Showing posts with label Quran. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Quran. Show all posts

Tuesday 15 March 2022

How Qur'an is the Word of God? (Scholars' Viewpoint) - 1st Part

We have written a number of posts on Qur'an, it genesis, compilation and its importance to the Muslims around the world. We as Muslims believe without any exception and doubt that Qur'an is the word of God, revealed unto last of the Prophets Muhammad ﷺ more than 1400 years ago and it still maintains its original form as God Himself has taken the responsibility to keep it clean from any adulteration and additions/substructions as has been the case of the earlier three Divine Scriptures, namely Psalms, Torah and Bible.

Yet many non Muslims and even people of the other three books claim it to be written by Prophet Muhammad ﷺ by incorporating verses from other three books. Well even it be that so, there are many revelations in the Qur'an which have had no answer for the last over 1000 years and it has been only recently that some of the answers to those questions and queries or hidden meanings have started to be unearthed and proven to be true. 

So how is it that if Qur'an was written by Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and such things were included in the Qur'an by him for he was an illiterate, not an astrologist or fortune teller. How could such hidden things could be there in Qur'an which science and modern research has now got the answers for?

However, despite its universality, Qur'an has been subject to criticism by people of other faiths, specially Christians, for it challenges many a misconceptions and concoctions that have crept into the Divine scriptures and for the reason that Islam has started to get more popular despite a severe media campaign all over the world that Christianity. More and more people are reverting to Islam and some critics of Islam fear that by 2050, many presently Christian dominated countries will be dominated by Islam.
In order to belittle Islam as a Divine religion, there has been a school of thought which has started propagating that Qur'an is in fact written by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) by listening to earlier scriptures. Had it been so, well read Christians, including some theologians and mathematicians had not embraced Islam. Additionally, there so many scientific miracles explained in the Qur'an the knowledge of which was not known to science of the time, like the miracle of birth of human fetus, its development, the movement of sun and moon, the presence of mountains which are holding the earth firmly, and many more.
So here are some of the hidden things in Qur'an that now stand true. We will publish a few posts on the matter giving out 2-3 points in each post researched by scholars of Islam. The points covered in today's post include the following:
  • Drowning of the Pharoah while in pursuit of Prophet Musa (Moses, may peace be upon him) and preservation of his body by Allah so that his body becomes a living symbol of those who contest Allah and His messengers. No one knew of this fact and it was 1000 years later the body of Pharaoh was discovered confirming the claim of the Quran.
فَالۡيَوۡمَ نُـنَجِّيۡكَ بِبَدَنِكَ لِتَكُوۡنَ لِمَنۡ خَلۡفَكَ اٰيَةً  ؕ وَاِنَّ كَثِيۡرًا مِّنَ النَّاسِ عَنۡ اٰيٰتِنَا لَغٰفِلُوۡنَ
We shall now save your corpse that you may serve as a sign of warning for all posterity, although many men are heedless of Our signs.  (Surah 10 Yunus :92) 
Even today the place, where the dead body of Pharaoh was found floating, is pointed out by the inhabitants of that region. It lies on the western coast of the Sinai Peninsula and is now known by the name of Jabl-i-Firaun (Pharaoh’s Mount). There is also near to it a hot spring called Hammam-i-Firaun (Pharaoh’s Bath), which is situated at a distance of a few miles from Abu Zenimah, where, they say, Pharaoh’s dead body was found lying. That is how, Allah shows signs to the people over and over again so that these should serve as warnings and be the means of teaching them lessons, but it is a pity that they do not learn lessons even from such signs as the dead body of Pharaoh.
  • Then Qur'an mentions that everything is made of water - a scientific fact not known 1400 years ago, not even many hundred years after. It is now being known that living thing is created from water and that more than 80% of human body consists of water.
اَوَلَمۡ يَرَ الَّذِيۡنَ كَفَرُوۡۤا اَنَّ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَالۡاَرۡضَ كَانَـتَا رَتۡقًا فَفَتَقۡنٰهُمَا​ ؕ وَجَعَلۡنَا مِنَ الۡمَآءِ كُلَّ شَىۡءٍ حَىٍّ​ ؕ اَفَلَا يُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ‏ 
Did the unbelievers (who do not accept the teaching of the Prophet) not realize that the heavens and the earth were one solid mass, then We tore them apart, and We made every living being out of water? Will they, then, not believe (that We created all this)? (Surah 21. Al-Anbiyaa: 30)

The second verse also talks of the theory of Big Bang, which we shall cover in one of our nest posts.  

Now listen to the explanation of the above said verses by Dr Waheeduddin Ahmed, a well known  :
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the video above are that of the concerned scholar . We have shared these view as added information in better understanding of Islam. The reader may or may not agree with the view owing to their own perception. If any one differs with the material contained in this post, one may consult the references and their authors.  If someone has more material about the subject, he/she is most welcome to share in the comments box to make the post all encompassing.

For more Scholarly views and videos, please read our reference page: Scholars' Viewpoint on Important Issues Related to Islam.

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Saturday 18 December 2021

Surah Al-Qamar (The Moon): Exegesis/Tafsir 54th Chapter of Quran

Sūrah Al Qamar " القمر " - The Moon, is the fifty fourth sürah with 55 āyāt with three rukus, part of the 27th Juzʼ  of the Qur'ān. The Surah takes its name from the very first verse, thereby implying that it is a Surah in which the word al-Qamar has occurred. The incident of the shaqq-al-Qamar (splitting of the moon) that has been mentioned in it, determines its period of revelation precisely. The traditionists and commentators are agreed that this incident took place at Mina in Makkah about five years before the Holy Prophet's hijrah to Madinah. 

This is an early Makkan Surah, dealing with Judgment. The theme of the Surah is explained by the refrain: "Is there any that will receive admonition?" which occurs six times, at the end of each reference to past story of sin and rejection of warnings and in the appeal to the simplicity ' the Our-an (verses 15, 17, 22, 32, 40, and 51). There is an invitation to listen > the Message and tum to Truth and Righteousness. It centres on the Hour of Judgment which is nigh, but men forget or reject the message, as did the people of Noah, of 'Ad, of Thamud, of Lot, and of Pharaoh. Is there any that will receive admonition? (liv. 1-55).

Ibn Kathir in his tafsir of the surah notes that the Hadith of Abu Waqid preceded, in which it is mentioned that the Messenger of Allah would recite Surah Qaf (chapter 53) and Iqtarabat As-Sa`ah (Al-Qamar, chapter 54), during (the `Id Prayers of) Al-Adha and Al-Fitr. The Prophet used to recite these two Surahs during major gatherings and occasions because they contain Allah's promises and warnings, and information about the origin of creation, Resurrection, Tawhid, the affirmation of prophethood, and so forth among the great objectives.

The sürah has been divided into three Ruku as under:
  • Ruku One:  Verses 1- 22: 1-8 The day of judgment is drawing near yet the unbelievers ate not paying heed to the signs of Allah. 9-22 We have made the Quran easy to understand the admonition, so is there any who would take the admonition?
  • Ruku Two: Verses 23-40: 23-40 Story of Thamud and Lut who called their Prophet liars to show how terrible was Allah's scourge and how clear was His warning?
  • Ruku Three: Verses 41-55: 41-44 People of Fir'on were seized for disbelieving Allah's warning The same warning has come to you, will you not take admonition?
We have already presented the overview / summary of the sürah, which also includes its recitation in Arabic with English subtitles. Let us now read the verse by verse translation and exegesis / tafseer in English. You may also listen to eminent Muslim scholar Nouman Ali Khan explaining the Surah in English at the end of this post.

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

Ruku One:  Verses 1- 22

اِقۡتَـرَبَتِ السَّاعَةُ وَانْشَقَّ الۡقَمَرُ‏ 
1) The Hour has drawn near, and the moon has been cleft asunder.
That is, "The splitting of the Moon asunder is a portent that the Hour of Resurrection of which you are being foretold, has drawn near at hand, and the order of the Universe has begun to be disrupted. Moreover, the incident that a great sphere like the Moon's has split into two distinct parts, is a specific proof of the fact that Resurrection of which you are being forewarned can take place. Obviously, when the Moon can split, the earth also can split, the orbits of he stars and planets also can change and the whole system of the heavens also can be disturbed. There is nothing eternal and everlasting and stable here so that Resurrection may be improbable."

Some people have taken this sentence to mean: "The Moon will split. " Although according to Arabic usage it is possible to take this meaning, the context clearly rejects it. In the first place, if this were the meaning, the first sentence would become meaningless. If the Moon had not actually split at the time when this Revelation was made, but it was going to split some time in the future, it would be absurd to say on the basis of this that the Hour of Resurrection had approached near at hand. After all, how can an incident that is to take place in the future, be regarded as a sign of Resurrection's being near at hand, and how can such a testimony be put forward as a rational argument? Second, with this meaning in mind when we read the following verses, they appear to be altogether incoherent. The verses that follow clearly show that the people at that time had witnessed a sign that was a manifest portent of the possibility of Resurrection, but they rejected it as a magical illusion, and persisted in their belief that Resurrection was not possible. In this context, the words inshaqq-al-Qamar can be meaningful only if they are taken to mean: "The Moon split asunder." If they are taken to mean: "The Moon will split asunder," the whole following theme becomes disjointed. It will Took like this:

"The Hour of Resurrection has drawn near and the Moon will split asunder. Yet whatever sign these people may see they turn away and say: `This is current magic!' They have denied and followed only their own lusts. "

Therefore, the truth is that the incident of the splitting of the Moon is confirmed explicitly by the words of the Qur'an and it is not dependent upon the traditions of the Hadith. However, the traditions supply its details, and one comes to know when and how it had taken place. These traditions have been related by Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Ahmad, Abu `Uwanah, Abu Da'ud Tayalisi, `Abdur Razzaq, Ibn Jarir, Baihaqi, Tabarani, Ibn Marduyah, and Abu Nu'aim Tsfahani with many chains of transmitters on the authority of Hadrat `Ali, Hadrat `Abdullah bin Mas'ud, Hadrat `Abdullah bin `Abbas, Hadrat' Abdullah bin `Umar, Hadrat Hudhaifah, Hadrat Anas bin Malik and Hadrat Jubair bin Mut`im. Three of these authorities, viz, Hadrat `Abdullah bin Mas'ud; Hadrat Hudhaifah, and Hadrat Jubair bin Mut`im, state that they were the eye-witnesses of this event; two of them cannot be its eye-witnesses, for this event took place before the birth of one (i.e. 'Abdullah bin `Abbas) and at a time when the other (i.e.. Anas bin Malik) was yet a child. But since both these scholars were Companions, obviously they must have reported this event after they had heard it from the aged Companions who had direct knowledge of it.

The information that one gathers from the various traditions is that this incident occurred about five years before the Hijrah. It was the 14th night of the lunar month; the Moon had just risen when it suddenly split and its two parts were seen on either side of the hill in front. Then after a moment or so they rejoined. The Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) at that time was at Mina. He told the people to mark it and be witnesses to it. The disbelievers said that Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace and blessings) had worked magic on them; therefore, their eyes had been deceived. The other people said: "Muhammad could have worked magic on us but not on all the people. Let the people from other places come: we shall ask them if they also had witnessed this incident. " When the people from other places came, they bore evidence that they also had witnessed the same phenomenon.

Some traditions which have been related from Hadrat Anas give rise to the misunderstanding that the incident of the splitting of the Moon had happened twice. But, in the first place, no one else from among the Companions has stated this; second, in some traditions of Hadrat Anas himself also the words are marratain (twice), and in sane firqatain and shaqqatain (two pieces); third, the Qur'an mentions only one incident of the Moon's splitting asunder. The correct view therefore is that this incident happened only once. As for the stories which are current among the people that the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) had matte a gesture towards the Moon and it split into two parts and that one part of the Moon entered the breast of the garment of the Holy Prophet and went out of the sleeve, have no basis whatever.

Here, the question arises: What was the real nature of this incident. Was it a miracle that the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) performed on the demand of the disbelievers of Makkah as a proof of his Prophethood? Or, was it only an accident that occurred on the Moon by the power of Allah and the Holy Prophet had only called the peoples attention to it and warned them to mark it as a Sign of the possibility and nearness of Resurrection? A large group of the Muslim scholars regards it as among the miracles of the Holy Prophet and holds the view that it had been shown on the demand of the disbelievers. But this view is based only on some of those traditions which have been related from Hadrat Anas. Apart from him no other Companion has stated this. According to Fath al Bari Ibn Hajar says: "Apart from the narration by Hadrat Anas, in no other narration of this story have I come across the theme that the incident of the splitting of the Moon had taken place on the demand of the polytheists. (Bab Inshiqaq al-Qamar). Abu Nu'aim Isfahani has related a tradition on this subject in Dale il an-Nubuwwat, on the authority of Hadrat 'Abdullah bin 'Abbas also, but it has a weak chain of transmitters and none of the traditions that have been related with strong chains of transmitters in the collections of Hadith on the authority of Hadrat 'Abdullah bin 'Abbas, contains any mention of this. Furthermore, neither Hadrat Anas nor Hadrat `Abdullah bin `Abbas was a contemporary of this incident. On the contrary, none of the Companions from among Hadrat `Abdullah bin Mas'ud, Hadrat Hudhaifah, Hadrat Jubair bin Mut`im, Hadrat 'Ali, Hadrat `Abdullah bin 'Umar, who were contemporaries of the incident, has stated that the pagans of Makkah had demanded a Sign of the Holy Prophet to testify to his Prophethood on which he might have shown the miracle of the splitting of the Moon. Above all, the Qur'an itself also is presenting this event not as a Sign of the Prophethood but as a Sign of the nearness of Resurrection. However, this was indeed conspicuous proof of the Holy Prophet's truthfulness because it testified to the news that he was giving to the people of the coming of Resurrection.

The critics raise two kinds of objections against it. In the first place, they say it is impossible that a great sphere like the Moon should split asunder into two distinct parts, which should get hundreds of miles apart and then rejoin. Secondly, they say if it had so happened, it would be a well-known event in the world and would have found mention in the books of History and Astronomy. But, in fact, both these objections are flimsy. As for the discussion of its possibility, it could perhaps find credibility in the ancient days but on the basis of what man has cane to know in the present day about the structure of the planets, it can be said that it is just possible that a sphere may burst because of its internal volcanic action and its two parts may be thrown far apart by the mighty eruption, and then may rejoin under the magnetic force of their center. As for the second objection, it is flimsy because the event had taken place suddenly and lasted a short time only. It was not necessary that at that particular moment the world might be looking at the Moon. There was no explosion either that might have attracted the people's attention; there was no advance information of it that the people might be awaiting its occurrence and looking up at the sky. It could not also be seen everywhere on the earth but only in Arabia and the eastern (ands where the Moon had risen and was visible at that time. The taste and art of writing history also had not yet developed so that the people who might have witnessed it, should have made a record of it and then sane historian might have gathered the evidence and preserved it in some book of History. However, in the Histories of Malabar mention has been made of a native ruler who had witnessed this phenomenon that night. As for the books of Astronomy and Calendars, this event might have been mentioned in them only if the event had affected the movement of the Moon, its orbit and the times of its rising and setting. As no such thing happened, it did not attract the ancient astronomers' attention. The observatories also were not so developed that they might have taken notice of everything happening in the heavens and preserved a record of it.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: Most of the commentators see in this verse a reference to a phenomenon said to have been witnessed by several of the Prophet's contemporaries. As described in a number of reports going back to some Companions, the moon appeared one night as if split into two distinct parts. While there is no reason to doubt the subjective veracity of these reports, it is possible that what actually happened was an unusual kind of partial lunar eclipse, which produced an equally unusual optical illusion. But whatever the nature of that phenomenon, it is practically certain that the above Qur'an-verse does not refer to it but, rather, to a future event: namely, to what will happen when the Last Hour approaches. (The Qur'an frequently employs the past tense to denote the future, and particularly so in passages which speak of the coming of the Last Hour and of Resurrection Day; this use of the past tense is meant to stress the certainty of the happening to which the verb relates.) Thus, Raghib regards it as fully justifiable to interpret the phrase inshaqqa 'l-qamar ("the moon is split asunder") as bearing on the cosmic cataclysm - the end of the world as we know it - that will occur before the coming of Resurrection Day (see art. shaqq in the Mufradat). As mentioned by Zamakhshari, this interpretation has the support of some of the earlier commentators; and it is, to my mind, particularly convincing in view of the juxtaposition, in the above Qur'an-verse, of the moon's "splitting asunder" and the approach of the Last Hour. (In this connection we must bear in mind the fact that none of the Qur'anic allusions to the "nearness" of the Last Hour and the Day of Resurrection is based on the human concept of "time".)

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: The idea of the Judgment being nigh at the beginning of this Surah connects it with the same idea at the end of the last Sara (verse 57), though the actual words used in the two cases are different.

Three explanations are given in the Mufradat, and perhaps all three apply here: (1) that the moon once appeared cleft asunder in the valley of Makkah within sight of the Prophet, his Companions, and some Unbelievers; (2) that the prophetic past tense indicates the future, the cleaving asunder of the moon being a Sign of the Judgment approaching; and (3) that the phrase is metaphorical, meaning that the matter has become clear as the moon. That the first was noticed by contemporaries, including Unbelievers, is clear from verse 2. The second is an incident of the disruption of the solar system at the New Creation: Cf. lxxv. 8-9.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:  This refers to the Hour of Judgement which for the rejecters of a messenger of God begins with the punishment which necessarily visits them if they persist on his rejection.

This is a sign of the Hour of Judgement with which they have been warned. It is mentioned in verse 53 of Sūrah Ḥa Mīm al-Sajdah that in order to strengthen the warnings sounded by Muhammad (sws) and to conclusively communicate the truth to his people, the Almighty will soon show extra-ordinary signs to them that will appear not only in the world around them but that within them. It is evident from this verse under discussion that one of those signs manifested itself in the form of the moon cleaving asunder. 

Imām Amīn Aḥsan Iṣlāḥī writes: It is not necessary that a messenger present such signs as miracles; they can appear without any proclamation and without throwing any challenge. It is not even necessary that the disbelievers demand the specific sign they are shown; it could be shown to them without their demand merely to dispel the doubts created by them. The reason that the disbelievers regarded the Hereafter to be far-fetched was that they reckoned it impossible that one day the whole universe would be wrecked and destroyed. Their question cited by the Qur’ān regarding the mountains shows that they regarded them to be eternal and everlasting. By showing the sign of the moon cleaving asunder, the Almighty has informed them that none of the objects of this universe, however huge it may be, is independent or immortal; everything is subservient to His directives; He can destroy it whenever He wants to. (Amīn Aḥsan Iṣlāḥī, Tadabbur-i Qur’ān, vol. 8, 91)

وَاِنۡ يَّرَوۡا اٰيَةً يُّعۡرِضُوۡا وَيَقُوۡلُوۡا سِحۡرٌ مُّسۡتَمِرٌّ‏ 
2) And if they see an Ayah, they turn away and say: "This is magic, Mustamir.''
The words sihr-um mustamirr of the Text can have several meanings:
  • (1) That, God forbid, this magical illusion also is one of those magical performances that Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace and blessings) has been performing day and night;
  • (2) that this certainly is a work of magic which has been performed with great expertise; and
  • (3) that just as other works of magic have passed, so will this also pass without leaving any lasting effect behind.
Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Mustamirr: continuous, or powerful; either meaning will apply. The Unbelievers acknowledge the unusual appearance, but call it magic. They do not therefore profit by the spiritual lesson.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: This statement is a clear testimony to the fact that this incident of the moon cleaving asunder is not some news of the future; it is in fact an event that took place in the time of the Prophet Muhammad (sws) on the basis of which the Qur’ān has argued in favour of the punishment that visits the nation of messenger if it deliberately denies the truth as well as in the favour of the Day of Judgement. Hence if the expression انۡشَقَّ الۡقَمَرُ is translated as “the moon will cleave asunder,” then after it, the subsequent words “and whatever sign they see, they will only evade it and remark,” will be totally out of place. Thus it is evident from various narratives that this incident took place about five years before migration. It was the night of a full moon; the moon had just appeared when suddenly it cleaved asunder and part of it was seen to be on one side of the hillock in front and the second on the other side of it. People saw this event which lasted just for a second after which both parts merged back. At that time, the Prophet (sws) was in Minā; he asked people to see this sign of God and be witnesses to it. The Quraysh, however, tried to deny it by regarding it to be magic. (Bukhārī, nos. 3656, 4583; Musnad Aḥmad, no. 16796). The Qur’ān commented on this attitude of theirs by saying that these disbelievers will always state that this is a magic of the olden times. By this comment, they want to give this impression that there is no novelty in this magic; it is of same genre as the one shown by magicians of the past and which continues to be transferred to the present times.

وَكَذَّبُوۡا وَاتَّبَعُوۡۤا اَهۡوَآءَهُمۡ​ وَكُلُّ اَمۡرٍ مُّسۡتَقِرٌّ‏ 
3) They denied and followed their own lusts. And every matter will be settled.
That is, "They still persisted in the same decision that they had made of denying the Hereafter and have not changed their mind even after having witnessed this manifest Sign, mainly because it clashed with their desires of the flesh. "  

That is, "It cannot be so endlessly that Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace and blessings) should go on inviting you to the Truth while you persist in your falsehood stubbornly and his Truth and your falsehood should never be established. All affairs ultimately have to reach an appointed end. Likewise, inevitably this conflict between you and Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace and blessings) has also to reach an end. A time will certainly come when it will be clearly established that he had been in the right and you in the wrong throughout. Likewise, the worshipers of the Truth shall one day see the result of their worshiping the Truth and the worshipers of falsehood of their worshiping the falsehood."

Muhammad Asad Explanation: Lit., "they have given [it] the lie": an allusion to the prediction of the Last Hour and the Day of Resurrection. The use of the past tense indicates conscious intent or determination (cf. surah {2}, note [6]). For my rendering of sihr as "delusion", see surah {74}, note [12].

Lit., "everything is settled in its [own] being": i.e., everything has an intrinsic reality (haqiqah) of its own, and is bound to reveal that reality either in this world or in the next (Baghawi on the authority of Al-Kalbi); hence, everything must have a purpose or "goal" of its own (Zamakhshari). These two - mutually complementary - interpretations reflect the repeated Qur'anic statement that everything that exists or happens has a meaning and a purpose: cf. 3:191 , 10:5 and 38:27 (particularly, see note [11] on 10:5 ). In the present context, the phrase relates both to the truth referred to in the preceding verses and to its rejection by those who are "wont to follow [but] their own desires".

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: The prevalence of sin and the persecution of truth may have its day, but it must end at last.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: The cause of their rejection is stated here: they have become slaves to their fancy and hence think that if they accept reward and punishment they would have to give up these desires; hence they reject and fashion very lame excuses to deny the Prophet (sws).

وَلَقَدۡ جَآءَهُمۡ مِّنَ الۡاَنۡۢبَآءِ مَا فِيۡهِ مُزۡدَجَرٌۙ‏ 
4) And indeed there has come to them news wherein there is Muzdajar.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: Lit., "in which there was a restraint": i.e., many an indication, in observable nature, of God's creative and re-creative power, as well as many a tiding, through God-inspired prophets, of a continuation of life after bodily death and, therefore, of the fact that a person's attitudes and doings in this world must have definite consequences in the life to come.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: The stories of the sins of past generations having been visited with exemplary punishments were already in their possession, and should, if they had been wise, have opened their eyes and checked them in their mad career of sin. Five of these stories are again referred to later in this Sura by way of illustration.

حِكۡمَةٌ ۢ بَالِغَةٌ​ فَمَا تُغۡنِ النُّذُرُۙ‏ 
5) Perfect wisdom, but warners benefit them not.

فَتَوَلَّ عَنۡهُمۡ​ۘ يَوۡمَ يَدۡعُ الدَّاعِ اِلٰى شَىۡءٍ نُّكُرٍۙ‏ 
6) So withdraw from them. The Day that the caller will call (them) to a terrible thing. 
In other words, Leave them to themselves. When every effort has been made to make them understand the Truth in the most rational ways, when instances have been cited from history to show them the evil results of the denial of the Hereafter, when the dreadful fates suffered by the other nations in consequence of their rejecting the Prophetic messages have been brought to their notice and yet they are disinclined to give up their stubbornness, they should be left alone to gloat over their follies. Now, they would believe only when after death they arise from their graves to see with their own eyes that the Resurrection of which they were being forewarned and exhorted to adopt the truth, had actually Taken place

Another meaning can be "an unknown thing", a thing which they never could imagine, of which they never had any concept and no idea whatever that it also could occur. 

Muhammad Asad Explanation: Lit., "something not known (nukur)" - that is, "something that human beings cannot know [i.e., visualize] because they have never met with anything like it" (Zamakhshari).

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: For a time godlessness seems to triumph, but the triumph is short-lived, And in any case there is the great Reckoning of the Day of Judgment.

The angel whose voice will call at the Resurrection and direct all souls. Cf. xx. 108-111. 

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: " For this reason, turn away from them, and wait for the day in which a summoner will summon them to a thing very undesirable. " The actual words are: فَتَوَلَّ عَنْهُمْ يَوْمَ يَدْعُ الدَّاعِ. It is evident from the construction of the sentence that the word تَوَلَّ (turn away) encompasses the meaning of اِنْتَظِرْ (wait). I have given due regard to this in the translation.

خُشَّعًا اَبۡصَارُهُمۡ يَخۡرُجُوۡنَ مِنَ الۡاَجۡدَاثِ كَاَنَّهُمۡ جَرَادٌ مُّنۡتَشِرٌۙ‏ 
7) They will come forth, with humbled eyes from (their) graves as if they were locusts spread abroad, 
Graves" do not signify only those pits in the earth in which a person might have been properly buried, but he would rise up from wherever he had died, or from wherever his dust lay, on the call of the Caller to the plain of Resurrection. 

Literally: "Their looks will be downcast. "This can have several meanings:
  • (1) That they will appear tenor-stricken;
  • (2) that they will be reflecting disgrace and humiliation, for as soon as they arise out of their graves they would realize that it was indeed the same second life which they had been denying, for which they had made no preparation, and in which they would have to present themselves before their God as culprits; and
  • (3) that with awe-struck looks they would be watching the dreadful scenes before them, from which they would not be able to avert their eyes. 
That is, `They denied that the Hereafter has to take place when man will have to render an account of his deeds; they denied the Prophethood of the Prophet who was making his people aware of this truth; and they denied the teaching of the Prophet, which taught them what to believe and what creed and conduct they should adopt in order to pass the reckoning of the Hereafter." 

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: At one stage in the invasion of locust swarms, the locusts are torpid and are scattered abroad all over the ground. I have seen them on railway tracks in 'Iraq, crushed to death in hundreds by passing trains. The simile is apt for the stunned beings who will rise up in swarms from their graves and say, "Ah! woe unto us! who has raised us up?" (xxxvi. 52).

مُّهۡطِعِيۡنَ اِلَى الدَّاعِ​ؕ يَقُوۡلُ الۡكٰفِرُوۡنَ هٰذَا يَوۡمٌ عَسِرٌ‏  
8) Hastening towards the caller. The disbelievers will say: "This is a hard Day.''

كَذَّبَتۡ قَبۡلَهُمۡ قَوۡمُ نُوۡحٍ فَكَذَّبُوۡا عَبۡدَنَا وَقَالُوۡا مَجۡنُوۡنٌ وَّازۡدُجِرَ‏ 
9) The people of Nuh denied (their Messenger) before them. They rejected Our servant and said: "A madman!'' Wazdujir. 
That is, `They denied that the Hereafter has to take place when man will have to render an account of his deeds; they denied the Prophethood of the Prophet who was making his people aware of this truth; and they denied the teaching of the Prophet, which taught them what to believe and what creed and conduct they should adopt in order to pass the reckoning of the Hereafter." 

"The people not only belied the Prophet but also branded him as a madman; they uttered threats against him, showered him with curses and abuses; and did whatever possibly they could to stop him from preaching the truth, and thus made life extremely difficult for him.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: See {11:25-48}, where the story of Noah and the Flood is given in greater detail.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: The story of Noah and the Flood is frequently referred to in the Qur'an. The passage which best illustrates this passage will be found in xi. 25-48. Note in that passage how they first insult and abuse him arrogantly; how he humbly argues with them; how they laugh him to scorn, as much as to say that he was a madman possessed of some evil spirit; and how the Flood comes and he is saved in the Ark, and the wicked are doomed to destruction.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: From here onwards the argument presented rather concisely in verse 4 is explained. These are incidents which depict the worldly retribution of the immediate addressees of the messengers of God if they deny their respective messenger. These incidents are cited here in chronological order.

The actual word is: عَبۡدَنَا. The affection and love this address from God encompasses for Noah (sws) needs no explanation.

" and called him a madman " The implication is that this person is possessed with punishment and the Day of Judgement. He cannot see anything else; he keeps dreaming of these events.

فَدَعَا رَبَّهٗۤ اَنِّىۡ مَغۡلُوۡبٌ فَانْـتَصِرۡ‏
10) Then he invoked his Lord (saying): "I have been overcome, so help (me)!'' 

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: He asked for help in his mission, as he felt himself overpowered by brute force and cast out, which prevented the fulfilment of his mission. But the wicked generation were past all repentance, and they were wiped out.

فَفَتَحۡنَاۤ اَبۡوَابَ السَّمَآءِ بِمَآءٍ مُّنۡهَمِرٍ ۖ‏ 
11) So, We opened the gates of the heaven with water Munhamir. 

وَّفَجَّرۡنَا الۡاَرۡضَ عُيُوۡنًا فَالۡتَقَى الۡمَآءُ عَلٰٓى اَمۡرٍ قَدۡ قُدِرَ​ۚ‏ 
12) And We caused springs to gush forth from the earth. So, the waters met for a matter predestined. 
That is, the earth so burst forth with springs at the Command of Allah that it was no longer earth but presented a scene of the springs all around. 

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: The torrents of rain from above combined with the gush of waters from underground springs, and caused a huge Flood which inundated the country.

وَحَمَلۡنٰهُ عَلٰى ذَاتِ اَلۡوَاحٍ وَّدُسُرٍۙ‏ 
13) And We carried him on a (ship) made of planks and nails (Dusur) 
This signifies the Ark which the Prophet Noah had built under Allah's care and guidance even before the coming of the Flood. 

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Dusur, plural of disar, which means the palm-fibre with which boats are caulked: from dasara, to ram in, to spear. A derived meaning is "nails", (which are driven into planks): this latter meaning also applies, and is preferred by translators not familiar with the construction of simple boats.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: There is great eloquence in calling Noah’s ark by this expression. 

Imām Amīn Aḥsan Iṣlāḥī has explained this. He writes: … Mentioning it here with its components, in my opinion, is to express God’s power, wisdom, affection, mercy and majesty. The implication is that the Almighty saved those He wanted to by logs fixed together with nails from the storm which routed the whole nation and from which not a single soul survived. In other words, the real thing is God’s mercy and affection. If they are with a person, then a few logs can save them from Noah’s deluge, and if they desert a person, the greatest of war ships are flattened in the blink of an eye, and the strongest of dams are blown away like straws by the power of the deluge. (Amīn Aḥsan Iṣlāḥī, Tadabbur-i Qur’ān, vol. 8, 98)

تَجۡرِىۡ بِاَعۡيُنِنَا​ۚ جَزَآءً لِّمَنۡ كَانَ كُفِرَ‏ 
14) Floating under Our Eyes, a reward for him who had been rejected! 
Literally: "This was a vengeance for the sake of him whose kufr had been committed." If kufr be taken in the sense of denial, it would mean: "Whose message had been denied and rejected; " and if it is taken in the meaning of ingratitude for a blessing, it would mean: 'Who was indeed a blessing for the people, but had been ungratefully rejected.' 

Muhammad Asad Explanation: I.e., "under Our protection". The reference to Noah's ark as "made of mere planks and nails" is meant to stress the frailty of this - as well as any other - human contrivance.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: As usual, Allah's Mercy in saving His faithful servants takes precedence of His Wrath and Penalty. And He helps and rewards those whom the world rejects and despises!

وَلَقَدْ تَّرَكۡنٰهَاۤ اٰيَةً فَهَلۡ مِنۡ مُّدَّكِرٍ‏ 
15) And indeed, We have left this as a sign. Then is there any that will remember 
It may also mean: `We left this dreadful punishment as a sign of warning," but in our opinion the preferable meaning is that the Ark was left as a sign of warning. Its resting and existence on a high mountain continued to warn the later generations of the wrath of God for thousand of years and kept on reminding them how the people who had disobeyed God on this earth had met their down, and how the believers had been rescued from it. Imam Bukhari, Ibn Abi Hatim, 'Abdur Razzaq and Ibn Jarir have related traditions on the authority of Qatadah saying that at the time the Muslims conquered 'Iraq and al-Jazirah, this Ark still existed on Mount Judi (and according to a tradition, near the settlement of Baqirda), and the early Muslims had seen it. In the modern times also some people during their flights in the airplanes have sighted an Ark-like object on a peak in this region, which is suspected to be the Ark of Noah, and on the basis of the same expeditions have been sent from time to time to search it out. (Mention of this has also been made in Surah AI-A'raf, Surah Hud, and Surah AI-Ankabut ).

Muhammad Asad Explanation: See {36:41-42} and the explanation. Literally, the above phrase reads, "We have left them [or "such"] as a sign...", etc. According to Ibn Kathir, the pronoun ha in taraknaha relates to "ships in a generic sense" (jins as-sufun), and quotes in this connection the above-mentioned passage ({36:41-42}); hence my interpolation, between brackets, of the words "floating vessels". The "sign" spoken of here alludes to God's having endowed man's mind with inventiveness and, thus, with the ability to widen the scope of his life through conscious effort.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Cf. xxix. 15, where the Ark (with the salvation it brought to the righteous) is mentioned as a Sign for all Peoples. So also in xxv, 37 and xxvi. 121, it is a Sign for men. Similarly the saving of Lot, with the destruction of the wicked Cities of the Plain, is mentioned as a Sign left for those who would understand: xxix. 35, and li. 37.

A refrain that occurs six times in this Surah.

فَكَيۡفَ كَانَ عَذَابِىۡ وَنُذُرِ
16) Then how (terrible) was My torment and My warnings 

Muhammad Asad Explanation: Lit., "how was My [causing] suffering ('adhabi) and My warnings" - i.e., after the warnings. Although this sentence is phrased in the past tense, its purport is evidently timeless.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: While the Mercy of Allah is always prominently mentioned, we must not forget or minimize the existence of Evil, and the terrible Penalty it incurs if the Grace of Allah and His Warning are deliberately rejected.

وَلَقَدۡ يَسَّرۡنَا الۡقُرۡاٰنَ لِلذِّكۡرِ فَهَلۡ مِنۡ مُّدَّكِرٍ‏ 
17) And We have indeed made the Qur'an easy to understand and remember; then is there anyone who will remember
Some people have misconstrued the words Yassarnal-Qur an to mean that the Qur'an is an easy Book; no knowledge is required to understand it so much so that a person even without the knowledge of the Arabic language, can write a commentary on it, and can deduce any injunctions he likes from its verses independent of the Hadith and Islamic Law, whereas the context in which these words occur, indicates that they are meant to make the people realize this: "One means of the admonition are the dreadful torments that descended upon the rebellious nations, and the other means is this Qur'an, which guides you to the right path by argument and instruction. Obviously, this means of admonition is by far the easier one; then, why don't you take advantage of it and insist on meeting with the torment instead? It is indeed Allah's bounty that He has sent this Book through His Prophet and is warning you that the ways you are following lead only to destruction and your well-being lies only in following this way. This method of admonition has been adopted so that you are rescued even before you fall into the pit of destruction. Now, who could be more foolish than the one who does not believe in the admonition and realizes his error only after he has fallen into the pit?"

Muhammad Asad Explanation: The noun dhikr primarily denotes "remembrance", or - as defined by Raghib - the "presence [of something] in the mind". Conceptually, and as used in the above context as well as in verses {22}, {32} and {40}, this term comprises the twin notions of understanding and remembering, i.e., bearing something in mind.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: While the Qur'an sums up the highest philosophy of the inner life, its simple directions for conduct are plain and easy to understand and act upon. Is this not in itself a part of the Grace of Allah? And what excuse is there for any one to fail in receiving admonition?

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: The actual word is: یَسَّرۡنَا. It does not merely mean to make something easy; it also means to make something appropriate for a specific objective and to fully prepare it by embellishing it with all the required means and needs. The implication is that the Almighty has revealed this Qur’an for reminding and educating people which is in their eloquent and lucid Arabic language. It is being revealed gradually so that it can be benefitted from with full concentration and devotion; some of its surahs are concise and others comprehensive; this is because those who want to be instructed in a concise manner can fully grasp them and those like to be instructed in a comprehensive way are also afforded the opportunity; a single subject is re-iterated in so many different and unique styles that no ambiguity remains in any matter; the surahs are arranged in such a sequence that this sequence in itself has become a key to understanding them. So why do they not benefit from this great favour and blessing of the Almighty? Why do they want that instead of this a grievous punishment should visit them?

كَذَّبَتۡ عَادٌ فَكَيۡفَ كَانَ عَذَابِىۡ وَنُذُرِ‏ 
18) `Ad denied; then how was My torment and My warnings 

اِنَّاۤ اَرۡسَلۡنَا عَلَيۡهِمۡ رِيۡحًا صَرۡصَرًا فِىۡ يَوۡمِ نَحۡسٍ مُّسۡتَمِرٍّۙ‏  
19) Verily, We sent against them a violently cold (Sarsar) wind on a day of calamity, continuous. 
That is, on a day the ill luck of which continued to rage for several days. In Surah Ha Mim As-Sajdah: 16, the words are: fi ayyam in nahisat: "in a few ill-omened days," and in Surah AI-Haqqah: 7, it has been said: "This wind storm continued to rage for seven nights and eight days. "It is said that the day on which the storm started was Wednesday. From this the idea spread that Wednesday was a day of ill-luck, and no work should be started on this day. Some very weak traditions also have been cited to support this view, which have further strengthened the idea that this day is ill-omened. For example, there is Ibn Marduyah and Khatib al-Baghdadi's tradition that the last Wednesday of the month is ill-omened, the ill-omen of which is endless. Ibn Jauzi regards this tradition as fabricated and Ibn Rajab as unauthentic Hafiz Sakhavi; says that all the methods through which this tradition has been reported, are weak. Likewise, Tabarani's tradition ("Wednesday is a day of perpetual ill-luck") also has been declared as weak by the scholars of Hadith. In some other traditions one is also forbidden to start a journey, to do business transactions, to pare the nails, or to visit the sick on a Wednesday. They also say that leprosy starts on this day. But all these traditions are weak and these cannot be made the basis of any belief. The scholar Munawi says: 'To abandon Wednesday taking it as ill-omened and to entertain the astrologer's whims in this regard is forbidden, strictly forbidden, for all days belong to Allah; no day is beneficial by itself nor harmful." 'Allama Alusi says: 'All days are equal; Wednesday has no peculiarity about it. There is no hour in the night or day which might be good for one person and bad for another. It is Allah Who creates favorable conditions for some people and adverse for others.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Cf. xli. 16. How graphic is the description of the tornado that uprooted them! It must indeed be a dreadful tornado that plucks up the palm-trees by their deep tap-roots. The "Day" is an indefinite period of time. The wind that destroyed the 'Ad people lasted seven nights and eight days: lxix. 7.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: The actual word used for “stormy wind” is صَرۡصَرًا. It is a tempestuous wind which blows in winter. “A day of perpetual bad omen” does not refer to some specific day. According to linguistic principles of Arabic, it refers to a certain time period. Thus, at another place, the words used are: اَيَّامِ نَحِسَاتٍ (days of bad luck (41:16)) and at other places it is specified that this stormy wind blew on them for seven nights and eight days. The word مُّسۡتَمِرٍّ is pointing to this very fact.

تَنۡزِعُ النَّاسَۙ كَاَنَّهُمۡ اَعۡجَازُ نَخۡلٍ مُّنۡقَعِرٍ‏ 
20) Plucking out men as if they were uprooted stems of date palms. 

Muhammad Asad Explanation: As mentioned in {69:6-8}, this wind - obviously an exceptionally violent sandstorm - raged without break for seven nights and eight days. For particulars of the tribe of 'Ad, see explanation of 7:65.

فَكَيۡفَ كَانَ عَذَابِىۡ وَنُذُرِ‏ 
21) Then, how was My torment and My warnings 

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Repeated from verse 18 to heighten the description of the sin, the penalty, and the criminal negligence of the sinners in refusing the warnings on account of their self- complacent confidence in their own strength and stability! It is repeated again as a secondary refrain in liv. 30 and (with slight modification) in liv. 32 and 39.

وَلَقَدۡ يَسَّرۡنَا الۡقُرۡاٰنَ لِلذِّكۡرِ فَهَلۡ مِنۡ مُّدَّكِرٍ
22) And We have indeed made the Qur'an easy to understand and remember; then is there any that will remember

Ruku Two: Verses 23-40

كَذَّبَتۡ ثَمُوۡدُ بِالنُّذُرِ‏ 
23) Thamud denied the warnings. 

فَقَالُـوۡۤا اَبَشَرًا مِّنَّا وَاحِدًا نَّتَّبِعُهٗۤ ۙ اِنَّاۤ اِذًا لَّفِىۡ ضَلٰلٍ وَّسُعُرٍ‏ 
24) And they said: "A man, alone among us -- shall we follow him Truly, then we should be in error and distress!'' 
In other words, there were three reasons for their refusal to obey and follow the Prophet Salih:
  • (1) "He is a human being and not a super-human person so that we may regard him as superior to ourselves."
  • (2) "He is a member of our own nation: he is in no way superior to us."
  • (3) `He is a single man, one from among ourselves. He is not a prominent chief with a large following, or an army of soldiers. Or a host of attendants so that we may acknowledge his superiority." They wanted that a Prophet should either be a superman, or if he be a common man, he should not have been born in their own land and nation, but should have descended from above, or sent from another land, and if nothing else, he should at least have been a rich man, whose extraordinary splendor should make the people believe why Allah had selected him alone for the leadership of the nation. This same was the error of ignorance in which the disbelievers of Makkah were involved. They also refused to acknowledge the Prophet Muhammad (Upon Whom be Allah's peace and blessings) as a Prophet on the ground that he was a man who moved about in the streets like the common men, had been born among them only . the other day and now was claiming that God had appointed him as a Prophet. 
Muhammad Asad Explanation: For the general implication of this rhetorical question, see explanation of 50:2 . For the story of the tribe of Thamud, their prophet Salih, and the incident of the she-camel, see {7:73-79}, {11:61-68}, {26:141-158}, and the corresponding notes.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: The psychology of the Thamud is more searchingly analyzed here than in xli. 17, to show up the contrast between shallow men's ideas about Revelation, and the real sanity, humanism, social value, and truth of Revelation. To them the Revelation was brought by Salih.

Because the Prophet is one among so many, and different from them, although brought up among themselves, it is made a cause of reproach against him, when it should have been an index leading to a searching of their hearts and an examination of their ways.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: Here the Thamūd reacted by saying the same words to their prophet, Ṣāliḥ: you say that if we do not accept your calls, we will be in error and will be cast into Hell; the fact of the matter is that if we accept your calls, we will then be in error and will be flung into Hell.

ءَاُلۡقِىَ الذِّكۡرُ عَلَيۡهِ مِنۡۢ بَيۡنِنَا بَلۡ هُوَ كَذَّابٌ اَشِرٌ‏ 
25) "Is it that the Reminder is sent to him alone from among us Nay, he is an insolent liar!'' 
The word ashir of the original means a conceited, insolent person given to bragging of his own superiority over others. 

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Pure abuse, as a contrast to Salih's expostulation! See xxvi. 141-158, and notes.

سَيَعۡلَمُوۡنَ غَدًا مَّنِ الۡكَذَّابُ الۡاَشِرُ‏ 
26) Tomorrow they will come to know who is the liar, the insolent one! 

Muhammad Asad Explanation: I.e., soon. In classical Arabic, the term ghadan ("tomorrow") often applies to a relatively near future, signifying "tomorrow" (in its literal sense) as well as "in time" or "soon". Hence - as pointed out by all authorities - it may have been used in the above context with reference to the Last Hour, which in the first verse of this very surah is spoken of as having "drawn near".

اِنَّا مُرۡسِلُوا النَّاقَةِ فِتۡنَةً لَّهُمۡ فَارۡتَقِبۡهُمۡ وَاصۡطَبِرۡ‏  
27) Verily, We are sending the she-camel as a test for them. So watch them, and be patient! 

Muhammad Asad Explanation: For this and other Qur'anic references to the she-camel that was to be "let loose as a test" for the Thamud, see surah {7, 73}. God's "letting her loose" is in this context evidently synonymous with "allowing her to become" a test.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: See explanation to vii. 73, for the she-camel as a trial or test case among selfish people who tried to monopolise water and pasture as against the poor.

وَنَبِّئۡهُمۡ اَنَّ الۡمَآءَ قِسۡمَةٌ ۢ بَيۡنَهُمۡ​ۚ كُلُّ شِرۡبٍ مُّحۡتَضَرٌ‏  
28) And inform them that the water is to be shared between (her and) them, each one's right to drink being established (by turns). 
This explains the verse: "We are sending the she-camel as a trial for them." The trial was that suddenly a she-camel was produced before them and they were told that one day she would drink the water all by herself and the next. day they would be allowed to have water for themselves and their cattle. On the day of her turn neither would any of them himself come to any of the springs and wells to take water nor bring his cattle for watering. This challenge was given on behalf of the person about whom they themselves admitted that he had no army and no hosts to support him.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: I.e., between their own herds and the ownerless she-camel: see 26:155 and the corresponding note.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: See xxvi. 155-156. All were to have water in due turn. It was to be no one's monopoly. And certainly the gates were not to be shut against the poor or their cattle.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: After selecting a she-camel for the task, the Almighty asked Ṣāliḥ (sws) to inform his people that turns had been fixed to drink water; no one should stop the she-camel selected by God from drinking when her turn comes. If she was harmed in any way, then this would be a prelude to God’s punishment. Imām Amīn Aḥsan Iṣlāḥī writes:
… They were made to undergo this trial so that the evil in them was exposed and the extent of their rebelliousness was known to all. Obviously, after this warning that this she-camel was a sign of God’s wrath only those people could have had the audacity to harm it who themselves were audacious enough to even harm their messenger. It is this extent of a nation’s rebelliousness and arrogance after which it becomes worthy of divine punishment. After this, nothing remains to conclusively prove the truth to them. (Amīn Aḥsan Iṣlāḥī, Tadabbur-i Qur’ān, vol. 8, 106)
فَنَادَوۡا صَاحِبَهُمۡ فَتَعَاطٰى فَعَقَرَ‏ 
29) But they called their comrade and he took (a sword) and killed (her). 
These words by themselves indicate that the she-camel roamed at will in their settlements for along period of time. No one could dare approach a source of water on the day of her turn. At last, they called out to a haughty chief of theirs who was well known for his courage and boldness, and urged him to put an end to her Emboldened by the false encouragement he took up the responsibility and killed the she-camel. This clearly means that the people were very frightened. They felt that she had extraordinary power, and so they dared not touch her with an evil intention. That is why the killing of a mere she-camel especially when the Prophet who had presented her, did not possess any army that could be a deterrent for them. amounted to undertaking a dangerous and difficult task. (Mention of the incident is made in Surahs AI-A'raf and Surah Ash Shua'ra' ).

فَكَيۡفَ كَانَ عَذَابِىۡ وَنُذُرِ‏ 
30) Then, how was My torment and My warnings 

اِنَّاۤ اَرۡسَلۡنَا عَلَيۡهِمۡ صَيۡحَةً وَّاحِدَةً فَكَانُوۡا كَهَشِيۡمِ الۡمُحۡتَظِرِ‏ 
31) Verily, We sent against them a single Sayhah (blast), and they became like straw Al-Muhtazir. 
The crushed and rotten bodies of the people of Thamud have been compared to the trampled and trodden twigs and pieces of bush lying around an enclosure for cattle. 

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: " We sent upon them a single shout only, " The actual word is: صَيۡحَه. In Sūrah al-Dhāriyāt, the word صَاعِقَة is used to convey this meaning. It is evident from the Qur’ān that it comprehensively signifies a tempestuous wind and a storm of lightning and thunder. The Qur’ān has detailed this out in verses 24-25 of Sūrah al-Aḥqāf.

" and they became like the trampled hedge of a sheep-fold builder. " People who keep livestock generally make a hedge of wooden pieces and bushes to protect their herds. Because of rain and continuous trampling by the animals, such a hedge is ultimately crushed to powder. The trampled corpses of the people of Lot are compared to this powder.

وَلَقَدۡ يَسَّرۡنَا الۡقُرۡاٰنَ لِلذِّكۡرِ فَهَلۡ مِنۡ مُّدَّكِرٍ‏ 
32) And indeed, We have made the Qur'an easy to understand and remember; then is there any that will remember

كَذَّبَتۡ قَوۡمُ لُوۡطٍ ۢ بِالنُّذُرِ‏  
33) The people of Lut denied the warnings. 

اِنَّاۤ اَرۡسَلۡنَا عَلَيۡهِمۡ حَاصِبًا اِلَّاۤ اٰلَ لُوۡطٍ​ؕ نَّجَّيۡنٰهُمۡ بِسَحَرٍۙ‏ 
34) Verily, We sent against them Hasib (a violent storm of stones), except the family of Lut, them We saved in the last hour of the night, 

نِّعۡمَةً مِّنۡ عِنۡدِنَا​ؕ كَذٰلِكَ نَجۡزِىۡ مَنۡ شَكَرَ‏ 
35) As a favor from Us. Thus do We reward him who gives thanks. 

وَلَقَدۡ اَنۡذَرَهُمۡ بَطۡشَتَـنَا فَتَمَارَوۡا بِالنُّذُرِ‏ 
36) And he indeed had warned them of Our punishment, but they doubted the warnings! 

وَلَقَدۡ رَاوَدُوۡهُ عَنۡ ضَيۡفِهٖ فَطَمَسۡنَاۤ اَعۡيُنَهُمۡ فَذُوۡقُوۡا عَذَابِىۡ وَنُذُرِ‏
37) And they indeed sought to shame his guests. So, We blinded their eyes (saying), "Then taste you My torment and My warnings.'' 
The details of this story have been given in Surah Hud: 77-83 and Surah AI-Hijr: 61-74 above, a resume of which is as follows:

When Allah decided to punish those people with a torment, He sent a few angels in the guise of handsome boys as guests in the house of the Prophet Lot. When the people saw such handsome guests in Lot's house they rushed to it and demanded that they be handed over to them for tile gratification of their lust. The Prophet Lot implored them to desist from their evil intention, but they did not listen and tried to enter his house to take hold of the guests forcibly. At this stage suddenly their eyes were blinded. Then the angels told Lot that he and his Household should leave the city before dawn; then as soon as they had left a dreadful torment descended on the people. In the Bible also this event has been described. The words are: 'And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door. But the men (i.e. the angels) put forth their Hand and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door. And they smote the nun that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door." (Gen., 19: 9-11),  "

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: This was a prelude to the punishment. When in spite of the pleadings of Lot (sws) they did not desist, their eyes were blinded and in this manner the eyes that lacked vision and understanding were deprived of eye-sight as well. In the Bible, this incident is recorded in the following words:
They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door. But the men [ie. the angels] inside reached out and pulled Lot back into the house and shut the door. Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, young and old, with blindness so that they could not find the door. (Genesis, 19:9-11)
وَلَقَدۡ صَبَّحَهُمۡ بُكۡرَةً عَذَابٌ مُّسۡتَقِرٌّ​ ۚ‏ 
38) And verily, an abiding torment seized them early in the morning. 

فَذُوۡقُوۡا عَذَابِىۡ وَنُذُرِ‏ 
39) Then taste you My torment and My warnings. 

وَلَقَدۡ يَسَّرۡنَا الۡقُرۡاٰنَ لِلذِّكۡرِ فَهَلۡ مِنۡ مُّدَّكِرٍ‏ 
40) And indeed, We have made the Qur'an easy to understand and remember; then is there any that will remember

Ruku Three: Verses 41-55

وَلَقَدۡ جَآءَ اٰلَ فِرۡعَوۡنَ النُّذُرُ​ۚ‏ 
41) And indeed, warnings came to the people of Fir`awn / Pharaonites. 
كَذَّبُوۡا بِاٰيٰتِنَا كُلِّهَا فَاَخَذۡنٰهُمۡ اَخۡذَ عَزِيۡزٍ مُّقۡتَدِرٍ‏ 
42) (They) denied all Our signs, so We seized them with a punishment of the Almighty, All-Capable. 

اَكُفَّارُكُمۡ خَيۡرٌ مِّنۡ اُولٰٓـئِكُمۡ اَمۡ لَكُمۡ بَرَآءَةٌ فِى الزُّبُرِ​ۚ‏   
43) Are your disbelievers better than these Or have you immunity in the Divine Scriptures 
The address here is directed to the Quraish, as if to say; "When the other nation have been punished for adopting disbelief and showing stubbornness and denying the Truth, why would you not be punished if you adopted the same attitude and conduct ? For you are not a special people in any way." 

اَمۡ يَقُوۡلُوۡنَ نَحۡنُ جَمِيۡعٌ مُّنۡتَصِرٌ‏ 
44) Or say they: "We are a great multitude, victorious'' 

سَيُهۡزَمُ الۡجَمۡعُ وَيُوَلُّوۡنَ الدُّبُرَ‏ 
45) Their multitude will be put to flight, and they will show their backs. 
This is a specific prophecy that was made five years before the hijrah, saying that the hosts of the Quraish who waxed proud of their strength would soon be put to rout by the Muslims. At that time no one could imagine how such a revolution would take place in the near future. Such was the helplessness of the Muslims that a group of them had already left the country and taken refuge in Habash and the rest of the believers lay besieged in Shi'b Abi Talib, and were being starved by the Quraish boycott and siege. Under such conditions no one could imagine that within only the next seven years the tables were going to turn. The pupil of Hadrat 'Ahdullah bin 'Abbas, has related that Hadrat 'Umar used to say : "When this verse of Surah Al-Qamar was sent down. I wondered what hosts it is that would be routed. But when in the Battle of Badr the pagan Quraish were routed and they were fleeing from the battlefield, I saw the Messenger of Allah in his armor rushing forward and reciting this verse: Sa-yuhzam-al -jam'u yuwallun-ad-dubur Then only did I realize that this was the defeat that had been foretold." (Ibn Jarir, Ibn Abi Hatim).

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: This is a very clear prediction made years before the migration to Madīnah and it materialized word for word in the very manner it was made. After the truth had been conclusively conveyed to the Quraysh, this scene was witnessed for the first time in the battle of Badr. After this as well never could the Quraysh win any battles against the powerful armies of God until Makkah was conquered and people saw them fleeing away from every place from their very eyes.

بَلِ السَّاعَةُ مَوۡعِدُهُمۡ وَالسَّاعَةُ اَدۡهٰى وَاَمَرُّ
46) Nay, but the Hour is their appointed time, and the Hour will be more grievous and more bitter.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: Ie., these people shall encounter the humiliation and destruction mentioned above in accordance with the established practice of God because they have denied the messenger of God; however, the warning that is being sounded to them shall actually materialize on the Day of Judgement that will be very severe for them.

اِنَّ الۡمُجۡرِمِيۡنَ فِىۡ ضَلٰلٍ وَّسُعُرٍ​ۘ‏ 
47)  Verily, the criminals are in error and will burn. 

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: The actual word is سُعُر. It is in the plural form. Further ahead, the word جَنّٰت is also in the plural. The purpose of such a plural is to point to the vastness of something or to its sides and sections.

يَوۡمَ يُسۡحَبُوۡنَ فِى النَّارِ عَلٰى وُجُوۡهِهِمۡؕ ذُوۡقُوۡا مَسَّ سَقَرَ‏ 
48) The Day they will be dragged on their faces into the Fire (it will be said to them): "Taste you the touch of Hell!''

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: This is a picture of great humiliation. One can imagine from this portrayal the situation these arrogant will face on the Day of Judgement because of their haughtiness.

اِنَّا كُلَّ شَىۡءٍ خَلَقۡنٰهُ بِقَدَرٍ‏ 
49) Verily, We have created all things with Qadar / a determined measure.
That is, 'Nothing in the world has been created at random but with a purpose and destiny. A thing comes into being at an appointed time, takes a particular form and shape, develops to its fullest extent, survives for a certain period, and then decays and dies at an appointed time. Even according to this universal principle this world too has a destiny in accordance with which it is functioning till an appointed time and will come to an end at an appointed tune. It will neither come to an end a moment earlier than its appointed time of end nor survive a moment longer; it has neither existed since eternity nor will exist rill eternity, nor is it the plaything of a child which he may destroy as and when he likes."

وَمَاۤ اَمۡرُنَاۤ اِلَّا وَاحِدَةٌ كَلَمۡحٍۢ بِالۡبَصَرِ‏ 
50) And Our commandment is but one as the twinkling of an eye.
That is, 'We shall not have to make any lengthy preparations for bringing about Resurrection, nor will it take long to come. For no sooner will a Command be issued forth from Us than it will take place in the twinkling of an eve."

وَلَقَدۡ اَهۡلَـكۡنَاۤ اَشۡيَاعَكُمۡ فَهَلۡ مِنۡ مُّدَّكِرٍ‏ 
51) And indeed, We have destroyed your likes; then is there any that will remember 
That is, 'If you think that the world is not the Kingdom of a Wise and Just God but the lawless empire of a blind ruler, in which man may behave and conduct himself as he likes, without any fear of accountability, history is proof and an eye-opener for you, which shows that the nations that adopted such a way of life, have been sent to their doom, one after the other." 

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: The reference is to nations like the Quraysh whose anecdotes are mentioned before.

وَكُلُّ شَىۡءٍ فَعَلُوۡهُ فِى الزُّبُرِ‏ 
52) And everything they have done is noted in Az-Zubur / Psalms

وَ كُلُّ صَغِيۡرٍ وَّكَبِيۡرٍ مُّسۡتَطَرٌ‏ 
53) And everything, small and large, is written down.
That is, “These people should not be under the delusion that whatever they did in the world has become extinct; nay, they should know that full record of the deeds of every person, every group and every nation, lies preserved and it will be presented before them at the appropriate time."  

اِنَّ الۡمُتَّقِيۡنَ فِىۡ جَنّٰتٍ وَّنَهَرٍۙ‏ 
54) Verily, those who have Taqwa, will be in the midst of Gardens and Rivers.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: The actual words are: فِيْ جَنّٰتٍ وَّنَهَرٍ. Here after the letter فِيۡ a governed noun (muḍāf) is suppressed as per conventional linguistic principles of Arabic. I have expressed it in the translation.

فِىۡ مَقۡعَدِ صِدۡقٍ عِنۡدَ مَلِيۡكٍ مُّقۡتَدِرٍ
55) In a seat of truth, near the Muqtadir (Mighty in Power) King.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: The actual words are: فِيْ مَقْعَدِ صِدْقٍ. Here the annexure of صِدۡق is referring to the honour of that place as well as to its perpetuity and eternal nature.

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

For ayat conclusion by Nouman Ali Khan, click here to watch the video.

Please refer to our Reference Page "114 Chapters (Sūrahs) of the Holy Qur'an" for translation, explanation and exegesis of all other chapters of the Qur'an. You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Quran.
Reading the Holy Quran should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully. An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Holy Qur'an from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that:
  • The plain translation the Tafsir Ibn Kathir. [1]
  • The exegesis of the chapters of the Holy Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi.  [2]
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided by [2], additional input has been interjected from following sources (links to Reference Pages given below):  
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Al-Quran, Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Qur'an Wiki
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
  • Tafsir Nouman Ali Khan
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
In addition the references of  other sources which have been explored have also been given below. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites:

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

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Monday 6 December 2021

Understanding Surah Ar Rahman - the 55th Chapter of Qur'an

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

Many of us like to read Sūrah Ar Rahman over and over again for in it Allah Almighty mentions many of His creations and asks the believers and non believers alike as to which of the blessings of Allah they would deny. The ayats of the Sūrah Ar Rahman are simple, yet very captivating and easy to understand. While Allah talks of His many creations, He also mentions the promised torment to those who deny His books and messengers and His Divine message despite knowing the truth and how Allah still showers His innumerous blessing to even those who deny Him. And then Allah also mentions at length the rewards for those who believe in Him and follow His commandments.

We have already posted a number on posts explaining the Sūrah Ar Rahman in details, that is the introduction, summary and the explanation.

The first four verses state that the teaching of the Qur'an is from Allah Almighty and it is the very demand of His mercy that He should provide guidance to mankind through this teaching, for it is He Who has created man as a rational and intelligent being. Although, these four ayats are short and easy to understand, the hidden meanings leave one spellbound about what Allah is to trying to tell those who believe in Him and even otherwise. We have already explained these four verses in the explanation/exegesis of the Sūrah by different scholars. 

But today I listened to Nouman Ali Khan, a linguist, teacher, scholar and  an exegetist of Qur'an and I was really amazed to find how a Arabic language linguist explains the entire chapter, specially the opening three verses inn his very peculiar candid and easy to understand words. So I thought I must share this video which is in fact a sort of lecture to an audience in Malaysia a few days ago. I would also request readers of this post to share this post to others so that others should also get to know the explanation of Sūrah's essence, specially its opening verses and the closing verse:

Please refer to our Reference Page "114 Chapters (Sūrahs) of the Holy Qur'an" for translation, explanation and exegesis of all other chapters of the Qur'an. You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Quran.
Reading the Holy Quran should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully. An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Holy Qur'an from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. 

Believers are requested to share this post to others so that everyone has a fair chance to learn and understand the Divine Message as contained in the Qur'an.

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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