قَالَ ہٰذَا صِرَاطٌ عَلَیَّ مُسۡتَقِیۡمٌ ﴿۴۲﴾
قَالَ هَٰذَا صِرَٰطٌ عَلَيَّ مُسۡتَقِيمٌ
The present verse explains the preceding verse in which it is said that Satan would not succeed in seducing God’s chosen servants. It tells us how men can become God’s "chosen servants" spoken of in the preceding verse and thereby become safe from satanic seduction. It lies on God, the verse purports to say, to show to men "His path" by revelation, and when they have seen this path, they proceed straight to God by treading it and Satan can then have no access to them. According to this sense of the verse the words صراط علی rendered in the text as, "a path to Me," would mean صراط بیانه علی i.e. a path the showing of which lies on Me. Indeed the chosen servants of God do not seek to find God’s path by the help of their intellect alone, but invoke His help at every step. He then comes to their aid and, consequently, they become safe against the seduction of Satan. The second meaning of the verse is obtained when the word علی (to Me) is read with the word مستقیم (straight) as rendered in the text. In this case, the verse would mean that the chosen servants of God proceed straight to God, i.e. they have immediate access to Him. They have not to spend their lives in bootless search after God. Their search for Him meets with immediate success and they spend the remainder of their lives in comprehending and realizing His attributes and in traversing the path that leads to that highest stage of spiritual development where they are wholly lost in God and become united with Him. Indeed, it is not possible for Satan to have access to the chosen servants of God because the risk of the holy pilgrim’s being misled by Satan remains only so long as he is in search of God. Once he has found access to Him, he is free from dangers and there remains for him only the gradual realization of God’s infinite attributes, at the end of which lies the stage when he sees God face to face and becomes His manifestation. (close)
اِنَّ عِبَادِیۡ لَیۡسَ لَکَ عَلَیۡہِمۡ سُلۡطٰنٌ اِلَّا مَنِ اتَّبَعَکَ مِنَ الۡغٰوِیۡنَ ﴿۴۳﴾
إِنَّ عِبَادِي لَيۡسَ لَكَ عَلَيۡهِمۡ سُلۡطَٰنٌ إِلَّا مَنِ ٱتَّبَعَكَ مِنَ ٱلۡغَاوِينَ
g. 17:66; 34:22. (close)
h. 7:19; 17:64; 38:86. (close)
1500. The verse seems to suggest that human nature is intrinsically pure. Only those lose the right path who defile their own nature and choose to follow Satan. This idea has been further explained in 91:11. (close)
b. 17:66; 34:22. (close)
c. 7:19; 17:64; 38:86. (close)
1746. Important Words:
سلطان (power) is derived from سلط (saluta) meaning, he or it overcame or prevailed or predominated; or became established in superior power. سلطان among other things, means, might or power; possession of superior power; predominance; absolute dominion or authority; sovereign or ruling power. It also means, proof, evidence or argument (Lane).
This verse mentions another group of people who, too, are protected from the temptations of Satan. They do not belong to the category of Prophets or of those other specially chosen servants of God, referred to in v. 41 who get their guidance directly from God, but they, nevertheless, find out the truth through the help of God’s Elect and His Prophets. With regard to such people the verse purports to say that they enjoy Divine protection to the extent that Satan has no سلطان (sovereign or dominating power) over them, though they are subject to his occasional attacks. There are to be found among them such weak of faith as sometimes choose to follow the suggestions of Satan and, consequently, falter and fall. But this happens only when they have actually become "erring ones," whereas before the actual commission of sin such people also enjoy Divine protection.
Incidentally, the verse also suggests that human nature is intrinsically pure. Only such men lose the right path as themselves defile their nature and choose to follow Satan. This idea has been further explained in the words قد خاب من دساھا which mean that he alone perishes who destroys his own soul and buries it in the dust of sin (91:11). (close)
وَ اِنَّ جَہَنَّمَ لَمَوۡعِدُہُمۡ اَجۡمَعِیۡنَ ﴿۟ۙ۴۴﴾
وَإِنَّ جَهَنَّمَ لَمَوۡعِدُهُمۡ أَجۡمَعِينَ
a. 17:64; 38:86. (close)
a. 17:64; 38:86. (close)
For an explanation of the word جھنم (Hell) see 2:207. (close)
لَہَا سَبۡعَۃُ اَبۡوَابٍ ؕ لِکُلِّ بَابٍ مِّنۡہُمۡ جُزۡءٌ مَّقۡسُوۡمٌ ﴿٪۴۵﴾
لَهَا سَبۡعَةُ أَبۡوَٰبٖ لِّكُلِّ بَابٖ مِّنۡهُمۡ جُزۡءٞ مَّقۡسُومٌ
1501. In Arabic the number "seven," as also "seventy," are often used to express not a specific numeral but the idea either of perfection and completeness or of profusion. The verse signifies that Hell will have the number of gates corresponding to the number and variety of sins committed by the guilty persons. The number "seven" may also refer to the seven exteroceptive senses, viz. the senses of vision, hearing, smell, taste, touch, pain and temperature, by which man receives impressions from the outer world. (close)
As regards the seven gates of Hell, as stated in the present verse, it may be remembered that in Arabic the number seven, as also the number seventy, is often used to express not a specific numeral but the idea either of perfection or completeness or of profusion. In this sense the verse would signify that Hell will have the number of gates corresponding to the number and variety of offences committed by the sinful. The number "seven" may also refer to the seven exteroceptive senses viz. the senses of vision, hearing, smell, taste, touch, pain and temperature, granted to man for receiving impressions from the outer world.
The words جزء مقسوم (a portion allotted to it) signify that each of the inmates of Hell will enter it by the door corresponding to his offence. With regard to Heaven also it is reported in a saying of the Holy Prophet that each of its inmates will enter it by a door corresponding to his specific good deeds (Bukhari, ch. on Fada’il-e-Ashabun-Nabi).
The word جزء (a portion) does not mean, as is clear from this verse, part of one’s body. It only means a section or party of sinners as distinct from others. This explains the meaning of this word in 2:261 where it signifies one bird as distinct from others and not different parts of one bird.
Incidentally, it may be mentioned here that elsewhere the Quran mentions the number of guards placed over Hell as nineteen (74:31). The reason for this might lie in the fact that man has been endowed with nine major senses i.e. the seven exteroceptive senses mentioned above, one proprioceptive sense of position in space and one enteroceptive sense arising from internal organs relating to sensations of hunger, thirst, etc. These, coupled with their nine spiritual counterparts together with the guardian or the controlling sense i.e. the will-power which dominates and controls all these different faculties of human nature, are nineteen in number and hence the nineteen guardians of Hell. This specific mention of the number of the guardian angels of Hell as nineteen forcefully draws attention to the fact that man becomes deserving of Hell on account of his having abused his God-given faculties. (close)
اِنَّ الۡمُتَّقِیۡنَ فِیۡ جَنّٰتٍ وَّ عُیُوۡنٍ ﴿ؕ۴۶﴾
إِنَّ ٱلۡمُتَّقِينَ فِي جَنَّـٰتٖ وَعُيُونٍ
b. 51:16; 52:18; 68:35; 77:42; 78:33. (close)
a. 51:16; 52:18; 68:35; 77:42; 78:32. (close)
The verse means to say that whereas, as stated in the preceding verses, the followers of Satan on account of their rejection of the DivineMessage will be cast into Hell, which means that in the next life a feeling of intense frustration and grief over lost opportunities will eat into their hearts and they will be given the punishment of burning fire, the believers will bask in the sunshine of God’s favour and will be under the shadow of divine gardens, and fountains of divine knowledge will flow from their breasts. (close)
اُدۡخُلُوۡہَا بِسَلٰمٍ اٰمِنِیۡنَ ﴿۴۷﴾
ٱدۡخُلُوهَا بِسَلَٰمٍ ءَامِنِينَ
1502. The words "peace" and "security" signify, respectively, freedom from internal anxieties that eat into the heart of a person and from external pain and punishment. (close)
The words, Enter therein with peace in safety, seem to have been spoken to believers by angels. Just as angels encourage believers with the message of good cheer and divine pleasure in this life (10:65) they will come forward to convey the same message to them in the life to come.
The words "peace" and "security" signify, respectively, freedom from internal anxieties that eat into the heart of a person and from external pain and punishment.
The word سلام (peace) also points to the permanent promise held out to believers, and expressed in the clause سلام قولا من رب الرحیم 'Peace'—a message from your Lord, the Merciful (36:59).
The verse also shows that so long as the greeting of "peace" does not reach a man from God, he can enjoy no security. The verse further implies that in spite of the challenge of Satan that he would mislead believers (v. 40), the latter will not fail to enter the eternal abode of bliss. (close)
وَ نَزَعۡنَا مَا فِیۡ صُدُوۡرِہِمۡ مِّنۡ غِلٍّ اِخۡوَانًا عَلٰی سُرُرٍ مُّتَقٰبِلِیۡنَ ﴿۴۸﴾
وَنَزَعۡنَا مَا فِي صُدُورِهِم مِّنۡ غِلٍّ إِخۡوَٰنًا عَلَىٰ سُرُرٖ مُّتَقَٰبِلِينَ
c. 7:44. (close)
1503. Only those persons can be said to be enjoying a truly heavenly life whose hearts are free from all feelings of rancour and spite against their brethren. (close)
a. 7:44. (close)
Elsewhere the Quran says that there are two Heavens for the righteous (55:47), one in the present life and the other in the next world. Regarding the latter, the verse under comment says that all vestige of rancour and malice will disappear from the hearts of its dwellers. Hence, in the present life also, only those can be said to be enjoying a truly heavenly life whose hearts are free from all feelings of rancour and spite against their brethren. The words, seated on thrones facing one another, are also intended to point to the state of loving equality existing among the Faithful.
The word سرر (thrones) has been repeatedly used in the Quran with regard to the dwellers of Paradise (37:45; 52:21; 56:16; 88:14). This is to hint that every dweller of Heaven will enjoy perfect freedom and independence, like a monarch on his throne. He will obey only God, obedience to Whom brings glory and power to man and bestows real freedom on him and he will not be subject to the orders of any other. In 16:32, we are told that the dwellers of Heaven will have what they shall wish for (see also 25:17, 39:35, & 42:23) which means that every inmate of Heaven will be supreme in his own respective sphere. This is the same as is hinted at in the words, seated on thrones. (close)
لَا یَمَسُّہُمۡ فِیۡہَا نَصَبٌ وَّ مَا ہُمۡ مِّنۡہَا بِمُخۡرَجِیۡنَ ﴿۴۹﴾
لَا يَمَسُّهُمۡ فِيهَا نَصَبٞ وَمَا هُم مِّنۡهَا بِمُخۡرَجِينَ
d. 35:36. (close)
1504. The verse implies that Heaven will be a place of constant and continuous work. In spite of this, however, believers will feel none of the fatigue which is the inevitable result of hard work, and there will also be no waste or decay which are the result of fatigue. (close)
e. 11:109; 18:109. (close)
b. 35:36. (close)
c. 11:109; 18:109. (close)
The words, Fatigue shall not touch them there, embody the indirect hint that Heaven shall be a place of constant and continuous work. In spite of this, however, believers will feel none of the fatigue which is the inevitable result of work in this world, and so in Heaven there will also be no waste or decay, which are the inevitable result of fatigue.
The Quran repudiates the popular idea that in Heaven believers will have no work to do. On the contrary, it says that believers will be constantly engaged in work tending to the glorification of God. They will be there servants of God par excellence and a true servant does not sit idle but is constantly engaged in the service of his Master. Only the struggle against one’s evil passions will cease in Heaven, for the obvious reason that there shall be no evil passions there (52:24), and one will continuously enjoy the work he is engaged in. Heaven will certainly not be like a poor-house in which there will be no work and where they will get their food gratuitously. According to the Quranic conception, Heaven is a place of constant work and worship and not an idlers’ paradise.
For the words, nor shall they be ejected therefrom, see under 11:109. (close)
نَبِّیٴۡ عِبَادِیۡۤ اَنِّیۡۤ اَنَا الۡغَفُوۡرُ الرَّحِیۡمُ ﴿ۙ۵۰﴾
۞نَبِّئۡ عِبَادِيٓ أَنِّيٓ أَنَا ٱلۡغَفُورُ ٱلرَّحِيمُ
a. 5:99. (close)
a. 5:99. (close)
In the previous verses two classes of men were mentioned: firstly, those who had incurred the displeasure of God by their evil deeds and thus had made themselves deserving of punishment; secondly, the righteous who had attained salvation. The verse under comment is addressed to both these classes of men under the common appellation of "My servants" which contains a message of hope and good cheer for both of them. To sinners the verse says that they should not despair of God’s mercy because, being الغفور (Most Forgiving), He can forgive all their sins, no matter how serious and numerous they may be. And the righteous are told that they should not become content with the good works they have already done, but should continue to excel in such deeds for, God being الرحیم (Merciful), the more they advance in virtue the greater measure of mercy will they receive at His hands in the form of an increased reward of their deeds. For the full meaning of the Divine attribute الرحیم (Merciful) see 1:1. (close)
وَ اَنَّ عَذَابِیۡ ہُوَ الۡعَذَابُ الۡاَلِیۡمُ ﴿۵۱﴾
وَأَنَّ عَذَابِي هُوَ ٱلۡعَذَابُ ٱلۡأَلِيمُ
b. 5:99. (close)
b. 5:99. (close)
Punishment inflicted by anyone beside God hardly deserves to be called punishment in the true sense of the word, for such a punishment is not only transitory, but there is also always a means of escape from it. But from God’s punishment there is no refuge or escape. This is why the Holy Prophet taught his followers the beautiful prayer: لاملجا و لامنجا منك الا الیك i.e. there is no refuge against Thee, nor is there any place of escape from Thee except in Thyself (Bukhari). (close)