اَفَمَنۡ یَّخۡلُقُ کَمَنۡ لَّا یَخۡلُقُ ؕ اَفَلَا تَذَکَّرُوۡنَ ﴿۱۸﴾
أَفَمَن يَخۡلُقُ كَمَن لَّا يَخۡلُقُۚ أَفَلَا تَذَكَّرُونَ
To a superficial observer the form of the question embodied in this verse would seem to be rather queer. If a comparison of the relative powers of God and the pseudo-gods was intended by the question, the natural form would have been "Is he who does not create like Him Who creates"? But the fact is that the question does not refer to the relative powers of the True God and the false gods. It only continues the theme of the preceding verses in the present verse, viz. the need for Divine revelation. The pseudo-gods have the power to bestow on man neither material nor spiritual blessings. They can reveal no guidance. But the True God Who creates and bestows all physical and spiritual blessings on man certainly cannot be like the false gods of the idolaters who are quite unable to give any spiritual guidance. Being Almighty the True God can and will continue to reveal guidance to man. This sense of the verse is corroborated by the next verse. This is the significance of the comparison contained in this verse. (close)
وَ اِنۡ تَعُدُّوۡا نِعۡمَۃَ اللّٰہِ لَا تُحۡصُوۡہَا ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ لَغَفُوۡرٌ رَّحِیۡمٌ ﴿۱۹﴾
وَإِن تَعُدُّواْ نِعۡمَةَ ٱللَّهِ لَا تُحۡصُوهَآۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَغَفُورٞ رَّحِيمٞ
b. 14:35. (close)
a. 14:35. (close)
The present verse continues the theme of the previous one and points out that when physical blessings bestowed by God are so numerous as to be beyond the power of man to reckon, is it reasonable that He should not bestow upon man His spiritual blessings in the form of revealed guidance and, like false gods should behave as if He were deaf and dumb?
The verse ends with the mention of the Divine attributes of the Forgiving and Merciful. These two attributes could not function unless God had revealed His guidance to man. Forgiveness for the weak and reward to the virtuous were only possible when man had been given a teaching to follow. (close)
وَ اللّٰہُ یَعۡلَمُ مَا تُسِرُّوۡنَ وَ مَا تُعۡلِنُوۡنَ ﴿۲۰﴾
وَٱللَّهُ يَعۡلَمُ مَا تُسِرُّونَ وَمَا تُعۡلِنُونَ
c. 2:78; 27:26; 64:5. (close)
a. 2:78; 27:26; 64:5. (close)
This verse proceeds to furnish another argument why the false gods of the idolaters cannot provide right guidance and why it is God alone Who can do so. The fact is that God alone knows all the inherent capacities and powers of man and knows also the doubts and misgivings which assail his mind. And only that Being Who is fully conversant with man’s powers and capacities and his doubts and misgivings can give the teaching which can remove those doubts and satisfy the cravings of his soul.
Two conditions are the essential prerequisites of a right guidance for humanity. First, the Lawgiver must be fully conversant with all the depths of human nature. For, without such knowledge, it is not possible for Him to make proper provision for the full growth and development of all the physical and moral powers of man. Secondly, He must know all the thoughts of the human mind, for very often it happens that a man does not give expression to his real doubts for fear of social opprobrium. Only God Who knows the inner working of man’s mind knows where his difficulty lies and He alone can answer the unexpressed question.
The Quran offers the best illustration of such a guidance. It furnishes guidance for the healthy development of all the powers of man, physical or moral, known or unknown. Similarly, it satisfies all those misgivings that arise in the heart of man, some of which have found expression in this age of science and enlightenment and which many men had not had the courage to utter for fear of incurring social opprobrium. (close)
وَ الَّذِیۡنَ یَدۡعُوۡنَ مِنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰہِ لَا یَخۡلُقُوۡنَ شَیۡئًا وَّ ہُمۡ یُخۡلَقُوۡنَ ﴿ؕ۲۱﴾
وَٱلَّذِينَ يَدۡعُونَ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ لَا يَخۡلُقُونَ شَيۡـٔٗا وَهُمۡ يُخۡلَقُونَ
a. 7:192; 25:4. (close)
b. 7:192; 25:4. (close)
The verse answers a possible objection on the part of the idolaters to the argument contained in the preceding verses. They may say that their deities also possess the requisite knowledge and the power to reveal guidance, but they refrain from doing so only because man does not really need any such external guidance. The present verse answers this objection by saying that perfect knowledge of the unseen, the possession of which is indispensable for giving suitable guidance, can only be possessed by One Who has created man because only the Creator can know all the hidden powers of the things created and their working. But the false gods of the idolaters have not created anything at all. On the contrary, they themselves have been created. Therefore they are incapable of giving right guidance. It is really very surprising that in spite of the fact that the verse has so effectively demolished the claim made on behalf of false deities to the possession of knowledge of the unseen, there should still be found among Muslims people who believe that Jesus possessed knowledge of the unseen or that he had the power to create certain things. (close)
اَمۡوَاتٌ غَیۡرُ اَحۡیَآءٍ ۚ وَ مَا یَشۡعُرُوۡنَ ۙ اَیَّانَ یُبۡعَثُوۡنَ ﴿٪۲۲﴾
أَمۡوَٰتٌ غَيۡرُ أَحۡيَآءٖۖ وَمَا يَشۡعُرُونَ أَيَّانَ يُبۡعَثُونَ
The verse furnishes yet another argument why pseudo-gods cannot provide true guidance for man, i.e. they are all dead. In order to be able to provide guidance they must be living because only the living can possibly know when and what defects might arise in human society that might require guidance for their removal.
It is a pity that, contrary to the teachings of the Quran, many Muslims still entertain the foolish belief that Jesus is alive in the heavens although the verse categorically says that all the false gods which men worshipped at the time the Quran was revealed were dead. So if Jesus was not dead, then he must be regarded as a true God and this is an unutterable blasphemy.
This and the preceding verse give four arguments to refute the alleged divinity of false deities: First, they cannot create anything and the possession of the power to create is an indispensable characteristic of God. Secondly, they are themselves created, and therefore are dependent on others and a being that is dependent on others cannot be God. Thirdly, they are dead and therefore are devoid of the power to do good or evil to any person and one who is devoid of such power cannot claim to be God. Fourthly, they do not know when they shall be raised to life. Lack of knowledge of the Day of Resurrection demolishes their title to Godhead. (close)
اِلٰـہُکُمۡ اِلٰہٌ وَّاحِدٌ ۚ فَالَّذِیۡنَ لَا یُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ بِالۡاٰخِرَۃِ قُلُوۡبُہُمۡ مُّنۡکِرَۃٌ وَّ ہُمۡ مُّسۡتَکۡبِرُوۡنَ ﴿۲۳﴾
إِلَٰهُكُمۡ إِلَٰهٞ وَٰحِدٞۚ فَٱلَّذِينَ لَا يُؤۡمِنُونَ بِٱلۡأٓخِرَةِ قُلُوبُهُم مُّنكِرَةٞ وَهُم مُّسۡتَكۡبِرُونَ
b. 2:164; 5:74; 22:35; 37:5. (close)
a. 2:164; 5:74; 22:35; 37:5. (close)
The claim embodied in the words, Your God is One God, is no empty assertion nor have these words been placed here at random. The declaration is the natural conclusion of the arguments given in the preceding verses. In fact it is a characteristic of the Quran that it does not make a statement without supporting it by arguments which immediately precede or follow it. In the present case the arguments are contained in the preceding verses, which comprised two main themes. One was that all the objects in the universe form different links of one chain and are inter-related to and inter-dependent upon one another and that the end and object of the whole creation is man. His main food is the animals. These live upon plants and the latter depend for their life upon water which men use as drink. Water also feeds plants which in their turn feed men. The plants grow under the influence of the sun, the, moon and the stars and the influence of the light of the day and the darkness of the night.
Again the seas serve as great reservoirs of water. They supply man with food, and serve as great highways of communication. The water of the sea is purified by the process of evaporation and becomes fit for use. The rivers replenish the seas and keep the land fit for human habitation. This inter-relation and inter-dependence of things upon each other points inevitably to the fact that there must be only one Creator of them all. Plurality of creators necessarily implies imperfection of each, and only a Perfect Being can be our God.
The other theme of the preceding verses was that all objects of human worship were dead. So the Living God alone deserved to be the object of our worship and was the only true God.
The words, those who believe not in the Hereafter, their hearts are strangers to truth and they are full of pride, embody the answer to the implied question: viz. if the Unity of the Godhead is so obvious and indisputable, then why do men still deny it? The answer given is that this denial is founded on no reason but has its basis in the denial of life after death. Such denial naturally creates a sense of irresponsibility and lack of seriousness and sobriety on the part of disbelievers, leading them gradually to folly and ignorance and the inability even to recognize things which are quite obvious. Another result of the denial of life after death on the part of disbelievers is the growth of conceit and arrogance born of a sense of irresponsibility and of reckless refusal to admit the existence of things which, their reason tells them, are true.
Thus the clause speaks of two kinds of idolaters (1) the foolish and the ignorant; and (2) the proud and the conceited. (close)
لَاجَرَمَ اَنَّ اللّٰہَ یَعۡلَمُ مَا یُسِرُّوۡنَ وَ مَا یُعۡلِنُوۡنَ ؕ اِنَّہٗ لَا یُحِبُّ الۡمُسۡتَکۡبِرِیۡنَ ﴿۲۴﴾
لَا جَرَمَ أَنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَعۡلَمُ مَا يُسِرُّونَ وَمَا يُعۡلِنُونَۚ إِنَّهُۥ لَا يُحِبُّ ٱلۡمُسۡتَكۡبِرِينَ
c. 16:20. (close)
a. See 16:20. (close)
The verse points out that God is One and Omniscient as proved in the preceding verses and that He will not leave disbelievers without punishing them for their evil deeds. But since He knows the overt actions as well as the inner motives of man, He will differentiate between those who defy Him through ignorance and those whose defiance of His authority is the result of their conceit and arrogance. The latter will deserve and receive a severer punishment than the former. (close)
وَ اِذَا قِیۡلَ لَہُمۡ مَّا ذَاۤ اَنۡزَلَ رَبُّکُمۡ ۙ قَالُوۡۤا اَسَاطِیۡرُ الۡاَوَّلِیۡنَ ﴿ۙ۲۵﴾
وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُم مَّاذَآ أَنزَلَ رَبُّكُمۡ قَالُوٓاْ أَسَٰطِيرُ ٱلۡأَوَّلِينَ
d. 8:32; 68:16; 83:14. (close)
b. 8:32; 68:16; 83:14. (close)
The verse reverts to the original theme and says that when deniers of the Unity of God and Resurrection listen to arguments in support of these doctrines, instead of giving them proper consideration they make light of them by saying that these arguments are a mere repetition of the sayings of the ancients. By such remarks they seek to divert the attention of their followers from the truth. This is a common device of the opponents of truth. They always assert that there is nothing new in the teachings of their Prophet, and think that this assertion alone constitutes a sufficient refutation of his claims. As a matter of fact, Prophets of God come to remind men of the old truths that the latter had forgotten. If the later Prophets had taught what had not been taught by their predecessors they would indeed be impostors. Of course, every Prophet presents old truths in a new garb and, if necessary, makes some additions or alterations as required by the circumstances and conditions of his age. (close)
لِیَحۡمِلُوۡۤا اَوۡزَارَہُمۡ کَامِلَۃً یَّوۡمَ الۡقِیٰمَۃِ ۙ وَ مِنۡ اَوۡزَارِ الَّذِیۡنَ یُضِلُّوۡنَہُمۡ بِغَیۡرِ عِلۡمٍ ؕ اَلَا سَآءَ مَا یَزِرُوۡنَ ﴿٪۲۶﴾
لِيَحۡمِلُوٓاْ أَوۡزَارَهُمۡ كَامِلَةٗ يَوۡمَ ٱلۡقِيَٰمَةِ وَمِنۡ أَوۡزَارِ ٱلَّذِينَ يُضِلُّونَهُم بِغَيۡرِ عِلۡمٍۗ أَلَا سَآءَ مَا يَزِرُونَ
e. 29:14. (close)
a. 29:14. (close)
The verse signifies that by such devices as those mentioned in the preceding verse the leaders of disbelief manage to deceive their followers and retain their support; but in this way they ruin their own future, because on the Day of Judgement they will not only be punished for their own misdeeds but also for the imposition and deception they practised upon their ignorant followers. The particle ل in the Arabic expression لیحملوا (that they may bear) signifies that the consequence of the deception that the leaders of disbelief practise upon their followers would be that they would not only be punished for their own misdeeds but also for the misdeeds of their misguided followers.
What are discarded by disbelievers as tales of the ancients are really prophecies by which opponents of the Holy Prophet are told that if they persist in their opposition to him they will meet with the same fate which befell the enemies of former Prophets. Now those who consider the accounts of the former peoples given in the Quran as so many tales and stories naturally will not ponder over them and not take warning from them, with the result that they will not be guided by them. On the contrary, they will increase in their evil ways and will consequently have to bear heavy burdens on the Day of Resurrection. The word کاملة (in full) may have two interpretations, i.e. (i) they will suffer only a partial punishment in this life, but in the life to come they will have full and complete punishment; (ii) they will undergo the full punishment of their crimes because, being disbelievers, they will not ask for forgiveness of their sins in the present life and therefore there will be no mitigation of their punishment in the next. (close)
قَدۡ مَکَرَ الَّذِیۡنَ مِنۡ قَبۡلِہِمۡ فَاَتَی اللّٰہُ بُنۡیَانَہُمۡ مِّنَ الۡقَوَاعِدِ فَخَرَّ عَلَیۡہِمُ السَّقۡفُ مِنۡ فَوۡقِہِمۡ وَ اَتٰٮہُمُ الۡعَذَابُ مِنۡ حَیۡثُ لَا یَشۡعُرُوۡنَ ﴿۲۷﴾
قَدۡ مَكَرَ ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبۡلِهِمۡ فَأَتَى ٱللَّهُ بُنۡيَٰنَهُم مِّنَ ٱلۡقَوَاعِدِ فَخَرَّ عَلَيۡهِمُ ٱلسَّقۡفُ مِن فَوۡقِهِمۡ وَأَتَىٰهُمُ ٱلۡعَذَابُ مِنۡ حَيۡثُ لَا يَشۡعُرُونَ
a. 39:26; 59:3. (close)
1540. It was no ordinary destruction which overtook the opponents of past Prophets. They were destroyed root and branch. The very foundations of the edifices they had erected and the walls and the roofs thereof tumbled down upon them, that is to say, neither the leaders nor their followers were spared. (close)
b. 39:26; 59:3. (close)
The verse purports to say that it was nothing new on the part of the leaders of disbelief in the time of the Holy Prophetto deceive their followers and thus to keep them ignorant of the true teachings of Islam. The same device was adopted by the opponents of former Prophets. But their machinations were never attended with success; rather they recoiled upon their authors.
The verse also implies an effective retort to the opponents of the Holy Prophet. They say that he merely repeats what was said by other Prophets before him. To this objection the verse retorts that the Holy Prophet’s disbelievers, too, are only copying and imitating what was said and done by the opponents of previous Prophets. Only they have chosen the wrong side, and have imitated the party which met its ruin.
It was not an ordinary ruin which overtook the opponents of past Prophets. They were destroyed root and branch. The very foundations of the edifices they had erected and the walls and the roofs thereof tumbled down upon them, that is to say, neither the leaders nor their followers escaped. So the leaders of disbelief are warned that they should not be proud of their following, because when the time came for Divine punishment, all their power and influence would be of no avail to them and their whole organization with all its firmly founded institutions would fall to pieces. So it actually came to pass on the Fall of Mecca.
The verse also adds that Divine destruction always comes in forms and from quarters most unexpected. The expression "coming of God" means the coming of Divine punishment. See also 13:42. (close)