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)
قَالُوۡا یٰشُعَیۡبُ مَا نَفۡقَہُ کَثِیۡرًا مِّمَّا تَقُوۡلُ وَ اِنَّا لَنَرٰٮکَ فِیۡنَا ضَعِیۡفًا ۚ وَ لَوۡ لَا رَہۡطُکَ لَرَجَمۡنٰکَ ۫ وَ مَاۤ اَنۡتَ عَلَیۡنَا بِعَزِیۡزٍ ﴿۹۲﴾
قَالُواْ يَٰشُعَيۡبُ مَا نَفۡقَهُ كَثِيرٗا مِّمَّا تَقُولُ وَإِنَّا لَنَرَىٰكَ فِينَا ضَعِيفٗاۖ وَلَوۡلَا رَهۡطُكَ لَرَجَمۡنَٰكَۖ وَمَآ أَنتَ عَلَيۡنَا بِعَزِيزٖ
b. 7:89. (close)
a. 7:89. (close)
1472. Important Words:
رھطك (thy tribe). رھط means, a man’s people or tribe consisting of his nearer relations or near kinsfolk; a number of men less than ten among whom there is no woman; or a number from three to ten or from seven to ten. کان فی المدینة تسعة رھط means, there were in the city nine men (Lane). (close)
قَالَ یٰقَوۡمِ اَرَہۡطِیۡۤ اَعَزُّ عَلَیۡکُمۡ مِّنَ اللّٰہِ ؕ وَ اتَّخَذۡتُمُوۡہُ وَرَآءَکُمۡ ظِہۡرِیًّا ؕ اِنَّ رَبِّیۡ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُوۡنَ مُحِیۡطٌ ﴿۹۳﴾
قَالَ يَٰقَوۡمِ أَرَهۡطِيٓ أَعَزُّ عَلَيۡكُم مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ وَٱتَّخَذۡتُمُوهُ وَرَآءَكُمۡ ظِهۡرِيًّاۖ إِنَّ رَبِّي بِمَا تَعۡمَلُونَ مُحِيطٞ
The Prophets are very jealous about the honour of God. Anyone else in Shu‘aib’s place would have been glad to see that his clan was so powerful that his enemy refrained from doing him harm out of fear of his tribesmen. But it makes Shu‘aib indignant that his security from harm has been ascribed to his clan and not to the protection of God, and he sharply rebukes his opponents saying: "Is my clan more powerful than God so that you are afraid to harm me because of them but you do not fear God and continue to disobey Him by indulging in plunder and fraud". Shu‘aib does not mind, by thus despising his own clan, running the risk of estranging them or making them angry. Only one thought holds sway over his mind and that thought relates to the honour of his God.
The Holy Prophet also never failed to display his love and jealousy for God in a manner worthy of his great spiritual position. One such opportunity occurred at Uhud when, the Muslims suffered a temporary defeat and the infidels, thinking that the Prophet had been killed, shouted slogans glorifying their national idol, Hubal. On that critical occasion, when considerations of safety demanded complete silence, the Holy Prophet rebuked the Muslims for keeping silent and urged them to glorify God at the top of their voices. (close)
وَ یٰقَوۡمِ اعۡمَلُوۡا عَلٰی مَکَانَتِکُمۡ اِنِّیۡ عَامِلٌ ؕ سَوۡفَ تَعۡلَمُوۡنَ ۙ مَنۡ یَّاۡتِیۡہِ عَذَابٌ یُّخۡزِیۡہِ وَ مَنۡ ہُوَ کَاذِبٌ ؕ وَ ارۡتَقِبُوۡۤا اِنِّیۡ مَعَکُمۡ رَقِیۡبٌ ﴿۹۴﴾
وَيَٰقَوۡمِ ٱعۡمَلُواْ عَلَىٰ مَكَانَتِكُمۡ إِنِّي عَٰمِلٞۖ سَوۡفَ تَعۡلَمُونَ مَن يَأۡتِيهِ عَذَابٞ يُخۡزِيهِ وَمَنۡ هُوَ كَٰذِبٞۖ وَٱرۡتَقِبُوٓاْ إِنِّي مَعَكُمۡ رَقِيبٞ
a. 39:40. (close)
1343A. The verse may also signify that they should go on working according to their own lights and plans, and he would work as guided by his Faith. The results would show who was working in accordance with God’s Will and who was seeking to defy and frustrate His purpose. (close)
a. 6:136; 39:40. (close)
1474. Important Words:
علی مکانتکم (as best you can). See 6:136.
The words, act as best you can, I too am acting, mean that they should go on working according to their own lights and plans, and he could work as guided by his faith. The results would show who was working in accordance with God’s will and who was seeking to defy and frustrate His purpose.
In fact, Prophets of God always ask their people to leave the matter to God and wait for His decision, but their opponents always seek to take the matter into their own hands. The result invariably is that their efforts to destroy the Prophet and his followers prove futile and they themselves are destroyed. (close)
وَ لَمَّا جَآءَ اَمۡرُنَا نَجَّیۡنَا شُعَیۡبًا وَّ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا مَعَہٗ بِرَحۡمَۃٍ مِّنَّا وَ اَخَذَتِ الَّذِیۡنَ ظَلَمُوا الصَّیۡحَۃُ فَاَصۡبَحُوۡا فِیۡ دِیَارِہِمۡ جٰثِمِیۡنَ ﴿ۙ۹۵﴾
وَلَمَّا جَآءَ أَمۡرُنَا نَجَّيۡنَا شُعَيۡبٗا وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مَعَهُۥ بِرَحۡمَةٖ مِّنَّا وَأَخَذَتِ ٱلَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ ٱلصَّيۡحَةُ فَأَصۡبَحُواْ فِي دِيَٰرِهِمۡ جَٰثِمِينَ
b. 7:92; 26:190; 29:38. (close)
Shu‘aib lived in a territory where earthquakes were frequent. So it is quite possible that, as the words apparently show, his people should have been visited with an earthquake: but the word صیحة (for which see v. 68 above) may also mean any other punishment and the words, they lay prostrate in their houses, may have been used in a figurative sense, meaning that their power was broken by some dreadful visitation and they met with disgrace and humiliation, as if thrown into the dust. (close)
کَاَنۡ لَّمۡ یَغۡنَوۡا فِیۡہَا ؕ اَلَا بُعۡدًا لِّمَدۡیَنَ کَمَا بَعِدَتۡ ثَمُوۡدُ ﴿٪۹۶﴾
كَأَن لَّمۡ يَغۡنَوۡاْ فِيهَآۗ أَلَا بُعۡدٗا لِّمَدۡيَنَ كَمَا بَعِدَتۡ ثَمُودُ
c. 7:93. (close)
a. 7:93. (close)
See 11:61, 69 above. (close)
وَ لَقَدۡ اَرۡسَلۡنَا مُوۡسٰی بِاٰیٰتِنَا وَ سُلۡطٰنٍ مُّبِیۡنٍ ﴿ۙ۹۷﴾
وَلَقَدۡ أَرۡسَلۡنَا مُوسَىٰ بِـَٔايَٰتِنَا وَسُلۡطَٰنٖ مُّبِينٍ
d. 14:6; 40:24. (close)
b. 14:6; 23:46; 40:24. (close)
As already stated, the present Surah discusses the history of only those Prophets whose peoples were ultimately destroyed. The present and the following few verses deal with Moses’ mission to Pharaoh and his people who rejected him and therefore met with destruction. The Surah makes no reference to the Israelites, for the obvious reason that they believed in Moses’ and became heirs to Divine blessings.
Incidentally, it may be noted here that the Biblical account of Moses as given in Exod. chapters 2, 3 & 4, differs from the Quranic description in several points:
1. According to the Bible, Moses was not cast into the river, but was concealed under a basket in the bushes by the side of the river (Exod. 2:3). According to the Quran, however, he was cast into the river (20:40). The name Moses, as explained in Exod. 2:10 supports the Quranic version, for Moses was so called because he "was saved from water." See also note under 2:54.
2. According to the Bible, the Egyptian who died at the hands of Moses was killed by him intentionally (Exod. 2:11,12), while according to the Quran, Moses did not strike the man with the intention of killing him. The man died only accidentally (28:16). Thus the Bible represents Moses as a wilful murderer, while the Quran acquits him of this heinous act.
3. According to the Bible, Moses saw two Hebrews quarrelling with each other (Exod. 2:13,14); while the Quran says that one was a Hebrew and the other an Egyptian (28:19).
4. The Quran differs from the Bible in the details of the incident at the well. The Bible says that there were as many as seven daughters of the priest of Midian at the well. (Exod. 2:16), while according to the Quran there were only two (28:24). Again, according to the Bible, the girls filled their troughs to water their father’s flock, but the shepherds came and drove them away (Exod. 2:16), while according to the Quran the girls kept themselves and their flock away owing to modesty (28:24). Again, the Bible represents Moses as standing up against the shepherds and helping the girls (Exod. 2:17), while according to the Quran, there was no standing up against the shepherds on the part of Moses; he only watered the flock of the girls (28:25).
5. According to the Bible, Moses was bidden to take his people out of Egypt without apprising Pharaoh of their flight. He is, in fact, represented as playing a trick on Pharaoh and deceiving him (Exod. 3:18). But the Quran represents him as being bidden by God to go to Pharaoh and ask him to let the children of Israel go with him (20:48).
6. According to the Bible, Moses bade the Israelite women to borrow from their Egyptian neighbours their ornaments, their gold, their silver and their raiment with a view to robbing them of their valuables (Exod. 3:22). According to the Quran, they were not bidden by God to take the ornaments from the Egyptians; they did so deceitfully and were themselves responsible for the deceit (20:88).
7. The hand of Moses, says the Bible, was white and its whiteness was due to leprosy (Exod. 4:6). According to the Quran his hand was indeed brightly white, but its whiteness was not due to any disease. It constituted a Divine sign (20:23).
8. The Bible represents Aaron not as a real brother of Moses or his brother from the side of his mother, but a brother in the sense that he was a member of the Levite family (Exod. 4:14). The Quran, however, represents him as a real brother of Moses, or at least his brother from the side of his mother (20:95).
9. According to the Bible, Aaron took part with the Israelites in taking the calf for an idol; nay, it even represents him as the very author of the calf-worship (Exod. 32:35). But the Quran exonerates him of this charge (20:91).
It is unnecessary to remark here that both reason and recent research in history agree that of the two versions the Quranic one is correct.
In fact, Christian writers themselves have admitted the inaccuracy of the Biblical account (Enc. Bri. under "Moses"). The writer of this article declares that a great part of the Hamurabi teaching has been incorporated in the Pentateuch. He also considers the Biblical account showing Aaron as having taken part in calf-worship as spurious and a later addition, and infers that there have been other similar interpolations in the Bible.
The word Harun (Aaron) has no significance in Hebrew. According to modern scholars, the name is to be found in the languages of North Arabia (Enc. Bri.). This shows that the Hebrews had, till then, some connection with Arabic, their original tongue. (close)