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Surah al-Hajj
Qur'anic Exegesis
Javed Ahmad Ghamidi
(Tr. by:Dr. Shehzad Saleem)

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْمِ

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُوْا رَبَّكُمْ إِنَّ زَلْزَلَةَ السَّاعَةِ شَيْءٌ عَظِيْمٌ. يَوْمَ تَرَوْنَهَا تَذْهَلُ كُلُّ مُرْضِعَةٍ عَمَّا أَرْضَعَتْ وَتَضَعُ كُلُّ ذَاتِ حَمْلٍ حَمْلَهَا وَتَرَى النَّاسَ سُكَارَى وَمَا هُم بِسُكَارَى وَلَكِنَّ عَذَابَ اللَّهِ شَدِيْدٌ.

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

People!1 Fear your Lord.2 The earthquake of the Day of Judgement is a very horrific thing indeed. The day you will see it, every suckling mother will forget her suckled child and every pregnant being will shed her burden and you will see people inebriated even though they will not be inebriated. In fact, the torment of God will be so severe.3 (1-2)


وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَنْ يُّجَادِلُ فِی اللَّهِ بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ وَّيَتَّبِعُ كُلَّ شَيْطَانٍ مَّرِيْدٍ. كُتِبَ عَلَيْهِ أَنَّهُ مَنْ تَوَلَّاهُ فَأَنَّهُ يُضِلُّهُ وَيَهْدِيْهِ إِلَى عَذَابِ السَّعِيْرِ.

On the other hand, the situation of people is that there are also such [foolish] among them4 who without having any knowledge5 dispute about God6 and start to follow every rebellious devil7 about whom it has been ordained8 that whoever befriends him, he is bound to lead him astray and will lead him to the torment of Hell. (3-4)


يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ فِیْ رَيْبٍ مِّنَ الْبَعْثِ فَإِنَّا خَلَقْنَاكُمْ مِّنْ تُرَابٍ ثُمَّ مِنْ نُّطْفَةٍ ثُمَّ مِنْ عَلَقَةٍ ثُمَّ مِنْ مُّضْغَةٍ مُّخَلَّقَةٍ وَغَيْرِ مُخَلَّقَةٍ لِّنُبَيِّنَ لَكُمْ وَنُقِرُّ فِی الْأَرْحَامِ مَا نَشَآءُ إِلَى أَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى ثُمَّ نُخْرِجُكُمْ طِفْلًا ثُمَّ لِتَبْلُغُوْا أَشُدَّكُمْ وَمِنْكُمْ مَّنْ يُتَوَفَّى وَمِنْكُمْ مَّنْ يُرَدُّ إِلَى أَرْذَلِ الْعُمُرِ لِكَيْلَا يَعْلَمَ مِنْ بَعْدِ عِلْمٍ شَيْئًا وَتَرَى الْأَرْضَ هَامِدَةً فَإِذَا أَنْزَلْنَا عَلَيْهَا الْمَآءَ اهْتَزَّتْ وَرَبَتْ وَأَنبَتَتْ مِنْ كُلِّ زَوْجٍ بَهِيْجٍ. ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الْحَقُّ وَأَنَّهُ يُحْيِي الْمَوْتَى وَأَنَّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيْرٌ. وَّأَنَّ السَّاعَةَ آتِيَةٌ لَّا رَيْبَ فِيْهَا وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ يَبْعَثُ مَن فِی الْقُبُورِ.

People! If you have any doubt on being raised to life again,9 then reflect that We have created you from clay,10 then from sperm, then from a clot of blood, then from a lump of flesh11 which may be completed and also remain incomplete.12 So that We make evident to you some facts [that you should understand].13 Whatever We want, We place in the wombs till an appointed time. Then bring you forth in the form of a child. Then give time14 so that you may reach your youth. And some from you are called back early15 and some are made to reach pathetic [old] age so that even after knowing a lot know nothing.16 Similarly, you see the earth dry. Then when We rain down water on it, it becomes lush and grows and sprouts exquisite things of all kinds. All this is because God is the real Lord and because He gives life to the dead and because He has power over all things and because the Hereafter is certain to come; there is no doubt about its coming and because God will certainly resurrect all those who are in the graves.17 (5-7)


وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَنْ يُّجَادِلُ فِي اللَّهِ بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ وَّلَا هُدًى وَّلَا كِتَابٍ مُّنِيْرٍ. ثَانِيَ عِطْفِهِ لِيُضِلَّ عَنْ سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ لَهُ فِی الدُّنْيَا خِزْيٌ وَّنُذِيقُهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ عَذَابَ الْحَرِيقِ. ذَلِكَ بِمَا قَدَّمَتْ يَدَاكَ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ لَيْسَ بِظَلَّامٍ لِّلْعَبِيدِ.

In spite of this, such are people that there are those among them who without any knowledge, without any guidance and without any radiant book jerking their shoulders [in arrogance]18 argue about God to lead [people] astray from the path of God. For them is humiliation in the world19 also and on the Day of Judgement We will make them taste the torment of the blazing fire – this is in exchange of your deeds which your hands sent ahead and [God’s justice for you also] because God is not the slightest unjust to His servants.20  (8-10)


وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَنْ يَّعْبُدُ اللَّهَ عَلَى حَرْفٍ فَإِنْ أَصَابَهُ خَيْرٌ اطْمَأَنَّ بِهِ وَإِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ فِتْنَةٌ انْقَلَبَ عَلَى وَجْهِهِ خَسِرَ الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةَ ذَلِكَ هُوَ الْخُسْرَانُ الْمُبِيْنُ. يَدْعُوْ مِنْ دُوْنِ اللَّهِ مَا لَا يَضُرُّهُ وَمَا لَا يَنْفَعُهُ ذَلِكَ هُوَ الضَّلَالُ الْبَعِيْدُ. يَدْعُوْ لَمَنْ ضَرُّهُ أَقْرَبُ مِنْ نَّفْعِهِ لَبِئْسَ الْمَوْلَى وَلَبِئْسَ الْعَشِيْرُ. إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُدْخِلُ الَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوْا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِیْ مِنْ تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَفْعَلُ مَا يُرِيدُ.

And there are those among people also who worship God standing on the boundary.21 Then if they received any benefit they became satisfied with God and if they faced any trial, they turn about their heels.22 This cost them the world and the Hereafter too.23 It is this which is an open loss. They call upon other beings besides God24 which can neither harm nor benefit them. It is this which is extreme error. They call upon them: the ones whose harm is closer than their benefit.25 How evil are these masters and how evil are these companions of theirs [who have made them their masters26! On the other hand,] those who professed faith with all truth and did righteous deeds,27 God will definitely admit them into orchards beneath which rivers flow. Indeed, God does what He intends.28 (11-14)


مَنْ كَانَ يَظُنُّ أَنْ لَّنْ يَّنْصُرَهُ اللَّهُ فِی الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ فَلْيَمْدُدْ بِسَبَبٍ إِلَى السَّمَآءِ ثُمَّ لِيَقْطَعْ فَلْيَنظُرْ هَلْ يُذْهِبَنَّ كَيْدُهُ مَا يَغِيْظُ. وَكَذَلِكَ أَنزَلْنَاهُ آيَاتٍ بَيِّنَاتٍ وَّأَنَّ اللَّهَ يَهْدِیْ مَنْ يُرِيْدُ.

 [Tell them:] “He who thinks that God will never help him in this world and in the Hereafter29 should stretch a rope [in his imagination] towards the sky [to climb up]. Then when he becomes sad [on seeing his destination to be far off,] he should sever it and see if this measure of his is able to alleviate his sorrow?”30 We have revealed this Qur’an in this manner in the form of open arguments but how can they be guided who are deprived of God’s grace because God guides whomsoever He wants to [according to His law31. (15-16)


إِنَّ الَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوْا وَالَّذِيْنَ هَادُوْا وَالصَّابِئِيْنَ وَالنَّصَارَى وَالْمَجُوْسَ وَالَّذِيْنَ أَشْرَكُوْا إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَفْصِلُ بَيْنَهُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ شَهِيْدٌ.

 [They argue about God. Tell them:] “Those who have accepted faith and those who adopted Judaism and the Sabeans and the Nazarenes and the Magians32 and those who adhere to polytheism,33 God will decide among all of them [about their disputes] on the Day of Judgement. Indeed, God knows everything.”34 (17)


أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَسْجُدُ لَهُ مَنْ فِی السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَنْ فِی الْأَرْضِ وَالشَّمْسُ وَالْقَمَرُ وَالنُّجُومُ وَالْجِبَالُ وَالشَّجَرُ وَالدَّوَابُّ وَكَثِيْرٌ مِّنَ النَّاسِ وَكَثِيْرٌ حَقَّ عَلَيْهِ الْعَذَابُ وَمَنْ يُّهِنِ اللَّهُ فَمَا لَهُ مِنْ مُّكْرِمٍ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَفْعَلُ مَا يَشَآءُ.

Do you not see that what is in the heavens and the earth all prostrate before God alone and the sun, the moon, the stars, the mountains, the beasts and many people as well.35 And there are many for whom the torment of God has become mandatory [because they accepted the humiliation of prostrating before others.36 In reality, he who is humiliated by God cannot be given respect by anyone. God indeed does whatever He intends to [according to His law]. (18)


هَذَانِ خَصْمَانِ اخْتَصَمُوْا فِیْ رَبِّهِمْ فَالَّذِيْنَ كَفَرُوْا قُطِّعَتْ لَهُمْ ثِيَابٌ مِّنْ نَّارٍ يُصَبُّ مِنْ فَوْقِ رُؤُوسِهِمُ الْحَمِيْمُ. يُصْهَرُ بِهِ مَا فِیْ بُطُوْنِهِمْ وَالْجُلُودُ. وَلَهُم مَّقَامِعُ مِنْ حَدِيْدٍ. كُلَّمَآ أَرَادُوْا أَنْ يَّخْرُجُوا مِنْهَا مِنْ غَمٍّ أُعِيْدُوْا فِيْهَا وَذُوْقُوْا عَذَابَ الْحَرِيْقِ.

All these groups are ones who have differed about God. So, those who have refused [to accept His oneness,] for them clothes of fire shall be carved out; boiling water will be poured on them from the top of their heads. Whatever is in their bellies will melt because of it and their skins [as well]. For their punishment, there will be iron hammers. Whenever they would desire to come out of any of its torment, they will be shoved back into it: “Now stay in it and taste the flavour of the punishment of burning.”37  (19-22)


إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُدْخِلُ الَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوْا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِیْ مِنْ تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ يُحَلَّوْنَ فِيْهَا مِنْ أَسَاوِرَ مِنْ ذَهَبٍ وَّلُؤْلُؤًا وَلِبَاسُهُمْ فِيْهَا حَرِيْرٌ. وَهُدُوْا إِلَى الطَّيِّبِ مِنَ الْقَوْلِ وَهُدُوْا إِلَى صِرَاطِ الْحَمِيْدِ.

God will however admit those who professed faith and did righteous deeds to orchards below which streams flow. There they will be adorned with bracelets of gold and necklaces of pearls.38  Their clothes there shall be of silk and moreover they were blessed there by a word of pure guidance39 and they were shown the path [of Paradise] of the praiseworthy God.40 (23-24)


إِنَّ الَّذِيْنَ كَفَرُوْا وَيَصُدُّوْنَ عَنْ سَبِيْلِ اللَّهِ وَالْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ الَّذِیْ جَعَلْنَاهُ لِلنَّاسِ سَوَاءَ الْعَاكِفُ فِيْهِ وَالْبَادِ وَمَن يُّرِدْ فِيْهِ بِإِلْحَادٍ بِظُلْمٍ نُّذِقْهُ مِنْ عَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ.

Indeed those who have rejected [God’s messenger] and now they are stopping [people] from the path of God and from the Sacred Mosque41 as well which We have made equally for all people whether they live there or outside it,42 they have committed a grave oppression. [This is because the matter of this mosque is that] he who intends43 some deviation, some oppression44 in it, We will make him taste a painful torment. (25)


وَإِذْ بَوَّأْنَا لِإِبْرَاهِيمَ مَكَانَ الْبَيْتِ أَنْ لَّا تُشْرِكْ بِیْ شَيْئًا وَّطَهِّرْ بَيْتِيَ لِلطَّائِفِيْنَ وَالْقَائِمِيْنَ وَالرُّكَّعِ السُّجُودِ. وَأَذِّن فِی النَّاسِ بِالْحَجِّ يَأْتُوْكَ رِجَالًا وَّعَلَى كُلِّ ضَامِرٍ يَأْتِيْنَ مِن كُلِّ فَجٍّ عَمِيْقٍ. لِّيَشْهَدُوْا مَنَافِعَ لَهُمْ وَيَذْكُرُوْا اسْمَ اللَّهِ فِي أَيَّامٍ مَّعْلُومَاتٍ عَلَى مَا رَزَقَهُمْ مِّنْ بَهِيْمَةِ الْأَنْعَامِ فَكُلُوْا مِنْهَا وَأَطْعِمُوا الْبَائِسَ الْفَقِيْرَ. ثُمَّ لْيَقْضُوْا تَفَثَهُمْ وَلْيُوفُوا نُذُوْرَهُمْ وَلْيَطَّوَّفُوْا بِالْبَيْتِ الْعَتِيْقِ.

[Remind them] when We had made the place of this House45 an abode46 for Abraham with the directive: “Do not associate anyone with Me and keep my House pure for those who circumambulate, stand, kneel and prostrate,”47 and directed: “Proclaim hajj among the people; they should come to you on foot and also on she-camels of all sorts that have become weak [because of travelling]. They will come from every far flung mountain passes that have become deep [because of caravans traveling in them.48 They will come in order to be present at their places of benefit49 and in certain prescribed days50 take the name of God51 on the beasts God has blessed them with.”52 [Slaughter them;] so, eat from them and feed the feeble needy ones as well.53 Then people should clean themselves of their dirt, fulfill their vows and circumambulate this ancient House.54 (26-29)


ذَلِكَ وَمَنْ يُّعَظِّمْ حُرُمَاتِ اللَّهِ فَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّهُ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِ وَأُحِلَّتْ لَكُمُ الْأَنْعَامُ إِلَّا مَا يُتْلَى عَلَيْكُمْ فَاجْتَنِبُوا الرِّجْسَ مِنَ الْأَوْثَانِ وَاجْتَنِبُوا قَوْلَ الزُّوْرِ. حُنَفَآءَ لِلَّهِ غَيْرَ مُشْرِكِيْنَ بِهِ وَمَنْ يُّشْرِكْ بِاللَّهِ فَكَأَنَّمَا خَرَّ مِنَ السَّمَآءِ فَتَخْطَفُهُ الطَّيْرُ أَوْ تَهْوِیْ بِهِ الرِّيحُ فِیْ مَكَانٍ سَحِيْقٍ. ذَلِكَ وَمَنْ يُّعَظِّمْ شَعَائِرَ اللَّهِ فَإِنَّهَا مِنْ تَقْوَى الْقُلُوبِ. لَكُمْ فِيْهَا مَنَافِعُ إِلَى أَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى ثُمَّ مَحِلُّهَا إِلَى الْبَيْتِ الْعَتِيْقِ.

These are the things [which Abraham was informed of. Understand them fully] and [bear in mind that] he who honours the sanctities of God,55 then this is better for him in the eyes of his Lord. And [this also that the superstitions of these idolaters about animals are totally baseless.56 In reality, the cattle are allowed to you except those you are being been told of [in the Qur’an]. So, abstain from the filth of the idols and from falsehood as well [which you impute to God with their reference by regarding something to be prohibited and another to be allowed57 and honour His symbols while being fully devoted to God without associating partners with Him. And [remember that] he who associates partners with God, it is as if he has fallen down from the sky.58 Now birds may snatch him away or the wind may take him away and throw him at a far off place.59 These are things; [you must fully understand them] and [remember that] he who reveres the symbols60 appointed by God, then this is from among the piety of the hearts. [These animals dedicated to God are also His symbols. But God’s directive is that] there are various benefits in them for you till an appointed time.61 Then they have to be taken towards the ancient House of God [for sacrifice].62 (30-33)


وَلِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ جَعَلْنَا مَنْسَكًا لِّيَذْكُرُوا اسْمَ اللَّهِ عَلَى مَا رَزَقَهُمْ مِّنْ بَهِيْمَةِ الْأَنْعَامِ فَإِلَهُكُمْ إِلَهٌ وَاحِدٌ فَلَهُ أَسْلِمُوْا وَبَشِّرِ الْمُخْبِتِيْنَ. الَّذِيْنَ إِذَا ذُكِرَ اللَّهُ وَجِلَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَالصَّابِرِيْنَ عَلَى مَا أَصَابَهُمْ وَالْمُقِيْمِي الصَّلَاةِ وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنفِقُوْنَ.

For each community, We have regarded the worship of sacrifice to be a religious ritual63 so that whatever cattle God has given them, they take God’s name on it [and of none else]. So, your God is One. Then, surrender yourselves to Him only64 [and bow down before Him only] and give glad tidings [O Prophet!] to those whose hearts are bent down before Him. They are those whose hearts tremble when the name of God is mentioned before them. They are steadfast on any calamity that comes their way and are diligent in the prayer and who spend [in Our cause] from whatever We have blessed them with.65 (34-35)


وَالْبُدْنَ جَعَلْنَاهَا لَكُمْ مِّنْ شَعَآئِرِ اللَّهِ لَكُمْ فِيْهَا خَيْرٌ فَاذْكُرُوا اسْمَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهَا صَوَافَّ فَإِذَا وَجَبَتْ جُنُوْبُهَا فَكُلُوا مِنْهَا وَأَطْعِمُوا الْقَانِعَ وَالْمُعْتَرَّ كَذَلِكَ سَخَّرْنَاهَا لَكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُوْنَ. لَن يَّنَالَ اللَّهَ لُحُومُهَا وَلَا دِمَآؤُهَا وَلَكِنْ يَّنَالُهُ التَّقْوَى مِنكُمْ كَذَلِكَ سَخَّرَهَا لَكُمْ لِتُكَبِّرُوا اللَّهَ عَلَى مَا هَدَاكُمْ وَبَشِّرِ الْمُحْسِنِيْنَ.

 [You should also not be reluctant in sacrificing camels because] We have included sacrificial camels in the symbols of God for you.66 There is a lot of good for you in them.67 So pronounce God’s name68 on them as well when you make them stand in rows.69 Then when they fall on their sides [after being slaughtered],70 eat from them your selves and feed those also who [are needy but] are content71 and those also who come to ask in anxiety. We have subjugated for you these animals in this manner72 so that you may be grateful. Neither does their flesh reach God nor their blood; but only your piety reaches Him.73 In this way, God has subjugated them for you so that the guidance God has blessed you with, you exalt God on it.74 [This is the way of those who are thorough] and [O Prophet!] Give glad tidings to those who are thorough. (36-37)


إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُدَافِعُ عَنِ الَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوْا إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ كُلَّ خَوَّانٍ كَفُوْرٍ. أُذِنَ لِلَّذِيْنَ يُقَاتَلُوْنَ بِأَنَّهُمْ ظُلِمُوْا وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَى نَصْرِهِمْ لَقَدِيْرٌ. الَّذِيْنَ أُخْرِجُوْا مِنْ دِيَارِهِمْ بِغَيْرِ حَقٍّ إِلَّا أَن يَّقُوْلُوْا رَبُّنَا اللَّهُ وَلَوْلَا دَفْعُ اللَّهِ النَّاسَ بَعْضَهُمْ بِبَعْضٍ لَّهُدِّمَتْ صَوَامِعُ وَبِيَعٌ وَصَلَوَاتٌ وَّمَسَاجِدُ يُذْكَرُ فِيْهَا اسْمُ اللَّهِ كَثِيْرًا وَلَيَنْصُرَنَّ اللَّهُ مَنْ يَّنْصُرُهُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَقَوِيٌّ عَزِيْزٌ. الَّذِيْنَ إِن مَّكَّنَّاهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ أَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتَوُا الزَّكَاةَ وَأَمَرُوْا بِالْمَعْرُوْفِ وَنَهَوْا عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَلِلَّهِ عَاقِبَةُ الْأُمُوْرِ.

[On the other hand, those who are stopping people from the path of God, for them] God’s decision is that [against them He will now] defend those have accepted faith.75 Indeed, God does not like any deceitful ingrate.76 [Thus] those against whom war is waged are granted permission of war because they were oppressed and indeed God has the power to help them. Those who were turned out of their houses without any justification only because they say: “God is our Lord.”77 [This permission has been granted because] if God did not drive away people through one another, monasteries, churches, synagogues78 and mosques in which the name of God is abundantly taken all would have been destroyed.79 God will definitely help those who will strive to help Him.80 Indeed, God is powerful, dominant over all.81 Those82 whom if We grant sovereignty in the land will be diligent in the prayer and pay zakah83 and exhort towards good and forbid evil.84 [God will definitely help them] and the fate of all matters is in the hands of God alone.85 (38-41)


وَإِنْ يُكَذِّبُوكَ فَقَدْ كَذَّبَتْ قَبْلَهُمْ قَوْمُ نُوحٍ وَعَادٌ وَثَمُودُ. وَقَوْمُ إِبْرَاهِيْمَ وَقَوْمُ لُوْطٍ. وَأَصْحَابُ مَدْيَنَ وَكُذِّبَ مُوْسَى فَأَمْلَيْتُ لِلْكَافِرِيْنَ ثُمَّ أَخَذْتُهُمْ فَكَيْفَ كَانَ نَكِيْرِ. فَكَأَيِّن مِّنْ قَرْيَةٍ أَهْلَكْنَاهَا وَهِيَ ظَالِمَةٌ فَهِيَ خَاوِيَةٌ عَلَى عُرُوْشِهَا وَبِئْرٍ مُّعَطَّلَةٍ وَقَصْرٍ مَّشِيْدٍ. أَفَلَمْ يَسِيْرُوا فِی الْأَرْضِ فَتَكُوْنَ لَهُمْ قُلُوْبٌ يَّعْقِلُونَ بِهَآ أَوْ آذَانٌ يَّسْمَعُوْنَ بِهَا فَإِنَّهَا لَا تَعْمَى الْأَبْصَارُ وَلَكِن تَعْمَى الْقُلُوبُ الَّتِي فِی الصُّدُوْرِ.

 [O Prophet!] If they deny you, then why should you be surprised? Before them, the nation of Noah, the ‘Ad, the Thamud, the nation of Abraham, the nation of Lot and the people of Madyan had also denied and Moses too had been [similarly] denied.86 Then I gave some reprieve to those who denied them; then seized them as well. Then, see how My curse was! So, how many a settlement have We destroyed and they were unjust. Now they are lying on their roofs. And how many wells are lying useless87 and how many strong palaces are left deserted.88 Then have these people not walked about in the earth that [after seeing these places that teach a lesson] their hearts could have become such that they could have understood from them and ears could have become such that they could have listened from them? So, the fact is that the eyes on the faces are not blind. In fact, those hearts become blind which are in the chests.89 (42-46)


وَيَسْتَعْجِلُوْنَكَ بِالْعَذَابِ وَلَنْ يُّخْلِفَ اللَّهُ وَعْدَهُ وَإِنَّ يَوْمًا عِندَ رَبِّكَ كَأَلْفِ سَنَةٍ مِّمَّا تَعُدُّوْنَ. وَكَأَيِّنْ مِّنْ قَرْيَةٍ أَمْلَيْتُ لَهَا وَهِيَ ظَالِمَةٌ ثُمَّ أَخَذْتُهَا وَإِلَيَّ الْمَصِيْرُ.

They ask you to hasten the punishment, whereas [since God has threatened them with punishment, so] God will never break His promise. [They should know that] one day of God is equal in count to your one thousand years.90 [So they should also not have this audacity]. How many a settlement We similarly gave respite in spite of their oppression; then seized them and all have to return to Me alone. (47-48)


قُلْ يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّمَا أَنَا لَكُمْ نَذِيْرٌ مُّبِيْنٌ. فَالَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوْا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَهُمْ مَّغْفِرَةٌ وَّرِزْقٌ كَرِيْمٌ. وَالَّذِيْنَ سَعَوْا فِیْ آيَاتِنَا مُعَاجِزِينَ أُوْلَئِكَ أَصْحَابُ الْجَحِيْمِ.

Tell them: “O People! I am only an open warner for you.91 Then they who accepted faith and did righteous deeds, for them is forgiveness and an honourable sustenance also. And those who strive to belittle Our revelations, it is they who are the companions of Hell.” (49-51)


وَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَا مِنْ قَبْلِكَ مِنْ رَّسُوْلٍ وَّلَا نَبِيٍّ إِلَّا إِذَا تَمَنَّى أَلْقَى الشَّيْطَانُ فِیْ أُمْنِيَّتِهِ فَيَنْسَخُ اللَّهُ مَا يُلْقِي الشَّيْطَانُ ثُمَّ يُحْكِمُ اللَّهُ آيَاتِهِ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيْمٌ حَكِيْمٌ. لِيَجْعَلَ مَا يُلْقِي الشَّيْطَانُ فِتْنَةً لِّلَّذِينَ فِیْ قُلُوبِهِمْ مَّرَضٌ وَّالْقَاسِيَةِ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَإِنَّ الظَّالِمِيْنَ لَفِي شِقَاقٍ بَعِيْدٍ. وَلِيَعْلَمَ الَّذِيْنَ أُوتُوا الْعِلْمَ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ مِنْ رَّبِّكَ فَيُؤْمِنُوْا بِهِ فَتُخْبِتَ لَهُ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَهَادِ الَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوْا إِلَى صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيْمٍ.

[O Prophet!] Whichever messenger or prophet We sent before you92 was faced with the situation that whenever he desired something,93 Satan caused disruption in his desire.94 Then God obliterates this disruption of Satan; then God strengthens His revelations and God is knowing and wise. This happens so that God makes this disruption of Satan a means of trial for those who have the ailment [of hypocrisy] in their hearts and whose hearts are hardened.95 In reality, these unjust people have gone very far in [their] hostility. And this also happens because those who have been given the knowledge of the Book of God should fully know that the truth has come from your Lord. So, their faith should be strengthened on it and their hearts bow down before it.96 And it is God’s decision that He will definitely show the straight path to those who have accepted faith.97 (52-54)


وَلَا يَزَالُ الَّذِيْنَ كَفَرُوْا فِیْ مِرْيَةٍ مِّنْهُ حَتَّى تَأْتِيَهُمُ السَّاعَةُ بَغْتَةً أَوْ يَأْتِيَهُمْ عَذَابُ يَوْمٍ عَقِيْمٍ. اَلْمُلْكُ يَوْمَئِذٍ لِّلَّهِ يَحْكُمُ بَيْنَهُمْ فَالَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ فِیْ جَنَّاتِ النَّعِيْمِ. وَالَّذِيْنَ كَفَرُوْا وَكَذَّبُوْا بِآيَاتِنَا فَأُوْلَئِكَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ مُّهِيْنٌ.

On the other hand, those who have decided to deny, they will remain in doubt from this knowledge until when suddenly the Hour of Judgement hovers over their heads or the torment of a baleful day98 descends on them. [They should remember that] on that Day God will have all authority. He will decide between them. Then those who would have accepted faith and would have also done righteous deeds shall be in orchards of delight and those who have denied and rejected Our revelations, then it is for them that there is a humiliating torment.99 (55-57)


وَالَّذِيْنَ هَاجَرُوْا فِیْ سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ ثُمَّ قُتِلُوْا أَوْ مَاتُوْا لَيَرْزُقَنَّهُمُ اللَّهُ رِزْقًا حَسَنًا وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَهُوَ خَيْرُ الرَّازِقِيْنَ. لَيُدْخِلَنَّهُم مُّدْخَلًا يَّرْضَوْنَهُ وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَعَلِيْمٌ حَلِيْمٌ.

The people who migrated in the way of God [because of being helpless due to their injustice], then were killed or died a natural death God will certainly grant them a good sustenance. Indeed, it is God Who provides the best sustenance.100 He will definitely take them to a place with which they will be pleased.101 Indeed, God is aware of everyone’s circumstances; He is very gracious.102 (58-59)


ذَلِكَ وَمَنْ عَاقَبَ بِمِثْلِ مَا عُوقِبَ بِهِ ثُمَّ بُغِيَ عَلَيْهِ لَيَنصُرَنَّهُ اللَّهُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَعَفُوٌّ غَفُوْرٌ.

Thus shall this happen and [moreover] he who avenges [an act of injustice] the way it was inflicted on him,103 then he is subjected to oppression, God will definitely help him. [However, if he forgives a little, it is better]. Undoubtedly, God is forgiving, merciful. (60)


ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّ اللَّهَ يُوْلِجُ اللَّيْلَ فِی النَّهَارِ وَيُولِجُ النَّهَارَ فِی الَّيْلِ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيْعٌ بَصِيْرٌ. ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الْحَقُّ وَأَنَّ مَا يَدْعُوْنَ مِنْ دُوْنِهِ هُوَ الْبَاطِلُ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الْعَلِيُّ الْكَبِيْرُ.

[God will definitely help him.] This is because it is God Who makes the night enter the day and the day enter the night and because God hears and sees. This is because it is God Who is the truth and all which they invoke besides God are false and because God is the supreme, the greatest.104 (61-62)


أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ أَنزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَآءِ مَآءً فَتُصْبِحُ الْأَرْضُ مُخْضَرَّةً إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَطِيْفٌ خَبِيْرٌ. لَهُ مَا فِی السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِی الْأَرْضِ وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَهُوَ الْغَنِيُّ الْحَمِيْدُ.

 [He will definitely help however adverse are the circumstances.] Do you not see that God sent down water from the sky; then, [through it,] the earth becomes lush green?105 Indeed, God is very discerning, aware [of everything].106 To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and the earth. Indeed, only God is self-sufficient and has praiseworthy attributes.107 (63-64)


أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ سَخَّرَ لَكُم مَّا فِی الْأَرْضِ وَالْفُلْكَ تَجْرِیْ فِی الْبَحْرِ بِأَمْرِهِ وَيُمْسِكُ السَّمَآءَ أَنْ تَقَعَ عَلَى الْأَرْضِ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ بِالنَّاسِ لَرَؤُوْفٌ رَّحِيْمٌ. وَهُوَ الَّذِیْ أَحْيَاكُمْ ثُمَّ يُمِيتُكُمْ ثُمَّ يُحْيِيكُمْ إِنَّ الْإِنْسَانَ لَكَفُوْرٌ.

Do you not see that God has put all things of the earth to your service and the ship also?108 It sails in the sea at His bidding. And He is holding the sky lest it should fall down on the earth109 except if only He permits. Certainly, God is very gracious and ever-merciful.110 It is He Who has given life to you. Then He gives death; then He will bring you back to life. In reality, man is very ungrateful.111 (65-66)


لِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ جَعَلْنَا مَنْسَكًا هُمْ نَاسِكُوهُ فَلَا يُنَازِعُنَّكَ فِی الْأَمْرِ وَادْعُ إِلَى رَبِّكَ إِنَّكَ لَعَلَى هُدًى مُّسْتَقِيْمٍ. وَإِنْ جَادَلُوكَ فَقُلِ اللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُوْنَ. اللَّهُ يَحْكُمُ بَيْنَكُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ فِيْمَا كُنْتُمْ فِيْهِ تَخْتَلِفُوْنَ. أَلَمْ تَعْلَمْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَعْلَمُ مَا فِی السَّمَآءِ وَالْأَرْضِ إِنَّ ذَلِكَ فِیْ كِتَابٍ إِنَّ ذَلِكَ عَلَى اللَّهِ يَسِيْرٌ.

 [They object: “Why is the new shari‘ah different?” Tell them:] “We have prescribed a path for each community that they may tread on it.”112 [Now also We have done the same.] So they must not be able dispute with you in any way in this matter.113 Hence, pay no heed and keep calling towards your Lord. Indeed, you are on the straight path. If even after this, they are after arguing with you, tell them: “God very well knows what you are doing. God will decide between you on the Day of Judgement in what have been differing. Do you not know that everything of the heavens and the earth is in God’s knowledge? All this is preserved in a register. Indeed, this is very easy for God.”114  (67-70)


وَيَعْبُدُوْنَ مِنْ دُوْنِ اللَّهِ مَا لَمْ يُنَزِّلْ بِهِ سُلْطَانًا وَّمَا لَيْسَ لَهُمْ بِهِ عِلْمٌ وَمَا لِلظَّالِمِيْنَ مِنْ نَّصِيْرٍ. وَإِذَا تُتْلَى عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتُنَا بَيِّنَاتٍ تَعْرِفُ فِیْ وُجُوهِ الَّذِيْنَ كَفَرُوا الْمُنْكَرَ يَكَادُوْنَ يَسْطُوْنَ بِالَّذِيْنَ يَتْلُوْنَ عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِنَا قُلْ أَفَأُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِشَرٍّ مِّنْ ذَلِكُمُ النَّارُ وَعَدَهَا اللَّهُ الَّذِيْنَ كَفَرُوْا وَبِئْسَ الْمَصِيْرُ.

They worship those besides God about which God has revealed no sanction and about which they have no knowledge also. [These foolish people think that in the Hereafter they will help them.] In reality, no one will be the helper of these unjust people. When Our plain revelations are recited before them, you see revulsion on the faces of these disbelievers.115 It is as if they will attack those who are reciting Our revelations to them. Tell them: “Should I inform you of a thing of greater revulsion than this? The fire of Hell! God has promised it to the disbelievers and it is a very evil abode.” (71-72)


يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ ضُرِبَ مَثَلٌ فَاسْتَمِعُوْا لَهُ إِنَّ الَّذِيْنَ تَدْعُوْنَ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ لَن يَّخْلُقُوْا ذُبَابًا وَّلَوِ اجْتَمَعُوْا لَهُ وَإِنْ يَّسْلُبْهُمُ الذُّبَابُ شَيْئًا لَّا يَسْتَنقِذُوْهُ مِنْهُ ضَعُفَ الطَّالِبُ وَالْمَطْلُوْبُ. مَا قَدَرُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ قَدْرِهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَقَوِيٌّ عَزِيْزٌ.

People! [If you want to understand the reality of these deities, then] an example is cited: So, listen to it attentively. In reality, those who you invoke besides God cannot create a fly even if all of them try to. And if that fly snatches something from them, they cannot seize it back. Those who desire are frail and that what they desire are absolutely frail too.116 They have not recognized the importance of God that way it should be.117  Indeed, God is powerful, dominant upon all. (73-74)


اللَّهُ يَصْطَفِيْ مِنَ الْمَلَائِكَةِ رُسُلًا وَّمِنَ النَّاسِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيْعٌ بَصِيْرٌ. يَعْلَمُ مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمَا خَلْفَهُمْ وَإِلَى اللَّهِ تُرْجَعُ الأمُوْرُ.

 [It is because of this attitude of disregard for God that they regard the angels to be deities.] God selects [His] messengers from the angels and from human beings also. [How can they share in Godhead because of this?] Indeed, God [Himself] hears and sees all. He knows what is behind and before these angels and all matters turn to Him.118  (75-76)


يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوا ارْكَعُوْا وَاسْجُدُوا وَاعْبُدُوْا رَبَّكُمْ وَافْعَلُوا الْخَيْرَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُوْنَ. وَجَاهِدُوْا فِی اللَّهِ حَقَّ جِهَادِهِ هُوَ اجْتَبَاكُمْ وَمَا جَعَلَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِی الدِّيْنِ مِنْ حَرَجٍ مِّلَّةَ أَبِيْكُمْ إِبْرَاهِيْمَ هُوَ سَمَّاكُمُ الْمُسْلِميْنَ مِنْ قَبْلُ وَفِی هَذَا لِيَكُوْنَ الرَّسُوْلُ شَهِيْدًا عَلَيْكُمْ وَتَكُوْنُوْا شُهَدَاءَ عَلَى النَّاسِ فَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَاعْتَصِمُوْا بِاللَّهِ هُوَ مَوْلَاكُمْ فَنِعْمَ الْمَوْلَى وَنِعْمَ النَّصِيْرُ.

Believers! [Their era has ended and now your era is beginning. So,] kneel and prostrate119 and worship your Lord120 and do righteous deeds121 that you may succeed. And [moreover, to discharge the responsibilities of your status] strive in the way of God in the most befitting way.122 He has chosen you123 and not placed any constraint on you in [the] shari‘ah [He has given you].124 He has chosen the community of your father – Abraham – for you.125 It was he who had earlier named you Muslim126 and in this [Qur’an] also [your name is Muslim.] He has chosen you so that the messenger bears witness [to this religion] before you and you bear witness [to it] before all the people of the world.127 So, be diligent in the prayer and pay zakah and hold strongly to God.128 He is your Guardian. So, how good a guardian and how good a helper! (77-78)



1. Though a general word is used, it refers to the arrogant among the Quraysh who had denied the Hereafter and asked to hasten the torment.

2. Ie., do not show rebelliousness against Him because His torment is something from which refuge should be sought and not something that should be demanded.

3. At one instance in this verse, the plural is used for the addressees and at another instance the singular. It has been explained at another place that when the singular is used in place of the plural, then the purpose is to address each person among the addressees individually and this imparts more emphasis to what is intended to be said than if the plural is used.

4. This style of وَ مِنَ النَّاسِ مَنْ is used both for praise and rebuke. Here, concomitant indications show that it is used in the latter meaning. By adding the word “foolish” in the text this meaning is conveyed.

5. I.e. without any sense and reason, knowledge and argument and testimony from the Book of God get ready to engage in a debate. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: 

... Such people are not many in number in a society; they only have a special faction. Their knowledge too is based on hearsay and memorized information. Yet they have a very sharp and boastful tongue. For this reason, the clever-minded become their agents and do well in leading away the simpletons of the society from the truth. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 5, 208) 

6. This is a reference to the dispute they had created regarding God’s oneness and accountability before Him. Thus they were not ready in any way to believe that the Day of Judgement would come. They contended that even if it were supposed that it would come, they would not have to face God alone; their deities would be there to help them.

7. Ie., whether he is from among the jinnkind or mankind.

8. This is a reference to the respite God has given Satan and in this way it is as if He has decided about him that he will continue to be like this till the Day of Judgement.

9. This is stated because the Idolaters of Arabia did in fact have a certain element of doubt about the Day of Judgement and they were hesitant about it; however, they would not blatantly deny it.

10. Ie., in the very beginning when man was created after passing through the same phases in the womb of the earth as he now does in the womb of the mother.

11. This is a mention of the major phases which were in the knowledge of even a common Beduoin.

12. Ie., it is not essential that it always undergo completion and take the form of an infant; at times, it also remains incomplete and no one has the power to complete it.

13. Here the actual discourse has been interrupted in order to shake and jolt the addressees and direct their attention to the real purpose. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: 

... The implication is that God was not dependent on all these phases in order to create human beings. He did not require the elaborate arrangement in which a drop of fluid first lodges itself in the womb of a female species, then assumes the shape of a clot of blood and foetus and then is artistically perfected to become a grand creation. Had God wanted He could have created scores of human beings in their final forms in one go by making them emerge from the mountains and the seas without underaking all this arrangement. But God wanted that a human being’s creation should become a means of education for him regarding God’s power, wisdom, and providence. It is through it that he is able to have cognizance of his own self and of the grand creator of this universe; his own being bears witness that He Who has created him in such an elaborate manner and shown favour to him has not made him a toy for amusement; on the contrary, there is a profound purpose hidden in his creation which is bound to manifest itself. From every single part of his body he comes to know that his creator has made him from the essence of clay and from the drop of a fluid and for this He was not the slightest bothered. If this is the case, then raising him to life again is very easy for the creator. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 5, 217) 

14. This clause is suppressed and its presence is evidenced by the word لِتَبْلُغُوْا.

15. The words أَرْذَلِ الْعُمُرِ are used ahead in the verse. Parallel words to the effect في صباه او في شبابه are suppressed. This addition in the translation is made because of this reason.

16. The particle ل connotes purpose and ultimate end and the word عِلْم is undefined to magnify it. This is because here it occurs in parallel to لِكَيْلاَ يَعْلَمَ. The objective here is not to point to the actual reality of the knowledge of human beings which is but a drop in the vast ocean of knowledge.

17. After observing the facts to which attention had been directed earlier, these are self-evident consequences which can only be denied by a person who has lost his intellect.

18. This attitude is adopted by a person only when instead of knowledge and reasoning he makes the blind following of his forefathers the source of his faith and beliefs. This is a mention of such people as would reject the message of the Qur’an by saying that they would only follow the ways of their forefathers.

19. This is stated because the addressees of the messenger are under discussion here. About them, the established practice of God is that they are necessarily punished in this world for their conceit and arrogance.

20. The implication is that God has not done any injustice to them. They have only reaped the foul seeds they themselves had sown. This motif is mentioned by the words أَنَّ اللهَ لَيْسَ بِظَلَّامِ لّلْعًبِيْدِ. Here the negation on the exaggerated statement is meant to exaggerate the negation. What is stated here is the same mentioned elsewhere in the Qur’an thus: إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يَظْلِمُ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ (40:4) (God is not the slightest bit unjust, (4:40)) and إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يَظْلِمُ النَّاسَ شَيْئًا (44:10) (God is not the slightest bit unjust to people, (10:44)). Examples of this style are found both in the Qur’an and in classical Arabic literature.

21. Ie., in a hypocritical way in which they want to please both God and Satan, good and evil. This is a different group than the conceited lot mentioned earlier. The style of the verse expresses amazement and hate and the word worship here also encompasses obedience. This is explained ahead.

22. Ie., leaving aside God, they go and plead at the tombs of others. In the words of Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi, they are desirous of flowers yet not willing to tolerate the pain of thorns.

23. This world because of the loss suffered here and the hereafter because they had shown aversion to God. Had they not done this, they would have lost the world only but would have secured for themselves the reward of the Hereafter.

24. The actual word used is: يَدْعُوْا. Its meanings include supplication, pleading, seeking help and mercy. It is repeated ahead encompassing sorrow and yearning.

25. This sentence does not occur directly as an object of يَدْعُوْا. It is a kind of a qualification on the earlier object: مَا لاَ يَضُرُّهُ وَ مَا لاَ يَنْفَعُهُ. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: 

... The implication is that those whom these people call upon are  not only unable to harm or benefit them but such is their utter foolishness that their harm is closer than their benefit; if refuge is sought from someone who can neither cause any harm nor benefit, then this is foolishness but what is utter foolishness is that refuge is sought from someone whose harm is well known but whose benefit is totally vague. Those who have severed their relationhip from God and made others their guardians and protectors have deprived themselves of their real support. As for other alleged supporters, whether they can be of help to them is yet to be known and this too they will eventally see. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 5, 224) 

26. Ie., the idolaters.

27. Earlier, it was said: مَنْ يَّعْبُدُ اللّهَ عَلَي حَرْفٍ.  Now these words occur in parallel and the verb in them is in its ultimate form. The translation has been done keeping this in view.

28. This is a sentence of assurance: Muslims should not look at the adverse circumstances; their Lord can do whatever He intends. Nothing can impede His intentions from being implemented.

29. Ie., loses hope in God and shows despair in Him and makes evil estimations about Him that just as God has left him in this world, in the Hereafter too He will leave him alone. Thus he turns away from God and makes others his lord.

30. Ie., he should imagine that he is climbing upwards to the sky by stretching a rope towards it; however, when he sees that his destination is far off, grief overtakes him and he severs the rope. This is in fact a very eloquent parable about the people who are mentioned earlier: they worship God by standing at the edge and as soon as they are faced with a trial they sever their relationship with God and knock at the doors of others. They are told that in the trials of God the hope of His mercy is the rope which provides support to a person and by holding it climbs towards God; however, seeing that his destination is far off, if he cuts off the rope, what will be the result of this foolishness? Will this deliver him from his grief and anger or will he end up in the same situation which the Qur’an has stated in verse 31 ahead: it is as if he has been dropped from the sky and either a bird will snatch him or winds may take him away and throw him in a pit? He who knocks at the door of other deities finally ends up in this fate. On the other hand, those who hold on to the hope of God’s rope, soon or late are enveloped by His mercy. In the verse, the word كَيْد is used to cut the rope of hope. The reason for this is that this is merely self-deception being inflicted with which a person does this foolishness.

31. Ie., in accordance with His law that only those people will be guided who use their intellect and insight and value their innate guidance. As for those who become blind and deaf, their hearts shall be sealed and they will never be guided.

In this verse a part of the sentence is suppressed after and before. It is has been revealed in the translation.

32. The Jews, Christians and the Sabeans have been introduced in verse 62 of Surah al-Baqarah. Here Magians have been added. They were the followers of the religion of Zoroaster. It is generally believed that this religion too was primarily based on pure monotheism; however, it was badly distorted by the deviant creed of polytheism. Thus at the advent of Muhammad’s prophethood, they too were inflicted with dualism, fire-worship and other polytheistic innovations. 

33. Ie., the idolaters of Arabia who were originally followers of Abraham’s religion.

34. This is an assurance to the believers and a warning and threat to the disbelievers. In this complete verse, the styles adopted are worthy of attention. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi has explained them. He writes: 

Readers must have seen that in this verse the believers are mentioned the foremost, the idolaters at the end and in between other sects are referred to. Its reason ... is that these were the two groups which held the primary status in the ongoing debate and discussion. The rest of them were secondary. Thus in verse 19 ahead it is specified that the real groups are these two: the believers on the one hand and the disbelievers and idolaters on the other. He who is not with the believers is with the disbelievers whatever name he adopts and which religion he claims to follow. 

The style adopted in the verse in citing various groups is also noteworthy. The Muslims, the Jews and the Idolaters are mentioned in the form of verbs while the Sabeans, the Nazarenes and the Magians are mentioned in the form of nouns. The reason for this is that practically the contesting forces there were the Muslims on one side and the Idolaters and Jews on the other. The Jews because of their jealousy and malice were very active in supporting the Idolaters and opposing the Muslims. As for the rest of the sects, though their sympathies were with the Idolaters, they were not very active. For this reason, the real groups in the contest are mentioned in the form of verbs and the others in the form of nouns. Those who have a literary taste know that there is a certain amount of stir and commotion found in verbs whereas nouns only serve to be signs of distinction. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 5, 228) 

35. Ie., those people also prostrate who have an upright nature and with full cognizance have made their will and intention subservient to God’s directive. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: 

Cited here is that argument in favour of monotheism which is testified to by every object of this universe by its very existence. We ... have referred to this fact that every object of this universe in its instinctive nature has an Abrahamic temperament. The sun, the moon, the stars, the mountains, the cattle are all following the directives of God. None of them deviates the slightest from laws prescribed for it by God. The sun, which has been regarded to be a deity and worshipped the most, bears witness from its very existence that day and night it stands, kneels and prostrates before its Lord. At the time of sunrise, it raises its head and remains standing till afternoon; after midday it kneels and at the time of sunset it prostrates before God and remains in this situation throughout the night. This fact is attested to by the moon through its waxing and waning and the stars too at their appearance and disappearance. Same is the case with the mountains, trees and the beasts. The shadow of each of these is always in a state of standing, kneeling and prostration. Deliberation shows that the nature of this shadow is so Abrahamic that it always remains in the opposite side to the sun. If the sun is in the East, the shadow spreads towards the West and vice versa. In other wods, the shadow of everything by its very existence teaches us that it is not the sun which is worthy of prostration but in fact its creator. 

This argument in favour of monotheism is in the form of an insinuation and hence cannot be grasped by logic. Yet those who reflect on the system of this universe greatly value such insinuations. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 5, 229) 

36. Ie., in spite of the fact that God had given them superiority over many creatures, they accepted the humiliation of prostrating before inferior beings regarding them to be deities.

37. This is the co-ordinated clause (معطوف عليه) which has been suppressed in accordance with linguistic principles of Arabic, ie. إخسَئَوْا فِيْهَا وَ ذُوْقُوْا عَذَابَ الْحَرِيْق.

38. The actual word is لُؤْلُؤً. It is co-ordinated to the grammatical placement of اَسَاوِرَ and hence is in the accusative for this reason.

39. This is a reference to the words of gratitude which will be uttered in abundance by the dwellers of Paradise when they see its favours.

40. The passive tenses used in the verse are meant to honour and respect them. Ie., in the company of angels they were put on the road which directly reaches to their abodes which the praiseworthy Lord has chosen for them.  

Here it should be kept in mind that the details of Paradise and Hell belong to an unknown world. In order to make the addressees understand them, there is no option but to adopt styles which they are used to. The Arabs were influenced with the culture and civilization of the Egyptians and the Persians. Hence the style adopted to express favours is the one which either reflects their own concepts of favours and luxury or of those which they were broadly aware of. These concepts also vary with time; hence, instead of the words used, one should concentrate on the reality they convey. It should be believed that the dwellers of Paradise will receive all the favours cited in the Qur’an. As far as their reality is concerned, only God knows it. Just as various literary insinuations are used to symbolize certain facts, in a similar way the circumstances which will arise in the Hereafter are conveyed through similes and parables which are understood by the addressees. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 5, 234) 

41. Ie., the Quraysh of Makkah who in those times were stopping people from God’s religion through force and compulsion; so much so, they were even after stopping them from coming to the Sacred Mosque.

42. Till here is the inchoative (mubtada’). The enunciative (khabar) is suppressed; it has been revealed ahead. Here is a summary of the law about the Sacred Mosque stated in the verse: no family, tribe or nation has any sole authority on it; no one has any authority to impose any restriction on anyone who intends to visit it for God’s worship and for hajj and ‘umrah whether he belongs to the Quraysh or to some other tribe, whether he is an Arab or an non-Arab, whether he lives in the East or the West. The only exception is that if some restriction has to be imposed for some need or benefit of the pilgrims, the way governments of present times are doing. However, this too is a fact that some of the restrictions are needless and must necessarily be lifted.

Moreover, the rights of those who are stationed there and the ones who are traveling to it are equal; the Quraysh are not its rulers or sole owners; their status is that of its protectors and servers; it is their obligation that like Ishmael (sws) they should also make it a centre of worship for all the world and invite all mankind to visit the House of God and benefit from its blessings; thus the word used for them in the verse is: العَاكِف. This insinuates that they are in fact ones who are ceremonially stationed there and must always keep this status of theirs in mind.

The equality mentioned in the verse is not only regarding rights but also obligations. Thus all Muslims will be considered equally liable in protecting the House of God and if its servants and custodians at some time violate its sanctity or some external force dares to do this. In both situations it will be mandatory upon them to rectify the situation with full force. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: 

... In this regard, it would not be considered allowed to give any national or international treaty or some expediency any regard. If the government of some country stops people from partipating in this jihad even if the government is of some who are Muslims by name, it will be obligatory upon the believers to wage jihad against it. This is because the responsibility of protecting the House of God does not merely rest with the people of Makkah or their government. Every person who claims to be a Muslim is liable for it. This cannot in any way be regarded as an external dispute. Every Muslim equally shares the rights and obligations of the House of God. It is the heart of the Muslim ummah. Its existence guarantees the existence of the ummah and any disorder in it will create disorder in the whole ummah. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 5, 240) 

43. The actual words are: مَنْ يُرِدْ فِيْهِ بِاِلْحَادٍ. The preposition ب here evidences that the verb يُرِدْ encompasses the meaning of هم which can also come into being because of a temporary inclination. The implication is that if some deviation takes place because of any temporary inclination of one’s self not to speak of an intention, then its punishment, as stated ahead, will be very stern on the Day of Judgement.

44. Ie., whether that oppression relates to stopping people from the path of God and from coming to the Sacred Mosque or to contaminate the mosque with the filth of polytheism, which the Quraysh were guilty of in those times. This word إِلْحَاد has come as a permutative (badal) of ظُلْم and means “deviation and divergence.” By this, the Qur’an has made evident the nature of deviation.

45. The actual word is الْبَيْت. The ال on it is for definition and refers to the Sacred Mosque which is under discussion.

46. Ie., God had them settled here after migration. This is a mention of the incident when Abraham (sws) built this ancient House of God and at God’s behest devoted his son to the service of this House. Thus he settled here. The Makkan Quraysh are from among his progeny and were proud of this history.

47. Tawaf (circumabulation) are rounds of vow. They are made around the House of God as a symbol of presenting one’s life and wealth to God. They begin with the istitlam of the hajr-i aswad (the black stone). The words kneeling, prostrating and standing signify the prayer. It is evident from these words of the Qur’an that these were ancient worship rituals of the religion of Abraham (sws). Just as Muslims are aware of them now, in the same way the addressees of the Qur’an too knew them. Wherever the Qur’an has mentioned them, it is not in the form of a new directive but as worship rituals which were already known and introduced in the society. So their mere mention was enough to make the addressees know what they implied. The purpose here is to tell the Quraysh how from the very beginning the Almighty made elaborate arrangements to direct its custodians to have this House cleansed from amusement, idols and all types of apparent and hidden filth. Now they themselves should see how they behaved with this House and to add to their oppression they are now trying to stop people from worshipping in this House who want to revive its real status as a global centre of monotheism.

48. This is a portayal of the enthusiasm and fervour with which glad tidings have been given to Abraham (sws). It shows the zest of the pilgrim caravans when they arrive in the land of the Sacred Mosque in response to his call. It is stated that people will come in such large numbers and from such far flung areas that their camels will become weak because of the long journeys and the pathways will become deep and marked because of this abundant travel. These glad tidings were fufilled word for word. Deliberation shows that this portrayal is also a sarcastic comment on the attitude of the Quraysh: whereas the master of this House wants people to come to it with passion and fervour, they are after stopping people from coming to it.

49. Ie., the places which have been prescribed for the rites of hajj. When people come to these places for hajj and ‘umrah, they carry away with them the true cognizance of God, the strength to fight Satan and the deep sentiment of the Muslim ummah’s unity in their hearts. It is these benefits of these places which the verse is referring to.

50. This refers to the Day of Sacrifice (10th Dhu al-hijjah) and the three days which succeed it. The Almighty has prescribed certain times and places for some  prescribed practices. These practices yield all their blessings only on those times and places. Just as spring has a season in God’s world similarly worship rituals also have seasons and their benefits are acquired only when they are offered in their prescribed season.

51. Ie., they slaughter them by pronouncing God’s name. This expression in the Qur’an is meant to convey this meaning and the reason for this inference is that in God’s religion there is no admissibility of an animal being slaughtered without taking His name. Thus at another instance it has been specified that if an animal is slaughtered without taking God’s name, then it is prohibited for eating.

52. The implication is that these animals have not become available to them of their own accord; nor has someone else given these to them. It is God Who has bestowed them with these animals. Thus it is essential that they be slaughtered in His name. If anyone does not do this he is guilty of the crime of violating the sanctity of a life on which he can be punished. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: 

... This style also urges people to be thankful to God as they have been blessed with these cattle and beasts by His grace and mercy. As a result, they owe this obligation to these favours to offer them to their Lord as an expression of their gratitude. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 5, 244)

53. This is stated here so that people do not mistakenly think that since they have slaughtered an animal for God, therefore its meat should be specific for Him alone. Thus it is explained ahead that God does not need it. The blood and meat of these slaughtered animals do not reach Him; it is the piety within that does.

54. This is the pinnacle of war against Satan which is symbolized by hajj. It is thus stated that though the hajj reaches its culmination after animal sacrifice, people should not go back to their homes from Mina; they should have a bath and clean themselves from the restrictions of ahram, fulfil any vows they may have made and then circumambulate the House of God before they return to their homes. This is a requirement for the honour and respect that the House of God has. The words used for the House of God are الْبَيْتِ الْعَتِيْقِ ie. the ancient house. It is evident from this that God’s real and original House built by Abraham (sws) is this and not the Bayt al-Maqdis, as claimed by the Jews.

55. Ie, the sanctities which have been prescribed regarding the House of God, hajj, ‘umrah and Makkah. The implication is that people should refrain in all circumstances from the attitude adopted by the Idolaters in this regard. This unjust lot has altered all the holy traditions set by Abraham (sws) in order to gain worldly benefits.

56. This is a reference to the superstitions which are mentioned in verse 103 of Surah al-Ma’idah. They were bahirah, sa’ibah, wasilah and ham etc.

57. This obviously is افتراء على الله (imputing falsity to God). It is also referred to as قَوْلَ الزُّوْرِ (a lie) in the verse. Thus it is stated that people must refrain from the filth of the idols and from a false statement also.

58. Ie., though he was soaring high in the sky by believing in one God, he fell down.

59. The implication is that now there is nothing but death and devastation for him. It may well be that some devil gets the better of him or his own base desires may plunge him into a deep pit.

60. This word is the plural of sha‘irah (شعيرة), which means “a symbol.” In religious parlance, they connote certain manifestations which have been fixed by God and His Prophet (sws) to ingrain the comprehension of certain realities in our minds. Although, the real purpose of the sha‘air is the reality they symbolize, the sha‘air themselves also become sacred by virtue of what they represent. However, it should also be kept in mind that the real significance of these sha‘air are the realities for which they stand and objects only serve to embody them. If these realities do not remain alive and fresh in the minds, then these sha‘air are reduced to mere symbols which are devoid of their spirit. It should also be kept in consideration that it is God and His Prophet (sws) who have determined the sha‘air and who have also determined the manner in which these sha‘air should be revered and paid respect to. Thus no one can either add to this list or change in any way the manner in which they are to be revered. Any deviation in this regard opens the door to religious innovation which has no place in religion.

61. Deriving benefit from the animals of sacrifice was generally regarded as prohibited. People thought that since they were from among the sha‘air of God, they were to be taken for sacrifice untouched. The Qur’an has negated this notion. It says that this is not essential for the reverence of these sha‘air. Till the time of sacrifice arrives, every benefit can be derived from these animals.

62. Ie., not to an idol temple or a shrine but to the ancient House of God for which these sha‘air have been prescribed.

63. It is evident from this that animal sacrifice is an ancient ritual of worship which the Almighty has made part of His religion so that through it people can express their gratitude to Him. Viewed thus, animal sacrifice is the pinnacle of worship. When we make an animal stand or bow down in the direction of the Baytullah and present the sacrificed animal as an offering to God by saying: بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ وَ اللّٰهُ اَكْبَرْ, we offer that animal to God with the sentiment that it is we who are offering our selves to Him. This offered vow is the essence of Islam because the meaning of Islam is that one should surrender to God and submit ones most prized possession – so much so, his own life – to Him. Animal sacrifice is a symbolic expression of this reality. Viewed thus, it is our own sacrifice that is symbolized in the form of an animal.

64. This surrender is the real essence of Islam.

65. This style meant to urge and exhort should be kept in mind and so should be the relationship between the prayer and charity as without it the wisdom of religion cannot be understood.

66. This is stated since some Jews also lived in Arabia and because of a weak tradition (Deuteronomy, 14:7), they had prohibited the camel upon themselves. Thus they started to work the propaganda as to how the new religion could be the religion of Abraham because it had permitted an animal to attain the nearness of God which was always prohibited. In verse 93 of Surah Al ‘Imran, the Qur’an has answered this objection.

67. Ie., it has many blessings and benefits. This is in indication as to why the Arabs should specially sacrifice camels. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

... The camel was the most loved of animals of the Arabs. It is their ship of the desert, companion of their stays and journeys and the sole means of their trade activities. They would try to gain the most benefit from its milk, meat and hide. The Qur’an has repeatedly directed the attention of the Arabs towards this great favour with reference to these blessings and benefits it has. Obviously if the Arabs sacrifice something for the pleasure of their Lord which is so advantageous for their worldly benefits, it can be a great source of attaining the nearness of God. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 5, 250)  

68. Ie., making them stand in rows the way standing is observed in the prayer.

69. The next sentence is an explicit evidence to the fact that the expression “pronouncing God’s name on an animal” is a specfic term of the Qur’an to connote slaughtering an animal while pronouncing the name of God. It also becomes fully evident from this that in the shari‘ah of God there is no concept of sacrificing an animal until God’s name is declared.

70. Ie., are prostrated.

71. By first mentioning those needy who are content shows that it is this attitude which God likes.

72. Ie., God has made these animals so obedient to human beings that they are able to slaughter them while they are made to stand or to lie on their sides and present this sacrifice to God.

73. Here the Qur’an has refuted all the concepts which the Idolaters had regarding the ritual of animal sacrifice.

74. The essence of animal sacrifice is making an offering and its purpose is to express gratitude to God. When we make an offering of ourselves to God by making the sacrificial animals as its symbol, it is as if we express our gratitude on the guidance of submission which was shown by Abraham (sws) at the sacrifice of his only son. At this moment, the words of exaltedness and oneness of God are expressed for this very objective. The Qur’an has referred to this precisely for this purpose.

75. It is evident from the content of these verses that they were revealed right after migration in Madinah. It is thus said that the phase of reward and punishment has begun. If Muslims launch an initiative in this phase, God will definitely help them. It is this topic which is explained till verse 41.

76. This is a reference to the Quraysh who had forgotten the promise they had made with Abraham (sws) and Ishmael (sws), their forefathers. They had gained for themselves rights in the name of God’s House but were not ready to fulfill their obligation of gratitude to the God Who had given them this status.

77. This is the first verse of the Qur’an in which the Companions of the Prophet (sws) who had migrated from Makkah (the Muhajirun) were given permission to fight back if they wanted in case they were attacked. The Qur’an says that these Companions were driven out of their homes because they believed that Allah was their Lord and as such were totally innocent. A little deliberation shows that this one sentence depicts the whole charge-sheet against the Quraysh. The reason for this is that no one is willing to leave his home unless he is oppressed for living there and thereby utterly compelled to migrate. The words بِأَنَّهُمْ ظُلِمُوْا (because they have been oppressed) refer to this very aspect, and it is because of this ruthless and unfounded oppression that the Qur’an allowed the Muslims to resort to force against aggression. This right to use force has been given to the Muslims in their collective capacity because they are not addressed in their individual capacities in these verses. Thus in this matter any step which is to be taken for use of force must originate from their collective system. No person or group among them has the right to take a step on its own in this regard on behalf of the Muslims. It is precisely on this basis that the Prophet (sws) is reported to have said: “A Muslim ruler is the shield [of his people]. An armed struggle can only be carried out under him.” (al-Bukhari, Al-Jami‘ al-sahih, 489, (no. 2957)

78. The actual words are صَوَامِع, بِيْع and صَلَوات. Here صَوَامِع is the plural of صومعة. It is primarily used for the lofty mountains and  buildings in which Christian monks would live in seclusion. Hence it has been translated as monastries. The word بِيْع is the plural of بيعة. It is used for the worship places of the both the Jews and the Christians. However, since the word صَلَوات is used ahead for the worship places of the Jews, hence this word must be considered specific to Christian places of worship. The word صَلَوات is the plural of صلوة. It refers to places in which the Jews offered the prayer. The Jews called their prayer صلوتا which is an Aramaic word.

79. The implication is that war is not a desirable thing; however, God has always permitted it because in the absence of this permission, the rebelliousness of nations would have reached the extent that places of worship would have been deserted and the places in which the name of God is declared night and day and He is worshipped would have been ruined, apart from there being devastation in the society. The places of worship of the Jews are specially mentioned here because it was they who would have been the most critical of any such use of force by the Muslims. They are told that if today their places of worship are intact, then it is only because the righteous among God’s people have been defending them by sacrificing their own lives from the onslaughts of those who wanted to destroy them. Thus Muslims too are permitted to wage war for this very purpose: they are told to stop those who oppressively stop people from God and His House.

80. The promise of help stated earlier is further emphasized here. The implication is that to fight against those who stop people from God and His house is like helping God, and it is the established practice of God that He definitely helps those who help Him. This promise of God’s help has been mentioned in verses 65-66 of Surah al-Anfal.

81. This sentence refers to many aspects. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi has explained them. He writes: 

God is mighty and powerful; hence He does not need the help of anyone. Those who help Him in fact open the doors for God’s help for themselves.

 Muslims should not feel scared because of their own small number and the large number of their enemies. The majestic God Who is promising to help them is mighty and dominant.

The disbelievers after witnessing the current situation of the Muslims must not be led to think that these few people cannot achieve anything. These drops will now become a storm because God is behind them and God is mighty and powerful. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 5, 257)  

82. From here onwards, the Almighty has mentioned the obligations He has imposed on Muslims if they are able to acquire political authority in some land. The verse tacitly indicates that those from whom this authority will be confiscated and given to the Muslims did not fulfill these obligations; in fact, they were guilty of violating them. Thus after conclusive communication of the truth from the messenger, God’s established practice is that political authority is taken away from such embezzlers.

83. According to the established practice of adhering to the prayer that has been instituted at the state level, firstly, the rulers will be diligent in the prayer and also make it incumbent on their officials to offer it; secondly, it shall be their responsibility or that of their authorized deputies or representatives to lead and give the sermon of the Friday and the ‘id prayers. Similarly, regarding zakah the established practice has been instituted that it is the only tax that can be imposed on the Muslims. Thus every Muslim citizen of the state who is liable to pay zakah will necessarily give it to the government in the amount prescribed viz a viz his wealth, livestock and produce. On the other hand, besides expending the received amount in other heads, the government will try to reach out to its needy citizens before they are forced to beg for it from them.

84. For good, the actual word used is ma‘ruf and for evil the word used is munkar. They refer to things which are regarded as good and evil by all mankind. This responsibility will obviously be fulfilled in some cases through education and exhortation and in some cases through the force of law. For the first case, the Friday sermon is the agency; it has to be delivered by the rulers specifically for this very purpose. For the second case, the police department is the means. It is set up in a Muslim government to fulfill this responsibility and carries out its duties in accordance with the bounds stipulated for it.

85. The implication is that whatever are the circumstances now, the consequence and fate rests in the hands of God and He has decided that now He will help the Muslims. Thus the rejecters should know that now they will not be dealing with the oppressed Muslims but with God, the Creator of the heavens and earth, Lord of the worlds.

86. Moses (sws) was not denied by his nation but by the Pharaoh. It is perhaps because of this that his denial is mentioned in the passive voice.

87. In the Arabia of those times, settlements were populated because of wells. Thus if wells fell into disuse, it meant that all the hustle and bustle of life is no longer there.

88. These words are suppressed in the verse because of concomitant indications.

89. Since the hearts are qualified by blindness, it shows that the eyes are qualified by words to the effect: “of the face.” It has been revealed in the translation. The Qur’an is couched in literary Arabic; its language is not that of science. In literary Arabic, most actions of the mind are ascribed to the heart. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: 

... Here since people who lack insight are being described, it was essential that the heart be portrayed with respect to its locus: real blindness is the blindness of the heart and the rejecters of the messenger are inflicted by this blindness. People should not think that they can see if the eyes on their face are open because the radiance of insight in the eyes comes from the heart and the eyes of their hearts are totally blind. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 5, 265)

90. The implication is that they should not measure God’s events on the basis of their own limited counting. Centuries which pass on human beings may only be a few moments in God’s scheme. They can understand this by an example: one thousand earth years are like a day in God’s calendar. Hence instead of asking to hasten the punishment, they should try to benefit from the respite which at the moment God has given them.

91. The actual words are: نَذِيْرٌ مُبِيْنٌ. Those who have a flair for Arabic literature know that this is a tacit reference to the “naked warner” (nadhir ‘uryaṇ) referred to in it. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: 

... It was a convention among the Arabs that where a caravan stopped for a break, a person guarded that place while being stationed at a high spot. If he felt danger from around him he would take off his clothes and become naked. He would declare that danger was lurking near after which all men would unsheathe their swords and get ready to defend. That person was called “the naked warner.” Since this expression was indecent and therefore inapt for a prophet, the Qur’an changed into the decent one: “open warner.” (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 5, 267)

92. These words show that there is a difference between a nabi (prophet) and a rasul (messenger). What is this difference? It is evident from the stipulations of the Qur’an that those whom God selects for the guidance of people and guides them through His revelation are called nabi. However, it is not essential that each nabi (prophet) also be a rasul (messenger). Messengerhood is a special status which only few among the prophets attain. According to its details mentioned in the Qur’an, a messenger is like a court of justice for his nation and leaves this world after deciding their fate in this world. Thus after conclusive communication of the truth by him, God grants dominance to those who believe in him and punishes those who reject him.

93. Obviously the desire of his prophet would be that his mission be completed and the leaders of his nation accept faith. Thus every morning he gets up with the desire that today God will bless some ‘Utbah or some ‘Amr or ‘Umar with the honour of accepting Islam.

94. Ie., Satan caused hindrance in the fulfillment of a prophet’s desire by raising all sorts of doubts, objections, accusations and working up a vicious propaganda against him

95. Ie., God makes evident to people the reality behind the objections and doubts raised by Satan. Thus all mischief and propaganda worked by him is finally obliterated and the verses of God appear to an upright person in such a definitive manner that no doubt or hesitancy remains in him. God gives the opportunity to Satan to raise these doubts and objections because He is knowing and wise: He knows that the scheme according to which He has made this world can only be fulfilled in this way. In the succeeding verses, this is explained further.

96. The implication is that whatever happens, happens to distinguish good and from evil. As a result evil doers are set apart from the righteous and the faith of the latter is also strengthened. This is the requirement of God’s scheme in this world. Without this, those who are wanted by God for His Paradise cannot be selected. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:  

Here it should be kept in mind that the real nature of a thing becomes evident from its opposite. If a person knows a thing and also believes in it, then there is a strong possibility that if what can be said against it comes before him may jolt and shake his ideology and faith if he is unaware of it. However, if the opposite has come before him and after evaluating the good from the bad he has accepted the truth, then there is little chance that any adverse wind will cause him to shift his stance. It is to create this insight in religion that in this world God has given the adversaries of truth the opportunity to do whatever they can against it so that those who accept it do not accept it blindly but with full awareness and comprehension. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 5, 272)

97. It was stated earlier that people whose hearts are afflicted by the ailment of hypocrisy have gone so far in their opposition that now there is no chance for them to return. Now here, the believers are given glad tidings in contrast: God will not let their faith go waste in these trials; in fact, when after passing through all kinds of tests they prove their allegiance to the truth, He will hold their hands and guide them directly to the path which takes them to their destination.

98. The actual word is: عَقِيْم. It means “barren” from which the meaning of baleful and sinister is incorporated into it. In other words, it will be a day in which no scheme will succeed and every effort will go down the drain and every hope will be end up in frustration.

99. This is because they showed arrogance before God and His messenger and the punishment of arrogance is that the curse of humiliation and disgrace should be added to the torment.

100. The word زقر is not merely used for sustenance. It is a word that comprehensively covers the favours and gifts of God. It is specifically mentioned in verse 169 of Surah Al- ‘Imran that those who are killed in the way of God should not be considered as dead. They are alive in the presence of God and in the life of Barzakh are also being provided favours and sustenance from their Lord. Here it is further explained that he who went out for the cause of God and then died a natural death, then his death will also be considered as shahadat (martyrdom)

101. Ie., they will become very happy because whatever they will get there cannot be imagined by them in this world.

102. Ie., God is not swift in punishing them; He in fact gives them the full opportunity to reform themselves. Hence His servants should rest assured; He is fully aware of whatever oppression they are tolerating from their adversaries.

103. The actual words are: وَمَنْ عَاقَبَ مَا عُوْقِبَ بِهِ. In them عُوْقِبَ بِهِ, are on the principle of similarity of genre the way it is said: دناهم كما دانوا.

104. These are arguments cited in favour of divine help. The implication is that it should be noted that it is God Who has such power that the alternation of night and day takes place at His behest and moreover He hears and sees everything: He listens to and sees everything wherever it it is and in whatever form it is in and there is no god except Him who can help these oppressors nor is there any being greater than Him. When all this is a reality, then how can His servants remain deprived of His help; He will surely help them.

105. Thus in this way whenever He wants He will send the winds of His mercy and help to His servants and they will become inundated with happiness.

106. This reference to the attributes of God has come here in a very subtle manner. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: 

... Ie., He makes His schemes materialize in a way that no one has any inkling of them. He is also fully aware. People are only able to see the apparent; however, He has full knowledge of what is hidden in the veils of the past as well as the future. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 5, 281)

107. Ie., He is not only self-sufficient; but at the same time has all praiseworthy attributes. Hence there is no reason for His servants to lose hope in Him. He certainly is peerless but at the same time He guards them at every instant and is also with them.

108. In those times, the most significant invention of mankind was the ship. The Qur’an has stated here that it too is in fact the invention of God and it sails at His behest. The extra-ordinary inventions of these times can also be analogously understood in this light.

109. The actual words are: أَنْ تَقَعَ عَلَیَ الاَرْضِ. Before أَنْ a governing noun (muḍaf) is suppressed in accordance with linguistic principles.

110. The implication is that it is God’s fondness and affection because of which the heavens and the earth are intact and all what they contain are serving human beings.

111. The implication is that the favours enjoyed by human beings because of God’s love and affection should be used to comprehend God, to be grateful to Him and to benefit from the respite granted by Him. Alas! Human beings are ingrates and keep denying the reality presented by the messenger.

112. The actual word is: مَنْسَكْ. Similar words of شِرْعَة and مِنْهَاج are used in verse 48 of Surah al-Ma’idah. It is stated that each community has been given a specific shari‘ah which had some differences from those of the others. In Surah al-Ma’idah, it is stated that the wisdom behind this was to try and test people. God wanted to see who became entangled in apparent traditions and turned away from facts and who became a true seeker of the truth and was prepared to accept it come what may because it had come forth from his Lord?

113. Ie., they should not get any opportunity to debate or argue in this matter so that they are able to divert the attention of people by engaging them in such side issues.

114. Ie., it is not at all difficult for God to keep a record of thousands and millions and in fact billions of people. Hence, people should be aware that one day all this will come before them in such a way that every person will cry out: what sort of a record is this? It has every big and small detail in it. Though the verse is addressed to the Prophet (sws) but the rebuke found in every word of it is directed at those people who were the addressees of the surah and were continuing to deny his message.

115. This is because they mostly mention monotheism and the arguments in its favour and the honour they have for their alleged deities does not allow them to hear this.

116. A subtle reference is found in this: God can only be the being Who can compensate the weakness and frailty found in human beings; however, such are these foolish people that their deities are more helpless and feeble than their own selves.

117. Ie., they have believed in God but have not believed in him with the correct comprehension of His power and might, otherwise they would not have invented such silly beliefs because all these beliefs are in fact based on lesser estimations of His divinity.

118. The implication is that the angels have definitely been given the status of prophethood but not because God is need of this in any way. He is the lord of the universe and His knowledge and power embraces everything. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: 

... For this reason, neither can they increase God’s knowledge in any way nor can any of their words and deeds be beyond God’s access. Moreover, they are also not in a position to say that a particular thing is in their knowledge and not in God’s. All matters are presented before God. They are not presented before these angels nor will they ever be. On the contrary, these angels present the report of the tasks which have been deputed to them by God. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 5, 286)

119. Ie., believers must bend on their knees and prostrate because there is no greater a way to acknowledge the might and splendour of God. Thus it is a reality that if a human being kneels and prostrates with full cognizance and continues to adhere to this practice, he can never become arrogant and will always be ready to submit himself to a truth that comes before him.

120. The actual word is عبادت. It occurs in its comprehensive meaning. This is obviously a mention of the general after the specific, once kneeling and prostration have been mentioned. Thus the implication is that people should serve God in all affairs of life and obey Him alone.

121. This is a further mention of the general. In the words of Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi, it refers to those acts of virtue which though are not mandatory in nature but refer to noble deeds and high morals which have a large role in making the life of a person sound and exemplary.

122. A governing noun is suppressed in the verse. The expression فِي اللّهِ is actually فِي سَبِيْلِ اللّهِ. This directive has been given in deference to the status for which they have been selected, as mentioned in the succeeding verses. The implication is that they should try to convey God’s message in a conclusive way to the whole of mankind and leave no stone unturned in this task. Moreover, if they face any hindrance in this cause, they should try to overcome it by using all the powers of their heart and mind, body and soul and also expend all their wealth and resources.

123. Ie., chosen them just as He selects certain individuals among the progeny of Adam for prophethood and messengerhood. Earlier, the Israelites were also similarly selected but because of their defiance and rebelliousness, they earned God’s wrath and  were cursed.

124. This is stated here because this shari‘ah does not have the same severity as that of the Israelites. The reason for this reduction probably being that the Israelites remained in the direct rule of God’s government but this was not the case with the Ishmaelites. About them, the directive of God is that they will carry out this duty under their rulers.

125. Ie., in the real Islam in which there is no trace of Judaism or Christianity and which is the community of Abraham, their father. God has made it their religion and shari‘ah after some revival, reformation and addition. The reference of the father is given to urge the Ishmaelites: this is not something strange for them: it is the religion of their father and what more religion and community than the religion and community of the father can be dearer to the children. Moreover, also evident from this is that it is primarily the Ishmaelites who have been chosen for this responsibility. All those who convert into Islam by accepting this message, they become secondarily included in this responsibility. It is precisely for this reason that in Surah al-Baqarah the Ishmaelites are referred to as the “middle community” (أُمَّةً وَسَطًا). On one side of them are God and His Messenger and on the other are all the nations of the world (النَّاس). In verse 33 of Surah Al-i ‘Imran, the words آل ابراهيم are used for this purpose. When the Israelites were carrying out this obligation, the centre of their religious communication was the Bayt al-Maqdis. After the advent of Muhammad (sws), it lost this status and it too was entrusted to the Ishmaelites. Thus, now till the Day of Judgement, the centre of the true message of God is the ancient House which Abraham (sws) and Ishmael (sws) built with their sacred hands in Makkah and which is called بَيْتُ اللهِ,    البَيْت, الْبَيْتُ العَتِيْقِ and الْمَسْجِدُ الْحَراَم.

126. This is a reference to the prayer of Abraham (sws) cited in these words in Surah al-Baqarah: رَبَّنَا وَاجْعَلْنَا مُسْلِمَيْنِ لَكَ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِنَا أُمَّةً مُّسْلِمَةً لَّكَ. The words أُمَّةً مُّسْلِمَةً are used for the ummah that is under discussion here.

127. This is an explanation of the selection mentioned earlier: it was done to bear witness to the religion of truth. This bearing witness is not mere preaching and persuasion; besides this, it is also the manifestation of the worldly retribution of God according to which if the Muslim ummah adheres to the truth and keeps communicating it to all the nations of the world while being faithful to its contents and with full certainty, then it will be granted dominance over those who do not accept faith and if it deviates from it, then it will be subjected to the punishment of disgrace and subservience through these very nations. Thus its very existence becomes a witness to what it says with its pen and tongue. It is because of this that the word “bearing witness” (شهاده) is used instead of preaching. This in fact is conclusive communication of truth which when it happens becomes a basis of God’s judgement both in this world and in the next. After Muhammad (sws), this arrangement has been made by the Almighty for this conclusive communication at the global level.

128. Ie., they should strongly adhere to the guidance He has bestowed upon them and trust His help in all circumstances. At another instance (3:102), what is stated here is mentioned by the words: وَاعْتَصِمُواْ بِحَبْلِ اللّهِ.

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