سَلٰمٌ عَلَیۡکُمۡ بِمَا صَبَرۡتُمۡ فَنِعۡمَ عُقۡبَی الدَّارِ ﴿ؕ۲۵﴾
سَلَٰمٌ عَلَيۡكُم بِمَا صَبَرۡتُمۡۚ فَنِعۡمَ عُقۡبَى ٱلدَّارِ
c. 39:74. (close)
b. 39:74. (close)
The entering of the angels through every gate, referred to in the preceding verse, signifies that the angels will tell the inmates of Paradise that the latter had entered it through a particular gate on account of a particular good deed done by them and that their different virtues had been represented to them as different gates. By saying, Peace be unto you, as used in the present verse, the angels will remind believers that, as they practised every kind of virtue, they will enjoy every kind and form of peace from every side, the word سلام (peace) being repeated at every gate of Paradise separately.
The construction of the expression سلام علیکم (peace be unto you) is also intended to signify that the bliss of Paradise will be abiding and permanent because believers were "steadfast" i.e. displayed patience constantly and in all circumstances. The verse, therefore, purports to say to believers: "You stuck to virtue as long as you lived, thus you can rightly be regarded as having performed your duty. It was not in your power to avoid death. You adhered to virtue as long as it was in your power to do so. When, therefore, the hand of death put a stop to your good deeds, it became incumbent on God to grant you perpetual peace and everlasting bliss even as you would have ever continued on the path of virtue if you had lived." The verse thus contains an effective answer to the objection, "How can deeds of limited duration win unlimited reward?"
The verse also shows that those who lose heart under trials are not deserving of Paradise. Only those are deserving who maintain their connection with God in all circumstances and persevere in the doing of good deeds till the very end. See also v. 23. (close)
وَ الَّذِیۡنَ یَنۡقُضُوۡنَ عَہۡدَ اللّٰہِ مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِ مِیۡثَاقِہٖ وَ یَقۡطَعُوۡنَ مَاۤ اَمَرَ اللّٰہُ بِہٖۤ اَنۡ یُّوۡصَلَ وَ یُفۡسِدُوۡنَ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ ۙ اُولٰٓئِکَ لَہُمُ اللَّعۡنَۃُ وَ لَہُمۡ سُوۡٓءُ الدَّارِ ﴿۲۶﴾
وَٱلَّذِينَ يَنقُضُونَ عَهۡدَ ٱللَّهِ مِنۢ بَعۡدِ مِيثَٰقِهِۦ وَيَقۡطَعُونَ مَآ أَمَرَ ٱللَّهُ بِهِۦٓ أَن يُوصَلَ وَيُفۡسِدُونَ فِي ٱلۡأَرۡضِ أُوْلَـٰٓئِكَ لَهُمُ ٱللَّعۡنَةُ وَلَهُمۡ سُوٓءُ ٱلدَّارِ
d. 2:28. (close)
a. 2:28. (close)
Some persons sever ties of kinship; others violate the discipline of their community. Some oppose Divine Messengers, while others show lack of fellow-feeling, and yet others forsake God. All these are different forms of cutting asunder what Allah has commanded to be joined. Such people not only cut asunder what Allah has bidden to be joined but go a step further. They act corruptly in the earth viz. they perpetrate acts of injustice, and even oppose and act inimically towards those with whom they are bidden to establish a firm connection.
The words, on them is the curse of God, mean, as they cut off their connection with God, therefore they shall be removed far away from Him. The word لعنة (curse) which denotes removal from the presence of God, has not been used here by way of abuse, but only expresses an actual fact. See also 2:89. (close)
اَللّٰہُ یَبۡسُطُ الرِّزۡقَ لِمَنۡ یَّشَآءُ وَ یَقۡدِرُ ؕ وَ فَرِحُوۡا بِالۡحَیٰوۃِ الدُّنۡیَا ؕ وَ مَا الۡحَیٰوۃُ الدُّنۡیَا فِی الۡاٰخِرَۃِ اِلَّا مَتَاعٌ ﴿٪۲۷﴾
ٱللَّهُ يَبۡسُطُ ٱلرِّزۡقَ لِمَن يَشَآءُ وَيَقۡدِرُۚ وَفَرِحُواْ بِٱلۡحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنۡيَا وَمَا ٱلۡحَيَوٰةُ ٱلدُّنۡيَا فِي ٱلۡأٓخِرَةِ إِلَّا مَتَٰعٞ
a. 29:63; 30:38; 39:53. (close)
b. 10:8. (close)
1438. The particle fi is sometimes used to denote comparison (Lane). (close)
a. 29:63; 30:38; 39:53. (close)
b. 10:8. (close)
1638. Important Words:
فی (as compared with) is a particle used in a vast variety of senses. It denotes inclusion or in-being either in relation to place or time, as in the sentences زید فی الدار i.e. Zaid is in the house, and فی ایام معدودات i.e. during a certain number of days. In many instances it may be rendered as "of" or "concerning" or "in respect of" as in اتحاجوننا فی الله i.e. do you argue with us concerning God. It also denotes concomitance and is sometimes synonymous with مع meaning, "among" as in ادخلو فی امم i.e. enter you with peoples. It also denotes the assigning of a cause, meaning, "on account of or because of" as in the words occurring in a saying of the Prophet ان امرأة دخلت فی النار فی ھرة حبستھا i.e. verily, a woman entered Hell because of a cat she kept confined without food (Muslim, Kitabul-Birr was-Silah). It is also synonymous with الی and علی as well as with من and is sometimes used to denote comparison, as in the sentence ما علمی فی بحرہ الا قطرة i.e. my knowledge is but a drop as compared with his knowledge which is like a sea (Aqrab & Lane).
The verse disabuses the minds of disbelievers of the wrong notion that by accepting Islam they would lose the material benefits they now enjoy and that the bliss of the next world which it promises is but an imaginary thing. By saying that the prosperity or poverty of this life are in the hands of God, the verse implies a subtle hint that God had already decreed that all this prosperity should be transferred from the enemies of the Holy Prophet to his followers and therefore their acceptance of him would not even entail any worldly loss for them. The verse, however, proceeds to say that if even the acceptance of the Prophet led to some loss of worldly good, it would not matter, for his teachings embody abiding and permanent principles and relate to the everlasting life of the Hereafter compared with which the things of this world are of no account. This is what is expressed in the words, the present life is but a temporary enjoyment as compared with that which is to come. Incidentally, the verse enunciates the great principle that intellectual and mental culture are superior to material progress, which always follows in the wake of intellectual advancement. (close)
وَ یَقُوۡلُ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا لَوۡ لَاۤ اُنۡزِلَ عَلَیۡہِ اٰیَۃٌ مِّنۡ رَّبِّہٖ ؕ قُلۡ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ یُضِلُّ مَنۡ یَّشَآءُ وَ یَہۡدِیۡۤ اِلَیۡہِ مَنۡ اَنَابَ ﴿ۖۚ۲۸﴾
وَيَقُولُ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ لَوۡلَآ أُنزِلَ عَلَيۡهِ ءَايَةٞ مِّن رَّبِّهِۦۚ قُلۡ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يُضِلُّ مَن يَشَآءُ وَيَهۡدِيٓ إِلَيۡهِ مَنۡ أَنَابَ
c. 6:38; 10:21; 29:51. (close)
1439. It is God’s immutable law that He guides those who are desirous of turning to Him and leaves to go astray those who themselves turn away from Him and refuse to accept His guidance. (close)
d. 14:5; 74:32. (close)
a. 6:38; 10:21; 29:51. (close)
b. 14:5; 74:32. (close)
In the previous verse, it was said that God straitens His provision for some men if He so pleases. The present verse says that when the attention of disbelievers is drawn to the fact that God possesses the power to deprive men of their sustenance, they hasten to demand that this power of God should come into operation with regard to them so that it may serve as a sign. The Quran answers them by saying that God is already showing signs as a result of which some are being spiritually guided and some made to perish but disbelievers do not benefit by them and demand instead the sign of punishment. Thus, according to them, the signs of mercy and signs of the deep knowledge of God are of no account. With them, the only signs to which they attach any importance are the signs of punishment. But what benefit could they derive from the signs of destructive punishment when no opportunity would be left for them to accept guidance after they had been destroyed? The tragic truth is that most people become deserving of punishment on account of their sins, and this is why they do not benefit by the signs of guidance. God therefore decrees and decides the destruction of such people. For an explanation of the word یضل see note on v. 34.
As the words, Allah causes to perish those whom He wills, might give rise to the doubt that God brings destruction on men arbitrarily, the Quran rightly adds, and guides to Himself those who turn to Him, meaning that God does not destroy men arbitrarily but it is His immutable law that He guides those who are desirous of turning to Him and destroys only those who seek to turn away from Him and refuse to accept His guidance. (close)
اَلَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَ تَطۡمَئِنُّ قُلُوۡبُہُمۡ بِذِکۡرِ اللّٰہِ ؕ اَلَا بِذِکۡرِ اللّٰہِ تَطۡمَئِنُّ الۡقُلُوۡبُ ﴿ؕ۲۹﴾
ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَتَطۡمَئِنُّ قُلُوبُهُم بِذِكۡرِ ٱللَّهِۗ أَلَا بِذِكۡرِ ٱللَّهِ تَطۡمَئِنُّ ٱلۡقُلُوبُ
1440. Search after God is the innermost yearning of the human soul and is the real object and goal of man’s life, and when that goal is attained man enjoys perfect peace of mind, for then he rests, as it were, in the very lap of God. (close)
This beautiful verse embodies a great and extremely natural truth. The more the people of the world gain the paltry goods of this life, the greater becomes the hunger and the consequent burning of their heart. But as for those who seek God, the more they turn to Him, the greater is their peace of mind. This shows that search after God is the innermost yearning of human nature and the real goal of man’s life, and that when that goal is attained man begins to enjoy perfect peace of mind, for then he rests, as it were, in the very lap of the All-Knowing and All-Powerful God, Maker and Controller of the universe. Would the people of the world had realized this great secret of happiness! (close)
اَلَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَ عَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ طُوۡبٰی لَہُمۡ وَ حُسۡنُ مَاٰبٍ ﴿۳۰﴾
ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَٰتِ طُوبَىٰ لَهُمۡ وَحُسۡنُ مَـَٔابٖ
e. 3:16; 18:31, 108; 68:35; 98:8, 9. (close)
a. 30:16; 18:31,108; 68:35; 98:8-9. (close)
The verse means that the believers will enjoy the blessings and favours of God in a greater measure than even that conceived by man. Happy shall be their final abode and happy indeed is he whose end is happy. (close)
کَذٰلِکَ اَرۡسَلۡنٰکَ فِیۡۤ اُمَّۃٍ قَدۡ خَلَتۡ مِنۡ قَبۡلِہَاۤ اُمَمٌ لِّتَتۡلُوَا۠ عَلَیۡہِمُ الَّذِیۡۤ اَوۡحَیۡنَاۤ اِلَیۡکَ وَ ہُمۡ یَکۡفُرُوۡنَ بِالرَّحۡمٰنِ ؕ قُلۡ ہُوَ رَبِّیۡ لَاۤ اِلٰہَ اِلَّا ہُوَ ۚ عَلَیۡہِ تَوَکَّلۡتُ وَ اِلَیۡہِ مَتَابِ ﴿۳۱﴾
كَذَٰلِكَ أَرۡسَلۡنَٰكَ فِيٓ أُمَّةٖ قَدۡ خَلَتۡ مِن قَبۡلِهَآ أُمَمٞ لِّتَتۡلُوَاْ عَلَيۡهِمُ ٱلَّذِيٓ أَوۡحَيۡنَآ إِلَيۡكَ وَهُمۡ يَكۡفُرُونَ بِٱلرَّحۡمَٰنِۚ قُلۡ هُوَ رَبِّي لَآ إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ عَلَيۡهِ تَوَكَّلۡتُ وَإِلَيۡهِ مَتَابِ
a. 25:61. (close)
b. 25:61. (close)
The previous two verses spoke of the people to whom God grants perfect peace of mind and who enjoy a truly happy end. By the words, Thus have We sent thee, the Quran means to suggest that God has raised the Holy Prophet so that he may, by his noble teaching and noble example, produce men of this type.
The verse draws the attention of disbelievers to God’s attribute of الرحمن (the Gracious) in a very striking manner. It says that whereas disbelievers demand immediate punishment, God continues to delay and postpone it. It is His attribute of Ar-Rahman which is at the root of this postponement, and yet disbelievers say that He is not Ar-Rahman. If God had not been Ar-Rahman they would have met their destruction long before.
The question also arises here, how could the Holy Prophet raise a stone-hearted people like the Arabs to the high standard of moral and spiritual excellence mentioned in the preceding verse? In reply to this natural misgiving, the Holy Prophet is bidden to say, "It is not my work, but God’s. In Him do I put my trust, and to Him will I repeatedly turn for help till this object is attained." The verse also draws our attention to the great spiritual lesson that real reformation, which is the purification of the heart, is brought about only through trust in God and constantly turning to Him in prayer. Those who seek to reform the hearts of men by physical and material means can never succeed. Material means can at best reform the exterior of men. It is only spiritual means that can engender conviction and purity of heart. This is why the so-called cultured and enlightened nations of the West have, in spite of their best efforts, failed to present that high standard of morality and spirituality to which the Holy Prophet raised his Companions, notwithstanding his utter lack of material resources. (close)
وَ لَوۡ اَنَّ قُرۡاٰنًا سُیِّرَتۡ بِہِ الۡجِبَالُ اَوۡ قُطِّعَتۡ بِہِ الۡاَرۡضُ اَوۡ کُلِّمَ بِہِ الۡمَوۡتٰی ؕ بَلۡ لِّلّٰہِ الۡاَمۡرُ جَمِیۡعًا ؕ اَفَلَمۡ یَایۡـَٔسِ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡۤا اَنۡ لَّوۡ یَشَآءُ اللّٰہُ لَہَدَی النَّاسَ جَمِیۡعًا ؕ وَ لَا یَزَالُ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا تُصِیۡبُہُمۡ بِمَا صَنَعُوۡا قَارِعَۃٌ اَوۡ تَحُلُّ قَرِیۡبًا مِّنۡ دَارِہِمۡ حَتّٰی یَاۡتِیَ وَعۡدُ اللّٰہِ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ لَا یُخۡلِفُ الۡمِیۡعَادَ ﴿٪۳۲﴾
وَلَوۡ أَنَّ قُرۡءَانٗا سُيِّرَتۡ بِهِ ٱلۡجِبَالُ أَوۡ قُطِّعَتۡ بِهِ ٱلۡأَرۡضُ أَوۡ كُلِّمَ بِهِ ٱلۡمَوۡتَىٰۗ بَل لِّلَّهِ ٱلۡأَمۡرُ جَمِيعًاۗ أَفَلَمۡ يَاْيۡـَٔسِ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓاْ أَن لَّوۡ يَشَآءُ ٱللَّهُ لَهَدَى ٱلنَّاسَ جَمِيعٗاۗ وَلَا يَزَالُ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ تُصِيبُهُم بِمَا صَنَعُواْ قَارِعَةٌ أَوۡ تَحُلُّ قَرِيبٗا مِّن دَارِهِمۡ حَتَّىٰ يَأۡتِيَ وَعۡدُ ٱللَّهِۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يُخۡلِفُ ٱلۡمِيعَادَ
1441. Jibal is the plural of Jabal which figuratively means, (1) chief of a tribe or community; (2) a learned man towering above those around him; (3) great hardship or calamity (Aqrab). The clause may mean that the Qur’an solves all the difficult problems that confront man, or it may mean that it has abrogated the old order of things and has inculcated a new approach to the various human problems. (close)
1442. These words figuratively mean that the Qur’an would speedily spread throughout the whole earth. Literally, it means that portions of land would be cut off from enemy territory and would pass into the possession of believers. (close)
1443. By means of the Qur’an those spiritually dead will not only be quickened into a new life, but will also be made to speak words of wisdom and will preach the Message of the Qur’an to the world. (close)
b. 3:155; 30:5. (close)
a. 22:56. (close)
1444. Calamity after calamity shall continue to befall the disbelievers and they shall suffer reverses one after the other, till the prophecy relating to the utter destruction of their power will be fulfilled by the Fall of Mecca, their metropolis and chief citadel. (close)
a. 3:155; 30:5. (close)
b. 22:56. (close)
1643. Important Words:
الجبال (mountains) is the plural of الجبل (the mountain). Figuratively, the wordجبل means: (1) chief of a tribe or community; (2) a learned man towering above those around him; (3) great hardship or calamity (Aqrab).
قطعت (be cut asunder) is formed from قطع (qatta‘a) which is derived from قطع (qata‘a), the former being the intensified form of the latter. They say قطع الشیء i.e. he cut the thing; or he cut it asunder. قطع النھر means, he crossed or went across the river. قطع الطیر means, the birds migrated or journeyed from colder regions to warmer ones. قطعه بالحجة means, he silenced him in argument (Aqrab).
یایئس (come to know) is derived from یئس which means (1) he despaired of the thing; (2) he knew. An Arab would say قد یئست انك رجل صدق i.e. I have known that thou art a good man. The clause افلم یایئس الذین آمنوا means, have not the believers yet come to know? The expression یئست المرأة means, the woman became barren i.e. despaired of bearing children (Lane & Aqrab).
قارعة (disaster) is derived from قرع. They say قرع الباب i.e. he knocked at the door. قرع الرجل means, he beat the man. قرعه امرmeans, the affair came on him all of a sudden. القارعة means, great calamity; sudden calamity; the Day of Resurrection or of Judgement; an army marching forth quickly and striking the enemy quickly (Aqrab & Taj).
The words, And if there were a Quran by which mountains could be moved or by which the earth could be cut asunder or by which the dead could be spoken to, they would not believe in it, do not mean that the Quran does not possess these qualities but that even when these wonderful attributes of the Quran were demonstrated, disbelievers would not believe. A construction similar to the one used in this verse occurs in a saying of the Holy Prophet who is reported to have said, لو کان الایمان معلقا بالثر یا لنا له رجل من ابناء فارس i.e. if faith were to ascend to the Pleiades, a man from among the sons of Persia would bring it back (Bukhari, Kitabut-Tafsir). This hadith does not mean that faith would not ascend to the Pleiades, or that a man from among the sons of Persia would not bring it back. On the contrary, it is a prophecy which foretold the disappearance of faith from the earth and its restoration in the latter days by a man from among the children of Persia. Incidentally, it may be noted here that this great prophecy was fulfilled by the appearance of Ahmad,the Promised Messiah, whose family was of Persian origin. But to revert to the subject. A description of the great powers and qualities of the Quran as given in the present verse also implies the hard-heartedness and uncompromising hostility of disbelievers to the divine truth.
Taken literally, the expression, by which mountains could be moved, would mean that the Quran contains prophecies of earthquakes of such severity as will virtually remove parts of mountains from their places. The Quran does indeed predict great upheavals (Surah 99).
Figuratively, the word "mountain" may mean, great hardships and difficulties. In this sense, the description in the verse fitly applies to the Quran, because it solves all political, social, economic, moral and spiritual problems in a way that no other religious Scripture does. The word also means "learned men" among a people, or their "chiefs." According to this meaning of the word also, the description is quite applicable to the Quran, for with its advent, the old leaders of the people and the learned among them disappeared. The system of government underwent a complete transformation and hereditary kingship was replaced by Khilafat i.e. a representative form of government. The old learning, which was founded on superstition and capricious fear, was superseded by one based on experiment, observation and a knowledge of the properties of things. The Quran abounds in verses exhorting men to make use of reason and reflection rather than indulge in superstitious notions, and enjoins them to make a close study of the objects of nature. The whole universe, says the Quran, has been created for the benefit of man, who is repeatedly urged to compel it into his service. The Quran, in short, abrogated the old order of things and inculcated a new approach to the various human problems.
The expression, by which the earth could be cut asunder, figuratively means that the Quran would speedily spread throughout the earth. Literally, the expression means that portions of land would be cut off from enemy territory and would pass into the possession of the believers. Both these things were fulfilled as predicted by the Quran, for it spread very quickly throughout the world, and whole countries fell into Muslim hands.
The words, by which the dead were spoken to, mean that dead and by-gone people should bear witness to the truth of the Quran, that is to say, the righteous forefathers of the living generation should testify to its Divine origin. This was also fulfilled. In the Old and the New Testaments, the "People of the Book" have evidence of the righteous men of old bearing witness to the truth of the Holy Prophet, yet they rejected that evidence. "The dead being spoken to" may also mean the appearance of the dead in dreams and visions and their bearing witness to the truth of the heavenly Messenger, but evil-minded people reject this evidence also. Both these things happened not only in the time of the Holy Prophet but also in the case of Ahmad, the Promised Messiah. The word "dead" also applies to the spiritually dead. The word has been used in this sense in the Quran (8:25). In this sense, the verse would mean that by means of the Quran those spiritually dead will not only be quickened into a new life, but will also be made to speak words of wisdom and will preach the Message of the Quran to the world.
The words, the matter rests entirely with Allah, mean that though these things may appear impossible, yet they will surely come to pass, because the Almighty God with Whom "the matter rests entirely" and to Whom nothing is impossible has Himself foretold their occurrence. To this Almightiness of God the attention of disbelievers is pointedly drawn in the words, Have not the believers yet come to know that if Allah had enforced His will, He could have surely guided all mankind? In the following sentence even the time is specified when these things will come to pass. The words, disaster shall not cease to befall them for what they have wrought or to alight near their home, until the promise of Allah comes to pass, mean, that calamity after calamity shall continue to befall the Meccans, and they shall suffer reverses one after another, till the prophecy relating to the utter destruction of their power is fulfilled. This prophecy met its fulfilment in a wonderful manner. In spite of the many signs the disbelievers had witnessed and the many reverses they had suffered at the hands of Muslims, they refused to see the truth till at the head of ten thousand devoted followers or, to use the words of the Bible, "ten thousand saints," the Holy Prophet marched towards Mecca and encamped "near their home," and with his triumphant entry into that city the power of pagan Arabia was completely broken and its glory departed forever and all vestige of unbelief and idolatry disappeared from the country. (close)
وَ لَقَدِ اسۡتُہۡزِیٴَ بِرُسُلٍ مِّنۡ قَبۡلِکَ فَاَمۡلَیۡتُ لِلَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا ثُمَّ اَخَذۡتُہُمۡ ۟ فَکَیۡفَ کَانَ عِقَابِ ﴿۳۳﴾
وَلَقَدِ ٱسۡتُهۡزِئَ بِرُسُلٖ مِّن قَبۡلِكَ فَأَمۡلَيۡتُ لِلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ ثُمَّ أَخَذۡتُهُمۡۖ فَكَيۡفَ كَانَ عِقَابِ
b. 22:45. (close)
a. 36:31. (close)
b. 22:45. (close)
To the repeated objection of the opponents of the Holy Prophet as to why punishment was not sent down upon them immediately, they are told that, as the sending down of punishment is postponed in order that disbelievers may have time to think and accept truth, the respite granted to them was no novel thing. The opponents of all the Prophets were given such respite with the same object in view, and former Prophets were also mocked at because of the delay in punishment, but that in no way injured their cause. The objection would have been justified if disbelievers had escaped punishment altogether; or if, when at last it came, it was not exemplary; or if its delay, during the intervening period, in any way, proved detrimental to the cause of truth. The postponement only served to fulfil its noble object for it afforded those, who were good at heart and were destined to believe, an opportunity to ponder over the truth and accept it. (close)
اَفَمَنۡ ہُوَ قَآئِمٌ عَلٰی کُلِّ نَفۡسٍۭ بِمَا کَسَبَتۡ ۚ وَ جَعَلُوۡا لِلّٰہِ شُرَکَآءَ ؕ قُلۡ سَمُّوۡہُمۡ ؕ اَمۡ تُنَبِّـُٔوۡنَہٗ بِمَا لَا یَعۡلَمُ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ اَمۡ بِظَاہِرٍ مِّنَ الۡقَوۡلِ ؕ بَلۡ زُیِّنَ لِلَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا مَکۡرُہُمۡ وَ صُدُّوۡا عَنِ السَّبِیۡلِ ؕ وَ مَنۡ یُّضۡلِلِ اللّٰہُ فَمَا لَہٗ مِنۡ ہَادٍ ﴿۳۴﴾
أَفَمَنۡ هُوَ قَآئِمٌ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ نَفۡسِۭ بِمَا كَسَبَتۡۗ وَجَعَلُواْ لِلَّهِ شُرَكَآءَ قُلۡ سَمُّوهُمۡۚ أَمۡ تُنَبِّـُٔونَهُۥ بِمَا لَا يَعۡلَمُ فِي ٱلۡأَرۡضِ أَم بِظَٰهِرٖ مِّنَ ٱلۡقَوۡلِۗ بَلۡ زُيِّنَ لِلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مَكۡرُهُمۡ وَصُدُّواْ عَنِ ٱلسَّبِيلِۗ وَمَن يُضۡلِلِ ٱللَّهُ فَمَا لَهُۥ مِنۡ هَادٖ
c. 6:101; 10:67; 13:17. (close)
1445. Idolaters are called upon to state what are the functions which their gods perform. The word 'name' in the verse does not mean personal name but attributive name, for the personal names of some of the gods have been given in the Qur’an itself (71:24); the words, do name them, may also be an expression of contempt, meaning that the gods of the disbelievers are so worthless that even the mention of their names would put them to shame. (close)
1446. It often happens that when a man commits a fraud or imposture in order to gain worldly advantage, he himself gradually falls a victim to his own imposture which gradually appears attractive to him. (close)
a. 17:98; 39:24, 37. (close)
a. 6:101; 10:67; 13:17. (close)
b. 17:98; 39:24, 37. (close)
The words, Who stands over every soul to note what it earns, contain another reason why God delays punishment. The argument is that as God is keeping close watch over every soul and nothing, however remote and secret, is hidden from His knowledge and He is also All-Powerful, He needs no hurry to punish the disbelievers; for if only punishment were the object, He could bring the offenders to book whenever He liked. The postponement of punishment is not therefore a thing to be scoffed or wondered at. The wonder rather is that disbelievers do not ponder over the fact that they are offenders against God’s Kingdom and yet they do not fear His punishment and desire to hasten it.
The words, they ascribe partners to Allah, mean that if disbelievers pondered over their own beliefs and actions they would readily discover that they were sinning against God by ascribing co-partners to Him and have therefore rightly incurred His displeasure.
The simple words, Say, Name them, embody a mighty argument against shirk. Idolaters are called upon to describe what function their gods perform. The word "name" in the verse does not mean personal name but attributive name, for the personal names of some of the gods have been given in the Quran itself (71:24). The demand that idolaters should name the functions of their gods is such as cannot fail to bring home to them the absurdity of their beliefs. Suppose, for instance, the idolaters say about one of their gods that his function or attribute is that he can or does bestow children. Now the possession of such a power by a god would imply that he has control not only over the birth of children but over numberless other things which have direct or indirect bearing on geniture. Thus, in order to bestow children, the god to whom this attribute is ascribed must have control over diet and medicinal drugs and must have control over even the working of man’s physical system. He must also have knowledge of hidden things so that he may know the genital defects of the parents and also know what medicine will suit the special circumstances of the case. Besides, he must be able to impart the knowledge of hidden things to others. For instance, he must be able to inspire the physician or the patient as to what medicine and what food will remove the defect. In short, until a god possesses an all-comprehensive knowledge and unlimited powers, he will not be able to perform even one single function. On the other hand, if it be supposed that each and every god possesses all the powers required for his special function, then the existence of so many gods would become superfluous, besides being a potential source of discord and disorder; for in that case each one of these gods would be the Supreme Being, a position which is impossible to imagine.
The words, Name them, may also be an expression of contempt, meaning that the gods of the disbelievers are so worthless that even the mention of their names would put them to shame.
The words, Would you inform Him of what He does not know in the earth?, contain yet another powerful argument against shirk. If there had been any other gods, argues the verse, the fact ought to have been made known by God Himself through a Prophet or through angels, or the alleged co-partners of God should themselves have made that announcement, but no such communication or announcement has ever been known to exist. Hence, the verse takes idolaters to task by telling them that by ascribing co-partners to God they presume to inform Him of something of which He Himself has no knowledge.
The expression, or is it a mere empty saying?, means that idolaters say these things only with their tongues and have no real faith in them. The verse asks disbelievers whether they really believe in what they allege. In this way, an appeal has been made to human nature, which often proves a very successful way of bringing home the truth.
It often happens that when a man commits a fraud or imposture in order to procure worldly advantage, he himself gradually falls a prey to his own imposture which, by and by, begins to appear attractive to him. Thus man’s design is made to look fair to him not by God, but by man himself. Some men ascribe divine powers to certain creatures, not because they really believe them to be gods beside Allah, but to impose upon simple-minded people and to cheat them of their possessions. But, as time goes on, their own trick begins to appeal to them, and they become the dupes of their own fraud. This is the significance of the words, Nay, but the design of the disbelievers has been made to appear beautiful in their eyes.
The expression, and they have been kept back from the right way, signifies that when a man severs his connection with God, he becomes involved in shirk, whether hidden or visible. Man cannot remain without a companion. When he leaves God, the inevitable result is that he begins to seek the support of petty things, which gradually gives rise to shirk.
Here the Quran differs from the students of comparative religion. According to the latter, polytheism preceded the belief in one God. According to the Quran the reverse is true, and history supports the Quran. We see that Muslims and Jews were worshippers of one God in the beginning, but afterwards many of them virtually reverted to polytheism and idolatry. The case of Christians is still worse. They were first believers in the Unity of God but took to deifying Jesus afterwards and the whole community became stuck in the quagmire of shirk. Why should we not assume that the same was the case with the peoples of remote antiquity? (close)