Saturday 15 January 2022

Surah Ṣād - The Letter Saadh: Exegesis/Tafsir 38th Chapter of Qur'an - Part II

Sūrah Ṣād is the thirty eighty sürah with 88 āyāt with five rukus, with one Sajdah, part of the 23rd Juzʼ  of the Qur'ān. The Surah takes its name from the alphabetic letter Saadh with which it begins. Saadh - also pronounced Suad (ص) is the name of the eighteenth letter in the Arabic alphabet. The Surah is one of those surahs the begin with "Huroof e Muqattt'at - The Disjoined Letters.'

The sürah has been divided into Five Ruku as under:
  • Ruku One:  Verses 1- 14: AL-Quran is full of admonition Unbelievers are in sheer arrogance for calling the Prophet as liars
  • Ruku Two: Verses 15-26: Story of Prophet Dawood (David) - mountains and birds used to sing the rhymes of Allah and Story of the two litigants who came to Dawood for a decision.
  • Ruku Three: Verses 27-40: Verses 27-29 mention that Allah has not created the heavens and the earth in vain, while verses 30-40 narrate the Story of Sulaiman's (Prophet Solomon) inspection of steeds to be used in Jihad.
  • Ruku Four: Verses 41-64: Verses 41-48 are about the Story of Ayub (Job), his sickness and relief, followed by verses 49-64 which mention that AL-Quran is but a reminder about the reward of Paradise and punishment of the hellfire 
  • Ruku Five: Verses 65-88: Verses 65-70 talk of The mission of the Rasools' is to warn people and declare that there is no divinity except Allah. This is followed by verses 71-88 that mention the Story of the creation of Adam and disobedience of Iblees (Shaitan)
Owing to the length of the Surah, the exegesis / tafsir has been divided into two parts as under:
  • Part I (This Part): Ruku 1-3 verses 1-40
  • Part II: Ruku 3-4, verses 41-88
We have already presented the overview / summary and commentary of the sürah by renowned Muslim scholar Nouman Ali Khan and Part I covering Ruku 1-3/ , Let us now read the verse by verse translation and exegesis / tafseer of verses 41-88 ruku 4-5, in English. You may also listen to recitation of the sürah in Arabic with English subtitles at the end.

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ 
"In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful"

Ruku Four: Verses 41-64:

وَاذۡكُرۡ عَبۡدَنَاۤ اَيُّوۡبَۘ اِذۡ نَادٰى رَبَّهٗۤ اَنِّىۡ مَسَّنِىَ الشَّيۡطٰنُ بِنُصۡبٍ وَّعَذَابٍؕ‏ 
( 41 )   And remember Our servant Job, when he called to his Lord, "Indeed, Satan has touched me with hardship and torment."
This is the fourth place in the Qur'an where the Prophet Ayūb (Job, peace be upon him) has been mentioned. Before this he has been mentioned in An-Nisa. 163, Al-An'am: 84 and AI-Anbiya': 83-84 above. For the details about him, please see notes to verses 83-84 of Surah 21. Al-Anbiya'  

This does not mean that Satan has afflicted me with illness and brought distress upon me, but it means: "The affliction of the severities of illness, the loss of property and wealth, and the desertion of the near and dear ones, is not so great a torment and trouble for me as the temptation of Satan, who is exploiting my condition to despair me of my Lord and wants that I should turn ungrateful to Him and become desperate and impatient." This meaning of the lamentation of the Prophet Job is preferable for two reasons: (1) According to the Qur'an, Allah has granted Satan only the power of temptation: He has not given him the power to afflict with illness the worshipers of Allah and compel them to deviate from the way of service and obedience by causing them physical ailments. (2) In Surah Al Anbiya' when the Prophet Job puts before Allah his complaint about illness and disease, he does not mention Satan at all, but says only: "I have been afflicted with the disease and You are most Merciful." 

Muhammad Asad Explanation: I.e., with life-weariness in consequence of suffering. As soon as he realizes that God has been testing him, Job perceives that his utter despondency and weariness of life - eloquently described in the Old Testament (The Book of Job iii) - was but due to what is described as "Satan's whisperings": this is the moral to be drawn from the above evocation of Job's story.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: The distress was of many kinds. See note to xxi. 83. He suffered from loathsome sores; he lost his home, his possessions, and his family; and almost his balance of mind. But he did not lose Faith but turned to Allah (see verse 44 below), and the recuperative process began.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: Like David (sws) and Solomon (sws), he too was an Israelite prophet whose period of prophethood was sometime in the 9th century BC.

There is a background to his pleading. Imām Amīn Aḥsan Iṣlāḥī has explained it. He writes:
... It is evident from the Book of Job in the Bible that Job (sws) possessed great wealth and majesty. In spite of this, he was very sympathetic to the poor and very austere in worshipping the Almighty. Satan and his agents were very jealous of this state of his and they started a propaganda campaign against him. They asked what great achievement had been reaped by Job (sws) if he worshipped the Almighty day and night because a person who had so much wealth and so many means could easily afford this involvement. What else could he do? They continued this vicious campaign saying that only if he was deprived of those things by God and he still continued with such devotion in worship would they really acknowledge him as a great human being. At last, God deprived Job (sws) of all those things. He neither had any wealth left, nor any sons and grandsons nor other assets that had brought him such grandeur. However, in spite of this great affliction, he did not despair; on the contrary, he fell down in prostration before his Lord and said: “I was born naked from the womb of my mother and naked will I go to my Lord.” It is mentioned in the Book of Job (sws) that after this God said to Satan that the latter had seen how Job (sws) still remained God’s obedient servant in spite of being deprived of everything. Satan replied that this was because the deprivation related to wealth and children and he was patient in their loss; however, he would only be convinced if Job (sws) was inflicted with great bodily harm and he still showed such devotion in worship. So after this, Job’s body was afflicted with such harms that one shudders if one reads their details in the Bible. Yet in spite of this, he turned towards God in even greater devotion and he defeated Satan even in this trial. After this defeat of Satan, the Almighty blessed Job (sws) which much more than was taken away from him. (Amīn Aḥsan Iṣlāḥī, Tadabbur-i Qur’ān, vol. 6, 539)
Job (sws) has attributed his sorrow and suffering to Satan. This is with respect to the cause. Imām Amīn Aḥsan Iṣlāḥī writes:
… All the trials a person goes through are at the bidding of God; however, one of their causes is Satan as well. Hence, as far as intention and will are concerned, trials are ascribed to God; but with regard to their reason they are ascribed to Satan. (Amīn Aḥsan Iṣlāḥī, Tadabbur-i Qur’ān, vol. 6, 539)
اُرۡكُضۡ بِرِجۡلِكَ​ ۚ هٰذَا مُغۡتَسَلٌ ۢ بَارِدٌ وَّشَرَابٌ‏ 
( 42 )   [So he was told], "Strike [the ground] with your foot; this is a [spring for] a cool bath and drink."
That is, "As soon as he stamped his foot on the ground, a spring gushed forth by Allah's Command, drinking from which and washing with which was the remedy of the Prophet Job's disease." Most probably he was suffering from some skin disease. According to the Bible also: "Satan smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown. " (Job, 2: 7). 

Muhammad Asad Explanation: According to the classical commentators, the miraculous appearance of a healing spring heralded the end of Job's suffering, both physical and mental.

Yusuf Ali explanation: The recuperative process having begun, he was commanded to strike the earth or a rock with his foot, and a fountain or fountains gushed forth,-to give him a bath and clean his body; to refresh his spirits; and to give him drink and rest. This is a fresh touch, not mentioned in S. xxi. or in the Book of Job, but adding beautifully to our realisation of the picture.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: Ie., God directed thus when he had defeated Satan.

This is nothing far-fetched. If the upper surface of the land on the shores of seas is dug by the hand or feet, such streams do gush out.

وَوَهَبۡنَا لَهٗۤ اَهۡلَهٗ وَمِثۡلَهُمۡ مَّعَهُمۡ رَحۡمَةً مِّنَّا وَذِكۡرٰى لِاُولِى الۡاَلۡبَابِ‏ 
( 43 )   And We granted him his family and a like [number] with them as mercy from Us and a reminder for those of understanding.
Traditions show that during this illness everyone except his wife had deserted the Prophet Job; even his children had turned away. To this Allah has alluded, saying: "When We granted him health, the whole family returned to him, and then We granted him even more children." 

That is, in it there is a lesson for an intelligent man: "Neither should man forget God and become arrogant in good times nor despair of Him in bad times: Good fortune and misfortune are entirely in the Power of Allah, the One. If He wills He can change the best times of man into the worst times and the worst into the best. Therefore, a wise person should trust in Him alone in all sorts of circumstances and should pin all his hopes on Him." 

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: Details of this are found in the Book of Job. It is written:
. The Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before. All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house … The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys. And he also had seven sons and three daughters … After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. (42:10-16)
In order to prove the faithfulness of His servants, the Almighty at times makes them pass through very severe trials. However, these trials do not exceed a certain limit and what secures a person from them is turning to God.

وَخُذۡ بِيَدِكَ ضِغۡثًا فَاضۡرِبْ بِّهٖ وَلَا تَحۡنَثۡ​ؕ اِنَّا وَجَدۡنٰهُ صَابِرًا​ ؕ نِعۡمَ الۡعَبۡدُ​ ؕ اِنَّـهٗۤ اَوَّابٌ‏ 
( 44 )   [We said], "And take in your hand a bunch [of grass] and strike with it and do not break your oath." Indeed, We found him patient, an excellent servant. Indeed, he was one repeatedly turning back [to Allah].
A careful study of these words shows that the Prophet Job during illness had been annoyed with somebody (according to traditions, his wife) and sworn to beat him or her by giving so many stripes. When Allah restored him to health and the anger of the illness was gone, he became worried as how to fulfill the oath. For if he carried out the oath, he would be inflicting pain on an innocent person, and if he did not, he would be committing the sin of breaking the oath. Allah took him out of the difficult situation by the Command: "Take a broom containing as many sticks of straw as the number of the stripes you had sworn to give; then strike the person just once with the broom so as both to fulfill your oath and to avoid giving undue trouble to the person concerned."
Some jurists hold the view that this concession was specially meant for the Prophet Job, and some others think that other people also can take advantage of it. The first view has been cited by Ibn 'Asakir from Hadrat 'Abdullah bin 'Abbas and by Abu Bakr al-Jassas from Mujahid, and Imam Malik also held the same view. The second view has been adopted by Imam Abu Hanifah, Imam Abu Yusuf, Imam Muhammad, Imam Zufar and Imam Shafe' i. They say that if a person, for instance, has sworn to give his servant ten stripes, and afterwards combines ten whips and strikes him only once in a way that some part of each whip strikes him, his oath will be fulfilled.
Several Ahadith show that the Holy Prophet, in order to inflict the prescribed punishment on a fornicator who was too ill or too weak to receive a hundred stripes, also adopted the method taught in this verse. 'Allama Abu Bakr al-Jassas has related a tradition on the authority of Hadrat Said bin Sa'd bin 'Ubadah to the effect that a person from the tribe of Bani Sa`idah happened to commit fornication, and he was a sick man and a mere skeleton. Thereupon the Holy Prophet commanded: "Take a branch of the palm tree with a hundred twigs on it and strike him therewith once and for all. " (Ahkam al Qur 'an). In Musnad Ahmad, Abu Da'ud, Nasa'i, Ibn Majah, Tabarani, 'Abdur Razzaq and other collections of Hadith also there are several Ahadith supporting it, which conclusively proves that the Holy Prophet had devised this very method for inflicting the prescribed punishment on a sick or weak person. However, the jurists lay the condition that some part of every twig or piece of straw must strike the culprit, and even if only one stroke, it must also hurt the culprit; that is, it is not enough just to touch him but he must be struck with it.
Here the question also arises that if a person has sworn to do something and afterwards he comes to know that it is improper, then what should he do? Then is a tradition from the Holy Prophet to the effect that in such a case one should do only that which is better, and the same is the atonement for the oath. Another tradition from him says that one should do something good instead of the improper thing and should atone for his oath. This verse supports this second tradition, for if keeping oneself from an improper thing had been the atonement for the oath, Allah would not have told the Prophet Job to strike the broom once and fulfill his oath, but would have said: "Do not do this improper thing, and your restraint itself is the atonement for your oath."

This verse also shows that it is not necessary to carry out immediately what one has sworn to do. The Prophet Job had sworn an oath in the state of illness, and fulfilled it after complete recovery, and not immediately even after the recovery.

Some people have regarded this verse as an argument for practicing pretense under the Shari'ah. No doubt it was a pretense which the Prophet Job had been taught but it had been taught not for evading anything obligatory but for avoiding an evil. Therefore, in the Shari 'ah those pretenses only are lawful, which are adopted to remove injustice and . sin and evil from one's own self or from another person, otherwise practice of pretense is highly sinful if it is employed for the purpose of making the unlawful lawful, or evading the obligatory duties and righteous acts. For a person who practices pretense for such impious objects, in fact, tries to deceive God. For example, a person who transfers his wealth to another before the completion of a year on it, only for the purpose of evading payment of the Zakat on it, not only evades an obligatory duty, but also thinks that Allah will get deceived by this trickery and will consider him as relieved of his duty. The jurists who have mentioned such pretenses in their books, do not mean that one should practice them in order to evade the Shari ah obligations, but they mean to point out that a judge or ruler cannot take to task a person who escapes the consequences of a sin under a legal cover for his affair is with Allah. 

The Prophet Job has been mentioned in this context to impress the reader that when the righteous servants of Allah are afflicted with hardships and calamities, they do not complain of their distress to Allah but endure the tests and trials set by Him patiently and invoke only Him for help. They do not despair of God and do not turn to others for help if their distress is not removed after making invocations to God for some time, but they believe that whatever they will get, they will get only from Allah. Therefore, they remain hopeful of His mercy, no matter how long they might have to suffer the distress. That is why they arc honored and blessed with the favors and bounties with which the Prophet Job was honored and blessed in his life. So much so that if they get involved in a moral dilemma due to a state of agitation, Allah shows them a way out of it- in order to save them from evil, as He showed a way to the Prophet Job. 

Muhammad Asad Explanation: In the words of the Bible (The Book of Job ii, 9), at the time of his seemingly hopeless suffering Job's wife reproached her husband for persevering in his faith: "Doss thou still retain thine integrity? Curse God, and die." According to the classical Qur'an-commentators, Job swore that, if God would restore him to health, he would punish her blasphemy with a hundred stripes. But when he did recover, he bitterly regretted his hasty oath, for he realized that his wife's "blasphemy" had been an outcome of her love and pity for him; and thereupon he was told in a revelation that he could fulfil his vow in a symbolic manner by striking her once with "a bunch of grass containing a hundred blades or more". (Cf. 5:89 - 'God will not take you to task for oaths which you may have uttered without thought.")

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: In his worst distress Job was patient and constant in faith, but apparently his wife was not. According to the Book of Job (ii. 9-10), "Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? Curse God, and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips." He must have said in his haste to the woman that he would beat her: he is asked now to correct her with only a wisp of grass, to show that he was gentle and humble as well as patient and constant.

Cf. xxxviii. 30 above, where similar words are spoken of Solomon. Patience and constancy are also a form of service, if our attitude is due to an active faith in Allah, and not mere passivity. So Milton in his Sonnet: "They also serve who only stand and wait. "

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: If an oath is instrumental in infringing on the rights of God, a person’s own self or of others, it is essential to break it. However, since it is actually making God as a witness on a promise and since promises have a great significance in religion, he was directed to fulfil it in this symbolic manner. This will not inflict him with any unwarranted harm and the oath will also stand fulfilled. An atonement for breaking an oath has been prescribed in religion. However, at that time, Job (sws) was neither financially in a position to atone for his oath nor physically able to do so. Thus this was the only option left through which he could assure his heart. This was a favour of God to save a person from undue harm. One should not be audacious to go as far as to make it a pretext to lift the prohibition of something or to give relief to something mandatory or to fabricate excuses to not do a virtuous deed.

The reason probably for this was that in the times of trial, he uttered something which was against steadfastness and turning towards God. At this, he swore an oath that he will punish himself by whipping himself with a certain number of lashes

This attribute has also been highlighted in the account of Solomon (sws). This directs our attention to the purpose for which these accounts have been narrated.

وَاذۡكُرۡ عِبٰدَنَاۤ اِبۡرٰهِيۡمَ وَاِسۡحٰقَ وَيَعۡقُوۡبَ اُولِى الۡاَيۡدِىۡ وَالۡاَبۡصَارِ‏ 
( 45 )   And remember Our servants, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob - those of strength and [religious] vision.
The actual words in the Text mean "Those who possessed the hands and the insights." The hand, as we have explained above, implies power and capability. To describe these Prophets as "men of great power and in sight" means that they were practical men: they possessed great power to obey Allah and to abstain from sin, and they had made great efforts for raising the Word of Allah in the world. "Insight" does not mean eye-sight but the vision of the heart and mind. They could sec and recognize the Truth: they did not live like the blind in the world, but they walked the straight path of guidance, in the full light of knowledge, with open eyes. In these words, there is a subtle allusion to this also that the people who commit evil, and have gone astray, arc in fact, deprived of the hands as well as the eyes. He only, who works in the cause of Allah, possesses the hands, and he, who distinguishes between the light of the Truth and the darkness of falsehood, only possesses the eyes. 

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: In the last Surah (xxxvii. 83-113). Abraham and Isaac (and by implication Jacob) were mentioned as resisting Evil and winning through. Here they are mentioned as men with spiritual power and vision. Israelite patriarchs, who bore witness to the Gospel of the Hereafter, and were therefore a blessing to their people, for they taught the Truth.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: This is a reference to the patriarchal leadership which these illustrious prophets had among their people.

اِنَّاۤ اَخۡلَصۡنٰهُمۡ بِخَالِصَةٍ ذِكۡرَى الدَّارِ​ۚ‏ 
( 46 )   Indeed, We chose them for an exclusive quality: remembrance of the home [of the Hereafter].
That is, "The real cause for their success and eminence was that there was no tinge of-worldliness in their character: all their efforts, mental and physical, were directed towards the Hereafter. They remembered it themselves and urged others also to remember it. That is why Allah exalted them to such high ranks as have never been attained by those who remained absorbed in earning worldly wealth and prosperity. In this regard, one should also keep in view the subtle point that Allah here has only used the word ad-dar (that abode, or the real abode) for the Hereafter. This is meant to impress the truth that this world is no abode for man, but only a passage and a rest house, which man has to leave in any cast. The real abode is the abode of the Hereafter. He who works to adorn that abode is the man of insight and such a one should inevitably be a commendable person in the sight of Allah. As for him who in order to adorn his transitory abode in this rest house behaves in a way as to ruin his real abode in the Hereafter, is foolish, and naturally cannot be liked by Allah. 

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: Ie., the House of the Hereafter. Prophets of God have primarily been sent for this purpose.

وَاِنَّهُمۡ عِنۡدَنَا لَمِنَ الۡمُصۡطَفَيۡنَ الۡاَخۡيَارِؕ‏ 
( 47 )   And indeed they are, to Us, among the chosen and outstanding.

وَاذۡكُرۡ اِسۡمٰعِيۡلَ وَ الۡيَسَعَ وَذَا الۡكِفۡلِ​ؕ وَكُلٌّ مِّنَ الۡاَخۡيَارِؕ‏  
( 48 )   And remember Ishmael, Elisha and Dhul-Kifl, and all are among the outstanding.
The Prophet AI-Yas`a has been mentioned only twice in the Qur'an, in Surah Al-An'am: 86 and here, without any detail about him; only his name appears in the chain of the Prophets. He was one of the major Prophets of Israel, belonged to Abel Meholah, a place on the river Jordan, and is well known as Elisha among the Jews and Christians. When the Prophet Elijah (peace be upon him) had taken refuge in the Sinai peninsula, he was commanded to return to Syria and Palestine for some important works, one of which was to prepare the Prophet Elisha for his successorship. Accordingly, when the Prophet Elijah came to his town, he found Elisha ploughing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth. The Prophet Elijah passed by him and cast his mantle upon him, and he left the oxen and followed him. (I Kings, 19:15-21). He remained under training with him for 10 to 12 years. Then, when Allah recalled Elijah, he was appointed Prophet in his place. (2 Kings, oh.2). The Second Book of the Kings gives a detailed account of the Prophet Elisha (chs., 2 to 13), which shows that when the Israeli state of northern Palestine got lost in polytheism and idol-worship and moral evils, Elisha a pointed Jehu, the son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi, king of Israel against the royal dynasty due to whose misdeeds those evils had spread in Israel. Jehu not only put an end to Baal-worship, but also condemned to death every member of the wicked family, including its children. But in spite of this reformist revolution the evils that had taken root in Israel could not be completely eradicated, and after the death of the Prophet Elisha they assumed enormous proportions; so much so that the Assyrians began to invade Samaria whenever they pleased. (For further details, see note to verse 5 of Surah Bani-Isra'il and verse 123 and 125 of Surah As-Saaffat). 

Dhul-Kifi also has been mentioned only twice in the Qur'an, in Al Anbiya': 85 and here. For our research about him see note to verse 85 of Al-Anbiya`. 

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Isma'il, the Patriarch of the Arab race, was also mentioned (xxxvii. 101-107) as a pattern of self-sacrifice; now he is mentioned in the company of the Good, i.e., of those who were a blessing to their people. Here he is bracketed with Elisha (for whom see note to vi. 86), and Zul-Kifl (for whom see note to xxi. 85). All these three were examples of constancy and patience under suffering.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: There are two prophets of God mentioned in the Bible with a similar name. One is Joshua which is closer in pronunciation. He preached around 713 BC. He lived at place called Abel-meholah on the banks of the river Jordan. The other is Isaiah whose period was around 620 BC.

Nothing is known about his account. However, this much is evident that he too was among the prophets whose distinctive trait was steadfastness.

هٰذَا ذِكۡرٌ​ؕ وَاِنَّ لِلۡمُتَّقِيۡنَ لَحُسۡنَ مَاٰبٍۙ‏ 
( 49 )   This is a reminder. And indeed, for the righteous is a good place of return

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Some of the preeminent examples of the Elect and the Good having been mentioned, we have now a reference to the Righteous as a body (rank and file as well as leaders) and their future in the Hereafter as won by victory over Evil.

جَنّٰتِ عَدۡنٍ مُّفَتَّحَةً لَّهُمُ الۡاَبۡوَابُ​ۚ‏ 
( 50 )   Gardens of perpetual residence, whose doors will be opened to them.
The words mufattahat-al-lahum-ul-abwab may have several meanings: (1) They will go about in the Gardens (Paradise) freely without any hesitation; (2) no effort will have to be made to open the gates of Paradise: they will open automatically as soon as they will have the desire to enter them; (3) the angels appointed for keeping Paradise will open the gates for them as soon as they see them. This third meaning has been expressed more clearly at another place in the Qur'an, thus: "When they arrive there, and its gates shall already have been opened, its keepers will say: Peace be upon you: you have fared well: enter here to dwell for ever. " (Az-Zumar: 73) 

Muhammad Asad Explanation: In all the eleven instances in which the noun 'adn occurs in the Qur'an - and of which the present is the oldest - it is used as a qualifying term for the "gardens" (jannat) of paradise. This noun is derived from the verb 'adana, which primarily denotes "he remained [somewhere]" or "he kept [to something]", i.e., permanently: cf. the phrase adantu l-balad ("I remained for good [or "settled"] in the country"). In Biblical Hebrew - which, after all, is but a very ancient Arabian dialect - the closely related noun 'eden has also the additional connotation of "delight", "pleasure" or "bliss". Hence the combination of the two concepts in my rendering of 'adn as "perpetual bliss". As in many other places in the Qur'an, this bliss is here allegorized - and thus brought closer to man's imagination - by means of descriptions recallinc earthly iovs.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: The Final Bliss will not be a hole-and-corner thing, a pale reflection of some Palace or Retreat, where mystery reigns behind closed doors. Its doors will be open, and its inmates will be free to go in and out as they will, because their wills will be purified and brought into accord with the Universal Law.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: Ie., will be opened before their arrival just as they are opened to welcome honourable guests.

مُتَّكِـئِيۡنَ فِيۡهَا يَدۡعُوۡنَ فِيۡهَا بِفَاكِهَةٍ كَثِيۡرَةٍ وَّشَرَابٍ‏  
( 51 )   Reclining within them, they will call therein for abundant fruit and drink.

وَعِنۡدَهُمۡ قٰصِرٰتُ الطَّرۡفِ اَتۡرَابٌ‏ 
( 52 )   And with them will be women limiting [their] glances and of equal age.
“Of equal age” may mean that they will be of equal age among themselves, and also that they will be of the same age as their husbands.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: Lit., "such as restrain their gaze", i.e., are of modest bearing and have eyes only for their mates (Razi). This allegorical reference to the delights of paradise occurs in the Qur'an three times (apart from the above instance, which is chronologically the earliest, in 37:48 and 55:56 as well). As an allegory, this phrase evidently applies to the righteous of both sexes, who in the life to come will be rejoined with those whom they loved and by whom they were loved in this world: for, "God has promised the believers, both men and women, gardens through which running waters flow, therein to abide, and goodly dwellings in gardens of perpetual bliss" ( 9:72 ); and, "anyone - be it man or woman - who does [whatever he can] of good deeds and is a believer withal, shall enter paradise" ( 4:124 , with similar statements in 16:97 and 40:40 ). Finally, we are told in 36:56 that in this paradise "will they and their spouses on couches recline" - i.e., will find peace and inner fulfilment with and in one another. (For an explanation of the term atrab rendered by me as "well-matched", see note [15] on 56:38 .)

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Cf. xxxvii. 48 and n. 4064, and xxxvi. 56, n. 4002. As we conceive happiness in this life, it is not complete if it is only solitary. How we hanker after some one who can share in our highest joy! That feeling is also figured here.

To make the social happiness complete, we want companionship of equal age. Age and youth cannot be happy together. It is not suggested that in the Timeless state figured here, there will be old age; but if it is possible to conceive of temperamental differences then, the company will be so arranged that it will be congenial. Or we can accept the type of youth and freshness as common to all in that happy state.

هٰذَا مَا تُوۡعَدُوۡنَ لِيَوۡمِ الۡحِسَابِ‏ 
( 53 )   This is what you, [the righteous], are promised for the Day of Account.

اِنَّ هٰذَا لَرِزۡقُنَا مَا لَهٗ مِنۡ نَّـفَادٍ ​ۖ ​ۚ‏ 
( 54 )   Indeed, this is Our provision; for it there is no depletion.

Verses 55-64: The Day of Judgment

هٰذَا​ ؕ وَاِنَّ لِلطّٰغِيۡنَ لَشَرَّ مَاٰبٍ ۙ‏ 
( 55 )   This [is so]. But indeed, for the transgressors is an evil place of return -

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: This is in parallel contrast to the state of the Blessed in xxxviii. 49 above.

جَهَـنَّمَ​ ۚ يَصۡلَوۡنَهَا​ ۚ فَبِئۡسَ الۡمِهَادُ‏ 
( 56 )   Hell, which they will [enter to] burn, and wretched is the resting place.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Cf. xiv. 29. This continues the parallel contrast to the state of the Blessed already described.

هٰذَا ۙ فَلۡيَذُوۡقُوۡهُ حَمِيۡمٌ وَّغَسَّاقٌ ۙ‏ 
( 57 )   This - so let them taste it - is scalding water and [foul] purulence.
Several meanings of the word ghassaq, as used in the original, have been given by the lexicographers: (1) Any moisture that is discharged by the body in the forth of pus, blood, or mixture of pus and blood, etc. and this includes tears as well; (2) something extremely cold; and (3) something stinking and giving out offensive smell. However, the word is generally used in the first meaning only, though the other two meanings also are correct lexically. 

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Cf. x. 4. The conjunction of the boiling fluid with the dark, murky, intensely cold fluid heightens the effect of the Penalty. In place of harmony, there is the discord of extreme opposites. And the discord is not confined to this: it runs through the whole idea of Hell. See the next verse.

وَّاٰخَرُ مِنۡ شَكۡلِهٖۤ اَزۡوَاجٌ ؕ‏ 
( 58 )   And other [punishments] of its type [in various] kinds.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: Lit., "of its kind": i.e., corresponding in intensity to what the Qur'an describes as hamim and ghassaq. For my rendering of hamim as "burning despair", see surah {6}, note to verse 70. The term ghassaq, on the other hand, is derived from the verb ghasaqa, "it became dark" or "intensely dark" (Taj al-'Arus); thus, al-ghasiq denotes "black darkness" and, tropically, "the night" or, rather, "the black night". According to some authorities, the form ghassaq signifies "intense [or "icy"] cold". A combination of these two meanings gives us the concept of the "ice-cold darkness" of the spirit which, together with "burning despair" (hamim), will characterize the suffering of inveterate sinners in the life to come. All other interpretations of the term ghasseq are purely speculative and, therefore, irrelevant.

هٰذَا فَوۡجٌ مُّقۡتَحِمٌ مَّعَكُمۡ​ۚ لَا مَرۡحَبًۢـا بِهِمۡ​ؕ اِنَّهُمۡ صَالُوا النَّارِ‏ 
( 59 )   [Its inhabitants will say], "This is a company bursting in with you. No welcome for them. Indeed, they will burn in the Fire."

Muhammad Asad Explanation: I.e., "people whom you had seduced, and who thereupon blindly followed you": an apostrophe stressing the double responsibility of the seducers.

In Arabic usage, the phrase "no welcome to them" or "to you" (la marhaban bihim, resp. bikum) is equivalent to a curse. In this context - carried on into the next verse - it expresses a mutual disavowal of the seducers and the seduced.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: The wonder is that so many people should embrace Evil, and in so much hurry and eagerness! Here they may be welcomed by the leaders of Evil, but in the final state it will be the opposite of welcome. They will be followed with reproaches and curses.

قَالُوۡا بَلۡ اَنۡتُمۡ لَا مَرۡحَبًۢـا بِكُمۡ​ؕ اَنۡتُمۡ قَدَّمۡتُمُوۡهُ لَنَا​ۚ فَبِئۡسَ الۡقَرَارُ‏ 
( 60 )   They will say, "Nor you! No welcome for you. You, [our leaders], brought this upon us, and wretched is the settlement."

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: It is the nature of Evil to shift the blame on to others. The followers will reproach the leaders, but none can escape personal responsibility for his own acts and deeds!

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: In this sentence, the inchoative (mubtadā’) is repeated and there also is a parenthetical sentence between two inchoatives. It is as if intense anger is exuding from every single word.

قَالُوۡا رَبَّنَا مَنۡ قَدَّمَ لَنَا هٰذَا فَزِدۡهُ عَذَابًا ضِعۡفًا فِى النَّارِ‏ 
( 61 )   They will say, "Our Lord, whoever brought this upon us - increase for him double punishment in the Fire."

Muhammad Asad Explanation: Cf. 7:38 (and the corresponding notes as well as {33:67-68}.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Cf. vii. 38, and note. See also xi. 20. The evil ones now vent their spite on others. Here they ask for a double penalty for their misleaders, but they forget their own personal responsibility. In the next verse, they express their surprise that others have escaped the torments, which they themselves have earned!

وَقَالُوۡا مَا لَنَا لَا نَرٰى رِجَالًا كُنَّا نَـعُدُّهُمۡ مِّنَ الۡاَشۡرَارِؕ‏ 
( 62 )   And they will say, "Why do we not see men whom we used to count among the worst?
This implies the believers whom the disbelievers used to look down upon as bad people in the world. It means: They will look around bewildered and will find only themselves and their guides in Hell but will find no trace of those people of whom they used to talk disparagingly in the world, and whom they used to mock in their meetings for talking about God, the Messenger and the Hereafter. 

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: The bad ones: i.e., the ones whom they (evil ones) ridiculed as fools sure to come to an evil end, because they refused to join in with the evil ones in their plots. The values are now reversed. The good ones are among the Blessed, and are not to be seen in the "Bed of Misery". The ridicule is now against the evil ones.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: Ie., they counted them among those who were ancestral enemies of their religion, humiliated their deities and disrupted national unity.

اَ تَّخَذۡنٰهُمۡ سِخۡرِيًّا اَمۡ زَاغَتۡ عَنۡهُمُ الۡاَبۡصَارُ‏ 
( 63 )   Is it [because] we took them in ridicule, or has [our] vision turned away from them?"

Muhammad Asad Explanation: I.e., the prophets and the righteous, who - as the Qur'an points out in many places - have always been derided by people enamoured of the life of this world and, therefore, averse to all moral exhortation.

اِنَّ ذٰ لِكَ لَحَقّ ٌ تَخَاصُمُ اَهۡلِ النَّارِ‏ 
( 64 )   Indeed, that is truth - the quarreling of the people of the Fire.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: The mutual recriminations and spite are themselves a part of the Penalty, for such feelings increase their unhappiness.

Ruku Five: Verses 65-88:

قُلۡ اِنَّمَاۤ اَنَا مُنۡذِرٌ ​​ۖ  وَّمَا مِنۡ اِلٰهٍ اِلَّا اللّٰهُ الۡوَاحِدُ الۡقَهَّارُ​ ۚ‏ 
( 65 )   Say, [O Muhammad], "I am only a warner, and there is not any deity except Allah, the One, the Prevailing.
Now the discourse turns to the same theme with which it began. One should read it with vv. 1-14 in order to understand the meaning fully. 

In verse 4 it was said: "The people wonder that a warner from among themselves has come to them." Here it is being said: "Tell them: I am only a warner. ' That is, "I do not command an army that I may forcibly pull you from a wrong way and put you on the Right Way: If you do not listen to me and do not accept my message, you will only be causing a loss to yourselves. If you like to remain ignorant, you may continue to be heedless, for you will sec your end yourselves."

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Cf. xii. 39, where Joseph preaches to the men in prison. The one supreme Message of importance to mankind was (and is) the Unity of Allah: that He is the Creator and Sustainer of all: that His Will is supreme; that He can carry out His Will without question, and no powers of Evil can defeat it; and that He forgives by His grace again and again. This Message the holy Prophet came to deliver, and he delivered it.

Verses 66-88 The holiness and validity of the Qur’an

رَبُّ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَالۡاَرۡضِ وَمَا بَيۡنَهُمَا الۡعَزِيۡزُ الۡغَفَّارُ‏ 
( 66 )   Lord of the heavens and the earth and whatever is between them, the Exalted in Might, the Perpetual Forgiver."

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: In note to xxii. 40, I have explained the full import of 'Aziz as a title applied to Allah, and I have expressed two of the leading ideas involved, in the two lines here. The argument in this Surah turns upon the contrast between earthly Power and the Divine Power: the one is impotent and the other is supreme.

Gaffar is the emphatic intensive form, and I have accordingly translated it as "forgiving again and again". Cf. xx. 82.

قُلۡ هُوَ نَبَؤٌا عَظِيۡمٌۙ‏ 
( 67 )   Say, "It is great news

اَنۡتُمۡ عَنۡهُ مُعۡرِضُوۡنَ‏ 
( 68 )   From which you turn away.
This is the answer to what the disbelievers said in verse 5: "Has he made just One God in place of all the gods? This is indeed a strange thing." It means: "You may frown and scowl as you like, but this is a reality of which I am informing you, and your frowning and scowling cannot change it."

This answer not only contains the statement of the truth, but it also contains the argument for it. The mushriks said: "Deities are many of whom one is Allah also. How is it that you have done away with all other deities and kept only One Allah?" In answer it was said: "The real Deity is One Allah alone, for He is dominant over everything: He is the Owner of the earth and the heavens, and everything in the Universe belongs to Him. Every being other than Him, whom you have set up as other gods in the Universe, is dominated and subdued before Him; therefore, the subservient beings cannot be associates in the Godhead of the Dominant and All-Mighty God. Therefore, there is no ground for which they may be regarded as deities.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: The Message which is of supreme import to mankind,-from that they turn away. Instead of profiting by it, they turn away to side issues, or unprofitable speculation: such as: what is the origin of Evil; when will Judgment come? etc.

مَا كَانَ لِىَ مِنۡ عِلۡمٍۢ بِالۡمَلَاِ الۡاَعۡلٰٓى اِذۡ يَخۡتَصِمُوۡنَ‏  
( 69 )   I had no knowledge of the exalted assembly [of angels] when they were disputing [the creation of Adam].

Muhammad Asad Explanation: For the allegorical contention of the angels ("the host on high") against the creation of man, see 2:30 ff. and the corresponding notes. The allegory of man's creation, of God's command to the angels to "prostrate themselves" before the new creature, and of lblis' refusal to do so appears in the Qur'an six times ({2:30-34}, 7:11 ff., {15:28-44}, {17:61-65}, 18:50 , and {38:69-85}) each time with an accent on a different aspect of this allegory. In the present instance (which is undoubtedly the earliest in the chronology of revelation) it is connected with the statement, in 2:31 , that God "imparted unto Adam the names of all things", i.e., endowed man with the faculty of conceptual thinking (see note on 2:31 ) and, thus, with the ability to discern between what is true and what false. Since he possesses this faculty, man has no excuse for not realizing God's existence and oneness - the "message tremendous" referred to in the preceding passage.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: The hierarchy of angels in Heaven, discuss questions of high import in the Universe. Those are not necessarily revealed to men, except in so far as it is good for men to know, as in verses 71-85 below. But the chief thing for man is to know that Allah is Most Merciful, that He forgives again and again, and that Evil has no power over those who trust in Allah.

اِنۡ يُّوۡحٰۤى اِلَىَّ اِلَّاۤ اَنَّمَاۤ اَنَا۟ نَذِيۡرٌ مُّبِيۡنٌ‏ 
( 70 )   It has not been revealed to me except that I am a clear warner."

Muhammad Asad Explanation: Lit., "otherwise than that I be (illa annama ana) a plain warner" - i.e., of the prospect of spiritual self-destruction inherent in a willful disregard of the fact of God's existence and oneness, which is the core of all religious cognition and, hence, of all true prophethood.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Two things are implied in Mubin: (1) that the warning should be clear and perspicuous; there should be no mincing of matters, no ambiguity, no compromise with evil, vii. 184; (2) that the warning should be delivered publicly, before all people, in spite of opposition and persecution, xxvi. 115. Both these ideas I have tried to express in this passage.

Verses 71-85: Story of Iblis and Hell

اِذۡ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلۡمَلٰٓـئِكَةِ اِنِّىۡ خَالِـقٌ ۢ بَشَرًا مِّنۡ طِيۡنٍ‏ 
( 71 )   [So mention] when your Lord said to the angels, "Indeed, I am going to create a human being from clay.
This is the explanation of the dispute referred to about, and the dispute implies Satan's dispute with God, as becomes evident from the verses that follow. In this regard, one should bear in mind the fact that "the exalted ones" implies the angels, and the dialogue between Allah and Satan was not direct but it took place through some angel. Therefore, no one should have the misunderstanding that Allah also was included among the exalted ones. This story has already been narrated at the following places about: Al-Baqarah: 30-39, AI-A'raf: 11-25, Al-Hijr: 26-44, Bani Isra'il: 61-65, Al-Kahf: 50, Ta Ha: 116-126. 

Lexically, bashar means a gross body whose surface is bare and uncovered by anything else. After the creation of man this word has been used for man himself, but mentioning him by the word bashar before his creation and making him from clay clearly means: "I am about to make an image of clay, which will be without any feathers and hair, etc., whose skin will not be covered by wool or hair or feathers like the skin of other animals. 

Muhammad Asad Explanation: For this rendering of idh, see surah {2:30}as appended below:
The interjection "lo" seems to be the only adequate rendering, in this context, of the particle idh, which is usually - and without sufficient attention to its varying uses in Arabic construction - translated as "when". Although the latter rendering is often justified, idh is also used to indicate "the sudden, or unexpected, occurrence of a thing" (cf. Lane I, 39), or a sudden turn in the discourse. The subsequent allegory, relating as it does to the faculty of reason implanted in man, is logically connected with the preceding passages..
Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Two passages may be compared with this: viz.: (1) ii. 30-39, where merely the first stages of the Rebellion against Allah and its consequences to mankind are mentioned, and (2) xv. 29-40, where the further intrusion of evil in man's life here below is referred to, and an assurance is given that Evil will have no power except over those who yield to it. The latter is the passage most relevant here, as we are now dealing with the spiritual power of Revelation to defeat the machinations of Evil.

This shows that the material world round us was created by Allah before Allah fashioned man and breathed of His soul into him. Geology also shows that man came on the scene at a very late stage in the history of this planet.

فَاِذَا سَوَّيۡتُهٗ وَنَفَخۡتُ فِيۡهِ مِنۡ رُّوۡحِىۡ فَقَعُوۡا لَهٗ سٰجِدِيۡنَ‏  
( 72 )   So when I have proportioned him and breathed into him of My [created] soul, then fall down to him in prostration."
For explanation " After I have created him and breathed into him of My spirit," , see (Surah Al-Hijr, Ayats 29-30), and (note to verse 9 of Surah As-Sajdah).

For explanation  "fall you down, prostrating yourselves to him."", see (Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayats 34); (Surah Al-Aaraf, Ayat 11) and the notes thereof.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: See note to to xv. 29, where the spiritual significance of this is explained.

فَسَجَدَ الۡمَلٰٓـئِكَةُ كُلُّهُمۡ اَجۡمَعُوۡنَۙ‏ 
( 73 )   So the angels prostrated - all of them entirely.

اِلَّاۤ اِبۡلِيۡسَؕ اِسۡتَكۡبَرَ وَكَانَ مِنَ الۡكٰفِرِيۡنَ‏ 
( 74 )   Except Iblees; he was arrogant and became among the disbelievers.
 For explanation, see (Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayat 34); (Surah Al-Kahf, Ayat 50) and the notes thereof.

Yusuf Ali Explanation: Arrogance (self-love) is thus the root of Evil and of Unfaith.

قَالَ يٰۤـاِبۡلِيۡسُ مَا مَنَعَكَ اَنۡ تَسۡجُدَ لِمَا خَلَقۡتُ بِيَدَىَّ​ ؕ اَسۡتَكۡبَرۡتَ اَمۡ كُنۡتَ مِنَ الۡعَالِيۡنَ‏ 
( 75 )   [Allah] said, "O Iblees, what prevented you from prostrating to that which I created with My hands? Were you arrogant [then], or were you [already] among the haughty?"
These words have been used to point out the honor, rank and glory bestowed on man by his Creator. In other words, Allah did not get man created through his angels but created him Himself because his creation was a highly noble task. Therefore, what is meant to be said is: "What has prevented you from prostrating yourself before him whom I have made directly Myself?"

The words "both hands" probably are meant to refer to the fact that this new creation combines in itself two important aspects of Allah's power of creation: (1) That man has been given an animal body on account of which he belongs to the animal kingdom; and (2) that on account of the Spirit breathed into him, he has been characterized with qualities which place him in honor and merit above all earthly creations and creatures. 

Muhammad Asad Explanation: Cf. the metaphorical phrase "the things which Our hands have wrought" in 36:71 , explained in the corresponding note. In the present instance, the stress lies on the God-willed superiority of man's intellect - which, like everything else in the universe, is God's "handiwork" - over the rest of creation (see note on 2:34 ).

This "question" is, of course, only rhetorical, since God is omniscient. The phrase interpolated by me ("to bow down before another created being") reflects Zamakshari's interpretation of this passage.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Man, as typified by Adam, is in himself nothing but frail clay. But as fashioned by Allah's creative power into something with Allah's spirit breathed into him, his dignity is raised above that of the highest creatures.

If, then, Satan refuses, it is a rebellion against Allah. It arises from arrogance or haughtiness, an exaggerated idea of Self. Or, it is asked, are you really sufficiently high in rank to dispute with the Almighty? Of course he was not.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: Ie., created with such thoroughness by Him. This has been stated because a human being is a masterpiece of God with regard to his creation and has some extra-ordinary innate traits and abilities.

قَالَ اَنَا خَيۡرٌ مِّنۡهُ​ ؕ خَلَقۡتَنِىۡ مِنۡ نَّارٍ وَّخَلَقۡتَهٗ مِنۡ طِيۡنٍ‏
( 76 )   He said, "I am better than him. You created me from fire and created him from clay."

Muhammad Asad Explanation: I.e., out of something non-corporeal and, therefore (in the view of Iblis), superior to the "clay" out of which man has been created. Inasmuch as "fire" is a symbol of passion, the above "saying" of Iblis contains, I believe, a subtle allusion to the Qur'anic concept of the "satanic forces" (shayatin) active within man's own heart: forces engendered by uncontrolled passions and love of self, symbolized by the preceding characterization of Iblis, the foremost of the shayatin, as "one of those who think only of themselves as high" (min al-'al~n).

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: The leaders of the Quraysh were also under the same deception. Thus they would ask why was not this Qur’ān revealed to some affluent person of Makkah or Ṭā’if? Why had it been revealed to such a poor person like him?

قَالَ فَاخۡرُجۡ مِنۡهَا فَاِنَّكَ رَجِيۡمٌ  ۖ​ ۚ‏ 
( 77 )   [Allah] said, "Then get out of Paradise, for indeed, you are expelled.
"From here": from the place where Adam was created and where the angels were commanded to bow down before Adam, and where Iblis committed disobedience of Allah. 

Lexically, the word rajim, as used in the original, means "cast off" or "smitten"; in common usage it is used for the person, who has been thrown down from a place of honor and humiliated. In Surah AI-A`raf, the same thing has been expressed thus: "Get out: you are indeed one of those who wish themselves ignominy." (v. 13). 

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: The actual word is: مِنْهَا. The antecedent of the pronoun in it is the same orchard in which Adam (sws) was kept and the angels and the jinn were asked to prostrate before him.

وَّاِنَّ عَلَيۡكَ لَعۡنَتِىۡۤ اِلٰى يَوۡمِ الدِّيۡنِ‏ 
( 78 )   And indeed, upon you is My curse until the Day of Recompense."
This does not mean that there will be no curse on him after the Day of Judgment, but rather it means: "He will remain accessed till the Day of Judgment because of his disobedience, and after the Day of Judgment he will be punished for the sins which he will have committed from . the creation of Adam till Resurrection. " 

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: See note to xv. 35, where it is explained why the respite is to the Day of Judgment. The whole of that passage in S. xv. forms a good commentary on this.

قَالَ رَبِّ فَاَنۡظِرۡنِىۡۤ اِلٰى يَوۡمِ يُبۡعَثُوۡنَ‏ 
( 79 )   He said, "My Lord, then reprieve me until the Day they are resurrected."

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: For the significance of the respite see note to xv. 36., reproduced below:
What was this respite? The curse on Iblis remained, i.e. he was deprived of Allah's grace and became in the spiritual world what an outlaw is in a political kingdom. An earthly kingdom may not be able to catch and destroy an outlaw. But Allah is Omnipotent, and such power as Iblis may have can only come through the respite granted by Allah. The respite then is what is expressed in xv. 39 below. In Allah's grant of limited free-will to man is implied the faculty of choosing between good and evil, and the faculty is exercised through the temptations and allurements put forward by Satan, "the open enemy" of man. This is for the period of man's probation on this earth. Even so, no temptations have power over the sincere worshippers of Allah, who are purified by His grace.
قَالَ فَاِنَّكَ مِنَ الۡمُنۡظَرِيۡنَۙ‏ 
( 80 )   [Allah] said, "So indeed, you are of those reprieved

اِلٰى يَوۡمِ الۡوَقۡتِ الۡمَعۡلُوۡمِ‏ 
( 81 )   Until the Day of the time well-known."

Muhammad Asad Explanation: The grant of "respite" to Iblis implies that he would have the power to tempt man until the end of time.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: It is not an indefinite respite. It is for a period definitely limited, while this our Probation lasts in this world. It is part of the test as to how we use our limited free-will. After that, our whole existence will be on a different plane. The good will have been sorted out, the chain of consequences of the present world will be broken, and "a new Creation" will have taken the place of the present World.

قَالَ فَبِعِزَّتِكَ لَاُغۡوِيَنَّهُمۡ اَجۡمَعِيۡنَۙ‏ 
( 82 )   [Iblees] said, "By your might, I will surely mislead them all

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: This phrase, this oath of Satan, is a fresh point introduced in this passage, because here we are dealing with Power-the Power of Good contrasted with Evil,-the Power of Allah as contrasted with the power that we see in our earthly affairs. Satan acknowledges that even his Power, such as it is, has no reality except in so far as it is permitted to operate by Allah in Allah's wise and universal Plan, and that it cannot harm the true and sincere worshippers of Allah.

Also see note to xv. 39.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: He meant that he will try his best to sabotage the scheme of the Almighty according to which He had selected the progeny of Adam (sws) for Paradise.

اِلَّا عِبَادَكَ مِنۡهُمُ الۡمُخۡلَصِيۡنَ‏ 
( 83 )   Except, among them, Your chosen servants."
This does not mean: I will not lead Your chosen servants astray, but it means: I shall have no power over Your chosen servants.

قَالَ فَالۡحَقُّ  وَالۡحَقَّ اَ قُوۡلُ​ ۚ‏
( 84 )   [Allah] said, "The truth [is My oath], and the truth I say -

Muhammad Asad Explanation: Cf. 15:41 - "This is, with Me, a straight way" - and the corresponding note [31].

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Cf. note to xv. 64. That is:
Al-Haqq: the Punishment which is justly and inevitably due, which must certainly come to pass. Cf. xxii. 18.
لَاَمۡلَئَنَّ جَهَنَّمَ مِنۡكَ وَمِمَّنۡ تَبِعَكَ مِنۡهُمۡ اَجۡمَعِيۡنَ‏  
( 85 )   [That] I will surely fill Hell with you and those of them that follow you all together."
"With you" is not only addressed to Iblis but to the whole species of satans; that is, Iblis and his whole army of the satans who will be joining him in misleading mankind till Resurrection. 

This whole story has been related in answer to this saying of the chiefs of the Quraish: "Was he the only (fit) person among us to whom Allah's Admonition should have been sent down?" Its first answer was the one given in vv. 9-10, saying: "Are you the owners of the treasures of the mercy of your Mighty and Bounteous Lord? And does the kingdom of the heavens and the earth belongs to you, and is it for you to decide as to who should be appointed God's Prophet and who should not be appointed?" The second answer is: In this the chiefs of the Quraish have been told: ¦Your jealousy, your pride and arrogance against Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace and blessings) arc similar to the jealousy and arrogance of Iblis against Adam (peace be upon him). Iblis also had refused to acknowledge the right of Allah to appoint anyone He pleased His vicegerent, and you also are refusing to acknowledge His right to appoint anyone He pleases as His Messenger: he disobeyed the Command to bow down before Adam, and you are disobeying the Command to follow Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace). Your resemblance with him does not end here, but your fate also will be the same as has been pre-ordained for him, i.e.. the curse of God in the world and the fire of Hell in the Hereafter. "

Besides, in connection with this story, two other things also have been stressed: (1) Whoever is disobeying Allah in this world, is in fact, falling a prey to Iblis, his eternal enemy, who has resolved to mislead and misguide mankind since the beginning of creation; and (2) the one who disobeys Allah on account of arrogance and persists in His disobedience is under His wrath: such a one has no forgiveness from Him.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Cf. vii. 18; vii. 179; and xi. 119. The punishment of defiance, disobedience, and rebellion is inevitable and just, and the followers who chose to identify themselves with the disobedience must suffer as well as the leaders. Cf. x. 33.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:  Found in these words obviously is a warning for the addressees that they can see their fate too as a reflection from this mirror.

قُلۡ مَاۤ اَسۡـئَـلُكُمۡ عَلَيۡهِ مِنۡ اَجۡرٍ وَّمَاۤ اَنَا مِنَ الۡمُتَكَلِّفِيۡنَ‏  
( 86 )   Say, [O Muhammad], "I do not ask you for the Qur'an any payment, and I am not of the pretentious
That is, "I am a selfless person: I have no vested interest in preaching this message."

That is, "I am not one of those who arise with false claims for the sake of vanity and pose to be what actually they are not. " The Holy Prophet has not been made to say this merely for the information of the disbelievers of Makkah but this is testified by his whole life which he lived among the same people for forty years before his advent as a Prophet. Every child of Makkah was a witness that Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace) was not an impostor. Never had anybody from among the people of Makkah ever heard anything from him, which might have caused somebody the doubt that he aspired to be a great man and was planning and scheming for that end. 

Muhammad Asad Explanation: The expression mutakallif denotes, primarily, "a person who takes too much upon himself", be it in action or in feeling; hence, a person who pretends to be more than he really is, or to feel what he does not really feel. In this instance, it indicates the Prophet s disclaimer of any "supernatural" status.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Cf. xxv. 57; xxvi. 109; and many other passages. The prophet of Allah neither seeks nor expects any reward from men. On the contrary he suffers much at their hands. He is unselfish and offers his services under Allah's inspiration. He is satisfied with the hope "that each one who will may take a straight Path to his Lord." That is his reward. And the reward he hopes for from Allah is similarly unselfish. He earnestly hopes to win His Good Pleasure i.e. "to see His Face."

Mutakallif: a man who pretends to things that are not true, or declares as facts things that do not exist, one who takes upon himself tasks to which he is not equal. True prophets are not people of that kind.

اِنۡ هُوَ اِلَّا ذِكۡرٌ لِّلۡعٰلَمِيۡنَ‏ 
( 87 )   It is but a reminder to the worlds.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation:  So far from there being any false or selfish motive in the Message proclaimed in Revelation, it is a healing mercy to all mankind. More, it is in accord with all parts of Allah's Creation, and makes us kin with all Creation, the handiwork of the One True God.

وَلَتَعۡلَمُنَّ نَبَاَهٗ بَعۡدَ حِيۡنِ‏ 
( 88 )   And you will surely know [the truth of] its information after a time."
That is, Those of you who live will see for themselves within a few years that what I am saying is fulfilled; those who die will come to know as soon as they pass through the gate of death that the truth is the same which I am preaching.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: There may be many things which we in our "muddy vesture of decay" may not fully understand or take in. If we only follow the right Path, we shall arrive at the Goal in the Hereafter, and then everything will be dear to us.

You may now like to listen to explanation of the sürah by eminent Muslim scholar Nouman Ali Khan:

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):  
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Al-Quran, Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Qur'an Wiki
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
  • Tafsir Nouman Ali Khan
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
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

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