Showing posts with label The Cattle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Cattle. Show all posts

Sunday 22 March 2020

Surah Surah Al An'aam (The Cattle): 6th Chapter of Quran (Exegesis Part III)

Sūrah Al An'am " ٱلْأَنْعَام " is the 6th chapter of the holy Qur'an consisting of 165 verses divided into 20 ruku / sections and is spread over Juzʼ 7 to 8. This Sūrah takes its name from verses 136, 138 and 139 in which some superstitious beliefs of the idolatrous Arabs concerning the lawfulness of some cattle (an`am), some translations use the more encompassing word livestock, and the unlawfulness of some others have been refuted. 

The main topics of this Sürah are monotheism, resurrection, heaven and hell. The Sürah is said to have been revealed in its entirety in one go in the later period of stay of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in Makkah. The surah reports the story of the Prophet Abraham, who calls others to stop worshiping celestial bodies and turns towards Allah. It also includes verses (6:151 - 6:152) similar to the Mosaic Ten Commandments.

As already mentioned in the Overview, owing to the length  of the Sürah and varied subjects discussed therein, the Sürah has been divided into three parts parts for better understanding. We now present the last part, i.e. Part III, covering five Ruku / Sections. Subjects discussed in this part are as under:
  • Ruku / Sections 16-18 (verses 130-150) it is said that Allah's decrees will come to pass, in spite of all the crimes and superstitions of the ungodly.
  • Ruku / Sections 19-20 (verses 151-165)It is commanded that the better course is to follow the straight Way, the Way of Allah, as directed in the Qur'än, with unity and the full dedication of our lives.
Let us now read the translation and exegesis / tafseer in English. For Arabic Text, please refer to the references given at the end and may also listen to its recitation in Arabic with English subtitles:

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

Ruku / Sections 16 [Verses 130-140]
Verses 122 – 140 (verses 122-129 discussed in Part II) Lies and inventions result in punishment:

A person who is ignorant or obstinate and trapped in the darkness is not the same as one who is guided and walking in the light.  There are evil doers everywhere, they conspire and scheme but they are unaware that they conspire only against themselves.  They think they should be messengers but God knows best who to give His message to.  He guides whom he wills, he expands their chest so that they are filled with Islam but those who are abandoned (because they themselves did not wish for guidance) feel their chest constrict as if they were climbing into the sky.  The path to the home of peace is straight.

On the Day of Judgment the jinn and humankind who thought themselves allies in evil will be allies in punishment.  Their home is the Fire.  They will testify against themselves when asked whether they had received a warning.  God did not destroy civilisations without just cause and only did so after fair warning.  God can and will destroy people and replace them with others.   If people do not listen to God and instead do whatever they want God will respond.

Some of the polytheists give God’s share of their crops and livestock to those they wrongly associate with God.  This is an evil and bad decision.  Some people are so confused that they will murder their own children because of their strange beliefs.  They have many self-imposed restrictions that they wrongly attribute to God.  These lies and inventions will result in severe punishment.  The ones who kill their children or restrict food from them because of lies about God have gone completely astray.

يَا مَعْشَرَ الْجِنِّ وَالْإِنسِ أَلَمْ يَأْتِكُمْ رُسُلٌ مِّنكُمْ يَقُصُّونَ عَلَيْكُمْ آيَاتِي وَيُنذِرُونَكُمْ لِقَاءَ يَوْمِكُمْ هَـٰذَا ۚ قَالُوا شَهِدْنَا عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِنَا ۖ وَغَرَّتْهُمُ الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا وَشَهِدُوا عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِهِمْ أَنَّهُمْ كَانُوا كَافِرِينَ 
( 130 )   "O company of jinn and mankind, did there not come to you messengers from among you, relating to you My verses and warning you of the meeting of this Day of yours?" They will say, "We bear witness against ourselves"; and the worldly life had deluded them, and they will bear witness against themselves that they were disbelievers.
The wrong-doers would confess that even though the Prophets had come, in succession, in order to inform them of the Truth, it was their own fault that they did not respond to their call.

They were deniers of, and disbelievers in, rather than ignorant of the Truth. They acknowledged that the Truth had been conveyed to them and that they had refused to accept it.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
"Apostles from among you." This is addressed to the whole gathering of men and Jinns. Are the Jinns but disembodied spirits of evil men?

 ذَٰلِكَ أَن لَّمْ يَكُن رَّبُّكَ مُهْلِكَ الْقُرَىٰ بِظُلْمٍ وَأَهْلُهَا غَافِلُونَ 
( 131 )   That is because your Lord would not destroy the cities for wrongdoing while their people were unaware.
God does not want His creatures to have any valid reason to complain that He had left them ignorant of the Right Way, and then convicted them of error. God has forestalled any such grievance by sending Prophets and revealing Holy Books to warn both jinn and human beings. If people continue to falter in spite of God's arrangements for their guidance, they themselves are to blame for the punishment they will receive, and they have no justification for blaming their misfortune on God.

  وَلِكُلٍّ دَرَجَاتٌ مِّمَّا عَمِلُوا ۚ وَمَا رَبُّكَ بِغَافِلٍ عَمَّا يَعْمَلُونَ 
( 132 )   And for all are degrees from what they have done. And your Lord is not unaware of what they do.
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
On good and evil there are infinite degrees, in our deeds and motives: so will there be degrees in our spiritual position. For everything is known to God, better than it is to ourselves.

  وَرَبُّكَ الْغَنِيُّ ذُو الرَّحْمَةِ ۚ إِن يَشَأْ يُذْهِبْكُمْ وَيَسْتَخْلِفْ مِن بَعْدِكُم مَّا يَشَاءُ كَمَا أَنشَأَكُم مِّن ذُرِّيَّةِ قَوْمٍ آخَرِينَ 
( 133 )   And your Lord is the Free of need, the possessor of mercy. If He wills, he can do away with you and give succession after you to whomever He wills, just as He produced you from the descendants of another people.
The Qur'anic statement: 'Your Lord is Self-Sufficient' signifies that God is in need of nothing from anyone, that none of His interests will be jeopardized by disobedience to Him, and that no benefit will accrue to Him from obedience. Even if all human beings became disobedient, God's dominion will not shrink. Nor will His dominion expand if everybody were to become obedient and serve and worship Him as they ought to. God is dependent neither upon their show of veneration nor upon their offerings. He lavishes His limitless treasures on human beings and seeks nothing in return.

The other statement, namely that 'Your Lord is full of compassion', has been made here to emphasize two things. First, that when God urges human beings to follow the Right Way, and asks them not to do anything in conflict with Ultimate Reality, He does not do so because their good behaviour benefits Him or their misconduct harms Him. He does so because good conduct is beneficial to man himself, as evil conduct is harmful to him. Hence it is out of sheer benevolence that God urges man to develop righteous conduct, for it will raise him to great heights, and He urges him to avoid evil conduct because it will lead to his own degradation. Second, that God is not unduly stern in judging man. He gets no pleasure from punishing people. He is not on the look-out for slight lapses for which to convict and persecute people. God is highly compassionate towards all His creatures and governs with utmost mercy and benevolence, and the same characterizes His dealings with human beings as well. Hence, He constantly forgives the sins of people. Many disobey, indulge in sins, commit crimes, disregard God's commands, even though they are nourished by the sustenance He provides. God, nevertheless, continually treats them with forbearance and forgives them. Again and again, He grants them respite in order that they may take heed, understand things properly and reform themselves. Had He been excessively stern, He could even have obliterated them instantly and raised up another people. He could have put an end to humanity and brought into being an altogether different species of creation.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
God is not dependent on our prayer or service. It is out of His Mercy that He desires our own good. Any race or people to whom He gives chances should understand that its failure does not affect God. He could create others in their place, as He did in times past, and is doing in our own day, if only we had the wit to see it.

  إِنَّ مَا تُوعَدُونَ لَآتٍ ۖ وَمَا أَنتُم بِمُعْجِزِينَ 
( 134 )   Indeed, what you are promised is coming, and you will not cause failure [to Allah].
This refers to the Resurrection, when human beings of every epoch will be raised anew and made to stand before God for final judgement.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Both the good news and the warning which God's apostles came to give will be fulfilled. Nothing can stop God's Universal Plan. See vi. 125.

  قُلْ يَا قَوْمِ اعْمَلُوا عَلَىٰ مَكَانَتِكُمْ إِنِّي عَامِلٌ ۖ فَسَوْفَ تَعْلَمُونَ مَن تَكُونُ لَهُ عَاقِبَةُ الدَّارِ ۗ إِنَّهُ لَا يُفْلِحُ الظَّالِمُونَ 
( 135 )   Say, "O my people, work according to your position; [for] indeed, I am working. And you are going to know who will have succession in the home. Indeed, the wrongdoers will not succeed.
If people prefer to ignore the Prophet's admonition and do not recant their misconduct, they are at liberty to follow their chosen path, but they should let the Prophet (peace be on him) follow his. The ultimate results of their conduct will, in due time, become evident to all - to the Prophet (peace be on him) as well as to his opponents.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
In so far as this is addressed to the Unbelievers it is a challenge: "Do your utmost; nothing will deter me from my duty: we shall see who wins in the end." Passing from the particular occasion, we can understand it in a more general sense, which is true for all time. Let the evil ones do their worst. Let those who believe do all they can, according to their opportunities and abilities. The individual must do the straight duty that lies before him. In the end God will judge, and His judgement is always true and just.

 وَجَعَلُوا لِلَّـهِ مِمَّا ذَرَأَ مِنَ الْحَرْثِ وَالْأَنْعَامِ نَصِيبًا فَقَالُوا هَـٰذَا لِلَّـهِ بِزَعْمِهِمْ وَهَـٰذَا لِشُرَكَائِنَا ۖ فَمَا كَانَ لِشُرَكَائِهِمْ فَلَا يَصِلُ إِلَى اللَّـهِ ۖ وَمَا كَانَ لِلَّـهِ فَهُوَ يَصِلُ إِلَىٰ شُرَكَائِهِمْ ۗ سَاءَ مَا يَحْكُمُونَ 
( 136 )   And the polytheists assign to Allah from that which He created of crops and livestock a share and say, "This is for Allah," by their claim, "and this is for our partners [associated with Him]." But what is for their "partners" does not reach Allah, while what is for Allah - this reaches their "partners." Evil is that which they rule.
There now follows an elucidation of the 'ignorance' which those people-insistently clung to, and which they were not prepared to forsake. They are also told about that major 'wrong' which, if not abandoned, will bar their way to salvation.

They themselves acknowledged that the earth belongs to God, and that it is He Who causes the vegetation to grow. They also affirmed that God is the creator of the animals which were yoked to their service. They believed, however, that the grace of God for them was the outcome of the blessing and benediction of the angels, jinn, heavenly stars, spirits of their pious ancestors and so on, who cared for their well-being and were their patrons. They therefore used to make a two-fold division of their harvest and livestock offerings. One part was devoted to God in recognition of their gratitude to Him for having granted them farms and animals, while the rest was devoted to the household gods of either their family or tribes in order to ensure their continuing grace and benediction.

First, God censures them for this iniquity and asks them - since all those animals were created and had been granted to them by God alone - what justification there is for making offerings to others. Is it not sheer ingratitude to ascribe the acts of benevolence and grace of the true Benefactor to the intercession of others, and to associate them with God in thanksgiving? Second, they are censured indirectly for assigning quite an arbitrary share in their offerings to God, as if they themselves were the law-maker who could ascribe shares to God and others as they wished. To God alone belong all the bounties He has given man, and only His Law should therefore determine what part of those bounties should be offered to Him in thanksgiving and how the remaining should be spent. Hence even if they spend something in the way of Allah, for the poor and the deprived, but according to their own will, that does not deserve to be accepted by Him.

This is subtle sarcasm at the trickery to which the polytheists resorted while dividing the offerings between God and the partners whom they had set up with Him. By one device and another they increased the share of the false deities, which only showed that their heart lay with those sham partners of God rather than with Him.

It is instructive to recall those tricks. If, while they were apportioning God's share of cereals and fruits, anything belonging to His share fell out of its place, it used to be added to the portion earmarked for the share of God's partners. On the contrary, if any part of the, partners' share fell out or got mixed up with the portion earmarked for God, they were most careful to return it to where it belonged. Whenever they were criticized for this, they had a number of interesting apologies to offer. They said, for instance, that being the Creator, God is Self-Sufficient and hence He does not care if His portion is in some way reduced. As for the 'partners', they were not after all self-sufficient and would therefore take them to task for the slightest diminution in their share.
In order to grasp what lay at the root of these superstitions, it is essential to know that the portion which these ignorant people earmarked for God was devoted to helping the indigent, the poor, travellers, orphans and so on. On the other hand, the portion earmarked for offerings to the partners' actually went either directly to the coffers of the priestly class or was offered at the shrines and thus ultimately reached the priests and caretakers of those shrines. Over the course of centuries these selfish religious leaders had impressed upon those simple-minded people that there was no harm in God's share being reduced, but that of God's dear ones, far from being diminished, should be increased.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
There is scathing sarcasm here, which some of the Commentators have missed. The Pagans have generally a big Pantheon, though above it they have a vague idea of a Supreme God. But the material benefits go to the god lings, the fancied "partners" of God; for they have temples, priests, dedications, etc., while the true and supreme God has only lip-worship, or at best a share with numerous "partners". This was so in Arabia also. The shares assigned to the "partners", went to the priests and hangers-on of the "partners", who were many and clamorous for their rights. The share assigned to God went to the poor, but more probably went to the priests who had the cult of the "partners", for the Supreme God had no separate priests of His own. It is also said that when heaps were thus laid out, if any portion of God's heap fell into the heaps of the "partners", the priests greedily and promptly appropriated it, while in the contrary case, the "partners" priests were careful to reclaim any portion from what they called "God's heap". The absurdity of the whole thing is ridiculed . God created everything: how can He have a share?

  وَكَذَٰلِكَ زَيَّنَ لِكَثِيرٍ مِّنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ قَتْلَ أَوْلَادِهِمْ شُرَكَاؤُهُمْ لِيُرْدُوهُمْ وَلِيَلْبِسُوا عَلَيْهِمْ دِينَهُمْ ۖ وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّـهُ مَا فَعَلُوهُ ۖ فَذَرْهُمْ وَمَا يَفْتَرُونَ 
( 137 )   And likewise, to many of the polytheists their partners have made [to seem] pleasing the killing of their children in order to bring about their destruction and to cover them with confusion in their religion. And if Allah had willed, they would not have done so. So leave them and that which they invent.
The word 'partners' is now used in a different sense. In this verse the word 'partners' denotes those human beings and devils who had legitimized infanticide and even represented it as a commendable act.
The reason for calling such people 'partners' is that just as God alone deserves to be worshiped, so He alone has the right to make laws for His creatures and to determine the limits of what is lawful and what is unlawful. Also, just as consecrating acts of devotion to anyone other than God amounts to setting up partners with Him, so to follow man-made laws in the belief that human beings have the right to be their own law-makers amounts to acknowledging others as partners of God. Both these acts amount to setting up partners with Him, irrespective of whether or not man applies the word 'God' to those before whom he makes ritual offerings, or to those whose laws he considers to be essentially right and binding for men.

It is pertinent to recall that three forms of infanticide were practiced among the Arabs, and the Qur'an alludes to each:
(1) Girls were put to death either to forestall the intrusion of a son-in-law, to prevent them from falling into the hands of enemies in the event of an outbreak of tribal feuding or to stop them from becoming a source of disgrace for any other reason.
(2) Both male and female children were killed if parents thought they would not be able to support them and that they would thus become an unendurable burden.
(3) Children of both sexes were placed as sacrificial offerings on the altars of the deities in order to gratify them.
The use of the word 'ruin' in this verse is significant. It denotes, in the first place, the moral ruination of a people. A man whose callousness and cruelty reach the point where he begins to kill his offspring with his own hands not only becomes bereft of the essence of humanity, but has sunk even lower than the animals. Moreover, this signifies the ruin of a people and of the human race. This is because infanticide necessarily leads to loss of population which is detrimental to the interests of mankind and also of each nation, since it prevents those who could have carried the legacy of a nation from either being born or puts an end to their lives after ,they are born. This rule also signifies the ultimate ruin, i.e. in the Hereafter. For indeed anyone who treats innocent children with such high-handedness, who cold-bloodedly slaughters the essence of his humanity, who acts so sordidly towards the human species as such, and even towards his own people, deserves severe punishment from God.

In the Jahiliyah, the Age of Ignorance, the Arabs both identified themselves with Abraham and Ishmael and were quite convinced that they were indeed followers of Abraham and Ishmael. They therefore considered their religion to be one that had been prescribed by God. The fact, however, was that over the course of centuries a number of innovations had overgrown the religion preached by Abraham and Ishmael. These innovations, which had been introduced by their religious leaders, the tribal chiefs and the elders of noted families, had become hallowed with the passage of time, and were considered an integral part of their original religion. No authentic traces of this original religion, however, existed in the Arab traditions, nor in written sources nor in historical records as such. Hence, when innovations made their inroads into their religious life, they failed to perceive both the innovations and the innovators. This rendered the entire religious tradition of the Arabs unauthentic in the sight of the people of Arabia themselves. They could not assert with conviction which elements were part of the original God-given religion, and which were mere innovations.

Had God not so willed, they could never have kept to their false ways. But God willed that everybody should be allowed to pursue his own choice. Hence, if people do not believe in spite of the Prophet's admonition, and persist in their false ways, they must be allowed to do as they please. One need not hound such people and pester them into accepting the Truth.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The false gods and idols -among many nations, including the Arabs -were supposed to require human sacrifices. Ordinarily such sacrifices are revolting to man, but they are made "alluring" -a sacred rite- by Pagan custom, which falsely arrogates to itself the name of religion. Such customs, if allowed, would do nothing but destroy the people who practice them, and make their religion but a confused bundle of revolting superstitions.

  وَقَالُوا هَـٰذِهِ أَنْعَامٌ وَحَرْثٌ حِجْرٌ لَّا يَطْعَمُهَا إِلَّا مَن نَّشَاءُ بِزَعْمِهِمْ وَأَنْعَامٌ حُرِّمَتْ ظُهُورُهَا وَأَنْعَامٌ لَّا يَذْكُرُونَ اسْمَ اللَّـهِ عَلَيْهَا افْتِرَاءً عَلَيْهِ ۚ سَيَجْزِيهِم بِمَا كَانُوا يَفْتَرُونَ 
( 138 )   And they say, "These animals and crops are forbidden; no one may eat from them except whom we will," by their claim. And there are those [camels] whose backs are forbidden [by them] and those upon which the name of Allah is not mentioned - [all of this] an invention of untruth about Him. He will punish them for what they were inventing.
There was a practice among the people of Arabia whereby they used to consecrate certain animals and farms to certain shrines, and at offerings at certain altars. These consecrated offerings could not be used by everybody. An elaborate code laid down what kind of offering could be used by what kind of people. God not only judges such practices to be polytheistic, but also censures them as man-made innovations. God was the master of all that they had consecrated as offerings to the deities. He had neither encumbered human beings with the need to make any of those offerings and consecrations nor imposed those restrictions on what they might consume. These were the willful inventions of headstrong and rebellious people who attributed to themselves the authority to make laws as they pleased.

Traditions indicate that there were certain ritual offerings, and that on certain occasions animals were consecrated for sacrifice at which it was deemed unlawful to pronounce the name of God. It was also prohibited to ride such animals during the Pilgrimage, since at that time the pilgrim pronounced the name of God when he recited the formula: Labbayk Allahumma Labbayk. Every care was taken not to pronounce the name of God at the time of milking, mounting, slaughtering and eating of such animals.

Even though those rules had not been laid down by God, people followed them under the false impression that they had been prescribed by Him. They could not adduce any injunction from God in support of such a belief, and all that they could claim was that it was an integral part of their ancestors' way of life.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
A taboo of certain foods is sometimes a device of the priesthood to get special things for itself. It has to be enforced by pretending that the prohibition for others is by the Will of God. It is a lie or invention against God. Most superstitions are.

Cattle dedicated to heathen gods may be reserved from all useful work; in that case they are a dead loss to the community, and they may, besides, do a great deal of damage to fields and crops.

If meat is killed in the name of heathen gods, it would naturally not be killed by the solemn rite in God's name, by which alone the killing can be justified for food. See v. 5.

 وَقَالُوا مَا فِي بُطُونِ هَـٰذِهِ الْأَنْعَامِ خَالِصَةٌ لِّذُكُورِنَا وَمُحَرَّمٌ عَلَىٰ أَزْوَاجِنَا ۖ وَإِن يَكُن مَّيْتَةً فَهُمْ فِيهِ شُرَكَاءُ ۚ سَيَجْزِيهِمْ وَصْفَهُمْ ۚ إِنَّهُ حَكِيمٌ عَلِيمٌ  
( 139 )   And they say, "What is in the bellies of these animals is exclusively for our males and forbidden to our females. But if it is [born] dead, then all of them have shares therein." He will punish them for their description. Indeed, He is Wise and Knowing.
One of the provisions of this self-contrived religious code of the Arabs was that the flesh of the young, born of the animals consecrated as offerings to the deities, might be eaten by males but not by females. Persons of both sexes were allowed to eat its flesh if it had died either a natural death or was dead at birth.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
These are further Pagan superstitions about cattle. Some have already been noted in v. 106, which may be consulted with the notes.

  قَدْ خَسِرَ الَّذِينَ قَتَلُوا أَوْلَادَهُمْ سَفَهًا بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ وَحَرَّمُوا مَا رَزَقَهُمُ اللَّـهُ افْتِرَاءً عَلَى اللَّـهِ ۚ قَدْ ضَلُّوا وَمَا كَانُوا مُهْتَدِينَ 
( 140 )   Those will have lost who killed their children in foolishness without knowledge and prohibited what Allah had provided for them, inventing untruth about Allah. They have gone astray and were not [rightly] guided.
It is put to them plainly that even though such practices had been introduced by their forefathers, religious guides and outstanding leaders, the fact remained that those practices were inherently unsound. That those practices had come down from their ancestors and venerated elders did not necessarily legitimize them. These callous people had introduced such inhuman customs as infanticide, and, without any justification whatsoever, had prohibited to the creatures of God food and drink which He had created. They had also introduced many innovations themselves, making them part of their religion and ascribing them to God. How could such people be considered either to have attained salvation or to be rightly guided? Even though venerated by them as their ancestors, they were nevertheless misguided and were destined to see the evil consequences of their misdeeds.

Ruku / Sections 17[Verses 141-144]
Verses 141 – 150 God’s bounty:
It is God who causes vegetation to grow, so eat from its yield and pay the obligatory charity on its harvest.  He has provided animals too, some for transportation and some for slaughter.  Use them and eat from them.  There are strange superstitions surrounding the animals, they are more lies against God.  The things forbidden to eat are dead animals, blood spilled out, the meat from pigs (swine) and animals that were slaughtered in the name of something other than God.  The only exception is if someone is forced to eat this meat out of necessity.

The Jews had certain dietary laws concerning meat imposed upon them due to their disobedience.  Prophet Muhammad was told that if he was accused of lying about this then he should say that God is merciful and His argument conclusive.

وَهُوَ الَّذِي أَنشَأَ جَنَّاتٍ مَّعْرُوشَاتٍ وَغَيْرَ مَعْرُوشَاتٍ وَالنَّخْلَ وَالزَّرْعَ مُخْتَلِفًا أُكُلُهُ وَالزَّيْتُونَ وَالرُّمَّانَ مُتَشَابِهًا وَغَيْرَ مُتَشَابِهٍ ۚ كُلُوا مِن ثَمَرِهِ إِذَا أَثْمَرَ وَآتُوا حَقَّهُ يَوْمَ حَصَادِهِ ۖ وَلَا تُسْرِفُوا ۚ إِنَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُسْرِفِينَ 
( 141 )   And He it is who causes gardens to grow, [both] trellised and untrellised, and palm trees and crops of different [kinds of] food and olives and pomegranates, similar and dissimilar. Eat of [each of] its fruit when it yields and give its due [zakah] on the day of its harvest. And be not excessive. Indeed, He does not like those who commit excess.
Tle Arabic expression "Jannaatim Ma'rushaatin wa khairu ma'rushatin" signifies two kinds of gardens: first, those consisting of trellised plants and, second, those consisting of trees

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Ansha-a: see vi. 98.

A beautiful passage, with music to match the meaning. Cf. vi. 99.

"Waste not, want not," says the English proverb. Here the same wisdom is preached from a higher motive. See what magnificent means God provides in nature for the sustenance of all His creatures, because He loves them all. Enjoy them in moderation and be grateful. But commit no excess, and commit no waste: the two things are the same from different angles of vision. If you do, you take away something from other creatures and God would not like your selfishness.

 وَمِنَ الْأَنْعَامِ حَمُولَةً وَفَرْشًا ۚ كُلُوا مِمَّا رَزَقَكُمُ اللَّـهُ وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ ۚ إِنَّهُ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ  
( 142 )   And of the grazing livestock are carriers [of burdens] and those [too] small. Eat of what Allah has provided for you and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy.
The word "Farasha" (which means 'to spread, to pave, to cover the ground, floor or path') has been used in the context of cattle either (1) because they are relatively short, and in moving about seem to be touching the ground, (2) because when they are slaughtered, they have to be laid on the ground, or (3) because their skins and hair are used for furnishing purposes.

It becomes clear from the context that God wants to emphasize three things:
First, that the orchards, fields and cattle are all bounties of God. No one else has made any contribution to them and hence no one is entitled to any share in the thanks that man ought to give Him in return for these bounties.
Second, since all those things are bounties of God, one ought to follow the laws of God alone while making use of them. No one else has the right to regulate their use. To acknowledge oneself bound by customs and practices laid down by others than God, and to make offerings out of a feeling of gratitude for beneficence to someone other than God constitute acts of rebellion and amount to following Satan.
Third, as God has created all these things for the fulfillment of man's needs, they should not be unnecessarily suspended from use or be regarded as prohibited. All restrictions on the use of the means of sustenance and other bounties of God based on conjecture or superstition, are not to His liking at all.
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Superstition kills true religion. We come back to the Arab Pagan superstitions about cattle for food. The horse is not mentioned, because horse flesh was not an article of diet and there were no superstitions about it. Sheep and goats, camels and oxen were the usual sources of meat. Sheep and goats were not used as beasts of burden, but camels (of both sexes) were used for carrying burdens, and oxen for the plough, though cows were mainly used for milk and meat. The words "some for burden and some for meat" do not differentiate whole species, except that they give you the first two and the last two categories.

 ثَمَانِيَةَ أَزْوَاجٍ ۖ مِّنَ الضَّأْنِ اثْنَيْنِ وَمِنَ الْمَعْزِ اثْنَيْنِ ۗ قُلْ آلذَّكَرَيْنِ حَرَّمَ أَمِ الْأُنثَيَيْنِ أَمَّا اشْتَمَلَتْ عَلَيْهِ أَرْحَامُ الْأُنثَيَيْنِ ۖ نَبِّئُونِي بِعِلْمٍ إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ 
( 143 )   [They are] eight mates - of the sheep, two and of the goats, two. Say, "Is it the two males He has forbidden or the two females or that which the wombs of the two females contain? Inform me with knowledge, if you should be truthful."
That is, they should come forward with arguments based on sound, reliable knowledge, rather than with arguments which have no authority except that of ancestral tradition, conjecture or superstition.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The superstitions referred to in vi. 139 and v. 106 are further ridiculed in this verse, and the next.

  وَمِنَ الْإِبِلِ اثْنَيْنِ وَمِنَ الْبَقَرِ اثْنَيْنِ ۗ قُلْ آلذَّكَرَيْنِ حَرَّمَ أَمِ الْأُنثَيَيْنِ أَمَّا اشْتَمَلَتْ عَلَيْهِ أَرْحَامُ الْأُنثَيَيْنِ ۖ أَمْ كُنتُمْ شُهَدَاءَ إِذْ وَصَّاكُمُ اللَّـهُ بِهَـٰذَا ۚ فَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنِ افْتَرَىٰ عَلَى اللَّـهِ كَذِبًا لِّيُضِلَّ النَّاسَ بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ 
( 144 )   And of the camels, two and of the cattle, two. Say, "Is it the two males He has forbidden or the two females or that which the wombs of the two females contain? Or were you witnesses when Allah charged you with this? Then who is more unjust than one who invents a lie about Allah to mislead the people by [something] other than knowledge? Indeed, Allah does not guide the wrongdoing people."
Questions as to whether the male offspring is lawful and the female is unlawful are presented in some detail to show how unreasonable their superstitions are. That the male offspring of an animal should be considered lawful for eating while the female be prohibited, or vice versa; and that an animal should itself be considered lawful, but not its offspring, is so manifestly unreasonable that common sense simply refuses to accept it, and no intelligent man can ever conceive such absurdities to have been sanctioned by God. Just as the superstitions in vogue among the Arabs were absurd, as the Qur'an stresses, likewise many other nations of the world follow even now irrational dietary restrictions, and believe that food and drink become polluted merely by the touch of some other people.

Ruku / Sections 18 [Verses 145-150]

قُل لَّا أَجِدُ فِي مَا أُوحِيَ إِلَيَّ مُحَرَّمًا عَلَىٰ طَاعِمٍ يَطْعَمُهُ إِلَّا أَن يَكُونَ مَيْتَةً أَوْ دَمًا مَّسْفُوحًا أَوْ لَحْمَ خِنزِيرٍ فَإِنَّهُ رِجْسٌ أَوْ فِسْقًا أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللَّـهِ بِهِ ۚ فَمَنِ اضْطُرَّ غَيْرَ بَاغٍ وَلَا عَادٍ فَإِنَّ رَبَّكَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ 
( 145 )   Say, "I do not find within that which was revealed to me [anything] forbidden to one who would eat it unless it be a dead animal or blood spilled out or the flesh of swine - for indeed, it is impure - or it be [that slaughtered in] disobedience, dedicated to other than Allah. But whoever is forced [by necessity], neither desiring [it] nor transgressing [its limit], then indeed, your Lord is Forgiving and Merciful."
See for this (Surah al-Baqarah 2: 173), (Surah al-Ma'idah 5: 3) and (Surah al-Nahl 16: 115.) The slight difference between this verse and (Surah al-Baqarah 2:173 )is that whereas the latter mentions 'blood' as prohibited, the present verse qualifies it with 'out poured', i.e. the blood which has flowed as a result of either injuring or slaughtering an animal. This, in fact, constitutes an elucidation of the former injunction rather than the revelation of a different one. Likewise, (Surah al-Ma'idah 5: 3) mentions the prohibition of certain other categories - animals strangled or killed by blows, those which have died from either falling or goring, and those devoured by a beast of prey, in addition to the four classes mentioned here. This is not an independent, divergent injunction; it is rather an explanation signifying that the animals thus killed fall into the category of 'carrion'.

There is a group of Muslim jurists who believe that prohibition is confined to these four classes of animal food, and that the eating of everything else is lawful. This was also the view of 'Abd Allah b. 'Abbas and 'A'ishah. Several traditions, however, indicate that the Prophet (peace be on him) either told people not to eat certain things or expressed his disapproval at their eating them, for example, domesticated donkeys, beasts with canine teeth and birds with claws. It is for this reason that the majority of jurists do not consider prohibition confined to these four classes but extend it to several others. These jurists disagree, however, on which of those things are unlawful and which are lawful. Abu Hanifah, Malik and Shafi'i, for example, consider domesticated donkeys to be unlawful. Others argue that the Prophet (peace be on him) forbade them on a special occasion and because of a special reason. To cite another example, the Hanafi jurists hold wild beasts, birds of prey and animals which feed on carrion to be absolutely unlawful, whereas Milik and Awza'i hold birds of prey to be lawful. Layth considers the cat to be lawful. In the same way, Shafi'i considers prohibition to be confined only to those beasts which actually attack man, such as lion, wolf, tiger and so on. In the opinion of another jurist, 'Ikrimah, both crow and badger are lawful. Likewise, whereas the Hanafi jurists declare all crawling creatures to be prohibited, Ibn Abi Layla, Malik and Awza'i hold the snake to be lawful.

Upon reflection of these divergent opinions and the arguments adduced in support of them, it becomes clear that categorical prohibition embraces only those four classes mentioned in the Qur'an. As for other types of animal food, regarding which the jurists have expressed a negative view, they seem to carry varying degrees of religious disapprobation. The things whose disapprobation is established by statements of the Prophet (peace be on him) transmitted to us through sound traditions, are relatively close to 'prohibition'. As for things regarding which them is disagreement among jurists, their religious disapprobation becomes doubtful.

Temperamental dislike, however, is quite a different matter. The Law Of God does not force anyone to eat everything which is not prohibited. At the same time, the Law does not entitle anybody to exalt his personal likes and dislikes into a criterion of what is lawful and unlawful. No one is justified in reproaching others for consuming lawful things which offend his tastes.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Blood poured forth: as distinguished from blood adhering to flesh, or the liver, or such other internal organs purifying the blood.

 وَعَلَى الَّذِينَ هَادُوا حَرَّمْنَا كُلَّ ذِي ظُفُرٍ ۖ وَمِنَ الْبَقَرِ وَالْغَنَمِ حَرَّمْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ شُحُومَهُمَا إِلَّا مَا حَمَلَتْ ظُهُورُهُمَا أَوِ الْحَوَايَا أَوْ مَا اخْتَلَطَ بِعَظْمٍ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ جَزَيْنَاهُم بِبَغْيِهِمْ ۖ وَإِنَّا لَصَادِقُونَ 
( 146 )   And to those who are Jews We prohibited every animal of uncloven hoof; and of the cattle and the sheep We prohibited to them their fat, except what adheres to their backs or the entrails or what is joined with bone. [By] that We repaid them for their injustice. And indeed, We are truthful.
This is discussed at three places in the Qur'an. (Surah AI 'Imran 3:93 ) states: 'All food was lawful to the Children of Israel except what Israel made unlawful to themselves before the revelation of the Torah. Tell them: "Bring the Torah and recite any passage of it if you are truthful".' (Surah al-Nisa' 4:160) mentions that because of the misdeeds of the Children of Israel: 'We forbade them many clean things which had earlier been made lawful to them.' And now the present verse says that because of the transgression of the Jews, God forbade unto them 'all beasts with claws; and the fat of oxen and the sheep except the fat which is either on their backs or their entrails or that which sticks to the bones'. If these three verses are taken together, it becomes clear that the differences between Islamic law and Jewish law with regard to what is lawful and what is unlawful in animal foods stem from two considerations. First, that several centuries before the revelation of the Torah, Isra'il (Jacob, peace be on him) had given up the use of certain things, which his descendants also abstained from consuming. The result was that Jewish jurists considered them to be absolutely unlawful and recorded their prohibition in the Torah. They included the camel, the hare and the rock-badger, the prohibition of which is mentioned in the fragments of the Torah embodied in the Bible. (See Leviticus ll: 4; Deuteronomy 14: 7) But the Our'an challenges the Jews to come forward with the Torah itself and show where any of those things had been declared unlawful. Their inability to do so shows that those interdiction must have been later interpolations into the Torah.

Second, when the Jews rebelled against the Law revealed by God and set themselves up as their own law-givers, they made several things unlawful for themselves, and as a punishment God allowed them to remain a prey to that misunderstanding. These include birds with claws such as the ostrich, seagull and water-hen, and also the fat of oxen and sheep. In the Bible prohibitions of these kinds have been interpolated among the injunctions of the Torah. (See Leviticus 3:17; 7:22-3; ll:16-18; Deuteronomy 14:14-16.) But (Surah al-Nisa' 4:160) shows that those things had not been made unlawful by the Torah itself. They had rather been prohibited after the time of Jesus, and history bears witness to the fact that the present Jewish law was given a definitive formulation by the Jewish jurist, Yehudah, towards the end of the second century of the Christian calendar.

It might be asked in view of what has been mentioned above, why the expression 'We forbade for them' is employed in (Surah al-Nisa' 4:160) The answer is that declaration through a Prophet or a heavenly Book is not God's only way of prohibiting. Another way is to allow fraudulent law-makers and sham jurists to gain predominating influence upon God's rebels. These in turn deprive them of many good, clean things of life by making them believe that they are prohibited. The first kind of prohibition is an act of His mercy, whereas the second kind is in the nature of a curse and punishment from God.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Zufur may mean claw or hoof; it is in the singular number; but as no animal has a single claw, and there is no point in a division of claws, we must look to a hoof for the correct interpretation. In the Jewish Law (Leviticus, xi. 3-6), "Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is cloven-footed, and cheweth the cud, among the beasts" was lawful as food, but the camel, the coney (rabbit), and the hare were not lawful, because they do not "divide the hoof". "Undivided hoof" therefore is the correct interpretation. These three animals, unlawful to the Jews, are lawful in Islam. Cf. iv. 160.

In Leviticus (vii. 23) it is laid down that "ye shall eat no manner of fat, of ox, or of sheep or of goat." As regards the exceptions, it is to be noticed that priests were enjoined (Leviticus, vii. 6) to eat of the fat in the trespass of offering, which was considered holy, viz., "the rump" (back and bone) "and the fat that covereth the inwards" (entrails), (Leviticus, vii.3).

  فَإِن كَذَّبُوكَ فَقُل رَّبُّكُمْ ذُو رَحْمَةٍ وَاسِعَةٍ وَلَا يُرَدُّ بَأْسُهُ عَنِ الْقَوْمِ الْمُجْرِمِينَ 
( 147 )   So if they deny you, [O Muhammad], say, "Your Lord is the possessor of vast mercy; but His punishment cannot be repelled from the people who are criminals."
If they could still give up their disobedience and return to the true service of God, they would find Him ready to embrace them with His mercy. But if they persisted, they should remember that no one could save them from His wrath.

 سَيَقُولُ الَّذِينَ أَشْرَكُوا لَوْ شَاءَ اللَّـهُ مَا أَشْرَكْنَا وَلَا آبَاؤُنَا وَلَا حَرَّمْنَا مِن شَيْءٍ ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ كَذَّبَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ حَتَّىٰ ذَاقُوا بَأْسَنَا ۗ قُلْ هَلْ عِندَكُم مِّنْ عِلْمٍ فَتُخْرِجُوهُ لَنَا ۖ إِن تَتَّبِعُونَ إِلَّا الظَّنَّ وَإِنْ أَنتُمْ إِلَّا تَخْرُصُونَ 
( 148 )   Those who associated with Allah will say, "If Allah had willed, we would not have associated [anything] and neither would our fathers, nor would we have prohibited anything." Likewise did those before deny until they tasted Our punishment. Say, "Do you have any knowledge that you can produce for us? You follow not except assumption, and you are not but falsifying."
Their apology for their crimes and misdeeds would be that which has always been advanced by criminals and wrong-doers - an apology based on the assumption of absolute determinism. They would plead that when they associated others with God in His divinity, or unwarrantedly regarded certain things as prohibited, they did so because those acts had been willed for them by God. Had He not so willed, they would not have been able to do what they did. Hence, since they were doing everything according to the will of God, everything was proper. If anyone was to blame, it was God and not they. They were under compulsion to do what they did, for the ability to do otherwise lay beyond their power.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
As used by the Pagans, the argument is false, for it implies (a) that men have no personal responsibility, (b) that they are the victims of a Determinism against which they are helpless, and (c) that they might therefore go on doing just what they liked. It is also inconsistent, for if (b) is true, (c) cannot be true. Nor is it meant to be taken seriously.

Explanation by Verse By Verse Qur'an Study Circle:
Disbelievers’ next argument was that we are misguided because Allah wanted us to do this. Had He not willed we would not have committed the wrong that we do.

Here Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala mentioned a debate with the idolaters, refuting a false notion they have over their Shirk and the things that they prohibited. They said, surely, Allah has full knowledge of the Shirk we indulge in, and that we forbid some kinds of wealth. Allah is able to change this Shirk by directing us to the faith, – they claimed – and prevent us from falling into disbelief, but He did not do that. Therefore – they said Allah indicated that He willed, decided and agreed that we do all this.

This is similar to what people say today, “I did wrong because it was written in my Qadr. Allah wanted me to do this.” This is an excuse for someone who wants to follow his desire.

If Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala allows something to happen it is not necessary that He approves of it. There is a difference between what He likes and what He allows as a punishment. He has given us freedom. We are free to do whatever we would like to do. But at a later date, we will be accountable for our choices.

Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala said next, “…Likewise did those before deny…” for by using and relying on this understanding, the misguided ones before them were led astray. This notion is false and baseless honorable Messengers over them, and made them taste His painful punishment.

Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala then says, “…Do you have any knowledge that you can produce…” that Allah is pleased with you and with your ways? If there is any such knowledge then it should be made plain, apparent and clear. You only follow doubts and wishful thinking. And you lie about Allah through the false claims that you utter.

  قُلْ فَلِلَّـهِ الْحُجَّةُ الْبَالِغَةُ ۖ فَلَوْ شَاءَ لَهَدَاكُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ 
( 149 )   Say, "With Allah is the far-reaching argument. If He had willed, He would have guided you all."
This provides a complete refutation of their apology. In order to appreciate it fully, careful analysis is required. In the first place they are told that citing God's will to justify one's errors and misdeeds, and making it a pretext for refusing to accept true guidance was the practice of the evil-doers before them. But they should remember that this had led to their ruin and they themselves were witnesses to the evil consequences of deviation from the Truth.

Furthermore, it is being clarified that the plea of the unbelievers that the only reason for their error was that God had not willed that they be guided to the Truth, is based on fancy and conjecture rather than on sound knowledge. They refer to God's will without understanding the relationship between God's will and man's action. They entertain the misconception that if a man commits theft under the will of God, that does not mean that he will not be reckoned a criminal. For the fact is that whichever path a man chooses, be it that of gratitude or ingratitude to God of guidance or error, obedience or disobedience, God will open that path for him, and thereafter God will permit and enable him within the framework of His universal scheme, and to the extent that He deems fit - to do whatever he chooses to do whether it is right or wrong.

If their forefathers had been enabled by God's will to associate others with Him in His divinity and prohibit clean things, that did not mean that they were not answerable for their misdeeds. On the contrary, everyone will be held responsible for choosing false ways, for having a false intent, and for having striven for false ends.

The crucial point is succinctly made at the end in the words: 'Then say to- them, (As against your argument) Allah's is the conclusive argument. Surely, had He willed, He would have guided you all to the Truth.' The argument which they put forward, viz. 'If Allah had willed, neither we nor our forefathers could have associated others with Allah in His divinity', does not embody the whole truth. The whole truth is that 'had He willed, He would have guided you all to the Truth'. In other words, they were not prepared to take the Straight Way of their own choice and volition. As it was not God's intent to create them with inherent right guidance like the angels, they would be allowed to persist in the error they had chosen for themselves.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
On the other hand, the argument cuts true and deep, as from God to His creatures. God is Omnipotent, and can do all that we can conceive. But He, in His Plan, has given man some responsibility, and some choice in order to train man's will. If man fails, he is helped in various ways by God's mercy and grace. But man cannot go on sinning, and in a state of sin, expect God to be pleased with him (vi. 147).

Explanation by Verse By Verse Qur'an Study Circle:
Hujja is a solid proof that cannot be defeated while baligha is an evidence that is mature or reaches its completion. This means that compared to the argument that the disbelievers were presenting Allah’s argument is based on perfect wisdom and unequivocal proof. It defeats their justification and lame excuse.

Whatever Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala says that is Hujja tul Baligha and whatever people come up with is not solid argument.

If Allah had willed he would have forced people to be guided. All of what happens is according to His decree, His will, and His choice. He is pleased with the believers, and angry with the disbelievers.

  قُلْ هَلُمَّ شُهَدَاءَكُمُ الَّذِينَ يَشْهَدُونَ أَنَّ اللَّـهَ حَرَّمَ هَـٰذَا ۖ فَإِن شَهِدُوا فَلَا تَشْهَدْ مَعَهُمْ ۚ وَلَا تَتَّبِعْ أَهْوَاءَ الَّذِينَ كَذَّبُوا بِآيَاتِنَا وَالَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْآخِرَةِ وَهُم بِرَبِّهِمْ يَعْدِلُونَ 
( 150 )   Say, [O Muhammad], "Bring forward your witnesses who will testify that Allah has prohibited this." And if they testify, do not testify with them. And do not follow the desires of those who deny Our verses and those who do not believe in the Hereafter, while they equate [others] with their Lord.
A person who is conscious that he should testify only to that which he knows, can never testify that the taboos regarding food and other customs prevalent in their society had been enjoined by God. But if some people are brazen enough to feel no compunction in bearing false witness, then at least the believers should not become their partners in lying. The real purpose in asking them to testify honestly whether their customs and practices had in fact been sanctioned by God, is to stimulate those with some sense of honesty to reflect on the character of their customs and practices. Perhaps when they realize that there is no evidence of those prohibitions having been prescribed by God, some of them may decide to get rid of them.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The Pagan superstitions were of course baseless, and in many cases harmful and debasing. If God's name was taken as supporting them, no true man of God could be taken in, or join in support simply because God's name was taken in vain.

Cf. vi. 1. God, who created and who cherishes and cares for all, should have the first claim on our attention. Those who set up false gods fail to understand God's true governance of their own true destiny.

Explanation by Verse By Verse Qur'an Study Circle:
In this Ayah, Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala instructs the believers not to follow vain desires and footsteps of the misguided people. When a person is on truth and abstains from what has been prohibited in the Qur’an, and there are people around him engaged in prohibitions and sins, the person might wonder, “Perhaps, I am the one who is wrong. I don’t understand my religion well.” In this Ayah, Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala guides us to reject such thoughts and hold on to the truth. People who fabricate lies against Allah and invent things in religion are those who do not believe in the Hereafter. Since they have no fear of accountability they are free to do whatever they wish.

Halumma [هَلُمَّ] is a verb that is used to give a command.

Here Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala is addressing the Prophet (sws) and instructing him to ask the idolaters to bring witnesses to testify that which they had forbidden and lied and invented about Allah in this regard. This includes everything that we have read in Ayaat 130 till 140.

“…And if they testify, do not testify with them…” because in this case, their testimony is false and untrue. If they set partners for Allah then they can say anything that pleases them without any evidence.

“…And do not follow the desires of those who deny Our Ayaat…” a person who denies the Ayaat of Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala is in fact, as we learned earlier, following his own desires. He is rejecting truth for personal wishes.

Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala ends the Ayah by saying that these deniers are those people who do not believe in the Hereafter. They do not fear the accountability therefore feel free to say whatever they wish. They hold false deities as equals to their Lord.

Ruku / Sections 19 [Verses 151-154]
Verses 151 – 165 God’s commands and His Mercy
This is what God commands.  Do not associate anything with Him.  Be good to your parents.  Do not kill your children because you fear poverty; God will provide for you and them.  Do not be immoral, openly or secretly.  Do not take a life except in certain justifiable situations.  Treat orphans fairly and give full measure and weight.  God never makes a person bear more than he is capable of bearing.  Speak justly and keep any promises you make in God’s name.

Moses was given a blessed Book and this Quran is also blessed.  If you follow it you will receive His mercy.  Those who turn away will face a dreadful punishment.  Leaving it until the Day of Judgment will be too late.   Those who fail to do any good deeds and those who divide the religion into sects will be called to account.  A person who does one good deed will be given credit for ten good deeds.  A person who does a bad deed will be recompensed for that one deed.

Prophet Muhammad declares that he is following the straight path of Abraham.  His life, his worship and his death are for God Alone.  God has no associates or equals.  And he (Prophet Muhammad) is the first among those who submit to God.  God is the Lord of all that exists and each soul will bear the burden of its own actions and never the burden of another.  In the end God will resolve all your disputes.  He has given you the earth and all its wonders.  Some have more than others; it is a test.  He is swift in punishment but is also forgiving and merciful.

Coming to verses (6:151 - 6:152), it is being said these to be similar to the Mosaic Ten Commandments:

 قُلْ تَعَالَوْا أَتْلُ مَا حَرَّمَ رَبُّكُمْ عَلَيْكُمْ ۖ أَلَّا تُشْرِكُوا بِهِ شَيْئًا ۖ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا ۖ وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا أَوْلَادَكُم مِّنْ إِمْلَاقٍ ۖ نَّحْنُ نَرْزُقُكُمْ وَإِيَّاهُمْ ۖ وَلَا تَقْرَبُوا الْفَوَاحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ ۖ وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا النَّفْسَ الَّتِي حَرَّمَ اللَّـهُ إِلَّا بِالْحَقِّ ۚ ذَٰلِكُمْ وَصَّاكُم بِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ 
( 151 )   Say, "Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited to you. [He commands] that you not associate anything with Him, and to parents, good treatment, and do not kill your children out of poverty; We will provide for you and them. And do not approach immoralities - what is apparent of them and what is concealed. And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed] except by [legal] right. This has He instructed you that you may use reason."
The restrictions which had shackled their lives were not those imposed by God. The really worthwhile restrictions are those prescribed by God in order to regulate human life. These have always served as the essential basis of all God-given codes (cf. Exodus. chapter 20).

The first principle is that they should associate none with God in His divinity: neither in His essence, nor in His attributes, nor in His powers and authority, nor in the rights He has against His creatures.

To associate someone with God in His divinity is to declare that the former shares the essence of God's divinity. Instances of associating others in God's essence are the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, the belief of the pagan Arabs that angels are daughters of God, and the belief of other polytheists in the divine character of their self-styled gods and goddesses and, in some cases, of their royalty. Likewise, a person associates others in the attributes of God when he considers someone other than God to be invested with those attributes which belong exclusively to God. One becomes guilty of this kind of polytheism if one believes somebody either to know all the mysteries of the Unseen or to be all-seeing and all-hearing or to be free of all defects and weaknesses and thus infallible. Again, a person associates others in the authority of God when he recognizes someone to be possessed of authority which belongs to God alone by virtue of His godhead; for example, the power to either benefit or harm people in a supernatural manner, to fulfill the needs of people and rescue them from distress. to protect and shield them, to hear their prayers, to make or mar their fate. A person is guilty of the same when he recognizes someone as possessing the rightful authority to determine what is lawful and what is unlawful, and to make laws for the regulation of human life. Such authority belongs to God alone, and recognizing anyone other than God as possessing it is tantamount to associating others with God in His authority.

Moreover, to associate others with God in His divine rights means that one recognizes someone beside God as legitimately deserving that which may he asked of man by God alone, viz. bowing and prostrating, standing in awe and reverence with folded hands, devotional greeting and kissing the earth, slaughtering animals and making any other offerings in thanksgiving for his grace and benevolence and in acknowledgement of his over-lordship, vowing offerings in his name, calling him to rescue one from one's affliction and misfortune, and all the other forms of worship, adoration and reverence which are exclusively for God. In the same way, no one has the-right to be loved to the exclusion of all other attachments, or to be held in such awe that one always fears his wrath and dreads the violation of his command, both openly and in secret. Likewise, it is God - and God alone - Who has the right to be obeyed unconditionally, and Whose guidance should be considered the only criterion of right and wrong. In the same way, man should not commit himself to obey any authority which is either independent of obedience to God or whose command lacks the sanction of God.
If someone accords any of these rights to anyone other than God, he is guilty of associating others with God in His divinity. His guilt is the same whether or not he calls such beings divine.

Accordingly, good treatment of one's parents includes showing them respect and reverence, obeying them, trying to keep them pleased, and serving them. The Qur'an always mentions this right of the parents immediately after mentioning the duty one owes to God alone. This makes it quite clear that the rights of parents have precedence over those of other human beings.

The word fawahish applies to all those acts whose abominable character is self-evident. In the Qur'an all extra-marital sexual relationships, sodomy, nudity, false accusations of unchastity, and taking as one's wife a woman who had been married to one's father, are specifically reckoned as 'shameful deeds' (fawahish). In Hadith, theft, taking intoxicating drinks and begging have been characterized as fawahish, as have many other brazenly indecent acts. Man is required to abstain from them both openly and in secret.

This means that human life, which has been declared inviolable by God, can only be destroyed for just cause. As for what is meant by 'just cause', we ought to remember that three cases are embodied in the Qur'an whereas two additional cases have been stated by the Prophet (peace be on him). The cases mentioned by the Qur'an are the following:
(1) That a man is convicted of deliberate homicide and thus the claim of retaliation is established against him.
(2) That someone resists the establishment of the true faith so that fighting against him might become necessary.
(3) That someone is guilty of spreading disorder in the Domain of Islam and strives to overthrow the Islamic order of government.
The two cases mentioned in the Hadith are:
(1) That a person commits illegitimate sexual intercourse even after marriage.
(2) That a Muslim is guilty of apostasy and rebellion against the Muslim body-politic.
Except for these five reasons, slaying a human being is not permissible, regardless of whether he is a believer, a protected non-Muslim (dhimmi) or an ordinary unbeliever.
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Instead of following Pagan superstitions, and being in constant terror of imaginary taboos and prohibitions, we should study the true moral law, whose sanction is God's Law. The first step is that we should recognize that He is the One and Only Lord and Cherisher. The mention of goodness to parents immediately afterwards suggests: (1) that God's love of us and care for us may -on an infinitely higher plane- be understood by our ideal of parental love, which is purely unselfish; (2) that our first duty among our fellow creatures is to our father and mother, whose love leads us to the conception of divine love. Arising from that is the conception of our converse duties to our children. God provides sustenance (material and spiritual) not only for us, but for them; hence any custom like the Pagan custom of sacrificing children of Moloch stands condemned. Then come the moral prohibitions against lewdness and all unseemly acts, relating to sex or otherwise, open or secret. This is followed by the prohibition of killing or fighting. All these things are conformable to our own interests, and therefore true wisdom from our own point of view.

For the comprehensive word haqq I have used the two words "justice and law"; other significations implied are: right, truth, what is becoming, etc. It is not only that human life is sacred, but all life is sacred. Even in killing animals for food, a dedicatory formula "in the name of God" has to be employed, to make it lawful: see n. 698 to v. 5, and n. 962 to vi. 138.

Explanation by Verse By Verse Qur'an Study Circle:
From about two or three sections, the recurring theme has been how heedless and ignorant human being has bypassed the law revealed by the Law Giver and the Creator and in its place had taken ancestral and innovated customs as their religion. They made what Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala had declared to be lawful as unlawful, and what was declared as unlawful was made lawful by them.

In the this Ayah, Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala describes the things that He has prohibited.

From here begins the conclusion of Surah al-An'aam. They are the Muhkam Ayaat and none of them has been abrogated which means they “have” to be followed. This indicates the importance of these Ayaat. Below are some other virtues of these Ayaat.
About these Ayaat, Ibn Abbas radhiAllahu `anhu said, “In Surah al-An'aam there are clear Ayaat, and they are the Mother of the Book [the Qur’an]. He also said that these are the Muhkammat [Ayaat of established meaning] mentioned in Surah Aal-Imran Ayah 7. On these, all religious systems brought by the Prophets from Adam `alayhi salaam to the last among Prophets sallAllahu `alayhi wa sallam have been in agreement and none of these was abrogated in any religion, community or Shar`iah.
Ibn Mas`oud radhiAllahu `anhu said, “Whoever wishes to read the will and testament of the Messenger of Allah on which he placed his seal, let him read these Ayaat.”
Ka`ab al-Ahbar an accomplished scholar of the Torah who later became a Muslim said that these Ayaat of the Qur’an that describe ten unlawful things are with what the Torah, the Book of Allah, begins after Bismillah.
The Messenger of Allah said,
أَيُّكُمْ يُبَايِعُنِي عَلَى ثَلَاث
“Who among you will give me his pledge to do three things?” He then recited the Ayah, “Say, ‘Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited to you from…” until the end of the Ayah. He then said,

فَمَنْ وَفَى فَأَجْرُهُ عَلَى اللهِ وَمَنِ انْتَقَصَ مِنْهُنَّ شَيْئًا فَأَدْرَكَهُ اللهُ بِهِ فِي الدُّنْيَا كَانَتْ عُقُوبَتهُ، وَمَنْ أَخَّرَ إِلَى الْآخِرَةِ فَأَمْرُهُ إِلَى اللهِ إِنْ شَاءَ عَذَّبَهُ وَإِنْ شَاءَ عَفَا عَنْه
“Whoever fulfills (this pledge), then his reward will be with Allah, but whoever fell into shortcomings and Allah punishes him for it in this life, then that will be his recompense. Whoever Allah delays (his reckoning) until the Hereafter, then his matter is with Allah. If He wills, He will punish him, and if He wills, He will forgive him.”

As for the explanation of this Ayah, here Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala is addressing His Messenger Muhammad sallAllahu `alayhi wa sallam to convey to those idolators who worshipped other than Allah, forbade what Allah provided them with and killed their children, following their opinions and the lures of the devils, “…I will recite what your Lord has prohibited to you…” meaning I will inform you about what your Lord has forbidden for you in truth, not guessing or wishful thinking. Rather, it is revelation and an order from Him.

The First Grave Sin Forbidden is Shirk
“…[He commands] that you not associate anything with Him…” This was the first task that do not make idols like the polytheists nor call prophets God or son of God nor take angels to be daughters of God nor equate prophets and saints with Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala in His attributes of knowledge and power like the ignorant masses.
In the two Saheehs it is recorded that Abu Dharr radhiAllahu `anhu said that the Messenger of Allah said,
أَتَانِي جِبْرِيلُ فَبَشَّرَنِي أَنَّهُ مَنْ مَاتَ لَا يُشْرِكُ بِاللهِ شَيْئًا مِنْ أُمَّتِكَ دَخَلَ الْجَنَّةَ، قُلْتُ وَإِنْ زَنَى وَإِنْ سَرَقَ؟ قَالَ: وَإِنْ زَنَى وَإِنْ سَرَقَ، قُلْتُ: وَإِنْ زَنَى وَإِنْ سَرَقَ؟ قَالَ: وَإِنْ زَنَى وَإِنْ سَرَقَ، قُلْت: وَإِنْ زَنَى وَإِنْ سَرَقَ؟ قَالَ: وَإِنْ زَنَى وَإِنْ سَرَقَ وَإِنْ شَرِبَ الْخَمْر
“Jibreel came to me and conveyed the good news that, ‘Whoever among your followers dies, worshipping none along with Allah, will enter Paradise.’ I said, ‘Even if he stole or committed illegal sexual intercourse?’ He said, ‘Even if he stole or committed illegal sexual intercourse.’ I said, ‘Even if he stole or committed illegal sexual intercourse?’ He said, ‘Even if he stole or committed illegal sexual intercourse.’ I said, ‘Even if he stole or committed illegal sexual intercourse?’ He said, ‘Even if he stole or committed illegal sexual intercourse or even if drank alcohol.’”
Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala in Surah an-Nisa Ayah 116, “Verily, Allah forgives not (the sin of) setting up partners (in worship) with Him, but He forgives whom He wills, sins other than that.”
The Second Sin: Mistreating Parents
“… [He commands] … to parents, good treatment…” The purpose at this place is to tell not to be disobedient to parents and not to cause pain to them. But it is in a way of wisdom that the prohibition has been sublimated as ‘be good to parents’. The aim is to point out that, in the matter of parents, it is not enough that one does not disobey parents or does not cause any pain to them, but it is one’s duty to keep them pleased with decent, generous and obliging treatment.
Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala often mentions obeying Him and being dutiful to one’s parents together. See for example Surah Luqman Ayaat 14 and 15. This is a clear proof that this right of the parents is only next to the right of Allah and has priority over all human rights.

It is recorded in the two Saheehs that Ibn Mas`oud said, “I asked Allah’s Messenger about which deed is the best. He said, ‘The prayer, when it is performed on time.’ I said, ‘Then?’ He said, ‘Being dutiful to parents.’ I asked, ‘Then?’ He said, ‘Jihad in Allah’s cause.’ Ibn Mas`oud said, “The Messenger of Allah said these words to me, and had I asked him for more, he would have said more.”

Mufti Muhammad Shafi Usmani writes in his Maroof-ul-Qur’an that it means that serving parents during their old age makes it certain that the server will be admitted to Paradise. And certainly deprived and disgraced is he who has allowed such an easy bargain of Paradise slip out of his hands. This bargain is easy because parents are naturally affectionate to their children on their own. A little consideration here and there would make them all too happy. So, pleasing parents does not depend on or require a major act of grace. The restriction of old age placed here is because parents, when healthy and strong, take care of their needs by themselves – rather, would not hesitate to come to their assistance when needed, financially, physically or morally. At that time, neither do they need being served, nor would that service carry any distinct weight of its own. Serving parents can only be worthwhile and praiseworthy at a time when they need it because of their old age.

The Third Prohibition: Killing Children
“… [He commands]…and do not kill your children out of poverty; We will provide for you and them…” First the rights of parents due on children were taken up and now it is the right of children due on parents. Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala commands the children to be kind to their parents and grandparents, and orders the parents and grandparents to be kind to their children and grandchildren. The idolators used to kill their children obeying the lures of the devil. They used to bury their daughters alive for fear of shame, and sometimes kill their sons for fear of poverty. Therefore, it was said,
Abdullah Ibn Mas`oud said, I asked the Messenger of Allah, “Which sin is the biggest?” He said, “To call a rival for Allah while He alone created you.” I said, “Then what?” He said, “To kill your son for fear that he might share your food.” I said, “Then what?” He said, “To commit adultery with your neighbor’s wife.” Then the Messenger recited Ayah 68 of Surah al-Furqan, “And those who invoke not any other god along with Allah, nor kill such persons as Allah has forbidden except for just cause, nor commit illegal sexual intercourse…”

Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala forbids the killing of children for the fear of poverty because feeding children is Allah’s responsibility. He is Ar-Razzak, He will provide their sustenance as He feeds all other beings.

The Fourth Prohibition: Shameful Acts
“… And do not approach immoralities – what is apparent of them and what is concealed…” Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala prohibits even coming near shameful acts. The Arabic word Fawahish applies to all kinds of impure acts whose obscenity is absolutely obvious. The Qur’an declares adultery, sodomy, nudism, calumny, marriage with father’s wife as “indecencies”. Besides these, theft, drinking and beggary have also been included in the list of the indecencies in the ahadeeth.
If fawahish is taken in a broad and general sense, it will become inclusive of all evil traits and sins, whether of speech, or those of hands and feet and the heart. And if it is taken in the commonly and widely understood sense, that is, in the sense of immodesty, then, it would be referring to shameful acts, their preliminaries and their means and motives.

All outward indecencies would mean all sins committed through speech or through the use of hands and feet etc., and inward indecencies would be referring to sins which issue forth from the heart, such as, envy, malice, greed, ungratefulness, impatience and others of this nature.

Some respectable commentators say that outward indecencies refer to shameful acts the evil of which is common knowledge and everyone knows what it means. As for inward indecencies, they refer to acts which are immodest in the sight of Allah, though people generally do not take them as bad

[Details of open and secret sins have been covered in Surah al-Anaam Ayah 120]

The Fifth Prohibition: Unjustified Killing
“…And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed] except by [legal] right…” This is the declaration of the sanctity of human life by Allah.
The details of this right to kill appear in a hadeeth narrated by `Abdullah ibn Mas`oud radhiAllahu `anhu in al-Bukhari and Muslim. The Prophet sallAllahu `alayhi wa sallam said,

لَا يَحِلُّ دَمُ امْرِىءٍ مُسْلِمٍ يَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَأَنِّي رَسُولُ اللهِ، إِلَّا بِإِحْدَى ثَلَاثٍ: الثَّيِّبُ الزَّانِي، وَالنَّفْسُ بِالنَّفْسِ، وَالتَّارِكُ لِدِينِهِ الْمُفَارِقُ لِلْجَمَاعَة
“The blood of a Muslim person who testifies that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and that I am the Messenger of Allah is prohibited, except for three offenses: a married person who commits illegal sexual intercourse, life for life, and whoever reverts from the religion and abandons the Jama`ah (the community of faithful believers).) There is a prohibition, a warning and a threat against killing the Mu`ahid, i.e., non-Muslims who have a treaty of peace with Muslims.”

The Prophet said, “Whoever killed a person having a treaty of protection with Muslims, shall not smell the scent of Paradise, though its scent is perceived from a distance of forty years.” [al-Bukhari]

Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala ends the Ayah by saying, “…This has He instructed you that you may use reason.’” Meaning this is what He has commanded you that you may comprehend His commandments and prohibitions.

The remaining five commandments appear in Ayah 152.

  وَلَا تَقْرَبُوا مَالَ الْيَتِيمِ إِلَّا بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ حَتَّىٰ يَبْلُغَ أَشُدَّهُ ۖ وَأَوْفُوا الْكَيْلَ وَالْمِيزَانَ بِالْقِسْطِ ۖ لَا نُكَلِّفُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا ۖ وَإِذَا قُلْتُمْ فَاعْدِلُوا وَلَوْ كَانَ ذَا قُرْبَىٰ ۖ وَبِعَهْدِ اللَّـهِ أَوْفُوا ۚ ذَٰلِكُمْ وَصَّاكُم بِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ 
( 152 )   And do not approach the orphan's property except in a way that is best until he reaches maturity. And give full measure and weight in justice. We do not charge any soul except [with that within] its capacity. And when you testify, be just, even if [it concerns] a near relative. And the covenant of Allah fulfill. This has He instructed you that you may remember.
That is, one's handling of the property of orphans should be based on maximum selflessness, sincerity and well-wishing for the orphans; it should be of a kind which lends itself to no reproach, either from God or man.

Even though this is a full-fledged postulate of the law of God, it is mentioned here in order to stress that one who tries to remain fair and just to the utmost of his ability, in giving weight and measure and in his dealings with people, will be acquitted of responsibility for error. If any mistakes in weight or measure occur out of oversight, and thus involuntarily, he will not be punished.

'Covenant of Allah' signifies, in the first place, the commitment to God, as well as to human beings, to which man binds himself in His name. It also signifies that covenant between man and God, as well as between one human being and another which automatically takes place the moment a person is born onto God's earth and into human society. The first two covenants mentioned are voluntary and deliberate whereas the last one is natural. The last one is no less binding than the first two, even though man does not make it of his own volition. For when man enjoys his own existence, makes use of his physical and mental energy, benefits from the means of sustenance and natural resources - in other words, when he benefits from the world created by God and avails himself of the opportunities provided for him by the operation of natural laws - he incurs certain obligations towards God. In the same way, when one derives nourishment and sustenance from the blood of one's mother while in her womb, when one opens one's eyes in a family which is supported by the toil of one's father, when one benefits from the various institutions of human society, one is placed in varying degrees of obligation towards those individuals and institutions. This covenant between man and God and between man and society is inscribed, not on a piece of paper, but on every fiber of man's being. Man has not entered into this covenant consciously and deliberately, yet the whole of his being owes itself to it. (Surah al-Baqarah 2:27) alludes to this covenant when it says that it is the transgressors 'who break the covenant of Allah after its firm binding, and cut asunder what Allah has commanded to be joined, and spread mischief on earth'. It is also mentioned in (Surah al-A'raf 7:172 )in the following words: 'And recall when your Lord took the children of Adam from their loins and made them testify as to themselves saying, "Am I not your Lord?" (to which) they answered, "Yes, we do bear witness thereto. "

Explanation by Verse By Verse Qur'an Study Circle:
In Ayah 151, we read five of the ten commandments sent by Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala that are similar to those mentioned in the Torah. Ayaat 152 and 153 describe the next five commandments.

The Sixth Prohibition: Eating up the Property of an Orphan
The address here is to the guardians of orphaned children who are minors. The guardians have been told that they should treat the property of orphans as if it was fire. They should not go near it to take from it or eat of it unlawfully.
However, protecting the property of the orphan and investing it in a permissible business where the danger of loss does not customarily exist is fair enough, even necessary. Guardians of the orphaned children should do so.

When the orphan child reaches an age of full strength that adolescence, according to Ash-Sha`bi, Malik and others the property can be handed over to the orphan. The guardian must see that the child has matured and has the ability to protect his property by himself and invest it gainfully.

The Seventh Prohibition: Weighing and Measuring Short
The word bil-qist [بِالْقِسْطِ] translated as “justice” applies to a transaction in which the giver does not decrease anything from what is due to be received by the other party and the receiver does not take anything more than what is due to come to him from the giver. Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala has warned about those abandoning this commandment in Surah Mutaffifeen. He said, “Woe to those who give less [than due], Who when they take a measure from people, take in full. But if they give by measure or by weight to them, they cause loss. Do they not think that they will be resurrected?” Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala destroyed an entire nation that was accustomed to giving less in weights and measures. They were the people of Sh`uaib `alayhi salaam.
Then Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala said, “We do not charge any soul except [with that within] its capacity…” meaning that whoever strives while pursing his rights and giving other people their full rights, then there is no sin on him if he commits an honest mistake after trying his best and striving to do what is right. Any command that is imposed on a person is not impossible. It is because the person has been given the ability to do it. Such as being kind to your parents is not impossible. Not killing your children out of fear of poverty is not impossible. How much would a child eat? Do your best and if it’s beyond your ability to please someone Allah will not hold you accountable for it.

The Eighth Commandment: The Order for Just Testimony
Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala commands justice in action and statement, with both near relatives and distant relatives. Indeed, Allah orders justice for everyone at all times and in all situations.
Every word that we utter whether of praise or advice should be measured. When we are called for witness or to give a judgment nothing should stop us from saying what is right, true and just – no friendship and love, no enmity and hostility. Sometimes when there is a person that we like we keep on sprinkling words of praise about them. On the other hand, when there is someone who we don’t like we exaggerate in their case, and even talk about traits that are not present in them.

The Ninth Command: Fulfill the Covenant of Allah
The ninth command is to fulfill the covenant of Allah and avoid breaking the solemn pledge given. The covenant of Allah could mean the pledge that was taken from every human being at the beginning of life when all human beings were asked: Alastu biRabbikum “Am I not your Lord?” All of us said: Bala meaning there is no doubt that You are our Rabb. This pledge demands that we do not disobey any command given by Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala.
Consider everything He has asked to do at the level of the highest possible priority and take it to be the most important of all that we do. And as for things He has asked us not to do, we should not go even near them – even stay away from falling in doubts about them. Thus, the essence of this covenant is that we should obey Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala totally and perfectly.

The solemn pledge also means the pledge which a man makes with another in “the name of Allah” such as when a person says: Wallahi or in sha Allah.

The Ayah ends with a sentence of persuasion, “This has He instructed you that you may remember”. Take these commands to heart and remember them in different situations in your life.

  وَأَنَّ هَـٰذَا صِرَاطِي مُسْتَقِيمًا فَاتَّبِعُوهُ ۖ وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا السُّبُلَ فَتَفَرَّقَ بِكُمْ عَن سَبِيلِهِ ۚ ذَٰلِكُمْ وَصَّاكُم بِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ 
( 153 )   And, [moreover], this is My path, which is straight, so follow it; and do not follow [other] ways, for you will be separated from His way. This has He instructed you that you may become righteous.
It is an essential corollary of the natural covenant mentioned above that man should follow the way prescribed by his Lord; any deflection from the orders of God, or serving anyone other than Him, constitutes a primary breach of that covenant. Once this breach has been committed every single article of the covenant is likely to be violated one after the other. Moreover, it should also be remembered that man cannot acquit himself of the highly delicate, extensive and complex set of responsibilities entailed by this covenant unless he accepts the guidance of God and tries to follow the way prescribed by Him.

Non-acceptance of God's guidance necessarily produces two grave and damaging consequences. First, by following any other way, one is inevitably led away from the true path and is thus deprived of the opportunity to approach God and please Him. Second, as soon as man deviates from the Straight Way prescribed by God, he encounters a whole labyrinth of highways and byways, causing the entire human species to fall a prey to total bewilderment and perplexity, and which shatters all dreams of a steady advance towards maturity and betterment. The words 'follow not other paths for they will scatter you away from His path' hint at this damage. See (Surah al-Ma'idah 5, n. 35) above.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Note again the triple refrain with variations, in vi. 151, 152, and 153. In verse 151, we have the moral law, which it is for our own good to follow: "Thus doth He command you, that ye may learn wisdom." In verse 152, we have to deal justly and rightly with others; we are apt to think too much of ourselves and forget others: "Thus doth He command you, that ye may remember." In verse 153 our attention is called to the Straight Way, the Way of God, the only Way that leads to righteousness: "Thus doth He command you, that ye may be righteous."

Explanation by Verse By Verse Qur'an Study Circle:
The last of the ten commandments appears in Ayah 153.
Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala commanded the believers to adhere to the Jama`ah and forbade them from causing divisions and disputes. He informed them that those before them were destroyed because of divisions and disputes in the religion of Allah.
Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal recorded that `Abdullah ibn Mas`oud radhiAllahu `anhu said that the Messenger of Allah sallAllahu `alayhi wa sallam drew a line with his hand [in the sand] and said,

هَذَا سَبِيلُ اللهِ مُسْتَقِيمًا
“This is Allah’s path, leading straight.” He then drew lines to the right and left of that line and said, “These are the other paths, on each path there is a devil who calls it.” He then recited this Ayah.

Ibn Jareer recorded that a man asked Ibn Mas`oud, “What is As-Sirat Al-Mustaqeem (the straight path)?” Ibn Mas`pud replied, “Muhammad left us at its lower end and its other end is in Paradise. To the right of this Path are other paths, and to the left of it are other paths, and there are men (on these paths) calling those who pass by them. Whoever goes on the other paths will end up in the Fire. Whoever takes the Straight Path, will end up in Paradise.”

Allah’s statement,
فَاتَّبِعُوهُ وَلاَ تَتَّبِعُواْ السُّبُلَ
“so follow it, and follow not (other) ways…” describes Allah’s path in the singular sense, because truth is one. Allah describes the other paths in the plural, because they are many and are divided.

There is one path that the Prophet sallAllahu `alayhi wa sallam showed us. That is the path of Allah. And there are many other ways that will deviate a person from the way of Allah.

The sign of being on the correct path is that a person implements the commands of Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala.

To recall the Ten Commandments listed in verses 151-153 are:
(1) Not to associate anyone with Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala in belief, deed, worship or obedience;
(2) to be kind to one’s parents;
(3) to not kill children because of poverty;
(4) to stay away from immorality and shameful acts;
(5) to not kill someone unjustly whether a Muslim or non-Muslim;
(6) to not eat up the orphan’s property by false means;
(7) to weigh or measure in full;
(8) to be just in witness, judgment or speech;
(9) to fulfill the covenant of Allah; and
(10) to follow the straight path of Allah and not follow other ways right and left.

 ثُمَّ آتَيْنَا مُوسَى الْكِتَابَ تَمَامًا عَلَى الَّذِي أَحْسَنَ وَتَفْصِيلًا لِّكُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةً لَّعَلَّهُم بِلِقَاءِ رَبِّهِمْ يُؤْمِنُونَ 
( 154 )   Then We gave Moses the Scripture, making complete [Our favor] upon the one who did good and as a detailed explanation of all things and as guidance and mercy that perhaps in [the matter of] the meeting with their Lord they would believe.
To believe in 'meeting with the Lord' signifies the conviction that one is answerable to God, and which leads one to adopt responsible behaviour in life.

The statement made here could mean two things. It might mean that the teachings of the heavenly Book vouchsafed to Moses could itself create a sense of responsibility among the Israelites. Alternatively, it might mean that when ordinary people observe the wonderful way of life prescribed by God, and note the beneficial effects of its merciful dispensation in the lives of righteous people, they will come to realize that belief in the After-life is, in all respects, a better basis for human life than its denial. In this way, their observation and study might turn them from rejection to true faith.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The revelation to Moses went into the details of people's lives, and thus served as a practical guide to the Jews and after them to the Christians. Admittedly the Message delivered by Christ dealt with general principles only and in no way with details. The message of Islam as in the Qur'an is the next complete guide in point of time after that of Moses.

Explanation by Verse By Verse Qur'an Study Circle:
Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala often mentions the Qur’an and Torah together as can be seen in Surah al-Ahqaf Ayah 12, Surah al-Anaam Ayaat 91 and 92, and other places.

We read previously that the commandments mentioned in Ayaat 151 – 153 are the same that were given to Musa `alayhi salaam. The Children of Israel had just come out of slavery of Pharoah [as we read in Surah al-Baqarah Ayaat 49 – 53]. Then Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala called Prophet Musa for an appointment of forty nights at Mount Sinai. Here, He provided him with the Ten Commandments that were essential for realizing their purpose and getting a meaningful direction in life. Later on, Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala sent down the Scripture to provide detailed explanation of all religious matters. It was complete and comprehensive.

This is denoted by the word tamama [تَمَامًا] which is derived from the word tamaam meaning entire. Here, in the Ayah the word denotes the meaning of “complete”.

And why was Prophet Musa favored with this? Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala says, “…making complete [Our favor] upon the one who did good…” As a reward for Musa `alayhi salaam’s doing good and obeying Allah’s commands and orders. This teaches us an important lesson that when one accepts what he has been given by Allah [no matter how much he dislikes it], Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala rewards him with more and better. We learn this from the story of Prophet Ibraheem `alayhi salaam too, it was said, “And, when Ibraheem was tried by his Lord with commands and he fulfilled them. [Allah] said, ‘Indeed, I will make you a leader for the people.’” [al-Baqarah:124]

In Surah Ar-Rahman Ayah 60, it was said, هَلْ جَزَآءُ الإِحْسَـنِ إِلاَّ الإِحْسَـنُ  “Is there any reward for good other than what is best?”

The Ten Commandments were the basic principles of the religion, when he accepted them he was given more and it completed the favor of Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala.

Here we learn four characteristics of the Torah: (1) tamama it is complete (2) tafseelan explained everything that required an explanation (in the religion) (3) hudan guidance and (4) rahmatan mercy.

Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala ends the Ayah by saying, “…that perhaps in [the matter of] the meeting with their Lord they would believe.”

Ruku / Sections 20 [Verses 155-165]

وَهَـٰذَا كِتَابٌ أَنزَلْنَاهُ مُبَارَكٌ فَاتَّبِعُوهُ وَاتَّقُوا لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ 
( 155 )   And this [Qur'an] is a Book We have revealed [which is] blessed, so follow it and fear Allah that you may receive mercy. 
  أَن تَقُولُوا إِنَّمَا أُنزِلَ الْكِتَابُ عَلَىٰ طَائِفَتَيْنِ مِن قَبْلِنَا وَإِن كُنَّا عَن دِرَاسَتِهِمْ لَغَافِلِينَ 
( 156 )   [We revealed it] lest you say, "The Scripture was only sent down to two groups before us, but we were of their study unaware,"
The allusion is to the Jews and the Christians.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Because the diligent studies of the earlier People of the Book were in languages foreign to the new People of Islam, or because they were meant for circumstances different from those of the new world after Islam.

Explanation by Verse By Verse Qur'an Study Circle (verse 155-156):
The word Mubarak has been used for the Qur’an this denotes that it has many blessings. It gathers everything in it. It has details, mercy, guidance and abundant benefits. All characteristics in one.

The Ayah calls to following the Qur’an. Allah encourages His servants to follow His Book (the Qur’an) and orders them to understand it, adhere to it and call to it. He also describes it as being blessed, for those who follow and implement it in this life and the Hereafter, because it is the Firm Rope of Allah.

A person who recites and understands the meaning of the Qur’an is happier than a person who doesn’t recite it.

Then Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala gives the reason for sending the Qur’an. The People of the Book had their Books which were written in their language. They would recite it among themselves and not share the knowledge with others that is the Arabs. The Arabs didn’t know Hebrew. Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala sent a Book towards the Arabs that was in “their” language [Arabic] so that on the Day of Judgment they don’t come up with the excuse, “We were not given a Book,” or that “The Book was not in our tongue,” or that “We were unaware of the message” or even “We didn’t know there is a Book that is to be read, understood and taught”.

Now Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala has sent a Book towards them in their language that must be read, understood and taught to others.

  أَوْ تَقُولُوا لَوْ أَنَّا أُنزِلَ عَلَيْنَا الْكِتَابُ لَكُنَّا أَهْدَىٰ مِنْهُمْ ۚ فَقَدْ جَاءَكُم بَيِّنَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةٌ ۚ فَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّن كَذَّبَ بِآيَاتِ اللَّـهِ وَصَدَفَ عَنْهَا ۗ سَنَجْزِي الَّذِينَ يَصْدِفُونَ عَنْ آيَاتِنَا سُوءَ الْعَذَابِ بِمَا كَانُوا يَصْدِفُونَ 
( 157 )   Or lest you say, "If only the Scripture had been revealed to us, we would have been better guided than they." So there has [now] come to you a clear evidence from your Lord and a guidance and mercy. Then who is more unjust than one who denies the verses of Allah and turns away from them? We will recompense those who turn away from Our verses with the worst of punishment for their having turned away.
'Signs of Allah' include the teachings embodied in the Qur'an. They are also manifest in the noble life of the Prophet (peace be on him), and the pure lives of those who believed in him. They also include the natural phenomena to which the Qur'an refers in support of its message.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The Qur'an and the life and the teaching of Muhammad the Apostle of God.

Explanation by Verse By Verse Qur'an Study Circle:
Meaning Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala also refuted this excuse, had they used it, that if a Book was revealed to us, just as the People of the Book received, we would have been better guided than them because our sharpness or intellect. The Arabs were proud of their memory and comprehension.

Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala now there has come to you from Me a Glorious Qur’an revealed to Muhammad, the Arab Prophet. In it is the explanation of the lawful and unlawful matters, guidance for the hearts and mercy from Allah to His servants who follow and implement it. It’s up to you whether you accept it or reject it.

If you reject it “Then who is more unjust than one who denies the Ayaat of Allah and turns away from them?” This refers to the ones who neither benefit from what the Messenger [sallAllahu `alayhi wa sallam] brought nor followed what he was sent with by abandoning all other ways.

The word Sadafa means to avoid something or to turn away from something. The ones who didn’t accept the Qur’an not only turned away from the Qur’an themselves but also discouraged and hindered people from following it.

A person who turns away and stops others from following the Ayaat of Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala is an unjust person. And for such a person there is worst punishment.

We seek refuge with Allah from such a behavior, Aameen.

  هَلْ يَنظُرُونَ إِلَّا أَن تَأْتِيَهُمُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ أَوْ يَأْتِيَ رَبُّكَ أَوْ يَأْتِيَ بَعْضُ آيَاتِ رَبِّكَ ۗ يَوْمَ يَأْتِي بَعْضُ آيَاتِ رَبِّكَ لَا يَنفَعُ نَفْسًا إِيمَانُهَا لَمْ تَكُنْ آمَنَتْ مِن قَبْلُ أَوْ كَسَبَتْ فِي إِيمَانِهَا خَيْرًا ۗ قُلِ انتَظِرُوا إِنَّا مُنتَظِرُونَ 
( 158 )   Do they [then] wait for anything except that the angels should come to them or your Lord should come or that there come some of the signs of your Lord? The Day that some of the signs of your Lord will come no soul will benefit from its faith as long as it had not believed before or had earned through its faith some good. Say, "Wait. Indeed, we [also] are waiting."
That is, either tokens of the approach of the Day of Reckoning or God's scourge or any other sign that will uncover the Truth, after which there will be no reason left for testing man.

Those tokens will be so clear that after their appearance it will neither avail the unbeliever to repent of his unbelief nor the disobedient to forsake his disobedience. For faith and obedience have meaning and value only as long as the Truth remains hidden, as long as the tenure of life granted to people does not seem to have approached its end and the world with all its vanities continues to delude man that, as there may neither be God nor After-life, one should eat, drink and enjoy oneself as best one can.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
There is no merit in faith in things that you are compelled to acknowledge when they actually happen. Faith is belief in things which you do not see with your own eyes but you understand with your spiritual sense: if your whole will consents to it, it results in deeds of righteousness, which are the evidence of your faith.

The waiting in the two cases is in quite different senses: the foolish man without faith is waiting for things which will not happen, and is surprised by the real things which do happen; the righteous man of faith is waiting for the fruits of righteousness, of which he has an assured hope; in a higher state of spiritual elevation, even the fruits have no personal meaning to him, for God is to him in all: vi. 162.

Explanation by Verse By Verse Qur'an Study Circle:
The major portion of Surah Al-Anaam has been revealed to correct the beliefs and deeds of the people of Makkah and to remove their doubts and to answer questions raised by them. All through the Surah, especially in the previous Ayaat, the people of Makkah and the rest of Arabia were given to understand that they had seen open signs and miracles at the hands of the Prophet salAllahu `alayhi wa sallam. They had heard about the prophecies of past books and prophets about him. Then, they had themselves listened to the recitation of the Qur’an from one totally unlettered (Ummiyy) – a standing miracle on its own. Now the avenues of truth lay ‘open’ before them.

The argument of Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala stood conclusively established against them. Believing was all they needed to do. What else could it be they were waiting for before they would do that? This subject was eloquently put in this ayah. [Maarif-ul-Qur’an]

Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala sternly threatens the disbelievers, those who defy His Messengers, deny His Ayaat, and hinder from His path. Are these people waiting to believe only when the angels of death reach them, or are they waiting to be on the plains of Resurrection when Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala will come to decide destinies, or are they waiting to see some last signs of the coming of the fateful Day. That the Most Exalted Rabb of all shall appear on the Judgment Day has been mentioned in several Ayaat of the Qur’an.

In Surah al-Baqarah Ayah 210, Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala says,

“Do they await but that Allah should come to them in covers of clouds and the angels [as well] and the matter is [then] decided? And to Allah [all] matters are returned.”

[Read: Tafseer Surah al-Baqarah Ayah 210]

About the coming of the signs, Ibn Katheer writes before the commencement of the Day of Resurrection, there will appear signs and portents of the Last Hour that will be witnessed by the people living at the time. In a section about this Ayah, Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Huraira radhiAllahu `anhu said that the Messenger of Allah said,

لَا تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ حَتَّى تَطْلُعَ الشَّمْسُ مِنْ مَغْرِبِهَا فَإِذَا رَآهَا النَّاسُ آمَنَ مَنْ عَلَيْهَا فَذَلِكَ حِين

“The Last Hour will not commence until the sun rises from the west. When the people witness that, they will all believe. This is when: ‘no good will it do to a person to believe then, if he believed not before.’”

Ibn Jareer recorded that Abu Huraira said that the Messenger of Allah said,

ثَلَاثٌ إِذَا خَرَجْنَ لَا يَنْفَعُ نَفْسًا إِيمَانُهَا لَمْ تَكُنْ آمَنَتْ مِنْ قَبْل أَوْ كَسَبَتْ فِي إِيمَانِهَا خَيْرًا، طُلُوعُ الشَّمْسِ مِنْ مَغْرِبِهَا وَالدَّجَّالُ وَدَابَّةُ الْأَرْض

“Three, if they appear, then a soul will not benefit from its faith, if it had not believed before or earned good in its faith: when the sun rises from the west, Ad-Dajjal and the Beast of the earth.”

Ahmad also recorded this hadeeth, and in his narration, the Prophet mentioned the Smoke. Imam Ahmad recorded that `Amr bin Jareer said, “Three Muslim men sat with Marwan in Madina and they heard him talking about the signs (of the Last Hour). He said that the first sign will be the appearance of Ad-Dajjal. So these men went to `Abdullah bin `Amr and told him what they heard from Marwan about the signs. Ibn `Amr said, Marwan said nothing. I remember that I heard the Messenger of Allah saying,

إِنَّ أَوَّلَ الْآياتِ خُرُوجًا طُلُوعُ الشَّمْسِ مِنْ مَغْرِبِهَا وَخُرُوجُ الدَّابَّةِ ضُحًى فَأَيَّتُهُمَا كَانَتْ قَبْلَ صَاحِبَتِهَا فَالْأُخْرَى عَلَى أَثَرِهَا

“The first of the signs to appear are the sun rising from the west and the Beast that appears in the early morning. Whichever comes before the other, then the second sign will appear soon after it.”

Then `Abdullah said – and he used to read the Scriptures – “And I think the first of them is the sun rising from the west. That is because when it sets it comes under the Throne, prostrates and seeks permission to return. So it is permitted to return until Allah wants it to rise from the west. So it does as it normally would, it comes beneath the Throne, it prostrates and seeks permission to return. But it will get no response. Then it will seek permission to return (again), but it will get no response, until what Allah wills of the night to pass goes by, and it realizes that if it is permitted to return it would not (be able to) reach the east. It says; ‘My Lord! The east is so far, what good would I be to the people?’ Until the horizons appear as a (lightless) ring, it seeks permission to return and is told; ‘Rise from your place,’ so it rises upon the people from where it set.” Then he recited,

لاَ يَنفَعُ نَفْسًا إِيمَانُهَا لَمْ تَكُنْ ءَامَنَتْ مِن قَبْلُ

“…no good will it do to a person to believe then, if he believed not before…” [6:158] This was also recorded by Muslim in his Saheeh, and Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah in their Sunans.

Allah’s statement,
لاَ يَنفَعُ نَفْسًا إِيمَانُهَا لَمْ تَكُنْ ءَامَنَتْ مِن قَبْلُ
means, when the disbeliever believes then, it will not be accepted from him. As for those who were believers before, if they earned righteous deeds, they will have earned a great deal of good. If they had not done good nor repented before then, it will not be accepted from them, according to the ahadeeth that we mentioned. This is also the meaning of Allah’s statement,

أَوْ كَسَبَتْ فِى إِيمَـنِهَا خَيْرًا
Meaning, one’s good deeds will not be accepted from him unless he performed good deeds before.

Mufti Muhammad Shafi Usmani writes that the warning given here is that, as soon as some of these signs of Allah appear, the doors of Tawbah (repentance) will be closed. Anyone who had not come to believe before this happens will find his or her declaration of faith after that as unacceptable. As for a person who had believed before but had done nothing by way of good deeds will find that his or her act of Tawbah and the resolve to be good in future deeds – after these signs – are not acceptable. In short, that will be ominous time when the Tawbah of a disbeliever from his disbelief and the Tawbah of a sinner from his sin and disobedience, even if offered, will not be accepted. Emaan and Tawbah can be accepted only up to the time it remains within the choice of a person. Faith under duress and repentance under threat are not acceptable.

There are many Ayaat which mention how the people condemned to Hell will start wailing on arrival there. They will make big promises that should they be returned back to the mortal world, they would do nothing but believe and be good in deeds. But, the answer given to them will be: The time for belief and deed is over. What you are saying now is because you have no other choice. This is not valid. [Maarif-ul-Qur’an]

Allah said next, “Say: Wait. Indeed, we [also] are waiting.’” This is a stern threat to the disbelievers and a sure promise for those who delay embracing the faith and repenting until a time when faith or repentance shall not avail. This will occur when the sun rises from the west because the Last Hour will then be imminent and its major signs will have begun to appear.

Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala said in other Ayaat,

“Do they then await (anything) other than the Hour, that it should come upon them suddenly But some of its portents have already come; and when it is upon them, how can they benefit then by their reminder?” [Surah Muhammad : 18] and,

“So when they saw Our punishment, they said: ‘We believe in Allah alone and reject (all) that we used to associate with Him as partners.’ Then their faith could not avail them when they saw Our punishment.” [Surah Ghafir : 84-85]

 إِنَّ الَّذِينَ فَرَّقُوا دِينَهُمْ وَكَانُوا شِيَعًا لَّسْتَ مِنْهُمْ فِي شَيْءٍ ۚ إِنَّمَا أَمْرُهُمْ إِلَى اللَّـهِ ثُمَّ يُنَبِّئُهُم بِمَا كَانُوا يَفْعَلُونَ 
( 159 )   Indeed, those who have divided their religion and become sects - you, [O Muhammad], are not [associated] with them in anything. Their affair is only [left] to Allah; then He will inform them about what they used to do.
This is addressed to the Prophet (peace be on him) and through him to all followers of the true faith. The import of this statement is that true faith has always consisted, and still consists, in recognizing the One True God as one's God and Lord; in associating none with God in His divinity - neither in respect of His essence, nor of His attributes, nor of His claims upon His creatures; in believing in the Hereafter and hence considering oneself answerable before God; and in living according to those principles and values which have been communicated by God to mankind through His Prophets and Books. This was the religion entrusted to man at the beginning of human life.

The religions which emerged later stemmed from the perverted ingenuity of man, from his baser lusts, and from an exaggerated sense of devotion to venerable personalities. Such factors corrupted the original religion and overlaid it with harmful innovations. Hence, people modified and distorted the original beliefs by mixing them with products of their conjecture and philosophical thinking. More and more innovations were added to the original laws of the true religion. Putting aside the Law of God, men set themselves up as their own law-makers, indulged in hair-splitting elaborations, and exaggerated the importance of disagreements in minor legal problems. They showed excessive veneration for some Prophets of God and some standard-bearers of the true religion, and directed their rancour and hatred against the others. Thus there emerged innumerable religions and sects, the birth of each leading to the fragmentation of humanity into an ever-increasing number of mutually hostile groups. Anyone who decides to follow the true religion must therefore cut himself off from all factions and chart an independent course.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Divide their religion: farraqu: i.e., (1) make a distinction between one part of it and another, take the part which suits them and reject the rest; or (2) have religion one day of the week and the world the rest of the six days; or (3) keep "religion in its right place," as if it did not claim to govern the whole life; make a sharp distinction between the secular and the religious; or (4) show a sectarian bias, seek differences in views, so as to break up the unity of Islam.

Explanation by Verse By Verse Qur'an Study Circle:
Ibn Katheer reports that Ayah 159 was revealed about the Jews and the Christians. Ibn `Abbas radhiAllahu `anhu commented about the Ayah that before Muhammad (salAllahu `alayhi wa sallam) was sent, the Jews and the Christians disputed and divided into sects. When Muhammad was sent, Allah revealed to him this Ayah.

It is also said that the Ayah is about the Mushrikeen who instead of worshiping Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala have divided up their worship between various gods.

Today, the Muslims are getting guidance from right and left. They are leaving the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad salAllahu `alayhi wa sallam, disputing among themselves and forming sects.

It is apparent that this Ayah refers to all those who defy the religion of Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala, or revert from it. Allah sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth so that He makes it victorious and dominant above all religions. His Law is one and does not contain any contradiction or incongruity.

Therefore, those who dispute in the religion, and break up into sects then Allah has purified His Messenger from their ways. What is the correct religion? It was said in Surah al-Hajj Ayah 78, “[It is] the religion of your father, Ibraheem. Allah named you “Muslims” before [in former scriptures] and in this [revelation] that the Messenger may be a witness over you and you may be witnesses over the people.”

All the Messengers have brought the same message of worshiping Allah alone without partners and adhering to the Law of the last Messenger. All other paths are types of misguidance, ignorance, sheer opinion and desires, and as such, the Messengers are free from them. All the previous nations were ‘Muslims’ then they deviated and became Jews, Christians and polytheists. They became so fond of what they have invented that they went out of the true Deen. Therefore, Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala said to the Prophet Muhammad, “You are not [associated] with them in anything.”

Here is a stern warning against making additions in established religion. According to Tafseer Mazhari, included here are the peoples of the past communities as well, those who had abandoned their basic religion and had added to it things on their own – and with them, there are the deviators and innovators of this Ummah too, who keep adding baseless things, on their own, into Islam.

About this, the Prophet salAllahu `alayhi wa sallam said, “My Ummah will face the same conditions faced by the Bani Isra`eel. The kind of evil practices in which they got involved will also affect the people of my Ummah. The Bani Isra`eel had split into seventy two sects. My Ummah will break up into seventy three sects – all of them will go to Hell, except one.” The Sahabahs asked about the group which would be so blessed with salvation. He said, “Maa ana `alayhi wa ashabi.” Meaning that on which I am and my Companions. [Reported by At-Tirmidhi and Abu Daw`oud from Ibn `Umar]

Based on a narration from Al-`Irbad ibn Siriyah, Imam Ahmad, Abu Daw`oud, At-Tirmidhi and others have reported the Prophet said,
“Those who live after me will see many differences. Therefore, (I order you that) you should, abiding by my Sunnah and the Sunnah of my rightly guided successors strictly, keep doing what you do while adhering to nothing but these, avoid the temptation of falling for new methods because everything introduced anew into the religion is Bid`ah, and every Bid`ah is error and straying.”
  مَن جَاءَ بِالْحَسَنَةِ فَلَهُ عَشْرُ أَمْثَالِهَا ۖ وَمَن جَاءَ بِالسَّيِّئَةِ فَلَا يُجْزَىٰ إِلَّا مِثْلَهَا وَهُمْ لَا يُظْلَمُونَ 
( 160 )   Whoever comes [on the Day of Judgement] with a good deed will have ten times the like thereof [to his credit], and whoever comes with an evil deed will not be recompensed except the like thereof; and they will not be wronged.
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
God is just as well as generous. To the good the reward is multiplied ten times (i.e., far above the merits) on account of His generosity. To the evil, the punishment is no more than commensurate with their sin, and even so the door of mercy is always open to those who sincerely repent and show it by their conduct.

Explanation by Verse By Verse Qur'an Study Circle:
In Ayah 160 Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala mentioned His kindness in His decisions and His justice on the Day of Resurrection.

In the previous Ayah the punishments were stated for those who turn away from the straight path and the Sunnah of Rasoolullah. Now, Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala mentions the procedure of reward and punishment in the Hereafter. It has been said that a person who does one good deed will get ten times more in return – and a person who commits one sin, the return for him will be equal to that one sin.

There are several ahadeeth that are in agreement with the apparent wording of this honorable Ayah. Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal recorded that Ibn `Abbas said that the Messenger of Allah said about his Lord,

إِنَّ رَبَّكُمْ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ رَحِيمٌ مَنْ هَمَّ بِحَسَنَةٍ فَلَمْ يَعْمَلْهَا كُتِبَتْ لَهُ حَسَنَةً فَإِنْ عَمِلَهَا كُتِبَتْ لَهُ عَشْرًا إِلَى سَبْعِمِائَةٍ إِلَى أَضْعَافٍ كَثِيرَةٍ. وَمَنْ هَمَّ بِسَيِّئَةٍ فَلَمْ يَعْمَلْهَا كُتِبَتْ لَهُ حَسَنَةً فَإِنْ عَمِلَهَا كُتِبَتْ لَهُ وَاحِدَةً أَوْ يَمْحُوهَا اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ وَلَا يَهْلِكُ عَلَى اللهِ إِلَّا هَالِك

“Your Lord is Most Merciful. Whoever intends to perform a good deed and does not do it, it will be written for him as a good deed. If he performs it, it will be written for him as ten deeds, to seven hundred, to multi fold. Whoever intends to commit an evil deed, but does not do it, it will be written for him as a good deed. If he commits it, it will be written for him as a sin, unless Allah erases it. Only those who deserve destruction will be destroyed by Allah.”[Al-Bukhari, Muslim and An-Nasa’i also recorded this hadeeth]

While Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala will recompense for a good deed ten times, seven hundred times or even more but for bad deed He will only recorded as one bad deen which too can be erased by true repentance and enthusiasm to do more good deed. This tells us how merciful Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala is.

 قُلْ إِنَّنِي هَدَانِي رَبِّي إِلَىٰ صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ دِينًا قِيَمًا مِّلَّةَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ حَنِيفًا ۚ وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ 
( 161 )   Say, "Indeed, my Lord has guided me to a straight path - a correct religion - the way of Abraham, inclining toward truth. And he was not among those who associated others with Allah."
The 'Way of Abraham' is one further indication of the way of true religion which one is required to follow. This way could also have been designated as the way of Moses or of Jesus But since their names have become falsely associated with Judaism and Christianity respectively, it was necessary to call it the 'Way of Abraham'. Moreover, Abraham was acknowledged by both the Jews and the Christians as rightly-guided and both knew, of course, that he lived long before either Judaism or Christianity was born. In the same way, the polytheists of Arabia also considered Abraham to be rightly-guided. Despite their ignorance, they at least acknowledged that that righteous man, who had founded the Ka'bah, was a worshiper of God exclusively and no idolater.

Explanation by Verse By Verse Qur'an Study Circle:
n the previous Ayaat we have studied how people altered the true religion either through adding something new to it or by making a deficiency, and split into factions and groups. The Ayaat here present an authentic profile of the true religion describing its fundamental principles, and some important subsidiaries and details.

Allah commands His Prophet salAllahu `alayhi wa sallam to convey the news of being guided to Allah’s straight path. Notice that the Ayah says, إِنَّنِى هَدَانِى رَبِّى إِلَى صِرَطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ “Indeed, my Lord has guided me to a straight path,” meaning that he has not taken this path prompted by his own ideas or under the weight of ancestral customs but rather he was guided to this path by his Rabb. Those who seek guidance will be guided by Him.

This path is neither wicked, nor deviant. It is established on firm grounds and the way of Prophet Ibraheem `alayhi salaam, and he was not an idolator. The reason that Prophet Ibraheem `alayhi salaam was mentioned was that every sect from the Jews, the Christians and the Mushrikeen tried to prove that they were staunch adherents of the religion of Ibraheem. To remove their misgiving it was said that he was ‘Haneef’. He has the distinction of always abstaining from bowing before anyone other than Allah and he had distaste for all kinds of Shirk.

In Surah an-Nahl Ayaat 120 – 123 Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala describes Ibraheem `alayhi salaam in the following manner,
“Indeed, Ibraheem was a [comprehensive] leader, devoutly obedient to Allah, inclining toward truth, and he was not of those who associate others with Allah. [He was] grateful for His favors. Allah chose him and guided him to a straight path. And We gave him good in this world, and indeed, in the Hereafter he will be among the righteous. Then We revealed to you, [O Muhammad], to follow the religion of Ibraheem, inclining toward truth; and he was not of those who associate with Allah.”
In sharp contrast to him, you are all soaked in Shirk. Everyone has taken someone as a partner with Allah. The Jews did with `Uzair radhiAllahu `anhu, the Christians did with Prophet `Eesa `alayhi salaam, and the Mushrikeen are so intelligent that they have made rocks their gods.

  قُلْ إِنَّ صَلَاتِي وَنُسُكِي وَمَحْيَايَ وَمَمَاتِي لِلَّـهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ 
( 162 )   Say, "Indeed, my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah, Lord of the worlds.
'The Arabic word nusuk used here signifies ritual sacrifice as well as the other forms of devotion and worship.

Explanation by Verse By Verse Qur'an Study Circle:
Next, Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala commands the Prophet to inform the idolators that he opposes them in all that they do. The word nusuk [نُسُك] used in the Ayah means ‘sacrifice’. Everything that one does in Hajj is also called nusuk. The rite of Hajj are known as manasik and the plural is nusuk. This word is also used for `Ibadah or worship of Allah in the absolute sense.

In the Ayah, the Prophet is being told to convey that his rituals are for Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala alone, and he doesn’t associate a partner for Him in worship.

  لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ ۖ وَبِذَٰلِكَ أُمِرْتُ وَأَنَا أَوَّلُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ 
( 163 )   No partner has He. And this I have been commanded, and I am the first [among you] of the Muslims."

Explanation by Verse By Verse Qur'an Study Circle:
Ayah 163 again reinforces the concept of Tawheed and ends with the affirmation by the Prophet salAllahu `alayhi wa sallam, “I am the first of the Muslims.” Qatadah said that this means from ‘this Ummah’.

This is a sound meaning, because all Prophets before our Prophet were calling to Islam, which commands worshiping Allah alone without partners. Here are some examples from the Qur’an:

Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala says in Surah al-Anbya Ayah 25,
“And We sent not before you any messenger except that We revealed to him that, ‘There is no deity except Me, so worship Me.’”
In Surah Yunus Ayah 72 Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala informs that Nuh `alayhi salaam said to his people,
“And if you turn away [from my advice] then no payment have I asked of you. My reward is only from Allah, and I have been commanded to be of the Muslims.”
About Prophet Ibraheem and Prophet Yaq`oob, He says in Surah al-Baqarah Ayaat 130 – 132,
“And who turns away from the religion of Ibraheem except him who deludes himself. Truly, We chose him in this world and verily, in the Hereafter he will be among the righteous. When his Lord said to him, ‘Submit (i.e. be a Muslim)’ He said, ‘I have submitted myself (as a Muslim) to the Lord of the all that exists.’ And this was enjoined by Ibraheem upon his sons and by Ya`qoob (saying), ‘O my sons! Allah has chosen for you the (true) religion, then die not except as Muslims.’”
Yusuf `alayhi salaam acknowledges Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala and prays to die as Muslim in Surah Yusuf Ayah 101,
“My Lord! You have indeed bestowed on me of the sovereignty, and taught me something of the interpretation of dreams — the (Only) Creator of the heavens and the earth! You are my Wali (Protector) in this world and in the Hereafter. Cause me to die as a Muslim, and join me with the righteous.”
Musa `alayhi salaam called his nation Muslimeen in Surah Yunus Ayaat 84 – 85,
“‘O my people! If you have believed in Allah, then put your trust in Him if you are Muslims.’ They said, ‘In Allah we put our trust. Our Lord! Make us not a trial for the folk who are wrongdoers. And save us by your mercy from the disbelieving folk.’”
About `Eesa `alayhi salaam Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala says in Surah al-Maidah Ayah 111,
“And when I (Allah) inspired Al-Hawariyoon (the disciples) of `Eesa to believe in Me and My Messenger, they said, ‘We believe. And bear witness that we are Muslims.’”
Therefore, in this Ayah of Surah al-An'aam Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala states that He sent all His Messengers with the religion of Islam, although their respective laws differed from each other, and some of them abrogated others. Later on, the Law sent with Muhammad salAllahu `alayhi wa sallam abrogated all previous laws and nothing will ever abrogate it, forever. Certainly, Muhammad’s Law will always be apparent and its flags raised high, until the Day of Resurrection.

The Prophet said,
نَحْنُ مَعَاشِرُ الْأَنْبِيَاءِ أَوْلَادُ عَلَّاتٍ دِينُنَا وَاحِد
“We, the Prophets, are half brothers, but our religion is one,” meaning we have same father but different mothers. Therefore, the religion, representing the one father, is one; worshiping Allah alone without partners, even though the laws which are like the different mothers in this parable, are different. Allah the Most High knows best.

Imam Ahmad recorded that `Ali radhiAllahu `anhu said that when the Messenger of Allah used to start the prayer with Takbeer [saying, Allahu Akbar (Allah is the Great)] he would then supplicate,

وَجَّهْتُ وَجْهِيَ لِلَّذِي فَطَرَ السَّمَوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ حَنِيفًا وَمَا أَنَا مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ، إِنَّ صَلَاتِي وَنُسُكِي وَمَحْيَايَ وَمَمَاتِي للهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِين
“I have directed my face towards He Who has created the heavens and earth, Haneefan and I am not among the Mushrikeen. Certainly, my prayer, sacrifice, living and dying are all for Allah, Lord of the worlds.”


اللَّهُمَّ أَنْتَ الْمَلِكُ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ، أَنْتَ رَبِّي وَأَنَا عَبْدُكَ ظَلَمْتُ نَفْسِي وَاعْتَرَفْتُ بِذَنْبِي فَاغْفِرْ لِي ذُنُوبِي جَمِيعًا لَا يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ، وَاهْدِنِي لِأَحْسَنِ الْأَخْلَاقِ لَا يَهْدِي لِأَحْسَنِهَا إِلَّا أَنْتَ، وَاصْرِفْ عَنِّي سَيِّئَهَا لَا يَصْرِفُ عَنِّي سَيِّئَهَا إِلَّا أَنْتَ، تَبَارَكْتَ وَتَعَالَيْتَ، أَسْتَغْفِرُكَ وَأَتُوبُ إِلَيْك
“O Allah! You are the King, there is no deity worthy of worship except You. You are my Lord and I am Your servant. I have committed wrong against myself and admitted to my error, so forgive me all my sins. Verily, You, only You forgive the sins. (O Allah!) Direct me to the best conduct, for none except You directs to the best conduct. Divert me from the worst conduct, for only You divert from the worst conduct. Glorified and Exalted You are. I seek Your forgiveness and repent to You.”

This hadeeth, which was also recorded by Muslim in the Sahih, continues and mentions the Prophet’s supplication in his bowing, prostrating and final sitting positions.

We pray to Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala to allow us to life our lives according to the Sunnah of our Prophets Muhammad salAllahu `alayhi wa sallam and Ibraheem `alayhi salaam, and bless us their company in the Hereafter, aameen.

  قُلْ أَغَيْرَ اللَّـهِ أَبْغِي رَبًّا وَهُوَ رَبُّ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ ۚ وَلَا تَكْسِبُ كُلُّ نَفْسٍ إِلَّا عَلَيْهَا ۚ وَلَا تَزِرُ وَازِرَةٌ وِزْرَ أُخْرَىٰ ۚ ثُمَّ إِلَىٰ رَبِّكُم مَّرْجِعُكُمْ فَيُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا كُنتُمْ فِيهِ تَخْتَلِفُونَ 
( 164 )   Say, "Is it other than Allah I should desire as a lord while He is the Lord of all things? And every soul earns not [blame] except against itself, and no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another. Then to your Lord is your return, and He will inform you concerning that over which you used to differ."
Since God is the Lord of the entire universe, how could anyone be His lord? Since the entire universe is yoked to obedience to God, man is an integral part of the universe, how can he reasonably, look for another lord in that area of his life in which he uses his own volition,ind judgement? Is it appropriate for him to move in diametrical opposition to the entire universe?

Every person is responsible for whatever he does; and no one is responsible for the deeds of others.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The doctrine of personal responsibility again. We are fully responsible for our acts ourselves: we cannot transfer the consequences to someone else. Nor can anyone vicariously atone for our sins. If people have honest doubts or differences about important questions of religion, they should not start futile disputes. All will be clear in the end. Our duty here is to maintain unity and discipline, and do the duty that comes to us.

Explanation by Verse By Verse Qur'an Study Circle:
The Mushrikeen would constantly ask the Prophet salAllahu `alayhi wa sallam to touch their gods. They would say, “Don’t worship them but also don’t say anything bad about them.”

The Prophet salAllahu `alayhi wa sallam says should I take someone/thing else as my god when Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala has created everything. It is He Who protects and saves me and governs all of my affairs. I only trust in Him and go back to Him because He is the Lord of everything, Owner of all things and His is the creation and the decision. This Ayah commands sincerely trusting Allah, while the Ayah before it commands sincerely worshiping Allah alone without partners. These two meanings are often mentioned together in the Qur’an. Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala commands His servants to proclaim,

إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ
“You (alone) we worship, and You (alone) we ask for help (for each and every thing).” [Surah al-Fatihah:5]

In Surah Hud Ayah 123 Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala said,

فَاعْبُدْهُ وَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَيْهِ
“So worship Him and put your trust in Him,”

قُلْ هُوَ الرَّحْمَـنُ ءَامَنَّا بِهِ وَعَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلْنَا
“Say: ‘He is the Most Gracious (Allah), in Him we believe, and in Him we put our trust.’” [Surah al-Mulk:29]

Then it was said, “And every soul earns not [blame] except against itself…” thus emphasizing Allah’s reckoning, decision and justice that will occur on the Day of Resurrection. The souls will only be recompensed for their deeds, good for good and evil for evil. No person shall carry the burden of another person, a fact that indicates Allah’s perfect justice.

Scholars of tafseer commented, “No person will be wronged by carrying the evil deeds of another person, nor will his own good deeds be curtailed or decreased.” In Surah an-Naba Ayaat 38 – 39 Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala said,

كُلُّ نَفْسٍ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ رَهِينَةٌ – إِلاَّ أَصْحَـبَ الْيَمِينِ
“Every person is a pledge for what he has earned. Except those on the right.”

Meaning, every person will be tied to his evil deeds. But, for those on the right — the believers — the blessing of their good works will benefit their offspring and relatives, as well.

Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala said in Surah at-Tur Ayah 21,“And those who believe and whose offspring follow them in faith, to them shall We join their offspring, and We shall not decrease the reward of their deeds in anything,” meaning, We shall elevate their offspring to their high grades in Paradise, even though the deeds of the offspring were less righteous, since they shared faith with them in its general form. He did not decrease the grades of these righteous believers so that those (their offspring and relatives) who have lesser grades, can share the same grades as them. Rather Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala elevated the lesser believers to the grades of their parents by the blessing of their parents’ good works, by His favor and bounty.

Then it was said that the disbelievers will return to their Lord therefore they should work for the Hereafter. Both the believers and disbelievers will be gathered to Allah and He will inform everyone of their deeds and about the matters that people used to dispute about in the life of this world.

  وَهُوَ الَّذِي جَعَلَكُمْ خَلَائِفَ الْأَرْضِ وَرَفَعَ بَعْضَكُمْ فَوْقَ بَعْضٍ دَرَجَاتٍ لِّيَبْلُوَكُمْ فِي مَا آتَاكُمْ ۗ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ سَرِيعُ الْعِقَابِ وَإِنَّهُ لَغَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ 
( 165 )   And it is He who has made you successors upon the earth and has raised some of you above others in degrees [of rank] that He may try you through what He has given you. Indeed, your Lord is swift in penalty; but indeed, He is Forgiving and Merciful.
This statement embodies three important truths: First, that human beings as such are vicegerents of God on earth, so that God has entrusted them with many things and endowed them with the power to use them. Second, it is God Himself Who has created differences of rank among His vicegerents. The trust placed in some is more than that of others. Some men have been granted control of more resources than others. Some are more gifted in respect of their abilities. Likewise, some human beings have been placed under the trust of others. Third, all this is indeed designed to test man. The entire life. of man is in fact, a vast examination wherein man is being tested about the trust he has received from God: how sensitive he is to that trust, to what extent he lives up to it, and to what extent he proves to be competent with it. What position man will be able to attain in the Next Life depends on the result of this test.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Cf. ii. 30 and n. where I have translated "Khalifa" as "Vicegerent", it being god's Plan to make Adam (as representing mankind) His vicegerent on earth. Another idea implied in "Khalifa" is that of "successor, heir, or inheritor," i.e., one who has the ultimate ownership after the present possessors, to whom a life-tenancy has been given by the owner, have passed away. In xv. 23 occurs the striking word "heirs" (warithun) as applied to God: "We give life and death, and We are the Heirs (of Inheritors)." The same idea occurs in iii. 180, where see n. 485.

Explanation by Verse By Verse Qur'an Study Circle:
Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala ends the Surah by reminding entire mankind that He has assigned everyone various grades. Some are above others while some below others. This has been done so that people can be tried by one another.

He made us dwell on the earth generation after generation, century after century and offspring after forefathers. He has made us different from each other with regards to provision, conduct, qualities, evilness, shapes, color of skin, and so forth, and He has the perfect wisdom in all this. In Surah Zukhruf Ayah 32, Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala said, “It is We Who portion out between them their livelihood in this world, and We raised some of them above others in ranks, so that some may employ others in their work.”

In Surah Isra Ayah 21 it was said, "See how We prefer one above another (in this world), and verily, the Hereafter will be greater in degrees and greater in preferment.”

Why was this division done? So that Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala could test us in what He has granted us, for Allah tries the rich concerning his wealth and will ask him about how he appreciated it. He also tries the poor concerning his poverty and will ask him about his patience with it.

Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala ends this by saying, “Indeed, your Lord is swift in penalty; but indeed, He is Forgiving and Merciful.” This is both discouragement and encouragement, by reminding the believers that Allah is swift in reckoning and punishment with those who disobey Him and defy His Messengers. And then He gives them hope that He is Ghafoor and Raheem for those who take Him as protector and follow His Messengers in the news and commandments they conveyed.

Qur’an often mentions encouragement and discouragement together. When He mentions the Paradise and describes its content, this is His way of calling His servants to Him with encouragement, making them eager for what He has with Him. When He mentions the Fire and its torment and punishment, as well as, the Day of Resurrection and its horrors, it is His way of discouraging His servants from committing the wrong that they do. Sometimes Allah mentions both so that each person is affected by it according to his or her qualities.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

لَوْ يَعْلَمُ الْمُؤْمِنُ مَا عِنْدَ اللهِ مِنَ الْعُقُوبَةِ مَا طَمِعَ بِجَنَّتِهِ أَحَدٌ، وَلَوْ يَعْلَمُ الْكَافِرُ مَااِعنْدَ اللهِ مِنَ الرَّحْمَةِ مَا قَنَطَ أَحَدٌ مِنَ الْجَنَّةِ، خَلَقَ اللهُ مِائَةَ رَحْمَةٍ فَوَضَعَ وَاحِدَةً بَيْنَ خَلْقِهِ يَتَرَاحَمُونَ بِهَا وَعِنْدَ اللهِ تِسْعَةٌ وَتِسْعُون

“If the believer knew Allah’s punishment, no one will hope in entering His Paradise. And if the disbeliever knew Allah’s mercy, no one will feel hopeless of acquiring Paradise. Allah created a hundred kinds of mercy. He sent down one of them to His creation, and they are merciful to each other on that account. With Allah, there remains ninety-nine kinds of mercy.” [Saheeh Muslim, At-Tirmidhi]

You may now like to listen to Arabic recitation of Sūrah Al An'am with English subtitles:
You may refer to our post "114 Chapters (Sūrahs) of the Holy Qur'an" for translation, meaning and summary / exegesis of other chapters (Though not complete but building up from 30th Juzʼ / Part backwards for chapters in 30th Juzʼ / Part are shorter and easier to understand). 

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

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Holy Qur'an from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that:
  • The plain translation has been taken from the Holy Quran officially published by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. [1]
  • The exegesis of the chapters of the Holy Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi. 
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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