Sunday 5 May 2019

Surah ad Dukhan - The Smoke: Exegesis of 44th Chapter of the Holy Quran

Sūrat ad-Dukhān is the forty fourth surah with 59 ayahs with 3 rukus, part of the 25th Juzʼ  of the Holy Qur'an. The word "dukhan", meaning 'smoke', is mentioned in verse 10.

Sūrat ad-Dukhān 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 they immediately follow the last Sürah in time. These seven surahs that begin with same dis-joined words are:
  • Chapter. 40 Surah Al Mu'min (The Believer)
  • Chapter. 41 Surah Fussilat  (Explained in Detail)
  • Chapter. 42 Surah Ash Shura (The Consultation)
  • Chapter. 43 Surah Az Zukhruf (The Ornaments of Gold)
  • Chapter. 44 Surah Ad Dukhan (The Smoke)
  • Chapter. 45 Surah Al Jathiya (The Crouching)
  • Chapter. 46 Surah Al Ahqaf (The Wind Curved Sand Dunes
The theme of this surah is "How wordily pride and power are humbled in the dust if they resist spiritual and Divine forces, and how Evil and Good find their true setting in the Hereafter."

The Surah was revealed in a period when the disbelievers of Makkah became more and more antagonistic in their attitude and conduct, the Holy Prophet prayed: O Allah, help me with a famine like the famine of Joseph. He thought that when the people would be afflicted with a calamity, they would remember God, their hearts would soften and they would accept the admonition. Allah granted his prayer, and the whole land was overtaken by such a terrible famine that the people were sorely distressed. At last, some of the Quraish chiefs among whom Hadrat Abdullah bin Masud has particularly mentioned the name of Abu Sufyan came to the Holy Prophet and requested him to pray to Allah to deliver his people from the calamity. On this occasion Allah sent down this Surah.

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.
[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].

2-16 Allah revealed this Quran in the Blessed Night (Layla-tul-Qadr) in which all matters are decided wisely by His command: 
( 2 )   By the clear Book,  ( 3 )   Indeed, We sent it down during a blessed night. Indeed, We were to warn [mankind].
The meaning of taking an oath by the lucid Scripture is similar to the explanation of surah 2-3 of the Surah Az-Zukhruf. Here also what has been sworn by is that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is not the author of this Book but We are the author, and this Book by itself is enough to provide a proof of that. Furthermore, it has been said that the night in which it was revealed was full of blessings.

The blessed night implies the same night which has been called lailat-ul-qadr in (Surah Al-Qadr, Ayat 1), There it has been said: We sent it down in a night of glory, and here: We sent it down in a blessed night. It was the night of the month of Ramadan, as it is said in Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayat 185: Ramadan is the month in which the Quran was revealed.

فِيۡهَا يُفۡرَقُ كُلُّ اَمۡرٍ حَكِيۡمٍۙ‏ 
( 4 )   (We revealed it on the Night) wherein every matter is wisely determined
The word amr-in-hakim as used in the text may have two meanings: (1) That the command is entirely based on wisdom: there is no likelihood of any error or weakness in it. (2) That it is a firm and stable decision: it lies in no one’s power to change it.
( 5 )   [Every] matter [proceeding] from Us. Indeed, We were to send [a messenger]
Verse 5 needs to be understood properly as it has been misinterpreted by some scholars and many Muslims follow their interpretation which is based on a weak / indirect Hadith of the Prophet of Allah.

In Surah Al-Qadr, this same thing has been expressed thus: The angels and the Spirit (Angel Gabriel) descend in it with every decree, by the leave of their Lord. This shows that it is such a night in the divine administration of Allah in which He decides the destinies of the individuals and nations and countries and entrusts His decisions to His angels, who then implement them accordingly.

Some commentators have been involved in the misunderstanding that this is the 15th night of Shaban, for in some traditions it has been said that the destinies of people are decided during that night.

But Ibn Abbas, Ibn Umar, Mujahid, Qatadah, Hasan Basri, Saeed bin Jubair, Ibn Zaid, Abu Malik, Dahhak and many other commentators agree that this is the same night of Ramadan, which has been called lailat-ul-qadr, for the Quran itself has stated this, and where any Quranic statement exists, no other view can be formed on the basis of random reports.

Ibn Kathir says: The traditions that Imam Zuhri has related from Uthman bin Muhammad that destinies are decided from one Shaban to the next Shaban is an indirect tradition and such traditions cannot be cited as against the clear texts of the Quran. Qadi Abu Bakr Ibn al-Arabi says: No Hadith in respect of the 15th of Shaban is reliable, either in respect of its merit, or about this that decisions with regard to the destinies are taken in it; therefore, they do not merit attention,

رَحۡمَةً مِّنۡ رَّبِّكَ​ؕ اِنَّهٗ هُوَ السَّمِيۡعُ الۡعَلِيۡمُۙ‏ 
( 6 )   As mercy from your Lord. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Knowing.
The object of mentioning these two attributes of Allah here is to warn the people of the truth that He alone can give correct knowledge for He alone knows all the realities. Not to speak of one man, even if all men join to determine a way of life for themselves, there can be no guaranty of its being the right way, for even the entire mankind together cannot become all-hearing and all-knowing. It does not lie in its power to comprehend all those realities whose knowledge is essential for determining a correct way of life. This knowledge is only with Allah. He alone is All-Hearing and All-Knowing. Therefore, He alone can tell what is guidance for man and what is falsehood, what is the truth and what is wrong, what is good and what is evil.
( 7 )   Lord of the heavens and the earth and that between them, if you would be certain.
The Arabs of the times admitted that Allah alone is the Lord (Master and Provider) of the Universe and of everything in it. Therefore, it has been said to them: If you are not admitting only verbally but are really conscious of His being the Provider and are convinced of His being the Master, you should admit that:  (1) It is the very demand of His Mercy and Providence that He should send a Book and a Messenger for the guidance of man. (2) It is His right as the Master and your duty as His servants that you should obey every guidance and submit to every command that comes from Him.
( 8 )   There is no deity except Him; He gives life and causes death. [He is] your Lord and the Lord of your first forefathers.
That is, there is no god other than Allah, nor can there be. Therefore, it is against reason that you should disdain the worship of Him Who breathed life into dead matter and made you a living man. And Who possesses full powers to keep you alive as long as He likes and bring your life to an end whenever He likes. So, it is against reason that you serve any other than Him, or start worshiping others besides Him.

There is a subtle allusion in it to this: He is also Lord of those of your ancestors who took other gods besides Allah; they had not done the right thing by giving up their real Lord and serving others that you should be justified in imitating them and regard their conduct as an argument for the soundness of your creed. They ought to have served only Him, because He alone is their Lord.
( 9 )   But they are in doubt, amusing themselves.
The verse 9 and its explanation is very important to understand, specially by atheists or polytheists.

In this brief verse an allusion has been made to an important truth. Even atheists or polytheists do come across occasions when their being from within says: There is somewhere some weakness in the creed that we have adopted. The atheist may apparently be very firm in his denial of God, his heart at one or the other time does bear the testimony that this wonderful and wise system which extends from the particle of dust to the galaxies and from a blade of grass to the creation of man, could not come into existence without an All-Wise Designer. Likewise, a polytheist may be deeply submerged in his polytheism, his heart also sometimes cries out: Those whom you have adopted as deities cannot be God. But this testimony of the heart neither leads the atheist nor the polytheist to the conviction about the existence and Oneness of God, nor to conviction and satisfaction about their creed of atheism and polytheism itself. Instead, their religion, in fact, is based on doubt, no matter how convinced they might appear to be of its truth.

As for the question: Why doesn’t this doubt make them restless and why don’t they seek the truth seriously so as to obtain a satisfactory ground for their convictions? The answer is: they lack seriousness in religious matters. What they really regard as important are the worldly earnings and acquisitions and their enjoyment, in search of which they expend all their powers and abilities of the heart and mind and body. As for the religious matters, they are in fact no more than fun, a mere pastime, amusement, or a mental diversion for them, for which they cannot spare even a few moments of serious study. Religious rites are being performed as an entertainment; discussions about denial and atheism are being engaged in as an amusement. No one can spare a few moments from his worldly pursuits to consider whether he has turned away from the truth, and if so, what would be its consequences.

فَارۡتَقِبۡ يَوۡمَ تَاۡتِى السَّمَآءُ بِدُخَانٍ مُّبِيۡنٍۙ‏  
( 10 )   Then watch for the Day when the sky will bring a visible smoke.
The word Dukhan means smoke or mist, and may refer to drought or famine. as mentioned in the introduction, the Prophet of Allah had invoked Allah Allah's wrath to teach the pagans of Makkah a bitter lesson for they were not only not listening to the message he was trying to convey to them but were also teasing, torturing and even threatening his life.

and so the famine came in Makkah, so severe that the Makkans had never seen before. The men were so pinched with hunger that they saw mist before their eyes when they looked at the sky. As per some records, the famine last for years and men were forced to eat bones and carrion. It is then that Abu Sufyan, the chiftien of Quraish tribe came and requested Prophet of Allah to intercede and pray for removal of the Divine curse on them. At that time, the Prophet of Allah recited the Holy verses of Surah Ad-Dukhan: 'Then watch you For the day that The sky will Bring forth a kind Of smoke Plainly visible.'  However, the disbelievers never learnt a lesson and after the curse was lifted, they once again wore the same cloak of deceit and disrespect towards the Prophet of Allah and the Divine message.
( 11 )   Covering the people; this is a painful torment.( 12 )   [They will say], "Our Lord, remove from us the torment; indeed, we are believers."
اَنّٰى لَهُمُ الذِّكۡرٰى وَقَدۡ جَآءَهُمۡ رَسُوۡلٌ مُّبِيۡنٌۙ‏  
( 13 )   How will there be for them a reminder [at that time]? And there had come to them a clear Messenger.
Here,  Rasul-i-mubin has two meanings: (1) His being a Messenger is quite evident from his character, his morals and his works. (2) He has made every effort to make the truth plain and clear.
( 14 )   Then they turned away from him and said, "[He was] taught [and is] a madman."
What they meant was: this was a simple man, some others have incited and deceived him. They secretly forge and teach him verses of the Quran, and he comes and recites them before the people. They sit back in peace and leave him alone to receive the abuses and be pelted with stones. They would make a mockery of all the arguments, the admonitions and the serious teachings which the Prophet (peace be upon him) had been presenting since several years and was growing weary. Neither they paid any attention to the rational things being expressed in the Quran nor recognized the extraordinary character of the man who was presenting them, nor took any trouble to think what nonsense they were uttering when they imputed such things to the Prophet (peace be upon him). Obviously, if there had been another person who gave secret instruction to the Prophet (peace be upon him), he could not have remained hidden from Khadijah and Abu Bakr, Ali and Zaid bin Harithah and other early Muslims, who were the closest and constant companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Then, how it is that these very people only became his most devoted and dedicated followers, whereas if the business of prophet-hood had depended on the secret instruction of some other person, these very people would have been in the forefront to oppose him (For further explanation, see (Surah An-Nahl, Ayat 103) and (Surah Al-Furqan, Ayats 4-6).
( 15 )   Indeed, We will remove the torment for a little. Indeed, you [disbelievers] will return [to disbelief].
The following verse has been under lot of discussions between various interpreters of Quran. While a detailed commentary can be read at references [1] while giving explanation of the vers, a brief is being presented here:
( 16 )   The Day We will strike with the greatest assault, indeed, We will take retribution.
A study of the verses under consideration can remove the disparity between the two commentaries:
  • As for the commentary of Abdullah bin Masud, it is a fact that a severe famine had hit Makkah resulting from the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) prayer and it had unnerved the disbelievers considerably and they had requested the Prophet (peace be upon him) to pray for its removal, as referred to at several places in the Quran. (See (Surah Al- Anaam, Ayat 43); (Surah Al-Aaraf, Ayats 94-95); (Surah Younus, Ayat 21); (Surah Al-Muminun, Ayats 75-77). In these verses also there is a clear pointer to the same conditions. The disbeliever are saying: Our Lord, remove this torment from us, we will believe. Allah is saying: How can they rid themselves of their heedlessness? Even when a manifest Messenger came to them, they paid no heed to him, and said: He is a madman taught by others. Then Allah is saying: Were We to remove the torment a little, you would revert to the same that you were doing before. All this can be relevant only if it refers to the conditions of the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) time. To apply them to what will happen near the time of Resurrection, is not correct. 
  • Therefore, in view of this, Abdullah bin Masud’s commentary seems to be correct, but it is the part that “the smoke” also had appeared in that very time, in that when the people in their extreme state of hunger looked up to the sky, they could see nothing but smoke, does not seem to be correct. It also does not conform to the apparent words of the Quran and is against the traditions as well. The Quran does not say: The sky brought forth the smoke and it spread over the people; but it says: Wait for the day when the sky will appear with a visible smoke, and it will envelop mankind. 
  • A study of the subsequent verses clearly points to this meaning: When you do not believe even after the Messenger’s admonition, nor take heed from the warning given in the shape of the famine, then you should wait for Resurrection. At that time when you see your doom confronting you, you will fully realize what was the truth and what was falsehood. Therefore, as for the smoke, the correct view is that it has nothing to do with the time of the famine, but it is a sign of Resurrection and the same is also confirmed by the Hadith.
17-29 Lessons to be learned from the story of Prophet Musa and the people of Fir'on
( 17 )   And We had already tried before them the people of Pharaoh, and there came to them a noble messenger,( 18 )   [Saying], "Render to me the servants of Allah. Indeed, I am to you a trustworthy messenger,"
It should be noted that the sayings of the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) being cited here, are not parts of a continuous address delivered by him at any one time, but they are a summary in a few sentences of what he said to Pharaoh and his courtiers on different occasions during many years. (For the details, see (Surah Al-Aaraf, Ayats 103-136); (Surah Younus, Ayats 75-92); (Surah TaHa, Ayats 45-76); (Surah Ash-Shuara, Ayats 10-68); (Surah An-Naml, Ayats 7-14); (Surah Al-Qasas, Ayats 32-42); (Surah Al-Mumin, Ayats 23-46); (Surah Az-Zukhruf, Ayats 46-56).

"Leave the children of Israel to go with me" demand is synonymous with the demand made in (Surah Al- Aaraf, Ayat 105); (Surah TaHa, Ayat 47 )and (Surah Ash- Shurra, Ayat 17). Another translation that has been reported from Abdullah ibn Abbas is: Servants of Allah, fulfill my right, i.e. accept what I say, believe in me, follow my guidance. This is my right on you from Allah. The following sentence: I am a trustworthy Messenger to you is more in keeping with the second meaning.
( 19 )   and do not exalt yourselves in defiance of Allah. I have come to you with a clear authority (as a Messenger).
The verse 19 means: Your rebellion against me is in fact rebellion against Allah, for what annoys you is not what I say but what Allah says, and I only present those things as His Messenger. If you doubt whether I have really been sent by Hun or not, I present before you a clear authority of my appointment from Allah. This authority does not imply any one miracle but a long series of the miracles which the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) continued to show to Pharaoh and his people for years since the time he came in the court of Pharaoh till his last days in Egypt. Whatever sign they denied, was followed up by a greater sign of authority by him.

For details of sighs, read explanation of verse 48 of Surah Al Zukhruf.
( 20 )   And indeed, I have sought refuge in my Lord and your Lord, lest you stone me.
( 21 )   But if you do not believe me, then leave me alone."
This was said at the time when, as against all the signs presented by the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him), Pharaoh was still showing stubbornness, but was feeling upset and confounded at the realization that all classes of the Egyptian society were rapidly being influenced by those signs. In that period, first of all he made the speech before his packed court as mentioned in (verses 51-53 of Surah Az- Zukhruf), then, when he felt the ground slipping from under his feet, he made up his mind to kill Allah’s Messenger. At that time the Prophet (peace be upon him) said the words as mentioned in (Surah Al-Mumin, Ayat 27) to the effect: I have taken refuge in my Lord and your Lord against every arrogant person who does not believe in the Day of Reckoning. Here, the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) is referring to that same thing and telling Pharaoh and his chiefs: Look, I have sought Allah’s refuge against all sorts of violence from you, now you cannot harm me. But if you wish yourselves well, do not harm me. If you do not want to believe what I say, you may not, but you should never lay your hands on me, otherwise you will meet with catastrophic consequences.
( 22 )   And [finally] he called to his Lord that these were a criminal people.
( 23 )   [Allah said], "Then set out with My servants by night. Indeed, you are to be pursued.
This was the initial command given to the prophet Moses (peace be upon him) for the migration. (For explanation, see (Surah TaHa, Ayat 77); (Surah Ash-Shuara, Ayats 52-68).

With my servants: With all those people who have believed, including both the Israelites and the Egyptian Copts who had become Muslims since the time of the Prophet Joseph till that of the Prophet Moses (peace be upon them), and those also who had been influenced by the signs shown by Moses (peace be upon him) and His preaching and accepted Islam from among the Egyptians.
( 24 )   And leave the sea in stillness. Indeed, they are an army to be drowned."
This command was given when the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) had crossed the sea along with his caravan and wanted that he should restore the sea to its former state by smiting it with the staff so that Pharaoh and his hosts should not pursue them on the dry path created by the miracle. At that times it was said: Leave the sea divided as it is, so that Pharaoh and his armies should descend into it. Then the sea will be restored and they will be drowned all together.
( 25 )   How much they left behind of gardens and springs( 26 )   And crops and noble sites( 27 )   And comfort wherein they were amused.
( 28 )   Thus. And We caused to inherit it another people.
Here  “other people” mean the children of Israel, whom Allah made heirs of the land of Egypt after Pharaoh’s people, and Qatadah says it implies the other people who inherited Egypt after the people of Pharaoh, for the history does not make any mention that the Israelites ever returned to Egypt after the exodus and inherited it. This same point has been disputed by the later commentators also. (For a detailed discussion, see (Surah Ash Shuara, Ayats 57-59).
( 29 )   And the heaven and earth wept not for them, nor were they reprieved.
That is, when they were the rulers, they were known for their glory and grandeur. But when they fell, there was none to shed a tear on their fall, rather the world felt relieved that a cause of distress had been removed. Obviously, they had neither done any good to the people that the dwellers of the earth might weep on them, nor anything for the sake of Allah’s pleasure that the dwellers of the heavens might grieve over their ruin. As long as Allah continued to give them respite by His will, they enjoyed life as they pleased; but when they transgressed all limits in their crimes, they were cast aside like rubbish.

Verses 30-42 dwell on how and why Allah delivered the Children of Israel and chose them over the nations of the world in spite of their weaknesses and Day of Sorting Out is the time appointed for resurrection
( 30 )   And We certainly saved the Children of Israel from the humiliating torment 
( 31 )   from Pharaoh who was most prominent among the prodigals.
That is, Pharaoh by himself was an abasing torment for them and all other torments were indeed offshoots of the same great torment.

There is a subtle satire in it on the chiefs of the disbelieving Quraish. It means to say this: You do not enjoy any place of distinction among the transgressors against Allah. Pharaoh indeed was a rebel of the highest order who was ruling on the throne of the largest kingdom of the time as a god. When he was swept away like straw, how can you prevent the divine wrath?
( 32 )   We knowingly exalted them (i.e., the Children of Israel) above other peoples of the world
That is, Allah was well aware both of the qualities and of the weaknesses of the children of Israel. He had not chosen them blindly. For when he chose them from among the contemporary nations to become the standard bearers of His message and His Tauhid, they were the most suitable people in His knowledge for the purpose.
( 33 )   And We gave them of signs that in which there was a clear trial.( 34 )   Indeed, these [disbelievers] are saying,( 35 )   "There is not but our first death, and we will not be resurrected.
( 36 )   Then bring [back] our forefathers, if you should be truthful."
This was their reasoning: We have never seen a dead person resurrected to life. Therefore, we believe that there will be no other life after death. If you claim that there will be another life, then resurrect our forefathers from their graves, so that we are convinced of the life after death. If you do not do this, we would think that your claim is false. This was, as they thought, a very strong argument for the refutation of life after death, whereas it was absurd. Nobody had told them that the dead would return to this very world after being raised back to life, nor the Prophet (peace be upon him), nor any Muslim had ever claimed that he could raise the dead back to life.
( 37 )   Are they better or the people of Tubba' and those before them? We destroyed them, [for] indeed, they were criminals.
Tubba was the title of the kings of the Himyarites, like the titles of Khosroes, Caesar, Pharaoh etc. which have been associated with the kings of different countries. They were a branch of the Sabaeans, who attained domination over Saba in 115 B.C. and ruled it until 300 A.D. They have been a well known people of Arabia for centuries.

This is the first answer to the disbelievers’ objection; it means: Any individual group or nation which denies the Hereafter becomes criminal. Perversion of the morals is its inevitable result, and human history bears evidence that whichever nation adopted this view of life ultimately perished. As for the question: Are they better or the people of Tubba or the people before them? It means this: The disbelievers of Makkah have not been able to attain to the prosperity and splendor that became the lot of the people of Tubba and of the people of Saba and of the people of Pharaoh and others before them. But this material prosperity and worldly splendor could not save them from the consequences of their moral degeneration. How will then the chiefs of the Quraish be saved from destruction on the strength of their puny resources and wealth?

(For details, see Surah Saba).
(38) And We did not create the heavens and earth and that between them in play.
(39) We did not create them except in truth, but most of them do not know
This is the second answer to their objection; it means: Whoever denies life after death and the rewards and punishments of the hereafter, in fact, regards this world as a plaything. This is why he has formed the view that man, after raising all sorts of the storms in the world, will end up in the dust one day and none of his good or bad acts will bear any fruit. The fact, however, is that this universe is the creation of an All-Wise Creator and not of a frivolous being, and it cannot be expected from an All-Wise Creator that he would perform a useless and vain act. (For a detailed explanation, see (Surah Al-Anaam, Ayat 73); (Surah Younus, Ayats 5-6); (Surah Al-Anbiya, Ayats 16-18); (Surah Al-Muminun, Ayat 115); (Surah Ar-Room, Ayats 8-9).
.( 40 )   Indeed, the Day of Judgement is the appointed time for them all
This is the answer to their demand: Bring back our forefathers if you are truthful. It means: Life-after-death is not a trivial matter, it cannot be that whenever somebody denies it, a dead person may he raised immediately from the graveyard and presented before him. For it a time has been fixed by the Lord of the worlds, when He will resurrect to life all the former and the latter generations, gather them together in His court and will decide their cases. You may believe in it or may not, but this will in any case happen on its own pre-ordained time. If you believe in it, it will be to your own advantage, for, being forewarned, you will make preparations to fare well in that court. If you do not believe in it, you will incur loss for yourselves, for you will spend your whole life in the misunderstanding that good and evil are confined only to this worldly life; after death there is going to be no court where our good or bad deeds might have to be judged for any permanent results.

يَوۡمَ لَا يُغۡنِىۡ مَوۡلًى عَنۡ مَّوۡلًى شَيۡـئًا وَّلَا هُمۡ يُنۡصَرُوۡنَۙ‏ 
( 41 )   The Day when no relation will avail a relation at all, nor will they be helped
The Arabic word maula is used for a person who supports another person either because of kinship, or friendship, or some other relationship.
( 42 )   Except those [believers] on whom Allah has mercy. Indeed, He is the Exalted in Might, the Merciful.
These  verse portrays the nature of the court that will be established on the Day of Decision. It will be a court where nobody’s help or support will help rescue any culprit nor have his sentence reduced. All powers will rest with the real Sovereign Whose decisions cannot be withheld from being enforced nor influenced by any power. It will entirely depend on His own discretion whether He forgives somebody mercifully, or awards him a lesser punishment. It indeed behooves Him to exercise justice mercifully and not mercilessly, but whatever decision He gives in any case, will be enforced entirely and completely. After this portrayal of the nature of the divine court, in the following few sentences it has been stated what will be the fate of those who will be found guilty in that court, and what will be conferred on those about whom it will be established that they had been refraining from Allah’s disobedience in the world out of fear of Him.

Verses 43-50 bring bad news for the disbelievers and tell them in return of  their disbelieving act, the food and drink for the sinners in hell will be more tortuous than the fire of hell:
( 43 )   Indeed, the tree of zaqqum
Zaqqum is a tree of the cactus species found in Tihamah. It is bitter in taste, obnoxious in smell and sheds a milk like juice when cut or broken.
( 44 )   Is food for the sinful.
 كَالۡمُهۡلِ ۛۚ يَغۡلِىۡ فِى الۡبُطُوۡنِۙ‏  
( 45 )   Like dregs of oil, it will boil in their bellies
The word al-muhl in the original has several meanings: molten metal, pus-blood, molten tar, lava, dregs of oil. These are the different meanings given by the lexicographers and commentators, but if this word is understood with reference to zaqqum (cactus), it may mean its juice which will probably be like the dregs of oil. 
( 46 )   Like the boiling of scalding water. ( 47 )   [It will be commanded], "Seize him and drag him into the midst of the Hellfire,( 48 )   Then pour over his head from the torment of scalding water."( 49 )   [It will be said], "Taste! Indeed, you are the honored, the noble!( 50 )   Indeed, this is what you used to dispute."
And finallly verses 51-59 bring good tidings for the believers and the righteous and the food and entertainment they will be served in the paradise
( 51 )   Indeed, the righteous will be in a secure place;( 52 )   Within gardens and springs,
A secure place: A place safe from every kind of fear, grief, worry and danger, hardship and trouble. According to a Hadith, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: It will be proclaimed to the dwellers of Paradise: You will remain in good health, will never fall ill, will live forever, will never die, will ever remain happy and prosperous and will never meet with a misfortune, will ever remain youthful, will never become old. (Muslim, on the authority of Abu Hurairah and Abu Saeed Khudri).

يَّلۡبَسُوۡنَ مِنۡ سُنۡدُسٍ وَّاِسۡتَبۡرَقٍ مُّتَقٰبِلِيۡنَۚ ۙ‏ 
( 53 )   Wearing [garments of] fine silk and brocade, facing each other.
Sundus and istabraq in the original are fine silk cloth and thick silk cloth respectively.
( 54 )   Thus. And We will marry them to fair women with large, [beautiful] eyes.
( 55 )   They will call therein for every [kind of] fruit - safe and secure.
That is, they will order the attendants in Paradise to bring anything they would like in any measure they would demand, and it will be presented before them. In this world, a man cannot ask for a thing in an inn, or even his own things in his own house, with the freedom and satisfaction as he will ask for these in Paradise. For, in the world nothing is found anywhere in unlimited measure, whatever man uses here, he has to pay for it. In Paradise, things will belong to Allah, and the servants will enjoy full freedom to use them. Neither will there be the danger of the failure of the supply, nor the necessity of a bill to pay.

In verse 56 below, two things are worthy of notice:
( 56 )   They will not taste death therein except the first death, and He will have protected them from the punishment of Hellfire
First, after mentioning the blessings of Paradise, special mention has been made of being secure from Hell separately whereas a person’s entry into Paradise by itself amounts to his being safe from Hell. This is because man can feel the worth of the reward of obedience fully only when he is informed what end the disobedient people have met and from what evil end he himself has ban saved.

Secondly, Allah is mentioning those people’s safety from Hell and their entry into Paradise as a result of His own grace. This is meant to warn man of the truth that this success cannot be achieved by any person unless he is blessed by Allah’s grace. Although man will be rewarded for his own good deeds, in the first place he cannot do good unless favored by Allah’s succor; then even the best deed that man is able to perform, cannot be absolutely perfect and none can claim that it is flawless and faultless. It is only Allah’s bounty that He should overlook the servant’s weaknesses and defects in his actions and accept his services and bless him with rewards; otherwise if He resorts to minute accountability, no one can dare claim to win Paradise only on the strength of his own deeds. The same thing has been said by the Prophet (peace be upon him) in a Hadith to the effect: Act and try to act as righteously as you possibly can, but know that the action of a person alone will not make him enter Paradise. It was asked: What about your own action, O Messenger of Allah? He replied: Yes, even I won’t enter Paradise on the strength of my actions, unless of course, my Lord covers me up in His mercy.
( 57 )   As bounty from your Lord. That is what is the great attainment.( 58 )   And indeed, We have eased the Qur'an in your tongue that they might be reminded.
The final verse is intended to bring solace and comfort to the Prophet of Allah:
( 59 )   So watch, [O Muhammad]; indeed, they are watching [for your end].
That is, if they do not accept the admonition even now, you should wait to see how they are visited by their doom; and they are also waiting to see what becomes of the message that you are giving them.

You may now like to listen to Arabic recitation of Sūrat ad-Dukhān with English subtitles:

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

Photo | References: | 1 | 2 | 34 |
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. 

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

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


Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More