فَمَنِ ابۡتَغٰی وَرَآءَ ذٰلِکَ فَاُولٰٓئِکَ ہُمُ الۡعٰدُوۡنَ ۚ﴿۸﴾
فَمَنِ ٱبۡتَغَىٰ وَرَآءَ ذَٰلِكَ فَأُوْلَـٰٓئِكَ هُمُ ٱلۡعَادُونَ
b. 70:32. (close)
a. 70:32. (close)
وَ الَّذِیۡنَ ہُمۡ لِاَمٰنٰتِہِمۡ وَ عَہۡدِہِمۡ رٰعُوۡنَ ۙ﴿۹﴾
وَٱلَّذِينَ هُمۡ لِأَمَٰنَٰتِهِمۡ وَعَهۡدِهِمۡ رَٰعُونَ
c. 70:33. (close)
b. 70:33. (close)
2515. Important Words:
راعون (watchful) is derived from رعی. They say رعی النجوم i.e. he watched the stars. رعی الامر means, he looked after the affair (Aqrab & Lane). See also 2:105.
This verse points to a yet higher stage in the spiritual development of man than the one described in v. 6 above. It means to say that the truly righteous men have full regard for the obligations they owe to God and man. They do not do good deeds cursorily or haphazardly but look to their minutest details with extreme caution and are careful not to overlook different aspects of their actions. They have a punctilious regard for the discharge of their responsibilities and duties. They do not relax in an endeavour to remain true to their trusts and are scrupulously true to the covenants and treaties they make with other people. This is what is signified by the word راعون. Compared to this stage of spiritual evolution the fourth stage at which a believer has complete control over his carnal passions is but a negative virtue. At that stage he only abstains from indulging in vice but in this, the fifth stage, he is always on the lookout to discover the most delicate facets of virtue and tries to act upon them. This is evidently a much higher stage than the one preceding it. (close)
وَ الَّذِیۡنَ ہُمۡ عَلٰی صَلَوٰتِہِمۡ یُحَافِظُوۡنَ ۘ﴿۱۰﴾
وَٱلَّذِينَ هُمۡ عَلَىٰ صَلَوَٰتِهِمۡ يُحَافِظُونَ
d. 6:93; 70:35. (close)
1982. This verse marks the last and the highest stage of spiritual development, when remembrance of God becomes a second nature with the believer, a part and parcel of his being, the solace of his soul. At this stage he takes particular care about acts of collective worship which implies that the national instinct becomes very strong in him and he subordinates individual interests to communal and national good. (close)
a. 6:93; 70:35. (close)
This verse marks the last and the highest stage of spiritual development. Arriving at this stage the spiritual wayfarer almost becomes immune from the possibility of estrangement from his Creator. He basks, as it were, in the sun of God’s love and his soul continues to derive sustenance from the fountainhead of His grace and mercy. He achieves his goal and all fear of faltering or falling disappears. At this stage the worship and remembrance of God becomes a second nature with him, a part and parcel of his being, the solace of his soul. He needs no reminding or exhortation on this account. He feels irresistibly attracted towards his Maker and Creator. At this stage the believer takes particular care about acts of collective worship which implies that national instinct becomes very strong in him and he also tries to rouse and encourage in others love for his community and country and subordinates individual interest to communal and national good. This is the significance of the words والذین ھم علی صلواتھم یحافظون. The Holy Prophet is reported to have said, الصلوة معراج المؤمن i.e. Prayer constitutes the highest stage of the spiritual development of a believer (Ibn ‘Asakir). In the fifth stage mentioned in v. 9 above the spiritual wayfarer was true to his trusts and responsibilities for virtue’s sake. At this, the last stage of his spiritual development, he is true to them for love of God which is manifestly a higher stage. It is when a believer attains to this stage that God descends upon his heart and he becomes at one with Him.
It is significant that the word صلوات (Prayers) has been used in the plural form. It shows that the believers not only are strict in the observance of Prayers themselves but urge their near and dear ones, their dependents and relatives also to be regardful of them. The word یحافظون signifies that they say their Prayers with all the rules and conditions attached to them, viz. (1) they say them regularly and at their appointed hours; (2) they say them in congregation; (3) they say them in a true spirit and with the utmost humility of the heart, not allowing wandering thoughts to spoil them and fully understanding the meanings of the words they utter and (4) they not only say their five daily Prayers but also supererogatory Prayers, particularly the Prayer in the latter part of the night (تھجد). (close)
اُولٰٓئِکَ ہُمُ الۡوٰرِثُوۡنَ ﴿ۙ۱۱﴾
أُوْلَـٰٓئِكَ هُمُ ٱلۡوَٰرِثُونَ
الَّذِیۡنَ یَرِثُوۡنَ الۡفِرۡدَوۡسَ ؕ ہُمۡ فِیۡہَا خٰلِدُوۡنَ ﴿۱۲﴾
ٱلَّذِينَ يَرِثُونَ ٱلۡفِرۡدَوۡسَ هُمۡ فِيهَا خَٰلِدُونَ
e. 18:108; 70:36. (close)
1983. As believers mentioned in the foregoing verses combine in themselves all kinds of virtues, therefore they will be made to reside in Firdaus which contains everything that is found in any garden (Lane). As they brought death over their desires, so in return God will give them everlasting life and they will have everything they desired (50:36). (close)
a. 18:108; 70:36. (close)
2517. Important Words:
فردوس may be said to have been derived from فردوسة which means width; amplitude. فردوس means, a garden; or a garden comprising everything that is in the gardens; an ample, beautiful garden; a garden comprising grapevines and palm-trees; a valley abounding in herbage like a garden, or a valley or valleys producing various sorts of plants or herbage; الفردوس means, Paradise or a walled-garden or a garden of trees; or it means, the highest stage of الجنة or its middle or highest part (Lane & Aqrab).
As believers mentioned in the foregoing verses combine in themselves all kinds of virtues, therefore, they will be made to reside in gardens which comprise everything that is found in any garden. As they brought death over their desires, so in return God will give them everlasting life and they will have everything they wish (50:36). This stage is the inevitable result of the strict spiritual discipline to which a believer subjects himself. (close)
وَ لَقَدۡ خَلَقۡنَا الۡاِنۡسَانَ مِنۡ سُلٰلَۃٍ مِّنۡ طِیۡنٍ ﴿ۚ۱۳﴾
وَلَقَدۡ خَلَقۡنَا ٱلۡإِنسَٰنَ مِن سُلَٰلَةٖ مِّن طِينٖ
f. 32:8, 9. (close)
1984. After having mentioned in the first ten verses of the Surah the different stages of spiritual evolution of man, the Qur’an proceeds to describe in this and the next few verses the different stages of his physical development and thus establishes a remarkable parallelism between his physical and spiritual birth and growth. Leaving out biological technicalities, the Surah gives the description in a clear and easily understandable language. Biology has not discovered anything which even remotely contradicts the Quranic description. The words, We created man from an extract of clay, mention the process of man’s creation from the earliest stage when he lies dormant in the form of dust, and the inorganic constituents of the earth through a subtle process of change become converted into the life-germ by way of food which a human being eats. At the stage, then We clothed the bones with flesh (23:15), the physical growth of the embryo becomes complete. (close)
b. 32:8-9. (close)
2518. Important Words:
سلالة (extract) is derived from سل (salla). They say سل الشیء i.e. he drew out the thing or he drew it out from another thing gently. سلالة means, what is or becomes drawn forth from a thing. سلالة الشیء means, an extract of a thing; the clear or pure part or the choice, the best or most excellent part of a thing; the sperma genitalis of a man; the water that is drawn from the back; progeny (Lane & Aqrab).
طین (clay) is derived from طان. They say طانه i.e. he plastered it with clay or mud. طانه اللّٰه علی الخیر means, God created him with a good natural disposition. طین means, clay, mud, earth, mould, soil (Lane & Aqrab).
With this verse begins a description of the process of creation of the noblest handiwork of God—man, from the earliest stage when he lies dormant in the form of dust. The inorganic constituents of the earth through a subtle process of change become converted into the germ of life by way of food which a human being eats. (close)
ثُمَّ جَعَلۡنٰہُ نُطۡفَۃً فِیۡ قَرَارٍ مَّکِیۡنٍ ﴿۪۱۴﴾
ثُمَّ جَعَلۡنَٰهُ نُطۡفَةٗ فِي قَرَارٖ مَّكِينٖ
a. 22:6. (close)
a. See 22:6. (close)
2519. Important Words:
قرار مکین (a safe depository). قرار is inf. noun from قر. They say قر بالمکان i.e. he or it settled or established, was at rest or rested or resided, in the place. قرار means, a state of settledness, rest, permanence or continuance. It also means, a resting place or a place or time of rest, etc. (Lane & Aqrab). See also 2:37 & 6:99.
مکین (safe or firmly fixed) is derived from مکن (makuna). They say مکن عند الامیر i.e. he became of high position with the prince. مکنه من الشیء (makkana) means, he made him to have mastery or authority and power over the thing. مکین means, possessed of power or authority and ascendancy, therefore well or firmly established in his place (Lane & Aqrab). See also 6:136.
After having mentioned in the first ten verses of the Surah the different stages of spiritual evolution of man the Quran proceeds to describe in this and the next few verses the different stages of his physical development and thus establishes a remarkable parallelism between his physical and spiritual birth and growth. Leaving out biological technicalities the Surah gives the description in a clear and easily understandable language. Biology has not discovered anything which may be said to be opposed to the Quranic description. The present verse refers to the foetal stage. The sperm is deposited in the ovum and there it finds a safe repository and begins to grow. (close)
ثُمَّ خَلَقۡنَا النُّطۡفَۃَ عَلَقَۃً فَخَلَقۡنَا الۡعَلَقَۃَ مُضۡغَۃً فَخَلَقۡنَا الۡمُضۡغَۃَ عِظٰمًا فَکَسَوۡنَا الۡعِظٰمَ لَحۡمًا ٭ ثُمَّ اَنۡشَاۡنٰہُ خَلۡقًا اٰخَرَ ؕ فَتَبٰرَکَ اللّٰہُ اَحۡسَنُ الۡخٰلِقِیۡنَ ﴿ؕ۱۵﴾
ثُمَّ خَلَقۡنَا ٱلنُّطۡفَةَ عَلَقَةٗ فَخَلَقۡنَا ٱلۡعَلَقَةَ مُضۡغَةٗ فَخَلَقۡنَا ٱلۡمُضۡغَةَ عِظَٰمٗا فَكَسَوۡنَا ٱلۡعِظَٰمَ لَحۡمٗا ثُمَّ أَنشَأۡنَٰهُ خَلۡقًا ءَاخَرَۚ فَتَبَارَكَ ٱللَّهُ أَحۡسَنُ ٱلۡخَٰلِقِينَ
1985. The words, then We developed it into another creation, show that the soul is not imported into the human body from outside but grows in the body as it develops in the womb. At first it has no separate existence from the body but the processes through which the body passes during its development in the womb distil from the body a delicate essence, which is called the soul. As soon as the relationship between the soul and the body becomes completely adjusted, the heart begins to function. The soul then has a distinct existence of its own independent of body which henceforth serves it as a shell. See also "The Larger Edition of the Commentary," pp. 1787-1790. (close)
2520. Important Words:
For علقة، نطفة and مضغة see 22:6.
نطفة i.e. the impregnated ovum on its arrival in the cavity of the womb chooses by mutual attraction a place for its abode in the inner wall of the womb, and there it becomes attached to it and does not flow out with discharges. After that it makes erosion into this spot, and produces bleeding, thus making its way into the layers of the decidua. Then it becomes increasingly covered up with maternal blood, forming within the ovum a connection with it. At this stage it looks like a mass of congealed blood and therefore the Quran calls it علقة which not only means congealed blood but also signifies an attachment or connection with something else. Thus a brief single word describes this stage of the ovum, i.e. its attractions, connections and the formation of the blood-vessels in it. In the next stage the ovum becomes a blastoderm, which is called مضغة in the Quran. This blastoderm has three layers from which all the organs of the foetus are developed. The Quran then describes the transformation of the layers of the blastoderm by the words, Then We fashioned bones out of this shapeless lump, which means that out of the مضغة (lump) God creates bones. After this God covers the bones with flesh and skin and other organs and then He perfects its creation internally. At this stage the body in the womb develops a soul from within itself. The Quran has described this remarkable change in the words, Then We developed it into another creation. These words show that the soul is not imported into the human body from outside, but grows in the body as it develops in the womb. It is an essence which is distilled from the body in the course of a long process, as beer is distilled from barley. It has at first no separate existence from the body but the processes through which the body passes during its development in the womb distils from the body a delicate essence which is called the soul. As soon as the relationship between the soul and the body becomes completely adjusted, the heart begins to function. The soul then has a distinct existence of its own apart from the body which henceforth serves it as a shell.
As referred to above there exists a remarkable parallelism between the spiritual development of man as described in the first ten verses of the Surah and the physical development of the embryo mentioned in this and the preceding verse.
The initial stage of spiritual advancement of man is described in the words, "who humble themselves in their Prayers" (v. 3 above), i.e. who assume an attitude of humility and submission while offering their prayers and supplications to God. The stage of physical development corresponding to this initial stage of spiritual progress is the stage of نطفة, or the impregnated ovum which is a seed that combines in itself, in a miniature form, all the different faculties, properties, external and internal organs, and all other features that become prominent in the later stages of physical development. The نطفة however, remains much more exposed to danger than the embryo in its later advanced stages. It is only like a seed which has just been cast into the ground and which has as yet formed no connection with its environments. The attraction of the womb has not yet given it a proper place of development. It is therefore liable to flow out and become destroyed in the passages of the organs of generation like a seed that falls on rocky ground.
What is true of نطفة which forms the first stage in the physical development of man is equally true of man in the first stage of his spiritual progress. This first stage is that condition of humility in which the believer prays to God. It is like a mere seed which is cast in the soul of man, and comprises in an undeveloped form all the faculties and features which reveal themselves in a most attractive form in the last stages of his spiritual advancement. But just as the نطفة continues to remain in a precarious state until it forms a connection with the womb, similarly humility in Prayers is exposed to constant risk until man forms some spiritual connection with his Creator. Without this connection humility in Prayers is but a slippery stage where the spiritual wayfarer is at every step liable to fall.
The next stage in the physical development of man is that of نطفة (a clot) when the sperm forms blood connection with the womb. It assumes the form of congealed blood and becomes safe from being destroyed.
Corresponding to this stage of علقة i.e. a clot, which is the second stage in the development of the foetus is that spiritual condition which has been described in the words, who shun all that which is vain. At this second stage the connection which man establishes with God is like the connection which the ovum establishes with the uterus on reaching the second stage. Just as it is not possible completely to get rid of vain desires and useless pursuits until one reaches the second stage of spiritual advancement,––mere humility and lowliness being liable to fail; similarly the ovum may come to nought before it becomes علقة.
But the connection which a person has formed with God in the second stage and which enables him to give up vain things and fruitless pursuits is at best a temporary and weak one, for his mind is not yet completely free from the love of material comforts and desires of the flesh. This stage is thus compared to which is still tainted with the impurity of blood.
The third stage in the physical development of man is described in the words, Then We fashioned the clot into a lump of flesh. At this stage the physical frame of man is very much freed from the taint of impurity and becomes purer and firmer in substance. Similarly, in the third stage of his spiritual advancement which is referred to in the words, And who are active in paying the Zakah, a true believer not only shuns vain things but in order to cleanse himself of the impurity of miserliness, spends a part of his property in the way of God. The stage of physical development that corresponds to this spiritual stage has been called مضغة (blastoderm) in the Quran.
The مضغة stage, like its corresponding spiritual stage is superior to the earlier two stages of نطفة and علقة because it is more advanced and is more strongly attached to the uterus and is marked by greater density and solidity. The third spiritual stage described in v. 5 is marked by three characteristics which correspond to the three characteristics of the مضغة stage. At this stage, a believer voluntarily spends a portion of his property in the way of God and gives to others what he has earned with the sweat of his brow and thus spiritually he is more advanced than one who merely keeps aloof from fruitless pursuits. Moreover, his connection with God becomes more firm inasmuch as it involves a greater sacrifice to part with his hard earned money than merely to abandon vain things. Lastly, a greater sacrifice is followed by greater firmness and solidity in faith.
The words, then We fashioned bones out of this shapeless lump, refer to the fourth stage of embryonic development. At this stage there is greater solidity in the bones than in the مضغة which is like a lump of flesh. The bones also become firmer and stronger. This fourth stage of physical growth of man corresponds to the fourth stage of spiritual advancement referred to in v.6 above. Just as the bone is the hardest and most lasting part of the body, similarly the faith which gives a believer the power to hold his own against the violent storm of carnal passions must be exceptionally strong and enduring.
The words, Then We clothed the bones with flesh, refer to the fifth stage in the embryonic development which corresponds to the fifth stage of spiritual advancement referred to in v. 9. Just as righteousness adds to the spiritual beauty of a person, similarly the covering of the bones with flesh makes the skeleton of bones look beautiful. There is a peculiar resemblance between these two stages. God speaks of righteousness as لباس (garment). Similarly the expression used in describing the corresponding stage of embryonic development is کسونا (We clothed). Thus the flesh which covers the bones is described as and serves the purpose of, a garment just as righteousness or piety is like a garment adding to the spiritual beauty of a person. But even this fifth stage of physical development is far from perfect because the body has not yet been endowed with the soul and a soulless or lifeless body is but a useless thing. Similarly, in the fifth stage of spiritual advancement, though the spiritual wayfarer has traversed a long distance towards his celestial goal he is yet far away from it. He tries faithfully to discharge his duties and obligations to God, yet he lacks something without which his spiritual development remains incomplete.
The sixth and last stage in the physical development of man in the womb is described in the words, then We developed it into another creation. At this stage the body is endowed with the soul. The words, "another creation" imply that this new creation is beyond human comprehension. Man has so far been quite at a loss to understand what soul is. According to the Quran the body itself is the mother of the soul. As mentioned above the soul does not come from anywhere outside the body but is a light that lies hidden in the seed itself and grows with the growth of the body. This last stage of embryonic development corresponds to the sixth and highest stage of spiritual development referred to in v.10 above. At this stage a heavenly light descends upon the heart of a believer and Divine love consumes his whole being, illuminating and animating it. At this stage prayer and remembrance of God becomes, as it were, part and parcel of his being without which he cannot live. He receives a new spiritual life and becomes wholly lost in God.
Such is the beautiful parallelism described by the Quran which exists between the physical and spiritual development of man. When one comes to have a complete comprehension and realization of it he spontaneously exclaims, "Blessed be Allah, the Best of creators." Thus God created man and perfected him in six stages and six stages also has He ordained for his spiritual development. For a fuller and more exhaustive treatment of this subject see Barahin-e-Ahmadiyyah vol. 5, by Ahmad, the Promised Messiah, Holy Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement. (close)
ثُمَّ اِنَّکُمۡ بَعۡدَ ذٰلِکَ لَمَیِّتُوۡنَ ﴿ؕ۱۶﴾
ثُمَّ إِنَّكُم بَعۡدَ ذَٰلِكَ لَمَيِّتُونَ
b. 39:31. (close)
1986. After man has attained full development, there sets in a process of decay which ends in his death. It is an immutable law of nature that all life must end in decay, dissolution and death. God alone is Ever-Living. (close)
a. 39:31. (close)
After man has attained full development, there sets in a process of decay which ends in death. It is an immutable law of nature that all life must end in decay, dissolution and death. God alone is Ever-Living. (close)
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)