Showing posts with label 38th Chapter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 38th Chapter. Show all posts

Friday 17 May 2019

Surah Saad - The Letter Saad: Exegesis / Tafseer of 38th Chapter of the Holy Quran

Sūrat Ṣād / Surah Saad is the thirty eighth surah with 88 verses (āyāt), 1 sajdah ( Verse 24) with five rukus, part of the 23rd Juzʼ of the Holy Qur'an. The Surah takes its name from the alphabetic letter Ṣād with which it begins.

From Surah Saba, the 34th Chapter, there begins a series of six Surahs, Surah. xxxiv. to Surah. xxxix, which  recapitulate some of the features of the spiritual world.  Surah xxxiv leads off with emphasis on Allah's Mercy and Power and Truth. Then (in Surah. xxxv.) we are told how angels manifest the Power of Allah, and how different is Good from Evil and Truth from Falsehood. Surah xxxvi. is devoted to the holy Prophet and the Quran that came through him. In Surah xxxvii, the emphasis is on the snares of Satan.

Surah xxxviii (this surah) / Surah Saad, both in chronology and subject matter, is cognate to Surah XXXVII, Surah As Saffat, and carries forward the same argument. But here the emphasis is laid on the working of the earthly power when combined with spiritual power, and it is pointed out how much more significant (and real) spiritual power is. For this reason the illustrative stories are mainly those of Prophet Dawood and Suleiman (David and Solomon, peace be upon them) who were kings as well as prophets, and a parallel is suggested with the unfolding public life of our Holy Prophet *peace be upon him). 

And in Surah xxix the emphasis is on the Final Judgment, which will sort out Faith from Unfaithful and give to each its due.

As for the time period of the revelation of this surah, there are many viewpoints: According to some traditions this Surah was sent down in the period when the Holy Prophet had started calling the people openly to Islam in Makkah, and this had caused great alarm among the chiefs of the Quraish. If this be true, its period of revelation would be about the 4th year of the Prophethood. Some other traditions correlate its revelation after Hadrat Umar's embracing Islam, and this happened after the migration to Habash. Another chain of the traditions shows that the revelation of this Surah took place during the last illness of Abu Talib. If this be correct, the period of its revelation would be the 10th or 11th year of the Prophethood.

As for the background in which surah was revealed, based upon above time period speculations, here is a resume of the traditions related by Imam Ahmad, Nasa'i, Tirmidhi, Ibn Jarir, Ibn Abi Shaibah, Ibn Abu Hatim, Muhammad bin Ishaq and others:
When Prophet Muhammad's (peace be upon him) uncle Abu Talib fell ill, and the Quraish chiefs knew that his end was near, they decided to approach the old chief with the request that he should solve the dispute between them and his nephew. For they feared that if Abu Talib died and then they subjected Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace) to a harsh treatment, after his death, the Arabs would taunt them, saying, "They were afraid of the old chief as long as he lived now that he is dead they have started maltreating his nephew." At least 25 of the Quraish chiefs including Abu Jahl, Abu Sufyan, Umayyah bin Khalaf, As bin Wa'il, Aswad bin al-Muttalib, 'Uqbah bin Abi Mu'ait, Utbah and Shaibah went to Abu Talib. And  said, "We have come to present before you a just request which were: let your nephew leave us to our religion, and we shall leave him to his. He may worship whomever he may please: but he should not condemn our gods, and should not try to force us to give them up. Please tell him to make terms with us on this condition". Abu Talib called the Holy Prophet and told him about the request of the chiefs of the Quraish. The Holy Prophet replied, "Dear uncle: I shall request them to agree upon a thing which, if they accept, will enable them to conquer the whole of Arabia and subject the non-Arab world to their domination. "Hearing this the people were first confounded; they did not know how they should turn down such a proposal. Then, after they had considered the matter, they replied: "You speak of one word: we are prepared to repeat ten others like it, but please tell us what it is." The Holy Prophet said: La ilaha ill-Allah. At this they got up all together and left the place saying what Allah has narrated in the initial part of this Surah.
The Surah begins with a review of the aforesaid meeting. Making the dialogue between the Holy Prophet and the disbelievers the basis, Allah says that the actual reason with those people for their denial is not any defect in the message of Islam but their own arrogance, jealousy and insistence on following the blind. They are not prepared to believe in a man from their own clan as a Prophet of God and follow him. They want to persist in the ideas of ignorance which they have found their ancestors following. And when a person exposes their this ignorance and presents the truth before them, they are alarmed and regard it as an oddity, rather as a novel and impossible thing. For them the concept of Tauhid and the Hereafter is not only an unacceptable creed but also a concept which only deserves to be ridiculed and mocked.

Then, Allah, both in the initial part of the Surah and in its last sentences, has precisely warned the disbelievers, as if to say, "The man whom you are ridiculing today and whose guidance you reject will soon overpower you,and the time is not far when in this very city of Makkah, where you are persecuting him, he will overwhelm you completely."

Then describing nine of the Prophets, one after the other, with greater details of the story of the Prophets David and Solomon; Allah has emphasized the point that His Law of Justice is impartial and objective, that only the right attitude of man is acceptable to Him, that He calls to account and punishes every wrongdoer who. ever he be, and that He likes only those people who do not persist in wrongdoing but repent as soon as they are warned of it, and pass their life in the world keeping in mind their accountability in the Hereafter.

After this, the final end that the obedient servants and the disobedient people will meet in the Hereafter, has been depicted, and two things have been especially impressed on the disbelievers:(1) That the leaders and guides whom the ignorant people are following blindly in the world, on the way of deviation, will have reached Hell even before their followers in the Hereafter, and the two groups will be cursing each other there; and (2) that the disbelievers will be amazed to see that there is no trace whatever in Hell of the believers whom they used to regard as contemptible in the world and will themselves be involved in its torment.

In conclusion, mention has been made of the story of Adam and Iblis (Satan), which is meant to tell the disbelieving Quraish that the same arrogance and vanity which was preventing them from bowing before Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace) had prevented Iblis also from bowing before Adam. Iblis felt jealous of the high rank God had given to Adam and became accursed when he disobeyed His Command. Likewise, "You, O people of Quraish, are feeling jealous of the high rank God has bestowed on Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace) and are not prepared to obey him whom God has appointed His messenger. Therefore, you will be doomed ultimately to the same fate as will be met by Satan."

Let us now read the translation and exegesis / tafseer in English of the Surah segmented into portions as per the subject matter. For Arabic Text, please refer to the references given at the end and may also listen to its recitation in Arabic with English subtitles:

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

Ruku 1 (Verses 1-14)
Verses 1-14 explain that Al-Quran is full of admonition and Unbelievers are in sheer arrogance for calling the Prophet as liars.

صٓ​ وَالۡقُرۡاٰنِ ذِى الذِّكۡرِؕ‏ 
1. Ṣād: By the Qur'an, Full of exhortation! 
[ "ص " is one of the many disjoined words that are miracles of the Qur'an, and none but Allah (Alone) knows their meanings - see our earlier post for details: Understanding the Holy Quran: Huroof Muqatta’at - Disjoined Letters].
2. Nay, but the unbelievers are steeped in arrogance and stubborn defiance. 3. How many generations before them did We destroy? In the end they cried (for mercy)- when there was no longer time for being saved! 
 وَعَجِبُوۡۤا اَنۡ جَآءَهُمۡ مُّنۡذِرٌ مِّنۡهُمۡ​ وَقَالَ الۡكٰفِرُوۡنَ هٰذَا سٰحِرٌ كَذَّابٌ​ ۖ​ۚ‏ 
4. So they wonder that a Warner has come to them from among themselves! and the Unbelievers say, "This is a sorcerer telling lies! 
That is, they are so foolish that when a man from their own kind and from their own clan and brotherhood, whom they knew well, was appointed to warn them, they wondered at it, whereas it would have been strange if some other kind of creature had been sent down from heaven to warn human beings, or an utter stranger had arisen among them suddenly and started functioning as a prophet. In that case they would have been perfectly justified to say: What an odd thing! How can this strange creature know our conditions and feelings and requirements that he should guide us? How can we test and find out the truth about the stranger who has suddenly arisen among us and know whether he is trustworthy or not? And how can we decide whether we should or should not believe in him when we have not judged and seen his character and personality?

The disbelievers used the word sahir (wizard, sorcerer, magician) for the Prophet (peace be upon him) in the sense that whoever came in contact with him was so influenced by him that he would become his follower like a possessed person. He would least mind severing of his connections with others or incurring material losses. The father would give up the son and the son would give up the father. The wife would separate from the husband and the husband would separate from the wife. One would at once be prepared to leave his country if so required. One would even be ready to pass through the severest persecutions for the sake of the faith. (For further details, see (Surah Al- Anbiya, Ayat 3).
5. "Has he made the gods (all) into one Allah. Truly this is a wonderful thing!" 
6. And the leader among them go away (impatiently), (saying), "Walk ye away, and remain constant to your gods! For this is truly a thing designed (against you)! 
The allusion is to the chiefs who got up and left Abu Talib when they had heard what the Prophet (peace be upon him) was asking them to affirm faith in La-ilaha ill-Allah so as to overpower both Arabia and the adjoining lands. They accused that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) for some vested interests and that He was extending the invitation to them in order to subjugate them and rule them as his subjects.
7. "We never heard (the like) of this among the people of these latter days: this is nothing but a made-up tale!" 
That is, there have been our own elderly people in the recent past. There are Christians and Jews also living in our land and in the adjoining lands; and there are the Zoroastrians abounding in Iran and Iraq and eastern Arabia. None of them has ever preached that man should only believe in One Allah, Lord of the worlds, and in none else beside Him. No one can remain content with One God only. Everyone believes in the beloved ones of Allah also. They are All paying obeisance to them, making offerings at their shrines and praying for fulfillment of their needs and requirements. From one place people get children and from another provisions of life, and from yet another whatever they pray for. The whole world believes in their powers and capabilities, and those who have benefited from them tell how the needs of the people are being met and their difficulties being removed through their help and grace. Now this man is telling us a queer thing which we had never heard before. He says that none of these holy men has any share in Godhead and that Godhead wholly belongs only to Allah.
8. "What! has the Message been sent to him - (Of all persons) among us?"...but they are in doubt concerning My (Own) Message! Nay, they have not yet tasted My Punishment! 
In other words Allah says: Muhammad, these people are not belying you but Me. As for your truthfulness, they had never doubted it before. Now that they are doubting it, it is because of My Admonition. Now that I have entrusted to you the mission of admonishing them, they have started doubting the truthfulness of the very person whose righteousness and piety they used to swear by. The same theme has also been discussed in Surah Al-Anaam, Ayat 33.
9. Or have they the treasures of the mercy of thy Lord,- the Exalted in Power, the Grantor of Bounties without measure? 
10. Or have they the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all between? If so, let them mount up with the ropes and means (to reach that end)! 
This is an answer to this saying of the disbelievers: Was he the only (fit) person among us to whom Allah’s admonition should have been sent down? Allah says: It is for Us to decide whom We should choose and appoint as a Prophet and whom We should not. These people do not possess any power and authority to exercise choice in this regard. If they wish to attain such an authority, they should try to reach the divine Throne in order to obtain control over the office of sovereignty of the Universe, so that revelation should come down on him whom they regard as deserving their mercy and not on him whom We regard as fit for it. This theme has occurred at several places in the Quran, because the unbelieving Quraish again and again said: How did Muhammad (peace be upon him) become a Prophet? Did Allah find no better man among the principal leaders of the Quraish worthy of this office? (See (Surah Bani-Israil, Ayat 100); (Surah Az-Zukhruf, Ayats 31-32).
11. But there - will be put to flight even a host of confederates. 
“There” implies the city of Makkah. That is, the time is coming when these people shall be humbled and routed in the very place where they are opposing and mocking you. Then, they will be standing, with heads hung down, before the same man whom they despise and refuse to recognize as a Prophet of Allah.

كَذَّبَتۡ قَبۡلَهُمۡ قَوۡمُ نُوۡحٍ وَّعَادٌ وَّفِرۡعَوۡنُ ذُو الۡاَوۡتَادِۙ‏  
12. Before them (were many who) rejected apostles,- the people of Noah, and 'Ad, and Pharaoh, the Lord of Stakes, 
The use of dhul-autad (of the stakes) for Pharaoh is either in the sense that his kingdom was very strong as though a stake were firmly driven into the ground, or for the reason that wherever his large armies camped, pegs of the tents were seen driven into the ground on every side, or because he would torture and punish at the stakes anyone with whom he was angry. And possibly the stakes may imply the pyramids of Egypt which seem to be driven into the earth like the stakes.
13. And Thamud, and the people of Lut, and the Companions of the Wood; - such were the Confederates. 14. Not one (of them) but rejected the apostles, but My punishment came justly and inevitably (on them).
Ruku 2 (Verses 15-26)
15-26 narrate the story of Prophet Dawood and story of the two litigants who came to Dawood for a decision:
15. They are waiting for nothing except a single Cry, after which there will be no second Cry. 
That is, only a single blast of the torment will be enough to annihilate them; no other will be needed for the purpose. Another meaning of the sentence can be: After this they will get no more relief and no more respite.
16. They say: "Our Lord! hasten to us our sentence (even) before the Day of Account!" 
That is, Allah’s torment will be so severe and terrible as mentioned above, but just consider the behavior of disbelievers. They are telling the Prophet mockingly: Do not put off our affairs till the Day of Reckoning with which you are threatening us, but settle our account just now.: Whatever punishment is to be inflicted on us should be inflicted immediately.
17. Have patience at what they say, and remember our servant David, the man of strength: for he ever turned (to Allah.. 
In verses 18-26 an exclusive mention is made of Allah’s servant Prophet Dawud (David, peace be upon him), who sang the praises of God.  He was joined by both the mountains and the birds.  Allah strengthened his kingdom and gave him wisdom, sound judgment and discerning speech.  There is a story of two litigants who climbed over a wall alarming David in his prayer chamber.  They asked him to judge between them.  David passed judgment and realized that he had been put into this position as a test from Allah.  He sought forgiveness for any errors, such as fear and suspicion of the two men at the outset, and any mistakes in judgement he might have made, such as not being impartial in his judgement. Allah forgave David and reminded that he was a vicegerent on earth, who should rule with justice and not follow his own desires.  Those who stray will face a severe punishment.  The heavens and earth and all that is in between were not created without a purpose.  Those who do well are not treated the same as the ones who do mischief.  The blessed Quran has been sent down so that humankind can ponder its verses and learn a lesson from it.
18. It was We that made the hills declare, in unison with him, Our Praises, at eventide and at break of day, 19. And the birds gathered (in assemblies): all with him did turn (to Allah.
 20. We strengthened his kingdom, and gave him wisdom and sound judgment in speech and decision. 
That is, he was never ambiguous in speech but clear and forthright. Whatever problem he talked about he would lay bare its basic points, and would clearly and precisely determine the real issue under question, and would pass a decisive judgment.” This quality is not attained by a person unless he is granted wisdom, understanding and mastery of language of the highest degree.
21. Has the Story of the Disputants reached thee? Behold, they climbed over the wall of the private chamber; 
The object why the Prophet Dawud (David peace be upon him) has been mentioned here is to relate the story that begins from here; the object of mentioning his sterling qualities in the introduction was only to point out the high caliber of the Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him) with whom this incident took place.
22. When they entered the presence of David, and he was terrified of them, they said: "Fear not: we are two disputants, one of whom has wronged the other: Decide now between us with truth, and treat us not with injustice, but guide us to the even Path.
He was alarmed because the two men had appeared in the private quarters of the ruler of the land suddenly, by climbing over the wall, instead of going before him by the proper entrance.
23. "This man is my brother: He has nine and ninety ewes, and I have (but) one: Yet he says, 'commit her to my care,' and is (moreover) harsh to me in speech." 
“Brother” does not mean a real brother but a brother in- faith and a member of one’s own clan. To understand what follows one should note that the complainant did not say that the other person had taken away his only ewe and added it to his own ewes, but said that he was asking for it, and since he was a powerful person he had prevailed over him in the matter and he could not reject his demand, being a weak and poor man.

قَالَ لَقَدۡ ظَلَمَكَ بِسُؤَالِ نَعۡجَتِكَ اِلٰى نِعَاجِهٖ​ ؕ وَاِنَّ كَثِيۡرًا مِّنَ الۡخُلَـطَآءِ لَيَبۡغِىۡ بَعۡضُهُمۡ عَلٰى بَعۡضٍ اِلَّا الَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَعَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ وَقَلِيۡلٌ مَّا هُمۡ​ ؕ وَظَنَّ دَاوٗدُ اَنَّمَا فَتَنّٰهُ فَاسۡتَغۡفَرَ رَبَّهٗ وَخَرَّ رَاكِعًا وَّاَنَابَ‏ 
24. Dawud said: “He has certainly wronged you in seeking to add your ewe to his ewes; and indeed many who live together commit excesses, one to the other, except those that believe and act righteously; and they are but few.” (While so saying) David realized that it is We Who have put him to test; therefore, he sought the forgiveness of his Lord, and fell down, bowing and penitently turning (to Him).
Here, one should not doubt that the Prophet David (peace be upon him) gave his decision after hearing only what one party had to say. The fact of the matter is that when the respondent kept quiet at the complaint of the complainant and said nothing in defense it by itself amounted to a confession by him. That is why the Prophet David (peace be upon him) came to the conclusion that the facts of the case were the same as the complainant had stated.

[Sajadah - e Tilawat] There is a difference of opinion as to whether it is obligatory to perform a sajdah (prostration) on this occasion or not. Imam Shafai says that it is not obligatory, for this is only a Prophet’s repentance; but Imam Abu Hanifah has opined that prostration here is obligatory.

The traditionalists have related three traditions from lbn- Abbas in this regard.
  • According to Ikrimah, Ibn Abbas said: This is not one of those verses on the recitation of which prostration is obligatory, but I have seen the Prophet (peace be upon him) prostrating himself on this occasion. (Bukhari, Abu Daud, Tirmidhi, Nasai, Musnad Ahmad). 
  • The second tradition which Saeed bin Jubair has related from Ibn Abbas is to the effect: The Prophet (peace be upon him) prostrated himself in Surah Suad and said: The Prophet David (peace be upon him) had prostrated himself in order to express his repentance and we prostrate ourselves as a token of gratitude, because his repentance was accepted. (Nasai) 
  • In the third tradition that Mujahid has related from him, he says: Allah has commanded the Prophet (peace be upon him), in the Quran: These were the ones whom Allah had shown the right way; therefore, you should follow their way. (Surah Al-Anaam, Ayat 90). 
Now, since Dawud was a Prophet and he had prostrated himself on this occasion, the Prophet (peace be upon him) also prostrated himself here only to follow his way. (Bukhari). These three are the statements of Ibn Abbas. Abu Said Khudri says: The Prophet (peace be upon him) once recited Surah Suad in his address, and when he came to this verse, he descended from the pulpit and performed a prostration and the audience also did the same along with him. Then, on another occasion, he recited this same Surah and when the people heard this verse, they were ready to perform the prostration. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: This is the repentance of a Prophet, but I see that you have gotten ready to perform the prostration. Saying this he descended from the pulpit and prostrated himself and the people also did the same. (Abu Daud). Although these traditions do not provide any absolute argument to prove that it is obligatory to perform the prostration here, yet they prove at least that because the Prophet (peace be upon him) generally performed a prostration on this occasion, it is in any case commendable to prostrate here.

Another thing that one notices in this verse is that Allah has used the words kharra rakian (fell in ruku) here, but all the commentators agree that this implies kharra sajid-an (fell in sajdah: prostration). On this very basis, Imam Abu Hanifah and his companions have expressed the opinion that one may perform only a ruku instead of a sajdah, when one recites or hears being recited a verse requiring a sajdah in the Prayer or outside it. For when Allah has used the word ruku to imply sajdah, it becomes obvious that ruku can represent sajdah. Imam Khattabi, a Shafeite jurist, also holds the same opinion, Though this opinion in itself is sound and reasonable, we do not find any precedent in the practices of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his companions that they might have been content with performing a ruku only instead of a sajdah on a verse requiring a sajdah. Therefore, one should act upon the view only when there is an obstruction in performing the sajdah; it would be wrong to make it a practice, Imam Abu Hanifah and his companions themselves also did not intend that it should be made a practice; they only ruled that it was permissible.
25. So We forgave him this (lapse): he enjoyed, indeed, a Near Approach to Us, and a beautiful place of (Final) Return. 
This shows that the Prophet David (peace be upon him) had certainly committed an error, and it was an error which bore some resemblance with the case of the ewes. Therefore, when he gave a decision on it, he at once realized that he was being put to the test. But the nature of the error was not such as could not be forgiven, or if forgiven, it would have deposed him from his high rank. Allah Himself says: When he fell down prostrate and repented, he was not only forgiven but his high rank in the world and the Hereafter also remained unaffected.
26. O David! We did indeed make thee a vicegerent on earth: so judge thou between men in truth (and justice): Nor follow thou the lusts (of thy heart), for they will mislead thee from the Path of Allah. for those who wander astray from the Path of Allah, is a Penalty Grievous, for that they forget the Day of Account.
This is the warning that Allah gave to the Prophet David (peace be upon him) on accepting his repentance along with giving him the good news of exalting his rank. This by itself shows that the error that he had committed contained an clement of the desires of the flesh; it also pertained to the abuse of power and authority; and it was an act which was unworthy of a just and fair-minded ruler.

Ruku 3 (Verses 27-40)
27-29 Allah has not created the heavens and the earth in vain
27. Not without purpose did We create heaven and earth and all between! that were the thought of Unbelievers! but woe to the Unbelievers because of the Fire (of Hell)! 
We have not created the heavens and the earth and whatever lies between them merely in sport: We have created them with the truth, but most of them do not know. For the resurrection of them all the appointed time is the Day of Decision. (Surah Ad-Dukhan, Ayat 38-40).

The second portion of the verse is meant to say: The person who does not believe in the meting out of the rewards and punishments, and thinks that both the good and the evil people will ultimately end up in the dust after death and that nobody will be called to account, nor will anyone be rewarded for good or punished for evil, in fact, regards the world as a plaything and its Creator a senseless player, and thinks that by creating the world and man in it, the Creator of the Universe has committed a useless thing. The same thing has been stated in different ways at several places in the Quran, e.g. Did you think that We created you without any purpose, and that you would never be brought back to Us? (Surah Al-Muminun, Ayat 115).
28. Shall We treat those who believe and work deeds of righteousness, the same as those who do mischief on earth? Shall We treat those who guard against evil, the same as those who turn aside from the right? 29. (Here is) a Book which We have sent down unto thee, full of blessings, that they may mediate on its Signs, and that men of understanding may receive admonition.
The Quran has been called a blessed Book in the sense that it is highly useful for man. It gives him the best guidance to improve and reform his life. By following it he has only to gain and nothing to lose.

Verse 30-40 dwell on the story of Prophet Sulaiman's (Solomon, peace be upon him). Allah gave David a son, Solomon; he was an excellent servant to Allah. He became obsessed with his beautiful racehorses and became distracted from remembering God.  He realized his mistake and sent the horses from his sight.  (Some scholars say that he slaughtered them).  Solomon was tested and he became so ill that he was like a walking skeleton.  Solomon repented and turned back to Allah.  Solomon asked for forgiveness and more power than anyone else would ever have.  Allah gave him power over the wind and the jinn.
30. To David We gave Solomon (for a son),- How excellent in Our service! Ever did he turn (to Us)! 
The Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him) has been mentioned already at the followings places: (Surah Al- Baqarah, Ayat 102); (Surah Bani-Israil, Ayat 5); (Surah Al- Anbiya, Ayats 78-82); (Surah An-Naml, Ayats 15-44); (Surah Saba, Ayats 12-14).

اِذۡ عُرِضَ عَلَيۡهِ بِالۡعَشِىِّ الصّٰفِنٰتُ الۡجِيَادُ ۙ‏  
31. Behold, there were brought before him, at eventide coursers of the highest breeding, and swift of foot; 
The words as-safinat-ul-jiyad in the original imply the horses, which are very calm and quiet when they stand, and very fast moving when they run.
32. And he said, "Truly do I love the love of good, with a view to the glory of my Lord,"- until (the sun) was hidden in the veil (of night): 
33. "Bring them back to me." then began he to pass his hand over (their) legs and their necks. 
This verse has been interpreted by different scholars differently. Without going in to details of others' versions that do not tally with the verse of Quran, the most adopted meaning is this: When a squadron of fine, well bred horses was presented before the Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him), he said: I love this wealth not for the sake of personal glory or desire but for the cause of raising the Word of my Lord. Then he ordered that the horses run a race, and they disappeared from sight. Then he ordered that they be brought back, and when they were brought back, according to Ibn Abbas: He started passing his hand on their necks and shanks with love. This same commentary is correct in our opinion, because it corresponds to the words of the Quran, and for the sake of the full meaning, nothing needs to be added to it, which may neither be in the Quran, nor in any authentic Hadith, nor in the Israelite history.
34. And We did try Solomon: We placed on his throne a body (without life); but he did turn (to Us in true devotion): 
There is no plausible explanation available in the Qur'an regarding the tests given to Prophet Suliaman (Solomon, peace be upon him) nor the explanation of the part of the verse "We placed on his throne a body (without life) ".

The reality is that there is no source with us to find out the certain details of the event alluded to in the verse under study - nor are we duty-bound to go about finding it, since Allah did not choose to give any more details on this. Although there are many speculative explanations given in many tafseers of the Qur'an by different scholars, there is no authenticity in all these.  The real purpose of the Qur'an in mentioning this event is to invite all human beings to turn to Allah like Prophet Suliaman as and when they face any distress or trial. As for the details of the test and trial of Prophet Suliaman let these be entrusted with Allah. Allah knows best.

قَالَ رَبِّ اغۡفِرۡ لِىۡ وَهَبۡ لِىۡ مُلۡكًا لَّا يَنۡۢبَغِىۡ لِاَحَدٍ مِّنۡۢ بَعۡدِىۡ​ۚ اِنَّكَ اَنۡتَ الۡوَهَّابُ‏ 
35. He said, "O my Lord! Forgive me, and grant me a kingdom which, (it may be), suits not another after me: for Thou art the Grantor of Bounties (without measure). 
The prayer / dua by We placed on his throne a body (without life) is again subject to many a interpretation.

As per interpretation of  Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi the explanation of the verse is as under:
In view of the contest, the real object here is to relate this event; the preceding verses are an introduction to it. Just as above this, first the Prophet David (peace be upon him) was praised, then the event narrated by which he was put to temptation, then it was said that Allah Almighty does not spare even such a beloved servant from accountability, then about his noble nature it was said that as soon as he was warned of the temptation, he repented and bowed before Allah and withheld himself from the act, so also here the sequence is like this: First, the Prophet Solomon’s (peace be upon him) high rank and his deep sense of devotion has been mentioned, then it is said that he was also put to the test, then it has been stated that when a mere body was placed on his throne, he immediately felt warned on his error, and pleading the forgiveness of his Lord, withdrew from the act, because of which he was involved in the temptation. In other words, Allah by means of these two stories wants to impress two things upon the reader simultaneously: (1) Not to speak of the common men, even high-ranking Prophets were not spared from His strict accountability; and, (2) The right attitude for man is not to brag and feel proud after committing an error, but to bow down humbly before his Lord as soon as he realizes his sin. It was the result of this attitude that Allah not only forgave the mistakes of those illustrious men but blessed them with still more favors and kindness.
Here, the question again arises as to what was the temptation in which the Prophet Solomon was involved; what is the meaning of placing a mere body on his throne, and what was the nature of the warning on the occurrence of which he repented? There are many versions of commentators available but none seem authentics.
As a matter of fact, this is one of the most difficult places of the Quran, and we do not find any indisputable ground for giving a definite and absolute commentary of it. But if the words of the Prophet Solomon’s prayer: My Lord, forgive me, and grant me a kingdom as may belong to no one else after me, are read in the light of the Israelite history, it appears that probably he cherished in his heart the desire that his son should succeed him on the throne so that His kingdom and sovereignty should continue in his own race after him. This same thing has been called a temptation for him by Allah, and he realized this when his heir Rehoboam grew up into an unworthy young man, whose ugly manners clearly foretold that he would not be able to sustain the mighty kingdom of the Prophets David and Solomon (peace be upon them) even for a few days. Placing a mere body on his throne probably means that the son whom he wanted to succeed him on the throne, was an unworthy person. Therefore, he restrained his desire, asked for Allah’s forgiveness and prayed that the kingdom should end with him, and he would curb his desire to have it continued in his dynasty. The Israelite history also shows the same thing. The Prophet Solomon did not make any will about his successor, nor made it binding for the people to obey a particular person. After him his ministers put Rehoboam on the throne, but not long afterwards ten tribes of Israel took northern Palestine and broke away, and only the tribe of Judah remained loyal to the throne of Jerusalem.
However, as per the tafseer by Maulana Mufti Muhammad Shaffi, revised by Justice Muhammad Taqi Usmani, the explanation gives another view point:
It was said in verse 35: "bless me with a kingdom that will not be available to anyone after me." Some commentators explain the sense of this prayer as 'let not a great kingdom like mine belong to anyone else during my time.' In other words, they take "min ba'di - مِّنۡۢ بَعۡدِىۡ or 'after me' in the sense of 'other than me.' Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanavi has done his translation accordingly. But, with most commentators, the sense of the prayer is: 'Even after me, let no one have a kingdom as great as this.' Accordingly, so it happened. The kingdom that Allah gave to Prophet Suliaman was a kingdom the like of which never became the lot of anyone else. The reason was simple. The subjugation of the wind and the command over the genre of the Jinn were exclusive traits of his kingdom, and no kingdom that followed him had these characteristics. There are some people who carry out mysterious exercises ('amaliyyat) through which they are known to subjugate Jinns, a phenomenon that does not fall contrary to this, because it cannot be compared, in the least, to the subjugation of the jinn Allah had allowed for Prophet Suliaman. Moreover, these experts in brnaliyyat are able to make just about one or a few Jinns become obedient to them, but the kind of widespread kingdom that Prophet Suliaman had was not acquired by anyone.
At this place, it should be borne in mind that no prayer made by the noble prophets is made without the will and permission of Allah. Prophet Suliaman had made this prayer too by the will and permission of Allah. And since some bland seeking of power was not his aim, rather the driving desire to implement Divine laws and the passion to make truth triumph was behind it - and Allah knew that once Prophet Suliaman had the power, he would work for these very high objectives, and would never entertain negative feelings of office, power and recognition - therefore, he was given the permission to make this prayer, and it was accepted as well.
However, common people have been prohibited in Hadith from seeking power following their own initiative. The reason is that such an initiative usually gets to be tainted with the desire for power, influence, money and property. Accordingly, where one has the certitude of being free of such selfish desires and one really would love to see the banner of truth fly high without the least hunger for power hidden anywhere in the recesses of his heart - then, for such a person, praying for power and authority of government is permissible. 
36. Then We subjected the wind to his power, to flow gently to his order, Whithersoever he willed, 
For explanation, see Surah Al-Anbiya, Ayat 81. However, there is one thing which requires further explanation here. In Surah Al-Anbiya where mention has been made of subjecting the wind for the Prophet Sulaiman (peace be upon him), it has been described as the strongly blowing wind, but here “it blew by his command gently wherever he intended”. This means that the wind in itself was strong and violent as is needed for moving the sailing-ships but it had been made gentle for the Prophet Solomon in the sense that it blew whithersoever he wanted it to blow for his commercial fleets.
37. and We also subjected the devils to him all kinds of builders and divers; 
38. As also others bound together in fetters. 
For explanation, see Surah Al-Anbiya, Ayat 82 and Surah An-Naml, Ayats 17, 39. The satans imply the jinns, and the satans linked in chains imply the serving satans, who were fettered and imprisoned as a punishment for making mischief. It is not necessary that the fetters and chains in which those satans were bound might be made of iron and they might appear as bound in them like the human prisoners. In any case, they were imprisoned in a manner that they could neither escape nor were able to commit further mischief.
39. "Such are Our Bounties: whether thou bestow them (on others) or withhold them, no account will be asked." 
This verse can have three meanings: (1) This is Our unlimited gift: You have the authority to give of it freely to whomsoever you like and keep it from whomsoever you like. (2) This is Our gift: You may give of it to whomsoever you like and keep it from whomsoever you like, you will not be called to account for giving it or keeping it from the people. (3) Another meaning of it given by some commentators is: The satans have been placed entirely under your control: you may set free whomsoever you like and restrain whomsoever you like. You will not be held accountable for this.
40. And he enjoyed, indeed, a Near Approach to Us, and a beautiful Place of (Final) Return.
Here, the object is to tell that just as a servant’s arrogance causes Allah’s displeasure and wrath, so does his humility earns Allah’s pleasure and approval for him. If a servant commits an error and becomes even more arrogant when warned, he is led to the same fate as is being mentioned in connection with the story of Adam and Satan below. Contrary to this, if a servant happens to commit an error and he repents and bows down before his Lord humbly, he is blessed with such bounties as the Prophets David and Solomon (peace be upon them) were blessed with. The prayer that Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him) had made after seeking Allah’s forgiveness, was literally fulfilled and Allah actually granted him a kingdom as had neither been granted to anyone before him nor bestowed on anyone after him. Having control over the winds and the jinns is an extraordinary power, which has been granted only to the Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him) and to none else in human history.

Ruku 4 (Verses 41-64)
Verses 41-48 dwell on story of Prophet Ayub (Job), his sickness and relief. When he called out in distress because Satan had afflicted him with suffering.  Allah gave him cool water and restored and multiplied the family members that had deserted him.  Allah relieved Job of the oath he made to beat his wife by instructing him to strike her with blades of grass. Allah’s servants, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were men of vision; Ishmael, Elisha and Dhul Khifl were outstanding among men. 
41. Commemorate Our Servant Job. Behold he cried to his Lord: "The Evil One has afflicted me with distress and suffering!" 
This is the fourth place in the Quran where the Prophet Job (Ayub, peace be upon him) has been mentioned. Before this he has been mentioned in (Surah An-Nisa, Ayat 163); (Surah Al-Anaam, Ayat 84 )and (Surah Al-Anbiya, Ayats 83-84).

As for this verse, 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 (peace be upon him) is preferable for two reasons: (1) According to the Quran, 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 (peace be upon him) 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.
42. (The command was given:) "Strike with thy foot: here is (water) wherein to wash, cool and refreshing, and (water) to 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 (peace be upon him) 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).
43. And We gave him (back) his people, and doubled their number,- as a Grace from Ourselves, and a thing for commemoration, for all who have Understanding. 
Traditions show that during this illness everyone except his wife had deserted the Prophet Job (peace be upon him); 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.

In here,  there is a lesson for us to ponder: Neither should man forget Allah 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.
44.  (and We said to him): “Take in your hand a bundle of rushes and strike with it, and do not break your oath.” Indeed We found him steadfast. How excellent a servant (of Ours) he was. Indeed he constantly turned (to his Lord).
Prophet Job (peace be upon him) 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.

The Prophet Job (peace be upon him) 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 are honored and blessed with the favors and bounties with which the Prophet Job (peace be upon him) 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 (peace be upon him).
45. And commemorate Our Servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, possessors of Power and Vision. 
To describe these Prophets as “men of great power and insight” means that 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 see 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, are 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.
46. Verily We did choose them for a special (purpose)- proclaiming the Message of the Hereafter. 
That is, the real cause for their success and eminence was that there was nothing 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 case. 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.
47. They were, in Our sight, truly, of the company of the Elect and the Good. 48. And commemorate Isma'il, Elisha, and Zul-Kifl: Each of them was of the Company of the Good.
The Prophet AlYasa (peace be upon him) has been mentioned only twice in the Quran, in Surah Al-Anaam, Ayat 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 successor-ship. 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, 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.

Dhul-Kifil also has been mentioned only twice in the Quran, in (Surah Al Anbiya, Ayat 85) and here.

Verses 49-64 are a reminder, the gates of Paradise will open to the righteous and their provision will never end.  In contrast, the rebellious and wrongdoers will burn in Hell with other punishments of various kinds.  The followers will be thrown in after their leaders. Some will pray that their leaders be doubly punished and they will all wonder why the ones they used to ridicule were not there with them.  The people of the Hellfire will continue to argue and blame one another.
49. This is a Message (of admonition): and verily, for the righteous, is a beautiful Place of (Final) Return, 
50. Gardens of Eternity, whose doors will (ever) be open to them; 
A similar mention is made in Surah Az-Zumar, Ayat 73: "And those who eschewed disobeying their Lord shall be driven in companies to Paradise so that when they arrive there its gates will have already been thrown open and its keepers shall say to them: “Peace be upon you; you have done well. So enter. Herein you shall abide.”
51. Therein will they recline (at ease): Therein can they call (at pleasure) for fruit in abundance, and (delicious) drink; 52. And beside them will be chaste women restraining their glances, (companions) of equal age. 53. Such is the Promise made, to you for the Day of Account! 54. Truly such will be Our Bounty (to you); it will never fail; 55. Yea, such! but - for the wrong-doers will be an evil place of (Final) Return! 56. Hell!- they will burn therein, - an evil bed (indeed, to lie on)! 
هٰذَا ۙ فَلۡيَذُوۡقُوۡهُ حَمِيۡمٌ وَّغَسَّاقٌ ۙ‏  
57. Yea, such! - then shall they taste it,- a boiling fluid, and a fluid dark, murky, intensely cold! 
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 form of pus, blood, or mixture of pus and blood, etc. and this includes tears as well. (2) Something extremely cold. (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.
58. And other Penalties of a similar kind, to match them! 59. Here is a troop rushing headlong with you! No welcome for them! truly, they shall burn in the Fire! 60. (The followers shall cry to the misleaders:) "Nay, ye (too)! No welcome for you! It is ye who have brought this upon us! Now evil is (this) place to stay in!" 61. They will say: "Our Lord! whoever brought this upon us,- Add to him a double Penalty in the Fire!" 
62. And they will say: "What has happened to us that we see not men whom we used to number among the bad ones? 
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.
63. "Did we treat them (as such) in ridicule, or have (our) eyes failed to perceive them?" 64. Truly that is just and fitting,- the mutual recriminations of the People of the Fire!
Ruku 5 (Verses 65-88)
65-70 The mission of the Rasools' is to warn people and declare that there is no divinity except Allah. Thus Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) must tell them that he is only a warner and that there is no deity but God.
65. Tell them, (O Prophet): “I am nothing but a warner. There is no deity but Allah, the One, the Supreme, 
Now the discourse turns to the same theme with which it began. One should read it with (1-14 verses) 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 see your end yourselves.
66. "The Lord of the heavens and the earth, and all between,- Exalted in Might, able to enforce His Will, forgiving again and again." 67. Say: "That is a Message Supreme (above all), 
68. "From which ye do 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.
69. "No knowledge have I of the Chiefs on high, when they discuss (matters) among themselves. 70. 'Only this has been revealed to me: that I am to give warning plainly and publicly."
71-88 Story of the creation of Adam and disobedience of Iblees (Shaitan). In fact herein under is a discussion between Allah, the angels, and Satan.  Allah told the angels that He was going to make a human being out of clay and that when he was done they should bow down before it.  They did, all of them except Satan (sometimes called Iblees), because he was arrogant.  Satan thought himself better than Adam (the human being) because he was made from fire rather than clay, so God banished and cursed him until the Day of Judgment.  Satan asked for respite until that Day and he was granted.   He swore to Allah that he would use the time to mislead all human beings except the ones that are sincerely devoted to Him.  Allah told Satan to listen to the truth; He intended to fill Hell with Satan and all of his followers.

اِذۡ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلۡمَلٰٓـئِكَةِ اِنِّىۡ خَالِـقٌ ۢ بَشَرًا مِّنۡ طِيۡنٍ‏  
71. Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: "I am about to create man 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” 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: (Surah Al- Baqarah, Ayats 30-39); (Surah Al-Aaraf, Ayats 11-25); (Surah Al-Hijr, Ayats 26-44); (Surah Bani Israil, Ayats 61-65); (Surah Al-Kahf, Ayat 50); (Surah TaHa, Ayats 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.
72. "When I have fashioned him (in due proportion) and breathed into him of My spirit, fall ye down in obeisance unto him." 
For explanation, see (Surah Al-Hijr, Ayats 29-30), (Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayats 34); (Surah Al-Aaraf, Ayat 11).
73. So the angels prostrated themselves, all of them together: 74. Not so Iblis: he was haughty, and became one of those who reject Faith. 
75. (Allah) said: "O Iblis! What prevents thee from prostrating thyself to one whom I have created with my hands? Art thou haughty? Or art thou one of the high (and mighty) ones?" 
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 by 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 be-yadaiia (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. (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.
76. (Iblis) said: "I am better than he: thou createdst me from fire, and him thou creath from clay." 
قَالَ فَاخۡرُجۡ مِنۡهَا فَاِنَّكَ رَجِيۡمٌ  ۖ​ ۚ‏  
77. (Allah) said: "Then get thee out from here: for thou art rejected, accursed. 
“Out of it”: 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 Al-Aaraf, the same thing has been expressed thus: Get out: you are indeed one of those who wish themselves ignominy.
78. "And My curse shall be on thee till the Day of Judgment." 
This does not mean that there will be no curse on him after the Day of Judgment, but rather it means: He will remain accursed 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 until Resurrection.
79. (Iblis) said: "O my Lord! Give me then respite till the Day the (dead) are raised." 80. (Allah) said: "Respite then is granted thee- 81. "Till the Day of the Time Appointed." 82. (Iblis) said: "Then, by Thy power, I will put them all in the wrong, 
83. "Except Thy Servants amongst them, sincere and purified (by Thy Grace)." 
This does not mean: I will not lead Your chosen servants astray, but it means: I shall have no power over Your chosen servants.
84. (Allah) said: "Then it is just and fitting- and I say what is just and fitting- 
85. "That I will certainly fill Hell with thee and those that follow thee,- every one." 
“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 entire 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 verses 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 belong to you, and is it for you to decide as to who should be appointed God’s Prophet and who should not be appointed? In the second answer the chiefs of the Quraish have been told: Your jealousy, your pride and arrogance against Muhammad (peace be upon him) are similar to the jealousy and arrogance of Iblis against Adam (peace be upon him). Iblis had also refused to acknowledge the right of Allah to appoint anyone He pleased as His vicegerent, and you are also refusing to acknowledge His right to appoint anyone He pleases as His Messenger. Iblis disobeyed the command to bow down before Adam, and you are disobeying the command to follow Muhammad (peace be upon him). Your resemblance with him does not end here, but your fate also will be the same as has been preordained 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. (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.
86. Say: "No reward do I ask of you for this (Qur'an), nor am I a pretender. 
That is, I am a selfless person: I have no vested interest in preaching this message. And that 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 Prophet (peace be upon him) 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 (peace be upon him) 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.
87. "This is no less than a Message to (all) the Worlds. 88. "And ye shall certainly know the truth of it (all) after a while."
In conclusion, it is said that Prophet Muhammad must tell the people that the Quran is a reminder and that he does not ask for any payment, nor does he pretend to be something other than a man with a message and a warning.  In time, everyone will know that he speaks the truth.

You may now like to listen to Arabic recitation of Sūrat Ṣād  with English subtitles:

You may refer to our post "114 Chapters (Sūrahs) of the Holy Qur'an" for translation, meaning and summary / exegesis of other chapters (Though not complete but building up from 30th Juzʼ / Part backwards for chapters in 30th Juzʼ / Part are shorter and easier to understand). 

Photo | References: | 12 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |
Reading the Holy Quran should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully.

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Holy Qur'an from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that:
  • The plain translation has been taken from the Holy Quran officially published by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. [1]
  • The exegesis of the chapters of the Holy Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi. [2] 
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided by [2], additional input has been interjected from following sources:
In addition the references of  other sources which have been explored have also been given above. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites.

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

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

Tuesday 14 May 2019

An Overview of Surah Saad - The Letter Saad (The 38th Chapter of the Holy Quran)

Sūrah Ṣād / Surah Saad is the thirty eighth surah with 88 verses (āyāt), 1 sajdah ( Verse 24) with five rukus, part of the 23rd Juzʼ of the Holy Qur'an. The Surah takes its name from the alphabetic letter Ṣād with which it begins.

The Sūrah was revealed in Mecca and like all Meccan chapters it emphasizes the fundamentals and basic concepts of Islam.  Sad’s eighty-eight short verses discuss the Oneness of God, the Day of Judgment, and the previous prophets.  It compares the arrogance of the unbelievers of Mecca to the arrogance found in previously destroyed nations, and with the arrogance of Satan.

There are many exegesis / Tafseer sources that explain the concepts and messages contained in the Holy Quran. Some of the sources are traditional and have been there since centuries or many many decades. Alternatively, there are prominent scholars of the day who have taken upon themselves to explore the Holy Quran and present their understanding of the Quran in the language spoke today.

While we present a traditional exegesis of Surah Saad shortly, based on "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, this overview gives an insight to Surah Saad by prominent interpreter of the Quran Nouman Ali Khan. 

Nouman Ali Khan has his typical style of explaining things and he carries the audience along for he explains in a language that is understood by the general public. So listen to him and his commentary will give you an insight into Surah Saad and will pave way for a detailed exegesis which will follow this post.

You may now like to listen to an enlightening commentary of Sūrah Ṣād by Nouman Ali Khan:

For the detailed explanation / exegesis / tafsir of the surah, please read our post: Sūrah Ṣād - the Letter Ṣād  (pronounced Saad).

You may refer to our post "114 Chapters (Sūrahs) of the Holy Qur'an" for translation, meaning and summary / exegesis of other chapters (Though not complete but building up from 30th Juzʼ / Part backwards for chapters in 30th Juzʼ / Part are shorter and easier to understand). 

Photo | References | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 |
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.

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

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

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