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)
اَوۡ تَقُوۡلُوۡۤا اِنَّمَاۤ اَشۡرَکَ اٰبَآؤُنَا مِنۡ قَبۡلُ وَ کُنَّا ذُرِّیَّۃً مِّنۡۢ بَعۡدِہِمۡ ۚ اَفَتُہۡلِکُنَا بِمَا فَعَلَ الۡمُبۡطِلُوۡنَ ﴿۱۷۴﴾
أَوۡ تَقُولُوٓاْ إِنَّمَآ أَشۡرَكَ ءَابَآؤُنَا مِن قَبۡلُ وَكُنَّا ذُرِّيَّةٗ مِّنۢ بَعۡدِهِمۡۖ أَفَتُهۡلِكُنَا بِمَا فَعَلَ ٱلۡمُبۡطِلُونَ
a. 7:39. (close)
The appearance of a Prophet also debars the people of his time from urging the plea mentioned in the present verse, for then the truth is made manifest from falsehood and idolatry stands publicly condemned. (close)
وَ کَذٰلِکَ نُفَصِّلُ الۡاٰیٰتِ وَ لَعَلَّہُمۡ یَرۡجِعُوۡنَ ﴿۱۷۵﴾
وَكَذَٰلِكَ نُفَصِّلُ ٱلۡأٓيَٰتِ وَلَعَلَّهُمۡ يَرۡجِعُونَ
1071. The appearance of a Prophet also debars the people of his time from urging the plea mentioned in v. 7:173 above, for then the truth is made Manifest from falsehood and idolatry stands publicly condemned. (close)
وَ اتۡلُ عَلَیۡہِمۡ نَبَاَ الَّذِیۡۤ اٰتَیۡنٰہُ اٰیٰتِنَا فَانۡسَلَخَ مِنۡہَا فَاَتۡبَعَہُ الشَّیۡطٰنُ فَکَانَ مِنَ الۡغٰوِیۡنَ ﴿۱۷۶﴾
وَٱتۡلُ عَلَيۡهِمۡ نَبَأَ ٱلَّذِيٓ ءَاتَيۡنَٰهُ ءَايَٰتِنَا فَٱنسَلَخَ مِنۡهَا فَأَتۡبَعَهُ ٱلشَّيۡطَٰنُ فَكَانَ مِنَ ٱلۡغَاوِينَ
1072. The reference here is not to any particular individual but to all persons to whom God shows Signs through a Prophet and who reject them. Similar expressions occur elsewhere in the Qur’an (e.g., 2:18). The verse has been particularly applied to one Bal‘am bin Ba‘ura who, it is related, lived in the time of Moses and who is reported to have been a virtuous man. Pride turned his head and he ended his life in disgrace. The verse may apply also to Abu Jahl or ‘Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salul or for that matter to every prominent leader of disbelief. (close)
1063. Important Words:
انسلخ (stepped away) is derived from سلخ. They say سلخ جلدھا i.e. he stripped off its skin. سلخت عنھا قمیصھا means, I pulled off or stripped off her shirt. سلخنا الشھر means, we passed the month, or passed forth from the month. One would say سلخ النبات i.e. the plant shed its foliage and became leafless and then became green again. انسلخ means, he or it became stripped, or he or it passed, or he quitted a thing entirely. They say انسلخت الحیة من قشرھا i.e. the serpent came off, or divested itself of, its slough. انسلخ منه means, he or it became altogether separated from it; or he or it quitted it entirely (Lane & Aqrab).
اتبعه (followed him up). اتبع is derived from تبع. They say تبعه i.e. he followed him or it, or he went or walked after him or it. اتبع besides giving the causative sense is also used like تبع in the sense of following. They say اتبعه i.e. he followed his footsteps; he sought him; also he overtook him (Lane).
The verse does not refer to any particular individual but may apply to all persons to whom God shows signs through a Prophet and who reject them. Similar expressions which do not refer to any particular individual, but are of general application, also occur elsewhere in the Quran (e.g. 2:18). The verse under comment has been applied to one Bal‘am bin Ba‘ura who, it is related, lived in the time of Moses. He is reported to have been a virtuous man, but pride turned his head and he ended in disgrace. But the verse also aptly describes also the case of Abu Jahl who had clearly seen and even admitted the truth of the Holy Prophet, but proudly and scornfully remarked that his people had never owed allegiance to the house of ‘Abd Manaf, a progenitor of the Holy Prophet. The verse may equally apply to ‘Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salul, the arch-hypocrite, who witnessed many signs establishing the truth of the Holy Prophet and even apparently professed his faith in him, but at heart ever remained his implacable enemy. (close)
وَ لَوۡ شِئۡنَا لَرَفَعۡنٰہُ بِہَا وَ لٰکِنَّہٗۤ اَخۡلَدَ اِلَی الۡاَرۡضِ وَ اتَّبَعَ ہَوٰٮہُ ۚ فَمَثَلُہٗ کَمَثَلِ الۡکَلۡبِ ۚ اِنۡ تَحۡمِلۡ عَلَیۡہِ یَلۡہَثۡ اَوۡ تَتۡرُکۡہُ یَلۡہَثۡ ؕ ذٰلِکَ مَثَلُ الۡقَوۡمِ الَّذِیۡنَ کَذَّبُوۡا بِاٰیٰتِنَا ۚ فَاقۡصُصِ الۡقَصَصَ لَعَلَّہُمۡ یَتَفَکَّرُوۡنَ ﴿۱۷۷﴾
وَلَوۡ شِئۡنَا لَرَفَعۡنَٰهُ بِهَا وَلَٰكِنَّهُۥٓ أَخۡلَدَ إِلَى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَٱتَّبَعَ هَوَىٰهُۚ فَمَثَلُهُۥ كَمَثَلِ ٱلۡكَلۡبِ إِن تَحۡمِلۡ عَلَيۡهِ يَلۡهَثۡ أَوۡ تَتۡرُكۡهُ يَلۡهَثۚ ذَّـٰلِكَ مَثَلُ ٱلۡقَوۡمِ ٱلَّذِينَ كَذَّبُواْ بِـَٔايَٰتِنَاۚ فَٱقۡصُصِ ٱلۡقَصَصَ لَعَلَّهُمۡ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
1073. Material things, specially love of money. (close)
1074. Yalhath, (from Lahatha which means, his breath rose on account of fatigue or weariness), signifies that whether or not such a one is asked to make sacrifices in the cause of religion, he seems to be always panting like a thirsty dog, as if the ever-increasing burden of sacrifices is leaving him completely exhausted. (close)
1064. Important Words:
تحمل علیه (thou drive him away). تحمل is derived from حمل. They say حمله i.e. he bore or carried or conveyed it. حمل علیه الشیءmeans, he loaded him with the thing, or he put the thing on him as a load; or he imposed on him the thing as a burden. حمل علیه means, he charged or assaulted or attacked him (Lane). It is in the last mentioned sense that the word has been rendered here as "drive him away".
یلھث (hangs out his tongue) is formed from لھث meaning, he thirsted; or thirst heated his body. They say لھث الکلب i.e. the dog put forth his tongue on account of thirst or fatigue or weariness. لھث الرجل means, the breath of the man rose on account of fatigue or weariness; or he was fatigued or weary (Lane & Aqrab).
قصص (description) is the noun-infinitive from قص. They say قص اثره i.e. he followed his footsteps; or he followed his track in pursuit. قص الشعر means, he cut or clipped the hair. قص علیه الخبر means, he related to-him the news or the narrative or the story. قصص therefore, means, description or explanation; a narrative or story; following someone or something in his or its footsteps or track (Lane & Aqrab). See also 3:63.
The verse continues the description of the similitude begun in the previous verse. When a man becomes wholly engrossed in worldly affairs and begins to follow his evil desires and inclinations and rejects truth, he becomes, degraded, as it were, to the position of a dog. His thirst for money becomes insatiable. He continues to hanker after the paltry goods of this world. This description quite fits in with a hypocrite or one weak in faith. Whether or not he is made to undergo sacrifices in the cause of religion, he seems to be always panting like a thirsty dog, as if the ever-increasing burden of sacrifices is leaving him exhausted. The above interpretation is in accord with the meaning of the expression حمل علیه in the sense of "putting a load on". If, however, the expression is taken in the sense of "attacking or charging" or for that matter "driving", then the words would mean that the weak of faith belonging to the class of people mentioned here always feel fatigued and weary in the way of God, whether they are smitten with afflictions and trials or not. (close)
سَآءَ مَثَلَاۨ الۡقَوۡمُ الَّذِیۡنَ کَذَّبُوۡا بِاٰیٰتِنَا وَ اَنۡفُسَہُمۡ کَانُوۡا یَظۡلِمُوۡنَ ﴿۱۷۸﴾
سَآءَ مَثَلًا ٱلۡقَوۡمُ ٱلَّذِينَ كَذَّبُواْ بِـَٔايَٰتِنَا وَأَنفُسَهُمۡ كَانُواْ يَظۡلِمُونَ
a. 3:12; 7:183; 8:55. (close)
a. 3:12; 7:183; 8:55. (close)
مَنۡ یَّہۡدِ اللّٰہُ فَہُوَ الۡمُہۡتَدِیۡ ۚ وَ مَنۡ یُّضۡلِلۡ فَاُولٰٓئِکَ ہُمُ الۡخٰسِرُوۡنَ ﴿۱۷۹﴾
مَن يَهۡدِ ٱللَّهُ فَهُوَ ٱلۡمُهۡتَدِيۖ وَمَن يُضۡلِلۡ فَأُوْلَـٰٓئِكَ هُمُ ٱلۡخَٰسِرُونَ
b. 17:98; 18:18. (close)
a. 17:98; 18:18. (close)
See 2:27. (close)
وَ لَقَدۡ ذَرَاۡنَا لِجَہَنَّمَ کَثِیۡرًا مِّنَ الۡجِنِّ وَ الۡاِنۡسِ ۫ۖ لَہُمۡ قُلُوۡبٌ لَّا یَفۡقَہُوۡنَ بِہَا ۫ وَ لَہُمۡ اَعۡیُنٌ لَّا یُبۡصِرُوۡنَ بِہَا ۫ وَ لَہُمۡ اٰذَانٌ لَّا یَسۡمَعُوۡنَ بِہَا ؕ اُولٰٓئِکَ کَالۡاَنۡعَامِ بَلۡ ہُمۡ اَضَلُّ ؕ اُولٰٓئِکَ ہُمُ الۡغٰفِلُوۡنَ ﴿۱۸۰﴾
وَلَقَدۡ ذَرَأۡنَا لِجَهَنَّمَ كَثِيرٗا مِّنَ ٱلۡجِنِّ وَٱلۡإِنسِۖ لَهُمۡ قُلُوبٞ لَّا يَفۡقَهُونَ بِهَا وَلَهُمۡ أَعۡيُنٞ لَّا يُبۡصِرُونَ بِهَا وَلَهُمۡ ءَاذَانٞ لَّا يَسۡمَعُونَ بِهَآۚ أُوْلَـٰٓئِكَ كَٱلۡأَنۡعَٰمِ بَلۡ هُمۡ أَضَلُّۚ أُوْلَـٰٓئِكَ هُمُ ٱلۡغَٰفِلُونَ
1075. Lam is Lam-e-‘Aqibat denoting end or result. The verse has thus nothing to do with the object of man’s creation but only makes mention of the regrettable end of the life of many a man and jinn, (the latter word also meaning a special class of men, i.e. rulers or chiefs or great men). From the way in which they pass their days in sin and iniquity it seems as if they have been created for Hell. (close)
a. 2:8; 22:47; 45:24. (close)
b. 25:45. (close)
b. 2:8; 22:47; 45:24. (close)
c. 25:45. (close)
1066. Important Words:
The particle ل in the expression لجھنم is used to denote "end or result" and not "object" of the creation of the jinn and men. Such use is in perfect conformity with the idiom of the Arabic language, the لام in such a case being known as لام عاقبة(Lane).
The verse does not at all mean that men and jinn were created to be thrown into Hell. The use of the word "many" also belies that inference. Their creation, in fact, is intended to serve a great purpose (see 51:57). The present verse has thus nothing to do with the object of man’s creation, but only mentions the regrettable end of the life of many a man and jinn, the latter word also meaning a special class of men, i.e. rulers or chiefs or great men. They lead an evil life, the inevitable result of which is Hell. But from the way in which they spend their days in sin and iniquity it seems as if they were only created for Hell. The verse gives a brief but perfect description of those destined for Hell. They are the people whom God had endowed with understanding and with the faculty of perception and sight. They were blessed with all the necessary means by which they could find out and follow the right path and attain nearness to their Maker; but out of their perversity and waywardness they did not avail themselves of those means, with the result that they wandered away from the truth and fell into error. It was not, therefore, for Hell but for Heaven that God created them, but they themselves forsook the path of Heaven and chose the path of Hell.
The condition of such men is indeed worse than that of "cattle", because in spite of the fact that they possess understanding and the power to rise, they do not avail themselves of their understanding and, instead of rising (for which they are meant) ever go on falling lower and lower. (close)
وَ لِلّٰہِ الۡاَسۡمَآءُ الۡحُسۡنٰی فَادۡعُوۡہُ بِہَا ۪ وَ ذَرُوا الَّذِیۡنَ یُلۡحِدُوۡنَ فِیۡۤ اَسۡمَآئِہٖ ؕ سَیُجۡزَوۡنَ مَا کَانُوۡا یَعۡمَلُوۡنَ ﴿۱۸۱﴾
وَلِلَّهِ ٱلۡأَسۡمَآءُ ٱلۡحُسۡنَىٰ فَٱدۡعُوهُ بِهَاۖ وَذَرُواْ ٱلَّذِينَ يُلۡحِدُونَ فِيٓ أَسۡمَـٰٓئِهِۦۚ سَيُجۡزَوۡنَ مَا كَانُواْ يَعۡمَلُونَ
c. 17:111. (close)
1076. The proper name of God is Allah; all the rest strictly speaking are His attributes. While praying one should invoke such Divine attributes as are directly related to the object of one’s prayer. (close)
1077. Deviating from the right way with respect to God’s attributes may signify that God being the Possessor of all the best attributes mentioned in the Qur’an or the Hadith, there is no need to devise other attributes for Him, which are inconsistent with His Majesty, Dignity and all-comprehensive Mercy. (close)
a. 17:111. (close)
1067. Important Words:
الاسماء الحسنی (perfect attributes). The word اسماء is the plural of اسم (for which see 1:1 & 2:32), meaning, (1) name; and (2) attribute. الحسنی which is the feminine of الاحسن means, that which is better or that which is best; the final good state or condition. So الاسماء الحسنی means, best names, or best attributes, or perfect attributes. The term is specifically used to denote the attributes of God.
یلحدون (deviate from the right way) is derived from لحد which means, he or it declined or deviated from the right course, or he or it inclined. الحد also means the same. الحد فی الدین means, he deviated or swerved from the right way with respect to religion; he impugned religion. الحد also means, he disputed or wrangled. الحد به means, he brought a reproach upon him; or he held him in light estimation; or he despised him; or he said of him what was false (Lane & Aqrab).
The proper name of God is only Allah, all the rest being, strictly speaking, not His names but attributes. The verse tells us the secret as to how our prayers can be readily accepted. While praying, we should invoke such attributes of God as are directly related to the object of our prayer. This will make our prayer more susceptible of acceptance, because, by so doing, we would excite the jealousy of God with regard to the relevant attribute of His, with the result that the prayer, if otherwise acceptable, will not be suffered to go in vain. The Quran specifically mentions as many as 69 Divine attributes, but there are others which may be inferred and yet others which are found mentioned in the Hadith.
The verse next proceeds to enjoin the believers to have nothing to do with those who devise for God attributes which are not attributable to Him. Says the verse: Leave alone those who deviate from the right way with respect to His attributes. When God possesses all the best attributes mentioned in the Quran or the Hadith, what need is there to devise other attributes for Him? Such attributes cannot be free from error. An instance of such an ill-devised attribute is عادل (Just) which Christians attribute to God. The Quran says that God certainly is not unjust but at the same time it scrupulously avoids the ascription of the attribute of عادل (Just) to Him, for the ascription of this attribute to God would imply that His justice should demand that He must always punish sinners. But He is not bound to do so, because He is Forgiving and Merciful and He can pardon any sinner. In fact, God is not like a judge bound by the Law to deal with men according to their deeds. But He is مالك or Master of His creatures and Master of His law as well. He can forgive the sins of His servants as and when He pleases. By calling God "just", the Christian Church had to enlist the aid of a so-called redeemer who, by his supposed death on the cross, should atone for the sins of men to satisfy God’s attribute of justice. (close)
وَ مِمَّنۡ خَلَقۡنَاۤ اُمَّۃٌ یَّہۡدُوۡنَ بِالۡحَقِّ وَ بِہٖ یَعۡدِلُوۡنَ ﴿۱۸۲﴾٪
وَمِمَّنۡ خَلَقۡنَآ أُمَّةٞ يَهۡدُونَ بِٱلۡحَقِّ وَبِهِۦ يَعۡدِلُونَ
d. 7:160. (close)
a. 7:160. (close)
The verse does not mean that among the opponents of the Holy Prophet there were "people who guided men with truth and did justice therewith". What it means is that among God’s creatures there are men who not only themselves are rightly guided and practise justice but also enjoin others to do the same; and the verse hints that it behoves other people to follow their example. The reference obviously is to those who accepted the Holy Prophet; or the verse may refer to God-fearing people who lived before Islam. (close)