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)
اِلٰی فِرۡعَوۡنَ وَ مَلَا۠ئِہٖ فَاتَّبَعُوۡۤا اَمۡرَ فِرۡعَوۡنَ ۚ وَ مَاۤ اَمۡرُ فِرۡعَوۡنَ بِرَشِیۡدٍ ﴿۹۸﴾
إِلَىٰ فِرۡعَوۡنَ وَمَلَإِيْهِۦ فَٱتَّبَعُوٓاْ أَمۡرَ فِرۡعَوۡنَۖ وَمَآ أَمۡرُ فِرۡعَوۡنَ بِرَشِيدٖ
e. 23:47; 40:25. (close)
a. 23:47; 40:25. (close)
Pharaoh, as already stated, was not the name of any particular monarch (2:50). It was the title of the rulers of Egypt. The ruler of the Nile valley and Alexandria was called Pharaoh. This title was in vogue before the conquest of Egypt by the Romans. As, after the advent of the Romans, the government of the country passed into foreign hands, the title of Pharaohfell into disuse, for the foreign conquerors adopted their own titles.
It also appears that Pharaoh was not the title of the rulers of one dynasty only. Kings of many dynasties which ruled over the valley of the Nile and Alexandria in succession for about four thousand years bore this title. The Pharaoh during whose reign Moses was born was also, like the Israelites, a foreigner in the country, and therefore always feared lest they should multiply and help the original inhabitants of Egypt in expelling him and his people from the land or should rebel against him (Exod. 1:9-10). (close)
یَقۡدُمُ قَوۡمَہٗ یَوۡمَ الۡقِیٰمَۃِ فَاَوۡرَدَہُمُ النَّارَ ؕ وَ بِئۡسَ الۡوِرۡدُ الۡمَوۡرُوۡدُ ﴿۹۹﴾
يَقۡدُمُ قَوۡمَهُۥ يَوۡمَ ٱلۡقِيَٰمَةِ فَأَوۡرَدَهُمُ ٱلنَّارَۖ وَبِئۡسَ ٱلۡوِرۡدُ ٱلۡمَوۡرُودُ
1343B. Wird is derived from Warada and means, time; place and turn of watering; people or cattle coming to a watering place (Aqrab). (close)
1479. Important Words:
اوردھم (bring them down). The word اورد as well as الورد (watering-place) and المورود (arrived at) are all derived from ورد. They say وردہ i.e. he (a man or a camel, etc.) came to it, or arrived at it, namely water, whether he entered it or not. ورد علیھا means, he came to or arrived at it (water, town, etc.). اوردہ means, he brought him to the watering-place or he simply brought him or made him come or be present at a certain place. اوردہ الماء means, he made him come or he brought him to the water. اوردہ واصدرہ means, he brought it and (then) took it away. ورد (wird) means, coming to or arriving at water, etc.; water to which one comes to drink; the time or turn of coming to water; a company of men or a number of camels or birds coming to or arriving at water; a portion or share of water; the day or turn of a fever when it attacks the patient intermittently or periodically; a portion of the night in which a man has to pray; a section or division of the Quran portioned out for recitation at a certain time. مورود is the passive participle from ورد (warada) and means a place or person arrived at or visited. وارد which is the active participle means, he who comes or arrives at a place (Lane & Aqrab).
The verse means to say that all that Pharaoh did for his people was to bring them to the verge of Hell and cause them to fall into it. As shown under Important Words, the word اورد (will bring down) is generally used with reference to water but here it has been used in connection with fire in order to point out that instead of obtaining water, which is the source of physical and spiritual life (21:31), these people will land in fire, which is the killer of life. Thus their own efforts which were employed to destroy rather than get spiritual life will appear to them in an embodied form.
The expression may also contain an allusion to the fact that the descent of the people of Pharaoh into Hell will be like the repairing of a thirsty man to a place of water, i.e. corrupt as they are, it will prove the means of satisfying their peculiar thirst. The fire will purify them of their sins and thus, through it, they will at last succeed in satisfying their spiritual thirst. (close)
وَ اُتۡبِعُوۡا فِیۡ ہٰذِہٖ لَعۡنَۃً وَّ یَوۡمَ الۡقِیٰمَۃِ ؕ بِئۡسَ الرِّفۡدُ الۡمَرۡفُوۡدُ ﴿۱۰۰﴾
وَأُتۡبِعُواْ فِي هَٰذِهِۦ لَعۡنَةٗ وَيَوۡمَ ٱلۡقِيَٰمَةِۚ بِئۡسَ ٱلرِّفۡدُ ٱلۡمَرۡفُودُ
a. 28:43. (close)
1344. Rifd meaning a gift or support or aid (Lane), the verse may signify that Pharaoh, whom his people regarded as their support against God will prove an evil support for them on the Day of Resurrection, for he not only will land them into Hell, but himself will go into it with them. (close)
a. 28:43. (close)
1480. Important Words:
رفد (gift) and المرفود (which will be given them) are both derived from رفد (rafada). They say رفدہ i.e. he gave him, or he gave him a gift; he aided, helped or assisted him; he aided or assisted him by a gift or by a good saying or by some other thing. رفد الحائط means, he propped up or supported the wall. رفد means, a gift or a gratuity; aid, help or assistance by a gift, etc.; a lot, share or portion. رافد means, giver of a gift; aider or helper. مرفود which is the passive participle from this root, means, he who is given a gift, etc.; or that which is given as a gift, etc. (Lane & Aqrab).
The word لعنة (curse) is not used here as a term of abuse, but in its original sense of "driving away" or "casting away by way of punishment" (Mufradat). The verse would therefore mean that, as these people remained away from God in the present life, so, as a punishment, they will be kept away from Him in the life to come. The moral of the verse is that by following in the footsteps of a wicked man, one is disgraced both in this life and the next.
The word رفد (lit. gift or support or aid) may also refer to Pharaoh. In this case the verse would mean that Pharaoh whom his people took as their means of support against God proved an evil support for them; for he not only landed them into Hell, but himself went into the Fire with them. (close)