Introduction of Al-A`raf
(Revealed before Hijrah)
According to Ibn ‘Abbas, Ibn Zubair, Hasan, Mujahid, ‘Ikrimah, ‘Ata and Jabir bin Zaid, this Surah belongs to the Meccan period with the exception of vv. 165-172. It has 207 verses including Bismillah. Qatadah says that v. 165 was revealed at Medina. The Rev. E.M. Wherry also considers this Surah to be of Meccan origin with the exception of the above-mentioned eight verses, i.e. vv. 165-172 and also vv. 159-161. It is strange that the reverend gentleman has assigned the revelation of vv.159-161 to Medina without valid reason or reliable historical evidence. No traditionist nor even any orientalist supports him in his contention, which seems to be based on the verses which contain a reference to the Jews and to some of the prophecies of the Bible which were fulfilled in the person of the Holy Prophet. He seems to have apprehended lest a perusal of these prophecies might convince the reader of the truth of the Quran and the Holy Prophet. In order to obviate this possibility, he took it upon himself, against all historical evidence and against the considered opinion of the orientalists, to assign these verses to the Medinite period. He did so in the hope that in this way the Holy Prophet would be considered to have inserted the above-mentioned prophecies in the Quran after having heard them from the Jews. Blind prejudice alone can be held responsible for this baseless inference on his part. Even a person of ordinary intelligence can understand that the fact that a particular prophecy has been mentioned in a certain Book cannot bring about its fulfilment. If a particular prophecy truly applied to the Holy Prophet, how could it be said that he had copied it from some other Book? But if it did not apply to him, how could the mere fact that it has been inserted in the Quran benefit him? On the contrary, its very subject matter, whether it was inserted in the Quran at Mecca or after having been heard from the Jews at Medina, would have sufficed to establish the falsity of his claim. What is stranger still is the fact that Mr. Wherry, in his eagerness to show that the prophecy referred to has not been fulfilled in the person of the Holy Prophet, has consigned to oblivion all the rules and principles devised by himself and the Orientalists to determine whether a particular verse was revealed at Mecca or at Medina. Orientalists hold the view that all Quranic verses which contain the words یآایھاالناس (O ye people) must belong to the Meccan period and that "the people" so addressed are the Meccans. This idea has taken such a strong hold of them that, without pausing to consider any other reason, the mere fact that a certain verse contains the words "O ye people" is a sufficient reason for them to ascribe that verse to the Meccan period. Sale is so obsessed with this view that instead of translating the words یآایھاالناس that occur in 2:22 as "O ye people", which is their correct rendering, he has translated them as "O ye people of Mecca". He has done this obviously to lend support and emphasis to his view that by the word الناس in the Quranic expression یآایھاالناس is always meant the people of Mecca, in spite of the fact that the word مکة is not to be found anywhere in the above expression. Wherry has based his commentary of the Quran on Sale’s translation. Not only has he found no fault with Sale for his taking such liberty with the text of the Quran, but even in his own Introduction to Surah Al-Baqarah he has declared this verse to belong to the Meccan period. It is a pity that bias and prejudice render a person insensible to all dictates of justice and fairness, for these very Orientalists have declared vv. 159-161 of the present Surah as of Medinite period in spite of the fact that the words یآایھاالناس (O ye people) occur in them. This means that whenever there is the least likelihood of Islam being exposed to criticism if a particular verse of the Quran in which the expression یآایھاالناس (O ye people) occurs were proved to belong to the Meccan period, they will confidently declare it to belong to the Meccan period; but when Islam is considered to be open to attack by proving that another verse which comprises the same expression is of Medinite origin, these scholars complacently assign it to the Medinite period. May God open their hearts that they may see the truth, so that they may not make Jesus feel ashamed of them on the Day of Judgement.
Nöldeke, however, has refused to ascribe vv. 165-172 to the Medinite period. This refusal is based only on a mere conjecture, unsubstantiated by any reliable historical evidence, and therefore cannot be accepted. Historical evidence can be rejected only on the basis of established facts of history or irrefutable internal evidence.
The Surah is known as Al-A‘raf and this name is supposed to have been given to it on the basis of this word having occurred in its 47th verse. But the contention that the Surah has been given this name only because the word اعراف (A‘raf) has happened to occur in it is inadmissible unless this word is shown to possess some real connection with the subject matter of the Surah itself. Orientalists and commentators have not succeeded in finding out any such connection between this word and the subject matter of the Surah. This is because they have assigned a wrong meaning to the word اعراف. They think that اعراف (A‘raf) is the name of an intervening spiritual stage between Paradise and Hell, and that the dwellers in this stage will appear distinct from the inmates of Hell but will not as yet have entered Paradise. The Quran, however, rejects this meaning of the word because it mentions only two groups of people, viz. the dwellers of Paradise and the inmates of Hell. There is no mention of any third group or class of people. The Quran thus lends no support to the interpretation of the word اعراف as the place for a people of a middling spiritual status, nor can any internal evidence of the verses in which this word occurs be adduced in support of this interpretation. The Quran depicts the people of اعراف (A‘raf) as at one time addressing the dwellers of Paradise and at another time talking to the inmates of Hell, and their spiritual knowledge has been declared to be so great that they can recognize the dwellers of Paradise by their special marks and also the inmates of Hell by the latter’s particular signs. They rebuke and upbraid the inmates of Hell and pray for the inmates of Paradise (7:47, 49, 50). Can a person who himself is hanging, as it were, in a state of uncertainty between Paradise and Hell, be so presumptuous as to assume an air of superiority as the people of A‘raf have been shown to do. The fact is that the people of اعراف (A‘raf) are the Prophets of God, who will occupy a very high spiritual station on the Day of Judgement and will pray for the dwellers of Paradise and rebuke and reprimand the inmates of Hell. And because the present Surah is the first among the Quranic Surahs in which the life-stories of the Prophets have been dealt with at some length, it has been given the name اعراف in consideration of the very high spiritual station of God’s Messengers.
Moreover, the very construction of the word supports this inference. اعراف is the plural of عرف (‘urf) which means a high and elevated place (Lane). Similarly عرف (‘urf) means that spiritual realization which a man has through his unsullied nature, acquiring it by the help of God-given intellect and the testimony of his inner self. So اعراف means those teachings of which the truth is established by rational arguments and the testimony of human nature; and, as the teachings of Prophets possess all these qualities, they (the Prophets) alone deserve this spiritually high position, and thus be rightly called اصحاب الاعراف i.e. the people of اعراف (elevated places). Their high spiritual station signifies that, apart from the special favours of God, they take their stand on the solid rock of the testimony of human nature and intellect. Such a lofty position is indeed beyond the attainment of ordinary men.
In short, the chapter A‘raf is so called because in it illustrations have been given from the lives of those eminent men of very high spiritual status who in the past have taught mankind eternal truths in accordance with the demands of human nature and human intellect, whom the men of this world resisted and sought to bring low, but whom the jealous God did not allow to be debased but, on the contrary, raised to a very exalted position.
Spiritually, this Surah serves as a kind of برزخ (intervening link) between the Surahs that precede it and those that follow it, which means that the subject matter of the preceding Surahs has been developed into a new theme in this Surah. In the preceding Surahs the main theme consisted of a refutation of Judaism and Christianity and also a refutation of other Faiths which profess to derive their authority mainly from philosophy and reason. In the present Surah both these themes have been jointly treated and the falsity of the positions of both these sets of religions has been established and the truth of Islam demonstrated to their followers. First of all, it has been stated that since the Quran is the revealed Word of God, there is no possibility of its meeting with destruction or failing to achieve its object. Then in vv. 4-10 the followers of the Holy Prophet are warned that they should not, in a fit of despondency, come to a hasty compromise with the followers of other religions, because the opponents of a true religion have always suffered disgrace and humiliation in the end. Verse 11 states that God has created man for the attainment of a most sublime object but most men forget this noble purpose of their life.
In vv. 12-27 the paradisiacal life of Adam and his expulsion from it have been cited as an illustration of this subject and it is stated how, from the very beginning of the world, God created man and provided the means necessary for his attainment of a high spiritual status; but he gave no heed to God’s plans for him and obeyed and followed Satan. In vv. 28-30 we are told that Satan had made Adam spiritually naked, and now God has sent the Holy Prophet of Islam to clothe him with the raiment of righteousness, and he is the Prophet who has come to deliver man from the punishment of his sins and to make him regain that heavenly life of which he had become deprived. So the Faithful should beware lest their deeds keep them deprived of that heavenly life. In vv. 31-35 it has been hinted that, unlike former Faiths which aimed at individual development, Islam seeks to bring about a reformation among whole communities. Whereas former Prophets sought to make individuals enter Paradise, Islam aims that whole communities and nations should attain bliss. But, as every effort at reformation has to encounter many obstacles and vicissitudes before it reaches its consummation, vv. 36-38 tell us that when the Muslim community deviates from Islamic principles and teachings, God will raise for their reformation divinely-inspired Reformers from among the followers of the Holy Prophet so that men may not lose this newly-gained Paradise by deviating from the path of national progress and development. In vv. 39-48 rules and principles have been laid down for the recognition of these promised Reformers and light has also been shed on the ultimate doom of their opponents. In vv. 49-52 we are told that it is the Prophets of God who alone can arouse into action the latent powers and qualities of human nature and can lead men to progress and prosperity. In the next two verses the Meccans are exhorted to accept and benefit by the light of prophethood of which they have had an ample share and not to make themselves the object of Divine punishment by rejecting it.
In vv. 55-59 it is said that all divine plans work gradually. As in the material world, so in the realm of the spirit, all progress is subject to the law of evolution and it is by a process of progressive evolution that the spiritual development of man has taken place from the time of Adam to that of the Holy Prophet of Islam, and the new mission that has come into force through the Holy Prophet, in which greater attention has been given to the betterment and organization of the community than to that of the individual, will also find its consummation after going through a process of evolution. Muslims should, therefore, conform to the Divine will and purpose and should strive to fulfil this great mission. They should always keep in mind that from small seeds grow big trees and that even great objects seem very insignificant in the beginning and remain hidden from the eyes of the people. So it behoves them to keep their eyes open and not let this grand object remain hidden from their sight because, if once it were allowed to become hidden, it would remain hidden forever.
With v. 60 begins a brief account of the life history of some Prophets of antiquity whose mission it was to take man as an individual back to the blissful heavenly existence from which he was expelled. This account extends to v. 172. In vv. 173-178 it is stated that good is ingrained in human nature and constitutes an integral part of it while evil comes later and is the result of external influences. In vv. 179-184 we are told that, in spite of the instinctive goodness of man, he cannot attain perfection without the help of Divine revelation. By rejecting Divine guidance he becomes deprived of his instinctive goodness and is ruined.
In vv. 185-187 reference has again been made to the mission of the Holy Prophet, and his opponents are admonished not to ignore the patent fact that his intellect is sound and motives pure and that his teachings are in perfect harmony with human nature and natural law and that the testimony of the time also is in his favour. In vv. 188-199 some misgivings and doubts of disbelievers have been removed, and it is stated that disbelievers will put up a very strong opposition to the Holy Prophet but God will protect him from all harm. The idols of idolaters will not be able to help them. In vv. 200-203, however, Muslims are admonished not only to endure patiently the opposition of disbelievers, (because all this opposition is the result of lack of true knowledge), but also to pray for them. Then in v. 204 the Holy Prophet is told that, like the opponents of former Prophets, his opponents also will continue to demand Signs, but he should tell them that the showing of signs lies entirely in God’s own hand. He will show them when in His infallible wisdom He thinks it opportune. But does not the Quran itself (the Prophet is enjoined to say to disbelievers) which fulfils the real object and purpose of prophethood, constitute a sufficient sign? Towards the end of the Surah Muslims are exhorted to give to the miracle of the Quran that great measure of true appreciation which it richly deserves, because the more heavenly light is vouchsafed to man, the truer should be his appreciation of it.
In his Introduction to this Surah, Mr. Wherry has made, as is his wont, a fantastic charge against the Holy Prophet. He says that the accounts of the life-histories of former Prophets which this Surah contains are only a reflection of the Holy Prophet’s own experiences in life. Here are his actual words:
"Even the most careless reader can hardly fail to see that all these Prophets are facsimiles of Muhammad himself. Their character and authority, their message and accompanying claims to inspiration, the incredulity and hardness of heart shown by the tribes to whom they were sent, the consequent rejection of the Prophets, and threatening of the sudden and dreadful judgements of God upon unbelievers, all these correspond to the experience of Muhammad, and the inference suggested by each story is that the rejection of the Prophet of Mecca would bring with it judgements on the Quraish similar to and dreadful as those which befell those tribes who rejected the former Prophets."
Mr. Wherry means to suggest that no incidents mentioned in this Surah as having happened to the Prophets ever took place; the Holy Prophet has only ascribed his own experiences to them. But can the reverend gentleman have the courage to deny that the incidents, attributed in the Quran to former Prophets, are also mentioned in the Bible as having happened to them? Did there ever live a Prophet of whose life the Bible contains some account who did not claim to have received revelation from God? We find that every Prophet mentioned in the Bible definitely laid claim to Divine revelation; and how can any intelligent man possibly conceive that any person could lay claim to prophethood without claiming at the same time that he received revelation from God. Moreover, there is no cause or occasion for surprise at the fact that the opposition and cruel treatment, which, the Quran says, former Prophets met at the hands of their opponents, resembled the treatment and opposition which the Holy Prophet received from his opponents. What is there in the mutual resemblance of the conditions and circumstances of the Holy Prophet and those of former Prophets which can cause surprise! Every Prophet of God brings a new message which contradicts and demolishes the accepted views of his people. They naturally oppose him. This was the experience of every Prophet. They all resemble each other in this respect. If this resemblance seems strange to Mr Wherry, he alone must have known Prophets who did not receive cruel treatment from their people. If such is the case, then what would he say about him who said: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killeth the Prophets, and stoneth them that are sent unto her!" (Matt. 23:37). And, "That the blood of all the Prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation" (Luke 11:50). Would Mr Wherry and those who subscribe to his view tell us that the man, who uttered the above words, was also ascribing his own experiences to former Prophets and that in reality they received no such treatment? Did he (Jesus) tell a lie or is it a fact that the Prophets from the beginning of the world were really rejected and opposed? If Mr Wherry has the hardihood to accuse even Jesus of falsehood, then we have no complaint against him. But if what Jesus said was true, and it was certainly true, then there is no denying the fact that the Prophets of God have always received opposition and maltreatment from their opponents. Enmity and blind prejudice alone have impelled Mr Wherry to make this most unjust charge against the Holy Prophet.
Similarly, if the objection of Mr Wherry is true that the claim of the Quran that the former Prophets had warned their opponents of Divine punishment was a reflection of the Holy Prophet’s own mind and nothing of the kind ever happened, then what would he say about the Bible, which is full of prophecies containing warnings for the Prophets’ opponents. Did not Noah and Moses and Jeremiah and Hezekiah and Daniel warn their opponents of Divine punishment? Did not Jesus himself threaten his opponents with impending doom? If such is the case, then is it not merely blind prejudice to take exception to the Quranic statement that all the Prophets warned their opponents of their ultimate destruction and that destruction actually befell them? Let Mr Wherry and those of his way of thinking remember that all Prophets of God bear a close resemblance to one another just as their opponents resemble each other. This is why perhaps the objections of Mr Wherry bear a striking resemblance to the objections of the Scribes and the Pharisees; and the answers of the Holy Prophet resemble those given by Moses and Jesus to their opponents.
یہ سورت سوائے چند آیات کے مکّہ میں نازل ہوئی تھی۔ بسم اللہ سمیت اس کی دو سو سات آیات ہیں۔ اس سے پہلے دو سورتوں یعنی سورۃ البقرۃ اور سورۃ آل عمران کا آغاز مقطعاتِ قرآنی الٓـمّٓ سے ہوا تھا۔ اِس سورت میں الٓمّٓ پر صٓ کا اضافہ ہے جس سے معلوم ہوتا ہے کہ جو مضامین پہلی سورتوں میں گزر چکے ہیں ان پر بعض اَور مضامین کا اضافہ ہونے والا ہے جو اللہ کے صادق ہونے سے تعلق رکھتے ہیں۔ اس میں صٓ سے مراد صَادِقُ الْقَوْل بھی لیا جاتا ہے لیکن اس کی آیت نمبر ۳ میں آنحضرت صلی اللہ علیہ و سلم کے سینہ مبارک کا ذکر صدر کے لفظ سے ملتا ہے جس سے معلوم ہوتا ہے کہ آنحضرت صلی اللہ علیہ و سلم کو الٓمّٓ سے شروع ہونے والی سورتوں کے مضامین اور ان کے اللہ تعالیٰ کی طرف سے ہونے پر کامل شرح صدر حاصل تھا۔ اس سورت میں پہلی سورتوں سے ایک زائد مضمون یہ بیان ہوا ہے کہ صرف وہ لوگ ہی نہیں پوچھے جائیں گے جو انبیاء کا انکار کرتے ہیں بلکہ انبیاء بھی پوچھے جائیں گے کہ انہوں نے کس حد تک اپنی ذمّہ داریوں کو ادا کیا۔ اس سورت میں آدمؑ کا پھر ذکر کیا گیا ہے جو اللہ تعالیٰ کے امر سے پیدا کیا گیا اور جب اس میں اللہ تعالیٰ نے اپنی روح پھونکی تو پھر بنی نوع انسان کو اس کی اطاعت کا حکم دیا۔ یہاں آنحضرت صلی اللہ علیہ و سلم کا ذکر ان معنوں میں ہے کہ اللہ تعالیٰ کے حضور سب سے عظیم سجدہ رسول اللہ صلی اللہ علیہ و سلم نے فرمایا تھا اور اسی نسبت سے تمام بنی نوع انسان کو آپؐ کی اطاعت کا حکم دیا گیا اور رسول اللہ صلی اللہ علیہ و سلم کے اس سجدہ کا ذکر گزشتہ سورت کے آخر پر ان الفاظ میں ملتا ہے قُلْ اِنَّ صَلَاتِیْ وَنُسُکِیْ وَمَحْیَایَ وَمَمَاتِیْ لِلّٰہِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِیْنَ۔ پس جس کا سب کچھ اللہ تعالیٰ کے لئے وقف ہو جائے اس کے حضور جھکنا کوئی شرک نہیں بلکہ اس کی اطاعت اللہ تعالیٰ کی اطاعت ہوگی۔ اس کے بعد اُس لباس کا ذکر ہے جو بظاہر پتّوں کی صورت میں آدم علیہ الصلوٰۃ والسلام نے اوڑھا تھا مگر اس سے مراد لِبَاسُ التَّقْویٰ کے سوا اور کوئی لباس نہیں تھا۔ اسی طرح بنی نوع انسان کو متنبّہ فرمایا گیا ہے کہ جس طرح ایک دفعہ شیطان نے آدمؑ کی قوم کو پھسلایا تھا وہ آج بھی اسی طرح انبیاء کی قوموں کو پھسلا رہا ہے۔ اور جنت سے نکلنے کا اصل مفہوم دائرۂ شریعت سے باہر نکلنے پر اطلاق پاتا ہے کیونکہ دائرۂ شریعت میں ہی جنت ہے اور اس سے باہر جہنّم کے سوا کچھ نہیں۔ آج بھی قرآن کریم کے دائرہ شریعت سے باہر نکلنے کے نتیجہ میں سارے بنی نوع انسان ہر قسم کے جسمانی اور روحانی جہنم میں مبتلا کردیئے گئے ہیں۔ اسی مضمون کو کہ زینت اصل میں تقویٰ کی زینت ہے، اس آیتِ کریمہ میں بیان فرمایا گیا کہ مسجد میں جانے سے تمہیں کوئی زینت نہیں ملے گی جب تک کہ تم اپنی زینت یعنی تقویٰ کو ساتھ لے کر نہیں جاؤ گے۔ اس سورت میں حضرت اقدس محمد رسول اللہ صلی اللہ علیہ و سلم کے بلند ترین مقام کا ذکر ملتا ہے جو کسی اور نبی کو نصیب نہیں ہوا یعنی آپؐ اور آپؐ کے صحابہؓ کو اہلِ جنت کا ایسا عرفان نصیب تھا کہ وہ اپنی روحانی بلندیوں سے قیامت کے دن ہر روح کو پہچان لیں گے کہ یہ جنتی روح ہے یا جہنمی۔ اس کے بعد اس سورت میں گزشتہ کئی انبیاء کا ذکر ہے کہ وہ بھی اپنی قوموں کی راہنمائی کے لئے ہی بھیجے گئے تھے اور انہوں نے اپنی اپنی قوم کے لئے انتہائی قربانیاں دے کر ان کی ہدایت کے سامان کئے تھے لیکن ان تمام انبیاء سے بڑھ کر ہدایت کا سامان کرنے والے نبی حضرت محمد رسول اللہ صلی اللہ علیہ و سلم تھے۔ اس کے بعد وضاحت سے اس بات کا ذکر فرما دیا گیا کہ گزشتہ انبیاء بھی بڑے بڑے روحانی مراتب پر فائز تھے مگر ان کا فیض محدود تھا اور رسول اللہ صلی اللہ علیہ و سلم سے پہلے کوئی عالمی فیض پہنچانے والا نہیں آیا۔ پس رسول اللہ صلی اللہ علیہ و سلم کو سب نبیوں کے سردار کے طور پر اس لئے چنا گیا کہ آپؐ سب دنیا کے لئے رحمت تھے یعنی مشرق و مغرب کے لئے بھی رحمت تھے اور عرب و عجم کے لئے بھی رحمت تھے۔ انسانوں کے لئے بھی رحمت تھے اور جانوروں کے لئے بھی رحمت تھے۔ اور یہ وہ امر ہے جس کا کثرت سے احادیث میں ذکر ملتا ہے۔ آنحضرت صلی اللہ علیہ و سلم کے ذریعہ جو قیامت برپا کی جانے والی تھی اس میں سے پہلی قیامت تو رسول اللہ صلی اللہ علیہ و سلم کی زندگی میں برپا ہوگئی جس کا ذکر اِقْتَرَبَتِ السَّاعَۃُ وَانْشَقَّ الْقَمَرُ میں ملتا ہے۔ اور دوسری قیامت آخَرِین کے زمانہ میں برپا ہونے والی تھی کہ وہ مُردے جو زندہ کئے جانے کے بعد پھر مُردہ بن گئے ان کو ازسرِنو زندہ کیا جانا تھا۔ اور پھر ایک وہ بھی قیامت ہے جو اَشْرَارُالنَّاس پر آنی تھی۔ یہ تمام قیامتیں آنحضرت صلی اللہ علیہ و سلم کی بعثت سے گہرا تعلق رکھتی ہیں۔
بِسۡمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِیۡمِ﴿۱﴾
بِسۡمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
a. 1:1. (close)
a. See 1:1. (close)
See under 1:1. (close)
b. 2:2; 3:2; 29:2; 30:2; 31:2; 32:2. (close)
942. According to Ibn-e-‘Abbas, the combined four letters Alif Lam Mim Sad signify "I am Allah, the All-Knowing and I explain." For the first three letters see note 16, and the letter Sad stands for Ufassilu, i.e. I explain. The contents of this Surah justify this interpretation, because the Surah not only embodies Divine knowledge of, but explains at greater length and with a greater wealth of illustrations, the subject dealt with in the preceding Surah. The letter Sad has also been understood to mean, "Most Truthful." (close)
b. 2:2; 3:2; 29:2; 30:2; 31: 2; 32:2. (close)
According to Ibn ‘Abbas, the combined four letters المص are the abbreviations of the words انا الله اعلم وافصل i.e. "I am Allah, I know and I explain". The contents of this Surah justify this interpretation, because the Surah not only embodies Divine knowledge but "explains" at a greater length and with a greater wealth of illustrations the subject dealt with in the previous Surah. See also note on الم in 2:2. (close)
کِتٰبٌ اُنۡزِلَ اِلَیۡکَ فَلَا یَکُنۡ فِیۡ صَدۡرِکَ حَرَجٌ مِّنۡہُ لِتُنۡذِرَ بِہٖ وَ ذِکۡرٰی لِلۡمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ ﴿۳﴾
كِتَٰبٌ أُنزِلَ إِلَيۡكَ فَلَا يَكُن فِي صَدۡرِكَ حَرَجٞ مِّنۡهُ لِتُنذِرَ بِهِۦ وَذِكۡرَىٰ لِلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ
c. 6:52; 19:98; 25:2. (close)
943. This verse is addressed to every believer, and not particularly to the Holy Prophet. (close)
c. 6:52; 19:98; 25:2. (close)
This verse is addressed to each and every believer, and not particularly to the Holy Prophet. The believers are told that the Quran is God’s own revelation and not the outcome of the Prophet’s mind, and since it is the revealed Word of the All-Knowing God, they should feel no straitness or hesitance in acting upon its injunctions and preaching them to others. (close)
اِتَّبِعُوۡا مَاۤ اُنۡزِلَ اِلَیۡکُمۡ مِّنۡ رَّبِّکُمۡ وَ لَا تَتَّبِعُوۡا مِنۡ دُوۡنِہٖۤ اَوۡلِیَآءَ ؕ قَلِیۡلًا مَّا تَذَکَّرُوۡنَ ﴿۴﴾
ٱتَّبِعُواْ مَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيۡكُم مِّن رَّبِّكُمۡ وَلَا تَتَّبِعُواْ مِن دُونِهِۦٓ أَوۡلِيَآءَۗ قَلِيلٗا مَّا تَذَكَّرُونَ
d. 33:3; 39:56. (close)
d. 33:3; 39:56. (close)
No patronage or help from any quarter can be of avail to a people in opposition to God and His Messengers. This is a lesson writ large on the pages of history and is well worth remembering. (close)
وَ کَمۡ مِّنۡ قَرۡیَۃٍ اَہۡلَکۡنٰہَا فَجَآءَہَا بَاۡسُنَا بَیَاتًا اَوۡ ہُمۡ قَآئِلُوۡنَ ﴿۵﴾
وَكَم مِّن قَرۡيَةٍ أَهۡلَكۡنَٰهَا فَجَآءَهَا بَأۡسُنَا بَيَٰتًا أَوۡ هُمۡ قَآئِلُونَ
e. 7:98; 21:12; 28:59. (close)
944. Latter part of the night and also midday are here mentioned as particularly the two times when Divine visitations generally come upon a people. These are the hours when they are often asleep or are in a state of negligence. (close)
a. 7:98; 21:12; 28:59. (close)
909. Important Words:
بیاتا (by night) is the noun-infinitive from بات i.e. he passed the night. بات یفعل کذا means, he did such a thing by or at night; or he passed the night doing such a thing; or he entered upon the night doing such a thing. اتاھم الامربیاتا means, the thing or event happened to them at night, or in the latter part of the night (Aqrab). See also 4:82.
قائلون (slept at noon) is derived from قال (of which the aorist is یقیل and not یقول) i.e. he slept or rested during mid-day; or he drank water, etc. at mid-day. So قائل means, one sleeping or resting during mid-day. قیلولة means, the act of sleeping or resting during mid-day. قائلة means, mid-day (Aqrab).
The particle فا in فجاءھا here means "and". If, however, it be taken to mean "then" and the words that follow be translated as "then Our punishment came upon them", then the verb اھلکنا (have We destroyed) will have to be rendered as "We had decreed to destroy". Two separate and distinct hours, viz. (1) the latter part of the night and (2) mid-day are here mentioned as the two times when divine visitations generally come upon men. These are the times when people are often in a state of sleep or negligence. (close)
فَمَا کَانَ دَعۡوٰٮہُمۡ اِذۡ جَآءَہُمۡ بَاۡسُنَاۤ اِلَّاۤ اَنۡ قَالُوۡۤا اِنَّا کُنَّا ظٰلِمِیۡنَ ﴿۶﴾
فَمَا كَانَ دَعۡوَىٰهُمۡ إِذۡ جَآءَهُم بَأۡسُنَآ إِلَّآ أَن قَالُوٓاْ إِنَّا كُنَّا ظَٰلِمِينَ
a. 21:15. (close)
945. The reason, why even confirmed atheists have sometimes been found to cry to God for help when punishment overtakes them, is that at such a dreadful time realization comes to man not only of his own utter helplessness but also of the might and power of a Higher Being. (close)
b. 21:15. (close)
The reason why even confirmed atheists have been found to cry to God for help when Divine punishment overtakes them, is that at such a dreadful time, man becomes not only conscious of his own utter helplessness but also of the might and power of a Higher Being. (close)
فَلَنَسۡـَٔلَنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ اُرۡسِلَ اِلَیۡہِمۡ وَ لَنَسۡـَٔلَنَّ الۡمُرۡسَلِیۡنَ ۙ﴿۷﴾
فَلَنَسۡـَٔلَنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ أُرۡسِلَ إِلَيۡهِمۡ وَلَنَسۡـَٔلَنَّ ٱلۡمُرۡسَلِينَ
b. 28:66. (close)
c. 5:110. (close)
946. The verse embodies the important principle that in one form or another all are responsible to God. All people will be questioned how they received God’s Messengers, and the Messengers will be questioned how they delivered the Divine Message and what response was made by the people to it. (close)
c. 28:66. (close)
d. 5:110. (close)
The verse embodies the important principle that in one way or another all are responsible to God. The people will be questioned as to how they received God’s Messengers, and the Messengers will be questioned as to how they delivered the Divine Message and what response the people gave them. (close)
فَلَنَقُصَّنَّ عَلَیۡہِمۡ بِعِلۡمٍ وَّ مَا کُنَّا غَآئِبِیۡنَ ﴿۸﴾
فَلَنَقُصَّنَّ عَلَيۡهِم بِعِلۡمٖۖ وَمَا كُنَّا غَآئِبِينَ
God’s purpose in questioning the Messengers and the people (7:7 above) would not be to gain information or supplement His knowledge,––for He is All-Knowing—but, on the contrary, to impress upon both parties the extent and perfection of His own knowledge. After the people and the Prophets will have said what they will have to say, God Himself will tell them in detail what they did and what they should have done but failed to do, and thus the all-comprehensiveness of God’s knowledge will be fully brought home to them. (close)
وَ الۡوَزۡنُ یَوۡمَئِذِ ۣالۡحَقُّ ۚ فَمَنۡ ثَقُلَتۡ مَوَازِیۡنُہٗ فَاُولٰٓئِکَ ہُمُ الۡمُفۡلِحُوۡنَ ﴿۹﴾
وَٱلۡوَزۡنُ يَوۡمَئِذٍ ٱلۡحَقُّۚ فَمَن ثَقُلَتۡ مَوَٰزِينُهُۥ فَأُوْلَـٰٓئِكَ هُمُ ٱلۡمُفۡلِحُونَ
d. 21:48; 23:103; 101:9-10. (close)
947. The language used here is figurative. Material things are weighed in scales made of metal or wood, but the weighing of things which are not material signifies determining their real value, worth or importance. (close)
a. 21:48; 23:103; 101:9-10. (close)
913. Important Words:
موازینه (whose scales). موازین is the plural of میزان which is derived from وزن. They say وزن الشیء i.e. he weighed the thing, or he determined or estimated the weight of the thing. وزن الشعر means, he composed verses according to the fixed measure. وزن الشیء (with different vowel point at the central root letter) means, the thing became heavy and weighty. وزن which is noun-infinitive means, the act of weighing; or the weight of a thing; or weightiness. وزن الرجل means, he was a person of weighty opinion. میزان means, a weighing instrument; a balance; a pair of scales; the weight of a thing; the measure of a verse (Lane & Aqrab)
The verse does not mean that pairs of scale will actually be set up and human actions and deeds weighed like material things. The language used is figurative. Material things are indeed weighed in scales made of metal or wood, but the weighing of things which are not material means determining their real value or worth or importance.
The verse also throws interesting side-light on the fact that on the Day of Reckoning it is only good works that will carry weight. In the following verse, the Quran makes the point further clear by saying, those whose scales are light, (i.e. those who have no good works to their credit or who have only evil works which carry no weight), it is they who shall have ruined their souls. (close)
وَ مَنۡ خَفَّتۡ مَوَازِیۡنُہٗ فَاُولٰٓئِکَ الَّذِیۡنَ خَسِرُوۡۤا اَنۡفُسَہُمۡ بِمَا کَانُوۡا بِاٰیٰتِنَا یَظۡلِمُوۡنَ ﴿۱۰﴾
وَمَنۡ خَفَّتۡ مَوَٰزِينُهُۥ فَأُوْلَـٰٓئِكَ ٱلَّذِينَ خَسِرُوٓاْ أَنفُسَهُم بِمَا كَانُواْ بِـَٔايَٰتِنَا يَظۡلِمُونَ
e. 23:104; 101:7-8. (close)
948. The word Zulm, literally meaning 'to put a thing in the wrong place' (Lane), is here used to signify that the disbelievers did not treat the Signs of God in the manner in which they should have been treated. The Signs were meant to instil fear of God and humility into their minds, but instead they became all the more arrogant and insolent and rejected them with mockery and derision. (close)
a. 23:104; 101:9-10. (close)
The words, whose scales are light, mean, those whose good deeds are few and evil deeds many. The word ظلم (rendered as being unjust to) literally means, to put a thing in the wrong place, and is here used to signify that the disbelievers did not treat the signs of God in the manner in which they should have been treated. They were meant to instil fear of God and humility in the minds of the people; but, on the contrary, disbelievers became all the more arrogant and insolent and received the signs of God with mockery and derision. (close)