وَ اَقۡسَمُوۡا بِاللّٰہِ جَہۡدَ اَیۡمَانِہِمۡ ۙ لَا یَبۡعَثُ اللّٰہُ مَنۡ یَّمُوۡتُ ؕ بَلٰی وَعۡدًا عَلَیۡہِ حَقًّا وَّ لٰکِنَّ اَکۡثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا یَعۡلَمُوۡنَ ﴿ۙ۳۹﴾
وَأَقۡسَمُواْ بِٱللَّهِ جَهۡدَ أَيۡمَٰنِهِمۡ لَا يَبۡعَثُ ٱللَّهُ مَن يَمُوتُۚ بَلَىٰ وَعۡدًا عَلَيۡهِ حَقّٗا وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكۡثَرَ ٱلنَّاسِ لَا يَعۡلَمُونَ
b. 23:38; 45:25. (close)
c. 10:5; 21:105. (close)
b. 23:38; 45:25. (close)
c. 10:5; 21:105. (close)
This verse mentions another device of the leaders of disbelief to deceive their followers. Seeing the ground giving way from under their feet and their followers wavering, they, in order to reinforce their weak position, resort to affirming repeatedly on solemn oaths that they are in the right. They resort to this device to hearten their vacillating and wavering followers whose faith in them becomes undermined by strong and unanswerable arguments that they hear from their Prophet and believers about the untenability of their views. (close)
لِیُبَیِّنَ لَہُمُ الَّذِیۡ یَخۡتَلِفُوۡنَ فِیۡہِ وَ لِیَعۡلَمَ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡۤا اَنَّہُمۡ کَانُوۡا کٰذِبِیۡنَ ﴿۴۰﴾
لِيُبَيِّنَ لَهُمُ ٱلَّذِي يَخۡتَلِفُونَ فِيهِ وَلِيَعۡلَمَ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوٓاْ أَنَّهُمۡ كَانُواْ كَٰذِبِينَ
1545. Realization of truth on the Day of Resurrection will be so complete that disbelievers will admit that they were foolish to deny Resurrection. Indeed, it would be a full and complete realization. (close)
This verse gives the reason why there should be a life after death and a Day of Resurrection. In that life the veil would be lifted from all things and their reality would become manifest. If human life were limited to this world, then the truth of the Prophets and their teachings would ever remain a matter of controversy and the deniers of the Prophets would also forever remain deprived of guidance which is inconsistent with God’s Dignity and Mercy because He has created man to attain His nearness. A life after death is therefore necessary that man may realize the truth in that life which he could not realize in this life.
Elsewhere in the Quran (verse 65 below) the same purpose of creating an infallible faith in the existence of God has been declared to be the object of the advent of Prophets and Divine Books. The fact is that in the present life such matters as pertain to belief can be explained by reason and argument only to those who honestly seek after truth. They cannot be so demonstrated and established as to be beyond doubt. This is possible only in the life after death. But when in the afterlife truth will become quite manifest there will be no merit in accepting it; such acceptance may only be helpful in exciting God’s Mercy.
The clause, "that they were liars", confirms the above interpretation. Realization of the truth on the Day of Resurrection will be so complete that disbelievers will have to admit that they were foolish to deny Resurrection. Indeed, it would be a full and complete realization. (close)
اِنَّمَا قَوۡلُنَا لِشَیۡءٍ اِذَاۤ اَرَدۡنٰہُ اَنۡ نَّقُوۡلَ لَہٗ کُنۡ فَیَکُوۡنُ ﴿٪۴۱﴾
إِنَّمَا قَوۡلُنَا لِشَيۡءٍ إِذَآ أَرَدۡنَٰهُ أَن نَّقُولَ لَهُۥ كُن فَيَكُونُ
d. 2:118; 3:48; 36:83; 40:69. (close)
1546. The word kun (be) does not mean that God gives the command to something already existing. It merely gives expression to a wish, and means that when God so expresses a wish, it finds immediate objective fulfilment. (close)
a. 2:118; 3:48; 36:83; 40:69. (close)
The previous verse mentioned the purpose for which God has ordained a Day of Resurrection. Since disbelievers might regard such a day as an impossibility, the verse under comment draws their attention to God’s great and unlimited powers. It points out how these great powers are being manifested on all sides. The reference is particularly to the prophecies made by God’s Messengers which, being seemingly impossible of fulfilment, are fulfilled in due course. Such invincible evidence should be sufficient to convince disbelievers that it is certainly not beyond the power of God to bring about Resurrection.
The verb کن (Be) does not mean that God gives the command to something already existing. It merely gives expression to a wish and means that when God so expresses a wish it finds its immediate objective fulfilled. (close)
وَ الَّذِیۡنَ ہَاجَرُوۡا فِی اللّٰہِ مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِ مَا ظُلِمُوۡا لَـنُبَوِّئَنَّہُمۡ فِی الدُّنۡیَا حَسَنَۃً ؕ وَ لَاَجۡرُ الۡاٰخِرَۃِ اَکۡبَرُ ۘ لَوۡ کَانُوۡا یَعۡلَمُوۡنَ ﴿ۙ۴۲﴾
وَٱلَّذِينَ هَاجَرُواْ فِي ٱللَّهِ مِنۢ بَعۡدِ مَا ظُلِمُواْ لَنُبَوِّئَنَّهُمۡ فِي ٱلدُّنۡيَا حَسَنَةٗۖ وَلَأَجۡرُ ٱلۡأٓخِرَةِ أَكۡبَرُۚ لَوۡ كَانُواْ يَعۡلَمُونَ
a. 2:219; 4:101; 22:59. (close)
1547. The expression, fillahi, may mean: (a) For the sake of Allah; (b) for the sake of God’s religion, i.e. for the sake of free and unfettered exercise of religion; (c) "in Allah" which signifies that they had become completely lost in Allah. (close)
a. 2:219; 4:101; 22:59. (close)
In the previous verse we were told that when God wills a thing, it comes into being without fail. The verse under comment gives a proof of this Quranic claim. It says that the Faithful were a small and weak community. They had been so oppressed by disbelievers that they had to flee from their homes. But God willed, and He expressed His wish, that these persecuted people should be accorded an honourable position in the world, and so it came to pass. This proves that when God wills a thing, it comes into being without fail.
The expression فی اللّٰه (lit. in Allah) may have several interpretations: (1) It means, for the sake of Allah. The Faithful left their homes for the sake of Allah and for no material gains. (2) It may mean, فی دین اللّٰه i.e. for the sake of God’s religion—for the sake of the free and unfettered exercise of religion. The early Muslims left Mecca for a place where they could freely discharge their religious rites. (3) It may mean, in Allah. In this sense the expression would signify that early Muslims had become so completely lost in Allah that they gave up their homes and kith and kin for His sake. Their departure from Mecca was thus tantamount to the departure of God Himself from that city.
Muslims left their homes for the sake of God and God promised them a goodly abode wherever they went. History amply testifies to the truth of this statement. The great results which followed the flight of Muslims to Medina are too well known. Dwellers of the desert and drivers of camels came to rule over vast empires. But what they got in this world was not the full recompense of their noble deeds. They will get their full reward in the life after death. The fact that the first part of the prophecy met with a wonderful fulfilment constitutes an infallible proof of the fact that the second part would also be fulfilled, incidentally providing an irrefutable proof of the inevitability of Resurrection. (close)
الَّذِیۡنَ صَبَرُوۡا وَ عَلٰی رَبِّہِمۡ یَتَوَکَّلُوۡنَ ﴿۴۳﴾
ٱلَّذِينَ صَبَرُواْ وَعَلَىٰ رَبِّهِمۡ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ
b. 29:60. (close)
a. 29:60. (close)
This verse develops further the theme of the previous verse. It purports to say that the people to whom the rewards mentioned in the previous verse have been promised were of such strong and noble character that they remained steadfast under very bitter persecution. They had to leave their homes and hearths and fly to a foreign place for refuge but never wavered in their loyalty to their Faith. The presence of such fine qualities in a people is sure to draw the mercy of God upon them. (close)
وَ مَاۤ اَرۡسَلۡنَا مِنۡ قَبۡلِکَ اِلَّا رِجَالًا نُّوۡحِیۡۤ اِلَیۡہِمۡ فَسۡـَٔلُوۡۤا اَہۡلَ الذِّکۡرِ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمۡ لَا تَعۡلَمُوۡنَ ﴿ۙ۴۴﴾
وَمَآ أَرۡسَلۡنَا مِن قَبۡلِكَ إِلَّا رِجَالٗا نُّوحِيٓ إِلَيۡهِمۡۖ فَسۡـَٔلُوٓاْ أَهۡلَ ٱلذِّكۡرِ إِن كُنتُمۡ لَا تَعۡلَمُونَ
c. 12:110; 21:8. (close)
b. 12:110; 21:8. (close)
Disbelievers laboured under the misconception that the Holy Prophet was an ordinary man like themselves, so there was little to fear from his rejection. The present verse warns them that all the previous Prophets were also ordinary mortals but they succeeded in their mission and their opponents met with complete discomfiture and destruction. So they too would invite their ruin if they rejected him.
The words, So ask those who possess the Reminder, contain a sound rebuke to the Meccan disbelievers. They took pride in the fact that they were the descendants of great Prophets, Abraham and Ishmael, and were well acquainted with their history. They are here told that they seem to have forgotten the history of their ancestors of whom they are so proud. They should consult some other people who happen to know and thus realize that it is not safe to defy God’s Prophets.
Taking ذکر in the sense to remember, the words اھل الذکر would mean, those who remember, and the expression, ask those who possess the Reminder, would mean that if the disbelievers of Mecca have forgotten the history of their forefathers they should learn it from Muslims who are اھل الذکر, i.e. who possess and remember that history. The taunt must have cut to the quick the Meccan idolaters who were so proud of their ancestry.
The words, نوحی الیھم (to whom We sent revelation), point out that the honour and greatness which the Prophets had acquired had their basis not in material resources or numbers, but were due to the revelations they received from God.
The verse also suggests an answer to the misgivings of disbelievers who asked how the Holy Prophet, a helpless man, could bring political power and glory to his followers. They are told that all the previous Prophets were as helpless as he, yet they were successful in their mission and gained power and greatness. (close)
بِالۡبَیِّنٰتِ وَ الزُّبُرِ ؕ وَ اَنۡزَلۡنَاۤ اِلَیۡکَ الذِّکۡرَ لِتُبَیِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ مَا نُزِّلَ اِلَیۡہِمۡ وَ لَعَلَّہُمۡ یَتَفَکَّرُوۡنَ ﴿۴۵﴾
بِٱلۡبَيِّنَٰتِ وَٱلزُّبُرِۗ وَأَنزَلۡنَآ إِلَيۡكَ ٱلذِّكۡرَ لِتُبَيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ مَا نُزِّلَ إِلَيۡهِمۡ وَلَعَلَّهُمۡ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
d. 35:26. (close)
e. 3:59; 15:7, 10; 20:100. (close)
a. 35:26. (close)
b. 3:59; 15:7, 10; 20:100. (close)
1846. Important Words:
The word الذکر translated as Reminder among other things means: (1) remembrance, the presence of a thing in the mind so that it is never forgotten; (2) the praise or glorification of God; (3) eminence, honour: (4) a book containing an exposition of religion and an institution of religious laws; (5) strong and firm saying (Lane). See also 2:41, 153, 201; 6:69; 12:105 & 15:7.
The word applies to the Quran in all these different senses: (a) The Quran is a book which helps man to remember God; (b) it praises and glorifies God; (c) those who act upon its teachings get honour and eminence; (d) it contains an exposition of the religion of Islam; and (e) it is strong and firm in the sense that its teachings and the truths it inculcates admit of no doubt or objection. The verse develops the theme of the previous verse and says that the Prophets come with clear proofs and Divine Scriptures, that is to say they come with heavenly signs and Divine commands. In this lies the secret of their success.
The verse further points to a distinction between the Holy Prophet and former Prophets. It says that while clear signs and Scriptures were given to former Prophets, the Holy Prophet has been given the Reminder, the most perfect of all Divine Books. So when the former Prophets succeeded in their mission by the help of their Scriptures, it is inconceivable that the Holy Prophet should fail when he has got the most perfect of all Divine Scriptures.
The expression لتبین للناس (that thou mayest explain to mankind) may mean two things: (1) That the Prophet has been given the most perfect Divine Book in order that he might preach its message to all the world. It is not intended for any one people or nation or for any particular age, but for all peoples and all ages. (2) Since such a perfect Book has been revealed to the Holy Prophet he could not possibly keep it a secret. The perfection of the Book demanded that he should invite the whole world to its great Message.
By adopting the form of address contained in the words "which has been sent down to them" the verse appeals to disbelievers to listen to the Divine Message which although revealed to the Holy Prophet is intended for all men. They should appreciate this token of Divine love and favour by accepting it and acting upon it. The words also imply that since the Quran is intended for all mankind it is the primary and paramount duty of Muslims to preach it to all the nations of the world. Unfortunately, Muslims have neglected this sacred duty to their own detriment.
The words, "that they may reflect", suggest that Divine revelation, among other things, possesses the characteristic of sharpening the intellect of men. The marvellous change that took place in the condition of the Arabs after they accepted the Quran bears eloquent testimony to the truth of this statement. Wild and half savage hordes of the desert became, within a few years, the teachers and leaders of the world in knowledge and culture. (close)
اَفَاَمِنَ الَّذِیۡنَ مَکَرُوا السَّیِّاٰتِ اَنۡ یَّخۡسِفَ اللّٰہُ بِہِمُ الۡاَرۡضَ اَوۡ یَاۡتِیَہُمُ الۡعَذَابُ مِنۡ حَیۡثُ لَا یَشۡعُرُوۡنَ ﴿ۙ۴۶﴾
أَفَأَمِنَ ٱلَّذِينَ مَكَرُواْ ٱلسَّيِّـَٔاتِ أَن يَخۡسِفَ ٱللَّهُ بِهِمُ ٱلۡأَرۡضَ أَوۡ يَأۡتِيَهُمُ ٱلۡعَذَابُ مِنۡ حَيۡثُ لَا يَشۡعُرُونَ
f. 6:66; 17:69; 34:10; 67:17, 18. (close)
a. 6:66; 17:69; 34:10; 67:17-18. (close)
The verb یخسف when used with the preposition یا means, to make something or someone sink or disappear in the earth. It is used metaphorically in the sense of causing a person or thing to be entirely forgotten. Disbelievers are here warned that if they persist in their rejection of the Holy Prophet, they will meet with such destruction that even their posterity will forget them. How clearly fulfilled was the prophecy embodied in this verse about disbelievers of Mecca is writ large on the pages of history.
Every punishment that overtook disbelievers came to them from quarters from which they least expected it. This was particularly the case in the catastrophe which befell them after the Treaty of Hudaibiyyah. The Meccans suffered from the illusion that the terms of that treaty meant a great moral victory for them. But it proved to be the beginning of their end. The treaty laid down that any Meccan who became converted to Islam and went to Medina would be sent back to Mecca. The strict observance of this condition by the Holy Prophet proved a blessing in disguise for the cause of Islam. After the treaty it was not possible for those Meccans who became converted to Islam to go to Medina, nor could they remain at Mecca. They therefore established a settlement between Mecca and Medina, free from the control of the Medinite rule and beyond the reach of the Meccans. Their hostile activities against the enemies of their faith compelled Meccans to request the Holy Prophet to revoke that part of the treaty which prevented converts to Islam from going to Medina and settle there. The breach of the terms of the treaty by Meccans later on, however, led to the invasion and conquest of Mecca by the Holy Prophet. All these eventualities were entirely unexpected and came upon the Meccans as bolts from the blue. (close)
اَوۡ یَاۡخُذَہُمۡ فِیۡ تَقَلُّبِہِمۡ فَمَا ہُمۡ بِمُعۡجِزِیۡنَ ﴿ۙ۴۷﴾
أَوۡ يَأۡخُذَهُمۡ فِي تَقَلُّبِهِمۡ فَمَا هُم بِمُعۡجِزِينَ
1548. The frequent journeying of disbelievers and their free and unrestricted movements in the land should not lead believers to think that their might is invincible and that their glory will never depart. Soon these movements will result in the destruction of their political power. (close)
The verse means to say that the frequent journeying of disbelievers and their free and unrestricted movements in the land should not lead them to think that their might is invincible and that their glory will never depart. These very movements of theirs will result in the destruction of their political power. In fact, the Battle of Badr was the result of the Meccans having sent out an armed force to provide escort for the trade caravan which was returning from Syria and which was likely to have a clash with Muslims. The battle proved to be the beginning of destruction of the power of the Quraish of Mecca. (close)
اَوۡ یَاۡخُذَہُمۡ عَلٰی تَخَوُّفٍ ؕ فَاِنَّ رَبَّکُمۡ لَرَءُوۡفٌ رَّحِیۡمٌ ﴿۴۸﴾
أَوۡ يَأۡخُذَهُمۡ عَلَىٰ تَخَوُّفٖ فَإِنَّ رَبَّكُمۡ لَرَءُوفٞ رَّحِيمٌ
1549. Takhawwuf meaning "to take little by little" (Lane), the verse signifies that the power of disbelievers will gradually decline, or that before their final overthrow they would be seized with a consuming fear of the growing power of Islam and its ultimate triumph. (close)
1849. Important Words:
تخوف (process of gradual destruction) is derived from خاف which means, he feared, he was afraid.تخوفه means, he took by little and little from it or from its sides or he took from its extremities. They say تخوفنا السنة i.e. the year of drought took from us by little and little. تخوفنا حقی means, he diminished to me by little and little my right or due. The Quranic expression او یاخذھم علی تخوفmeans, or are they secure from His destroying them by causing them to suffer loss (by little and little) in their bodies and their possessions or cattle, and their fruits, etc.? (Lane).
The verse mentions another form of the punishment that would overtake the disbelievers of Mecca, viz. the tribes and territories which formerly owed allegiance to them would gradually break off their alliance with them and would join Muslims. This happened immediately before the conquest of Mecca.
The verse may also mean that even before their final overthrow, the Meccans would be seized with a consuming fear of the growing power of Islam and its ultimate triumph. This fear of the fast-increasing power of Muslims unnerved disbelievers and led to loss of the will to resist on their part which eventually brought about their complete downfall.
Mention of the Divine attributes of "Compassionate" and "Merciful," after referring to different forms of punishment that were to overtake disbelievers looks rather strange. The fact that the verse refers to Divine punishments which overtook disbelievers gradually and in stages, thus affording them many opportunities to save themselves by accepting Islam justifies the placing of the words "Compassionate" and "Merciful" at its end. Or the expression, Your Lord is indeed Compassionate, Merciful, may apply to Muslims, suggesting that whereas God was punishing disbelievers for their rejecting His Prophet, He was Compassionate and Merciful to Muslims because they had accepted him. (close)