قَالُوۡا یٰلُوۡطُ اِنَّا رُسُلُ رَبِّکَ لَنۡ یَّصِلُوۡۤا اِلَیۡکَ فَاَسۡرِ بِاَہۡلِکَ بِقِطۡعٍ مِّنَ الَّیۡلِ وَ لَا یَلۡتَفِتۡ مِنۡکُمۡ اَحَدٌ اِلَّا امۡرَاَتَکَ ؕ اِنَّہٗ مُصِیۡبُہَا مَاۤ اَصَابَہُمۡ ؕ اِنَّ مَوۡعِدَہُمُ الصُّبۡحُ ؕ اَلَـیۡسَ الصُّبۡحُ بِقَرِیۡبٍ ﴿۸۲﴾
قَالُواْ يَٰلُوطُ إِنَّا رُسُلُ رَبِّكَ لَن يَصِلُوٓاْ إِلَيۡكَۖ فَأَسۡرِ بِأَهۡلِكَ بِقِطۡعٖ مِّنَ ٱلَّيۡلِ وَلَا يَلۡتَفِتۡ مِنكُمۡ أَحَدٌ إِلَّا ٱمۡرَأَتَكَۖ إِنَّهُۥ مُصِيبُهَا مَآ أَصَابَهُمۡۚ إِنَّ مَوۡعِدَهُمُ ٱلصُّبۡحُۚ أَلَيۡسَ ٱلصُّبۡحُ بِقَرِيبٖ
1339. The 'messengers' were righteous men of the neighbourhood who were commanded by God to warn Lot and to direct him where to go. (close)
a. 15:66. (close)
b. 7:84; 15:61; 29:34. (close)
c. 15:67. (close)
a. 15:66. (close)
b. 7:84; 15:61; 29:34. (close)
c. 15:67. (close)
When the strangers heard Lot pathetically say to his people that he would pray to God against them, they, who had till then kept the matter secret, revealed to him that God had already decreed their punishment and that it was that decree which they had come to communicate to him. They also announced to him that the threatened punishment would not affect his اھل (family or followers) who would be saved except his wife who was doomed.
The verse mentions the time of morning as the time of the coming punishment because the morning is generally the time of negligence and is thus best suited to remind wicked people of the real cause of Divine chastisement. (close)
فَلَمَّا جَآءَ اَمۡرُنَا جَعَلۡنَا عَالِیَہَا سَافِلَہَا وَ اَمۡطَرۡنَا عَلَیۡہَا حِجَارَۃً مِّنۡ سِجِّیۡلٍ ۬ۙ مَّنۡضُوۡدٍ ﴿ۙ۸۳﴾
فَلَمَّا جَآءَ أَمۡرُنَا جَعَلۡنَا عَٰلِيَهَا سَافِلَهَا وَأَمۡطَرۡنَا عَلَيۡهَا حِجَارَةٗ مِّن سِجِّيلٖ مَّنضُودٖ
d. 15:75. (close)
e. 51:34. (close)
1339A. It appears that the people of Lot were destroyed by a terrible earthquake. Violent earthquakes often turn parts of the earth upside down and fragments of earth fly off into the air and then fall down. (close)
d. 15:75. (close)
1463. Important Words:
سجیل (stones of clay) is derived from سجل (sajjala) which is again derived from سجل (sajala). They say سجل القرآن (sajjalal-Quran) i.e. he read or recited the Quran continuously.
سجل القاضی (sajjalal-Qadi) means, the judge decided judicially and recorded the sentence in his record. سجل به means, he threw it from above. سجیل means, stones like lumps of dry or tough clay; stones of clay. The Quranic words mean, stones of clay which had been written or decreed for them that they should be punished therewith (Lane & Aqrab).
منضود (layer upon layer) is derived from نضد which means, he put goods or commodities one upon another, or he put or set them together in regular order; he put them one upon another or side by side compactly or he set them together in regular order (Lane).
It appears that the people of Lot were destroyed by a terrible earthquake. Violent earthquakes often turn parts of the earth upside down and fragments of earth fly off into the air and then fall down.
The expression, layer upon layer, suggests that the earthquake shocks were repeated over some length of time. (close)
مُّسَوَّمَۃً عِنۡدَ رَبِّکَ ؕ وَ مَا ہِیَ مِنَ الظّٰلِمِیۡنَ بِبَعِیۡدٍ ﴿٪۸۴﴾
مُّسَوَّمَةً عِندَ رَبِّكَۖ وَمَا هِيَ مِنَ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ بِبَعِيدٖ
a. 51:35. (close)
The words, marked for them, mean that it had been decreed from eternity that these stones should become the cause for the destruction of Lot’s people.
The latter portion of the verse points out that the account of the destruction of the people of Lot has not been given here as a story but is intended to give a warning that a similar destructive punishment would overtake the disbelieving people of the Holy Prophet’s time if they persisted in rejecting him.
It may also be noted here that there are some serious differences in the accounts about Lot as given in the Quran and the Bible: (1) The Bible represents Lot as a quarrelsome and jealous person, while the Quran says that he was a righteous servant of God. (2) The Bible says that the three visitors partook of the food presented to them by Abraham, declaring at
the same time that one of them was God Himself, the other two being angels. The Quran denies all this. (3) According to the Bible, Lot offered his daughters for fornication, while the Quran declares that they were merely offered as hostages. (4) The Bible says that Lot’s wife was turned into a pillar of salt but the Quran rejects all such puerile stories. Any sensible person can see which of the two accounts is more sensible and correct. (close)
وَ اِلٰی مَدۡیَنَ اَخَاہُمۡ شُعَیۡبًا ؕ قَالَ یٰقَوۡمِ اعۡبُدُوا اللّٰہَ مَا لَکُمۡ مِّنۡ اِلٰہٍ غَیۡرُہٗ ؕ وَ لَا تَنۡقُصُوا الۡمِکۡیَالَ وَ الۡمِیۡزَانَ اِنِّیۡۤ اَرٰٮکُمۡ بِخَیۡرٍ وَّ اِنِّیۡۤ اَخَافُ عَلَیۡکُمۡ عَذَابَ یَوۡمٍ مُّحِیۡطٍ ﴿۸۵﴾
۞وَإِلَىٰ مَدۡيَنَ أَخَاهُمۡ شُعَيۡبٗاۚ قَالَ يَٰقَوۡمِ ٱعۡبُدُواْ ٱللَّهَ مَا لَكُم مِّنۡ إِلَٰهٍ غَيۡرُهُۥۖ وَلَا تَنقُصُواْ ٱلۡمِكۡيَالَ وَٱلۡمِيزَانَۖ إِنِّيٓ أَرَىٰكُم بِخَيۡرٖ وَإِنِّيٓ أَخَافُ عَلَيۡكُمۡ عَذَابَ يَوۡمٖ مُّحِيطٖ
b. 7:86; 29:37. (close)
1340. Midian was a son of Abraham from his third wife, Keturah (Gen. 25:1, 2). His descendants were all called Midian. Their metropolis was also called Midian. This town was situated on the Gulf of ‘Aqabah, on the Arabian coast, at a distance of some six or seven miles from the sea. The descendants of Midian lived in the north of the Hijaz and it is they who built this town. It was there that Moses fled for refuge from Pharaoh and it was in the neighbourhood of Midian that he stayed with the Israelites after crossing the Red Sea. See also 1010. (close)
c. 26:182, 183. (close)
b. 7:86; 29:37. (close)
1465. Important Words:
محیط (destructive) is derived from حاط. They say حاط به i.e. he guarded, kept, protected or took care of him or it; he defended him or he paid frequent attention to him or it. احاط به means, he or it surrounded, encompassed or enclosed it or him. They say احیط فلان i.e. such a one was destroyed, or his destruction drew near. The Quranic words ان ربك احاط بالناسmean, verily thy Lord hath men in His grasp or power, or He hath destroyed them or is about to destroy them. محیطmeans, surrounding, encompassing or enclosing. The words, عذاب یوم محیط mean, the punishment of a day which shall beset people on every side so that there will be no way of escape from it; or the punishment of a destructive day (Lane).
مدین (Midian) was a son of Abraham from his third wife, Keturah (Gen. 25:1, 2). His descendants were all called Midian, in accordance with ancient usage. Or it may be that originally they were called "Banu Midian" (children of Midian) but these words later became abbreviated into Midian. The metropolis of these people was also called Midian, which itself may be an abbreviation of some such name as Duri Midian (the houses of Midian). This town was situated on the Gulf of ‘Akabah, on the Arabian coast, at a distance of some six or seven miles from the sea. This is why in some ancient books of geography it is mentioned as a sea port, while in others it is shown as an inland town. The trade caravans going from Arabia to Egypt passed through it. There are still several small townships known as Midian, but the original town no longer exists. The descendants of Midian lived in the north of the Hijaz and it is they who built this town. It was hither that Moses fled for refuge when Pharaoh and his nobles sought to kill him and it was in the neighbourhood of Midian that he stayed with the Israelites after crossing the Red Sea. The fact that the word مدین(Midian) possesses a close resemblance to مدینه (Medina), the town of the Holy Prophet, constitutes one of the many similarities Moses had with the Holy Prophet. See also 7:86.
شعیب (Shu‘aib). See 7:86.
Some commentators think that Shu‘aib was the father-in-law of Moses and that Moses had gone to live with him after he had killed an Israelite. The Bible, however, gives the name of the father-in-law of Moses as Jethro (Exod. 3:1). Now Jethro and Shu‘aib cannot be the same person, nor was Shu‘aib the father-in-law of Moses. The following facts support this view:
(1) Shu‘aib has been mentioned in the Quran at several places and so has the father-in-law of Moses, but nowhere in the Quran is there the slightest hint that Shu‘aib and the father-in-law of Moses were the same person nor has the father-in-law of Moses anywhere been referred to as a Prophet of God.
(2) The Quran clearly states that Moses was raised as a Prophet after the destruction of the people of Midian (7:104), which definitely shows that they were not contemporaries.
(3) The Quran also states that Shu‘aib appeared not long after Lot, so he could not be a contemporary of Moses (v. 90 below).
(4) If Shu‘aib had been the contemporary and father-in-law of Moses, he would not have failed to refer to the destruction of Pharaoh and his people, which had taken place only recently, when he had referred to the destruction of the peoples of Noah, Hud and Salih (v. 90), but he did not do so.
The following important facts about the people of Shu‘aib also emerge from this and other verses of the Quran: (a) that, like the Holy Prophet, it was chiefly at the hands of the people of his town that Shu‘aib met with opposition (7:89); (b) that his people not only practised idolatry, but were also fraudulent in their dealings with one another; (c) that they were a well-to-do and prosperous people; (d) that they had adopted the calling of the road and were given to plundering and dacoity (7:86 & 11:86 below). As these people lived on the trade route to Egypt, they used to plunder the caravans which passed by that way. This inference receives further support from the fact that near Midian there was a wood which was peopled by the descendants of Dedan, a nephew of Midian, being the child of another son of Abraham from Keturah (Gen. 25:3). These people are referred to in the Quran as اصحاب الایکة i.e. the People of the Wood (15:79 & 26:177) and Shu‘aib preached to them as he preached to the people of Midian (26:178-192). From 15:80 it appears that this wood or jungle lay on a trade route, so it served as a good hiding place for the people of Midian to plunder travellers.
The words, the punishment of a destructive day, signify that the punishment of that day will be thoroughly destructive. The words may also mean that the day will not end until the whole people are annihilated. See the meaning of the word محیط (destructive) above. (close)
وَ یٰقَوۡمِ اَوۡفُوا الۡمِکۡیَالَ وَ الۡمِیۡزَانَ بِالۡقِسۡطِ وَ لَا تَبۡخَسُوا النَّاسَ اَشۡیَآءَہُمۡ وَ لَا تَعۡثَوۡا فِی الۡاَرۡضِ مُفۡسِدِیۡنَ ﴿۸۶﴾
وَيَٰقَوۡمِ أَوۡفُواْ ٱلۡمِكۡيَالَ وَٱلۡمِيزَانَ بِٱلۡقِسۡطِۖ وَلَا تَبۡخَسُواْ ٱلنَّاسَ أَشۡيَآءَهُمۡ وَلَا تَعۡثَوۡاْ فِي ٱلۡأَرۡضِ مُفۡسِدِينَ
d. 7:86; 26:184. (close)
a. 7:86; 26:184. (close)
The verse hints at the importance of fair and just dealings, especially in business matters. (close)
بَقِیَّتُ اللّٰہِ خَیۡرٌ لَّکُمۡ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمۡ مُّؤۡمِنِیۡنَ ۬ۚ وَ مَاۤ اَنَا عَلَیۡکُمۡ بِحَفِیۡظٍ ﴿۸۷﴾
بَقِيَّتُ ٱللَّهِ خَيۡرٞ لَّكُمۡ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤۡمِنِينَۚ وَمَآ أَنَا۠ عَلَيۡكُم بِحَفِيظٖ
1341. Baqiyyah here signifies, wealth earned by fair and honest means and in accordance with the laws of God. It may also mean, God-given powers and capabilities. See also 309. (close)
The word بقیة (that which is left) is used to express goodness and perfection. The term بقیة القوم is applied to a person who is one of the best men of his people or community. See also 2:249. The word بقیة therefore, here signifies wealth earned by fair and honest means and in accordance with the laws of God. It may also mean God-given powers and capabilities.
By the words, I am not a keeper over you, Shu‘aib warns his people that they should not remain under the illusion that he would be able to save them from Divine punishment. The words embody the implication that such is the goodness of the Prophets of God that disbelievers, notwithstanding their hostility towards them, look upon them as a source of protection and blessing. (close)
قَالُوۡا یٰشُعَیۡبُ اَصَلٰوتُکَ تَاۡمُرُکَ اَنۡ نَّتۡرُکَ مَا یَعۡبُدُ اٰبَآؤُنَاۤ اَوۡ اَنۡ نَّفۡعَلَ فِیۡۤ اَمۡوَالِنَا مَا نَشٰٓؤُاؕ اِنَّکَ لَاَنۡتَ الۡحَلِیۡمُ الرَّشِیۡدُ ﴿۸۸﴾
قَالُواْ يَٰشُعَيۡبُ أَصَلَوٰتُكَ تَأۡمُرُكَ أَن نَّتۡرُكَ مَا يَعۡبُدُ ءَابَآؤُنَآ أَوۡ أَن نَّفۡعَلَ فِيٓ أَمۡوَٰلِنَا مَا نَشَـٰٓؤُاْۖ إِنَّكَ لَأَنتَ ٱلۡحَلِيمُ ٱلرَّشِيدُ
The words, does thy Prayer bid thee, etc. have been spoken ironically. Shu‘aib’s opponents mean to say that they see nothing good in him except that he is given to the saying of Prayers and has no concern with the affairs of the world, not even knowing how to work and earn a respectable living. Should they too give themselves up to praying, which to him was the chief business of life, and part company with their hardly-won wealth and worldly honour? They were not going to be so foolish as to act upon his advice. (close)
قَالَ یٰقَوۡمِ اَرَءَیۡتُمۡ اِنۡ کُنۡتُ عَلٰی بَیِّنَۃٍ مِّنۡ رَّبِّیۡ وَ رَزَقَنِیۡ مِنۡہُ رِزۡقًا حَسَنًا ؕ وَ مَاۤ اُرِیۡدُ اَنۡ اُخَالِفَکُمۡ اِلٰی مَاۤ اَنۡہٰکُمۡ عَنۡہُ ؕ اِنۡ اُرِیۡدُ اِلَّا الۡاِصۡلَاحَ مَا اسۡتَطَعۡتُ ؕ وَ مَا تَوۡفِیۡقِیۡۤ اِلَّا بِاللّٰہِ ؕعَلَیۡہِ تَوَکَّلۡتُ وَ اِلَیۡہِ اُنِیۡبُ ﴿۸۹﴾
قَالَ يَٰقَوۡمِ أَرَءَيۡتُمۡ إِن كُنتُ عَلَىٰ بَيِّنَةٖ مِّن رَّبِّي وَرَزَقَنِي مِنۡهُ رِزۡقًا حَسَنٗاۚ وَمَآ أُرِيدُ أَنۡ أُخَالِفَكُمۡ إِلَىٰ مَآ أَنۡهَىٰكُمۡ عَنۡهُۚ إِنۡ أُرِيدُ إِلَّا ٱلۡإِصۡلَٰحَ مَا ٱسۡتَطَعۡتُۚ وَمَا تَوۡفِيقِيٓ إِلَّا بِٱللَّهِۚ عَلَيۡهِ تَوَكَّلۡتُ وَإِلَيۡهِ أُنِيبُ
a. 11:64. (close)
1342. Shu‘aib’s opponents suspected that by restraining them from their fraudulent practices, he sought to foster his own business. Shu‘aib removed their apprehension by these words. (close)
b. 7:94. (close)
a. 11:64. (close)
1469. Important Words:
توفیق (power) is the noun-infinitive from وفق (waffaqa) which is the transitive form of the verb وفق (wafiqa). They say وفق امرہ i.e. his affair or case was right or agreeable with what was desired. وفقه الامر (waffaqa-hu) means, he disposed or adapted him to a thing; or he made him fit for it. وفقه الله means, God disposed or directed him to the right course; or He made him to take or follow the right course; or He directed him by inspiration to that which was good. توفیق means, being disposed or directed to take the right course or being granted fitness or power to do the right thing (Taj).
This verse contains an answer to the jibes of Shu‘aib’s opponents. He says to them: "It is not my Prayers but my God Who bids me preach to you. Now let me know if the word of God should come to me with truth and He should, out of His bounty, provide me with lawful sustenance, have I not then a right to exhort you to righteousness and to prohibit you from things which I have shown you to be injurious?"
This verse also sheds light on the position of a heavenly Messenger. Every Messenger of God has to face similar difficulties. In the beginning people show impatience at his preaching. They think that he wants to exercise authority over them and to bring compulsion to bear upon them. The second stage is that of indifference when they leave him alone. But neither the impatience nor the indifference of his opponents can stop a Prophet from preaching his Message. He carries on his work with unabated zeal in all circumstances till God crowns his efforts with success. (close)
وَ یٰقَوۡمِ لَا یَجۡرِمَنَّکُمۡ شِقَاقِیۡۤ اَنۡ یُّصِیۡبَکُمۡ مِّثۡلُ مَاۤ اَصَابَ قَوۡمَ نُوۡحٍ اَوۡ قَوۡمَ ہُوۡدٍ اَوۡ قَوۡمَ صٰلِحٍ ؕ وَ مَا قَوۡمُ لُوۡطٍ مِّنۡکُمۡ بِبَعِیۡدٍ ﴿۹۰﴾
وَيَٰقَوۡمِ لَا يَجۡرِمَنَّكُمۡ شِقَاقِيٓ أَن يُصِيبَكُم مِّثۡلُ مَآ أَصَابَ قَوۡمَ نُوحٍ أَوۡ قَوۡمَ هُودٍ أَوۡ قَوۡمَ صَٰلِحٖۚ وَمَا قَوۡمُ لُوطٖ مِّنكُم بِبَعِيدٖ
1343. This verse shows that Shu‘aib came after Noah, Hud, Salih and Lot (and for that matter after Abraham also), but lived before the time of Moses, for he does not here speak of the people of Moses, although Moses and his people lived in the very territory of the people of Shu‘aib. (close)
This verse shows that Shu‘aib came after Noah, Hud, Salih and Lot (and for that matter after Abraham also), but lived before the time of Moses, for he does not here speak of the people of Moses, although Moses lived with his people in the very territory of the people of Shu‘aib. See also note on v. 85 above. (close)
وَ اسۡتَغۡفِرُوۡا رَبَّکُمۡ ثُمَّ تُوۡبُوۡۤا اِلَیۡہِ ؕ اِنَّ رَبِّیۡ رَحِیۡمٌ وَّدُوۡدٌ ﴿۹۱﴾
وَٱسۡتَغۡفِرُواْ رَبَّكُمۡ ثُمَّ تُوبُوٓاْ إِلَيۡهِۚ إِنَّ رَبِّي رَحِيمٞ وَدُودٞ
a. 11:4. (close)
a. See 11:4. (close)
1471. Important Words:
ودود (Most Loving) is derived from ود. They say ودہ i.e. he loved him or it. وددت لو کان کذا means, I wished that it had been so. ود(wud) ود (wid), ود (wad) and مودة (mawaddat) as also وداد (widad), وداد (wadad) and وداد (wudad) are all infinitive nouns meaning love and affection. ود (wid), ود (wud) and ود (wad) also mean, a person loved, an object of love. ودود means, a person who loves much; very loving or affectionate. الودود is an attribute of God meaning, the Loving towards His servants; Very Loving or Most Loving; also He Who is beloved in the hearts of His servants (Taj & Aqrab).
It is often asserted by the opponents of Islam that it encourages sin as it keeps open the door of repentance. This objection is based on a misunderstanding of توبة i.e. Islamic repentance توبة does not consist in merely uttering the words "I regret" or "I repent" and then thinking that one’s sins will be forgiven. Such is not the Islamic conception of repentance. Islam does not recognize that transition from evil to virtue or ascent from a lower grade of virtue to a higher one can be attained in one jump. These conditions are attained through many stages of spiritual development. When a sinner turns to God, he begins by subjecting himself to a sort of inner stock-taking which makes him feel a sense of shame or contrition as a result of which he endeavours to seek shelter in God. This is the stage of استغفار. Then comes the stage of استعاذة i.e. seeking Divine protection from the evil consequences of one’s misdeeds. Finally there is the stage of توبة (repentance) which signifies turning to God and loving Him with heart and soul and establishing a true connection with Him. In short, توبة (repentance) does not mean mere verbal asking for forgiveness but constitutes one of the several stages which a man has to traverse when he eschews evil and turns to virtue or when he ascends from one stage of virtue to a higher one. It is difficult to find fault with this concept of توبة (repentance) and only one ignorant of human psychology can take exception to it.
The grades and stages of spiritual development briefly referred to above are all described in the Quran in detail. (close)