یَتَوَارٰی مِنَ الۡقَوۡمِ مِنۡ سُوۡٓءِ مَا بُشِّرَ بِہٖ ؕ اَیُمۡسِکُہٗ عَلٰی ہُوۡنٍ اَمۡ یَدُسُّہٗ فِی التُّرَابِ ؕ اَلَا سَآءَ مَا یَحۡکُمُوۡنَ ﴿۶۰﴾
يَتَوَٰرَىٰ مِنَ ٱلۡقَوۡمِ مِن سُوٓءِ مَا بُشِّرَ بِهِۦٓۚ أَيُمۡسِكُهُۥ عَلَىٰ هُونٍ أَمۡ يَدُسُّهُۥ فِي ٱلتُّرَابِۗ أَلَا سَآءَ مَا يَحۡكُمُونَ
1553. The reference is to the barbarous custom of burying alive of female children which was in vogue among certain Arab tribes. They had a very low conception of their womenfolk and accorded them an extremely degraded position in their society. The Qur’an has strongly upheld the honour of women and has recognized all their legitimate rights, and in this respect it stands unique among all the Scriptures of the world. (close)
1860. Important Words:
ھون (disgrace) is the infinitive noun from ھان . They say ھان الرجل i.e. the man was or became low, base, vile, contemptible, despicable; he became weak and at rest. ھان علیه الامر means, the matter was easy and light to him. ھون (haun) means, ease and dignity and ھون (hun) means, disgrace (Lane & Aqrab).
In this and the previous verse the Quran has strongly condemned the low conception of the Arabs of their womenfolk and the degraded position they accorded them in their society. The Quran has throughout upheld the honour of woman and has recognized her rights, and in this respect it stands unique among all the Scriptures of the world. It may incidentally be stated here that it is generally believed that the practice of burying daughters alive was common among all Arab tribes. History lends no support to this popular misconception. Had it been so the number of men over women would have greatly predominated in Arabia. But that was never the case. Nevertheless, the birth of a daughter was looked upon as a source of humiliation and embarrassment to the parents. But the foul practice of burying daughters alive was confined to a few tribes outside Mecca who had an exaggerated notion of their greatness, and even among those tribes only the wealthy few resorted to this barbarous practice. (close)
لِلَّذِیۡنَ لَا یُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ بِالۡاٰخِرَۃِ مَثَلُ السَّوۡءِ ۚ وَ لِلّٰہِ الۡمَثَلُ الۡاَعۡلٰی ؕ وَ ہُوَ الۡعَزِیۡزُ الۡحَکِیۡمُ ﴿٪۶۱﴾
لِلَّذِينَ لَا يُؤۡمِنُونَ بِٱلۡأٓخِرَةِ مَثَلُ ٱلسَّوۡءِۖ وَلِلَّهِ ٱلۡمَثَلُ ٱلۡأَعۡلَىٰۚ وَهُوَ ٱلۡعَزِيزُ ٱلۡحَكِيمُ
a. 30:28. (close)
The verse sets forth clearly the main purport of the chapter, i.e. those who do not believe in the life after death can have no faith in the possibility of Divine revelation. They seek to arrogate to themselves the framing of laws for their guidance. But such attempts have always ended in failure while the "word" which comes from God, being free from all defects and imperfections and being possessed of all conceivable excellences, is a safe guide. This shows the need for Divinerevelation.
The two attributes of "Mighty" and "Wise" point to the fact that true guidance can only come from God, for One possessed of might alone can implement all His promises and only the Wise One can find out what man really needs and only He can satisfy that need.
These attributes also point to the fact that there must be a life after death. Since God is Wise, all His acts must be based upon wisdom and if there be no life after death, this life ceases to possess any purpose or object, and this should cast a reflection on the wisdom of God. Similarly, complete manifestation of God’s might can take place only in the life after death, for in the event of such a manifestation taking place in this life, faith and virtue would cease to have weight or value. (close)
وَ لَوۡ یُؤَاخِذُ اللّٰہُ النَّاسَ بِظُلۡمِہِمۡ مَّا تَرَکَ عَلَیۡہَا مِنۡ دَآبَّۃٍ وَّ لٰکِنۡ یُّؤَخِّرُہُمۡ اِلٰۤی اَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّی ۚ فَاِذَا جَآءَ اَجَلُہُمۡ لَا یَسۡتَاۡخِرُوۡنَ سَاعَۃً وَّ لَا یَسۡتَقۡدِمُوۡنَ ﴿۶۲﴾
وَلَوۡ يُؤَاخِذُ ٱللَّهُ ٱلنَّاسَ بِظُلۡمِهِم مَّا تَرَكَ عَلَيۡهَا مِن دَآبَّةٖ وَلَٰكِن يُؤَخِّرُهُمۡ إِلَىٰٓ أَجَلٖ مُّسَمّٗىۖ فَإِذَا جَآءَ أَجَلُهُمۡ لَا يَسۡتَـٔۡخِرُونَ سَاعَةٗ وَلَا يَسۡتَقۡدِمُونَ
b. 10:12; 18:59; 35:46. (close)
1554. The reason why punishment is delayed is that if all sins had been at once punished by God, the world would have come to an end and all life on earth would have become extinct. Man would have perished as a result of his sins and there would have been left no purpose in the survival of beasts, animals and birds, etc. after his destruction. Being created for man’s use and benefit they would have perished with him. (close)
c. 7:35; 10:50. (close)
c. 7:35; 10:50. (close)
This verse furnishes an answer to a possible doubt arising from the preceding verse. The doubter would say, if Divine revelation is the only source of guidance, and teachings devised by man all lead to error, why then do disbelievers, in spite of their rejection of Divine guidance, not always come to grief in this life? On the contrary, many of them are seen to prosper, which fact shows that they are not altogether in the wrong. One answer implied in the verse is that if thieves, robbers and murderers do not always meet with immediate punishment and sometimes get respite, how can respite granted to rejecters of the Quran be adduced as a proof that it is not the revealed word of God? Another reason embodied in this verse as to why punishment is not always meted out to the guilty is that if all sins had been at once punished by God, the world would have come to an end and all life on earth would have become extinct. Man would have perished as a result of his sins and there would have been no purpose in the beasts, animals, birds etc., remaining alive after his destruction. Being created for man’s use and benefit they would have perished with him. So God’s wise plan in granting respite to evildoers and deferring their punishment provides yet another proof of the life after death when man’s actions will meet with full and even-handed justice. (close)
وَ یَجۡعَلُوۡنَ لِلّٰہِ مَا یَکۡرَہُوۡنَ وَ تَصِفُ اَلۡسِنَتُہُمُ الۡکَذِبَ اَنَّ لَہُمُ الۡحُسۡنٰی ؕ لَا جَرَمَ اَنَّ لَہُمُ النَّارَ وَ اَنَّہُمۡ مُّفۡرَطُوۡنَ ﴿۶۳﴾
وَيَجۡعَلُونَ لِلَّهِ مَا يَكۡرَهُونَۚ وَتَصِفُ أَلۡسِنَتُهُمُ ٱلۡكَذِبَ أَنَّ لَهُمُ ٱلۡحُسۡنَىٰۚ لَا جَرَمَ أَنَّ لَهُمُ ٱلنَّارَ وَأَنَّهُم مُّفۡرَطُونَ
The verse reverts to the subject of the previous verse in a different form and says that disbelievers are foolish to think that they can ever come to a happy end by attributing to God abominable things which they dislike for themselves, and that just as they consigned God to oblivion in this life, so would He abandon them in the next life to burn in the fire of Hell. (close)
تَاللّٰہِ لَقَدۡ اَرۡسَلۡنَاۤ اِلٰۤی اُمَمٍ مِّنۡ قَبۡلِکَ فَزَیَّنَ لَہُمُ الشَّیۡطٰنُ اَعۡمَالَہُمۡ فَہُوَ وَلِیُّہُمُ الۡیَوۡمَ وَ لَہُمۡ عَذَابٌ اَلِیۡمٌ ﴿۶۴﴾
تَٱللَّهِ لَقَدۡ أَرۡسَلۡنَآ إِلَىٰٓ أُمَمٖ مِّن قَبۡلِكَ فَزَيَّنَ لَهُمُ ٱلشَّيۡطَٰنُ أَعۡمَٰلَهُمۡ فَهُوَ وَلِيُّهُمُ ٱلۡيَوۡمَ وَلَهُمۡ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٞ
d. 6:43; 22:53. (close)
a. 6:44; 8:49. (close)
a. 6:43; 22:53. (close)
b. 6:44; 8:49. (close)
The verse purports to say that the disbelievers of Mecca like disbelievers of former Prophets have been lulled by Satan into a false sense of security. Like their predecessors and prototypes, they labour under the delusion that they would not have to answer for their wrongdoings. They feel themselves to be secure while a terrible punishment is about to overtake them. (close)
وَ مَاۤ اَنۡزَلۡنَا عَلَیۡکَ الۡکِتٰبَ اِلَّا لِتُبَیِّنَ لَہُمُ الَّذِی اخۡتَلَفُوۡا فِیۡہِ ۙ وَ ہُدًی وَّ رَحۡمَۃً لِّقَوۡمٍ یُّؤۡمِنُوۡنَ ﴿۶۵﴾
وَمَآ أَنزَلۡنَا عَلَيۡكَ ٱلۡكِتَٰبَ إِلَّا لِتُبَيِّنَ لَهُمُ ٱلَّذِي ٱخۡتَلَفُواْ فِيهِ وَهُدٗى وَرَحۡمَةٗ لِّقَوۡمٖ يُؤۡمِنُونَ
b. 6:158; 12:112; 16:90. (close)
a. 6:158; 12:112; 16:90. (close)
The verse sets forth the existence of differences among the nations of the world as a reason for Divine revelation to be sent down to them because the Divine Word alone can resolve these differences. These differences also constitute a justification for the Quranic revelation. If men could only be convinced that the Quran was the revealed word of God, they would certainly give up their own views in its favour.
The verse also suggests that disbelievers cannot reasonably object to the advent of a new Prophet because a new Prophet comes only when the people cease to observe the teaching of the previous Prophet and deviate from the right path. So their deviation from the right path and their differences justify the appearance of a new Prophet.
The question may be asked, if, for instance, the Jews had remained loyal to the teachings of Moses, would the Holy Prophet not have come? The question is hypothetical. In any case differences and disagreements would have continued to exist in the world and consequently there would have always remained the need for a new Divine Messenger. But God has already provided an answer to the question in the words, "Had there been in the earth angels walking about in peace and quiet, We should have certainly sent down to them from heaven an angel as a Messenger" (17:96) i.e. if all men had become pure and holy like angels, there was no need for any Prophet to come. The word of God would then have descended directly upon every individual. But since angels have never lived on this earth nor has the world ceased to be a place of sin and iniquity, the Prophets also have not ceased to appear to bring about reconciliation between the sinful people and their Compassionate and Merciful Creator. (close)
وَ اللّٰہُ اَنۡزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَآءِ مَآءً فَاَحۡیَا بِہِ الۡاَرۡضَ بَعۡدَ مَوۡتِہَا ؕ اِنَّ فِیۡ ذٰلِکَ لَاٰیَۃً لِّقَوۡمٍ یَّسۡمَعُوۡنَ ﴿٪۶۶﴾
وَٱللَّهُ أَنزَلَ مِنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ مَآءٗ فَأَحۡيَا بِهِ ٱلۡأَرۡضَ بَعۡدَ مَوۡتِهَآۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَأٓيَةٗ لِّقَوۡمٖ يَسۡمَعُونَ
c. 2:165; 13:18. (close)
a. 2:165; 13:18. (close)
By 'water' here is meant Divine revelation and the attention of disbelievers has been drawn to the fact that if Prophets have been appearing in the past to give life to the dead, why should the present generation not have their Prophet? (close)
وَ اِنَّ لَکُمۡ فِی الۡاَنۡعَامِ لَعِبۡرَۃً ؕ نُسۡقِیۡکُمۡ مِّمَّا فِیۡ بُطُوۡنِہٖ مِنۡۢ بَیۡنِ فَرۡثٍ وَّ دَمٍ لَّبَنًا خَالِصًا سَآئِغًا لِّلشّٰرِبِیۡنَ ﴿۶۷﴾
وَإِنَّ لَكُمۡ فِي ٱلۡأَنۡعَٰمِ لَعِبۡرَةٗۖ نُّسۡقِيكُم مِّمَّا فِي بُطُونِهِۦ مِنۢ بَيۡنِ فَرۡثٖ وَدَمٖ لَّبَنًا خَالِصٗا سَآئِغٗا لِّلشَّـٰرِبِينَ
d. 23:22. (close)
1555. ‘Ibrah, meaning 'an indication or evidence whereby one passes from ignorance to knowledge' (Lane), alludes to some subtle process taking place inside the bellies of the animals. A study of the process of conversion of grass or leaves of trees which the animals eat into milk in the bellies of the animals leads to the conclusion that the natural propensities and inclinations of man cannot lead him to the right path unless they are controlled and regulated by some heavenly agency which is Divine revelation. (close)
b. 23:22. (close)
1867. Important Words:
سائغا (pleasant) is derived from ساغ. They say ساغ فی الحلق i.e. it (beverage) was easy and agreeable to swallow or it passed the faeces easily and agreeably. ساغ له ما فعل means, what he did was allowable to him. ساغت به الارض means, the ground or earth sank with him; or sank with him and swallowed him up or enclosed him. سائغ applied to beverage or wine and food, means, descending easily and agreeably down the throat or easy and agreeable to swallow; not choking (Lane & Aqrab).
The word انعام translated as "cattle" includes the camel, the cow, the goat, the sheep, etc. All these are very useful animals. Their flesh and milk form the principal articles of man’s food. They are also used as means of conveyance and for carrying loads. In short they are of great use to man in many ways.
While drawing attention to the great and manifold benefits that man derives from these animals, the verse uses the word عبرة which means, 'an indication or evidence whereby one passes from ignorance to knowledge'. The word seems to allude to some subtle process taking place inside the bellies of some of these animals by pondering over which one is led 'to pass from ignorance to knowledge'. The subtle process is something like this. The cattle eat grass, herbage, leaves of trees, etc. Of this faecal matter is formed in their intestines in the course of digestion. Part of that faecal matter becomes converted into blood which supplies the nutrients to form sweet and wholesome milk. Intelligent and reverential study of this conversion of grass or leaves of trees into milk in the bellies of the animals leads to the inevitable conclusion that the natural propensities and inclinations of man cannot lead him to the right path unless they are controlled and regulated by some heavenly machine which is Divine revelation.
This verse affords one more evidence of the Divine origin of the Quran. The process the Quran has described of the formation of milk from faeces and blood was not known to man until very recent times. It was not known to the old commentators of the Quran. They have, therefore, greatly stumbled and erred in explaining this verse. For example, Zamakhshari, the well-known author of Al-Kashshaf, says that when food goes into the belly of an animal its lower portion forms the faeces, the middle portion milk and the upper part becomes turned into blood. The verse under comment, however, clearly, states that the matter of which milk is made passes through the forms of faeces and blood before it assumes the form of milk. This fact has been discovered by scientists only in recent times.
The verse does not mean that man cannot produce milk synthetically. What is here meant is that he cannot produce it in such quantity that it may become an article of food. This is only possible in the way mentioned in this verse. Synthetically prepared milk can no more be a substitute for natural milk than artificial showers of rain are for natural rain.
The verse also suggests that just as man can only corrupt food but cannot convert it into milk, even so can he only corrupt Divine teaching but it is not in his power to convert the defective laws devised by himself into eternal spiritual truths. (close)
وَ مِنۡ ثَمَرٰتِ النَّخِیۡلِ وَ الۡاَعۡنَابِ تَتَّخِذُوۡنَ مِنۡہُ سَکَرًا وَّ رِزۡقًا حَسَنًا ؕ اِنَّ فِیۡ ذٰلِکَ لَاٰیَۃً لِّقَوۡمٍ یَّعۡقِلُوۡنَ ﴿۶۸﴾
وَمِن ثَمَرَٰتِ ٱلنَّخِيلِ وَٱلۡأَعۡنَٰبِ تَتَّخِذُونَ مِنۡهُ سَكَرٗا وَرِزۡقًا حَسَنًاۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَأٓيَةٗ لِّقَوۡمٖ يَعۡقِلُونَ
a. 13:5; 16:12; 23:20; 36:35. (close)
1555A. When things created by God remain in their natural and unadulterated form they constitute pure, wholesome and invigorating food. But when man interferes with their natural use he corrupts them. Similarly, as long as Divine Teaching remains intact, it is a source of great spiritual benefit, but when it is interfered with, it loses all its usefulness. (close)
The verse means to say that when things created by God remain in their natural and unadulterated form they constitute pure, wholesome and invigorating food. But when man interferes with their natural use he corrupts them. Similarly, as long as Divine teaching remains intact, it is a source of great spiritual benefit, but when man interferes with it, it loses its usefulness and becomes harmful. The verse also points out that all wise and thoughtful persons can easily understand that everything is best suited for the purpose which it has been designed by God to serve and that to use it for any other purpose is only to destroy its usefulness. Similarly, it is not given to man to devise spiritual teachings or to interfere with those revealed by God without spoiling them or destroying their usefulness. (close)
وَ اَوۡحٰی رَبُّکَ اِلَی النَّحۡلِ اَنِ اتَّخِذِیۡ مِنَ الۡجِبَالِ بُیُوۡتًا وَّ مِنَ الشَّجَرِ وَ مِمَّا یَعۡرِشُوۡنَ ﴿ۙ۶۹﴾
وَأَوۡحَىٰ رَبُّكَ إِلَى ٱلنَّحۡلِ أَنِ ٱتَّخِذِي مِنَ ٱلۡجِبَالِ بُيُوتٗا وَمِنَ ٱلشَّجَرِ وَمِمَّا يَعۡرِشُونَ
1556. Revelation here signifies the natural instincts with which God has endowed all creatures. The verse contains a beautiful hint that the entire universe depends for its smooth and successful working on revelation (or inspiration), whether manifest or hidden. In other words, all things and creatures serve the purpose of their existence only by working according to their natural instincts and inborn faculties and aptitudes. The bee has been selected as a prominent example, because its wonderful organization and work impress even a casual observer and are discernible even by the naked eye. (close)
This verse gives a third example, which is clearer and more expressive than the previous two examples, of the need of Divine revelation. By وحی (inspiration or revelation), in this verse, is meant the natural instincts with which God has endowed all creatures. The verse contains the beautiful hint that the entire universe depends for its smooth and successful working on وحی whether manifest or hidden. In other words all things and creatures serve the purpose of their existence only by working according to their natural instincts and inborn faculties and aptitudes. The bee has been selected as a prominent example, because its wonderful organization and work impresses even a casual observer and is discernible by the naked eye. But the fact that, even the bee cannot improve upon its wonderful skill, work and organization shows that some other Being is the source and fountain-head of its skill and organization and that Being has imparted to it this skill, intelligence and knowledge.
The verse also draws attention to the fact that bees are of various kinds. Some make their hives in mountains, others make them in trees, and yet others make them in trellises. In the same way all men do not possess similar natural aptitudes and capabilities, neither are they of equal spiritual rank. Some rise high like lofty mountains while others are of comparatively lower spiritual status. Similarly, like the different colours, tastes and flavours of the honey produced by the bees, the revelations of various Prophets are also not of the same pattern. They differ in their quality and scope and the manner of their approach to the problems they have to deal with. The verse also implies that all great inventions have been due to وحی (Divine inspiration).
For the different kinds of وحی see 4:164; 5:112; 8:13; 16:69; 28:8 & 99:6. (close)