قَالَ یٰقَوۡمِ اَرَءَیۡتُمۡ اِنۡ کُنۡتُ عَلٰی بَیِّنَۃٍ مِّنۡ رَّبِّیۡ وَ اٰتٰٮنِیۡ مِنۡہُ رَحۡمَۃً فَمَنۡ یَّنۡصُرُنِیۡ مِنَ اللّٰہِ اِنۡ عَصَیۡتُہٗ ۟ فَمَا تَزِیۡدُوۡنَنِیۡ غَیۡرَ تَخۡسِیۡرٍ ﴿۶۴﴾
قَالَ يَٰقَوۡمِ أَرَءَيۡتُمۡ إِن كُنتُ عَلَىٰ بَيِّنَةٖ مِّن رَّبِّي وَءَاتَىٰنِي مِنۡهُ رَحۡمَةٗ فَمَن يَنصُرُنِي مِنَ ٱللَّهِ إِنۡ عَصَيۡتُهُۥۖ فَمَا تَزِيدُونَنِي غَيۡرَ تَخۡسِيرٖ
a. 11:29, 89. (close)
Salih here answers the objection of his people mentioned in the preceding verse to the effect that, but for the doubts created in their hearts by his teachings, they would have taken him as their chief. His reply is that if he is a true Messenger of God, it would do him no good to forsake Divine teachings and ally himself with them; it would bring on him only ruin and destruction. (close)
وَ یٰقَوۡمِ ہٰذِہٖ نَاقَۃُ اللّٰہِ لَکُمۡ اٰیَۃً فَذَرُوۡہَا تَاۡکُلۡ فِیۡۤ اَرۡضِ اللّٰہِ وَ لَا تَمَسُّوۡہَا بِسُوۡٓءٍ فَیَاۡخُذَکُمۡ عَذَابٌ قَرِیۡبٌ ﴿۶۵﴾
وَيَٰقَوۡمِ هَٰذِهِۦ نَاقَةُ ٱللَّهِ لَكُمۡ ءَايَةٗۖ فَذَرُوهَا تَأۡكُلۡ فِيٓ أَرۡضِ ٱللَّهِۖ وَلَا تَمَسُّوهَا بِسُوٓءٖ فَيَأۡخُذَكُمۡ عَذَابٞ قَرِيبٞ
a. 7:74; 17:60; 26:156; 54:28; 91:14. (close)
b. 7:74; 17:60; 26:156; 54:28; 91:14. (close)
Many legends have been woven round this ناقة (she-camel) of Salih. There is nothing in the Quran to lend support to these fanciful stories. One of these legends, for instance, is that she was miraculously born out of a rock in answer to a prayer of Salih when his people demanded from him a miracle and that she became pregnant at the time of her coming out of the rock, giving birth to a young one immediately after. The Quran, however, nowhere states that there was anything miraculous about her birth. On the contrary, it is clear from 26:154 & 159 that the birth of the she-camel was nothing out of the ordinary and that it was not her birth but the freedom of her movements that was held out as a sign. If the birth of the she-camel had been in any way miraculous, Salih, on the demand of his people for a sign, would have certainly referred them to that extraordinary happening. But, instead, he simply answered that the promised sign would be shown to them, if they interfered with her freedom.
There can be three answers to the question, in what sense was the she-camel a sign:
1. It was a custom in Arabia, as in some other countries as well, that a chief or king would let loose an animal as an emblem of his power and authority and would proclaim that any molestation with its free movements would be severely punished. In accordance with this ancient custom, Salih proclaimed, saying: "This she-camel is for you a sign. If you molest it, you will be held as defying the authority of God and will consequently be visited with Divine punishment."
2. Interference with a beast may mean interference with its rider. To prevent an animal from proceeding on its way amounts to preventing its rider from proceeding on his errand. So when Salih said, let her alone that she may feed in Allah’s earth, he meant that he himself should not be hindered from going about in Allah’s earth for the discharge of his duty of preaching his mission. Salih wanted to go about in the land preaching the word of God, but his people would not allow him to do so. So he told them that the she-camel on which he would go on the mission of preaching the Message of God must be allowed free movement and any interference with her would be regarded as defying God’s purpose and would be met with heavenly punishment.
3. Salih had learned to his sorrow that mixing with his people generally led to disturbance. So in order to avoid contact with them he decided to withhold his animals from the common pasture-lands and selected for himself another grazing ground, which did not belong to these people. Similarly, he abandoned the usual time when his people watered their animals and fixed another time for his own she-camel to drink. After having taken all possible precautions to avoid occasions for disturbance at great personal inconvenience, he told his people that if, even in spite of these precautions, there was any disturbance it would certainly be held as a sacrilegious act on their part which would bring down upon them Divine punishment. This interpretation is supported by the fact that old historical records contain references to a valley named فج الناقة (the valley of the she-camel) which is also mentioned in a book of geography written in 150 B.C. Old Greek historians give its name as Badanata which seems to be a corruption of (Fajjun-Naqqa). The name of this valley indicates that Salih fixed a valley for his she-camel to graze in, separate from the one used by his people, so that she might not mix with their herds and thus disturbance might be avoided.
It might be asked, why should a Prophet of God have behaved like worldly kings and potentates and let loose animals to go and graze where they chose. The present verse embodies an indirect answer to this question, for it is nowhere mentioned in the verse that Salih’s she-camel was to graze in other people’s fields. The verse only says, let her alone that she may feed in Allah’s earth, which obviously refers to land which was not the private property of any individual. So it was no private land in which, Salih’s she-camel was to graze but God’s waste, watered with rain from heaven and indebted to no human labour for its cultivation.
It may further be asked why a whole nation was destroyed for killing a mere she-camel. This objection is also based on a clear misconception, for the cause of Divine punishment was not the killing of the she-camel as such but the fact that the killing of the beast constituted an open challenge to threatening his life and declaring that his people were out to defy God’s authority. So it was not the killing of the she-camel, but the threat to Salih’s own life and the obstruction to his moving about freely in the land with a view to preaching God’s word that brought punishment on his people. See also 7:78. (close)
فَعَقَرُوۡہَا فَقَالَ تَمَتَّعُوۡا فِیۡ دَارِکُمۡ ثَلٰثَۃَ اَیَّامٍ ؕ ذٰلِکَ وَعۡدٌ غَیۡرُ مَکۡذُوۡبٍ ﴿۶۶﴾
فَعَقَرُوهَا فَقَالَ تَمَتَّعُواْ فِي دَارِكُمۡ ثَلَٰثَةَ أَيَّامٖۖ ذَٰلِكَ وَعۡدٌ غَيۡرُ مَكۡذُوبٖ
b. 7:78; 26:158; 54:30; 91:15. (close)
1327. The respite of three days was probably meant as a last chance for repentance of which the unlucky people did not avail themselves. (close)
a. 7:78; 26:158; 54:30; 91:15. (close)
1446. Important Words:
فعقروھا (But they hamstrung her). See 7:78.
تـمتـعـوا (Enjoy yourselves) may also mean, benefit by the provision Allah has made for men in this world. See also 2:37 & 4:25.
مكذوب (a lie) is derived from كذب meaning, inter alia, he lied or he uttered a falsehood; he said what was untrue, whether intentionally or unintentionally; he found his hopes false or vain. مکذوب is synonymous with کذب (kazibun) and means a lie or a falsehood; an untruth, etc. مکذوب also means, one to whom a lie or falsehood or untruth is told. قول مکذوب (originally مکذوب فیه) means, a false saying; a lie (Lane).
All the precautions which Salih took proved futile. His persecutors assaulted and killed his she-camel and thus challenged and insulted the proclamation of God, consequently bringing on themselves the threatened punishment.
The respite of three days was probably meant as a last chance for repentance of which the unlucky people, however, did not avail themselves. (close)
فَلَمَّا جَآءَ اَمۡرُنَا نَجَّیۡنَا صٰلِحًا وَّ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا مَعَہٗ بِرَحۡمَۃٍ مِّنَّا وَ مِنۡ خِزۡیِ یَوۡمِئِذٍ ؕ اِنَّ رَبَّکَ ہُوَ الۡقَوِیُّ الۡعَزِیۡزُ ﴿۶۷﴾
فَلَمَّا جَآءَ أَمۡرُنَا نَجَّيۡنَا صَٰلِحٗا وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مَعَهُۥ بِرَحۡمَةٖ مِّنَّا وَمِنۡ خِزۡيِ يَوۡمِئِذٍۚ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ ٱلۡقَوِيُّ ٱلۡعَزِيزُ
1447. Important Words:
القوی (Powerful) is derived from قوی meaning, he was or became strong; vigorous, robust or sturdy. قوی علیه means, he had strength or power sufficient for it; or he had strength or power to endure it; he prevailed against it. قوة which is the noun-infinitive from this root means, strength, power, potency, might or force. قوی therefore means, powerful, strong, mighty. القوی is one of the attributive names of God, meaning, Powerful, Mighty, etc. (Lane & Aqrab).
Every punishment is a disgrace in itself. The addition of the words, the ignominy of that day, therefore shows that there were some special elements of disgrace in the visitation that overtook the people of Salih. (close)
وَ اَخَذَ الَّذِیۡنَ ظَلَمُوا الصَّیۡحَۃُ فَاَصۡبَحُوۡا فِیۡ دِیَارِہِمۡ جٰثِمِیۡنَ ﴿ۙ۶۸﴾
وَأَخَذَ ٱلَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ ٱلصَّيۡحَةُ فَأَصۡبَحُواْ فِي دِيَٰرِهِمۡ جَٰثِمِينَ
c. 15:53; 51:26. (close)
1328. Seven different words and expressions have been used in the Qur’an to describe the punishment which overtook the tribe of Thamud. In the present verse and in 54:32, the word used is Saihah (punishment); in 7:79, Rajfah (an earthquake); in 26:159 simply ‘Adhab (chastisement); in 27:52, Dammarna- hum (We utterly destroyed them); in 51:45, Sa‘iqah (thunderbolt; or any destructive punishment); in 69:6, Taghiyah (an extraordinary punishment); and in 91:15, Damdama ‘Alaihim (He destroyed them completely). Though the words and expressions employed to describe the visitation seem to be different in form, yet they possess no discrepancy in meaning. The words which, however, appear to be contradictory, are Rajfah, Saihah, Sa‘iqah and Taghiyah. As the last three also mean punishment, therefore if the tribe of Thamud were destroyed by means of an earthquake all the above words may be rightly used to describe that catastrophe. (close)
a. 7:79; 26:159; 54:32. (close)
1448. Important Words:
الصیحة (punishment) is derived from صاح which means, he called out or cried vehemently or he shouted with his utmost force or power. صاح علیه means, he rebuked him. صیح بھم means, they were frightened or terrified. صیح فیھم means, they perished. صاحت الشجرة means, the tree became tall. صیحة means, a loud cry; punishment, castigation or chastisement; a hostile or predatory incursion by which a tribe is surprised (Lane & Aqrab).
Seven different words and expressions have been used in the Quran to describe the punishment which overtook the tribe of Thamud. In the verse under comment and in 54:32, the word used is صیحة (punishment); in 7:79, رجفة (an earthquake); in 26:159, عذاب (chastisement); in 27:52, دمرناھم (We utterly destroyed them); in 51:45, صاعقة (thunderbolt; any destructive punishment); in 69:6,طاغیة (an extraordinary punishment); and in 91:15, دمدم علیھم (their Lord destroyed them completely). Though the words and expressions employed to describe the visitation seem to be different in form, yet they possess no discrepancy in meaning. The only words which appear to be contradictory are Rajfah, Saihah, Sa‘iqah and Taghiyah. As, however, the last three also mean punishment, therefore if the tribe of Thamud were destroyed by means of an earthquake, all the above words may be rightly used to describe that catastrophe. (close)
کَاَنۡ لَّمۡ یَغۡنَوۡا فِیۡہَا ؕ اَلَاۤ اِنَّ ثَمُوۡدَا۠ کَفَرُوۡا رَبَّہُمۡ ؕ اَلَا بُعۡدًا لِّثَمُوۡدَ ﴿٪۶۹﴾
كَأَن لَّمۡ يَغۡنَوۡاْ فِيهَآۗ أَلَآ إِنَّ ثَمُودَاْ كَفَرُواْ رَبَّهُمۡۗ أَلَا بُعۡدٗا لِّثَمُودَ
a. 10:25. (close)
1329. In v. 61 the words 'the people of Hud' have been added to the word, ‘Ad, for an historical reason, for ‘Ad is, in fact, the name of two tribes, the first ‘Ad and the second ‘Ad, and the words 'the people of Hud' have been added to show that it is the first and not the second ‘Ad that is meant there. But as Thamud was the name of one tribe only, the words 'the people of Salih' have been omitted, for their addition would have served no useful purpose. (close)
This verse is in substance part of the preceding verse, from which it has been separated to emphasize the greatness of the calamity that overtook the tribe of Thamud.
It is interesting to note that while in v. 61 the account of the ‘Ad concluded with the words, Behold! cursed are ‘Ad, the people of Hud, the verse under comment,, which concludes the account of the Thamud in almost identical words, simply says, Behold! cursed are the tribe of Thamud, omitting the words "the people of Salih." It would be wrong to assume that the words قوم ھود (the people of Hud) were added in v. 61 for the sake of rhyme. The Quran never adds or omits words simply for the sake of rhyme; every word added or omitted has a definite purpose. In v. 61 the words "the people of Hud" have been added to the word "‘Ad" for an historical reason, for ‘Ad is in fact the name of two tribes, the first ‘Ad and the second ‘Ad, and the words "the people of Hud" have been added to show that it is the first and not the second ‘Ad (nor in fact both ‘Ads) that are meant there. But as Thamud was the name of one tribe only, the words "the people of Salih" have been omitted, for their addition would have served no useful purpose. (close)
وَ لَقَدۡ جَآءَتۡ رُسُلُنَاۤ اِبۡرٰہِیۡمَ بِالۡبُشۡرٰی قَالُوۡا سَلٰمًا ؕ قَالَ سَلٰمٌ فَمَا لَبِثَ اَنۡ جَآءَ بِعِجۡلٍ حَنِیۡذٍ ﴿۷۰﴾
وَلَقَدۡ جَآءَتۡ رُسُلُنَآ إِبۡرَٰهِيمَ بِٱلۡبُشۡرَىٰ قَالُواْ سَلَٰمٗاۖ قَالَ سَلَٰمٞۖ فَمَا لَبِثَ أَن جَآءَ بِعِجۡلٍ حَنِيذٖ
b. 15:52; 51:25. (close)
1330. There exists much difference of opinion as to who the 'messengers' were. Some hold them to be human beings, others think that they were angels. The former view appears to be more akin to truth and reality. Both Abraham and Lot being strangers in the land, it is quite possible that God had enjoined some pious men of that locality to take Lot to a safe place before the visitation actually overtook his people. It should also be remembered that these 'messengers' had not come to give the first warning of the punishment. Lot’s people had already been threatened with punishment (15:65). The 'messengers' came only to inform him that the appointed hour of the threatened punishment had arrived. (close)
1331. Abraham’s real name was Abram. After the birth of Ishmael, according to God’s own command, he came to be called Abraham which means the 'Father of multitudes' or the 'Father of many nations.' One branch of his progeny, the Israelites, lived in Canaan and the other, the Ishmaelites, in Arabia. (close)
b. 15:52; 51:25. (close)
1450. Important Words:
ابراھیم (Abraham), the Great Patriarch, was the son of Terah. He was born at Ur of the Chaldees. It is difficult to say when exactly he lived. He is said to have died at the age of 175. Abraham is the progenitor of the two great peoples, the Israelites and the Ishmaelites, who equally revere him. Abraham’s real name was Abram but after the birth of Ishmael, according to God’s own command, he came to be called Abraham which means the "Father of a multitude" or the "Father of many nations." One branch of his progeny, the Israelites, lived in Canaan and the other, the Ishmaelites, in Arabia. In fulfilment of his famous dream, Abraham took his son Ishmael and his wife Hagar to the desert of Arabia where the posterity of Ishmael grew and multiplied and where in fulness of time and in conformity with God’s promise to Abraham, the Holy Prophet of Islam, the greatest of all Prophets, appeared "to bring back the erring flock into the Master’s fold!" (Gen. 10:26–25:10, & Jew. Enc.). To this fact the Holy Prophet has himself referred in one of his famous sayings viz. انا دعوة ابراھیم i.e. "I am the prayer personified of Abraham". (‘Asakir).
There exists a difference of opinion as to who were the "messengers" to whom reference has been made in this verse. Some hold them to be human beings, while others think they were angels. The former view appears to be the correct one, though they have been called "angels" by some for their piety, as Joseph is called "an angel" in 12:32. In this connection see also 17:96.
The reason why God chose these men to convey news of the impending punishment to Lot (see vv. 75 & 78) is not clear from the context, but one explanation appears probable. Both Abraham and Lot, who were closely related, were strangers in that land, and it is quite possible that God sent His word to some pious men of that locality that they might take Lot to a safe place before the visitation actually overtook his people. It should also be remembered that these "messengers" did not come to give the first warning of the punishment. The people of Lot had already been threatened with punishment (15:13-15 & 15:65). The "messengers" came only to inform Lot that the appointed hour of the threatened punishment had arrived, and to take him to a place of safety.
The mention of Abraham has been made in this Surah only incidentally, to serve as an introduction to the account of the Prophet Lot which follows. It is the story of Lot that is primarily meant to be mentioned here, for this Surah gives an account of only those Prophets whose people were visited with Divine punishment. The reason why the story of Lot has been introduced with a reference to Abraham is that Lot was one of those persons who had believed in Abraham and had migrated to Syria with him; and, though he himself was a Prophet of God, he was subordinate to Abraham, as Ishmael and Isaac were subordinate to him and as Aaron was subordinate to Moses. Hence, when the "messengers" came with the news of the impending destruction of Lot’s people, it was only in the fitness of things that God should have first conveyed the news to Abraham, to whom Lot was a subordinate Prophet. As the news about the imminent destruction of Lot’s people was conveyed to Abraham in his capacity as the senior Prophet—he himself being not directly concerned with the matter—it was accompanied by glad tidings about the inauguration of a race of good and righteous people through the birth of a son to Abraham. This was done with a view to mitigating the severity of the shock Abraham was likely to feel at the news of the imminent destruction that was to overtake Lot’s people.
It is also worth noting that though Lot was a follower of Abraham before he was made a Prophet, he was invested with this rank not through the spiritual medium of Abraham but directly by God, as were also Ishmael and Isaac and Aaron. All those were subordinate Prophets, but the rank of prophethood was conferred upon them directly by God and not through the instrumentality of Abraham or Moses. It is a special privilege and prerogative of the Holy Prophet of Islam that his followers can attain to prophethood through his spiritual influence.
The verse also throws interesting light on the hospitality of Abraham, for he did not tarry to ask the strangers whether they had partaken of food but hastened to bring a roasted calf for them. (close)
فَلَمَّا رَاٰۤ اَیۡدِیَہُمۡ لَا تَصِلُ اِلَیۡہِ نَکِرَہُمۡ وَ اَوۡجَسَ مِنۡہُمۡ خِیۡفَۃً ؕ قَالُوۡا لَا تَخَفۡ اِنَّاۤ اُرۡسِلۡنَاۤ اِلٰی قَوۡمِ لُوۡطٍ ﴿ؕ۷۱﴾
فَلَمَّا رَءَآ أَيۡدِيَهُمۡ لَا تَصِلُ إِلَيۡهِ نَكِرَهُمۡ وَأَوۡجَسَ مِنۡهُمۡ خِيفَةٗۚ قَالُواْ لَا تَخَفۡ إِنَّآ أُرۡسِلۡنَآ إِلَىٰ قَوۡمِ لُوطٖ
a. 51:28, 29. (close)
1332. Abraham at first took the 'messengers' to be ordinary wayfarers, but when they refrained from eating of the roasted calf he realized that they were on some special mission which he had failed to understand. The words, conceived fear of them, do not mean that Abraham was afraid of the strangers but that, when they did not partake of the food, he feared that he might have done something against the etiquette of hospitality. The guests, it appears, read Abraham’s perturbed state of mind from the uneasy expression of his face, so they at once removed his anxiety by telling him that they were in no way displeased and that the reason why they did not partake of food was that their dreadful mission had made them disinclined to eat. This answer of the visitors also shows that they were not angels for had they been angels, they would have said that being not human they could not partake of food.
Lot was the ancestor of the Palestinian peoples, Moab and Ammon, and as the son of Haran and the grandson of Terah, he was Abraham’s nephew. He joined Abraham in Canaan. (close)
a. 51:28-29. (close)
1451. Important Words:
لوط (Lot) may etymologically be taken to have been derived from لاط. They sayلاط الشیء i.e. he concealed the thing. لاط بهmeans, it (the thing) stuck or adhered to it. لوطه بالطیب (lawwata-hu) means, he smeared him or it with much perfume. The Prophet Lot, who was the contemporary of Prophet Abraham, was the ancestor of the Palestinian peoples, Moab and Ammon. As the son of Haran and the grandson of Terah, he was Abraham’s nephew. He joined Abraham in the land of Canaan and in the time of famine went with him to Egypt. He preached to the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah but they refused to listen to him and ridiculed and persecuted him; and though Abraham, to whom Lot was a junior and subordinate Prophet prayed for these wicked people and interceded with God on their behalf, they were destroyed on account of their iniquities and transgression (Lane, Enc. Bri. & Jew. Enc.).
Abraham at first took the "messengers" to be ordinary way-farers, but when they refrained from eating of the roasted calf he had placed before them (see the preceding verse), he realized that they were on some special mission which he had failed to understand. He knew that as ordinary wayfarers they could not refuse his hospitality, for wayfarers in that arid land entirely depended on the hospitality of the inhabitants for their food.
The words, conceived a fear of them, do not mean that Abraham was afraid of the strangers but that, when they did not partake of the food, he feared that he might have done something against the etiquette of hospitality and thus had displeased them. He did not, however, express his fear, for such an expression would have implied that he perhaps took them to be mean and greedy. The guests, it appears, read Abraham’s perturbed state of mind from the uneasy expression of his face, so they at once removed his anxiety by telling him that they were in no way displeased and that the reason why they did not partake of food was that their dreadful mission had made them disinclined to eat.
This answer of the visitors also shows that they were not angels; for had they been angels, they would have said that being not human they could not partake of the food. (close)
وَ امۡرَاَتُہٗ قَآئِمَۃٌ فَضَحِکَتۡ فَبَشَّرۡنٰہَا بِاِسۡحٰقَ ۙ وَ مِنۡ وَّرَآءِ اِسۡحٰقَ یَعۡقُوۡبَ ﴿۷۲﴾
وَٱمۡرَأَتُهُۥ قَآئِمَةٞ فَضَحِكَتۡ فَبَشَّرۡنَٰهَا بِإِسۡحَٰقَ وَمِن وَرَآءِ إِسۡحَٰقَ يَعۡقُوبَ
b. 21:73; 51:29. (close)
a. 21:73; 51:29. (close)
1452. Important Words:
ضحکت (she was frightened) is formed from ضحک which means: (1) he laughed; (2) he wondered (3) he was frightened or he feared. ضحکت المرأة means, the woman menstruated (Lane & Mufradat).
When Abraham’s wife, Sarah, heard the sad news of the impending destruction of Lot’s people, she was naturally frightened and her heart became filled with pain and pity for them.
Sarah’s feeling of pity for Lot’s people pleased God and He hastened to give her the glad tidings of the birth of a grandson (Jacob) in addition to the announcement of a son (Isaac) that had already been made to Abraham in v.70.
The present verse also incidentally shows that it was not Isaac but Ishmael whom Abraham offered for sacrifice, for according to it God promised not only a son (Isaac) but also a grandson to Abraham. Thus Isaac, the promised son, was not only to live and marry but also to have a son who was to be called Jacob. It cannot therefore be supposed that God, Who Himself had announced that Isaac was to live and marry and beget children, should have commanded that the selfsame Isaac be offered for sacrifice. (close)
قَالَتۡ یٰوَیۡلَتٰۤیءَ اَلِدُ وَ اَنَا عَجُوۡزٌ وَّ ہٰذَا بَعۡلِیۡ شَیۡخًا ؕ اِنَّ ہٰذَا لَشَیۡءٌ عَجِیۡبٌ ﴿۷۳﴾
قَالَتۡ يَٰوَيۡلَتَىٰٓ ءَأَلِدُ وَأَنَا۠ عَجُوزٞ وَهَٰذَا بَعۡلِي شَيۡخًاۖ إِنَّ هَٰذَا لَشَيۡءٌ عَجِيبٞ
c. 51:30. (close)
a. 51:30. (close)
1453. Important Words:
عجوز (old woman) is derived from عجز which means, he lacked strength or power or ability. عجز عن العمل means, he was unable to do the work; he was too old to do it. عجزت المرأة means, the woman became old. The word عجوز has a variety of meanings, some of which are, an old and aged woman; a woman old and weak; a man’s wife whether old or young; also a woman’s husband; an old or aged man; a man old and weak (Lane & Aqrab).
The verse does not mean that the expression of surprise on the part of Abraham’s wife implied that she doubted the truth of the news that had been communicated to her by God. It is far from an ordinary believing woman to express doubt with regard to the great and wonderful powers of God, much further from the wife of a Prophet who had already witnessed many signs of the power of God. In fact, she wondered at the unusual news that a son would be born to her at such an advanced age. Her surprise was, therefore, at the magnitude of the boon that was about to be conferred on her. Abraham himself had expressed similar surprise when the glad tidings about the birth of a son in his extreme old age was given to him (see 15:55-57). (close)