وَ لَقَدۡ کَذَّبَ اَصۡحٰبُ الۡحِجۡرِ الۡمُرۡسَلِیۡنَ ﴿ۙ۸۱﴾
وَلَقَدۡ كَذَّبَ أَصۡحَٰبُ ٱلۡحِجۡرِ ٱلۡمُرۡسَلِينَ
1518. Hijr lay between Tabuk and Medina. Here lived the tribe of Thamud to whom Salih was sent as a Warner. The city appears to have been largely built of stones and was surrounded by a stone wall and ramparts. Hence this name. (close)
1784. Important Words:
اصحاب الحجر (People of the Hijr). حجر is derived from حجر (hajara) which means, he prevented or hindered or interdicted. See also 2:75. حجر (Hijr) means, forbidden, unlawful, inviolable or sacred; garden or walled garden of palm-trees prohibited to the public; a fortress; a wall of stones built round a house; the place round which such a wall is made; relationship that prohibits marriage; understanding or intelligence, because it forbids that which it does not behove one to do; bosom or breast; figuratively also protection. The word also means, the country or land of Thamud (Lane, Aqrab & Mufradat).
Hijr lay between Tabuk and Medina. Here lived the people of Thamud to whom Salih was sent as a Warner. The city of this tribe appears to have been largely built of stones. It was surrounded by a stone wall and ramparts. Hence this name.
It is worthy of note that though only one Prophet, Salih appears to have been sent to these people, in the verse under comment they are condemned as having rejected the Messengers of God. The same expression has been used in 26:106, 124, 142, 161 & 177 where the tribes mentioned are said to have rejected all Prophets, while as a matter of fact each one of these different tribes rejected only a particular Prophet who was sent to them. This shows that in the sight of God the rejection of one Prophet means the rejection of all because, first, the basic teachings of all Divine Messengers are the same and so the rejection of one Prophet implies the rejection of all others, and, secondly, the rejection of a Prophet implies rejection of God, Who is the Sender of all Prophets. This is why Jesus warned the Jews that by rejecting him they were rejecting Moses; for if they had really believed in Moses, they should not have hesitated to accept him (John 5:46). This is true of all Prophets and Messengers of God. He who rejects the Prophet of his own day shows by his act of rejection, that if he had lived in the time of any other Prophet, he would have rejected him also. Hence it is that the rejection of one Prophet, according to the Quran, is tantamount to the rejection of all Prophets and the acceptance of one is tantamount to the acceptance of all of them. See also 2:137, 286; 3:85 & 4:153.
The next few verses of the present Surah and some opening verses of the following Surah embody mighty prophecies and deal with subjects of very great import. (close)
وَ اٰتَیۡنٰہُمۡ اٰیٰتِنَا فَکَانُوۡا عَنۡہَا مُعۡرِضِیۡنَ ﴿ۙ۸۲﴾
وَءَاتَيۡنَٰهُمۡ ءَايَٰتِنَا فَكَانُواْ عَنۡهَا مُعۡرِضِينَ
1519. In the foregoing verses three different peoples have been mentioned—(a) the people of Lot; (b) the people of Shu‘aib and (c) the people of Salih. They have not been mentioned in their chronological order but in the order of the distance of their towns from Mecca. The town of the people of Lot was the most distant of the three. Next in order of distance lived the people of Aikah. Hijr being situated between Tabuk and Medina, the tribe of Thamud were the nearest of the three and it has consequently been mentioned last of all. This unusual order has been adopted in preference to the more natural one with a view to making the statement effective from the point of view of the persons addressed, the tribe that was least known to the Arabs being mentioned first and the tribe which the Arabs knew most being mentioned last. (close)
In the foregoing verses three different peoples have been mentioned: (1) the people of Lot; (2) the people of Shu‘aib; and (3) the people of Salih. The order in which they have been mentioned is noteworthy. They have not been mentioned in their chronological order but in the order of the distance of their habitations from Mecca. The land of the people of Lot was the most distant of the three places and so it has been mentioned first. Next in order of distance were the people of Aikah, and they have been put next. Hijr being situated between Tabuk and Medina, the tribe of Thamud were the nearest of the three and it has consequently been mentioned last of all. In the order of time the people of Hijr preceded the people of Lot and the people of Aikah came last. This unusual order has been adopted in preference to the more natural one with a view to producing the greatest psychological effect, the tribe that was least known to the Arabs being mentioned first and the tribe which the Arabs knew best being mentioned last.
It may also be incidentally mentioned here that in this Surah mention has been made of those peoples in whom the art of writing was not much in vogue, and who were regarded by the Arabs as their ancestors. Adam is, of course, the common progenitor of mankind. Lot was a near relative of Abraham and as such, was among the ancestors of the Arabs. The tribe of Shu‘aib were cousins of the Ishmaelites, and became ultimately absorbed by them. The tribe of Thamud were a pure Arab tribe. (close)
وَ کَانُوۡا یَنۡحِتُوۡنَ مِنَ الۡجِبَالِ بُیُوۡتًا اٰمِنِیۡنَ ﴿۸۳﴾
وَكَانُواْ يَنۡحِتُونَ مِنَ ٱلۡجِبَالِ بُيُوتًا ءَامِنِينَ
a. 7:75; 26:150. (close)
1520. This verse shows that the Thamud were a civilized, powerful and rich people. They had separate summer and winter resorts and led secure and comfortable lives. Even when they went to the hills in summer for recreation and change of climate and left their winter habitations, they felt free from attacks from any quarter. The verse also hints at the highly developed state of their architecture. (close)
a. 7:75; 26:150. (close)
1786. Important Words:
کانوا ینحتون (they used to hew out). نحت means, he cut or hewed; or he formed or fashioned by cutting or paring or clipping. The Arabs say نحت علی الکرم (in the passive voice) i.e. he was fashioned after the model of generosity, viz. he was generous by nature (Lane).
بیوتا (houses) is the plural of بیت which is derived from بات i.e. he passed the night. بیت means, a chamber; a house or dwelling; a tent. It also means, a verse (Lane).
This verse shows that the tribe of Thamud were a civilized, powerful and rich people. They had separate summer and winter resorts and led secure and comfortable lives. Even when they went to the hills in summer for recreation and change of climate, and left their winter habitations, they felt free from attacks from any quarter. The words, they used to hew out houses in the mountains, are also intended to hint at the highly developed state of their architecture. (close)
فَاَخَذَتۡہُمُ الصَّیۡحَۃُ مُصۡبِحِیۡنَ ﴿ۙ۸۴﴾
فَأَخَذَتۡهُمُ ٱلصَّيۡحَةُ مُصۡبِحِينَ
b. 7:79; 11:68. (close)
1521. It appears from 7:79 that the calamity referred to in this verse was an earthquake. (close)
b. 7:79; 11:68. (close)
It appears from 7:79 that the calamity referred to in this verse was an earthquake. (close)
فَمَاۤ اَغۡنٰی عَنۡہُمۡ مَّا کَانُوۡا یَکۡسِبُوۡنَ ﴿ؕ۸۵﴾
فَمَآ أَغۡنَىٰ عَنۡهُم مَّا كَانُواْ يَكۡسِبُونَ
The verse means to say that though the people of Salih built big houses and huge buildings and felt themselves secure, yet actually these very buildings proved the means of their destruction, for the Divine punishment came upon them in the form of an earthquake, and so the hugeness of their buildings added to the severity of their calamity. The verse thus implies a strong warning for the enemies of the Holy Prophet to the effect that they should not rely on their wealth and possessions as a means of protection against the wrath of God, because when Divine punishment comes, material means and resources, instead of being a protection, actually prove the ruin of those who possess them. (close)
وَ مَا خَلَقۡنَا السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضَ وَ مَا بَیۡنَہُمَاۤ اِلَّا بِالۡحَقِّ ؕ وَ اِنَّ السَّاعَۃَ لَاٰتِیَۃٌ فَاصۡفَحِ الصَّفۡحَ الۡجَمِیۡلَ ﴿۸۶﴾
وَمَا خَلَقۡنَا ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضَ وَمَا بَيۡنَهُمَآ إِلَّا بِٱلۡحَقِّۗ وَإِنَّ ٱلسَّاعَةَ لَأٓتِيَةٞۖ فَٱصۡفَحِ ٱلصَّفۡحَ ٱلۡجَمِيلَ
c. 3:192; 16:4; 38:28. (close)
1521A. The creation of the universe and the wonderful design and order that pervade it surely lead to the one inescapable inference that human life is not limited to the temporary and short existence on this earth, and that a great purpose underlies it and man has not been created just to eat, drink and be merry for a while and then die an eternal death. (close)
d. 20:16; 40:60. (close)
a. 3:192; 16:4; 38:28. (close)
b. 20:16; 40:60. (close)
1789. Important Words:
فاصفح (So turn away) is derived from صفح (safaha). صفح عنه means, he turned away from and left him. This expression also means, he turned away from his sins or faults i.e. he forgave him. صفح الناس means, he watched and looked into the affairs and conditions of the people. صفح (safhun) is the infinitive noun from it, meaning also the side of a thing. (Lane & Aqrab).
The word ساعة (Hour) is used to signify both the post-mortal Day of Judgement and the time fixed in this life for the punishment of the enemies of truth and the triumph of believers. The verse means to say that a careful study of the creation or the universe and its working leads to the conclusion that a great purpose underlies it. It not only proves that there is inevitably going to be a day of ultimate reckoning after death, but that even in this world truth ultimately triumphs and falsehood comes to grief. If human life were really confined to a short and temporary existence on this earth, then the vast organization of the illimitable universe would be much too extravagant a provision. The creation of the universe and the wonderful design and purpose that pervades it surely leads to the one inescapable inference that human life is much more than the limited, temporary and short existence on this earth. It is an insult to human intelligence to think that man has been created just to eat, drink and be merry for a while and then die an eternal death. The wonderful creation of the universe strongly repudiates such an idea. Human existence has a grand purpose to fulfil and the fulfilment of that purpose presupposes that it should extend to a time when man should attain to that high spiritual state for which he is created. Study of the human mechanism shows that machinery of such infinite complexity could not have for its object only the preservation of the finite physical life.
Similarly, a study of the creation of this universe and its mighty and wonderful working leads to the conclusion that in this life truth must ultimately prevail against untruth. The verse points out that just as it is impossible for the earth to subsist for one single day without the physical heavens, similarly, there could be no spiritual life divorced from the heaven of spiritual truths. Just as the earth can discharge its proper functions only so long as it forms a part of the whole universe, even so can man save himself from destruction only by forming a part of the spiritual system around him. The verse, therefore, purports to warn opponents of the Holy Prophet that, as they have cut themselves off from the heaven of spiritual truths, their wealth and possessions would not avail them in the least and the time has now come for their destruction and for the success and prosperity of those who have believed.
It may be noted here that the verse emphatically speaks of the impending destruction of disbelievers. History bears witness to the fact that after the promulgation of this prophecy, the condition of the Meccan idolaters changed quickly from bad to worse until their power was completely broken and Islam reigned supreme in the land.
It may further be noted that the verse under comment lends support to the view that this Surah was revealed towards the close of the Meccan period. At any rate the present verses must have belonged to that period, because they clearly speak of the imminent destruction of the Meccans. The first few verses of the next Surah also deal with the same topic.
The words, So turn away from them in a comely manner, signify that now when the time of the punishment of the Meccans has come, the Holy Prophet should cease to hold religious discussions with them. (close)
اِنَّ رَبَّکَ ہُوَ الۡخَلّٰقُ الۡعَلِیۡمُ ﴿۸۷﴾
إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ ٱلۡخَلَّـٰقُ ٱلۡعَلِيمُ
The preceding verse spoke of the imminent destruction of disbelievers and the present verse says that God never hesitates to destroy the wicked because, being the Great Creator, He can easily bring into existence a better people after the destruction of their predecessors. This is the implication of the Divine attribute خلاق (the Great Creator) used in the intensified form.
The attribute علیم (All-Knowing) points to the fact that God is well aware of the new order which will shortly replace the old. It will be a much better order and at its advent no one will regret the old order. It may be noted how in this one brief word علیم (All-Knowing), the Quran has condensed so much meaning. The word hints at the excellence of the new social and political order to be introduced by Islam.
It may further be noted that among the first few verses of this Surah the Holy Prophet was told to leave the disbelievers alone, victims to vain hopes, to eat and enjoy themselves for a while (v. 4). The verse under comment says that the time of their promised respite had now come to an end.
The Divine attributes "Great Creator" and "All-Knowing" also furnish an answer to those who wondered whence were to arise the circumstances and conditions which would ensure final victory for Islam. The answer is that God, being the Great Creator and All-Knowing, will not fail to bring about circumstances and conditions necessary for such a victory when the proper time for it arrived. (close)
وَ لَقَدۡ اٰتَیۡنٰکَ سَبۡعًا مِّنَ الۡمَثَانِیۡ وَ الۡقُرۡاٰنَ الۡعَظِیۡمَ ﴿۸۸﴾
وَلَقَدۡ ءَاتَيۡنَٰكَ سَبۡعٗا مِّنَ ٱلۡمَثَانِي وَٱلۡقُرۡءَانَ ٱلۡعَظِيمَ
a. 39:24. (close)
1522. According to such eminent authorities as ‘Umar, ‘Ali, Ibn-e-‘Abbas and Ibn-e-Mas‘ud, these words refer to the Opening Chapter of the Qur’an, i.e. Al-Fatihah, because it is repeated and recited in every Rak‘at of the Prayer. The Holy Prophet is reported to have said that As-Sab‘ul-Mathani is the Opening Chapter of the Qur’an (Bukhari). This Chapter is also called 'Mother of the Qur’an' (Ummul-Qur’an) and 'the Opening Chapter of the Book' (Fatihatul-Kitab). According to Zajjaj and Abu Hayyan, the Opening Chapter is given this name because it contains the praises of God. The rest of the Qur’an which follows the Opening Chapter has been called 'the Great Qur’an' (Al-Qur’anul-‘Azim). This name, however, equally applies to the First Chapter also inasmuch as a portion of the Book may rightly be called the Book itself There is a saying of the Holy Prophet to the effect that the Opening Chapter of the Qur’an is also 'the Great Qur’an' (Musnad v. 2, p. 448). In fact, this Chapter constitutes an abridgement of the whole of the Qur’an or, as it is said, it is the Qur’an in miniature; the Book as a whole having been summarised and epitomised in it. Mathani being also the plural of Mathna, which means praise, the verse would mean that Surah Al-Fatihah gives a comprehensive description of Divine attributes. Mathani also meaning a bend of the valley, the verse would mean that Al-Fatihah fully explains the relationship of God to man. (close)
a. 39:24. (close)
1791. Important Words:
المثانی (the oft-repeated) is the plural of مثنی (mathnan) or مثناة (mathnatun) which is derived from ثنی. They say ثناہ i.e. he doubled it or folded it or bent it. اثنی علیه means, he praised, eulogized or spoke well of him. ثنی (thinan) means, the repetition of a thing; doing it one time after another. The Holy Prophet is reported to have said لا ثنی فی الصدقة i.e. There shall be no repetition in the taking of poor-rate, viz. it shall not be taken twice in the same year. مثنی (mathna) means, two and two or two and two together. مثنی الایادی means, the repeating of a benefit or benefaction; or conferring it twice or thrice. المثانیsignifies the first chapter of the Quran called the فاتحة because it is repeated in every rak‘at of Prayer or because it contains praise of God. It also signifies the Quran altogether. المثانی also means, the verses of the Quran. مثانی الوادی means, the bends of the valley. مثانی الشیء means, the powers and capacities of a thing (Lane & Aqrab).
According to many eminent authorities such as ‘Umar, ‘Ali, Ibn ‘Abbas and Ibn Mas‘ud, the words سبع من المثانی signify the opening chapter of the Quran, the فاتحة, because it is repeated and recited in every rak‘at of Prayer. The Holy Prophet is reported to have said that السبع المثانی is the opening chapter of the Quran. This chapter is also called ام القرآن (Mother of the Quran) and فاتحة الکتاب (the Opening of the Book). According to Zajjaj and Abu Hayyan, the opening chapter is called السبع المثانی because it contains the praises of God.
The remaining portion of the Quran which follows the opening chapter has been called القرآن العظیم i.e. the Great Quran. The name however, equally applies to the first chapter itself inasmuch as a portion of the Book may rightly be called the Book itself. In fact, there is a saying of the Holy Prophet to the effect that the opening chapter of the Quran is also القرآن العظیم i.e. the Great Quran (Musnad v. 2, p. 448). The first chapter, in fact, constitutes an abridgment of the whole Quran. It may be called the Quran in miniature, all the contents of the Holy Book having been summarized and epitomized in it, while the remainder deals with the same subjects in detail. That the first chapter of the Quran comprises in itself vast subjects was, for the first time, explained and demonstrated by Ahmad, the Promised Messiah. Never had any commentator laid such stress on this subject as did Ahmad, and never before did any theologian elucidate this subject with such clarity.
In the preceding verses it was said that as the truth had been brought home to the Meccans, the Prophet should now turn his attention away from them and leave them to the judgement of God. In the present verse he is told that after having withdrawn himself from them he should now apply himself more and more to the exposition of the teachings of the Quran to the Muslims so that when the hour of their success arrived they might be ready to introduce in the world the new order promulgated by the Holy Book. (close)
لَا تَمُدَّنَّ عَیۡنَیۡکَ اِلٰی مَا مَتَّعۡنَا بِہٖۤ اَزۡوَاجًا مِّنۡہُمۡ وَ لَا تَحۡزَنۡ عَلَیۡہِمۡ وَ اخۡفِضۡ جَنَاحَکَ لِلۡمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ ﴿۸۹﴾
لَا تَمُدَّنَّ عَيۡنَيۡكَ إِلَىٰ مَا مَتَّعۡنَا بِهِۦٓ أَزۡوَٰجٗا مِّنۡهُمۡ وَلَا تَحۡزَنۡ عَلَيۡهِمۡ وَٱخۡفِضۡ جَنَاحَكَ لِلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ
b. 20:132. (close)
1523. The real significance of the verse is that the Holy Prophet has been told not to grieve over the fact that disbelievers were about to be punished and all their riches, prosperity and glory of which they are so proud would be of no avail to them. (close)
a. 20:132. (close)
1792. Important Words:
تمدن (stretch) is derived from مد which means, he strained, extended or stretched a thing. مدنظرہ الیه means, he stretched his eyes towards it (Aqrab).
ازواجا (some classes) is the plural of زوج which means, any sort of thing; sort or species i.e. class; one of a pair or couple of things; a thing having with it a thing of the same kind; a woman’s husband or a man’s wife (Lane & Aqrab).
The words, Stretch not thine eyes towards that what We have bestowed on some classes of them, do not mean that the Holy Prophet is here bidden not to covet the worldly possession of disbelievers, for such an interpretation is not only inconsistent with his dignity and nobility of character but also is in conflict with the clauses that immediately follow, viz.and grieve not over them and lower thy wing of mercy for the believers. The real significance of these words is that the Holy Prophet has here been told not to grieve over the fact that disbelievers, instead of feeling grateful to God Who had bestowed riches and prosperity on them, had incurred His wrath on account of their wickedness and now all their glory and power was going to depart and they were about to be destroyed. In fact, it had very much grieved the Holy Prophetthat the disbelievers whom God had blessed with such prosperity were going to be destroyed for their disobedience. He had wished and prayed that they should have believed in him and thus have inherited the spiritual blessings promised to his followers. But instead of this they disobeyed God and defied His Prophet and therefore were going to be destroyed as God had informed the Holy Prophet in the words: and the hour is sure to come (v. 86). This naturally caused much grief to the Holy Prophet who has been here bidden not to grieve for the Meccans, for they had made themselves deserving of this fate, but to devote his merciful attention to the up-bringing of the small community of believers and to look after their moral and spiritual welfare. Incidentally, this injunction also implied a veiled hint about the impending migration of the Holy Prophet and his followers to Medina; for it was not possible to train and bring up the small band of believers as pioneers of the new world order so long as they were in Mecca, where they had no freedom of action. The verse also hints that the Holy Prophet desired to delay and postpone his departure from Mecca out of a heartfelt desire to save the disbelievers, if possible. He is bidden here to wait no longer and prepare for departure.
The words, Stretch not thine eyes towards what We have bestowed on some classes of them, do not refer even to the Companions of the Holy Prophet, as suggested by some commentators, who assert that these words depict the mental condition of some of the Muslims at the time when they saw the caravans of the two Jewish tribes of Banu Quraizah and Banu Nadir laden with jewels, scents, etc. The fact that the whole Surah has been admitted by the consensus of scholarly opinion to have been revealed at Mecca, where there were no Jews, knocks the bottom out of this baseless insinuation. (close)
وَ قُلۡ اِنِّیۡۤ اَنَا النَّذِیۡرُ الۡمُبِیۡنُ ﴿ۚ۹۰﴾
وَقُلۡ إِنِّيٓ أَنَا ٱلنَّذِيرُ ٱلۡمُبِينُ
c. 22:50; 29:51; 51:51, 52; 67:27. (close)
a. 22:50; 29:51; 51:51, 52; 67:27. (close)
The Holy Prophet is here bidden to announce openly and publicly the impending destruction of the Meccans and leave no ambiguity about it. (close)