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

Sunday 3 November 2019

Surah Yunus - Jonah: 10th Chapter of Quran - Exegesis Part II

Sūrah Yünus " يونس‎, " (Jonah) is the tenth sūrah / chapter of the Holy Qur'an, part of the 11th Juz containing 109 ayats divided into 11 rukus. The Sūrah  takes its name from verse 98, in which there is a reference to Prophet Yünus (Jonah): 

فَلَوۡلَا كَانَتۡ قَرۡيَةٌ اٰمَنَتۡ فَنَفَعَهَاۤ اِيۡمَانُهَاۤ اِلَّا قَوۡمَ يُوۡنُسَ ۚؕ لَمَّاۤ اٰمَنُوۡا كَشَفۡنَا عَنۡهُمۡ عَذَابَ الۡخِزۡىِ فِى الۡحَيٰوةِ الدُّنۡيَا وَمَتَّعۡنٰهُمۡ اِلٰى حِيۡنٍ‏

"Did it ever happen that the people of a town believed on seeing God's chastisement and its believing profited them? (There is no such instance) except of the people of Yünus. When they believed We granted them reprieve from humiliating chastisement in this world, and We let them enjoy themselves for a while." (10:98) 

The name, as usual, is symbolical and does not indicate that the Sūrah deals with the story of Prophet Jonah.

The central theme of Sūrah Yunus is that Allah's wonderful Creation must not be viewed by us as a creation of material things only, once made and finished with. Most wonderful of all is how He reveals Himself to men through Prophets and Scriptures; how prophets are rejected by men, and the Message disbelieved until it is too late for repentance; and how, as in the case of Yünus (Jonah) and his people, even the rejection (when repentance supervenes) does not prevent Allah's grace and mercy from working, and how far that working is beyond man's comprehension.

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 1-4 [Verses 1-40] 
  • Part II  : Ruku / Sections 5-7 [Verses 41-70] 
  • Part III : Ruku / Sections 8-9 [Verses 71-92] 
  • Part IV:  Ruku / Sections 10-11 [Verses 93-109] 
We have already presented the exegesis of Part I. Let us now begin with the Part II, covering Ruku / Sections 5-7 [Verses 41-70] of the Sūrah. Wherein it is being said that those who disbelieve in this Quran shall be the losers in the hereafter, despite that fact that every nation was sent a Rasool for their guidance. And that there shall be no way out for the unbelievers on the Day of Judgement. It is also been stressed that Al-Quran is a mercy, blessing, and cure for the problems of mankind. Mushrikin follow nothing but conjecture, preach nothing but falsehood, but beware Whatever you do, Allah is a witness to it

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 / Section 5 [41-53] 
Verses 41-46 Those who disbelieve in this Quran shall be the losers in the hereafter. Allah tells Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) what to say if they deny him - "For me are my deeds, and for you are your deeds. You are disassociated from what I do, and I am disassociated from what you do."  There are some that listen but Muhammad cannot cause the deaf to hear, there are some who look but he cannot cause the blind to see. Allah does not wrong people but people wrong themselves.

And that on the Day of Judgement there will be no way out for the disbelievers. They have denied it for so long, will they even believe it when it overtakes them? They will be told to taste the punishment, Promise of Allah is true. He gives life, and causes death. To Him we will all be returned.
( 41 )   And if they deny you, [O Muhammad], then say, "For me are my deeds, and for you are your deeds. You are disassociated from what I do, and I am disassociated from what you do."
This is to say, I don’t want to enter into useless discussions and disputes with you on this score. If I am an impostor, I alone shall bear the consequences for it; and if you are rejecting the truth, you are not doing any harm to me but only to yourselves.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
When the Prophet of Allah is rejected and charged with falsehood, he does not give up his work, but continues to teach and preach his Message. He can well say to those who interfere with him: "Mind your own business: supposing your charge against me is true, you incur no responsibility: I have to answer for it before Allah: and if I do my duty and deliver my Message, your rejection does not make me liable for your wrong-doing: you will have to answer before Allah."
( 42 )   And among them are those who listen to you. But can you cause the deaf to hear, although they will not use reason?
Though this and the succeeding verse have been addressed to the Prophet (peace be upon him), these are meant to reprove those who were not paying attention to the Message. For they only heard the sounds of the words he spoke to them, just as the animals hear the sound of the words, but pay no attention to understand what is said to them. This was because they were prejudiced against him and had already decided that they would not acknowledge anything, however, reasonable that may be, if it went against the creeds and ways they had inherited, and against their own desires, lusts, and interests. Likewise those people who live like animals hear the sounds of his words, but pay no attention to their meaning for they are not interested in anything other than eating, drinking and making merry. They are so engaged in and intoxicated with the gratification of their lusts that they never bother to find out whether what they are doing is right or wrong. All such people are deaf to the Message, though they might have ears for other things.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Cf. Surah vi. An Nisa 25, 36, 39. Hypocrites go to hear and see some great Teacher, but they get no profit out of it because they are not sincerely seeking the truth. They are like the blind, or the deaf, or the imbeciles. It is impossible to guide them, because they have not the will to be guided.
( 43 )   And among them are those who look at you. But can you guide the blind although they will not [attempt to] see?
Here again they may be likened to animals which see with their eyes but cannot perceive anything beyond what appears on the surface. Likewise those people saw the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his companions, but did not perceive their pure life for they did not have the true vision to see the wonderful change that was coming in the lives of those who had listened to and accepted the Message.

As has been pointed out in the explanation of verse 42 above, though these verses were addressed to the Prophet (peace be upon him), they were really meant to reprove and admonish the disbelievers in a subtle manner so as to arouse their dormant faculties of hearing and seeing and open these for the reception and acceptance of the rational and sympathetic Message.

In order to understand the wisdom of this indirect method of admonition, let us take the example of two righteous friends. One of them who lived among the corrupt did his very best to convey the righteous message both by precept and by practice. He set the model of the highest moral conduct and character before them, and urged them in a sincere and sympathetic manner to consider their own moral condition, and admonished them in a very sincere and rational manner to make them realize that they were living in a very corrupt moral state, and advised them to adopt the right way of life. But none of them would pay any attention to his admonition nor learn any lesson from his pure life. Suppose his friend came there at that time and said: Why are you giving advice to these deaf people and showing the way to these blind ones, who have no ears for good things and no eyes for the right way? It is obvious that these words would not have been uttered by way of dissuading the first friend from doing his reform work but for arousing the dormant faculties of the corrupt people by this subtle indirect method.
( 44 )   Indeed, Allah does not wrong the people at all, but it is the people who are wronging themselves.
“Allah does not wrong mankind” because He gives them ears to hear, eyes to see and hearts to feel and ponder, and everything that is required to enable them to discriminate between right and wrong, truth and falsehood. But it is “But mankind wrong themselves” by refusing to make the right and proper use of their faculties and by following their lusts and enjoying the things of this world. Naturally this has made their eyes so blind and their ears so deaf and their hearts so dead that they are incapable of distinguishing between right and wrong, good and bad, for their conscience has also become dead.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
That is if there are more people who become so blind and deaf that they ultimately become worthy of punishment, then the reason for this is not that God is unjust to them. Certainly not. It is their whims and prejudices that have made them so blind that every call of truth and its caller has become alien to them. The consequence of this attitude was destined to be such and is such that they are now in range of God's punishment.
( 45 )   And on the Day when He will gather them, [it will be] as if they had not remained [in the world] but an hour of the day, [and] they will know each other. Those will have lost who denied the meeting with Allah and were not guided
That is, when they will enter the Hereafter and contrast its eternal life with the transitory life they lived in this world, they will realize that their past life was nothing in comparison with the eternal future life of the Hereafter. Then they will see clearly that it was a big folly to spoil the eternal life for the sake of transitory joys and paltry gains of the world. They were losers because they forgot that one day they would have to present themselves before Allah and as a result of this disbelief they committed evil deeds.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
In eternity our life on this earth will look as if it had been just a little part of our little day, and so also will appear any interval between our death and the call to Judgment. We shall retain some perception of our mutual relations on earth, so that the righteous judgment which will be pronounced will be intelligible to us, and we shall be convinced of its righteousness.
( 46 )   And whether We show you some of what We promise them, [O Muhammad], or We take you in death, to Us is their return; then, [either way], Allah is a witness concerning what they are doing
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The Prophet is assured that the end of evil is evil, just as the end of good is good. Whether this result is made plain before his very eyes in his own life-time or afterwards, makes no difference. The wicked should not rejoice if they are given rope and seem to have the upper hand for a time, nor should the righteous lose heart: for Allah's promise is sure and must come to pass. And in any case, the scales can only be partially, if at all, adjusted in this life. There is the final and complete adjustment on the Day of Judgment. Allah is All-Knowing, and all truth will be before Him.

Verses 47-53 Every nation was sent a Rasool for their guidance:
( 47 )   And for every nation is a messenger. So when their messenger comes, it will be judged between them in justice, and they will not be wronged
Here the word ummat does not merely mean a nation or a community but includes all those people whom the message of a Messenger reaches after his appointment, even though he may not be alive among them. More than this: as long as his teachings remain intact and within the reach of everyone to ascertain what they really are, all such people will be treated and judged as his ummat and their cases decided with justice in accordance with (Ayat 47). According to this standard, all the people of the world are the ummat of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and will remain so, as long as the Quran continues to be published in its original and complete form as today. That is why it has not been said, “There is a Messenger in every ummat” but “There is a Messenger for every ummat.”

That is, when the message of a Messenger reaches a people, they should know that henceforth they are on trial and that no excuse would be accepted that they were ignorant of it. Then judgment is passed on them with scrupulous justice. Those, who accept the message and mend their way in accordance with it, are declared to be worthy of Allah’s blessings, and those who reject it are doomed to a torment that may be inflicted both in this world and in the next world or only in the Hereafter.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Every people or generation or nation had its Message or Messenger: Allah revealed Himself to it in some way or another. If that Messenger was ignored or rejected, or his Message was twisted or misused, the Day of Reckoning will come, when perfect justice will be done and the whole Truth revealed. The Unbelievers mockingly say: "If that is true, pray tell us when that Day will come!" The answer of the Messenger is: "It will come in good time: no one can either hasten or retard it. If you want me then to save you or if you fear that I shall harm you for your treatment of me, know that this matter is in the hands of Allah alone, Who will do perfect justice. Even in regard to myself, any harm or good that befalls me is by the command and in the power of Allah".
( 48 )   And they say, "When is [the fulfillment of] this promise, if you should be truthful?"( 49 )   Say, "I possess not for myself any harm or benefit except what Allah should will. For every nation is a [specified] term. When their time has come, then they will not remain behind an hour, nor will they precede [it]."
This is to say, I never said that I will sit in judgment on you and inflict torment on those who do not believe in me. Therefore, I am not in a position to tell when the threat will be made good. As the threat has been held out by Allah, He will pass His judgment on you when He wills, and in whatever way He wills, for everything depends on His will.

That is, Allah passes His judgment on individuals and communities after the expiry of the term that He Himself has set and He alone knows how long it lasts for a community. He is not hasty in giving rewards or punishments. When He sends His Messenger to deliver His Message, He allows sufficient time to each individual and to each community to consider it and ponder over it and mend his (or its) way, during the appointed term. The period of the term may extend to centuries in the case of a community and He knows best how long it should be.

When that term, which is based on justice, expires, and that person or community does not repent of its rebellious conduct, then Allah passes His judgment. When the time of the judgment comes, it is neither advanced nor delayed even by a single hour.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
This repeats Surah vii. Al A'raf 34, but the significance is different in the two contexts. Here the reply is to the Unbelievers' mocking incredulity as to whether there is such a thing as a Hereafter: they suggest to the Prophet of Allah that if his claim to inspiration from Allah is true, he should get them punished at once for rejecting him. In vii. 34 the reference is to the punishment of iniquity as described in vii. 33: sin is not necessarily punished at once: every People or generation gets a chance-, when their term is fulfilled, the final adjustment is made.
( 50 )   Say, "Have you considered: if His punishment should come to you by night or by day - for which [aspect] of it would the criminals be impatient?"
The mockery of Unbelievers will be turned into panic when the wrath of Allah descends on them. It may do so suddenly, by night or by day, when they least expect it. Will they then say of any bit of it: "Let it be hastened"?
( 51 )   Then is it that when it has [actually] occurred you will believe in it? Now? And you were [once] for it impatient
( 52 )   Then it will be said to those who had wronged, "Taste the punishment of eternity; are you being recompensed except for what you used to earn?"
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
This will be the final doom, and they will themselves have brought it on themselves! The psychology of the Unbelievers is here analysed and exposed. This particular argument begins at x. 47 and ends at x. 53. It begins with the general statement that every People has had due warning and explanation by means of a Prophet specially sent to them: that Prophet will be a relevant witness at the final Judgment, when the matter will be judged in perfect equity. Then follows a dialogue. The Unbelievers mock and say, "Why not bring on the Punishment now?" The reply to the Unbelievers is, "It will come in Allah's good time". The Believers are told to watch and see how the sinners would take it if the Punishment were to come at once. Would they not think it too sudden? When it actually comes, their panic will be indescribable. "Is that true?" say the Unbelievers. "It is the very truth," is the answer, "and nothing can ward it off".
( 53 )   And they ask information of you, [O Muhammad], "Is it true?" Say, "Yes, by my Lord. Indeed, it is truth; and you will not cause failure [to Allah]."
The element of negation and scorn in this query that was slightly concealed in the earlier question مَتَی هَذَا الوَعْدُ has become evident.
Ruku / Section 6 [54-60] 
Verses 54-56 There shall be no way out for the unbelievers on the Day of Judgement:
( 54 )   And if each soul that wronged had everything on earth, it would offer it in ransom. And they will confide regret when they see the punishment; and they will be judged in justice, and they will not be wronged
“And they will feel remorse”. When all of a sudden, they face the torment on the Day, which they had denied throughout their lives, and on that presumption had gone on doing wrong deeds. Not only this: they will also feel very sorry that they had denied the Messengers and brought baseless charges against them, who had warned them of it. Therefore when they witness it against all their expectations, they will find the ground slipping from under their feet and will feel utterly helpless and guilty in their minds because of the remembrance of their wrong doings and of the pricking of their conscience. In short, their condition will be that of a gambler, who turns a deaf ear to the counsel of his well wishers and stakes his all on mere speculation and goes bankrupt. But such a person has to blame none but himself only for his sad plight.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Declare their repentance: the verb in the original is asarru, which may mean either "declare" or "reveal" or else "conceal" or "hide". The classical Commentators are divided as to the meaning to be adopted here. If the first, which I prefer, the sense would be: "When the Penalty stares the sinners in the face, they would give anything to escape it, and they would even openly declare their repentance, which would be a source of shame and ignominy to them." If the latter meaning be taken, the sense would be: "They would give anything to escape the Penalty; but the hardest thing of all for them is frankly to confess and repent, and so they conceal their sense of shame and ignominy."
( 55 )   Unquestionably, to Allah belongs whatever is in the heavens and the earth. Unquestionably, the promise of Allah is truth, but most of them do not know( 56 )   He gives life and causes death, and to Him you will be returned

Verses 57-60 Al-Quran is a mercy, blessing, and cure for the problems of mankind:
( 57 )   O mankind! there hath come to you a direction from your Lord and a healing for the (diseases) in your hearts and for those who believe a Guidance and a Mercy.
Qur’an is shifa (cure) for diseased hearts, a guidance and mercy for the believers. This is the power of the Word of Allah. It cleanses the spiritual ailments.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Those who do wrong have a disease in their hearts, which will cause their spiritual death. Allah in His Mercy declares His Will to them, which should direct their lives and provide a healing for their spiritual disease. If they accept Faith, the remedy acts; they find themselves in right guidance and receive Allah's forgiveness and mercy. Surely those are far better gifts than material advantages, wealth, or possessions.
( 58 )   Say, "In the bounty of Allah and in His mercy - in that let them rejoice; it is better than what they accumulate."
Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
The current discourse began with verse 37 where their notion that the Prophet (sws) himself had fabricated the Qur'an had been negated. After presenting arguments on all those things which were becoming a source of confusion in that matter, here the status of the Qur'an is explained to the Muslims.

قُلۡ اَرَءَيۡتُمۡ مَّاۤ اَنۡزَلَ اللّٰهُ لَـكُمۡ مِّنۡ رِّزۡقٍ فَجَعَلۡتُمۡ مِّنۡهُ حَرَامًا وَّحَلٰلًا ؕ قُلۡ آٰللّٰهُ اَذِنَ لَـكُمۡ​ اَمۡ عَلَى اللّٰهِ تَفۡتَرُوۡنَ‏ 
 ( 59 )   Did you consider that the sustenance which Allah had sent down for you of your own accord you have declared some of it as unlawful and some as lawful?Ask them: 'Did Allah bestow upon you any authority for this or do you forge lies against Allah?
It has been purposely avoided to translate the Arabic word rizq into provisions, for it is liable to create a very serious misunderstanding regarding the implications of this verse. For in this sense rizq will be confined to food and eatables only, whereas it is very comprehensive in its meaning and it covers everything that Allah has given to man, food, children, knowledge, law etc. Instances can be cited from the Quran and the traditions in support thereof. Thus it has become, obvious that according to this verse, in Allah’s sight it is wrong and sinful to adopt the attitude of independence towards every kind of rizq, including articles of food.

Thus it has become clear that the consequences of this misunderstanding about the meaning of rizq are far reaching. As a result of this limited meaning of rizq, it will be sinful only to make the unlawful articles of food lawful and vice versa but it will not be sinful if the people become their own law makers in regards to the social, economic, political and international matters. It is because of this misunderstanding that even some scholars of the Islamic law do not consider it sinful if people do not take guidance from the Sharia in regard to matters other than those of food; whereas in this verse, Allah has taken to task all those people, who arrogate to themselves the right of making lawful or unlawful not only the articles of food but anything that has been made lawful or unlawful by the Sharia.

The question has been posed to impress how horrible and rebellious their crime is, as if to say: How dare you make your own regulations contrary to those which Allah has given you, when, in fact, you yourselves are His creation? What do you think about the servant, who claims that he himself has the right to prescribe the limits concerning the things which his master has entrusted to his care, and therefore, there is no need of consulting him? How will you treat your own servant if he were to claim that he had every right to use and spend as he will all that belongs to you? Leave alone the case of that servant who does not acknowledge at all that he has any master, or that he is a servant, and the things that are in his possession are not his but belong to someone else; for the case under discussion does not concern such a villainous usurper. The question has been posed concerning that servant who himself acknowledges that he is a servant of some master and that the things in his possession belong to the master and not to himself. Yet he claims that he has the right to make rules and regulations and set limits for himself regarding the use of those things, and that there is no need for him to consult his master.

"Ask them: 'Did Allah bestow upon you any authority for this or do you forge lies against Allah?": This question has been posed to corner the transgressors who arrogate to themselves the right to make rules and regulations in regards to the use they could make of the things of their Master. It is meant to impress on them that they have placed themselves in an awkward position by arrogating that right without any lawful authority. Their claim would have been valid, if the Master had Himself authorized them to make whatever laws they liked concerning the use of the things entrusted to the servants by Him. The pertinent question is whether they possessed any such authority from the Master, or were putting forward this claim without any delegation of such rights to them. If they had any such warrant they should show it: otherwise they would be guilty of two crimes, rebellion and forgery.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
"Sustenance" is to be taken in both the literal and the metaphorical sense. In the literal sense, what fine and varied things Allah has provided for us on land and in sea and air, in the vegetable, animal, and mineral kingdoms? Yet narrow minds put artificial barriers against their use. In the metaphorical sense, what enchanting fields of knowledge and spiritual endeavour are provided in our individual and social lives? And who is to say that some are lawful and others forbidden? Supposing they were so in special circumstances, it is not right to attribute artificial restrictions of that kind to Allah and falsely erect religious sanctions against them.
( 60 )   And what will be the supposition of those who invent falsehood about Allah on the Day of Resurrection? Indeed, Allah is full of bounty to the people, but most of them are not grateful."
It is a pity that most of the servants are not grateful to the Master for this great favor that He has given them full instructions about the way they should live in His house, and the use they should make of His things, and the conduct they should adopt, as if to say: If you live in the world according to My instructions, you will win My approval and deserve the greatest rewards, but if you live as rebels, you would incur My wrath and merit a painful chastisement. Nay, instead of showing gratitude for this favor, many of the servants seem to think like this: The Master ought to have left us in the world without any guidance and secretly watched us to see which of us was living in rebellion against His law, and then punished the criminals. They do not seem to realize that if the Master had put them to this hard test none would have escaped punishment.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
People who lie in Religion or invent false gods, or false worship,-have they any idea of the Day of Judgment, when they will be called to account, and will have to answer for their deeds?

Allah is most kind, and gracious, and generous with His gifts of all kinds, material and spiritual. But men do not understand, and arc ungrateful in forgetting the Giver of all and setting up false objects of worship and false standards of pride.

Ruku / Section 7 [61-70] 
Verses 61-65 Whatever you do, Allah is a witness to it: Not even a speck, the weight of dust escapes God’s knowledge, and it is kept in a clear record.  For those who believe and fear God there will be no fear; they will receive good tidings both in this world and the Hereafter.  God tells Prophet Muhammad not to let the words of the unbelievers grieve him.  God is All-Powerful; All-Hearing and All-Knowing.  Everything in the heavens and on the earth belongs to Him.  Those who call on other than God are following only assumptions and lies.  God made the day and the night and surely this is a sign for those who listen to the message.
( 61 )   And, [O Muhammad], you are not [engaged] in any matter or recite any of the Qur'an and you [people] do not do any deed except that We are witness over you when you are involved in it. And not absent from your Lord is any [part] of an atom's weight within the earth or within the heaven or [anything] smaller than that or greater but that it is in a clear register.
These things have been mentioned here in order to comfort the Prophet (peace be upon him) and give a warning to his enemies. These are meant to lessen his worry and to strengthen him, as if to say: We see all that you are doing in propagating the Message of the truth with great patience and fortitude, and exerting your utmost to reform mankind. Rest assured that We have not left you alone after entrusting you with this arduous duty. We are not unaware of whatever you are doing for the performance of your mission, and also whatever your enemies are doing to oppose you. On the other hand, a warning has also been administered to his opponents: Don’t remain under the delusion that no one is seeing what you are doing in opposing the Messenger of the truth and the reformer of mankind? We are seeing whatever mischief you are doing and whatever obstacles you are placing in the way of the mission. We are keeping a detailed and accurate record of all these things. Therefore beware that you shall be called upon to render an account of all your doings.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
There is nothing that men can do but Allah is a witness to it. We may be deeply engrossed in some particular thing and for the time being be quite unconscious of other things. But Allah's knowledge not only comprehends all things, but has all things actively before it. Nothing is hidden from Him. And His knowledge has another quality which human knowledge has not. Human knowledge is subject to time, and is obliterated by time. Allah's knowledge is like a Record and endures forever. And His Record has a further quality which human records have not. The most permanent human record may be quite intelligible to those who make it but may be ambiguous to others and may become unintelligible with the progress of time, as happens almost invariably to the most enduring inscriptions from very ancient times: but in Allah's "Record" or knowledge there is no ambiguity, for it is independent of time, or place. This is the force of Mubin ("clear") here.
( 62 )   Unquestionably, [for] the allies of Allah there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve
Allah's all-embracing knowledge and constant watchful care over all His creatures, may be a source of fear to sinners, but there is no fear for those whom He honours with His love and friendship,-neither in this world nor in the world to come.
( 63 )   Those who believed and were fearing Allah
( 64 )   For them are good tidings in the worldly life and in the Hereafter. No change is there in the words of Allah. That is what is the great attainment.
( 65 )   And let not their speech grieve you. Indeed, honor [due to power] belongs to Allah entirely. He is the Hearing, the Knowing.
Sometimes the words of the unrighteous or their revilings hurt or grieve the righteous man, but there is no occasion for either anger or sorrow: they have no power and they can do no real dishonour, for all power and honour are from Allah.

Verses 66-70 Mushrikin follow nothing but conjecture, preach nothing but falsehood:
( 66 )   Unquestionably, to Allah belongs whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth. And those who invoke other than Allah do not [actually] follow [His] "partners." They follow not except assumption, and they are not but falsifying
All creatures are subject to Allah. If, therefore, any false worship is set up, the false gods-so called "partners"-are merely creatures of imagination or false inventions.
( 67 )   It is He who made for you the night to rest therein and the day, giving sight. Indeed in that are signs for a people who listen.
This is a concise statement of a very important subject and requires a detailed explanation. The Quran declares in a few words that all religions other than the revealed one are false because they have been founded on the philosophical research for the primary cause of the origin of the universe. The philosophical research is after all based on guesswork, and is in its very nature incapable of reaching to the truth. The right way of arriving at the truth is to make a study of the signs (e.g. day and night) and of the Message of the Prophets in a dispassionate manner. For this is the only way of discovering the truth. Otherwise, if one follows wrong ways, he shall always arrive at wrong conclusions. Let us now consider several methods that different people have adopted in search of this knowledge:

a. The mushriks base their search entirely and solely on superstition.

b. The hermits and ascetics pretend and claim that they acquire that knowledge by means of contemplation and meditation and see the reality by peeping into the hidden. But the fact is that they do not see the reality; it is only a trick of their own imagination. They form a mental image and then concentrate their mind on it and eventually it takes the shape of the so called reality.

c. The philosophers claim to base their research on rationalism but it is really only surmise and guesswork, even though they may give logical arguments and sound reasons in its support.

d. Then there are the scientists: though they follow the scientific method of research in the physical world, they abandon it completely in regards to their investigation into metaphysics and start to follow conjectures, surmises, and guesswork.

Then these groups invariably suffer from prejudices and are not inclined to understand the point of view of those who differ with them, and, therefore, obstinately stick to their own theories.

In this passage (Ayats 66-67), the Quran declares that this way of search after knowledge is basically wrong, as if to say: The real cause of your deviation is that you base your search of reality on mere surmise and guesswork, and then, because of your prejudices, refuse to listen even to reasonable things. The result is that you have not only failed to arrive at the truth but also to judge rightly the revealed religion, presented by the Messengers.

In contrast to the above ways of research, the Quran presents its own way and asserts that it alone is the correct, rational and scientific way of arriving at the truth. It is this: The prerequisite for research is that you should give up your preconceived prejudices and listen to the Message of those who claim that their information about the reality is based on knowledge and not on surmises, guesswork, meditations and contemplation, abstract deductions etc. Then consider deeply the signs in the universe to which the Quran invites your attention. If these also point to the reality they claim to reveal, then there is no reason why should you deny the truth taught by those Messengers. This is the basis of the philosophy of Islam. What a pity that even the Muslim philosophers have forsaken this way and followed in the footsteps of Plato and Aristotle.

The Quran has inculcated this method at many places and has over and again presented many a phenomenon as a proof of the reality, and taught the people how to arrive at the right conclusion so as to perceive the reality. Accordingly, in( verse 67), the sign of the night and the day has been presented for the deep consideration of the people. The change of day and night is a wonderful sign and clearly points to the Universal Designer and the All-Powerful Ruler; for it takes place by the turning of the earth on its axis and in relation to the sun with mathematical precision. This change is due to the great wisdom of the Designer and has a great purpose behind it because of its innumerable benefits for all that exists on the earth. This points out also to the Providence of the Creator for it demonstrates conclusively that He has made perfect arrangements for the existence of His creation. Moreover, this also shows that the Universal Designer is One and also that He is not playful but Wise and purposeful. This change also points towards the great reality that He, being the Benefactor and Lord, is worthy of worship and none else. This is because every other being is provided with its requirements by this change of day and night and none provides others; therefore none of them can be the Lord and the Master. In the light of these signs, how can, any other religion, based on mere surmise and guesswork, be considered to be true when it is compared with the revealed religion which is based on such clear signs as these?

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Our physical life-and our higher life in so far as it is linked with the physical-is sustained by the alternation of rest and activity, and the fit environment for this alternation is the succession of Nights and Days in our physical world. The Day makes the things "visible to us-" a beautiful symbol, not only of the physical work for which we go about by day, but of the higher activities which are fitly associated with seeing, perception and enquiry. Intuition (insight) is a little out of that circle because that may come by night, when our other faculties are resting.
( 68 )   They have said, "Allah has taken a son." Exalted is He; He is the [one] Free of need. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth. You have no authority for this [claim]. Do you say about Allah that which you do not know?
In the preceding passage people were taken to task for founding false religions on mere surmise and guesswork. In this passage the Christians and others, who believe that God has begotten a son, have been taken to task for this blasphemy which has no authority other than mere presumption.

67. The Arabic phrase Subhan-Allah is used to express astonishment at something apparently inexplicable. But its literal meaning is, Allah is All-Pure, and is absolutely free from any defect, blemish and flaw. Here it implies both these things. It expresses astonishment at their blasphemy that Allah has taken a son to Himself, and also refutes it, saying, Allah, being perfect in every way, does not stand in need of a son.

68. Three things have been put forward to refute their blasphemy:

(1) Allah is pure and without any defect.

(2) Allah is Self-sufficient in every way, and

(3) Allah is the Owner of everything in the heavens and the earth.

Let us now briefly explain how these three things refute that blasphemy.

It is obvious that a son is either sprung from the loins or is adopted. In the first case, such a conception of Allah amounts to this: He is mortal like every other being: therefore He stands in need of a spouse in order to propagate His offspring like other beings. In the second case, it shall have to be presumed that Allah stands in need of a son to inherit His Kingdom in order to make up, to some extent, for the deficiency that is caused by His childlessness. Or that Allah also cherished paternal love like human beings, and therefore, adopted as son one of the millions of His slaves.

Whatever be the case, it is obvious that the blasphemy shall have to be based on such a creed which presumes that Allah suffers from many defects, many weaknesses, many shortcomings and many wants. The Quran refutes all such blasphemous creeds, saying, He is All-Pure and therefore, is free from all such defects; and by, He is Self-sufficient, the Quran asserts that He does not suffer from any of those weaknesses and wants which impel the mortals to have children. Lastly, it says clearly that all the beings in the heavens and the earth belong to Him and that He has no particular relation with anyone of them so as to make such a one His son or only son or heir apparent. Though it is true that Allah loves some of His slaves more than the others because of their excellences, it does not in any way mean that He raises such a one from the rank of a slave to that of a partner in His Godhead. For, the highest rank He bestows on them is that they are Allah’s friends, “Who believe and fear Allah, (and therefore they) shall have no occasion for fear and sorrow. There is nothing but good news for them in this world and in the Hereafter (Ayats 62- 63).
( 69 )   Say, "Indeed, those who invent falsehood about Allah will not succeed."
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
In Quranic language "prosperity" refers both to our every-day life and to the higher life within us,-to the Present and the Future,-health and strength, opportunities and resources, a spirit of contentment, and the power of influencing others. Here there seems to be an extra touch of meaning. A liar not only deprives himself of prosperity in all senses, but his "lie" itself against Allah will not succeed: it will and must be found out.
( 70 )   [For them is brief] enjoyment in this world; then to Us is their return; then We will make them taste the severe punishment because they used to disbelieve

Here we come to the end of Part II of the exegesis of Sūrah Yünus. In Part III we will cover Ruku / Sections 8-9 [Verses 71-92].  In this part, three things have been impressed upon or mentioned: (1) The consequence of lying about God, (2) Stories from the past of Noah and Moses, and (3) The Deliverance (continuation of story of Moses)

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

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

Photo | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |  5 | 6 | 78Prophet Yunus and Allah's Displeasure
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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Friday 1 November 2019

Surah Yunus - Jonah: 10th Chapter of Quran - Exegesis Part I

Sūrah Yünus " يونس‎, " (Jonah) is the tenth sūrah / chapter of the Holy Qur'an, part of the 11th Juz containing 109 ayats divided into 11 rukus. The Sūrah  takes its name from verse 98, in which there is a reference to Prophet Yünus (Jonah): 

فَلَوۡلَا كَانَتۡ قَرۡيَةٌ اٰمَنَتۡ فَنَفَعَهَاۤ اِيۡمَانُهَاۤ اِلَّا قَوۡمَ يُوۡنُسَ ۚؕ لَمَّاۤ اٰمَنُوۡا كَشَفۡنَا عَنۡهُمۡ عَذَابَ الۡخِزۡىِ فِى الۡحَيٰوةِ الدُّنۡيَا وَمَتَّعۡنٰهُمۡ اِلٰى حِيۡنٍ‏

"Did it ever happen that the people of a town believed on seeing God's chastisement and its believing profited them? (There is no such instance) except of the people of Yünus. When they believed We granted them reprieve from humiliating chastisement in this world, and We let them enjoy themselves for a while." (10:98) 

The name, as usual, is symbolical and does not indicate that the Sūrah deals with the story of Prophet Jonah.

The central theme of Sūrah Yunus is that Allah's wonderful Creation must not be viewed by us as a creation of material things only, once made and finished with. Most wonderful of all is how He reveals Himself to men through Prophets and Scriptures; how prophets are rejected by men, and the Message disbelieved until it is too late for repentance; and how, as in the case of Yünus (Jonah) and his people, even the rejection (when repentance supervenes) does not prevent Allah's grace and mercy from working, and how far that working is beyond man's comprehension.

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 1-4 [Verses 1-40] 
  • Part II  : Ruku / Sections 5-7 [Verses 41-70] 
  • Part III : Ruku / Sections 8-9 [Verses 71-92] 
  • Part IV:  Ruku / Sections 10-11 [Verses 93-109] 
Let us now begin with the Part I, covering first four Ruku / sections of the Sūrah. Wherein it is said that the Qur'an is the book of wisdom and that Allah is the One Who created this universe and He is the One Who originates the creation    and repeats it and that there are signs of His manifestation in the creation of heaven, earth, sun, moon, day and night. Other subjects touched upon in the first 40 verses also include behavior of the wrong doers towards Allah and His revelations and that deities other than Allah can neither harm nor benefit you and Mankind was one nation until they invented different creeds. The reality of life is also indicated wherein the man call upon Allah in his sufferings only but plot against Him in their happiness.      

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 / Section 1 [1-10]
Verses 1-2 Al-Quran is the book of wisdom:

الٓر تِلْكَ ءَايَٰتُ ٱلْكِتَٰبِ ٱلْمُبِينِ
*Alif, Lam, Ra. These are the verses of the clear Book. (1) 

*The Muqaṭṭaʿāt (Arabic: حُرُوف مُقَطَّعَات‎ ḥurūf muqaṭṭaʿāt, "mysterious letters") are combinations of between one and five Arabic letters figuring at the beginning of 29 out of the 114 chapters (surahs) of the Quran just after the opening Bismillāh, thus also called the or occasionally called Fawatih (openers). Alif, Lam, Ra here in this sūrah are also part of these letters, the meaning of which is not known.

This introductory verse contains a subtle answer to those foolish people who presumed that the discourses, which the Messenger (peace be upon him) was presenting as the Quran, were nothing more than eloquent speeches, poetic lofty thoughts, and some predictions like those of the soothsayers. They are being warned that the Quran is not what they supposed it to be but this is the Book of wisdom, and that if they did not pay due attention to it, they would deprive themselves of wisdom.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Ayat = Signs, or Verses of the Qur'an. Here both meanings are to be understood. Each verse is a nugget of wisdom. And in the verses immediately following, e.g., x. 3-6, examples are given of the wonders of Allah's material Creation. If the starry heavens impress us with their sublimity as signs of Allah's wisdom and power, how much more wonderful is it that He should speak to lowly man through His Messengers, in man's language, so that he can understand?
( 2 )   Have the people been amazed that We revealed [revelation] to a man from among them, [saying], "Warn mankind and give good tidings to those who believe that they will have a [firm] precedence of honor with their Lord"? [But] the disbelievers say, "Indeed, this is an obvious magician."
This is a reference to the fact that the yardstick of this Book's veracity is the very wisdom found in it. It does not need any external evidence for this.

This question has been posed to impress on them that if they considered the matter coolly, they themselves would come to the conclusion that:
(a) There is nothing strange in appointing a man to warn his fellow men of the consequences of neglecting the Message. For it is obvious that a man, and not a jinn nor an angel nor any other being, was the proper messenger for human beings.
(b) There is nothing strange in it that the Creator and Lord of mankind should make arrangements for the guidance of erring human beings; nay, it would have been strange if He had made no such arrangements, and
(c) There is nothing strange in this that real honor and success should come to those who accept the guidance and not to those who reject it.
They dubbed him “evident sorcerer” but did not consider whether the epithet appropriately applied to him or not. It is obvious that the mere fact that he was moving the hearts and influencing the minds of the believers with his eloquence was not a sufficient proof that he was using magic to achieve this object. And it is not difficult at all to distinguish rhetoric of a Messenger from that of an sorcerer for these are quite distinct from each other in their nature, in the objectives for which they are used and in the effect they produce on the lives of the believers. The irresponsible sorcerer does not care at all whether what he utters is correct, just and righteous because his only object is to influence the hearts of the hearers in order to achieve his own unlawful ends. That is why he does not hesitate at all to utter any false, exaggerated or unjust thing, if it serves his purpose. For his only aim is to produce an emotional effect in order to deceive the people by using an artificially ornamented and exaggerated language rather than to state things of wisdom. As a result of this, his talk is contradictory, imbalanced and unsystematic. As his sole object is self-interest, he abuses his rhetoric for exploitation, or for sowing seeds of discord or for setting one party against the other. Therefore, the sorcerer fails to produce any high moral effects on the lives of the people or to imbue them with any righteous thoughts or to urge them to noble deeds or to bring about any healthy change in their lives; nay, as a result of his magic the people begin to exhibit even worse qualities than they did before.

Thus it is implied that by the application of this criterion, the charge of the unbelievers that “This man is a manifest sorcerer” is refuted, for it means to say to them: You yourselves are witnessing that the talk of this person is wise, systematic, balanced, right and just. Every word he utters is well-thought out and everything he says is most valuable and precious. His eloquence aims at nothing but reform of the people. There is not the least tinge of personal, family, national or any other worldly interest in his talk. His only intention and desire is to warn the people of the consequences of their negligence and to invite them to the way of their own good. Then consider the effects of his eloquence and you will find that they are quite different from those produced by the rhetoric of the enchanters. The lives of all those who have been influenced by him have been so reformed that they have become models of high moral character and excellent conduct. Therefore, you should consider the matter and decide for yourselves whether he is an enchanter or a prophet.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Is it not still more wonderful that the inspired man should be one of ourselves? The Arabs had known Muhammad in other relations and conditions, and when the mighty Message came through his mouth-the message of Wisdom and Power, such as no man could speak as from himself, least of all a man not instructed in human learning,-they could only in their wonder attribute it to magic and sorcery. They failed to understand that magic and sorcery were projections of their own mind, while here was solid, enduring Truth from Allah!

 ..اَنَّ لَهُمۡ قَدَمَ صِدۡقٍ عِنۡدَ رَبِّهِمۡ.....

Allah's Message was and is not all smooth and agreeable. The first thing is to convince us of our wrong-doing, and warn us of our danger. If we have Faith, we then learn what a high rank we obtain in the sight of Allah. According to another view the word "qadama" here refers to the fact that the acts of a person precede him to his Lord. The word sidq qualifies these acts with sincerity and genuineness.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
It is being said what is the reason for refuting and expressing wonder? If God has chosen a person from among them to communicate His message, then this is very logical. They fully know of this person's past and present as well as his character and conduct. They know his upright, honest and trustworthy nature. Not only this, their teacher, mentor and role model could only have been a human being and not some jinn or angel. Thus God has chosen the best among them. In the words of Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi, it is as if these words are the testimony of their own tongue and conscience that is being presented before them.

The actual words are: قَدَمَ صِدْقٍ. They refer to a status that has honour, loftiness and everlasting dominance. This meaning has been incorporated in this expression by the word صِدْق which connotes depth, stability and permanence.

When they saw that this person's message is attracting the attention of people, they dubbed him as a person who is an expert in eloquent speech. They contended that neither should he be regarded as someone superhuman nor should his discourse be understood in this perspective; it is only articulate and expressive oratory and has no significance beyond this.

Verses 3-5 Allah is the One Who created this universe and He is the One Who originates the creation and repeats it.

From here onward, the reasoning of delivering warning and glad tidings with which the surah began is being stated: 
( 3 )   Indeed, your Lord is Allah, who created the heavens and the earth in six days and then established Himself above the Throne, arranging the matter [of His creation]. There is no intercessor except after His permission. That is Allah, your Lord, so worship Him. Then will you not remember?
This is to impress the fact that after creating the universe, Allah has not cut off connection with it, but has sat Himself upon His Throne and is practically directing and conducting and governing each and every part of it. The foolish people think that after creating the universe, Allah has left it to itself or to others to exploit it as they will. But the Quran refutes this and says that Allah Himself is governing His entire creation and He has kept all the powers and the reins of government in His own hands and whatever is taking place in each and every part of the universe is happening with His command or permission. In short, He is not only the Creator but also the Ruler, Designer and Supporter of the universe, which is working in accordance with His will.

This is to emphasize the other side of the matter. He is All-Powerful and there is none who dare make even a recommendation to Him about anything, not to speak of interfering with His management of affairs so as to cause any change in His decrees or in the making or marring of anyone’s fate. The most one can do is to make a supplication to Him but it all depends on His will to grant or reject it. There is none so powerful in His Kingdom as to have his own way in anything or to get his recommendations through anyhow.

After stating the bare fact that Allah alone is the Lord, people are being told the kind of conduct that fact demands from them. That is, when Allah alone is your Lord, you should worship Him alone. In this connection, it should also be noted that just as the Arabic word Rabb implies three things namely Providence, Supremacy and Sovereignty, likewise the Arabic word ibadat also contains three corresponding implications.

(1) Worship: As Allah is his sole Providence, man should show his gratitude to Him by worshiping Him alone. He should pray and supplicate to Him and bow his head in reverence to Him and none else.

(2) Servitude: As Allah is the only Supreme Being, man should behave like His servant and slave and should not adopt the attitude of independence towards Him nor should he subject himself to the mental or practical servitude of anyone else.

(3) Obedience: As Allah is his sole Sovereign, man should obey His commands, and follow His law, and he should neither become his own sovereign nor should he acknowledge anyone else as his sovereign.

That is, will you not then understand the implications of the reality that has been expounded? Will you not open your eyes and see the misunderstandings which have been misleading you into wrong ways opposed to Reality? Will you persist in them?

اِنَّ رَبَّكُمُ اللّٰهُ الَّذِىۡ خَلَقَ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَالۡاَرۡضَ فِىۡ سِتَّةِ اَيَّامٍ ثُمَّ اسۡتَوٰى عَلَى الۡعَرۡشِ​ يُدَبِّرُ الۡاَمۡرَ​ؕ مَا مِنۡ شَفِيۡعٍ اِلَّا مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِ اِذۡنِهٖ​ ؕ ذٰ لِكُمُ اللّٰهُ رَبُّكُمۡ فَاعۡبُدُوۡهُ​ ؕ اَفَلَا تَذَكَّرُوۡنَ‏ 

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Istawa, with the preposition ila after it, means He turned to or He directed Himself by His will to as in Surah ii Al Baqarah-29. With the preposition 'ala after it, as here and in Surah vii. Al Ara'f: 54 and elsewhere, the meaning seems to be "to mount or ascend," and to be firmly established, to sit firm and unshaken, beyond question. "The Throne represents many ideas: e.g., (1) that God is high above all His Creation; (2) that He regulates and governs it, as a king does, whose authority is unquestionably recognized; (3) that He is not, therefore, like the gods of Greece, and paganism, who were imagined to be in a world apart, careless of mankind, or jealous of mankind, but on the contrary. He (4) disposes of their affairs and all affairs continuously and with justice; (5) that the authority of His prophets, ministers, and messengers is derived from Him, and such intercession as they can make is by His will and permission.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation (quoting Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi) writes:
The sequence of the premises stated [in it] is as follows: the God Who has created the heavens and the earth and Who is acknowledged by them as well to be the Creator is their Lord and Master as well. How can it be possible that the Creator be someone else and the Lord and Master be another being? If they have set up other Lords besides Him and have some expectations from them, then it is their mere foolishness which is against sense and human nature and also against what they themselves acknowledge. Moreover, this universe has not been created as a result of some accidental happening. In fact, it has been created in six days of God's measure. In other words, in six stages in a gradual way. This gradual development and evolution itself bears witness that neither is its creation an accidental happening nor is it made as an amusement for an entertainer. In fact, it is a very meaningful and purposeful place that has been created in a very elaborate and painstaking manner. The essential requisite of this meaningfulness is that man who occupies the status of a vicegerent should not be allowed to go scot free and there must come a day in which he is rewarded or punished according to his deeds. Thus those who lead their lives according to the desire of this universe's creator be rewarded and those who regard this world to be a place of jest and amusement and spend all their lives in evil be punished. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 4, 23)

That is after creating He neither silently sat down in a corner nor became unconcerned with His creatures by consigning their matter to others. On the contrary, He is governing this universe and running its affairs Himself.

Hence people should not remain under the misconception that someone's intercession and recommendation will save them from God's punishment.
( 4 )   To Him is your return all together. [It is] the promise of Allah [which is] truth. Indeed, He begins the [process of] creation and then repeats it that He may reward those who have believed and done righteous deeds, in justice. But those who disbelieved will have a drink of scalding water and a painful punishment for what they used to deny.
This is the second basic principle of the teachings of every prophet; “You shall have to return to your Lord and render an account of all you did in this world.” The first principle has been stated in the preceding verse: Allah alone is your Lord: therefore worship only Him.

This sentence contains both a statement and its proof. The statement is, “Allah will again bring to life all human beings,” and the proof is, “This is as easy for Allah as it was to create them the first time.” The one who acknowledges that Allah has originated all creation (and who can deny this except those atheists who accepted the absurd theory of “creation without a creator” merely to get a plea for discarding the religion of the Christian clergy?) cannot consider this as impossible or irrational.

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.
( 5 )   It is He who made the sun a shining light and the moon a derived light and determined for it phases - that you may know the number of years and account [of time]. Allah has not created this except in truth. He details the signs for a people who know.
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The fitting epithet for the sun is dhiaa, "splendour and glory of brightness", and for the moon is "a light" (of beauty), the cool light that illuminates and helps in the darkness of the night. But the sun and moon also measure time. The simplest observation can keep pace with the true lunar months and lunar years, which are all that is required by a pastoral people. For agriculture solar years are required, as they indicate the changes of the seasons, but ordinary solar years are never exact; even the solar year of 365 1/4 days requires correction by advanced astronomical calculation.

Everything in Allah's creation has use and purpose, and fits into a Design. It is true in every sense of the word and it is good and just. It is not merely a matter of sport or freak (xxi. 16). Though so varied, it proclaims Allah's Unity; though a limited free-will is granted to creatures, the results of evil (which is rebellion) are neutralized and harmony is restored. Cf. iii. 191.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
Earlier, arguments on monotheism were furnished. Now an argument is presented on the certainty of reward and punishment. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi has explained this. He writes:

... Whoever deliberates on this universe will clearly see that it is not the godown of a trash-collector. On the contrary, very evident in its every nook and corner is the great power and unfathomable mercy of its creator. It has a thorough arrangement in it, unparalleled sequence and an exceptional symmetry and proportion. The sun rises at prescribed times and lights up the whole world with its radiance. It is because of its heat and help that different seasons like winters autumn and spring arise. Each of them is essential for the sustenance and development of this world. The moon absorbs the light of the sun and passes through various phases and provides luminosity at night for people. It is also instrumental in creating months and forming calendars for them – Who can then say that this world will continue without any accountability between good and evil or end without it? If this is believed, then all this power and wisdom evident all around become purposeless and this world becomes no more than a place of amusement and loses its meaning. Such is the illogical, unfair and untenable nature of this inference that no upright and logical person can for a moment accept it. If some bricks are scattered about, we can say that they do not have any purpose. But can the same be said of the Taj Mahal of Agra, the Red Fort of Lahore and the Congregational Mosques of Delhi? (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 4, 25)

The words ضِيَاء and نُوْر are used for the sun and the moon respectively. The reason is that the latter refers to cold light and the former refers to warm light. This distinction between the light of the sun and the moon is a practical fact. The word "radiant" in the translation is used to give due regard to this aspect.

Thus every man of reason who observes this universe will cry out that it has deep meaning and this amazing sequence and discipline is not without any purpose. On the contrary, it must have a grand objective.

Verses 6-10 There are signs of His manifestation in the creation of heaven, earth, sun, moon, day and night:
( 6 )   Indeed, in the alternation of the night and the day and [in] what Allah has created in the heavens and the earth are signs for a people who fear Allah
This is the third argument in proof of the doctrine of the life in the Hereafter. It is based on Allah’s manifestations in the heavens and on the earth. The greatest and most manifest of these are the sun the moon and the alternation of the night and day, for these are ever present before each and every human being. All these clearly show that the Creator of this great and vast universe is not a child who has made all this for mere fun and will break it up when he is satiated with it. These manifestations of His are a clear proof of the fact that the Creator is All-Wise, for there is a system, a wisdom, a design and a serious object in each and every particle of His creation. These seem, as it were, to say: When you yourselves learn from the signs and manifestations of His wisdom that He is All-Wise, how can you, then, expect that He will not call man to account after granting him common sense, moral feelings, independent responsibility and authority to exploit His endless resources, and that He will not reward those who make the right use of these and punish those who abuse them?

Thus, it has become obvious that in (Ayats 4-6), three arguments have been given in their logical order to present the doctrine of the Hereafter:

(1) The fact of the origination of life in this world is a proof that life in the next world is also possible.

(2) There must be life in the Hereafter, because it is essential for the recompense of the deeds that one does, and of the use or abuse one makes of the moral responsibilities that have been entrusted to man. Therefore, it is the demand of common sense and justice that there must be another world in which one should bear the consequences of his deeds, for this is not possible in this world.

(3) When common sense and justice demand that there must be life in the Hereafter, this need will surely be satisfied, for the Creator of man and the universe is All- Wise, and it cannot be conceived that the All-Wise will not satisfy the demands of common sense and justice.

A serious thinking will show that these are the only possible arguments for the proof of the life in the Hereafter and these suffice, too. After this the only thing that might be demanded in this connection is that it should be actually demonstrated before man to convince him that this thing is possible, necessary and demanded by the Wisdom of Allah. But it is obvious that this will not be done in this world for this is for the trial of man and not for recompense, and Allah wills to test whether man believes in the Hereafter without seeing it, merely by his reasoning on the right lines.

Besides this, the words, “He explains in detail the signs for a people who have knowledge” and “Are indeed signs for a people who fear Allah” are worthy of serious consideration. These words imply this: Allah has in His wisdom spread such signs in each and every manifestation of His as clearly point to the realities that are hidden behind them; but only those people can reach to those realities, who (a) free themselves from the prejudices of ignorance and acquire knowledge from the sources with which Allah has provided man for this purpose, and (b) have the intention of avoiding wrong ways and following the right way.

Explanation by Javed Ahmad Ghamidi:
That is signs that this universe is not purposeless; it will culminate on a great purpose. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

... Whoever deliberates on this system necessarily reaches the conclusion that opposite elements can work for a common purpose with such amazing harmony when it is believed that all this universe is being governed by the will of a powerful being. Moreover, also evident from this is that He Who has made this elaborate system of providence and subsistence and is administering it in such a thorough manner will not let mankind go without any accountability. In fact, a day will necessarily come when He will reward those who recognized the rights this providence imposed on them and cast into Hell those who remained indifferent to them. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 4, 26)
( 7 )   Indeed, those who do not expect the meeting with Us and are satisfied with the life of this world and feel secure therein and those who are heedless of Our signs
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Those who fall from Grace are described by three epithets: (1) the meeting with Allah is not the object of their hope and earnest desire, but something else, viz. (2) the material good of this world, which not only attracts them but apparently gives them complete satisfaction, so that there is no glow of the Future in their horizon, and (3) they are deaf and dead to the resounding and living Message of Allah, (1) and (2) refer to the extinction of Faith in them, and (3) to their failing a prey to the evils of this world in their conduct. They are contrasted in x. 9 with the Faith and the Righteousness of those who accept Grace.
( 8 )   For those their refuge will be the Fire because of what they used to earn.
This passage also contains a statement and its proof. The statement is that those who reject the doctrine of the Hereafter shall inevitably go to Hell and its proof is that those who reject or pay no heed to this, commit such evil deeds as deserve nothing less than the fire of Hell. The fact which is supported by the experience of thousands of years, is that those who do not consider themselves responsible and accountable to God in the Hereafter, go astray into wrong ways for lack of any control over themselves, and commit immoralities and fill God’s earth with tyranny, chaos and filth and thus merit Hell. This is inevitable. If a man leads his life on the presumption that there is no other life, he will have no fear that he shall have to render a full account of all his deeds in this world. Therefore his sole aim in this life will be to win, by hook or by crook, prosperity, happiness, fame and power in this world. Naturally these materialistic attitudes make people heedless of the signs of Allah and mislead them into wrong ways that lead to Hell.

The above argument for the doctrine of the Hereafter is in its nature different from the previous three arguments. This is based on the knowledge gained by human experience while the former were based on rational reasoning. Though here only a hint has been given about it, the same has been stated in detail in other places in the Quran. This is the argument in brief: Human beings cannot adopt individually or collectively the right attitude towards life unless the doctrine of accountability to God is deeply embedded in their hearts. The fact that human beings begin to behave erroneously, if and when their belief in this doctrine disappears or becomes weak, is borne out by a long experience. Had not the creed of the Hereafter been real, its acceptance or rejection would not have produced the results inevitably and continuously for centuries. The fact that the acceptance of a doctrine should have continuously produced right sort of results, and its denial wrong results, is a clear proof that it is real. Though the premises of the above argument and the conclusion drawn from these are clear and closely connected, there are some people who do not agree with this proposition. They argue their point like this. There are many instances of people who deny the Hereafter and base their moral philosophy and their rule of conduct on atheism and materialism, still they possess high moral characters and abstain from every sort of evil. In short, they are virtuous in their affairs and render great services to the people. But a little thinking will show that this is a weak argument. If we probe into the materialistic philosophies and systems, we shall find that all these lack solid foundations for the moral excellence and practical virtuous deeds; therefore they cannot produce those qualities with which the atheists and the materialists are credited. Indeed no such motivating factors exist in those philosophies as may produce the qualities of righteousness, honesty, trust worthiness, justice, compassion, generosity, sacrifice, sympathy, self control, purity, the fulfillment of duties, obligations and pledges and the like. The only alternative to the doctrines of Tawhid and the Hereafter is utilitarianism which might become the basis for a practical moral system, for all the other philosophies are merely hypothetical and impracticable. It is quite obvious that the motivating power of utilitarianism is very limited because it is incapable of carrying a person farther than utility itself. Therefore the one who believes in this doctrine will consider a virtue a “virtue” only as long as it is useful to his own person, family, society etc. and will direct all his efforts towards promoting their welfare and happiness and will adhere to moral qualities only as long as they are conducive to his own good or to that of his own people. But he will discard these virtues when he is convinced that these will be harmful. That is why a utilitarian does not believe in absolute morality but adopts truth or falsehood, honesty or dishonesty, faithfulness or treachery, justice or injustice, in short, any virtue or vice that may suit the occasion and be useful for his own interests.

Nevertheless, if there be any up-holders of absolute morality from among the disbelievers of Allah and the Hereafter, they could not have gotten these virtues from the doctrine of utilitarianism but from those latent religious influences that might have remained embedded in their hearts without their conscious knowledge. Such a person is, in fact, indebted to religion for his moral excellence, though he may be attributing these to secularism and materialism, for he cannot point out anything, whatsoever, in them that might have motivated those virtues.
( 9 )   Indeed, those who have believed and done righteous deeds - their Lord will guide them because of their faith. Beneath them rivers will flow in the Gardens of Pleasure
We should not pass cursorily over this verse and should consider it deeply in the order it has been presented:

(1) Why will they be given Gardens of delight in the life of the Hereafter? This will be because they followed the right way in the life of this world and adopted the right ways in every aspect of life, both as individuals and as a community, and discarded the false and erroneous ways.

(2) How did they obtain at every step, at every turning and at every crossroad the correct criterion of judging between the right and the wrong, the true and the false, the righteous and the erroneous? Then from where did they get the power to remain steadfast on the right way, avoiding scrupulously wrong ways, after getting the right sort of discernment? It was their Lord Who is the real source of everything, Who gave them the guidance and the power of doing good works on every critical occasion.

(3) Why did their Lord give them that guidance and power? He gave them these things because of their faith.

(4) What is that characteristic of the faith which produces the above results? The faith which produces those results does not comprise mere profession but it is that faith which becomes the moving spirit of one’s conduct and character and has the power of reforming one’s morals and deeds.

In order to illustrate this point, let us consider, in the physical life of man, the case of food that is consumed for nourishment, health, energy and happiness. It is obvious that these results cannot be produced by the mere taking in of any food, but by that food which is so digested as turns into blood and circulates into every vein to provide energy to every part of the body for its proper functioning. In the same way, in the moral life, guidance, righteous attitude and pure conduct and true success, depend on those right creeds that get deeply embedded in the mind, heart and soul. Otherwise, creeds which are merely professed by the tongue or lie dormant in some corner of the mind and the heart cannot produce such results, for they cannot influence one’s conduct, character, way of thinking and attitude towards life for the better. Just as one may eat food and still not obtain those useful results which are produced only if it is digested properly according to the physical laws of God. In the same way, one who professes those right creeds merely with his tongue, but does not make them a part of his mind, heart and soul does not deserve those rewards which are only for those whose deeds correspond to the creeds.
( 10 )   Their call therein will be, "Exalted are You, O Allah," and their greeting therein will be, "Peace." And the last of their call will be, "Praise to Allah, Lord of the worlds!"
These facts about the life in Paradise have been stated in order to make conspicuous the high thinking and the noble qualities of the believers. When they enter Paradise after coming out successful in this worldly test, they will manifest the same high qualities of character that they had in this world. Instead of making urgent and immediate demands for beautiful articles of luxury, musical instruments, wine and women, they will sing hymns of praise to their Lord. This also belies that picture of the life in Paradise that some crooked people have formed of it. The fact is that the noble personalities which the believers build in this world and the high ways of thinking and the excellent moral characters they form in this world and the great and rigid training they give to their feelings, emotions and desires, will become all the more prominent in the pure surroundings and environments of Paradise. That is why they will love it most to sing hymns of praise to Allah and glorify His name just as they did in this world. Besides this, their greatest wish and desire in Paradise will be peace for one another, as it was in their collective life in this world.

Ruku / Section 2 11-20]
Verses 11-17 Behavior of the wrong doers towards Allah and His revelations.

After the introductory (verses 1-10), the Quran takes up admonition which is the main subject of the Surah. In order to understand this fully we should keep two things in view as its background:

First, a little before its revelation, the continuous horrible famine, which had afflicted Makkah for seven long years and humbled the haughty Quraish, had come to an end. Naturally this had given a blow to idol worship and acted as a stimulus to God worship. For, in their utter helplessness, they had to supplicate to Allah and cry meekly for help. So much so that Abu Sufyan had to approach the Prophet (peace be upon him) with this request: Please pray to Allah to remove this affliction from us. But when the famine was over, and rains began to fall, and prosperity returned, they began to show rebellion and do evil deeds and started their hostile activities against the believers. Thus the hearts that had turned to Allah, again became neglectful of Him. See (Surah An-Nahal, Ayat 113), (Surah Al-Mominoon, Ayats 75-77), (Surah Ad-Dukhan, Ayats 10- 16).

Secondly, the Quran answered the question with which they confronted the Prophet (peace be upon him) whenever he warned them of the consequences of rejecting the truth. They would say” You are always threatening us with Allah’s wrath; why doesn’t the divine torment visit us and why is it being delayed?
( 11 )   And if Allah was to hasten for the people the evil [they invoke] as He hastens for them the good, their term would have been ended for them. But We leave the ones who do not expect the meeting with Us, in their transgression, wandering blindly
Keeping the above background in view, (Ayats 11-12 ) may be expanded like this: Allah does not hasten in punishing and seizing the people for their sins as He hastens in showing kindness and compassion to them. Do they, then, want Him to hasten His torment for their rebellions, as He hastened to remove famine in answer to their supplications? As this is not Our Way, We give them time to mend their evil ways in spite of their transgressions and rebellions. We send warning after warning and give them respite until their term comes to an end. Then the law of requital comes into force. In contrast to this, their way is the way of mean and narrow minded people. When affliction comes, they remember Allah, begin to cry and call Him meekly, but forget it all during the time of prosperity. Such bad ways as these are leading them to divine torment.
( 12 )   And when affliction touches man, he calls upon Us, whether lying on his side or sitting or standing; but when We remove from him his affliction, he continues [in disobedience] as if he had never called upon Us to [remove] an affliction that touched him. Thus is made pleasing to the transgressors that which they have been doing
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Not only do men fail to use their respite: even those who have a superficial belief in Allah call on Him in their trouble but forget Him when He has relieved their trouble. Their Faith is not strong enough to make them realize that all good proceeds from Allah. But in moments of trouble they use every position, literally and figuratively, to appeal to Him.

Those without Faith are selfish, and are so wrapped up in themselves that they think every good that comes to them is due to their own merits or cleverness. That is itself a cause of their undoing. They do not see their own faults.
( 13 )   And We had already destroyed generations before you when they wronged, and their messengers had come to them with clear proofs, but they were not to believe. Thus do We recompense the criminal people
The Arabic word qarn is commonly used for the people living during the same period. But from the way the Quran has used this word on different occasions, it is evident that by qarn is, meant the community which had been invested with power and authority and appointed wholly or partially to the position of leadership of the world. One way in which such a community is destroyed is that it is totally exterminated but there are other forms of its destruction also.

It may be noted that here the word zulm has not been used in its commonly known limited sense, but it covers all sorts of sins that are committed, when people transgress the boundaries of Allah’s slavery. 
( 14 )   Then We made you successors in the land after them so that We may observe how you will do.
(Ayats 13-14) have been pointedly addressed to the Arabs so as to say, “O Prophet (peace be upon him) of Arabia, learn a lesson from the communities that have passed before you. They were given an opportunity for doing good deeds in their time but instead of this they adopted the attitude of transgression and rebellion and rejected the teachings of the Messengers who had been sent for their guidance. As they failed in Our test, We dismissed them from leadership. Now, O people of Arabia, your turn has come and you have replaced them and have gotten the opportunity for doing the same work under the guidance of Our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). You must understand that you are undergoing the same test in which your predecessors have failed. If you do not want to meet with the end they met, you should make the right use of this opportunity by learning a lesson from their end and by avoiding the errors, which became the ultimate cause of their destruction.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
This is addressed to the Quraish in the first instance, for they had succeeded to the 'Ad and the Thamud heritage. But the application is universal, and was true to the 'Abbasi Empire in the time of Harun-ar-Rashid, or the Muslim Empire in Spain or the Turkish Empire in its palmiest days, and indeed, to the Muslims and non-Muslims of our own days.
( 15 )   And when Our verses are recited to them as clear evidences, those who do not expect the meeting with Us say, "Bring us a Qur'an other than this or change it." Say, [O Muhammad], "It is not for me to change it on my own accord. I only follow what is revealed to me. Indeed I fear, if I should disobey my Lord, the punishment of a tremendous Day."
They implied two things when they said these words.
(1) First, they meant that what Muhammad (peace be upon him) was presenting as divine revelation was really the product of his own mind but he was ascribing it to Allah merely to make his claim weighty.
(2) Secondly, they implied this: If you want to be the leader of your people, present something that may make them prosperous in the world and give up the doctrines of Tawhid and the Hereafter and the moral restrictions you are prescribing in your teaching. And if it is not possible, make some amendments in the Quran so that a compromise may be made between you and us on the principle of give and take so that there should be some scope for our shirk in your Tawhid and for our self worship and for our salvation in the Hereafter, irrespective of what we do in this world. You should also note it well that we cannot accept your absolute morality: therefore you should make an allowance for our prejudices, our rites and customs, our personal and national interests and our desires. We propose that with mutual agreement we should make a list of those religious demands which should be obligatory on us for the fulfillment of Allah’s rights, and beyond that we should be free to conduct our worldly affairs in any way we like. This compromise is necessary because we cannot accept your demand that human life in all its aspects should entirely be led in accordance with the implications of the doctrines of Tawhid and the Hereafter and the regulations of the Islamic code of life.
This is the answer to the two above mentioned demands: I have no authority of making any alterations in this Book for I am not its author but Allah is the One Who is sending it down to me. Therefore there is no question of any compromise about it. If you want to accept its way, you will have to accept it as it is; otherwise you are free to reject it.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Reading: in the Arabic, the word is "Qur'an", which may mean Reading or in the special sense, the Qur'an. The duty of Allah's Messenger is to deliver Allah's Message as it is revealed to him, whether it please or displease those who hear it. Selfish men want to read their own desires or fancies into religious precepts, and thus they are often willing to use Religion for their own ends. Most of the corruptions of Religion are due to this cause. But Religion is not to be so prostituted.
( 16 )   Say, "If Allah had willed, I would not have recited it to you, nor would He have made it known to you, for I had remained among you a lifetime before it. Then will you not reason?"
This is a very strong argument against their accusation that Muhammad (peace be upon him) was himself the author of the Quran but was ascribing it to Allah, and in support of the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) claim that it was being sent down to him by Allah, Who was its Author. The argument is this: You yourselves have witnessed the forty years of his life before his appointment to Prophethood. He was born in your own city and passed his boyhood, youth and middle age before your very eyes. He lived among you and had all kinds of relations, social, marital, economic, etc. with you. So much so that no aspect of his life was hidden from you. Did you notice anything in his whole life that might show that he could be the author of this Book? Do you not use your commonsense?

The question posed in the Quran implied two things which were well known to everyone in Makkah about the Prophet (peace be upon him):
(1) First, during the forty years of his life before Prophethood, he had neither received any education nor training nor sat in any company that should have enabled him to become the author of such a Book as was full of unique things that were unknown to the people around him. No one had ever heard from him anything about the problems that had been dealt with in different Surahs of the Quran. So much so that not even a relative or close friend of his had ever noticed anything in his talk or in anything about him that might have shown any signs of gradual development towards it before he made his great claim to Prophethood when he reached the age of forty. This was a clear proof of the fact that the Quran was not the invention of his own mind and that it must have been sent down to him from outside. For it is impossible for a human being to produce anything like this, all of a sudden and without ever manifesting any signs of its evolution and development in his earlier life. That is why when some intelligent people of Makkah felt the absurdity of this accusation, they began to say that it was some other person who taught these things to him. But this was even more absurd than the first thing because they could not point out specifically a single person in the whole of Arabia, not to say of Makkah, who had the ability of producing such unique things as were contained in the Quran. They also knew that a person of such high caliber could not have remained obscure in some unknown corner for forty years.
(2) The second thing, that had distinguished him during those forty years of his life, was his noble character both from the negative and from the positive aspects. He was never known to have told a single lie or practiced any kind of deceit, forgery, cunning, craftiness and the like in any way whatsoever, On the other hand, all those people with whom he had come into contact in any capacity bore witness to the fact that he had been truthful, honest, and trustworthy without any blemish whatsoever. As an instance, a most well known historical fact may be cited. Only five years before his Prophethood, the Kaabah was damaged by rains. When they were re-building it, a quarrel arose among the different clans of the Quraish as to who should have the honor of setting Hajr-i-Aswad (the Black Stone) in its proper place. Therefore it was agreed that the one who would be the first to enter into the Haram next morning should arbitrate in the quarrel. Next morning the first person who entered the Haram was Muhammad (peace be upon him). At this all the people cried out with joy, he is an absolutely trust worthy man, and we are fully satisfied with him; he is Muhammad (peace be upon him).” This is how Allah had made that large gathering of the Quraish bear witness to the fact that he was “the trustworthy” before appointing him as His Messenger (peace be upon him). Therefore there was no justification for anyone to accuse the man, who had never told a lie nor ever practiced forgery nor craftiness in his whole life, of ascribing falsely to Allah his own literary creation, and claiming categorically and persistently that it was of divine origin.
That is why Allah has asked His Messenger (peace be upon him) to refute their absurd charge by saying, as it were, only this: O my people, use your common sense before making this absurd accusation, for I am not a stranger or a foreigner among you. I have lived a life time of forty years among you before making a claim that I have received revelation from Allah. How can you expect from my past that I would present the Quran to you as Allah’s Book, without gaining knowledge from Him and without His command?"

Also read explanation of Verse 86 of Surah 28. Al Qasas: "(O Prophet), you never looked forward for the Book to be revealed to you. It is out of sheer Mercy of your Lord that it was (revealed to you).So do not lend any support to the unbelievers."
( 17 )   So who is more unjust than he who invents a lie about Allah or denies His signs? Indeed, the criminals will not succeed
That is, if these revelations are not from Allah and I myself compose them and present them as revelations from Him, there can be no greater sinner than I am. On the other hand, if these revelations are truly from Allah and you are falsifying these, then there can be no greater sinner than you.

Some naive people draw wrong and misleading conclusions from this verse, by a fallacious reasoning. They confine the meanings of falah to long life or worldly prosperity or worldly success and argue like this: This verse declares categorically that criminals can never attain success. The converse of this proposition, that is, anyone who is successful cannot be a criminal must also be true. Hence, if a claimant should live a long life after his claim to Prophethood or prosper in the world or his claim receives a good response in the world from the people, he should be acknowledged as a true prophet. For they argue, if he had been a false prophet he could not have prospered, but would have been killed or starved to death or rendered unsuccessful in his mission, as soon as he had claimed to be a prophet. But even a little thinking will show that this argument is fallacious on the face of it. Firstly, the converse of every proposition is not always true. Secondly, the Quran does not use the word falah in this limited sense. Thirdly, Allah deals with the criminals according to His divine law of respite.

Now let us consider the matter in detail. The words “Indeed, the criminals will not be successful”, have not been used, in the context they occur, to prescribe a criterion for judging a true Prophet from a false one, so that if a claimant is successful, he should be accepted, and if he is not, he should be rejected. As a matter of fact, these words have been put in the mouth of the Messenger to make a declaration like this: I know it for certain that the criminals cannot attain (true) success: therefore I cannot commit the crime of making a false claim to Prophethood. But as regards you, I am absolutely sure that you cannot attain true success because you are guilty of falsifying me who is a true Prophet of Allah.

The other thing is that the word falah is not used in the limited sense of worldly success, but it has been used to denote the permanent success which never suffers any loss whatsoever irrespective of the fact whether the claimant gains or does not gain any worldly success in the initial stage. Nay, it is just possible that a false claimant who invites people to misguidance should attain great worldly success and his misguidance might also prosper. This is, however, not success in the terminology of the Quran, but this would be an utter failure. On the other hand, it is also possible that the inviter to the truth should suffer untold afflictions or fall a prey to the persecutions of the transgressors, and leave this world without winning over anyone to the side of the truth, but this will be, in the terminology of the Quran, true success and not a failure.

The other thing that refutes the fallacy of these foolish people is that they do not take into consideration the divine law of respite, according to which the mere fact that a false prophet enjoyed a long prosperous life is not a proof that he was a true prophet. The Quran has made it clear at many places that Allah does not expedite the matter of the punishment of the criminals, but gives them respite to mend their ways; nay, He also lets them loose in their deviation if they abuse that respite and become more corrupt. Sometimes He makes them even more prosperous so that they should fully manifest all the evils they had hidden in their hearts and incur full punishment which they really deserve for their evil deeds. The divine law of respite takes its due course in the case of false prophets as it does in the case of other criminals. And there is no reason why they should be an exception to this. Satan, the greatest of all criminals, has been allowed to practice every kind of deception up to the Day of Judgment, and there is no mention of any exception to this effect that he will not be allowed to set up a false prophet.

As a last resort, such perverse interpreters of the Quran turn to (Ayats 44-47 of Surah Al-Haqqah): If Muhammad had fabricated something himself and ascribed that to Us, We would have seized his hand and cut off his heart’s vein. But these cannot serve their purpose, for what they imply is only this: If the true Prophet appointed by Allah were to ascribe any false thing to Allah, he would be seized forthwith. Therefore it is no more than a fallacy to argue from this to the erroneous conclusion that the impostor who is not seized is a true prophet, for this divine principle applies only to a true Prophet and not to an impostor. In order to grasp this point, let us take the instance of the government servants. It is obvious that the rules and regulations which are prescribed for government servants apply only to those who are actually government servants and not to impostors. Those who pretend to be government servants are dealt with according to the criminal code like other criminals and villains and not according to the code of employment. Besides this, the context in which these verses occur clearly shows that these are not laying down any criterion of judging whether a claimant is a true Prophet or an impostor. Moreover, a true Prophet can easily be distinguished from an impostor by his high character, his noble mission and the unique Message he presents. Hence there was no need of setting up such an irrational and unnatural standard of distinguishing a true Prophet from an impostor.

Verses 18-20 Deities other than Allah can neither harm nor benefit you and Mankind was one nation until they invented different creeds:
( 18 )   And they worship other than Allah that which neither harms them nor benefits them, and they say, "These are our intercessors with Allah " Say, "Do you inform Allah of something He does not know in the heavens or on the earth?" Exalted is He and high above what they associate with Him
This is a fine way of saying that no such intercessors exist as can plead their cases with Allah. For if something is not in the knowledge of Allah, it implies that it does not exist at all, for everything that exists anywhere in the heavens and the earth is in His knowledge.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
When we shut our eyes to Allah's glory and goodness, and go after false gods, we give some plausible excuse to ourselves, such as that they will intercede for us. But how can stocks and stones intercede for us? And how can men intercede for us, when they themselves have need of Allah's Mercy? Even the best and noblest cannot intercede as of right, but only with His permission (x. 3). To pretend that there are other powers than Allah is to invent lies and to teach Allah. There is nothing in heaven or earth that He does not know, and there is no other like unto Him.

Explanation by Javed Ahmad Ghamidi:
This style is called نفي الشيء بنفي لازمه (negating a thing by negating its consequences). This is much like Imru al-Qays' words: لا يهتدى بمناره (no guidance can be obtained from its pillars) while describing a path in the desert (See: Ibn Manzur, Lisan al-'arab, vol, 9., 165). The implication is that if their associates existed, then the being who would have been most informed about them would be the one whom they are associating with. Now when He does not know it, it may well be imagined how big a lie they are imputing to God.

Verse 19 below is a very important verse, specially for those following other than Islam:
( 19 )   And mankind was not but one community [united in religion], but [then] they differed. And if not for a word that preceded from your Lord, it would have been judged between them [immediately] concerning that over which they differ.
The decree that Allah has ordained is that the reality that shall be kept hidden from man’s senses in order to test whether he recognizes this by using his common sense, intelligence, conscience and intuition, and if he does not, he shall be allowed to tread the wrong ways he chooses. That is why their differences about the reality are not being resolved by uncovering it today.

This thing has been stated here to remove a common misunderstanding about the diversity of religions in the world.

At that time, there was a confusion in the minds of the people (and is even today) concerning this. They said: Different people profess different religions, and the followers of each religion claim that their religion alone is the true one. How may then a seeker of truth judge which one of these is the true religion? The answer is: In the beginning all mankind had only one religion, and that was the true religion. Then people strayed away from it and invented different religions of their own with different creeds and ways. Now if you desire that Allah Himself should uncover the truth and present it to you to enable you to decide which religion is the true one, you should know that this will not be done in this life, because you are required to decide this by using your common sense and intelligence. This worldly lift is a trial to see whether or not you yourselves recognize the truth by using your common sense and intelligence.

The same subject has been dealt with at following two places in the Qur'an:
"In the beginning mankind followed one single way. (Later on this state ended and differences arose.) Then Allah sent forth Prophets as heralds of good tidings for the righteous and as warners against the consequences of evil-doing. He sent down with them the Book embodying the Truth so that it might judge among people in their disputes. And those who innovated divergent ways rather than follow the Truth were none other than those who had received the knowledge of the Truth and clear guidance; and they did so to commit excesses against each other.230 So by His leave Allah directed the believers to the Right Way in matters on which they disagreed. Allah guides whomsoever He wills onto a Straight Way." (Surah 2. Al-Baqara: 213) 
When ignorant people attempt to trace the history of 'religion' they tend to the view that man began his life in the darkness of polytheism and that in the course of time, corresponding to man's progress, this darkness gradually receded and light increased till man arrived at monotheism.

In Surah 6. Al-An'am: 35, it is said:
"Nevertheless, if their turning away grieves you, then seek - if you can - either a way down into the earth or a ladder to the heavens, and try to bring to them some sign. Had Allah so willed, He would have gathered them all to the true guidance. Do not, then, be among the ignorant." 
The Qur'anic version, however, proclaims that man began his life in full light of the Truth. God revealed this Truth to the very first man He created, one to whom He intimated the right way of life for man. Thereafter the human race remained on the Right Way for some time and lived as one community. Later, however, people invented deviating ways. This did not happen because Truth had not been communicated to them. The cause was rather that some people willfully sought to acquire privileges, benefits and advantages beyond their legitimate limits, and thus subjected others to injustices. It was in order to enable people to overcome this corruption that God sent His Prophets. These Prophets were not sent to found separate religions in their own names and bring new religious communities into existence. Rather the purpose of the Prophets was to illuminate before people the Truth which they had allowed to be lost, and once again make them into one community.

Had it been required that all people should be driven to the Truth, there would have been no need to send Prophets, to reveal heavenly Books, to direct believers to engage in struggles against unbelievers, and to make the message of Truth pass through the necessary stages until fulfillment is reached. The result could have been achieved by a single sign of God's creative will. God, however, did not want things to happen that way. He preferred the Truth to be set before people with its supporting arguments so that by a proper exercise of their rational judgement, they should recognize it for what it was and thereafter freely choose to embrace it as their faith. By moulding their lives in conformity with this Truth such people should demonstrate their moral superiority over the devotees of falsehood. They should continually attract men of sound morals by the force of their arguments, by the loftiness of their ideals, by the excellence of their principles and by the purity of their lives. They should thus reach their goal - the establishment of the hegemony of the true faith - by the natural and gradual escalation of strife against falsehood. God will guide them in the performance of this task and will provide them with whatever help they merit during the various stages of their struggle. But if anyone wishes to evade this natural course and wants God to obliterate corrupt ideas and to spread healthy ones in their stead, to root out a corrupt civilization and put a healthy one in its place by exercising His omnipotent will, let him know that this will not come about. The reason is that such is contrary to the scheme according to which God has created man as a responsible being, bestowed upon him a degree of power which he may exercise, granted him the freedom to choose between obedience and disobedience to God, awarded him a certain term of life in order to demonstrate his worth, and determined that at an appointed hour He will judge him for either reward or punishment in the light of his deeds.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Cf. ii 213. All mankind was created one, and Allah's Message to mankind is in essence one, the Message of Unity and Truth. But as selfishness and egotism got hold of man, certain differences sprang up between individuals, races, and nations, and in His infinite Mercy He sent them messengers and messages to suit their varying mentality, to test them by His gifts, and stir them up to emulation in virtue and piety (v. 48).

Cf. vi. 115. ix 40, and iv. 171. "Word" is the Decree of Allah, the expression of His Universal Will or Wisdom in a particular case. When men began to diverge from one another (see last note), Allah made their very differences subserve the higher ends by increasing their emulation in virtue and piety, and thus pointing back to the ultimate Unity and Reality.
( 20 )   And they say, "Why is a sign not sent down to him from his Lord?" So say, "The unseen is only for Allah [to administer], so wait; indeed, I am with you among those who wait."
That is, though they demanded a sign as a proof of the fact that he was a true Prophet (peace be upon him) and was presenting true revelations, this was not based on a genuine desire for recognizing and accepting the truth but was merely a pretext for rejecting it. For they had no intention of molding their habits, their morality, their social system, in short, reforming every aspect of their life in accordance with the implications of the acceptance of the Message of the Prophet (peace be upon him). As they did not intend to believe in it, they would say even after seeing a sign: No sign had been shown to them. Obviously, they would not give up that freedom which they were enjoying in following their desires and lusts, by accepting the unseen (the creeds of Tawhid and the Hereafter), which would bind them to the absolute moral principles.

That is, I have presented before you what Allah has sent down to me. But what He has not sent down to me is unseen, both for me and for you, and it is entirely with Allah to reveal or not to reveal it. Now if you will not believe unless Allah sends down what He has not sent down, you may wait for it: I, too, shall wait and see whether your persistent demand is or is not satisfied.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Their demand for a Sign is disingenuous. All nature and revelation furnishes them with incontestable Signs. What they want is the Book of the Unseen opened out to them like the physical leaves of a book. But they forget that a physical Book is on a wholly different plane from Allah's Mysteries, and that their physical natures cannot apprehend the mysteries. They must wait. Truth will also wait. But the waiting in the two cases is in quite different senses. Cf. vi. 158 and ix. 52.

Explanation by Javed Ahmad Ghamidi:
The actual word is آيَةٌ. It is evident from the subsequent verse that it refers to a sign of punishment seeing which it becomes evident that the threat of the final punishment the Prophet (sws) is warning them about is bound to come.
That matters whether God sends a sign of the punishment or the punishment itself to a nation which is being threatened by it.

This is not a desire to see people inflicted with punishment but to wait with yearning and sorrow for something which has become God's decision because of their stubbornness.

Ruku / Section 3 [21-30] 
Verses 21-23 Mankind call upon Allah in their sufferings but plot against Him in their happiness:
( 21 )   And when We give the people a taste of mercy after adversity has touched them, at once they conspire against Our verses. Say, "Allah is swifter in strategy." Indeed, Our messengers record that which you conspire
They practiced deceptions regarding the sign of the famine that had been inflicted on them (Ayats 11, 12). This verse alludes to the same, as if to say, “How dare you demand a sign again, whereas recently the sign of the famine has been shown to you? At that time you invoked the help of your deities but in vain, though you had set them up as intercessors with Allah and believed that offerings to their shrines would prove very effective in removing the famine. But you yourselves learned by the first hand experience that those so called gods possessed no power at all. Therefore when you were convinced that all power belongs to Allah alone, you turned to Him and began to invoke His help. This experience ought to have convinced you of the truth of the Message of Muhammad (peace be upon him) for this was the very fundamental thing which he was teaching. Instead of learning a lesson from this sign, you began to practice deceptions to explain it away, as soon as the famine was over and there had come the blessed rainfall. You invented many explanations (deceptions) concerning the causes of the famine and its subsequent end in order to escape from the doctrine of Tawhid and stick to your shirk. The verse is meant to declare that no sign would convince such people as those who had not benefited from the great sign of the famine. Therefore there was no use of showing any sign to them.

“Allah is more swift in plotting” - This is a very severe warning. The implication is that if these excuses are being written, then soon they will be called to account.

It means if you practice deceptions in order to explain away the sign of the famine so that you might find excuses to evade the implications of its acceptance in order to continue your rebellious attitudes. Allah is more swift in carrying out His plans to outdo your deceptive methods. He will leave you free to move in your wrong ways. He will even bestow upon you the worldly prosperity, which will so delude you that you will forget that you were being closely watched. And you will commit evil deeds with apparent immunity and enjoy yourselves to your heart’s content. But His angels will go on keeping a full and complete record of your deeds, which will be presented for your prosecution after your death.
( 22 )   It is He who enables you to travel on land and sea until, when you are in ships and they sail with them by a good wind and they rejoice therein, there comes a storm wind and the waves come upon them from everywhere and they assume that they are surrounded, supplicating Allah, sincere to Him in religion, "If You should save us from this, we will surely be among the thankful."
The fact that even the most obdurate mushriks and the most hardened atheists who forget Allah when things go well with them, begin to invoke Allah’s help when they are pressed hard from all sides and despair of help from any other quarter, is a clear evidence that there is the All Powerful Allah Who is controlling each and every thing in the universe.

The parable is meant to warn those who are utterly neglectful of the life-after-death because of their apparent success in this worldly life. They have been likened to the owners of the land who were happy to presume that the crop was ripe and luxuriant and it was within their power to reap it and enjoy the produce of their harvest. They were so sure of this that they began to enjoy the fore-taste of the ripened crops, unaware of the decree of Allah which destroyed their crops and all their great expectations also. Likewise those who neglect to make preparations for the life-after-death will find to their sorrow that all they did to earn for the enjoyments of this world was, in relation to the next world, like the ripe crop that was destroyed all of a sudden.

A similar admonishment is also given in verse 41 of Surah 6. Al-An'am: "Lo, it is to Him alone that you cry and then, if He so wills, He removes the distress for which you had cried to Him. Then you forget the partners you had set up with Allah."

When either some great calamity befalls a man or when death starkly stares him in the face, it is only to God that he turns for refuge. On such occasions even the staunchest polytheists forget their false gods and cry out to the One True God, and even the most rabid atheists stretch out their hands in prayer to Him. This phenomenon is mentioned here in order to draw an instructive lesson. It shows that devotion to God and monotheism are ingrained in the human soul. No matter how overlaid this truth might be, some day it shakes off man's heedlessness and ignorance and manifests itself fully.

It was the observation of this sign which had led 'Ikrimah, the son of Abu Jahl, to the true faith. For when Makkah was conquered at the hands of the Prophet (peace be on him), 'Ikrimah fled to Jeddah and sailed from there towards Abyssinia. During the voyage the boat ran into a severe storm which threatened to capsize it. At first people began calling on their gods and goddesses. Later on, when the storm grew even worse and the passengers were sure that the boat would sink, they began to feel it was time to call on God alone, for He alone could save them. This opened the eyes of 'Ikrimah, whose heart cried out to him that if there was no effective helper for them in that situation, how could there he one elsewhere? He also recalled that this was precisely what the Prophet (peace be on him) had constantly told people, and that it was precisely because of this preaching that they had been engaged in unnecessary violent conflict with him. This was a turning-point in 'Ikrimah's life. He instantly made up his mind that if he survived the storm he would go straight to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) and place his hand in his, binding himself in allegiance. Thereafter he not only remained true to his word by becoming a Muslim, but spent the rest of his life struggling in the cause of Islam.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
All the great inventions and discoveries on which man prides himself are the fruit of that genius and talent which Allah has freely given of His grace. But the spirit of man remains petty, as is illustrated by the parable from the sea. How the heart of man rejoices when the ship goes smoothly with favourable winds! How in adversity it turns, in terror and helplessness, to Allah, and makes vows for deliverance! and how those vows are disregarded as soon as the danger is past! Cf. vi. 63.
( 23 )   But when He saves them, at once they commit injustice upon the earth without right. O mankind, your injustice is only against yourselves, [being merely] the enjoyment of worldly life. Then to Us is your return, and We will inform you of what you used to do.
In our insolence and pride we do not see how small and ephemeral is that part of us which is mortal. We shall see it at last when we appear before our Judge. In the meantime our ridiculous pretensions only hurt ourselves.

 Verses 24 gives an Example of this worldly life:
( 24 )   The example of [this] worldly life is but like rain which We have sent down from the sky that the plants of the earth absorb - [those] from which men and livestock eat - until, when the earth has taken on its adornment and is beautified and its people suppose that they have capability over it, there comes to it Our command by night or by day, and We make it as a harvest, as if it had not flourished yesterday. Thus do We explain in detail the signs for a people who give thought.
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Another beautiful Parable, explaining the nature of our present life. The rain comes down in drops and mingles with the earth. Through it, by Allah's matchless artistry, the womb of the earth is made fruitful. All kinds of good, useful, and beautiful grains, vegetables, and fruits are produced for men and animals. The earth is covered in its bravery of green and gold and all kinds of colours. Perhaps the "owner" takes all the credit to himself, and thinks that this will last eternally. A hailstorm or a blast, a frost or a volcanic eruption, comes and destroys it, or it may be even normally, that the time of harvest comes, and the fields and orchards are stripped bare by some blight or disease. Where is the beauty and bravery of yesterday? All that is left is dust and ashes! What more can we get from this physical material life?

Verses 25-30 Allah invites you to the Home of Peace and Deities whom they worship are not even aware of their worship:
( 25 )   And Allah invites to the Home of Peace and guides whom He wills to a straight path
That is, Allah invites to the way that leads to the abode of peace in the Hereafter. “The abode of peace” here means Paradise, where there will be no fear whatsoever of any loss, calamity, sorrow, pain and trouble.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
In contrast with the ephemeral and uncertain pleasures of this material life, there is a higher life to which Allah is always calling. It is called the Home of Peace. For there is no fear, nor disappointment nor sorrow there. And all are called, and those will be chosen who have sought, not material advantages, but the Good Pleasure of Allah. Salam, Peace, is from the same root as Islam, the Religion of Unity and Harmony.
( 26 )   For them who have done good is the best [reward] and extra. No darkness will cover their faces, nor humiliation. Those are companions of Paradise; they will abide therein eternally
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The reward of the righteous will be far more than in proportion to their merits. For they will have the supreme bliss of being near to Allah, and "seeing His face".

The face is the symbol of the Personality, the inner and real Self, which is the antithesis of the outer and ephemeral Self. It will be illuminated with Allah's Light, behind which is no shadow or darkness. All its old shortcomings will be blotted out, with their sense of shame, for there will be Perfection, as in Allah's sight.
( 27 )   But they who have earned [blame for] evil doings - the recompense of an evil deed is its equivalent, and humiliation will cover them. They will have from Allah no protector. It will be as if their faces are covered with pieces of the night - so dark [are they]. Those are the companions of the Fire; they will abide therein eternally.
That is, in contrast to the additional rewards to the good people, those who earned evil deeds, shall be punished only in proportion to their crimes.  It shall be that kind of gloom that overspreads the faces of the criminals when they are caught, and they despair all hopes of escape.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Note that the evil reward is for those who have "earned" evil, i.e., brought it on themselves by the deliberate choice of evil. Further, in the justice of Allah, they will be requited with evil similar to, and not greater in quantity or intensity, than the evil they had done,-unlike the good, who, in Allah's generosity, get a reward far greater than anything they have earned or could possibly earn.

Night is the negation of Light and metaphorically of joy and felicity. The intensive is indicated by "the depth of the darkness of Night."
( 28 )   And [mention, O Muhammad], the Day We will gather them all together - then We will say to those who associated others with Allah, "[Remain in] your place, you and your 'partners.' " Then We will separate them, and their "partners" will say, "You did not used to worship us,
Some commentators are of the opinion that the original words of the text mean this: We will cut off every kind of connection and relation between them so that they are not able to show any concern for one another. But these meanings are opposed to the Arabic usage, according to which they mean: We will distinguish them from one another, or We will cause a distinction among them. That is why these have been translated like this: Then We will separate, one from the other. That is, the mushriks and their deities shall stand in front of each other and recognize their mutual and respective positions. The mushriks shall come to know the whole truth about those whom they worshiped and their deities will learn everything about their worshipers.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The false gods are not real: they are only the figments of the imaginations of those who indulged in the false worship. But the prophets or great or good men whose names were vainly taken in competition with the name of Allah, and the personified Ideas or Idols treated in the same way would themselves protest against their names being used in that way, and show that the worship was paid not to them, but to the ignorance or superstition or selfish lusts of the false worshipers.
( 29 )   And sufficient is Allah as a witness between us and you that we were of your worship unaware."
That is, their deities, the angels, the jinns, the spirits, the forefathers, the prophets, the saints, the martyrs and all others, whom they had set up as partners with God and rendered those rights to them which belonged to God alone, will dissociate themselves from their worshipers and declare: We did not know at all that you worshiped us, for no reverence, no respect, no honor, no admiration, no regard, no adoration, no homage that you paid to us; no prayer, no supplication, no request, no offering, no gift you presented to us; and no praise, no prostration, no bowing down, no remembrance, no religious service, or ceremony or ritual you made in our name ever reached us.
( 30 )   There, [on that Day], every soul will be put to trial for what it did previously, and they will be returned to Allah, their master, the Truth, and lost from them is whatever they used to invent.
Ruku / Section 4 [31-40] 
Verses 31-36 Truth about Allah vs other gods invented by the Mushrikin:
( 31 )   Say, "Who provides for you from the heaven and the earth? Or who controls hearing and sight and who brings the living out of the dead and brings the dead out of the living and who arranges [every] matter?" They will say, "Allah," so say, "Then will you not fear Him?"
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Sustenance may be understood in the sense of all the provision necessary for maintaining physical life as well as mental and spiritual development and well-being. Examples of the former are light and rain from heaven and the produce of the earth and facilities of movement on land and sea and in air. Examples of the latter are the moral and spiritual influences that come from our fellow-men, and from the great Teachers and Prophets.

Just two of our ordinary faculties, hearing and sight, are mentioned, as examples of the rest. All the gifts of Allah, physical and spiritual, are enjoyed and incorporated by us by means of the faculties and capacities with which He has endowed us.

This is the general summing-up of the argument. The government of the whole Creation and its maintenance and sustenance is in the hands of Allah. How futile then would it be to neglect His true worship and go after false gods?
( 32 )   For that is Allah, your Lord, the Truth. And what can be beyond truth except error? So how are you averted?
That is, as you yourselves admit that Allah alone is your real Provider, Owner and Master, He alone is your true Lord, and, therefore, entitled to your servitude and worship. How have you, then, made others as partners with Him?

It should be kept in mind that these questions have been posed to the common people: therefore they are not being asked, “How are you turning away?” but “How are you turned away” The passive voice clearly shows that there must be some person (or persons) who was turning away the people from the right direction to the wrong one. That is why this appeal is being made to the people: Why are you blindly following those who are misguiding you? Why don’t you use your own common sense? When you yourselves admit the truth about Allah, why don’t you consider the fact that you are being turned away from Him?

This question has been posed at many places in the Quran to bring home the truth to the common people, but at every place the passive voice has been employed in order to keep back the names of the misguiding ones so that their followers should consider the matter coolly and objectively. This also contains a valuable piece of advice for those engaged in propagation work. By avoiding the names of the misguiding ones, the Quran has taken away a very strong weapon from the hands of those, who could otherwise incite the followers that their revered leaders were being made the target of ridicule and criticism.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The wonderful handiwork and wisdom of Allah having been referred to, as the real Truth, as against the false worship and false gods that men set up, it follows that to disregard the Truth must lead us into woeful wrong, not only in our beliefs but in our conduct. We shall err and stray and be lost. How then can we turn away from the Truth?
( 33 )   Thus the word of your Lord has come into effect upon those who defiantly disobeyed - that they will not believe.
That is, this Word of your Lord has come true that those who have made up their minds that they would not believe in any case would never believe because of their obduracy, even if the truth were to be presented before them with very plain and clear arguments.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Disobedience to Allah brings its own terrible consequences on ourselves. The Law, the Word, the Decree, of Allah must be fulfilled. If we go to false gods, our Faith will be dimmed, and then extinguished. Our spiritual faculties will be dead.
( 34 )   Say, "Are there of your 'partners' any who begins creation and then repeats it?" Say, "Allah begins creation and then repeats it, so how are you deluded?"
 It is to be noted that the answers to the questions posed in this and the following verse have been put in the mouth of the Prophet (peace be upon him) in contrast to the answers posed in the preceding verses. This is because the mushriks themselves believed, and therefore could not deny, that Allah originated the creation and that their gods had no share in this. But they would not admit that He could or would bring it back, for they could not in that case reject the doctrine of the life-after-death, though it was obvious that the One Who originated the creation could also bring it back again, and not any one of those who had not originated it. That is why the answer has been put in the mouth of the Prophet (peace be upon him) that he should declare it openly and boldly that Allah originated the creation and could and would bring it back again.

This question has been posed to bring home to them the folly of the doctrine of shirk. The argument is this: When Allah originates the creation and has the power to bring it back again, where do the gods you have set up come in? If you think a little, you yourselves will realize that there is no room for anyone in the universe for any claim or title to your reverence or worship or servitude.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The argument is now turned in another direction. The false gods can neither create out of nothing nor sustain the creative energy which maintains the world. Nor can they give any guidance which can be of use for the future destiny of mankind: on the contrary they themselves (assuming they were men who were deified) stand in need of such guidance. Why then follow vain fancies, instead of going to the source of all knowledge, truth, and guidance, and worship, serve, and obey Allah, the One True God?
( 35 )   Say, "Are there of your 'partners' any who guides to the truth?" Say, "Allah guides to the truth. So is He who guides to the truth more worthy to be followed or he who guides not unless he is guided? Then what is [wrong] with you - how do you judge?"
This is one of the series of questions that have been posed to refute the doctrine of shirk and to establish the doctrine of Tawhid. Besides, it is also meant to focus attention on the importance of the guidance to the truth, which is one of the greatest human necessities. For it is obvious that the human needs and requirements are not confined to food, clothes and the like necessities of the physical life nor to its protection from losses, distresses, calamities etc. But one of man’s needs (nay, his greatest need) is to have the knowledge of the right way of life so that he may, on the whole, achieve success in it. It is obvious that in order to be successful in life, man should have the correct knowledge of the use he should make of and the way he should employ his own physical, mental and spiritual powers and capabilities and natural resources. He should also know the nature and the kind of behavior he should adopt towards other human beings (and as a whole, towards the system of the universe in which he has to inevitably live and work), with whom he comes into contact in different capacities. The Quran calls that right way “The Truth” and the guidance that leads to that way, “The Guidance to the Truth”.

Now let us turn to the question that has been posed in this verse. The Quran asks the mushriks and all those people who reject the teachings of the Prophet (peace be upon him): Is there any of the partners and gods you have set up besides Allah, who guides you to the truth or can do so? Obviously the answer to this will surely be in the negative for neither of the classes of gods is capable of this: First, let us consider this with regard to those gods and goddesses and living or dead human beings who are worshiped as gods. Though it is true that people turn to them for the fulfillment of their needs or for their protection from calamities in some supernatural way, yet they never turn to them to seek guidance to the truth nor have they themselves ever sent it nor do their devotees ever claim that their deities teach them the principles of morality, sociology, culture, economics, politics, law, justice and the like.

Then there is the case of those who make rules, regulations and laws which others accept and follow. It is true that such persons are accepted and followed as leaders, but the pertinent question is this: Are they the real guides to the truth, or are they capable of becoming guides to it? Does any one of them possess the kind of knowledge that comprehends all those truths that are a prerequisite for formulating right principles for the guidance of human life? Can anyone of them have full vision of the vast field of activities over which the human problems spread? Is there anyone of them who is absolutely free from the weaknesses, prejudices, personal or communal interests, which become hindrances to the formulation of just laws? If the answers to these questions are in the negative (and obviously no one in his senses can answer otherwise), how can then people with such limitations be expected to be the source of guidance to the truth?

In the light of the above questions, we are able to grasp the signification of the question that has been posed in the Quran: Is there any of the partners you have set up with Allah who can guide you to the truth?

This shows conclusively that Allah alone has the power to satisfy all the human needs and requirements, which may be divided into two categories. First, man stands in need of a provider, a protector, a being to hear and grant his prayers, in short, a permanent support to which he may turn whenever other supports should fail him. The above question inevitably leads to the conclusion that there is no god other than Allah who can fulfill these needs. The other human needs and requirements demand that there should be a guide to lay down such principles for the conduct of human life in its entirety as should be obeyed with perfect confidence and peace of mind. The question posed in (Ayat 35) implies that that “Being” can be none other than Allah. Therefore there remains no argument in support of the point that the principles of culture, morality, and politics should be based on shirk or secularism except that one should persist in obduracy and obstinacy.

Explanation by Javed Ahmad Ghamidi:
The implication is to ask how they worship those who are useless to them both in the Herein and in the Hereafter.

One great need of creatures is that they need the guidance of their creator in many aspects of life regarding right and wrong. So, can these idolaters claim that they receive such guidance from their deities? Have they received their faculty of intellect – which is a lamp of guidance within them – from these deities? Do they send any revelation to them for their guidance? Have these deities sent down any Book, sent any messenger or revealed any Shari'a for their education and instruction? If these deities have done none of these tasks nor are capable of doing them in the present or future, then what is the reason for them to follow them? Is he worthy of being followed who guides people to the truth and urges them to accept it or those who themselves need guidance and help? What has happened to them? What kind of decisions do they make?
( 36 )   And most of them follow not except assumption. Indeed, assumption avails not against the truth at all. Indeed, Allah is Knowing of what they do.
It means that neither the authors of religion, nor philosophers, nor law makers based their opinions on knowledge but on mere guesswork and conjecture. Likewise, those who followed these religious or worldly leaders did it on the mere assumption that their authors were great people; therefore they must be right. That was why their forefathers and the common people followed them.

Verses 37-40 This Quran is the revelation of Allah:
( 37 )   And it was not [possible] for this Qur'an to be produced by other than Allah, but [it is] a confirmation of what was before it and a detailed explanation of the [former] Scripture, about which there is no doubt, from the Lord of the worlds.
The arguments contained in (Ayat 37) may be elaborated like this:

(1) The Quran confirms that which had been revealed before and presents the same fundamental principles and teachings which were taught by the Prophets who came before Muhammad (peace be upon him). Had he invented the Quran, he would have made additions to the truths of the former books in order to make himself conspicuous.

(2) The Quran explains in detail and amplifies the fundamental principles and teachings contained in “the Book”, that is, the Scriptures brought by the former Prophets, and adds more evidence and explanations to it so that it may be better understood and practiced.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The Book: Cf. Surah 3. Al-i'Imran 23. Allah's revelation throughout the ages is one. The Qur'an confirms, fulfills, completes, and further explains the one true revelation, which has been sent by the One True God in all ages.
( 38 )   Or do they say [about the Prophet], "He invented it?" Say, "Then bring forth a surah like it and call upon [for assistance] whomever you can besides Allah, if you should be truthful."
There is a general misunderstanding that the challenge of the Quran to produce a book, nay, a Surah like this, is in regard to its eloquent, pure and unique literary excellence. This has been the natural result of the way in which discussions have been carried on to prove the miracle of the Quran. But the Quran is far above this that it should claim to be a unique and matchless book because of its excellent diction. There is no doubt at all that it is unique and matchless in this respect also, but the real basis of its claim and challenge, that no human brain is capable of producing a book like this, is its subject matter and teachings. The Quran itself has stated at different places those aspects which are a sure proof of its revelation from Allah and the refutation of the false aspersions that it was a human invention.

The Quraish who think that Muhammad (peace be upon him) himself is the author of the Quran know deep down in their hearts that it cannot be his word, and those others also whose mother tongue is Arabic not only clearly feel that it is far more sublime and superior to human speech but any one of them who knows Muhammad (peace be upon him) personally cannot ever suspect that this is actually his own word and speech. Therefore, the thing plainly is that those who ascribe the authorship of the Quran to the Prophet (peace be upon him) do not, in fact, wish to affirm faith. That is why they are inventing false excuses one of which is this excuse.

This has already been explained at appropriate places and will be explained in the succeeding pages.
( 39 )   Rather, they have denied that which they encompass not in knowledge and whose interpretation has not yet come to them. Thus did those before them deny. Then observe how was the end of the wrongdoers.
They could declare the Quran as forged on two grounds only, but neither of these existed: (1) First, if they had had a proof that the Book had not been revealed by Allah, but had been forged by someone; (2) secondly, that the truths enunciated in it and the information given in it were false. But no one could say on the basis of true knowledge that the Book had been really forged and then ascribed to God: nor could anyone say that he had peeped behind the curtains of the unseen and discovered that there was not One God (as taught in this Book) but many gods in the heavens: nor could anyone assert on the basis of true knowledge that there were no angels, no revelations and no God, but these were mere fictions that had been invented by some fertile imagination: nor had anyone witnessed by actually visiting the Hereafter that the information about rewards and punishments was utterly wrong. But in spite of the lack of any proof to the contrary; they were challenging the genuineness of the Quran with the boldness and impudence of one who had made a thorough research into the matter and proved it to be false.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:

بَلۡ كَذَّبُوۡا بِمَا لَمۡ يُحِيۡطُوۡا بِعِلۡمِهٖ وَلَمَّا يَاۡتِهِمۡ تَاۡوِيۡلُهٗ​ؕ كَذٰلِكَ كَذَّبَ الَّذِيۡنَ مِنۡ قَبۡلِهِمۡ​ فَانْظُرۡ كَيۡفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الظّٰلِمِيۡنَ‏ 

Taawil: elucidation, explanation, final fulfillment, Cf. vii. 53, The Message of Allah not only gives us rules for our every-day conduct, but speaks of high matters of religious significance, which require elucidation in two ways: (1) by experience from the actual facts of life, and (2) by the final fulfillment of the hopes and warnings which we now take on trust through our Faith. The Unbelievers reject Allah's Message simply because they cannot understand it and without giving it even a chance of elucidation in any of these ways.

Wrong-doers always came to grief ultimately. The true course of history shows it from a broad standpoint. But they are so headstrong that they prejudge issues in their ignorance before they are decided.
( 40 )   And of them are those who believe in it, and of them are those who do not believe in it. And your Lord is most knowing of the corrupters
Those who do not believe in the Quran have been called “corrupters” or mischief makers because their rejection is not based on any sound reason but on prejudice and selfishness and because it prevents others from believing in it. “And your Lord is Best Aware” because there is nothing that is hidden from Him. They can deceive the people that they are rejecting the Quran because they are convinced that it is not the Book of God, but they cannot deceive Allah that they are doing this with good intentions for he knows that it is because of their mischief. They are obdurate and obstinate and are suppressing the voice of their consciences and hearts: they deliberately shut their ears and minds against the truth and prefer their worldly interests, their fancies, their lusts and desires to it. That is why they cannot be regarded as innocent sinners, but they are, in fact, the mischief makers.

Here we come to the end of Part I of the exegesis of Sūrah Yünus. In Part II we will cover Ruku / Sections 5-7 [Verses 41-70]. In this part it is being told that those who disbelieve in this Quran shall be the losers in the hereafter, despite that fact that every nation was sent a Rasool for their guidance. And that there shall be no way out for the unbelievers on the Day of Judgement. It is also been stressed that Al-Quran is a mercy, blessing, and cure for the problems of mankind. Mushrikin follow nothing but conjecture, preach nothing but falsehood, but beware Whatever you do, Allah is a witness to it

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

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

Photo | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |  5 | 6 | 78Prophet Yunus and Allah's Displeasure
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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