فَاسۡتَقِمۡ کَمَاۤ اُمِرۡتَ وَ مَنۡ تَابَ مَعَکَ وَ لَا تَطۡغَوۡا ؕ اِنَّہٗ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُوۡنَ بَصِیۡرٌ ﴿۱۱۳﴾
فَٱسۡتَقِمۡ كَمَآ أُمِرۡتَ وَمَن تَابَ مَعَكَ وَلَا تَطۡغَوۡاْۚ إِنَّهُۥ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُونَ بَصِيرٞ
b. 42:16. (close)
1353. The Holy Prophet alone was not required to mould his own life in accordance with Divine Will. He had to see that all those who believed in him also followed his example. It was the realization of this grave dual responsibility which weighed so heavily upon him as to have rendered him prematurely aged (Baihaqi). (close)
b. 42:16. (close)
This verse shows that mere outward observance of the commandments of God is not productive of good results; it must be in full accord with Divine will. The offering of the prescribed Prayers and the observance of Fasts, for instance, are not the object of religion. The real object of religion is that man should live in accordance with God’s will. Unless this is done and all actions of man are actuated by a desire to please God, he cannot hope to win His favour.
The verse also shows that it was not the Holy Prophet only who was required to mould his own life in harmony with Divine will. It was also his duty to see that all those who believed in him followed his example. This dual responsibility equally lay on his Successors, even on all the Faithful who are not only themselves required to act upon Divinecommandments but are expected to make others attain a high standard of spiritual progress.
The magnitude and heaviness of this responsibility is self-evident. It is tremendous both as regards its depth and vastness. It is no easy task to observe faithfully all the commandments of God and at the same time to make one’s companions do the same. But the importance of this injunction becomes all the more augmented when the fact is taken into consideration that the commandments are to be acted upon in the way in which God requires, as hinted at in the words, as thou hast been commanded.
Another inference which can be drawn from this verse is that the Faithful are to take the Holy Prophet as their model and to follow his example. The words, So stand thou upright as thou hast been commanded, and also those who have turned to God with thee, mean that the Faithful are to act uprightly in the same way as the Holy Prophet is commanded to do. The high moral standard to which believers are required to rise is thus the one set up for the Holy Prophet himself. It is clear that the verse does not say that believers are to be upright in the way in which they themselves are commanded but that they have to act uprightly in the way in which the Prophet is commanded. This definitely shows that believers are to take the Holy Prophet as their exemplar and have to try to come up to his standard.
The far-reaching effect which this verse had on the Holy Prophet himself is clear from his own words. He is reported to have said: "The Surah Hud and its sister-Surahs have rendered me aged before my time" (Manthur). Abu ‘Ali Sirri is reported to have said that he once saw the Prophet in a dream and asked him whether he had really said that the SurahHud had made him old? The Holy Prophet replied in the affirmative, upon which Abu ‘Ali further asked whether it was the stories of the Prophets and the destruction of their peoples that had aged him. The Holy Prophet said: "No, but the words, So stand thou upright as thou hast been commanded, have done it" (Baihaqi). The reason why this verse weighed so heavily on the Holy Prophet’s mind was that it was not only his immediate followers but the generations that were to come long afterwards whose spiritual progress he was made responsible for. It was the full realization of this grave responsibility that weighed heavily on him and rendered him old prematurely. But it appears that this high sense of responsibility so pleased God that He took upon Himself the fulfilment of this responsibility and promised the Prophet that He would continue to raise from among his followers men who, by following in his footsteps, would attain nearness to Him and would reform his people in his name.
The verse also points out how necessary it is that Muslims should become organized into a homogeneous and evenly advanced community. A Muslim can easily exhort his neighbours to virtue, but he cannot convey his exhortation to Muslims scattered all over the world. It is only through a perfect organization that this supreme and stupendous task can be accomplished. By helping to maintain such an organization, a Muslim becomes part of it and a sharer in the work carried on by it in any part of the world. The Ahmadiyya Movement is, by the grace of God, the living example of such an organization in the world today.
The injunction to see that our fellow-men should, like us, follow the right way also implies the need of the proper upbringing of our children as well as the care of future generations. (close)
وَ لَا تَرۡکَنُوۡۤا اِلَی الَّذِیۡنَ ظَلَمُوۡا فَتَمَسَّکُمُ النَّارُ ۙ وَ مَا لَکُمۡ مِّنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰہِ مِنۡ اَوۡلِیَآءَ ثُمَّ لَا تُنۡصَرُوۡنَ ﴿۱۱۴﴾
وَلَا تَرۡكَنُوٓاْ إِلَى ٱلَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ فَتَمَسَّكُمُ ٱلنَّارُ وَمَا لَكُم مِّن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ مِنۡ أَوۡلِيَآءَ ثُمَّ لَا تُنصَرُونَ
1354. As man is influenced by his environments and, if his surroundings are corrupt, the corruption thereof is sure to affect him sooner or later, so, in the present verse the believers are enjoined to sever all connections with the wicked and the unjust even though they are their own kith and kin. (close)
In the previous verse we were told that we should not only reform ourselves but also our fellow-men because man is influenced by his environment, and if our surroundings are corrupt, the corruption thereof is sure to affect us sooner or later. So in the present verse we are enjoined to sever all connexion with the wicked and the unjust even though they may be our own kith and kin.
The present verse is also connected with the words, exceed ye not the bounds, occurring in the previous verse. In the light of the verse under comment these words do not mean that we exceed the bonds only when we have actually committed an act of injustice, but we are equally guilty of injustice if we are accessory to another man’s unjust act in any way or if we defend him when he happens to commit an offence. (close)
وَ اَقِمِ الصَّلٰوۃَ طَرَفَیِ النَّہَارِ وَ زُلَفًا مِّنَ الَّیۡلِ ؕ اِنَّ الۡحَسَنٰتِ یُذۡہِبۡنَ السَّیِّاٰتِ ؕ ذٰلِکَ ذِکۡرٰی لِلذّٰکِرِیۡنَ ﴿۱۱۵﴾ۚ
وَأَقِمِ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ طَرَفَيِ ٱلنَّهَارِ وَزُلَفٗا مِّنَ ٱلَّيۡلِۚ إِنَّ ٱلۡحَسَنَٰتِ يُذۡهِبۡنَ ٱلسَّيِّـَٔاتِۚ ذَٰلِكَ ذِكۡرَىٰ لِلذَّـٰكِرِينَ
c. 17:79. (close)
a. 17:79. (close)
1495. Important Words:
طرفی النھار (two ends of the day). طرف means, the extremity or end of anything; a side; a lateral, or an outward, or adjacent part or portion of a thing; a region, district, quarter or tract; a part, portion, piece or bit of a thing. کریم الطرفین means, generous or noble in respect of both male and female ancestors. اطراف (plural of طرف) means a man’s father and mother and brothers and paternal uncles and any near relations whom it is unlawful for him to marry; noble or exalted men. اطراف الارض means, the noble or exalted men or the learned men of the earth or land. طرفی النھار means, two ends of the day i.e. morning and afternoon or the morning as well as afternoon and late afternoon (Lane & Aqrab).
زلفا من اللیل (hours of the night that are nearer the day). زلفا is derived from زلف. They say زلف الشیء i.e. he did the thing previously or beforehand. ازلفه means, he made or brought or drew him or it near. They say ازلف الاشیاء i.e. he collected the things together. زلفا which is the plural of زلفة means, nearness with respect to rank, degree or station; or simply rank or grade; a portion of the first part of the night, whether small or large. It also means, hours or periods of the night commencing from the daytime, and the hours or periods of the daytime commencing from the night; or hour or period joining day and night at both ends (Lane & Aqrab).
The preceding verse spoke of the responsibilities of the Holy Prophet and those of his followers. As full acquittal of such heavy and onerous responsibilities is beyond human power, the verse under comment suggests some methods which can help a Muslim successfully to discharge them. The first method suggested is Prayer and worship of God, because one urgently needs God’s help for discharging such heavy tasks. By Prayer favourable Divine decrees come into operation.
The words, Surely good works drive away the evil ones, suggest effective ways by which evils can be overcome and eradicated. The setting of a good example is one of them. It wins the hearts of men and makes them copy it. In this way the emulation of good makes evil gradually disappear. It is actions and not words that can overcome evil and efface it. Very few persons follow an independent line of action. A vast majority of them only follow and imitate others. Therefore a good example is an excellent way of establishing virtue in the world.
Another method implied in these words is that we should exhort people to virtue. The proper preaching of good greatly helps men to shun evil ways.
The doing of good to people and treating them with kindness is yet another method which goes a long way to inclining the hearts of men to good works. A kindly and beneficent deed done to a person in need makes him give ear to advice. This is the third way suggested in this verse.
In addition to these methods for the preaching and propagation of good, the words, Surely good works drive away the evil ones, also contain a sure guidance for the spiritual progress of the workers themselves. If a person desires to get rid of an evil habit, he should begin to practise a corresponding virtue. In this way he will soon get rid of his evil habit. The words also tell us that to avoid the evil consequences of our misdeeds we should practise more and more virtue. The more virtue we practise, the more secure will we become from the consequences of our evil deeds.
Incidentally, the verse also hints at the different times of Prayer prescribed for the Faithful. They are deducible from the words طرفی النھار (two ends of the day) and زلفا من اللیل (hours of the night that are nearer the day). (close)
وَ اصۡبِرۡ فَاِنَّ اللّٰہَ لَا یُضِیۡعُ اَجۡرَ الۡمُحۡسِنِیۡنَ ﴿۱۱۶﴾
وَٱصۡبِرۡ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يُضِيعُ أَجۡرَ ٱلۡمُحۡسِنِينَ
a. 12:91. (close)
a. 12:91. (close)
This verse tells us another great secret of individual and national success. This consists in constancy and steadfastness, which are essential conditions for success. (close)
فَلَوۡ لَا کَانَ مِنَ الۡقُرُوۡنِ مِنۡ قَبۡلِکُمۡ اُولُوۡا بَقِیَّۃٍ یَّنۡہَوۡنَ عَنِ الۡفَسَادِ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ اِلَّا قَلِیۡلًا مِّمَّنۡ اَنۡجَیۡنَا مِنۡہُمۡ ۚ وَ اتَّبَعَ الَّذِیۡنَ ظَلَمُوۡا مَاۤ اُتۡرِفُوۡا فِیۡہِ وَ کَانُوۡا مُجۡرِمِیۡنَ ﴿۱۱۷﴾
فَلَوۡلَا كَانَ مِنَ ٱلۡقُرُونِ مِن قَبۡلِكُمۡ أُوْلُواْ بَقِيَّةٖ يَنۡهَوۡنَ عَنِ ٱلۡفَسَادِ فِي ٱلۡأَرۡضِ إِلَّا قَلِيلٗا مِّمَّنۡ أَنجَيۡنَا مِنۡهُمۡۗ وَٱتَّبَعَ ٱلَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ مَآ أُتۡرِفُواْ فِيهِ وَكَانُواْ مُجۡرِمِينَ
b. 13:34. (close)
b. 13:34. (close)
1497. Important Words:
اولوا بقیة (persons possessed of understanding). بقیة it is derived from بقی which means, he or it remained, lasted, endured and was or became permanent or perpetual. They say بقی من الشیء بقیة i.e. a remnant, relic or residue of the thing retained. The Arabs say فلان من بقیة القوم i.e. such a one is of the best of people, for it is the best that lasts. اولوا بقیة means, persons possessed of excellence, or persons possessing a relic of judgement and intelligence, or persons of understanding and discrimination, or persons possessing a quality of watching or observing and, hence, of guarding and preserving (Lane & Aqrab). See also 11:87.
اترفوا (they were afforded ease and comfort) is derived from ترف which means, he enjoyed or led a plentiful and a pleasant or an easy and delicate life; or a life of ease and plenty. They say اترفه المال i.e. wealth made him behave exorbitantly; or to be excessively disobedient or rebellious; or to exalt himself; be inordinate in infidelity; or to be extravagant in acts of disobedience and in wrongdoing. اترف الرجل means, the man persisted in, resolved upon, transgression, wrongdoing and deviation from the right way (Lane & Aqrab).
This verse makes a fleeting reference to a serious but general mistake. It purports to say that, when experience had shown that man has a tendency to become corrupt, why did not the wise men among past generations recognize this responsibility about their own people and at the outset warn them of the evil consequences of their bad deeds and thus nip the evil in the bud. But instead of doing this they allowed the evil to grow, with the result that their people became totally corrupt and depraved. These people, instead of learning a lesson from the fate of their predecessors, lost themselves in pursuit of the paltry things of the world and the result was that they ranged themselves with wrongdoers and became estranged from God. (close)
وَ مَا کَانَ رَبُّکَ لِیُہۡلِکَ الۡقُرٰی بِظُلۡمٍ وَّ اَہۡلُہَا مُصۡلِحُوۡنَ ﴿۱۱۸﴾
وَمَا كَانَ رَبُّكَ لِيُهۡلِكَ ٱلۡقُرَىٰ بِظُلۡمٖ وَأَهۡلُهَا مُصۡلِحُونَ
c. 6:132; 20:135; 26:209; 28:60. (close)
a. 6:132; 20:135; 26:209; 28:60. (close)
The verse clearly shows that it is unjust to punish any people unless they make themselves deserving of it by their misdeeds. It is a pity that in spite of the fact that various kinds of afflictions and miseries have fallen upon present-day Muslims, they persist in thinking that they are following the right path. This, in other words, means that they look upon God as unjust and themselves as righteous. The important lesson that we learn from this verse is that as punishment comes only when people become corrupt, therefore when people see signs of an impending punishment they should take a warning from it and should at once set about eschewing evil practices and reforming themselves.
As the word مصلحون (righteous) also means "making peace among themselves", the verse also shows that the way to avert Divinepunishment is that people should make peace among themselves and there should be unity and concord among them. In fact, decline and degradation overtake a people only when they are rent by dissensions and discord and fall victim to various kinds of moral and spiritual maladies. (close)
وَ لَوۡ شَآءَ رَبُّکَ لَجَعَلَ النَّاسَ اُمَّۃً وَّاحِدَۃً وَّ لَا یَزَالُوۡنَ مُخۡتَلِفِیۡنَ ﴿۱۱۹﴾ۙ
وَلَوۡ شَآءَ رَبُّكَ لَجَعَلَ ٱلنَّاسَ أُمَّةٗ وَٰحِدَةٗۖ وَلَا يَزَالُونَ مُخۡتَلِفِينَ
d. 2:214; 10:20; 42:9. (close)
a. 2:214; 10:20; 42:9. (close)
See 2:214 & 10:20. (close)
اِلَّا مَنۡ رَّحِمَ رَبُّکَ ؕ وَ لِذٰلِکَ خَلَقَہُمۡ ؕ وَ تَمَّتۡ کَلِمَۃُ رَبِّکَ لَاَمۡلَـَٔنَّ جَہَنَّمَ مِنَ الۡجِنَّۃِ وَ النَّاسِ اَجۡمَعِیۡنَ ﴿۱۲۰﴾
إِلَّا مَن رَّحِمَ رَبُّكَۚ وَلِذَٰلِكَ خَلَقَهُمۡۗ وَتَمَّتۡ كَلِمَةُ رَبِّكَ لَأَمۡلَأَنَّ جَهَنَّمَ مِنَ ٱلۡجِنَّةِ وَٱلنَّاسِ أَجۡمَعِينَ
e. 15:44; 32:14; 38:85, 86. (close)
b. 15:44; 32:14; 38:85-86. (close)
The words, for this has He created them, mean that it is for mercy that God has created men. This interpretation is supported by 7:157.
The words, the word of thy Lord shall be fulfilled, show that it is only the followers of Satan and evildoers that will be cast into Hell. The verse does not at all mean that all men will be thrown into Hell. In the words, the word of thy Lord shall be fulfilled, God mentions a promise, so the verse must be interpreted in harmony with that promise. But no promise is to be found in the Quran to the effect that all men will be cast into Hell. On the contrary, there is a definite promise in which it is said that Hell will be filled with those who follow Satan (7:19). It is to this promise that the verse under comment refers, for the Quran makes mention of no other promise except this.
So the verse means only that those who follow Satan will be thrown into Hell.
It was stated in the previous clause that God had created man for mercy. Now the question naturally arose, if man had been created for mercy, why were men to be cast into Hell? The present verse answers this question by saying that it is true that man has been created for mercy, but it was also declared that this promise of mercy would not be fulfilled immediately with regard to people who followed Satan. These companions of Satan will first be thrown into Hell on account of their affinity with him, and after they have been purged of their sins, they will go to Heaven. Moreover, the preceding verse speaks of disbelievers "who would not cease to differ". So the jinn and men spoken of here are none but the wicked among them. For a discussion of the jinn see 15:28. (close)
وَ کُلًّا نَّقُصُّ عَلَیۡکَ مِنۡ اَنۡۢبَآءِ الرُّسُلِ مَا نُثَبِّتُ بِہٖ فُؤَادَکَ ۚ وَ جَآءَکَ فِیۡ ہٰذِہِ الۡحَقُّ وَ مَوۡعِظَۃٌ وَّ ذِکۡرٰی لِلۡمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ ﴿۱۲۱﴾
وَكُلّٗا نَّقُصُّ عَلَيۡكَ مِنۡ أَنۢبَآءِ ٱلرُّسُلِ مَا نُثَبِّتُ بِهِۦ فُؤَادَكَۚ وَجَآءَكَ فِي هَٰذِهِ ٱلۡحَقُّ وَمَوۡعِظَةٞ وَذِكۡرَىٰ لِلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ
a. 25:33. (close)
a. 25:33. (close)
This verse clearly proves that the accounts of the previous Prophets have not been narrated in the Quran merely as simple facts of history, but contain prophetic allusions to similar incidents that were to occur in the life of the Holy Prophet. If it had not been so, how could these accounts be said to bring satisfaction to his mind and "make his heart firm." It was only when these accounts were to be taken as future incidents of his own life, that they could bring satisfaction to the Holy Prophet. In these accounts he saw how his enemies were to behave towards him, how they were to be discomfited and how his cause was to triumph in the end. As he was the representative of all previous Prophets, therefore, more or less, he was to pass through all the experiences through which his predecessors in the prophetic office had passed. (close)
وَ قُلۡ لِّلَّذِیۡنَ لَا یُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ اعۡمَلُوۡا عَلٰی مَکَانَتِکُمۡ ؕ اِنَّا عٰمِلُوۡنَ ﴿۱۲۲﴾ۙ
وَقُل لِّلَّذِينَ لَا يُؤۡمِنُونَ ٱعۡمَلُواْ عَلَىٰ مَكَانَتِكُمۡ إِنَّا عَٰمِلُونَ
b. 6:136; 11:94; 39:40. (close)
1355. Makanah is derived from Kana or Makana and means, station or power (Aqrab). The verse means that though the great prophecies made in this Surah about the ultimate triumph of Islam and the defeat and discomfiture of disbelievers appear to be incredible and impossible of fulfilment at the present time, yet nothing is impossible with God and these prophecies will surely come to pass. (close)
b. 6:136; 11:94; 39:40. (close)
The Holy Prophet is here commanded to say to disbelievers that bootless quarrelling and fighting serves no useful purpose. Time will show who is in the right and who in the wrong by the results that the actions of Muslims and their opponents produce. (close)