Tuesday 26 November 2019

Surah Ar Ra'ad: The Thunder - 13th Chapter / Surah of Quran (Exegesis)

Sürah Ar Ra'ad is the thirteenth surah with 43 ayahs with six rukus, with one Sajdah at the end of verse 15, part of the 13th Juzʼ  of the Holy Qur'an. This Sürah takes its name from the word (ar-Ra'ad) (thunder) that occurs in verse 13. It is merely the symbolic name of the Sürah and does not in any way mean that the Sürah deals with the matters related to thunder or severity of weather. Rather the goal of the Surah is the power of truth and the weakness of falsehood. A surah dealing with faith focused on Prophet Muhammad being from a long line of prophets whose mission was to deliver the message of God.  It is God who will call the people to account.

The chronological place of this Sürah and the general argument of Sürahs x to xv. has been described in the Overview to Sürah 10 Yunus.

The internal evidence (verses 27-31 and verses 34-48) shows that this Surah was revealed in the last stage of the Mission of the Holy Prophet at Makkah and during the same period in which Surahs Yunus, Hud and Al- A'araf were sent down. The manner of speech indicates that a long time had passed since the Holy Prophet had been conveying the Message. On the one hand, his opponents had been contriving different devices to defeat him and his Mission, and, on the other, his followers had been expressing a desire that by showing a miracle the disbelievers might be brought to the Right Way. In answer, Allah impressed on the Believers that it is not His way to convert people by this method and that they should not lose heart, if He is giving the enemies of the Truth a rope long enough to hang themselves. Otherwise, He is able to show such signs as may bring the dead out of their graves and make them speak (v. 31), but even then these obdurate people will invent an excuse to explain this away. All this decisive evidence clearly proves that this Surah was revealed during the last stage of the Prophet's Mission at Makkah.

The special argument of this Sürah deals with that aspect of Allah's revelation of Himself to man and His dealings with him, which is concerned with certain contrasts pointed out here in this Sürah. There is the revelation of the Prophets, which comes in spoken words adapted to the language of the various men and groups of men to whom it comes; and there is the parallel revelation or Signs in the constant laws of external nature, on this earth and in the visible heavens. There is the contrast between recurring life and death already in the external world: why should men disbelieve in the life after death? They mock at the idea of punishment because it is deferred: but can they not see Allah's power and glory in thunder and the forces of nature? All creation praises Him: it is the good that endures and the evil that is swept away like froth or scum. Not only in miracles but in the normal working of the world, are shown Allah's power and mercy. Even here there are Signs of the working of his law: plot or plan as men will, it is Allah's Will that must prevail. This is illustrated in Joseph's story in the preceding Sürah.

The first verse enunciates the main theme of this Surah, that is, "The Message of Muhammad (Allah's peace be upon him) is the very Truth, but it is the fault of the people that they are rejecting it." This is the pivot on which the whole Surah turns. This is why it has been shown over and over again in different ways that the basic components of the Message -- Tauhid, Resurrection and Prophethood-are a reality: therefore they should believe sincerely in these for their own moral and spiritual good. They have been warned that they shall incur their own ruin if they reject them, for kufr by itself is sheer folly and ignorance. Moreover, the aim of the Surah is not merely to satisfy the minds but also to appeal to the hearts to accept the Faith. Therefore it does not merely put forward logical arguments in support of the truth of the Message and against the people's wrong notions, but at appropriate intervals it makes frequent use of sympathetic and earnest appeals to win over their hearts by warning them of the consequences of kufr and by holding out the happy rewards of Faith so that the foolish people should give up their obduracy.

Besides this, the objections of the opponents have been answered without any mention of them, and those doubts which are proving a hindrance in the way of the Message or were being created by the opponents have been removed. At the same time, the Believers; who had been passing through long and hard ordeal and were feeling tired, and waiting anxiously for Allah's succor, have been comforted and filled with hope and courage.

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 / Section 1 [1-7]

الٓـمّٓرٰ  تِلۡكَ اٰيٰتُ الۡكِتٰبِ​ؕ وَالَّذِىۡۤ اُنۡزِلَ اِلَيۡكَ مِنۡ رَّبِّكَ الۡحَـقُّ وَلٰـكِنَّ اَكۡثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ‏  

( 1 )   Alif, Lam, Meem, Ra. These are the verses of the Book; and what has been revealed to you from your Lord is the truth, but most of the people do not believe.

"Alif Lam Ra" are *The Muqaṭṭaʿāt (Arabic: حُرُوف مُقَطَّعَات‎ ḥurūf muqaṭṭaʿāt, "mysterious letters"), a combination of between one and five Arabic letters figuring at the beginning of 29 out of the 114 chapters (surahs) of the Quran just after the opening Bismillāh, thus also called the or occasionally called Fawatih (openers). Alif, Lam, Ra here in this sūrah are also part of these letters, the meaning of which is not known.

This is the introduction to this Surah, in which its aim and object has been enunciated in a few words. Allah has addressed the Prophet (peace be upon him) to this effect: O Prophet, most of your people are rejecting the teachings of the Quran for one reason or the other, but the fact is that what We are sending down to you is the truth whether people believe it or not.

After this brief introduction, the discourse deals with the main subject of the Surah which consists of three basic things. First, the entire universe belongs to Allah alone, and none besides Him has any right to service and worship. Second, there is another life after this life in which you shall have to render an account of all your actions. Third, I am a Messenger of Allah: whatever I am presenting before you is not from myself but from Allah. As the people were rejecting these three things, these have been reiterated over and over again in various forms to remove doubts and objections from the minds of the disbelievers.
( 2 )   It is Allah who erected the heavens without pillars that you [can] see; then He established Himself above the Throne and made subject the sun and the moon, each running [its course] for a specified term. He arranges [each] matter; He details the signs that you may, of the meeting with your Lord, be certain.
In other words, “Allah is He who raised the heavens without (any) pillars that you can see.” Though there is nothing apparent and visible that is supporting these heavens, yet there is an invariable and imperceptible Power which is not only holding but keeping in its place each and every one of these huge heavens and whatever is in between them.
It is quite difficult to appreciate fully the exact nature of the Qur'anic statement: '(Allah) ascended the Throne.' One possibility is that after the creation of the universe God focused His effulgence at a particular point in His Kingdom which is known as the Throne, from where He showers the blessings of life and power, and governs the whole universe.
It is possible that the word 'Throne' stands for dominion and authority and that God's ascending the Throne signifies His actual taking over the reins of the universe after having created it. Whatever the exact meaning of the expression '(Allah) ascended the Throne', the main thrust of the verse is that God is not just the creator of the universe, but is also its sovereign and ruler; that after creating the universe He did not detach Himself from, nor become indifferent to, His creation. On the contrary, He effectively rules over the universe as a whole as well as every part of it. All power and sovereignty rest with Him. Everything in the universe is fully in His grip and is subservient to His will. Every atom is bound in obedience to Him. The fate of everything existent is in His Hands. Thus the Qur'an undermines the very basis of the misconception which leads man at times to polytheism, and at others to self-glorification and so to rebellion against God. This is the natural corollary of considering God divorced from the affairs of the universe. In such cases, there are two possibilities. One, that beings other than God are considered to have the power to make or mar man's destiny. Here, man is bound to turn to those beings in devotion and subservience. The second possibility is for man to consider himself as the master of his own destiny. Here, man considers himself independent of, and indifferent to, any higher being.
It is significant that the words and figures of speech employed by the Qur'an to denote the relationship between God and man are closely related to kingship, dominion, and sovereignty. This is too conspicuous a fact to be missed by any careful student of the Qur'an. It is strange, however, that it has led some superficial critics and persons of biased outlook to conclude that the Qur'an reflects the milieu in which man's outlook was dominated by monarchical concepts, and that therefore its 'author', who in their view was the Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him), presented God as a sovereign ruler, an absolute monarch.
Quite contrary to this is the fundamental truth which the Qur'an emphatically affirms - God's sovereignty over the heavens and the earth. It negates, with equal emphasis, that sovereignty belongs to anyone else. Such a doctrine demolishes the very assumption on the basis of which the above erroneous conclusion was derived. The Qur'anic concept of God's sovereignty is in sharp contrast to the idea that creatures of God may lay claim to sovereignty and kingship. In contrast to the weak, mortal kings of the world, God is eternal and all-powerful This undermines the very basis of the misconceived criticism that Islam has a monarchical basis since no human being can conform to the Islamic description of the sovereign. All sovereignty vests in the One True God. Hence, all those who claim total or partial sovereignty either for any person or group of people are merely cherishing an illusion. It is evident, therefore, that it is totally inappropriate for man, who is a part of the universe created and governed by God, to adopt any other attitude than that of acknowledging God as the only object of worship and as the only sovereign in a societal and political sense.
Here the purpose will be served if it is understood that this thing has been mentioned in the Quran at many places in order to bring out clearly the fact that Allah has not only created the earth, but also rules over His Kingdom, and that His universe is a factory that is not working automatically as some ignorant people seem to think nor is it being ruled by many gods as other ignorant people seem to believe. But it is a regular system that is being run and ruled over by its Creator.

It should be noted here that the addressees themselves accepted the truth of all the claims that have been made in this verse. Therefore no proofs were required of the facts that it is Allah Who has raised up the heavens without any visible support and subjected the sun and the moon to a fixed order. These things have been mentioned here only as arguments to prove that Allah is the sole Sovereign and ruler of the entire universe.

Now let us consider this question: How can such an argument as this convince those who do not believe at all in the existence of God nor acknowledge that He is the Creator of the universe and the Director of all of its affairs? The answer is that the arguments in support of the doctrine of Tauhid advanced in the Quran to convince the mushriks equally apply against the atheists to prove the existence of God. It is like this: The entire universe, the earth, the moon, the sun and the countless heavenly bodies constitute a perfect system which is working under the same all powerful law. This is a proof that such a system must have been designed by some All-Powerful Sovereign, Who possesses wisdom and unerring knowledge. This proves conclusively the existence of that Allah Who has no other equal nor associate nor partner. For there can be no system without an administrator, no law without a ruler, no wisdom without a sage, and no knowledge without the possessor of that knowledge. Above all, no one can ever conceive that there can be any creation without a Creator except the one who is obdurate or has no sense left in him at all.

This system is not only a standing proof of the fact that an All-Powerful Sovereign is ruling over it, but is also an evidence of the great wisdom underlying it. It also bears witness that there is nothing everlasting in it. Everything in it remains for a fixed term after which it comes to an end. This is equally true for each and every component part of it as well as for the whole system. It is quite evident from its physical structure that there is nothing everlasting and immortal. There must be some fixed term for the system as a whole, after the expiry of which it shall come to an end. Then there shall be another world. Therefore it is most likely that there shall be Resurrection as predicted in the Quran: nay, its inevitability is beyond any doubt.

Allah makes plain those signs which help prove the truth of what the Prophet (peace be upon him) was informing them. These signs are spread all over the universe and everyone who observes these with open eyes can perceive that the realities towards which the Quran invites the people are testified by these signs.

The preceding signs have been cited to prove two things. First, the universe has only one Creator and Administrator. Second, there shall be life in the Hereafter in which everyone shall be judged in the divine court and awarded rewards and punishments on merit. As the first thing was quite obvious, it has not been mentioned in the conclusion drawn from the signs. But the second thing, life in the Hereafter, has been mentioned because that was rather hidden from perception. Therefore it has specifically been stated that these signs have been made plain in order to convince you that you shall meet your Lord in the Hereafter and render an account of all your actions in this world.

Now let us consider how these signs help prove life in the Hereafter. These make it evident in two ways.

(1) When we consider how big heavenly bodies as the sun and the moon are completely subject to the will of Allah, our hearts feel convinced that Allah Who has created these things and regulated their movements so orderly around their orbits, has undoubtedly the power to bring to life the whole human race after its death.

(2) The terrestrial system also proves that its Creator is All- Wise. Therefore it can never be imagined that the All-Wise Creator could have created man and endowed him with wisdom and intelligence and invested him with power and authority, and then left him free to do what he liked with these, without being responsible and accountable for their use or abuse. For His Wisdom demands that He should take full account of all the acts and deeds of man in this world. It requires that He should take to task those who committed aggression and compensate their victims and He should give rewards to those who practiced virtue and punishments to those who did wicked deeds. In short, His Wisdom requires that He should call to account every human being and demand: How did you carry out the trust that was placed in your hands in the shape of your wonderful body with its wonderful faculties and the numerous resources of the earth? It may be that a foolish and unjust ruler of this world might entrust the affairs of his kingdom in the hands of his agents and then forget to call them to account, but such a thing can never be expected from the All-Wise and All-Knowing Allah. It is this way of observing and considering the heavenly bodies that can convince us that life in the Hereafter is both possible and inevitable.
( 3 )   And it is He who spread the earth and placed therein firmly set mountains and rivers; and from all of the fruits He made therein two mates; He causes the night to cover the day. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.
After citing some heavenly signs in support of the doctrines of Tauhid and the Hereafter, a few signs are being cited from the earth for the same purpose. Briefly the following are the arguments for Tauhid, Resurrection and Accountability.

(1) Tauhid: The fact that the earth is closely connected with the heavenly bodies (which help create life on it), and the fact that the mountains and the rivers are so interrelated with that life are clear proofs that all these things have not been created by separate and different gods nor are being governed, by gods with independent powers and authorities. Had it been so, there could not have been so much harmony, congruity, accord and unity of purpose among them; nor could these relationships have continued for such a long time. For it is quite obvious that if there had not been One All-Powerful and All-Wise Allah, it could not have been possible and practicable for different gods to sit together and evolve out such a harmonious system of the universe without any discord or conflict between its myriads of bodies.

(2) Resurrection: This wonderful planet, the earth, is itself a great proof that its Creator is All-Powerful and can, therefore, raise the dead whenever He will. For it is floating in space round the sun and it has high mountains fixed in it and has large rivers flowing on its surface: it produces countless fruit-bearing trees and it brings about the cycles of the day and the night with precise regularity. All these things bear witness to the boundless power of its Creator. It would, therefore, be sheer folly to doubt that such All-Powerful Creator is incapable of raising mankind to life after death.

(3) Accountability: The earth, with all its wonderful and purposeful signs, is a clear evidence of the fact that its Creator is All-Wise. Therefore it cannot even be imagined that He has created man, His noblest creation, without any purpose. Just as His wisdom is apparent from the structure of the earth, its mountains, its rivers, the pairs of its trees and fruits, its night and day, so it is quite obvious that it has not been made the habitation of man without any purpose, nor will it be brought to naught without the fulfillment of that purpose. Clearly mankind shall be accountable to its Creator for the fulfillment of that divine purpose.

Yusuf Ali's Explanation:
I think that this refers to sex in plants, and I see M.P. has translated accordingly. Plants like animals have their reproductive apparatus,-male stamens and female pistils. In most cases the same flower combines both stamens and pistils, but in some cases these organs are specialized in separate flowers, and in some cases, even in separate trees. The date-palm of Arabia and the Papaya of India, are instances of fruit trees which are uni-sexual.

Cf. vii. 54. The whole passage there may be compared with the whole passage here. Both their similarity and their variation show how closely reasoned each argument is, with expressions exactly appropriate to each occasion.
( 4 )   And within the land are neighboring plots and gardens of grapevines and crops and palm trees, [growing] several from a root or otherwise, watered with one water; but We make some of them exceed others in [quality of] fruit. Indeed in that are signs for a people who reason.
That is, If you observe carefully, you will find divine wisdom, design and purpose in the diversity of the structure of the earth. Though it has countless regions adjoining one another, they are different from one another in their shapes, colors, component parts, characteristics, potentialities, productive capacity and source of minerals. This diversity has countless points of wisdom and advantage. Let alone other creatures, if we consider the diversity of regions from the point of the good it has done to mankind, we shall have to acknowledge that this is the result of the well thought and well planned design of the All-Wise Creator. For this diversity has helped the growth of human civilization so much that only an unreasonable person can assign this to mere accident.

Some of the date palm trees have only a single trunk from the root while others have two or more stems from the same root.

The things mentioned in this verse contain many other signs besides the proofs of Tauhid and the boundless powers and All-Comprehensive Wisdom of Allah. Let us consider one of these, that is, the diversity in the universe, including mankind. There is the one and the same earth but all its regions are quite different from one another. Then there is one and the same water but it helps to produce different kinds of corn and fruits. Then one and the same tree bears fruits which, in spite of likeness, differ from one another in shapes, sizes, and other features. Then there is one and the same root from which sometimes one and at others two trunks sprout up, with their own different characteristics. If one considers these aspects of diversity, one shall come to the conclusion that the divine wisdom demands the same kind of diversity in the natures, temperaments and inclinations of human beings, and, therefore, in their conducts. So, one need not worry about the existence of this diversity. As it has been stated in (Ayat 31), if Allah had willed, He could have created all human beings alike and virtuous by birth. But the wisdom that underlies the creation of the universe, including mankind, requires diversity and not uniformity. Otherwise, all this creation would have become meaningless.

Yusuf Ali's Explanation:
Does "growing out of single roots or otherwise" qualify "palm trees" or "vines" and "corn" as well? The former construction is adopted by the classical Commentators: in which case the reference is to the fact either that two or more palm trees occasionally grow out of a single root, or that palm trees grow sometimes as odd trees and sometimes in great thick clusters. If the latter construction is adopted, the reference would be to the fact that date-palm (and palms generally) and some other plants arise out of a single tap-root, while the majority of trees arise out of a net-work of roots that spread out extensively. Here is adaptation to soil and water conditions,-another Sign or wonder of Creation.

The date-palm, the crops of food-grains, and the grape-vine are all fed by the same kind of water, yet how different the harvests which they yield! And that applies to all vegetation. The fruit or eatable produce may vary in shape, size, colour, flavour, etc., in endless variety.
( 5 )   And if you are astonished, [O Muhammad] - then astonishing is their saying, "When we are dust, will we indeed be [brought] into a new creation?" Those are the ones who have disbelieved in their Lord, and those will have shackles upon their necks, and those are the companions of the Fire; they will abide therein eternally.
They “disbelieved in their Lord”: their denial of the Hereafter is, in fact, the denial of the Power and Wisdom of Allah. As they say that it is impossible to bring them again to life after their death, it implies that, God forbid, their Allah Who has created them lacks not only power but wisdom, too.

As a shackle around the neck is a symbol of imprisonment, the words “shackles upon their necks” have been used here idiomatically to show that they are slaves of ignorance, obduracy, lust and are blind followers of their forefathers. As their thinking is influenced by their prejudices, they cannot believe in the Hereafter and would deny this, though there is every reason to believe that it is inevitable.

Yusuf Ali's Explanation:
After seeing the Signs in nature and the Signs in revelation, it is indeed strange that people should deny their Creator. But if they admit the Signs of the Creator, Who works marvels before their very eyes every day, why should they doubt that when they are reduced to dust, they can be raised up again? If one creation is possible, what difficulty can there be in accepting a renewed creation? It becomes then a question of an obstinate and rebellious will, for which the punishment is described.

Aglal: yokes (of servitude): Cf. vii. 157. The punishment may be conceived of in two stages: immediately, yokes of servitude to superstition, falsehood, etc., as against the freedom in Faith; and finally, the Fire which burns the very soul.
( 6 )   They impatiently urge you to bring about evil before good, while there has already occurred before them similar punishments [to what they demand]. And indeed, your Lord is full of forgiveness for the people despite their wrongdoing, and indeed, your Lord is severe in penalty.
This refers to the demand of the Quraish from the Prophet (peace be upon him): If you are a true Prophet (peace be upon him) of God, why don’t you hasten to bring that scourge of God upon us of which you have been threatening us, when we are flouting and denying you? They did this in different ways. Sometimes they would invoke God mockingly and say: O Lord, settle our accounts now and do not postpone these to the Day of Resurrection. At another time, they would say: Our Lord, if what Muhammad (peace be upon him) says be true, and be from Thee, then stone us from the sky or send down some other scourge upon us from the sky or send down some other painful torment upon us. In this verse an answer has been given to such impudent demands of the disbelievers. They have been admonished to refrain from such foolish demands and avail of the respite that was being given to them and mend their ways, for they were incurring the wrath of God by adopting the attitude of rebellion.

Yusuf Ali's Explanation:
The Unbelievers by way of a taunt say: "If there is a punishment, let us see it come down now." The answer to it is threefold. (1) Why do you want to see the punishment rather than the mercy of Allah? Which is better? (2) Have you not heard in history of terrible punishments for evil? And have you not before your very eyes seen examples of wickedness brought to book? (3) Allah works not only in justice and punishment, but also in mercy and forgiveness, and mercy and forgiveness come first.
( 7 )   And those who disbelieved say, "Why has a sign not been sent down to him from his Lord?" You are only a warner, and for every people is a guide.
This showed their mentality. The only criterion of judging whether Muhammad (peace be upon him) was a true Prophet or not according to these disbelievers, was whether he would perform a miracle to them. This was because they would not judge his message by rational arguments: they would not learn a lesson from his high character nor from the moral revolution that was being brought about among his companions by his message and noble example: nor would they carefully consider the rational arguments given in the Quran to prove the errors of their religion of shirk and superstitions of ignorance. They would ignore these rational things and demand a miracle to decide the issue.

This is the concise answer to their demand, though it has not been directly addressed to the disbelievers but to the Messenger (peace be upon him). It is this: O Prophet, you should not worry at all about some miracle which you might show to these people in order to convince them, for it is not a part of your mission. Your duty is only to warn the people of their negligence and of the evil consequences of their wrong ways. And for this purpose, We have always sent a guide to every people. Now you, too, are performing this duty, and it is for them to open their eyes and judge the truth of your Message. After giving this concise answer, Allah overlooks their demand but warns them, in the succeeding verses, that they have to deal with the All- Knowing Allah Who has full knowledge about everyone of them from the time they were in the wombs of their mothers, and Who keeps a keen watch over everything they do. Therefore their fates shall be decided strictly with justice in accordance with their merits and that there is no power on the earth and in the heavens that can influence in the least His decisions and judgments.

Yusuf Ali's Explanation:
After all the Signs that have just been mentioned it is mere fractiousness to say, "Bring down a Sign." Prophet of Allah brought Signs and credentials as other Prophets did, and like them, refused to satisfy mere idle curiosity.

The last sentence of this verse has usually been interpreted to mean that the Prophet's function was merely to warn, and that guidance was sent by Allah to every nation through its Prophets. I think the following interpretation is equally possible: 'it is itself a Sign that Al-Mustafa should warn and preach and produce the Qur'an, and the guidance which he brings is universal guidance, as from Allah.

Ruku / Section 2 [8-18]
( 8 )   Allah knows what every female carries and what the wombs lose [prematurely] or exceed. And everything with Him is by due measure.
Yusuf Ali's Explanation:
The female womb is just an example, a type, of extreme secrecy. Not even the female herself knows what is in the womb: whether it is a male young or a female young, whether it is one or more, whether it is to be born short of the standard time or to exceed the standard time. But the most hidden and apparently unknowable things are clear to Allah's knowledge: there is no mere chance; all things are regulated by Allah in just measure and proportion. The general proposition comes in the last sentence: "every single thing is with Him in (due) proportion."
( 9 )   [He is] Knower of the unseen and the witnessed, the Grand, the Exalted.
A verse of matchless rhythm in Arabic.
( 10 )   It is the same [to Him] concerning you whether one conceals [his] speech or one publicizes it and whether one is hidden by night or conspicuous [among others] by day.
That is our most hidden thoughts and motives are known to Him at all times.
( 11 )   For each one are successive [angels] before and behind him who protect him by the decree of Allah. Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves. And when Allah intends for a people ill, there is no repelling it. And there is not for them besides Him any patron.
That is, Allah not only directly watches over whatever each person does, and is fully aware of everything he does, but He has also appointed such guardians as accompany him everywhere and keep a full record of all his deeds. This has been stated here to warn those people who live their lives under the delusion that they have been left absolutely free to do whatever they like and shall not be required to render an account of what they did in this worldly life. The warning is that such people invite their own retribution.

This is to warn them further that they should not remain under any delusion that some holy person or saint or angel has the power to rescue them from divine retribution, for there is none who could defend them against Allah, even though they might have been paying homage and making offerings to their so called patrons and protectors in the hope that they would rescue them from punishment from Allah on the Day of Judgment.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
See last verse. Every person, whether he conceals or reveals his thoughts, whether he skulks in darkness or goes about by day,-all are under Allah's watch and ward. His grace encompasses everyone, and again and again protects him, if he will only take the protection, from harm and evil. If in his folly he thinks he can secretly take some pleasure or profit, he is wrong, for recording angels record all his thoughts and deeds.

Allah is not intent on punishment. He created man virtuous and pure; he gave him intelligence and knowledge; he surrounded him with all sorts of instruments of His grace and mercy. If, in spite of all this, man distorts his own will and goes against Allah's Will, yet is Allah's forgiveness open to him if he will take it. It is only when he has made his own sight blind and changed his own nature or soul away from the beautiful mould in which Allah formed it, that Allah's Wrath will descend on him and the favourable position in which Allah placed him will be changed. When once the punishment comes, there is no turning it back. None of the things which he relied upon- other than Allah-can possibly protect him.
( 12 )   It is He who shows you lightening, [causing] fear and aspiration, and generates the heavy clouds.
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Here then is the climax to the answer of the sarcastic challenge of the Unbelievers for punishment, in language of great sublimity. Why look to evil rather than to good?-to punishment rather than to mercy?-to the fear in the force and fire of the lightning rather than to the hope of good and abundant crops in the rain which will come behind the lightning clouds?
( 13 )   And the thunder exalts [Allah] with praise of Him - and the angels [as well] from fear of Him - and He sends thunderbolts and strikes therewith whom He wills while they dispute about Allah; and He is severe in assault.
The thunder is a proclamation of Tauhid for those who have ears to hear the real meaning of its loud noise which follows the flash of lightning, though it is merely a kind of noise for those who hear it like animals. For it proclaims that Allah Who raises clouds from the oceans and carries them wherever He wills, and makes the lightning flash from the clouds and then turns them into rain so as to supply water to the dwellers of the earth, is perfect and worthy of all praise, is All-Wise and All-Powerful and is flawless in every respect and has do partner whatsoever.

The mention of the fact that the angels are filled with awe of their Lord, and they proclaim His praise has a special significance here. This is to refute the shirk of the ignorant people who have always worshiped the angels as gods and deities and believed them to be partners with God in His Godhead. It has been stated that they are not partners with Allah but His most obedient servants; so much so that they praise Him and are filled with awe of Him.

He has countless plans and measures which are so effective and sudden that He can smite anyone with any one of them from any side He wills. So much so that the intended victim is absolutely unaware of it. This is a proof that those people, who say absurd things about such All- Powerful Being, are absolutely void of sense.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Nay, thunder itself, which may frighten you, is but a tame and beneficent force before Him, declaring His praises, like the rest of creation. THUNDER thus aptly gives the name to this Surah of contrasts, where what we may think terrible is shown to be really a submissive instrument of good in Allah's hands.

And the angels, whom we think to be beautiful creatures of power and glory nearest to Allah, yet feel reverence and awe even as they praise His holy name.

Who is puny man, to call Allah in question? Cf. some variations on this theme in the Book of Job, e.g. chapters 38 to 41.
( 14 )   To Him [alone] is the supplication of truth. And those they call upon besides Him do not respond to them with a thing, except as one who stretches his hands toward water [from afar, calling it] to reach his mouth, but it will not reach it [thus]. And the supplication of the disbelievers is not but in error [i.e. futility].
“For Him is the supplication of truth,” for Allah alone has the power and the authority to give help and remove difficulties.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Haqq=truth; right; what is due, befitting, proper. All these meanings are to be understood here. If we worship anything other than Allah (whether it is idols, stars, powers of nature, spirits, or deified men, or Self, or Power, or Wealth, Science or Art, Talent or Intellect), our worship is both foolish and futile.

Without Faith, it is obvious that prayer or worship has no meaning whatever. It is but an aberration of the mind. But there is a deeper meaning. You may have false faith, as in superstitions or in worshiping things other than Allah, as explained in the last note. In that case, too, you are pursuing mere phantoms of the mind. When you come to examine it, it is mere imbecility or futility. Worship and prayer are justified only to Allah, the One True God.

وَلِلّٰهِ يَسۡجُدُ مَنۡ فِى السَّمٰوٰتِ وَالۡاَرۡضِ طَوۡعًا وَّكَرۡهًا وَّظِلٰلُهُمۡ بِالۡغُدُوِّ وَالۡاٰصَالِ ۩‏ 
( 15 )   And to Allah prostrates whoever is within the heavens and the earth, willingly or by compulsion, and their shadows [as well] in the mornings and the afternoons.
“And to Allah falls in prostration whoever is in the heavens and the earth” in the same sense that every creation of His has to obey and submit to His Physical law in every detail. The only difference between the submission of a believer and an unbeliever is that the former submits to it with a willing heart while the latter is forced to do so against his will, for it is absolutely beyond his power to oppose it.

“Their shadows” in the sense that they fall to the west in the morning and to the cast in the evening and so on. This shows that they, too, have to submit to some law.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Notice that the original of what I have translated "whatever being" is the personal pronoun man, not ma. This then refers to beings with a personality, e.g., angels, spirits, human beings, and possibly other things of objective (not necessarily material) existence, as contrasted with their Shadows or Simulacra or Appearances, or Phantasms, mentioned at the end of the verse. Both these Beings and their Shadows are subject to the Will of Allah.

"Prostrate themselves": the posture means that they recognize their subjection to Allah's Will and Law, whether they wish it or not.

"In spite of themselves": Satan and Evil. They would like to get away from the control of the All-good Allah, but they cannot, and they have to acknowledge His supremacy and lordship over them.

Even the Shadows-creations of the Imagination, or projections from other things and dependent on the other things for their existence, as shadows are to substance- even such shadows are subject to Allah's Laws and Will, and cannot arise or have any effect on our minds except by His permission. The Shadows are longest and therefore most prominent when the sun is level, and tend to disappear as the sun approaches the zenith. But even when they are longest and most prominent, they are still subject to Allah's Will and Law.

۩ The reader must offer prostration of recitation (Sjada -e-Tilawat) at the end of verse 15.
( 16 )   Say, "Who is Lord of the heavens and earth?" Say, "Allah." Say, "Have you then taken besides Him allies not possessing [even] for themselves any benefit or any harm?" Say, "Is the blind equivalent to the seeing? Or is darkness equivalent to light? Or have they attributed to Allah partners who created like His creation so that the creation [of each] seemed similar to them?" Say, "Allah is the Creator of all things, and He is the One, the Prevailing."
It will be worthwhile to note that though the question, “Who is the Lord of the heavens and the earth?” was put to the disbelievers, Allah told the Prophet (peace be upon him) to answer it himself and say, “Allah”. This was because the disbelievers hesitated to answer it one way or the other. They could not say that it was not Allah for they themselves believed that Allah was the Creator of everything. On the other hand, they could not acknowledge this fact in so many words in answer to such question. For, they would then have to acknowledge the doctrine of Tauhid. Then no basis could have been left in favor of shirk. As they realized their weak position, they would not give any answer to such questions. That is why Allah asks His Messenger (peace be upon him) to put such questions to the disbelievers: “Who is the Creator of the heavens and the earth? Who is the Lord of the Universe? Who sustains you with provisions of life?” When they do not give any answer to such questions, Allah asks His Messenger (peace be upon him) to say “Allah” in answer. He then proceeds on with this argument: When Allah does all these things, how do the deities you worship come in?

The blind man is the person who cannot see any of the countless signs of the Oneness of Allah, though these lie spread over before him in the universe. On the other hand, the seeing man is the person who can see in every particle of the universe and in every leaf of grass and tree signs pointing to their Creator. Thus the question that has been posed means: O disbelievers, if you are blind to the signs, why should the one who can see the signs should behave like a blind man and stumble along like you?

Here “light” means the light of the knowledge of the truth which the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his followers possessed. In contrast to this, there was the “darkness” of ignorance in which the disbelievers were wandering about. The question that has been posed means to ask this: Why should those, who have received the light, extinguish it and wander about in the darkness like you? Well, if you do not know the worth of the light, you may choose to wander in the darkness. But how can you expect the one who has received the light and who appreciates the difference between the light and the darkness, and who is seeing the right way as if in broad daylight, to leave the light and wander about in the darkness?

The question is intended to impress on the disbelievers that there is absolutely no reason why they should practice shirk. When they themselves admit that their gods did not create even an iota in the universe and that they do not have even the smallest and most insignificant share in the creation, there remains no ground for them to cherish any doubts about it. Why should, then, their false gods and deities share the rights and powers of the Real Creator?

The Arabic word Qahhar literally means “The one who rules over all by virtue of His own power, and keeps all under His complete control.”

This fact that He is “the One, the Prevailing” follows naturally from the preceding fact that “Allah is the Creator of all things” for this fact was also acknowledged by the mushriks and was never denied by them. This is so because the Creator of everything should logically be Unique, and every other thing or being must necessarily be His creation. Therefore nothing could be the equal of the Creator or partner in His Being, attributes, powers and rights. Likewise, the Creator must have complete power and control over His Creation.

For, it can never be imagined that the Creator would create anything over which He has not full control. Therefore, the one who acknowledges Allah to be the Creator must also acknowledge Him to be the Unique and the All-Powerful. After this, there remains no reason why one should worship anyone other than the Creator or invoke someone else for help in resolving his difficulties and fulfilling his needs.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
This verse may be analysed into six parts, each two parts going together like question and answer. Each except the fifth part is introduced by the word "Say", which is equivalent in old Arabic to inverted commas. The fifth part, "or do they assign .... similar?" is not introduced by "Say", because it is in the indirect form. (1) Who is the Lord and Sustainer of the Worlds? It is Allah, (2) And yet you worship other gods? No, no one can be equal to Him, any more than darkness is equal to light. (3) Your other gods have created nothing by which you can be misled? No indeed; He is the only Creator, the One and Supreme.
( 17 )   He sends down from the sky, rain, and valleys flow according to their capacity, and the torrent carries a rising foam. And from that [ore] which they heat in the fire, desiring adornments and utensils, is a foam like it. Thus Allah presents [the example of] truth and falsehood. As for the foam, it vanishes, [being] cast off; but as for that which benefits the people, it remains on the earth. Thus does Allah present examples.
In this simile the knowledge which had been sent down by Allah to the Prophet (peace be upon him) has been likened to the rain from the sky, and the believers to the streams, rivulets and rivers. Just as the streams etc. fill themselves with rain water, each according to its capacity, so his followers gained knowledge from him, each according to his ability. On the other hand, the hue and cry that was raised by the opponents of the Islamic movement has been likened to the swelling foam etc. that begins to dance about on the surface of flood water, but soon vanishes away.

As it is but natural that scum should appear on the surface when ornaments are heated in the furnace for purification, likewise bad people would come to the surface and take prominent part in persecuting the good people who are passed through the furnace of persecution for their purification.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
This verse is full of parables. (1) It is Allah Who sends rain and sends it to all. See how it flows in different channels according to their capacities. Some are sluggish-, some have a swift current. Some form great rivers and irrigate wide tracts of country; some are clear crystal streams, perhaps in hilly tracts, with beds of clean pebbles which you can see through the water. Some produce delicious edible fish; and some are infested by crocodiles or injurious monsters. And there are degrees and degrees among brooks, streams, lakes, rivers, and seas. So with the rain of Allah's mercy and the knowledge and wisdom and guidance which He sends. All can receive it. Different ones will respond according to their capacities. (2) In the physical world, water is pure and beneficial. But froth and scum will gather according to local conditions. As the floods will carry off the scum and purify the water, so will the flood of Allah's spiritual mercy carry away our spiritual scum and purify the water. (3) The froth may make a greater show on the surface, but it will not last. So will there be frothy knowledge, which will disappear, but Allah's Truth will endure.

In continuation of the explanation of last verse, the fourth parable is that of metal ores: (4) the ore is full of baser admixture, but the fire will separate the gold from the dross for ornaments, or (5) some metal of household utility, with which you make every-day utensils, which the fire will separate from admixtures which you do not want. So the fire of Allah's test, either by adversity or by affluence, will search out the true metal in us and reject the dross. It will show us what is valuable or what is useful, all sorts of scum and vanity which we collect and miscall knowledge.
( 18 )   For those who have responded to their Lord is the best [reward], but those who did not respond to Him - if they had all that is in the earth entirely and the like of it with it, they would [attempt to] ransom themselves thereby. Those will have the worst account, and their refuge is Hell, and wretched is the resting place.
“Those will have the worst reckoning”: they shall have to bear the full consequences of their evil deeds. No sin, no shortcoming, in short, nothing will be forgiven and no evil shall go unpunished.

We learn from the Quran that the rebels of Allah shall have to render a reckoning, whereas there shall be a light reckoning from those who have been faithful and obedient to their Lord. In consideration of their loyal services, their cases will be dealt with leniently, and taking their general goodness into account many of their shortcomings will be forgiven.

This is further amplified by a tradition of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Aishah relates: I said, O Messenger of Allah, the most dreadful verse of the Quran is this: “Whoso shall commit an evil, he shall be punished for it. (Surah An- Nisa, Ayat 123).” The Prophet answered: O Aishah, don’t you know how Allah clears the accounts of His faithful and obedient servant. Whatever harm or trouble he receives in this world, even so much as the pricking of a thorn, is taken by Allah as atonement for one or the other of his sins. As regards to the Hereafter, everyone who shall be called upon to render an account of any sin, shall be punished for it. At this Aishah asked: Then what is meant by light reckoning in this verse: Whoso shall be given his “Book of Deeds” in his right hand, he will render a light reckoning? (Surah Al- Inshiqaq, Ayats 7-8). The Prophet (peace be upon him) answered: This means merely the presentation of his whole conduct, that is, all his deeds, good and bad, shall be presented before Allah but he shall not be called upon to clear the account of all his deeds; for the one who shall be called upon to clear the whole of his account, shall be totally ruined.

The same thing is happening even in this world. A master deals very leniently with his faithful and obedient servant and connives at his minor faults and even forgives his major faults in consideration of his meritorious services. On the other hand, if a servant is proved to be treacherous and dishonest, no consideration is given even to his services, and he is punished both for his minor and for major faults.

Ruku / Section 3 [19-26]
( 19 )   Then is he who knows that what has been revealed to you from your Lord is the truth like one who is blind? They will only be reminded who are people of understanding
That is, as the attitude of the two in this world will be different from each other, so shall be their ultimate end in the Hereafter.

That is, those who listen to the message that has been sent down by Allah, and accept His Messenger, are really very wise people. This is why their conduct in this world is quite different from those foolish people who are blind to its merits: and so is their ultimate end in the Hereafter, as stated in the subsequent verses.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
In this section the contrast between Faith and Righteousness on the one hand and Infidelity and Evil on the other is set out. The righteous man is known as one who (1) receives admonition; (2) is true to his covenants; (3) follows the universal Religion of Faith and Practice joined together; (4) is patient and persevering in seeking Allah; and in practical matters he is known to be; (5) regular in prayer; (6) generous in true charity, whether open or secret; and (7) not revengeful, but anxious to turn off evil with good, thus breaking the chain of evil which tends to perpetuate itself.
( 20 )   Those who fulfill the covenant of Allah and do not break the contract,
This covenant is the same that was made by Allah with the entire mankind at the beginning of the creation that they would worship Him alone.  As this covenant has been made with every human being, it has been imbued firmly in human nature. When a human being is born in this world, he, so to say, confirms the same covenant because he owes his creation to the same Allah with Whom he had made that covenant. Then he is brought up by His Provider and fed and nourished with His provisions, and uses the powers and faculties endowed by Him. All these things bind him by themselves into a covenant of bondage with his Lord. It is obvious that wise, loyal and faithful people fulfill their covenant and dare not break it except that they might break it unconsciously and unwillingly.

The same subject has been mentioned in Surah 7. Al-A'raf: 172-173 as under:
This event, according to several traditions, took place at the time of the creation of Adam. Apart from the prostration of the angels before Adam and the proclamation that man would be God's vicegerent on earth, all the future progeny of Adam were gathered, and were endowed with both existence and consciousness in order to bear witness to God's lordship. The best interpretation of this event is found in a statement by, 'Ubayy b. Ka'b, who has probably given the substance of what he had heard from the Prophet (peace be on him):
God gathered all human beings, divided them into different groups, granted them human form and the faculty of speech, made them enter into a covenant, and then making them witnesses against themselves He asked them: 'Am I not your Lord?' They replied: 'Assuredly you are Our Lord.' Then God told them: 'I call upon the sky and the earth and your own progenitor, Adam, to be witness against you lest you should say on the Day of Judgement that you were ignorant of this. Know well that no one other than Me deserves to he worshiped and no one other than Me is your Lord. So do not ascribe any partner to Me. I shall send to you My Messengers who will remind you of this covenant which you made with Me. I shall send down to you My Books.' In reply all said: 'We witness that You are Our Lord and our Deity. We have no lord or deity other than You.' (Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, vol. 5, p. 135 - Ed.)
This event has also been interpreted by some commentators in a purely allegorical sense. They are of the opinion that the purpose of the Qur'an is merely to emphasize that the acceptance of God's lordship is innate in human nature. However, this was narrated in such a way as to suggest that the event did actually take place. We do not subscribe to this allegorical interpretation of the primordial covenant of man with God. For both the Qur'an and Hadith recount it not only as an actual happening, but also affirm that the covenant would be adduced as an argument against man on the Day of Judgement. There remains, therefore, no ground whatsoever to interpret the event in terms of mere allegory.
In our own view the event did take place. God caused all human beings whom He intended to create until the Last Day to come into existence. He endowed upon them life, consciousness and the faculty of speech, and brought home to them that there is no god or lord besides Him, and that Islam alone is the right way to serve Him.
If someone considers calling all human beings together in one assembly impossible, that shows, more than anything else the woeful paucity of his imagination. For if someone accepts that God has the power to create countless human beings in succession, there is no reason to suppose that He did not have the power to create them all at some given moment prior to the creation of the universe, or that He will be unable to resurrect them all at some given moment in the future. Again, it stands to reason that at a time when God wanted to designate man as His vicegerent on earth after endowing him with reason and understanding, He took from him an oath of allegiance. All this is so reasonable that the actual occurrence of the covenant should not cause any wonder. On the contrary, one should wonder if the event did not take place.
( 21 )   And those who join that which Allah has ordered to be joined and fear their Lord and are afraid of the evil of [their] account,
That is, all those social and civil relations that are conducive to the correct and right conduct of collective human life.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
That is, join faith with practice, love of God with love of man, and respect for all Prophets alike, i.e., follow the right Religion, and not odd bits of it.
( 22 )   And those who are patient, seeking the countenance of their Lord, and establish prayer and spend from what We have provided for them secretly and publicly and prevent evil with good - those will have the good consequence of [this] home
“Those who are patient”: They remain self possessed and keep under control all their desires and lusts and do not transgress the bounds, and they do not yield to temptations to disobey their Lord in order to gain advantages and gratify their desires. Nay, they bear with calm courage and endurance losses and afflictions that are inevitable in the obedience of Allah. If we consider the life of a believer from this point of view, we shall find that his entire life is the life of endurance and fortitude, for he keeps himself under control in very trying circumstances in this world in the hope of winning the approval of his Lord and in the expectation of gaining permanent benefits in the Hereafter: so he fights with fortitude every temptation to sin.

That is, if others do evil to them, they do not do evil in return but do good instead. They do not fight mischief with mischief but with virtue. Howsoever unjust one may be to them, they do justice in every case. Likewise, they remain truthful and honest even in the case of those who tell lies against them and show dishonesty towards them.

There is a tradition of the Prophet (peace be upon him) to the same effect: You should not imitate others in your conduct towards other people, for it is wrong to say: We will do goodness to others, if they do goodness to us and we will do injustice to them if they are unjust to us. On the other hand, you should follow this principle: If others do goodness to you, you should do goodness to them, but if they do evil to you, you should not be unjust to them.

There is another tradition, which begins with the words: My Lord has bidden me to do nine things. Four of these things are, I should behave justly towards everyone whether I am pleased or offended with him. I should render the right even of the one who violates my rights. I should pay the dues even of the one who depraves me of my due. I should forgive the one who has been unjust to me. There is yet another tradition to the same effect: Don’t be faithless even to the one who has been faithless to you. There is also a saying of Umar that amounts to the same thing: The best way of punishing the one, who does not fear God in his dealings with you, is that you should fear God in your dealings with him.
( 23 )   Gardens of perpetual residence; they will enter them with whoever were righteous among their fathers, their spouses and their descendants. And the angels will enter upon them from every gate, [saying],
( 24 )   "Peace be upon you for what you patiently endured. And excellent is the final home."
This implies two things. The angels will come in large numbers from every side and give them this good news: Now you have come to a place where there is peace for you. Here you are immune from every affliction, every trouble, every hardship, and every danger and worry.

The same has been mentioned in Surah Al-Hijr). "(15:48) They shall face no fatigue in it, nor shall they ever be driven out of it."

This verse is explained by the following tradition: It will be announced to the dwellers of the Gardens: Now you will remain hale and hearty forever and shall never fall ill, now you will enjoy eternal life and shall never die, now you will remain young forever and never grow old, and now you will remain forever in Paradise and shall never have to move away from it. There are other traditions that further elucidate life in Paradise to this effect: The dwellers shall have no toil to perform for their livelihood and necessities of life. They will get everything without any labor whatsoever.
( 25 )   But those who break the covenant of Allah after contracting it and sever that which Allah has ordered to be joined and spread corruption on earth - for them is the curse, and they will have the worst home.
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
This is the opposite of the things explained in xiii. 21 above

This is in contrast to the state of the blessed, described in xiii. 22-24 above, The Curse is the opposite of the Bliss, and the Terrible Home is the opposite of the Eternal Home, the Gardens of perpetual bliss.
( 26 )   Allah extends provision for whom He wills and restricts [it]. And they rejoice in the worldly life, while the worldly life is not, compared to the Hereafter, except [brief] enjoyment.
This verse refutes the wrong criterion by which the disbelievers of Makkah (and all other disobedient people of the world) judged whether one was or was not a favorite of God. They judged a man’s worth by his wealth and worldly prosperity and not by his faith and righteous conduct. They thought that the one who was enjoying all the good things of life was a favorite of God, even if he had erroneous beliefs and did wicked deeds. On the other hand, they considered the one who was poor and indigent to be under the wrath of God, even though he was righteous. That is why in their judgment the chiefs of the Quraish were far superior to the followers of the Prophet (peace be upon him). They would say, "You can see for yourselves that God is with the chiefs of the Quraish.

In this verse, Allah has warned them that they are absolutely wrong in drawing such a conclusion from the worldly conditions of the people. Allah gives His provision to the people abundantly or sparingly for reasons different from those which they presumed and richness or poverty is no criterion by which to judge the worth of people. The real criterion of judging the worth of people is their beliefs and deeds. The one, who has righteous beliefs and does good deeds, shall be higher in rank than the one who has wrong beliefs and does evil deeds. Thus the real criterion is the quality of his deeds and not the possession or the lack of wealth.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Allah, the Sustainer and Cherisher of all His creatures, gives sustenance to all. To some He grants it in abundance; to others He gives it in strict measure. No one can question Him, for His Will is supreme, and it is the measure of all good.

Cf. ix. 38. The meaning here may also be: This present life is just a furniture, a convenience, a stepping stone, a probation, for the life to come. In itself it is less important than the Hereafter.

Ruku / Section 4 [27-31]
( 27 )   And those who disbelieved say, "Why has a sign not been sent down to him from his Lord?" Say, [O Muhammad], "Indeed, Allah leaves astray whom He wills and guides to Himself whoever turns back [to Him]
Please also keep in view the answer that has been given to this question in (Ayat 7).

This is the answer to their question. It is not due to the lack of signs that they were going astray, but it is the lack of any desire in them to seek right guidance. For Allah does not force one to follow the right way, if he deliberately turns away from it. He lets such persons wander on the wrong ways they choose to wander. Nay, even all those things that should serve as a means to guidance for a seeker of truth become the means of deviation for the one who seeks deviation. So much so that the light which helps show the way to the former, dazzles the eyes of the latter. This is how Allah leads astray a person.

This answer to the demand of a sign is matchless in its eloquence. It says to them: O misguided people, it is not due to the lack of signs that you are not finding the right path, but it is due to the lack of any desire in you for it. You do not see any of the countless signs that are scattered all around you because you have no desire to go to the right way. How can then any sign be helpful to you? For you would not see any of those signs. However those, who seek the right way to Allah, see these signs and find the right way with their help.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The question is repeated from xiii. 7 above; for the line of reasoning there suggested in answer is now completed, and another line of reasoning is now taken up. Allah provides every guidance for those who turn to Him in penitence, but He will leave those to wander astray who deliberately close their eyes and their hearts to His grace and the comfort that comes from remembering Him and celebrating His praises.
( 28 )   Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allah. Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured." 
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The Sign or Miracle is not something external: it is something internal, something in your mind, heart, and soul. It depends on your inner spiritual experience. If you turn to Allah, that light, that experience, will come. If you do not, Allah will not force you.
( 29 )   Those who have believed and done righteous deeds - a good state is theirs and a good return.
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
"Blessedness": Tuba: an internal state of satisfaction, an inward joy which is difficult to describe in words, but which reflects itself in the life of the good man, through good and ill fortune, through good report and evil. And then, there is always the final goal to which his eyes are turned, the beautiful Home of rest in the Hereafter, after this life's struggles are over. That goal is Allah Himself.
( 30 )   Thus have We sent you to a community before which [other] communities have passed on so you might recite to them that which We revealed to you, while they disbelieve in the Most Merciful. Say, "He is my Lord; there is no deity except Him. Upon Him I rely, and to Him is my return."
That is, in this way that We have not given you a sign they demanded.

That is, instead of serving that most Compassionate Lord, they are discarding His service and setting up other partners in His attributes, powers, rights and giving thanks to others for His blessings.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Our Prophet came later in time than other Prophets, to complete their Message and universalize Religion. And certainly it is after his age that the process of the unification of the world began. That process is not complete yet, but is proceeding apace.

Faith tells us that no amount of opposition from Unbelievers can ever stop Allah's Plan.
( 31 )   And if there was any Qur'an by which the mountains would be removed or the earth would be broken apart or the dead would be made to speak, [it would be this Qur'an], but to Allah belongs the affair entirely. Then have those who believed not accepted that had Allah willed, He would have guided the people, all of them? And those who disbelieve do not cease to be struck, for what they have done, by calamity - or it will descend near their home - until there comes the promise of Allah. Indeed, Allah does not fail in [His] promise.
This verse has been addressed to the believers who were feeling uneasy that no such sign was being sent as was demanded by the disbelievers. They thought that such a sign would convince the disbelievers and they would accept Islam. Therefore when no such sign was sent, they became all the more uneasy for the lack of the fulfillment of the demand that gave rise to doubts about the Prophethood of the Messenger (peace be upon him). The question posed in this verse is meant to remove that uneasiness of the Muslims. It is like this: Do you think that they would have embraced Islam if such and such signs had been shown to them all of a sudden along with a Surah of the Quran? Are you under the delusion that they are quite ready to accept Islam and are waiting only for such a sign? Do you think that those people who have failed to see the light of the truth in the teachings of the Quran, in the phenomena of the universe, in the pure and spotless life of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and in the wonderful change in the lives of his companions, would see the light of the truth in the moving of the mountains, in the cleavage of the earth and in the coming out of the dead from the graves?

“But to Allah belongs the command entirely” and He can show any sign if He so desires. He is not showing any sign for it does not fit in the scheme laid down for the guidance of man. As the real object is to show guidance to mankind through the Prophet and not to compel them to believe in the Prophethood of a Prophet, He desires that the people should gain guidance by thinking and observing wisely and not by seeing signs.

That is, if the object had been to make human beings believers even without consciously understanding it, Allah could have created them believers by birth.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Everything is possible and in Allah's power. His Plan is beneficent and all-embracing. But it is not for His creatures to dictate to Him, or demand what He should do, or how He should do it. The Command is with Allah in all things. The Believers know His omnipotence, and they also know that He will order His world for the best.

Let not the Unbelievers think that if they seem to prosper for a time, that is the end of the matter. They are warned about three things. (1) their ill deeds must carry evil consequences for them all the time, though they may not perceive them for a certain time. (2) Their homes, their places of resort, the circles in which they move, will also be haunted by their ill deeds and their consequences. For evil makes a complex of its environment. The walls of Jericho, when they fall, must bring down all Jericho in its ruins. (3) The ultimate Disaster, the final Reckoning, must come, for Allah never fails in His promise. True values must eventually be restored: the good to the good, and the evil to the evil, The Commentators draw illustrations from the life of the Prophet, his exile from Makkah, and his restoration. A similar miracle works in all history. But the Command is with Allah.

Ruku / Section 5 [32-37]
( 32 )   Mocked were (many) Apostles before thee: but I granted respite to the Unbelievers and finally I punished them; then how (terrible) was My requital!
The punishment was in many cases deferred. But when it did come, how terrible and exemplary it was!
( 33 )   Then is He who is a maintainer of every soul, [knowing] what it has earned, [like any other]? But to Allah they have attributed partners. Say, "Name them. Or do you inform Him of that which He knows not upon the earth or of what is apparent of speech?" Rather, their [own] plan has been made attractive to those who disbelieve, and they have been averted from the way. And whomever Allah leaves astray - there will be for him no guide.
That is, they are so audacious that they set up partners with Allah Whose knowledge is All-Comprehensive and Who is aware of even the minutest details of the good and bad actions of each individual.

These are the audacious things they do. They ascribe partners and equals to Him. They believe that some of His creatures are a part and parcel of His Being, and have attributes and rights like Him. They presume that they shall not be called to account for whatever they do, even though they live in His kingdom.

You give empty names to the partners you ascribe to Him for you have no real knowledge about them. For you could get this knowledge only in one of the three following ways.
  • First, you might have received some authentic information that Allah had made such and such people as His partners in His attributes, powers and rights. If it is so, let us also know their names and the source of your information.
  • Second, the possibility that Allah might have remained ignorant that some beings have become His partners. Therefore you are going to inform Him about this. If it is so, say it clearly in so many words so that it may be decided whether there are some foolish people who can believe in such a nonsensical claim.
  • Third, obviously the above two suppositions are absurd. Therefore the only alternative is that, you are ascribing partners to Him without any rhyme or reason, and you, without any knowledge, make one the relative of God, another the hearer of supplications, and still another the helper and fulfiller of certain needs and the ruler of a certain region etc.
Shirk has been called fraud because none of the angels, spirits, saints, heavenly bodies, to whom they ascribe divine attributes and powers or render divine rights, ever claimed to possess these attributes or powers. Neither did they ever demand these rights from the people nor told the people that they would fulfill their desires and wants if they would perform some rituals of worship before them. As a matter of fact, some clever people invented these gods in order to practice willful deception and dishonesty so that they might wield powerful influence over the common people and exploit them and deprive them of a part of their hard earned possessions. Accordingly, they made the common people credulous followers of the gods of their inventions and set themselves up as their representatives to get money, etc. from them by this fraud.

The second reason why shirk has been called fraud is that a worldly man pretends to believe in it not because he wants to believe in it but in order to free himself from all moral restraints to enable him to lead an irresponsible life of greed and lust.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Cf. xii. 40. 'You have but to name your false gods, and you will see that they are nothing but names. There is no reality behind them, whereas Allah is the One great Reality. He penetrates everything through and through and knows all things. Do you dare to tell Him of something on earth that He does not know? Or is it just a trick or a show of words?

All pretenses and fancies seem attractive to their inventors, but alas! They are a great obstruction to the Path of Religion and Truth. However, if by their contumacy, they have cut themselves off from Allah's grace, who can guide them or reclaim them from their errors?
( 34 )   For them will be punishment in the life of [this] world, and the punishment of the Hereafter is more severe. And they will not have from Allah any protector.
( 35 )   The example of Paradise, which the righteous have been promised, is [that] beneath it rivers flow. Its fruit is lasting, and its shade. That is the consequence for the righteous, and the consequence for the disbelievers is the Fire.
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
For the comprehensive meaning of the root akala (literally "to eat"). In its derived meaning it means fruit and enjoyment of all kinds, spiritual as well as other. The joys of heaven are not like the joys of the earth, which fade away or cloy. The joys of heaven are pure, lasting, and without any of the drawbacks which we associate with the joys of the sense.

Zillun: literally shade, hence, shelter, protection, security. All these meanings are implied. Shade is one of the delights of a garden.

In this, as in other places, the Fire is contrasted with the Garden, as Misery is contrasted with Bliss. We can also imagine other incidents in contrast with those of the Garden, e.g., with the Fire will be drought, aridity, thirst, instead of beautiful rivers; pain and suffering, instead of perpetual delight; no protection against the fierceness of the heat, as contrasted with the cool shades ever deepening as you proceed in the Garden.
( 36 )   And [the believers among] those to whom We have given the [previous] Scripture rejoice at what has been revealed to you, [O Muhammad], but among the [opposing] factions are those who deny part of it. Say, "I have only been commanded to worship Allah and not associate [anything] with Him. To Him I invite, and to Him is my return."
This is in reply to a specific objection which was then raised by the disbelievers. They would say: If he has brought the same message that was brought by the Messengers before him (as he claims), why don’t the Jews and the Christians who are the followers of the former Prophets come forward and welcome it? The verse answers the objection and says that the true followers of the former Prophets really rejoice in the message of the Quran, but the false ones have been offended by it. Then it asks the Prophet (peace be upon him) not to worry at all about this, saying: O Prophet, you should not mind at all whether they are pleased or offended by it. Tell them plainly that this is the guidance I have received from my Lord and I will follow it at all costs.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The Book: in a general sense, Revelation. "Those to whom the Book hath been given" are both (1) the People of the Book of previous revelations, who study the new Revelation in Arabic without prejudice and find in it confirmation of what their ancestors had received and believed in it, and (2) the Muslims who receive the Qur-an with such joy.

Ahzab (plural of hizb = parties, sects, troops, clans. The reference may be to the clans mentioned in xxx. 20 and 22 (that whole Surah is called Ahzab). But we can understand it in a perfectly general sense. Among all sections of the people there are persons who would receive a portion of Allah's truth but reject whatever does not suit them or fall in with their selfish aims or vain desires. The proper answer to them is: Surely, Allah's command is universal,-to worship and serve Him and refuse to bend the knee to any other; the man of God finds his staff and support in it; but he must invite all to share in its blessings; it came from Allah, and to Allah shall we all return.
( 37 )   And thus We have revealed it as an Arabic legislation. And if you should follow their inclinations after what has come to you of knowledge, you would not have against Allah any ally or any protector.
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The Qur'an is in Arabic; therefore the Arabs, among whom it was promulgated, could have no difficulty in understanding its precepts and using it in judging of right and wrong in all their affairs. But it is also universal; therefore no one should give preference to his own vain fancies against this authoritative declaration.

Cf. ii. 120. The variation is in the single word "Waq" here in place of "Nasir" in ii. 120. In each case the apt word is chosen not only for the rhythm in its own passage but for the general meaning in the Argument.

Ruku / Section 6 [38-43]
( 38 )   We indeed sent many Messengers before you and We gave them wives and children; and no Messenger had the power to produce a miraculous sign except by the command of Allah. Every age has its own (revealed) Book.
This is the answer to another objection. The disbelievers said that he could not be a Prophet of Allah because he has wives and children, for they argued that Prophets had nothing to do with carnal desires.

"..and no Messenger had the power to produce a miraculous sign except by the command of Allah" This is the answer to yet another objection: Had he been a true Prophet, he would have shown a sign like the shining hand and the miraculous staff of Prophet Moses or he would have restored sight to the blind or cured lepers like Prophet Jesus, or brought a sign like the she camel of Prophet Salih. (peace be upon them all). The answer is this: None of the former Messengers had any power to show any sign nor has this Prophet (peace be upon him). Allah showed a sign whenever and through whomsoever He considered it to be necessary and will show any sign whenever He will consider it necessary and that I have not claimed to possess any such power that such a demand might be made from me.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
All the Prophets of whom we have any detailed knowledge, except one, had wives and children. The exception is Jesus the son of Mary. But his life was incomplete; his ministry barely lasted three years; his mission was limited; and he was not called upon to deal with the many-sided problems that arise in a highly organised society or State. We pay equal respect to him, because he was Allah's Messenger; but that is not to say that his Message covers the same universal ground as that of Al-Mustafa. There is no reproach for a normal human being if he lives a normal human life; there is glory if he beautifies it and sets a nobler example of virtue than other men, as did Al-Mustafa.

No Prophet performed any Miracle or showed forth any "Signs," except as Allah willed. Allah's Will (Mashiyat) is an all-wise, universal Plan, which is not formed for the benefit of one tribe or millat or of one age or country (see also next verse). The greatest Miracle in history was and is the Qur-an. We can apprehend its beauty and grandeur today as much as did the people of Al-Mustafa's day,-even more, as our collective knowledge of nature and of Allah's creation has increased.

Kitab: means "a Law decreed" or "a Decree established."

يَمۡحُوۡا اللّٰهُ مَا يَشَآءُ وَيُثۡبِتُ ​ۖ ​ۚ وَعِنۡدَهٗۤ اُمُّ الۡكِتٰبِ‏  
( 39 )   Allah eliminates what He wills or confirms, and with Him is the Mother of the Book.
This is the answer to another objection raised against the revelation of the Quran. The disbelievers said: What was the need of this new Book, when there already had existed the former revealed Books? You say that this need has arisen because the former Books have been tampered with; therefore Allah has abrogated them and commanded that this new Book should be followed. This position you have taken is wrong for how can anyone tamper with the Book of Allah and how is it possible that any Book of Allah might be tampered with? Why did not Allah protect these Books from such things as these? You say that this Book has been revealed by the same Allah Who revealed the Torah and the Gospel. How is it then that your way is different from that of the Torah? You consider certain things lawful while they are unlawful according to the Torah, etc. etc. Detailed answers to these objections have been given in other Surahs but here only a brief and comprehensive answer has been given to them.

The Arabic word Umm-ul-Kitab literally means the Mother Book, that is, the Original Book which is the source and origin of all the revealed Books - the Essence of Allah's Will and Law. Cf. iii. 7
( 40 )   And whether We show you part of what We promise them or take you in death, upon you is only the [duty of] notification, and upon Us is the account.
 This is to console the Prophet (peace be upon him), as if to say: O Prophet, you need not concern yourself as to the end of these disbelievers who have rejected the truth. You should go on performing with peace of mind the mission that has been entrusted to you and leave it to Us to give them suitable punishment. Though this has been addressed to the Prophet (peace be upon him), it is obvious that it is really meant to warn the opponents of the truth, who were demanding definitely from the Prophet (peace be upon him) by way of a challenge to bring about the scourge about which threats were being held out to them.
( 41 )   Have they not seen that We set upon the land, reducing it from its borders? And Allah decides; there is no adjuster of His decision. And He is swift in account.
“We are advancing in the land.” This is a very subtle way of warning the opponents of the truth. The fact that Our message is spreading fast in Arabia. It does, in fact, mean that We Ourselves are advancing very fast in the country against you for We are with those who are carrying Our message. “Diminishing it from its outlying borders.” We are causing the influence of Islam to spread fast in the land and are thus reducing the boundaries of the influence of its opponents. Are not these things the portents of their coming disaster?

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
In the Prophet's ministry at Makkah, the most stiff-necked opposition came from the seat and centre of power in Makkah. The humbler people-the fringe of Makkan society-came in readily, as also did some tribes round about Makkah. After the Hijrat (migration to Medina) there was a hard struggle between Makkah and Madinah and at last the bloodless conquest of Makkah in A.H. 8 made the Pagan structure finally collapse, though it had already been sapped to its foundations. So, generally, Truth finds easiest entrance through the humble and lowly, and not in the beginning at the headquarters of power, but in the fullness of time it makes its way everywhere with irresistible force.
( 42 )   And those before them had plotted, but to Allah belongs the plan entirely. He knows what every soul earns, and the disbelievers will know for whom is the final home.
That is, these people, who are now devising schemes to defeat the message of the truth, do not take a lesson from the sad end of the people who devised similar schemes before them to suppress the voice of the truth by falsehood, fraud and persecution.
( 43 )   And those who have disbelieved say, "You are not a messenger." Say, [O Muhammad], "Sufficient is Allah as Witness between me and you, and [the witness of] whoever has knowledge of the Scripture."
 That is, everyone who has the knowledge of the divinely revealed Books will bear witness to the fact that my teachings are the same that were imparted by the former prophets.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The enemies of Islam have to acknowledge that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was a great and noble character, but they deny his Prophethood. He could point to his credentials from Allah in the work which he achieved, and the Qur'an which he brought.

 وَمَنۡ عِنۡدَهٗ عِلۡمُ الۡكِتٰبِ‏ 

That is, those who have knowledge of revelation generally will recognize Allah's revelation in the holy Qur'an. An alternative reading is "min 'indi-hi", which is written the same in Arabic, with only three vowel points different. If we adopt that, the last clause will be: "and from Him is (all) knowledge of the Book": i.e., 'as all knowledge of the Book comes from Allah, the Qur-an also bears witness to me'.

You may now like to listen to Arabic recitation of Sürah Ar Ra'ad 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). 

You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Quran.
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.

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

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


Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More