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)
قَالُوۡۤا اَتَعۡجَبِیۡنَ مِنۡ اَمۡرِ اللّٰہِ رَحۡمَتُ اللّٰہِ وَ بَرَکٰتُہٗ عَلَیۡکُمۡ اَہۡلَ الۡبَیۡتِ ؕ اِنَّہٗ حَمِیۡدٌ مَّجِیۡدٌ ﴿۷۴﴾
قَالُوٓاْ أَتَعۡجَبِينَ مِنۡ أَمۡرِ ٱللَّهِۖ رَحۡمَتُ ٱللَّهِ وَبَرَكَٰتُهُۥ عَلَيۡكُمۡ أَهۡلَ ٱلۡبَيۡتِۚ إِنَّهُۥ حَمِيدٞ مَّجِيدٞ
d. 51:31. (close)
1333. In this verse the words 'people of the house' are definitely applied to the wife of Abraham, because no child had yet been born to her. In fact, when the expression Ahlul-Bait is used in the Qur’an in respect of a Prophet it generally applies to his wife or wives (28:13; 33:34). (close)
b. 51:31. (close)
1454. Important Words:
مجید (Glorious) is derived from مجد which means, he was or became glorious, noble, in a state of honour or dignity. مجید as an epithet of God signifies the Glorious or Great, or Great in dignity Who gives liberally or bountifully or the Bountiful and Beneficent. When used about عرش it signifies exalted; sublime; noble (Lane & Aqrab).
The Shia section of Muslims do not include the wives of the Holy Prophet in his اھل بیت (people of his house) while in this verse the term is definitely applied to the wife of Abraham, because no child had yet been born to her. In fact, whenever this term is used in the Quran in respect of a Prophet, it invariably includes his wife or wives. (close)
فَلَمَّا ذَہَبَ عَنۡ اِبۡرٰہِیۡمَ الرَّوۡعُ وَ جَآءَتۡہُ الۡبُشۡرٰی یُجَادِلُنَا فِیۡ قَوۡمِ لُوۡطٍ ﴿ؕ۷۵﴾
فَلَمَّا ذَهَبَ عَنۡ إِبۡرَٰهِيمَ ٱلرَّوۡعُ وَجَآءَتۡهُ ٱلۡبُشۡرَىٰ يُجَٰدِلُنَا فِي قَوۡمِ لُوطٍ
1334. See Gen. 18:21-33. (close)
The fear of Abraham was not concerning his own person but concerning the people of Lot, an evidence of his great righteousness and nobility of character. The news first came to Abraham as a great shock. He did not know what to do. But when he was given the cheering news of the birth of a son who was to be the father of a great nation, he felt some relief and then began to plead with God for the doomed people. (close)
اِنَّ اِبۡرٰہِیۡمَ لَحَلِیۡمٌ اَوَّاہٌ مُّنِیۡبٌ ﴿۷۶﴾
إِنَّ إِبۡرَٰهِيمَ لَحَلِيمٌ أَوَّـٰهٞ مُّنِيبٞ
a. 9:114. (close)
a. 9:114. (close)
1456. Important Words:
منیب (oft-turning) is derived from ناب. They say ناب الیه i.e. he came to him time after time. ناب عنه means, he acted as his substitute; he served for him. ناب الی الله or اناب الی الله means, he turned to God time after time; he returned from disobedience to God; he returned unto God repenting. منیب means, one who turns to God time after time; one who turns to Him repenting; a person making another supply his or another’s place (Lane & Aqrab).
The verse constitutes a brief but eloquent and powerful tribute to Abraham. (close)
یٰۤـاِبۡرٰہِیۡمُ اَعۡرِضۡ عَنۡ ہٰذَا ۚ اِنَّہٗ قَدۡ جَآءَ اَمۡرُ رَبِّکَ ۚ وَ اِنَّہُمۡ اٰتِیۡہِمۡ عَذَابٌ غَیۡرُ مَرۡدُوۡدٍ ﴿۷۷﴾
يَـٰٓإِبۡرَٰهِيمُ أَعۡرِضۡ عَنۡ هَٰذَآۖ إِنَّهُۥ قَدۡ جَآءَ أَمۡرُ رَبِّكَۖ وَإِنَّهُمۡ ءَاتِيهِمۡ عَذَابٌ غَيۡرُ مَرۡدُودٖ
The tone of the Divine reply shows God’s great regard for Abraham. Instead of directly rejecting his request, God lovingly asks him to let the matter go, for His decree has already come to pass and the punishment could not now be averted. (close)
وَ لَمَّا جَآءَتۡ رُسُلُنَا لُوۡطًا سِیۡٓءَ بِہِمۡ وَ ضَاقَ بِہِمۡ ذَرۡعًا وَّ قَالَ ہٰذَا یَوۡمٌ عَصِیۡبٌ ﴿۷۸﴾
وَلَمَّا جَآءَتۡ رُسُلُنَا لُوطٗا سِيٓءَ بِهِمۡ وَضَاقَ بِهِمۡ ذَرۡعٗا وَقَالَ هَٰذَا يَوۡمٌ عَصِيبٞ
b. 29:34. (close)
1335. The expression, Daqa bil-Amri Dhar‘an, means, he lacked ability, power or strength to do the thing, Dhar‘ meaning power or ability: or the expression means, the thing or affair was rendered difficult or distressing to him (Lane). The words in the text mean, he found himself helpless or unable to protect them. (close)
a. 29:34. (close)
1458. Important Words:
ضاق بھم ذرعا (felt helpless on their behalf) is a peculiar Arabic expression. The Arabs say ضاق بالامر ذرعا which literally means, he stretched forth his arm to it but his arm did not reach it and he was unable to do or accomplish the thing or affair; or he lacked the strength or power to do the thing; or he found no way of escape from what was disagreeable in the affair (Lane).
Some commentators hold the view that Lot’s trouble was due to the visitors having stayed with him against his will, refusing to leave his house. The truth, however, seems to be quite the reverse; for, as the Bible clearly states, when the strangers reached near Lot’s residence, he himself invited them to it as his guests, but, probably fearing lest by their stay he might be inconvenienced, they asked to be excused. This naturally pained Lot (Gen. ch. 19). (close)
وَ جَآءَہٗ قَوۡمُہٗ یُہۡرَعُوۡنَ اِلَیۡہِ ؕ وَ مِنۡ قَبۡلُ کَانُوۡا یَعۡمَلُوۡنَ السَّیِّاٰتِ ؕ قَالَ یٰقَوۡمِ ہٰۤؤُلَآءِ بَنَاتِیۡ ہُنَّ اَطۡہَرُ لَکُمۡ فَاتَّقُوا اللّٰہَ وَ لَا تُخۡزُوۡنِ فِیۡ ضَیۡفِیۡ ؕ اَلَـیۡسَ مِنۡکُمۡ رَجُلٌ رَّشِیۡدٌ ﴿۷۹﴾
وَجَآءَهُۥ قَوۡمُهُۥ يُهۡرَعُونَ إِلَيۡهِ وَمِن قَبۡلُ كَانُواْ يَعۡمَلُونَ ٱلسَّيِّـَٔاتِۚ قَالَ يَٰقَوۡمِ هَـٰٓؤُلَآءِ بَنَاتِي هُنَّ أَطۡهَرُ لَكُمۡۖ فَٱتَّقُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَلَا تُخۡزُونِ فِي ضَيۡفِيٓۖ أَلَيۡسَ مِنكُمۡ رَجُلٞ رَّشِيدٞ
1336. The inhabitants of the two towns, Sodom and Gomorrah, had adopted the calling of the road and used to plunder wayfarers (Jew. Enc. under "Sodom"). Naturally they were constantly apprehensive of reprisals, particularly the inhabitants of Sodom who were practically in a state of war with their neighbours (Gen. 14). They would not welcome strangers into their town. Lot, like all Prophets of God, naturally would look after the comfort of the strangers and entertain them (15:71). His people, apprehensive as they were, had repeatedly warned him to give up that practice, so when he brought 'the messengers,' who were strangers, into his house they became infuriated and hastened to him with angry faces, because they thought they now had got a suitable opportunity to punish him for giving shelter to strangers in defiance of their repeated protests (15:68-71). (close)
b. 15:72. (close)
1337. The verse signifies that in view of their past mischievous behaviour Lot feared lest his people should do any mischief and thus disgrace him in the presence of his guests. There is no reference here to any particular mischief. They were wicked people, therefore, Lot was naturally apprehensive that they might do him some kind of harm. He therefore said to them that if they really entertained fear that he might do them harm in league with the strangers, they had his daughters in their custody and they could wreak vengeance on him by punishing them. That was a better and purer course for them to adopt, for in that way they would also avoid the disgraceful act of insulting his guests. Or the meaning may be that, being a venerable old man of the town, Lot referred to their own wives as his daughters who, he said, were purer for them. (close)
b. 15:68. (close)
c. 7:81; 29:29. (close)
d. 15:72. (close)
1459. Important Words:
یھرعون (came running trembling with rage) is derived from ھرع. They say ھرع الیه (hara‘a) i.e. he went to him quickly and in a perturbed state of mind. ھرع الرجل (huria) or اھرع الرجل (ahra‘a) means, the man went quickly; and اھرع الرجل (uhri‘a) means, the man was made to tremble with rage, fear, cold or weakness; he was made to go fast. The Arabs say, اقبل الشیخ یھرع (yuhra‘u) i.e. the old man came fast and trembling or came running in a perturbed state of mind. (Aqrab).
In ancient times, generally every town had a separate government of its own, which was carried on by the chiefs of the place by mutual consultation as a sort of republic: or by a king whose authority was confined to one village or a number of villages. The two towns, Sodom and Gomorrah, with which Lot was connected had such a government. They possessed no established government in the modern sense of the word (Gen. ch. 14).
The inhabitants of these two towns had adopted the calling of the road and used to plunder wayfarers (Jew. Enc. under "Sodom"). A people who thus molested their neighbours naturally had to be on their guard against them and to be constantly apprehensive of reprisals. Besides, the people of Sodom were practically in a state of war with their neighbours (Gen. 14). Therefore they would not allow strangers to enter their towns, lest the latter should open the gates at night and let in the enemy. Lot, like all Prophets of God, being an hospitable man, naturally used to look after the comfort of strangers and entertain them (15:71). His people, apprehensive as they were, repeatedly warned him to give up that practice. So when, on this occasion, he brought strangers into his house, his townsmen became infuriated and hastened to him with angry faces, because they thought they now had a suitable opportunity to punish him for giving shelter to strangers in defiance of their protests.
Some commentators say that these visitors had come in the form of handsome boys and that Lot’s people came running to him with evil intent. But there is nothing in the context to warrant such an inference. On the contrary in 15:71 we read that on seeing the strangers with Lot, his people demanded of him why he had brought these strangers when they had already forbidden him to do so. If they had come with an evil intention, they should have rejoiced at the sight of the strangers and not been displeased at seeing them. Moreover, vv. 15:68-70 signify that Lot’s people rejoiced at having an opportunity to punish and disgrace him because he defied their protests. They were angry with him because he had brought in the strangers against their protests and were glad that they now had an opportunity to settle old scores with him once for all.
The words, before this too they used to do evil, show that in view of their past mischievous behaviour Lot feared lest his people should do any mischief and thus disgrace him in the presence of his guests. There is no reference here to any particular mischief. They were wicked people, therefore Lot was naturally afraid that they might do harm.
When the townsmen came to Lot running, he referred to his two daughters who had been married in the town and said, they are purer for you, meaning that if his people insulted his guests and turned them out, they would thereby disgrace themselves; but if they really entertained fear that he might do them harm in league with the strangers, they had his daughters in their custody and they could wreak vengeance on him by punishing them. That was a better and purer course for them to adopt, for in that way they would also avoid the disgraceful act of insulting the guests.
There can be nothing more absurd than to say that Lot offered his daughters to his wicked people to satisfy their lust. Even the meanest of men would not do such a shameful and dishonourable act; then how could a noble Prophet of God, who must possess a far greater sense of honour than ordinary men, stoop to such a mean course? The absurd story given in the Bible seems to be responsible for so stupid an interpretation of this Quranic verse by some commentators.
Some other commentators have suggested that Lot offered his daughters in marriage, but this explanation also seems unsatisfactory. It appears from the Bible that Lot had two daughters who were married. But if it be supposed that they were unmarried, they could be married only to two of the townsmen. How could then this offer give satisfaction to a large number of people? And how was it relevant to their demand?
There is, however, one explanation which seems plausible, if it be supposed that the people came with the intention which these commentators ascribe to them. A Prophet is, as it were, the father of his people, so he can speak of their women as his daughters.
So when Lot said to the people, "these are my daughters; they are purer for you," he, as a Prophet and an old man, must have referred to their own wives as his daughters, who, of course, were purer for them, He thus asked them to follow the lawful course rather than satisfy their lust unnaturally. (close)
قَالُوۡا لَقَدۡ عَلِمۡتَ مَا لَنَا فِیۡ بَنٰتِکَ مِنۡ حَقٍّ ۚ وَ اِنَّکَ لَتَعۡلَمُ مَا نُرِیۡدُ ﴿۸۰﴾
قَالُواْ لَقَدۡ عَلِمۡتَ مَا لَنَا فِي بَنَاتِكَ مِنۡ حَقّٖ وَإِنَّكَ لَتَعۡلَمُ مَا نُرِيدُ
1338. When Lot offered his daughters who were married in the town (Gen. 19:15) as hostages, his people refused to accept the offer, for that was against their custom to accept females as hostages (Enc. Brit.). The words, 'we have no claim against thy daughters,' show that they had not come with the motives which most Commentators ascribe to them, for a people who had become so depraved and corrupt in their morals as the people of Lot were, would raise no question of claim or no claim, right or no right with regard to the satisfaction of their carnal passions. The words, 'thou surely knowest what we desire' mean, 'you know that we want the strangers to be handed over to us.' (close)
When Lot told his townsmen that they had his daughters in their custody and that, if he did anything which was injurious to their interests they might avenge themselves on him through his daughters, he was in fact offering his daughters as hostages. Now, the rule with regard to hostages was that only males were accepted as such (Enc. Bri.) so the people told Lot that they could not take his daughters as hostages for that was against their custom and law. The words, we have no claim on thy daughters, clearly show that they had not come with the motives which most commentators ascribe to them, for a people who had become so depraved and corrupt in their morals as the people of Lot were, could raise no question of claim or no claim, right or no right about the satisfaction of their carnal passions.
The words, thou surely knowest what we desire, mean, "You know that what we at present want is to prevent the coming of strangers, so to say that we should accept hostages and leave the strangers alone is an offer which we cannot accept." (close)
قَالَ لَوۡ اَنَّ لِیۡ بِکُمۡ قُوَّۃً اَوۡ اٰوِیۡۤ اِلٰی رُکۡنٍ شَدِیۡدٍ ﴿۸۱﴾
قَالَ لَوۡ أَنَّ لِي بِكُمۡ قُوَّةً أَوۡ ءَاوِيٓ إِلَىٰ رُكۡنٖ شَدِيدٖ
1338A. I shall pray to God to be saved from the humiliation you seek to inflict upon me by insisting that I should turn away my guests. (close)
1461. Important Words:
رکن (support). They say رکن الیه (rakana) i.e. he inclined to him or it; he trusted or relied upon him or it so as to become easy or quiet in mind; he leaned, rested or relied upon him. رکن فی المنزل means, he kept tenaciously to the abode and did not relinquish it. رکن (rukn) means, side or outward part of a thing; corner or angle; a stay or support of any kind; a thing whereby one is strengthened; near relations or clan or tribe by whom one is aided and strengthened; a noble or high person; also might and resistance; a thing or event of great magnitude (Lane).
Lot says that if he had possessed any power, he would have resisted these mischievous people; but he was powerless against them.
The words, I should betake myself to a mighty support for shelter, mean that now the only course left to him was that he should seek refuge with God and beg Him to send upon them His punishment. (close)