ثُمَّ اِنَّکُمۡ یَوۡمَ الۡقِیٰمَۃِ تُبۡعَثُوۡنَ ﴿۱۷﴾
ثُمَّ إِنَّكُمۡ يَوۡمَ ٱلۡقِيَٰمَةِ تُبۡعَثُونَ
a. 39:32. (close)
1987. After death man again will be restored to life in order that he might continue to make spiritual progress in the life to come which knows no end. The progress he makes in the present life constitutes only a preparatory stage. Here, he is like a child in his mother’s womb. After death he is born into a new and fuller life which is the beginning of a never-ending progress. (close)
b. 39:32. (close)
After death man again will be restored to life in order that he might continue to make spiritual progress in the life to come. If there had been no life after death, man’s creation would have been in vain, and all spiritual progress he might have made in this life would have been to no purpose. But man’s life serves a grand and noble aim. He has not been created in vain (75:37-41). On the contrary he has been created for spiritual progress that knows no end. The progress he makes in the present life constitutes only a preparatory stage. Here he is like a child in the mother’s womb. After death he is born into a new and fuller life which is the beginning of a never-ending progress. (close)
وَ لَقَدۡ خَلَقۡنَا فَوۡقَکُمۡ سَبۡعَ طَرَآئِقَ ٭ۖ وَ مَا کُنَّا عَنِ الۡخَلۡقِ غٰفِلِیۡنَ ﴿۱۸﴾
وَلَقَدۡ خَلَقۡنَا فَوۡقَكُمۡ سَبۡعَ طَرَآئِقَ وَمَا كُنَّا عَنِ ٱلۡخَلۡقِ غَٰفِلِينَ
b. 78:13. (close)
1988. The six stages of spiritual progress described in the first ten verses of this Surah become seven if "Paradise" (v. 12) be counted as the last stage of spiritual development. Similarly, if the preparatory stage previous to the formation of the sperm (v. 13) be added to the six stages of the embryonic development, this number also becomes seven. Thus the 'seven ways in the spiritual heaven' to which reference has been made in this verse correspond to the seven stages of the physical development of man mentioned in vv. 13-15. (close)
c. 78:13. (close)
2522A. Important Words:
طرائق (stages of heaven) is the plural of طریقة which means, a way, course, rule, mode or manner of acting or conduct; the way or course of an event; a line; streak or stripe in a thing; stage of heaven; a web; or a tall palm-tree. طرائق means, stages of heaven, so called because they lie one above another. طرائق الدھر means, the vicissitudes of times or fortune. According to Raghib اطباق السماء (stages of heaven) are called طرائق (Lane & Aqrab). See also 20:64.
The six stages of spiritual progress described in the first twelve verses of this Surah become seven if "Paradise" (v. 12) be counted as the last stage of spiritual development when man attains the object of his creation. Similarly, if the preparatory stage previous to the formation of the sperm (referred to in v. 13) be added to the six stages of the embryonic development, this number also becomes seven. Thus the seven stages to which reference has been made in this verse correspond to the seven stages of the physical development of man mentioned in vv. 13-15. It is through these seven stages that man has to pass in order to achieve the highest point of spiritual development. These seven spiritual stages are as follows:
1. The first stage may be called the stage of lack of spiritual perception or that of spiritual feelinglessness. At this stage, like inanimate things, a person is completely devoid of all capacity to distinguish between right or wrong or good or evil. He is devoid of any high aims and his whole life seems to consist in providing for and meeting his physical needs. This stage of spiritual lifelessness is described by the Quran in the words "Then your hearts became hardened after that till they were like stones or harder still" (2:75).
2. The second stage may be likened to vegetable life when, like vegetables, man comes to develop some capacity and power to grow and make spiritual progress, but spiritually he is yet too weak adequately to defend himself against the onslaughts of evil beings and spirits. This stage is described in the Quranic words:
"And if you invite them to guidance, they hear not. And thou seest them looking towards thee, but they see not" (7:199).
3. The third stage may be called the animal stage when spiritually a person is no better than animals, when on being called he hears the voice of the caller but does not understand the significance or meaning of the call. The Quran beautifully describes the spiritual condition of such people in the words: "They have hearts but they comprehend not therewith, and they have eyes but they see not therewith, and they have ears but they hear not therewith. They are like cattle; nay, they are even more astray" (7:180).
4. The fourth stage is reached when the believer happens to develop greater love for God and greater righteousness and comes to realize the significance of his actions and to distinguish between good and evil. At this stage he acquires the power to resist satanic promptings in large measure but occasionally he falters and falls but then speedily comes to his own. This stage is described in the Quranic words: "And those who are righteous, when a suggestion from Satan assails them, they remember God: and behold! They begin to see things rightly" (7:202).
5. The fifth is a still higher stage of spiritual progress when the God-fearing man attains such degree of Divine realization that submission to God’s commandments and resignation to His decrees becomes, as it were, a part of his being and like angels he carries out fully and completely all Divine commandments. This stage is portrayed in the words: "And they do what they are commanded" (16:51).
6. The sixth stage is a much higher stage. At this stage the spiritual way-farer drinks so deep at the fountain of God’s love that he entrusts all his affairs fully into God’s safe keeping and becomes, as it were, a lifeless instrument in God’s hands which He uses as He chooses, and all his actions and movements are in perfect unison with God’s will. The Quran gives a graphic description of the believers who have attained this high stage of spiritual progress in the words: "Nay, whoever submits himself completely to Allah, and he is the doer of good, shall have his reward with his Lord. No fear shall come upon such, neither shall they grieve" (2:113).
7. The final and most developed stage of spiritual perfection is described in the Quranic words: "Then we perfect it into another creation. So blessed is Allah, the Best of creators" (23:15). At this stage the God-intoxicated believer is a totally changed being, a quite new creation. In the sixth stage he had completely subordinated his will to the will of God so much so that God’s will had become his will; at this stage, however, his will becomes, as it were, the will of his Creator and Lord and he attains to such high degree of spiritual perfection that Divine attributes become increasingly reflected in the mirror of his heart and he becomes a manifestation of God’s beauty and majesty. His hands and feet become, so to say, God’s own hands and feet and he speaks with God’s own tongue. "He does not speak out of his own desire. It is nothing but pure revelation that has been revealed by God," says the Quran (53:4).
The words "We are not neglectful of the creation" signify that God has not neglected to make full provision for man’s both physical and spiritual developments. From the next verse the Surah proceeds to mention some of those things on which man’s physical as well as his spiritual life depends. (close)
وَ اَنۡزَلۡنَا مِنَ السَّمَآءِ مَآءًۢ بِقَدَرٍ فَاَسۡکَنّٰہُ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ ٭ۖ وَ اِنَّا عَلٰی ذَہَابٍۭ بِہٖ لَقٰدِرُوۡنَ ﴿ۚ۱۹﴾
وَأَنزَلۡنَا مِنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ مَآءَۢ بِقَدَرٖ فَأَسۡكَنَّـٰهُ فِي ٱلۡأَرۡضِۖ وَإِنَّا عَلَىٰ ذَهَابِۭ بِهِۦ لَقَٰدِرُونَ
c. 15:23. (close)
1989. This verse gives an illustration of how God supplies the physical and spiritual needs of man. All life, it says, depends on water which descends from heaven, in the form of rain, snow or hail. Similarly, spiritual water descends from heaven in the form of Divine revelation without which no spiritual life can exist. (close)
a. 15:23. (close)
This verse gives the first illustration of how God supplies the physical and spiritual needs of man. All life, it says, depends on water which descends from heaven, in the form of rain, snow or hail. Similarly, spiritual water descends from heaven in the form of Divine revelation without which no spiritual life can exist. The verse purports to say that if men out of their perversity and ingratitude reject the Divine Message and the heavenly water which God has sent down, they will become deprived of it. The parallelism in the physical and spiritual life of man with which this Surah has opened, is further developed in the present and the next few verses.
The words, And surely it is We Who determine its taking away, refer to a well-known law of nature. The verse means to say that God sends down rain but rain-water does not stay in the earth permanently. It disappears by evaporation or flows into the sea through streams and rivers. The earth again becomes dry and then fresh rain is needed to make it fertile. The same is the case with Divine teaching. It powerfully influences the lives of men and brings about a great change in them for a certain period. Then it begins to be neglected, ignored and misinterpreted and so a fresh revelation is needed. This law of God came into operation with the life of man on this planet and it will remain in operation till the end of time.
The verse also embodies an implied reference to a prophecy of the Holy Prophet about his second advent in the person of the Promised Messiah and about the spread of irreligious and spiritual darkness in the centuries before the latter’s advent, when there was to remain nothing of Islam but its name and nothing of the Quran but its written words (Mishkat, Kitabul-‘Ilm) and belief would have gone up to the Pleiades (Bukhari, Kitabut-Tafsir). (close)
فَاَنۡشَاۡنَا لَکُمۡ بِہٖ جَنّٰتٍ مِّنۡ نَّخِیۡلٍ وَّ اَعۡنَابٍ ۘ لَکُمۡ فِیۡہَا فَوَاکِہُ کَثِیۡرَۃٌ وَّ مِنۡہَا تَاۡکُلُوۡنَ ﴿ۙ۲۰﴾
فَأَنشَأۡنَا لَكُم بِهِۦ جَنَّـٰتٖ مِّن نَّخِيلٖ وَأَعۡنَٰبٖ لَّكُمۡ فِيهَا فَوَٰكِهُ كَثِيرَةٞ وَمِنۡهَا تَأۡكُلُونَ
d. 16:12, 68; 36:35. (close)
b. 16:12, 68; 36:35. (close)
In this verse God gives another illustration of the various boons and favours which He has bestowed on man. It also contains a subtle illusion to the fact that the garden of Islam will, forever, remain full of fruit-bearing trees of various kinds which will yield fresh fruits in plenty in every season. (close)
وَ شَجَرَۃً تَخۡرُجُ مِنۡ طُوۡرِ سَیۡنَآءَ تَنۡۢبُتُ بِالدُّہۡنِ وَ صِبۡغٍ لِّلۡاٰکِلِیۡنَ ﴿۲۱﴾
وَشَجَرَةٗ تَخۡرُجُ مِن طُورِ سَيۡنَآءَ تَنۢبُتُ بِٱلدُّهۡنِ وَصِبۡغٖ لِّلۡأٓكِلِينَ
1990. The words, "Mount Sinai", remind us of the following great prophecy of the Bible:
'The Lord came from Sinai, and rose from Seir unto them; He shined forth from Mount Paran and he came with ten thousands of saints; from his right hand went a fiery law for them' (Deut. 33:2). See also "Once to Sinai" by H.F. Prescott. (close)
The verse embodies yet another instance of God’s bountiful provision for the physical needs of man. The words 'Mount Sinai', however, draw attention to the fact that if God has made provision for man’s physical needs, He has not neglected to make similar provision for his spiritual needs and He has been doing so from time immemorial. The verse reminds us of the great prophecy of the Bible which is to the effect: "The Lord came from Sinai, and rose from Seir unto them; He shined forth from Mount Paran and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them" (Deut. 33:2). The prophecy refers to the advent of Moses, the appearance of Jesus from Seir and to the coming of the Holy Prophet of Islam with a fiery Law. The Holy Prophet actually had ten thousand Companions with him when he entered Mecca as a conqueror. As to the identity of Paran see 2:130.
About the tree referred to in the verse which springs from Mount Sinai and produces oil the following extract may be read with interest:
The well lying to the east of the Church, and traditionally that from which Moses drew up for the daughters of Jethro, was sufficient to supply the domestic needs of the monks and their guests; the water of the other, led by channels in the rock and carefully disposed pipes down through the sloping garden, made that a fertile and pleasant place, with grass and vegetable plots, rows of salad herbs, and the shade of many fruit trees—apple and pear, grapevines, oranges, figs and almonds, as well as so great a number of olive trees that, together with those in a more distant garden, they produced enough oil for the culinary use of the monastery, and for the multitude of lamps which hung in their Church. ("Once To Sinai" by H. F. M. Prescott). (close)
وَ اِنَّ لَکُمۡ فِی الۡاَنۡعَامِ لَعِبۡرَۃً ؕ نُسۡقِیۡکُمۡ مِّمَّا فِیۡ بُطُوۡنِہَا وَ لَکُمۡ فِیۡہَا مَنَافِعُ کَثِیۡرَۃٌ وَّ مِنۡہَا تَاۡکُلُوۡنَ ﴿ۙ۲۲﴾
وَإِنَّ لَكُمۡ فِي ٱلۡأَنۡعَٰمِ لَعِبۡرَةٗۖ نُّسۡقِيكُم مِّمَّا فِي بُطُونِهَا وَلَكُمۡ فِيهَا مَنَٰفِعُ كَثِيرَةٞ وَمِنۡهَا تَأۡكُلُونَ
a. 6:143; 16:6; 36:72, 73; 40:80; 81. (close)
1991. The word, ‘Ibrah, which means an 'indication or evidence whereby one passes from ignorance to knowledge' (Lane), seems to allude to the subtle process which takes place in the bellies of animals and which turns grass or herbage eaten by them into pure and wholesome milk, and by pondering over which one is led to acquire an insight into God’s great power and into the subtle ways through which Divine laws work. (close)
a. 6:143; 16:6; 36:72-73; 40:80-81. (close)
2526. Important Words:
عبرة (lesson) is derived from عبر and means, admonition or exhortation; or an admonition or exhortation by which one takes warning or example; a thing by which one is admonished; an indication or evidence whereby one passes from ignorance to knowledge of what is not seen from the knowledge of what is seen (Lane & Arab). See also 4:44.
The verse means to say that man derives great benefits from the cattle. They are living machines which produce for him such a wholesome and nutritious food as milk, from fodder, grain herbage and leaves of trees, etc. which they eat. Man has so far failed to devise a machine which like these divinely devised machines could produce milk from these things. The word عبرة which as given under "Important Words" above, means an indication or evidence whereby one passes from ignorance to knowledge seems to allude to the subtle process which takes place in the bellies of some of the animals and which turns grass or herbage eaten by them into pure and wholesome milk and by pondering over which one is led to acquire an insight into God’s great power and into the subtle ways through which divine laws work. By this simile of grass and milk we are led to think that just as fodder, grain and grass, without passing through the wonderful machine created by God in the bellies of animals, cannot produce milk, similarly human reason which is like grass and grain, cannot produce, without the aid and assistance of Divine revelation, a teaching which like milk is very useful for man’s moral and spiritual development. (close)
وَ عَلَیۡہَا وَ عَلَی الۡفُلۡکِ تُحۡمَلُوۡنَ ﴿٪۲۳﴾
وَعَلَيۡهَا وَعَلَى ٱلۡفُلۡكِ تُحۡمَلُونَ
b. 16:8, 9; 36:42, 43; 43:13. (close)
a. 16:8-9; 36:42-43; 43:13. (close)
The cattle are very useful animals. We eat their flesh, drink their milk and use them also as mounts and as beasts of burden, etc. Similarly, ships are extremely useful things. Reference has been made in this and the preceding few verses to several of the things which are highly beneficial to man for his material needs and upon which to a very large extent his very existence depends. It is quite obvious that God Who has made such vast provision for the physical needs of man could not have failed to make similar provision for his moral and spiritual needs. This is the meaning and purport of this verse. (close)
وَ لَقَدۡ اَرۡسَلۡنَا نُوۡحًا اِلٰی قَوۡمِہٖ فَقَالَ یٰقَوۡمِ اعۡبُدُوا اللّٰہَ مَا لَکُمۡ مِّنۡ اِلٰہٍ غَیۡرُہٗ ؕ اَفَلَا تَتَّقُوۡنَ ﴿۲۴﴾
وَلَقَدۡ أَرۡسَلۡنَا نُوحًا إِلَىٰ قَوۡمِهِۦ فَقَالَ يَٰقَوۡمِ ٱعۡبُدُواْ ٱللَّهَ مَا لَكُم مِّنۡ إِلَٰهٍ غَيۡرُهُۥٓۚ أَفَلَا تَتَّقُونَ
c. 7:60; 11:26; 71:2. (close)
a. 7:60; 11:26; 71:2. (close)
In the preceding few verses a brief account was given as to how God has provided for the physical needs of man. From this verse begins an account of the means which God has provided for the satisfaction of his spiritual needs. The coming of Divine Messengers is the first and foremost means provided for this purpose. The present and the next few verses refer to Noah, the first great Prophet who came with a Divinely-revealed Law. He called his people to God, to the path of success and salvation and like other Prophets emphasized the Unity of God which was the pivot round which all the religious beliefs and teachings revolved, and which formed the corner stone of the edifice of all religions.
It may be said in passing that humanity had to pass through four cycles to reach its perfect moral and spiritual development: (1) In the cycle of Adam the foundations were laid of human civilization. (2) Noah was the founder of the cycle of the Shari‘ah. (3) In the cycle of Moses the details of the Shari‘ah were revealed and (4) with the Holy Prophet was completed the fourth and last cycle when the Shari‘ah became complete and perfect and man attained the highest peak of social, moral and spiritual development. (close)
فَقَالَ الۡمَلَؤُا الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا مِنۡ قَوۡمِہٖ مَا ہٰذَاۤ اِلَّا بَشَرٌ مِّثۡلُکُمۡ ۙ یُرِیۡدُ اَنۡ یَّتَفَضَّلَ عَلَیۡکُمۡ ؕ وَ لَوۡ شَآءَ اللّٰہُ لَاَنۡزَلَ مَلٰٓئِکَۃً ۚۖ مَّا سَمِعۡنَا بِہٰذَا فِیۡۤ اٰبَآئِنَا الۡاَوَّلِیۡنَ ﴿ۚ۲۵﴾
فَقَالَ ٱلۡمَلَؤُاْ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِن قَوۡمِهِۦ مَا هَٰذَآ إِلَّا بَشَرٞ مِّثۡلُكُمۡ يُرِيدُ أَن يَتَفَضَّلَ عَلَيۡكُمۡ وَلَوۡ شَآءَ ٱللَّهُ لَأَنزَلَ مَلَـٰٓئِكَةٗ مَّا سَمِعۡنَا بِهَٰذَا فِيٓ ءَابَآئِنَا ٱلۡأَوَّلِينَ
d. 7:61; 11:28; 17:95, 34:44. (close)
1992. The disbelievers suffer from a superiority complex and therefore reject Divine Messengers on the plea that they cannot accept the lead of one who is 'only a mortal like themselves.' The verse incidentally implies that belief in the existence of angels was entertained from time immemorial. As far back as Noah’s time his opponents wanted to see angels descending on them. (close)
a. 17:96. (close)
b. 7:61; 11:28; 17:95; 34:44. (close)
c. 17:96. (close)
The disbelievers have always suffered from a superiority complex and therefore have always rejected Divine Messengers on the plea that they cannot accept the lead of one who is "only a man like ourselves."
The verse incidentally implies that belief in the existence of angels was entertained from time immemorial. As far back as Noah’s time his opponents wanted to see angels descending on them. See also 11:28. (close)
اِنۡ ہُوَ اِلَّا رَجُلٌۢ بِہٖ جِنَّۃٌ فَتَرَبَّصُوۡا بِہٖ حَتّٰی حِیۡنٍ ﴿۲۶﴾
إِنۡ هُوَ إِلَّا رَجُلُۢ بِهِۦ جِنَّةٞ فَتَرَبَّصُواْ بِهِۦ حَتَّىٰ حِينٖ
b. 54:10. (close)
a. 54:10. (close)
In this and the preceding verse Noah’s opponents are represented as having brought forward six objections to reject his message: First, that he was only a man like themselves. Secondly, that he sought to impose his leadership on them. Thirdly, that no angel had descended from heaven to testify to his truth. Fourthly, that his teaching was opposed to the time-honoured beliefs of their forebears. Fifthly, that he was stricken with madness, and sixthly, that sooner or later he was sure to come to grief. These objections have always been raised against every Prophet and Divine Reformer in every age. (close)