Showing posts with label The Holy Qur'an. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Holy Qur'an. Show all posts

Friday 28 December 2018

Surah At Tahrim - The Prohibition: Summary of 66th Chapter of the Holy Quran

Sūrat at-Taḥrīm is the sixty sixth surah with 12 ayats with two rukus, part of the 28th Juzʼ  of the Holy Qur'an. The Surah derives its name from the words "lima tuharrimu" of the very first verse. Thus the name implies that it is the Surah in which the incident of tahrim (prohibition, banning) has been mentioned. 

The subject matter of this surah is very important as some questions of grave significance with reference to some incidents concerning wives of the Holy Prophet (ﷺ) have been mentioned. These events indicate that this Surah was sent down some time during A.H. 7 or A. H 8.

As per eminent scholar of Pakistan and the Muslim world Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, author of the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an", the surah is very important for the following five reasons: [1]
  • First, that the powers to prescribe the bounds of the lawful and the unlawful, the permissible and the forbidden, are entirely and absolutely in the hand of Allah and nothing has been delegated even to the Prophet of Allah himself, not to speak of any other man. The Prophet cannot declare something lawful or unlawful unless he receives an inspiration from Allah to do so. However, even the Prophet is not authorized to declare anything made permissible by Allah unlawful by himself, much less to say of another man.
  • Second, that in any society the position of a Prophet is very delicate. A minor incident experienced by an ordinary man in his life may not be of any consequence, but it assumes the status of law when experienced by a Prophet. That is why the lives of the Prophets have been kept under close supervision by Allah so that none of their acts, not even a most trivial one, may deviate from Divine Will. Whenever such an act has emanated from a Prophet, it was rectified immediately so that the Islamic law and its principles should reach the people in their absolute purity not only through the Divine Book but also through the excellent example of the Prophet, and they should include nothing which may be in disagreement with Divine Will,
  • Thirdly, and this automatically follows from the above mentioned point, that when the Holy Prophet (ﷺ) was checked on a minor thing, which was not only corrected but also recorded, it gives us complete satisfaction that whatever actions and commands and instructions we now find in the pure life of the Holy Prophet concerning which there is nothing on record in the nature of criticism or correction from Allah, they are wholly based on truth, are in complete conformity with Divine Will and we can draw guidance from them with full confidence and peace of mind.
  • The fourth thing relates to the Holy Messenger himself, whose reverence and respect Allah Himself has enjoined as a necessary part of the Faith of His servants, it has been stated in this Surah that once during his sacred life he made a thing declared lawful by Allah unlawful for himself only to please his wives; then Allah has severely reproved for their errors those very wives of the Holy Prophet, whom He Himself has declared as mothers of the faithful and worthy of the highest esteem and honor by them. Then, this criticism of the Prophet and the administration of the warning to the wives also has not been made secretly but included in the Book, which the entire Ummah has to read and recite for ever.
  • The fifth thing that has been explicitly mentioned in this Surah is that Allah's Religion is absolutely fair and just. It has for every person just that of which he becomes worthy on the basis of his faith and works. No relationship or connection even with the most righteous person can be beneficial for him in any way and no relationship or connection with the most evil and wicked person can be harmful for him in any way. In this connection three kinds of women have been cited as examples before the holy wives in particular in verse 10-11.
Let us now read explanation of the Surah segmented into portions as per the subject matter:

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

Before we read the first verse, it would be pertinent to mention an incident due to which this surah was revealed. 
  • The Prophet (ﷺ) usually paid a daily visit to all his wives after the Asr Prayer. Once it so happened that he began to stay in the house of Zainab bint-Jahsh longer than usual, for she had received some honey from somewhere as a gift and the Prophet was very fond of sweet things; therefore, he would have a drink of honey at her house. Aishah states that she felt envious of this and spoke to Hafsah, Saudah and Safiyyah about it and together they decided that whoever of them was visited by the Prophet, she should say to him: Your mouth smells of Maghafir (a kind of flower, which gives out an offensive smell, and if the bee obtains honey from it, it is also tainted by the same odor). 
  • Wives of Prophet knew the he was a man of very fine taste and he would not like that he should emit any kind of unpleasant smell. When several of his wives told him that his mouth smelt of Maghafir, he made a promise not to use the honey any longer. In one tradition his words are to the effect: Now, I will never have a drink from it: I have sworn an oath. In another tradition he only said: I will never have a drink from it, and there is no mention of the oath. And in the tradition which Ibn al Mundhir, Ibn Abi Hatim, Tabarani and Ibn Marduyah have related from Ibn Abbas the words are to the effect: By God, I will not drink it.
  • There is yet another incident concerning Hafsah and Aishah and Mariyah. Due to jealousy of the former two wives, they had said something about Mariyah  that the Prophet  forbade her for himself. There upon, Allah sent down this verse: O Prophet, why do you make unlawful that which Allah has made lawful for you. But this incident has not been covered in any of the authentic Hadith books. 
  • The other incident of foul smelling if the honey is well covered in Sahi Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Daud, Nasai and several other books of Hadith from Aishah herself. Thus it is agreed upon by all major Hadith collectors that the opening verse of this surah concerns the incident as explained in detail above.
Now read the first verse and its revelation will be be better understood:
1. O Prophet! Why do you ban (for yourself) that which Allah has made lawful to you, seeking to please your wives? And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
2. Allah has already ordained for you (O men), the dissolution of your oaths. And Allah is your Lord, and He is the All-Knower, the All-Wise.
As per the exegesis, the second verse above means: "Act according to the method Allah has prescribed for absolution from oaths by expiation in (Surah Al-Maidah, Ayat 89) and break your promise that you have made to forbid yourself of a lawful thing. 

Here, an important legal question arises and it is this: Is this command applicable to the case when a person has forbidden upon himself a lawful thing on oath, or is forbidding oneself a lawful thing by itself tantamount to swearing an oath, whether the words of the oath have been used or not. The jurists in this regard have expressed different opinions:
  • One section opines that mere forbidding oneself of a lawful thing is not an oath. If a person without swearing an oath has forbidden upon himself a wife, or some other lawful thing, it is an absurd thing which does not entail any expiation, but he can resume without any expiation the use of the thing that he had forbidden for himself. 
  • The second group says that to forbid oneself something without using the words of oath is not an oath by itself, but the case of the wife is an exception. If a person has forbidden himself a garment, or an article of food, it is meaningless, and one can use it without expiation. But if concerning a wife or a slave-girl he has said: I forbid myself an intercourse with her, she would not become unlawful and forbidden, but one would have to expiate the oath before going in to her. 
  • The third group says that to forbid oneself something is by itself an oath even if the words of oath have not been used. This is the opinion of Abu Bakr. Aishah, Umar, Abdullah bin Masud, Zaid bin Thabit and Abdullah bin Abbas. Although from Ibn Abbas another opinion has been reported in Bukhari to the effect: If a man has forbidden himself his wife, it is meaningless, yet it has been interpreted to mean that according to him this is not divorce but an oath which entails an expiation. 
The verse 3 below again describes an incident on which commandant from Allah was received:
3. The Prophet confided something to one of his wives and then she disclosed it (to another); so after Allah revealed to the Prophet (that she had disclosed that secret), he made a part of it known to her and passed over a part of it. And when he told her about this (i.e., that she had disclosed the secret entrusted to her), she asked: “Who informed you of this?” He said: “I was told of it by He Who is All-Knowing, All-Aware.
The object relating the matter in the Quran is to warn the wives of the Prophet (ﷺ) wives and the wives of the responsible people among the Muslims not to be careless in the matter of guarding secrets. Had it been only a private and personal affair, as is generally the case between the husband and the wife in the world, there was no need that Allah should have directly informed the Prophet (ﷺ) of it through revelation, and then did not rest content only with giving the information, but should also have recorded it in the Book which the whole world has to recite forever. The reason why it was given such importance was that this wife was not the wife of an ordinary husband but of that illustrious husband, whom Allah had appointed to the office of the highest responsibility. In the house of such an illustrious man there could be countless things which if not kept secret but disclosed before time, could harm the great mission which he was performing. Therefore, when a lady of the house happened to show this weakness for the first time in that she disclosed a secret that had been told her in confidence, to another (a member of her own household), the weakness was immediately pointed out to her, not secretly but openly in the Quran, so as to impart training in the guarding of secrets not only to the wives of the Prophet (ﷺ) but also to the wives of all responsible people of the Muslim community. 

The verses 4-5 re;ate to the wives of the Prophet (ﷺ) for in ( verses 1-5 of this Surah ) the affairs concerning the Prophet’s (ﷺ) wives only have been discussed continuously, and this becomes obvious from the style of the Quran itself. 
4. If the two of you turn in repentance to Allah (that is better for you), for the hearts of both of you have swerved from the Straight Path. But if you support one another against the Prophet,8 then surely Allah is his Protector; and after that Gabriel and all righteous believers and the angels are all his supporters.

The details of subject matter in verses 4-5 have been related by Ibn Abbas quoting Umar bin Al Khattab, who narrated the incident to him:
  • Umer said: They two ladies mentioned in verses 4-5 were Aishah and Hafsah. 
  • Then he began to relate the background, saying: We, the people of Quraish, were used to keeping our women folk under strict control. Then, when we came to Al-Madinah, we found that the people here were under the control of their wives, and the women of Quraish too started learning the same thing from them. One day when I became angry with my wife, I was amazed to see that she argued with me. I felt badly about her conduct. She said: Why should you feel so angry at my behavior. By God, the wives of the Prophet (ﷺ) answer him back face to face, (the word in the original is li yuraji nahu) and some one of them remains angrily apart from him for the whole day. (According to Bukhari: the Prophet (ﷺ), remains angry and apart from her the whole day). 
  • Hearing this I came out of my house and went to Hafsah (who was Umar’s daughter and the Prophet’s, (ﷺ), wife). I asked her: Do you answer back to the Prophet (peace be upon him) face to face? She said: Yes. I asked: And does one of you remain apart from him for the whole day, (according to Bukhari: the Holy Prophet remains angry and apart from her for the entire day). She said: Yes. 
  • I said: Wretched is the one from among you, who behaves thus. Has one of you become so fearless of this that Allah should afflict her with His wrath because of the wrath of His Prophet (ﷺ) and she should perish, So, do not be rude to the Prophet (ﷺ)
  • Here also the words are: la turaji-i, nor demand of him anything, but demand of me whatever you desire. Do not be misled by this that your neighbor (i.e. Aishah) is more beautiful and dearer to the Prophet (peace be upon him). 
  • After this I left her house and went to the house of Umm Salamah, who was related to me, and talked to her on this subject. She said: Son of Khattab, you are a strange man: you have meddled in every matter until you are now interfering in the affair between Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) and his wives. She discouraged me. Then it so happened that an Ansari neighbor came to my house at night and he called out to me. We used to sit in the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) assembly by turns and each used to pass on to the other the news of the day of his turn. It was the time when we were apprehending an attack by the Ghassanids any time. On his call when I came out of my house, he said that something of grave significance had happened. I said: Have the Ghassanids launched an attack? He said: No, but something even more serious. The Prophet (ﷺ) has divorced his wives. I said: Doomed is Hafsah (the words in Bukhari are: Raghima anfu Hafsah wa Aishah). I already had a premonition of this.
  • We have left out what happened after this, how next morning Umar went before the Prophet (peace be upon him) and tried to appease his anger.
Here, what needs to be considered carefully is that if it was such an ordinary and trivial matter that when the Prophet (ﷺ) said something to his wives they would retort to Him, why was it given so much importance that in the Quran Allah administered a severe warning directly to the wives themselves? And why did Umar take it as such a grave matter that first he reproved his own daughter, then visited the house of the other wives and asked them to fear the wrath of Allah? And, above all, was the Prophet (peace be upon him) also so sensitive that he would take offense at minor things and become annoyed with his wives, and was he, God forbid, so irritable that once having been annoyed at such things he had severed his connections with all his wives and retired to his private apartment in seclusion? If a person considers these questions deeply, he will inevitably have to adopt one of the two views in the explanation of these verses. Either on account of his excessive concern for reverence for the wives he should not at all mind if a fault is imputed to Allah and His Messenger, or else he should admit in a straightforward way that at that time the attitude and behavior of these wives has actually become so objectionable that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was justified in becoming annoyed over it, and more than that, Allah Himself was justified that He should administer a severe warning to the wives on their unseemly behavior and attitude.
5. It may be if he divorced you (all) that his Lord will give him instead of you, wives better than you, Muslims (who submit to Allah), believers, obedient to Allah, turning to Allah in repentance, worshiping Allah sincerely, fasting or emigrants (for Allah's sake), previously married and virgins.
The verse 5 shows that the fault did not lie only with Aisha and Hafsah but the other wives also had some share in it. That is why, after them, all the other wives too, have been warned in this verse. No light has been thrown on the nature of the error in the Quran. In Bukhari, a tradition has been reported from Anas, saying that Umar said: The Prophet’s (peace be upon him) wives because of their mutual envies and rivalries had utterly displeased him. At this I said to them: It may well be that if the Prophet (peace be upon him) divorced you, Allah would give him in your place better wives than you.

In Muslim, Abdullah bin Abbas has related that Umar said to him: When the Prophet (peace be upon him) separated himself from his wives, I went to the mosque and found the people worried and upset and playing with pebbles and saying to one another: The Prophet (peace be upon him) has divorced his wives. After this Umar related his visiting the apartments of Aishah and Hafsah and admonishing them. Then he said: I went before the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said: Why do you feel upset with regard to your wives? If you divorce them, Allah is with you, all the angels and Gabriel and Michael are with you, and I and Abu Bakr and all the believers are with you. I thank Allah that seldom has it so happened that I said a thing and did not have hope from Allah that He would testify to what I said. So, after this these verses of Surah At-Tahrim were sent down. Then I asked the Prophet (peace be upon him): Have you divorced your wives? He said: No. Thereupon I stood at the entrance of the Mosque and announced in a loud voice: The Prophet has not divorced his wives.
6. O you who believe! Ward off from yourselves and your families a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe, who disobey not, (from executing) the Commands they receive from Allah, but do that which they are commanded.
7. (It will be said in the Hereafter) O you who disbelieve (in the Oneness of Allah - Islamic Monotheism)! Make no excuses this Day! You are being requited only for what you used to do .
In the verse 8 below, the word taubat an-nasuh-an has been used which may either mean that one should offer such true repentance as may have no tinge of pretense and hypocrisy in it, or that one should wish his own self well and repenting of sin should save oneself from the evil end, or that one should so adorn and improve his life after repentance as to become a cause of admonition for others, and seeing his example others also also reform themselves accordingly. 
8. O you who believe! Turn to Allah with sincere repentance! It may be that your Lord will remit from you your sins, and admit you into Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise) the Day that Allah will not disgrace the Prophet (Muhammad ) and those who believe with him, their Light will run forward before them and with (their Records Books of deeds) in their right hands they will say: "Our Lord! Keep perfect our Light for us [and do not put it off till we cross over the Sirat (a slippery bridge over the Hell) safely] and grant us forgiveness. Verily, You are Able to do all things ."
As for its religious meaning of taubat an-nasuh, its explanation is found in the Hadith which Ibn Abi Hatim has related on the authority of Zirr bin Hubaish. He says: When I asked Ubayy bin Kaab the meaning of taubat an-nasuh, he said that he had asked the Prophet (ﷺ) the same question, and he had replied: It implies that when you happen to commit an error, you should feel penitent for it, then should implore Allah for forgiveness remorsefully, and then should refrain from committing the same error again. 

After offering repentance one should not even think of committing the sin, not to speak of repeating it. In fact a repentance should be accompanied by six things:
(1) You should feel penitent for the wrong you have done. (2) You should carry out the duties that you have ignored. (3) Restore the rights that you have usurped. (4) Ask forgiveness of him whom you have wronged. (5) Make a resolve not to repeat the sin again. (6) Consume yourself in obedience to Allah as you have so far been consuming it in wrongdoing, and cause it to taste the bitterness of obedience as you have so far been causing it to enjoy the sweet taste of disobedience and sin. 
9. O Prophet (Muhammad )! Strive hard against the disbelievers and the hypocrites, and be severe against them, their abode will be Hell, and worst indeed is that destination.

In the verse 10 below, the mention of wives of Prophets Nuh and Lut (may peace be upon them)
10. Allah sets forth an example for those who disbelieve, the wife of Nuh (Noah) and the wife of Lout (Lot). They were under two of our righteous slaves, but they both betrayed their (husbands by rejecting their doctrine) so they [Nuh (Noah) and Lout (Lot)] benefited them (their respective wives) not, against Allah, and it was said: "Enter the Fire along with those who enter!"
This betrayal was not in the sense that they had committed an indecency but in the sense that they did not follow the Prophets Noah and Lot (peace be upon them) on the way of faith but sided with their enemies against them. Ibn Abbas say: No Prophet’s wife has ever been wicked and immoral. The betrayal of these two women in fact was in the matter of faith and religion. They did not acknowledge the religion of the Prophets Noah and Lot (peace be upon them). The Prophet Noah’s wife used to convey news about the believers to the wicked of her people, and the Prophet Lot’s wife used to inform the immoral people about those who visited him in his house. 

The verse 11 below mentions the pious wife a wretched Pharaoh who lamented to Allah to save her from the the treacheries of her husband:
11. And Allah has set forth an example for those who believe, the wife of Fir'aun (Pharaoh), when she said: "My Lord! Build for me a home with You in Paradise, and save me from Fir'aun (Pharaoh) and his work, and save me from the people who are Zalimun (polytheists, wrong-doers and disbelievers in Allah).
In the last verse, mention of Maryam (Mary, the mother of Prophet Eesa / Jesus Christ):
12. And Maryam (Mary), the daughter of 'Imran who guarded her chastity; and We breathed into (the sleeve of her shirt or her garment) through Our Ruh [i.e. Jibrael (Gabriel)], and she testified to the truth of the Words of her Lord [i.e. believed in the Words of Allah: "Be!" and he was; that is 'Eesa (Jesus) - son of Maryam (Mary); as a Messenger of Allah], and (also believed in) His Scriptures, and she was of the Qanitin (i.e. obedient to Allah).
Here it may be noted that the name of Maryam’s father was Imran, or she may have been called daughter of Imran because she belonged to the family of Imran. This is a refutation of the accusation by the Jews that the birth of Jesus was, God forbid, the result of a sin of his mother. Their same accusation has been called a monstrous calumny in (Surah An-Nisa, Ayat 156). That is, without her having any connection with a man, Allah breathed into her womb a Spirit from Himself. 

You may now like to listen to Arabic recitation of Sūrat at-Taḥrīm with English subtitles:

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

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

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Saturday 1 December 2018

Surah Al Mujadilah - The Pleading Woman: Summary of 58th Chapter of the Holy Qur'an

Sūrat al-Mujādilah is the fifty eighth surah with 22 ayats with two rukus, part of the 28th Juzʼ  of the Holy Qur'an.

Sūrat al-Mujādilah is a unique surah in a sense that in each of its verse, mention of Allah is made.

The surah is entitled Al Mujadalah as well as Al Mujadilah, the title being derived from the word tujadiluka of the very first verse. As at the outset mention has been made of the woman who pleaded with the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah's peace) the case of zihar pronounced by her husband and urged him to suggest a way out of the difficult situation in order to save her and, her children's life from ruin, and Allah has described her pleading by the word "mujadalah", the Surah came to be known by this very title. If it is read as "mujadalah",it would mean "pleading and arguing", and if it is read as "mujadilah", it would mean "the woman who pleaded and argued."

Let us now read explanation of the Surah segmented into portions as per the subject matter:
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ 
"In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful"

Verses 1-6 redress the grievance of a grieving and pleading woman and legal injunctions about zihar have been given. 

Before reading translation of the verse, a few words about Zihar, a tradition of pre Islamic days to divorce one's wife. Among the Arabs if the husband wanted to sever the marital relations, he would say to his wife: "Anti alayya ka-zahri ammi" which literally means: "You are for me as the back of my mother." This is called zihar. But its real meaning is: To have sexual relations with you would be like having sexual relations with my mother.

Zahr in Arabic is metaphorically used for riding and mounting. Thus, the conveyance is called zahr, because man rides on its back. As this word was employed in order to make the wife unlawful, it was termed zihar. In the pre-Islamic days this was looked upon as tantamount to the pronouncement of divorce, even of greater effect than that, for they took it to mean that the husband was not only severing his marital relations with his wife but was also declaring her to be unlawful for himself like his mother. On this very basis, the Arabs thought reunion could be possible after a divorce but it was impossible after zihar.

Now in this background, a certain woman came pleading to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) who was victim of zihar and wanted justice. Now read the opening six verse of the surah below.
1. Allah has surely heard the words of her who contends with you concerning her husband and complains to Allah. Allah hears what both of you say. Verily Allah is All- Hearing, All-Seeing.
2. Those among you who divorce their wives by declaring them to be their mothers, such are not their mothers; none are their mothers except those who gave birth to them. Indeed what they say is highly contemptible and false. Verily Allah is Most Pardoning, Most Forgiving.
This is Allah’s first decision concerning zihar. It means that if a person shamelessly compares the wife to his mother, his utterance does not make his wife his mother, nor is she endowed with the sanctity that the mother enjoys. The mother’s being mother is fact, for she has given birth to the man. On this very ground, she is eternally sacred and prohibited. Now, how will the woman who has not given him birth become his mother simply by a word of mouth, and how will sanctity and prohibition be established for her by reason, morality and law which, by virtue of this fact, is only reserved for the mother who gave birth. Thus, Allah by this condemnation abolished the custom of the pre-Islamic ignorance according to which the marriage contract between the husband, by pronouncing zihar, and the wife stood dissolved and she became absolutely forbidden for him like the mother.

As for the last part of the verse 2 [Indeed what they say is highly contemptible and false. Verily Allah is Most Pardoning, Most Forgiving], Allah has taken such an utterance to be punishable with much more severely, but it is Allah’s kindness that He has, firstly, abolished the custom of ignorance and saved your family life from utter ruin, and secondly, has prescribed the lightest punishment for the culprits. 

Even the punishments subscribed for the guilty of Zihar (in succeeding verses below) are not in the form of physical torture or imprisonment, but a few acts of worship and virtue, which are meant to reform you and help spread good in your society. In this connection, one should also understand that the acts of worship that have been prescribed by Islam as expiations for certain crimes and sins are neither mere punishments that they may be without the spirit of worship, nor mere acts of worship that they may entail no pain and suffering of the punishment. But both the aspects have been combined in them so that the culprit may experience pain as well as expiate his sin by means of performing a virtue and act of worship.
3. Those who declare their wives to be their mothers and thereafter go back on what they have said shall free a slave before they may touch each other. That is what you are exhorted to do. Allah is fully aware of all your deeds. 4. And he who finds not (the money for freeing a slave) must fast two successive months before they both touch each other. And for him who is unable to do so, he should feed sixty poor. That is in order that you may have perfect Faith in Allah and His Messenger. These are the limits set by Allah. And for disbelievers, there is a painful torment. 5. Verily, those who oppose Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad (ﷺ)) will be disgraced, as those before them (among the past nation), were disgraced. And We have sent down clear Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.). And for the disbelievers is a disgracing torment.
That is [verse 5], they show hostility towards and dispute with Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him), or set other bounds for themselves than the bounds set by them, or adopt the bounds set by others. There can be no doubt in the disbelief of the person who regards this law as commendable and superior to the Shariah and says that it is wiser and better suited to the genius of the people. And when the Shariah injunction in a particular matter is pointed out to him, he is angry, as we have seen some of those who are under the curse of Allah.
6. On the Day when Allah will resurrect them all together (i.e. the Day of Resurrection) and inform them of what they did. Allah has kept account of it, while they have forgotten it. And Allah is Witness over all things.
Thus, Muslims have been strictly warned that it was contrary to their Faith that they should continue to observe the practices of ignorance after they had accepted Islam. In case they should break the bounds set by Allah, or refuse to abide by them, or that they should make their own rules and regulations contradictory to them, then there is not only the punishment of disgrace and humiliation in the world but in the Hereafter too, where they would held accountable for refusing to obey Allah.

In verses 7-10 mention the secret whisperings and consultations of the hypocrites to  conspire and intrigue against the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), and their hidden malice and grudge with which they greet the Prophet (ﷺ), like the Jews, in a manner as to wish him ill instead of well. Here the Muslims have been consoled too, as if to say: "These whisperings of the hypocrites can do no harm to you; therefore, you should go on doing your duty with full trust in Allah". Besides, they have also been taught this moral lesson:"The true believers, when they talk secretly together, do not talk of sin and transgression and disobedience to the Messenger if they have to talk secretly together they should talk of goodness and piety."
7. Have you not seen that Allah knows whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is on the earth? There is no secret counsel of three, but He is their fourth (with His Knowledge, while He Himself is over the Throne, over the seventh heaven), nor of five but He is their sixth (with His Knowledge), not of less than that or more, but He is with them (with His Knowledge) wheresoever they may be; and afterwards on the Day of Resurrection, He will inform them of what they did. Verily, Allah is the All-Knower of everything. 8. Have you not seen those who were forbidden to hold secret counsels, and afterwards returned to that which they had been forbidden, and conspired together for sin and wrong doing and disobedience to the Messenger (Muhammad ). And when they come to you, they greet you with a greeting wherewith Allah greets you not, and say within themselves: “Why should Allah punish us not for what we say?” Hell will be sufficient for them, they will burn therein, and worst indeed is that destination!
9. O you who believe! When you hold secret counsel, do it not for sin and wrong-doing, and disobedience towards the Messenger (Muhammad ) but do it for Al-Birr(righteousness) and Taqwa (virtues and piety); and fear Allah unto Whom you shall be gathered. 10. Secret counsels (conspiracies) are only from Shaitan (Satan), in order that he may cause grief to the believers. But he cannot harm them in the least, except as Allah permits, and in Allah let the believers put their trust .
In verses 11-13 Muslims have been taught certain manners of social behavior and directed to eradicate social evils which were prevalent at that time. It is observed that "If some people are sitting in an assembly, and more people arrive, they do not show even the courtesy as to squeeze in so as to make room for others, with the result that the new-comers have to keep standing, or to sit in the door-way, or to go back, or seeing that there is enough room yet start jumping over the people's heads to find room for themselves." This often used to be experienced in the Holy Prophet's assemblies. Therefore, Allah gave the instruction, as if to say:"Do not behave selfishly and narrow minded in your assemblies but do accommodate the new-comers also with an open heart."
11. O you who believe! When you are told to make room in the assemblies, (spread out and) make room. Allah will give you (ample) room (from His Mercy). And when you are told to rise up [for prayers, Jihad (holy fighting in Allah’s Cause), or for any other good deed], rise up. Allah will exalt in degree those of you who believe, and those who have been granted knowledge. And Allah is Well-Acquainted with what you do. 12. O you who believe! When you (want to) consult the Messenger (Muhammad ) in private, spend something in charity before your private consultation. That will be better and purer for you. But if you find not (the means for it), then verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. 13. Are you afraid of spending in charity before your private consultation (with him)? If then you do it not, and Allah has forgiven you, then (at least) perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) and give Zakat and obey Allah (i.e. do all what Allah and His Prophet order you to do). And Allah is All-Aware of what you do.
From verse 14 to the end, members of the Muslim society, which was a mixture of the sincere Muslims and the hypocrites and the waverers, have been told plainly as to what is the criterion of sincerity in Islam. 
  • One kind of Muslims are those who are friends with the enemies of Islam: they do not hesitate for the sake of their interests to be treacherous to the religion which they profess to believe in; they spread all sorts of doubts and suspicions against Islam and prevent the people from adopting the Way of Allah. But since they are part of the Muslim community their false profession of Faith serves them as a cover and shield. 
  • The second kind of Muslims are those who, in the matter of Allah's Religion, do not care even for their own father, brother, children, and family, to say nothing of others. They do not cherish any feeling of love for the person who is an enemy of God and His Messenger and His Religion. 
Allah in these verses has explicitly stated that the people of the first kind, in fact, belong to Satan's party however hard they may try to convince others of their Islam by swearing oaths. And the honor of belonging to Allah's party is possessed only by the Muslims of the second kind. They alone are the true Muslims: they alone will attain to true success, and with them alone is Allah well pleased.
14. Have you (O Muhammad ) not seen those (hypocrites) who take for friends a people upon whom is the Wrath of Allah (i.e. Jews)? They are neither of you (Muslims) nor of them (Jews), and they swear to a lie while they know. 15. Allah has prepared for them a severe torment. Evil indeed is that which they used to do. 16. They have made their oaths a screen (for their evil actions). Thus they hinder (men) from the Path of Allah, so they shall have a humiliating torment. 17. Their children and their wealth will avail them nothing against Allah. They will be (the) dwellers of the Fire, to dwell therein forever. 18. On the Day when Allah will resurrect them all together (for their account), then they will swear to Him as they swear to you (O Muslims). And they think that they have something (to stand upon). Verily, they are liars! 19. Shaitan (Satan) has overtaken them. So he has made them forget the remembrance of Allah. They are the party of Shaitan (Satan). Verily, it is the party of Shaitan (Satan) that will be the losers! 20. Those who oppose Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad ), they will be among the lowest (most humiliated). 21. Allah has decreed: “Verily! It is I and My Messengers who shall be the victorious.” Verily, Allah is All-Powerful, All-Mighty. 22. You (O Muhammad ) will not find any people who believe in Allah and the Last Day, making friendship with those who oppose Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad ), even though they were their fathers, or their sons, or their brothers, or their kindred (people). For such He has written Faith in their hearts, and strengthened them with Ruh (proofs, light and true guidance) from Himself. And We will admit them to Gardens (Paradise) under which rivers flow, to dwell therein (forever). Allah is pleased with them, and they with Him. They are the Party of Allah. Verily, it is the Party of Allah that will be the successful.
May Allah grant us wisdom to act exactly we have been directed in the Holy Qur'an and as explained by none other than the Holy Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) himself.

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday 29 November 2018

Surah Al Haaqah - The Inevitable Reality: Summary of 69th Chapter of the Holy Quran

Sūrat al-Ḥāqqah is the 69th surah with 52 ayats with two rukus, part of the 29th Juzʼ  of the Holy Qur'an. The surah was revealed in Makkah.

The word Haaqah is from the word Haq and it means that which is to happen, the inevitable reality. The surah can be divided into two parts: The first section (verses 1-37) carries a strong description of the Hereafter,  while the second section (verses 38-52) is about Qur’an being a revelation of Allah and the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) being a true Messenger of Allah.

About this Surah, ‘Umar Bin Abdil Khattab, the second caliph of Islam, has been quoted to have said: “Before embracing Islam one day I came out of my house with a view to causing trouble to the Prophet of Allah. I found him reciting Surah al-Haaqah in the prayer in the Masjid Al Haram. I stood behind him and listened. As he recited the Qur’an I wondered at its literary charm and beauty. Then suddenly an idea came to my mind that he must be a poet as the Quraysh alleged. Just at that moment he recited the words,

إِنَّهُ لَقَوْلُ رَسُولٍ كَرِيمٍ – وَمَا هُوَ بِقَوْلِ شَاعِرٍ ۚ
“That this is verily the word of an honored Messenger. It is not the word of a poet,” 
(69: 40-41).
I said to myself: Then he must be a soothsayer, if not a poet. Thereupon he recited the words:

وَلَا بِقَوْلِ كَاهِنٍ ۚ قَلِيلًا مَّا تَذَكَّرُونَ – تَنزِيلٌ مِّن رَّبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ
“Nor is it the word of a soothsayer, little is that you remember! This is the Revelation sent down from the Lord of the ‘Alameen,” (69: 42-43).

On hearing this Islam entered deep into my heart. [Musnad Ahmad]. This tradition of Hadrat Umar shows that this surah had been sent down long before his acceptance of Islam, for even after this event he did not believe for a long time, and he continued to be influenced in favor of Islam by different incidents from time to time, till at last in the house of his own sister he came by the experience that made him surrender and submit to the Faith completely. 

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

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

The surah begins with the word "al-Haaqqah" which means an event which has inevitably to take place and the occurrence of which in the future is so certain as to admit of no doubt or suspicion. To use this word for Resurrection and to begin the discourse with it by itself shows that the people were denying its occurrence. They are being told: That which you are denying is inevitable: your denial will not prevent its occurrence.
1. The (Inevitable) Reality (i.e. the Day of Resurrection)! 2. What is the Reality? 3. And what will make you know what the Reality is?
These two questions in verse 2-3 have been put to arouse the listeners, to make them understand the importance of the theme and listen to what follows with full attention.

Verses 4-12 are in fact a reminder to the disbelievers that before them, many disbelievers of their kind too denied the messages and commandments of Allah and then were destroyed by the wrath of Allah, only to be remembered in the history books as a forewarning to those who do not beleive in what the prophets and messengers from Allah tried to tell them and convince them to follow the straight path of one Allah, the creator of the universe, who also has the ability to bring it to an end whenever He would will:
4. Thamud and 'Ad people denied the Qari'ah [the striking Hour (of Judgement)]! 5. As for Thamud, they were destroyed by the awful cry! 
People of Thamud demanded a miracle of witnessing a ten month pregnant she-camel emerge from a certain rock. Their Prophet Saleh (peace be upon him) made them promise that if their request is responded to they would believe in him and follow him. They agreed to do so. But when the she-camel emerged they wanted to get rid of it because they still disbelieved in their Messenger despite benefiting from the camel and plotted to kill it. As result, they were punished by Allah by a strong earthquake and overwhelming cry. They were overtaken by this and were left dead in their homes.

The punishment of the people of Thamud has been described in other surahs of the Qur’an as well. In Surah al-A’raf ayah 78 it has been called ar-rafjah [الرَّجْفَة] meaning a terrible earthquake; in Surah Hud ayah 67 it has been termed as-sayhah [الصَّيْحَة] meaning a violent blast; in Surah Fussilat ayah 17 it has been said that were overtaken by saaiqatu al-aathab [صَاعِقَةُ الْعَذَاب], a humiliating scourge. These words describe different aspects of the same calamity.
6. And as for 'Ad, they were destroyed by a furious violent wind; 7. Which Allah imposed on them for seven nights and eight days in succession, so that you could see men lying overthrown (destroyed), as if they were hollow trunks of date-palms! 8. Do you see any remnants of them? 
“And as for ‘Ad, they were destroyed by a furious violent wind,” (69: 6). Sarsar [صَرْصَر] is a harsh, cold and bitter wind which chills down to the bones. Sarsar is a repeated word which means it is a wind which continuously repeats itself. The winds continued to blow fiercely for seven nights and eight days without any mercy or blessing. They would cause the palm tree to hit the ground, and fall down on a person’s head. That man’s head would shatter and the trunk would remain a lifeless corpse. “Do you see any remnants of them?” (69: 8) meaning do you find any one of them left or anyone who even attributes himself to being from them. Rather they are all gone, right down to the last of them, and Allah did not make for them any successors.
9. And Pharaoh, and those before him, and the cities overthrown [the towns of the people of [Lout (Lot)] committed sin, 10. And they disobeyed their Lord's Messenger, so He punished them with a strong punishment. 11. Verily! When the water rose beyond its limits [Nuh's (Noah) Flood], We carried you (mankind) in the floating [ship that was constructed by Nuh (Noah)]. 12. That We might make it a remembrance for you, and the keen ear (person) may (hear and) understand it.
As for the Pharaoh, it has been described in many Hadiths that  Angel Jibreel [Gabriel] was ordered by Allah to lift the cities of Sodom and Gamorah and slam them upside down. They were then pelted with stones upon stones. This was their punishment in this life and in the Hereafter much worse and everlasting awaits them.   The mention of punishment of people of Lot and the great flood of Noah has already been told in our earlier posts: Prophet Lot and Wrath of Allah on his people and Prophet Noah and the great flood

Verses 13-18 describe the happenings on the Day of Resurrection - the day when a horrible sound trumpet will be blown, the sound which which will convert the mountains in ordinary dust and the hearth will burst open and throw out all that it contained:
13. Then when the Trumpet will be blown with one blowing (the first one), 14. And the earth and the mountains shall be removed from their places, and crushed with a single crushing, 
In the verse 14. a word "dhukka" has been used which is from the root dal-kaf-kaf which means ‘to crush, break, beat, crumble to pieces, to push or thrust’. It is severe smashing that breaks something and levels it to the ground. On the Judgment Day, both the earth and the mountains will be smashed into each other, and they will turn into dust.  One smashing and everything will turn into small particles. This again shows us the power of Allah.
15. Then on that Day shall the (Great) Event befall, 16. And the heaven will split asunder, for that Day it (the heaven will be frail (weak), and torn up, 
While reading the verses (13-16) one should keep in mind that at some places in the Qur'an the three stages of Resurrection which will occur one after the other at different times have been mentioned separately, and at others all the three have been combined and mentioned as a single event. For example, in (Surah An-Naml, verse 87) the first blowing of the Trumpet has been mentioned, when everyone will be suddenly struck with terror. At that time they will witness the general confusion and the upsetting of the order of the universe, as described in (Surah Al-Hajj, verses 1-2); (Surah Ya Seen, verses 49-50) and (Surah At- Takweer, verses 1-6). In (Surah Az-Zumar, verses 67-70), mention has been made of the second and third blowing of the Trumpet. On the second blowing of it everyone will fall down dead, and when it is blown for the third time, all dead men will rise back to life and present themselves before Allah. In (Surah Ta Ha, verses 102-112); (Surah Al-Anbiya, verses 101-103); (Surah Ya Seen, verses 51-53 )and (Surah Qaf,verses 20-22), only the third sounding of the Trumpet has been mentioned. But here and at many other places in the Qur'an all the events of Resurrection, from the blowing of the first Trumpet till the people’s entry into Heaven and Hell have been described as a single event.
17. And the angels will be on its sides, and eight angels will, that Day, bear the Throne of your Lord above them. 18. That Day shall you be brought to Judgement, not a secret of you will be hidden.
The mention of Allah Almighty would be sitting on the Throne (verses 17-18 above) and that eight angels would be upholding it along with Him has been used to give an idea of Allah Almighty’s rule and sovereignty. And a scene has been constructed as of worldly kingship and the same terms have been used for it as are common for kingship and its accompaniments in order to enable us to understand matters pertaining to sovereignty of the universe to some extent only by means of this very scene and terms. Besides, the conception of God that the Quran gives also prevents one from imagining that the Being Who is free from physical existence as to body, direction and place, should be residing somewhere and His creatures should sustain Him. Therefore, pursuing any research to determine its meaning would be tantamount to disbelief.

Verses 19 - 37 tell of the reading of the records of the well meaning and the evil doers and will be rewarded and punished according to what they have been doing in their worldly life:
19. Then as for him who will be given his Record in his right hand will say: "Take, read my Record! 20. "Surely, I did believe that I shall meet my Account!" 21. So he shall be in a life, well-pleasing. 22. In a lofty Paradise, 23. The fruits in bunches whereof will be low and near at hand. 24. Eat and drink at ease for that which you have sent on before you in days past!
25. But as for him who will be given his Record in his left hand, will say: "I wish that I had not been given my Record! 26. "And that I had never known, how my Account is? 27. "I wish, would that it had been my end (death)! 28. "My wealth has not availed me, 29. "My power and arguments (to defend myself) have gone from me!" 30. (It will be said): "Seize him and fetter him, 31. Then throw him in the blazing Fire. 32. "Then fasten him with a chain whereof the length is seventy cubits!" 33. Verily, He used not to believe in Allah, the Most Great, 34. And urged not on the feeding of the poor, 35. So no friend has he here this Day, 36. Nor any food except filth from the washing of wounds, 37. None will eat except the sinners, disbelievers, polytheists, etc.
38. So I swear by whatsoever you see, 39. And by whatsoever you see not, 40. That this is verily the word of an honoured Messenger [i.e. Jibrael (Gabriel) or Muhammad  which he has brought from Allah]. 41. It is not the word of a poet, little is that you believe! 42. Nor is it the word of a soothsayer (or a foreteller), little is that you remember! 43. This is the Revelation sent down from the Lord of the 'Alameen (mankind, jinns and all that exists).

Here is a caution for the Prophet of Allah too and it has been told to the disbelievers that if He makes up anything from His own and tells you something not willed or sent by Allah, He too shall be prosecuted:
44. And if he (Muhammad ) had forged a false saying concerning Us (Allah), 45. We surely should have seized him by his right hand (or with power and might), 46. And then certainly should have cut off his life artery (Aorta), 47. And none of you could withhold Us from (punishing) him.
The 48th verse below and the second verse of the second surah of the Holy Qur'an, Surah Al Baqarah "This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for the pious - Muttaqeen."  carry the same message: 
48. And verily, this Qur'an is a Reminder for the Muttaqun (pious)
This means that while the Qur'an is potentially for all, only those who possess certain qualities can benefit from it. The first such quality is piety: those who want to benefit should be disposed to distinguish between good and evil, and to shun evil and do good. Those who lead an animal existence, who never consider whether their actions are either good or bad, who are helplessly tossed about by the animal desires that dominate their minds, such persons are all together incapable of deriving any benefit from the guidance embodied in the Qur'an.

The concluding verse (49-52) say it all for the truth contained in the Holy Qur'an, the book of commandments of none but Allah, the Almighty. That is, the Qur'an is an admonition for those who wish to avoid wrongdoing and its evil consequences. And they will ultimately have to despair and regret as to why they had rejected this Qur'an.
49. And verily, We know that there are some among you that belie (this Qur'an). 50. And indeed it (this Qur'an) will be an anguish for the disbelievers (on the Day of Resurrection). 51. And Verily, it (this Qur'an) is an absolute truth with certainty. 52. So glorify the Name of your Lord, the Most Great.
May Allah grant us wisdom to understand the Holy Qur'an and live a life as commanded therein and as followed by the Prophet Muhammad (may peace be upon him), Aameen.

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

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

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

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

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

Monday 26 November 2018

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

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

مِّنَ اللّٰهِ ذِى الۡمَعَارِجِؕ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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