وَ لَا تَقۡرَبُوۡا مَالَ الۡیَتِیۡمِ اِلَّا بِالَّتِیۡ ہِیَ اَحۡسَنُ حَتّٰی یَبۡلُغَ اَشُدَّہٗ ۪ وَ اَوۡفُوۡا بِالۡعَہۡدِ ۚ اِنَّ الۡعَہۡدَ کَانَ مَسۡـُٔوۡلًا ﴿۳۵﴾
وَلَا تَقۡرَبُواْ مَالَ ٱلۡيَتِيمِ إِلَّا بِٱلَّتِي هِيَ أَحۡسَنُ حَتَّىٰ يَبۡلُغَ أَشُدَّهُۥۚ وَأَوۡفُواْ بِٱلۡعَهۡدِۖ إِنَّ ٱلۡعَهۡدَ كَانَ مَسۡـُٔولٗا
a. 4:7, 11; 6:153. (close)
b. 5:2; 16:92. (close)
1617. After having laid down the law about the punishment for murder which leaves behind orphans in two families—in the family of the murderer and in that of the murdered person—the Qur’an proceeds to give directions about the rights of orphans. One of the most important of these is with regard to their property. The word "covenant" (meaning an obligation) has been used here to emphasize the fact that taking proper care of the property of the orphans constitutes no favour to them but is a responsibility and a duty to be discharged fully and honestly. (close)
a. 4:7, 11; 6:153. (close)
Besides the every-day incidence of death, sudden and accidental happenings, among which may be included epidemics, murders, etc. leave children orphans. Hence, after having laid down the law about the punishment of murder, which leaves orphans in two families––in the family of the murderer and that of the murdered person—the Quran proceeds to give directions about the rights of orphans. One of the most important of these is with regard to their property.
The present verse clearly lays down that the property of orphans is to be handled in such a way that it may increase and produce the best results for them. In this as in many other respects the teaching of Islam is clearly superior to that of other religions. In no other religious system have such detailed instructions been given to safeguard the property of orphans as are given by Islam. The present verse institutes, as it were, a general Court of Wards, a department designed for the protection of the property of orphaned minors. It is generally considered to be a western institution, but it was conceived and brought into being by Islam no less than 1350 years ago.
The words, until he attains his maturity, signify that the guardianship of orphans’ property is not to be given up before they are physically and mentally mature enough to take proper care of it; nor is it to be retained a minute longer after that.
The word عھد (covenant) also means an obligation and it has been used here in this sense to emphasize the fact that taking proper care of orphans’ property constitutes no favour to them but is a responsibility and a duty to be discharged fully and honestly. Orphans are powerless to call their guardians to account if the latter are found to be guilty of fraudulence with regard to their property. So God has given their charge the status of a divine covenant the breach of which will be severely punished.
This word عھد, however, may possess a wider significance. It may refer to the responsibility that devolves upon a powerful nation which takes under its protection a weaker sister nation. Such a powerful nation is reminded that it can keep under its tutelage the weaker nation only till that time when the latter "comes of age" and is fit to take charge of its affairs. The weaker nation is here likened to an orphan whose period of tutelage is a sacred trust which the stronger nation is directed to discharge honestly "until it attains its maturity." The verse thus possesses an object lesson for the Western Mandatory Powers. (close)
وَ اَوۡفُوا الۡکَیۡلَ اِذَا کِلۡتُمۡ وَ زِنُوۡا بِالۡقِسۡطَاسِ الۡمُسۡتَقِیۡمِ ؕ ذٰلِکَ خَیۡرٌ وَّ اَحۡسَنُ تَاۡوِیۡلًا ﴿۳۶﴾
وَأَوۡفُواْ ٱلۡكَيۡلَ إِذَا كِلۡتُمۡ وَزِنُواْ بِٱلۡقِسۡطَاسِ ٱلۡمُسۡتَقِيمِۚ ذَٰلِكَ خَيۡرٞ وَأَحۡسَنُ تَأۡوِيلٗا
a. 7:86; 11:85, 86; 26:182, 183; 55:10. (close)
1618. The secret of the commercial progress and prosperity of a people lies in honest and fair dealing in commercial transactions. (close)
a. 7:86; 11:85-86; 26:182,183; 55:10. (close)
The verse points to the fact that the secret of the commercial progress and prosperity of a people lies in honest and fair dealing in commercial transactions. (close)
وَ لَا تَقۡفُ مَا لَیۡسَ لَکَ بِہٖ عِلۡمٌ ؕ اِنَّ السَّمۡعَ وَ الۡبَصَرَ وَ الۡفُؤَادَ کُلُّ اُولٰٓئِکَ کَانَ عَنۡہُ مَسۡـُٔوۡلًا ﴿۳۷﴾
وَلَا تَقۡفُ مَا لَيۡسَ لَكَ بِهِۦ عِلۡمٌۚ إِنَّ ٱلسَّمۡعَ وَٱلۡبَصَرَ وَٱلۡفُؤَادَ كُلُّ أُوْلَـٰٓئِكَ كَانَ عَنۡهُ مَسۡـُٔولٗا
b. 11:47. (close)
c. 24:25; 36:66; 41:21-23. (close)
1619. The verse cuts at the root of all sources of suspicion which in natural order are "the ear," "the eye" and "the heart." "The ear" is the first avenue through which most suspicions enter one’s mind. Most suspicions are caused by ill-founded reports which one hears about another person. Next source is that of sight. A person sees another doing a certain act and interprets it wrongly and is led to suspect the latter’s motives and intentions. The last and most degraded kind of suspicion is that which a person entertains about another person not as the result of a bad report which he might have heard about him, nor in consequence of a bad act or deed which he might have seen him committing but which is purely the figment of his own diseased mind. Thus it is not only human life and property (to which a reference has already been made in the preceding verse) which are sacred and inviolable, but human honour also is sacrosanct and an attack upon it will also have to be accounted for. (close)
b. 11:47. (close)
c. 24:25; 36:66; 41:21-23. (close)
This verse cuts at the root of all sources of suspicion. These sources in their natural order are "the ear", "the eye" and "the heart". "The ear" is the first avenue through which most suspicions enter man’s mind. As a rule suspicions are caused by ill-founded reports which one hears about another person. Next to hearing comes the source of sight. A person sees another doing a certain act and interprets it wrongly and is led to suspect the latter’s motives and intentions. The last and most degraded kind of suspicion is that which a person entertains about another not as the result of a bad report which he might have heard about him nor in consequence of a bad act or deed which he might have seen him doing but which is purely the figment of his own diseased mind. Muslims are enjoined to steer clear of all these forms of suspicion. They are the enemy of all cordial social relations.
The verse draws attention to the fact that it is not only human life and property (to which a reference has already been made in the preceding verse) which are sacred and inviolable; human honour also is sacrosanct and an attack upon it also will have to be accounted for.
A person will be called to account for having listened to anything about another person which he had no right to do. Similarly, he will be brought to book for having seen something which he should not have seen. And so will he be punished for harbouring in his mind evil thoughts about other people. We are told that our impressions and opinions should not be based on mere hearsay and surmise but on sure knowledge. Mere evidence of the ear, the eye or the heart is not sufficient to condemn a person or form an adverse opinion about him but sure knowledge based on thorough enquiry. Mark the high moral tone of these teachings! (close)
وَ لَا تَمۡشِ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ مَرَحًا ۚ اِنَّکَ لَنۡ تَخۡرِقَ الۡاَرۡضَ وَ لَنۡ تَبۡلُغَ الۡجِبَالَ طُوۡلًا ﴿۳۸﴾
وَلَا تَمۡشِ فِي ٱلۡأَرۡضِ مَرَحًاۖ إِنَّكَ لَن تَخۡرِقَ ٱلۡأَرۡضَ وَلَن تَبۡلُغَ ٱلۡجِبَالَ طُولٗا
d. 31:19. (close)
1620. To be proud of and exult over one’s achievements not only smacks of frivolity, but does moral injury to the proud person, for such an attitude makes him content with what he has already achieved and is thus calculated to impede and arrest his moral progress. (close)
a. 31:19. (close)
The teaching given in the previous verses pertained to our relations with other individuals or with God. The moral precepts which this verse proceeds to lay down concern our own selves. First of all we are bidden not to be proud of and exult over our achievements, for such an attitude makes us content with what we have already achieved and is thus calculated to impede and arrest our moral progress. The words, thou canst not rend the earth nor canst thou reach the mountains in height, remind us that after all our successes and achievements are limited, and there is no sense in our losing our heads over what is so limited. In spite of all our achievements, real or imaginary, we, have to live on this earth and among its people. We should not therefore behave in such a manner as to make ourselves intolerable to others. A proud man’s life is generally very bitter. In every-day life he cannot do without the help and assistance of those among whom he lives and yet he disdains their cooperation. This contrariness and irreconcilability of attitude and feelings renders his life bitter and makes him unacceptable to others.
Taking the word جبال (mountains) in the sense of "leaders" or "learned men", which is also one of its so many meanings, the verse seems to administer a subtle rebuke to the haughty and the arrogant that they cannot attain that height of greatness and honour among their people which these two classes of men reach by their knowledge and service, and yet these pillars of learning are the models of humility and humaneness. (close)
کُلُّ ذٰلِکَ کَانَ سَیِّئُہٗ عِنۡدَ رَبِّکَ مَکۡرُوۡہًا ﴿۳۹﴾
كُلُّ ذَٰلِكَ كَانَ سَيِّئُهُۥ عِندَ رَبِّكَ مَكۡرُوهٗا
In this verse, which speaks of the dark or evil side of things, a vast store of knowledge has been compressed in a very brief sentence. It purports to say that nothing in this world may be described as absolutely good or bad. Every action has its good or evil aspect. It is the circumstances under which it is done that make it good or bad. Belief in the Unity of God, for instance, is a virtue, but if one makes it a cause of mischief and begins to abuse other people’s gods, it will become an evil. Similarly, it is a virtue to be obedient to one’s parents, but if one begins to commit acts of injustice or worship deities other than Allah at their bidding, obedience to them becomes an evil act. Again, it is an act of virtue to abstain from killing but if one should, on that ground, abstain from fighting in defence of one’s country or oppose the killing of a person who has been sentenced to death by a properly constituted court of law, his conduct will be considered reprehensible; and so on and so forth. A Muslim is, therefore, expected to understand and realize the reality and true significance of God’s commandments and to use his God-given gifts, powers and faculties on proper occasions in accordance with the exigencies of time and circumstance and the dictates of reason. Every natural faculty has a good or bad use and it is only the improper use of those faculties that is called evil and is forbidden by God. How true and comprehensive is this definition of good and bad actions but how few people really understand it! (close)
ذٰلِکَ مِمَّاۤ اَوۡحٰۤی اِلَیۡکَ رَبُّکَ مِنَ الۡحِکۡمَۃِ ؕ وَ لَا تَجۡعَلۡ مَعَ اللّٰہِ اِلٰـہًا اٰخَرَ فَتُلۡقٰی فِیۡ جَہَنَّمَ مَلُوۡمًا مَّدۡحُوۡرًا ﴿۴۰﴾
ذَٰلِكَ مِمَّآ أَوۡحَىٰٓ إِلَيۡكَ رَبُّكَ مِنَ ٱلۡحِكۡمَةِۗ وَلَا تَجۡعَلۡ مَعَ ٱللَّهِ إِلَٰهًا ءَاخَرَ فَتُلۡقَىٰ فِي جَهَنَّمَ مَلُومٗا مَّدۡحُورًا
a. 17:23; 26:214; 28:89. (close)
a. 17:23; 26:214; 28:89. (close)
In 16:126 we were told that a number of commandments full of wisdom would be given soon. The present verse purports to say that a few of these wise Divine commandments have already been mentioned in the previous verses. In v. 23. great stress was laid on توحید (Oneness of God). In the following verses the practical implications of the Islamic conception of توحید and the great moral and spiritual benefits that mankind has derived from this concept were explained. In the verse under comment, however, توحید is considered from another standpoint, the injury that its antithesis—idolatry (شرک) does to human intellect. A polytheist naturally feels self-condemned and realizes the untenability of his position before a believer in the Oneness of God because he knows that he possesses no solid argument to support his belief. Thus he can never enjoy real peace of mind. (close)
اَفَاَصۡفٰٮکُمۡ رَبُّکُمۡ بِالۡبَنِیۡنَ وَ اتَّخَذَ مِنَ الۡمَلٰٓئِکَۃِ اِنَاثًا ؕ اِنَّکُمۡ لَتَقُوۡلُوۡنَ قَوۡلًا عَظِیۡمًا ﴿٪۴۱﴾
أَفَأَصۡفَىٰكُمۡ رَبُّكُم بِٱلۡبَنِينَ وَٱتَّخَذَ مِنَ ٱلۡمَلَـٰٓئِكَةِ إِنَٰثًاۚ إِنَّكُمۡ لَتَقُولُونَ قَوۡلًا عَظِيمٗا
b. 37:151; 43:20; 52:40. (close)
a. 37:151; 43:20; 52:40. (close)
This verse gives an illustration of the mental confusion and lack of intellectual poise of polytheists. For instance, some of them say that angels are God’s daughters and they worship them although they themselves regard daughters to be a source of shame and humiliation. (close)
وَ لَقَدۡ صَرَّفۡنَا فِیۡ ہٰذَا الۡقُرۡاٰنِ لِیَذَّکَّرُوۡا ؕ وَ مَا یَزِیۡدُہُمۡ اِلَّا نُفُوۡرًا ﴿۴۲﴾
وَلَقَدۡ صَرَّفۡنَا فِي هَٰذَا ٱلۡقُرۡءَانِ لِيَذَّكَّرُواْ وَمَا يَزِيدُهُمۡ إِلَّا نُفُورٗا
c. 17:90; 18:55. (close)
1621. For a revealed Book which has to deal with all matters of importance it is but natural and even necessary that it should revert, time and again, to the relevant points which bear on the main theme. When repetition is intended to throw light upon a matter from a new angle or to refute a new objection, no sane and intelligent person can take objection to it. (close)
b. 17:90; 18:55. (close)
1971. Important Words:
صرفنا (We have explained the truth in various ways). صرف(Sarrafa) is the intensified form of صرف (Sarafa). صرفه means, he turned, sent or put him away or back from his way or course. صرف الشیء (Sarrafa) means, he employed the thing in more than one way. صرف الکلام means, he derived one part of the speech from another. تصریف is the turning from one state or condition to another or from one direction or course or way to another. تصریف الایات signifies the varying of the Quranic verses by repeating them in different forms (Lane & Aqrab).
The objection is generally raised against the Quran that it unnecessarily repeats its subjects. This objection has been answered in this verse. According to the two meanings of the word صرفنا given under Important Words, the verse would mean, (a) that the Quran refutes all possible objections raised against its principles and teachings and (b) that it discusses all important subjects from all conceivable points of view. For a book which has to deal exhaustively with all questions of importance it is quite natural and even necessary that it should revert, time and again, to the relevant points which bear on the main theme. No reasonable person can call this repetition. Repetition is objectionable only when it serves no useful purpose, but when it is intended to throw light upon a question from a new angle of vision or to refute a new objection no sane and intelligent person can object to it. (close)
قُلۡ لَّوۡ کَانَ مَعَہٗۤ اٰلِـہَۃٌ کَمَا یَقُوۡلُوۡنَ اِذًا لَّابۡتَغَوۡا اِلٰی ذِی الۡعَرۡشِ سَبِیۡلًا ﴿۴۳﴾
قُل لَّوۡ كَانَ مَعَهُۥٓ ءَالِهَةٞ كَمَا يَقُولُونَ إِذٗا لَّٱبۡتَغَوۡاْ إِلَىٰ ذِي ٱلۡعَرۡشِ سَبِيلٗا
This verse furnishes an illustration of the fact that when the Quran reverts to a subject it does so to deal with it in a new light. The verse has reverted to the subject of setting up equals with God. But here it gives quite a new argument in its refutation. It demolishes the claim of idolaters that they worship their idols to seek nearness to God through their mediation (39:4) by saying that if by this worship they had really sought nearness to God, they should have achieved this object but there are no signs of any one of them ever having attained nearness to God.
Incidentally some light may be thrown on some of the signs and marks which a person who has established real connection with God must possess: (a) his prayers are accepted; (b) he becomes very much immune from sin or indulgence in vain discourse; (c) he enjoys a sort of Divine protection and (d) he treats God’s creatures with kindness and benevolence and lives peacefully and amicably with them, i.e. he is at peace with God and man. Idolaters are completely devoid of all these characteristics of God’s beloved and His Elect.
The expression, they (idolaters) would have surely sought out a way to the Owner of the Throne, may also be understood to mean that if the false gods of idolaters had possessed any truth or power, then with their help idolaters would have learnt from the Supreme Lord of the Throne some way or means to counteract and nullify the Holy Prophet’s efforts. The fact, therefore, that the Prophet marched from success to success and all their schemes and machinations failed to impede his progress furnishes proof positive of the fact that these so-called gods possess no truth or power. (close)
سُبۡحٰنَہٗ وَ تَعٰلٰی عَمَّا یَقُوۡلُوۡنَ عُلُوًّا کَبِیۡرًا ﴿۴۴﴾
سُبۡحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ عَمَّا يَقُولُونَ عُلُوّٗا كَبِيرٗا
d. 6:101; 39:68. (close)
a. 6:101; 39:68. (close)
It is inconsistent with the dignity and greatness of God to grant nearness to His creatures through the medium of others and thus make difficult the path of those who seek His nearness. The Prophets of God come to make that path easy. They do not stand between God and His creatures. (close)