Monday 13 May 2019

Surah Az Zumar - The Companies: Exegesis / Tafseer of 39th Chapter of the Holy Quran

Surah Az Zumar is the thirty ninth surah with 75 ayahs with eight rukus, part of the 23rd-24th Juzʼ  of the Holy Qur'an.

From Surah Saba, the 34th Chapter, there begins a series of six Surahs, Surah. xxxiv. to Surah. xxxix, which  recapitulate some of the features of the spiritual world.  Surah xxxiv leads off with emphasis on Allah's Mercy and Power and Truth. Then (in Surah. xxxv.) we are told how angels manifest the Power of Allah, and how different is Good from Evil and Truth from Falsehood. Surah xxxvi. is devoted to the holy Prophet and the Quran that came through him. In Surah xxxvii, the emphasis is on the snares of Satan, in Surah xxxviii on the conquest of evil by wisdom and power as in the case of David and Solomon, and by Patience and Constancy as in the case of Job; and in Surah xxix (this surah and last of the six surahs) on the Final Judgment, which will sort out Faith from Unfaithful and give to each its due.

The Surah derives its name from verse 71 and 73 in which the word zumar has occurred. In verse 10 (wa ardullah-i-wasi atun: and Allah's earth is vast) there is abundant evidence that this Surah was sent down before the migration to Habash. Some traditions provide the explanation that this verse was sent down in respect of Hadrat Ja'far bin Abi Talib and his companions when they made up their mind to emigrate to Habash.

The entire Surah is a most eloquent and effective address which was given some time before the emigration to Habash [Al-Habash was an ancient region in the Horn of Africa. Situated in the northern highlands of modern-day Eritrea and Ethiopia. It was inhabited by the Habash or Abyssinians], in an environment filled with tyranny and persecution, ill-will and antagonism, at Makkah. It is a sermon whose addressees mainly are the unbelieving Quraish, although here and there the believers also have been addressed. In it the real aim of the invitation of Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace and blessings) had been enunciated, which is this:Man should adopt Allah's servitude sincerely, and should not pollute his God worship with the service of any other. Presenting this cardinal principle in different ways over and over again, the truth of Tauhid and the excellent results of accepting it, and the falsehood of shirk and the evil consequences of following it, have been explained in a most forceful way, and the people exhorted to give up their wrong way of life and return to the mercy of their Lord. In this very connection, the believers have been instructed, as if to say:"If a place has become narrow for the worship and service of Allah, His earth is vast: you may emigrate to some other place in order to save your faith: Allah will reward you for your patience."On the other hand, the Holy Prophet has been encouraged, so as to say:"Tell the disbelievers plainly that they may do whatever they like, but their persecutions and tyrannies will never deter you from the way of Islam; that they may go on doing their worst to obstruct your way, but you will continue to perform your mission in spite of the adverse conditions and circumstances."

Let us now read the translation and exegesis / tafseer 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"
Ruku-1 Verses 1-9 

Verses 1-9 explain how Mushrikin try to justify their worship to saints saying that it may bring us closer to Allah and On the Day of Judgement no bearer of burden shall bear the burden of another
1. The revelation of this Book (the Qur'an) is from Allah, the All-Mighty, the All-Wise. 
Many Surahs of the Quran begin with similar introductory sentence, which is meant to declare at the outset where from this discourse is being issued. In fact this extraordinary declaration at the beginning of a Surah is made to the effect that this message is being issued by the Ruler of the Universe, which means that it is not merely to specify the origin of the discourse, but also to put forward a big claim, a great challenge and a severe warning, for at the very outset it gives the big news that this is not human but the Lord of the Worlds’ Word. This declaration at once brings man face to face with the grave question: Should I or should I not accept this claim? If I accept it, I shall have to bow my head in submission before it forever. Then, I shall be left with no freedom concerning it. On the other hand, if I do not accept it, I shall have to take the great risk that, if it be really the Lord of the Worlds’ Word, I shall have to meet with eternal misery and misfortune in consequence of rejecting it. That is why this introductory sentence solely on account of its extraordinary nature compels man to listen to this Word with full attention and seriousness, and then take the decision whether he would accept it as divine Word or not.
2. (O Prophet), it is We Who have revealed this Book to you with Truth. So serve only Allah, consecrating your devotion to Him.
This is a very important verse which states the real objective of the message of Islam. Therefore, one should not pass over it superficially, but should try to understand its meaning and intention. It has two basic points: (1) That the demand is to worship Allah. (2) That the demand is of such worship as may be performed by making religion exclusively Allah’s. Ibadat is derived from abd, and this word is used as an antonym of freeman for the slave and bondsman in Arabic. Accordingly, ibadat contains two meanings: (1) Worship and devotion. (2) Humble and willing obedience, as is borne out by the well known and authoritative Arabic Lexicon, Lisan al- Arab. Thus, according to the authentic lexical explanation, the demand is not only of Allah’s worship but also of willing and sincere obedience to His commands and laws.
The Arabic word deen contains several meanings:
  • (1) Domination and sovereignty, rule and political power and authority to enforce one’s decisions on others.
  • (2) Obedience, compliance with commands and servitude.
  • (3) The practice and the way that a man follows.
In view of these three meanings, deen in this verse means: The way of life and attitude which a man adopts after acknowledging the supremacy and accepting the obedience of another; and to worship Allah making one’s religion exclusively His. This means that one should refrain from combining another’s worship with the worship of Allah, but should worship Allah alone, should follow His guidance alone, and should comply with His commands and injunctions only.
3. Surely, the religion (i.e. the worship and the obedience) is for Allah only. And those who take Auliya' (protectors and helpers) besides Him (say): "We worship them only that they may bring us near to Allah." Verily, Allah will judge between them concerning that wherein they differ. Truly, Allah guides not him who is a liar, and a disbeliever. 
The best commentary of this verse is the Hadith which Ibn Marduyah has related from Yazid ar-Raqashi. He says: A person asked the Prophet (peace be upon him): We give away our wealth so that we become well-known. Shall we get a reward for this? The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: No. He asked: What, if one has the intention both of Allah’s reward and of reputation in the world? The Holy Prophet replied: Allah does not accept any deed unless it is performed exclusively for His sake. After this he recited this same verse.

In this verse, Allah has used two words for these people, kazib (liar) and kaffar (denier). They have been called kazib because they have falsely invented this creed by themselves, and then they spread falsehood among others. As for kaffar. it has two meanings: (1) A stubborn disbeliever, i.e. the people who insist on their false creed even after the doctrine of Tawhid has come before them. (2) Ungrateful for blessings, i.e. they arc receiving all kinds of blessings from Allah, but are thanking those other beings about whom they have assumed that these blessings are reaching them through their agency and influence.

This verse carried a clear message for the disbelievers of Makkah and the polytheists the world over who generally say the same: We do not worship other beings regarding them as our creators: the Creator is only Allah, and He alone is the real Deity; but He is too high for us to have access to Him. Therefore, we make these saintly beings a means to convey our prayers and our petitions to Allah.

Although this verse was meant for the disbelievers of the time, how true it is even today when many Muslims still seek help from Allah by asking a saint or a pious man to pray for them. In fact a section of religious men have drilled this notion in the minds of their subjects that Allah is NOT for the ordinaries to be requested directly and that they need an intermediary to approach Allah on their behalf to forward their requests.

The verse and its explanation clearly states that this line of thinking is against the spirit of Islam and one should understand Islam by reading Qur'an and its exegesis / tafseer so that one is not mislead.
4. Had Allah willed to take a son (or offspring or children), He could have chosen whom He pleased out of those whom He created. But glory be to Him! (He is above such things). He is Allah, the One, the Irresistible. 
That is, it is just impossible that Allah should have begotten a son. The only possibility is that Allah should choose someone for Himself; and whomever He chooses will inevitably be from among the creatures, for everything in the world, apart from Allah, is His creation. Now, evidently, however exalted and chosen a creature might be, it cannot have the position of the offspring. For between the Creator and the created there exists a great disparity of nature and essence and character, and parenthood necessarily demands that there should be the unity of nature and essence between a father and his offspring. Besides, one should also bear in mind the point that the words: “If Allah had intended to take a son, He could have chosen from what He created” themselves give the meaning that Allah has never intended so. Here the object is to impress that not to speak of taking a son, Allah has never even intended so.

The following are the arguments by which the doctrine of parenthood has been refuted:
  • First, that Allah is free from every defect and fault and weakness. Obviously, children are needed by the one who is defective and weak. The one who is mortal and stands in need of them, so that his progeny should continue to live after him in the world. Likewise, he who adopts a son does so either because he feels the need of having an heir, being childless himself, or he adopts a son being overpowered by love of somebody. Attributing such human weaknesses to Allah and forming religious creeds on their basis is nothing but ignorance and shortsightedness.
  • The second argument is that Allah in His essence and Being is unique. He is not a member of a species, whereas, evidently, offspring must necessarily belong to a species. Furthermore, there can be no concept of offspring without marriage, and marriage can take place only between homogeneous individuals. Therefore, the one who proposes offspring for the Unique and Matchless Being like Allah, is ignorant and foolish.
  • The third argument is that Allah is Omnipotent, i.e. whatever is there in the world is subdued to Him and is held in His powerful grasp. No one in this Universe has any resemblance with Him in any way or degree on account of which it may be imagined that he has a relation with Allah. 
The subject matter discussed in verse 5 below has also be dwelt at in other surahs as well:
5. He has created the heavens and the earth with truth. He makes the night to go in the day and makes the day to go in the night. And He has subjected the sun and the moon. Each running (on a fixed course) for an appointed term. Verily, He is the All-Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving. 
For explanation of "He has created the heavens and the earth with truth" see (Surah Ibrahim, Ayat 19); (Surah An-Nahl, Ayat 3); (Surah Al-Ankabut, Ayat 44).

That is, He is All-Mighty: if He wills to punish you, no power can resist Him. But it is His kindness that He does not seize you forthwith in spite of your arrogant and insolent behavior, but He goes on giving you respite after respite. Here, Allah’s making no haste in seizing people in punishment and His giving them respite has been called forgiveness.
6. He it is Who created you from a single being, and He it is Who made from it its mate. He it is Who created for you eight heads of cattle in pairs. He creates you in your mothers' wombs, giving you one form after another in threefold depths of darkness. That, then, is Allah, your Lord. His is the kingdom. There is no god but He. So, whence are you being turned astray?
This does not mean that first He created the human beings from Adam and then created his wife, Eve. But here, instead of the chronological order, there is the order of presentation, examples of which are found in every language. For instance, we say, “Whatever you did today is known to me, and whatever you did yesterday is also in my knowledge.” This cannot mean that what happened yesterday has happened after today.

Eight heads of cattle here mean the camel, cow, sheep and goat, whose four males and four females together make eight heads of cattle. The threefold depths of darkness mean the belly, the womb and the caul or membrane enclosing the fetus.

The meaning of "whence are you being turned away" need deep consideration. It has not been said: “How are you turning away?” but “How are you turned away?” That is, there is someone else who is misleading you, and being thus deceived you do not understand such a simple and reasonable thing. The other thing which by itself becomes evident from the style is: The word “you” is not addressed to the agents but to those who were turning away under their influence. There is a subtle point in this which can be understood easily after a little thought. Those who were working to turn away others (from the right way) were present in the same society and were doing whatever they could openly and publicly. Therefore, there was no need to mention them by name. It was also useless to address them, for they were trying to turn away the people from the service of Allah, the One, and entrapping them for the service of others, and keeping them entrapped for selfish motives. Obviously, such people could not be made to see reason by argument, for it lay in their own interest not to understand and see reason, and even after understanding they could hardly be inclined to sacrifice their interests. However, the condition of the common people who were being deceived and cheated was certainly pitiable. They had no interest involved in the business; therefore, they could be convinced by reasoning and argument, and after a little understanding they could also see what advantages were being gained by those who were showing them the way to other deities, after turning them away from Allah. That is why the address has been directed to the common people, who were being misguided rather than those few who were misguiding them.
7. If you disbelieve, then verily, Allah is not in need of you, He likes not disbelief for His slaves. And if you are grateful (by being believers), He is pleased therewith for you. No bearer of burdens shall bear the burden of another. Then to your Lord is your return, so He will inform you what you used to do. Verily, He is the All-Knower of that which is in (men's) breasts. 8. And when some hurt touches man, he cries to his Lord (Allah Alone), turning to Him in repentance, but when He bestows a favour upon him from Himself, he forgets that for which he cried for before, and he sets up rivals to Allah, in order to mislead others from His Path. Say: "Take pleasure in your disbelief for a while: surely, you are (one) of the dwellers of the Fire!" 
9. Is one who is obedient to Allah, prostrating himself or standing (in prayer) during the hours of the night, fearing the Hereafter and hoping for the Mercy of his Lord (like one who disbelieves)? Say: "Are those who know equal to those who know not?" It is only men of understanding who will remember (i.e. get a lesson from Allah's Signs and Verses).
It should be noted that two kinds of the men are being contrasted here. First, those who turn to Allah when a calamity befalls them, but worship others than Allah normally. Second, those who have made it their permanent way of life to obey Allah and worship and serve Him, and their worshiping Him in solitude during the night is a proof of their sincerity. The first kind of the men have been called ignorant by Allah, even if they might have devoured whole libraries. And the second kind of the men have been called the learned, even if they might be illiterate. For the real supremely important thing is the knowledge of the truth and man’s action according to it, and on this depends his true success. Allah asks: How can these two be equal? How can they possibly follow the same way together in the world, and meet with the same end in the Hereafter?

Ruku-2 Verses 10-21 
In verses 10-18 it is explained that believers who cannot practice their faith (Islam) should migrate to other places where they can and The real losers are those who shall lose their souls and their families on the Day of Judgement
10. Say (O Muhammad ): "O My slaves who believe (in the Oneness of Allah Islamic Monotheism), be afraid of your Lord (Allah) and keep your duty to Him. Good is (the reward) for those who do good in this world, and Allah's earth is spacious (so if you cannot worship Allah at a place, then go to another)! Only those who are patient shall receive their rewards in full, without reckoning." 11. Say (O Muhammad ): "Verily, I am commanded to worship Allah (Alone) by obeying Him and doing religious deeds sincerely for Allah's sake only and not to show off, and not to set up rivals with Him in worship; 12. "And I am commanded (this) in order that I may be the first of those who submit themselves to Allah (in Islam) as Muslims." 13. Say (O Muhammad ): "Verily, if I disobey my Lord, I am afraid of the torment of a great Day." 14. Say (O Muhammad ) "Allah Alone I worship by doing religious deeds sincerely for His sake only and not to show-off, and not to set up rivals with Him in worship." 
15. So worship what you like besides Him. Say (O Muhammad ): "The losers are those who will lose themselves and their families on the Day of Resurrection. Verily, that will be a manifest loss!" 
Bankruptcy is loss of a person’s capital and failure of his business so that he is unable to pay his debts in full. This same metaphor Allah has used here for the disbelievers and polytheists, The sum total of whatever man has gotten in this worldly life, his intellect, body, powers, capabilities, means and opportunities is, in fact, the capital which he invests in the business of the worldly life. If a person invested all this capital on the hypothesis that there is no God, or that there are many gods, whose servant he is, and that he is not accountable to anyone, or that someone else will rescue him on Judgment Day, it would mean that he made a losing bargain and lost all his capital. This is his first loss. His second loss is that in everything that he did, on the basis of the wrong hypothesis, he went on wronging himself and many other men, and the coming generations and many other creatures of Allah, throughout his life. Thus, he got into countless debts, but has no money with which he may fully pay his debts. Over and above this, he has not only himself incurred this loss, but has caused the same loss to his children and near and dear ones and friends and fellow countrymen by his wrong education and training and wrong example. It is these three losses together which Allah has called khusran-i-mubin (utter bankruptcy) in this verse.
16. They shall have coverings of Fire, above them and covering (of Fire) beneath them; with this Allah does frighten His slaves: "O My slaves, therefore fear Me!" 
وَالَّذِيۡنَ اجۡتَنَـبُـوا الطَّاغُوۡتَ اَنۡ يَّعۡبُدُوۡهَا وَاَنَابُوۡۤا اِلَى اللّٰهِ لَهُمُ الۡبُشۡرٰى​ ۚ فَبَشِّرۡ عِبَادِ ۙ‏  
17. Those who avoid At-Taghut (false deities) by not worshiping them and turn to Allah in repentance, for them are glad tidings; so announce the good news to My slaves, 
Taghut is from tughyan and means rebellion. If someone is called taghut (rebellion) instead of taghi (rebel), it would mean that he is a rebel incarnate. For example, if a person is called husn (beauty) instead of hasin (beautiful), it would mean that he has reached perfection in beauty. The deities other than Allah have been called taghut because it is rebellion to worship others besides Allah, but the one who has others worship him, is a rebel of the worst kind. (For further explanation, see (Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayat 256), (Surah An-Nisa, Ayats 60, 76), (Surah An-Naml, Ayat 36).
18. to those who pay heed to what is said and follow the best of it. They are the ones whom Allah has guided to the Right Way; they are the ones endowed with understanding.
This verse can have two meanings: (1) That they do not follow every voice but ponder over what every man says and accept only what is right and true, or (2) That they do not try to give a false meaning to what they hear but adopt its good and righteous aspects.

Verses 19-21 focus on the theme that no one can rescue the one against whom the sentence of punishment has been decreed
19. Is, then one against whom the Word of punishment justified (equal to the one who avoids evil). Will you (O Muhammad ) rescue him who is in the Fire? 20. But those who fear Allah and keep their duty to their Lord (Allah), for them are built lofty rooms; one above another under which rivers flow (i.e. Paradise). (This is) the Promise of Allah: and Allah does not fail in (His) Promise. 
The following verse needs to be understood properly by its hidden meanings:
21. See you not, that Allah sends down water (rain) from the sky, and causes it to penetrate the earth, (and then makes it to spring up) as water-springs and afterward thereby produces crops of different colours, and afterward they wither and you see them turn yellow, then He makes them dry and broken pieces. Verily, in this, is a Reminder for men of understanding.
A man of understanding learns this lesson from it that the life of this world and its adornments are all transitory. The end of every spring is autumn. The fate of every youth is weakness and death. And every rise has a fall. Therefore, this world is not something of which one should be charmed and enamored so as to forget God and the Hereafter and should conduct himself here in a manner as to ruin his Hereafter, only for the sake of enjoying the short lived pleasures of this world. Then a man of understanding also learns this lesson from these phenomena that the spring and autumn of this world are only under Allah’s control. Allah allows to grow and prosper whomsoever He wills and ruins and lays waste whomsoever He wills. Neither it is in anybody’s power to stop the growth of someone whom Allah wills to grow, nor has anyone the power to save him from destruction whom Allah wills to destroy.

Ruku-3 Verses 22-31
22-31 AL-Quran is consistent in its verses yet repeats its teachings in different ways and Allah has cited every kind of parable in AL-Quran so that people may learn a lesson 
22. Is he whose breast Allah has opened to Islam, so that he is in light from His Lord (as he who is non-Muslim)? So, woe to those whose hearts are hardened against remembrance of Allah! They are in plain error! 
As against the opening of the breast there can be two other states of man’s heart: (1) The state of narrowing of the breast and squeezing of the heart; and in this state there still remains some room for the truth to permeate it. (2) The state of hardening or petrifying of the heart; in this there is left no room whatever for the truth to permeate. About this second state Allah says that the person who reaches such a stage is totally ruined. This means that if a person becomes inclined to accept the truth, even though with an unveiling and squeezed heart, there remains some possibility for him to be redeemed. This second theme becomes obvious from the style and tenor of the verse itself, though Allah has not stated it directly. For the real intention of the verse was to warn those who were bent upon stubbornness in their antagonism towards the Prophet (peace be upon him) and had made up their mind not to listen to him at all. For this they have been warned, as if to say: You take pride in this stubbornness of yours, but, as a matter of fact, there cannot be a greater misfortune and unworthiness of man than that his heart should become even more hardened, instead of becoming soft, when he hears Allah being mentioned and the admonition sent by Him.
23. Allah has sent down the best statement, a Book (this Qur'an), its parts resembling each other in goodness and truth, oft-repeated. The skins of those who fear their Lord shiver from it (when they recite it or hear it). Then their skin and their heart soften to the remembrance of Allah. That is the guidance of Allah. He Guides therewith whom He pleases and whomever Allah sends astray, for him there is no guide. 
That is, there is no contradiction and disagreement between them. The whole Book, from the beginning to the end, projects one and the same aim, one and the same belief, and one and the same system of thought and action. Each of its parts confirms and supports and explains the other themes; and there is perfect consistency in it both in meaning and in style.
24. Is he then, who will confront with his face the awful torment on the Day of Resurrection (as he who enters peacefully in Paradise)? And it will be said to the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers, etc.): "Taste what you used to earn!" 25. Those before them belied, and so the torment came on them from directions they perceived not. 26. So Allah made them to taste the disgrace in the present life, but greater is the torment of the Hereafter if they only knew! 27. And indeed We have put forth for men, in this Qur'an every kind of similitude in order that they may remember. 
28. An Arabic Qur'an, without any crookedness (therein) in order that they may avoid all evil which Allah has ordered them to avoid, fear Him and keep their duty to Him. 
That is, it has not been sent down in a foreign language so that the people of Makkah and Arabia should stand in need of a translator or interpreter, but it is in their own language, which they can understand directly. And that there is nothing of double-dealing in it so that a common man should find it difficult to understand, but everything has been presented in it in a straightforward manner, from which everyone can know what this Book states as wrong and why, what it states as right and on what ground, what it wants the people to accept and what it wants them to reject, and what it enjoins and what it forbids.
29. Allah propounds a parable: there is a man whose ownership is shared by several quarrelsome masters, each pulling him to himself; and there is another who is exclusively owned by one man. Can the two be alike? All praise and thanks be to Allah. But most of them are unaware.
Allah in this parable has explained the difference between shirk and Tawhid and the impact each has on human life so clearly that it is not possible to put across such a vast theme so concisely and effectively in other words. Everyone will admit that the person who has many masters, each one pulling him to himself, and the masters are also so ill-tempered that no one spares him time in his service to obey the other, and no one rests content only with threatening and cursing him if he fails to carry out his command from among the contradictory commands of the other masters, but is bent upon punishing him, his life would certainly be in great anguish. On the contrary, the person, who is the slave or servant of only one master, would be living a life of ease and comfort because he will not have to serve and seek the pleasure of another master. This is such a straightforward thing which does not need deep consideration for its understanding. After this it remains no longer difficult for a person to understand that the peace of mind and satisfaction that accrue to him from the service of One God, can never accrue from the service of many gods.
30. Verily, you (O Muhammad ) will die and verily, they (too) will die. 
There is a subtle gap between the preceding sentence and this, which can be filled by every intelligent person himself by a little consideration of the context. It contains this theme: You are making every effort to make the people understand a simple thing in a simple way, but they are not only showing stubbornness with regard to what you say and rejecting it but are also bent upon harming you in order to suppress the manifest truth. Well, neither you are immortal nor they. Both you and they have to die one day. then, each of you will experience his own end.
31. Then, on the Day of Resurrection, you will be disputing before your Lord.
Ruku-4 Verses 32-41 
32-41: Who can be more wicked than the one who invent a lie against Allah? And If Allah intends to harm you, no one can save you and if He intends to bestow His blessings, no one can withhold
32. Then, who does more wrong than one who utters a lie against Allah, and denies the truth [this Qur'an, the Prophet (Muhammad ), the Islamic Monotheism, the Resurrection and the reward or punishment according to good or evil deeds] when it comes to him! Is there not in Hell an abode for the disbelievers? 33. And he (Muhammad ) who has brought the truth (this Qur'an and Islamic Monotheism) and (those who) believed therein (i.e. the true believers of Islamic Monotheism), those are Al- Muttaqun (the pious and righteous persons - see V.2:2). 34. They shall have all that they will desire with their Lord. That is the reward of Muhsinun (good-doers - see V.2:112). 
35. So that Allah may remit from them the evil of what they did and give them the reward, according to the best of what they used to do. 
The people who believed in the Prophet (peace be upon him) had happened to commit most heinous sins, both ideological and moral, in the days of ignorance, and after affirmation of the faith the good that they did was not only that they gave up the falsehood they had been professing and accepted the truth that the Prophet (peace be upon him) had presented, but in addition, they had performed the best righteous acts in morality, devotion and in their dealings with others. Allah says: The worst deeds that they had committed in the days of ignorance will be wiped off from their account, and they will be rewarded for the best of their deeds found in their conduct book.
36. Is not Allah Sufficient for His slave? Yet they try to frighten you with those (whom they worship) besides Him! And whom Allah sends astray, for him there will be no guide. 
The disbelievers of Makkah used to say to the Prophet (peace be upon him): You behave insolently in respect of our deities and utter rude words against them. You do not know how powerful they are and what miraculous powers they possess. Anybody who dishonored them was ruined. If you also do not desist from what you say against them, you too will be annihilated.
37. And whomsoever Allah guides, for him there will be no misleader. Is not Allah All-Mighty, Possessor of Retribution? 
38. And verily, if you ask them: "Who created the heavens and the earth?" Surely, they will say: "Allah (has created them)." Say: "Tell me then, the things that you invoke besides Allah, if Allah intended some harm for me, could they remove His harm, or if He (Allah) intended some mercy for me, could they withhold His Mercy?" Say : "Sufficient for me is Allah; in Him those who trust (i.e. believers) must put their trust." 
Ibn Abi Hatim has related from Ibn Abbas that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: The person who desires that he should become most powerful among men should repose his trust in Allah. And the person who desires that he should become the wealthiest among men should have more trust in that which is with Allah than that which is in his own hand. And the person who desires that he should become most honorable among men should fear Allah All- Mighty.
39. Say: (O Muhammad ) "O My people! Work according to your way, I am working (according to my way). Then you will come to know, 40. "To whom comes a disgracing torment, and on whom descends an everlasting torment." 41. Verily, We have sent down to you (O Muhammad ) the Book (this Qur'an) for mankind in truth. So whosoever accepts the guidance, it is only for his self, and whosoever goes astray, he goes astray only for his (own) loss. And you (O Muhammad ) are not a Wakil (trustee or disposer of affairs, or keeper) over them.
Ruku-5 Verses 42-52 
42-46 It is Allah Who recall the souls of people upon their death and of the living people during their sleep 
42. It is Allah Who takes away the souls at the time of their death, and those that die not during their sleep. He keeps those (souls) for which He has ordained death and sends the rest for a term appointed. Verily, in this are signs for a people who think deeply. 
Taking the souls during sleep, implies the suspension of the powers of feeling and consciousness, understanding and will.

By this Allah wants every man to realize how life and death are entirely in His own hand. No one has the guarantee that he will certainly get up alive in the morning when he goes to sleep at night. No one knows what disaster could befall him within a moment, and whether the next moment would be a moment of life for him or of death. At any time, while asleep or awake, in the house or outside it, some unforeseen calamity, from inside his body or from outside, can suddenly cause his death. Thus, man who is so helpless in the hands of God, would be foolish if he turned away from the same God or became heedless of Him.
43. Have they taken others as intercessors besides Allah? Say: "Even if they have power over nothing whatever and have no intelligence?" 
That is, in the first place, these people have foolishly presumed that there are some beings who wield great influence with Allah, and whose intercession is never turned down, whereas there is no proof of their being intercessors at all, nor has Allah ever said that they hold such a position with Him, nor did these beings themselves ever claim that they would use their influence with Allah and help them out in every case. Another folly of these people is that they have ignored the real Master and have believed the imaginary beings to be all powerful who deserve to receive all their devotion and dedication
44. Say: "To Allah belongs all intercession. His is the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth, then to Him you shall be brought back." 
Clarifying further to verse 43, it is added that not to speak of getting his intercession granted, no one has the power to stand before Allah as an intercessor. The right to grant or not to grant anyone the permission to intercede with Him exclusively rests with Allah. Then He may allow intercession for whomever He may please and forbid for whomever He may please. (For understanding the difference between the Islamic concept of intercession and the polytheistic concept, see (Surah Al- Baqarah, Ayat 255); (Surah Al-Anaam, Ayat 51); (Surah Younus, Ayats 3, 18); (Surah Hud, Ayat 105); (Surah Ar- Ra'ad, Ayat 11); (Surah An-Naml, Ayats 73, 84); (Surah TaHa, Ayats 109-110); (Surah Al-Anbiya, Ayat 23); (Surah Al-Hijr, Ayat 76).
45. And when Allah Alone is mentioned, the hearts of those who believe not in the Hereafter are filled with disgust (from the Oneness of Allah) and when those (whom they obey or worship) besides Him [like all false deities other than Allah, it may be a Messenger like 'Eesa (Jesus) - son of Maryam (Mary), 'Uzair (Ezra), an angel, a pious man, a jinn, or any other creature even idols, graves of religious people, saints, priests, monks, etc.] are mentioned, behold, they rejoice! 
Now once again  there is a caution - EVEN for some Muslims: This evil is common to almost all polytheistic people of the world, and even some unfortunate Muslims also suffer from it, They profess with the tongue that they believe in Allah, but when One Allah alone is mentioned before them, their faces arr distorted, and they say: This man certainly does not believe in the saints and holy men, that is why he talks of Allah and Allah alone. And if others besides Allah are mentioned, they are delighted, and their faces brighten up with joy. Their this attitude shows as to who is the actual object of their love and esteem. Allama Alusi, in his commentary Ruh al-Maani, has related his own experience here. He says: One day I saw that a man was invoking the help of a dead saint in his affliction. I said: O bondsman of Allah, invoke Allah, for He Himself says: If My servants ask you, O Prophet, concerning Me, tell them I am quite near to them. I hear and answer the prayer of the supplicant when he calls to Me, (Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayat 186), Hearing this, the man became angry. The people told me afterwards that he said: This man is a denier of the saints. And some others heard him also say: The saints answer the prayers more promptly than does Allah.
46. Say (O Muhammad ): "O Allah! Creator of the heavens and the earth! All-Knower of the Ghaib (unseen) and the seen. You will judge between your slaves about that wherein they used to differ."
47-52 If the wrong doers possess all the treasures of the earth and much more besides it, they will gladly offer it as a ransom to redeem themselves on the Day of Judgement
47. And those who did wrong (the polytheists and disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah), if they had all that is in earth and therewith as much again, they verily, would offer it to ransom themselves therewith on the Day of Resurrection from the evil torment, and there will become apparent to them from Allah, what they had not been reckoning. 48. And the evils of that which they earned will become apparent to them, and they will be encircled by that which they used to mock at! 
49. When harm touches man, he calls to Us (for help), then when We have (rescued him from that harm and) changed it into a favour from Us, he says: "Only because of knowledge (that I possess) I obtained it." Nay, it is only a trial, but most of them know not! 
Continuing with the theme of those calling saints as their resolvers, here again by “The man” it is meant the one who has aversion to Allah and whose face is distorted on hearing Allah alone being mentioned.

This verse can have two meanings: (1) That Allah knows that I am worthy of this blessing. That is why He has given me All this, otherwise He would not have blessed me if I had been an evil and wicked person in His sight, or (2) That I have attained to this by virtue of my ability.

People ignorantly think that whoever is being blessed by Allah in some way is being so blessed necessarily on account of his worth and ability and that the same is a sign or proof of his being a favorite in His sight. Whereas the fact is that whoever is being given something here, is being given it for the sake of a trial by Allah. This is a means of the test, and not any reward for ability, otherwise many able and worthy people would not be living in poverty and many unworthy people would not be rolling in prosperity. Likewise, these worldly blessings are not a sign of one’s being a favorite with Allah either. Everyone can see that many good people whose goodness is unquestionable are living in hardships in the world, and many wicked people whose evil-doing is well known are enjoying the pleasures of life. Now, can a sensible man take the affliction of the one and the life of ease and comfort of the other as an argument to say that Allah hates the good man and prefers the bad man.
50. Verily, those before them said it, yet (all) that they had earned availed them not. 
That is, when they were seized for evil-doing, the ability of which they were so proud, did not avail them anything, and this also became known that they were not Allah’s favorites. Evidently, if their earning had been due to their capability and their being favorites with Allah, they would not have been seized for evil-doing at all.
51. So, the evil results of that which they earned overtook them. And those who did wrong of these [people to whom you (Muhammad ) have been sent], will also be overtaken by the evil results (torment) for that which they earned, and they will never be able to escape. 
52. Do they not know that Allah enlarges the provision for whom He wills, and straitens it (for whom He wills). Verily, in this are signs for the folk who believe!
That is, the abundance or restriction of the provisions is based on another law of Allah, which has some other wisdom. The distribution of the provisions does not at all depend on man’s worthiness and ability, or on his being a favorite of Allah, or for being under His wrath. (For details, see (Surah At-Taubah, Ayats 55, 69, 85); (Surah Younus, Ayat 17); (Surah Hud, Ayats 3, 27); (Surah Ar-Raad, Ayat 26); (Surah Al-Kahf, Ayats 34-36); (Surah TaHa, Ayats 131-132); (Surah Al-Anbiya, Ayat 105); Surah Al-Mumin: Introduction and (Ayats 55-56); (Surah Ash-Shuara, Ayat 111); (Surah Al-Qasas, Ayats 78, 89).

Ruku-6 Verses 53-63 
53-63 Those who have transgressed against their souls should not despair of Allah's mercy, they should repent while they can:
53. Say: "O 'Ibadi (My slaves) who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah, verily Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. 
The translation of verse 53 needs a careful understanding as some commentators have given a strange interpretation to these words. They say that Allah Himself has commanded the Prophet (peace be upon him) to address the people as “My servants” therefore, all men are the servants of the Prophet (peace be upon him). This interpretation is no interpretation at all but a worst distortion of the meaning of the Quran and indeed tampering with the Word of Allah. If this interpretation were correct, it would falsify and negate the whole Quran. For the Quran, from the beginning to the end, establishes the concept that men are the servants of Allah alone, and its whole message revolves around the point that they should serve none but One Allah alone. The Prophet (peace be upon him) himself was Allah’s servant. Allah had sent him not as rabb (sustainer, providence) but as a Messenger so that he should himself serve Him and teach the other people also to serve Him alone. After all, how can a sensible person believe that the Prophet (peace be upon him) might have one day stood up before the disbelieving Quraish of Makkah and made the sudden proclamation: You are in fact the slaves of Muhammad and not of al-Uzzah and ash- Shams. (We seek Allah’s refuge from this).
54. "And turn in repentance and in obedience with true Faith (Islamic Monotheism) to your Lord and submit to Him, (in Islam), before the torment comes upon you, then you will not be helped. 
55. "And follow the best of that which is sent down to you from your Lord (i.e. this Qur'an, do what it orders you to do and keep away from what it forbids), before the torment comes on you suddenly while you perceive not!" 
“To follow the best aspect of the Book of Allah” means that one should carry out the commands Allah has given and refrain from what He has forbidden, and learn lessons from what He has brought out in the parables and narratives. As against this, the one who turns away from Allah’s commands, indulges in the forbidden things, and does not heed His admonitions, follows the worst aspect of the Book of Allah, i.e. that aspect which the divine Book has declared as the most evil.
56. Lest a person should say: "Alas, my grief that I was undutiful to Allah (i.e. I have not done what Allah has ordered me to do), and I was indeed among those who mocked [at the truth! i.e. La ilaha ill-Allah (none has the right to be worshiped but Allah), the Qur'an, and Muhammad  and at the faithful believers, etc.] 57. Or (lest) he should say: "If only Allah had guided me, I should indeed have been among the Muttaqun (pious and righteous persons - see V.2:2)." 58. Or (lest) he should say when he sees the torment: "If only I had another chance (to return to the world) then I should indeed be among the Muhsinun (good-doers - see V.2:112)." 59. Yes! Verily, there came to you My Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and you denied them, and were proud and were among the disbelievers. 60. And on the Day of Resurrection you will see those who lied against Allah (i.e. attributed to Him sons, partners, etc.) their faces will be black. Is there not in Hell an abode for the arrogant ones? 61. And Allah will deliver those who are the Muttaqun (pious - see V.2:2) to their places of success (Paradise). Evil shall touch them not, nor shall they grieve. 62. Allah is the Creator of all things, and He is the Wakil (Trustee, Disposer of affairs, Guardian, etc.) over all things. 63. To Him belong the keys of the heavens and the earth. And those who disbelieve in the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allah, such are they who will be the losers.
Ruku-7 Verses 64-70 
64-70 Worship Allah and be among His thankful servants and On the Day of Judgement the Book of Deeds will be lai open and justice will be done with all fairness
64. Say (O Muhammad  to the polytheists, etc.): "Do you order me to worship other than Allah O you fools ?" 65. And indeed it has been revealed to you (O Muhammad ), as it was to those (Allah's Messengers) before you: "If you join others in worship with Allah, (then) surely (all) your deeds will be in vain, and you will certainly be among the losers." 66. Nay! But worship Allah (Alone and none else), and be among the grateful. 
67. They made not a just estimate of Allah such as is due to Him. And on the Day of Resurrection the whole of the earth will be grasped by His Hand and the heavens will be rolled up in His Right Hand. Glorified is He, and High is He above all that they associate as partners with Him! 
That is, they have no conception of the greatness and glory of Allah; they have never tried to understand how high is the position of the Lord of the Universe and how insignificant are the beings whom these foolish people have made associates in Godhead and worthy of their worship.

This is a figurative way of describing the complete control and authority of Allah over the earth and heavens. Just as a man encloses a small ball in the hollow of his hand with perfect ease, so will all men (who fail to conceive the greatness and glory of Allah) see with their own eyes, on the Day of Resurrection, that the earth and the heavens are like an ordinary ball and a small scroll in the hand of Allah. Traditions have been related in Musnad Ahmad, Bukhari, Muslim, Nasai, Ibn Majah, Ibn Jarir and others, on the authority of Abdullah bin Umar and Abu Hurairah, that once during a sermon the Prophet (peace be upon him) recited this verse and then said: Allah will hold the heavens and the earths (i.e. the planets) in His grasp and will roll them about in such a way as a child rolls a ball, and will say: I am God, the One: I am the King: I am the All-Mighty, Owner of glory: Where are the kings of the world? Where are the tyrants? Where are the arrogant? Saying these words he started so shaking that we feared that he might topple over along with the pulpit.
68. And the Trumpet will be blown, and all who are in the heavens and all who are on the earth will swoon away, except him whom Allah will. Then it will blown a second time and behold, they will be standing, looking on (waiting). 
For the explanation of Thoor (Trumpet), see (Surah Al- Anaam, Ayat 73); (Surah Ibrahim, Ayat 48); (Surah Al-Kahf, Ayat 99); (Surah TaHa, Ayats 102-103); (Surah Al-Hajj, Ayat 1); (Surah Al-Momioon, Ayat 101); (Surah An-Naml, Ayat 87).

Here, mention has been made of the Turmpet being blown only twice. Besides, in Surah An-Naml there is the mention of another blowing of the Trumpet before these two, on hearing which everything in the earth and the heavens will be struck with terror (verse 87). On this very basis, the Ahadith mention that the Trumpet will be blown thrice:
  • (1) Nafakhat al-Fazaon, hearing which everything will be struck with terror.
  • (2) Nafakhat as-Saaq, on which everyone will fall down dead,
  • (3) Nafakhat al-qiyam li-Rabbit-alamin, i.e. the Trumpet on the blowing of which all dead men will return to life and arise from their graves to present themselves before their Lord. 
69. And the earth will shine with the light of its Lord (Allah, when He will come to judge among men) and the Book will be placed (open) and the Prophets and the witnesses will be brought forward, and it will be judged between them with truth, and they will not be wronged. 
“The witnesses”: those who will bear witness to the effect that the Message of Allah had been conveyed to the people as well as those who will bear witness to the acts and deeds of the people. It is not necessary that these witnesses will be only human beings. The angels, the jinns, the beasts, men’s own limbs, their dwelling places and the trees and stones, will all be included among the witnesses.
70. And each person will be paid in full of what he did; and He is Best Aware of what they do.
Ruku-8 Verses 71-75 
71-75 After Judgement unbelievers will driven to Hell and the righteous will be led to Paradise:
71. And those who disbelieved will be driven to Hell in groups, till, when they reach it, the gates thereof will be opened (suddenly like a prison at the arrival of the prisoners). And its keepers will say, "Did not the Messengers come to you from yourselves, reciting to you the Verses of your Lord, and warning you of the Meeting of this Day of yours?" They will say: "Yes, but the Word of torment has been justified against the disbelievers!" 72. It will be said (to them): "Enter you the gates of Hell, to abide therein. And (indeed) what an evil abode of the arrogant!" 73.  And those who kept their duty to their Lord will be led to Paradise in groups, till, when they reach it, and its gates will be opened (before their arrival for their reception) and its keepers will say: Salamun 'Alaikum (peace be upon you)! You have done well, so enter here to abide therein." 
74. And they will say: "All the praises and thanks be to Allah Who has fulfilled His Promise to us and has made us inherit (this) land. We can dwell in Paradise where we will; how excellent a reward for the (pious good) workers!" 
For explanation, see (Surah Ta Ha, Ayats 106-107,124); (Surah Al-Anbiya, Ayats 106-107 ).

That is, the Paradise which has been granted to each of us, is now our property and we possess full rights over it. Maybe this is said by the dwellers of Paradise, or maybe this sentence is added by Allah to what the dwellers of Paradise will say.
75. And you will see the angels surrounding the Throne (of Allah) from all round, glorifying the praises of their Lord (Allah). And they (all the creatures) will be judged with truth, and it will be said. All the praises and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of the 'Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists)."
That is, the entire Universe will proclaim the praises of Allah All-Mighty.

You may now like to listen to Arabic recitation of Surah Az Zumar 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 Juzʼ / Part backwards for chapters in 30th Juzʼ / Part are shorter and easier to understand). 

Photo | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 |
Reading the Holy Quran should be a daily routine of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make one understand it fully.  

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Holy Qur'an from authentic souses and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. However, the exegesis of the chapters of the Holy Quran are basically based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi. In addition the references of  other sources which have been explored have also been given above. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites. 

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