وَ سۡـَٔلۡہُمۡ عَنِ الۡقَرۡیَۃِ الَّتِیۡ کَانَتۡ حَاضِرَۃَ الۡبَحۡرِ ۘ اِذۡ یَعۡدُوۡنَ فِی السَّبۡتِ اِذۡ تَاۡتِیۡہِمۡ حِیۡتَانُہُمۡ یَوۡمَ سَبۡتِہِمۡ شُرَّعًا وَّ یَوۡمَ لَا یَسۡبِتُوۡنَ ۙ لَا تَاۡتِیۡہِمۡ ۚۛ کَذٰلِکَ ۚۛ نَبۡلُوۡہُمۡ بِمَا کَانُوۡا یَفۡسُقُوۡنَ ﴿۱۶۴﴾
وَسۡـَٔلۡهُمۡ عَنِ ٱلۡقَرۡيَةِ ٱلَّتِي كَانَتۡ حَاضِرَةَ ٱلۡبَحۡرِ إِذۡ يَعۡدُونَ فِي ٱلسَّبۡتِ إِذۡ تَأۡتِيهِمۡ حِيتَانُهُمۡ يَوۡمَ سَبۡتِهِمۡ شُرَّعٗا وَيَوۡمَ لَا يَسۡبِتُونَ لَا تَأۡتِيهِمۡۚ كَذَٰلِكَ نَبۡلُوهُم بِمَا كَانُواْ يَفۡسُقُونَ
1063. The Qaryah referred to in this verse is said to be Aila (Elath) on the Red Sea. It was situated on the N.E. arm of the Red Sea, in the Aelanitic Gulf (which has derived its name from the place itself) and is mentioned as one of the last stages of the Israelites during their wanderings (1 Kings, 9:26 & 2 Chron. 8:17). In Solomon’s time the town came into the possession of the Israelites but afterwards it was probably taken from them. Later Uzziah reconquered it, but under Ahaz it was again lost (Enc. Bib. & Jew. Enc.). (close)
b. 2:66; 4:155. (close)
1064. Shurra‘an also means, they came in shoals. (close)
1064A. As no fish were caught on the Sabbath day, they had instinctively come to know the time when they were safe and therefore this instinctive feeling of security made them appear on the surface or approach near the coast in large numbers on the Sabbath day. This fact proved too strong a temptation for the Jews and they made arrangements to catch them on the Sabbath day and thus profaned it. (close)
c. 7:169. (close)
a. 2:66; 4:14, 155 (close)
b. 7:169. (close)
1053. Important Words:
شرعا (appearing on the surface) is the plural of شارع which is active participle from شرع. They say شرع فی الامر i.e. he entered upon or began or commenced the affair. شرع المنزل means, the dwelling had its door opening upon a thoroughfare, or the door of the house opened on the road. شرع الشیء means, he raised or elevated the thing much. شارع of which the plural is شرع(shurra‘un) means, entering into water or entering into an affair; appearing on the surface of water; situated on a main road; having its door opening on a road; a main road or thoroughfare; a legislator or announcer of the law. حیتان شرع means, fishes raising their heads above water; or fishes directing themselves from the deep water to the bank; or fishes appearing upon the surface of the water (Lane & Aqrab).
The قریة (town) referred to in this verse is said to be Aila (Elath) on the Red Sea. It was situated on the N. E. arm of the Red Sea, in the Atlantic Gulf (which has derived its name from the place itself) and is mentioned as one of the last stages of the Israelites during their wanderings. It is mentioned also in 1 Kings 9:26 and 2 Chron. 8:17. In Solomon’s time the city came into the possession of the Israelites but afterward it was probably taken from them. Later Uzziah reconquered it, but under Ahaz it was again lost (Enc. Bib. and Jew. Enc.).
As no fish were caught on the Sabbath day, they had instinctively come to know the time when they were safe and, therefore, this instinctive feeling of security made them appear on the surface or approach near the coast in great numbers on the Sabbath day. This fact proved too strong a temptation for the Jews, and they began to make arrangements to catch them on the Sabbath day. The cause of evasion was not far to seek. The Israelites had the fish caught by the non-Israelite people and then purchased them from the latter and in this way sought to evade the commandment, although it was forbidden to them even to make purchases on that day. It was to stop this mean practice that Nehemiah stationed his servants at the gates of Jerusalem to see that no loads were brought in on the Sabbath day (Neh. 13:19). (close)
وَ اِذۡ قَالَتۡ اُمَّۃٌ مِّنۡہُمۡ لِمَ تَعِظُوۡنَ قَوۡمَۨا ۙ اللّٰہُ مُہۡلِکُہُمۡ اَوۡ مُعَذِّبُہُمۡ عَذَابًا شَدِیۡدًا ؕ قَالُوۡا مَعۡذِرَۃً اِلٰی رَبِّکُمۡ وَ لَعَلَّہُمۡ یَتَّقُوۡنَ ﴿۱۶۵﴾
وَإِذۡ قَالَتۡ أُمَّةٞ مِّنۡهُمۡ لِمَ تَعِظُونَ قَوۡمًا ٱللَّهُ مُهۡلِكُهُمۡ أَوۡ مُعَذِّبُهُمۡ عَذَابٗا شَدِيدٗاۖ قَالُواْ مَعۡذِرَةً إِلَىٰ رَبِّكُمۡ وَلَعَلَّهُمۡ يَتَّقُونَ
This verse shows how necessary it is to preach the truth to others. We must not fail to tell our brethren what is good for them and what is not. The thought that those in whom we inculcate the doing of good will not benefit by our advice should not deter us from doing our duty. Our preaching may or may not produce any good result, but we will have done our duty and will not be held answerable before God for neglecting to do what we should have done. The verse mentions two possible results of preaching and both are equally meritorious: (1) either our preaching will take effect and the people preached to will become righteous, or (2) we will at least have done our duty to God. (close)
فَلَمَّا نَسُوۡا مَا ذُکِّرُوۡا بِہٖۤ اَنۡجَیۡنَا الَّذِیۡنَ یَنۡہَوۡنَ عَنِ السُّوۡٓءِ وَ اَخَذۡنَا الَّذِیۡنَ ظَلَمُوۡا بِعَذَابٍۭ بَئِیۡسٍۭ بِمَا کَانُوۡا یَفۡسُقُوۡنَ ﴿۱۶۶﴾
فَلَمَّا نَسُواْ مَا ذُكِّرُواْ بِهِۦٓ أَنجَيۡنَا ٱلَّذِينَ يَنۡهَوۡنَ عَنِ ٱلسُّوٓءِ وَأَخَذۡنَا ٱلَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ بِعَذَابِۭ بَـِٔيسِۭ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَفۡسُقُونَ
a. 6:45. (close)
a. 6:45. (close)
1055. Important Words:
بئیس (severe) is verbal adjective from بؤس which means, he was or became mighty or strong in war or fight; or courageous or valiant. بأس is infinitive-noun from this root and means, might or strength in war or fight; courage and valour; war or fight; fear; harm or injury; punishment, or a severe punishment. بئیس means, mighty or strong; courageous or valiant. عذاب بئیس means, a vehement or severe punishment (Lane). See also 2:178.
In the preceding two verses three classes of men have been mentioned: (1) those who profaned the Sabbath; (2) those who, while themselves refraining from profaning the Sabbath, did not prohibit others from violating it; and (3) those who not only themselves refrained from profaning the Sabbath, but also urged the profaners to abstain from this evil. Of these three classes, the present verse declares only those as saved who not only themselves abstained from doing evil but also exhorted others to abstain from it, and the
rest have been represented as "transgressors" and these were visited with Divine punishment. This shows that the second party who, though they themselves refrained from profaning the Sabbath yet did not prevent their brethren from violating it, were also condemned as transgressors and shared the punishment with those who actually broke the commandment of God. This constitutes a great warning to us that we can be classed with the righteous only when we not only ourselves eschew evil but exhort our brethren also to do the same. We should do our duty both to God and man, the one being as important as the other. (close)
فَلَمَّا عَتَوۡا عَنۡ مَّا نُہُوۡا عَنۡہُ قُلۡنَا لَہُمۡ کُوۡنُوۡا قِرَدَۃً خٰسِئِیۡنَ ﴿۱۶۷﴾
فَلَمَّا عَتَوۡاْ عَن مَّا نُهُواْ عَنۡهُ قُلۡنَا لَهُمۡ كُونُواْ قِرَدَةً خَٰسِـِٔينَ
b. 2:66; 5:61. (close)
1065. See 107. (close)
a. 2:66; 5:61. (close)
The expression, Be ye apes despised, explains the "severe punishment" mentioned in the previous verse. See also 2:66. (close)
وَ اِذۡ تَاَذَّنَ رَبُّکَ لَیَبۡعَثَنَّ عَلَیۡہِمۡ اِلٰی یَوۡمِ الۡقِیٰمَۃِ مَنۡ یَّسُوۡمُہُمۡ سُوۡٓءَ الۡعَذَابِ ؕ اِنَّ رَبَّکَ لَسَرِیۡعُ الۡعِقَابِ ۚۖ وَ اِنَّہٗ لَغَفُوۡرٌ رَّحِیۡمٌ ﴿۱۶۸﴾
وَإِذۡ تَأَذَّنَ رَبُّكَ لَيَبۡعَثَنَّ عَلَيۡهِمۡ إِلَىٰ يَوۡمِ ٱلۡقِيَٰمَةِ مَن يَسُومُهُمۡ سُوٓءَ ٱلۡعَذَابِۗ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ لَسَرِيعُ ٱلۡعِقَابِ وَإِنَّهُۥ لَغَفُورٞ رَّحِيمٞ
c. 2:62; 3:113. (close)
1066. This and the following several verses also show that the people who are spoken of as "apes despised" in the preceding verse were not actually transformed into apes but continued as human beings, though they led a miserable existence and were looked down upon by others. (close)
1066A. It is clear from several verses of the Qur’an that God is very slow in punishing the sinners. He grants them respite again and again. The words mean that when punishment is finally decreed to overtake a people, it is swift in coming and nothing can retard its coming. (close)
b. 2:62; 3:113. (close)
The reference in the memorable words, those who would afflict them with grievous torment, is to those people who throughout the ages have persecuted and tormented the Jews. The degradation of the Jews holds a lesson for us. Those who neither act righteously nor try to reform their environment gradually drift more and more into evil practices, with the result that finally they lose their independence and are subjugated by other nations who trample them under their feet.
This and the following verses also show that the people who are spoken of as "apes despised" in the preceding verse were not actually transformed into apes but continued as human beings, though they led a miserable existence and were looked down upon by others. See also 2:66. (close)
وَ قَطَّعۡنٰہُمۡ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ اُمَمًا ۚ مِنۡہُمُ الصّٰلِحُوۡنَ وَ مِنۡہُمۡ دُوۡنَ ذٰلِکَ ۫ وَ بَلَوۡنٰہُمۡ بِالۡحَسَنٰتِ وَ السَّیِّاٰتِ لَعَلَّہُمۡ یَرۡجِعُوۡنَ ﴿۱۶۹﴾
وَقَطَّعۡنَٰهُمۡ فِي ٱلۡأَرۡضِ أُمَمٗاۖ مِّنۡهُمُ ٱلصَّـٰلِحُونَ وَمِنۡهُمۡ دُونَ ذَٰلِكَۖ وَبَلَوۡنَٰهُم بِٱلۡحَسَنَٰتِ وَٱلسَّيِّـَٔاتِ لَعَلَّهُمۡ يَرۡجِعُونَ
a. 7:164. (close)
a. 7:164. (close)
The prophecy contained in this verse has met with a remarkable fulfilment. No people has been so much harassed and so widely dispersed over the face of the earth as the Jews have been. (close)
فَخَلَفَ مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِہِمۡ خَلۡفٌ وَّرِثُوا الۡکِتٰبَ یَاۡخُذُوۡنَ عَرَضَ ہٰذَا الۡاَدۡنٰی وَ یَقُوۡلُوۡنَ سَیُغۡفَرُ لَنَا ۚ وَ اِنۡ یَّاۡتِہِمۡ عَرَضٌ مِّثۡلُہٗ یَاۡخُذُوۡہُ ؕ اَلَمۡ یُؤۡخَذۡ عَلَیۡہِمۡ مِّیۡثَاقُ الۡکِتٰبِ اَنۡ لَّا یَقُوۡلُوۡا عَلَی اللّٰہِ اِلَّا الۡحَقَّ وَ دَرَسُوۡا مَا فِیۡہِ ؕ وَ الدَّارُ الۡاٰخِرَۃُ خَیۡرٌ لِّلَّذِیۡنَ یَتَّقُوۡنَ ؕ اَفَلَا تَعۡقِلُوۡنَ ﴿۱۷۰﴾
فَخَلَفَ مِنۢ بَعۡدِهِمۡ خَلۡفٞ وَرِثُواْ ٱلۡكِتَٰبَ يَأۡخُذُونَ عَرَضَ هَٰذَا ٱلۡأَدۡنَىٰ وَيَقُولُونَ سَيُغۡفَرُ لَنَا وَإِن يَأۡتِهِمۡ عَرَضٞ مِّثۡلُهُۥ يَأۡخُذُوهُۚ أَلَمۡ يُؤۡخَذۡ عَلَيۡهِم مِّيثَٰقُ ٱلۡكِتَٰبِ أَن لَّا يَقُولُواْ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ إِلَّا ٱلۡحَقَّ وَدَرَسُواْ مَا فِيهِۗ وَٱلدَّارُ ٱلۡأٓخِرَةُ خَيۡرٞ لِّلَّذِينَ يَتَّقُونَۚ أَفَلَا تَعۡقِلُونَ
b. 19:60. (close)
1067. ‘Arad means, a thing that is not permanent; the paltry goods of the present world; worldly goods or commodities; an object of desire; (Lane). (close)
1068. Darasa means, (1) he read or studied a book; (2) he effaced, erased or obliterated something (Lane). (close)
c. 6:33; 12:110. (close)
b. 19:60. (close)
1059. Important Words:
خلف (an evil generation) is a substantive from خلف (khalafa) meaning, he came after, succeeded or remained after another. خلف means, the location or quarter that is behind; the time past; the side corresponding to the front; one who remains after another, or persons remaining after others; a remnant of people; a generation after a generation; a bad son; an evil generation; one or more persons in whom there is no good; a thing in which there is no good (Lane & Aqrab). See also 2:31; 7:70.
عرض (paltry goods) is derived from عرض. They say عرض له الشیء i.e. he presented, showed or offered the thing to him. عرضmeans, a thing that befalls or happens to a man, such as disease, misfortune and the like; a thing that is not permanent; the paltry goods of the present world; worldly goods or commodities; booty or spoil; an object of desire; an eager desire or covetousness (Lane & Aqrab).
درسوا (they have studied) is from درس i.e. (1) he read or studied a book; (2) it became effaced, erased or obliterated; (3) he effaced, erased or obliterated something (Lane). See also 6:106.
The Book spoken of in this verse is the Bible and the expression, who inherited the Book, means who received the Book as a sacred trust from God through the Prophets, or through those gone before them.
The words درسوا ما فیه (they have studied what is therein) may also be rendered as "they have obliterated or effaced what is therein", meaning that they were taught the Divine Book, but they forgot it and rendered it as something effaced and obliterated. (close)
وَ الَّذِیۡنَ یُمَسِّکُوۡنَ بِالۡکِتٰبِ وَ اَقَامُوا الصَّلٰوۃَ ؕ اِنَّا لَا نُضِیۡعُ اَجۡرَ الۡمُصۡلِحِیۡنَ ﴿۱۷۱﴾
وَٱلَّذِينَ يُمَسِّكُونَ بِٱلۡكِتَٰبِ وَأَقَامُواْ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ إِنَّا لَا نُضِيعُ أَجۡرَ ٱلۡمُصۡلِحِينَ
a. 31:23. (close)
a. 31:23. (close)
وَ اِذۡ نَتَقۡنَا الۡجَبَلَ فَوۡقَہُمۡ کَاَنَّہٗ ظُلَّۃٌ وَّ ظَنُّوۡۤا اَنَّہٗ وَاقِعٌۢ بِہِمۡ ۚ خُذُوۡا مَاۤ اٰتَیۡنٰکُمۡ بِقُوَّۃٍ وَّ اذۡکُرُوۡا مَا فِیۡہِ لَعَلَّکُمۡ تَتَّقُوۡنَ ﴿۱۷۲﴾٪
۞وَإِذۡ نَتَقۡنَا ٱلۡجَبَلَ فَوۡقَهُمۡ كَأَنَّهُۥ ظُلَّةٞ وَظَنُّوٓاْ أَنَّهُۥ وَاقِعُۢ بِهِمۡ خُذُواْ مَآ ءَاتَيۡنَٰكُم بِقُوَّةٖ وَٱذۡكُرُواْ مَا فِيهِ لَعَلَّكُمۡ تَتَّقُونَ
b. 2:64. (close)
1069. The leading men of Israel were brought to the foot of the mountain (Exod.19:17). It seemed to them to tower above them like a canopy which might at any time fall upon them. (close)
b. 2:64. (close)
1060. Important Words:
نتقنا (We shook) is formed from نتق. They say نتقه i.e. (1) he shook it; (2) he raised it; or (3) he spread it. An Arab would say نتق الله فوقھم الجبل i.e. God raised the mountain shaking above them (Aqrab).
ظلة (covering). See 2:211.
Owing to the violent shaking, the Mount looked like being suspended over the heads of the Israelites as though it were a covering. See also 2:64, 94 & 4:155. (close)
وَ اِذۡ اَخَذَ رَبُّکَ مِنۡۢ بَنِیۡۤ اٰدَمَ مِنۡ ظُہُوۡرِہِمۡ ذُرِّیَّتَہُمۡ وَ اَشۡہَدَہُمۡ عَلٰۤی اَنۡفُسِہِمۡ ۚ اَلَسۡتُ بِرَبِّکُمۡ ؕ قَالُوۡا بَلٰی ۚۛ شَہِدۡنَا ۚۛ اَنۡ تَقُوۡلُوۡا یَوۡمَ الۡقِیٰمَۃِ اِنَّا کُنَّا عَنۡ ہٰذَا غٰفِلِیۡنَ ﴿۱۷۳﴾ۙ
وَإِذۡ أَخَذَ رَبُّكَ مِنۢ بَنِيٓ ءَادَمَ مِن ظُهُورِهِمۡ ذُرِّيَّتَهُمۡ وَأَشۡهَدَهُمۡ عَلَىٰٓ أَنفُسِهِمۡ أَلَسۡتُ بِرَبِّكُمۡۖ قَالُواْ بَلَىٰ شَهِدۡنَآۚ أَن تَقُولُواْ يَوۡمَ ٱلۡقِيَٰمَةِ إِنَّا كُنَّا عَنۡ هَٰذَا غَٰفِلِينَ
1070. The verse may refer to the evidence embedded in the very nature of man about the existence of the Supreme Being Who has created the universe and controls it (30:31). Or it may refer to the appearance of Divine Prophets who show the way to God, the expression 'offspring from the children of Adam,' signifying the people of every age to whom a Messenger of God is sent. It is, in fact, the advent of every new Messenger which prompts the Divine query, Am I not your Lord? The query signifies that when God has made provision for the physical sustenance of man as well as for his moral and spiritual development, how can he deny His Lordship. It is indeed by rejecting their Prophet that men bear witness against themselves; for in that case they cannot take shelter behind the excuse that they did not know God or His Law or the Day of Judgment. (close)
c. 43:38. (close)
a. 43:83. (close)
1061. Important Words:
ظھور (loins) is the plural of ظھر (back) which is derived from ظھر which means, it was or became apparent, open, plain or evident. ظھر means, among other things, the back; the part extending from the lower portion of the neck to the nearest part of the buttocks. Elsewhere the Quran uses the more familiar word اصلاب (4:24), i.e. loins. So in the text the word has been rightly translated as "loins".
The verse may be interpreted in two ways. It may either be taken to refer to the inborn idea in man about the existence of a Supreme Being Who has created and Who governs the universe. God has embedded this idea in the very nature of man so that he may be admonished thereby and seek a way towards his Maker. The expression, out of their loins, supports this interpretation. It should not, however, be supposed that the dialogue actually took place. The words are simply meant to express a state of affairs.
The second interpretation relates to the appearance of Prophets whom God sends to show people His way. In this case it is worthy of note that when speaking about "making them witnesses against their ownselves", the verse does not mention Adam but the children of Adam, which points to the fact that the expression, "offspring from the children of Adam", means the people of every new age or era to whom a Messenger of God is sent. It is, in fact, the advent of every new Messenger that prompts the Divine query, Am I not your Lord? The query asserts that when God has made a provision for the physical sustenance of mankind as well as for their moral and spiritual development, they cannot deny His lordship. To this question the only possible reply can be, Yea, we do bear witness. It is indeed only through the rejection of their Prophet that the people of an age become witnesses against themselves; for in that case they cannot take shelter behind the excuse that they did not know God or His Law or the Day of Judgement. (close)