [behind] a covert glance. And those who had believed will say, "Indeed, the [true] losers are the ones who lost themselves and their families on the Day of Resurrection. Unquestionably, the wrongdoers are in an enduring punishment."(46) And there will not be for them any allies to aid them other than Allah. And whoever Allah sends astray - for him there is no way. (47)  Respond to your Lord before a Day comes from Allah of which there is no repelling. No refuge will you have that day, nor for you will there be any denial.
That is, neither will Allah Himself avert it, nor has anyone else the power to avert it. This sentence has several other meanings also: (1) You will not be able to deny any of your misdeeds, (2) You will not be able to hide yourself even in disguise, (3) You will not be able to protest or show any displeasure against any treatment that is meted out to you and (4) It will not be in your power to change the condition in which you are placed.
(48)   But if they turn away - then We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], over them as a guardian; upon you is only [the duty of] notification. And indeed, when We let man taste mercy from us, he rejoices in it; but if evil afflicts him for what his hands have put forth, then indeed, man is ungrateful.
That is, you have not been made responsible that you must bring them to the right path anyhow, nor will you be held accountable as to why these people did not come to the right path.

In Verses 49-50 it is explained that it is Allah Who gives daughters and sons as He pleases
(49) To Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth; He creates what he wills. He gives to whom He wills female [children], and He gives to whom He wills males.
That is, if the people who are involved in disbelief and polytheism do not believe even after the admonition, they may not, for the truth is the truth. The kingdom of the earth and heavens has not been entrusted to the so-called kings and despots and chiefs of the world nor has any prophet, saint, god or goddess any share in it, but its Master is One Allah alone. His rebel can neither succeed by his own power, nor can any of the beings whom the people look upon as owners of divine powers by their own folly, come to their rescue and aid.
(50)   Or He makes them [both] males and females, and He renders whom He wills barren. Indeed, He is Knowing and Competent.
This is a manifest proof of Allah’s Sovereignty being absolute. No man, whether he be posing as owner of the highest worldly authority, or regarded as owner of great spiritual powers, has ever been able to produce children for himself according to his own choice and desire, not to speak of providing children for others. The one whom Allah made barren could not have children through any medicine, any treatment, any amulet or charm. The one whom Allah gave only daughters could not get a single son by any device, and the one whom Allah gave only sons could not have a single daughter by any means. In this matter everyone is absolutely helpless. Even after seeing all this if someone posed to be all-powerful in God’s kingdom, or regarded another as a possessor of the powers, it would be his own shortsightedness for which he himself will suffer, the truth will not change at all.

Verses 51-53 warn that it is not granted to any human being that Allah should speak to him face to face:
(51)   And it is not for any human being that Allah should speak to him except by revelation or from behind a partition or that He sends a messenger to reveal, by His permission, what He wills. Indeed, He is Most High and Wise.
Here, wahi means to inspire somebody with something, or to show something to somebody in a vision as were the Prophets Abraham and Joseph shown (peace be upon them). See (Surah Yousuf, Ayats 4, 100); (Surah As-Saaffat, Ayat 102).

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

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

Thus the verse means that He is far above that He should speak to a man face to face, and His wisdom is not helpless that He may adopt another method of conveying His instructions to a servant of His than of speaking to him face to face.
(52) And thus, We have revealed to you an inspiration of Our command. You did not know what the Book is or [what is] faith, but We have made it a light by which We guide whom We will of Our servants. And indeed, [O Muhammad], you guide to a straight path
“And thus” does not refer only to the last method of wahi, but to all the three methods as mentioned in the preceding verses, and a spirit implies wahi (revelation), or the teaching given to the Prophet (peace be upon him) by revelation. Both the Quran and the Hadih confirm that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was given instruction by all these three methods:
  • (1) In a Hadith Aishah has stated that revelation in the beginning came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) in the form of true visions. (Bukhari, Muslim) This continued in later life also. Traditions mention many visions in which he was given some teaching or informed of something and in the Quran also a vision of his has been clearly mentioned (Surah Al-Fath, Ayat 27). Besides, several traditions also mention that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: I have been inspired with such and such a thing, or I have been informed of this and this, or I have been enjoined this, or I have been forbidden this. All such things relate to the first kind of the wahi and the divinely inspired traditions (Ahadith Qudsi) mostly belong to this category of the traditions.
  • (2) On the occasion of the Miraj (Ascension) the Prophet (peace be upon him) was honored with the second kind of the wahi also. In several authentic traditions the way mention has been made of the commandment of the Salat five times a day and the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) making submissions in that regard again and again clearly shows that at that time a similar dialogue took place between Allah Almighty and His servant Muhammad (peace be upon him) as had taken place between Allah and the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) at the foot of Mount Toor. As for the third kind, the Quran itself testifies that it was conveyed to the Prophet (peace be upon him) through Angel Gabriel, the trustworthy. (Surah Al- Baqarah, Ayat 97); (Surah Ash-Shuara, Ayats192-195).
That is, before his appointment to Prophethood, the Prophet (peace be upon him) had never had any idea that he was going to receive a Book, or that he should receive one, but he was completely unaware of the heavenly Books and the subjects they treated. Likewise, although he believed in Allah, intellectually he was not aware of the requirements of the faith in Allah, nor did he know that along with that belief it was also necessary that he should believe in other things, the angels, the Prophethood, the divine Books and the Hereafter. Both these things were not hidden even from the disbelievers of Makkah. No one belonging to Makkah could bear witness that he had ever heard anything pertaining to a divine Book from the Prophet (peace be upon him) before his sudden proclamation of the Prophethood, or any such thing that the people should believe in such and such things. Obviously if a person had already been looking forward to becoming a prophet, it could not be that the people who remained socially associated with him day and night for 40 years should not have even so much as heard the word Book and the faith from him, and after 40 years he should suddenly have started making fiery speeches on the same themes.
( 53 )   The path of Allah, to whom belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. Unquestionably, to Allah do [all] matters evolve.
This is the final warning that has been given to the disbelievers. It means: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said something and you heard and rejected it. The matter would not end there. Whatever is happening in the world, will be presented before Allah, and ultimately, He Himself will decide what should be the end of every person.

You may now like to listen to Arabic recitation of Sūrat al-Inshiqāq 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 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.  [1]
    In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided by [1], 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
    • Tafsir Nouman Ali Khan
    • Towards Understanding the Quran
    • Wikipedia
    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 |

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