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)
لَہُمۡ عَذَابٌ فِی الۡحَیٰوۃِ الدُّنۡیَا وَ لَعَذَابُ الۡاٰخِرَۃِ اَشَقُّ ۚ وَ مَا لَہُمۡ مِّنَ اللّٰہِ مِنۡ وَّاقٍ ﴿۳۵﴾
لَّهُمۡ عَذَابٞ فِي ٱلۡحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنۡيَاۖ وَلَعَذَابُ ٱلۡأٓخِرَةِ أَشَقُّۖ وَمَا لَهُم مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ مِن وَاقٖ
b. 39:27; 68:34. (close)
a. 39:27; 68:34. (close)
مَثَلُ الۡجَنَّۃِ الَّتِیۡ وُعِدَ الۡمُتَّقُوۡنَ ؕ تَجۡرِیۡ مِنۡ تَحۡتِہَا الۡاَنۡہٰرُ ؕ اُکُلُہَا دَآئِمٌ وَّ ظِلُّہَا ؕ تِلۡکَ عُقۡبَی الَّذِیۡنَ اتَّقَوۡا ٭ۖ وَّ عُقۡبَی الۡکٰفِرِیۡنَ النَّارُ ﴿۳۶﴾
۞مَّثَلُ ٱلۡجَنَّةِ ٱلَّتِي وُعِدَ ٱلۡمُتَّقُونَۖ تَجۡرِي مِن تَحۡتِهَا ٱلۡأَنۡهَٰرُۖ أُكُلُهَا دَآئِمٞ وَظِلُّهَاۚ تِلۡكَ عُقۡبَى ٱلَّذِينَ ٱتَّقَواْۚ وَّعُقۡبَى ٱلۡكَٰفِرِينَ ٱلنَّارُ
c. 2:26; 4:58; 47:16. (close)
1447. The words, its fruit is everlasting, signify that the fruits of Heaven will see no autumn, no season of decay, nor even of dormancy. Thus, there will be no interruption in the boons and blessings of Paradise. "Fruit" and "shade" stand respectively for inward and outward blessings, and imply that believers will enjoy all kinds of blessings in Heaven, both external and internal. (close)
b. 2:26; 4:58; 47:16. (close)
The idea underlying the word جنة generally rendered as Heaven but literally meaning garden, is not that of a land covered with trees, but of the trees themselves that give shade and cover the land. Thus the sentence تجری من تحت الانھار (through it flow streams) means that streams will flow under the trees of the gardens. This is intended to point not only to the proximity of water but also to the fact that the inmates of Heaven will be the owners and masters of the streams referred to. The word نھر (stream) properly signifies "water running with ease and unrestrictedly," which points to the unhampered and unimpeded progress of believers in Heaven. The word نھر (stream) also symbolizes the vastness of the works of believers, for it is only to water vast areas and not a few acres of land that streams or canals are constructed. Thus the word نھر (stream) implies the fact that the works of believers are and should be wide in their range and the scope of their vision unrestricted. It should be remembered that in the description of Paradise, trees stand for believers’ faith while streams symbolize their works. Just as trees without water become withered and dry, similarly, faith unaccompanied by good works is a dead formality.
The plural form انھار (streams) has been used in order to point to the fact that believers’ good works are of diverse kinds and versatile nature. This is why they will take the form of not one stream but of many. There will be a particular channel of running water representing a corresponding good work of man, reminding the inmates of Heaven that the different streams of Heaven represent their own many good works.
The words, its fruit is everlasting and so is its shade, signify that the fruits of Heaven will see no autumn, no season of decay, nor even of dormancy. Thus there will be no interruption in the boons and blessings of Paradise. "Fruit" and "shade" stand respectively for inward and outward blessings and imply that believers will enjoy all kinds of blessings in Heaven, both external and internal.
The words, the reward of the disbelievers is Fire, mean that as disbelievers paid no heed to their spiritual or moral welfare and only copied and imitated others and lived, as it were, not for themselves but for others, so they will have fire for their reward, which benefits others but burns itself. (close)
وَ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰتَیۡنٰہُمُ الۡکِتٰبَ یَفۡرَحُوۡنَ بِمَاۤ اُنۡزِلَ اِلَیۡکَ وَ مِنَ الۡاَحۡزَابِ مَنۡ یُّنۡکِرُ بَعۡضَہٗ ؕ قُلۡ اِنَّمَاۤ اُمِرۡتُ اَنۡ اَعۡبُدَ اللّٰہَ وَ لَاۤ اُشۡرِکَ بِہٖ ؕ اِلَیۡہِ اَدۡعُوۡا وَ اِلَیۡہِ مَاٰبِ ﴿۳۷﴾
وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَاتَيۡنَٰهُمُ ٱلۡكِتَٰبَ يَفۡرَحُونَ بِمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيۡكَۖ وَمِنَ ٱلۡأَحۡزَابِ مَن يُنكِرُ بَعۡضَهُۥۚ قُلۡ إِنَّمَآ أُمِرۡتُ أَنۡ أَعۡبُدَ ٱللَّهَ وَلَآ أُشۡرِكَ بِهِۦٓۚ إِلَيۡهِ أَدۡعُواْ وَإِلَيۡهِ مَـَٔابِ
d. 28:53. (close)
e. 2:86. (close)
1448. By the word, Ahzab (parties), is meant all those people to whom a Prophet is sent and who do not accept him. (close)
f. 18:111; 39:12; 72:21. (close)
a. 28:53. (close)
b. 2:86. (close)
c. 18:111; 39:12; 72:21. (close)
This verse shows that some of the "People of the Book" had accepted Islam while the Holy Prophet was yet in Mecca. The words, rejoice in what has been revealed to thee, most probably refer to Negus, the Abyssinian King and some of his people who, in their hearts, had become Muslims. But as their faith had not yet become publicly known, the words used about them are not "they believe" but simply "they rejoice."
The words, to whom We have given the Book, may also refer to Muslims, who naturally rejoiced to hear the glad tidings of their final triumph.
By the word احزاب (parties) is meant all those people to whom a Prophet is sent and who do not accept him. In the verse under comment the people referred to are the Jews, Christians and all other disbelievers, as the Holy Prophet has been sent to all the nations of the earth.
The words, a part thereof, have been used because disbelievers denied or disapproved of only those parts of the Quran which disagreed with their own Scriptures or their own beliefs. With regard to the remaining parts, they had no disagreement with them. (close)
وَ کَذٰلِکَ اَنۡزَلۡنٰہُ حُکۡمًا عَرَبِیًّا ؕ وَ لَئِنِ اتَّبَعۡتَ اَہۡوَآءَہُمۡ بَعۡدَ مَا جَآءَکَ مِنَ الۡعِلۡمِ ۙ مَا لَکَ مِنَ اللّٰہِ مِنۡ وَّلِیٍّ وَّ لَا وَاقٍ ﴿٪۳۸﴾
وَكَذَٰلِكَ أَنزَلۡنَٰهُ حُكۡمًا عَرَبِيّٗاۚ وَلَئِنِ ٱتَّبَعۡتَ أَهۡوَآءَهُم بَعۡدَ مَا جَآءَكَ مِنَ ٱلۡعِلۡمِ مَا لَكَ مِنَ ٱللَّهِ مِن وَلِيّٖ وَلَا وَاقٖ
a. 12:3; 20:114; 43:4. (close)
b. 2:121, 146; 42:16. (close)
d. 12:3; 20:114; 43:4. (close)
e. 2:121,146; 42:16. (close)
1648. Important Words:
عربیا (clear). See 12:3.
That the Quran has been revealed in the Arabic tongue is not the idea that is meant to be expressed in this verse, for that language is spoken by the Arabs. The real idea lies in the deeper significance of the word عربیا viz. the Quran has been invested with a vastness of meaning which is beyond human power.
The words, if thou follow their evil desires, after the knowledge that has come to thee, thou shalt have no friend nor defender against Allah, may be taken as addressed either to the reader or to the Holy Prophet. In the latter case, the verse would be taken as expressing the Majesty and Independence of God. The Prophet was only a flute through which the sweet and majestic voice of God was being sounded. Away from the mouth of God it becomes silent and is no better than a piece of wood. (close)
وَ لَقَدۡ اَرۡسَلۡنَا رُسُلًا مِّنۡ قَبۡلِکَ وَ جَعَلۡنَا لَہُمۡ اَزۡوَاجًا وَّ ذُرِّیَّۃً ؕ وَ مَا کَانَ لِرَسُوۡلٍ اَنۡ یَّاۡتِیَ بِاٰیَۃٍ اِلَّا بِاِذۡنِ اللّٰہِ ؕ لِکُلِّ اَجَلٍ کِتَابٌ ﴿۳۹﴾
وَلَقَدۡ أَرۡسَلۡنَا رُسُلٗا مِّن قَبۡلِكَ وَجَعَلۡنَا لَهُمۡ أَزۡوَٰجٗا وَذُرِّيَّةٗۚ وَمَا كَانَ لِرَسُولٍ أَن يَأۡتِيَ بِـَٔايَةٍ إِلَّا بِإِذۡنِ ٱللَّهِۗ لِكُلِّ أَجَلٖ كِتَابٞ
c. 14:12; 40:79. (close)
a. 14:12; 40:79. (close)
Disbelievers objected that the Holy Prophet had come without any worldly resources. The verse under comment replies to this objection by stating that earlier Prophets were also without any worldly resources. They, like him, had their physical needs and requirements. They, too, had wives and children whom they had to support and look after and had their duties to perform. Yet in spite of all the impediments and obstacles in their way and in spite of their physical needs and requirements and of the absence of material resources, they succeeded and triumphed. So shall the Holy Prophet.
The verse also makes it clear that signs of punishment are certainly shown to disbelievers but not at the time and in the form in which they demand them. The form and time of signs are determined by God alone, for they are shown only "by the command of Allah."
It may be asked here what, if God raised Messengers for the reformation of man, prevented Him from delegating to these Messengers the power of punishment, particularly when He knew that Signs would be demanded of them by their opponents and also when even earthly governments invest their officials with certain magisterial powers? Again, if God had invested His Prophets with the power to punish the people, it would have at least this advantage that the people would have feared and respected them and dared not oppose them. The Quran answers this question in the words, For every term there is a divine decree, which means that, as it is God Who determines the nature and form of each punishment and the time of its occurrence and He alone, being All-Knowing, knows in what form and at what time the sending down of a certain punishment will prove beneficial to the people, the power of punishing cannot be delegated to any other person. For if that delegation can at all be fair and useful, it must be accompanied by the delegation of many other divine powers, which is simply unthinkable. The infliction of punishment, therefore, could not be entrusted to the Prophets or to anybody else. (close)
یَمۡحُوا اللّٰہُ مَا یَشَآءُ وَ یُثۡبِتُ ۚۖ وَ عِنۡدَہٗۤ اُمُّ الۡکِتٰبِ ﴿۴۰﴾
يَمۡحُواْ ٱللَّهُ مَا يَشَآءُ وَيُثۡبِتُۖ وَعِندَهُۥٓ أُمُّ ٱلۡكِتَٰبِ
d. 42:25. (close)
1449. The verse lays down two laws relating to Divine punishment: (a) God either cancels the punishment wholly or partially; or (b) He lets it stand as decreed. (close)
e. 43:5. (close)
1450. (a) God alone knows the root cause of all commandments or the wisdom underlying them. (b) All the commandments of the Shari‘ah are based on Divine attributes, so the source of the Law lies with God; Umm means, source, basis, origin; stay or support (Lane). (close)
a. 42:25. (close)
b. 13:40. (close)
The verse lays down two laws relating to punishment: (a) God either cancels the punishment partially or wholly; or (b) He lets it stand, as decreed. So punishment never comes unless it is fully deserved, nor is it ever in excess of the offence. It may, however, be less than what it should be or it may be altogether remitted. This dual law is invariably observed in all heavenly punishments.
The words, with Him is the source of all commandments, mean: (a) God alone knows the root cause of all commandments or the wisdom underlying them, so it is by His guidance alone that the right way may be known. (b) All the commandments of Shari‘ah are based on Divine attributes, so the source of the law lies with God. The latter meaning makes it clear that moral and spiritual perfection is impossible of attainment unless one imitates and imbibes Divine attributes and conforms his conduct to them. Indeed, it is extremely difficult to define good or bad morals by human standards or in the light of human actions. Virtue is nothing but imitation of Divine attributes, and vice its antithesis. This definition is calculated to solve all those difficulties which philosophers of Ethics have to face in defining "virtue" and "vice" or good and bad morals. (c) That God alone knows the purpose of Divine commandments, therefore the punishment for their violation should also lie in His hands. He alone knows who should be punished and who not; for an opponent today may become a staunch supporter tomorrow. (close)
وَ اِنۡ مَّا نُرِیَنَّکَ بَعۡضَ الَّذِیۡ نَعِدُہُمۡ اَوۡ نَتَوَفَّیَنَّکَ فَاِنَّمَا عَلَیۡکَ الۡبَلٰغُ وَ عَلَیۡنَا الۡحِسَابُ ﴿۴۱﴾
وَإِن مَّا نُرِيَنَّكَ بَعۡضَ ٱلَّذِي نَعِدُهُمۡ أَوۡ نَتَوَفَّيَنَّكَ فَإِنَّمَا عَلَيۡكَ ٱلۡبَلَٰغُ وَعَلَيۡنَا ٱلۡحِسَابُ
f. 10:47; 40:78. (close)
g. 3:21; 5:93; 16:83. (close)
a. 10:47; 40:78. (close)
b. 21:45. (close)
The verse purports to say that when the object of signs of punishment is the reformation and reclamation of the people, the postponement or cancellation of some of them cannot reasonably be criticized. The real object of the advent of the Prophets is to deliver the Divine Message to men, and the fulfilment or postponement or revocation of a prophecy is only a secondary thing, being subordinate to this supreme purpose. It should, therefore, occasion no surprise if, in harmony with the fulfilment of this purpose and of the Divine decree, a prophecy is cancelled or revoked, particularly when all people have to appear before God on the Day of Reckoning when the whole truth will come to light. This verse is important inasmuch as it lays down a fundamental divine principle about signs of punishment. To think that as signs of punishment proceed from God they must always happen as foretold is simply absurd and, besides clashing with the Divine attribute of mercy, belies the very purpose for which Prophets of God are raised. (close)