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Surahs Nuh and Jinn
Qur'anic Exegesis
Javed Ahmad Ghamidi
(Tr. by:Dr. Shehzad Saleem)
Both these sūrahs form a pair with regard to their subject matter. Sūrah Nūh portrays the indhār of the Qur’ān and its consequences by narrating the account of the people of the Prophet Nūh (sws), while Sūrah Jinn presents the testimony of the jinn folk on this portrayal and then urges the Quraysh to seriously review their attitude.

Viewed thus, Sūrah Nūh is actually an explanation of the testimony of the seen (مَا تُبْصِرُوْن) and Sūrah Jinn an explanation of the testimony of the unseen (مَا لَا تُبْصِرُوْن) mentioned in Sūrah Hāqqah.

Both sūrahs are directed at the leadership of the Quraysh, and it is evident from their contents that, like the previous sūrahs of this group, they were revealed in Makkah in the phase of indhār of the Prophet’s mission (sws).

The central theme of the first sūrah is to explain to the Quraysh the preaching) of the prophets of God and its various phases and to warn them of the consequences of denying this preaching which necessarily materialize for its rejecters according to the established practice of the Almighty.

The central theme of the second sūrah is to authenticate the Qur’ān and its message before the Quraysh by the testimony of the jinn and to inform them that the punishment which they are demanding from the Prophet (sws) is something whose time of arrival is only known to the Almighty. The prophets of God do not come to disclose this time; they only come to communicate the message of the Almighty. Instead of asking for this punishment, the Quraysh should ask for the Almighty’s mercy. For this they should stop being arrogant and hostile to the Prophet (sws); they should acknowledge and accept his message and in the House of God they should worship God only.




Sūrah Nūh

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

إِنَّا أَرْسَلْنَا نُوحًا إِلَى قَوْمِهِ أَنْ أَنذِرْ قَوْمَكَ مِن قَبْلِ أَن يَأْتِيَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ (١) قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ إِنِّي لَكُمْ نَذِيرٌ مُّبِينٌ (٢) أَنِ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ وَاتَّقُوهُ وَأَطِيعُونِ (٣) يَغْفِرْ لَكُم مِّن ذُنُوبِكُمْ وَيُؤَخِّرْكُمْ إِلَى أَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى إِنَّ أَجَلَ اللَّهِ إِذَا جَاء لَا يُؤَخَّرُ لَوْ كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ (٤)

We had sent forth Noah as a messenger to his people that: “Warn your people before there comes to them a grievous penalty.”1 He said: “O my People! I am to you a very clear warner. [I urge you] to worship God and remain within the limits set by Him2 and obey me. [As a result of this] the Almighty shall forgive your [previous] sins,3 and shall give you respite till an appointed time.4 In reality, when the time appointed by God comes it cannot be put off. Would that you understood [this]!” (1-4)


قَالَ رَبِّ إِنِّي دَعَوْتُ قَوْمِي لَيْلًا وَنَهَارًا (٥) فَلَمْ يَزِدْهُمْ دُعَائِي إِلَّا فِرَارًا (٦)وَإِنِّي كُلَّمَا دَعَوْتُهُمْ لِتَغْفِرَ لَهُمْ جَعَلُوا أَصَابِعَهُمْ فِي آذَانِهِمْ وَاسْتَغْشَوْا ثِيَابَهُمْ وَأَصَرُّوا وَاسْتَكْبَرُوا اسْتِكْبَارًا (٧) ثُمَّ إِنِّي دَعَوْتُهُمْ جِهَارًا (٨) ثُمَّ إِنِّي أَعْلَنتُ لَهُمْ وَأَسْرَرْتُ لَهُمْ إِسْرَارًا (٩) فَقُلْتُ اسْتَغْفِرُوا رَبَّكُمْ إِنَّهُ كَانَ غَفَّارًا (١٠) يُرْسِلِ السَّمَاء عَلَيْكُم مِّدْرَارًا (١١) وَيُمْدِدْكُمْ بِأَمْوَالٍ وَبَنِينَ وَيَجْعَل لَّكُمْ جَنَّاتٍ وَيَجْعَل لَّكُمْ أَنْهَارًا (١٢)

[He kept on calling them to this message but they did not pay any heed until at last] he said: “O Lord! Day and night I have called [these] people of mine but my calls have only added to their aversion.5 Whenever I called upon them so that You may forgive them [on their repentance6], they thrust their fingers in their ears and drew their cloaks over them7 and persisted in their denial and bore themselves with insolent pride.8 Then I openly called them;9 then appealed to them in public10 and also beseeched them in private. I said: ‘Seek forgiveness from your Lord; indeed, He is ever Forgiving.11 [As a consequence,] He shall send down on you abundant rain12 and shall bless you with wealth and children and shall grow for you gardens and shall bring forth for you springs of water.13 (5-12)


مَّا لَكُمْ لَا تَرْجُونَ لِلَّهِ وَقَارًا (١٣) وَقَدْ خَلَقَكُمْ أَطْوَارًا (١٤) أَلَمْ تَرَوْا كَيْفَ خَلَقَ اللَّهُ سَبْعَ سَمَاوَاتٍ طِبَاقًا (١٥) وَجَعَلَ الْقَمَرَ فِيهِنَّ نُورًا وَجَعَلَ الشَّمْسَ سِرَاجًا (١٦) وَاللَّهُ أَنبَتَكُم مِّنَ الْأَرْضِ نَبَاتًا (١٧) ثُمَّ يُعِيدُكُمْ فِيهَا وَيُخْرِجُكُمْ إِخْرَاجًا (١٨) وَاللَّهُ جَعَلَ لَكُمُ الْأَرْضَ بِسَاطًا (١٩) لِتَسْلُكُوا مِنْهَا سُبُلًا فِجَاجًا (٢٠)

What has come upon you that you do not expect any majesty of your Lord14 even though He made you by making you pass through many stages of creation15Do16 you not see how God has made seven heavens one above the other and made the moon a light therein and the sun a lamp? And [do you not see that] God has grown you from the earth in such an elaborate way?17 Then to the earth He returns you and then He will suddenly bring you forth from it without any effort.18 And [do you not see that] God has spread out the earth for you as a spreading that you may walk in its spacious passes [that lie between the mountains].” 19 (13-20)


قَالَ نُوحٌ رَّبِّ إِنَّهُمْ عَصَوْنِي وَاتَّبَعُوا مَن لَّمْ يَزِدْهُ مَالُهُ وَوَلَدُهُ إِلَّا خَسَارًا (٢١) وَمَكَرُوا مَكْرًا كُبَّارًا (٢٢) وَقَالُوا لَا تَذَرُنَّ آلِهَتَكُمْ وَلَا تَذَرُنَّ وَدًّا وَلَا سُوَاعًا وَلَا يَغُوثَ وَيَعُوقَ وَنَسْرًا (٢٣) وَقَدْ أَضَلُّوا كَثِيرًا وَلَا تَزِدِ الظَّالِمِينَ إِلَّا ضَلَالًا (٢٤)

Noah said: “O Lord! They have disobeyed me and followed those [leaders of theirs] whose wealth and children only added to their ruin20 and they contrived great schemes and said: ‘Abandon not these Gods of yours whatsoever and abandon not Wadd nor Suwā‘; and neither Yaghūth nor Ya‘ūq nor Nasr.’21 And [in this manner] they misled many. And [now, O Lord!] You also increase these wrong-doers in further error.” (21-24)


مِمَّا خَطِيئَاتِهِمْ أُغْرِقُوا فَأُدْخِلُوا نَارًا فَلَمْ يَجِدُوا لَهُم مِّن دُونِ اللَّهِ أَنصَارًا (٢٥)

Because22 of their misdeeds they were drowned; then they were cast into a great Fire.23 Then they found none to help them against God. (25)


وَقَالَ نُوحٌ رَّبِّ لَا تَذَرْ عَلَى الْأَرْضِ مِنَ الْكَافِرِينَ دَيَّارًا (٢٦) إِنَّكَ إِن تَذَرْهُمْ يُضِلُّوا عِبَادَكَ وَلَا يَلِدُوا إِلَّا فَاجِرًا كَفَّارًا (٢٧) رَبِّ اغْفِرْ لِي وَلِوَالِدَيَّ وَلِمَن دَخَلَ بَيْتِيَ مُؤْمِنًا وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ وَلَا تَزِدِ الظَّالِمِينَ إِلَّا تَبَارًا (٢٨)

And Noah said: “O Lord! Leave not one of these disbelievers in the land because if You spare them they will definitely mislead Your servants and will beget none but sinners and disbelievers.24 Forgive me, Lord, and forgive my parents and all those who enter my house as believers25 and forgive all believing men and women and increase not these wrongdoers except in ruin.” (26-28)



Sūrah Jinn


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

قُلْ أُوحِيَ إِلَيَّ أَنَّهُ اسْتَمَعَ نَفَرٌ مِّنَ الْجِنِّ فَقَالُوا إِنَّا سَمِعْنَا قُرْآنًا عَجَبًا (١) يَهْدِي إِلَى الرُّشْدِ فَآمَنَّا بِهِ وَلَن نُّشْرِكَ بِرَبِّنَا أَحَدًا (٢) وَأَنَّهُ تَعَالَى جَدُّ رَبِّنَا مَا اتَّخَذَ صَاحِبَةً وَلَا وَلَدًا (٣) وَأَنَّهُ كَانَ يَقُولُ سَفِيهُنَا عَلَى اللَّهِ شَطَطًا (٤) وَأَنَّا ظَنَنَّا أَن لَّن تَقُولَ الْإِنسُ وَالْجِنُّ عَلَى اللَّهِ كَذِبًا (٥) وَأَنَّهُ كَانَ رِجَالٌ مِّنَ الْإِنسِ يَعُوذُونَ بِرِجَالٍ مِّنَ الْجِنِّ فَزَادُوهُمْ رَهَقًا (٦) وَأَنَّهُمْ ظَنُّوا كَمَا ظَنَنتُمْ أَن لَّن يَبْعَثَ اللَّهُ أَحَدًا (٧) وَأَنَّا لَمَسْنَا السَّمَاء فَوَجَدْنَاهَا مُلِئَتْ حَرَسًا شَدِيدًا وَشُهُبًا (٨) وَأَنَّا كُنَّا نَقْعُدُ مِنْهَا مَقَاعِدَ لِلسَّمْعِ فَمَن يَسْتَمِعِ الْآنَ يَجِدْ لَهُ شِهَابًا رَّصَدًا (٩) وَأَنَّا لَا نَدْرِي أَشَرٌّ أُرِيدَ بِمَن فِي الْأَرْضِ أَمْ أَرَادَ بِهِمْ رَبُّهُمْ رَشَدًا (١٠) وَأَنَّا مِنَّا الصَّالِحُونَ وَمِنَّا دُونَ ذَلِكَ كُنَّا طَرَائِقَ قِدَدًا (١١) وَأَنَّا ظَنَنَّا أَن لَّن نُّعجِزَ اللَّهَ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَن نُّعْجِزَهُ هَرَبًا (١٢) وَأَنَّا لَمَّا سَمِعْنَا الْهُدَى آمَنَّا بِهِ فَمَن يُؤْمِن بِرَبِّهِ فَلَا يَخَافُ بَخْسًا وَلَا رَهَقًا (١٣) وَأَنَّا مِنَّا الْمُسْلِمُونَ وَمِنَّا الْقَاسِطُونَ فَمَنْ أَسْلَمَ فَأُوْلَئِكَ تَحَرَّوْا رَشَدًا (١٤) وَأَمَّا الْقَاسِطُونَ فَكَانُوا لِجَهَنَّمَ حَطَبًا (١٥)

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Ever Merciful.

Tell them [O Prophet!]: “It has been revealed to me26 that a group of jinn listened [to it and went to their people and] then said to them: ‘We have heard a Qur’ān wondrous,27 which shows guidance to the right path; so we have professed faith in it28 and we will never associate any one with our Lord,’ and this also29 that exalted is the majesty of our Lord; He has neither taken a wife [for Himself] nor a son, and this also that this foolish [leader] of ours used to utter absolutely false things about Allah. And this also that [we followed him before this only because] we believed that no man or jinn could forge a lie against Allah. And this also that [people were already a little rebellious; then] some foolish ones among human beings had been seeking refuge with some mischievous among [our] jinn so they only increased them in their rebellion.30 And this also that like you, they also thought that Allah would never raise [to life] anyone [after death.] And this also that [before listening to this Qur’ān we were in search of something because] we had groped our way through the heavens to find it filled with stern guards and meteors were darting about [in it.] And this also that previously we were able to sit in some of its stations to eavesdrop, but now [we see that] whoever tries to eavesdrop finds a darting flame in wait for him.31 And this also that [at that time], we did not know whether ill was intended for those on earth or whether their Lord has intended something good for them.32 And this also that there have remained some amongst us who are righteous and some who are otherwise [and before this also] our paths had been separate.” And this also that [We were never rebellious]; we knew that we cannot escape Allah in this earth nor elude His grasp by flying away from Him in the heavens.33 And this also that [with this awareness] when we have heard this Guidance we have believed in it and [we also call upon you that those among you] who believe in their Lord will have no fear of any loss or injustice. And this also that [now after this also], there will be those among us who submit [to the truth] and those also who insist on their disobedience; so those who submit will find themselves on the right path, and those who are disobedient will become the firewood of Hell. (1-15)


وَأَلَّوِ اسْتَقَامُوا عَلَى الطَّرِيقَةِ لَأَسْقَيْنَاهُم مَّاء غَدَقًا (١٦) لِنَفْتِنَهُمْ فِيهِ وَمَن يُعْرِضْ عَن ذِكْرِ رَبِّهِ يَسْلُكْهُ عَذَابًا صَعَدًا (١٧) وَأَنَّ الْمَسَاجِدَ لِلَّهِ فَلَا تَدْعُوا مَعَ اللَّهِ أَحَدًا (١٨) وَأَنَّهُ لَمَّا قَامَ عَبْدُ اللَّهِ يَدْعُوهُ كَادُوا يَكُونُونَ عَلَيْهِ لِبَدًا (١٩) قُلْ إِنَّمَا أَدْعُو رَبِّي وَلَا أُشْرِكُ بِهِ أَحَدًا (٢٠) قُلْ إِنِّي لَا أَمْلِكُ لَكُمْ ضَرًّا وَلَا رَشَدًا (٢١) قُلْ إِنِّي لَن يُجِيرَنِي مِنَ اللَّهِ أَحَدٌ وَلَنْ أَجِدَ مِن دُونِهِ مُلْتَحَدًا (٢٢) إِلَّا بَلَاغًا مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَرِسَالَاتِهِ وَمَن يَعْصِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَإِنَّ لَهُ نَارَ جَهَنَّمَ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا أَبَدًا (٢٣) حَتَّى إِذَا رَأَوْا مَا يُوعَدُونَ فَسَيَعْلَمُونَ مَنْ أَضْعَفُ نَاصِرًا وَأَقَلُّ عَدَدًا (٢٤) قُلْ إِنْ أَدْرِي أَقَرِيبٌ مَّا تُوعَدُونَ أَمْ يَجْعَلُ لَهُ رَبِّي أَمَدًا (٢٥) عَالِمُ الْغَيْبِ فَلَا يُظْهِرُ عَلَى غَيْبِهِ أَحَدًا (٢٦) إِلَّا مَنِ ارْتَضَى مِن رَّسُولٍ فَإِنَّهُ يَسْلُكُ مِن بَيْنِ يَدَيْهِ وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِ رَصَدًا (٢٧) لِيَعْلَمَ أَن قَدْ أَبْلَغُوا رِسَالَاتِ رَبِّهِمْ وَأَحَاطَ بِمَا لَدَيْهِمْ وَأَحْصَى كُلَّ شَيْءٍ عَدَدًا (٢٨)

And [tell them O Prophet that it has also been revealed to me34 that] if the people [of your nation] had adhered to the [straight] path [of tawhīd],35 We would have bestowed on them rain in abundance so that We could test36 them by this means. And [it is Our decision that] those [among them] who turn away from the Reminder of their Lord -- He will put them through an ever-increasing torment.37 And this also that these mosques are only for Allah so invoke not any one [in them] with Allah. 38 And this also that when this servant of Allah39 stands [before Him in His house] to invoke [only] Him, it seems as if they will rush upon him. Tell them [O Prophet!:] “I only invoke Allah and will worship none besides Him.” Tell them: “I have no authority to harm or benefit you or to guide or mislead you.” 40 Tell them: “[If I associate someone with Him I very well know that] none can protect me from Allah nor can I find any refuge besides Him.

[No O people! I have no authority to harm or benefit you]; my only duty is to inform you and to communicate His messages to you.41 And [to tell you that] those who disobey Allah and His Messenger shall abide forever in the fire of Hell. Until when [these people inebriated with their might and power] shall behold [there] what they are being warned of,42 then they shall know who is weaker in help and who are fewer in numbers. Tell them: “I do not know whether [the punishment] with which you are being threatened is imminent or whether My Lord will postpone it a little more. [These are matters of the unseen] and only He knows this unseen, and He never reveals this unseen to anyone. As for those whom He chooses as His messengers [they can say nothing of their own43] because He guards them from behind and from the front so that He may know if they have delivered the messages of their Lord; and He surrounds whatever is around them and keeps count of all their things.” (16-28)



Kuala Lumpur

19th February 2010



(Translated by Dr Shehzad Saleem)






1. Ie., before sending any punishment he was sent as a messenger to conclusively convey the truth to his people just as Muhammad (sws) is being sent now.

2. The actual word used is: تقوى. In the terminology of the Qur’ān it means to abide by the limits of God in all affairs.

3. The actual words used are: ذُنُوبِكُمْ. Words to the effect ما تقدم (previous) are suppressed before them which have been accounted for in the translation.

4. Ie., He will give them respite which He has appointed for the death and life of people and nations. Imām Amīn Ahsan Islāhī writes:

The condition أَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى (specific time period) shows that no time granted in this world is unlimited. Everything of this world is transient and temporary. Even if a person spends his life as a practicing believer, he is not granted an infinite life span; one day, he has to die. The only difference is that he is not destroyed by some punishment of the Almighty; he is granted respite to live his full life. Similarly, if a nation embraces faith, fears the limits set by the Almighty and remains obedient to his prophet, the Almighty allows it to flourish as long as it adheres to faith and remains fearful of God. As soon as it deviates from this path, it begins to plunge from the height it had attained, and when its moral decadence reaches its lowest limit its span of life reaches its end, and it is destroyed in its capacity of a nation. Similar is the case of this whole world as well. Its life span is also fixed. A day will come when this place of test will be disbanded and a new world – called the Hereafter – with new laws and regulations will come into being. (Amīn Ahsan Islāhī, Tadabbur-i-Qur’ān, vol. 8, 593)

5. It is after almost nine-hundred and fifty years of preaching by Noah (sws) when this phase came in which he pleaded before his Lord in these words that his preaching has proved absolutely fruitless.

6. In deference to eloquence, these words have actually been suppressed. Imām Amīn Ahsan Islāhī has explained them thus:

… Noah (sws) uttered a sentence in which the consequence of an action (forgiveness) was placed in place of the action (seeking forgiveness) so that the wretchedness and misfortune of his people becomes fully evident. In other words, the implication of the verse is that Noah (sws) tried his best that his people should become worthy of God’s forgiveness, but so worthless were they that they did not care to even listen to him.  (Amīn Ahsan Islāhī, Tadabbur-i-Qur’ān, vol. 8, 595)


7. The verse portrays the reaction of the leaders of Noah’s people: as soon as they heard these words of Noah (sws), they wrapped their shawls around themselves with great aversion and went away.

8. In the expression وَأَصَرُّوا وَاسْتَكْبَرُوا اسْتِكْبَارًا, a verbal noun is suppressed after the verb أَصَرُّوا ie. إِصْرَاراً وَأَصَرُّوا. This is because the mention of اسْتِكْبَارًا after اسْتَكْبَرُوا was enough to make its presence understood and thereby it be suppressed.

9. After the phase of indhār (warning), this is a mention of the next phase: indhār ‘ām (enhanced warning).

10. The actual words are: ثُمَّ إِنِّي أَعْلَنتُ. After this, a verbal noun is suppressed just as it was after أَصَرُّوا.

11. The implication is that what is only needed for God’s forgiveness is sincere repentance; None is a greater forgiver than Him so that a person’s recommendation may be of any avail before Him.

12. The actual words are: يُرْسِلِ السَّمَاء عَلَيْكُم مِّدْرَارًا. The word مِّدْرَارًا means كثير الدرر ie. something which rains a lot. The word سَّمَاء occurs for rain-laden clouds. In Arabic, it is used in this meaning as well.

13. This is a mention of the established practice of God which necessarily materializes for those who accept the calls of a messenger. The way the repetition of the phrase يَجْعَل لَّكُمْ has enhanced the stature of these favours is not hidden before the eyes of the connoisseurs of the Arabic language.

14. In other words do they not expect that in spite their wrongdoings, the wrath of God will not manifest itself, and He will not hold them accountable for the anarchy they have created in this world. Imām Amīn Ahsan Islāhī has explained them thus:

… If this is their conception of God, it means that they have no idea of His majesty and anger. God forbid, they regard Him to be absolutely insensitive and devoid of any sense of honour. They think that whatever highhandedness they may exhibit in this world will not be taken notice of by God’s majesty and honour.  (Amīn Ahsan Islāhī, Tadabbur-i-Qur’ān, vol. 8, 598)

15. The implication is that what difficultly will He have to raise them to life again when He has shown such marvels of His power and wisdom in creating them?

16. From here onwards, the words of the Prophet Noah (sws) are interposed by those of the Almighty. These words from Him are meant to complete the speech of Noah (sws). The indication for this is that after them, the next paragraph once again begins by the words قَالَ نُوحٌ. These words would have been needless in the absence of this interposition.

17. This is the mention of a fact because before starting the process of creating man from the womb of a mother, he was created by God directly from the earth. If one analyzes the occasion of the discourse, one will find a inimitable eloquence in it: the claim is substantiated by the claim itself: since God has made to grow them like vegetation, so just as he enlivens dead vegetation once again, in a similar manner, He will make them come out from the earth whenever He intends.  

18. The verbal nouns نَبَاتًا and إِخْرَاجًا are meant to emphasize their respective verbs. The Urdu language [and the case of English is no different] does not contain a style to express all their aspects. The aspect I have adopted is the one which is congruous to the occasion of the discourse.

19. The interposed verses end here and the discourse once again connects to the prayer of Noah (sws). The signs of God’s immense power, profound wisdom and universal providence to which these verses direct our attention clearly show that the God Who is capable of showing such marvels of creation will not find it any difficult to re-create mankind.

20. This is a mention of the reaction of Noah’s nation in the phase when the truth was being conclusively conveyed to them.

21. These are the names of the prominent idols which the people of Noah (sws) worshipped, which the Arabs had also later started to worship. Imām Amīn Ahsan Islāhī writes:

It is clearly evident from the names of these idols that they are Arabic names. Noah’s people inhabited the north of Hijāz; so it is not improbable that their language was Arabic. The tenacity of these idols is remarkable as the deluge had destroyed every sign of Noah’s people yet these idols were still worshipped. It is evident from history that later on they were once again worshipped by various Arab tribes. Thus the Banū Kalb, a branch of the Qudā‘ah tribe, worshipped the idol of Wadd. Suwā‘ was worshipped by the Hudhayl tribe and Yagūth was worshipped by some branches of the Tay tribe. Similarly, Ya‘ūq was worshipped by one branch of the Hamdān tribe and Nasr was worshipped by one branch of the Himyar tribe. The sequence in which these idols are mentioned here shows their ranks and status in descending order. In other words, Wadd and Suwā‘ occupied a higher status than Yagūth, Ya‘ūq and Nasr. (Amīn Ahsan Islāhī, Tadabbur-i-Qur’ān, vol. 8, 603)

22. These are the words of the Almighty which once again interrupt Noah’s prayer before it ends to signify the fact that when a messenger of God prays in such a manner to Him after he has conclusively conveyed the truth to his people then as soon as he utters its very first sentence, the prayer is accepted.

23. The verb here denotes decision: it has been decided that they shall be cast into the fire.

24. These words of Noah (sws) (viz. they will beget none but sinners and disbelievers) should not be a cause of wonder keeping in view the fact that he had evaluated his people after warning them for almost nine hundred years.

25. It is evident from this that in this phase of declaring his acquittal from his people, Noah (sws) had proclaimed that whoever wants to protect himself from punishment should take refuge in his house before its arrival.

26. It is evident from these words that the comments of the jinn stated in this sūrah were not directly conveyed by them to the Prophet (sws); rather they were communicated to him by the Almighty. This incident is also depicted in Sūrah Ahqāf and it is also evident from that depiction that these observations made by the jinn-folk before their people were narrated to the Prophet (sws) later on by the Almighty. The purpose of narrating this account to the Prophet (sws) was three fold: i. to make it evident to the Quraysh what the jinn whom they regarded to have inspired the Qur’ān themselves say of the Qur’ān, ii. to assure the Prophet (sws) to not get distressed by the attitude of not giving him due consideration shown by these wretched people and iii. to appeal to he honour of the Quraysh. Imām Amīn Ahsan Islāhī writes:

… These impressions of the jinn have been conveyed to the Prophet (sws) so that he informs his people of them. The implication is that the very Qur’ān which they are treating in such a disdainful manner by shutting their ears to it, and set off to become the enemies of its reciter even though it was specifically revealed for them had a profound influence on some bright jinn. So potent was this influence that they became such ardent fans of it that they embarked upon calling their people towards it even though they were not the direct addressees of this Book. (Amīn Ahsan Islāhī, Tadabbur-i-Qur’ān, vol. 8, 615)

27. The actual word is: عَجَبًا. Just as it expressed the amazing nature of something, it is also used to portray the efficacy and attractiveness of something. Also evident from this in a secondary way is the fact that the jinn understand the language of human beings who live in their area and aree also able to evaluate its literary quality.

28. This does not imply that the Prophet (sws) was also sent forth to the jinn in his capacity as a messenger of God. What these words do imply is that it is the duty of every cognizant being of this world to acknowledge the truth wherever and in whatever form he comes across it. Consequently, if we were in a position to hear the calls of the prophets sent to the jinn, it would have been mandatory for us to profess faith in them just as it is in their case. Similar is the case of our professing faith in the prophets which came before Muhammad (sws). Though we are not liable to obey the sharī’ah brought by them yet we must believe in them, just as it was necessary for their people to do so.

29. This statement of the jinn and all subsequent ones are under أُوحِيَ إِلَيَّ أَنَّهُ  (It has been revealed to me that …) and not under إِنَّا سَمِعْنَا (We heard). Translation of the verses has thus been done while taking this aspect into consideration.

30. The words “foolish” and “mischievous” are used in deference to the undefined noun: رِجَالٌ. What the jinn have referred to in this verse has been explained thus by Imām Amīn Ahsan Islāhī writes:

The Idolaters of Arabia had the superstition that the jinn were a means of finding out the news of the unknown and the unseen world. As a result, a whole system of soothsaying which was totally based on lies and deception had come into being. Typically, a soothsayer would tell a person under his lure that a certain jinn is angry with him and that if he did not do a particular sacrifice or make a vow, then this jinn would cause him some harm. As a result, this person would obey the soothsayer. So much so, in order to please the jinn, foolish people at the behest of these soothsayers would at times even sacrifice their children. This has been alluded to in Sūrah An‘ām.

Another superstition with which they thought these Idolaters of Arabia were afflicted was that every valley and every mountain was inhabited by some specific group of jinn. If ever circumstances arose that someone had to spend the night at some such place, then it was deemed necessary to seek the refuge of the leader of these jinn. In case this refuge was not sought, there was a strong chance that these jinn would send some calamity on them. Consequently, in the age of ignorance when the Arabs would spend a night in some valley they would invoke the chief jinn of that valley and would think that they had sought refuge with him. (Amīn Ahsan Islāhī, Tadabbur-i-Qur’ān, vol. 8, 619)


31. This is the testimony of the jinn on the authenticity of the Qur’ān which they gave after seeing the tremendous system of protection during the revelation of the Qur’ān. They explained the source and origin of the Qur’ān, the exalted being Who revealed it and the majestic manner in which it was revealed – the very Qur’ān which the Quraysh had rejected by regarding it to be  the work of soothsayers and sorcerers.

32. For evil the word used in the verse is أُرِيدَ and for good the words used are أَمْ أَرَادَ بِهِمْ رَبُّهُمْ رَشَدًا. These two styles show not only proper regard by the jinn to ascribe anything to the Almighty, but also that according to them it was more likely that the Almighty intended something very beneficial to mankind. Had this not been the case, they would have uttered the second sentence in the passive voice like the first one to keep its ascription uncertain.

33. According to conventional Arabic usage, opposite parts of the sentence are suppressed; they have been revealed in the translation.

34. From here the discourse addresses the Quraysh directly. The impressions of the jinn ended on the previous verse.

35. The actual words are. عَلَى الطَّرِيقَة. It is evident from this style that the path of tawhīd is well-known and does not need any explanation. Imām Amīn Ahsan Islāhī writes:

… It is a reality and hence human nature bears witness to it, human intellect alludes to it and the prophets and books of God have also called people towards this path. (Amīn Ahsan Islāhī, Tadabbur-i-Qur’ān, vol. 8, 624)


36. This is an opportune reminder: all favours and blessings are a means to test people. No one should be misled by them in any way about himself.

37. What does this mean? Imām Amīn Ahsan Islāhī, while explaining it, writes:

… For this reason, I am inclined to think that the punishment of those whom the Almighty seizes because of the rejection of His prophet and Book is not transient; it is ever-increasing. They will have to face a much greater punishment in the Hereafter than the punishment they face in this world and then they will be made to pass through an ever-increasing torment. Never will it end or gradually lessen. (Amīn Ahsan Islāhī, Tadabbur-i-Qur’ān, vol. 8, 625)

38. This subject of tawhīd is part of the warning that is concealed in the previous verses. Though the word مَسَاجِد occurs in its general sense, yet since its addressees are the Quraysh, its foremost application is the House of God. It is used in the plural sense to include all other mosques as well.

39.This refers to Muhammad (sws). Imām Amīn Ahsan Islāhī writes:

… The expression reflects affection as well as the reality that the most natural and logical attitude of a servant of God is to invoke God alone; however the conscience of some people has become so perverted that the highest and noblest of deeds has become alien and aversive to them. (Amīn Ahsan Islāhī, Tadabbur-i-Qur’ān, vol. 8, 626)

40. After ضَرًّا the word نَفْعاً  is suppressed and after رَشَدًا, the word غَيّاً is suppressed. This is because parallelism is readily pointing to this suppression.

41. The implication is that the Prophet (sws) does not have the authority to give benefit or harm anyone or to guide or mislead anyone; he also cannot associate anyone with God in deference to their wishes or by being over-awed by these people. His sole duty is to communicate God’s message to them in exactly the way he has received it.

42. Ie., when they will see the woeful torment of Hell and their own helplessness in it – about which they used to be warned in the previous world and they would make fun of it.

43. Ie., they cannot say anything on their own about when and how this punishment will arrive.

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