Sunday 31 January 2021

Surah Al Jinn - The Jinn: Exegesis / Tafsir 72nd Chapter / Surah of the Quran

Sūrat al-Jinn, the 72nd surah with 28 verses and two Roku was revealed in the later part of Prophet of Allah's stay in Makkah and is part of 29th Juz / part of the Holy Qur'an. As is evident form its name, the surah specifically attributed to Jinns, the unseen inhabitants of the earth made from the smokeless fire. Like human beings, they too are good or bad and Muslim and Non Muslim creatures. However, jinns and demons (shayāṭīn) are different entities in Islamic traditions and should not be taken as one and the same thing.

In this surah the event of the Jinn's hearing the Qur'an and returning to their people to preach Islam to them, has been related in detail. It has been quoted on the authority of Hadrat Abdullah bin Abbas that once while the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) was going to visit the Fair of Ukaz with some of his Companions, he led the Fajr Prayer at Nakhlah. At that time a company of the jinn happened to pass that way. When they heard the Qur'an being recited, they stopped and listened to it attentively. 

Here it would be pertinent to clear a misunderstanding about the time and space of happening of the incident mentioned above. As asserted by Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi in his book "Tafhim al-Qur'an" most of the commentators believe that this incident relates to the Holy Prophet's well known journey to Taif, which had taken place three years before the Hijrah in the 10th year of the Prophet hood. But this is not correct for several reasons: [1]
  • The jinn's hearing the Qur'an during the journey to Taif has been related in Al-Ahqaf 29-32. A cursory reading of those verses shows that the jinn who had believed after hearing the Qur'an on that occasion were already believers in the Prophet Moses and the previous scriptures. 
  • On the contrary, verses. 2- 7 of this surah clearly show that the jinn who heard the Qur'an on this occasion were polytheists and deniers of the Hereafter and Prophet hood. 
  • Then, it is confirmed historically that in his journey to Taif none accompanied the Holy Prophet except Hadrat Zaid bin Harithah. On the contrary, concerning this journey Ibn Abbas says that the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) was accompanied by some of his Companions.
  • Furthermore, the traditions also agree that in that journey the jinn heard the Qur'an when the Holy Prophet had stopped at Nakhlah on his return journey from Taif to Makkah, and in this journey, according to the traditions of Ibn Abbas, the event of the jinn's hearing the Qur'an occurred when the Holy Prophet was going to Ukaz from Makkah. 
  • Therefore, in view of these reasons what seems to be correct is that in Surah Al-Ahqaf and Surah Al Jinn, one and the same event has not been narrated, but these were two separate events, which took place during two separate journeys.
The surah has been divided into to two Ruku as under:
  • Ruku 1 [Verses 1-19] - In that verses 1-15 mention a beautiful speech of the jinns who embraced Islam after hearing Al-Quran and Jinns also have different religions and sects, among jinns there are some Muslims and some deviators from the Truth. This follows by verses 16-19 which elaborate that Mosques are built for the worship of Allah, so invoke no one else besides Him
  • Ruku 2 [Verses 20-28] - Rasools do not have the power to harm or benefit anyone, his mission is just to convey Allah's message and Only Allah knows the unseen, He reveals it to whom He chooses from
We have already presented the overview / summary of the sürah. Let us now read the verse by verse translation and exegesis / tafseer in English. You may also listen to its recitation in Arabic with English subtitles at the end of the post:
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ 
"In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful"

قُلۡ اُوۡحِىَ اِلَىَّ اَنَّهُ اسۡتَمَعَ نَفَرٌ مِّنَ الۡجِنِّ فَقَالُوۡۤا اِنَّا سَمِعۡنَا قُرۡاٰنًاعَجَبًا ۙ‏ 
1) Say, (O Prophet), it was revealed to me that a band of jinn attentively listened to (the recitation of the Qur'an) and then (went back to their people) and said:
This shows that the jinn at that time were not visible to the Prophet (peace be upon him), nor he knew that they were hearing the Quran being recited, but Allah informed him of the incident afterwards by revelation. Abdullah bin Abbas has also, in connection with this incident, stated: The Messenger (peace be upon him) of Allah had not recited the Quran before the jinn, nor did he see them. (Muslim, Tirmidhi, Musnad Ahmad, Ibn Jarir).

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: The Jinns listening to the Qur'an and Their Belief in It - Allah commands His Messenger to inform his people that the Jinns listened to the Qur'an, believed in it, affirmed its truthfulness and adhered to it. 

So Allah says, (Say: "It has been revealed to me that a group of Jinn listened. They said: `Verily, we have heard a wonderful Recitation! It guides to the right path''') meaning, to what is correct and success.

Yusuf Ali Explanation: Cf. xlvi. 29-32. The Jinns had evidently heard of previous revelations, that of Moses (xlvi. 30), and the error of Trinitarian Christianity (lxxii. 3). The community from which they come have all sorts of good and bad persons, but they are determined to preach the good Message of Unity which they have heard and believed in.
Jinns: who are they? In xviii. 50 we are told that Iblis was one of the Jinns, and it is suggested that that was why he disobeyed the Command of God. But in that passage and other similar passages, we are told that God commanded the angels to bow down to Adam, and they obeyed except Iblis. That implies that Iblis had been of the company of angels. In many passages Jinns and men are spoken of together. In lv. 14-15, man is stated to have been created from clay, while Jinns from a flame of fire. The root meaning of junna, yujannu, is "to be covered or hidden," and janna yajunnu, in the active voice, "to cover or hide," as in vi. 76. Some people say that jinn therefore means the hidden qualities or capacities in man; others that it means wild or jungle folk hidden in the hills or forests. I do not wish to be dogmatic, but I think, from a collation and study of the Quranic passages, that the meaning is simply "a spirit," or an invisible or hidden force. In folklore stories and romances like the Arabian Nights they become personified into fantastic forms, but with them we are not concerned here.
The Holy Qur'an would be to them a wonderful Recital-both in subject-matter and in the circumstance that it had come in Arabia among a pagan and ignorant nation.

Muhammad Asad Explanation:
(Say, (O Prophet), it was revealed to me that a band of jinn attentively listened to (the recitation of the Qur'an)) I.e., had heard and accepted it: this being the meaning, in the above context, of the verbal form istama'a. - As regards the various meanings attributable to the plural noun jinn (rendered by me here as "unseen beings"). The jinn are referred to in the Qur'an in many connotations. In a few cases - e.g., in the present instance and in {46:29-32} - this expression may possibly signify "hitherto unseen beings", namely, strangers who had never before been seen by the people among and to whom the Qur'an was then being revealed. From 46:30 (which evidently relates to the same occurrence as the present one) it transpires that the jinn in question were followers of the Mosaic faith, inasmuch as they refer to the Qur'an as "a revelation bestowed from on high after [that of] Moses", thus pointedly omitting any mention of the intervening prophet, Jesus, and equally pointedly (in verse {3} of the present surah) stressing their rejection of the Christian concept of the Trinity. All this leads one to the assumption that they may have been Jews from distant parts of what is now the Arab world, perhaps from Syria or even Mesopotamia. (Tabari mentions in several places that the jinn referred to in this surah as well as in 46:29 ff. hailed from Nasibin, a town on the upper reaches of the Euphrates.) I should, however, like to stress that my explanation of this occurrence is purely tentative.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: It is evident from these words that the comments of the jinnstated in this surah were not directly conveyed by them to the Prophet (sws); rather they were communicated to him by the Almighty. This incident is also depicted in Surah al-Ahqaf and it is also evident from that depiction that these observations made by the jinn-folk before their people were narrated to the Prophet (sws) later on by the Almighty. The purpose of narrating this account to the Prophet (sws) was three fold: i. to make it evident to the Quraysh what the jinn whom they regarded to have inspired the Qur’an themselves say of the Qur’an, ii. to assure the Prophet (sws) to not get distressed by the attitude of not giving him due consideration shown by these wretched people and iii. to appeal to he honour of the Quraysh. 

Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: … These impressions of the jinn have been conveyed to the Prophet (sws) so that he informs his people of them. The implication is that the very Qur’an which they are treating in such a disdainful manner by shutting their ears to it, and set off to become the enemies of its reciter even though it was specifically revealed for them had a profound influence on some bright jinn. So potent was this influence that they became such ardent fans of it that they embarked upon calling their people towards it even though they were not the direct addressees of this Book. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 8, 615)

The actual word is: عَجَبًا. Just as it expresses the amazing nature of something, it is also used to portray the efficacy and attractiveness of something. Also evident from this in a secondary way is the fact that the jinn understand the language of human beings who live in their area and are also able to evaluate its literary quality.

This does not imply that the Prophet (sws) was also sent forth to the jinn in his capacity as a messenger of God. What these words do imply is that it is the duty of every cognizant being of this world to acknowledge the truth wherever and in whatever form he comes across it. Consequently, if we were in a position to hear the calls of the prophets sent to the jinn, it would have been mandatory for us to profess faith in them just as it is in their case. Similar is the case of our professing faith in the prophets which came before Muhammad (sws). Though we are not liable to obey the shari’ah brought by them yet we must believe in them, just as it was necessary for their people to do so.

This statement of the jinn and all subsequent ones are under اُوۡحِیَ اِلَیَّ اَنَّہُ (It has been revealed to me that …) and not under اِنَّا سَمِعۡنَا (We heard). Translation of the verses has thus been done while taking this aspect into consideration.

يَّهۡدِىۡۤ اِلَى الرُّشۡدِ فَاٰمَنَّا بِهٖ​ ؕ وَلَنۡ نُّشۡرِكَ بِرَبِّنَاۤ اَحَدًا ۙ‏ 
2) “We have indeed heard a wonderful Qur'an which guides to the Right Way; so we have come to believe in it, and we will not associate aught with Our Lord in His Divinity”;
The words in the original are: Quran-un-ajaba "  قُرۡاٰنًاعَجَبًا " (verse 1), which means “something which is read again and again”, and the jinn probably used this word in this very meaning, for they were introduced to this divine revelation for the first time, and they did not perhaps know then that what they were hearing, was the Quran itself. Ajab is a superlative, which is used in Arabic for a wonderful thing. So, what the jinn said means: We have heard such a wonderful recital which is unique both in its language and in its subject-matter.

This also shows that the jinn not only hear what human beings say but also understand their language, although it is not necessary that all the jinn might know all the human languages. It is possible that those of them who live in a particular region of the earth might know the language of the people of that region. But in any case this statement of the Quran clearly shows that the jinn who listened to the Quran at that time were so conversant with the Arabic language that they not only appreciated the matchless eloquence of the divine word but also understood its sublime subject-matter.

This verse throws light on several things:

(1) That the jinn do not deny Allah’s existence and His being Lord and Sustainer.

(2) That among them there are polytheists also, who like polytheistic human beings ascribe divinity to others than Allah: thus, the community of the jinn whose members heard the Quran was polytheistic.

(3) That the Prophethood and revelation of divine scriptures does not exist among the jinn, but whoever of them believe, they believe in the Prophets raised among human beings and in the Books brought by them. This same thing is confirmed by( Surah Al-Ahqaf, Ayats 29-30), where it has been stated that the jinn who had then heard the Quran, were from among the followers of the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him), and they after having heard the Quran, had invited their people to believe in the revelation that had been sent down by God confirming the previous scriptures. Surah Ar-Rahman also points to the same, for its whole subject-matter shows that the audience of the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) invitation are both the men and the jinn.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: (and we have believed therein, and we shall never join anything with our Lord.) This position (that they took) is similar to what Allah said, (And when We sent towards you a group of the Jinns listening to the Qur'an.) (46:29) 

وَّاَنَّهٗ تَعٰلٰى جَدُّ رَبِّنَا مَا اتَّخَذَ صَاحِبَةً وَّلَا وَلَدًا ۙ‏ 
3) and that “He – exalted be His Majesty – has not taken to Himself either a wife or a son”;
From this we know two things:

(1) That these jinn were either from among the Christian jinn, or they were followers of a different religion in which Allah was regarded as having children and families.

(2) That at that time the Prophet (peace be upon him) was reciting some such part of the Quran hearing which they realized the error of their creed and knew that it was sheer ignorance and impudence to ascribe wife and children to the High and Exalted Being of Allah.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: (And He, exalted be the Jadd of our Lord,) `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn `Abbas that he said concerning Allah's statement, (" جَدُّ رَبِّنَا " the Jadd of our Lord,) "This means, His actions, His commands and His power.'' Ad-Dahhak reported from Ibn `Abbas that he said, "Allah's Jadd is His blessings, His power and His favor upon His creation.'' It has been reported from Mujahid and `Ikrimah that they said, "It (Jadd) is the magnificence of our Lord.'' Qatadah said, "Exalted is His magnificence, His greatness and His command.'' As-Suddi said, "Exalted is the command of our Lord.'' It has been reported from Abu Ad-Darda', Mujahid and Ibn Jurayj that they said, "Exalted is His remembrance (Dhikr).''

(He has taken neither a wife nor a son.) meaning, far exalted is He above taking a mate and having children. This means that when the Jinns accepted Islam and believed in the Qur'an they professed Allah's magnificence above having taken a spouse and a child (or a son).

Yusuf Ali Explanation: They abjure paganism and also the doctrine of a son begotten by Allah, which would also imply a wife of whom he was begotten. Cf. vi. 101.

وَّ اَنَّهٗ كَانَ يَقُوۡلُ سَفِيۡهُنَا عَلَى اللّٰهِ شَطَطًا ۙ‏ 
4) and that “the foolish among us have been want to say outrageous things about Allah”;
The word safihuna " سَفِيۡهُنَا " as used in the text can be spoken for an individual as well as for a group. If it is taken for a foolish individual, it would imply Iblis and if for a group, it would imply a group of foolish jinn who said such things.

Muhammad Asad Translation
If we accept the supposition that the beings spoken of here were Jewish strangers, the "outrageous things" (shatat) which they mention would appear to be an allusion to the deep-set belief of the Jews that they were "God's chosen people" - a belief which the Qur'an consistently rejects, and of which the new converts now divested themselves.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: The words “foolish” and “mischievous” are used in deference to the undefined noun: رِجَال. What the jinn have referred to in this verse has been explained thus by Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

The Idolaters of Arabia had the superstition that the jinn were a means of finding out the news of the unknown and the unseen world. As a result, a whole system of soothsaying which was totally based on lies and deception had come into being. Typically, a soothsayer would tell a person under his lure that a certain jinn is angry with him and that if he did not do a particular sacrifice or make a vow, then this jinn would cause him some harm. As a result, this person would obey the soothsayer. So much so, in order to please the jinn, foolish people at the behest of these soothsayers would at times even sacrifice their children. This has been alluded to in Surah al-An‘am.

Another superstition with which they thought these Idolaters of Arabia were afflicted was that every valley and every mountain was inhabited by some specific group of jinn. If ever circumstances arose that someone had to spend the night at some such place, then it was deemed necessary to seek the refuge of the leader of these jinn. In case this refuge was not sought, there was a strong chance that these jinn would send some calamity on them. Consequently, in the age of ignorance when the Arabs would spend a night in some valley they would invoke the chief jinn of that valley and would think that they had sought refuge with him. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 8, 619)

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: (And that the foolish among us used to utter against Allah that which was an enormity in falsehood.) Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Qatadah and As-Suddi, all said, " سَفِيهُنَا " (the foolish among us) "They were referring to Iblis.''

" شَطَطًا " (that which was an enormity in falsehood.) As-Suddi reported from Abu Malik that he said, "This means a transgression.'' Ibn Zayd said, "A great injustice.'' The foolish (Safih) also carries the meaning of everyone in the category who claims that Allah has a spouse or a son. 

This is why Allah says here, " وَأَنَّهُ كَانَ يَقُولُ سَفِيهُنَا " (And that the foolish among us used to utter) The Jinns Affirmation that Allah does not have a Wife and Children.

Allah says " مَا اتَّخَذَ صَـحِبَةً وَلاَ وَلَداً " (He has taken neither a wife nor a son.) meaning, far exalted is He above taking a mate and having children. This means that when the Jinns accepted Islam and believed in the Qur'an they professed Allah's magnificence above having taken a spouse and a child (or a son). 

Then they said, " وَأَنَّهُ كَانَ يَقُولُ سَفِيهُنَا عَلَى اللَّهِ شَطَطاً " (And that the foolish among us used to utter against Allah that which was an enormity in falsehood.) Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Qatadah and As-Suddi, all said, " سَفِيهُنَا " (the foolish among us) "They were referring to Iblis.''

" شَطَطًا " (that which was an enormity in falsehood.) As-Suddi reported from Abu Malik that he said, "This means a transgression.'' Ibn Zayd said, "A great injustice.'' The foolish (Safih) also carries the meaning of everyone in the category who claims that Allah has a spouse or a son. This is why Allah says here, " وَأَنَّهُ كَانَ يَقُولُ سَفِيهُنَا " (And that the foolish among us used to utter) meaning, before his acceptance of Islam. " عَلَى اللَّهِ شَطَطاً " (against Allah that which was an enormity in falsehood.) meaning, falsehood and a lie. 

Thus, Allah says:
وَّاَنَّا ظَنَنَّاۤ اَنۡ لَّنۡ تَقُوۡلَ الۡاِنۡسُ وَالۡجِنُّ عَلَى اللّٰهِ كَذِبًا ۙ‏ 
5) and that “we had thought that men and jinn would never speak a lie about Allah”,
That is, we were misled by those falsehoods because we could never think that the men or the jinn could ever dare forge a lie about Allah, but having heard this Quran we now know that they were, in fact, liars.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: (And verily, we thought that men and Jinn would not utter a lie against Allah.) meaning, `we did not think that humans and Jinns would join each other in lying about Allah by attributing a spouse and a son to Him. So when we heard this Qur'an we believed in it and we knew that they (Jinns and men) had been lying about Allah in this matter.'

Yusuf Ali Explanation: No one ought to entertain false notions about Allah. For by joining false gods in our ideas of worship, we degrade our conception of ourselves and the duty we owe to our Creator and Cherisher, to Whom we have to give a final account of life and conduct. If we worship idols or heavenly bodies, or human beings, or any creatures, or false fancies born of self or foolish abstractions, or the lusts and desires of our own hearts, we are not only doing violence to Truth, but we are causing discord in the harmony of the world.

Muhammad Asad Explanation:
In this and the next verse, the term jinn (rendered here as "invisible forces") apparently refers to what is described as "occult powers" or, rather, to a person's preoccupation with them. Irrespective of whether these "forces" are real or mere products of human imagination, they "tell lies about God" inasmuch as they induce their devotees to conceive all manner of fantastic, arbitrary notions about the "nature" of His Being and of His alleged relations with the created universe: notions exemplified in all mystery-religions, in the various gnostic and theosophical systems, in cabalistic Judaism, and in the many medieval offshoots of each of them.

وَّاَنَّهٗ كَانَ رِجَالٌ مِّنَ الۡاِنۡسِ يَعُوۡذُوۡنَ بِرِجَالٍ مِّنَ الۡجِنِّ فَزَادُوۡهُمۡ رَهَقًا ۙ‏ 
6) and that “some from among the humans used to seek protection of some among the jinn, and thus they increased the arrogance of the jinn”;

Ibn Abbas says that in the pre-Islamic days of ignorance when the Arabs had to spend a night in some uninhabited, desolate valley, they would shout out: We seek refuge of the jinn, who is owner of this valley. In other traditions of the pre-Islamic ignorance also the same thing has been reported frequently. For example, if in a place they ran short of water and fodder, the wandering Bedouins would send one of their men to some other place to see if water and fodder were available; and when they reached the new site under his direction, they would shout out before they halted to pitch the camp: We seek refuge of the sustainer of this valley so that we may live here in peace from every calamity. They believed that every un-inhabited place was under the control of one or another jinn and if someone stayed there without seeking his refuge, the jinn would either himself trouble the settlers, or would let others trouble them. These believing jinn are referring to this very thing. They meant that when man, the vicegerent of the earth, started fearing them without any reason, and started seeking their refuge instead of God’s, it caused their people to become even more arrogant, haughty and wicked, and they became even more fearless and bold in adopting error and disbelief.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: meaning, `we used to think that we had some virtuous status over mankind because they used to seek refuge with us whenever they (men) would settle in a valley or any place in the wilderness, the open country steppes and other places.' This was the custom of the Arabs in the pre-Islamic days of ignorance. They used to seek refuge with the greatest Jinn of a particular place so that no harm or evil would afflict them. Like one would do if he entered into the land of his enemies, in the vicinity of a great and powerful man, he would seek the protection and guardianship of that man. So when the Jinns saw that the humans were seeking refuge with them due to their fear of them, they increased them in Rahaq which means fear, terror and fright. They did this so that the people would be more afraid of them and seek refuge with them even more. 

As Qatadah said concerning this Ayah, (but they increased them in Rahaq.) means, "the Jinns were courageous and increased in insolence against them.'' As-Suddi said, "A man used to set out with his family (on a journey) until he came to a piece of land where he would settle. Then he would say, `I seek refuge with the master (Jinn) of this valley from the Jinns, or that myself, my wealth, my child or my animals are harmed in it.''' Qatadah said, "When they sought refuge with them instead of Allah, the Jinns would overcome them with harm because of that.'' Ibn Abi Hatim recorded from `Ikrimah that he said, "The Jinns used to fear humans just like humans fear them, or even worse. So whenever humans would come to a valley the Jinns would flee. So the leader of the people would say, `We seek refuge with the leader of the inhabitants of this valley.' So the Jinns said, `We see these people fleeing from us just like we flee from them.' Thus, the Jinns started coming near the humans and afflicting them with insanity and madness.'' 

Thus, Allah said, (And verily, there were men among mankind who took shelter with the males among the Jinn, but they increased them in Rahaq.) meaning, in sin. Abu `Aliyah, Ar-Rabi` and Zayd bin Aslam, all said, (in Rahaq رَهَقاً ) "This means in fear.'' Mujahid said, "The disbelievers would increase in transgression.''

Yusuf Ali Explanation: If human beings think that by a resort to some spirits they can shelter themselves from the struggles and actualities of their own lives, they are sadly mistaken. They must "dree their own weird", as the Scots would say. It is folly to try to escape from the duties which they can understand in their own natural surroundings, or to try to avoid the consequences of their own acts. Only such persons do so as do not realize that they will ultimately have to answer at the Judgment-Seat of Allah, whose first outpost is in their own conscience.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: Lit., "that men (rijal) from among the humans used to (kana) seek refuge with men from among the jinn". Since the reference to "the humans" (al-ins) applies to men and women, the expression rijal is obviously used here - as so often in the Qur'an - in the sense of "some persons" or "certain kinds" of people. "Seeking refuge" is synonymous with seeking help, protection or the satisfaction of physical or spiritual needs; in the context of the above passage, this is evidently an allusion to the hope of "certain kinds of humans" that the occult powers to which they have turned would successfully guide them through life, and thus make it unnecessary for them to look forward to the coming of a new prophet.

وَّاَنَّهُمۡ ظَنُّوۡا كَمَا ظَنَنۡتُمۡ اَنۡ لَّنۡ يَّبۡعَثَ اللّٰهُ اَحَدًا ۙ‏ 

7) and that “they thought, even as you thought, that Allah would never raise anyone (as a Messenger)”;

 Another meaning of this sentence can be: Allah will not resurrect anyone after death. As the words are comprehensive, they can be taken to mean that, as among human beings, so among the jinn were those who denied both the Prophethood and the Hereafter. However, in view of the theme that follows, the meaning that we have given in the text above is preferable, for according to it these believing jinn tell the people of their community: Your view is proved wrong that Allah will not appoint anyone as a Messenger. In fact, the gates of heavens have been closed on us only because Allah has already appointed a Messenger.

The Judgement in verse 7, and the Punishment in verse 25 below, are both references to the Yaum al Qiyamah or the Day of Resurrection.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: That is "the Jinns were courageous and increased in insolence against them.'' As-Suddi said, "A man used to set out with his family (on a journey) until he came to a piece of land where he would settle. Then he would say, `I seek refuge with the master (Jinn) of this valley from the Jinns, or that myself, my wealth, my child or my animals are harmed in it.''' Qatadah said, "When they sought refuge with them instead of Allah, the Jinns would overcome them with harm because of that.'' Ibn Abi Hatim recorded from `Ikrimah that he said, "The Jinns used to fear humans just like humans fear them, or even worse. So whenever humans would come to a valley the Jinns would flee. So the leader of the people would say, `We seek refuge with the leader of the inhabitants of this valley.' So the Jinns said, `We see these people fleeing from us just like we flee from them.' Thus, the Jinns started coming near the humans and afflicting them with insanity and madness.'' 

Thus, Allah said, (And verily, there were men among mankind who took shelter with the males among the Jinn, but they increased them in Rahaq.) meaning, in sin. Abu `Aliyah, Ar-Rabi` and Zayd bin Aslam, all said, (in Rahaq) "This means in fear.'' Mujahid said, "The disbelievers would increase in transgression.'' 

Concerning Allah's statement, (And they thought as you thought, that Allah will not send any Messenger.) meaning, Allah would never send a Messenger after this long period of time. This was said by Al-Kalbi and Ibn Jarir.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: Thus Tabari (on the authority of Al-Kalbi) and Ibn Rathir. The overwhelming majority of the Jews were convinced that no prophet would be raised after those who were explicitly mentioned in the Old Testament: hence their rejection of Jesus and, of course, Muhammad, and their "reaching out towards heaven" (see next verse) in order to obtain a direct insight into God's plan of creation.

وَّاَنَّا لَمَسۡنَا السَّمَآءَ فَوَجَدۡنٰهَا مُلِئَتۡ حَرَسًا شَدِيۡدًا وَّشُهُبًا ۙ‏ 

8) and that “we tried to pry (the secrets of) the heaven, but we found it full of terrible guards and shooting meteors”;

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: The Jinns stealing Information from the Sky before the the Messenger was sent and striking Them with flaming Fire after His Coming.

Allah informs about the Jinns when He sent His Messenger Muhammad and revealed the Qur'an to him. Among the ways He protected it (the Qur'an) was by filling sky with stern guards guarding it from all of its sides. The devils were then expelled from the places where they used to sit prior to that. This was so that they could not steal anything from the Qur'an and tell it to the soothsayers, thereby causing matters to be confused and mixed up. If this happened it would not be known who was being truthful. Allah did this out of His kindness to His creation, His mercy upon His servants and His protection of His Mighty Book (the Qur'an). 

This is why the Jinns said, (And we have sought to reach the heaven; but found it filled with stern guards and flaming fires. And verily, we used to sit there in stations, to (steal) a hearing, but any who listens now will find a flaming fire watching him in ambush.) meaning, whoever would like to steal some information by listening, he will find a flaming fire waiting in ambush for him. It will not pass him or miss him, but it will wipe him out and destroy him completely. 

Yusuf Ali Explanation: Cf xv. 17-18 and lxvii. 5. The speakers here have repented of sin and evil; but they recognize that there are evil ones among them, who love stealth and prying, but their dark plots will be defeated by vigilant guardians of the Right, whose repulse of the attacks of evil is figured by the shafts of meteoric light in the heavens. 

Muhammad Asad Explanation: The above may be understood as alluding not only, metaphorically, to the arrogant Jewish belief in their being "God's chosen people", but also, more factually, to their old inclination to, and practice of, astrology as a means to foretell the future. Apart from this - and in a more general sense - their "reaching out towards heaven" may be a metaphorical description of a state of mind which causes man to regard himself as "self-sufficient" and to delude himself into thinking that he is bound to achieve mastery over his own fate. 

وَّاَنَّا كُنَّا نَقۡعُدُ مِنۡهَا مَقَاعِدَ لِلسَّمۡعِ​ ؕ فَمَنۡ يَّسۡتَمِعِ الۡاٰنَ يَجِدۡ لَهٗ شِهَابًا رَّصَدًا ۙ‏ 
9) and that “we would take up stations in the heaven to try to hear but anyone who now attempts to listen finds a shooting meteor in wait for him”;
This is the reason why these jinn were now out searching as to what particularly had happened or was going to happen on the earth, which had necessitated strict security measures against eavesdropping so that they were driven away from wherever they tried to eavesdrop in any way.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: (And we know not whether evil is intended for those on earth, or whether their Lord intends for them guidance.) meaning, `we do not know if this -- the matter which has occurred in the sky -- is intended for those who are in the earth or if their Lord intends some guidance for them.' They stated this in such a manner out of their etiquette in phrasing their speech, because they did not attribute the doing of evil to anyone and they attributed the good to Allah. 

Verily, it has been recorded in the Sahih: (And evil is not attributed to You (Allah).) It used to be that shooting stars (meteors) occurred before this, however it did not happen much, rather only occasionally. As was reported in the Hadith of Ibn `Abbas when he said, "While we were sitting with the Messenger of Allah a shooting star flashed in the sky. 

So the Prophet said: (What did you all used to say about this) We replied, "We used to say that a great person has been born and a great person has died.'' The Prophet said, (This is not so, rather whenever Allah decrees a matter in the heaven...)'' and then he went on to narrate the rest of the Hadith which we have already mentioned in its entirety in Surah Saba'. This is what caused them to seek the reason for this occurrence. So they set out searching in the east and the west. Then they found the Messenger of Allah reciting (the Qur'an) while leading his Companions in prayer. Thus, they knew that this Qur'an was the reason for the sky being guarded. Therefore, some among them believed in it and the others became more rebellious in their transgression. 

A discussion of this has preceded in a Hadith of Ibn `Abbas concerning Allah's statement in Surat Al-Ahqaf, (And (remember) when We sent towards you (Muhammad) a group of the Jinn (quietly) listening to the Qur'an.) (46:29) There is no doubt that when so many shooting stars began appearing in the sky, it horrified humans and Jinns alike. They were very disturbed and alarmed by it. They thought that it was the destruction of the world. As-Suddi said, "The sky was never guarded except if there was a Prophet in the earth or the religion of Allah was victorious and dominant in the earth.'' So the devils before the time of Muhammad had taken sitting stations for themselves in the heaven of this world and they would listen to the matters that occurred in the heaven. But when Allah sent Muhammad as a Prophet and Messenger, they were suddenly pelted one night (with the flaming, shooting stars). So the people of Ta'if were frightened because of this and they began to say, `The dwellers of the sky have been destroyed.' This was because they saw the severe fires in the sky and the shooting flames. They began freeing their servants and abandoning their luxuries. So `Abd Yalayl bin `Amr bin `Umayr said to them and he was referred to for judgement among them "Woe to you O people of Ta'if! Hold on to your wealth and look at these guiding stars in the sky. If you see them remaining in their place, then the dwellers of the sky have not been destroyed, rather this has happened because of Ibn Abi Kabshah (-- meaning Muhammad ). And if you look and see that you can no longer see these stars, then verily the dwellers of the sky have been destroyed.'' So, they looked and saw that the stars still remained, and thus, they kept their wealth. The devils also were frightened during that night. They went to Iblis and informed him of what happened to them. So he (Iblis) said, "Bring me a handful of dirt from every land so that I may smell it.'' So they brought it and he smelled it and said, "It is your friend in Makkah.'' Then he sent a group of seven Jinns to Makkah, and they found the Prophet of Allah standing in prayer in Al-Masjid Al-Haram while reciting the Qur'an. They drew near to him eager to hear the Qur'an, until their chests almost pressed against him. Then they accepted Islam and Allah revealed their matter to His Messenger . We have mentioned this chapter in its entirety in the first section of the Kitab As-Sirah with lengthy discussion. Allah knows best and unto Him is all praise and blessings.

Yusuf Ali Explanation: What is the force of "now"? It refers to the early Makkan period of Revelation. It means that whatever excuse there may have been before, for people to try to seek out the hidden truths of the Unseen World through jinns, there was none now, as the perspicuous Qur'an had restored the Message of Unity and cleared religion of all the cobwebs, mysteries, and falsehoods with which priest-craft and pious fraud had overlaid it. The result is that such seekers after false hidden knowledge will find themselves confronted now by the flaming fire, which, like the shafts of meteoric light (see note), will lie in wait for and nip such priest-craft and black magic in the bud.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: I.e., "we failed notwithstanding our status as descendants of Abraham, and despite all our ability and learning". 

As the sequence shows (and as has been pointed out in in 15:18 , this relates to all attempts at predicting the future by means of astrology or esoteric calculations, or at influencing the course of future events by means of "occult sciences".

وَّاَنَّا لَا نَدۡرِىۡۤ اَشَرٌّ اُرِيۡدَ بِمَنۡ فِى الۡاَرۡضِ اَمۡ اَرَادَ بِهِمۡ رَبُّهُمۡ رَشَدًا ۙ‏ 
10) and that “we do not know whether evil is intended for those on the earth, or whether their Lord intends to direct them to the Right Way”;
This shows that such extraordinary measures were adopted in the heavens only on two kinds of occasions. 
  • First, when Allah might decide to inflict the dwellers of the earth with a torment, and the divine will might be that before it was actually inflicted the jinn might not know and convey its news to warn their friendly human beings of the impending disaster. 
  • Second, that Allah might appoint a Messenger on the earth, and strict security measures might be adopted so that neither the messages being conveyed to him be interfered with by the satans nor should they be able to know beforehand what instructions were being given to the Messenger.
Thus, the saying of the jinn means: When we noticed that strict security measures had been adopted in the heavens for the safeguard of the news, and the meteorites were being showered profusely, we wanted to know which of the two things had happened: Whether Allah had caused a torment to descend suddenly on some people of the earth, or a Messenger had been raised somewhere on the earth. We were on the lookout for the same when we heard the wonderful revelation, which guides to the right path, and we came to know that Allah had not sent down a torment but had raised a Messenger to show the right way to the people. For further explanation, see ( verses 16-18 of Surah 15. Al-Hijr); (verse 10 of Surah 37. As- Saaffat ) and (verse 5 of Surah 67. Al-Mulk).

Yusuf Ali Explanation: To these jinns this gospel is yet new, and appears like a flaming sword which destroys falsehood while it protects Truth. They frankly confess that they do not clearly understand whether on the whole it will be a mercy to mankind or a punishment for mankind forsaking the paths of Allah. But they rightly feel that it must be a blessing if all seek right Guidance.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: Thus, as in verses {2} and {21} of this surah, "consciousness of what is right" (rashad or rushd) is equated with the opposite of evil fortune, i.e., with happiness.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: For evil, the word used in the verse is اُرِیۡدَ and for good the words used are اَمۡ اَرَادَ بِہِمۡ رَبُّہُمۡ رَشَدًا. These two styles not only show proper regard by the jinn to ascribe anything to the Almighty, but also that according to them it was more likely that the Almighty intended something very beneficial to mankind. Had this not been the case, they would have uttered the second sentence in the passive voice like the first one to keep its ascription uncertain.

وَّاَنَّا مِنَّا الصّٰلِحُوۡنَ وَمِنَّا دُوۡنَ ذٰلِكَ​ؕ كُنَّا طَرَآئِقَ قِدَدًا ۙ‏ 
11) and that “some of us are upright and some of us are otherwise for we follow widely divergent paths”;

That is, morally there are also good and bad jinn among us, and from the viewpoint of creed as well, all do not follow one and the same religion, but we are divided into different groups. With these words the believing jinn want to convince the other jinn of their community that they certainly stood in need of finding out the right way and could not dispense with this need.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: The Jinns testify that among Them there are Believers, Disbelievers, Misguided and Guided - Allah says that the Jinns said about themselves, (There are among us some that are righteous, and some the contrary;) meaning, other than that. (We are groups having different ways.) meaning, on numerous differing paths and having different thoughts and opinions. 

Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid and others have said: "كُنَّا طَرَآئِقَ قِدَداً " (We are groups having different ways.) "This means among us are believers and among us are disbelievers.'' Ahmad bin Sulayman An-Najjad reported in his (book of) Amali that he heard Al-A`mash saying, "A Jinn came to us, so I said to him, `What is the most beloved food to your kind' He replied, `Rice.' So we brought them some rice and I saw the morsels being lifted but I did not see a hand lifting it. So I asked him, `Do you have these desires (religious innovations) among your kind as we have among ours' He replied, `Yes.' Then I said, `Who are the Rafidah among you' He said, `They are the worst of us.''' I presented this chain of narration to our Shaykh, Al-Hafiz Abi Al-Hajjaj Al-Mizzi and he said its chain is authentic to Al-A`mash.

وَّاَنَّا ظَنَنَّاۤ اَنۡ لَّنۡ نُّعۡجِزَ اللّٰهَ فِى الۡاَرۡضِ وَلَنۡ نُّعۡجِزَهٗ هَرَبًا ۙ‏  

12) and that “we thought that we will neither be able to frustrate Allah on earth, nor frustrate Him by flight”;

That is, we were led by this very idea to the way of success. As we were not fearless of Allah and we believed that we would not be able to avoid His punishment if we disobeyed Him. So when we heard the divine revelation that had been sent to show the right way, we could not have the courage and boldness to persist in the beliefs that our foolish people had spread among us after we have known the truth.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: The Jinns confess to Allah's Perfect Power - Concerning Allah's statement: (And we think that we cannot escape Allah in the earth, nor can we escape Him by flight.) meaning, `we know that the power of Allah is decisive over us and that we cannot escape Him in the earth. Even if we try to flee, we know that He has complete control over us and that none of us can escape Him.'

Yusuf Ali Explanation: See last note. In any case, they know that Allah's Truth and Allah's Plan must prevail, and no one can frustrate Allah's purpose; or escape from it. Why not then bring their will into conformity with it, and find Peace, as they have found, by the acceptance of Faith?

وَّاَنَّا لَمَّا سَمِعۡنَا الۡهُدٰٓى اٰمَنَّا بِهٖ​ ؕ فَمَنۡ يُّؤۡمِنۡۢ بِرَبِّهٖ فَلَا يَخَافُ بَخۡسًا وَّلَا رَهَقًا ۙ‏ 

13) and that “when we heard the teaching of the Right Way we came to believe in it; he who believes in His Lord shall have no fear of suffering loss or being subjected to any injustice”;
Fear of deprivation: Fear of being given a lesser reward than what one actually deserves for one’s good deeds. Injustice: That one may be deprived of the reward for the good deeds done but duly punished for the errors committed or punished innocent; no believer has any fear of such an injustice from Allah.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: (And indeed when we heard the Guidance, we believed therein,) They were proud of this, and it is something for them to be proud of, as well as a great honor for them and a good characteristic. 

Concerning their statement, (and whosoever believes in his Lord shall have no fear, either of a decrease in the reward of his good deeds or an increase in the punishment for his sins.) Ibn `Abbas, Qatadah and others said, "This means, he should not fear that the reward for his good deeds will be decreased or that he will be burdened with anything other than his sins.'' 

This is as Allah says, (Then he will have no fear of injustice, nor of any curtailment.) (20:112)

Yusuf Ali Explanation: Possibly, from this world's standards, it may be that a believer suffers for his Faith. He may be laughed at, persecuted, and actually hurt, "in mind, body, or estate". But he is not perturbed. He takes it all cheerfully, because he knows that when his full account is made up-real gain against apparent loss,-he is a gainer rather than a loser. And his Faith tells him that Allah is a just God, and will never allow him to suffer any injustice, or permit the account of his merit to appear one whit shorter than it is.

وَّاَنَّا مِنَّا الۡمُسۡلِمُوۡنَ وَمِنَّا الۡقٰسِطُوۡنَ​ؕ فَمَنۡ اَسۡلَمَ فَاُولٰٓـئِكَ تَحَرَّوۡا رَشَدًا‏ 
14) and that “among us some are Muslims (Those who have submitted to Allah), and some of us are deviant. So those who became Muslims found the Right Course;

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: (And of us some are Muslims, and of us some are Al-Qasitun.) meaning, `among us there is the Muslim and the Qasit.' The Qasit is he who behaves unjustly with the truth and deviates from it. This is the opposite of the Muqsit, the one who is just.

(And whosoever has embraced Islam, then such have sought the right path.) meaning, they sought salvation for themselves. 

Yusuf Ali Explanation: Any one who responds to true Guidance, and submits his will to Allah, finds that he makes rapid progress in the path of right conduct and right life. He gets more and more assurance that his destination is the Garden of Bliss. 

وَاَمَّا الۡقٰسِطُوۡنَ فَكَانُوۡا لِجَهَنَّمَ حَطَبًا ۙ‏ 
15) but those who deviated from the Truth, will be the fuel for Hell.
Here, one may ask: When, according to the Quran, the jinn have been created from the fire, what harm can the fire of Hell do them? The answer is: Even according to the Quran, man has been created out of the earth; why does then man feel hurt when a clod of earth is thrown at him? The truth is that although the whole body of man has been made from the earthly substances, when a living man of flesh and blood is molded from them he becomes an entirely different thing from those substances; then other things made from the same substances become a means of causing harm to him. Likewise, although the jinn have also been created from the fire, when a living and sentient creation has been made from it, the same fire becomes a means of causing harm and hurt for it. (For further explanation, see (E.N. 15 of Surah Ar-Rahman).

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: meaning, fuel, for they will be used to kindle it (the Fire).

Yusuf Ali Explanation: An unjust life carries its own condemnation. It does no good to itself or to any one else. It bears no fruit. It becomes merely fuel for the Fire of Punishment.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: With this assertion ends, according to all classical commentators, the "confession of faith" of the beings described at the beginning of this passage as jinn. Whatever be the real meaning of this term in the present instance - whether it signifies "unseen beings" of a nature unknown to man or, alternatively, a group of humans from distant lands - matters little, for the context makes it abundantly clear that the "speech" of those beings is but a parable of the guidance which the Qur'an offers to a mind intent on attaining to "consciousness of what is right".

وَّاَنْ لَّوِ اسۡتَقَامُوۡا عَلَى الطَّرِيۡقَةِ لَاَسۡقَيۡنٰهُمۡ مَّآءً غَدَقًا ۙ‏ 
16) If people were to keep firmly to the Right Way, We would have vouchsafed them abundant rain.

 The conversation of the jinn having come to an end, with this begins the speech of Allah.

This is the same thing as has been said in ( Surah 71. Nooh, Ayats 10-11). Seek forgiveness of Allah. He will send abundant rains for you from heaven. (For explanation, see ( verse 12 of Surah Nooh). Abundance of water has been used for abundance of blessings metaphorically for human life, and habitations also depend on water. Without water there can be no human settlement, nor can man’s basic needs be fulfilled, nor his industries work and prosper.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: (If they had believed in Allah, and went on the way, We would surely have bestowed on them water in abundance. That We might try them thereby.) The commentators have differed over the explanation of this. There are two views concerning it. The First View That if the deviant ones would stand firmly upon the path of Islam, being just upon it and remaining upon it.

"لاّسْقَيْنَـهُم مَّآءً غَدَقاً" (We would surely have bestowed on them water in abundance.) meaning, a lot. The intent behind this is to say that they would be given an abundance of sustenance.

" لِنَفْتِنَهُمْ فِيهِ " (That We might try them thereby.) is that, `We will test them.' As Malik reported from Zayd bin Aslam, he said, "That We might try them - means, so that We may test them to see who will remain upon the guidance from those who will turn back to sin.''

Mentioning Those Who held this View: Al-`Awfi reported similar to this from Ibn `Abbas, and likewise said Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib, `Ata, As-Suddi, Muhammad bin Ka`b Al-Qurazi, Qatadah and Ad-Dahhak. Muqatil said, "This Ayah was revealed about the disbelievers of the Quraysh when they were deprived of rain for seven years.'' 

The Second View: " وَأَلَّوِ اسْتَقَـمُواْ عَلَى الطَّرِيقَةِ " (If they had believed in Allah, and went on the way,) meaning, of misguidance.

" لاّسْقَيْنَـهُم مَّآءً غَدَقاً " (We would surely have bestowed on them water in abundance.) meaning, `then We would have increased their sustenance to allow a gradual respite.' 

As Allah says, (So, when they forgot that with which they had been reminded, We opened for them the gates of everything, until in the midst of their enjoyment in that which they were given, all of a sudden, We took them, and lo! They were plunged into destruction with deep regrets and sorrows. ) (6:44) 

Allah also says, (Do they think that in wealth and children with which We expand them. We hasten unto them with good things. Nay, but they percieve not.) (23:55,56) This is the view of Abu Mijlaz and it agrees with the opinion of Ibn Humayd. 

For verily, he (Ibn Humayd) said concerning Allah's statement, " وَأَلَّوِ اسْتَقَـمُواْ عَلَى الطَّرِيقَةِ " (If they had believed in Allah, and went on the way,) "This means the path of misguidance.'' Ibn Jarir and Ibn Abi Hatim both recorded this. Al-Baghawi also mentioned it from Ar-Rabi` bin Anas, Zayd bin Aslam, Al-Kalbi and Ibn Kaysan. It seems that he (Al-Baghawi) took this position. And it is supported by Allah's saying, "That We might try them thereby.'' 

Yusuf Ali Explanation: Rain: literally, water: stands for all kinds of blessings, material, moral, and spiritual. All blessings come by way of trial: the more we have, the more is expected of us. A man of gifts, talents, or insight is expected to show a higher standard of love and unselfishness than one less gifted, just as a rich man is expected to give more in charity than a poor man.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: Lit., "water abundant": a metaphor of happiness, echoing the allegorical reference, so frequently occurring in the Qur'an, to the "running waters" of paradise (Abu Muslim, quoted by Razi).

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: From here the discourse addresses the Quraysh directly. The impressions of the jinn ended on the previous verse.

The actual words are. عَلَی الطَّرِیۡقَۃِ. It is evident from this style that the path of tawhid is well-known and does not need any explanation. 

Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: … It is a reality and hence human nature bears witness to it, human intellect alludes to it and the prophets and books of God have also called people towards this path. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 8, 624)

لِّنَفۡتِنَهُمۡ فِيۡهِ​ ؕ وَمَنۡ يُّعۡرِضۡ عَنۡ ذِكۡرِ رَبِّهٖ يَسۡلُكۡهُ عَذَابًا صَعَدًا ۙ‏ 

17) so that We might try them through this bounty. Whoso turns away from the remembrance of his Lord, He will cause him to suffer a grievous chastisement;

We might try them by that blessing: We might see whether they remain grateful after having received the blessing or not, and whether they put Our blessing to right use or not.

Turns away from the remembrance of his Lord, means that one may reject the advice and admonition sent down by Allah, or one may disdain giving ear to Allah’s remembrance, or one may turn away from His worship.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: Concerning Allah's statement, (And whosoever turns away from the Reminder of his Lord, He will cause him to enter in a Sa`ad torment.) meaning, a harsh, severe, agonizing and painful punishment. 

Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Qatadah and Ibn Zayd, all said, " عَذَاباً صَعَداً " (in a Sa`ad torment.) "This means harsh having no relaxation in it.'' It has also been reported from Ibn `Abbas that he said, "It is a mountain in Hell.'' It has been related from Sa`id bin Jubayr that he said, "It is a well in Hell.''

Yusuf Ali Explanation: To remember Allah is to realize His presence, acknowledge His Goodness, and accept His guidance. If we fail to do so, by deliberately turning away, He will withdraw His Grace, and that will be a severe Penalty indeed.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: I.e., God's bestowal of blessings is not just a "reward" of righteousness but, rather, a test of man's remaining conscious of, and therefore grateful to, Him.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: This is an opportune reminder: all favours and blessings are a means to test people. No one should be misled by them in any way about himself.

What does this mean? Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi, while explaining it, writes: … For this reason, I am inclined to think that the punishment of those whom the Almighty seizes because of the rejection of His prophet and Book is not transient; it is ever-increasing. They will have to face a much greater punishment in the Hereafter than the punishment they face in this world and then they will be made to pass through an ever-increasing torment. Never will it end or gradually lessen. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 8, 625)

وَّاَنَّ الۡمَسٰجِدَ لِلّٰهِ فَلَا تَدۡعُوۡا مَعَ اللّٰهِ اَحَدًا ۙ‏  

18) and that “masjid belong to Allah, so do not invoke anyone with Him”;
The commentators generally have taken mosques to mean the places of worship. Accordingly, the verse means: None should be associated in the worship of Allah in the places of worship. Hasan Basri says: The entire earth is a place of worship, and the verse means to say: Polytheism ought not to be committed anywhere on God’s earth, He has reasoned out this meaning from the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) Hadith: For me the entire earth has been made a place of worship and a means of obtaining purity. Saeed bin Jubair has interpreted masajid to imply the parts of the body on which one prostrates oneself, i.e. the hands, the knees, toes and forehead. According to this explanation, the verse means: These limbs have been made by Allah; no one should prostrate oneself on these before anyone other than Allah.

Yusuf Ali Explanation: This is a Makkan Surah, and Masjid must be understood, not in the later technical sense of a Mosque, but in the root meaning, of any place, or occasion of worship or humble prostration in the service of Allah, or any limbs or faculties or accessories used in such worship, e.g., hands and feet, lips and voice, understanding or organization. A number of meanings therefore follow. (1) No place of worship whatever should be used for the worship of any other but Allah the true God. The Ka'ba was then full of idols, but the idols and their votaries were usurpers. (2) Worship should not be mixed up with vain objects, but should be reserved for the sincere service of Allah. (3) All our gifts are for Allah's service, which includes the service of His creatures, and not for our vainglory.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: This subject of tawhid is part of the warning that is concealed in the previous verses. Though the word مَسٰجِد occurs in its general sense, yet since its addressees are the Quraysh, its foremost application is the House of God. It is used in the plural sense to include all other mosques as well.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: The Command to worship Allah Alone and shun Shirk - Allah commands His servants to single Him out alone for worship and that none should be supplicated to along with Him, nor should any partners be associated with Him. 

As Qatadah said concerning Allah's statement, (And the Masjids are for Allah, so invoke not anyone along with Allah.) "Whenever the Jews and Christians used to enter their churches and synagogues, they would associate partners with Allah. Thus, Allah commanded His Prophet to tell them that they should single Him out alone for worship.'' 

Ibn Jarir recorded from Sa`id bin Jubayr that he said concerning this verse, (And the Masjids are for Allah, so invoke not anyone along with Allah.) "The Jinns said to the Prophet of Allah , `How can we come to the Masjid while we are distant - meaning very far away - from you And how can we be present for the prayer while we are far away from you' So Allah revealed this Ayah, (And the Masjids are for Allah, so invoke not anyone along with Allah.)'' 

The Jinns crowding together to hear the Qur'an Allah said:

وَأَنَّهُۥ لَمَّا قَامَ عَبْدُ ٱللَّهِ يَدْعُوهُ كَادُوا۟ يَكُونُونَ عَلَيْهِ لِبَدًا
19) and when Allah's servant [that is the Prophet (peace be upon him)] stood up to call on Him, they well-nigh swarmed him.

Yusuf Ali Explanation: The Devotee of Allah: the holy Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.

(they well-nigh swarmed him) They. The immediate reference was to the Pagan Quraish who were then in possession of the Ka'ba and who put all sorts of obstacles and indignities in the way of the holy Prophet for preaching the One True God and denouncing idol-worship. They used to surround him and mob him and to treat him as if he was guilty of some dreadful crime. But the wider application refers to the habit of the world to make a marked man of any who diverges from the beaten paths of their favourite sins and who pleads earnestly for the cause of Truth and righteousness. They ridicule him; they surround him with jeers and obloquy; and they try to make the physical condition of his life as difficult for him as possible. 

Muhammad Asad Explanation: Lit., "would almost be upon him in crowds (libad, sing. libdah)" - i.e., with a view to "extinguishing God's [guiding] light" (Tabari, evidently alluding to 9:32 ). Most of the commentators assume that the above verse refers to the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and the hostility shown to him by his pagan contemporaries. While this may have been so in the first instance, it is obvious that the passage has a general import as well, alluding to the hostility shown by the majority of people, at all times and in all societies, to a minority or an individual who stands up for a self-evident - but unpopular - moral truth. (In order to be understood fully, the above verse should be read in conjunction with {19:73-74}. 

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: This refers to Muhammad (sws). Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: … The expression reflects affection as well as the reality that the most natural and logical attitude of a servant of God is to invoke God alone; however the conscience of some people has become so perverted that the highest and noblest of deeds has become alien and aversive to them. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 8, 626)

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: (And when the servant of Allah stood up invoking Him in prayer they just made round him a dense crowd as if sticking one over the other.) Al-`Awfi reported from Ibn `Abbas, "When they heard the Prophet reciting the Qur'an they almost mounted on top of him due to their zeal. When they heard him reciting the Qur'an they drew very near to him. He was unaware of them until the messenger (i.e., Jibril) came to him and made him recite,

(Say: "It has been revealed to me that a group of Jinn listened.'') (72:1) They were listening to the Qur'an.'' This is one opinion and it has been reported from Az-Zubayr bin Al-`Awwam. Ibn Jarir recorded from Ibn `Abbas that he said, "The Jinns said to their people, (when the servant of Allah stood up invoking Him in prayer they just made round him a dense crowd as if sticking one over the other.) )'' This is the second view and it has also been reported from Sa`id bin Jubayr. Al-Hasan said, "When the Messenger of Allah stood up and said none has the right to be worshipped except Allah, and he called the people to their Lord, the Arabs almost crowded over him together (against him).'' 

Qatadah said concerning Allah's statement, (when the servant of Allah stood up invoking Him in prayer they just made round him a dense crowd as if sticking one over the other.) "Humans and Jinns both crowded together over this matter in order to extinguish it. However, Allah insisted upon helping it, supporting it and making it victorious over those who opposed it.'' This is the third view and it has also been reported from Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr and Ibn Zayd. It was also the view preferred by Ibn Jarir. 

This view seems to be the most apparent meaning of the Ayah due to Allah's statement which follows it,

Verses 20-22 are especially important as Monotheism (tawhid) among the Jinn is reaffirmed and the inescapable wrath of God is emphasized.

قُلۡ اِنَّمَاۤ اَدۡعُوۡا رَبِّىۡ وَلَاۤ اُشۡرِكُ بِهٖۤ اَحَدًا‏ 
20) Say, (O Prophet): “I call on my Lord alone, and I do not associate aught with Him in His Divinity.”

That is, to call upon Allah is no objectionable thing, which may so provoke the people. The evil thing, however, is that one should associate another with Allah in His divinity, and this I never do; this is done by those who mob and surround me when they hear God mentioned by me.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: (Say: "I invoke only my Lord, and I associate none as partners along with Him.'') meaning, when they harmed him, opposed him, denied him and stood against him in order to thwart the truth he came with, and to unite against him, the Messenger said to them: (I invoke only my Lord,) meaning, `I only worship my Lord alone, and He has no partners. I seek His help and I put my trust in Him.' (and I associate none as partners along with Him.)

قُلۡ اِنِّىۡ لَاۤ اَمۡلِكُ لَـكُمۡ ضَرًّا وَّلَا رَشَدًا‏ 

21) Say: “Surely neither it is in my power to hurt you nor to bring you to the Right Way.” 

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: meaning, `say: I am only a man like you all and I have received revelation. I am only a servant among the servants of Allah. I have no control over the affairs of your guidance or your misguidance. Rather all of these things are referred to Allah.' Then he (the Prophet) says about himself that no one can save him from Allah either. This means, `if I disobey Allah, then no one would be able to rescue me from His punishment.' 

Yusuf Ali Explanation: 'Do not suppose that I am going to harm you individually or socially; the very opposite is my wish; but I cannot force you to right conduct; that must depend upon the purification of your own faith and will'. 

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: The implication is that the Prophet (sws) does not have the authority to give benefit or harm anyone or to guide or mislead anyone; he also cannot associate anyone with God in deference to their wishes or by being over-awed by these people. His sole duty is to communicate God’s message to them in exactly the way he has received it.

قُلۡ اِنِّىۡ لَنۡ يُّجِيۡرَنِىۡ مِنَ اللّٰهِ اَحَدٌ  ۙ وَّلَنۡ اَجِدَ مِنۡ دُوۡنِهٖ مُلۡتَحَدًا ۙ‏  

22) Say: “None can protect me from Allah, nor can I find a refuge apart from Him.

Yusuf Ali Explanation: 'My mission is from Allah. I cannot choose but obey. He has charged me to deliver the Message, and if I were to disobey him, I would myself be worthy of His punishment, and no one can save me. From every kind of trouble and difficulty my only refuge is in Him. I must proclaim His Message: otherwise I am false to the mission He has entrusted to me.' 

اِلَّا بَلٰغًا مِّنَ اللّٰهِ وَرِسٰلٰتِهٖ​ ؕ وَمَنۡ يَّعۡصِ اللّٰهَ وَرَسُوۡلَهٗ فَاِنَّ لَهٗ نَارَ جَهَنَّمَ خٰلِدِيۡنَ فِيۡهَاۤ اَبَدًا ؕ‏ 

23) (My task is no more than) to deliver Allah's proclamation and His messages. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, surely the Fire of Hell awaits him; therein he will abide in perpetuity.”

That is, I do not claim to have any share or role in the Godhead of Allah, nor that I possess any power in making or marring the people’s destinies. I am only a Messenger and the mission that has been entrusted to me is no more than that I should convey the messages of Allah to you. As for the powers of Godhead, they wholly belong to Allah. Not to speak of benefiting or harming others, I do not have the power to cause good or harm even to myself. If I disobey Allah, I cannot seek and have refuge anywhere from His punishment, and I have no helper and protector beside Allah. (For further explanation, see (verse 10 of Surah 26. Ash-Shura).

This does not mean that every sin and act of disobedience will cause one to live in Hell forever, but in view of the context in which this thing bas been said, the verse means: the one who does not accept the invitation to Tauhid given by Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him) and does not refrain from polytheism will suffer in Hell forever. 

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: It is only obligatory upon the Messenger to convey the Message - Concerning Allah's statement, ((Mine is) but conveyance from Allah and His Messages,) 

This is an exception related to the previous statement, " لَن يُجِيرَنِى مِنَ اللَّهِ أَحَدٌ " (None can protect me from Allah's punishment,) meaning, `nothing can save me from Him and rescue me except my conveyance of the Message that He has obligated me to carry out.' 

This is as Allah says, (O Messenger! Proclaim which has been sent down to you from your Lord. And if you do not, then you have not conveyed His Message. Allah will protect you from mankind.) (5:67) 

Muhammad Asad Explanation: This obviously relates to "those who are bent on denying the truth" - i.e., consciously - and thus destroy their own spiritual identity. The people alluded to in this particular instance are those who "would gladly overwhelm God's servant with their crowds" (verse {l9}).

In verses 24-25 the disbelievers have been warned to the effect: "Today you are trying to overpower and suppress the Messenger seeing that he is helpless and friendless, but a time will come when you will know who in actual fact is helpless and friendless. Whether that time is yet far off, or near at hand, the Messenger has no knowledge thereof, but it will come to pass in any case." 

حَتّٰٓى اِذَا رَاَوۡا مَا يُوۡعَدُوۡنَ فَسَيَعۡلَمُوۡنَ مَنۡ اَضۡعَفُ نَاصِرًا وَّاَقَلُّ عَدَدًا‏ 
24) (They shall not change their ways) until they see that against which they had been warned, and then they will know whose helpers are weaker and whose supporters are fewer in number.

The background of this verse is that those of the Quraish who used to mob and surround the Prophet (peace be upon him) as soon as they heard his invitation calling to Allah were under the delusion that they had a strong band at their back and that the Prophet (peace be upon him) had only a handful of men with him, and therefore, they would easily overwhelm him. At this it is being said: Today these people find the Messenger (peace be upon him) helpless and friendless and they themselves supported and strengthened by great hosts and, therefore, feel encouraged and emboldened to suppress the invitation to the truth. But when the evil time with which they are being threatened comes, they will know who in fact is helpless and friendless.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: That is until these idolaters from the Jinns and humans see what has been promised to them on the Day of Judgement. Then on that day, they will know who's helpers are weaker and fewer in number -- them or the believers who worship Allah alone. This means that the idolaters have no helper at all and they are fewer in number than the soldiers of Allah.

Yusuf Ali Explanation: When the Hereafter arrives, and true values are restored, they will see clearly that the Promise of Allah was true, and that death on this earth was not the end of all things. Then they will see that those who were accounted weak on this earth will, in the realm of Reality, be the strong ones; those who seemed to have no following here will have, there, all the great and true ones with them, to help them and welcome them to their own ranks.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: I.e., on the Day of Judgment. Cf. the second paragraph of 19:75 , which is similarly phrased.

Lit., "is weaker as to helpers and less in numbers" - i.e., less significant despite its greater numbers.

قُلۡ اِنۡ اَدۡرِىۡۤ اَقَرِيۡبٌ مَّا تُوۡعَدُوۡنَ اَمۡ يَجۡعَلُ لَهٗ رَبِّىۡۤ اَمَدًا‏   

25) Say: “I know not whether what you are promised is near or whether my Lord will prolong its term.

The style itself shows that this is an answer which has been given without citing the question. Probably, hearing what has been said above, the opponents might have asked mockingly and tauntingly: When will the time come with which you are threatening us. In response, the Prophet (peace be upon him) was commanded to say: The time will certainly come, but I have not been told the date of its coming. Allah alone knows whether it will come soon or whether a distant term has been set for it. 

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: The Messenger of Allah does not know when the Hour will be - Allah commands His Messenger to say to the people that he has no knowledge of when the Hour will be and he does not know whether its time is near or far.

(Say: "I know not whether which you are promised is near or whether my Lord will appoint for it a distant term.'') meaning, a long period of time. In this noble Ayah is an evidence that the Hadith that many of the ignorant people often circulate, which says that the Prophet will not remain under the earth more than one thousand years (i.e., the Hour will be before that period) is a baseless lie. We have not seen it in any of the Books (of Hadith). Verily, the Messenger of Allah was asked about the time of the Hour and he would not respond. When Jibril appeared to him in the form of a bedouin Arab, one of the questions he asked the Prophet was, "O Muhammad! Tell me about the Hour'' 

So the Prophet replied, (The one questioned about it knows no more than the questioner.) On another occasion when a bedouin Arab called out to the Prophet in a loud voice saying, "O Muhammad! When will be the Hour'' 

The Prophet said, (Woe unto you. Verily, it will occur so what have you prepared for it) The man replied, "I have not prepared much for it of prayers and fasting, but I love Allah and His Messenger.'' 

The Prophet then replied, (Then you will be with whomever you love.) Anas said, "The Muslims were not happier with anything like they were upon (hearing) this Hadith.''

Yusuf Ali Explanation: The coming of Judgment is certain. But the exact time, relatively to our standards on this earth, no one can tell. Allah alone knows it. Even a Prophet of Allah, as such, does not know the Mysteries of the Unseen World, except in so far as they have been revealed to him by Allah's Revelation. Cf. vi. 50.

Verses 26-28 establish that Qiyamah is known only to God, and that God takes into account all the deeds of a man when judging him. 

عٰلِمُ الۡغَيۡبِ فَلَا يُظۡهِرُ عَلٰى غَيۡبِهٖۤ اَحَدًا ۙ‏ 
26) He is the Knower of the Unseen, and He does not disclose His Unseen to anyone
That is, the knowledge of the unseen entirely rests with Allah: He does not give the whole of this knowledge to anyone.

Yusuf Ali Explanation: The Unseen has two aspects. The relative Unseen is so with reference to a particular person, because of the intervention of Time, Space, or particular circumstances. For example, I cannot see today a house which I saw last year, because it has since been pulled down. Or I cannot in Lahore see the "Gateway of India" in Bombay, although any one in Bombay can see it. Or I cannot see the satellites of Jupiter with the naked eye, though I can through a telescope. But the Absolute Unseen, the Absolute Mystery, is something which no creature can know or see, except in so far as Allah reveals it to him. And Allah reveals such things to the extent that is good for men, through His chosen messengers, among whom the greatest is Muhammad. The exact time of the Hour of Judgment has not been so shown, because we must not wait for it, but live as if it is to be at this minute. See last note and next note, and the references there.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: The possessive pronoun "His" in the phrase 'ala ghaybihi evidently indicates God's exclusive knowledge of "that which is beyond the perception of any created being" (al-ghayb): hence the above, somewhat free, rendering of this truly untranslatable phrase.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: (The All-Knower of the Unseen, and He reveals to none His Unseen. Except to a Messenger) This is similar to Allah's statement, (And they will never compass any thing of His knowledge except that which He wills.) (2:255) Similarly, Allah says here that He knows the unseen and the seen and that no one of His creation can attain any of His knowledge except that which Allah allows him to have. 

Thus, Allah says, (The All-Knower of the Unseen, and He reveals to none His Unseen. Except to a Messenger whom He has chosen,) This includes the angelic Messenger and the human Messenger. 

Then Allah says,

اِلَّا مَنِ ارۡتَضٰى مِنۡ رَّسُوۡلٍ فَاِنَّهٗ يَسۡلُكُ مِنۡۢ بَيۡنِ يَدَيۡهِ وَمِنۡ خَلۡفِهٖ رَصَدًا ۙ‏ 
27) other than to a Messenger whom He chooses (for the bestowal of any part of the knowledge of the Unseen), where-after He appoints guards who go before him and behind him,
That is, the Messenger (peace be upon him) by himself is no knower of the unseen, but when Allah chooses him to perform the mission of Prophethood, He grants him the knowledge of those of the unseen truths which He is pleased to grant.

Guards: Angels, that is, when Allah sends down the knowledge of the unseen realities to the Messenger (peace be upon him) by revelation, He appoints angels on every side to safeguard it so that the knowledge reaches the Messenger in a safe condition, free from any kind of adulteration. This is the same thing which has been expressed in verses 8-9 above, saying: After the appointment of the Messenger (peace be upon him) the jinn found that all the doors to the heavens had been closed, and they noticed that strict security measures had been adopted because of which no room had been left for them to eavesdrop.

Yusuf Ali Explanation: Cf. iii. 179. See also last note.
Revelation is not a mechanical or material thing. It has to be safeguarded from being distorted or corrupted by ignorance, selfishness, or the powers of evil. How can its precious and subtle worth and the spiritual safeguards against its misuse by human folly or the perversity of evil be expressed in plain human words? We can imagine a very great treasure, which has to be transmitted. To guard it against evilly-disposed persons, a strong escort is required, to march in front and behind, so as to protect it from all sides. When it reaches its destination, the escort presents its credentials and an Invoice showing the Treasure being transmitted. Then the destined receiver knows that it has come intact and feels satisfied. So about spiritual Revelation. The Prophet recognizes the credentials and checks the contents on the tablets of his own heart and insight. He has then no doubt that it is a true Message from Allah, and that those who bring it are the true messengers "of their Lord". A) They: the band of watchers. In "he may know" it is better to construe "he" to refer to the prophet who receives the Message from the "watchers".

Muhammad Asad Explanation: [other than to a Messenger whom He chooses (for the bestowal of any part of the knowledge of the Unseen)] Cf. 3:179 - "And it is not God's will to give you insight into that which is beyond the reach of human perception: but [to that end] God elects whomsoever He wills from among His apostles".

For an explanation of this rendering of the phrase min bayni yadayhi wa-min khalfihi (lit., "from between his hands and from behind him"), see 2:255 . In the present context the phrase implies that the very fact of his being graced by divine revelation protects every apostle, spiritually, in all concerns of his life, irrespective of whether these concerns are obvious to him or are beyond his ken.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: (and then He makes a band of watching guards to march before him and behind him.) meaning, He particularly gives him additional guardian angels who protect him by the command of Allah and they accompany him with that which is with him of Allah's revelation. 

Thus, Allah says,

لِّيَـعۡلَمَ اَنۡ قَدۡ اَبۡلَغُوۡا رِسٰلٰتِ رَبِّهِمۡ وَاَحَاطَ بِمَا لَدَيۡهِمۡ وَاَحۡصٰى كُلَّ شَىۡءٍ عَدَدًا
28) so that He may know that they have delivered the messages of their Lord. He encompasses in His knowledge their surroundings and keeps a count of all things.”
(so that He may know that they have delivered the messages of their Lord) This can have three meanings: (1) That the Messenger (peace be upon him) may know that the angels have delivered the messages of Allah to him precisely and accurately. (2) That Allah may know that the angels have conveyed the messages of their Lord to His Messenger (peace be upon him) precisely and accurately. (3) That Allah may know that the Messenger (peace be upon him) has conveyed the messages of his Lord to His servants precisely and accurately. The words of the verse are comprehensive and may possibly imply all the three meanings. Besides, the verse also points out two other things. First, that the Messenger (peace be upon him) is given that knowledge of the unseen which is necessary for him to perform his mission of Prophethood. Second, that the angels keep watch that the revelation reaches the Messenger (peace be upon him) safely and also that the Messenger (peace be upon him) conveys the messages of his Lord to His servants precisely and accurately.

That is, Allah’s power so encompasses the Messenger (peace be upon him) as well as the angels that if they swerve even a little from His will, they can be detected immediately. Moreover, a complete record has been kept of each letter of the messages sent down by Allah. The Messengers (peace be upon him) and the angels cannot dare add or subtract even a letter from them.

In conclusion, the people have been told: The Knower of the unseen is Allah alone. The Messenger receives only that knowledge which Allah is pleased to give him. This knowledge pertains to matters connected with the performance of the duties of Prophethood and it is delivered to him in such security which does not admit of any external interference whatever. 

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: The pronoun `he' which is in His statement, " لِيَعْلَمَ "(Till he knows) refers to the Prophet . 

Ibn Jarir recorded from Sa`id bin Jubayr that he said concerning the Ayah, (The All-Knower of the Unseen, and He reveals to none His Unseen. Except to a Messenger whom He has chosen, and then He makes a band of watching guards to march before him and behind him.) "These are four guardians among the angels along with Jibril,

" لِيَعْلَمَ " (Till he knows) This means Muhammad ,

(that they have conveyed the Messages of their Lord. And He surrounds all that which is with them, and He keeps count of all things.)'' This was recorded by Ibn Abi Hatim. 

It has also been reported by Ad-Dahhak, As-Suddi and Yazid bin Abi Habib. `Abdur-Razzaq reported from Ma`mar, from Qatadah, " لِّيَعْلَمَ أَن قَدْ أَبْلَغُواْ رِسَـلَـتِ رَبِّهِمْ " (Till he knows that they have conveyed the Messages of their Lord.) "So that the Prophet of Allah would know that the Messengers had conveyed their Messages from Allah and that the angels have protected them and defended them.'' This has also been reported by Sa`id bin Abi `Arubah from Qatadah, and Ibn Jarir preferred this interpretation. Al-Baghawi said, "Ya`qub recited it as, (لِيُعْلَمَ) (in order to be known) this means, so that the people may know that the Messengers had conveyed the Message.'' It also could carry the meaning that the pronoun refers to Allah (i.e., So that He (Allah) may know). This opinion has been mentioned by Ibn Al-Jawzi in Zad Al-Masir. The meaning of this is that He protects His Messengers through His angels so that they will be able to convey His Messages. He protects what He reveals to them of revelation so that He will know that they have indeed conveyed the Messages of their Lord. 

This is like His statement, (And We made the Qiblah which you used to face, only that We know who followed the Messenger from those who would turn on their heels.) (2:143) 

Allah also said, (Verily, Allah knows those who believe, and that He knows the hypocrites.) (29:11) It should be added to these examples that from Allah's knowledge is that He knows all things before they occur, and this is something definite and certain. 

Therefore, He says after this, (And He surrounds all that which is with them, and He keeps count of all things.) This is the end of the Tafsir of Surat Al-Jinn, and all praises and thanks are due to Allah.

Yusuf Ali Explanation: Ahata: surrounds, encompasses, encloses, guards on all sides, keeps under his own possession and control, and does not allow to be corrupted or debased. See last note but one.

In the spiritual Kingdom,-as indeed, in all things,-Allah's knowledge, wisdom, and Plan comprehend all things, great and small. There is nothing which we do, nothing which happens that is outside His account.

You may now like to listen to eminent scholar Nouman Ali Khan about lesson this surah embodies in itself for us:

Please refer to our Reference Page "114 Chapters (Sūrahs) of the Holy Qur'an" for translation, explanation and exegesis of all other chapters of the Qur'an. You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Quran.
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 and explanation 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 (links to Reference Pages given below):  
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
In addition the references of  other sources which have been explored have also been given below. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites:

Photo | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 67 | 8 | 9 | 10 |

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