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)
ثُمَّ کُلِیۡ مِنۡ کُلِّ الثَّمَرٰتِ فَاسۡلُکِیۡ سُبُلَ رَبِّکِ ذُلُلًا ؕ یَخۡرُجُ مِنۡۢ بُطُوۡنِہَا شَرَابٌ مُّخۡتَلِفٌ اَلۡوَانُہٗ فِیۡہِ شِفَآءٌ لِّلنَّاسِ ؕ اِنَّ فِیۡ ذٰلِکَ لَاٰیَۃً لِّقَوۡمٍ یَّتَفَکَّرُوۡنَ ﴿۷۰﴾
ثُمَّ كُلِي مِن كُلِّ ٱلثَّمَرَٰتِ فَٱسۡلُكِي سُبُلَ رَبِّكِ ذُلُلٗاۚ يَخۡرُجُ مِنۢ بُطُونِهَا شَرَابٞ مُّخۡتَلِفٌ أَلۡوَٰنُهُۥ فِيهِ شِفَآءٞ لِّلنَّاسِۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَأٓيَةٗ لِّقَوۡمٖ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
1557. The subject of the bee has been further elaborated in this verse. God inspires the bee to collect its food from different fruits and flowers and then by means of the mechanism provided in its body and by the methods revealed to it by God it converts the collected food into honey. Honey possesses different colours and flavours, but all its different varieties are highly useful for men. This suggests that revelation has continued to descend on Prophets at different times and that the teachings of one Prophet differed in some details from the teachings of others, nevertheless all were the means of moral and spiritual regeneration for the people for whom they were designed. (close)
The subject of the bee has been further elaborated in this verse. It says that God inspires the bee to collect its food from different fruits and flowers and then, by means of the mechanism provided in its body and by the methods revealed to it by God, it converts the collected food into honey. That honey possesses different colours and flavours but all its different varieties are highly useful for men. This fact suggests that revelation has continued to descend on Prophets at different times and that the teachings of one Prophet differed in detail from the teachings of another, nevertheless all these revelations had this essential common quality that they proved a means of moral and spiritual regeneration for the peoples for whom they were designed.
At various places in the Quran the same words have been used with reference to the Quranic revelation as have been used here with reference to honey. Honey provides a cure for the physical diseases of man and the most essential quality of the Quranic revelation also is that it is a cure for the spiritual maladies of man. See 10:58, 17:83 & 41:45.
The words, and follow the ways of thy Lord, suggest that it is possible for every man to become a recipient of Divinerevelation. The only condition he has to fulfil for this purpose is that he should obediently follow the path designed by God and not let his natural instincts become corrupt and vitiated. If he keeps his nature pure and unsullied and is guided by his natural instincts, in the course of time he becomes the recipient of revelation which may be compared to honey in its purity and usefulness.
The verse also implies that when all creatures have been granted وحی according to their respective natural capacities, though those capacities are very limited, it is inconceivable that man, who has been endowed with far greater natural powers and for whom unlimited avenues of spiritual progress have been kept open, should have remained deprived of this great blessing. (close)
وَ اللّٰہُ خَلَقَکُمۡ ثُمَّ یَتَوَفّٰٮکُمۡ ۟ۙ وَ مِنۡکُمۡ مَّنۡ یُّرَدُّ اِلٰۤی اَرۡذَلِ الۡعُمُرِ لِکَیۡ لَا یَعۡلَمَ بَعۡدَ عِلۡمٍ شَیۡئًا ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ عَلِیۡمٌ قَدِیۡرٌ ﴿٪۷۱﴾
وَٱللَّهُ خَلَقَكُمۡ ثُمَّ يَتَوَفَّىٰكُمۡۚ وَمِنكُم مَّن يُرَدُّ إِلَىٰٓ أَرۡذَلِ ٱلۡعُمُرِ لِكَيۡ لَا يَعۡلَمَ بَعۡدَ عِلۡمٖ شَيۡـًٔاۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَلِيمٞ قَدِيرٞ
a. 22:6. (close)
a. 22:6. (close)
In vv. 52-54, it was explained that the false gods of disbelievers were unable to devise a Law for the guidance of mankind, and in the immediately preceding verses it has been made clear that disbelievers too cannot make such a Law. The present verse, however, makes a more general statement and says that a perfect Law can only be framed by Him Who has full control over man’s birth, death and reasoning faculties, Who knows his needs and requirements and knows also how to satisfy them. God being Almighty and All-Knowing, all these things are subject to His control. He selects as His Messenger only him of whom He knows that his intellect would not suffer decline. History bears testimony to the fact that whereas there have been thousands of Prophets, there never was one whose reason or intellect ever declined or was impaired. This fact clearly shows that God Who had sent these Messengers had full control over their mental powers. Hence the Almighty and the All-Knowing God alone can send down revelation embodying principles and teaching which can lead man to the realization of the noble and grand purpose of his life.
Nations, like individuals, are subject to the law of decline and death. After attaining to the highest stages of knowledge they begin to show signs of senility and decay or relapse into ignorance. When one nation suffers intellectual or moral death, God makes another nation take its place and gives it a new Prophet and a new Law. The use of the Divine attributes of "All-Knowing" and "Powerful" at the end of the verse suggests that the function of giving true guidance properly belongs to Him Whose knowledge and powers never suffer decline or impairment. (close)
وَ اللّٰہُ فَضَّلَ بَعۡضَکُمۡ عَلٰی بَعۡضٍ فِی الرِّزۡقِ ۚ فَمَا الَّذِیۡنَ فُضِّلُوۡا بِرَآدِّیۡ رِزۡقِہِمۡ عَلٰی مَا مَلَکَتۡ اَیۡمَانُہُمۡ فَہُمۡ فِیۡہِ سَوَآءٌ ؕ اَفَبِنِعۡمَۃِ اللّٰہِ یَجۡحَدُوۡنَ ﴿۷۲﴾
وَٱللَّهُ فَضَّلَ بَعۡضَكُمۡ عَلَىٰ بَعۡضٖ فِي ٱلرِّزۡقِۚ فَمَا ٱلَّذِينَ فُضِّلُواْ بِرَآدِّي رِزۡقِهِمۡ عَلَىٰ مَا مَلَكَتۡ أَيۡمَٰنُهُمۡ فَهُمۡ فِيهِ سَوَآءٌۚ أَفَبِنِعۡمَةِ ٱللَّهِ يَجۡحَدُونَ
b. 24:23; 30:29. (close)
1558. In every age some individuals or nations, by their superior intellect and harder work, come to acquire ascendancy and control over other individuals or nations. This is neither unfair nor unjust so long as proper opportunities are not denied to the less fortunate peoples also to make proper use of their talents and intelligence to earn the good things of life. But the "haves" have always set their face against all attempts on the part of the "have-nots" to better their condition and to have a share in the power and privileges they enjoy. In order to save the world from the tyranny of those in possession of power and privileges and to open the doors of progress and advancement to real merit and talent and thereby to rehabilitate justice and equality among mankind, God raises Reformers. Their advent heralds a new era and the dispossessed and the "have-nots" have their rights restored to them. Briefly, but very beautifully, the verse has laid down the Islamic law with regard to private ownership. Whereas on the one hand Islam has recognized the right of private ownership by emphasizing the word "their" in the expression 'of their worldly gifts' it has, by using the words 'will restore,' also laid down the principle of the collective ownership of all things by all human beings as such, because only that thing is "restored" to another person which belongs to him. In fact, the Qur’an has accepted the principle of dual ownership of everything—the right to possess a property to be recognized in the person who earns it by the sweat of his brow and the right in that property of all human beings as human beings. Islam, in reality, neither believes in the right of unrestricted private ownership nor in complete and unreserved possession of wealth and the means of its production by the State. It adopts the middle course. (close)
1559. The expression clearly includes all persons under one’s control such as private servants, subordinates, labourers, ryots etc. (close)
a. 24:23; 30:29. (close)
This verse contains another very important argument in favour of Divine revelation. The object and purpose of Divineguidance, it says, is not only to bring about reformation in religious beliefs and doctrines but also to maintain a just balance in the distribution of material wealth and political rights and power. It is a divine law that in every age some individuals or nations, by their superior intellect and harder work, come to acquire ascendancy and control over other individuals or nations. This is neither unfair nor unjust so long as proper opportunities are not denied to the less fortunate peoples also to make proper use of their talents and intelligence for earning the good things of life. But the "haves" have always set their face against all attempts by the "have-nots" to better their material condition and to have a share in the power and privileges the "haves" enjoy. The only way to save the world from the tyranny of those in possession of power and privilege and to open the doors of progress and advancement to real merit and talent and thereby to rehabilitate justice and equality among mankind is that God should send His Messengers. Their advent heralds a new era and the dispossessed and the "have-nots" have their rights restored to them.
So when people become separated from the era of a Prophet by a long time and vested interests grow and become entrenched and power and privileges flow from father to son and common people are denied all share in the government and even so-called religious leaders come to trade upon the superstitious fears of their followers and monopolize all religious authority and common men are not even considered competent to be consulted on religious or secular matters, God raises a Prophet who wages a relentless war against this tyranny and untruth and the so-called leaders who held the reins of power in their hands on the plea of supposed superior abilities are dethroned and man begins to breathe in an atmosphere of true freedom.
Briefly but very beautifully the verse has laid down the Islamic law with regard to private ownership. Whereas on the one hand Islam has recognized the right of private ownership by emphasizing the word their in the expression, "of their worldly gifts", it has, by using the words "will restore" (برادی) also accepted the principle of the collective ownership of all things by all human beings as such, because only that thing is "restored" to another person which belongs to him. In fact, Islam has accepted the principle of dual ownership of everything—the right of possession of a property by the person who earns it and the right in the possession of that property of all human beings as human beings. Moreover, by its institution of Zakah, the prohibition about hoarding wealth and taking and giving of interest, Islam has sought to prevent the accumulation of wealth in a few hands and thus by its free circulation has kept the avenues of progress equally open for all men. Islam, in reality, neither believes in the right of unrestricted private ownership nor in complete and unreserved possession of wealth and the means of its production by the State. It adopts the middle course.
Ordinarily, the words "whom their right hands possess" mean slaves, and in the Quran these words have generally been used in this sense; but they possess a much wider significance and include all persons under one’s control such as private servants, subordinates, labourers, ryots etc. (close)
وَ اللّٰہُ جَعَلَ لَکُمۡ مِّنۡ اَنۡفُسِکُمۡ اَزۡوَاجًا وَّ جَعَلَ لَکُمۡ مِّنۡ اَزۡوَاجِکُمۡ بَنِیۡنَ وَ حَفَدَۃً وَّ رَزَقَکُمۡ مِّنَ الطَّیِّبٰتِ ؕ اَفَبِالۡبَاطِلِ یُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ وَ بِنِعۡمَتِ اللّٰہِ ہُمۡ یَکۡفُرُوۡنَ ﴿ۙ۷۳﴾
وَٱللَّهُ جَعَلَ لَكُم مِّنۡ أَنفُسِكُمۡ أَزۡوَٰجٗا وَجَعَلَ لَكُم مِّنۡ أَزۡوَٰجِكُم بَنِينَ وَحَفَدَةٗ وَرَزَقَكُم مِّنَ ٱلطَّيِّبَٰتِۚ أَفَبِٱلۡبَٰطِلِ يُؤۡمِنُونَ وَبِنِعۡمَتِ ٱللَّهِ هُمۡ يَكۡفُرُونَ
a. 4:2; 7:190; 30:22; 39:7. (close)
b. 29:68. (close)
1560. The verse refers to the instinct of private possession as an argument in support of the Unity of God. (close)
b. 29:68. (close)
1873. Important Words:
حفدة (grandsons) is derived from حفد which means, he was quick or went quickly; was continuous in his course or pace. حفد فی العمل means, he was quick and active, agile or prompt, in work. حفدہ means, he served him. حفدة means, assistants, helpers, or auxiliaries and servants; a man’s grandchildren or sons’ children or a son’s children; children or daughters who serve their parents in the house or a man’s children or grandchildren who serve him (Lane & Aqrab).
In this and the adjoining verses the two themes of the need of a revealed Law and the Unity of Godhead have been dealt with from various points of view, not at random, but in support of each other, and it has been made clear that while on the one hand man is apt to fall a victim to polytheistic beliefs and practices without a revealed Law, on the other the Unity of God requires that God should make provision for man’s guidance. As there is no other god except Him, He Himself must provide for the guidance of His creatures. The Oneness of God implies His perfection and that perfection demands that the creation of man must have a purpose, for a purposeless creation suggests a defective Creator. Again, if man were considered to have been created with a purpose, the fulfilment of that purpose would necessarily require an afterlife, for evidently such a purpose is incapable of being fulfilled in the brief span of man’s terrestrial existence. Now the purpose which requires limitless and infinite life for its fulfilment must be highly noble and sublime and so the Law which is intended to accomplish it must also proceed from God Himself. Thus the subjects of the Unity of God and the need of revealed guidance have been mentioned in support of each other in different forms in these verses and just as in the physical world we see that things receive support from one another, similarly in the spiritual realm various parts of the spiritual edifice support one another in order to establish the one supreme truth of the Oneness of God and the Unity and uniformity of creation.
The verse adduces another argument in support of the Unity of Godhead, viz. the human instinct of private possession. It was pointed out in the previous verse that the exclusive possession of wealth and power by certain individuals makes it necessary that there should be a revealed Law to maintain equality and justice between different classes. In this verse it is stated that the instinct of private possession prompts man to transmit his property to his natural heirs and not to strangers. How then can he, in fairness to God, dare set up 'partners' who should share Godhead with Him and thus set the seal on his ingratitude to Him? The way in which man displays his ingratitude to God is dealt with in the next verse. (close)
وَ یَعۡبُدُوۡنَ مِنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰہِ مَا لَا یَمۡلِکُ لَہُمۡ رِزۡقًا مِّنَ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضِ شَیۡئًا وَّ لَا یَسۡتَطِیۡعُوۡنَ ﴿ۚ۷۴﴾
وَيَعۡبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ مَا لَا يَمۡلِكُ لَهُمۡ رِزۡقٗا مِّنَ ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِ شَيۡـٔٗا وَلَا يَسۡتَطِيعُونَ
c. 10:19; 22:72; 29:18. (close)
a. 10:19; 22:72; 29:18. (close)
This verse exposes the stupidity of the course followed by polytheists. It purports to say that while they cannot bear to see their property going into the possession of anyone save their own natural descendants, in the case of God they attribute His powers and authority to persons upon whom He has bestowed no such privilege. This course is all the more unjust because the property which they call their own is really not theirs but is entrusted to them by God. If in spite of the fact that they are not the real owners of the property which is in their possession, they consider themselves competent to bequeath it to anyone they like, why should it not be in the power of God to make anyone He likes to be the recipient of His revealed Law?
The verse also points out that polytheistic beliefs tend to mar man’s material and spiritual progress. A polytheist attributes those powers to false gods which they do not possess and thus his attention is turned away from that Being Who is the source of all power and Who can bestow great favours upon him. It is thus that the intellectual progress and mental advancement of those communities and individuals who hold polytheistic beliefs becomes retarded and impeded while those who believe in the Oneness of God continue to make some progress even in the period of their decline and decay. (close)
فَلَا تَضۡرِبُوۡا لِلّٰہِ الۡاَمۡثَالَ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ یَعۡلَمُ وَ اَنۡتُمۡ لَا تَعۡلَمُوۡنَ ﴿۷۵﴾
فَلَا تَضۡرِبُواْ لِلَّهِ ٱلۡأَمۡثَالَۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَعۡلَمُ وَأَنتُمۡ لَا تَعۡلَمُونَ
1561. It is highly presumptuous on the part of man to devise a law regarding God while he is quite ignorant of His great and unlimited powers. (close)
The verse means to say that it is foolish on the part of man to devise a law regarding God Himself while he is quite ignorant of His unlimited powers. God has reserved to Himself the right to grant to His servants such privileges in respect of religion as He in His infinite, infallible wisdom regards suitable and for this purpose He chooses him whom He considers really deserving, on account of his sincerity and devotion, to be raised to the rank of His spiritual heir.
In some Scriptures some of the Prophets have been called "sons of God". Such expressions have been used metaphorically and only mean that God chose them to be the heirs to His heavenly kingdom. But men out of their ignorance and perversity take such expressions literally and begin to regard God’s honoured servants as His sons in the physical sense of the word. By applying to them the epithet "the sons of God", these Divine Scriptures meant to demonstrate their spiritual eminence and very deep connection with Him. It is foolish to read in such terms any significance unworthy of God.
The words, Allah knows and you know not, signify that such expressions when used in heavenly Scriptures do not conflict with God’s attributes. For example, the epithet "son" when used by God about a person means one who has such close spiritual connection with Him as is possessed by a son with his parents. But when disbelievers use this term, they use it in its physical sense and thus detract, on the one hand, from the Supreme Exaltedness of God and, on the other, from the dignity of those whom in their folly they wish to honour; because a physical relationship cannot equal the honour and dignity which result from spiritual nearness to God. (close)
ضَرَبَ اللّٰہُ مَثَلًا عَبۡدًا مَّمۡلُوۡکًا لَّا یَقۡدِرُ عَلٰی شَیۡءٍ وَّ مَنۡ رَّزَقۡنٰہُ مِنَّا رِزۡقًا حَسَنًا فَہُوَ یُنۡفِقُ مِنۡہُ سِرًّا وَّ جَہۡرًا ؕ ہَلۡ یَسۡتَوٗنَ ؕ اَلۡحَمۡدُ لِلّٰہِ ؕ بَلۡ اَکۡثَرُہُمۡ لَا یَعۡلَمُوۡنَ ﴿۷۶﴾
۞ضَرَبَ ٱللَّهُ مَثَلًا عَبۡدٗا مَّمۡلُوكٗا لَّا يَقۡدِرُ عَلَىٰ شَيۡءٖ وَمَن رَّزَقۡنَٰهُ مِنَّا رِزۡقًا حَسَنٗا فَهُوَ يُنفِقُ مِنۡهُ سِرّٗا وَجَهۡرًاۖ هَلۡ يَسۡتَوُۥنَۚ ٱلۡحَمۡدُ لِلَّهِۚ بَلۡ أَكۡثَرُهُمۡ لَا يَعۡلَمُونَ
1562. The disbelievers are like a person who has lost all freedom of will and action and is the slave of his own low desires and fancies. (close)
a. 2:275; 13:23. (close)
1563. The implied reference may be to the Holy Prophet—God’s servant par excellence. (1) He served mankind secretly (by praying for them at night) and openly (by tangible acts of service). (2) He served mankind at all hours of the day and night. (close)
a. 2:275; 13:23. (close)
The previous verse pointed out that when God uses an endearing term for some of His beloved servants, it connotes something quite different from such an expression when used by idolaters. The present verse presents the Holy Prophet as one whom God loves, and gives the reason of God’s love for him. It deals with this subject in a parable. It likens disbelievers to a person who has lost his freedom and is the slave of his own lust and, being in the possession of another, has lost all freedom of will and action. Can such a person in any way be like him who, being free from all sorts of superstitious beliefs and evil practices, spends his great God-given powers in the service of His creatures? Evidently the latter person is by far superior to the former in every respect and deserves in a far greater degree to be blessed with Divinerevelation. The implied reference is to the Holy Prophet.
The words, secretly and openly, may be understood in three senses: (1) The Holy Prophet served mankind secretly i.e. by praying for them at night and openly i.e. by tangible acts of service. His whole life was, as it were, a continuous and uninterrupted act of selfless service. (2) He served mankind day and night i.e. he served mankind with might and main at all hours of the day and night. (3) His service, though generally unrecognized by those whom he served, did sometimes receive approbation and recognition from them. The verse means to say that all the great natural powers of the Holy Prophet were fully and completely employed in the service of humanity and in this service he gave no thought to his own comfort and it made no difference to him whether or not his service was acknowledged.
The verse also suggests that there are some good deeds which remain unknown to men in this life and hence go without recognition. Such good deeds demand that there should be a "day" when they may be recognized and suitably rewarded. (close)
وَ ضَرَبَ اللّٰہُ مَثَلًا رَّجُلَیۡنِ اَحَدُہُمَاۤ اَبۡکَمُ لَا یَقۡدِرُ عَلٰی شَیۡءٍ وَّ ہُوَ کَلٌّ عَلٰی مَوۡلٰٮہُ ۙ اَیۡنَمَا یُوَجِّہۡہُّ لَایَاۡتِ بِخَیۡرٍ ؕ ہَلۡ یَسۡتَوِیۡ ہُوَ ۙ وَ مَنۡ یَّاۡمُرُ بِالۡعَدۡلِ ۙ وَ ہُوَ عَلٰی صِرَاطٍ مُّسۡتَقِیۡمٍ ﴿٪۷۷﴾
وَضَرَبَ ٱللَّهُ مَثَلٗا رَّجُلَيۡنِ أَحَدُهُمَآ أَبۡكَمُ لَا يَقۡدِرُ عَلَىٰ شَيۡءٖ وَهُوَ كَلٌّ عَلَىٰ مَوۡلَىٰهُ أَيۡنَمَا يُوَجِّههُّ لَا يَأۡتِ بِخَيۡرٍ هَلۡ يَسۡتَوِي هُوَ وَمَن يَأۡمُرُ بِٱلۡعَدۡلِ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ صِرَٰطٖ مُّسۡتَقِيمٖ
1564. This and the preceding verse refer to two different classes of disbelievers. The preceding verse refers to those disbelievers, who are slaves to superstitious beliefs and idolatrous practices and customs and, though possessing some means and the ability to do some useful work, are prevented from doing it because they are deprived of freedom of action. And the present verse refers to such disbelievers as are not only slaves to superstitious practices but are also totally lacking in the means and the ability to do any real good work. (close)
This verse contains another parable concerning the Holy Prophet and his enemies. It says that the Prophet’s enemies are mute and dumb. All sorts of crimes and sins are committed before their eyes, but they do not even open their lips to condemn them or to dissuade or check people from them. They have never said a word to safeguard the honour of God, their Lord and Master. It is only the Prophet who has always raised his voice against sin and iniquity.
Again, says the verse, if the Prophet’s adversaries could not bid others to do good works and not associate equals with God, they could, at least do good works themselves and declare the Holiness of God by their own example. But they did none of these things. They could neither carry their own burdens nor help others carry their burdens. But the Holy Prophetnot only himself practised virtue but exhorted and enjoined others to be just, equitable and God-fearing. Therefore he, and not they, deserved to be chosen for Divine favours.
The theme in this and the preceding verse is the same, but these two verses refer to two different classes of disbelievers. The preceding verse refers to such disbelievers as are slaves to superstitious beliefs and idolatrous practices and customs and though possessing the means and the ability to do some useful and effective work, abstain from doing it for fear of incurring public opprobrium; while the present verse refers to such disbelievers as are not only slaves to superstitious practices but also lack the means and the ability to do any good work. As contrasted with these two classes of disbelievers the Holy Prophet is not only free from all sorts of superstitious beliefs and foolish customs but is also endowed with great natural powers. He uses his great God-given gifts in the service of mankind while disbelievers are a burden and a sort of a stigma on the Holiness of God Who has created them. (close)
وَ لِلّٰہِ غَیۡبُ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضِ ؕ وَ مَاۤ اَمۡرُ السَّاعَۃِ اِلَّا کَلَمۡحِ الۡبَصَرِ اَوۡ ہُوَ اَقۡرَبُ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ عَلٰی کُلِّ شَیۡءٍ قَدِیۡرٌ ﴿۷۸﴾
وَلِلَّهِ غَيۡبُ ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِۚ وَمَآ أَمۡرُ ٱلسَّاعَةِ إِلَّا كَلَمۡحِ ٱلۡبَصَرِ أَوۡ هُوَ أَقۡرَبُۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيۡءٖ قَدِيرٞ
b. 11:124; 18:27; 35:39. (close)
1565. "The unseen," i.e. the eventual defeat and discomfiture of disbelief and the victory of Islam. (close)
a. 7:188; 54:51. (close)
a. 11:124; 18:27; 35:39. (close)
b. 7:188; 54:51. (close)
The verse purports to say that as disbelievers have stood in the way of the Holy Prophet whom God has chosen for the bestowal of His favours, they will be visited with sudden and terrible punishment. This prophecy will certainly be fulfilled because it has been made by God Who has power over all things.
It is interesting to note how the verse anticipates future critics of Islam who say that the unprecedented success which attended the Holy Prophet and Muslims was due only to natural causes. The verse forestalls this objection by saying that it is God, the Almighty and Knower of all secrets, Who is speaking of the imminent destruction of disbelievers. The fulfilment of this prophecy will not be a chance occurrence but one that will be brought about by the Almighty God. This prophecy was made towards the end of the Prophet’s stay in Mecca. And it is well-known that shortly after the power of the idolatrous Arabs was broken, it was followed by the overthrow of the Persian and Roman Empires, the two great military powers of the time. All this was foretold at a time when the Prophet and his followers were being persecuted in Mecca. Who can say that all this was only the inevitable result of natural causes and was not due to a special decree of the All-Powerful God?
The words, the twinkling of an eye, mean, "within a short time". The prophecy implied in the words, "the matter of the Promised Hour," met its remarkable fulfilment in the Battle of Badr and finally in the conquest of Mecca. (close)