عَسٰی رَبُّکُمۡ اَنۡ یَّرۡحَمَکُمۡ ۚ وَ اِنۡ عُدۡتُّمۡ عُدۡنَا ۘ وَ جَعَلۡنَا جَہَنَّمَ لِلۡکٰفِرِیۡنَ حَصِیۡرًا ﴿۹﴾
عَسَىٰ رَبُّكُمۡ أَن يَرۡحَمَكُمۡۚ وَإِنۡ عُدتُّمۡ عُدۡنَاۚ وَجَعَلۡنَا جَهَنَّمَ لِلۡكَٰفِرِينَ حَصِيرًا
After speaking of the utter destruction of the Israelites, the Quran in the present verse gives them a message of hope and informs them that, although so far as the Bible and the Jewish faith are concerned their fate is sealed forever and they can never hope to regain their departed glory, yet, outside the Mosaic Dispensation, God has opened to them a new way by following which they can be readmitted to His Mercy and Grace. That way is Islam and through it they can again rise to their former power and greatness (Deut. 33:1-3). They should avail themselves of this new opportunity and inherit Divine blessings. If, however, they refuse to benefit by this last opportunity, God’s wrath shall descend on them and they shall be consigned to everlasting perdition. While in these verses the Jews were told that according to the prophecies of their own Scriptures there was no future for them outside Islam, the Muslims have also been warned that, like the Jews, they too will be punished twice if they did not give up their evil ways. But they also threw this timely warning to the winds and the result was their disgrace and punishment. They, too, were twice punished. The first punishment overtook them at the fall of Baghdad when the barbarous hordes of Hulagu laid waste that great seat of learning and power. In the heyday of their glory Muslims married the beautiful women of Farghana. These women brought with them their idolatrous beliefs with the result that later generations of Muslims became infected with these beliefs and lost the respect they once had for their own religion and became lax in morals and discipline. This led to the invasion of Baghdad by the savage Tartar hordes who exceeded the Babylonian despoilers of Palestine in savagery and barbarity. Baghdad fell in 1258 A.D. and 1,800,000 Muslims are said to have been put to the sword. All members of the royal family were mercilessly butchered and for days the city was given over to pillage and arson and with the destruction of the Abbasid Empire, Muslim power in the east came to a most inglorious end. Islam, however, emerged triumphant from this dreadful ordeal. The victors became the vanquished and the humble servants of Islam. The second punishment was destined to overtake Muslims in the latter days. Its signs have already begun to appear. See also 17:105. (close)
اِنَّ ہٰذَا الۡقُرۡاٰنَ یَہۡدِیۡ لِلَّتِیۡ ہِیَ اَقۡوَمُ وَ یُبَشِّرُ الۡمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ الَّذِیۡنَ یَعۡمَلُوۡنَ الصّٰلِحٰتِ اَنَّ لَہُمۡ اَجۡرًا کَبِیۡرًا ۙ﴿۱۰﴾
إِنَّ هَٰذَا ٱلۡقُرۡءَانَ يَهۡدِي لِلَّتِي هِيَ أَقۡوَمُ وَيُبَشِّرُ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ ٱلَّذِينَ يَعۡمَلُونَ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَٰتِ أَنَّ لَهُمۡ أَجۡرٗا كَبِيرٗا
a. 12:112; 16:103; 18:3. (close)
1596. The goal which the Qur’an sets before its followers is nobler and more sublime than that of the former peoples, and promises its true followers both spiritual and temporal blessings. They should, therefore, make great efforts to attain them and be on their guard against a lax and undisciplined life and in every way prove themselves deserving of the promised Divine boons. (close)
The verse purports to say that the goal which the Quran sets before its followers is much nobler and more sublime than that of the former peoples and promises its true followers both spiritual and temporal blessings. They should, therefore, make great efforts to attain them and be on their guard against a lax and undisciplined life and in every way prove themselves deserving of the promised boons. (close)
وَّ اَنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ لَا یُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ بِالۡاٰخِرَۃِ اَعۡتَدۡنَا لَہُمۡ عَذَابًا اَلِیۡمًا ﴿٪۱۱﴾
وَأَنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ لَا يُؤۡمِنُونَ بِٱلۡأٓخِرَةِ أَعۡتَدۡنَا لَهُمۡ عَذَابًا أَلِيمٗا
b. 16:23; 27:5; 34:9. (close)
a. 16:23; 27:5; 34:9. (close)
This verse continues and develops the theme of the previous verse and leaves no doubt about the fact that negligent people come to grief. The word الاخرة (lit. meaning ‘that which comes after’) has erroneously been taken to mean یوم الاخرة(the Last Day) only. The word should be interpreted in harmony with its context. In the present verse 'the end of nations' seems to be the most appropriate meaning of the word الاخرة. The verse means to say that those who ignore the patent fact that the end of every rise is fall, tend to neglect their duties and responsibilities with the result that they draw upon themselves Divine punishment.
The fact that this verse is connected with the preceding verse by the conjunction و (and) also supports the above interpretation, for it shows that it is Muslims who have been addressed here, and Muslims cannot be said to deny یوم الاخرة (the Day of Judgement). So the word آخرةcannot be taken to mean here the Day of Judgement or the Last Day but that which is yet to come—the end of a doomed nation. (close)
وَ یَدۡعُ الۡاِنۡسَانُ بِالشَّرِّ دُعَآءَہٗ بِالۡخَیۡرِ ؕ وَ کَانَ الۡاِنۡسَانُ عَجُوۡلًا ﴿۱۲﴾
وَيَدۡعُ ٱلۡإِنسَٰنُ بِٱلشَّرِّ دُعَآءَهُۥ بِٱلۡخَيۡرِۖ وَكَانَ ٱلۡإِنسَٰنُ عَجُولٗا
a. 10:12. (close)
1597. The Arabic expression means that such is the condition of man that while by words of his mouth he prays to God to grant him good, by his actual evil deeds he invites the displeasure and punishment of God. Thus his actions belie his words. The expression may also be taken to mean that 'man calls for evil as he should have called for good.' According to both the renderings the verse signifies that when nations or individuals attain material wealth and rise to power and influence, they tend to neglect their duties and responsibilities and thus in the very hour of their power and glory they lay the foundations of their later decay and death. The verse may also mean that man invites evil to himself with the same zeal and vehemence as God invites him to good. In this case the act of inviting to good will be taken as referring to God. (close)
b. 10:12. (close)
This verse corroborates and explains the interpretation put upon the previous verse. It makes no mention of the Day of Judgement. The verses that follow also continue the same theme.
The expression ویدع الانسان بالشر دعاءہ بالخیر (And man asks for evil as he should ask for good), does not mean that there lives a man so foolish as to pray to God to send him evil. It only means that such is the condition of man that while by his words of mouth he prays to God to grant him good, by his actual bad deeds he invites the displeasure and punishment of God. Thus his actions belie his words.
The expression may also be interpreted as, "And man calls for evil as he should call for good." According to both renderings the verse signifies that when nations or individuals attain material wealth and rise to power and influence, they tend to neglect their duties and responsibilities and thus in the very hour of their power and glory they lay the foundations of their decay and death. At a time when they should have established peace and justice on earth by the help of the great resources placed at their disposal, they give themselves up to enjoyment and self-aggrandizement. The time of their power and glory is their testing time when they should particularly be on their guard. But such is the tragedy of human affairs that power and prosperity make man arrogant, defiant and heedless. The verse may also mean that man invites evil to himself with the same zeal and vehemence as God invites him to good. That is to say while God wishes man to inherit His blessings by doing good, he earns His displeasure by doing evil and thus invites his own ruin and destruction. In this case the action of دعاء (inviting to good) will be taken as referring to God.
The words, and man is hasty, signify that if man were to pause and consider before embarking upon any venture he would be spared many a fall. In fact, haste is at the root of most of man’s failures. (close)
وَ جَعَلۡنَا الَّیۡلَ وَ النَّہَارَ اٰیَتَیۡنِ فَمَحَوۡنَاۤ اٰیَۃَ الَّیۡلِ وَ جَعَلۡنَاۤ اٰیَۃَ النَّہَارِ مُبۡصِرَۃً لِّتَبۡتَغُوۡا فَضۡلًا مِّنۡ رَّبِّکُمۡ وَ لِتَعۡلَمُوۡا عَدَدَ السِّنِیۡنَ وَ الۡحِسَابَ ؕ وَ کُلَّ شَیۡءٍ فَصَّلۡنٰہُ تَفۡصِیۡلًا ﴿۱۳﴾
وَجَعَلۡنَا ٱلَّيۡلَ وَٱلنَّهَارَ ءَايَتَيۡنِۖ فَمَحَوۡنَآ ءَايَةَ ٱلَّيۡلِ وَجَعَلۡنَآ ءَايَةَ ٱلنَّهَارِ مُبۡصِرَةٗ لِّتَبۡتَغُواْ فَضۡلٗا مِّن رَّبِّكُمۡ وَلِتَعۡلَمُواْ عَدَدَ ٱلسِّنِينَ وَٱلۡحِسَابَۚ وَكُلَّ شَيۡءٖ فَصَّلۡنَٰهُ تَفۡصِيلٗا
b. 36:38; 40:62; 41:38. (close)
c. 10:6. (close)
1598. Both night and day have their benefits for man; but whereas the benefits of the night are subtle and hidden, those of the day are clear and manifest. The verse may also signify that the natural phenomenon of the alternation of night and day helps man to determine dates of the year and to prepare calendars. This phenomenon has also led to the development and progress of the science of mathematics. (close)
a. 36:38; 40:62; 41:38. (close)
b. 10:6. (close)
The verse should not be understood to mean that God first made both night and day and then the one was displaced by the other. It only means that God has made night and day such that both have their benefits for man; but whereas the benefits of the night are subtle and hidden, those of the day are clear and manifest.
Similarly, the natural phenomenon of the alternation of night and day helps man in determining the dates of the year and in preparing calendars. It has also led to the development and progress of the science of mathematics. See also 10:6.
'Day' being the symbol of happiness and prosperity and 'night' that of grief and sorrow, the verse points to two kinds of signs: (a) those that lead to a people’s prosperity and advance; and (b) those that lead to their misery and destruction. We are exhorted here to pray that we may only be shown the first kind of signs. By inference we are also exhorted to make both the time of our distress and misery and the period of our progress and prosperity means of our spiritual advancement, just as God has made both night and day as a source of great material benefits for us. (close)
وَ کُلَّ اِنۡسَانٍ اَلۡزَمۡنٰہُ طٰٓئِرَہٗ فِیۡ عُنُقِہٖ ؕ وَ نُخۡرِجُ لَہٗ یَوۡمَ الۡقِیٰمَۃِ کِتٰبًا یَّلۡقٰٮہُ مَنۡشُوۡرًا ﴿۱۴﴾
وَكُلَّ إِنسَٰنٍ أَلۡزَمۡنَٰهُ طَـٰٓئِرَهُۥ فِي عُنُقِهِۦۖ وَنُخۡرِجُ لَهُۥ يَوۡمَ ٱلۡقِيَٰمَةِ كِتَٰبٗا يَلۡقَىٰهُ مَنشُورًا
d. 45:29; 83:7-10. (close)
1599. The fastening of the works to the neck of a man denotes that his actions and their effects stick to him permanently as long as he lives, Ta’ir (bird) signifying an habitual act (Aqrab). He is reminded that a deed once done cannot be undone and has far-reaching effects and, even if hidden from the human eye, it remains attached to the doer’s neck, and it is impossible to obliterate it. The verse may also mean that man augurs good or evil from outside things while his good or bad augury is inseparably linked to his own neck. (close)
a. 45:29; 83:7-10. (close)
1943. Important Words:
طائرہ (his works). طائر is derived from طار which means, it (a bird) moved in the air by means of its wings; it flew. طار فؤادہmeans, his courage fled away. The Arabs used to say to a man from whom they augured evil, طائر اللّٰه لا طائرک i.e. what God doth and decreeth, not what thou dost and causest, is to be feared. Or they would say لا طیر الا طیر اللّٰه i.e. there is no evil fortune but that which is of God. طائر means, an omen, a bodement of good or evil; good or evil fortune, especially evil fortune; ill-luck; the means of subsistence; the actions or works of a man which are, as it were, attached as a necklace to his neck (Lane & Aqrab). See also 7:132.
The words, every man’s works have We fastened to his neck, mean that no work of man goes in vain; every action of his must bear some fruit, good or bad. The fastening of the work to the neck of a man denotes that his actions will stick to him permanently and their effects will cling to him as long as he lives.
The word طائر (lit. bird) has been very appropriately used here for the actions of man in order to denote that just as a bird flies away and becomes hidden from the eye, so does a man very often seem to forget his actions, but they remain fastened to his neck with a cord like a bird which is secured from flying away by a string tied round its neck; and therefore, even if they seem to fly away and become hidden from his view, man’s connection with them never ceases and one day he has to reap the fruits thereof.
The word طائر has also been used to draw attention to the fact that if a long string were tied to the leg of a bird and it were let off to fly away, it can fly to the extreme length of the string. The same is the case with the actions of man. Sometimes they appear to be of little significance, yet their effects are far-reaching and permanent.
The verse warns man to be very careful about his actions. He is reminded that since a deed once done cannot be undone and has far-reaching effects and, even if hidden from the human eye, still remains attached to the doer’s neck, it is clear that it is impossible to obliterate it. We should therefore be on our guard against hasty and careless actions, because sooner or later we are bound to reap their consequences. The Quran says, Whoso does good an atom’s weight will see it, and whoso does evil an atom’s weight will also see it (99:8, 9). These verses, however, should not be understood to mean that repentance is denied to man. The door of repentance is always open but man’s moral and spiritual lapses, even though they may be forgiven, leave a more or less lasting imprint on his spiritual progress. He lags behind those who are not guilty of such lapses unless he makes a special effort to make up the deficiency. The effects of sins must linger on. The discovery of ethereal waves has confirmed the great truth enunciated about 1,400 years ago by Islam that even the smallest motion causes a stir in the air which goes on enlarging and widening. So we should be very careful about our actions because every deed like a seed grows into a big tree without our knowing it.
The verse may also be taken to mean that man augurs good or evil from outside things while his good or bad augury is inseparably linked to his own neck. The words, fastened to his neck, have been used deliberately and with a purpose. When a man does a good deed, he raises his head with pride while with the commission of an evil one he hangs his head in shame. So the word 'neck' has been used here to bring home to him the fact that he himself is his own judge. If he feels that he can raise his head with pride before his associates and friends, he should conclude that he is on the right path but if his head hangs in shame, he must know that he is going to rack and ruin.
The words, which he will find wide open, mean that the effect of man’s deeds will begin to manifest itself. It will not remain only like a seed but will grow and develop into a big tree and later bear fruit. (close)
اِقۡرَاۡ کِتٰبَکَ ؕ کَفٰی بِنَفۡسِکَ الۡیَوۡمَ عَلَیۡکَ حَسِیۡبًا ﴿ؕ۱۵﴾
ٱقۡرَأۡ كِتَٰبَكَ كَفَىٰ بِنَفۡسِكَ ٱلۡيَوۡمَ عَلَيۡكَ حَسِيبٗا
a. 17:72; 45:30; 69:20, 26, 27. (close)
a. 17:72; 45:30; 69:20, 26, 27. (close)
The expression, Read thy book, used figuratively means, "take thy punishment". The words, Sufficient is thy own soul this day as reckoner against thee, clearly show that punishment is not something that comes from outside but it takes its birth within man himself. In fact, the punishments and rewards of Heaven and Hell will only be so many embodiments and representations of the deeds, good or bad, of man. Thus in this life man is the architect of his own destiny and in the next he will be his own rewarder or punisher. (close)
مَنِ اہۡتَدٰی فَاِنَّمَا یَہۡتَدِیۡ لِنَفۡسِہٖ ۚ وَ مَنۡ ضَلَّ فَاِنَّمَا یَضِلُّ عَلَیۡہَا ؕ وَ لَا تَزِرُ وَازِرَۃٌ وِّزۡرَ اُخۡرٰی ؕ وَ مَا کُنَّا مُعَذِّبِیۡنَ حَتّٰی نَبۡعَثَ رَسُوۡلًا ﴿۱۶﴾
مَّنِ ٱهۡتَدَىٰ فَإِنَّمَا يَهۡتَدِي لِنَفۡسِهِۦۖ وَمَن ضَلَّ فَإِنَّمَا يَضِلُّ عَلَيۡهَاۚ وَلَا تَزِرُ وَازِرَةٞ وِزۡرَ أُخۡرَىٰۗ وَمَا كُنَّا مُعَذِّبِينَ حَتَّىٰ نَبۡعَثَ رَسُولٗا
b. 10:109; 39:42. (close)
1600. Punishment is not something that comes from outside but it takes its birth within man himself. In fact, the punishments and rewards of Heaven and Hell will only be so many embodiments and representations of the deeds, good or bad, of man done by him in this life. Thus in this life man is the architect of his own destiny and in the next he will be, so to say, his own rewarder or punisher. (close)
c. 6:165; 35:19; 39:8; 53:39. (close)
1601. Everyone has to bear his own cross. Nobody’s vicarious sacrifice can do him any good. The verse strikes at the root of the doctrine of atonement. (close)
d. 28:60. (close)
1602. The world has, in our own generation, seen pestilences, famines, wars, earthquakes and other calamities of unprecedented severity and unparalleled magnitude in such rapid succession as to embitter human life. Before these calamities and catastrophes visited the earth, God must have raised a Warner. (close)
a. 10:109; 39:42. (close)
b. 6:165; 35:19; 39:8; 53:39. (close)
c. 28:60. (close)
This verse further explains the purport of the previous verse. It shows that man himself benefits by his good deeds or suffers the evil consequences of his bad deeds. So whatever he does, he does for or against his own self. A murderer, in fact, murders his own self, and a thief steals his own property. Similarly when a man does good to another person, in reality he does good to himself.
Christian theological writers sometimes quote this verse in support of the doctrine that Jesus took upon himself, and suffered for, the sins of man. They argue that according to this verse a sinner cannot bear the sins of another person, but Jesus, being sinless, could and did bear other people’s sins. Without entering here into the sinlessness or otherwise of Jesus, it may be pointed out that what the verse means is only this, that man himself and no one else in his place can suffer the consequences of his actions. He has to bear his own cross; none else shall answer for him. Punishment or reward is no external thing but is another name for the consequences of man’s actions, and it is evident that where the seed is sown only there does it bear fruit. So when punishment or reward proceeds from within the doer himself, how can any other person share it with him or be responsible for it?
The verse under comment thus lends no support to the Christian doctrine of Atonement; on the contrary, it refutes and contradicts it. The Christian doctrine is based on the assumption that punishment is something external and therefore one person can atone for the sins of another person. The present verse clearly refutes this unnatural idea.
In order to meet this objection Christians hold Hell to be a material thing. It is clearly unreasonable to believe that Hell is a material thing and Heaven spiritual. Either both are material or both spiritual. If Hell is spiritual then there is no sense in one person bearing the punishment of another. No person can share the regret, grief, anger, etc., of another, because all these things take their birth within man himself and are the result of his own deeds. He can become relieved of the punishment of his deeds only when he brings about death over his baser self and a complete and genuine change takes place in him through repentance and remorse.
The verse also explains another divine law viz. God does not send down destructive punishment upon a people unless He has first raised a Warner among them. This law has also been expressly laid down in vv. 67:9, 10; 39:72; 35:38 & 28:60.
The truth of these verses has been remarkably demonstrated in our own generation. The world has seen pestilences, famines, wars, earthquakes and other calamities of unprecedented severity and unparalleled magnitude in such rapid succession as to embitter human life. But before these calamities and catastrophes visited the earth God raised in the person of Ahmad, the Promised Messiah, a Warner who warned mankind of the impending tribulation.
God’s purpose in raising His Messengers and sending down punishment when people reject and oppose them is that they should listen to their admonitions and reform themselves. See also 4:166; 24:48; 35:38; 39:72 & 67:9-10. (close)
وَ اِذَاۤ اَرَدۡنَاۤ اَنۡ نُّہۡلِکَ قَرۡیَۃً اَمَرۡنَا مُتۡرَفِیۡہَا فَفَسَقُوۡا فِیۡہَا فَحَقَّ عَلَیۡہَا الۡقَوۡلُ فَدَمَّرۡنٰہَا تَدۡمِیۡرًا ﴿۱۷﴾
وَإِذَآ أَرَدۡنَآ أَن نُّهۡلِكَ قَرۡيَةً أَمَرۡنَا مُتۡرَفِيهَا فَفَسَقُواْ فِيهَا فَحَقَّ عَلَيۡهَا ٱلۡقَوۡلُ فَدَمَّرۡنَٰهَا تَدۡمِيرٗا
e. 22:46; 28:59. (close)
1603. By Qaryah (township) is here meant the Mother-town, i.e. a town which serves as a metropolis or centre of culture and politics for other towns. (close)
a. 22:46; 28:59. (close)
1946. Important Words:
مترفیھا (its rebellious people). مترفis derived from ترف which means, he led a plentiful and pleasant or an easy life; or a life of ease and plenty; it (a plant or herbage) was or became luxuriant, flourishing and fresh by reason of plentiful irrigation. اترف means, he persevered or persisted in, or resolved upon transgression, wrongdoing, or deviation from the right way. They say اترفته النعمة i.e. wealth, or what God bestowed upon him, made him excessively disobedient or rebellious; or extravagant in acts of disobedience and in wrongdoing; or made him lead a life of ease and plenty. مترفtherefore means, one left to do what he wills; one enjoying a life of ease and plenty; luxurious or indulging himself largely in the pleasures or delights of the present life; one who is not prevented from enjoying himself; one whose means of subsistence are made ample or plentiful; one whom a life of ease and plenty or wealth causes to exult, or to exult excessively, and to behave insolently and ungratefully; one who magnifies himself; or behaves proudly, haughtily or insolently. The Quranic expression مترفیھا means, the worst of its chiefs; and the leaders in evil (Lane & Aqrab). See also 11:117.
Some critics of Islam have first translated this verse as "We command its rebellious inhabitants and they transgress therein" and then have made it a target for objection, saying that God Himself first commands the people to transgress and then punishes them for their transgression. The words of the verse do not justify this objection. The verse clearly states that disbelievers defied the commandments of God and as a result of their defiance and transgression they were destroyed. Elsewhere the Quran expressly says that it is only good deeds that God commands men to do. See 7:29 & 16:91.
The expression, We address our commandment to its rebellious people, should not be understood to mean that the command to obey was given only to one section of the people. It was given to all the people as the word مترف (lit. one who does what he pleases and is rebellious) comprises all sorts of disobedient and rebellious people, whether rich or poor. Even if the expression may appear to refer to only one class of people, according to Quranic style and diction, it applies to all peoples. Analogous expressions have been used in the Quran where a command intended for all people seems to have been addressed to one person only. In 38:76 the command to obey Adam was given to all the angels but it seems to have been addressed to Iblis only. See also 2:35.
By قریة (a township) is here meant the mother-town, a town which serves as a metropolis or centre of culture and politics for other towns. (close)
وَ کَمۡ اَہۡلَکۡنَا مِنَ الۡقُرُوۡنِ مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِ نُوۡحٍ ؕ وَ کَفٰی بِرَبِّکَ بِذُنُوۡبِ عِبَادِہٖ خَبِیۡرًۢا بَصِیۡرًا ﴿۱۸﴾
وَكَمۡ أَهۡلَكۡنَا مِنَ ٱلۡقُرُونِ مِنۢ بَعۡدِ نُوحٖۗ وَكَفَىٰ بِرَبِّكَ بِذُنُوبِ عِبَادِهِۦ خَبِيرَۢا بَصِيرٗا
a. 21:12; 65:9. (close)
a. 21:12; 65:9. (close)
The verse means to say that the appearance of a Divine Messenger is no new phenomenon. Prophets have been appearing in the world since the days of Noah and the enemies of these Prophets have always come to grief. God cannot punish men for going astray without first sending His Messengers to lead them to the right path. (close)