Sunday 3 November 2019

Surah Yunus - Jonah: 10th Chapter of Quran - Exegesis Part II

Sūrah Yünus " يونس‎, " (Jonah) is the tenth sūrah / chapter of the Holy Qur'an, part of the 11th Juz containing 109 ayats divided into 11 rukus. The Sūrah  takes its name from verse 98, in which there is a reference to Prophet Yünus (Jonah): 

فَلَوۡلَا كَانَتۡ قَرۡيَةٌ اٰمَنَتۡ فَنَفَعَهَاۤ اِيۡمَانُهَاۤ اِلَّا قَوۡمَ يُوۡنُسَ ۚؕ لَمَّاۤ اٰمَنُوۡا كَشَفۡنَا عَنۡهُمۡ عَذَابَ الۡخِزۡىِ فِى الۡحَيٰوةِ الدُّنۡيَا وَمَتَّعۡنٰهُمۡ اِلٰى حِيۡنٍ‏

"Did it ever happen that the people of a town believed on seeing God's chastisement and its believing profited them? (There is no such instance) except of the people of Yünus. When they believed We granted them reprieve from humiliating chastisement in this world, and We let them enjoy themselves for a while." (10:98) 

The name, as usual, is symbolical and does not indicate that the Sūrah deals with the story of Prophet Jonah.

The central theme of Sūrah Yunus is that Allah's wonderful Creation must not be viewed by us as a creation of material things only, once made and finished with. Most wonderful of all is how He reveals Himself to men through Prophets and Scriptures; how prophets are rejected by men, and the Message disbelieved until it is too late for repentance; and how, as in the case of Yünus (Jonah) and his people, even the rejection (when repentance supervenes) does not prevent Allah's grace and mercy from working, and how far that working is beyond man's comprehension.

As already mentioned in the Overview that owing to the length of the Sūrah, it has been divided into four parts as under:
  • Part I   : Ruku / Sections 1-4 [Verses 1-40] 
  • Part II  : Ruku / Sections 5-7 [Verses 41-70] 
  • Part III : Ruku / Sections 8-9 [Verses 71-92] 
  • Part IV:  Ruku / Sections 10-11 [Verses 93-109] 
We have already presented the exegesis of Part I. Let us now begin with the Part II, covering Ruku / Sections 5-7 [Verses 41-70] of the Sūrah. Wherein it is being said that those who disbelieve in this Quran shall be the losers in the hereafter, despite that fact that every nation was sent a Rasool for their guidance. And that there shall be no way out for the unbelievers on the Day of Judgement. It is also been stressed that Al-Quran is a mercy, blessing, and cure for the problems of mankind. Mushrikin follow nothing but conjecture, preach nothing but falsehood, but beware Whatever you do, Allah is a witness to it

The translation and exegesis / tafseer is in English. 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 5 [41-53] 
Verses 41-46 Those who disbelieve in this Quran shall be the losers in the hereafter. Allah tells Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) what to say if they deny him - "For me are my deeds, and for you are your deeds. You are disassociated from what I do, and I am disassociated from what you do."  There are some that listen but Muhammad cannot cause the deaf to hear, there are some who look but he cannot cause the blind to see. Allah does not wrong people but people wrong themselves.

And that on the Day of Judgement there will be no way out for the disbelievers. They have denied it for so long, will they even believe it when it overtakes them? They will be told to taste the punishment, Promise of Allah is true. He gives life, and causes death. To Him we will all be returned.
( 41 )   And if they deny you, [O Muhammad], then say, "For me are my deeds, and for you are your deeds. You are disassociated from what I do, and I am disassociated from what you do."
This is to say, I don’t want to enter into useless discussions and disputes with you on this score. If I am an impostor, I alone shall bear the consequences for it; and if you are rejecting the truth, you are not doing any harm to me but only to yourselves.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
When the Prophet of Allah is rejected and charged with falsehood, he does not give up his work, but continues to teach and preach his Message. He can well say to those who interfere with him: "Mind your own business: supposing your charge against me is true, you incur no responsibility: I have to answer for it before Allah: and if I do my duty and deliver my Message, your rejection does not make me liable for your wrong-doing: you will have to answer before Allah."
( 42 )   And among them are those who listen to you. But can you cause the deaf to hear, although they will not use reason?
Though this and the succeeding verse have been addressed to the Prophet (peace be upon him), these are meant to reprove those who were not paying attention to the Message. For they only heard the sounds of the words he spoke to them, just as the animals hear the sound of the words, but pay no attention to understand what is said to them. This was because they were prejudiced against him and had already decided that they would not acknowledge anything, however, reasonable that may be, if it went against the creeds and ways they had inherited, and against their own desires, lusts, and interests. Likewise those people who live like animals hear the sounds of his words, but pay no attention to their meaning for they are not interested in anything other than eating, drinking and making merry. They are so engaged in and intoxicated with the gratification of their lusts that they never bother to find out whether what they are doing is right or wrong. All such people are deaf to the Message, though they might have ears for other things.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Cf. Surah vi. An Nisa 25, 36, 39. Hypocrites go to hear and see some great Teacher, but they get no profit out of it because they are not sincerely seeking the truth. They are like the blind, or the deaf, or the imbeciles. It is impossible to guide them, because they have not the will to be guided.
( 43 )   And among them are those who look at you. But can you guide the blind although they will not [attempt to] see?
Here again they may be likened to animals which see with their eyes but cannot perceive anything beyond what appears on the surface. Likewise those people saw the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his companions, but did not perceive their pure life for they did not have the true vision to see the wonderful change that was coming in the lives of those who had listened to and accepted the Message.

As has been pointed out in the explanation of verse 42 above, though these verses were addressed to the Prophet (peace be upon him), they were really meant to reprove and admonish the disbelievers in a subtle manner so as to arouse their dormant faculties of hearing and seeing and open these for the reception and acceptance of the rational and sympathetic Message.

In order to understand the wisdom of this indirect method of admonition, let us take the example of two righteous friends. One of them who lived among the corrupt did his very best to convey the righteous message both by precept and by practice. He set the model of the highest moral conduct and character before them, and urged them in a sincere and sympathetic manner to consider their own moral condition, and admonished them in a very sincere and rational manner to make them realize that they were living in a very corrupt moral state, and advised them to adopt the right way of life. But none of them would pay any attention to his admonition nor learn any lesson from his pure life. Suppose his friend came there at that time and said: Why are you giving advice to these deaf people and showing the way to these blind ones, who have no ears for good things and no eyes for the right way? It is obvious that these words would not have been uttered by way of dissuading the first friend from doing his reform work but for arousing the dormant faculties of the corrupt people by this subtle indirect method.
( 44 )   Indeed, Allah does not wrong the people at all, but it is the people who are wronging themselves.
“Allah does not wrong mankind” because He gives them ears to hear, eyes to see and hearts to feel and ponder, and everything that is required to enable them to discriminate between right and wrong, truth and falsehood. But it is “But mankind wrong themselves” by refusing to make the right and proper use of their faculties and by following their lusts and enjoying the things of this world. Naturally this has made their eyes so blind and their ears so deaf and their hearts so dead that they are incapable of distinguishing between right and wrong, good and bad, for their conscience has also become dead.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
That is if there are more people who become so blind and deaf that they ultimately become worthy of punishment, then the reason for this is not that God is unjust to them. Certainly not. It is their whims and prejudices that have made them so blind that every call of truth and its caller has become alien to them. The consequence of this attitude was destined to be such and is such that they are now in range of God's punishment.
( 45 )   And on the Day when He will gather them, [it will be] as if they had not remained [in the world] but an hour of the day, [and] they will know each other. Those will have lost who denied the meeting with Allah and were not guided
That is, when they will enter the Hereafter and contrast its eternal life with the transitory life they lived in this world, they will realize that their past life was nothing in comparison with the eternal future life of the Hereafter. Then they will see clearly that it was a big folly to spoil the eternal life for the sake of transitory joys and paltry gains of the world. They were losers because they forgot that one day they would have to present themselves before Allah and as a result of this disbelief they committed evil deeds.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
In eternity our life on this earth will look as if it had been just a little part of our little day, and so also will appear any interval between our death and the call to Judgment. We shall retain some perception of our mutual relations on earth, so that the righteous judgment which will be pronounced will be intelligible to us, and we shall be convinced of its righteousness.
( 46 )   And whether We show you some of what We promise them, [O Muhammad], or We take you in death, to Us is their return; then, [either way], Allah is a witness concerning what they are doing
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The Prophet is assured that the end of evil is evil, just as the end of good is good. Whether this result is made plain before his very eyes in his own life-time or afterwards, makes no difference. The wicked should not rejoice if they are given rope and seem to have the upper hand for a time, nor should the righteous lose heart: for Allah's promise is sure and must come to pass. And in any case, the scales can only be partially, if at all, adjusted in this life. There is the final and complete adjustment on the Day of Judgment. Allah is All-Knowing, and all truth will be before Him.

Verses 47-53 Every nation was sent a Rasool for their guidance:
( 47 )   And for every nation is a messenger. So when their messenger comes, it will be judged between them in justice, and they will not be wronged
Here the word ummat does not merely mean a nation or a community but includes all those people whom the message of a Messenger reaches after his appointment, even though he may not be alive among them. More than this: as long as his teachings remain intact and within the reach of everyone to ascertain what they really are, all such people will be treated and judged as his ummat and their cases decided with justice in accordance with (Ayat 47). According to this standard, all the people of the world are the ummat of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and will remain so, as long as the Quran continues to be published in its original and complete form as today. That is why it has not been said, “There is a Messenger in every ummat” but “There is a Messenger for every ummat.”

That is, when the message of a Messenger reaches a people, they should know that henceforth they are on trial and that no excuse would be accepted that they were ignorant of it. Then judgment is passed on them with scrupulous justice. Those, who accept the message and mend their way in accordance with it, are declared to be worthy of Allah’s blessings, and those who reject it are doomed to a torment that may be inflicted both in this world and in the next world or only in the Hereafter.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Every people or generation or nation had its Message or Messenger: Allah revealed Himself to it in some way or another. If that Messenger was ignored or rejected, or his Message was twisted or misused, the Day of Reckoning will come, when perfect justice will be done and the whole Truth revealed. The Unbelievers mockingly say: "If that is true, pray tell us when that Day will come!" The answer of the Messenger is: "It will come in good time: no one can either hasten or retard it. If you want me then to save you or if you fear that I shall harm you for your treatment of me, know that this matter is in the hands of Allah alone, Who will do perfect justice. Even in regard to myself, any harm or good that befalls me is by the command and in the power of Allah".
( 48 )   And they say, "When is [the fulfillment of] this promise, if you should be truthful?"( 49 )   Say, "I possess not for myself any harm or benefit except what Allah should will. For every nation is a [specified] term. When their time has come, then they will not remain behind an hour, nor will they precede [it]."
This is to say, I never said that I will sit in judgment on you and inflict torment on those who do not believe in me. Therefore, I am not in a position to tell when the threat will be made good. As the threat has been held out by Allah, He will pass His judgment on you when He wills, and in whatever way He wills, for everything depends on His will.

That is, Allah passes His judgment on individuals and communities after the expiry of the term that He Himself has set and He alone knows how long it lasts for a community. He is not hasty in giving rewards or punishments. When He sends His Messenger to deliver His Message, He allows sufficient time to each individual and to each community to consider it and ponder over it and mend his (or its) way, during the appointed term. The period of the term may extend to centuries in the case of a community and He knows best how long it should be.

When that term, which is based on justice, expires, and that person or community does not repent of its rebellious conduct, then Allah passes His judgment. When the time of the judgment comes, it is neither advanced nor delayed even by a single hour.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
This repeats Surah vii. Al A'raf 34, but the significance is different in the two contexts. Here the reply is to the Unbelievers' mocking incredulity as to whether there is such a thing as a Hereafter: they suggest to the Prophet of Allah that if his claim to inspiration from Allah is true, he should get them punished at once for rejecting him. In vii. 34 the reference is to the punishment of iniquity as described in vii. 33: sin is not necessarily punished at once: every People or generation gets a chance-, when their term is fulfilled, the final adjustment is made.
( 50 )   Say, "Have you considered: if His punishment should come to you by night or by day - for which [aspect] of it would the criminals be impatient?"
The mockery of Unbelievers will be turned into panic when the wrath of Allah descends on them. It may do so suddenly, by night or by day, when they least expect it. Will they then say of any bit of it: "Let it be hastened"?
( 51 )   Then is it that when it has [actually] occurred you will believe in it? Now? And you were [once] for it impatient
( 52 )   Then it will be said to those who had wronged, "Taste the punishment of eternity; are you being recompensed except for what you used to earn?"
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
This will be the final doom, and they will themselves have brought it on themselves! The psychology of the Unbelievers is here analysed and exposed. This particular argument begins at x. 47 and ends at x. 53. It begins with the general statement that every People has had due warning and explanation by means of a Prophet specially sent to them: that Prophet will be a relevant witness at the final Judgment, when the matter will be judged in perfect equity. Then follows a dialogue. The Unbelievers mock and say, "Why not bring on the Punishment now?" The reply to the Unbelievers is, "It will come in Allah's good time". The Believers are told to watch and see how the sinners would take it if the Punishment were to come at once. Would they not think it too sudden? When it actually comes, their panic will be indescribable. "Is that true?" say the Unbelievers. "It is the very truth," is the answer, "and nothing can ward it off".
( 53 )   And they ask information of you, [O Muhammad], "Is it true?" Say, "Yes, by my Lord. Indeed, it is truth; and you will not cause failure [to Allah]."
The element of negation and scorn in this query that was slightly concealed in the earlier question مَتَی هَذَا الوَعْدُ has become evident.
Ruku / Section 6 [54-60] 
Verses 54-56 There shall be no way out for the unbelievers on the Day of Judgement:
( 54 )   And if each soul that wronged had everything on earth, it would offer it in ransom. And they will confide regret when they see the punishment; and they will be judged in justice, and they will not be wronged
“And they will feel remorse”. When all of a sudden, they face the torment on the Day, which they had denied throughout their lives, and on that presumption had gone on doing wrong deeds. Not only this: they will also feel very sorry that they had denied the Messengers and brought baseless charges against them, who had warned them of it. Therefore when they witness it against all their expectations, they will find the ground slipping from under their feet and will feel utterly helpless and guilty in their minds because of the remembrance of their wrong doings and of the pricking of their conscience. In short, their condition will be that of a gambler, who turns a deaf ear to the counsel of his well wishers and stakes his all on mere speculation and goes bankrupt. But such a person has to blame none but himself only for his sad plight.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Declare their repentance: the verb in the original is asarru, which may mean either "declare" or "reveal" or else "conceal" or "hide". The classical Commentators are divided as to the meaning to be adopted here. If the first, which I prefer, the sense would be: "When the Penalty stares the sinners in the face, they would give anything to escape it, and they would even openly declare their repentance, which would be a source of shame and ignominy to them." If the latter meaning be taken, the sense would be: "They would give anything to escape the Penalty; but the hardest thing of all for them is frankly to confess and repent, and so they conceal their sense of shame and ignominy."
( 55 )   Unquestionably, to Allah belongs whatever is in the heavens and the earth. Unquestionably, the promise of Allah is truth, but most of them do not know( 56 )   He gives life and causes death, and to Him you will be returned

Verses 57-60 Al-Quran is a mercy, blessing, and cure for the problems of mankind:
( 57 )   O mankind! there hath come to you a direction from your Lord and a healing for the (diseases) in your hearts and for those who believe a Guidance and a Mercy.
Qur’an is shifa (cure) for diseased hearts, a guidance and mercy for the believers. This is the power of the Word of Allah. It cleanses the spiritual ailments.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Those who do wrong have a disease in their hearts, which will cause their spiritual death. Allah in His Mercy declares His Will to them, which should direct their lives and provide a healing for their spiritual disease. If they accept Faith, the remedy acts; they find themselves in right guidance and receive Allah's forgiveness and mercy. Surely those are far better gifts than material advantages, wealth, or possessions.
( 58 )   Say, "In the bounty of Allah and in His mercy - in that let them rejoice; it is better than what they accumulate."
Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
The current discourse began with verse 37 where their notion that the Prophet (sws) himself had fabricated the Qur'an had been negated. After presenting arguments on all those things which were becoming a source of confusion in that matter, here the status of the Qur'an is explained to the Muslims.

قُلۡ اَرَءَيۡتُمۡ مَّاۤ اَنۡزَلَ اللّٰهُ لَـكُمۡ مِّنۡ رِّزۡقٍ فَجَعَلۡتُمۡ مِّنۡهُ حَرَامًا وَّحَلٰلًا ؕ قُلۡ آٰللّٰهُ اَذِنَ لَـكُمۡ​ اَمۡ عَلَى اللّٰهِ تَفۡتَرُوۡنَ‏ 
 ( 59 )   Did you consider that the sustenance which Allah had sent down for you of your own accord you have declared some of it as unlawful and some as lawful?Ask them: 'Did Allah bestow upon you any authority for this or do you forge lies against Allah?
It has been purposely avoided to translate the Arabic word rizq into provisions, for it is liable to create a very serious misunderstanding regarding the implications of this verse. For in this sense rizq will be confined to food and eatables only, whereas it is very comprehensive in its meaning and it covers everything that Allah has given to man, food, children, knowledge, law etc. Instances can be cited from the Quran and the traditions in support thereof. Thus it has become, obvious that according to this verse, in Allah’s sight it is wrong and sinful to adopt the attitude of independence towards every kind of rizq, including articles of food.

Thus it has become clear that the consequences of this misunderstanding about the meaning of rizq are far reaching. As a result of this limited meaning of rizq, it will be sinful only to make the unlawful articles of food lawful and vice versa but it will not be sinful if the people become their own law makers in regards to the social, economic, political and international matters. It is because of this misunderstanding that even some scholars of the Islamic law do not consider it sinful if people do not take guidance from the Sharia in regard to matters other than those of food; whereas in this verse, Allah has taken to task all those people, who arrogate to themselves the right of making lawful or unlawful not only the articles of food but anything that has been made lawful or unlawful by the Sharia.

The question has been posed to impress how horrible and rebellious their crime is, as if to say: How dare you make your own regulations contrary to those which Allah has given you, when, in fact, you yourselves are His creation? What do you think about the servant, who claims that he himself has the right to prescribe the limits concerning the things which his master has entrusted to his care, and therefore, there is no need of consulting him? How will you treat your own servant if he were to claim that he had every right to use and spend as he will all that belongs to you? Leave alone the case of that servant who does not acknowledge at all that he has any master, or that he is a servant, and the things that are in his possession are not his but belong to someone else; for the case under discussion does not concern such a villainous usurper. The question has been posed concerning that servant who himself acknowledges that he is a servant of some master and that the things in his possession belong to the master and not to himself. Yet he claims that he has the right to make rules and regulations and set limits for himself regarding the use of those things, and that there is no need for him to consult his master.

"Ask them: 'Did Allah bestow upon you any authority for this or do you forge lies against Allah?": This question has been posed to corner the transgressors who arrogate to themselves the right to make rules and regulations in regards to the use they could make of the things of their Master. It is meant to impress on them that they have placed themselves in an awkward position by arrogating that right without any lawful authority. Their claim would have been valid, if the Master had Himself authorized them to make whatever laws they liked concerning the use of the things entrusted to the servants by Him. The pertinent question is whether they possessed any such authority from the Master, or were putting forward this claim without any delegation of such rights to them. If they had any such warrant they should show it: otherwise they would be guilty of two crimes, rebellion and forgery.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
"Sustenance" is to be taken in both the literal and the metaphorical sense. In the literal sense, what fine and varied things Allah has provided for us on land and in sea and air, in the vegetable, animal, and mineral kingdoms? Yet narrow minds put artificial barriers against their use. In the metaphorical sense, what enchanting fields of knowledge and spiritual endeavour are provided in our individual and social lives? And who is to say that some are lawful and others forbidden? Supposing they were so in special circumstances, it is not right to attribute artificial restrictions of that kind to Allah and falsely erect religious sanctions against them.
( 60 )   And what will be the supposition of those who invent falsehood about Allah on the Day of Resurrection? Indeed, Allah is full of bounty to the people, but most of them are not grateful."
It is a pity that most of the servants are not grateful to the Master for this great favor that He has given them full instructions about the way they should live in His house, and the use they should make of His things, and the conduct they should adopt, as if to say: If you live in the world according to My instructions, you will win My approval and deserve the greatest rewards, but if you live as rebels, you would incur My wrath and merit a painful chastisement. Nay, instead of showing gratitude for this favor, many of the servants seem to think like this: The Master ought to have left us in the world without any guidance and secretly watched us to see which of us was living in rebellion against His law, and then punished the criminals. They do not seem to realize that if the Master had put them to this hard test none would have escaped punishment.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
People who lie in Religion or invent false gods, or false worship,-have they any idea of the Day of Judgment, when they will be called to account, and will have to answer for their deeds?

Allah is most kind, and gracious, and generous with His gifts of all kinds, material and spiritual. But men do not understand, and arc ungrateful in forgetting the Giver of all and setting up false objects of worship and false standards of pride.

Ruku / Section 7 [61-70] 
Verses 61-65 Whatever you do, Allah is a witness to it: Not even a speck, the weight of dust escapes God’s knowledge, and it is kept in a clear record.  For those who believe and fear God there will be no fear; they will receive good tidings both in this world and the Hereafter.  God tells Prophet Muhammad not to let the words of the unbelievers grieve him.  God is All-Powerful; All-Hearing and All-Knowing.  Everything in the heavens and on the earth belongs to Him.  Those who call on other than God are following only assumptions and lies.  God made the day and the night and surely this is a sign for those who listen to the message.
( 61 )   And, [O Muhammad], you are not [engaged] in any matter or recite any of the Qur'an and you [people] do not do any deed except that We are witness over you when you are involved in it. And not absent from your Lord is any [part] of an atom's weight within the earth or within the heaven or [anything] smaller than that or greater but that it is in a clear register.
These things have been mentioned here in order to comfort the Prophet (peace be upon him) and give a warning to his enemies. These are meant to lessen his worry and to strengthen him, as if to say: We see all that you are doing in propagating the Message of the truth with great patience and fortitude, and exerting your utmost to reform mankind. Rest assured that We have not left you alone after entrusting you with this arduous duty. We are not unaware of whatever you are doing for the performance of your mission, and also whatever your enemies are doing to oppose you. On the other hand, a warning has also been administered to his opponents: Don’t remain under the delusion that no one is seeing what you are doing in opposing the Messenger of the truth and the reformer of mankind? We are seeing whatever mischief you are doing and whatever obstacles you are placing in the way of the mission. We are keeping a detailed and accurate record of all these things. Therefore beware that you shall be called upon to render an account of all your doings.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
There is nothing that men can do but Allah is a witness to it. We may be deeply engrossed in some particular thing and for the time being be quite unconscious of other things. But Allah's knowledge not only comprehends all things, but has all things actively before it. Nothing is hidden from Him. And His knowledge has another quality which human knowledge has not. Human knowledge is subject to time, and is obliterated by time. Allah's knowledge is like a Record and endures forever. And His Record has a further quality which human records have not. The most permanent human record may be quite intelligible to those who make it but may be ambiguous to others and may become unintelligible with the progress of time, as happens almost invariably to the most enduring inscriptions from very ancient times: but in Allah's "Record" or knowledge there is no ambiguity, for it is independent of time, or place. This is the force of Mubin ("clear") here.
( 62 )   Unquestionably, [for] the allies of Allah there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve
Allah's all-embracing knowledge and constant watchful care over all His creatures, may be a source of fear to sinners, but there is no fear for those whom He honours with His love and friendship,-neither in this world nor in the world to come.
( 63 )   Those who believed and were fearing Allah
( 64 )   For them are good tidings in the worldly life and in the Hereafter. No change is there in the words of Allah. That is what is the great attainment.
( 65 )   And let not their speech grieve you. Indeed, honor [due to power] belongs to Allah entirely. He is the Hearing, the Knowing.
Sometimes the words of the unrighteous or their revilings hurt or grieve the righteous man, but there is no occasion for either anger or sorrow: they have no power and they can do no real dishonour, for all power and honour are from Allah.

Verses 66-70 Mushrikin follow nothing but conjecture, preach nothing but falsehood:
( 66 )   Unquestionably, to Allah belongs whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth. And those who invoke other than Allah do not [actually] follow [His] "partners." They follow not except assumption, and they are not but falsifying
All creatures are subject to Allah. If, therefore, any false worship is set up, the false gods-so called "partners"-are merely creatures of imagination or false inventions.
( 67 )   It is He who made for you the night to rest therein and the day, giving sight. Indeed in that are signs for a people who listen.
This is a concise statement of a very important subject and requires a detailed explanation. The Quran declares in a few words that all religions other than the revealed one are false because they have been founded on the philosophical research for the primary cause of the origin of the universe. The philosophical research is after all based on guesswork, and is in its very nature incapable of reaching to the truth. The right way of arriving at the truth is to make a study of the signs (e.g. day and night) and of the Message of the Prophets in a dispassionate manner. For this is the only way of discovering the truth. Otherwise, if one follows wrong ways, he shall always arrive at wrong conclusions. Let us now consider several methods that different people have adopted in search of this knowledge:

a. The mushriks base their search entirely and solely on superstition.

b. The hermits and ascetics pretend and claim that they acquire that knowledge by means of contemplation and meditation and see the reality by peeping into the hidden. But the fact is that they do not see the reality; it is only a trick of their own imagination. They form a mental image and then concentrate their mind on it and eventually it takes the shape of the so called reality.

c. The philosophers claim to base their research on rationalism but it is really only surmise and guesswork, even though they may give logical arguments and sound reasons in its support.

d. Then there are the scientists: though they follow the scientific method of research in the physical world, they abandon it completely in regards to their investigation into metaphysics and start to follow conjectures, surmises, and guesswork.

Then these groups invariably suffer from prejudices and are not inclined to understand the point of view of those who differ with them, and, therefore, obstinately stick to their own theories.

In this passage (Ayats 66-67), the Quran declares that this way of search after knowledge is basically wrong, as if to say: The real cause of your deviation is that you base your search of reality on mere surmise and guesswork, and then, because of your prejudices, refuse to listen even to reasonable things. The result is that you have not only failed to arrive at the truth but also to judge rightly the revealed religion, presented by the Messengers.

In contrast to the above ways of research, the Quran presents its own way and asserts that it alone is the correct, rational and scientific way of arriving at the truth. It is this: The prerequisite for research is that you should give up your preconceived prejudices and listen to the Message of those who claim that their information about the reality is based on knowledge and not on surmises, guesswork, meditations and contemplation, abstract deductions etc. Then consider deeply the signs in the universe to which the Quran invites your attention. If these also point to the reality they claim to reveal, then there is no reason why should you deny the truth taught by those Messengers. This is the basis of the philosophy of Islam. What a pity that even the Muslim philosophers have forsaken this way and followed in the footsteps of Plato and Aristotle.

The Quran has inculcated this method at many places and has over and again presented many a phenomenon as a proof of the reality, and taught the people how to arrive at the right conclusion so as to perceive the reality. Accordingly, in( verse 67), the sign of the night and the day has been presented for the deep consideration of the people. The change of day and night is a wonderful sign and clearly points to the Universal Designer and the All-Powerful Ruler; for it takes place by the turning of the earth on its axis and in relation to the sun with mathematical precision. This change is due to the great wisdom of the Designer and has a great purpose behind it because of its innumerable benefits for all that exists on the earth. This points out also to the Providence of the Creator for it demonstrates conclusively that He has made perfect arrangements for the existence of His creation. Moreover, this also shows that the Universal Designer is One and also that He is not playful but Wise and purposeful. This change also points towards the great reality that He, being the Benefactor and Lord, is worthy of worship and none else. This is because every other being is provided with its requirements by this change of day and night and none provides others; therefore none of them can be the Lord and the Master. In the light of these signs, how can, any other religion, based on mere surmise and guesswork, be considered to be true when it is compared with the revealed religion which is based on such clear signs as these?

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Our physical life-and our higher life in so far as it is linked with the physical-is sustained by the alternation of rest and activity, and the fit environment for this alternation is the succession of Nights and Days in our physical world. The Day makes the things "visible to us-" a beautiful symbol, not only of the physical work for which we go about by day, but of the higher activities which are fitly associated with seeing, perception and enquiry. Intuition (insight) is a little out of that circle because that may come by night, when our other faculties are resting.
( 68 )   They have said, "Allah has taken a son." Exalted is He; He is the [one] Free of need. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth. You have no authority for this [claim]. Do you say about Allah that which you do not know?
In the preceding passage people were taken to task for founding false religions on mere surmise and guesswork. In this passage the Christians and others, who believe that God has begotten a son, have been taken to task for this blasphemy which has no authority other than mere presumption.

67. The Arabic phrase Subhan-Allah is used to express astonishment at something apparently inexplicable. But its literal meaning is, Allah is All-Pure, and is absolutely free from any defect, blemish and flaw. Here it implies both these things. It expresses astonishment at their blasphemy that Allah has taken a son to Himself, and also refutes it, saying, Allah, being perfect in every way, does not stand in need of a son.

68. Three things have been put forward to refute their blasphemy:

(1) Allah is pure and without any defect.

(2) Allah is Self-sufficient in every way, and

(3) Allah is the Owner of everything in the heavens and the earth.

Let us now briefly explain how these three things refute that blasphemy.

It is obvious that a son is either sprung from the loins or is adopted. In the first case, such a conception of Allah amounts to this: He is mortal like every other being: therefore He stands in need of a spouse in order to propagate His offspring like other beings. In the second case, it shall have to be presumed that Allah stands in need of a son to inherit His Kingdom in order to make up, to some extent, for the deficiency that is caused by His childlessness. Or that Allah also cherished paternal love like human beings, and therefore, adopted as son one of the millions of His slaves.

Whatever be the case, it is obvious that the blasphemy shall have to be based on such a creed which presumes that Allah suffers from many defects, many weaknesses, many shortcomings and many wants. The Quran refutes all such blasphemous creeds, saying, He is All-Pure and therefore, is free from all such defects; and by, He is Self-sufficient, the Quran asserts that He does not suffer from any of those weaknesses and wants which impel the mortals to have children. Lastly, it says clearly that all the beings in the heavens and the earth belong to Him and that He has no particular relation with anyone of them so as to make such a one His son or only son or heir apparent. Though it is true that Allah loves some of His slaves more than the others because of their excellences, it does not in any way mean that He raises such a one from the rank of a slave to that of a partner in His Godhead. For, the highest rank He bestows on them is that they are Allah’s friends, “Who believe and fear Allah, (and therefore they) shall have no occasion for fear and sorrow. There is nothing but good news for them in this world and in the Hereafter (Ayats 62- 63).
( 69 )   Say, "Indeed, those who invent falsehood about Allah will not succeed."
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
In Quranic language "prosperity" refers both to our every-day life and to the higher life within us,-to the Present and the Future,-health and strength, opportunities and resources, a spirit of contentment, and the power of influencing others. Here there seems to be an extra touch of meaning. A liar not only deprives himself of prosperity in all senses, but his "lie" itself against Allah will not succeed: it will and must be found out.
( 70 )   [For them is brief] enjoyment in this world; then to Us is their return; then We will make them taste the severe punishment because they used to disbelieve

Here we come to the end of Part II of the exegesis of Sūrah Yünus. In Part III we will cover Ruku / Sections 8-9 [Verses 71-92].  In this part, three things have been impressed upon or mentioned: (1) The consequence of lying about God, (2) Stories from the past of Noah and Moses, and (3) The Deliverance (continuation of story of Moses)

You may now like to listen to Arabic recitation of Sūrah Yünus 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 | 78Prophet Yunus and Allah's Displeasure
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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