Showing posts with label Disbelievers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Disbelievers. Show all posts

Friday 1 March 2019

Surah Al Ankabut "The Spider": Overview of 29th Chapter of the Holy Quran

Surah Al-‘Ankabūt is the twenty ninth surah with 69 ayahs with seven rukus, part of the 20th Juzʼ  of the Holy Qur'an, revealed in Makkah.

The Surah takes its name from verse 41 in which the word Ankabut (Spider) has occurred:
 مَثَلُ ٱلَّذِينَ ٱتَّخَذُوا۟ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ أَوْلِيَآءَ كَمَثَلِ ٱلْعَنكَبُوتِ ٱتَّخَذَتْ بَيْتًا ۖ وَإِنَّ أَوْهَنَ ٱلْبُيُوتِ لَبَيْتُ ٱلْعَنكَبُوتِ ۖ لَوْ كَانُوا۟ يَعْلَمُونَ
The example of those who have made guardians other than Allah is like the spider. She has made a house of cobweb. And undoubtedly, the frailest of all houses is the house of the spider. What a good thing it would have been if they knew.

Parables (comparison) are told in the Qur'an to illustrate a lesson from a religions point of view and to convey a moral wisdom. It is a teaching method that makes it easier to understand and to remember deep truths in an effective way. This kind of profound meaning can only be understood by those who seek true knowledge and attain it by the Grace of Allah. And one great comparison is mentioned in Surah 29, Al Ankabut - The Spider.

Why the mention of spider has been made, please wait for our next post on the exegesis of this surah when the detailed answer will be given.  

Surah Al-‘Ankabūt was revealed in the later time frame since the open proclamation of Islam in Makkah when the persecution of Muslims at the hands of pagans of Makkah had reached at its peak. The disbelievers were opposing and fighting Islam tooth and nail and the new converts were being subjected to the severest oppression. And some of the tortured Muslims had started to complain to the the Prophet of Allah as to why they had been so badly treated when they were following the path of truth. Specifically, one of the companions, Khabbab ibn Al-Arat, was subject to severe torture ad was made to lie on burning sad that his entire skin was burnt. Thus he came to the Prophet, peace be upon him, asking him why was this happening to them? In answer to these painful questions, the first two verses from the Qur’an were revealed:
{Alif, Lam, Meem. Do the people think that they will be left to say, “We believe” and they will not be tried?} 
Such were the conditions when Allah sent down this Surah to strengthen and encourage the sincere Muslims as well as to put to shame those who were showing weakness of the faith. Besides, the disbelievers of Makkah have been threatened and warned not to invite for themselves the fate that the antagonists of the Truth have been experiencing in every age.

Verses 56 to 60 clearly show that this Surah was sent down a little before the migration to Habash. Some commentators have opined that since it mentions the hypocrites, and hypocrisy appeared in Madinah, the first ten verses of this Surah were revealed at Madinah and the rest of it at Makkah; whereas the people whose hypocrisy has been mentioned here are those who had adopted a hypocritical way of life because they were afraid of the oppression and extreme physical torture to which the Muslims were being subjected by the disbelievers. Evidently, this kind of hypocrisy could be there only at Makkah and not at Madinah. Similarly, some other commentators, seeing that in this Surah the Muslims have been exhorted to migrate, have regarded it as the last Surah to be revealed at Makkah, whereas the Muslims had migrated to Habash even before their migration to Madinah. These opinions are not based on any tradition but on the internal evidence of the subject matter, and this internal evidence, when considered against the subject matter of the Surah as a whole, points to the conditions prevailing in the time of the migration to Habash and not to the last stage at Makkah.

This surah also answers some of the questions of the young men, whose parents were urging them to abandon Muhammad (may Allah's peace be upon him), and return to their ancestral religion, for they argued: "The Qur'an in which you have put your faith, regards the rights of the parents as the uppermost; therefore, listen to what we say; otherwise you will be working against the dictates of your own Faith." This has been answered in verse 8.

Similarly, the people of some clans said to the new converts to Islam, "Leave the question of punishments, etc., to us. Listen to us and abandon this man. If God seizes you in the Hereafter, we will come forward and say, 'Lord, these people are innocent: we had forced them to give up the Faith; therefore, seize us'." This has been dealt with, in verses 12-13.

The stories mentioned in this Surah also impress the same point mostly, as if to say, "Look at the Prophets of the past (specifically mentioning prophets Nuh (Noah), Ibrahim (Abraham), Lut (lot), Shuaib, Hud, Saleh, Musa (Moses), peace be upon them all): they were made to suffer great hardships and were treated cruelly for long periods. Then, at last they were helped by Allah. And those who made them suffer were destroyed and made to suffer for their sins as mentioned in verse 40:
So each We punished for his sin; of them was he on whom We sent down a violent storm, and of them was he whom the rumbling overtook, and of them was he whom We made to be swallowed up by the earth, and of them was he whom We drowned; and it did not beseem Allah that He should be unjust to them, but they were unjust to their own souls.
Therefore, the Muslims are advised to take heart: Allah's succor will certainly come. But a period of trial and tribulation has to be undergone." Besides teaching this lesson to the Muslims, the disbelievers also have been warned, as if to say, "If you are not being immediately seized by Allah, you should not form the wrong impression that you will never be seized. The signs of the doomed nations of the past are before you. Just see how they met their doom and how Allah succored the Prophets."

Then the Muslims have been instructed to the effect: "If you feel that the persecution has become unbearable for you, you should give up your homes, instead of giving up your Faith: Allah's earth is vast: seek a new place where you can worship Allah with the full peace of mind." Besides all this, the disbelievers also have been urged to understand Islam. The realities of Tawhid and the Hereafter have been impressed with rational arguments, shirk have been refuted, and drawing their attention towards the signs in the universe, they have been told that all these Signs confirm the teachings that the Prophet is presenting before them.

While we would present the detailed translation / exegesis of the surah subsequently, we herein under give a gist of Surah Al-‘Ankabūt by the renowned scholar Nouman Ali Khan in a very enlightening manner that would make you understand the entire surah and its purpose of revelation:

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

Photo | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 |
An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Holy Qur'an from authentic souses and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. However, those wanting detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to sites the references of which are given above.

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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.

Wednesday 23 January 2019

Surah Muhammad (The Praised One): Exegesis of 47th Chapter of the Holy Quran

Sūrah Muhammad is the forty seventh Surah with 38 ayahs with four rukus, part of the 26th Juzʼ  of the Holy Qur'an. The Surah is named after the last of the prophets of Allah, Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) - the name of the Holy Prophet is mentioned in the second verse of the chapter.

Besides this Surah, the mention of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) is made at three other different places in the Holy Quran:
1- Surah aal Imran (3:144) - وَمَامُحَمَّدٌ إِلَّا رَسُولٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِن قَبْلِهِ الرُّسُلُ -  - and Muhammad is except a Messenger, many Messengers passed away before him..
2 - Surah al Ahzab (33:40) مَّا كَانَ مُحَمَّدٌ أَبَا أَحَدٍ مِّن رِّجَالِكُمْ وَلَٰكِن رَّسُولَ اللَّهِ وَخَاتَمَ النَّبِيِّينَ - Muhammad is not the father of your men but he is the Messenger of Allah and the seal of the Prophets)..
3 - Surah al Fat-h (48:29) مُّحَمَّدٌ رَّسُولُ اللَّهِ - Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.
In Surah al-Saff 61:6 - Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) has been referred to as "Ahmad" as mentioned by Prophet Eesa (Jesus, peace be upon him):
وَمُبَشِّرًا بِرَسُولٍ يَأْتِي مِن بَعْدِي اسْمُهُأَحْمَدُ - [Jesus gave the good news of Prophet Muhammad] bringing good tidings of a messenger to come after me, whose name is Ahmad."
The contents of this Surah testify that it was sent down after the Hijrah to Madinah after the revelation of Surahs Al-Hajj and Al-Baqarah in which fighting was enjoined, but before the battle of Badr:
  • Verse 23:39 of Surah Al Haj, is the first verse of the Quran in which "permission to fight" was given in the month of Zil-Hajj in the first year after Hijrah according as per scholars: "Permission (to fight) has been granted to those for they have been wronged.78 Verily Allah has the power to help them."
  • Then the "command to fight" was given in (verse 190 of Surah Al-Baqarah) in Rajab or Shaban of A.H. 2: "Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you but do not transgress, for Allah does not love transgressors."
Thus this Surah mainly focuses on the Battle of Badr - the first battle between the believers (Muslims) and the non believers (pagans of Makkah). Therefore one may find the language used in this Surah to be rather strong in tone for its purpose was to arouse the Muslims to take arms and fight the non believers who had mustered a strong army with a view to annihilating the Muslims. This Surah is almost an entire explanation of the last ayah of the previous Surah; Ahqaf (46) - a Makkan Surah.
So bear with patience, (O Prophet), even as the Messengers endowed with firmness of resolve (before you) bore with patience, and do not be hasty in their regard. The Day when they see what they had been warned against they will feel as though they had remained in the world no more than an hour of a day. (The Truth has been conveyed.) Will any, then, suffer perdition except those who disobey?
Besides this Surah, we also find commentary on Battle of Badr in Surah Anfal (8) while Surah at-Tawba has a commentary on the last of battles in the seerah (Fat-h Makkah - the capture of Makkah, and Tabuk). Hence, Surah Muhammad is a introduction to the first victory - Badr. And then Surah al-Fat-h (49) which is about the next victory of al Hudaybiah.

Let us now read explanation of the Surah segmented into portions as per the subject matter:

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

The first verse of the Surah begins with the words "aladheena Kafaroo" (past tense/disbelieve  disbelieved ) rahter than - "aladheena yaKfuroo" - those who disbelieve (present-future tense) - which would mean that their disbelief may change in the future. By using past tense - it is assuring that they will remain firm upon their disbelief for certain.
1 [ اَلَّذِيۡنَ كَفَرُوۡا وَصَدُّوۡا عَنۡ سَبِيۡلِ اللّٰهِ اَضَلَّ اَعۡمَالَهُمۡ‏  ] Those who disbelieved and debarred (others) from Allah's Way, Allah rendered their works fruitless.
Thereafter the verb sadd (from which saddu of the original is derived) is used both as a transitive and as an intransitive verb in Arabic. Thus, the verse means “they themselves refrained from adopting Allah’s Way” as well as “they prevented others from adopting this way.”
2 And those who believe and do good, and believe in that which has been revealed to Muhammad - and it is the Truth from their Lord - He will remove their evil from them and improve their condition.
In the verse 2 above, although after saying "those who believe" there was no need to say "and accepted that which has been sent down to Muhammad", for belief by itself implies believing in the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) and in the teachings sent down to him, yet making a separate mention of it is particularly meant to assert this. After the appointment of Muhammad (ﷺ) to Prophet-hood, a person’s belief in Allah and the Hereafter and the former Messengers and the Books cannot be beneficial until he also believes in him and the teachings brought by him. This explanation was necessary because after the emigration, the Muslims had also to deal with those who recognized and accepted all the requirements of the faith but refused to acknowledge and accept the Prophet-hood of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ).
3 That is because those who disbelieve follow falsehood, and those who believe follow the Truth from their Lord. Thus does Allah set forth their descriptions for men.
In the verse 3 above, mention of two parties has been made to make them aware of their positions. One party insists on following falsehood; therefore, Allah has brought all its endeavors to naught. And the other party has adopted obedience of the Truth; therefore, Allah has purified it of its evils and corrected its condition.

The verse 4 is the most important verse which calls on the believers to fight those who have wronged them since proclamation of Islam.
4 So when you meet in battle those who disbelieve, smite the necks; then, when you have overcome them, make (them) prisoners, and afterwards (set them free) as a favour or for ransom till the war lay down its burdens. That (shall be so). And if Allah please, He would certainly exact retribution from them, but that He may try some of you by means of others. And those who are slain in the way of Allah, He will never allow their deeds to perish.
The words of this verse as well as the context in which it occurs clearly show that it was sent down after the revelation of the command for fighting and before the actual fighting began. The words, “So when you meet (in battle) those who disbelieve”, indicate that the fighting has not yet taken place and the Muslims are being instructed that when it does take place, what they should do.

Here it may be pertinent to mention that The permission to fight the infidels was first given in Surah Al-Haj 22:39: "Permission (to fight) has been granted to those for they have been wronged. Verily Allah has the power to help them."  However, it was in Surah Al Baqarah, verses 190 that the command to fight was given: "Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you but do not transgress, for Allah does not love transgressors."
5 He will guide them and improve their condition. 
Guidance here obviously implies guiding to Paradise; setting the condition right implies that before their entry into Paradise, Allah will adorn them with robes of honor and remove every filth which had polluted them in the life of the world; and the third stage means that even in this world they have been told through the Quran and the Prophet (peace be upon him) what kind of Paradise it is that has been prepared for them. When they enter that Paradise they will enter a place with which they will already be familiar and they will come to know that they have been blessed precisely with the same that had been promised to them in the world.

The verse 6 below means that this is the profit that the martyrs falling in the way of Allah will gain. Its three grades have been stated: That Allah will guide them, That He will set their condition right and That He will admit them into the Paradise with which He has acquainted them beforehand.
6. And make them enter the Garden, which He has made known to them. 
7. O you who believe, if you help Allah, He will help you and make firm your feet.
If you help Allah: If you participate in the work of raising Allah’s Word with your life and wealth.  At various places the Qur'an characterizes man's participation in the effort to establish the supremacy of Islam as 'helping Allah'. This needs a little explanation. Allah has endowed man with the freedom of will and choice, with the result that He does not resort to His omnipotent will to compel man either to do certain things or to refrain from others. He rather leaves man free to adopt the course that pleases him - be it that of either belief or unbelief, of either obedience or disobedience. Allah prefers to instruct man by means of persuasive argument and admonition, so as to bring home to him that even though he is free to disbelieve, disobey and defy the Will of God, his own interest and well-being lie in serving and obeying his Creator.

Now here are few verses about the about the disbelievers. It has been said that they are deprived of Allah's support and guidance: none of their designs will succeed in their conflict with the believers, and they will meet a most evil fate both in this world and in the Hereafter. They thought they had achieved a great success by driving the Prophet of Allah out of Makkah, but in fact by this they had hastened their own doom.
8. And those who disbelieve, for them is destruction, and He will destroy their works. 9. That is because they hate that which Allah reveals, so He has rendered their deeds fruitless. 
10. Have they not traveled in the land and seen what was the end of those before them? Allah destroyed them. And for the disbelievers is the like thereof. 
The verse below has two meanings: (1) The same destruction that was met by those disbelievers now awaits these disbelievers, who are not accepting the invitation of Muhammad (peace be upon him). (2) The ruin of those people does not end with the torment of the world; the same doom also awaits them in the Hereafter. 
11. That is because Allah is the patron of those who believe, and because the disbelievers have no patron. 
The verse 11 is in reference to Battle of Uhud. After being wounded when the Prophet (ﷺ) was resting in a hill pass with a few companions, leader of the pagans of Makkah Abu Sufyan shouted: We have Uzza and there is no Uzza for you. Thereupon the Prophet (ﷺ) told his companions to respond, saying: Our Protector and helper is Allah, and you have no protector and helper at all. This reply of the Prophet  was derived from this very verse. 
12. Surely Allah will make those who believe and do good enter Gardens wherein flow rivers. And those who disbelieve enjoy themselves and eat as the cattle eat, and the Fire is their abode.
The second part of the verse 12 above is for the disbelievers. That is, just as an animal eats and does not think where from the food it eats has come, who has created it, and what rights of the creator are imposed on it for providing it with food, so are these people also eating and have no higher values or ideals beyond eating.

The Prophet (ﷺ) was sorely distressed on leaving Makkah. When he was compelled to emigrate, he had stood facing the city outside it and said: O Makkah, you are the most beloved city in the sight of Allah, and I have the greatest love for you out of all the cities of Allah. If the polytheists had not driven me out, I would never have left you. 
13 And how many a town, more powerful than thy town which has driven thee out - We destroyed them, so there was no helper for them.
Thus in verse 13 it has been said: After driving you out of the city the people of Makkah think that they have achieved a great success, whereas, in fact, they have hastened only their own ruin by this evil act. The style of the verse clearly indicates that it must have been revealed soon after the Hijrah.
14 Is then he who has a clear argument from his Lord like him to whom his evil conduct is made fair-seeming; and they follow their low desires.
That is, how is it possible that when the Prophet and his followers have been guided by God to a clear and straight path and they have started following it in the light of full knowledge and vision, they should walk along, with those who are still persisting in their ways of ignorance, who regard their deviation as guidance and their evildoing as a praiseworthy thing, and who judge on the basis of their personal desires, and not by argument as to what is the truth and what is falsehood. Now, neither can the lives of these two groups be alike in this world nor can their end be alike in the Hereafter.

The verse 15 paints an inviting landscape of Paradise, which is being promised to the believers who remain steadfast in their pursuits to bow to the Divine commandments and teachings of the Prophet of Allah.
15 A parable of the Garden which the dutiful are promised: Therein are rivers of water not altering for the worse, and rivers of milk whereof the taste changes not, and rivers of wine delicious to the drinkers, and rivers of honey clarified; and for them therein are all fruits and protection from their Lord. (Are these) like those who abide in the Fire and who are made to drink boiling water, so it tends their bowels asunder?

The milk mentioned above will be unique and pleasant to drink. In a Hadith directly reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him), it has been explained thus: It will not be the milk squeezed from the milk glands of animals. That is, it will be the milk which Allah will bring out in the form of springs from the earth and cause it to flow into canals of Paradise. About this natural milk it has been said: Its flavor will not change at all; that is, it will not give even the slightest offensive smell that is found in every kind of milk squeezed from the animal milk glands.

The verse 16 below concerns the hypocrites:
16. And there are those of them who seek to listen to thee, till, when they go forth from thee, they say to those who have been given knowledge: What was it that he said just now? These are they whose hearts Allah has sealed and they follow their low desires.

It addresses those disbelievers and hypocrites and unbelieving followers of the former Books, who sat in the assemblies of the Prophet (peace be upon him), listened to his discourses, or the verses of the Quran, but since in their hearts they were averse to the themes presented by him, they would understand nothing in spite of listening to him. Therefore, when they came out, they would ask the Muslims: What was he saying just now?
17 And those who follow guidance, He increases them in guidance and grants them their observance of duty.
That is, the same revelations about which the disbelievers and hypocrites ask: What was the Prophet (peace be upon him) saying just now? become a cause of further guidance for the rightly guided people, and from the same assembly from which these unfortunate people rise without gaining anything, the fortunate ones return with a new treasure of knowledge and insight. is, Allah grants them the grace to develop in themselves the kind of piety Taqwa that they have the capability to develop.
18 Wait they for aught but the Hour that it should come upon them of a sudden? Now tokens thereof have already come. For how will they have their reminder, when it comes on them?

That is, as far as the explanation and clarification of the truth is concerned; it has been explained well by argument and reasoning, the miraculous discourses of the Quran, the pure character of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the revolution in the lives of his companions. Now, are these people awaiting that Resurrection itself should take place and then only they will believe?
19 So know that there is no God but Allah and ask protection for thy sin and for the believing men and the believing women. And Allah knows your moving about and your staying (in a place).
20 The believers used to say: “Why is a surah (that would ordain fighting) not revealed?” But when a definitive surah was revealed wherein fighting was mentioned, you saw that those in whose hearts there was a sickness looked at you as though they were about to faint at the approach of death. Pity on them!

The verse 20 is in view of the conditions through which the Muslims were passing and the attitude that the disbelievers had adopted towards Islam and the Muslims. The believers were generally of the opinion that they should be permitted to fight even before fighting was actually enjoined by Allah. Rather they were asking Allah’s command in this regard impatiently and were asking again and again: Why are we not permitted to fight these wicked people? But the condition of the people who had joined the ranks of the Muslims hypocritically was quite different from that of the believers. They held their lives and their properties as dearer to themselves than Allah and His religion, and were not prepared to risk them at any cost. Therefore, as soon as fighting was enjoined, they were clearly sorted out from the true believers. Until the time when fighting had not been enjoined, the hypocrites and the common believers could not be distinguished one from the other. The hypocrites offered the Prayer just as the true believers did, they observed the Fast just like them, and practiced every article of the faith as made no demand of a sacrifice on them. But when the time came for making the supreme sacrifice of life for the sake of Islam, their hypocrisy was exposed and their veil of false display of the faith was rent asunder. In Surah An-Nisa, their this state has been described thus: Have you marked those to whom it was said: Withhold your hands a while and establish the salat and pay the zakat? Now that the fighting has been enjoined for them, some of them fear the people as they should fear Allah, or even more than that. They say: Our Lord, why have You enjoined fighting for us? Why have You not given us a brief respite?
21 Obedience and a gentle word (was proper). Then when the affair is settled, it is better for them if they remain true to Allah. 22 But if you turn away, you are sure to make mischief in the land and cut off the ties of kinship! 23 Those it is whom Allah has cursed, so He has made them deaf and blinded their eyes.24 Do they not reflect on the Qur'an? Or, are there locks on the hearts? 25 Surely those who turn back after guidance is manifest to them, the devil embellishes it for them and lengthens false hopes for them. 26 That is because they say to those who hate what Allah has revealed We will obey you in some matters. And Allah knows their secrets.27 But how will it be when the angels cause them to die, smiting their faces and their backs? 28 That is because they follow that which displeases Allah and are averse to His pleasure, so He makes their deeds fruitless. 29 Or do those in whose hearts is a disease think that Allah will nor bring forth their spite?

30 And if We please, We could show them to thee so that thou shouldst know them by their marks. And certainly thou canst recognize them by the tone of (their) speech. And Allah knows your deeds. 31 And certainly We shall try you, till We know those among you who strive hard, and the steadfast, and manifest your news. 32 Surely those who disbelieve and hinder (men) from Allah's way and oppose the Messenger after guidance is quite clear to them, cannot harm Allah in any way, and He will make their deeds fruitless.

33 O you who believe, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and make not your deeds vain.

34 Surely those who disbelieve and hinder (men) from Allah's way, then die disbelievers, Allah will not forgive them.
To better understand the verse 35 below, one should bear in mind the fact that when this discourse was revealed only a handful of the Muslims consisting of a couple of hundreds of the Muhajirin and Ansar living in the small town of Madinah were upholding the standard of Islam and they were not only faced by the powerful Quraish but also by the whole of pagan Arabia.
35 So, be not faint-hearted and do not cry for peace. You shall prevail. Allah is with you and will not bring your works to nought.

Such were the conditions when they were exhorted not to show weakness and not to beg (the enemy) for peace, but to make preparations for the decisive conflict. This does not mean that the Muslims should never negotiate for peace, but it means that in a state like this it is not right to initiate peace negotiations when it shows the Muslims’ weakness, for it will still further embolden the enemy. The Muslims should first establish their superiority in power and strength; then if they negotiate peace there will be no harm.
36 The life of this world is but idle sport and play, and, if you believe and keep your duty, He will give you your reward, and He does not ask of you your wealth. 

37 If He should ask you for it and press you, you will be niggardly, and He will bring forth your malice.
In conclusion, the Muslims have been invited to spend their wealth in the cause of Allah. Although at that time they were economically very weak, the problem that they confronted was the very survival of Islam and the Muslims. 
38. Behold! you are those who are called to spend in Allah's way, but among you are those who are niggardly; and whoever is niggardly, is niggardly against his own soul. And Allah is Self-Sufficient and you are needy. And if you turn back He will bring in your place another people, then they will not be like you.
The importance and delicacy of the problem demanded that the Muslims should not only risk their lives for safeguarding themselves and their Faith from the dominance of disbelief and for exalting Allah's Religion but should also expend their economic resources as far as possible in the preparations for war. Therefore, they were clearly warned to the effect. Anyone who adopted a niggardly attitude at the time, would not, in fact, harm Allah at all, but would result in his own destruction, for Allah does not stand in need of help from men. If one group of men shirked offering sacrifices in the cause of His Religion, Allah would remove it and bring another group in its place.

You may now like to listen to Arabic recitation of Sūrah Muḥammad with English subtitles:

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

Photo | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 45 |
An effort has been made to gather explanation of the surahs of the Holy Qur'an from authentic souses and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the Surah. However, those wanting detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to sites the references of which are given above.

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.

Thursday 29 November 2018

Surah Al Haaqah - The Inevitable Reality: Summary of 69th Chapter of the Holy Quran

Sūrat al-Ḥāqqah is the 69th surah with 52 ayats with two rukus, part of the 29th Juzʼ  of the Holy Qur'an. The surah was revealed in Makkah.

The word Haaqah is from the word Haq and it means that which is to happen, the inevitable reality. The surah can be divided into two parts: The first section (verses 1-37) carries a strong description of the Hereafter,  while the second section (verses 38-52) is about Qur’an being a revelation of Allah and the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) being a true Messenger of Allah.

About this Surah, ‘Umar Bin Abdil Khattab, the second caliph of Islam, has been quoted to have said: “Before embracing Islam one day I came out of my house with a view to causing trouble to the Prophet of Allah. I found him reciting Surah al-Haaqah in the prayer in the Masjid Al Haram. I stood behind him and listened. As he recited the Qur’an I wondered at its literary charm and beauty. Then suddenly an idea came to my mind that he must be a poet as the Quraysh alleged. Just at that moment he recited the words,

إِنَّهُ لَقَوْلُ رَسُولٍ كَرِيمٍ – وَمَا هُوَ بِقَوْلِ شَاعِرٍ ۚ
“That this is verily the word of an honored Messenger. It is not the word of a poet,” 
(69: 40-41).
I said to myself: Then he must be a soothsayer, if not a poet. Thereupon he recited the words:

وَلَا بِقَوْلِ كَاهِنٍ ۚ قَلِيلًا مَّا تَذَكَّرُونَ – تَنزِيلٌ مِّن رَّبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ
“Nor is it the word of a soothsayer, little is that you remember! This is the Revelation sent down from the Lord of the ‘Alameen,” (69: 42-43).

On hearing this Islam entered deep into my heart. [Musnad Ahmad]. This tradition of Hadrat Umar shows that this surah had been sent down long before his acceptance of Islam, for even after this event he did not believe for a long time, and he continued to be influenced in favor of Islam by different incidents from time to time, till at last in the house of his own sister he came by the experience that made him surrender and submit to the Faith completely. 

Let us now read explanation of the Surah segmented into portions as per the subject matter:

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

The surah begins with the word "al-Haaqqah" which means an event which has inevitably to take place and the occurrence of which in the future is so certain as to admit of no doubt or suspicion. To use this word for Resurrection and to begin the discourse with it by itself shows that the people were denying its occurrence. They are being told: That which you are denying is inevitable: your denial will not prevent its occurrence.
1. The (Inevitable) Reality (i.e. the Day of Resurrection)! 2. What is the Reality? 3. And what will make you know what the Reality is?
These two questions in verse 2-3 have been put to arouse the listeners, to make them understand the importance of the theme and listen to what follows with full attention.

Verses 4-12 are in fact a reminder to the disbelievers that before them, many disbelievers of their kind too denied the messages and commandments of Allah and then were destroyed by the wrath of Allah, only to be remembered in the history books as a forewarning to those who do not beleive in what the prophets and messengers from Allah tried to tell them and convince them to follow the straight path of one Allah, the creator of the universe, who also has the ability to bring it to an end whenever He would will:
4. Thamud and 'Ad people denied the Qari'ah [the striking Hour (of Judgement)]! 5. As for Thamud, they were destroyed by the awful cry! 
People of Thamud demanded a miracle of witnessing a ten month pregnant she-camel emerge from a certain rock. Their Prophet Saleh (peace be upon him) made them promise that if their request is responded to they would believe in him and follow him. They agreed to do so. But when the she-camel emerged they wanted to get rid of it because they still disbelieved in their Messenger despite benefiting from the camel and plotted to kill it. As result, they were punished by Allah by a strong earthquake and overwhelming cry. They were overtaken by this and were left dead in their homes.

The punishment of the people of Thamud has been described in other surahs of the Qur’an as well. In Surah al-A’raf ayah 78 it has been called ar-rafjah [الرَّجْفَة] meaning a terrible earthquake; in Surah Hud ayah 67 it has been termed as-sayhah [الصَّيْحَة] meaning a violent blast; in Surah Fussilat ayah 17 it has been said that were overtaken by saaiqatu al-aathab [صَاعِقَةُ الْعَذَاب], a humiliating scourge. These words describe different aspects of the same calamity.
6. And as for 'Ad, they were destroyed by a furious violent wind; 7. Which Allah imposed on them for seven nights and eight days in succession, so that you could see men lying overthrown (destroyed), as if they were hollow trunks of date-palms! 8. Do you see any remnants of them? 
“And as for ‘Ad, they were destroyed by a furious violent wind,” (69: 6). Sarsar [صَرْصَر] is a harsh, cold and bitter wind which chills down to the bones. Sarsar is a repeated word which means it is a wind which continuously repeats itself. The winds continued to blow fiercely for seven nights and eight days without any mercy or blessing. They would cause the palm tree to hit the ground, and fall down on a person’s head. That man’s head would shatter and the trunk would remain a lifeless corpse. “Do you see any remnants of them?” (69: 8) meaning do you find any one of them left or anyone who even attributes himself to being from them. Rather they are all gone, right down to the last of them, and Allah did not make for them any successors.
9. And Pharaoh, and those before him, and the cities overthrown [the towns of the people of [Lout (Lot)] committed sin, 10. And they disobeyed their Lord's Messenger, so He punished them with a strong punishment. 11. Verily! When the water rose beyond its limits [Nuh's (Noah) Flood], We carried you (mankind) in the floating [ship that was constructed by Nuh (Noah)]. 12. That We might make it a remembrance for you, and the keen ear (person) may (hear and) understand it.
As for the Pharaoh, it has been described in many Hadiths that  Angel Jibreel [Gabriel] was ordered by Allah to lift the cities of Sodom and Gamorah and slam them upside down. They were then pelted with stones upon stones. This was their punishment in this life and in the Hereafter much worse and everlasting awaits them.   The mention of punishment of people of Lot and the great flood of Noah has already been told in our earlier posts: Prophet Lot and Wrath of Allah on his people and Prophet Noah and the great flood

Verses 13-18 describe the happenings on the Day of Resurrection - the day when a horrible sound trumpet will be blown, the sound which which will convert the mountains in ordinary dust and the hearth will burst open and throw out all that it contained:
13. Then when the Trumpet will be blown with one blowing (the first one), 14. And the earth and the mountains shall be removed from their places, and crushed with a single crushing, 
In the verse 14. a word "dhukka" has been used which is from the root dal-kaf-kaf which means ‘to crush, break, beat, crumble to pieces, to push or thrust’. It is severe smashing that breaks something and levels it to the ground. On the Judgment Day, both the earth and the mountains will be smashed into each other, and they will turn into dust.  One smashing and everything will turn into small particles. This again shows us the power of Allah.
15. Then on that Day shall the (Great) Event befall, 16. And the heaven will split asunder, for that Day it (the heaven will be frail (weak), and torn up, 
While reading the verses (13-16) one should keep in mind that at some places in the Qur'an the three stages of Resurrection which will occur one after the other at different times have been mentioned separately, and at others all the three have been combined and mentioned as a single event. For example, in (Surah An-Naml, verse 87) the first blowing of the Trumpet has been mentioned, when everyone will be suddenly struck with terror. At that time they will witness the general confusion and the upsetting of the order of the universe, as described in (Surah Al-Hajj, verses 1-2); (Surah Ya Seen, verses 49-50) and (Surah At- Takweer, verses 1-6). In (Surah Az-Zumar, verses 67-70), mention has been made of the second and third blowing of the Trumpet. On the second blowing of it everyone will fall down dead, and when it is blown for the third time, all dead men will rise back to life and present themselves before Allah. In (Surah Ta Ha, verses 102-112); (Surah Al-Anbiya, verses 101-103); (Surah Ya Seen, verses 51-53 )and (Surah Qaf,verses 20-22), only the third sounding of the Trumpet has been mentioned. But here and at many other places in the Qur'an all the events of Resurrection, from the blowing of the first Trumpet till the people’s entry into Heaven and Hell have been described as a single event.
17. And the angels will be on its sides, and eight angels will, that Day, bear the Throne of your Lord above them. 18. That Day shall you be brought to Judgement, not a secret of you will be hidden.
The mention of Allah Almighty would be sitting on the Throne (verses 17-18 above) and that eight angels would be upholding it along with Him has been used to give an idea of Allah Almighty’s rule and sovereignty. And a scene has been constructed as of worldly kingship and the same terms have been used for it as are common for kingship and its accompaniments in order to enable us to understand matters pertaining to sovereignty of the universe to some extent only by means of this very scene and terms. Besides, the conception of God that the Quran gives also prevents one from imagining that the Being Who is free from physical existence as to body, direction and place, should be residing somewhere and His creatures should sustain Him. Therefore, pursuing any research to determine its meaning would be tantamount to disbelief.

Verses 19 - 37 tell of the reading of the records of the well meaning and the evil doers and will be rewarded and punished according to what they have been doing in their worldly life:
19. Then as for him who will be given his Record in his right hand will say: "Take, read my Record! 20. "Surely, I did believe that I shall meet my Account!" 21. So he shall be in a life, well-pleasing. 22. In a lofty Paradise, 23. The fruits in bunches whereof will be low and near at hand. 24. Eat and drink at ease for that which you have sent on before you in days past!
25. But as for him who will be given his Record in his left hand, will say: "I wish that I had not been given my Record! 26. "And that I had never known, how my Account is? 27. "I wish, would that it had been my end (death)! 28. "My wealth has not availed me, 29. "My power and arguments (to defend myself) have gone from me!" 30. (It will be said): "Seize him and fetter him, 31. Then throw him in the blazing Fire. 32. "Then fasten him with a chain whereof the length is seventy cubits!" 33. Verily, He used not to believe in Allah, the Most Great, 34. And urged not on the feeding of the poor, 35. So no friend has he here this Day, 36. Nor any food except filth from the washing of wounds, 37. None will eat except the sinners, disbelievers, polytheists, etc.
38. So I swear by whatsoever you see, 39. And by whatsoever you see not, 40. That this is verily the word of an honoured Messenger [i.e. Jibrael (Gabriel) or Muhammad  which he has brought from Allah]. 41. It is not the word of a poet, little is that you believe! 42. Nor is it the word of a soothsayer (or a foreteller), little is that you remember! 43. This is the Revelation sent down from the Lord of the 'Alameen (mankind, jinns and all that exists).

Here is a caution for the Prophet of Allah too and it has been told to the disbelievers that if He makes up anything from His own and tells you something not willed or sent by Allah, He too shall be prosecuted:
44. And if he (Muhammad ) had forged a false saying concerning Us (Allah), 45. We surely should have seized him by his right hand (or with power and might), 46. And then certainly should have cut off his life artery (Aorta), 47. And none of you could withhold Us from (punishing) him.
The 48th verse below and the second verse of the second surah of the Holy Qur'an, Surah Al Baqarah "This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for the pious - Muttaqeen."  carry the same message: 
48. And verily, this Qur'an is a Reminder for the Muttaqun (pious)
This means that while the Qur'an is potentially for all, only those who possess certain qualities can benefit from it. The first such quality is piety: those who want to benefit should be disposed to distinguish between good and evil, and to shun evil and do good. Those who lead an animal existence, who never consider whether their actions are either good or bad, who are helplessly tossed about by the animal desires that dominate their minds, such persons are all together incapable of deriving any benefit from the guidance embodied in the Qur'an.

The concluding verse (49-52) say it all for the truth contained in the Holy Qur'an, the book of commandments of none but Allah, the Almighty. That is, the Qur'an is an admonition for those who wish to avoid wrongdoing and its evil consequences. And they will ultimately have to despair and regret as to why they had rejected this Qur'an.
49. And verily, We know that there are some among you that belie (this Qur'an). 50. And indeed it (this Qur'an) will be an anguish for the disbelievers (on the Day of Resurrection). 51. And Verily, it (this Qur'an) is an absolute truth with certainty. 52. So glorify the Name of your Lord, the Most Great.
May Allah grant us wisdom to understand the Holy Qur'an and live a life as commanded therein and as followed by the Prophet Muhammad (may peace be upon him), Aameen.

You may now like to listen to Arabic recitation of Sūrat al-Ḥaaqah with English subtitles:

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

Photo | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
An effort has been made to gather explanation of the surahs of the Holy Qur'an from authentic souses and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. However, those wanting detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to sites the references of which are given above.

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