وَ یَقُوۡلُوۡنَ مَتٰی ہٰذَا الۡوَعۡدُ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمۡ صٰدِقِیۡنَ ﴿۴۹﴾
وَيَقُولُونَ مَتَىٰ هَٰذَا ٱلۡوَعۡدُ إِن كُنتُمۡ صَٰدِقِينَ
b. 21:39; 27:72; 34:30; 36:49. (close)
b. 21:39; 27:72; 34:30; 36:49. (close)
Strange, indeed, are the ways of disbelievers! In the preceding verse it was indirectly stated that rejection of, and separation from, a Prophet of God lead to ruin, while those who accept a Prophet are saved. At this disbelievers, instead of seeking God’s mercy, at once begin to ask when the threatened punishment will come. They do not seem to be satisfied with anything except punishment. (close)
قُلۡ لَّاۤ اَمۡلِکُ لِنَفۡسِیۡ ضَرًّا وَّ لَا نَفۡعًا اِلَّا مَا شَآءَ اللّٰہُ ؕ لِکُلِّ اُمَّۃٍ اَجَلٌ ؕ اِذَا جَآءَ اَجَلُہُمۡ فَلَا یَسۡتَاۡخِرُوۡنَ سَاعَۃً وَّ لَا یَسۡتَقۡدِمُوۡنَ ﴿۵۰﴾
قُل لَّآ أَمۡلِكُ لِنَفۡسِي ضَرّٗا وَلَا نَفۡعًا إِلَّا مَا شَآءَ ٱللَّهُۗ لِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ أَجَلٌۚ إِذَا جَآءَ أَجَلُهُمۡ فَلَا يَسۡتَـٔۡخِرُونَ سَاعَةٗ وَلَا يَسۡتَقۡدِمُونَ
c. 7:189. (close)
1267. This verse embodies a reply to the disbelievers’ demand for punishment (mentioned in the preceding verse). The Holy Prophet is bidden to ask them, how he could fulfil their demand for punishment when he possessed no power either to do good to, or avert evil from, himself. (close)
d. 7:35; 16:62; 35:46. (close)
a. 7:189. (close)
b. 7:35; 16:62; 35:46. (close)
This verse embodies a reply to the disbelievers’ demand for punishment (mentioned in the preceding verse). The Holy Prophet is bidden to ask them how he could fulfil their demand for punishment when personally he possessed no power either to do good to, or avert evil from, himself. How clearly this and similar other verses show that the real object of the Quran is to uphold the Unity of God! The Quran cannot bear any human being, even the greatest of all the Prophets, to be regarded as equal to God.
The word امة (people) in this verse means those who disbelieve and not people generally as referred to in v. 48. The verse means to say that there comes a time when disbelievers meet their inevitable end and their place is taken by another people who follow the Divine Messenger. In other words, the Holy Prophet is made to say to disbelievers that, though it is not in his power to bring punishment on them, yet, as it is the immutable law of God that when a people take to evil ways they decline and fall, they will not be allowed to go unpunished and on their ashes a new people shall arise and a new era of truth shall dawn. (close)
قُلۡ اَرَءَیۡتُمۡ اِنۡ اَتٰٮکُمۡ عَذَابُہٗ بَیَاتًا اَوۡ نَہَارًا مَّاذَا یَسۡتَعۡجِلُ مِنۡہُ الۡمُجۡرِمُوۡنَ ﴿۵۱﴾
قُلۡ أَرَءَيۡتُمۡ إِنۡ أَتَىٰكُمۡ عَذَابُهُۥ بَيَٰتًا أَوۡ نَهَارٗا مَّاذَا يَسۡتَعۡجِلُ مِنۡهُ ٱلۡمُجۡرِمُونَ
e. 6:48; 7:98, 99. (close)
1268. The verse may constitute a rebuke to disbelievers that they should not indulge in futile discussion as to the time and form of the promised punishment but should try to escape from it by effecting a wholesome change in their lives. (close)
c. 6:48; 7:98-99. (close)
1326. Important Words:
ارءیتم (Tell me) means, have you considered; or tell me you; or simply, tell me( Lane).
The words, by night or by day, contain a subtle allusion to the destruction of the people of Mecca, on whom punishment was to come both during the day and at night. At the Battle of Badr, which was the first pitched battle fought between Muslims and Meccans and in which the foundations were laid of the latter’s complete destruction, they had a foretaste of their ruin "by day" while at the Battle of the Ditch, which was the last real trial of strength between the two parties, the circumstances which caused their ruin were brought into existence "by night." The punishment which was to overtake the Meccans by night has been mentioned here before that which was to overtake them by day, because the former was to deal to them a blow which was to end their power for all time.
The verse also constitutes a rebuke to disbelievers that they should not indulge in futile discussion as to the time and form of the promised punishment but should try to escape it by effecting a change in their lives. (close)
اَثُمَّ اِذَا مَا وَقَعَ اٰمَنۡتُمۡ بِہٖ ؕ آٰلۡـٰٔنَ وَ قَدۡ کُنۡتُمۡ بِہٖ تَسۡتَعۡجِلُوۡنَ ﴿۵۲﴾
أَثُمَّ إِذَا مَا وَقَعَ ءَامَنتُم بِهِۦٓۚ ءَآلۡـَٰٔنَ وَقَدۡ كُنتُم بِهِۦ تَسۡتَعۡجِلُونَ
a. 10:92. (close)
a. 10:92. (close)
This verse contains an effective reply to those who demand the sign of punishment. They are told that the real object for which signs are shown is that they should benefit by them. But what sense is there in demanding the sign of punishment when, with the actual coming of destructive punishment the door of repentance is finally closed and readiness to believe becomes a useless thing?
The words, you used to demand its speedy coming, signify that those who desire to hasten punishment set a seal on their own disbelief and desire to die in that state. How then can they, consistently with their attitude, turn to belief when the punishment of death stares them in the face? (close)
ثُمَّ قِیۡلَ لِلَّذِیۡنَ ظَلَمُوۡا ذُوۡقُوۡا عَذَابَ الۡخُلۡدِ ۚ ہَلۡ تُجۡزَوۡنَ اِلَّا بِمَا کُنۡتُمۡ تَکۡسِبُوۡنَ ﴿۵۳﴾
ثُمَّ قِيلَ لِلَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ ذُوقُواْ عَذَابَ ٱلۡخُلۡدِ هَلۡ تُجۡزَوۡنَ إِلَّا بِمَا كُنتُمۡ تَكۡسِبُونَ
b. 34:43. (close)
1269. ‘Adhabul-Khuld means, a punishment that stays with disbelievers and not the punishment which knows no end and can in no circumstances be removed. (close)
b. 34:43. (close)
1328. Important Words:
عذاب الخلد (the abiding punishment). خلد (khalada) means, he or it remained or stayed; or he or it remained or stayed long. اخلد الی الارض means, he inclined and clove to the earth (Taj & Aqrab).
The expression عذاب الخلد (the abiding punishment) means, a punishment that will come to stay with and cleave to disbelievers. It does not mean a punishment which knows no end and which can in no circumstances be removed. The word خلد (khuld) i.e. lasting, thus only expresses the firm adherence of the punishment to those afflicted by it, so that it will not be averted and will, as it were, stick to evildoers. (close)
وَ یَسۡتَنۡۢبِئُوۡنَکَ اَحَقٌّ ہُوَ ؕؔ قُلۡ اِیۡ وَ رَبِّیۡۤ اِنَّہٗ لَحَقٌّ ۚؕؔ وَ مَاۤ اَنۡتُمۡ بِمُعۡجِزِیۡنَ ﴿٪۵۴﴾
۞وَيَسۡتَنۢبِـُٔونَكَ أَحَقٌّ هُوَۖ قُلۡ إِي وَرَبِّيٓ إِنَّهُۥ لَحَقّٞۖ وَمَآ أَنتُم بِمُعۡجِزِينَ
c. 11:18. (close)
1269A. You cannot escape from it. (close)
a. 11:18. (close)
Such is the way of the wicked that, when the truth is brought home to them and they cannot refute it, they have recourse to scoffing and mocking. Accordingly, we are told in this verse that when disbelievers will be unable to answer arguments placed before them, they will have recourse to scoffing and, pretending to assume a serious attitude, will enquire whether what has been said is really true. The pseudo-enquiry referred to here is the same as contained in 78:2,3 and alludes to the punishment which is to overtake the disbelieving people. The Holy Prophet is bidden not to mind their ridicule but to warn them that what they have been told is true and will certainly come to pass. By using the words و ربی (by my Lord), the Quran adduces the then weak condition of the Holy Prophet as evidence of his truth and reminds disbelievers that from the way in which God had been gradually furthering and promoting the Prophet’s cause, it could be easily seen that the time was not far off when Islam would completely triumph and the enemy would find himself utterly beaten. (close)
وَ لَوۡ اَنَّ لِکُلِّ نَفۡسٍ ظَلَمَتۡ مَا فِی الۡاَرۡضِ لَافۡتَدَتۡ بِہٖ ؕ وَ اَسَرُّوا النَّدَامَۃَ لَمَّا رَاَوُا الۡعَذَابَ ۚ وَ قُضِیَ بَیۡنَہُمۡ بِالۡقِسۡطِ وَ ہُمۡ لَا یُظۡلَمُوۡنَ ﴿۵۵﴾
وَلَوۡ أَنَّ لِكُلِّ نَفۡسٖ ظَلَمَتۡ مَا فِي ٱلۡأَرۡضِ لَٱفۡتَدَتۡ بِهِۦۗ وَأَسَرُّواْ ٱلنَّدَامَةَ لَمَّا رَأَوُاْ ٱلۡعَذَابَۖ وَقُضِيَ بَيۡنَهُم بِٱلۡقِسۡطِ وَهُمۡ لَا يُظۡلَمُونَ
d. 39:48. (close)
e. 34:34. (close)
1270. Asarru may also mean, 'they will manifest or express their remorse.' The word has contrary meanings. (close)
b. 39:48. (close)
c. 34:34. (close)
1330. Important Words:
اسروا (they will conceal). اسرہ gives two contrary meanings: (1) he concealed it; (2) he manifested or revealed it, or he made it known (Lane).
Man is so made by nature that punishment has two different effects on him. It increases the obstinacy and refractoriness of some, while it renders others humble and docile. But the punishment inflicted by God is never such as to produce doubtful results. Its effect is straight and certain. It breaks the pride of the arrogant. The reason of the difference between the punishment inflicted by God and that inflicted by man is that the latter affects only the body, man having no power to inspire the heart with awe, while the former affects both the body and the heart. The verse purports to say that when God’s punishment overtakes men, it strikes awe into their hearts and they become prepared to save themselves by making every sacrifice in their power, and, as it always descends on the right person and on the right occasion, men realize its justice and therefore become repentant and begin to bring about a real change in their lives.
The verse may have another meaning also. God’s punishment descends only on those who oppose His teachings. Such people have no high ideals. They are mean and niggardly and it is only their base desires that prompt them to oppose the truth. Thus the verse purports to say that those on whom God’s punishment descends are incapable of manifesting any magnanimity of heart, and in time of trouble seek to save their skins by sacrificing anything, even their personal or national honour, which men of high ideals always try to save even at the cost of their lives. This, the verse hints, is evidence of their being in error; for if they had been in the right, they would not have stooped to such meanness. See Important Words.
The words اسروا الندامة (they will conceal their remorse) may also be rendered as, "they will manifest or express their remorse." (close)
اَلَاۤ اِنَّ لِلّٰہِ مَا فِی السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضِ ؕ اَلَاۤ اِنَّ وَعۡدَ اللّٰہِ حَقٌّ وَّ لٰکِنَّ اَکۡثَرَہُمۡ لَا یَعۡلَمُوۡنَ ﴿۵۶﴾
أَلَآ إِنَّ لِلَّهِ مَا فِي ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِۗ أَلَآ إِنَّ وَعۡدَ ٱللَّهِ حَقّٞ وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكۡثَرَهُمۡ لَا يَعۡلَمُونَ
a. 2:285; 10:67; 31:27. (close)
a. 2:285; 10:67; 31:27. (close)
The verse points to a great truth. As all that is in the heavens and the earth belongs to Allah it is vain and foolish to try to please Him or His Messengers by offering them bribes (see the preceding verse). The Prophets of God cannot be prevented from carrying out their mission for the sake of bribes. The Meccans, desiring to stop the preaching of the Holy Prophet against idolatry, offered him every kind of bribe; but the only reply which all those bribes and temptations elicited from him was to the effect that even if they placed the sun on his right and the moon on his left, he would not give up his mission (Hisham & Zurqani).
The fact is that as kings and potentates need the things of this world, therefore bribes and ransoms please them, but God Himself being the Creator of all things, ransoms have no value for Him except that one should offer the sacrifice of one’s own self, which finds ready acceptance with Him, for such sacrifice is a means of self-purification. (close)
ہُوَ یُحۡیٖ وَ یُمِیۡتُ وَ اِلَیۡہِ تُرۡجَعُوۡنَ ﴿۵۷﴾
هُوَ يُحۡيِۦ وَيُمِيتُ وَإِلَيۡهِ تُرۡجَعُونَ
b. 3:157; 7:159; 44:9; 57:3. (close)
a. 3:157; 7:159; 44:9; 57:3. (close)
Disbelievers wondered how an ordinary individual like the Prophet of Islam would triumph in the face of the united opposition of his numerous and powerful enemies. This verse is intended to set their doubts at rest by pointing to the rise and fall of nations and individuals in this world and draws their attention to the fact that it is inconceivable that a Messenger of the All-Powerful God Who gives life and causes death should not succeed. (close)
یٰۤاَیُّہَا النَّاسُ قَدۡ جَآءَتۡکُمۡ مَّوۡعِظَۃٌ مِّنۡ رَّبِّکُمۡ وَ شِفَآءٌ لِّمَا فِی الصُّدُوۡرِ ۬ۙ وَ ہُدًی وَّ رَحۡمَۃٌ لِّلۡمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ ﴿۵۸﴾
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّاسُ قَدۡ جَآءَتۡكُم مَّوۡعِظَةٞ مِّن رَّبِّكُمۡ وَشِفَآءٞ لِّمَا فِي ٱلصُّدُورِ وَهُدٗى وَرَحۡمَةٞ لِّلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ
1271. The Qur’an is Mau‘izah, for, (a) it contains teachings which proceed from a genuine desire to impart good counsel; (b) its teaching is calculated deeply to affect and touch the human heart; and (c) it has set forth in a beautiful manner all those principles and rules of conduct which lead to moral reformation and success in life. (close)
c. 12:112; 27:3. (close)
b. 12:112; 27:3. (close)
1333. Important Words:
موعظة (an exhortation) is derived from وعظ. They say وعظه i.e. he reminded him of that which should soften his heart by the mention of reward or punishment; he exhorted or admonished or warned him; he gave him good advice or counsel; he reminded him of the results of affairs; he put him in fear. موعظة means, an exhortation or admonition or warning of the nature detailed above; sincere exhortation or warning; the exhortation which leads to repentance and reformation (Lane & Aqrab).
الصدور (the hearts) is the plural of الصدر which means, the breast, chest or bosom; the mind; the upper part of the front of a thing. Sometimes صدر is taken to signify the heart because it lies in the bosom (Lane & Aqrab).
The verse sheds some light on the secret of the Holy Prophet’s phenomenal success. It tells us that it was not due to vast armies, great riches or large numbers of followers, but to this excellent Book, the Quran, whose teaching cannot long be resisted and to which sooner or later man is bound to turn for guidance, for it is an "exhortation from your Lord" and a "cure for whatever disease there is in the hearts" as well as a "guidance and a mercy."
The Quran is موعظة (an exhortation), for: (a) it contains teachings which proceed from a genuine desire to impart good counsel, and when people see that the Prophet seeks no personal aggrandizement by promulgating these teachings but only their own good and their own welfare, they will not fail to be attracted to it; (b) the Quranic teaching is calculated to deeply affect and touch the human heart, and it lays so much stress on the love and fear of God that even the most hard-hearted man cannot remain unaffected by it; and (c) it has set forth in a beautiful manner all those principles and rules of conduct which lead to reformation and success.
The Quran, as the verse tells us, is also شفاء (cure) for all spiritual diseases and maladies. No matter how low a man may fall, there continues to arise in his mind a yearning for truth, a desire to know the reality of things; and it is when his mind is distracted by doubts and misgivings and he seeks satisfaction on questions concerning spiritual matters that the Quran comes to his rescue and dispels all his doubts, with the result that he becomes irresistibly drawn to it.
The Quran is also a "cure" for what is in the heart in the sense that it satisfies the cravings of the heart. It is in the nature of man that, when he reads about great spiritual men and learns how the great depths of religious teachings were disclosed to them, he is moved by the desire that what he believes in only as a matter of faith should become converted into a certainty and a matter of personal experience and that he should also realize what holy men in the past had realized. This is a desire which disquiets many a heart and those whose hearts are seized with this longing will find solace in this Book, and they will find therein the guidance which will lead them to God.
The Quran is also "a guidance and a mercy," which, besides other meanings, also signifies the means of rise and progress in the world. Some men are so dull of understanding that they cannot comprehend the value or depth or niceties of spiritual knowledge and the philosophy of religion. It is only the splendour of material progress that attracts their attention. For the satisfaction of such persons, God shows special material favours to those who believe in this Book.
The four points mentioned above led to the extraordinary success of Islam and, for that matter, to the success of all true religions. Those gifted with quick intelligence and true perception recognized the truth of Islam merely on finding that its teaching had the good of mankind as its only objective and that it had its basis in a sincere desire to see mankind directed to the right path. But those whose perceptive powers were less acute and less fine had their doubts satisfied by the rational arguments contained in the Quran. Those who were still slower to understand became convinced of the truth of Islam when they saw the great moral and spiritual change that its teaching brought about in the lives of its followers. And those possessed of the lowest or meanest understanding, whom riches and worldly progress alone could convince, saw the truth of Islam in the material glory and worldly grandeur that fell to the lot of its followers.
It may well be asked here what the Quran means by saying that it is a cure for whatever disease there is in the hearts, when it is the brain that is the source and fountain-head of all thoughts? In this respect it must be remembered that spiritual matters have a very deep and subtle connexion with the human heart. The experience of all spiritual men has established the fact that the heart is the seat of things pertaining to the spirit. But just as it is difficult to get a true knowledge of the soul and to ascertain the nature of its connexion with the body by material means, similarly, it is difficult to understand the connexion that exists between the soul and the human heart by the aid of physical laws. So in this matter we have naturally to rely on the testimony of those who have experience and their unanimous testimony is that the heart plays a great part in spiritual matters. This testimony is by no means inconsistent with the fact that the brain is the centre of thinking. It is quite possible that changes in the blood should have a bearing on the thoughts being good or bad, and as it is through the heart that the circulation of the blood is regulated, it is quite understandable that the heart should exercise a subtle influence on the thoughts of man. It is an admitted fact that food exercises a deep influence on man’s thoughts, and obviously this influence cannot be exercised except through the heart. In this sense, the heart may also be said to be the seat and source of thoughts. The Quran refers to this subject where it says: O ye Messengers, eat of the good and pure things and (as a result thereof) act righteously (23:52). (close)