اِلَی اللّٰہِ مَرۡجِعُکُمۡ ۚ وَ ہُوَ عَلٰی کُلِّ شَیۡءٍ قَدِیۡرٌ ﴿۵﴾
إِلَى ٱللَّهِ مَرۡجِعُكُمۡۖ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيۡءٖ قَدِيرٌ
a. 10:5. (close)
a. See10:5. (close)
The expression, To Allah is your return, means that since you have finally to return to God and render your account to Him, there is no reason why you should not make preparation for that great meeting now. The words, He has power over all things, hint that since God has the power to give reward as well as to inflict punishment, there is no reason why you should not make yourselves deserving of His reward rather than of His punishment. (close)
اَلَاۤ اِنَّہُمۡ یَثۡنُوۡنَ صُدُوۡرَہُمۡ لِیَسۡتَخۡفُوۡا مِنۡہُ ؕ اَلَا حِیۡنَ یَسۡتَغۡشُوۡنَ ثِیَابَہُمۡ ۙ یَعۡلَمُ مَا یُسِرُّوۡنَ وَ مَا یُعۡلِنُوۡنَ ۚ اِنَّہٗ عَلِیۡمٌۢ بِذَاتِ الصُّدُوۡرِ ﴿۶﴾
أَلَآ إِنَّهُمۡ يَثۡنُونَ صُدُورَهُمۡ لِيَسۡتَخۡفُواْ مِنۡهُۚ أَلَا حِينَ يَسۡتَغۡشُونَ ثِيَابَهُمۡ يَعۡلَمُ مَا يُسِرُّونَ وَمَا يُعۡلِنُونَۚ إِنَّهُۥ عَلِيمُۢ بِذَاتِ ٱلصُّدُورِ
1296. The disbelievers keep their doubts and objections hidden in their minds and do not disclose them and have them removed. The reason why they are debarred from accepting the truth is their refusal to open their hearts and have their doubts satisfied. (close)
b. 2:78; 16:24; 27:75; 28:70; 36:77. (close)
b. 2:78; 16:24; 27:75; 28:70; 36:77. (close)
1387. Important Words:
یثنون (fold up) is derived fromثنی . They say ثنی الشیء i.e. he doubled or folded or bent the thing; he turned one part of it upon the other; he drew one of its two extremities to the other; he joined or adjoined one of the things to the other. ثنا زیداmeans, he turned Zaid away or back from his course, or from the object of his want. ثنا صدرہ (lit. he folded his breast or bosom) means, he concealed enmity in his breast or bosom; or he folded up what was in it, in concealment. The expression انھم یثنون صدورھم means, surely they infold and conceal in their bosoms enmity and hatred; or they bend their breasts or bosoms and fold up and conceal what is therein (Lane & Aqrab).
یستغشون ثیابھم (they cover themselves with their garments). یستغشون is derived from استغشی which is again derived from غشیwhich means, it covered or concealed or overwhelmed. استغشی ثوبه or استغشی بثوبه means, he covered himself with his garment in order that he might not see or hear; or he put his garment as a covering over his ears—a phrase denoting a refusal to hearken, or, as some say, an allusion to running (Lane).
In the previous verse, mention was made of the obstacles which of themselves happen to come in the way of men, and of the means to remove them, while the present verse speaks of the obstacles which men themselves put in their way and which can be removed only if they desire to have them removed.
The expression یثنون صدورھم (they fold up their breasts) means that disbelievers keep their doubts and objections hidden in their minds and do not disclose them to others and have them removed. This is why they cannot see the right way. Unless one seeks the satisfaction of doubts by disclosing them to others who are in a position to remove them, one can never attain to truth.
The expression یستغشون ثیابھم (they cover themselves with their garments) is used when a person turns a deaf ear to another man and refuses to see the truth. Thus the second reason why disbelievers were debarred from accepting the truth was that they refused to listen to the Holy Prophet. They not only themselves abstained from listening to the Holy Prophet but also prevented others from doing so, declaring that what he preached was magic and would captivate their hearts if they hearkened to it (see 21:4; 41:27; 46:8; 74:25). This attitude of disbelievers in refusing to listen to the Holy Prophet was even more injurious for them than their keeping doubts hidden in their hearts, because there is a possibility, however remote, that a person who does not disclose his doubts to others may sometimes happen to listen to a discourse dealing with the subject about which he entertains doubts and may thus have them removed by chance, but there is no hope for a person who refuses to listen to the truth.
The verse points to the fact that disbelievers have to deal with a Being Who knows even their secret ideas and therefore they cannot take shelter under the false plea that, as the truth
was not explained to them, they deserved to be excused if they did not accept it. A person who tries to evade the truth and deliberately shuts his eyes to it cannot excuse himself on the score of ignorance. Such men are as guilty as those who refuse to accept the truth after it has been fully explained to them. They alone can legitimately bring forward the plea of ignorance who make an honest effort to understand and arrive at the truth, but somehow or other fail to do so, or whom the Message of truth does not reach though they are ready to welcome it.
The words, what they conceal and what they reveal, may also refer to the concealed hatred which disbelievers harbour in their minds against the heavenly Messenger and to their open acts of hostility towards him.
The expression, ذات الصدور (what is in their breasts), refers to the hidden thoughts that dominate men. As the uppermost part of anything is called its صدر (Lane) and as the thoughts of a man naturally occupy the highest position in him—all his actions being subordinate to them—therefore, they are represented as being seated in his صدر of which the plural is صدور. The verse thus means that God has sent His Messenger because He knew the innermost corrupt condition of the minds of disbelievers, which demanded that a heavenly reformer should come. Therefore, they cannot say that they needed no reformer. (close)
وَ مَا مِنۡ دَآبَّۃٍ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ اِلَّا عَلَی اللّٰہِ رِزۡقُہَا وَ یَعۡلَمُ مُسۡتَقَرَّہَا وَ مُسۡتَوۡدَعَہَا ؕ کُلٌّ فِیۡ کِتٰبٍ مُّبِیۡنٍ ﴿۷﴾
۞وَمَا مِن دَآبَّةٖ فِي ٱلۡأَرۡضِ إِلَّا عَلَى ٱللَّهِ رِزۡقُهَا وَيَعۡلَمُ مُسۡتَقَرَّهَا وَمُسۡتَوۡدَعَهَاۚ كُلّٞ فِي كِتَٰبٖ مُّبِينٖ
c. 11:57. (close)
1297. God has provided sustenance for all His creatures. He has even provided the means of subsistence for worms and reptiles that dwell in the bowels of the earth. Human reason is at a loss to know how and whence the worms and insects found in such unlimited numbers on and inside the earth get their food. Man who presumes to have solved the mysteries of the universe is not yet fully acquainted with all forms of life, to say nothing of the different kinds of food on which they subsist. But God has made ample provision for them all. The verse points out that God, having supplied the physical needs of the meanest of His creatures, certainly could not have neglected to make similar provision for the moral and spiritual needs of man who is the acme of His creation. The verse refers not only to the temporary and permanent abode of every living thing but also to the utmost limit to which its powers can develop. (close)
1298. Mustaqarr and Mustauda‘ signify not only a place of temporary settlement and of permanent abode but also final or determined limit of a thing both as regards time or place; appointed term; end of one’s course (Lane). (close)
a. 11:57. (close)
1388. Important Words:
مستقر (lodging) and مستودع (home) not only mean a place of temporary settlement and of permanent abode but also final or determined limit of a thing both as regards time or place; appointed term; end of one’s course (Lane). See also 6:99.
The verse declares that God has provided sustenance for all His creatures but it rests with them to make proper use of it. He has provided the means of subsistence for even the worms and reptiles that dwell in the bowels of the earth. Human reason is at a loss to know how and whence the worms and insects found in such unlimited numbers on and inside the earth get their food. There are many insects about the nature of even whose food man is in the dark, but all are getting their sustenance from nature. An interesting instance of how God makes provision for animals is furnished by the crops which men sow. While wheat makes an article of food for man, its stalk, leaves and husks provide food for animals. If God had not produced these things along with the grains of wheat, most men might have neglected their own ulterior interests and starved the dumb cattle.
God has created nothing without purpose. Even prickly shrubs form food for the camel and the goat, while the worms that grow in the human body get their food in the body itself. In fact, every species of worm, insect and animal has its particular food provided for it in nature. Even beasts of prey, which live on different kinds of animal diet seldom go hungry. Man who presumes to have solved the mysteries of the universe is not yet fully acquainted with all forms of life, to say nothing of knowing the different kinds of food on which they subsist. But God has made ample provision for them all.
What the Quran points out in this verse is that, when God has supplied the physical needs of the meanest of His creatures, He could certainly not have neglected to make provision for the moral and spiritual needs of the noblest of His creatures—man, who is the acme of His creation. It is unthinkable that when man was a mere clot of blood in the womb of his mother God supplied all his needs, but when he grew up to perfection and stood in need of guidance for the cultivation of his moral and spiritual faculties, He left him to his fate. Most assuredly God has provided both physical and spiritual sustenance for man; but it is for man to get it and make a proper use of it.
The words, He knows its lodging and its home, refer not only to the temporary and the permanent abode of every living thing but also to the utmost limit to which its powers can develop (see Important Words). The expression is thus intended to point out that only the Being Who knows the place where a thing lives and the utmost limits of its faculties can devise and provide the food best suited for it. To explain this point we may take the example of the body and the soul. We find that in teachings devised by human beings, either only the needs of the permanent abode, which relates to the human soul, have been taken into consideration, and the needs of the body, which serves as a shell for the soul and is thus man’s temporary abode, have been neglected; or the betterment of the temporary abode i.e. the body, has received the whole attention and the requirements of the soul have been lost sight of. The truth is that with the help of his intellect alone it is not possible for man to provide for both his material and spiritual needs; for he does not know what will happen after death, and his spiritual needs concern primarily his life in the Hereafter. It is only God Who does so. (close)
وَ ہُوَ الَّذِیۡ خَلَقَ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضَ فِیۡ سِتَّۃِ اَیَّامٍ وَّ کَانَ عَرۡشُہٗ عَلَی الۡمَآءِ لِیَبۡلُوَکُمۡ اَیُّکُمۡ اَحۡسَنُ عَمَلًا ؕ وَ لَئِنۡ قُلۡتَ اِنَّکُمۡ مَّبۡعُوۡثُوۡنَ مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِ الۡمَوۡتِ لَیَقُوۡلَنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡۤا اِنۡ ہٰذَاۤ اِلَّا سِحۡرٌ مُّبِیۡنٌ ﴿۸﴾
وَهُوَ ٱلَّذِي خَلَقَ ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضَ فِي سِتَّةِ أَيَّامٖ وَكَانَ عَرۡشُهُۥ عَلَى ٱلۡمَآءِ لِيَبۡلُوَكُمۡ أَيُّكُمۡ أَحۡسَنُ عَمَلٗاۗ وَلَئِن قُلۡتَ إِنَّكُم مَّبۡعُوثُونَ مِنۢ بَعۡدِ ٱلۡمَوۡتِ لَيَقُولَنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوٓاْ إِنۡ هَٰذَآ إِلَّا سِحۡرٞ مُّبِينٞ
a. 7:55; 10:4; 25:60. (close)
1299. See 984. (close)
1300. As water has been repeatedly described in the Qur’an as the source of all life (21:31; 25:55; 77:21 & 86:7), the words, His throne rests on water, signify that the great Divine attributes find their manifestation through living creatures, above all through man, who is the culminating point of all creation. These words may also mean that the attributes of God depend for their manifestation on His Word which has been compared to water at several places in the Qur’an. In the words, you shall surely be raised after death, it is pointed out that this system of creation itself shows that man should have a life after death, for the creation of such a vast universe in which a being with volition and independent will should live, makes it clear that the creation of that being is intended to serve a great purpose. But the life of this world is short-lived, a temporary existence of tests and trials so that, after this temporary abode of tests and trials man must pass on to his permanent or eternal abode of recompense. (close)
b. 5:49; 6:166; 67:3. (close)
a. 7:55; 10:4; 25:60. (close)
This verse reminds us how God has created things by a gradual process of evolution to bring man into existence and to make provision for his progress. This gradual process of evolution has culminated in the creation of man. This shows that the real object of the creation of the whole universe was that man should come into being. Man is the real object of the creation of the universe because he has been endowed with an unlimited capacity for spiritual progress. It is, therefore, inconceivable that God, having endowed man with unlimited powers, should have neglected to provide means for his unending spiritual growth and development. For an explanation of the expression ستة ایام (six periods) see 7:55 and 10:4.
As water has been repeatedly described in the Quran as the source of all life (see 21:31; 25:55; 77:21 and 86:7) the words, His Throne rests on water, signify that all the great attributes of God have found their manifestation through "life" (i.e. living creatures) and above all through man, who is the culminating point of all life. The words that follow, viz. that He might prove you to know which of you is best in conduct, also corroborate the above explanation; otherwise, how can the works of man be tested by the resting of the Throne of God on material water? Indeed the passage can bear no other interpretation than this that it is through living creatures that God’s attributes are manifested and that God desires to see who benefits most by His attributes.
The words, His Throne rests on water, may also mean that the attributes of God are dependent for their manifestation on His word, which has been compared at several places in the Quran to water. Water stands, therefore, here for "the Word of God" and the verse means that God has bound up the manifestation of His attributes with His Word, which indeed is the source of all spiritual life. This subject is further explained in 58:22 where it is laid down that God’s Messengers on whom His word descends and their followers who benefit by the Divine Word are granted power and dominion over their enemies.
The verse may also be said to embody what may be called the Islamic theory of evolution. In this case، the word کان(is) will be rendered as "was" (for which see 2:35) and the verse would mean that God placed His Throne on water, viz. on the manifestation of life in this universe, so that the capacities of various animals might be compared and it might eventually become evident which of them deserved to be the aim and end of the whole of creation. In fact, the real and ultimate object of God in creating life was to bring into existence a being who might prove to be the best and highest manifestation of life fit to receive the impress of his Maker. This shows that the creation of man who was to prove the best of all creation, took place in the last cycle of life. Thus, although Islam does not accept the theory of evolution as commonly understood—that man is a development of a lower animal––yet it does teach that the creation of man formed the culminating point in the creation of life which began with the lower form of life and ended with the higher one, finding its consummation in man, and that this system of creation was from the very beginning intended to lead finally to the creation of man.
It is pointed out in the words, You shall surely be raised after death, that this system of creation itself shows that man should have a second life after death, for the creation of such a vast universe in which a being with a volition and independent will should live, makes it clear that the creation of that being is intended to serve a great purpose. But the life of this world is short-lived, a temporary place of tests and trials like the examination hall, over which hangs a veil of mystery and doubts, so much so that even the existence of God is sometimes denied. All this goes to prove beyond reasonable doubt that after this temporary abode of tests and trials man must pass on to his permanent or eternal abode of recompense. Hence (the verse says) how strange it is that, when people are told that creation has passed through a gradual process of development they readily admit it (even atheists accept the evolution theory) but when they are told what is but the natural sequence of this process, viz. that the life of man cannot come to a stop in this world, but must continue into another and higher life after death, they deny it. (close)
وَ لَئِنۡ اَخَّرۡنَا عَنۡہُمُ الۡعَذَابَ اِلٰۤی اُمَّۃٍ مَّعۡدُوۡدَۃٍ لَّیَقُوۡلُنَّ مَا یَحۡبِسُہٗ ؕ اَلَا یَوۡمَ یَاۡتِیۡہِمۡ لَیۡسَ مَصۡرُوۡفًا عَنۡہُمۡ وَ حَاقَ بِہِمۡ مَّا کَانُوۡا بِہٖ یَسۡتَہۡزِءُوۡنَ ٪﴿۹﴾
وَلَئِنۡ أَخَّرۡنَا عَنۡهُمُ ٱلۡعَذَابَ إِلَىٰٓ أُمَّةٖ مَّعۡدُودَةٖ لَّيَقُولُنَّ مَا يَحۡبِسُهُۥٓۗ أَلَا يَوۡمَ يَأۡتِيهِمۡ لَيۡسَ مَصۡرُوفًا عَنۡهُمۡ وَحَاقَ بِهِم مَّا كَانُواْ بِهِۦ يَسۡتَهۡزِءُونَ
a. 21:42; 46:27. (close)
a. 21:42; 46:27. (close)
1390. Important Words:
امة (time) is derived from ام (amma). They say امه (ammahu) i.e. he repaired or directed his course to him or it; he sought or aimed at it. امة means, way, course or manner of acting; religion; a people or nation; a generation of men. It also means a time or a period of time as in 12:46 (Lane).
The verse points out that just as most people are in doubt about the life after death, similarly they labour under a delusion with regard to Divine punishment in this life. If punishment is delayed a little, they become impatient and begin to criticize and find fault with Divine Messengers, although the nature of this world as being an abode of trials demands that Divine punishment should be late in coming; for if there were no delay, the abode of trials would turn into a veritable abode of recompense.
It is strange that on the one hand people deny the existence of an abode of recompense and, on the other, by demanding from the Prophets of God a decisive punishment, admit that there should be such a thing as an abode of requital. The words, that which they used to mock at shall encompass them, show that disbelievers, while demanding the speedy arrival of punishment, do not do so in earnest, but only ridicule the warnings of Prophets about the impending punishment. They should know that their scoffing and jeering shall recoil on themselves and will serve only to expedite the threatened punishment. (close)
وَ لَئِنۡ اَذَقۡنَا الۡاِنۡسَانَ مِنَّا رَحۡمَۃً ثُمَّ نَزَعۡنٰہَا مِنۡہُ ۚ اِنَّہٗ لَیَـُٔوۡسٌ کَفُوۡرٌ ﴿۱۰﴾
وَلَئِنۡ أَذَقۡنَا ٱلۡإِنسَٰنَ مِنَّا رَحۡمَةٗ ثُمَّ نَزَعۡنَٰهَا مِنۡهُ إِنَّهُۥ لَيَـُٔوسٞ كَفُورٞ
b. 41:52. (close)
a. 41:52. (close)
See the next verse. (close)
وَ لَئِنۡ اَذَقۡنٰہُ نَعۡمَآءَ بَعۡدَ ضَرَّآءَ مَسَّتۡہُ لَیَقُوۡلَنَّ ذَہَبَ السَّیِّاٰتُ عَنِّیۡ ؕ اِنَّہٗ لَفَرِحٌ فَخُوۡرٌ ﴿ۙ۱۱﴾
وَلَئِنۡ أَذَقۡنَٰهُ نَعۡمَآءَ بَعۡدَ ضَرَّآءَ مَسَّتۡهُ لَيَقُولَنَّ ذَهَبَ ٱلسَّيِّـَٔاتُ عَنِّيٓۚ إِنَّهُۥ لَفَرِحٞ فَخُورٌ
c. 41:51. (close)
b. 41:51. (close)
Both attitudes of foolish elation and of abject despair described in this and the previous verses are assumed by those who give themselves up to disbelief and turn their backs on Divine revelation. They are carried away by the smallest change in their fortunes, whether for good or ill. If some distress happens to afflict them, they give way to despair, while they become foolishly elated with pride if some success or happiness comes their way. This is due to their lack of proper understanding of the law of God, which is to the effect that this life is subject to change and that sorrows and periods of good fortune come upon man to try his mettle and make him improve his moral and spiritual condition. But a disbeliever who fails to understand the purpose of God, instead of benefiting by his state of prosperity or affliction, often lets it overwhelm him. (close)
اِلَّا الَّذِیۡنَ صَبَرُوۡا وَ عَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ ؕ اُولٰٓئِکَ لَہُمۡ مَّغۡفِرَۃٌ وَّ اَجۡرٌ کَبِیۡرٌ ﴿۱۲﴾
إِلَّا ٱلَّذِينَ صَبَرُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَٰتِ أُوْلَـٰٓئِكَ لَهُم مَّغۡفِرَةٞ وَأَجۡرٞ كَبِيرٞ
d. 41:9; 84:26; 95:7. (close)
a. 41:9; 84:26; 95:7. (close)
This verse is a continuation of the preceding one and points out that although people lacking in true belief become elated or give way to despair at the smallest change in their circumstances, such is not the case with true believers. They do not allow sorrow or joy to get the better of them, but keep them under strict control. Sorrow cannot make them give way to despair and despondency. They remain patient under adversity and face it with courage. Nor can prosperity make them proud or haughty. On the contrary, they turn the favours of God to good account and increase in piety and righteousness.
The words, It is they who will have forgiveness and a great reward, describe the true recompense of believers. As they remain patient under adversities and afflictions which befall them in consequence of their own mistakes and faults, God rewards their patience by forgiving their errors and by covering up their faults and weaknesses. Similarly, as they do not become conceited and proud by reason of the favours which God confers on them, but employ them for righteous ends, therefore God adds to His favours by conferring upon them still greater blessings. (close)
فَلَعَلَّکَ تَارِکٌۢ بَعۡضَ مَا یُوۡحٰۤی اِلَیۡکَ وَ ضَآئِقٌۢ بِہٖ صَدۡرُکَ اَنۡ یَّقُوۡلُوۡا لَوۡ لَاۤ اُنۡزِلَ عَلَیۡہِ کَنۡزٌ اَوۡ جَآءَ مَعَہٗ مَلَکٌ ؕ اِنَّمَاۤ اَنۡتَ نَذِیۡرٌ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ عَلٰی کُلِّ شَیۡءٍ وَّکِیۡلٌ ﴿ؕ۱۳﴾
فَلَعَلَّكَ تَارِكُۢ بَعۡضَ مَا يُوحَىٰٓ إِلَيۡكَ وَضَآئِقُۢ بِهِۦ صَدۡرُكَ أَن يَقُولُواْ لَوۡلَآ أُنزِلَ عَلَيۡهِ كَنزٌ أَوۡ جَآءَ مَعَهُۥ مَلَكٌۚ إِنَّمَآ أَنتَ نَذِيرٞۚ وَٱللَّهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيۡءٖ وَكِيلٌ
e. 17:74. (close)
1301. The word, la‘alla, is used to denote either a state of hope or of fear, whether that state pertains to the speaker or to the addressee or to someone else. (close)
a. 17:94; 25:9. (close)
1302. It is a peculiarity of the Quranic diction that sometimes it omits the question and only gives the answer, the question being implied in the answer itself. The present verse is an example of this peculiarity. In the preceding verse believers were promised forgiveness and a great reward. Thereupon disbelievers mockingly asked the Holy Prophet, 'Where is the promised reward of which we do not see the slightest sign? You do not have even the money which you need so badly, nor do the angels descend from heaven to help you.' The Qur’an turns the tables upon them and answers their irony with an irony, saying, 'Ah! How "weighty" is the objection of these people and perhaps, O Prophet, from fear of being unable to answer it, you would hide a part of Our revelation which contains prophecies regarding the prosperity and triumph of Islam! This is only their wishful thinking, their vain and futile hope. Such a thing can never happen.' (close)
b. 13:8. (close)
a. 17:74. (close)
b. 17:94; 25:9. (close)
c. 13:8. (close)
1394. Important Words:
فلعلك (thou art now perhaps). The word لعل is used to denote either a state of hope or of fear, whether that state pertains to the speaker or to the addressee or to someone else. In the Quranic expression فلعلك تارك بعض مایوحی الیك (thou art now perhaps going to abandon part of that which has been revealed to thee) the word لعل has been used to signify that "the people imagine that thou art now perhaps going to abandon, etc." (Mufradat). See also 2:22.
کنز (treasure) is the noun-infinitive from کنز (kanaza). They say کنز المال i.e. he buried the property or treasure in the earth; he collected the property and treasured it, or he hoarded it or stored it in secret. کنز الرمح means, he stuck or fixed the spear in the ground. کنز التمر means, he stored or packed up the dates (in the receptacle). کنز (kanz) means, treasure; property buried in the earth; any property whereof the portion that should be given in alms is not given; property that is preserved in a receptacle; anything abundant and collected together; gold and silver; a treasure of knowledge or science; that in which property is preserved or that in which property is buried or hoarded in secret (Lane & Aqrab).
It is a peculiarity of Quranic diction that sometimes it omits to give the question and only gives the answer, the question being implied in the answer itself. The present verse constitutes an example of this style. In the previous verse believers were promised forgiveness and a great reward. Thereupon disbelievers asked the Holy Prophet in a jeering and ironical manner, "You say your followers will get a great reward and their sins will be forgiven. We know nothing about the forgiveness of their sins. But where is the promised reward of which we do not see the slightest sign? You do not have even the money which you need so badly, nor do the angels descend from heaven to help you." The Quran turns the tables upon the disbelievers and answers their irony, with an irony, saying, "How weighty indeed is the objection of these people and perhaps, o Prophet, from fear of being unable to answer it, you would hide a part of Our revelation which contains prophecies regarding the prosperity and triumph of Islam!" meaning that such a thing can never be.
The verse is capable of another interpretation also. In this case the word لعل would be taken to refer to the hope of disbelievers that the Holy Prophet may, out of fear of their objections, suppress part of the Divine revelation. The verse declares such hopes to be vain and futile, for the Holy Prophet was "only a warner," and the function and duty of a warner is only to issue the warning and deliver his message faithfully; he has no right to suppress any portion of the message. Again, by using the words "only a Warner" the verse also hints that the Holy Prophet did not claim to be God so that the treasures of the earth might be under his control; he was only a human being. If it be said here that believers who were promised "a great reward" (see the preceding verse) were also human beings like the Holy Prophet, it should be remembered that they were promised the reward not immediately but after they had established their title to it by displaying patience and steadfastness under trials and hardships for a considerable time. So disbelievers could demand from the Holy Prophet clear and palpable signs of the prosperity promised to him only when the promised time had come and not earlier. To come attended with power and glory in the very beginning is a sign of personal authority which belongs to God alone and not to any human being."
The words, Allah is Guardian over all things, are intended to point to the fact that all these promises will certainly come to pass. The Holy Prophet will assuredly get both مغفرة (lit. covering up) and a great reward, and the angels of God will undoubtedly descend to bring his work to completion and make null and void the machinations of his enemies. Not only will he himself be favoured with a great reward, but his followers and disciples also would become rulers and kings. Any fair-minded and impartial person can see that both these promises were literally fulfilled.
Some hostile critics of Islam have pretended to infer from this verse that the Holy Prophet was actually prepared to abandon a portion of the Quran out of fear of the objections of his opponents. But the context spurns this baseless interpretation. Can any reasonable person imagine that the demand for the descent of helping angels or for the possession of a treasure was such that, on account of it, the Holy Prophet should, in any way, have become prepared to suppress part of Divine revelation, or that he was unaware of the fact that he was only a warner whose duty was to deliver the Message, whatever it might be? Again, did he not know that God had clearly spoken to him saying He Himself was "Guardian over all things"? So the words, thou art now perhaps going to abandon part of that which has been revealed to thee, contain only a vain hope on the part of the disbelievers that the Prophet might give up part of his revelation; they do not at all find any intention or readiness on his part to do so. Do not these critics know that when at Mecca a deputation of the Quraish waited on the Holy Prophet and asked him to give up preaching against their idols and threatened to crush him and his tribe in case he refused to do so, the prompt answer he gave was that even if they put the sun on his right and the moon on his left he would not swerve a hair’s breadth from the teachings which God had given him? Could he, whom the threats or cajolery of the Quraish at a time when he was extremely weak could not induce to give up his preaching, have become so unnerved by these silly objections as to become ready to conceal a part of the DivineWord?
The verse that follows also gives the lie to such an inference, for it contains a challenge to the world to produce ten Surahs like any ten Surahs of the Quran. If there had been any doubt in the Prophet’s mind concerning any portion of the Quran, could that very portion possibly have been followed by a challenge like this? This challenge shows that he believed in the truth of every word of the Quran with a conviction firm as a rock. (close)
اَمۡ یَقُوۡلُوۡنَ افۡتَرٰٮہُ ؕ قُلۡ فَاۡتُوۡا بِعَشۡرِ سُوَرٍ مِّثۡلِہٖ مُفۡتَرَیٰتٍ وَّ ادۡعُوۡا مَنِ اسۡتَطَعۡتُمۡ مِّنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰہِ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمۡ صٰدِقِیۡنَ ﴿۱۴﴾
أَمۡ يَقُولُونَ ٱفۡتَرَىٰهُۖ قُلۡ فَأۡتُواْ بِعَشۡرِ سُوَرٖ مِّثۡلِهِۦ مُفۡتَرَيَٰتٖ وَٱدۡعُواْ مَنِ ٱسۡتَطَعۡتُم مِّن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ إِن كُنتُمۡ صَٰدِقِينَ
c. 2:24; 10:39; 17:89; 52:34, 35. (close)
a. 2:24; 10:39; 17:89; 52:34-35. (close)
This verse corroborates the interpretation put on the previous one. The latter gave two answers to the disbelievers’ vain hope that the Holy Prophet might abandon a portion of the Quran for fear of their objections, viz.: (1) that the Holy Prophet was only a Warner; he did not lay claim to Godhead that he might be required to have with him treasures and angels; (2) that he was only the bearer of a Message from God and his duty was confined to delivering that Message to the people. Now disbelievers could have replied to these arguments by saying that his claim to have come from God was but an empty assertion and that he was an impostor, as he was not attended with any special power. The verse under comment answers this objection by saying that although the Holy Prophet did not possess treasures of gold or silver, yet he possessed vast spiritual treasures the like of which were not possessed by the whole world collectively; and that those treasures were embodied in the Quran. So if they objected that the Holy Prophet was not a true Prophet and that certain portions of his Message were defective and needed to be altered, then let them bring forward a work comparable not to the whole of the Quran, but only to ten such chapters of it as they deemed to be defective. If, however, they could not produce a book comparable even to these so-called defective portions, which they thought needed to be changed, then they would have to admit that the Prophet of Islam did indeed possess a treasure the like of which none could produce. For full discussion of this subject, see under 2:24 where all similar verses of the Quran have been collectively treated. (close)