Showing posts with label Surah Bani Israil. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Surah Bani Israil. Show all posts

Sunday 11 December 2022

Qur’an Promises great reward for believers and stern warning for disbelievers / nonbelievers

Allah, our Lord and the Master of the entire universe, has set forth laws and rules for everything He has created so as to maintain balance and harmony. All stars and galaxies follow the same rules and never exceed the motion and direction allowed to them.  Likewise, for man, Divine Scriptures have been revealed to selected prophets so that they convey these rules and laws to man for living a life as designed for them by Him.

All Divine Scriptures direct man to follow the straight path as guided and if they do so, they are promised great rewards, both i this world and in the life of the Hereafter. And these also convey a stern warning for those who do not seek guidance and create their own laws or interject their own likes into the Divine revelations to live a aimless life. Such are the people who create chaos in the world and are sternly warned for a painful chastisement waiting for them.

This is the very theme of the two verses selected from Surah 17. Al Isra (The Night Journey), also known as Bani Israil (The Children of Israel) selected for our post today in our series of posts on Selected Verses from Qur'an:

اِنَّ هٰذَا الۡقُرۡاٰنَ يَهۡدِىۡ لِلَّتِىۡ هِىَ اَقۡوَمُ وَ يُبَشِّرُ الۡمُؤۡمِنِيۡنَ الَّذِيۡنَ يَعۡمَلُوۡنَ الصّٰلِحٰتِ اَنَّ لَهُمۡ اَجۡرًا كَبِيۡرًا ۙ‏ 
(17:9) Verily this Qur'an guides to the Way that is the Straight most. To those who believe in it, and do righteous works, it gives the good news that a great reward awaits them,
وَّاَنَّ الَّذِيۡنَ لَا يُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ بِالۡاٰخِرَةِ اَعۡتَدۡنَا لَهُمۡ عَذَابًا اَلِيۡمًا‏ 
(17:10) and warns those who do not believe in the Hereafter that We have prepared for them a grievous chastisement.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: Praising the Qur'an
Allah praises His noble Book, the Qur'an, which He revealed to His Messenger Muhammad. It directs people to the best and clearest of ways.
  • (وَيُبَشِّرُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ gives good news to those who believe,) in it a
  • (الَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ الصَّـلِحَاتِ those who do righteous deeds,) in accordance with it, telling them
  • (أَنَّ لَهُمْ أَجْرًا كَبِيرًا that they will have a great reward,) i.e., on the Day of Resurrection. 
And He tells ( وأَنَّ الَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالاٌّخِرَةِ those who do not believe in the Hereafter,) that ( لَهُمْ عَذَاباً أَلِيماً for them is a painful torment,) i.e. on the Day of Resurrection. 

As Allah says: ( فَبَشِّرْهُمْ بِعَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ  ... then announce to them a painful torment.) [84:24]

Muhammad Asad Explanation:
I.e., conformable to ethical rectitude and beneficial to man’s individual and social life. Thus, after showing that sinning is synonymous with denying the truth, the discourse returns to the fundamental theme of the Qur'an, already alluded to in verse {2} of this surah: namely, the statement that God always offers guidance to man through the revelations which He bestows upon His prophets.

Yusuf Ali Explanation
The instability and crookedness of the Jewish soul having been mentioned, the healing balm which should have cured it is now pointed out. The Message of the Qur-an is for all. Those who have Faith and show that Faith in their conduct must reap their spiritual reward. But those who reject Faith cannot escape punishment. Apart from what is past, apart from questions of national or racial history, there is a Hope, -and a Danger- for every soul.

Tafsir Qur'an Wiki:
The Sūrah now speaks about the Qur’ān, making it clear that it is a book of true and full guidance:

Surely this Qur’ān shows the way to that which is most upright. It gives the believers who do good deeds the happy news that theirs will be a rich reward; and [declares] that We have prepared a grievous suffering for those who do not believe in the life to come. (Verses 9-10)

“Surely this Qur’ān shows the way to that which is most upright.” This is a general statement applicable to all those who are guided by the Qur’ān and the goals to which it guides. Thus, the guidance is given to communities and generations that are not restricted by time or place. And the superiority of its guidance applies to all that they may attain when they follow any method or approach. It is also superior to every good thing to which people may be guided at any time or place.

The Qur’ān guides to that which is ‘most upright’ in relation to man’s inner feelings and thoughts, outlining a clear faith, free of complication and ambiguity. Its guidance frees the human spirit of the burden of myth and superstition, and releases human energy so that it is constructive, bringing benefit, providing a harmonious link between the laws that govern the universe and those governing human nature.

The Qur’ān also ensures harmony between man’s outward and inward existence, feelings and behaviour, faith and action. In all this it shows the way to what is ‘most upright’, linking all these aspects to the true and inseverable bond that exists between man and God. This enables man to look up to a higher horizon while he is still on earth. Thus, what man does in his daily life becomes an act of worship, provided that he does so seeking God’s acceptance. This is true even when the action itself provides him with pure enjoyment of what is available in this life.

In the field of worship also, the Qur’ān establishes a perfect balance between duties and abilities. This ensures that duties are not seen as too hard so as to constitute a heavy burden, or induce despair of ever fulfilling one’s obligations. Maintaining this balance ensures that a person neither takes matters too lightly or complacently on the one hand, nor exceeds the limits of what is reasonable and perfectly bearable on the other. Thus, we can say without fear of contradiction that in worship, the Qur’ān shows the way to that which is most upright.

The same applies to human interaction whether between individuals and couples, governments and peoples, or states and races. Relations between all these groups are established on a firm basis, influenced neither by personal prejudice and interest, nor by feelings of love and hatred. This firm foundation in human relations is chosen by God, the Creator who knows His creation and what is certain to promote goodness in their lives. The Qur’ān shows the way which gives the best course of action in the fields of politics and finance, as well as in those of social and international relations.

The Qur’ān also endorses all divine religions, establishing a firm link between them, honouring all that is sacred in them, and protecting all that they hold in reverence. This ensures that humanity, with all its divine faiths live in peace. In this again the Qur’ān provides its perfect guidance. This is all summed up in the verse which says: “Surely this Qur’ān shows the way to that which is most upright.” (Verse 9)

Now you may listen to the following short clipped video to explanation of the aforesaid Ayat by eminent Muslim scholar Nouman Ali Khan:
May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, which is embodiment of commandments of Allah contained in the Qur'ān. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 
وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is Our duty is only to convey to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible for making you accept it forcibly, and if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, you will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.

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. It will also help the Muslims to have grasp over social issues and their answers discussed in the Qur'an and other matter related to inter faith so that they are able to discuss issues with non-Muslims with authority based on refences from Qur'an.

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

Note: When we mention God in our posts, we mean One True God, we call Allah in Islam, with no associates. Allah is the Sole Creator of all things, and that Allah is all-powerful and all-knowing. Allah has no offspring, no race, no gender, no body, and is unaffected by the characteristics of human life.

For more Selected Verses, please refer to our reference page: Selected Verses from the Qur'anYou may also refer to our Reference Pages  and Understanding Al Qur'an for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.
Photo | Tafsir References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

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 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.  
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided, additional input has been interjected from the following sources: 
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Translation Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Qur'an Wiki
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
In addition, 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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Saturday 12 October 2019

Surah Al Isra - The Night Journey: 17th Chapter of Quran - Exegesis Part IV

Sürah Al Isrāʼ " الإسراء " is the seventeenth surah with 111 ayahs with 12 rukus, part of the 15th Juzʼ  of the Holy Qur'an. This sürah is a Al-Musabbihat sürah because it begins with the glorification of Allah. It also has one Sajdah e talawat  (prostration of recitation) in verse 109.

The sürah takes its name Sürah Al-Isrāʼ "الإسراء " from the very first verse which mentions the word " اَسۡرٰى " thus indicative of the time of its revelation on the occasion of Mi`raj (Ascension). Since the miracle of Mi`raj took place before Hijra (migration) to Medina, it is an early Meccan sürah.

This sürah is also known as Sürah Banī Isrāʼīl " بني إسرائيل‎ "  as mentioned in the verse 4. But this name is merely a distinctive appellation like the names of many other surahs and not a descriptive title, and does not mean that "Bani Isra'il" is the theme of this Sarah.

Before specifically discussing the exegesis, let us see how the various surahs of the Quran have been grouped with reference to the place of this sürah:
In the gradation of religious teaching (see Introduction to Sürah vii), we saw in the first seven Sürahs sketched the early religious history of man, and led that up to the formation of the new Ummat of Islam. 
Sürahs viii to xvi formed another series dealing with the formation of the new Ummat and its consolidation, and Allah's dealing with man taken as an Ummat and considered in his social relations in organised communities (see Introduction to Sūrahs vii, x and xvi).
We now come to a fresh series, (Sūrahs xvii-xxix), which may be considered in three parts.
(1)  Sürahs xvii-xxi begin with an allusion to the Isrā (of which more later), and proceed to religious history as touching individuals rather than nations. The old prophets and stories of the past are now referred to from this point of view.
(2)  Sürahs xxii-xxv refer to Hajj (pilgrimage), worship and prayer, chastity, privacy, etc., as related to a man's individual religious growth. 
(3)  Sürahs xxvi-xxix go back to the old prophets and stories of the past, as illustrating the growth of the individual soul in its reactions against the lives of the communities and the reactions of the communities to the lives of its great individual souls.
As already mentioned in the Overview, this surah being a length surah with 111 verses, carrying a number of divergent subjects, it has been divided into four parts for ease of understanding and better comprehension:
  • Part I: Ruku / sections 1-2 [Verses 1-22] - The details of journey by night and signs of Allah
  • Part IIRuku / sections 3-5 [Verses 23-52] - Some commandments and explanations.
  • Part IIIRuku / sections 6-7 [Verses 53-70] - Allah's advises to Prophet Muhammad and mention of Prophet Adam and Iblees.
  • Part IV: [ This Part ] Ruku / sections 8-12 [Verses 71-111] - Mention of ungrateful man, the Resurrection and the ultimate Truth in the form of the Quran
We have already given the exegesis of Parts I, II and II. We now share the last part, that is Part IV covering Ruku / sections 8-12 [Verses 71-111] - in which Allah mentions the ungratefulness of man and the Resurrection, besides telling the believers that the ultimate Truth flows out form of the Quran. The translation and exegesis / tafseer is in English, segmented into portions as per the subject matter. 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 8 and 9 covering Verses 71 – 84  talk of the Ultimate The truth: 
On the Day of Resurrection, when every community is gathered with their leader, those who receive their book in their right hand will read it with pleasure. Those who pretended to be blind to the Hereafter will be worse than blind in the Hereafter. 
People tried to entice Prophet Muhammad to fabricate revelations but God strengthened his heart.  If he had inclined even a little towards them, he would have received a double punishment in this life and in the Hereafter.  It was that way with all the Messengers.  
Herein the timings of prayers / salah and best time for recitation of Qur'an have been mentioned: Establish the prayer from when the sun is at its zenith until the darkness of the night (four obligatory prayers fall during this time) and recite the Quran at the time of the Morning Prayer. The recitation at the time of dawn is always witnessed by the angels.  
It has also been emphasized that Truth has come and falsehood has departed. The Quran was sent as a healing and a mercy for the believers but the disbelievers gain nothing from it except loss.  Humankind can be strange; when God bestows favours upon him, he turns away instead of coming towards Him, and then when things go wrong he falls into despair.  Everyone does things in their own way but God knows who is following the best way.

Ruku / section 8 [71-77]
Ayah 71 contains a reference to the Day of Judgement:
( 71 )   [Mention, O Muhammad], the Day We will call forth every people with their record [of deeds]. Then whoever is given his record in his right hand - those will read their records, and injustice will not be done to them, [even] as much as a thread [inside the date seed].
We learn from the Quran that on the Day of Resurrection, the righteous people will be given their records in their right hands and they will be overjoyed to have a look at it and will show it to others. As regards to the wicked people, they will get their records in their left hands and in their shame will try to hide it behind their backs. Please refer to (Surah 69. Al-Haaqqa, Ayats 19-28), (Surah 84 Al-Inshiqaq, Ayats 7-13).
( 72 )   And whoever is blind in this [life] will be blind in the Hereafter and more astray in way.
On the Judgment Day the children of light will receive and peruse their record, and will render joyful thanks to Allah for His Mercies. What of the children of darkness? They had already been blind in this world's life, and they will not receive the light of Allah's Countenance then. On the contrary they will find that the longer the time they have traveled, the farther away they have gone from the Path. Notice the association of ideas-blindness, not seeing the light, going farther and farther away from the true Path.
( 73 )   And indeed, they were about to tempt you away from that which We revealed to you in order to [make] you invent about Us something else; and then they would have taken you as a friend.
In order to understand the significance of this verse, we should keep in view the circumstances through which Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had been passing at Makkah during the preceding decade or so. The disbelievers of Makkah were exerting their utmost to turn the Prophet (peace be upon him) away, somehow or other, from his message of Tawhid, which he was presenting, and to force him to make a compromise with shirk and the customs of ignorance. In order to achieve this end, they tempted him in several ways. They practiced deception upon him, and tempted him with greed, held out threats, and raised a storm of false propaganda against him, and persecuted him and applied economic pressure and social boycott against him. In short, they did all that could be done to defeat his resolve.

Yousaf Ali Explanation:
It happens with men of Allah, and it happened with the holy Prophet, that they are tempted by the world with many things which appeal to the world generally, if they would make some small concession in their favour. The "small concession" may hold the key of the position, and neutralize the whole teaching sent by Allah. If the Prophet had accepted wealth and position among the Quraish and "only respected" their idols! The Quraish would have taken him into their inner circle! A dishonest liar like Musailama would have jumped at the opportunity and been hailed as a friend and associate and made much of. But Prophets of Allah are made of sterner stuff. They are given special strength to resist all plausible deception.
( 74 )   And if We had not strengthened you, you would have almost inclined to them a little.
From a purely human point of view it may seem policy to make a small "concession" to men's weakness in order to fulfill a divine mission. But the divine Messenger is given special strength to resist such temptations.
( 75 )   Then [if you had], We would have made you taste double [punishment in] life and double [after] death. Then you would not find for yourself against Us a helper.
This review implies two things: (1) If you had compromised with falsehood after recognizing the truth, you might have pleased your degenerate people but would have incurred the wrath of Allah and would have received double chastisement both in this world and in the Hereafter. (2) No man, not even a Messenger of Allah, can fight single handed against the deceitful methods of falsehood, unless he receives the succor of Allah. It was the fortitude which Allah had bestowed upon the Prophet (peace be upon him), which helped him to retrain steadfast on the right position he had taken, so that no persecution, howsoever great, could turn him away in the least from that position.

Yousaf Ali Explanation:
If such a thing was possible for a true Messenger of Allah, viz.: a compromise with evil and a dereliction of his mission, he would be no exception to the law of personal responsibility. Indeed, as the power and the responsibility were greater, the punishment would have been greater too. It would have been double,-an exposure in this life and the usual punishment in or after death for a desertion of Truth.

The motive held out by the world for a compromise with Truth is itself fallacious. The motive is that the compromise may bring influence, position, and opportunity, if not wealth and the other good things of life. But these themselves (if attained) would be of no use or help if pitted against the command of Allah.
( 76 )   And indeed, they were about to drive you from the land to evict you therefrom. And then [when they do], they will not remain [there] after you, except for a little.
This was a clear prophecy which was made at the time when it appeared to be no more than a mere threat, but it was fulfilled literally in a decade or so. A year after the revelation of this Surah, the disbelievers of Makkah compelled the Prophet (peace be upon him) to leave his home. Then within eight years he entered Makkah as a conqueror, and within two years after this, the entire Arabia was totally freed from mushriks. Then whosoever stayed in that country, he remained there as a Muslim and not as a mushrik.

Yousaf Ali Explanation:
As happened in the case of the holy Prophet, the enemies try to frighten the Prophet of Allah away from their midst, so that, once away, they could expel him and keep him out. But they are counting without the Plan of Allah. If they persecute the righteous, they dig their own graves!
( 77 )   [That is Our] established way for those We had sent before you of Our messengers; and you will not find in Our way any alteration.
That is, this is how Allah has always dealt with the people who killed or exiled His Messengers. They never survived in the land after this. They were either annihilated by the scourge of Allah or were brought under the sway of an enemy or were subdued by the followers of the Messenger.

Ruku / section 9 [78-84]

اَقِمِ الصَّلٰوةَ لِدُلُوۡكِ الشَّمۡسِ اِلٰى غَسَقِ الَّيۡلِ وَقُرۡاٰنَ الۡـفَجۡرِ​ؕ اِنَّ قُرۡاٰنَ الۡـفَجۡرِ كَانَ مَشۡهُوۡدًا‏  
( 78 )   Establish prayer at the decline of the sun [from its meridian] until the darkness of the night and [also] the Qur'an of dawn. Indeed, the recitation of dawn is ever witnessed.
This verse needs to be read carefully as it explains the timings of salat / prayers. The Muslims have been commanded to establish Salat immediately after the mention of obstacles and adversities. This implies that the perseverance required to face adverse circumstances is obtained by the establishment of Salat.

We have translated the words of the Arabic text into “the declining of the sun.” Though some of the companions and their followers are of the opinion that it means “the sunset”, the majority of them are of the opinion that it means “the declining of the sun from its zenith.” Umar, Ibn Umar, Anas bin Malik, Abu Barza-tal-Aslami, Hasan Basri, Shaabi, Ata, Mujahid and, according to a tradition, Ibn Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them all) are of this opinion and Imam Muhammad Baqir and Imam Jaafar Sadiq also are of the same opinion. Besides this, there are some traditions from the Prophet (peace be upon him) to the same effect, though they are not so authentic.

As for the timings of night prayer "Isha" according to some, the original words of the Arabic text mean “darkness of the night”, while others take it to mean “midnight”. If the first opinion is accepted, it will imply “the beginning of the time of the salatul-isha, the isha prayer” and according to the other it will mean “the last limit of the time of salatul-isha.”

The literal meaning of the word fajr is dawn, that is, “the beginning of the morning after the darkness of night.”

Here the “recital of the Quran in the morning” stands for the salatul-fajr, the morning prayer. At some places the Quran has used the word salat for prayer and at other places a particular part of salat for prayer as a whole, e.g. tasbih, hamd, zikr, qayam, ruku, sajud etc. Likewise, here “recital of the Quran at dawn” does not mean the mere recital of the Quran but its recital during the salatul-fajr. Thus, the Quran has also incidentally referred to the different parts of which salat is composed and these guided the Prophet (peace be upon him) to prescribe the definite form of salat in which it is performed by the Muslims.

The recital of the Quran at dawn is witnessed by the angels of Allah to testify it as has been explained in the traditions. Though the angels witness each prayer and each good deed, the special mention of their being witnesses at the time of the recital of the Quran during the salatul-fajr gives it a particular importance. That is why the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to recite long passages from the Quran during the salatul-fajr. His example was followed by the companions, and the succeeding Muslim scholars held it to be a desirable thing.

In this verse, it has been briefly stated how to establish salat which was made obligatory at the prescribed timings on the occasion of Miraj.
It has been ordained that the first prayer is to be offered before the sunrise and the remaining four after the declining of the sun till the darkness of the night.
Afterwards Angel Jibril was sent to the Prophet (peace be upon him) to define the limits of the timings of each prayer.
According to a tradition of Abu Daud and Tirmizi related by Ibn Abbas, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Jibril led me in the five prayers twice near the Kaabah. On the first day, he offered the Duhr prayer just after the declining of the sun, when the shadow of everything was the shortest. Then he offered the Asr prayer when the shadow of each thing was equal to its own length, then the Maghrib prayer at the time when one breaks his fast, and the Isha prayer was offered just at the time when twilight had disappeared, and Fajr prayer at the time when it becomes unlawful to eat and drink anything for the one who intends to observe a fast.
The next day he offered the Dhuhr prayer at the time when the shadow of each thing became equal to its own length and the Asr prayer when the shadow had doubled. The Maghrib prayer was offered as on the previous day and the Isha prayer when one third of the night had passed away, and the Fajr prayer when light had spread all over. After this Jibril turned towards me and said: O Muhammad, these are the timings of salat of the Prophets and the right tunings are between these two extreme limits.
The Quran has also pointed to these five times of Salat on different occasions:
(1) And listen; establish salat at the two ends of the day and in the early parts of the night (Surah 9. At-Tauba, Ayat 114).
(2) And glorify your Lord with His praise before the sunrise (Fajr) and before sunset (Asr) and then glorify Him during the night (Isha) and then at the ends of the day (Fajr, Dhuhr and Maghrib). (Surah 20. Ta ha, Ayat 130).
(3) So glorify Allah when it is evening for you (Maghrib), and when it is morning (Fajr). Praise is only for Him in the heavens and the earth and glorify him in the later part of the afternoon (Asr) and in the afternoon (Dhuhr). (Surah 30. Ar-Room, Ayats 17-18).
There is great wisdom in this system of the timings of salat. One of these is to avoid the timings of the worship of the sun worshipers. This is because the sun has always been in every age one of the greatest deities of the mushriks, who worshiped it especially at the time of sunrise and sunset. Therefore, these two times have totally been forbidden for salat. Besides this, they worshiped the sun at the time of its zenith. That is why Islam has ordained that the Muslims should offer their two prayers during the day time after the sun has declined and the Fajr prayer before the sunrise.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) himself has stated this wisdom of the timings of prayer in several traditions. For instance, in the tradition related by Amar bin Abasah, the Prophet (peace be upon him) is reported to have replied to a question to this effect: Offer your morning prayer, but refrain from it when the sun is about to rise until it has risen high. For the sun rises between the horns of Satan and the unbelievers fall prostrate before it at that time.

Then after mentioning the Asr prayer, he said: After Asr prayer, refrain from any prayer until the sunset, for during that time the sun sets between the horns of Satan and the unbelievers fall prostrate before it.

The rising and the setting of the sun between the horns of Satan is a symbolic expression that has been used in this tradition. This implies that both these times are used by Satan as temptations for the people. This is, as if to say: that Satan is so pleased with the worship of the unbelievers at the time of sunrise and sunset that he appears to carry the sun on his head as a mark of approval. This interpretation of the tradition is based on this remark of the Prophet (peace be upon him): The unbelievers fall prostrate before it.

Yousaf Ali Explanation:
The Commentators understand here the command for the five daily canonical prayers, viz.: the four from the declination of the sun from the zenith to the fullest darkness of the night, and the early morning prayer, Fajr, which is usually accompanied by a reading of the holy Qur'an. The four afternoon prayers are: Zuhr / Dhuhr, immediately after the sun begins to decline in the afternoon; 'Asr, in the late afternoon; Maghrib, immediately after sunset; and Isha, after the glow of sunset has disappeared and the full darkness of the night has set in. There is difference of opinion as to the meaning of particular words and phrases, but none as to the general effect of the passage.

The morning prayer is specially singled out for separate mention, because the morning is a "peaceful hour" and special influences act on the soul awaking from the night's rest. Special testimony is borne to the prayers of this hour by the angelic host.

وَمِنَ الَّيۡلِ فَتَهَجَّدۡ بِهٖ نَافِلَةً لَّكَ ​ۖ عَسٰۤى اَنۡ يَّبۡعَـثَكَ رَبُّكَ مَقَامًا مَّحۡمُوۡدًا‏ 
( 79 )   And from [part of] the night, pray with it as additional [worship] for you; it is expected that your Lord will resurrect you to a praised station.
The literal meaning of tahajjud is to rise up by breaking sleep. Therefore, it means: Rise up from sleep after the passing of a part of night and then offer your prayer.

Nafl literally means: Something done in addition to an obligatory duty. This shows that the tahajjud prayer is in addition to the five prescribed prayers.

“Will raise you to an honored position”. You may attain such a high position in this world and in the next world that people from everywhere may be full of praise for you, and you may become a praiseworthy personality. This is, as if to say: Now your opponents are engaged in calling you names and are trying to defame you throughout the country, and have raised a storm of false accusations against you but that time is not far when the world will ring with the echoes of your praise and in the Hereafter you will become worthy of praise by all creatures. The exaltation of the Prophet (peace be upon him) to the high position of intercession on the Day of Resurrection is also a part of that honored position.

Yousaf Ali Explanation:
This is held to be addressed specially to the holy Prophet who usually prayed more than the five canonical prayers. The Tahajjud was a prayer after midnight, in the small watches of the morning.

To the Prophet was to be assigned in the Hereafter the highest Post of Honour and Glory "Maqam Mahmud", implying his excellence above all other Prophets. The immediate reference may be to the hope that the Makkan persecution will soon be over and the glorious work in Madinah will begin.
( 80 )   And say, "My Lord, cause me to enter a sound entrance and to exit a sound exit and grant me from Yourself a supporting authority."
This prayer clearly shows that the time of Hijrah (Migration) had come near. That is why Allah has instructed the Prophet (peace be upon him) to this effect: You should follow the truth wherever and in whatever condition you be. If you migrate from a place, you should migrate for the sake of the truth, and wherever you go, you should go for the sake of the truth.

It is being prayed that either grant me power and authority or make some government my helper so that I may use its power to reform the corrupt world. This is because power is required to check indecency and sin and to enforce the law of justice.

Hasan Basri and Qatadah have made the same interpretation of this verse, and the great commentators like Ibn Jarir and Ibn Kathir have adopted the same. This is supported by a tradition of the Prophet (peace be upon him): Allah eradicates by the power of government those evils, which are not eradicated by the teachings of the Quran. This is a clear proof that according to Islam, political power is also required to introduce reform, for admonition alone is not enough for this. Besides this, when Allah Himself has taught this prayer to His Prophet (peace be upon him) for the establishment of His way and enforcement of His law, it is not only lawful but desirable to acquire power and those, who consider this to be a worldly thing, are obviously in the wrong. What is really worldliness is that one should desire and acquire power for his own interest. On the contrary, the desire of power for the sake of Allah’s way is not the worship of the world but the worship of God.

Yousaf Ali Explanation:
The entry and exit here referred to may be interpreted in four senses: (1) entry into death and exit at the resurrection: for the righteous, who have purified their souls by prayer (last verse) and spiritual teaching from the Qur'an (next verse), there is on each occasion a fuller and fuller localisation and enjoyment of truth and honour: for those who are estranged from Allah, the effect is the opposite: the truth becomes bitter and there is ignominy and exposure instead of honour: (2) entry for the holy Prophet into the new life at Madinah, which was still in the womb of futurity, and exit from the life of persecution and the milieu of falsehood, which surrounded him in his native city of Makkah still given up to idolatry: (3) referring to the impending Hijrah again, the prayer may mean, "Let it be from pure motives of truth and spiritual honour, and not from motives of anger against the city of Makkah or its persecutors, or of ambition or worldly power from the city of Madinah, which was ready to lay everything at the Prophet's feet": (4) generally, entry and exit at every stage of life.

All prayer must be for Allah's aid and authority. However much we may plan, our success must depend on His aid. However nobler our motives, we have no right to imperil any lives unless there is authority in the Word of Allah. The Prophet only acts on Allah's commission and inspiration.
( 81 )   And say, "Truth has come, and falsehood has departed. Indeed is falsehood, [by nature], ever bound to depart."
From its nature falsehood must perish, for it is the opposite of Truth, and Truth must ever prevail.
( 82 )   And We send down of the Qur'an that which is healing and mercy for the believers, but it does not increase the wrongdoers except in loss.
That is, those people who make the Quran their guide and their book of law, are favored with the blessing of Allah and are cured of all their mental, psychological, moral and cultural diseases. On the other hand, those wicked people who reject this and turn their back on its guidance, in fact, are unjust to themselves. Therefore, the Quran does not allow them to remain even in that bad condition in which they were before its revelation or its knowledge but involves them in a greater loss than before. This is because before the revelation of the Quran or their acquaintance with it, they suffered from ignorance alone but when the Quran came before them and made distinct the difference between truth and falsehood, no excuse was left with them to remain in their previous condition of ignorance. After this, if they reject its guidance and persist in their deviation, it is a clear proof that they are not ignorant but workers of iniquity and worshipers of falsehood, which are averse to the truth. For then their position is of the one who, when presented both poison and elixir, makes a choice of poison. Therefore, they themselves are in that cast fully responsible for their deviation and whatever crimes they commit after that, shall incur their full punishment. It is obvious that the consequent loss of wickedness must be far greater than the loss of ignorance. The Prophet (peace be upon him) has summed this up in this concise and comprehensive sentence: The Quran is either an argument in your favor or against you.

Yousaf Ali Explanation:
In Allah's revelation there is healing for our broken spirits, hope for our spiritual future, and joy in the forgiveness of our sins. All who work in faith will share in these privileges. It is only the rebels against Allah's Law who will suffer loss. The more they will oppose Truth, the deeper down will they go into the mire-the state of sin and Wrath, which is worse than destruction.
( 83 )   And when We bestow favor upon the disbeliever, he turns away and distances himself; and when evil touches him, he is ever despairing.
Truth saves us from two extremes: when we are happy, we are saved from being puffed up, for we realize that everything comes from Allah; and when we suffer misfortunes, we are not in despair, for we know that Allah is our sure refuge and help.

However, it is other way around for the disbelievers. When they are being gifted out of the way by Allah, they boast and become arrogant and least thankful to Allah. For they think whatever they have been blessed with is because of their own efforts. But when their wealth and titles are snatched they become grieved and fall into despair.
( 84 )   Say, "Each works according to his manner, but your Lord is most knowing of who is best guided in way."
If the wicked go their own ways, there is nothing to discourage us. It is their nature. We must seek and hold fast to true guidance.

Verses 85- 96 address the man with a man with a message:
If people ask about the soul, Prophet Muhammad must say that is the concern of God and that we (humankind) have been given very little knowledge about it.  If God wanted He could take away that which has been revealed and then humankind would never be able to get it back.  The revelations are a mercy.  Even if all of humankind and the jinn came together they could not produce anything like the Quran no matter how much they helped each other.  The Quran is full of different examples to help people understand the message but still most people persist in their disbelief. 
Many say to Prophet Muhammad that they will not believe until he performs miracles to their demands such as making water rush from the ground or causing rivers to appear in gardens or making pieces of the sky fall down or bringing God and the angels down in front of them.  Even then, they say, we will not believe in your ascension unless you bring down for us a book that we can read.  God says to tell them that you (Prophet Muhammad) have never claimed to be anything other than a human being with a message.

They didn’t believe because they queried why God would send a human being.   Thus they should be told that if there had been angels walking about on earth then an angel would have been sent.  God is witness to what we say to each other and He knows and understands everybody well. 

Ruku / section 10 [85-93]

وَيَسۡـئَلُوۡنَكَ عَنِ الرُّوۡحِ​ ؕ قُلِ الرُّوۡحُ مِنۡ اَمۡرِ رَبِّىۡ وَمَاۤ اُوۡتِيۡتُمۡ مِّنَ الۡعِلۡمِ اِلَّا قَلِيۡلًا‏ 
( 85 )   And they ask you, [O Muhammad], about the soul. Say, "The soul is of the affair of my Lord. And mankind have not been given of knowledge except a little."
It is generally understood that the Arabic word Rooh stands here for soul as if the people asked the Prophet (peace be upon him) about the soul of man in regard to its nature, and the answer was that it came by the command of Allah. But we have great hesitation in accepting this meaning for it could be taken only if the verse be isolated from its context; otherwise these words would become quite incoherent for there is no reason why the question about soul should have intervened between the preceding three verses and following verses which deal with the theme of the Quran.

If we read the verse in its context, it becomes quite obvious that here the word Rooh (The Spirit) stands for the angel who brings revelation. This was in answer to the question of the mushriks: Where from do you bring the Quran? as if to say: O Muhammad, these people ask you about the Spirit, that is, the source of the Quran or the means of acquiring it, so tell them: This Spirit comes to me by the command of my Lord but your knowledge is so little that you cannot distinguish between the nature of human words and the divinely revealed words. That is why you suspect that this has been fabricated by some man.

The above interpretation is to be preferred, because it fits in excellently between the preceding and the succeeding verses. This is also supported by the Quran itself: He sends down by His command “The Spirit” to any of His servants He wills so that they should warn the people of the Day, when they shall be assembled together. (Surah Al-Momin, Ayat 15). And likewise, We have sent down “The Spirit” to you by Our command: You did not know what the Book was and what the faith. (Surah 42. Ash-Shurah, Ayat 52).

Besides this, Ibn Abbas, Qatadah and Hasan Basri (may Allah bestow His mercy upon them all) have also adopted the same interpretation. Ibn Jarir has attributed the same thing to Ibn Abbas on the authority of Qatadah, but at the same time he tells a strange thing that Ibn Abbas stated this thing only in secret. Again the author of Ruh-ul-Maani cites these words of Hasan and Qatadah: By Rooh is meant Jibril (Angel Gabriel): the question was about the nature of his coming down and inspiring the heart of the Prophet (peace be upon him) with Revelation.

Yousaf Ali Explanation:
What is the nature of inspiration? Who brings it? Can it ask its Bringer questions? Can we ask anything which we wish? These are the sort of questions always asked when inspiration is called in question. The answer is given here. Inspiration is one of those high experiences which cannot be explained in the terms of our everyday human experience. It is spiritual. The Spirit (Gabriel) does not come of his own will. He comes by the command of Allah, and reveals what Allah commands him to reveal. Of the sum-total of true divine knowledge what a small part it is that ordinary mortals can understand! They can be only given that which they can understand, however dimly. We are not in a position to ask anything that we wish. If we did so, it would only make us look foolish, for the guidance comes from Allah's Wisdom, not from our worldly knowledge.
( 86 )   And if We willed, We could surely do away with that which We revealed to you. Then you would not find for yourself concerning it an advocate against Us.
Even the spiritual knowledge that comes to us comes because of the favour and mercy of Allah. If He were to withhold it, who can call Him in question?
( 87 )   Except [We have left it with you] as a mercy from your Lord. Indeed, His favor upon you has ever been great.
Though these words are apparently addressed by the Prophet (peace be upon him), they are in fact meant for the disbelievers who considered the Quran to be either the invention of the Prophet (peace be upon him) himself or of some other man, who secretly taught him the Quran. They are being told that this is the Word of Allah, as if to say: Our Prophet has not fabricated the Quran but We have bestowed this on him, and if We take it back from him, the Prophet has no power to invent such a thing nor has any other man the power to help the Prophet to present such a miraculous Book.

Yousaf Ali Explanation:
In that case the only one who can plead for us is the Mercy of Allah. We can interpret the phrase in its widest abstract sense, as well as in the concrete sense of the title which is applied to the holy Prophet Muhammad, the Mercy of Allah. Thus we come from the abstract question to the concrete question of the Qur'an, which is referred to by name in the verses that follow.
( 88 )   Say, "If mankind and the jinn gathered in order to produce the like of this Qur'an, they could not produce the like of it, even if they were to each other assistants."
This challenge occurs at several other places in the Quran: (Surah 2. Al-Baqarah, Ayat 23); (Surah 11. Younus, Ayats 38-39); (Surah 40. Al-Momin, Ayats 13-14); (Surah 52. At-Toor, Ayats 33-34). At all these places, this has been cited as an answer to the charge of the disbelievers that Muhammad (peace be upon him) has himself invented the Quran but is presenting it as Allah’s Word. Besides this, the same has also been refuted in (Surah 11. Younus, Ayat 16): “Say also, had not Allah willed that I should recite the Quran to you, I could not have recited it to you, nor could I have been able to give you any information about it: already have I lived a lifetime among you before its revelation. Do you not use your common sense?”

Now let us turn to the three arguments contained in these verses as a proof that the Quran is the Word of Allah.
(1) The Quran is such a miracle in regard to its language, style, arguments, themes, topics, teachings and prophecies that it is beyond any human power to produce the like of it, as if to say, "You say that a man has invented this but We challenge that even the whole of mankind combined cannot produce a Book like this: nay, even if the jinns, whom the mushriks worship as deities and whom this Book openly attacks, should come to the help of the disbelievers, they cannot produce a Book like this to refute this challenge.
(2) As regards to the charge that Muhammad (peace be upon him) has himself invented this Book, the Quran refutes their claim, as if to say” Muhammad is one of you and not a foreigner. He has lived among you for forty years before the revelation of the Quran. Did you ever hear words like those of the Quran from him even a day before his claim of Prophethood, or did you ever hear him discussing themes and problems contained in the Quran? If you consider the matter from this point of view, it will become obvious to you that the sudden change which has come about in the language, ideas, information, style and the way of thinking of Muhammad, could not take place without divine guidance.
(3) Can you not see that after the recital of the Quran, he does not disappear but lives among you? You hear other things than the Quran from him. Do you not notice that the distinction between the two different styles of expression is so obvious that no man can successfully adopt the two styles at one and the same time. The distinction can also be noticed, even today, between the language of the Quran and that of the traditions of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Anyone well versed in the Arabic language and literature notices the difference which is so marked that one can categorically say that these modes of expression cannot belong to one and the same person. 
In fact the proof of the Qur'an is in its own beauty and nature, and the circumstances in which it was promulgated. The world is challenged to produce a Book like it and has not produced one. It is the only revealed Book whose text stands pure and uncorrupted today.
( 89 )   And We have certainly diversified for the people in this Qur'an from every [kind] of example, but most of the people refused [anything] except disbelief.
In the Qur'an everything is explained in detail from various points of view, by commands, similitude, examples, stories, parables, etc. It does not merely narrate stories or lay down vague abstract propositions. It gives every detailed help in outward and inner life.

One form in which it can be received with ingratitude is to pay verbal tributes to it but not study it as it ought to be studied (Surah ii. Al Baqarah 121, haqqa tilawatihi), or to disobey its precepts or standards.
( 90 )   And they say, "We will not believe you until you break open for us from the ground a spring.
Here the disbelievers seem to be referring to the same demand which the Children of Israel placed at Prophet Mus (Moses, peace be upon him): "And recall when Moses prayed for water for his people and We replied: “Strike the rock with your staff.” And there gushed out from it twelve springs and each tribe knew its drinking-place. (Then you were directed): “Eat and drink of the sustenance provided by Allah, and do not go about acting wickedly on earth, spreading mischief.” (Surah 2 Al Baqarah: 60)
( 91 )   Or [until] you have a garden of palm tress and grapes and make rivers gush forth within them in force [and abundance]
Yousaf Ali Explanation:
This ill-assorted and crude jumble of the sort of miracles which the Unbelievers wanted is in very appropriate contrast to the sober and reasoned argument which has begun in the last sentence of verse 93 and continued in sections 11 and 12, which close this Surah. It is throughout reminiscent of the materialistic imagination of Jewish sceptics, which was mainly responsible for the fall of the Jewish nation (see verse 104 below). For a thirsty people sojourning in a dry land, the finding of a spring of water as in the story of Moses or of the well of Zamzam is an appropriate miracle. But miracles are not for faithless crowds to gape at. A beautiful well-watered Garden is a symbol of Felicity: but a sceptic cannot order Allah to produce it for his pleasure. The same may be said about a house adorned with gold, except that its symbolism is even more materialistic. The fall of the sky or producing Allah face to face or climbing to the skies by a ladder, or bringing down a book of parchment which men could handle, are all irreverent suggestions that make no distinction between spiritual and material things.
( 92 )   Or you make the heaven fall upon us in fragments as you have claimed or you bring Allah and the angels before [us]
Yousaf Ali Explanation:
Contrast the sublime passages like the beginning with Surah Ixxxii. Al-Infitar: 1 or that in Surah xxv. Al-Furqan: 25, where the final breaking up of the firmaments as we know them is referred to in the world's catastrophe, with the ridiculous demand that it should be done for the sport of the sceptics!

Also see Surah ii Al Baqarah: 55 and Surah iv. An Nisa: 153 about the desire of the Israelites to see Allah face to face; and Surah vi. Al-An'am : 8-9, about angels coming down to convince men.
( 93 )   Or you have a house of gold or you ascend into the sky. And [even then], we will not believe in your ascension until you bring down to us a book we may read." Say, "Exalted is my Lord! Was I ever but a human messenger?"
This is the second answer to the demand of the disbelievers for a miracle. The first answer is contained in (Ayat 59). The eloquence of this concise answer is above praise: You demand from me that I should cause a spring to gush forth, or in the twinkling of an eye should bring into being a garden in full bloom with canals flowing in it: or I should cause the heaven to fall into pieces on those of you who are rejecting the message: or I should cause to build a furnished palace of gold: or I should call Allah and the angels to stand before you and testify to this effect: We Ourselves have sent down Muhammad as Our Messenger: or I should go up to the sky in your presence and bring down, addressed to you, the letter of authority of my appointment duly signed by Allah so that you may touch it with your hands and read it with your own eyes. The concise answer to these big demands was this: My Lord be glorified! Have I ever claimed to be anything more than a human Messenger? It may be expanded like this: O people, have I claimed to be God that you are demanding such things from me? Did I ever say that I am all powerful and am ruling over the earth and the Heavens? From the very first day my claim has been that I am a human being who is bringing the Message from God. Therefore, if you want to judge the authenticity of my claim, you may judge it from my message. If you are convinced that it is based on the truth and is absolutely rational, then you should believe in it without making foolish demands. On the other hand, if you find any defect in it, you may reject it. If you want to test whether my claim is based on truth, you should judge it by the standard of my conduct and morals as a human being and my mission. Is it not a folly that, instead of this, you are demanding from me to cleave the earth and cause the sky to fall? Is there any connection whatsoever of Prophethood with things like that.

Ruku / section 11 [94-100]
( 94 )   And what prevented the people from believing when guidance came to them except that they said, "Has Allah sent a human messenger?"
It implies that this misunderstanding has always been common among the ignorant people of every age that a human being could not be a Messenger of Allah: They rejected a Messenger just because he was a human being and took his meals and had wife and children like themselves. In contrast to this, after the passage of the time the credulous followers of a Messenger began to claim that he was not a human being at all because he was a Messenger. That is why some people made their Messenger their God, others the son of God and still others the incarnation of God. In short, the ignorant people had never been able to understand that a human being could be a Messenger of Allah.

Yousaf Ali Explanation:
When a man is raised to honour and dignity, his sincere brothers rejoice, for it is an honour that reflects its glory on them. But those with evil in their hearts are jealous like their prototype Iblis, (verse 61). To such men the mere fact that their own brother receives the grace of Allah is enough to turn them against that brother. Any other reasons they may devise are mere make-believe.
( 95 )   Say, "If there were upon the earth angels walking securely, We would have sent down to them from the heaven an angel [as a] messenger."
This is to say that Messenger does not merely convey the message but is sent to reform human life in accordance with it. He has to apply the principles of the message to the circumstances of human beings and has himself to demonstrate practically those principles. Moreover, he has to remove the misunderstandings of those people who try to listen to and understand his message. Besides this, he has to organize and train the believers to create a society based on the teachings of his message. He has to struggle against those who reject and oppose his message in order to subdue those powers that are bent upon corruption, and bring about that reformation for which Allah has sent His Messenger. As all these things have to be done in a society of human beings only a human Messenger can perform the mission. If an angel had been sent as a Messenger, the most he could have done was to convey the message, for he could not live among human beings and share their life and problems in order to reform them. It is thus clear that a human Messenger only could be suitable for this purpose.

Yousaf Ali Explanation:
The argument is that if angels inhabited this earth, an angel from heaven could be sent down as a messenger to them, as they could mutually understand each other, and the Message of Allah could be explained without difficulty. But the earth is inhabited by men, and the men themselves are divided into races, or groups, or nations. To each Group is sent a prophet from among their brethren: to 'Ad, their brother Hud (Surah xi. Tauba 50); to Thamud, their brother Salih (xi. 61): and so on. As a matter of fact, with wicked men, constituted as they are, the appearance of an angel causes disturbance and an unseemly riot, as in the case of the angels that came to Lot (xi. 77-80). In any case they cannot carry out an effective mission among men (Surah vi. Al-An'am 8-9).
( 96 )   Say, "Sufficient is Allah as Witness between me and you. Indeed He is ever, concerning His servants, Acquainted and Seeing."
That is, Allah is fully aware of all my efforts which I am sending in order to reform you, and He is fully aware of the efforts you are making against my mission. His witness is sufficient because He will pass the final judgment.

Yousaf Ali Explanation:
'If you want a real witness, it is not these sorts of fancy miracles, but the witness of the true ever-living God. Purify your hearts, and ask Him in true contrition and repentance, and He will guide you and show you the Way'.

Summary Verses 97 – 100 Resurrection:  Anyone guided by God is truly guided but the ones He leads astray will never find a protector.  On the Day of Resurrection the disbelievers will be gathered together.  They will be lying on their faces blind, dumb and deaf.  Their home will be Hell and if ever the fire dies down it will be made to blaze fiercely again.  This is their reward for rejecting the revelations.  They would not believe that God could raise them again from dust and bones but of course the One who created them in the first place can do it a second time.  There is a written time for their lives to end yet the wrongdoers refuse to do anything about it except continue in their disbelief.  If humankind was in charge of God’s mercy he would withhold it because human beings have always been stingy. 
( 97 )   And whoever Allah guides - he is the [rightly] guided; and whoever He sends astray - you will never find for them protectors besides Him, and We will gather them on the Day of Resurrection [fallen] on their faces - blind, dumb and deaf. Their refuge is Hell; every time it subsides We increase them in blazing fire.
In this verse, the Quran has enunciated a divine principle. Allah guides to the right way only that person who intends to follow His guidance, and lets go astray that person who intends to go astray. Thereafter none is able to bring back to the right way the one against whom Allah has closed the door of guidance because of his own persistent deviation and obduracy. It is obvious that if a man turns his back against the truth and rests content with falsehoods, there is no power in the world to make him turn away from falsehood and come to the truth.

This is because after this depravity Allah provides for that wicked person such means as increase his aversion to truth and his love for falsehood. On the Day of Resurrection, they will be raised up blind, dumb and deaf because they behaved like such people in this world and would not see the truth nor listen to the truth nor speak the truth.

Yousaf Ali Explanation:
'All your insincere subtleties are of no use. The only real guidance is the guidance of Allah. If you do not seek His grace, you will be lost. Besides Him, there is no true friend or protector'.

'If you still persist in your evil ways, what is to be your evil end? You will become more and more identified with the Company of Evil. You will come to shame and ignominy, like men thrown down prone on their faces. You will lose the use of all the faculties of judgment with which Allah has endowed you. Instead of seeing, you will be blind to Allah's Signs. Instead of having the power of seeking Him in prayer and rejoicing in His grace, you will be dumb. Instead of hearing the harmony and music of the spheres, as typified in the pure and harmonious lives of men, you will hear nothing or only hear dull or confused sounds like deaf men. The scorching fire of your punishment will not grow less, but grow more fierce as you go deeper into Hell'.
( 98 )   That is their recompense because they disbelieved in Our verses and said, "When we are bones and crumbled particles, will we [truly] be resurrected [in] a new creation?"
This phrase is repeated from verse 49. The reminiscence rounds off the argument. After certain moral precepts to which Faith was linked, we have had a discussion of Unfaith. Its various motives have been analysed, and its penalties have been allegorically shadowed forth. After this, the example of Pharaoh is held as a type of Unfaith in the next section, and the Surah closed with an exhortation to faith and a declaration of the glory of Allah.
( 99 )   Do they not see that Allah, who created the heavens and earth, is [the one] Able to create the likes of them? And He has appointed for them a term, about which there is no doubt. But the wrongdoers refuse [anything] except disbelief.
Allah, Who created all that is in the heavens and on earth, has surely the power to revive the life of individual souls after their bodies have perished,-and revive them with memories of their past life and for a continuation of their spiritual history. Only He has fixed a term for each stage of our existence, which we can neither prolong nor shorten.

This phrase carries us back to xvii. 89, after we began the argument about the real motives for the rejection of the Qur'an by sceptics. The argument is now closed in a sort of minor circle within the major circle sketched in explanation of verse 98 above.
( 100 )   Say [to them], "If you possessed the depositories of the mercy of my Lord, then you would withhold out of fear of spending." And ever has man been stingy.
This verse also suggests the same thing that has already been mentioned in Ayat 55. This hints at the real psychological reason why the disbelievers of Makkah were not inclined to accept Muhammad (peace be upon him), their contemporary, as a Prophet. For thus they would have to acknowledge his superiority and one does not easily acknowledge the superiority of his contemporary. This verse may be expanded like this: Those people who are so narrow minded that they are unwilling even to acknowledge the real superiority of another, cannot be expected to be generous in spending on others, if they possessed the keys of the treasures of Allah’s blessings.

Yousaf Ali Explanation:
A fresh argument is now addressed to those who would confine Allah's revelations to a limited circle of men, such as they themselves belonged to. The immediate reference was to the Jews, who could not understand how any Gentiles could receive revelations and guidance even superior to what they considered their own birth-right. But the tendency is widespread in the human race. A particular race, or caste, or a particular kind of culture, claims to be the custodian of Allah's Message, whereas it is universal. Allah's Mercy is universal, and He scatters the priceless Treasures of His Mercy broadcast among His creatures. They are not exhausted by spending. It is only the misers who hoard their wealth for fear it should be used up by spending. 'Are you spiritual misers going to keep back Allah's holy Message from the multitude? Is that the reason why you deny the advent of the new Teacher, who comes as a Mercy to all men-to all Creation?'

Summary Verses 100 – 111 Truth in the form of the Quran:  
Prophet Musa (Moses, peace be upon him) was sent nine clear signs but Pharaoh believed it was magic.  When Prophet Moses told him he was doomed, Pharaoh intended to drive him and the Israelites off the face of the earth.  God drowned Pharaoh and those with him.  The Children of Israel were told to settle down and when the appointment of the Hereafter comes they will all be resurrected in one gathering.
The truth has been sent down in the form of the Quran.  Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)  was sent only as a bearer of good news that comes with a warning.  The Quran has been sent down little by little and the righteous people who were given knowledge before the Quran recognize the truth of it and weep falling down in prostration.  Tell them to call on God by his best names.   Do not speak too loudly nor too softly, but seek a middle way.  Praise God, the One with no son or partner.  He has no need of protection, so glorify Him greatly.
Ruku / section 12 [101-111]
( 101 )   And We had certainly given Moses nine evident signs, so ask the Children of Israel [about] when he came to them and Pharaoh said to him, "Indeed I think, O Moses, that you are affected by magic."
This is the third answer to the demand of the disbelievers of Makkah for signs. They said: We will not believe in you until you do this and do that before our eyes. In answer to this demand, they are being warned: Nine clear signs, like the ones you are demanding, were shown one after the other to Pharaoh before you and you also know well what he said, simply because he did not want to believe in Moses (peace be upon him); you also know that when he rejected the Prophet, even after seeing the signs, We drowned him.

The nine signs mentioned here have also been mentioned in (Surah 7. Al-Aaraf, Ayat 133). These were: (1) The staff which turned into a monster snake. (2) Moses’ bright hand which shone like the sun. (3) The public defeat of the sorcery of the magicians. (4) Universal famine. (5) Storm. (6) Locusts. (7) Lice. (8) Frogs. (9) Rain of blood.

This has been particularly mentioned here because the mushriks of Makkah attributed the same epithet to the Prophet (peace be upon him) as contained in( Ayat 47). These wrong-doers say to each other: The man, you are following, is a bewitched person. Here they are being warned that they were following the attitude of Pharaoh, who gave the same epithet to Prophet Moses (peace be upon him).

In this connection, we want to make a brief reference to an objection which has been raised by the modernists against a tradition according to which the Prophet (peace be upon him) once came under the influence of sorcery. They say that this tradition confirms that the epithet “bewitched” applied to the Prophet by the Quraish was correct, whereas the Quran refutes this as false. They forget that the same argument could be applied to the case of Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) whom Pharaoh accused of being bewitched. For the Quran says, in (Surah 20. Ta ha, Ayats 66- 67): When the magicians threw down their cords and rods (instruments of their sorcery), it seemed to Moses as if they were running, as a result of which Moses (peace be upon him) conceived in his mind a sort of fear. If the words of the tradition were to be considered against the Quran, do not these words of the Quran contradict its own words that the charge of Moses (peace be upon him) being bewitched was false? Do these modernists consider this verse to confirm Pharaoh’s charge?

As a matter of fact, these objectors do not know the sense in which the disbelievers of Makkah and Pharaoh called the Prophet and Prophet Moses (peace be upon them) bewitched. What they meant was that some enemy had so bewitched them that they had lost their senses and so in their insanity claimed to be prophets and delivered a curious message. The Quran refutes this charge as false. As regards the temporary influence of magic on same person or a part of him has not been denied, for the influence of magic is like the effect produced on a person who is hit with a stone. The fact that some prophet was temporarily influenced by magic, does not in any way affect his prophethood adversely. Just as poison produced its effect on a prophet, or a prophet was wounded, so a prophet could also temporarily come under the influence of magic. Such a temporary magic could not cause any defect in his prophethood. God forbid, had magic produced any adverse effect on his reasoning and thinking faculties, one might have been skeptical about the authenticity of the message. And when Pharaoh and the disbelievers of Makkah said that Prophet Moses and the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon them) were bewitched, they meant that they had lost their senses under the influence of magic. The Quran refutes this charge brought against the Prophets.
( 102 )   [Moses] said, "You have already known that none has sent down these [signs] except the Lord of the heavens and the earth as evidence, and indeed I think, O Pharaoh, that you are destroyed."
That is, I am not a bewitched man but you are indeed a doomed person. As you have been persistent in your disbelief even after seeing such obvious divine signs, you are surety doomed to destruction.

This part of the story of Pharaoh has been related here because it applied exactly to the mushriks of Makkah who were doing their best to uproot the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the believers from the land of Arabia. This story, so to say, tells them: Pharaoh resolved to uproot Moses (peace be upon him) and the Israelites but was himself completely annihilated along with his followers. But Moses (peace be upon him) and his followers settled down in the land. Likewise, if you persist on the same way, you will surely meet with the same end.

Yousaf Ali Explanation:
We can well suppose Moses to ask Pharaoh to recall all the past history of Moses, for Moses had been brought up in Pharaoh's palace in all the learning of the Egyptians. He could not therefore be mad, or a simpleton worked on by Egyptian magic. What he was going to show was something far greater; it was not the deceptive magic of Pharaoh's sorcerers, but true Signs that came from Allah, the Lord of all power. They were to open the eyes of his people, and if Pharaoh resisted faith. Moses warns him that Pharaoh in that case was doomed to destruction. This is the course of the soul that sinks down by Pride!
( 103 )   So he intended to drive them from the land, but We drowned him and those with him all together.
Pharaoh on this tries various subterfuges and plans for removing not only Moses but all his people by doing away with them. The detailed story is not told here but may be read in S. vii. But Allah's Wrath descended on Pharaoh and those who were with him in body and mind. The Egyptians who repented were subject to Pharaoh's wrath but were saved from the Wrath of Allah ( Surah vii. Al A'raf 121-126).
( 104 )   And We said after Pharaoh to the Children of Israel, "Dwell in the land, and when there comes the promise of the Hereafter, We will bring you forth in [one] gathering."
Yousaf Ali Explanation:
The Israelites were taken to the Promised Land in Palestine, and they established their own kingdom there, but they forfeited Allah's favour by their sins and backsliding and will have to answer like all souls by the law of personal responsibility at the Day of Judgment.

The second of the warnings: the first was probably that mentioned above, in xvii. 5 and the second that mentioned in xvii. 7 (middle). When this second warning due to the rejection of Jesus came to pass, the Jews were gathered together in a mingled crowd. Some Commentators understand the second warning to be the Day of Judgment, the Promise of the Hereafter.
( 105 )   And with the truth We have sent the Qur'an down, and with the truth it has descended. And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a bringer of good tidings and a warner.
That is, it is not your responsibility to cause, in a supernatural manner, springs to gush forth or gardens to grow or pieces of the sky to fall down in order to convince those people who do not judge the Quran by its teachings nor decide between the truth and falsehood on merit. As the Quran has been sent down with truth, you should present it before the people and tell them plainly that the one, who believes, does so for his own good and the one who rejects it, does it at his own peril.

Yousaf Ali Explanation:
The Qur'an was sent down by Allah in Truth: it was not forged by any mortal. It has descended in Truth: it was not and has not been falsified or corrupted in the process of being communicated to mankind.

The part of the Prophet was that of a Messenger: he was not responsible if the ungodly rejected it. He fulfilled his mission in promulgating and explaining it and leaving it as a legacy to the world.
( 106 )   And [it is] a Qur'an which We have separated [by intervals] that you might recite it to the people over a prolonged period. And We have sent it down progressively.
This is an answer to this objection: Why has not Allah sent down His message as a whole? Why is He sending it piecemeal? Has Allah any need to think deliberately what to send down? As the answer to this objection has been given in (Surah 16. An-Nahal, Ayats 101-102).

Yousaf Ali Explanation:
The marvel is that these parts, revealed at different times and in different circumstances, should fit together so closely and consistently as they do. All revelation is progressive. The previous revelations were also progressive. Each of them marked a stage in the world's spiritual history. Man's mind does not take in more than his spiritual state will have prepared him, for Allah's revelation comes as a light to illuminate our difficulties and show us the way in actual situations that arise.
( 107 )   Say, "Believe in it or do not believe. Indeed, those who were given knowledge before it - when it is recited to them, they fall upon their faces in prostration,
This refers to those people of the Book who were well versed in the Scriptures and could judge them from their themes and wording..

Yousaf Ali Explanation:
No one's belief or unbelief affects the beauty or grandeur of Allah's revelation. But those endowed with spiritual knowledge or insight know at once when they hear Allah's holy Word, and fall down and adore Allah. Those endowed with knowledge include those who had received previous revelations and had kept themselves free from corrupt ideas.
( 108 )   And they say, "Exalted is our Lord! Indeed, the promise of our Lord has been fulfilled."
Those who had received previous revelations find in the Qur'an and in the Messenger who brought it, the promise of Allah fulfilled. Those who were spiritually prepared for it found in the same way the satisfaction of their spiritual yearnings: to them, also, Allah's promise was sent to be fulfilled.

وَيَخِرُّوۡنَ لِلۡاَذۡقَانِ يَبۡكُوۡنَ وَيَزِيۡدُهُمۡ خُشُوۡعًا ۩‏ 
( 109 )   And they fall upon their faces weeping, and the Qur'an increases them in humble submission.
That is, when they listen to the Quran, they at once recognize that its bearer is the promised Prophet mentioned in the Books of the former Prophets.

This attitude of the righteous people of the Book has been mentioned at several places in the Quran, e.g., (Surah 5. Aal-Imran, Ayats 113-114, 199), (Surah 7. Al-Maidah, Ayats: 83-84).

Yousaf Ali Explanation:
A feeling of earnest humility comes to the man who realizes how, in spite of his own unworthiness, he is brought, by Allah's Mercy, into touch with the most sublime Truths. Such a man is touched with the deepest emotion, which finds its outlet in tears.

۩ Sajda e Tilawat / Prostration of Recitation
( 110 )   Say, "Call upon Allah or call upon the Most Merciful. Whichever [name] you call - to Him belong the best names." And do not recite [too] loudly in your prayer or [too] quietly but seek between that an [intermediate] way.
 This is the answer to another objection of the disbelievers. They said: We have heard the name Allah for the Creator but where from have you brought the name Rahman? This was because the name "Rahman” was not used for Allah and they did not like it.

This instruction was given at Makkah. Ibn Abbas relates that when the Prophet (peace be upon him) or his companions offered their prayers, they recited the Quran in a loud voice. At this the disbelievers would raise a hue and cry and often called them names. Therefore, they were enjoined that they should neither say their prayers in such a loud voice as might incite the disbelievers nor should they say it in such a low voice that their own companions might not hear it. This instruction was discontinued under the changed conditions at Al-Madinah. However, if the Muslims have to face the same conditions, at any place or at any time, they should observe the same instruction.

Yousaf Ali Explanation:
Cf. Surah vii. Al A'raf verse 180. Rahman describes one of the attributes of Allah,-His grace and Mercy which come to the sinner even before he feels conscious of the need of it,-the preventive Grace which saves Allah's servants from sin.  Allah can be invoked, either by His simple name, which includes all attributes, or by one of the names implying the attributes by which we try to explain His nature to our limited understanding. The attribute of Mercy in Rahman was particularly repugnant to the Pagan Arabs (see Surah xxv. Al Furqan 60, and Surah xxi. Al Anbiya 36): that is why special stress is laid on it in the Qur'an.

These Beautiful Names of Allah are many. The hadith related by Tirmizi, accepted by some as authentic, mentions 99 names of Allah. Qadhi Muhammad Sulaiman has published an Urdu monograph on the subject, published by the Daftar Rahmatun-lil- 'Alamin Patiala, 1930. Those who wish to see a poetic Commentary on the names in the form of stories in English may consult Sir Edwin Arnold's Pearls of the Faith. Sir Edwin's stories are of unequal merit, but a fine example is furnished by No. 4, al-Malik. "The King".

You may refer to our post "99 Attributes of Allah" for complete list of 99 attributes of Allah Almighty with meaning and explanation.
( 111 )   And say, "Praise to Allah, who has not taken a son and has had no partner in [His] dominion and has no [need of a] protector out of weakness; and glorify Him with [great] glorification."
A subtle sarcasm is implied in the sentence. The mushriks believed that Allah had appointed assistants and deputies for the administration of His kingdom. Obviously this meant that Allah was helpless and powerless to carry out the administration of His kingdom. Therefore, He needed supporters to help Him in the work of His Godhead. This sentence negates their false creeds, saying: He does not stand in need of any gods and saints in order to delegate to them the different departments of His Godhead or make them governors in different parts of His kingdom.

Yousaf Ali Explanation:
A first step towards the understanding of Allah's attributes is to clear our mind from superstitions, such as that Allah begot a son, or that He has partners, or that He is dependent upon other beings to protect Him from harm and humiliation. We must realize that He is the One and Peerless. His greatness and glory are above anything we can conceive: but using our highest spiritual ideas, we must declare forth His greatness and glory.

Here we come to the end of Part IV and the exegesis of Sürah Al Isrāʼ.  The Surah began with singing the glory and praises of Allah: it ends on the same note, concluding the argument. The next Surah, Surah Al Kahf, The People of the Cave, takes up the same theme from another point of view, and opens with the same note, "Praise be to Allah".

You may now like to listen to Arabic recitation of Sürah Al Isrāʼ 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). 

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Reading the Holy Quran should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully.

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

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