Tuesday 24 September 2019

Surah Ta Ha: 20th Chapter of Quran - Part III

Sürah Ta Ha is the 20th surah with 135 ayahs with 8 rukus, part of the 16th Juzʼ  of the Holy Qur'an. This Sürah takes its name from its "first word "Ta Ha طٰهٰ​ "  - the "disconnected" or "mysterious" (Muqatta'at) Arabic letters: طه (Taha).

Owing to the length of the surah, the exegesis / tafseer has been broken down into following  parts for better understanding as under and will be presented separately in our subsequent posts: 
  • The Overview
  • Part I :   Rukhu 1- 2 (Verses 1-54) - Mention of Prophet Moses and Pharaoh 
  • Part II:   Rukhu 3-5 (verses 55-104) - Mention of Prophet Musa continues
  • Part III: Rukhu 6-8 (Verses 105-135) - Mention of Day of Judgement and Adam's creation and Shaitan's temptation and Allah forgiveness of Adam's sin
We have already presented the Overview and the Parts I & II of the surah. Let us now move over to the translation and exegesis / tafseer in English of the last part, i.e. Part III 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 / Section 6 [105-115]
Summary of Ruku 6:
In this Ruku, a warning is sounded for those who turn away from the Quran. And Allah promises that such sinners will bear a terrible heavy burden on the Day of Resurrection.  When the trumpet is sounded and Allah gathers the sinful, they will murmur to one another that they stayed only ten days on earth, but the more perceptive of them will say that their stay on earth was only a single day.
Painting the picture of that dreadful day, by the will of Allah the the mountains will turn into dust and leave a flat plain and people will follow the caller from whom there is no escape.  Every voice will be hushed for the Lord of Mercy.  Only whispers will be heard.  On the Day of Judgement, intercession will be useless except from those to whom the Lord grants permission and whose words He approves.  All faces will be humbled before the Living, Ever Watchful One.  Those burdened with evil deeds will despair, but whoever has done righteous deeds and believed need have no fear of injustice or deprivation. 
Verses 105 - 112 A scene from the Day of judgement
( 105 )   And they ask you about the mountains, so say, "My Lord will blow them away with a blast.
In the last verse, it was the deceptiveness and relativity of Time that was dealt with.
[(20:104) We know well what they will say to one another: We also know that even the most cautious in his estimate will say: "You lived in the world no more than a day.]
Here we come to the question of space, solidity, bulk. The question was actually put to the holy Prophet: what will become of the solid Mountains, or in the English phrase, "the eternal hills"? They are no more substantial than anything else in this temporal world. When the "new world", (xiii. 5) of which Unbelievers doubted, is actually in being, the mountains will cease to exist. We can imagine the scene of judgment as a level plain, in which there are no ups and downs and no places of concealment. All is straight and level, without corners, mysteries, or lurking doubts.

وَيَسۡـئَلُوۡنَكَ عَنِ الۡجِبَالِ فَقُلۡ يَنۡسِفُهَا رَبِّىۡ نَسۡفًا ۙ‏  

The one word nasafa carries the ideas of (1) tearing up by the roots, (2) scattering like chaff or dust, and (3) winnowing. Its twofold repetition here intensifies its meaning.
( 106 )   And He will leave the earth a level plain;
( 107 )   You will not see therein a depression or an elevation."
According to the Quran, the earth will take a new shape in the Hereafter:

  • The earth will be spread. (Surah Al-Inshiqaq, Ayat 3).
  • The bottoms of the oceans will be split (and the whole water will sink down in the earth). (Surah Al-Infitar, Ayat 3).
  • The oceans will be filled up. (Surah At-Takweer, Ayat 6).
  • The mountains will be reduced to fine dust and scattered away and there will be left no curve or crease in the earth. (Surah Ta Ha, Ayats 105-107).
  • On that day the earth will be totally changed. (Surah Ibrahim, Ayat 48).
  • And it will be turned into a garden and given to the pious people to dwell therein forever. (Surah Az-Zumur, Ayat 74).

This shows that ultimately this earth will be turned into Paradise which will be inherited by the pious and righteous servants of Allah. The whole earth will become one country, and there will be no mountains, oceans, rivers and deserts which today divide it into countless countries and homelands and divide mankind as well into as many tribes, races and classes. Ibn Abbas and Qatadah have the same view that Paradise will be established on this very earth.

يَوۡمَـئِذٍ يَّتَّبِعُوۡنَ الدَّاعِىَ لَا عِوَجَ لَهٗ​ؕ وَخَشَعَتِ الۡاَصۡوَاتُ لِلرَّحۡمٰنِ فَلَا تَسۡمَعُ اِلَّا هَمۡسًا‏ 
( 108 )   That Day, everyone will follow [the call of] the Caller [with] no deviation therefrom, and [all] voices will be stilled before the Most Merciful, so you will not hear except a whisper [of footsteps].
The Caller: the angel whose voice will call and direct all souls.

The original Arabic word hams is used for the sound of footsteps, the sound of whispering and other low sounds. What it implies here is that the people will be so awestricken on that Day that there will be no sound other than that of footsteps and whispering.

Hams: A beautiful personification of hushed Sound. First there is the loud blast of the Trumpet. Then there is the stillness and hush of awe and reverence: only the tramp of the ranks marching along will be heard.
( 109 )   That Day, no intercession will benefit except [that of] one to whom the Most Merciful has given permission and has accepted his word.
This also has another interpretation: On that Day intercession will not be effective except in the case of the one for whom the Merciful may allow it and be pleased to hear it for him. Both these interpretations are supported by the following:
Who is there that can intercede with Him except by His own permission? (Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayat 255).
On that Day when the spirit and the angels will stand with folded hands, they will not be able to say anything except what the Merciful will permit, and they will say the right thing. (Surah An-Naba, Ayat 38). 
They do not intercede for anyone except for whom the Merciful may be pleased to listen to, and they are always fearful of Him. (Surah Al-Anbia, Ayat 28).
There are many angels in the heavens whose intercession avails nothing at all except when it is made after getting permission from Allah, and for the one for whom He wills to hear and approves of it. (Surah An-Najam, Ayat 26). 
Luck will be those on that fateful day when someone will be picked up as an intercessor to plead their case.
( 110 )   Allah knows what is [presently] before them and what will be after them, but they do not encompass it in knowledge.
Here the reasons for the restrictions on intercession have been stated. On the one hand, no angel, no prophet, no saint, nor anyone else knows, nor can know, the full details about the records of others. On the other hand, Allah has full knowledge of all the deeds and misdeeds of everyone and He knows who deserves pardon or punishment, and how much. If, therefore, there had been full freedom for intercession, the whole purpose of the creation of man would have become meaningless. According to this verse, the door against intercession has not been entirely closed. The righteous people will be allowed to show their sympathy for other human beings as they did in the world, but they will have to get permission for this beforehand and even then make only a right sort of recommendation.
( 111 )   And [all] faces will be humbled before the Ever-Living, the Sustainer of existence. And he will have failed who carries injustice.
The metaphor of the burden of sin which the unjust carry on their backs is referred to in xx. 100-101, in Surah 6. Al-An'am verse 31, and in other passages.
(6:31) Those who consider it a lie that they will have to meet Allah are indeed the losers so much so that when that Hour comes to them suddenly they will say: 'Alas for us, how negligent we have been in this behalf .' They will carry their burden (of sins) on their backs. How evil is the burden they bear!
Note that all faces, those of the just as well as of the unjust, will be humble before Allah: the best of us can claim no merit equal to Allah's Grace. But the just will have Hope: while the unjust, now that the curtain of Reality has risen, will be in absolute Despair!
( 112 )   But he who does of righteous deeds while he is a believer - he will neither fear injustice nor deprivation.
From this, it is clear that in the Hereafter the case of every individual will be decided on merit. If a man had been guilty of iniquity and injustice in regard to the rights of God or the rights of man or even his own rights, he shall be dealt with accordingly. On the other hand, those, who are both believers and workers of righteous deeds, shall have no fear that they would be deprived of their rights or punished even though they were innocent.

Unlike the unjust, the righteous, who have come with Faith, will now find their Faith justified: not only will they be free from any fear of harm, but they will be rewarded to the full, or, as has been said in other passages, where His bounty rather than His justice is emphasised, they will get more than their due reward (Surah 3. Al-i'Imran 27; Surah 29. Al-Ankabut. 10).

Verses 113 - 115 Al-Quran is sent in Arabic to teach and to remind, so read and say, "O Rabb increase my Knowledge"
( 113 )   And thus We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur'an and have diversified therein the warnings that perhaps they will avoid [sin] or it would cause them remembrance
That is, the Arabic Quran might awaken them from their heedlessness and they might recollect the forgotten lessons and feel that they are going astray and might realize the consequences thereof.

This means that the Quran is full of such high themes, wise teachings and admonitions as are contained in the preceding portion of this Surah as well as in the other Surahs of the Book.
.( 114 )   So high [above all] is Allah, the Sovereign, the Truth. And, [O Muhammad], do not hasten with [recitation of] the Qur'an before its revelation is completed to you, and say, "My Lord, increase me in knowledge."
Such sentences as this are usually found in the Quran at the end of a discourse so that it may end with the praise of Allah. It is plain from the context that the discourse ends with “the Sovereign.”

At the end of the discourse, the angel cautions the Prophet (peace be upon him) by Allah’s command to guard against a thing that had been noticed during the revelation, for it was not considered appropriate to do so during its recital. It is obvious from the wording of the caution that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was trying to learn the revealed discourse and was repeating it during its recital by the angel. Naturally this might have diverted his attention over and over again from listening to and grasping the revelation. Therefore it was felt necessary that he should be taught the right method of the receipt of the message of revelation and be asked not to try to commit it to memory during the revelation.

This sentence shows that this portion of Surah Ta Ha is one of the earliest revelations, for we learn from the other early Surahs that the Prophet (peace be upon him) tried to commit to memory the Quranic revelation and Allah cautioned him against it. For instance in (Surah Al-Qiamah, Ayats 16-19), he was told: Do not move your tongue over and over again in order to learn the revelation, for it is Our responsibility to cause you to remember it by heart and recite it. Therefore when it is being recited to you, listen to it carefully. Then it is also Our responsibility to make its meanings clear to you.

Again in (Surah Al-Aala, Ayat 6), he was assured: We will teach you how to recite it and you will not forget it. It appears that afterwards when the Prophet (peace be upon him) had learnt how to receive the messages of revelation, this did not occur. That is why there is no such caution in the Surahs of the later period.

We should too always pray for increase in our own knowledge, which can never at any given moment be complete.
( 115 )   And We had already taken a promise from Adam before, but he forgot; and We found not in him determination.
From here begins a new discourse, which probably was revealed some time after the preceding discourse, and it was incorporated in this Surah by the command of Allah because both deal with the same theme. The following are the similarities between the two:

  • Both the discourses remind mankind of the forgotten lesson, the admonition, which Allah had taught man on the occasion of his creation.
  • Both teach that it is Satan who seduces man to forget that lesson. He succeeded in this by causing his first parents to forget it. Since then he has been forgetting it over and over again and, therefore, has been cautioned against this.
  • Both warn man that his ultimate success or failure depends upon his attitude towards this admonition.
  • Both warn mankind to discriminate between an inadvertent error and an intentional rebellion and their consequences. If man (like Prophet Adam and his offspring and the magicians of Pharaoh) realizes that he has been seduced by Satan, his eternal enemy, and then repents of his error, he is forgiven. But there is no forgiveness for intentional rebellion as was the case with Satan, Pharaoh and the Samiri.

The spiritual fall of two individual souls, Pharaoh and the Samiri, having been referred to, the one through overweening arrogance, and the other through a spirit of mischief and false harking back to the past, our attention is now called to the prototype of Evil (satan) who tempted Adam, the original Man, and to the fact that though man was clearly warned that satan is his enemy and will only affect his ruin, he showed so little firmness that he succumbed to it at once at the first opportunity.

The story of Prophet Adam has already been stated in (Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayats 30-39); (Surah Al-Aaraf, Ayats 11- 27, 189); (Surah Al-Hijr, Ayats 28-42); (Surah Al-Isra, Ayats 61-65) and (Surah Al-Kahf, Ayats 51-52). But at every place only that part of the story which was relevant to the context has been cited. Therefore, in order to understand the entire story well, one should read it in all the Surahs.

Here in this verse it means that he, Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) disobeyed the command because he lacked the firmness of purpose and not because of intentional rebellion. He did not say: I don't care for Allah. If it is His command, let it be. I will do whatever I like. Who is Allah to intervene in my private affairs? On the contrary, he disobeyed because he forgot Allah’s command, and did not show firmness of purpose and determination against the temptations presented by Satan. This is shown by his subsequent repentance.

Ruku / Section 7 [116-128]
Summary of Ruku 7: Ruku 7 makes a mention of Prophet Adam (may peace be upon him), his creation, the negation of prostration to him by the Satan, their misleading by Satan and their ultimate expulsion from the Heaven to Earth. Here one must note that Allah did forgive Adam and Eve for their sins of disobedience before they were descended to earth (verse 122) . This is important to learn as it negates the Concept of Original Sin in Christianity. 
God commanded the angels to bow down before Adam and they did, but Satan refused, so God told Adam that Satan is an enemy to him and his wife and to not let him drive them out of Paradise.  And as long as he stays in Paradise, he will not go hungry, feel naked, be thirsty, or suffer from the heat of the sun.
But Satan whispered to Adam, tempting to lead Adam to "the tree of immortality and an everlasting kingdom." Adam disobeyed his Lord; both he and Eve fell for Satan’s whispers and ate from the tree.  They became conscious of their nakedness and began to cover themselves with leaves.
Later his Lord brought him close, accepted his repentance, and guided him.  God expelled them from Paradise.  God told them that whoever follows His guidance when it comes, will not go astray nor fall into misery, but whoever turns away from it will have a life of great hardship.  God promises to raise the one who turns away as a blind person on the Day of Resurrection.   He will ask God why was He raised blind when he had sight before! God’s response will be that since he ignored God’s revelations when they came to him, it is only fitting that he is ignored on this Day.  This is how God rewards those who go too far and who do not believe in His revelations.  God says that the greatest and most enduring punishment is in the Hereafter.
Verses 116 - 128 Story of Adam's creation and Shaitan's temptation and Allah forgave Adam's sin, chose him and guided him to the right Way and Those who do not read AL-Quran and follow its guidance shall be raise as blind on the Day of Resurrection
( 116 )   And [mention] when We said to the angels, "Prostrate to Adam," and they prostrated, except Iblees; he refused.
( 117 )   So We said, "O Adam, indeed this is an enemy to you and to your wife. Then let him not remove you from Paradise so you would suffer.
The story is referred to in order to draw attention to man's folly in rushing into the arms of satan though he had been clearly forewarned.

Here the command, which was given to Prophet Adam, has not been mentioned, which was: You must not eat the fruit of this tree. This has been mentioned at other places but has been omitted here because the emphasis here is on this weakness of man that he is easily seduced by Satan in spite of the forewarnings and admonitions to this effect.

Both knew that Satan was their enemy, for Adam himself had witnessed the demonstration of his enmity, when he had refused to bow down before him and declared in plain words: I am better than him. You created me of fire and him of clay. (Surah Al-Aaraf, Ayat 12); (Surah Suad, Ayat 76), see also (Surah Al-Hijr, Ayat 33). Should I bow before the one whom You created out of clay. And then added: Just consider was he worthy of this that You have exalted him over me. (Surah Al-Isra, Ayats 61-62). Then Satan did not rest content with this bragging of superiority but evinced his jealousy by giving an open challenge that he would prove it by seducing Adam. (Surah Al_Aaraf, Ayats 16, 17); (Surah Al-Hijr, Ayats 36-42); (Surah Al-Isra, Ayats 62-66); (Surah Suad, Ayats 82-83).

This was to forewarn both of them of the consequences of disobedience of the command.
( 118 )   Indeed, it is [promised] for you not to be hungry therein or be unclothed.
Not only had the warning been given that satan is an enemy to man and will affect his destruction, but it was clearly pointed out that all his needs were being met in the Garden of Happiness. Food and clothing, drink and shelter, were amply provided for.
( 119 )   And indeed, you will not be thirsty therein or be hot from the sun."
This is the explanation of the distress which they had to undergo immediately after their expulsion from the Garden. Here instead of mentioning the high and perfect blessings of the Garden, only four basic necessities of life have been stated, namely, food, drink, dress, and shelter, as if to say: In the Garden you are being supplied with all these necessities without any labor from you. But if you succumb to the temptations and seduction of Satan, you will be totally deprived not only of these facilities but also of the higher blessings of the Garden. In that case, you will have to work so hard for these necessities that very little energy and time and leisure will be left with you to strive for higher aims of life.
( 120 )   Then Satan whispered to him; he said, "O Adam, shall I direct you to the tree of eternity and possession that will not deteriorate?"
According to this verse, it was Adam whom Satan primarily wanted to seduce and not Eve. Though according to (Surah Al-Aaraf, Ayat 20), he tempted both of them and both were seduced, but Satan’s efforts were mainly directed to Adam. On the contrary, according to the Bible, the serpent first tempted the woman to eat the fruit of the forbidden tree and then she seduced her husband. (Genesis, 3).

According to this verse, Satan tempted Adam to eat the fruit of the tree so that he might get eternal life and everlasting kingdom, and according to (Surah Al-Aaraf, Ayat 20), he put an additional temptation in their way, saying that they would become angels and immortal.

The suggestion of satan is clever, as it always is: it is false, and at the same time plausible. It is false, because (1) that felicity was not temporary, like the life of this world, and (2) they were supreme in the Garden, and a "kingdom" such as was dangled before them would only add to their sorrows. It was plausible, because (1) nothing had been said to them about Eternity, as the opposite of Eternity was not yet known, and (2) the sweets of Power arise from the savour of Self, and Self is an alluring (if false) attraction that misleads the Will.
( 121 )   And Adam and his wife ate of it, and their private parts became apparent to them, and they began to fasten over themselves from the leaves of Paradise. And Adam disobeyed his Lord and erred.
Hitherto they knew no evil. No sooner did they disobey the command, they were deprived of all the facilities, but naturally the immediate effect of this as felt by them was that they were stripped of their garments. Then gradually, as they felt thirsty, hungry etc. they realized that they had been deprived of all the facilities that they enjoyed in the Garden.

It is worth while to understand the nature of human weakness which helped Satan to seduce Adam and Eve. They succumbed to seduction because Satan tempted them in the garb of a true friend and well-wisher even though they knew well that he was their enemy. For, Adam had a direct knowledge of the envy and enmity of Satan, who had challenged to seduce and ruin him in his very presence. Allah had also warned them to guard against the envy of and the temptations by Satan and had informed them of the consequences of disobedience. Above all, Adam and Eve still believed in Allah and never thought of intentional disobedience. But in spite of this, when Satan tempted them in the garb of a friend, they disobeyed their Lord: they forgot the command for the time being for lack of fineness of purpose. And since then this human weakness has persisted in their descendants during all ages.

The narrative sheds light on the following significant points:

(i) Modesty and bashfulness are inherent in human nature. The primary manifestation of this instinct is seen in the sense of shame that one feels when one is required to expose the private parts of one's body in the presence of others. According to the Qur'an, this bashfulness is not artificial, nor an outcome of advancement in human culture and civilization. Nor is it something acquired as some misguided thinkers contend. On the contrary, modesty has been an integral part of human nature from the very beginning.

(ii) The very first stratagem adopted by Satan in his bid to lead man astray from the Right Path consisted of undermining man's sense of modesty, to direct him towards lewdness and make him sexually deviant. In other words, the sexual instincts of man were taken by Satan as the most vulnerable aspect of human nature. Accordingly, he sought to weaken man's natural instincts of modesty and bashfulness. This devilish stratagem is still followed by the disciples of Satan in our time. For them, progress is inconceivable without exposing woman to the gaze of all and making her strip before others in one form or another.

(iii) Such is human nature that man scarcely responds to an unambiguous invitation to evil. Those who seek to propagate evil are, therefore, forced to present themselves as sincere well-wishers of humanity.

(iv) Man is naturally, drawn towards lofty ideals such as the attainment of superhuman positions and the securing of immortality. Satan achieved his first victory in his bid to mislead man by appealing to the latter's inherent desire to attain immortality. Satan's most effective weapon is to promise man a more elevated position than his present one, and then set him on a course that leads instead to his degradation.

(v) Here the Qur'an refutes the fairly popular view that Satan first misled Eve and later used her as an instrument to mislead Adam. (See Ibn Kathir's comments on (verses 22-3 - Ed.) The Qur'anic version of the story is that Satan attempted to mislead both Adam and Eve, and in fact both fell prey to his guile. At first sight, this might seem of trivial significance. However, all those who are acquainted with the impact of this version of Adam's fall on the moral, legal and social degradation of women will appreciate the significance of this Qur'anic statement.

(vi) There is hardly any basis to assume that the forbidden tree had certain inherent qualities which could result in the exposure of Adam and Eve's private parts as soon as they had tasted its fruit. Instead of the forbidden tree possessing any extraordinary qualities, it was rather man's disobedience to God which led to his fall from his original state. Initially, Adam and Eve's private parts had remained hidden on account of special arrangements made by God. Once they disobeyed, they were deprived of that special Divine arrangement, and were left to themselves to cover their nakedness if they so wished.

(vii) This was a way, of conveying to mankind for all time that whenever he disobeys God, he will sooner or later be exposed; that man will enjoy God's support and protection only so long as he remains obedient to Him. Once man transgresses the bounds of his obedience, he will be deprived of God's care and protection and left to his own self. This idea is also embodied in many traditions from the Prophet (peace be on him). According to a tradition, the Prophet (peace be on him) prayed:

'O God! I seek Your Mercy. Do not leave me to my own care even for the wink of an eye!' (Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, vol. 5, P. 421 - Ed.)

(vii) Satan wanted to prove that man did not deserve, not even for a moment, the superior status which had been granted to him by God. However, Satan failed in the very first round of his efforts to discredit man. Granted, man did not fully succeed in obeying God's command; rather, he fell prey to the machinations of his arch-enemy, Satan, and deviated from the path of obedience. Nevertheless, it is evident even in the course of this first encounter that man is a morally superior being. This is clear from many a thing. First, whereas Satan laid claim to superiority, man made no such claim rather a superior status was bestowed upon him by God. Second, Satan disobeyed God out of sheer pride and arrogance. But far from openly revolting against God out of his own prompting, man was disobedient under Satan's evil influence. Third, when man disobeyed God, he did so unwittingly, not realizing that he was committing a sin. 'Man was beguiled into disobedience by Satan ,who appeared in the garb of man's well-wisher. It was Satan who persuaded him to believe that in the fruit of the forbidden tree lay his good, that his action would lead him to the heights of goodness, not to the depths of evil. Fourth, when Satan was warned, rather than confessing his mistake and repenting, he clung even more adamantly to disobedience. But when man was told that he had sinned, he did not resort to continued transgression as Satan did. As soon as man realized his mistake, he confessed his fault, returned to the course of obedience and sought refuge in God's mercy.

This story draws a clear line between the way of Satan and the way that befits man. Satan's way is characterized by rebellion against God, by arrogantly persisting in that rebellion even after having been warned, and by trying to mislead the righteously disposed towards sin and disobedience. As opposed to this, the way that befits man is to resist the evil promptings of Satan and to be constantly vigilant against Satanic machinations. But, if in spite of all these precautions, a man does swerve from the course of obedience, he should turn, as soon as he realizes his fault, to God in penitence and remorse and make amends.

This is the lesson that God conveys to man through this anecdote. The Qur'an seeks to impress upon the opponents of the Prophet (peace be on him) that the way, they are following is the way of Satan. To become indifferent to God's Guidance, to take satans among men and jinn as their protectors and to persist in disobedience despite repeated warnings, amounts to adopting a Satanic attitude. It demonstrates that they have fallen prey to the snares of the arch-enemy and have been totally overpowered by him. This attitude will lead to their total undoing just as it led to Satan's undoing. Anyone who has even an iota of understanding should heed and emulate the example of his foreparents - Adam and Eve - who repented and made amends after their disobedience.

Adam had been given the will to choose, and he chose wrong, and was about to be lost when Allah's Grace came to his aid. His repentance was accepted, and Allah chose him for His Mercy, as stated in the next verse.
( 122 )   Then his Lord chose him and turned to him in forgiveness and guided [him].
“His Lord chose him” because he did not disobey Him intentionally and did not persist in sin arrogantly. As soon as he realized his error, he felt ashamed of it and asked Allah’s pardon:

قَالَا رَبَّنَا ظَلَمۡنَاۤ اَنۡفُسَنَا وَاِنۡ لَّمۡ تَغۡفِرۡ لَـنَا وَتَرۡحَمۡنَا لَـنَكُوۡنَنَّ مِنَ الۡخٰسِرِيۡنَ‏ 

O our Lord, we have wronged ourselves gravely. If You do not forgive us and have mercy upon us, we shall be totally ruined. (Surah Al-Aaraf, 7: Ayat 23).

In contrast to Adam and Eve, Satan was cursed because he not only disobeyed his Lord but also persisted in his sin, and boldly challenged Him that it was He Who was responsible for his disobedience, for He had preferred Adam whom He had created of clay over him whom He had made of fire.

قَالَ اهۡبِطَا مِنۡهَا جَمِيۡعًا​ۢ بَعۡضُكُمۡ لِبَعۡضٍ عَدُوٌّ​ ۚ فَاِمَّا يَاۡتِيَنَّكُمۡ مِّنِّىۡ هُدًى ۙ فَمَنِ اتَّبَعَ هُدَاىَ فَلَا يَضِلُّ وَلَا يَشۡقٰى‏  
( 123 )   [Allah] said, "Descend from Paradise - all, [your descendants] being enemies to one another. And if there should come to you guidance from Me - then whoever follows My guidance will neither go astray [in the world] nor suffer [in the Hereafter].
That is, Allah not only pardoned him but also gave him guidance and taught him the way to follow it.

The little variations between this passage and Surah Al Baqarah ii. 38 [(2:38) We said: “Get you down from here, all of you, and guidance shall come to you from Me: then, whoever will follow My guidance need have no fear, nor shall they grieve.] are instructive, as showing how clearly the particular argument is followed in each case. Here ihbita ('get ye down') is in the dual number, and refers to the two individual souls, our common ancestors.

For the same reason as in the last verse, we have here the consequences of Guidance to the individual, viz.: being saved from going astray or from falling into misery and despair. In Surah Al Baqarah ii. 38, the consequences expressed, though they apply to the individual, are also appropriate taken collectively: "on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve."
( 124 )   And whoever turns away from My remembrance - indeed, he will have a depressed life, and We will gather him on the Day of Resurrection blind."
The consequences of the rejection of Allah's guidance are here expressed more individually: a life narrowed down / depressed life, and a blindness that will persist beyond this life. "A life narrowed down" has many implications: (1) it is a life from which all the beneficent influences of Allah's wide world are excluded; (2) in looking exclusively to the "good things" of this life, it misses the true Reality.

“A life of hardship” does not mean a life of poverty. It means that such a one shall be deprived of the peace of mind, even though he may be a millionaire or the ruler of a vast empire. For, the one who will turn away from the admonition will win all the worldly successes by unlawful means and, therefore, will always be suffering from pangs of a guilty conscience and deprived of the peace of mind and real happiness.

Here the story of Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) ends.

In the light of this part of the story which has been related here and at other places in the Quran, it may be concluded  (and correct knowledge is with Allah alone) that the vicegerency of the earth was the same as was initially bestowed on Adam in the Garden, which might have been created in the heavens or on this earth. Anyhow the vicegerent of Allah was supplied gratis with all the necessities of life and the angels were placed under his command for service. This was to enable him to discharge the high and noble obligations of vicegerency, without any worry about the procurement of the necessities of life. But in order to make him permanent in this office, it was necessary to put him to a test so that all his capabilities, excellences and weaknesses might be known. Accordingly, he had to take his test in which some of his weaknesses came to the surface. He was prone to be seduced by greed and temptation. He did not remain firm in obedience. He was capable of forgetfulness. That is why he was given the vicegerency as a trial on the earth for a fixed term up to the Day of Judgment.

During this period of trial, he had himself to make arrangements for the necessities of life though he was allowed to exploit all the resources of the earth and to rule over other creatures. The trial is this: does he or does he not obey his Lord in spite of having the power to obey or not to obey. And if he forgets or is seduced by greed, does he or does he not repent through warning and admonition, when he realizes his error. At the same time, his Lord has warned him that a full and perfect record of all his deeds and misdeeds is being kept, and that he shall be judged on the Day of Reckoning in accordance with it. Those who will come out successful will be given permanent vicegerency and that eternal life and everlasting kingdom by which Satan seduced him. The righteous servants will become the heirs to the Garden, if they had obeyed their Lord or repented after forgetfulness. It should also be noted well that life in the Garden will not merely be to eat, drink and be merry, but there will be such higher things to achieve as no human being can conceive in this world. That is why only those blessings of the Garden have been mentioned in the Quran which can be comprehended by human beings in this world.

It will be worthwhile to make a comparative study of the account of Adam and Eve as given in the Quran with that given in the Bible. According to Genesis:
And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree, the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying: Of every tree of the garden thou mayst freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. (2:725). Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die. For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. She took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked, and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden. And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard Thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And He said, who told thee that thou west naked? Hast thou eaten, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gayest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the woman said, the serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every blast of the field. Upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life. And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed. It shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception, in sorrow thou shall bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which 1 commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life. In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread. Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them. And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever: Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. (3 :1-23).
It is obvious that the Bible has not done justice to Adam and Eve, nay, even to God Himself. On the other hand, the account given in the Quran is itself a clear proof that the stories given in it have not been copied from the Bible; for the Quran not only corroborates those parts of the Bible which have remained un-tampered but also corrects its wrong statements.
( 125 )   He will say, "My Lord, why have you raised me blind while I was [once] seeing?"
Because Allah gave him physical sight in this life for trial, he thinks he should be favoured in the real world, the world that matters! He misused his physical sight and made himself blind for the other world.
( 126 )   [Allah] will say, "Thus did Our signs come to you, and you forgot them; and thus will you this Day be forgotten."
'You were deliberately blind to Allah's Signs: now you will not see Allah's favours, and will be excluded from His Grace.'

The Quran has described the different conditions and experiences through which the criminals will pass from the Day of Resurrection to the time of their entry into Hell: You were neglectful of this, now We have removed the curtain from before you and your sight has become very sharp. (Surah Qaaf, Ayat 22). He is only deferring them to the Day when all eyes shall stare with consternation. They will be running in terror with heads uplifted and eyes fixed upwards and hearts void. (Surah Ibrahim, Ayats 42-43). We have fastened the augury of every man to his own neck and on the Day of Resurrection We will bring forth a writing which he will find like an open book. (It will be said to him:) Here is your record: read it. Today you can yourself reckon your account. (Surah Al-Isra, Ayats 13-14). In the light of the above and this (verse 126), it appears that in the Hereafter, the criminals shall be enabled to see the horrible sights and to realize the consequences of their evil deeds, but in other respects they will be like the blind man who cannot see his way and is deprived of even a staff to feel his way, nor is there anyone to guide him. So he stumbles and is knocked about and does not know where to go and how to satisfy his needs. This very state has been expressed thus: You forgot Our Revelations when they came to you, so you are being forgotten today, as if, you were blind and had no one to look after you.
( 127 )   And thus do We recompense he who transgressed and did not believe in the signs of his Lord. And the punishment of the Hereafter is more severe and more enduring.
This refers to the wretched life which will be the lot of those who turn away from the admonition in this worldly life.

Blindness in the world of enduring Reality is far worse than physical blindness in the world of probation.
( 128 )   Then, has it not become clear to them how many generations We destroyed before them as they walk among their dwellings? Indeed in that are signs for those of intelligence.
“For them”: means people of Makkah. That is, in this lesson of history and in the observation of the archaeological remains and in this experience of mankind.

Reference xx. 54. This phrase concluded the argument of Moses with Pharaoh about Pharaoh's blindness to Allah and the Signs of Allah. Now it concludes the more general argument about men, concerning whom the saying arose: 'none are so blind as those who will not sec.'

Ruku / Section 8 [129-135]

In this Ruku, directions and guidelines are given to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him):
Prophet Muhammad is told to be patient with what they say, and celebrate the praise of his Lord before the rising and setting of the sun, during the night, and at the beginning and end of the day, so that he may find contentment.  He is instructed by God to not gaze longingly at what God has given some of them to enjoy in this present life.  God tests them through this, but the provision of the Lord in the life to come is better and more lasting.   
Prophet Muhammad is told by God to order people to pray and to be steadfast in prayers himself.  God does not ask anyone to give Him provision, He provides for everyone, and the rewards of the Hereafter belong to the devout.
Verses 129 - 132 Do not envy others in worldly benefits, rather seek Allah's pleasure if you want to attain the blessed end
( 129 )   And if not for a word that preceded from your Lord, punishment would have been an obligation [due immediately], and [if not for] a specified term [decreed].
References Surah 10. Yunus : 19; also Surah 11. Hud :110. In Allah's holy plan and Purpose, there is a wise adjustment of all interests, and a merciful chance and respite given to all, the unjust as well as the just, and His decree or word abides. The most wicked have a term appointed for them for respite. Had it not been so, the punishment must necessarily have descended on them immediately for their evil deeds.
( 130 )   So be patient over what they say and exalt [Allah] with praise of your Lord before the rising of the sun and before its setting; and during periods of the night [exalt Him] and at the ends of the day, that you may be satisfied.
This is to comfort and console the Prophet (peace be upon him), as if to say: Allah does not intend to destroy them yet, for He has appointed for them a term of respite, so you should endure with patience whatever they do against you and hear their harsh talk and go on performing the obligations of your mission. For this purpose you should offer Salat in accordance with the prescribed times because it will create in you necessary forbearance and fortitude.

“Glorify Him” means: Offer your prescribed Prayers, as is clear from Ayat 132.

Incidentally in this verse (130) the times of Salat have been prescribed: (1) Fajr Prayer before sunrise. (2) Asr Prayer before sunset. (3) Isha and Tahajjud Prayers during the hours of night. Morning and Afternoon (Dhuhr) and Evening (Maghrib) Prayers at the extremes of the day. The Muslims have been commanded to establish Salat immediately after the mention of obstacles and adversities. This implies that the perseverance required to face adverse circumstances is obtained by the establishment of Salat.

The original Arabic Text admits of two meanings.

  • (1) Rest content with your present condition in which you have to hear many unpleasant things for the sake of your mission, and submit to this decree that they are not being punished for the time being, for they will continue to persecute you and at the same time lead prosperous lives.
  • (2) Go on performing your mission, for as a result of this, you will be fully satisfied.

This second meaning is supported by (a) (Surah AL-Isra, Ayat 79): That time is not far when your Lord may exalt you to a laudable position, which follows the commandment about Salat, (b) (Surah Ad-Duha, Ayats 4-5): Surely the later period of life will be better for you than the former, and in the near future your Lord will give you so much that you will be fully satisfied.

All good men must be patient with what seems to them evil around them. That does not mean that they should sit still and do nothing to destroy evil; for the fight against evil is one of the cardinal points in Islam. What they are told is that they must not be impatient: they must pray to Allah and commune with Him, so that their patience and faith may be strengthened, and they may be able the better to grapple with evil. For they thus not only get strength in this world but pleasure of Allah in the Hereafter as well.

Another explanation of the verse vis the timings of the prayers {Yousaf Ali]:

فَاصۡبِرۡ عَلٰى مَا يَقُوۡلُوۡنَ وَسَبِّحۡ بِحَمۡدِ رَبِّكَ قَبۡلَ طُلُوۡعِ الشَّمۡسِ وَقَبۡلَ غُرُوۡبِهَا​ ۚ وَمِنۡ اٰنَآىٴِ الَّيۡلِ فَسَبِّحۡ وَاَطۡرَافَ النَّهَارِ لَعَلَّكَ تَرۡضٰى‏ 

Taraf, plural atraf, may mean sides, ends, extremities. If the day be compared to a tubular figure standing erect, the top and bottom are clearly marked, but the sides are not so clearly marked: they would be atraf (plural), not tarafain (dual). Now the prayer before sunrise is clearly Fajr; that before sunset is Asr: "part of the hours of the night" would indicate Magrib (early night, just after sunset), and Isha, before going to bed. There is left Zuhr, which is in the indefinite side or middle of the day : it may be soon after the sun's decline from noon, but there is considerable latitude about the precise hour. The majority of Commentators interpret in favour of the five Canonical prayers, and some include optional prayers. But I think the words are even more comprehensive. A good man's life is all one sweet Song of Praise to Allah.
( 131 )   And do not extend your eyes toward that by which We have given enjoyment to [some] categories of them, [its being but] the splendor of worldly life by which We test them. And the provision of your Lord is better and more enduring.
It means: It does not behoove you and your companions to be envious of the riches of the wicked people who are amassing wealth by unlawful means. The best thing for you is the lawful provision which you earn by your hard labor, even though this may be meager in quantity. That is better for the pious and righteous and is of everlasting virtue.
( 132 )   And enjoin prayer upon your family [and people] and be steadfast therein. We ask you not for provision; We provide for you, and the [best] outcome is for [those of] righteousness.
That is, also teach your children that lawful provision is much better than the unlawful riches of the wicked people. For this purpose, enjoin them to say their prescribed Prayers, for this will change their attitude, their standard of values, and make them contented with pure provisions and virtuous life in preference to the life of sin and luxury.

It implies this: We do not ask you to offer your Prayers for any benefit of Our own. We ask you to do that for your own good, because this will create piety in you which will bring about true success for you in this world and in the Hereafter.

Sustenance, in the sense of the ordinary needs of life, the man of Allah does not worry about. That is provided by Allah for all, the just and the unjust. But the special provision, the Real Sustenance, the spiritual fruit, is for a righteous life in the service of Allah.

Verses 133-135 - The stubbornness of the polytheists and its consequencesThe disbelievers ask why does Prophet Muhammad not bring a sign from his Lord? God tells them that they were given clear proof in the earlier scriptures of the coming of Prophet Muhammad.  If God would have destroyed them through punishment before this Messenger came, they would have complained and asked if only God had sent them a messenger, they would have followed His revelations before they suffered humiliation and disgrace! Prophet Muhammad is told to say that we are all waiting, so you carry on waiting; ultimately you will come to learn who has followed the even path, and has been rightly guided.
( 133 )   And they say, "Why does he not bring us a sign from his Lord?" Has there not come to them evidence of what was in the former scriptures?
This means that the Quran itself is a great miracle, for though it is being presented by an unlettered person from among them, it contains the essence of the teachings and guidance of all tire previous divine Books. Not only that, it makes those teachings and guidance so plain and clear that even a simple man of the desert can benefit from them.

The question or plea of the Unbelievers is disingenuous. Many Signs have come with this Revelation. But the one that should have appealed to those who believed in former revelations and should have convinced them was what was in their own books.
( 134 )   And if We had destroyed them with a punishment before him, they would have said, "Our Lord, why did You not send to us a messenger so we could have followed Your verses before we were humiliated and disgraced?"
If the Sign mentioned in the last note did not convince them, it would mean that they were not true to their own faith. They were not straight with themselves. In justice they should have been punished for their falsehood. But they were given further respite. Or they would again have argued in a circle, and said: "If only Allah had sent us a living messenger we should have believed!" The living messenger they flout because they want a Sign. The Sign they wish to ignore, because they want a living messenger!

In the conclusion [verse 135], there is a debate between the disbelievers and Muhammad. The disbelievers wonder why God does not bring them a sign, and in the final verse God instructs Muhammad what to reply to them.
( 135 )   Say, "Each [of us] is waiting; so wait. For you will know who are the companions of the sound path and who is guided."
That is, ever since the message of Islam is being presented in your city (Makkah), it is not only every person of this city who is waiting for its ultimate result but also every one outside it, who has heard of it.

If people will not be true to their own lights, what further argument is left? The Prophet of Allah can only say: "Let us wait the issue: my faith tells me that Allah's Truth must prevail." Also see Surah 9. At-Tauba verse 52 below:
[9:52] Tell them: "What you await to befall upon us is nothing but one of the two good things!52 And what we await for you is that Allah visit you with chastisement from Him or chastise you at our hands. So continue waiting; we too shall wait with you."
This is the answer to those who, as usual, were not taking any part in the conflict between Islam and kufr, but were very wisely watching it from a distance to see whether the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his companions would return victorious from Tabuk or would be totally destroyed by the powerful Roman army. They were told that either of the two results, they were awaiting, would be good for the Muslims. For it was obvious that it would be a good thing if they won victory. But even if they were killed in the Way of Allah, it would be a success from their point of view, though not in the sight of the world, as the Muslims’ standard of measurement is different from that of the hypocrites and the like. A believer considers it his success if he sacrifices his life and wealth in the Way of Allah, irrespective of whether he succeeds in conquering some country, or in establishing a government or not. According to him the criterion of success or failure is whether he has extended or not all the powers of his body and soul, his head and his heart to elevate the word of Allah, though from the worldly point of view the result of his efforts might be nothing at all.

Reference Surah 19. Maryam. 43: Father [Abraham addressing his father], a knowledge that has not reached you has come to me. So follow me that I may guide you to a Straight Way.

The straight and even Way must endure, and show that the man who follows it has received true guidance. All falsehood and crookedness must ultimately disappear.

You may now like to listen to Arabic recitation of Sürah Ta Ha  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 | 4 | 5| 6 |
Reading the Holy Quran 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.

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Holy Qur'an from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that:
  • The plain translation has been taken from the Holy Quran officially published by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. [1]
  • 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. [2] 
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided by [2], additional input has been interjected from following sources:
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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Asalaam alaikum, Jazak Allah , Nice writeup. I only have one question. Many Tafseer writers agree that Ayat 130-132 are about our 5 prayers, and their times. Then why no comment about the false statements of " we got prayers during Isra Journey " towards the end of Prophethood.

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