Showing posts with label Summary. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Summary. Show all posts

Tuesday 5 May 2020

Alhamdolillah: The Exegesis / Summary of all 114 Chapters of Quran Completed Today

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

Alhamdolillah, this day of 11th of Ramadan 1441 / 5th May 2020, we at Islam: My Ultimate Decision have achieved a big landmark in the life of our blog as we have completed the Exegesis / Summary of all 114 Chapters of Quran. We took upon ourselves this sacred task in July 2018 for the benefit of the reverts to present to them exegesis / tafsir of all chapters / surahs of the Qur'an based on the commendable work by some of the most prestigious scholars and exegetes of Qur'an of al times.

Our aim was to put together explanation of each verse of Qur'an with the reference to the context of their revelation as interpreted by different scholars at one place so that the new reverts can understand Qur'an better by correlating the work of different scholars and exegetes. In doing so, nothing has been added or subtracted from the research work of the eminent scholars. 

Initially we started off with presenting the summary of the smaller surahs / chapters by starting from 114th chapter backwards. But later we switched over to the exegesis / tafsir in detail. And Alhamdolillah, today the summary of a portion and exegesis of the larger portion is completed, by the many blessings of Allah.

We now intend presenting the exegesis / tafsir of all those chapters / surah the summary only was presented earlier. In Sha Allah, we shall complete the exegesis of the entire Qur'an as early as possible.

It may be added here for the interest of of viewers / readers of our blog that this is an entirely a SOLO EFFORT - an honour for which I feel most humble and fortunate. lease pray that I complete my objective as early as possible. Thereafter, I will concentrate more on Q & A of the reverts to provide more knowledge and understanding of Islam - In Sha Allah.

You may refer to our post "114 Chapters (Sūrahs) of the Holy Qur'an" for translation, meaning and summary / exegesis of all chapters.

You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Quran.
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Reading the Holy Quran should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully.

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

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Wednesday 20 November 2019

Surah Hud - 11th Chapter of Holy Quran - Exegesis Part IV

Sūrah Hūd " هود‎ " is the 11th chapter of the Qur'an with 123 āyāts (verses) with 10 ruku / sections, part of the 11th-12th Juz'. This Surah has been named after Prophet Hud (peace be upon him) whose story has been related in verses 50-60.

For the chronological place of this Sūrah and the general argument of Sūrahs x to xv, please read Overview of Sūrah 10 Yunus  (Jonah).

The Surah deals with the same subject as Sūrah Yunus, in which the stress was laid on the side of Allah's dealing with man which leans to Mercy. Here in this sūrah the invitation to the Message, admonition and warning, with this difference that the warning is sterner when all Grace is resisted.

As already mentioned in the Overview that owing to the length of the Sūrah, it has been divided into four parts as under:
  • Part I    : Ruku / Sections 1-2 [Verses 1-24]
  • Part II   : Ruku / Sections 3-4 [Verses 25-49]
  • Part III  : Ruku / Sections 5-7 [Verses 50-83] 
  • Part IV : Ruku / Sections 8-10 [Verses 84-123] 
We have already presented the exegesis of Parts I-III. Here is the last part, i.e., Part IV, covering Ruku / Sections 8-10 [Verses 84-123]  of the Sūrah. In this part, mention of prophets continue as it started from the Prophet Noah in Part II, and Prophets Hud, Saleh, Abraham, Lut, in Part III. Here mention of Prophets Shu'aib and Moses (peace be upon them all) will be made besides focus on the general theme once more.

The translation and exegesis / tafseer is in English. For Arabic Text, please refer to the references given at the end and may also listen to its recitation in Arabic with English subtitles:

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

Ayat 84–95 deal with the Prophet Shu'aib sent to Median. Once more, the people ignore the prophet's warnings; this time, Shu'aib reminds the people of the fate of the people of Noah, Hud, Saleh, and Lot. It doesn't work, and the people spare Shu'aib from death by stoning only because he comes from a powerful clan. Shu'aib and those who believe are rescued by God. Afterward, the unbelievers "[were] seized by a punishment from heaven, and lay overturned in their homes in the morning as though they had not dwelt there at all."
( 84 )   And to Madyan [We sent] their brother Shu'ayb. He said, "O my people, worship Allah; you have no deity other than Him. And do not decrease from the measure and the scale. Indeed, I see you in prosperity, but indeed, I fear for you the punishment of an all-encompassing Day.
The territory of Madyan (Median) lay to the north-west of Hijaz and south of Palestine on the coast of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba, and part of the territory stretched to the northern border of the Sinai Peninsula. The Medianites and their towns were situated at the crossroads of the trade routes from Yemen through Makkah and Yanbu' to Syria along the Red Sea coast, and from Iraq to Egypt. Median was, therefore, quite well known to the Arabs. In fact it persisted in their memory long after its destruction for the Arab trade caravans en route to Syria and Egypt passed through territories which were full of the ruins of their monuments.

Another point worth noting about the people of Median is that they were reckoned to be descendants of Meidyan, a son of the Prophet Abraham born of his third wife, Qatura. According to a custom of the time, persons who attached themselves to a notable family were gradually counted as members of that family, as the descendants of that family's ancestor. It is for this reason that a large majority of Arabs were called the descendants of Ismai'l. Likewise those who embraced faith at the hands of Ya'qab's sons bore the general name 'the People of Israel'. Now, since the inhabitants of Median owed allegiance to Median, son of Abraham, they were referred to as the descendants of Median and their territory was called Median.

In view of this it should not be thought that the Prophet Shu'ayb invited them, for the first time, to follow Divine Guidance. At the time of the advent of Shu'ayb their state was no different from that of the Israelites at the time of the advent of Moses. They too were originally a Muslim people who had subsequently moved far away from Islam. For six to seven centuries they lived among a people who were steeped in polytheism and moral corruption, and this led to their contamination with polytheism and moral corruption. Despite their deviation and corruption, however, they claimed to be the followers of the true faith, and were proud of their religious identification.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Cf. vii. 85-93. The location of Madyan is explained in vii. 85 and the chronological place of Shu'aib in vii. 93. The point of the reference here is different from that in S. vii. Here the emphasis is on Allah's dealings with men and men's crooked and obstinate ways: there the emphasis was rather on their treatment of their Prophet, thus throwing light on some of the sins of the Makkans in later times.

The Medianites were a commercial people, and their besetting sin was commercial selfishness and fraudulent dealings in weights and measures. Their Prophet tells them that that is the surest way to cut short their "prosperity", both in the material and the spiritual sense. When the Day of Judgment comes, it will search out their dealings through and through: "it will compass them all round," and they will not be able to escape then, however much they may conceal their frauds in this world.
( 85 )   And O my people, give full measure and weight in justice and do not deprive the people of their due and do not commit abuse on the earth, spreading corruption.
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Both Plato and Aristotle define justice as the virtue which gives every one his due. From this point of view Justice becomes the master virtue, and includes most other virtues. It was the lack of this that ruined the Medianites. Their selfishness was "intent on mischief," i.e., spoiling other people's business by not giving them their just dues.
( 86 )   What remains [lawful] from Allah is best for you, if you would be believers. But I am not a guardian over you."
That is, I have no power over you. The most I can do for you is to admonish you as a well wisher, but it rests with you to accept my advice or reject it. As you are accountable to Allah and not to me for your deeds, therefore you should fear Him and desist from your mischievous deeds, if you sincerely believe in Him.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Allah's Law does not require that a man should deprive himself of the things that are necessary for his own well-being and development. If he follows Allah's Law, what is left him after he renders to others their just dues will be not only enough, but will be the best possible provision for his own physical and spiritual growth. Even the kindness and consideration which Allah's Law inculcates are in the best interests of the man's own soul. But of course the kindness and consideration must be spontaneous. It must flow from the man's own will, and cannot be forced on him by the Prophet who come from Allah to show him the way.
( 87 )   They said, "O Shu'ayb, does your prayer command you that we should leave what our fathers worship or not do with our wealth what we please? Indeed, you are the forbearing, the discerning!"
This taunting question was an expression of the feelings of hatred those ungodly people cherished against the religious observances of Prophet Shu'ayb (peace be upon him) and other God fearing pious people. They selected Salat as a target of their taunt because it is the first and foremost outwardly observance of true religion which naturally has always been strongly hated by all ungodly wicked people. This hatred may also be noticed today among those who deliberately intend to follow the wicked ways, for they consider religious observances to be the greatest threat to their evil ways. As they regard Salat to be a symbol of the coming trouble, they begin to taunt the one who observes it. For they know that the victim of the disease of religiosity will not rest content with his own reformation but will exert his utmost to reform others as well. They fear that he will preach piety and righteous ways to them and criticize their ungodly and immoral ways. That is why Salat becomes the target of the taunts of wicked people. And if the person who observes Salat actually begins to preach the observance of virtues and criticize their evil ways just as they had feared, then they condemn it even more vehemently as though it were the cause of the whole trouble.

These two things clearly distinguish the theory of the way of ignorance from the theory of the way of Islam. The way of ignorance is based on the assumption that one should follow the way of his forefathers, and for the mere reason that it has been inherited from his forefathers. Its second assumption is that one’s faith and religion are concerned only with worship, and these have nothing to do with the worldly affairs of life, in which one is absolutely free to do as he pleases. On the other hand, the basic theory of Islam is that every way that is not founded on the submission to Allah is wrong, and, therefore, should not be followed, for no other way has any proof of its truth from reason, knowledge and revelation. Besides, Islam is not confined to the worship of Allah but it covers in its entirety all aspects of cultural, social, economic and political life. This is because all that man possesses really belongs to Allah and, therefore, man has absolutely no right to do as he pleases with his possessions.

Incidentally, this demand of the people of Prophet Shu'ayb (peace be upon him) that they had every right to do as they pleased with their goods and possessions shows that there is nothing new about the theory of the division of life into separate compartments, religious and mundane. Some three thousand years or so ago they insisted on this division just as western and westernized people insist on it today. And they are absolutely wrong to presume that their division is the result of the light that had dawned upon humanity because of the intellectual progress that man has made as a result of the evolutionary process. Thus it is clear that it is not light but darkness which prevailed with the same intensity thousands of years ago as it is today and that the conflict of Islam against it is also as old as that.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
It is the way of selfish and material minded people (1) to scoff at spiritual things like prayer and worship and (2) to hug their own property rights as if there were not other rights even greater than those of property!

They grow sarcastic against Shu'aib. In effect they say: "You are a fine man! You teach us that we must be kind and forbearing with other people's faults, and now get at what you call our sins! You think you are the only right minded man!"
( 88 )   He said, "O my people, have you considered: if I am upon clear evidence from my Lord and He has provided me with a good provision "  رِزۡقًا حَسَنًا​" from Him...? And I do not intend to differ from you in that which I have forbidden you; I only intend reform as much as I am able. And my success is not but through Allah. Upon him I have relied, and to Him I return.
Here rizq "رِزۡقً " implies two things: (1) provision of the knowledge of the truth and (2) provision of the necessities of life from Allah. In the first sense, it refers to the same thing that has been declared in this Surah by Prophets Muhammad, Noah and Salih (peace be upon them all), that is, Allah bestowed on me by revelation that knowledge of the truth, which I already had gained by making keen observations of my own self and of the phenomena of nature. Therefore I cannot be a party to your evil creeds and unlawful practices. In the second sense, it is the answer to this taunt of theirs: Indeed you are the only generous and righteous person left in the land! It meant, so to say, this: When my Lord has bestowed on me both the knowledge of the truth and the good and lawful provisions of life, your taunts cannot turn this favor into disfavor. Therefore I cannot be so ungrateful to Him as to declare your deviations to be the truth and your unlawful practices lawful.

That is, It is a proof of the truth of my claim that I myself practice what I preach to you. For instance, if I had forbidden you to visit the shrines of gods and goddesses but had myself become the guardian of some such shrine, you would have been justified in bringing this charge against me that I was preaching the doctrine of Tauhid merely for the sake of ruining the business of others in order to make room for my own trade. Likewise, if I had prohibited the use of unlawful means for you but had myself applied the same in my own trade, you would have been justified in charging me with preaching honesty merely for winning good reputation for the prosperity of my own trade. But you yourselves are a witness to this that I myself abstain from those evils which I forbid you to practice and I keep myself pure from those blemishes of which I desire to cleanse you and I follow the way to which I invite you. All this is a clear proof that I believe in the truth of the message I am conveying to you.
( 89 )   And O my people, let not [your] dissension from me cause you to be struck by that similar to what struck the people of Noah or the people of Hud or the people of Salih. And the people of Lot are not from you far away.
That is, your land is not far from the land of the people of Lot, which has been totally destroyed. It is quite near and what happened did not take place long ago. here

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Finally, Shu'aib appeals to them as man to man. "Because I differ from you, do not think I do not love you or feel for you. Let it not drive you into obstinacy and sin. I see things that you do not. My vision takes in the fate of previous generations who sinned, and perished on account of their sins. Turn therefore to Allah in repentance."

The generation of Lut was not far off from the generation of Shu'aib chronologically if Shu'aib was only in the fourth generation from Abraham (see vii. 93). Nor was its habitat geographically far from that of Shu'aib, as the Medianites wandered about from Sinai Peninsula to the Jordan valley (see vii. 85).
( 90 )   And ask forgiveness of your Lord and then repent to Him. Indeed, my Lord is Merciful and Affectionate."
Prophet Shu'aib (peace be upon him) brought the attribute of love of Allah for His creation specially to the notice of his people in order to induce them to give up despair and turn to Allah for forgiveness for their evil deeds, so as to say: Allah is not hard hearted and cruel, and cherishes no feelings of enmity towards His creatures. He does not desire to punish them anyhow as if He were to derive pleasure from their torture. As a matter of fact, He inflicts punishment on you only when you transgress all limits and that, too, for the good of mankind. Therefore if you feel ashamed of your sins and repent of these, you will find Him Forbearing, for He loves His creation very much.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) has explained the same thing by citing a parable. He said: Suppose one of you was traveling in a water-less desert and lost his camel on whom he had laden all his provisions for the journey. He made a thorough search for the missing camel, but in vain. Then, in despair of his life, he lay down under a tree. Then, all of a sudden, the camel with all the provisions intact on it appeared before him. Just imagine his happiness. Allah is more pleased than that man, when a sinful servant returns to Him in penitence. There is another incident even more effective than this related by Umar: Once some prisoners of war were brought before the Prophet (peace be upon him). One of them was a mother whose infant child had been lost. This had made her so restless and uneasy that she would hold any child she came across close to her breasts and suckle it. When the Prophet (peace be upon him) saw this, he put this question to the bystanders: Can you imagine that this mother would ever throw her own child into the fire? We replied, never; not to speak of throwing it into the fire, she would do her utmost in every possible way to prevent it from falling into the fire. Then the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Allah is much more merciful to His servants than this mother is to her child.

Let us consider the same thing from another point of view. It is Allah Who has created love in the hearts of the mother and the father for their child, and without this parental love, they would never have shown the care and the sacrifice they shower on their child; nay, they would have even become its enemies because of the trouble and inconvenience they have to bear for it. From this, it is quite evident that the love of the Creator of this parental affection for His own Creation must be far greater than this parental love.
( 91 )   They said, "O Shu'ayb, we do not understand much of what you say, and indeed, we consider you among us as weak. And if not for your family, we would have stoned you [to death]; and you are not to us one respected."
They did not understand what Prophet Shu'ayb (peace be upon him) said to them, not because he talked to them in some foreign language or because the theme was too difficult or complicated for them. For he talked to them in their own language and his theme was simple and clear. As a matter of fact, they did not understand because they would not: Their crooked thinking left neither any desire nor any aptitude for understanding his talk. And this is true of all those people who become such slaves of their prejudices and lusts as render them incapable of accepting anything against their preconceived notions. For they are neither inclined to listen to such things nor understand them as though these things were not for them nor were they for them.

While studying this part of the story of Prophet Shu'ayb (peace be upon him), it should be kept in view that similar conditions were prevalent at Makkah at the time of the revelation of this story. The Quraish were as blood thirsty to kill the Prophet (peace be upon him) as were the people of Median to take the life of Prophet Shu'ayb (peace be upon him). Just as the people of Prophet Shu'ayb (peace be upon him) desisted from this evil design because they were afraid of his family, likewise the Quraish were afraid of Bani Hashim and refrained from executing their evil designs. So this story was being related to warn the Quraish that they should learn a lesson from the answer of Prophet Shu'ayb (peace be upon him) (Ayats 92-93), as if to say: O people of Quraish, this same is the answer to you from Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Spiritual things are easy to understand if we bring the right mind to them. But those who are contemptuous of them deliberately shut their eyes to Allah's Signs, and then pretend in their superior arrogance that they are 'quite beyond them'!

What they do understand is brute strength. They practically say: "Don't you see that we have all the power and influence, and you, Shu'aib, are only a poor Teacher? We could stone you or imprison you or do what we like with you! Thank us for our kindness that we spare you, for the sake of your family. It is more than you yourself deserve!"
( 92 )   He said, "O my people, is my family more respected for power by you than Allah? But you put Him behind your backs [in neglect]. Indeed, my Lord is encompassing of what you do.( 93 )   And O my people, work according to your position; indeed, I am working. You are going to know to whom will come a punishment that will disgrace him and who is a liar. So watch; indeed, I am with you a watcher, [awaiting the outcome]."
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
If the wicked will continue to blaspheme and mock, what can the godly say but this? "Watch and wait! Allah's Plan works without fail! I have faith, and I too will watch with you for its fulfillment." Cf. x. 102.
( 94 )   And when Our command came, We saved Shu'ayb and those who believed with him, by mercy from Us. And the shriek seized those who had wronged, and they became within their homes [corpses] fallen prone( 95 )   As if they had never prospered therein. Then, away with Madyan as Thamud was taken away.
The remaining text of the surah discusses the general theme once more, with occasional references to Moses. The harsh punishment is explained as "We did not wrong them; they wronged themselves." Other gods are decried as false, powerless, and useless. Believers are commanded to walk the straight path and follow God, and those who disbelieve will suffer in Hell.
( 96 )   And We did certainly send Moses with Our signs and a clear authority
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The story of Moses and Pharaoh is referred to in many places in the Qur'an, each in connection with some special point to be illustrated. Here the point is that Allah's dealings with man are in all things and at all times just. But man falls under false leadership by deliberate choice and perishes along with his false leaders accordingly. In exercise of the intelligence and choice given him, man should be particularly careful to understand his own responsibilities and to profit from Allah's Signs, so as to attain to Allah's Mercy and blessings.
( 97 )   To Pharaoh and his establishment, but they followed the command of Pharaoh, and the command of Pharaoh was not [at all] discerning.
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Pharaoh is the type of the arrogant, selfish, and false leader, who poses as a power in rivalry with that of Allah. Such an attitude seems to attract unregenerate humanity, which falls a willing victim, in spite of the teaching and warning given by the men of Allah and the many moral and spiritual forces that beckon man towards Allah's Grace.
( 98 )   He will precede his people on the Day of Resurrection and lead them into the Fire; and wretched is the place to which they are led.
From this verse and some other narrations of the Quran it appears that the leaders of a community in this world will be its leaders also on the Day of Resurrection. If they guided and led the people towards virtue, righteousness and truth in this world, their followers will gather together under their banner on the Day of Resurrection and march to the Gardens under their leadership. On the other hand, if they called people to some deviation, immorality or unrighteous ways, their followers will follow them there also, and march to the fire of Hell under their leadership. The Prophet (peace be upon him) explained this thing in a tradition: On the Day of Resurrection, the banner of the poets of ignorance will be in the hands of Imra-ul-Quais, and all of them will march towards Hell under his leadership.

Now let us try to picture the march of these two processions. It is obvious that the first procession will march happily and joyously, praying for and praising their leaders whose guidance had led them to this happy state of marching to the blessed Paradise. On the other hand, when the followers of the leaders of errors will find themselves in the miserable plight, to which the leaders had brought them, naturally their anger against them will be beyond description. For the followers will march towards Hell, abusing and cursing their leaders, who had brought them to that horrible state of torture.

يَقۡدُمُ قَوۡمَهٗ يَوۡمَ الۡقِيٰمَةِ فَاَوۡرَدَهُمُ النَّارَ​ؕ وَبِئۡسَ الۡوِرۡدُ الۡمَوۡرُوۡدُ‏ 

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Awrada = to lead, as cattle, down to their watering place. The metaphor is apt. The true herdsman is trusted by his normal flock, and he leads them in the heat of the day down to pleasant and cool watering places in order that they may slake their thirst and be happy. The false leader does the opposite: he takes them down to the fire of eternal misery! And yet men sin against their own intelligence, and follow the false leader like cattle without intelligence!
( 99 )   And they were followed in this [world] with a curse and on the Day of Resurrection. And wretched is the gift which is given.
( 100 )   That is from the news of the cities, which We relate to you; of them, some are [still] standing and some are [as] a harvest [mowed down].
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Some are standing: like corn, which is ready to be reaped. Among the communities which remained was, and is, Egypt, although the Pharaoh and his wicked people have been swept away. The simile of standing corn also suggests that at no time can town or community expect permanency, except in the Law of the Lord.

Notions grow and ripen and are mowed down. If they disobeyed Allah, their end is evil; if they were true and godly, their harvest was good.
( 101 )   And We did not wrong them, but they wronged themselves. And they were not availed at all by their gods which they invoked other than Allah when there came the command of your Lord. And they did not increase them in other than ruin.
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
All false and fleeting shadows must vanish before the reality and permanence of the decree of Allah. If we worshiped the false, we carned nothing but perdition.
( 102 )   And thus is the seizure of your Lord when He seizes the cities while they are committing wrong. Indeed, His seizure is painful and severe.
( 103 )   Indeed in that is a sign for those who fear the punishment of the Hereafter. That is a Day for which the people will be collected, and that is a Day [which will be] witnessed.
That is, in these historical events there is a sign which will show conclusively to the one who considers this deeply that the torment of the Hereafter is inevitable, as warned by the Messengers. One can also judge from this how terrible it will be. This knowledge will fill one with such fear that will keep him on the straight way.

Now let us consider the question: How are these historical events a sign of the Hereafter and the chastisement therein. Everyone who makes a critical study of history with this consideration that it is not merely a collection of events, but also a means of drawing logical conclusions, will find that the rise and fall of communities and nations has been taking place in a regular succession. Moreover, one will find that this rise and fall takes place in accordance with some moral laws in an extraordinary way. This is a clear proof that man is subordinate to the Sovereign, Who is ruling over the universe in accordance with some rational moral laws. Accordingly, He raises up those who keep the moral limits above a certain minimum standard set for this purpose and degrades those who fall below it. Then He gives respite to the latter to mend their ways, but if they do not avail of it and continue their downward march and fall below the limit set for their complete degradation, He annihilates them in a way as to serve as a lesson for others. The fact that these events always take place in a regular cycle leaves no shadow of doubt that rewards and punishments are permanent parts of the law of His kingdom.

A further consideration of the chastisements that were inflicted on different communities shows that, though these punishments fulfilled the demands of justice to some extent, there was still need of more to fulfill all the demands of justice, for these criminals were punished only for those sins which they themselves committed but not for those committed by the succeeding communities, which followed the bad example left by them as their predecessors. It is obvious from the study of history that the law of retribution must take its course and justice demands that they should be punished for the evil legacy they left for others to follow after them. Common sense and justice demand that life in this world should be reproduced in its entirety in order to fulfill all the demands of the law of retribution. The just Sovereign will, therefore, bring into existence all those people for this purpose and award them due punishments.

The reason why Allah will again bring the whole mankind to life is to reward the believers and to punish the disbelievers. After showing that this is possible to raise the dead, it is stated that it is absolutely necessary to fulfill the demands of common sense and justice, for full justice cannot be done without this. Common sense and justice demand that those who believe and do righteous deeds should be given their full rewards, and those who disbelieve and reject the truth and do evil deeds, should be duly punished. As every sensible and just person knows that this demand of justice is not fulfilled in its entirety, and cannot be fulfilled, in this world. It is absolutely essential that the entire mankind should again be brought to life for this purpose.
( 104 )   And We do not delay it except for a limited term.
( 105 )   The Day it comes no soul will speak except by His permission. And among them will be the wretched and the prosperous.
This is to warn these foolish people who depend on the promises of their intercessors that they would protect them from the torment of the Day. They have been warned to desist from the evil deeds they are committing in the hope that their intercessors would not rest content till they succeed in obtaining from Allah permits of forgiveness for their sinful followers. This is because they believe them to be the beloved favorites of Allah Who cannot afford to displease them at any cost. Then they have been told that, not to speak of wielding any such influence, they shall not dare utter a word except with His permission. No saint, no angel, howsoever high, is so powerful or influential as to speak a word or make any recommendation in the Court of the Highest Sovereign unless He Himself permits it. Therefore such people as make offerings to others than Allah will be utterly disillusioned and disappointed on that Day, for they will come to know that they were foolish in relying on their intercessors and committing evil deeds in the world in the hope that they would deliver them from the torment of the Day.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Speak i.e., either in self-defence or in accusation of others or to intercede for others, or to enter into conversation or ask questions, one with another. It will be a solemn Day, before the Great Judge of all, to whom everything will be known and whose authority will be unquestioned. There will be no room for quibbling or equivocation or subterfuge of any kind, nor can any one lay the blame on another or take the responsibility of another. Personal responsibility will be enforced strictly.

Shaqi (wretched) and Said (blessed) have become almost technical theological terms. They are explained in the four following verses.
( 106 )   As for those who were [destined to be] wretched, they will be in the Fire. For them therein is [violent] exhaling and inhaling.
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The first word, Zafir " زَفِيۡرٌ ", translated "sighs", is applied to one part in the process of the braying of an ass, when he emits a deep breath. The second, Shahiq "  شَهِيۡقٌ ", translated, "sobs", is the other process in the braying of an ass, when he draws in a long breath. This suggestion of an animal proverbial for his folly implies that the wicked, in spite of their arrogance and insolence in this world below, will at last realize that they have been fools after all, throwing away their own chances whenever they got them. In lxvii. 7 the word Shahiq is applied to the tremendous roaring in-take or devouring of Hell-fire.
( 107 )   [They will be] abiding therein as long as the heavens and the earth endure, except what your Lord should will. Indeed, your Lord is an effecter of what He intends.
This is to emphasize that there is no power that can deliver them from that everlasting torment. Of course, Allah has full powers to forgive anyone He wills or to make a change in the term of the torment of anyone, for He Himself devises laws for Himself and there is no law higher than His Law so as to limit His powers.

In (Ayats 107-108), the words “the heavens and the earth” might have been used idiomatically to denote the everlasting state or they might refer to the new earth and the heavens that will be made in the next world. Anyhow these cannot be the earth and the heavens in their existing state for two reasons. First, according to the Quran, they shall be changed on the Day of Resurrection. Secondly, the events that are being related in these verses will happen in the Hereafter.
( 108 )   And as for those who were [destined to be] prosperous, they will be in Paradise, abiding therein as long as the heavens and the earth endure, except what your Lord should will - a bestowal uninterrupted.
That is, they will not be sent to the Garden nor will dwell there in accordance with any extraneous law which might have forced Allah to let them dwell therein anyhow. They shall dwell there simply because of His favor. He has full powers to make any changes, if He will, about them.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Exactly the same arguments apply as in the last note. The felicity will be uninterrupted, unlike any joy or happiness which we can imagine in this life and which is subject to chances and changes, as our daily experience shows.
( 109 )   So do not be in doubt, [O Muhammad], as to what these [polytheists] are worshiping. They worship not except as their fathers worshiped before. And indeed, We will give them their share undiminished.
It does not mean at all that the Prophet (peace be upon him) had any doubts concerning their deities. Though these words have been addressed to the Prophet (peace be upon him), as a matter of fact they are meant for the common people. What they mean is this: No reasonable person should entertain any presumption that the people who worship the deities must have been convinced of their miraculous powers, otherwise they would not have worshiped them nor offered gifts to them nor invoked their help. The fact of the matter is that their worship, their offerings and their prayers are not based on any knowledge nor any experience nor any real observation, but are the result of blind imitation of their forefathers. The proof of their falsehood is that the deities could not save them when Allah's scourge visited their worshipers who were completely annihilated in spite of them.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Their worship is not based on any spiritual attitude of mind. They merely follow the ways of their fathers. Allah will take fully into account all their motives in such mummery as they call worship, and they will have their full spiritual consequences in the future.
( 110 )   And We had certainly given Moses the Scripture, but it came under disagreement. And if not for a word that preceded from your Lord, it would have been judged between them. And indeed they are, concerning the Qur'an, in disquieting doubt.
It means this: There is nothing new in the different opinions expressed by different people regarding the Quran. They behaved in the same manner towards the Book that was given to Prophet Moses (peace be upon him). Therefore, O Muhammad (peace be upon him), do not be disheartened by their rejection of the Quran, though its teachings are simple and plain.

This is to reassure the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the believers that they should patiently wait for the consequences of the misbehavior of the unbelievers towards the Quran. But this will happen in due course as previously ordained by Allah, for Allah does not make haste in passing judgment, though the people demand haste.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Cf. x. 19. Previous revelations are not to be denied or dishonoured because those who nominally go by them have corrupted and deprived them of spiritual value by their vain controversies and disputes. It was possible to settle such disputes under the flag, as it were, of the old Revelations, but Allah's Plan was to revive and rejuvenate His Message through Islam, among a newer and younger people, unhampered by the burden of age long prejudices.

Cf. xi. 62. There is always in human affairs the conflict between the old and the new,-the worn-out system of our ancestors, and the fresh living spring of Allah's inspiration fitting in with new times and new surroundings. The advocates of the former look upon this latter not only with intellectual doubt but with moral suspicion, as did the People of the Book upon Islam, with its fresh outlook and vigorous realistic way of looking at things.
( 111 )   And indeed, each [of the believers and disbelievers] - your Lord will fully compensate them for their deeds. Indeed, He is Acquainted with what they do.( 112 )   So remain on a right course as you have been commanded, [you] and those who have turned back with you [to Allah], and do not transgress. Indeed, He is Seeing of what you do.( 113 )   And do not incline toward those who do wrong, lest you be touched by the Fire, and you would not have other than Allah any protectors; then you would not be helped.( 114 )   And establish prayer at the two ends of the day and at the approach of the night. Indeed, good deeds do away with misdeeds. That is a reminder for those who remember.
This was to urge Salat at three times, that is, morning, evening and Isha. This shows that this was revealed before Salat had been made obligatory five times a day during the Miraj.

This is to comfort and console the Prophet (peace be upon him), as if to say: Allah does not intend to destroy them yet, for He has appointed for them a term of respite, so you should endure with patience whatever they do against you and hear their harsh talk and go on performing the obligations of your mission. For this purpose you should offer Salat in accordance with the prescribed times because it will create in you necessary forbearance and fortitude.

This is the remedy for eradicating evil from the world: Do good deeds and defeat evil with them. The best way of making you virtuous is to establish salat, which will remind you of Allah over and over again: which will produce those good characteristics in you that shall help you fight successfully against the systematic and united front of evil that has been formed against the mission of the truth. This will also enable you to establish practically the system of virtue and reform.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The two ends of the day: Morning and afternoon. The morning prayer is the Fajr, after the light is up but before sunrise: we thus get up betimes and begin the day with the remembrance of Allah and of our duty to Him. The early afternoon prayer, Zuhr, is immediately after noon: we are in the midst of our daily life, and again we remember Allah. There is no disagreement among scholars regarding which prayer is meant by one of these two ends of the day. They agree that it is Fajr prayer which may be performed from dawn until a little before sunrise. There is disagreement, however, regarding the prayer which ought to be performed at the other end of the day. It is said variously that the reference is to Asr or Maghrib prayer.

Approaches of the night: Zulafun " زُلَـفًا", plural of Zulfatun, an approach, something near at hand. As Arabic has, like Greek, a dual number distinct from the plural, and the plural number is used here, and not the dual, it is reasonable to argue that at least three "approaches of the night" are meant. The late afternoon prayer, 'Asr, can be one of these three, and the evening prayer, Maghrib, just after sunset, can be the second. The early night prayer, 'Isha, at supper time-when the glow of sunset is disappearing, would be the third of the "approaches of the night", when we commit ourselves to Allah before sleep. These are the five canonical prayers of Islam.

"Those things that are good": in this context the words refer primarily to prayers, but they include all good thoughts, good words, and good deeds. It is by them that we keep away everything that is evil, whether referring to the past, the present, or the future.
( 115 )   And be patient, for indeed, Allah does not allow to be lost the reward of those who do good.
( 116 )   So why were there not among the generations before you those of enduring discrimination forbidding corruption on earth - except a few of those We saved from among them? But those who wronged pursued what luxury they were given therein, and they were criminals.
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Baqiyat: some virtue or faculty that stands assault and is lasting; balanced good sense that stands firm to virtue and is not dazzled by the lusts and pleasures of this world, and is not deterred by fear from boldly condemning wrong if it was fashionable or customary. It is leaders possessed of such character that can save a nation from disaster or perdition. The scarcity of such leaders-and the rejection of the few who stood out- brought ruin among the nations whose example has already been set out to us as a warning. In xi. 86 the word has a more literal meaning.

The exceptional men of firm virtue would have been destroyed by the wicked to whom they were an offence, had they not been saved by the grace and mercy of Allah. Or perhaps, but for such grace, they might themselves have succumbed to the evil around them, or been overwhelmed in the general calamity.
( 117 )   And your Lord would not have destroyed the cities unjustly while their people were reformers.
In this passage, the real cause of the fall of the communities mentioned in( Ayats 25-99 )has been pointed out in a very instructive manner. In reviewing their history Allah declares that the cause of the downfall of not only these but of all the former communities was this: When Allah bestowed His favors on them, they abused these favors and were so intoxicated with their own prosperity that they began to make mischief in the land. By and by, their collective conscience became so corrupt that no righteous persons were left among them to forbid evil and, if a few were left, their voice was so weak that they could not prevent them from causing mischief. As a result of this, evil became so strong and prevalent among them as to warrant the scourge of Allah. Otherwise Allah bears no enmity against His servants that He should destroy them without any just cause, while they were performing righteous works. This has been mentioned here for impressing the following three things.

First, it is imperative that there should be some persons who should invite the people to virtue and forbid evil. For Allah approves virtue only and tolerates evil for its sake so long as there is any potential good left in them. But when a community has no righteous persons left in it and contains only wicked ones, or even if there be some such righteous persons in it as are so weak that nobody pays any heed to them, and the community as a whole rushes headlong towards moral degradation, then Allah’s scourge becomes its inevitable doom.

Second, a community, which tolerates everything and everyone except those few who invite it to righteous deeds seals its own doom and invites its destruction.

Third, it is clear from this passage that the destiny of a community is determined by the influence the righteous people can wield in it. If it contains such a number of good persons as may be able to eradicate evil and mischief and establish virtue and righteousness, a general scourge is withheld from it so as to afford an opportunity to them for carrying on their work of reform. On the other hand, if the number of the righteous persons in it remains too small to carry on the reform work, and the community does not tolerate them at all and does not allow them to perform their reform work, then that community incurs its own destruction, for thus it proves itself to be a worthless community which has no justification for its existence.

Here the mention of Prophet Lot (peace be upon him) will be pertinent. Among the entire nation and in the entire land there was only one house that shone with the light of the faith and Islam, and it was no other but the house of the Prophet Lot (peace be upon him) himself. The rest of the nation was sunk deep in sin and wickedness and its whole country was brimming over with filth and immorality. Therefore Allah rescued the people of that one house and then sent down the torment on the land, which did not spare any one of the wicked people.
( 118 )   And if your Lord had willed, He could have made mankind one community; but they will not cease to differ.
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Cf. x. 19. All mankind might have been one. But in Allah's Plan man was to have a certain measure of free-will, and this made difference inevitable. This would not have mattered if all had honestly sought Allah. But selfishness and moral wrong came in, and people's disputations became mixed up with hatred, jealousy, and sin, except in the case of those who accepted Allah's grace, which saved them. The object of their creation was to raise them up spiritually by Allah's grace. But if they will choose the path of evil and fall into sin, Allah's decree must be fulfilled, and His justice will take its course. In the course of that justice Hell will be filled with men and jinns, such is the number of those who go astray.
( 119 )   Except whom your Lord has given mercy, and for that He created them. But the word of your Lord is to be fulfilled that, "I will surely fill Hell with jinn and men all together."
This is the answer to the objection raised in the name of taqdir (destiny) against the principle that has been laid down in the preceding verse for the destruction of the wicked communities. It is this: Why should these communities be punished for lack of a sufficient number of righteous persons in them? Why didn’t Allah Himself will to produce that sufficient number of righteous persons in it? Allah has answered this objection, so as to say: It is not the will of Allah to bind mankind inherently to a fixed course of life as He has bound the vegetable and animal life. Had it been so, there would have been no need of sending the Messengers and the Books for inviting mankind to the faith. For, in that case all human beings would have been born Muslims and born believers and there would have been no unbelief and no disobedience. But it is the will of Allah to grant freedom of choice and action to man so that he may be free to choose and follow any way of life. That is why He has left open both the way to Paradise and the way to Hell for man and given every individual and every community the opportunity to choose and follow either of the two ways with full freedom and win any of the two abodes as a result of his own efforts and exertions. It is obvious that this scheme of Allah demands that it should be based on the freedom of choice and the option to adopt faith or unbelief.

This is why Allah does not compel a community to the right way if it itself intends to follow the wrong way, and plans and works for it. Allah’s scheme does not interfere with the plans and works of such a community. When it makes deliberate arrangements to mold the wicked, unjust, and sinful people, He does not supply it with righteous persons by birth to set it right. Every community is free to produce good or bad people as it wills. And if a community wills to follow a wrong way as a community, leaving little room for the production and the development of the righteous people in order to raise up the standard of virtue, God does not will to coerce it to follow the righteous way. He will let it follow the way it chooses for itself with its inevitable consequences. On the contrary, Allah shows His mercy to that community which produces a sufficiently large number of such people as accept the invitation to virtue, and leaves room in its collective system for such people to work for its reform and purification.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Cf. vii. 18 and vii. 179. If Satan and his evil soldiers tempt men from the path of rectitude, the responsibility of the tempted, who choose the path of evil, is no less than that of the tempters, and they will both be involved in punishment together.
( 120 )   And each [story] We relate to you from the news of the messengers is that by which We make firm your heart. And there has come to you, in this, the truth and an instruction and a reminder for the believers.
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The stories of the Prophets in the Qur'an are not mere narratives or histories: they involve three things: (1) they teach the highest spiritual Truth; (2) they give advice, direction, and warning, as to how we should govern our lives, and (3) they awaken our conscience and recall to us the working of Allah's Law in human affairs. The story of Joseph in the next Sūrah (Sūrah Yusuf) is an illustration in point. A) Cf. xi. 93 and vi. 135, n. 957. The worst that ye can will not defeat Allah's Plan; and as for us who believe, our obvious duty is to do our part as taught to us by Allah's revelation.
( 121 )   And say to those who do not believe, "Work according to your position; indeed, we are working.( 122 )   And wait, indeed, we are waiting."
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Cf. xi. 93, and x. 102, If the wicked only wait, they will see how Allah's Plan unfolds itself. As for those who believe, they are glad to wait in perfect confidence, because they know that Allah is good and merciful, as well as just and true.
( 123 )   And to Allah belong the unseen [aspects] of the heavens and the earth and to Him will be returned the matter, all of it, so worship Him and rely upon Him. And your Lord is not unaware of that which you do.
At the end of the discourse, Allah has warned the champions of kufr, and comforted the believers, so as to say: Allah is closely watching the behaviors of both the parties in the conflict between kufr and Islam, and the Sovereign is fully aware of all that is happening in His kingdom. He is watching and controlling everything with perfect wisdom. He will reward richly the champions of the truth and will not let go waste their efforts and exertions. And though He is showing tolerance to the champions of kufr, and giving them respite, He will take them to task because they are unjustly persecuting the standard bearers of the truth and are spreading chaos in the land, and exerting their utmost to put obstacles in the way of the work of reform. All these things are in the knowledge of Allah and the evil doers shall have to bear the consequences of their misdeeds, and the true believers will ultimately come out successful.

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

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

You may also refer to our following reference pages for knowing more about Islam and Quran:
Photo | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 |
Reading the Holy Quran should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully.

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

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Sunday 17 November 2019

Surah Hud - 11th Chapter of Holy Quran - Exegesis Part III

Sūrah Hūd " هود‎ " is the 11th chapter of the Qur'an with 123 āyāts (verses) with 10 ruku / sections, part of the 11th-12th Juz'. This Surah has been named after Prophet Hud (peace be upon him) whose story has been related in verses 50-60.

For the chronological place of this Sūrah and the general argument of Sūrahs x to xv, please read Overview of Sūrah 10 Yunus  (Jonah).

The Surah deals with the same subject as Sūrah Yunus, in which the stress was laid on the side of Allah's dealing with man which leans to Mercy. Here in this sūrah the invitation to the Message, admonition and warning, with this difference that the warning is sterner when all Grace is resisted.

As already mentioned in the Overview that owing to the length of the Sūrah, it has been divided into four parts as under:
  • Part I    : Ruku / Sections 1-2 [Verses 1-24]
  • Part II   : Ruku / Sections 3-4 [Verses 25-49]
  • Part III  : Ruku / Sections 5-7 [Verses 50-83] 
  • Part IV : Ruku / Sections 8-10 [Verses 84-123] 
We have already presented the exegesis of Parts I and II. Part II mainly focused on the story of Prophet Noah (Nuh, peace be upon him) and the great deluge. In this Part, that is Part III, Ruku / Sections 5-7 [Verses 50-83], mention of Prophets Hud, Saleh, Abraham and Lot (peace be upon them all) is made.

The translation and exegesis / tafseer is in English. For Arabic Text, please refer to the references given at the end and may also listen to its recitation in Arabic with English subtitles:

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

Ruku / Sections 5 [Verses 50-60] 
Ayat 50–60 make a mention of Prophet Hud. He was sent to the ʿĀd, an Omani tribe which according to history crumbled sometime between the 3rd and 6th century AD. The ʿĀd did not believe Hud, and Hud and those who did believe were rescued by God, followed by God inflicting a "dreadful doom" on them so that they were "accursed in the world."
( 50 )   And to 'Aad [We sent] their brother Hud. He said, "O my people, worship Allah; you have no deity other than Him. You are not but inventors [of falsehood].
As the chiefs of the Quraish had a false pride of their superiority and exulted in their wealth and prosperity, the story of Aad is being related to them about whom it was well known that they had been the mightiest people in Arabia.

'Ad, an ancient Arab people, were well-known throughout Arabia. They were known for their proverbial glory and grandeur. And when they were destroyed, their extinction also became proverbial. So much so that the word 'Ad has come to be used for things ancient and the word 'adiyat for archaeological remains. The land whose owner is unknown and which is lying fallow, from neglect is called 'adi al-ard.

The ancient Arabic poetry is replete with references to this people. Arab genealogists consider the 'Ad as the foremost among the extinct tribes of Arabia. Once a person of the Banel Dhuhl b. Shayban tribe, who was a resident of the 'Ad territory, called on the Prophet (peace be on him). He related stories to the Prophet about the people of 'Ad, stories handed down to the people of that region from generation to generation. (See Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, vol. 3, p. 482 - Ed.)

According to the Qur'an the people of 'Ad lived mainly in the Ahqaf region which is situated to the south-west of the Empty Quarter (al-Rub' al-Khali) and which lies between Hijaz, Yemen and Yamamah. It was from there that the people of 'Ad spread to the western coast of Yemen and established their hegemony in Oman, Hadramawt and Iraq. There is very little archaeological evidence about the 'Ad. Only a few ruins in South Arabia are ascribed to them. At a place in Hadramawt there is a grave which is considered to be that of the Prophet Hud. James R. Wellested, a British naval officer, discovered an ancient inscription in 1837 in a place called Hisn al-Ghurab which contains a reference to the Prophet Hud. The contents unmistakably bear out that it had been written by those who followed the Shari'ah of Hud.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Cf. the story of Hud the Messenger of the 'Ad People, in vii. 65-72. There the argument was how other Peoples treated their prophets as the Makkans were treating Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Here we see another point emphasized: the insolence of the 'Ad in obstinately adhering to false gods after the true God had been preached to them, Allah's grace to them, and finally Allah's justice in bringing them to book while the righteous were saved. The locality in which the 'Ad flourished is indicated in n. 1040 to vii. 65.
( 51 )   O my people, I do not ask you for it any reward. My reward is only from the one who created me. Then will you not reason?
This concise sentence contains a very strong argument: The fact that you are taking a superficial view of my Message and rejecting it without paying due and deep consideration to it is a clear proof that you are not using your common sense. Had you tried to understand the matter, you would have found much material for your consideration. You would have noticed that I have absolutely no personal interests: nay, I am suffering hardships, in conveying the message which cannot bring any benefit to me or to the members of my family. This is a conclusive proof that my faith has very sound bases which are strong enough to enable me to forsake all the worldly joys and comforts and encounter the enmity of the whole world by waging a war against the centuries old, established rites, customs and ways of life. Do these things not demand a deep and serious consideration? Why don’t you then use your common sense before rejecting the message outright?
( 52 )   And O my people, ask forgiveness of your Lord and then repent to Him. He will send [rain from] the sky upon you in showers and increase you in strength [added] to your strength. And do not turn away, [being] criminals."
This is the same thing that has been stated by the tounge of the Prophet (peace be upon him) in (Ayat 3). This is a clear proof that moral values count not only in the life of the Hereafter but also determine the rise and fall of nations in this world. This is because Allah rules over the world in accordance with moral principles and not on the basis of His physical laws alone. That is why Allah has declared in many places in the Quran that the fate of a community hangs on the message which He sends to it through His Prophet. If it accepts the message, He opens the gates of His favors and blessings for it, but if it rejects the message, then it is destroyed.

In short, this verse is an article of the moral law in accordance with which Allah deals with man. Conversely, the other article of the same principle of the law is that the community which, deluded by its worldly prosperity, begins to tread the paths of sin and iniquity is ultimately destroyed. But if, during its headlong race towards its doom, it realizes its erroneous behavior and gives up its disobedience and turns in repentance towards Allah, its evil fate is changed and the impending scourge is averted and it is given a further term of respite along with blessings and favors.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The beautiful metaphor about the skies coming down with rain has been obscured unnecessarily in most translations. The country of the 'Ad was an arid country, and rain was the greatest blessing they could receive. We can imagine this being said in a time of famine, when the people performed all sorts of superstitious rites and invocations instead of turning to the true God in faith and repentance. Further, when we remember that there were, in this tract in ancient times, dams like that at Maarib, for the storage of rain water, the effect is still further heightened in pointing to Allah's care and mercy in His dealing with men.

Adding strength to strength may refer to increase of population, as some Commentators think. While other parts of Arabia were sparsely populated, the irrigated lands of the 'Ad supported a comparatively dense population and added to their natural strength in the arts of peace and war. But the term used is perfectly general. They were a powerful people in their time. If they obeyed Allah and followed the law of righteousness, they would be still more powerful, for "righteousness exalteth a nation."
( 53 )   They said, "O Hud, you have not brought us clear evidence, and we are not ones to leave our gods on your say-so. Nor are we believers in you.
The argument of the Unbelievers is practically this: "We are not convinced by you: we don't want to be convinced: we think you are a liar,-or perhaps a fool!" (See next verse).
( 54 )   We only say that some of our gods have possessed you with evil." He said, "Indeed, I call Allah to witness, and witness [yourselves] that I am free from whatever you associate with Allah
That is, it appears that you had behaved rudely towards a god or goddess or saint: Consequently you have been smitten with madness and are being abused, dishonored and pelted with stones in the same streets in which you were respected and honored before this.

This was the refutation of their charge that he had not brought any clear evidence to them. It implied: You say that I have brought no evidence to prove that I have been sent by Allah who is a standing witness everywhere in His universe and giving evidence with the phenomena of nature to show that the truth I have stated before you is absolutely correct. This also proves conclusively that there is no sign of truth in what you falsely ascribe to your gods.

The answer of Prophet Houd (peace be upon him) to their assertion: We are not going to give up our gods at your word. (Ayat 53). His reply implied: Note it well that I, too, feel a strong disgust at the gods you have set up beside Allah.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Continuing their argument, the Unbelievers make a show of making all charitable allowances for Hud, but in reality cut him to the quick by bringing in their false gods. "To be quite polite," said they, "we will not say that you are exactly a liar! Perhaps you have been touched with imbecility! Ah yes! You rail against what you call our false gods! Some of them have paid you out, and made you a fool! Ha! ha!" This mockery is even worse than their other false accusations. For it sets up false gods against the One True God, even in dealing with Hud. So Hud replies, with spirit and indignation: "At least keep Allah's name out of your futile talk! You know as well as I do, that I worship the One True God! You pretend that your false gods can smite a true Prophet of Allah! I accept the challenge. Scheme and plot against me as you may, all of you-you and your gods! See if you have any power! I ask for no quarter from you! My trust is in Allah!"
( 55 )   Other than Him. So plot against me all together; then do not give me respite.
This is his answer to their threat: “Some of our gods have smitten you with some evil” Compare this with (Surah Younus, Ayat 71).
( 56 )   Indeed, I have relied upon Allah, my Lord and your Lord. There is no creature but that He holds its forelock. Indeed, my Lord is on a path [that is] straight."
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Grasp of the fore-lock; an Arabic idiom, referring to a horse's fore-lock. The man who grasps it has complete power over the horse, and for the horse the fore-lock is as it were the crown of his beauty, the sum of his power of self-assertion. So Allah's power over all creatures is unlimited and no one can withstand His decree. Cf. xcvi. 15- 16.

That is, the standard of all virtue and righteousness is in the Will of Allah, the Universal Will that controls all things in goodness and justice. You are on a crooked Path. Allah's Path is a straight Path.
( 57 )   But if they turn away, [say], "I have already conveyed that with which I was sent to you. My Lord will give succession to a people other than you, and you will not harm Him at all. Indeed my Lord is, over all things, Guardian."
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Hud was dealing with a people of pride and obstinate rebellion. He tells them that their conduct will only recoil on themselves. It can do no harm to Allah or in any way frustrate the beneficent Plan of Allah. He will only put some other people in their place to carry out His Plan. That Plan is referred to in the next sentence as "care and watch" over all his Creation.
( 58 )   And when Our command came, We saved Hud and those who believed with him, by mercy from Us; and We saved them from a harsh punishment.
A few just men might suffer for the iniquities of the many. But Allah's Plan is perfect and eventually saves His own people by special Grace, if they have Faith and Trust in Him.
( 59 )   And that was 'Aad, who rejected the signs of their Lord and disobeyed His messengers and followed the order of every obstinate tyrant.
Though only one Messenger had come to them, he had presented the same message that had been presented by every Messenger in every age to every community. Therefore disobedience to one Messenger has been declared to be disobedience to all the Messengers.

Instead of following the beneficent Lord who cherished them, they followed every rebel against Allah's Law, if he only obtained a little power to dazzle them.
( 60 )   And they were [therefore] followed in this world with a curse and [as well] on the Day of Resurrection. Unquestionably, 'Aad denied their Lord; then away with 'Aad, the people of Hud.
Ruku / Sections 6 [Verses 61-68] 
Ayat 61–68 concern the people of Thamud and the prophet Saleh. Saleh tries to convince Thamud to repent, but once more the unbelievers ignore the prophet. Saleh offers a she-camel as an offering of peace, but says that it should be left alone. If anything befalls it, the people will be punished. The camel is hamstrung, Saleh and those who believe are rescued, and the unbelievers are smitten by a "blast from heaven.
( 61 )   And to Thamud [We sent] their brother Salih. He said, "O my people, worship Allah; you have no deity other than Him. He has produced you from the earth and settled you in it, so ask forgiveness of Him and then repent to Him. Indeed, my Lord is near and responsive."
Please keep in view (verses 73-79 of Surah Al-Aaraf).

This is the proof of the claim: “You have no other Deity than Allah” .The argument is based on the fact which the mushriks themselves acknowledged that it is Allah Who is their Creator. Therefore Prophet Salih (peace be upon him) argued like this: You yourselves acknowledge that it is Allah Who has created your wonderful human body out of the lifeless particles of the earth and that it is Allah Who has made the earth a suitable place for you to live. How can then there be any Deity other than Allah Who may be worthy of Godhead, service and worship?

That is, so ask His forgiveness for the sin you have been committing by worshiping others.

In this concise sentence, the Quran has refuted a grave misunderstanding of the mushriks, which has in every age misled people into wrong creeds. They presumed that Allah lived far away from them and, therefore, was unapproachable like their own rulers on the earth. As the only way of approach to them was an intercessor who alone could receive and present their requests and applications to their rulers, and convey their answers to them, they presumed that there should be some intercessor to help approach Allah and bring to them the answers to their prayers. Obviously this is a false presumption, which has been endorsed and encouraged by clever people that Allah is out of the reach of common people and it is not possible for them to reach Him and present their prayers and get their answers. So they should search for such sacred beings as may have an approach to Him. Accordingly, they tried to secure the services of those who were well versed in the art of conveying the requests with the necessary presents and gifts to the Highest Authority. This misunderstanding created hosts of intercessors, and the establishment of the system of priesthood, which has so incapacitated the followers of mushrik creeds of ignorance that they cannot perform by themselves any religious ceremony from birth to death.

Now let us consider the concise answer of Prophet Salih (peace be upon him), by which he broke asunder the false presumption of the mushriks. It is this: Allah is near at hand, so you can invoke His help directly without the help of any interceder. He answers prayers, so you can yourselves receive the answer to your prayer. Though He is the Highest, each one of you will find Him so near to yourself that you will be able to convey your request even in a whisper, nay, you are permitted to convey your requests openly or secretly to Him. Therefore give up the folly of seeking interceders and setting them up as His partners, and address your prayers to Him Who is near at hand and answers prayers. (Refer also to (E.N. 188 of Surah Al-Baqarah).

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The story of Salih and the Thamud people has been told from another point of view in vii. 73-79. The difference in the point of view there and here is the same as in the story of Hud: see xi. 50. Note how the story now is the same, and yet new points and details are brought out to illustrate each new argument. Note, also, how the besetting sin of the 'Ad-pride and obstinacy-is distinguished from the besetting sin of the Thamud-the oppression of the poor, as illustrated by the test case and symbol of the She-camel: see vii, 73. All sin is in a sense pride and rebellion; yet sins take particular hues in different circumstances, and these colours are brought out as in a most artistically painted picture-with the greatest economy of words and the most piercing analysis of motives. For the locality and history of the Thamud see vii. 73.

For Anshaa as process of creation see vi. 98. As to his body, man has been produced from earth or clay, and his settlement on earth is a fact of his material existence. Therefore we must conform to all the laws of our physical being, in order that through our life on this earth we may develop that higher Life which belongs to the other part of our being, our spiritual heritage. Through the use we make of our health, of our tilth, of our pastures, of material facts of all kinds, will develop our moral and spiritual nature.
( 62 )   They said, "O Salih, you were among us a man of promise before this. Do you forbid us to worship what our fathers worshiped? And indeed we are, about that to which you invite us, in disquieting doubt."
That is, we had expected that by your wisdom, intelligence, foresight, serious behavior and dignified personality, you would become a great and prosperous man. So we had looked forward to the great success you would achieve and to the manifold advantages we would gain over other clans and tribes because of you. But you have brought to naught all of our hopes by adopting the way based on Tauhid and the Hereafter which is bound to lead us to utter ruin.

It may be noted here that the people of Muhammad (peace be upon him) have had the same great expectations of him. They, too, had a very high opinion of his abilities and capabilities before his appointment as a Prophet. For they expected that he would become a great leader, and his foresight would bring innumerable benefits to them also. But when, contrary to their expectations, he began to invite them to the doctrines of Tauhid and the Hereafter, and preach the principles of high morality, they lost not only all hope in him, but began to entertain and express quite the reverse views. They said: What a pity, this man who was quite good till now has, under the influence of some charm, not only ruined his own career but has destroyed all of our hopes as well.

That was their argument for the worship of their gods. They said that they would worship them because their forefathers worshiped them. Prophet Salih (peace be upon him), argued like this: Worship Allah....Who has created you from the earth, and Who made it a living place for you. In answer to this they argued, as if to say: These deities are also worthy of worship, and we will not give them up because our forefathers have been worshiping them for a long time. This is an apt example of the type of arguments employed by the supporters of Islam and those of ignorance. The former base their arguments on sound reasoning, while the latter base them on blind imitation.

The Quran has not specified the nature of the doubts and feelings of distraction. This is because, though all of them had these feelings, these were different in different persons. For it is one of the characteristics of the message that it takes away the peace of mind of all these people to whom it is addressed. Though the feelings of distraction are of various kinds, everyone gets a portion of them. This is because it becomes simply impossible for anyone to continue treading the paths of deviation with that peace of mind which one had before the coming of the message. For it impels everyone to think whether one is following the right way or any of the wrong ways of ignorance. No one can shut one’s ears and eyes against the penetrating and merciless criticism of the weaknesses of the ways of ignorance, and the strong and rational arguments for the right way. Then the high moral character of the Messenger, his perseverance, his nobility, his gentle conduct, his frank and righteous attitude and his dignity cannot fail to shake their impressions even on the most obdurate, and prejudiced opponents. The message by itself attracts the best elements from that society and brings about the most revolutionary changes in the characters of its followers so as to make them models of excellence. Naturally all these things combine to produce the feelings of distraction in the minds of those who desire to uphold the ways of ignorance even after the coming of the truth.
( 63 )   He said, "O my people, have you considered: if I should be upon clear evidence from my Lord and He has given me mercy from Himself, who would protect me from Allah if I disobeyed Him? So you would not increase me except in loss.
This is the answer to the preceding question: If I disobey Allah by discarding the guidance I have received from Him in order to please you, you cannot defend me against Him. You will rather add to the intensity of my guilt of disobedience to Him. Thus I shall incur additional punishment from Him for misleading you instead of showing the right way for which I had been sent to you.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
"Allah has been good to me and bestowed on me His light and the inestimable privilege of carrying His mission to you. Don't you see that if I fail to carry out his mission, I shall have to answer before Him? Who can help me in that case? The only thing which you can add to may misfortunes would be total perdition in the Hereafter." Cf. xi. 28.
( 64 )   And O my people, this is the she-camel of Allah - [she is] to you a sign. So let her feed upon Allah 's earth and do not touch her with harm, or you will be taken by an impending punishment."
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Salih does not merely take up a negative attitude. He puts forward the she-camel as a sign see vii. 73. "Give up your selfish monopoly. Make Allah's gifts on this free earth available to all. Give the poor their rights, including grazing rights on common lands. Show your penitence and your new attitude by leaving this she-camel to graze freely. She is a Symbol, and therefore sacred to you." But their only reply was to defy the appeal and ham-string the camel. And so they went the way of all sinners-to total perdition.
( 65 )   But they hamstrung her, so he said, "Enjoy yourselves in your homes for three days. That is a promise not to be denied."
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Just three days' time for further thought and repentance! But they paid no heed. A terrible earthquake came by night, preceded by a mighty rumbling blast (probably volcanic), such as is well-known in earthquake areas. It came by night and buried them in their own fortress homes, which they thought such places of security! The morning found them lying on their faces hidden from the light. How the mighty were brought low!
( 66 )   So when Our command came, We saved Salih and those who believed with him, by mercy from Us, and [saved them] from the disgrace of that day. Indeed, it is your Lord who is the Powerful, the Exalted in Might.
According to the traditions that are current in the Sinai Peninsula, Allah delivered them from the torment and led them there. There is a Mount near Jabal-i-Musa, known by the name of Prophet Salih where, it is said, the Prophet took refuge after the destruction of his people.
( 67 )   And the shriek seized those who had wronged, and they became within their homes [corpses] fallen prone( 68 )   As if they had never prospered therein. Unquestionably, Thamud denied their Lord; then, away with Thamud.
Ruku / Sections 7 [Verses 69–83] 
The Qur'anic version of the Biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah is in ayat 69–83. Prophet Abraham and Sarah are given the news of their son and grandson's forthcoming birth (Isaac and Jacob), after which they plead for mercy for Lot's people. God refuses the request, saying that the punishment cannot be averted. Lot offers his daughters to the men of Sodom, but they respond with disinterest and say "you know what we want." Surah 7:80–84 confirms the Biblical account of homosexuality as being the crime of Lot's people. Angels descend to protect Lot and his daughters, and the city is destroyed by a stone rain. Lot's wife perishes as well.
( 69 )   And certainly did Our messengers come to Abraham with good tidings; they said, "Peace." He said, "Peace," and did not delay in bringing [them] a roasted calf.
This shows that the angels had come to Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) in the form of human beings and had not disclosed their identity. Therefore he took them for strangers and brought a roasted calf for their entertainment.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
According to the sequence of Surah vii, the next reference should be to the story of Lut, and that story commences at xi. 77 below, but it is introduced by a brief reference to an episode in the life of his uncle Abraham, from whose seed sprang the peoples to whom Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad Al-Mustafa were sent with the major Revelations. Abraham had by this time passed through the fire of persecutions in the Mesopotamian valleys: he had left behind him the ancestral idolatry of Ur of the Chaldees; he had been tried and he had triumphed over the persecution of Nimrud: he had now taken up his residence in Canaan, from which his nephew Lot (Lut) was called to preach to the wicked Cities of the Plain east of the Dead sea which is itself called Bahr Lut. Thus prepared and sanctified, he was now ready to receive the Message that he was chosen to be the progenitor of a great line of Prophets, and that Message is now referred to. Can we localize Nimrud? If local tradition in place-names can be relied upon, this king must have ruled over the tract which includes the modern Nimrud, on the Tigris, about twenty miles south of Mosul. This is the site of Assyrian ruins of great interest, but the rise of Assyria as an Empire was of course much later than the time of Abraham. The Assyrian city was called Kalakh (or Calah), and archaeological excavations carried out there have yielded valuable results, which are however irrelevant for our Commentary. A) Abraham received the strangers with a salutation of Peace, and immediately placed before them a sumptuous meal of roasted calf. The strangers were embarrassed. They were angels and did not eat. If hospitality is refused, it means that those who refuse it meditate no good to the would be host. Abraham therefore had a feeling of mistrust and fear in his mind, which the strangers at once set at rest by saying that their mission was in the first place to help Lut as a warner to the Cities of Plain. But in the second place they had good news for Abraham; he was to be the father of great peoples!
( 70 )   But when he saw their hands not reaching for it, he distrusted them and felt from them apprehension. They said, "Fear not. We have been sent to the people of Lot."
Some commentators are of the view that Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) was afraid of them because of their refusal to eat his meal. He had concluded that they had come to him with some evil intention. For, according to the Arab tradition, if some strangers refused hospitality, it meant that they had not come as guests but as enemies to plunder. But this view is not supported by the succeeding verse.

The wording of their answer shows that Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) had understood from their refusal to eat that they were angels. But he was afraid of their visit because he knew that the coming of the angels in the human shape did not bode well: So he was fearful that they might have come to take them to task for some offense committed by the people of his household or of his habitation or by himself. Had it been the same thing that the commentators presumed, then their answer should have been, “Don’t fear us for we are angels from your Lord.” But the answer they gave to remove his fear, “Don’t have any fear for we have been sent to the people of Lot (and not to you),” shows that Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) knew that they were angels but was troubled in his mind as to the reason of their visit in the human form. This was because the angels came in human form when some one was either to be put to a hard trial or punished severely for some offense.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The people of Lut means the people to whom Lut was sent on his mission of warning, the people of the wicked Cities of the Plain, Sodom and Gomorrah.
( 71 )   And his Wife was standing, and she smiled. Then We gave her good tidings of Isaac and after Isaac, Jacob.
It appears from this that the news of the visit of the angels in the human form had made the people of the house uneasy. So Prophet Abraham’s Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) wife had also come there to know what the matter was. She laughed with joy when she learned that the angels were sent not to punish their people but the people of Lot (peace be upon him).

The angels told the good news of a son to Sarah instead of Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) because he already had a son, Ismail from Hajirah but had no child from her. Therefore to remove her sorrow they told her the good news that a son, Isaac, will be born to her, who will have a son, Jacob, both of whom will be great Messengers of Allah.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The narrative is very concise, and most of the details are taken for granted. We may suppose that the angels gave the news first to Abraham, who was already, according to Gen. xxi 5, a hundred years of age, and his wife Sarah was not far short of ninety (Gen. xvii. 7). She was probably screened. She could hardly believe the news. In her skepticism (some say in her joy) she laughed. But the news was formally communicated to her that she was to be the mother of Isaac, and through Isaac, the grandmother of Jacob. Jacob was to be a fruitful tree, with his twelve sons. But hitherto Abraham had had no son by her, and Sarah was past the age of child-bearing. "How could it be?" she thought.
( 72 )   She said, "Woe to me! Shall I give birth while I am an old woman and this, my husband, is an old man? Indeed, this is an amazing thing!"
These words were not used by her in their literal sense as an exclamation of grief and lamentation. She uttered these words merely to express surprise at the news. Or else this is as much a sigh of past regrets as of future wistfulness!According to the Bible Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) was 100 years old at the time and Sarah was 90 years.
( 73 )   They said, "Are you amazed at the decree of Allah? May the mercy of Allah and His blessings be upon you, people of the house. Indeed, He is Praiseworthy and Honorable."
The question was posed to her to remind her that though people of old age do not bear children, it is not beyond Allah’s power to bring this about. Therefore a true believer like her should not show any surprise at the good news when it is conveyed to her from Allah.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Ahl-ul-bait = people of the house, a polite form of addressing the wife and members of the family. Blessings are here invoked on the whole family.

This little episode of Abraham's life comes in fitly as one of the illustrations of Allah's wonderful providence in His dealings with man. Abraham had had a tussle with his father on behalf of Truth and Unity (vi. 74); he had passed through the fire unscathed (xxi. 68-69); he had travelled to far countries, and was now ready to receive his great mission as the fountain-head of prophets in his old age. Humanly speaking it seemed impossible that he should have a son at his age, and yet it came to pass and became a corner-stone of sacred history.
( 74 )   And when the fright had left Abraham and the good tidings had reached him, he began to argue with Us concerning the people of Lot.
“He began to argue with Us” is the expression of affection and endearment which manifests the nature of close relationship of Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) with his Lord. This helps depict the picture of the argument that the servant had with his Lord for pleading the case of the people of Lot. He pleaded persistently: Lord, avert the coming scourge from the people of Lot. The Lord replied: These people have become so degraded that no good was left in them and their crimes have become so heinous that they deserve no leniency at all. But the servant still persisted: Lord, give them more respite, even if a little good yet remains in them; maybe it should bear some fruit. This dispute has been recorded in the Bible rather in detail, but the concise mention in the Quran is more meaningful. (For comparison please refer to Genesis 18: 23-32).

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Glad-tidings: not only that he was to have a son, but that he was to be a fountain-head of prophets. So he now begins to plead at once for the sinful people to whom Lot was sent as a warner.
( 75 )   Indeed, Abraham was forbearing, grieving and [frequently] returning [to Allah].
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Like Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), Abraham had three qualities in a preeminent degree, which are here mentioned: (1) he was long-suffering with other people's faults: (2) his sympathies and compassion were very wide: and (3) for every difficulty or trouble he turned to Allah and sought Him in prayer.
( 76 )   [The angels said], "O Abraham, give up this [plea]. Indeed, the command of your Lord has come, and indeed, there will reach them a punishment that cannot be repelled."
A superficial view of this incident from the life of Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) in the context it occurs might lead one to consider it to be irrelevant, especially as an introduction to the coming scourge on the people of Lot. But if one reviews this in the light of the object for which these historical events have been related here, one will come to the conclusion that its mention is most apt here. In order to understand its relevancy we should keep in view the following two things:

(1) These historical events have been related here to warn the Quraish that they were absolutely wrong in their self delusion that they were quite immune from the scourge with which the Quran was threatening them because of their relationship with Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) and their guardianship of the Kabah and their religious, economic and political leadership of Arabia. They thought that Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him), whose descendants they were, was a beloved servant of Allah and would, therefore, intercede for them and defend them against any scourge from Him. That is why the graphic picture of the death of Prophet Noah’s (peace be upon him) son has been drawn to show that the prayer of a great Prophet like him could not save his own son from the scourge. Not only was his prayer rejected but he was also taken to task for making a request for his wicked son. Then this second incident from the life of Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) has been related to show that, though Allah was very kind to him, He rejected his appeal for the people of Lot because he had tried to intercede for the wicked people, which was against the requirements of justice.

(2) This incident from the life of Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) has been related along with, the destruction of the people of Lot for another object as well. The Quraish had forgotten that the law of divine justice had always been operating continuously and regularly and there were open proofs of this all around them. On the one hand, there was the case of Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him). He had to leave his home for the sake of the truth and righteousness and to live in a foreign country where, to all appearances, he had no outward power to support him. But divine justice rewarded him for his righteousness with a son like Isaac and a grandson like Jacob (peace be upon them) whose descendants, the Israelites, reigned supreme for centuries over the same Palestine where he had taken refuge as a stranger. On the other hand, there were the people of Prophet Lot (peace be upon him) who were living nearby in great prosperity, which had intoxicated them so much that they lived in open wickedness, totally forgetting that they would be overtaken by retribution from Allah. So much so that they scoffed at the admonition of Prophet Lot (peace be upon him). But divine justice came into operation at the same time, when it was conveying the good news to Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) and decreed that those wicked people should be annihilated from the face of the earth. As a result of this, no vestige of their habitations was left on the surface of the earth. This fact should serve as a lesson to the wicked people for all times.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
This is a sort of prophetic apostrophe. 'O Abraham! All your warning. O Lut, will be unheeded! Alas! they are so deep in sin that nothing will reclaim them!' This is illustrated in verse 79 below. And now we proceed to Lut and how he was dealt with by the wicked.
( 77 )   And when Our messengers, [the angels], came to Lot, he was anguished for them and felt for them great discomfort and said, "This is a trying day."
 The land inhabited by the people of Lot, which lies between Iraq and Palestine, is known as Trans-Jordan. According to the Bible, its capital town was Sodom, which is situated either somewhere near the Dead Sea, or presently lies submerged under it.. Apart from Sodom, according to the Talmud, there were four other major cities, and the land lying between these cities was dotted with such greenery and orchards that the whole area looked like one big garden enchanting any onlooker. However, the whole nation was destroyed and today we can find no trace of it. So much so that it is difficult to even locate the main cities which they inhabited. If anything remains as a reminder of this nation it is the Dead Sea which is also called the Sea of Lot. The Prophet Lot who was a nephew of the Prophet Abraham, accompanied his uncle as he moved away from Iraq. Lot sojourned to Syria, Palestine and Egypt for a while and gained practical experience of preaching his message. Later God bestowed prophethood upon him and assigned to him the mission of reforming his misguided people. The people of Sodom have been referred to as the people of Lot presumably because Lot may have established matrimonial ties with those people.

One of the many accusations recorded against Lot in the Bible - and the Bible has been tampered with extensively by the Jews - is that Lot migrated to Sodom after an argument with Abraham (Genesis 13: 10-12).

The Qur'an refutes this baseless charge and affirms that Lot was designated by God to work as His Messenger among his people.

The author refers to an argument between Abraham and Lot which he considers to be a fabrication of Jews.The obvious basis of this is that such an argument between the Prophets is inconceivable since it is unbecoming of them as Prophets. The basis of this inference is a statement in Genesis 13:1-12.

It seems that there has been some confusion with regard to this inference. The verses of Genesis in question make no reference to any strife between the two Prophets. The strife to which it refers allegedly took place between the two Prophets. In addition, when the two Prophets parted company it was on a pleasant note for Abraham had suggested that since there was an abundance of land, Lot should choose that part of the land he preferred so as to exclude all possibilities of strife between their herdsmen. (See Genesis 13:1-5-Ed.)

From the tenor of the details of the story as given in the different parts of the Quran, it becomes quite clear that the angels came to Prophet Lot (peace be upon him) in the form of handsome boys and that he was unaware that they were angels. He was troubled and distressed in his mind, for he knew how wicked and shameless his people were.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The story of Lot, as referred to in vii. 80-84, laid emphasis on the rejection of Lot's mission by men who practiced unnatural abominations. Here the emphasis is laid on Allah's dealings with men-in mercy for true spiritual service and in righteous wrath and punishment for those who defy the laws of nature established by Him;-also on men's dealings with each other and the contrast between the righteous and the wicked who respect no laws human or divine.
( 78 )   And his people came hastening to him, and before [this] they had been doing evil deeds. He said, "O my people, these are my daughters; they are purer for you. So fear Allah and do not disgrace me concerning my guests. Is there not among you a man of reason?"
By “My daughters”, Prophet Lot (peace be upon him) might have meant either of the two things. He might have referred to the daughters of the community as “my daughters” because the relationship of a Prophet to his people is as of a father to his children. But it is also possible that he aught have meant by this his own daughters. Anyhow, this could not have been an offer of adultery, for the succeeding sentence “they are purer for you” leaves no room for such a misunderstanding. This makes it quite obvious that Prophet Lot (peace be upon him) admonished them in this way so as to turn them to the females for the lawful gratification of their sexual desires instead of seeking unnatural ways.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The Biblical narrative suggests that the daughters were married and their husbands were close by (Gen. xix. 14) and that these same daughters afterwards committed incest with their father and had children by him (Gen. xix. 31). The holy Qur'an nowhere suggests such abominations. Some Commentators suggest that "my daughters" in the mouth of a venerable man like Lut, the father of his people, may mean any young girls of those Towns. "My son" (waladi) is still a common mode of address in Arabic-speaking countries when an elderly man addresses a young man.
( 79 )   They said, "You have already known that we have not concerning your daughters any claim, and indeed, you know what we want."
This answer of the people of Prophet Lot (peace be upon him) shows that they had gone to the lowest depth of depravity and openly and brazen facedly declared that they did not want females but males. This was the proof that they had not only left the natural way of purity and strayed into the unnatural way of impurity but had also lost all interest in the natural way of gratification. Such a depraved condition is the worst form of moral degradation, for it shows that no good has been left at all. Supposing a person has fallen as a victim to an unlawful and sinful behavior, but at the same time considers it to be a wrong behavior which should be avoided, there is hope for the reform of such a person, and even if he does not mend his way the utmost that can be said about him is that he is a depraved person. On the other hand, if a person gives himself wholly to the unlawful because he has no interest in the lawful, such a filthy person is not worthy of being considered a man at all, and therefore should be wiped out of the earth. That is why Allah decreed that the people of Prophet Lot (peace be upon him) should be completely annihilated from the face of the earth.
( 80 )   He said, "If only I had against you some power or could take refuge in a strong support."
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Lot seemed helpless in the situation in which he found himself,-alone against a rabble of people inflamed with evil passions. He wished he had had the strength to suppress them himself or had had some powerful support to lean on! But the powerful support was there, though he had not realized it till then. It was the support of Allah. His guests were not ordinary men, but Angels who had come to test the people before they inflicted the punishment. They now declared themselves, and gave him directions to get away before the morning, when the punishment would descend on the doomed Cities of the Plain.
( 81 )   The angels said, "O Lot, indeed we are messengers of your Lord; [therefore], they will never reach you. So set out with your family during a portion of the night and let not any among you look back - except your wife; indeed, she will be struck by that which strikes them. Indeed, their appointment is [for] the morning. Is not the morning near?"
This meant to impress on them the urgency of the matter so that they should get out of the doomed place and should not even turn round to look behind to see what was happening there. They were warned lest they should be attracted by the loud noises caused by the explosions and by the wailing of the people and thus lag behind in the territory that had been marked for the scourge and was to be overtaken by it.

The doom of the wife of Prophet Lot (peace be upon him) is the third incident related in this Surah to serve as a lesson that no relationship can deliver a people from the horrible consequences of their sin.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Even in Lot's household was one who detracted from the harmony of the family. She was disobedient to her husband, and he was here obeying Allah's Command. She looked back and shared the fate of the wicked inhabitants of the Cities of the Plain: see also lxvi. 10. The Biblical narrative suggests that she was turned into a pillar of salt (Gen. xix. 26).
( 82 )   So when Our command came, We made the highest part [of the city] its lowest and rained upon them stones of layered hard clay, [which were]
Probably the scourge came in the form of a horrible earthquake which turned their habitations upside down and the explosion of a volcano which rained stones on them.

“Stones of layered baked clay” probably refers to the stones that are formed by the underground heat and lava in the volcanic regions. The signs of such a formation are found even today near the Lot Sea.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Sijjil, a Persian word Arabicised, from Sang-o-gil, or Sang-i-gil, stone and clay, or hard as baked clay, according to the Qamus. Sodom and Gomorrah were in a tract of hard, caky, sulphurous soil, to which this description well applies. Cf. Ii. 33, where the words are "stones of clay" (hijarat min tin) in connection with the same incident. On the other hand, in cv. 4, the word sijjil is used for pellets of hard-baked clay in connection with Abraha and the Companions of the Elephant.
( 83 )   Marked from your Lord. And Allah 's punishment is not from the wrongdoers [very] far.
This was meant to warn the workers of iniquity who were engaged in their evil work, as if to say: You should not consider yourselves immune from scourge as though it were far from you. If it could visit the people of Prophet Lot (peace be upon him), it could overpower you as well. Neither the people of Prophet Lot (peace be upon him) were able to defend themselves against Allah, nor can you frustrate Him now.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
If we take the words literally, they would mean that the showers of brim stones were marked with the destiny of the wicked as decreed by Allah.

They: Arabic, hiya: some Commentators take the pronoun to refer to the wicked cities so destroyed: the meaning then would be: those wicked cities were not so different from other cities that do wrong, for they would all suffer similar punishment! Perhaps it would be better to refer "they" to the stones of punishment by a metonymy for "Punishment": 'punishment would not be far from any people that did wrong.'

We have come to the end of Part III of the exegesis of the surah. Our next post, i.e., Part IV covering Ruku / Sections 8-10 [Verses 84-123], will the last one on the series of exegesis of Sūrah Hūd.

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

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

You may also refer to our following reference pages for knowing more about Islam and Quran:
Photo | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 |
Reading the Holy Quran should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully.

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

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