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

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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


المر تِلْكَ آيَاتُ الْكِتَابِ وَالَّذِیْ أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِنْ رَّبِّكَ الْحَقُّ وَلَـكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لاَ يُؤْمِنُوْنَ.

This is Surah Alif Lam Ra.1 These are the verses of the Book of God2 and whatever has been revealed to you by your Lord is the truth3 [in its entirety] but most people [of your nation] are not believing (1)


اَللّهُ الَّذِیْ رَفَعَ السَّمَاوَاتِ بِغَيْرِ عَمَدٍ تَرَوْنَهَا ثُمَّ اسْتَوَى عَلَى الْعَرْشِ وَسَخَّرَ الشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ كُلٌّ يَجْرِیْ لِأَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى يُدَبِّرُ الْأَمْرَ يُفَصِّلُ الْآيَاتِ لَعَلَّكُمْ بِلِقَآءِ رَبِّكُمْ تُوْقِنُوْنَ.

It is God alone Who has raised up high the skies without any pillars that you can see.4 Then He sat on His throne of governance5 and He subjected the sun and the moon to a law. Each of them is moving in its orbit till an appointed time.6 It is He Who governs the system of the universe. He explains His signs so that you are convinced of meeting with your Lord.7 (2)


وَهُوَ الَّذِیْ مَدَّ الْأَرْضَ وَجَعَلَ فِيْهَا رَوَاسِیَ وَأَنْهَارًا وَمِنْ كُلِّ الثَّمَرَاتِ جَعَلَ فِيْهَا زَوْجَيْنِ اثْنَيْنِ يُغْشِی اللَّيْلَ النَّهَارَ إِنَّ فِیْ ذَلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُوْنَ.

And it is He Who has spread the earth and planted the pegs of mountains in it and made streams to flow and produced in it pairs of every type of fruit.8 He covers the night [like a sheet] over the day. Indeed, in all these things, there are signs for those who reflect.9 (3)


وَفِی الْأَرْضِ قِطَعٌ مُّتَجَاوِرَاتٌ وَّجَنَّاتٌ مِّنْ أَعْنَابٍ وَّزَرْعٌ وَّنَخِيْلٌ صِنْوَانٌ وَغَيْرُ صِنْوَانٍ يُّسْقَى بِمَآءٍ وَّاحِدٍ وَنُفَضِّلُ بَعْضَهَا عَلَى بَعْضٍ فِی الْأُكُلِ إِنَّ فِیْ ذَلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُوْنَ.

And in the land, there are portions adjoining one another, orchards of grapes, crops, palm trees which are both paired and single.10 All of them are nourished by the same water but in their fruits We make one superior to the other. Indeed, in all these things, there are signs11 for those who use their intellect. (4)


وَإِنْ تَعْجَبْ فَعَجَبٌ قَوْلُهُمْ أَئِذَا كُنَّا تُرَابًا أَئِنَّا لَفِیْ خَلْقٍ جَدِيدٍ أُوْلَـئِكَ الَّذِيْنَ كَفَرُوْا بِرَبِّهِمْ وَأُوْلَئِكَ الْأَغْلاَلُ فِیْ أَعْنَاقِهِمْ وَأُوْلَـئِكَ أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ هُمْ فِيْهَا خَالِدوْنَ.

Now if you express wonder, then what is worthy of wonder is their statement: “When we become clay, shall we be raised to life again?”12 It is these people who have rejected their Lord.13 It is they who have yokes in their necks.14 These are the companions of Hell. They will abide in it forever. (5)


وَيَسْتَعْجِلُونَكَ بِالسَّيِّئَةِ قَبْلَ الْحَسَنَةِ وَقَدْ خَلَتْ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمُ الْمَثُلاَتُ وَإِنَّ رَبَّكَ لَذُوْ مَغْفِرَةٍ لِّلنَّاسِ عَلَى ظُلْمِهِمْ وَإِنَّ رَبَّكَ لَشَدِيْدُ الْعِقَابِ.

They are asking from you hastiness for evil before good15 even though cases of exemplary punishment [on this attitude] have passed before them. In reality, your Lord is forgiving to people in spite of their excesses. And besides this, it is also a fact that your Lord is stern in retribution. (6)


وَيَقُوْلُ الَّذِيْنَ كَفَرُوْا لَوْلآ أُنْزِلَ عَلَيْهِ آيَةٌ مِّنْ رَّبِّهِ إِنَّمَآ أَنْتَ مُنْذِرٌ وَّلِكُلِّ قَوْمٍ هَادٍ. اَللّهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَحْمِلُ كُلُّ أُنْثَى وَمَا تَغِيْضُ الْأَرْحَامُ وَمَا تَزْدَادُ وَكُلُّ شَيْءٍ عِنْدَهُ بِمِقْدَارٍ. عَالِمُ الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ الْكَبِيْرُ الْمُتَعَالِ. سَوَآءٌ مِّنْكُمْ مَّنْ أَسَرَّ الْقَوْلَ وَمَنْ جَهَرَ بِهِ وَمَنْ هُوَ مُسْتَخْفٍ بِاللَّيْلِ وَسَارِبٌ بِالنَّهَارِ. لَهُ مُعَقِّبَاتٌ مِّنْ بَيْنِ يَدَيْهِ وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِ يَحْفَظُونَهُ مِنْ أَمْرِ اللّهِ إِنَّ اللّهَ لَا يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوْمٍ حَتَّى يُغَيِّرُوْا مَا بِأَنْفُسِهِمْ وَإِذَآ أَرَادَ اللّهُ بِقَوْمٍ سُوْءًا فَلَا مَرَدَّ لَهُ وَمَا لَهُمْ مِّنْ دُوْنِهِ مِنْ وَالٍ.

These disbelievers say: “Why was not a sign [of punishment] revealed to this person by his Lord?” [Tell them: “This is not your responsibility because] you are only a warner and for each nation there was a guide who came to it in this manner.” [When will a sign of punishment revealed to them? Only God knows this the way] God knows about the foetus in the womb of every female and also knows whatever increases or decreases in the wombs. Everything is in a measure with Him.16 He knows the unknown and the manifest; He is the greatest, the supreme. Equal are in His knowledge those of you who converse secretly and those who converse aloud and those who are hidden in [the darkness of] the night and those who walk in the day. The custodians of God’s directives are in front of them and behind them who guard them. [They should not show haste.] God does not change His dealing with a nation unless it itself
does not change its attitude. And when God intends to punish a nation no one can avert it nor can anyone be their helper against God.17 (7-11)


هُوَ الَّذِیْ يُرِيْكُمُ الْبَرْقَ خَوْفًا وَّطَمَعًا وَّيُنْشِىءُ السَّحَابَ الثِّقَالَ. وَيُسَبِّحُ الرَّعْدُ بِحَمْدِهِ وَالْمَلاَئِكَةُ مِنْ خِيْفَتِهِ وَيُرْسِلُ الصَّوَاعِقَ فَيُصِيْبُ بِهَا مَنْ يَّشَآءُ وَهُمْ يُجَادِلُوْنَ فِی اللّهِ وَهُوَ شَدِيْدُ الْمِحَالِ.

He it is Who makes the lightning flash upon you which creates both fear and hope and it is He alone Who lifts clouds laden [with water]. Their thunder, because of God’s fear, extols Him together with glorifying Him and angels too in this manner extol and glorify Him because of His fear.18 He sends thunderbolts. Then strikes them on whomsoever He wishes [at times right in the state] when they are disputing about God. In reality, He has great power.19 (12-13)


لَهُ دَعْوَةُ الْحَقِّ وَالَّذِيْنَ يَدْعُوْنَ مِنْ دُوْنِهِ لَا يَسْتَجِيْبُوْنَ لَهُمْ بِشَیْءٍ إِلَّا كَبَاسِطِ كَفَّيْهِ إِلَى الْمَآءِ لِيَبْلُغَ فَاهُ وَمَا هُوَ بِبَالِغِهِ وَمَا دُعَآءُ الْكَافِرِيْنَ إِلاَّ فِیْ ضَلاَلٍ.

Calling Him alone is the right thing. Those whom they call besides Him do not hear them more than someone who extends both his hands towards water that it may reach his mouth even though it reaching his mouth is not possible in any way. In reality, the call of these disbelievers is only a call in vain. (14)


وَلِلّهِ يَسْجُدُ مَنْ فِی السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ طَوْعًا وَّكَرْهًا وَّظِلالُهُمْ بِالْغُدُوِّ وَالآصَالِ. قُلْ مَنْ رَّبُّ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ قُلِ اللّهُ قُلْ أَفَاتَّخَذْتُم مِّنْ دُوْنِهِ أَوْلِيَآءَ لَا يَمْلِكُوْنَ لِأَنفُسِهِمْ نَفْعًا وَّلاَ ضَرًّا قُلْ هَلْ يَسْتَوِی الْأَعْمَى وَالْبَصِيْرُ أَمْ هَلْ تَسْتَوِی الظُّلُمَاتُ وَالنُّورُ أَمْ جَعَلُوْا لِلّهِ شُرَكَآءَ خَلَقُوْا كَخَلْقِهِ فَتَشَابَهَ الْخَلْقُ عَلَيْهِمْ قُلِ اللّهُ خَالِقُ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَّهُوَ الْوَاحِدُ الْقَهَّارُ.

Whatever is in the heavens and the earth all are prostrating before Him willingly or unwillingly and also their shadows morning and evening.20 Ask them: “Who is the master of the heavens and the earth?” Say: “God.” Ask them: “Have you still made other guardians besides Him who cannot even benefit or harm their own selves?” Ask them: “Can those without sight and those with sight become equal? Or darkness and light become the same?”21 Or have they associated such partners with God who have created the way God has created; so, the matter of creation has become ambiguous to them?”22 Tell them: “The creator of everything is God and He is one, the dominant.” (15-16)


أَنْزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَآءِ مَآءً فَسَالَتْ أَوْدِيَةٌ بِقَدَرِهَا فَاحْتَمَلَ السَّيْلُ زَبَدًا رَّابِيًا وَمِمَّا يُوْقِدُوْنَ عَلَيْهِ فِی النَّارِ ابْتِغَآءَ حِلْيَةٍ أَوْ مَتَاعٍ زَبَدٌ مِّثْلُهُ كَذَلِكَ يَضْرِبُ اللّهُ الْحَقَّ وَالْبَاطِلَ فَأَمَّا الزَّبَدُ فَيَذْهَبُ جُفَآءً وَأَمَّا مَا يَنفَعُ النَّاسَ فَيَمْكُثُ فِی الْأَرْضِ كَذَلِكَ يَضْرِبُ اللّهُ الْأَمْثَالَ. لِلَّذِيْنَ اسْتَجَابُوْا لِرَبِّهِمُ الْحُسْنَى وَالَّذِيْنَ لَمْ يَسْتَجِيبُوْا لَهُ لَوْ أَنَّ لَهُمْ مَّا فِی الْأَرْضِ جَمِيْعًا وَّمِثْلَهُ مَعَهُ لَافْتَدَوْا بِهِ أُوْلَـئِكَ لَهُمْ سُوْءُ الْحِسَابِ وَمَأْوَاهُمْ جَهَنَّمُ وَبِئْسَ الْمِهَادُ.

He sent down water from the sky; so, the valleys poured forth according to their capacity. And the flood carried the rising froth and such froth also rises from within things which are melted to make jewelry or other [similar] goods. In this way, God strikes truth and falsehood. So, the froth is wasted away and what is beneficial to people stays in the land.23 God in this manner relates examples [from which you can also understand the fact that] those who responded to the call of their Lord, for them is a good fate, and those who did not accept His call [their situation will be that] if they have whatever is in the earth and with it its equivalent, they all will give it in ransom for their release. It is these people who will have a harsh accountability24 and whose abode shall be Hell and what an evil abode it is. (17-18)


أَفَمَنْ يَّعْلَمُ أَنَّمَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِنْ رَّبِّكَ الْحَقُّ كَمَنْ هُوَ أَعْمَى إِنَّمَا يَتَذَكَّرُ أُوْلُوا الْأَلْبَابِ. الَّذِيْنَ يُوْفُوْنَ بِعَهْدِ اللّهِ وَلَا يِنْقُضُوْنَ الْمِيْثَاقَ. وَالَّذِيْنَ يَصِلُوْنَ مَآ أَمَرَ اللّهُ بِهِ أَنْ يُّوْصَلَ وَيَخْشَوْنَ رَبَّهُمْ وَيَخَافُونَ سُوْءَ الْحِسَابِ. وَالَّذِيْنَ صَبَرُوْا ابْتِغَآءَ وَجْهِ رَبِّهِمْ وَأَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَأَنفَقُوْا مِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ سِرًّا وَّعَلَانِيَةً وَّيَدْرَؤُونَ بِالْحَسَنَةِ السَّيِّئَةَ أُوْلَئِكَ لَهُمْ عُقْبَى الدَّارِ. جَنَّاتُ عَدْنٍ يَّدْخُلُوْنَهَا وَمَنْ صَلَحَ مِنْ آبَائِهِمْ وَأَزْوَاجِهِمْ وَذُرِّيَّاتِهِمْ وَالمَلاَئِكَةُ يَدْخُلُونَ عَلَيْهِمْ مِّنْ كُلِّ بَابٍ. سَلَامٌ عَلَيْكُمْ بِمَا صَبَرْتُمْ فَنِعْمَ عُقْبَى الدَّارِ.

So, will the person who knows that whatever has been revealed to you from your Lord is the truth become like the one who is blind.25 [This is a reminder and] only they receive a reminder who use their intellect – who fulfill God’s covenant, who do not break this promise26 and who keep intact what God has asked to keep intact27 and fear their Lord and dread a harsh accountability. And those who remained steadfast to please their Lord, were diligent in the prayer and openly and secretly spent from what We had given them and those who repel vice with virtue,28 the fate of the next abode is theirs: gardens of eternity in which they will enter and those also who from among their forefathers and their wives and their children are worthy of it.29 The angels will come to them from every door and say: “Peace be to you because you remained steadfast.” So, how nice is this good fate of the next abode!30 (19-24)


وَالَّذِيْنَ يَنْقُضُوْنَ عَهْدَ اللّهِ مِنْ بَعْدِ مِيْثَاقِهِ وَيَقْطَعُوْنَ مَآ أَمَرَ اللّهُ بِهِ أَنْ يُّوْصَلَ وَيُفْسِدُوْنَ فِی الْأَرْضِ أُوْلَئِكَ لَهُمُ اللَّعْنَةُ وَلَهُمْ سُوْءُ الدَّارِ. اللّهُ يَبْسُطُ الرِّزْقَ لِمَنْ يَشَآءُ وَيَقَدِرُ وَفَرِحُوْا بِالْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا فِی الْآخِرَةِ إِلَّا مَتَاعٌ.

On the contrary, those who break God’s promise after making it and sever what God has directed to keep intact and in this manner spread disorder in the land, for them is a curse and for whom His abode is also an evil fate. God gives abundantly to whomsoever He wants and gives sparingly to whomsoever He wants.31 [They were not able to understand this fact] and are infatuated with the life of this world even though this life of the world will turn out to be only a trivial provision32 in the Hereafter. (25-26)


وَيَقُوْلُ الَّذِيْنَ كَفَرُوْا لَوْلَا أُنْزِلَ عَلَيْهِ آيَةٌ مِّنْ رَّبِّهِ قُلْ إِنَّ اللّهَ يُضِلُّ مَنْ يَشَآءُ وَيَهْدِیْ إِلَيْهِ مَنْ أَنَابَ. الَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوْا وَتَطْمَئِنُّ قُلُوبُهُمْ بِذِكْرِ اللّهِ أَلَا بِذِكْرِ اللّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوْبُ. الَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوْا وَعَمِلُوْا الصَّالِحَاتِ طُوبَى لَهُمْ وَحُسْنُ مَآبٍ.

These disbelievers say: “Why was not a sign revealed to this person from his Lord?” Tell them: “God leads astray [in this manner] whomsoever He desires [in accordance with His law33] and shows His way to those only who turn to Him,34 who profess faith and whose hearts are comforted by this reminder of God.” Listen! It is through this reminder of God that hearts are comforted.35 Those who professed faith and did righteous deeds, for them are glad tidings and a nice abode. (27-29)


كَذَلِكَ أَرْسَلْنَاكَ فِیْ أُمَّةٍ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِنْ قَبْلِهَآ أُمَمٌ لِّتَتْلُوَ عَلَيْهِمُ الَّذِیَ أَوْحَيْنَآ إِلَيْكَ وَهُمْ يَكْفُرُوْنَ بِالرَّحْمَـنِ قُلْ هُوَ رَبِّیْ لَا إِلَـهَ إِلَّا هُوَ عَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلْتُ وَإِلَيْهِ مَتَابِ. وَلَوْ أَنَّ قُرْآنًا سُيِّرَتْ بِهِ الْجِبَالُ أَوْ قُطِّعَتْ بِهِ الْأَرْضُ أَوْ كُلِّمَ بِهِ الْمَوْتَى بَل لِّلّهِ الْأَمْرُ جَمِيْعًا أَفَلَمْ يَيْأَسِ الَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوْا أَنْ لَّوْ يَشَآءُ اللّهُ لَهَدَى النَّاسَ جَمِيْعًا وَلَا يَزَالُ الَّذِيْنَ كَفَرُوْا تُصِيبُهُمْ بِمَا صَنَعُوْا قَارِعَةٌ أَوْ تَحُلُّ قَرِيبًا مِّنْ دَارِهِمْ حَتَّى يَأْتِیَ وَعْدُ اللّهِ إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يُخْلِفُ الْمِيْعَادَ. وَلَقَدِ اسْتُهْزِىءَ بِرُسُلٍ مِّنْ قَبْلِكَ فَأَمْلَيْتُ لِلَّذِيْنَ كَفَرُوْا ثُمَّ أَخَذْتُهُمْ فَكَيْفَ كَانَ عِقَابِ.

[O Prophet!] We have sent you in this manner as a messenger [without any such sign] in a nation before which many nations have gone by so that you may recite out to them the message We have revealed to you even though they are denying the Merciful God.36 Tell them: “He only is my Lord; there is no deity except Him; I have trusted Him alone and [I know that one day] towards Him will be the return. In reality, had there been a Qur’an through which the mountains could be set in motion, or the earth was rent asunder or the dead could talk because of it, will they have accepted faith?37 No, this is not your job [to show signs to them;] in fact, all authority belongs to God. Then did not the believers lose hope [in them even after knowing] that had God willed He would have given guidance to all mankind?38 [Keep observing,] some calamity or the other will keep visiting these disbelievers because of their deeds or will land near their settlement until the promise of God is fulfilled.39 God will certainly not go back on His promise. Before you also, the messengers were mocked; so, I gave reprieve to the rejecters. Then I seized them; so, [observe] how was my punishment. (30-32)


أَفَمَنْ هُوَ قَآئِمٌ عَلَى كُلِّ نَفْسٍ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ وَجَعَلُوْا لِلّهِ شُرَكَآءَ قُلْ سَمُّوْهُمْ أَمْ تُنَبِّئُونَهُ بِمَا لَا يَعْلَمُ فِی الْأَرْضِ أَم بِظَاهِرٍ مِّنَ الْقَوْلِ بَلْ زُيِّنَ لِلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوْا مَكْرُهُمْ وَصُدُّوْا عَنِ السَّبِيْلِ وَمَنْ يُّضْلِلِ اللّهُ فَمَا لَهُ مِنْ هَادٍ. لَّهُمْ عَذَابٌ فِی الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَلَعَذَابُ الْآخِرَةِ أَشَقُّ وَمَا لَهُم مِّنَ اللّهِ مِنْ وَاقٍ.

Then he who is aware of each and every person’s deeds and he who has no power at all are equal40 and they have made partners of God [due to this]? Ask them: “Speak up their names. Are you informing God of something of which He is unaware in His own earth or are you just uttering frivolous words?”41 No, in fact, the deception42 of these disbelievers has been made fair for them and they have been stopped from the path of the truth. In reality, no one can guide those who God leads astray [in accordance with His law]. For them is torment in the life of this world and the torment of the Hereafter is much more severe and there will be none to save them from God. (33-34)


مَّثَلُ الْجَنَّةِ الَّتِیْ وُعِدَ الْمُتَّقُوْنَ تَجْرِیْ مِنْ تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ أُكُلُهَا دَآئِمٌ وَّظِلُّهَا تِلْكَ عُقْبَى الَّذِيْنَ اتَّقَوْا وَّعُقْبَى الْكَافِرِيْنَ النَّارُ.

On the other hand, the portrait of the Paradise which has been promised to the God-fearing is that it will have streams running below it, its fruits will be eternal and its shade will be abiding.43 This is the fate of those who fear God and the fate of the disbelievers is that for them is the fire of Hell. (35)


وَالَّذِيْنَ آتَيْنَاهُمُ الْكِتَابَ يَفْرَحُوْنَ بِمَآ أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْكَ وَمِنَ الْأَحْزَابِ مَنْ يُّنْكِرُ بَعْضَهُ قُلْ إِنَّمَآ أُمِرْتُ أَنْ أَعْبُدَ اللّهَ وَلَا أُشْرِكَ بِهِ إِلَيْهِ أَدْعُوْ وَإِلَيْهِ مَآبِ. وَكَذَلِكَ أَنْزَلْنَاهُ حُكْمًا عَرَبِيًّا وَلَئِنِ اتَّبَعْتَ أَهْوَآءَهُمْ بَعْدَ مَا جَآءَكَ مِنَ الْعِلْمِ مَا لَكَ مِنَ اللّهِ مِن وَّلِيٍّ وَلَا وَاقٍ.

They, to whom We have given the Book,44 are happy at what has been revealed to you and from among the factions of your disbelievers are those also who do not believe in some of it.45 Tell them clearly: “I have been directed to worship God alone and to associate none with Him. I call towards Him alone and to Him shall be my return.” We have revealed this Book for this purpose46 as a decree47 in Arabic. Now, if after this knowledge48 that has come to you, you follow their desires,49 then you will not have any helper or saviour against God.50 (36-37)


وَلَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا رُسُلًا مِّنْ قَبْلِكَ وَجَعَلْنَا لَهُمْ أَزْوَاجًا وَذُرِّيَّةً وَمَا كَانَ لِرَسُوْلٍ أَن يَّأْتِیَ بِآيَةٍ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِ اللّهِ لِكُلِّ أَجَلٍ كِتَابٌ. يَمْحُو اللّهُ مَا يَشَآءُ وَيُثْبِتُ وَعِندَهُ أُمُّ الْكِتَابِ.

 [Their objection is that why do you not show them a sign and why do you have worldly needs?] We have sent messengers before you also [O Prophet!] and [since they were human beings] We gave them wives and children. And no messenger had the authority to show a sign without God’s permission. [Everything has an appointed time and] and every time is written down. God erases from it whatever He wants and keeps whatever He wants and with Him is the original of this written record.51 (38-39)


وَإِنْ مَّا نُرِيَنَّكَ بَعْضَ الَّذِیْ نَعِدُهُمْ أَوْ نَتَوَفَّيَنَّكَ فَإِنَّمَا عَلَيْكَ الْبَلاَغُ وَعَلَيْنَا الْحِسَابُ. أَوَلَمْ يَرَوْا أَنَّا نَأْتِی الْأَرْضَ نَنقُصُهَا مِنْ أَطْرَافِهَا وَاللّهُ يَحْكُمُ لَا مُعَقِّبَ لِحُكْمِهِ وَهُوَ سَرِيْعُ الْحِسَابِ. وَقَدْ مَكَرَ الَّذِيْنَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ فَلِلّهِ الْمَكْرُ جَمِيْعًا يَعْلَمُ مَا تَكْسِبُ كُلُّ نَفْسٍ وَسَيَعْلَمُ الْكُفَّارُ لِمَنْ عُقْبَى الدَّارِ.

We shall show you some part of the warning We are sounding them or give you death and after that deal with them Ourselves. Nonetheless, your responsibility is only to communicate and taking account is Our responsibility. Do they not see that We are closing in upon this territory by reducing it from its borders?52 God decides. There is none to ward off His decision and He is very swift in taking account.53 Those before them also schemed; but all schemes are in the hands of God. He knows whatever each is doing. And these disbelievers will also soon know for whom is the good fate of the next abode. (40-42)


وَيَقُوْلُ الَّذِيْنَ كَفَرُوْا لَسْتَ مُرْسَلًا قُلْ كَفَى بِاللّهِ شَهِيْدًا بَيْنِیْ وَبَيْنَكُمْ وَمَنْ عِندَهُ عِلْمُ الْكِتَابِ .

 [Even after hearing all this, your] disbelievers say: “You have not been sent by God.” Say: “Sufficient is God’s witness between you and me and the witness of those who have the knowledge of the Book.”54 (43)



Kuala Lumpur

16 May 2012






1. What is the meaning of this name? I have explained in detail my view about it while discussing verse 2 of Surah al-Baqarah.

2. The actual words are: تِلْكَ آيَاتُ الْكِتَابِ. The antecedent of the pronoun تِلْكَ is المر and the word الْكِتَابِ refers to the Book of God. It has been used in the Qur’an at a number of places in this meaning and is used in the same manner in which a word becomes specific for a higher meaning from among its various meanings. Why has this sentence been spoken? Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: 

... This sentence expresses both favour and threat at the same time. The favour referred to is that God has revealed the great gift which He had promised to reveal through his prophets and messengers. It is now the obligation of the people to believe in it with sincerity and benefit from its blessings. The threat they allude to is that since these verses are of God’s Book, hence those who make fun of them instead of giving them due importance and expend their energies in opposing it should think for themselves about the wretched fate they are inviting. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 4, 270) 

3. Ie., it is the certain truth and there is no element of doubt in it. Thus everything it states is bound to materialize word for word.

4. The scientific knowledge of today terms this as “gravity.” Here the purpose is to direct our attention to the great power of the Almighty.

5. The implication is that after creating these unfathomable skies He did not confine Himself to some corner, as the Idolaters contended. On the contrary, He sat on His throne of governance and is running the affairs of the heavens and the earth. This is explained by the words: يُدَبِّرُالأمْرَ.

6. By referring to two great signs, it is shown how everything is in the control of God and is moving in its orbit till the time ordained for it. Nothing in this universe is eternal and is inexorably moving to its time of culmination.

7. Ie., provides their details in His Book so that the facts which it presents are understood by its addressees. The consequence of this understanding should be that the Being Who has created this world with His immeasurable power and perfect wisdom will not let it end without any meaningful culmination; on the contrary, He will necessarily make it reach the fate which has been prescribed for it.

8. Ie., just as there are pairs in living beings, in the same manner trees also have the male and the female species in them which produce fruits of various types.

9. Earlier, attention was directed to the signs of the heavens. Now, it is directed to observe the signs found in the earth. It can be seen that seas, mountains, flowers of various kinds and the alternation of day and night – all are different things but how meaningfully and with so much wisdom and unparalled order and arrangement are they connected to one another. This is an explicit proof of the fact that the heavens and the earth have not come into existence of their own accord nor are they being governed by different deities. What is clear from this data is that it is one powerful and wise being who has created such great harmony and immense accord between one another. Even after witnessing and reflecting on this, if a person says that there is no life after death and everyone will die and become dust one day, then this is not what sense and wisdom entail. In fact, it is a testimony to his foolishness and idiocy.

10. This is a mention of the difference that is found in the nurturing and development of trees. Thus we see that at places one root produces many stems and at others it produces only one.

11. Ie., there are signs in this as to how the Creator of the heavens and the earth makes evident His all-embracing power and infallible knowledge and wisdom with such variety, diversity and novelty.

12. The implication is that if anything is worthy of amazement it is their statement on being raised to life again even after witnessing the signs alluded to earlier. These signs cry out that the God Who has shown such profundity of wisdom in creation cannot do anything meaningless. Thus, it is not possible that He create creatures like human beings and then bury them in clay and not create a world for them where their inner and outer selves become in complete harmony with one another.

13. This is stated as denying the Hereafter is in fact denying God. This is because after denying the Hereafter acknowledging God has no meaning. Deliberation shows that this a rejection of all the higher attributes of God like power, providence, knowledge and wisdom. It is the same whether a person believes in God or not if he believes in Him without acknowledging these attributes.

14. Ie., the yokes of ignorance, obdurance, ego, prejudice and blind following which, in the words of Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi, neither let their necks lift upwards so that they can reflect on the signs of the heavens nor let let them bend downwards so that they can deliberate on the signs of the earth. Thus they are stuck with a particular angle of sight and are not prepared to look elsewhere.

15. The implication is that people should demand God’s mercy and favour and their own well being from the Prophet (sws); yet they are asking from him to hasten punishment.

16. The implication is that just as only God knows the exact time a child will be delivered from its mother’s womb and only He knows what is increasing and decreasing in the embryo behind covers, in a similar way only He knows the time of the punishment and He alone knows what to decrease or increase in it with regard to the circumstances of people. The only thing that the Prophet (sws) can tell them is that deviations in beliefs and deeds his addressees are showing will also one day necessarily culminate in their retribution. He is warning them of this very fate the way messengers of previous nations did.

17. This is a reference to the established practice of God according to which just as God selects individuals and makes them pass through trials of patience and gratitude, in a similar way, He chooses nations for this purpose. As a result of this selection, when a nation climbs to heights, God does not change His dealing with it unless it itself plunges into lowliness of character and shallowness of knowledge. This is an unalterable practice of God and in accordance with this established practice when He decides to punish and humiliate a nation after repeatedly warning it, then no one can ward off this decision and no power in this world can help that nation against God. The annals of mankind bear witness to this pattern of rise and fall of nations.

18. A parallel clause in the verse has been suppressed because of concomitant indications. It has been revealed in the translation.

19. The attention of those who demand a sign for punishment is directed to some signs of the external world: thunder bolts create a huge clatter on their heads every day, bringing tidings of both hope and despair. After this, what sign do they await? On the one hand, they are demanding punishment and on the other, elements of nature which descend on them in the form of punishment and the beings who bring the decision of punishment all tremble with God’s fear and persistently extol and glorify Him anticipating His orders all the time.

20. This is a special form of reasoning called insinuation. In it, attention of the mind is directed to the reality of a symbol. Here too, in order to direct attention of the mind to the fact that everything is subservient to the law of God, it is stated that even the shadows of things prostrate at night and slowly lift their heads at dawn and then once again after the suns descends at midday, they prostrate before the Almighty.

21. Ie., the same in the sight of God and after accepting what their deities intend to say to Him, He will deal in the same manner with the blind and those who can see? It needs to be noted that the plural word ظُلُمَاتُ is used in the verse for darkness. On the other hand, its parallel word نُوْر is used in the singular. A subtle reference is present in this that darkness comes into existence through a hundred ways but the source of light is just one: the Lord of this universe.

22. Thus they are compelled to acknowledge others also as creators and include them as associates of God.

23. The implication is that the rain which is pouring down now in the form of divine revelation has also raised some froth in the form of the noise and commotion of the disbelievers. It is spiralling upwards and seems that it will be the only thing visible on the surface. However, people will see that very soon all this froth will soon vanish and whatever remains is the Qur’an and its recipients. This is the established practice of God that manifests itself at every place in this universe as is evident from this example. And in the era of messengers when a tussle takes place between good and evil, this established practice also comes into play. 

24. Ie., it will be such a harsh day that the smallest of things will be brought into account and no mistake will be forgiven and the minutest of misdeeds in their account register will appear before them as a mountain.

25. Ie., blind in intellect and has even lost the ability to observe the truth that is right before him.

26. This refers to the promise that was taken by the Almighty from the whole of mankind before its creation. Verse 172 of Surah al-A‘raf mentions it in detail.

27. This refers to blood relatives. Wherever the Qur’an has adopted this style, it is evident from the occasion and context that it refers to blood relations. The vagueness found in it actually shows the greatness of blood relations. It is as if it is such a self-obvious reality that even without naming it everyone understands what the Almighty has directed not to sever but to keep intact.

28. Ie., they do good and not evil in return for evil. Thus they even spend on those who do not treat them properly. They understand that their Lord likes this attitude that vice should be requited with virtue and injustice should be responded to by keeping aloft the flag of justice howevermuch loss they may have to suffer for this.

All these details have been furnished in order to warn the disbelievers that with the blindness they are displaying they cannot be like those who have been given a vibrant heart and mind by the Almighty. These details also sound assurance to the Prophet (sws) to not be anxious; whatever he is presenting cannot be received by everyone in the same manner. Thus he should rest assured that only they will be reminded by it who use their intellect and reason and who have the conduct and character that has just been spelled out.

29. This is a further elucidation of the good fate: if their relatives also prove worthy, they will be with them in Paradise so that they can fully enjoy their bliss.

30. This sentence is not uttered by the angels. It is in fact a praise from the Almighty for the high rank they will ultimately receive in the Hereafter.

31. These words are suppressed because of contextual indication.

32. The actual word is مَتَاعٌ. It is an undefined noun. The translation gives due deference to this style because in the verse it is used to connote scarcity.

33. Ie., according to His law that those who demand miracles and marvels while shutting their eyes to the signs found within themselves and around them are only worthy to be led astray from the truth.

34. This is an essential condition to receive guidance. If a person leaving aside obduracy and stubbornness turns to God, he will definitely receive this favour.

35. Ie., not through marvels and miracles, but through the Qur’an when it fully expounds the attributes of God, His established practices and the arguments of His comprehension. However, for this it is necessary that a person is prepared to recognize the truth per se.

36. Ie., evade His worship and associate partners with Him in His rights and attributes. At several instances, the Qur’an has regarded this attitude to be equivalent to denying God.

37. This is the suppressed answer to the conditional clause. Similarly, a negative sentence is suppressed before بل. Both have been revealed in the translation.

38. Ie., have not lost hope from these people but still expect that if their demands are met they will accept faith even though it has been made evident to them that if such a faith was required then there was no need to show them miracles and marvels. This purpose could have also been achieved if God through His power had instantaneously made them believers. But He did not do this because He wanted that people use their insight and intellect and with freedom of intention accept faith with full awareness. It is this trial to which all human beings are subjected.

39. The implication is that instead of the miracles and marvels which they demand, warnings descend upon them and because of their misdeeds visit them or those in their surroundings so that they are awakened from their slumber and are prepared to reflect on the message of the prophet. It is now upto them to be reminded by these warnings or to keep waiting until the final punishment that they are being threatened with arrives.

40. This part of the sentence is suppressed. Evident from this is the hatred and abhorrence of the speaker. It is as if He does not even want to tolerate the expression of such a statement.

41. Ie., they are thoughtlessly uttering whatever comes to their tongues. The anger and disgrace hidden in this sentence is so evident that it does not need expression.

42. This word has been used for polytheism because through it religious pundits not only deceive themselves but also the common man in order to maintain their dominance.

43. The actual words are: أُكُلُهَا دَآئِمٌ وِظِلُّهَا. Here the predicate of ظِلُّهَا is suppressed because of concomitant indications.

44. This is a mention of the righteous among the People of the Book. Thus the expression آتَيْنَاهُمُ الْكِتَابَ is used instead of اُوْتُوْا الْكِتَابَ. It is these people who welcomed the Qur’an very fervently.

45. It is evident from the succeeding topic that from among these things the most prominent was the Qur’an’s call for monotheism. Some groups among the disbelievers of Muhammad (sws) were in no circumstances willing to accept it.

46. The actual word is: كَذَلِكَ. In the Arabic language, this word is also used to mean “because” or “hence.”

47.s verdict in this very world.

48. Ie., the certain knowledge which is indubitable.

49. The actual word is: أَهْوَاء. Here it refers to the religious innovations of these groups because they are not based on knowledge; they are based on desires.

50. Though the Prophet (sws) is addressed here, what is said is in reality directed to the disbelievers. In the words of Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi, the eloquence found in it is that those who hear these words fully realize that when the Prophet (sws) also cannot save himself from God’s grasp after disobeying this directive, what is to become of others.

51. The implication is that the verdicts of God are final as well as under consideration. Then He may also change the latter in accordance with His will and wisdom. But whatever is done is done by Him alone because the actual record is with Him. No one else has any access to it that he may reach there and change the time of a sign of his own will.

52. This is a reference to the victories which the Islamic forces were notching up in the whereabouts of Makkah. God has regarded them to be a result of His own orders. The implication is that if they really want to see a sign, why do they not observe that the influence of God’s call is spreading in the nearby tribes. As a result, their own territory is being reduced and it is very evident that one day this city of theirs shall also be vanquished by the forces of Islam.

53. What and when will happen to the addressees of the messengers of God is His decision. It is an inevitable reality and no one can ward it off. As is stated earlier, either in the life of the messenger or after him, this verdict is announced with justice.

54. This refers to the righteous among the People of the Book who have been mentioned earlier in verse 36.


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