Showing posts with label Surah Al Ma'arij. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Surah Al Ma'arij. Show all posts

Thursday 25 February 2021

Who shall live honourably in the Gardens (of Paradise)

Who are all those promised by ALLAH to live honourably in the Gardens? At many a place in the Quran, the attributes of the blessed ones are explained. In Surah Al Ma'iraj, from verses 22-34 are attributes of such believers as mentioned below:
  • (70:22) The observers of prayer
  • (70:23) Those who are constant in their prayer
  • (70:26)  And those who believe in the Day of Recompense
  • (70: 27) And those who are fearful of the punishment of their Lord
  • (70:29) And those who guard their private parts
  • (70:32) And those who fulfil their trusts and their covenants,
  • (70:33) And those who are upright in their testimonies;
  • (70:34) And who take due care of their Prayer

While we shall deliberate upon all these attributes in detail, it may be noted that offering of Salat / prayer has been stressed thrice in this surah. For prayers "Salat" is the most mentioned duty of the believers in the Quran and is the second most important of the Five Pillars of Islam, after taking the Shahadah and confirming that there is not god but He.‏ 

اِلَّا الۡمُصَلِّيۡنَۙ‏ 
( 22 )   Except the observers of prayer
A person’s performing the salat necessarily implies that he believes in Allah, His Messenger (peace be upon him), His Book and the Hereafter as well as tries to act according to his belief.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: meaning, man is described with blameworthy characteristics except for He whom Allah protects, helps and guides to good, making its means easy for him -- and these are those people who perform Salah.

Yusuf Ali Explanation: The description of those devoted to Prayer is given in a number of clauses that follow, introduced by the words "Those who..." "Devoted to Prayer" is here but another aspect of what is described elsewhere as the Faithful and the Righteous. Devotion to prayer does not mean merely a certain number of formal rites or prostrations. It means a complete surrender of one's being to Allah. This means an earnest approach to and realization of Allah's Presence ("steadfastness in Prayer"); acts of practical and real charity; and attempt to read this life in terms of the Hereafter; the seeking of the Peace of Allah and avoidance of His displeasure; chastity; probity true and firm witness; and guarding the prayer. (verse 34).

الَّذِيۡنَ هُمۡ عَلٰى صَلَاتِهِمۡ دَآئِمُوۡنَ
( 23 )   Those who are constant in their prayer
That is, no laziness or love of ease and comfort, no occupation or interest hinders them from being punctual and regular at the prayer. When the Prayer time comes, they abandon every occupation and activity and stand up to perform worship of their God. Another meaning which Uqbah bin Amir has given of ala salat-i-him daaimun " عَلٰى صَلَاتِهِمۡ دَآئِمُوۡنَ " is that they perform the Prayer with full peace of mind, tranquility and humility; they do not try to offer the Prayer in a hurry in order to get rid of it somehow, nor think irrelevant things during the Prayer.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: It has been said that this means they guard its times and the elements obligatory in it. This has been said by Ibn Mas`ud, Masruq and Ibrahim An-Nakha`i. It has also been said that it means tranquility and humble concentration (in the prayer). 

This is similar to Allah's statement: Successful indeed are the believers. Those who with their Salah are Khashi`un.) (23:1-2) This was said by `Uqbah bin `Amir. From its meanings is the same terminology used to describe standing (still) water (Al-Ma' Ad-Da'im). This proves the obligation of having tranquility in the prayer. For verily, the one who does not have tranquility (stillness of posture) in his bowing and prostrating, then he is not being constant (Da'im) in his prayer. This is because he is not being still in it and he does not remain (in its positions), rather he pecks in it (quickly) like the pecking of the crow. Therefore, he is not successful in performing his prayer. It has also been said that the meaning here refers to those who perform a deed and are constant in its performance and consistent in it. 

This is like the Hadith that has been recorded in the Sahih on the authority of `A'ishah that the Messenger of Allah said, (The most beloved deeds to Allah are those that are most consistent, even if they are few.)

وَالَّذِيۡنَ يُصَدِّقُوۡنَ بِيَوۡمِ الدِّيۡنِ‏ 
( 26 )   And those who believe in the Day of Recompense
“Who believe in the Day of Recompense”: Who do not think they are irresponsible but believe that one Day they will have to appear before their God and render to Him an account of their deeds.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: meaning, they are sure of the Final Return (to Allah), the Reckoning and the Recompense. Therefore, they perform the deeds of one who hopes for the reward and fears the punishment. For this reason Allah says:

وَالَّذِيۡنَ هُمۡ مِّنۡ عَذَابِ رَبِّهِمۡ مُّشۡفِقُوۡنَ​ۚ‏ 
( 27 )   And those who are fearful of the punishment of their Lord -
 In other words, they are not like the disbelievers, who do not fear God even after they have committed every heinous sin and crime and perpetrated every cruelty in the world, but they, in spite of having adopted a righteous attitude in morals and deeds as best as they could, fear God and continue to remain in constant awe lest their shortcomings should exceed their good works before Him and they should be declared as worthy of punishment. (For further explanation, see exegesis of (Surah 23.Al-Mominoon 60), (Surah 51 Adh-Dhariyat: 21).

Yusuf Ali Explanation: A true fear of Allah is the fear of offending against His holy Will and Law, and is therefore akin to the love of Allah. It proceeds from the realization that all true peace and tranquility comes from attuning our will to the universal Will and that sin causes discord, disharmony, and displeasure,-another name for the Wrath of Allah.

وَالَّذِيۡنَ هُمۡ لِفُرُوۡجِهِمۡ حٰفِظُوۡنَۙ‏ 
( 29 )   And those who guard their private parts
“Who guard their private parts”: Who abstain from adultery as well as from nudity and exposing their private parts before others. 

With the exception as mentioned in the next verse:
اِلَّا عَلٰٓى اَزۡوَاجِهِمۡ اَوۡ مَا مَلَـكَتۡ اَيۡمَانُهُمۡ فَاِنَّهُمۡ غَيۡرُ مَلُوۡمِيۡنَ​ۚ‏ 
( 30 )   Except from their wives or those their right hands possess, for indeed, they are not to be blamed

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: meaning, they keep their private parts away from that which is forbidden and they prevent their private parts from being put into other than what Allah has allowed them to be i

This is one of the most attributes of the believers for extra matrimonial relations between man and woman are the most detested of all sins and man and woman have been warned not only here but at many a places in the Quran, mentioned herein under: 

(Surah 23. Al-Mominoon: 5): "(Those) who strictly guard their private parts:" That is They are modest in every sense of the word. They are free from sex abuse and sex perversion. They are so modest that they even conceal those parts of their bodies which the law forbids to expose before others. Please read the details in the Part I of the Exegesis of Surah Al-Mominoon already published.

(Surah 24. An-Noor: 30, 31): "(O Prophet), enjoin believing men to cast down their looks and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Surely Allah is well aware of all what they do." Please read the details in the Part III of the Exegesis of Surah An Noor already published.

(Surah 33Al-Ahzab: 35): "Surely the men who submit (to Allah) and the women who submit (to Allah), the men who have faith and the women who have faith, the men who are obedient and the women who are obedient, the men who are truthful and the women who are truthful; the men who are steadfast and the women who are steadfast, the men who humble themselves (to Allah) and the women who humble themselves (to Allah), the men who give alms and the women who give alms, the men who fast and the women who fast, the men who guard their chastity and the women who guard their chastity, the men who remember Allah much and the women who remember Allah much:63 for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and a mighty reward." Please read the details in the Exegesis of Surah Al-Ahzab already published.

وَالَّذِيۡنَ هُمۡ عَلٰى صَلَاتِهِمۡ يُحَافِظُوۡنَؕ‏  
( 34 )   And those who [carefully] maintain their prayer:

This gives an idea of the importance of the Prayer (salat). The description of the merits of the high and sublime character of those who have been declared as worthy of Paradise, began with the Prayer and has been concluded with it. To be a performer of the Prayer is their first characteristic, to be steadfast and ever constant with regard to the Prayer is their second characteristic, and to guard their Prayer is their last characteristic. Guarding the Prayer implies many things: to perform the Prayer at its right time, to make sure before the Prayer that one’s body and clothes are clean and pure, to have performed the ablutions and to have washed the limbs well, to perform the basic elements of the Prayer with its obligatory and desirable parts with due care and attention, to observe the requisite rites of the Prayer carefully, to avoid disobedience of God, which is destructive of the Prayer. All these are included in the guarding of the Prayer.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: meaning, they maintain its proper times, its pillars, its obligations and its recommended acts. So Allah begins this discussion (of the believers' attributes) with prayer and He concludes it with prayer. This proves the importance of it and the praise of its noble status, just as what preceded at the beginning of Surat Al-Mu'minun. It is exactly the same discussion. This is why Allah says there (in Al-Mu'minun), (These are indeed the inheritors. Who shall inherit the Firdaws (Paradise). They shall dwell therein forever.) (23:10-11)

We began with "steadfastness in prayer" in verse 23 above, and after a review of various aspects of the good man's life, close with the guarding of worship.

And those who have the attributes as mentioned above are promised the honoured gardens of Paradise:

أُوْلَـئِكَ فِى جَنَّـتٍ مُّكْرَمُونَ 
(70:35) (Such shall dwell in the Gardens, honored.) 
May Allah help us understand Qur'ān and help us to act upon the commandments of Allah contained therein and include us in those who shall dwell in the gardens of paradise, honourably. Aameen.

For more Selected Verses, please refer to our reference page: Selected Verses from the Qur'anYou may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.
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Reading the Qur'ān 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 Qur'ān from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that:
  • The plain translation has been taken from the Qur'ān officially published by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. [1]
  • The exegesis of the chapters of the 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: 
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Al-Quran, Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
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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Monday 26 November 2018

Surah Al Ma'arij (The Ascending Stairways): Summary of 70th Chapter of the Holy Quran

Sūrat al-Maʻārij is the seventieth surah with 44 ayats with two rukus, part of the 29th Juzʼ  of the Holy Qur'an. The Surah takes its name from the word "dhil Ma'arij"  in 3rd ayah:

مِّنَ اللّٰهِ ذِى الۡمَعَارِجِؕ

Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi in his Tafsir work Tafhim al-Qur'an writes: “The subject matter bears evidence that this Surah too was sent down in conditions closely resembling those under which Sūrat al-Ḥāqqah, the 69th surah of the Qur'an, was sent down” According to Abdullah Yusuf Ali “Sūrat al-Maʻārij  is another Islamic eschatology surah closely connected in subject matter with the preceding Sūrat al-Ḥāqqah. "Patience and the mystery of Time will show the ways that climb the Heaven. Sin and Goodness must each eventually come to its own," adds Abdullah Yusuf Ali. [Eschatology is a part of theology concerned with the final events of history, or the ultimate destiny of humanity. This concept is commonly referred to as the "end of the world" or "end times".]

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi, a Pakistani theologian, Quran scholar and exegete, also classifies Sūrat al-Maʻārij as a pair with Sūrat al-Ḥāqqah due to similarities of subject matter. He suggests that the primary audience of Sūrat al-Maʻārij is leadership of the Quraysh and adds:

The central theme of Sūrat al-Maʻārij is to warn those among the Quraysh of their fate who are making fun of the consequences of denying the Inzar of the Qur’an about the Day of Judgement and are asking to hasten their advent, and to urge the Prophet (peace be upon him) to persevere in the cause of truth and to tell the unbelievers that Paradise is the reward of all good deeds; a person whose evil deeds outnumber his good ones even if he is from the high ups of the society shall never enter this everlasting kingdom.
The contents of the 1st Ruku [ayahs 1-35] state that the day of judgment will be equal to fifty thousand years and disbelievers will wish to save themselves from the punishment at the expense of their children, wives, brothers and relatives, but it will not happen. 2nd Ruku starts from ayah 36 and continues up till the end of the surah and it states that the Paradise is not for the disbelievers and Disbelievers will have downcast eyes and countenances distorted with shame.

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

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

The opener of the surah begins with a question, from the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) by the idol worshipers and disbelievers of Makkah:
1) A supplicant asked for a punishment bound to happen,  
This was not the first time that this question was asked from the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) by the pagans and dispersiveness of Makkah. In fact throughout the Qur'an (specially in surahs revealed in Makkah), this questions had been asked at numerous occasions as can be seen from the following references:

  • [Surah Al-Anfal 8:32] - And also recall when they said: 'O Allah! If this indeed be the truth from You, then rain down stones upon us from heaven, or bring upon us a painful chastisement.
  • [Surah 21 Al-Anbya, Ayat 38-41] - 38) They say: "(Tell us) when will the threat of punishment come to pass if you are truthful?" 39) If only the unbelievers knew of the Hour when they shall not be able to keep off the Fire from their faces, nor from their backs; nor shall they be helped. 40) That will suddenly come upon them and stupefy them. They shall not be able to ward it off, nor shall they be granted any respite. 41) Other Messengers before you were also mocked, but those who scoffed at the Messengers were overtaken by the same scourge that they had scoffed at.
  • [Surah An-Naml, 27: 71-72] - 71) They also say: "Tell us when this threat will come to pass, if you are truthful." 72) Say: "The chastisement whose hastening you have been asking for, maybe a part of it has drawn quite near to you."
  • [Surah Saba,34: 29-30] - 29) They ask you: “When will this promise (of Resurrection) be fulfilled, if what you say is true?” 30) Say: “Your day is appointed, you can neither hold back its coming by an hour, nor hasten it by an hour.”
  • [Surah Ya-Sin, 36: 48-52] - 48) They say: “When will this threat (of Resurrection) come to pass? Tell us if indeed you are truthful.”  49) The Truth is that they are waiting for nothing but a mighty Blast to seize them the while they are disputing (in their worldly affairs), 50) and they will not even be able to make a testament, nor to return to their households. 51) Then the Trumpet shall be blown and lo! they will come out of their graves and be on the move towards their Lord, 52) (nervously) exclaiming. “Alas for us! Who roused us out of our sleeping-place?”48 “This is what the Merciful One had promised, and what (His) Messengers had said was true.”
  • [Surah Al-Mulk, 67 24-27] - 25) They say: “If you are truthful, tell us when will this promise (of the Hereafter) be fulfilled?” 26) Say: “Allah alone knows about that; and I am no more than a plain warner.” 27) When they will see it near at hand, the faces of all those who had denied it will be distraught, and then they will be told: “This is the doom which you used to ask for.”
The word ma’arij [الْمَعَارِجِ] used in the third verse is the plural of the word mi’raj and it means “to rise or ascend slowly in stages”.  Dhil ma’arij [ذِي الْمَعَارِجِ] refers to Possessor of Great Heights. This word is used to honor someone of a high rank, and in this context is a praise of Allah. He is the Possessor of Great Heights, the Lofty, the All High and bestows many blessings and graces. The punishment that the unbelievers are so hastening for, it too will descend from Him. When Allah – the Possessor of Great Heights – sends something no can repel or avoid it.
2) To the disbelievers; of it there is no preventer.; 3) [It is] from Allah, owner of the ways of ascent, 4) The angels and the Spirit will ascend to Him during a Day the extent of which is fifty thousand years. 5) So, (O Prophet), persevere with gracious perseverance. 6) Verily they think that the chastisement is far off, 7) while We think that it is near at hand. 
In verse 4 by "Rooh" or “The Spirit” is meant the Angel Jibraeel (Gabriel), who has been mentioned separately from the angels in order to impress his unique glory and greatness. In Surah Ash-Shuara it has been said: The trustworthy Spirit has come down with this Quran upon your heart, (verse 193), and in Surah Al- Baqarah, say to them: Whoever is an enemy to Gabriel, should understand that he has, by Allah’s command, revealed upon your heart this Quran. (verse 97). These verses when read together show that Ar-Rooh (the Spirit) implies the Angel Gabriel.

In the verse 6, The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has been asked to exhibit a gracious patience: "A kind of patience that behooves a magnanimous person like you." And do not hurry to answer the question of "when" for Allah will one day will show them what the great torment is, and certainly that day is not very far.

And just for the satisfaction of the disbelievers, Allah has painted a picture of the End Day. By ere reading how would be that day, sends shudders throughout one's body of those who believe in Allah. But for those who have their hearts made of stone and are so engrossed in the pleasures of their wordily life, such narrations meant nothing> But they would one day taste the wrath of Allah as so promised:
8) It shall befall on a Day whereon the sky will become like molten brass, 9) and the mountains will become like dyed tufts of wool,  10) and no bosom friend will inquire about any of his bosom friends 11) although they shall be within sight of one another.11 The guilty one would fain ransom himself from the torment of that Day by offering his children, 12) and his spouse and his brother, 13) and his kinsfolk who had stood by him, 14) and all persons of the earth, if only he could thus save himself. 15) By no means! It will be the fierce flame 16) that will strip off the scalp. 17) It shall insistently summon him who turned his back and retreated, 18) and amassed wealth and covetously hoarded it. 19) Verily man is impatient by nature: 20) bewailing when evil befalls him, 21) and tight-fisted when good fortune visits him,
Like always, while cautioning the disbelievers of the wrath of Allah that one day will befall on them, rewards have been promised for those who believed in the message of Allah and sided with the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and bore the treacheries of the idol worshipers of Makkah, and believed in the Day of Resurrection and guarded their chastity [They keep their private parts away from that which is forbidden that is adultery as well as from nudity. They only fulfill their desires with their spouses.] and prayed to Allah to be forgiven on that fateful day:
22) Except those that pray, 23) and are constant in their Prayer; 24) and those in whose wealth there is a known right 25) for those that ask and those that are dispossessed, 26) those who firmly believe in the Day of Recompense, 27) and fear the chastisement of their Lord 29) and those who guard their private parts, 30) except in regard to their spouses and those whom their right hands possess, for in regard to them they are not reproachable,
31) but any who seeks to go beyond that, it is indeed they who are the transgressors, 32) and those who fulfill their trusts and their covenants,

33) and those who are upright in their testimonies; 34) and who take due care of their Prayer: 35) all these shall live honourably in the Gardens. 

The verse 36 below refers to those disbelievers who would rush in towards the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) from every side to mock and ridicule him when they heard him preach Islam and recite the Qur'an.
36) [O' Prophet] But what is the matter with the unbelievers who are hurrying towards you  37) in crowds, both on the right and on the left? 38) Does everyone of them wish to enter the Garden of Bliss? 
It is clearly stated above that Paradise is only for those righteous people whose characteristics have just been described in verses 22-30 above, Now, can these people who are not at all inclined to listen to the truth and who are rushing in towards the Prophet in order to suppress every invitation to the truth, be candidates for Paradise? Has Allah  prepared His Paradise only for such people as they? Here, one should also keep in view verses 34-41 of Surah AI-Qalam in which an answer has been given to this saying of the disbelievers of Makkah: "Even if there is any life after death, we shall have good time there too, as we are having in the world, and the torment would befall Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace and blessings) and his followers and not us."
39) By no means! They know that which We have created them from. 
As for the substance these people have been created from, all men are equal. For if the substance itself be the cause of man’s entry into Paradise, then the good and the bad, the wicked and the just, the guilty and the innocent, all should go to Paradise. But a little common sense is enough to decide that man’s qualifications for Paradise are created not on the basis of the substance of his creation but only on the basis of his merit and excellence.

In verse 40 below,  Allah has sworn an oath by Himself. The words Easts and Wests have been used because the sun rises and sets at a new angle every day during the year, and goes on rising and setting successively at different times around the globe. Thus considered the Easts and the Wests are not one but many. From another point of view as against the north and the south there is a direction of east and a direction of west.
40) I swear by the Lord of the easts and the wests that We have the power
41) to replace them by others who would be better than they; and We shall certainly not be overpowered.
The 41 verse thus means: As We are Owners of the Easts and Wests, the whole earth is under Our control and power, and you have no power to escape Our punishment: We can destroy you as and when We like and can create another people that may be better than you.
42) So leave them to engage in vain talk and to amuse themselves until they come face to face with the Day which they are promised, 43) the Day on which they will hastily come forth from their graves, as though they were hurrying on to the altars of their deities. 44) Their eyes will be downcast and disgrace will overwhelm them. Such is the Day that they were promised.
And then, the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) has been consoled, so as to say: "Do not take to heart their mockery and jesting; leave them to indulge in their idle talk and foolish conduct if they are bent upon experiencing the disgrace and humiliation of the Resurrection; they will themselves see their evil end."

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

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

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

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

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

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