مَاۤ اٰمَنَتۡ قَبۡلَہُمۡ مِّنۡ قَرۡیَۃٍ اَہۡلَکۡنٰہَا ۚ اَفَہُمۡ یُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ ﴿۷﴾
مَآ ءَامَنَتۡ قَبۡلَهُم مِّن قَرۡيَةٍ أَهۡلَكۡنَٰهَآۖ أَفَهُمۡ يُؤۡمِنُونَ
The verse means to say that if disbelievers demand a "Sign of punishment," then that too is a foolish demand because when punishment overtook them and they were destroyed, how would they believe?
The verse does not mean that the Quraish of Mecca would not believe in the Holy Prophet after Divine punishment overtook them because it is a known fact of history that they did believe in him after Mecca, the centre and source of their glory and prosperity fell. What the verse signifies is that while the peoples of the former Prophets, with the solitary exception of Prophet Jonah’s people, did not believe in them after they were actually visited with punishment, the Holy Prophet’s people would have the opportunity and good luck to believe in him even after having been overtaken by Divine punishment in the Fall of Mecca, the destruction of their idols and the departure of their glory and prestige. Ordinarily, after having suffered a crushing defeat and being wholly at the mercy of the Holy Prophet, they should have received condign punishment which they amply deserved but they were forgiven with a magnanimity unparalleled in the annals of human history, and then they believed in the Prophet. (close)
وَ مَاۤ اَرۡسَلۡنَا قَبۡلَکَ اِلَّا رِجَالًا نُّوۡحِیۡۤ اِلَیۡہِمۡ فَسۡـَٔلُوۡۤا اَہۡلَ الذِّکۡرِ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمۡ لَا تَعۡلَمُوۡنَ ﴿۸﴾
وَمَآ أَرۡسَلۡنَا قَبۡلَكَ إِلَّا رِجَالٗا نُّوحِيٓ إِلَيۡهِمۡۖ فَسۡـَٔلُوٓاْ أَهۡلَ ٱلذِّكۡرِ إِن كُنتُمۡ لَا تَعۡلَمُونَ
b. 12:110; 16:44. (close)
a. 12:110; 16:44. (close)
اھل الذکر may signify: (a) the former Prophets; (b) their followers; and (c) the Muslims, i.e. the followers of the Quran because it has also been called الذکر (15:10; 16:45; 21:51 & 36:70).
This and the following verse contain the answer to the objection embodied in the words, Is this man aught but a human being like yourselves (v. 4 above). The verse purports to say that the former Prophets were also ordinary mortals like the Holy Prophet and yet they (the Meccans) believe in them. It further implies that in spite of being ordinary men they succeeded in their mission and their enemies were destroyed. The opponents of the Holy Prophet should not therefore delude themselves into the false satisfaction that as he is an ordinary human being his rejection will do them no harm. For a fuller explanation of the present verse see 16:44. (close)
وَ مَا جَعَلۡنٰہُمۡ جَسَدًا لَّا یَاۡکُلُوۡنَ الطَّعَامَ وَ مَا کَانُوۡا خٰلِدِیۡنَ ﴿۹﴾
وَمَا جَعَلۡنَٰهُمۡ جَسَدٗا لَّا يَأۡكُلُونَ ٱلطَّعَامَ وَمَا كَانُواْ خَٰلِدِينَ
a. 25:21. (close)
1873. Though disbelievers regarded all the Divine Messengers as ordinary mortals, yet the objection was invariably repeated to every one of them that like ordinary mortals 'he eats and drinks and walks about in the streets and is subject to all human needs and demands of the body' (25:8), and on the basis of this very plea they rejected him. An implied reference is made here to this inconsistent attitude of disbelievers. They do not want to understand this simple fact, the verse purports to say, that Prophets are raised as 'models' for men, and, how could they serve as models if they were not men like them and were not like them subject to the demands of the physical body? As human beings they were not and could not be immune from the demands of the flesh or from decay or death. (close)
a. 25:21. (close)
Though disbelievers of all the Prophets believed them to be ordinary mortals, yet curiously enough the objection was invariably repeated to every Prophet that like ordinary mortals "he eats and drinks and walks about the streets and is subject to all human needs and demands of the body" (25:8). An implied reference is made in the present verse to this inconsistent attitude of disbelievers. It purports to say that disbelievers in the time of the Holy Prophet cannot, or do not wish to, understand this simple fact that Prophets are raised as 'models' for men, and how could they be models for them if they were not men like them and were not like them subject to the demands of the body but belonged to any other species of creation? As human beings they were not and could not be immune from the demands of the flesh or from decay or death. (close)
ثُمَّ صَدَقۡنٰہُمُ الۡوَعۡدَ فَاَنۡجَیۡنٰہُمۡ وَ مَنۡ نَّشَآءُ وَ اَہۡلَکۡنَا الۡمُسۡرِفِیۡنَ ﴿۱۰﴾
ثُمَّ صَدَقۡنَٰهُمُ ٱلۡوَعۡدَ فَأَنجَيۡنَٰهُمۡ وَمَن نَّشَآءُ وَأَهۡلَكۡنَا ٱلۡمُسۡرِفِينَ
The verse embodies an effective answer to all the objections that were raised in v. 6 above, viz., (a) "these are but confused dreams," (b) "nay, he has forged it;" (c) nay, "he is a poet." The answer consists in the fact that every Prophet receives from God certain promises and prophecies about the ultimate success of his mission and the defeat and discomfiture of his enemies, and that these prophecies are literally fulfilled. The truth of this fact has been demonstrated throughout the ages in the time of every Prophet of God. The verse purports to say that if what the Holy Prophet claims to have received from God are mere confused dreams and not Divine revelations and if he is an impostor and a liar then how could the great prophecies about the triumph of his cause and the failure of his opponents made at a time when there appeared no likelihood of their being fulfilled, come to be true? Moreover, as a poet the Prophet could only compose elegant verse or could play with the emotions of men as poets generally do, but he could not bring about a wonderful change in the lives of his followers as he did and could not see into the future and make prophecies which in the teeth of the opposition of his powerful enemies and in spite of his own utter helplessness were fulfilled to the very letter. The answer seems to be as emphatic and effective as the objections are foolish and flimsy. (close)
لَقَدۡ اَنۡزَلۡنَاۤ اِلَیۡکُمۡ کِتٰبًا فِیۡہِ ذِکۡرُکُمۡ ؕ اَفَلَا تَعۡقِلُوۡنَ ﴿٪۱۱﴾
لَقَدۡ أَنزَلۡنَآ إِلَيۡكُمۡ كِتَٰبٗا فِيهِ ذِكۡرُكُمۡۚ أَفَلَا تَعۡقِلُونَ
1874. The verse means to say that not only will the deniers of the Qur’an come to grief and its followers achieve progress and prosperity and rise from the lowest rung of the ladder to the highest pinnacle of material and spiritual glory, but this fact will also constitute an infallible proof that the Qur’an is neither forgery, nor poetry, nor a collection of confused dreams but the true Word of the Almighty God, the Creator of heavens and earth. (close)
2352. Important Words:
ذکرکم (your eminence).ذکر means, remembrance, praise or eulogy; eminence or honour; renown, fame or reputation. See also 2:41; 6:69 & 15:7.
The argument begun in the previous verse is continued in the present one. The verse means to say that not only will the deniers of this message come to grief and its followers achieve progress and prosperity and will rise from the lowest rung of the ladder to the highest pinnacle of material and spiritual glory, but this fact will also constitute an infallible proof that the Quran is neither forgery nor poetry nor a collection of confused dreams but the true Word of God Almighty, the Creator of heavens and earth.
The verse incidentally implies the refutation of the Christian doctrine that the Law is a curse, by forcefully asserting that through the Quran which is the final Book of Divine Law, its followers will achieve honour, glory and power. (close)
وَ کَمۡ قَصَمۡنَا مِنۡ قَرۡیَۃٍ کَانَتۡ ظَالِمَۃً وَّ اَنۡشَاۡنَا بَعۡدَہَا قَوۡمًا اٰخَرِیۡنَ ﴿۱۲﴾
وَكَمۡ قَصَمۡنَا مِن قَرۡيَةٖ كَانَتۡ ظَالِمَةٗ وَأَنشَأۡنَا بَعۡدَهَا قَوۡمًا ءَاخَرِينَ
b. 7:5; 22:46; 28:59; 50:37; 65:9. (close)
a. 7:5; 22:46; 28:59; 50:37; 65:9. (close)
2353. Important Words:
قصمنا (We utterly destroyed) is derived from قصم. They say قصم الشیء i.e. he broke the thing into pieces; he broke it completely, utterly.قصم الرجل means, he destroyed the man. قصم اللّٰه ظھر الظالم means, God afflicted the transgressor with calamity and broke his back (Aqrab).
قریة meaning a township signifies its inhabitants. See also 12:83.
ظلم meaning the improper use of God-given powers and faculties, the verse implies that all transgressions and sins flow from their misuse. (close)
فَلَمَّاۤ اَحَسُّوۡا بَاۡسَنَاۤ اِذَا ہُمۡ مِّنۡہَا یَرۡکُضُوۡنَ ﴿ؕ۱۳﴾
فَلَمَّآ أَحَسُّواْ بَأۡسَنَآ إِذَا هُم مِّنۡهَا يَرۡكُضُونَ
2354. Important Words:
یرکضون (they began to flee) is derived from رکض which means, he moved his leg or foot; رکضه means, he repelled him. رکض الفرس means, he spurred or goaded the horse to run. رکض منه means, he fled from it (Aqrab & Lane). (close)
لَا تَرۡکُضُوۡا وَ ارۡجِعُوۡۤا اِلٰی مَاۤ اُتۡرِفۡتُمۡ فِیۡہِ وَ مَسٰکِنِکُمۡ لَعَلَّکُمۡ تُسۡـَٔلُوۡنَ ﴿۱۴﴾
لَا تَرۡكُضُواْ وَٱرۡجِعُوٓاْ إِلَىٰ مَآ أُتۡرِفۡتُمۡ فِيهِ وَمَسَٰكِنِكُمۡ لَعَلَّكُمۡ تُسۡـَٔلُونَ
The verse means to say that disbelievers generally are big men and hold very important positions in society. They are looked upon as leaders of men and people resort to them for consultation and seek advice and guidance from them in their private affairs. This eminence of their position makes them arrogant and they disdainfully turn away from the exhortations of Divine Messengers. But when they are overtaken by heavenly punishment, they seek to flee from the town in which they hold such high position and enjoy great influence. The verse gives a graphic description of the condition of these so-called big people when punishment overtakes them. The words of the verse seem to have been used ironically.
The expression لعلکم تسئلون besides the meaning given in the text may also mean, "that you may be called to account for what you did." (close)
قَالُوۡا یٰوَیۡلَنَاۤ اِنَّا کُنَّا ظٰلِمِیۡنَ ﴿۱۵﴾
قَالُواْ يَٰوَيۡلَنَآ إِنَّا كُنَّا ظَٰلِمِينَ
فَمَا زَالَتۡ تِّلۡکَ دَعۡوٰٮہُمۡ حَتّٰی جَعَلۡنٰہُمۡ حَصِیۡدًا خٰمِدِیۡنَ ﴿۱۶﴾
فَمَا زَالَت تِّلۡكَ دَعۡوَىٰهُمۡ حَتَّىٰ جَعَلۡنَٰهُمۡ حَصِيدًا خَٰمِدِينَ
1875. The verse gives a graphic description of the people upon whom descends Divine punishment. They are completely ruined, and all their ambitions and aspirations become extinguished. The very will to live dies in them and they despair of their future and lose all initiative and thus to all intents and purposes they become defunct and dead. (close)
2356. Important Words:
خامدین (reduced to ashes) is the plural of خامد which is active participle from خمد. They say خمدت النار i.e. the fire subsided. خمدت الـحمی means, the vehemence of the fever became allayed. خمد also means, he (a sick man) fainted or swooned; or he died. خامد means, silent; from whom no voice is heard; silent and dead or silent, having died, and become like extinguished ashes (Lane).
حصیدا (mown down). See 10:25.
The verse gives a graphic description of the people who are visited by the wrath of God. They are completely ruined. They lose all power and capacity for revival. The surest sign that the decline and downfall of a people has begun is that all their ambitions and aspirations become extinguished. The very will to live dies in them. They despair of their future and lose all initiative and thus to all intents and purposes become a dead people. (close)