View Printable Version :: Email to a Friend
Surah al-Ahqaf
Qur'anic Exegesis
Javed Ahmad Ghamidi
(Tr. by:Dr. Shehzad Saleem)


بِسۡمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِیۡمِ

حم. تَنْزِيْلُ الْكِتَابِ مِنَ اللَّهِ الْعَزِيْزِ الْحَكِيْمِ.

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

This is Surah Ha Mim.1 The revelation of this Book is from the God Who is Powerful, very Wise. (1-2)


مَا خَلَقْنَا السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا إِلَّا بِالْحَقِّ وَأَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى وَالَّذِيْنَ كَفَرُوْا عَمَّا أُنْذِرُوْا مُعْرِضُوْنَ.

We have created the heavens and the earth and whatever lies between them with a purpose and for a prescribed time2 and these disbelievers are evading the truth from which they have been warned.3 (3)


قُلْ أَرَأَيْتُمْ مَّا تَدْعُوْنَ مِنْ دُوْنِ اللَّهِ أَرُونِیْ مَاذَا خَلَقُوْا مِنَ الْأَرْضِ أَمْ لَهُمْ شِرْكٌ فِی السَّمَاوَاتِ اِئْتُونِیْ بِكِتَابٍ مِّنْ قَبْلِ هَذَا أَوْ أَثَارَةٍ مِّنْ عِلْمٍ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ صَادِقِيْنَ. وَمَنْ أَضَلُّ مِمَّنْ يَدْعُوْ مِنْ دُوْنِ اللَّهِ مَنْ لَّا يَسْتَجِيْبُ لَهُ إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ وَهُمْ عَنْ دُعَآئِهِمْ غَافِلُوْنَ. وَإِذَا حُشِرَ النَّاسُ كَانُوْا لَهُمْ أَعْدَآءً وَّكَانُوْا بِعِبَادَتِهِمْ كَافِرِيْنَ.

[On what support are they evading?] Tell them: Have you ever reflected that those who you call besides God, just show me what they have created in the earth or do they have some share in the heavens [that they be made deities?] Present before me a book before this or any tradition based on knowledge if you are truthful.4 Who can be led farther astray than those who invoke others besides God which are not going to answer them until the Day of Judgement? They are not even aware of these people’s supplications5 and on the day when people shall be gathered, they shall be enemies of those who had called them and shall disown their worship. (4-6)


وَإِذَا تُتْلَى عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتُنَا بَيِّنَاتٍ قَالَ الَّذِيْنَ كَفَرُوْا لِلْحَقِّ لَمَّا جَآءَهُمْ هَذَا سِحْرٌ مُّبِيْنٌ. أَمْ يَقُوْلُوْنَ افْتَرَاهُ قُلْ إِنِ افْتَرَيْتُهُ فَلَا تَمْلِكُوْنَ لِیْ مِنَ اللَّهِ شَيْئًا هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا تُفِيضُوْنَ فِيْهِ كَفَى بِهِ شَهِيْدًا بَيْنِیْ وَبَيْنَكُمْ وَهُوَ الْغَفُوْرُ الرَّحِيْمُ.

When Our clear revelations are recited out to them, these disbelievers say about the truth when it has come to them: “It is plain magic.”6 Do they say: “This person has fabricated it himself?” Tell them: If I have fabricated it, you will not be able to save me in any way from God’s grasp. He is fully aware of what you are engaged in. He is sufficient as witness for you and me and [if you have this respite, then this is only because] He is very Forgiving, Ever-Merciful. (7-8)


قُلْ مَا كُنْتُ بِدْعًا مِّنْ الرُّسُلِ وَمَآ أَدْرِیْ مَا يُفْعَلُ بِیْ وَلَا بِكُمْ إِنْ أَتَّبِعُ إِلَّا مَا يُوْحَى إِلَيَّ وَمَآ أَنَا إِلَّا نَذِيْرٌ مُّبِيْنٌ.

Tell them: I am not a new messenger; [before this also, only human beings have been sent as messengers.] And I do not know what will happen to me and to you; I only follow what is revealed to me and I am only an open warner. (9)


قُلْ أَرَأَيْتُمْ إِنْ كَانَ مِنْ عِنْدِ اللَّهِ وَكَفَرْتُم بِهِ وَشَهِدَ شَاهِدٌ مِّنْ بَنیْ إِسْرَآئِيْلَ عَلَى مِثْلِهِ فَآمَنَ وَاسْتَكْبَرْتُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِی الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِيْنَ.

Ask them: Have you ever thought what will happen at that time if this Qur’an is from God and you rejected it7 and a witness from the Israelites has also borne evidence to the revelation of such a Book?”8 So, he believed and you persisted with your arrogance. Surely, God does not guide such unjust people. (10)


وَقَالَ الَّذِيْنَ كَفَرُوْا لِلَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوْا لَوْ كَانَ خَيْرًا مَّا سَبَقُونَآ إِلَيْهِ وَإِذْ لَمْ يَهْتَدُوْا بِهِ فَسَيَقُوْلُوْنَ هَذَا إِفْكٌ قَدِيْمٌ.

These disbelievers9 say about the believers: “Had this Qur’an been a good thing, these people [of lowly status] would not have outdone us to it.” And moreover when these people did not obtain guidance from this Qur’an, they will now say: “This is an old falsehood.”10 (11)


وَمِنْ قَبْلِهِ كِتَابُ مُوسَى إِمَامًا وَّرَحْمَةً وَهَذَا كِتَابٌ مُّصَدِّقٌ لِّسَانًا عَرَبِيًّا لِّيُنْذِرَ الَّذِيْنَ ظَلَمُوا وَبُشْرَى لِلْمُحْسِنِيْنَ.

Before this, the Book of Moses is present, a guide and mercy.11 And this Book is in confirmation of its prophecies, in the Arabic12 language, so that it may warn those who have been unjust to their souls and be a glad tiding to those who are thorough. 13 (12)


إِنَّ الَّذِيْنَ قَالُوْا رَبُّنَا اللَّهُ ثُمَّ اسْتَقَامُوْا فَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُوْنَ. أُوْلَئِكَ أَصْحَابُ الْجَنَّةِ خَالِدِيْنَ فِيْهَا جَزَآءً بِمَا كَانُوْا يَعْمَلُوْنَ.

Surely, those who have said: “God is our Lord;” then [in spite of all opposition] adhered to it, neither will there be any fear for them and nor will they ever be grieved.14 It is these who are the dwellers of Paradise; they shall remain in it forever as reward for the deeds they would do. (13-14)


وَوَصَّيْنَا الْإِنْسَانَ بِوَالِدَيْهِ إِحْسَانًا حَمَلَتْهُ أُمُّهُ كُرْهًا وَّوَضَعَتْهُ كُرْهًا وَحَمْلُهُ وَفِصَالُهُ ثَلَاثُوْنَ شَهْرًا حَتَّى إِذَا بَلَغَ أَشُدَّهُ وَبَلَغَ أَرْبَعِيْنَ سَنَةً قَالَ رَبِّ أَوْزِعْنِیْ أَنْ أَشْكُرَ نِعْمَتَكَ الَّتِیْ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيَّ وَعَلَى وَالِدَيَّ وَأَنْ أَعْمَلَ صَالِحًا تَرْضَاهُ وَأَصْلِحْ لِیْ فِیْ ذُرِّيَّتِیْ إِنِّیْ تُبْتُ إِلَيْكَ وَإِنِّیْ مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِيْنَ. أُوْلَئِكَ الَّذِيْنَ نَتَقَبَّلُ عَنْهُمْ أَحْسَنَ مَا عَمِلُوْا وَنَتَجَاوَزُ عَنْ سَيِّئَاتِهِمْ فِیْ أَصْحَابِ الْجَنَّةِ وَعْدَ الصِّدْقِ الَّذِیْ كَانُوْا يُوعَدُوْنَ.

[If you want to understand how people become thorough and become unjust to their souls, then listen:] We have enjoined a human being to show kindness to his parents.15 With great difficulty, his mother carried him in her womb, and with great difficulty delivered him and his carrying and weaning took place in [almost] three months.16 Finally [after passing through all these stages] when a human being fully matures and becomes forty years old,17 he prays: “God give me the urge to express gratitude for your favour which you did to me and to my parents18 and do those righteous deeds which please you.19 And also create kindness for me in my children. I turn to you and indeed I am from among the obedient.” It is these people whose good deeds We shall accept from them and whose vices We shall overlook so that they be among the dwellers of Paradise. This is a true promise20 which has continued to be made with them. (15-16)


وَالَّذِیْ قَالَ لِوَالِدَيْهِ أُفٍّ لَّكُمَا أَتَعِدَانِنِیْ أَنْ أُخْرَجَ وَقَدْ خَلَتْ الْقُرُوْنُ مِنْ قَبْلِیْ وَهُمَا يَسْتَغِيثَانِ اللَّهَ وَيْلَكَ آمِنْ إِنَّ وَعْدَ اللَّهِ حَقٌّ فَيَقُوْلُ مَا هَذَا إِلَّا أَسَاطِيْرُ الْأَوَّلِيْنَ. أُوْلَئِكَ الَّذِيْنَ حَقَّ عَلَيْهِمُ الْقَوْلُ فِیْ أُمَمٍ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِنْ قَبْلِهِم مِّنَ الْجِنِّ وَالْإِنسِ إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوْا خَاسِرِيْنَ.

On the other hand, he who said to his parents: “Disgrace be to you! Do you threaten me that I shall be [given life again and] taken out of the grave,21 whereas so many nations have passed before me and none of them came out?” The parents plead to God: “Woe be to you! 22 Profess faith; surely, true is God’s promise.”  But he says: “Nothing! These are tales of past people.” It is these people on whom the word of God has been fulfilled23 that they are included in the groups of jinnkind and humankind before them. Indeed, they were destined to be in loss. (17-18)


وَلِكُلٍّ دَرَجَاتٌ مِّمَّا عَمِلُوْا وَلِيُوَفِّيَهُمْ أَعْمَالَهُمْ وَهُمْ لَا يُظْلَمُوْنَ. وَيَوْمَ يُعْرَضُ الَّذِيْنَ كَفَرُوْا عَلَى النَّارِ أَذْهَبْتُمْ طَيِّبَاتِكُمْ فِیْ حَيَاتِكُمُ الدُّنْيَا وَاسْتَمْتَعْتُمْ بِهَا فَالْيَوْمَ تُجْزَوْنَ عَذَابَ الْهُونِ بِمَا كُنْتُمْ تَسْتَكْبِرُوْنَ فِی الْأَرْضِ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ وَبِمَا كُنْتُمْ تَفْسُقُوْنَ.

For each of both these groups there shall be [good or bad] ranks [in the Hereafter] according to their deeds so that God’s promise is fulfilled24 and so that He gives them their deeds in full. [This is what He will do] and no injustice shall come to them. [People!] Remember the day when these disbelievers will be made to stand before the Fire and it will be said to them: “You have taken your share of good things in your life of the world and you benefitted from them there; so, today you will receive a humiliating torment in return because you would show arrogance in the land without any justification and because you would continue to be disobedient [to God].” (19-20)


وَاذْكُرْ أَخَا عَادٍ إِذْ أَنذَرَ قَوْمَهُ بِالْأَحْقَافِ وَقَدْ خَلَتْ النُّذُرُ مِنْ بَيْنِ يَدَيْهِ وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوْا إِلَّا اللَّهَ إِنِّي أَخَافُ عَلَيْكُمْ عَذَابَ يَوْمٍ عَظِيْمٍ. قَالُوْا أَجِئْتَنَا لِتَأْفِكَنَا عَنْ آلِهَتِنَا فَأْتِنَا بِمَا تَعِدُنَا إِنْ كُنْتَ مِنَ الصَّادِقِيْنَ. قَالَ إِنَّمَا الْعِلْمُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ وَأُبَلِّغُكُمْ مَّآ أُرْسِلْتُ بِهِ وَلَكِنِّیْ أَرَاكُمْ قَوْمًا تَجْهَلُوْنَ.

Remind them of ‘Ad,25 brother of Hud [O Prophet!] when he warned his nation in Ahqaf26 and warners had passed [in the areas] in front of it and behind it. He warned: “Do not worship anyone but God; I fear the torment of a horrific day for you.” 27 They replied: “Have you come to us to turn us away from our deities by telling lies?28 So, if you are truthful, bring that scourge with which you are threatening us.” He said: “[When will it come?] Only God has its knowledge. I am only delivering to you the message with which I have been sent. But I can see that you people are afflicted with absolute ignorance.” (21-23)


فَلَمَّا رَأَوْهُ عَارِضًا مُّسْتَقْبِلَ أَوْدِيَتِهِمْ قَالُوْا هَذَا عَارِضٌ مُّمْطِرُنَا بَلْ هُوَ مَا اسْتَعْجَلْتُمْ بِهِ رِيحٌ فِيْهَا عَذَابٌ أَلِيْمٌ. تُدَمِّرُ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ بِأَمْرِ رَبِّهَا فَأَصْبَحُوْا لَا يُرَى إِلَّا مَسَاكِنُهُمْ كَذَلِكَ نَجْزِی الْقَوْمَ الْمُجْرِمِيْنَ.

Then when they saw the torment [with which they had been threatened] that a cloud is speedily advancing towards their valleys, they said: “This is a cloud which will drench us.” No! In fact, this is the same thing which you had sought to hasten: a furious wind which contains a woeful scourge. It will rout everything at the behest of its Lord. Then they became such that nothing could be seen there except their houses. Thus do We punish the wrongdoers. (24-25)


وَلَقَدْ مَكَّنَّاهُمْ فِيْمَآ إِنْ مَّكَّنَّاكُمْ فِيْهِ وَجَعَلْنَا لَهُمْ سَمْعًا وَّأَبْصَارًا وَّأَفْئِدَةً فَمَا أَغْنَى عَنْهُمْ سَمْعُهُمْ وَلَآ أَبْصَارُهُمْ وَلَا أَفْئِدَتُهُم مِّنْ شَيْءٍ إِذْ كَانُوْا يَجْحَدُوْنَ بِآيَاتِ اللَّهِ وَحَاقَ بِهِم مَّا كَانُوْا بِهِ يَسْتَهْزِؤُوْن. وَلَقَدْ أَهْلَكْنَا مَا حَوْلَكُمْ مِّنَ الْقُرَى وَصَرَّفْنَا الْآيَاتِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُوْنَ. فَلَوْلَا نَصَرَهُمُ الَّذِيْنَ اتَّخَذُوْا مِنْ دُوْنِ اللَّهِ قُرْبَانًا آلِهَةً بَلْ ضَلُّوا عَنْهُمْ وَذَلِكَ إِفْكُهُمْ وَمَا كَانُوْا يَفْتَرُوْنَ.

We had given them power in things in which We did not give you power [O Quraysh of Makkah!] and We blessed them with ears, eyes and hearts29 but because they would deny God’s revelations neither were their ears of any avail to them nor their eyes and nor their hearts30 and they were surrounded by the very thing which they used to make fun of. [Then, not only this,] We had destroyed settlements31 around you and [before this] We had presented Our revelations to them in a variety of styles [the way We are presenting them to you] so that they pay heed. Then [think that] why did not those beings help them which they had made deities besides God to procure His nearness? In fact, they have been lost upon them.32 All this was a lie and a false allegation which they would indulge in. (26-28)


وَإِذْ صَرَفْنَآ إِلَيْكَ نَفَرًا مِّنَ الْجِنِّ يَسْتَمِعُوْنَ الْقُرْآنَ فَلَمَّا حَضَرُوْهُ قَالُوْا أَنْصِتُوْا فَلَمَّا قُضِيَ وَلَّوْا إِلَى قَوْمِهِمْ مُّنذِرِيْنَ. قَالُوْا يَا قَوْمَنَآ إِنَّا سَمِعْنَا كِتَابًا أُنْزِلَ مِنْ بَعْدِ مُوسَى مُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ يَهْدِیْ إِلَى الْحَقِّ وَإِلَى طَرِيْقٍ مُّسْتَقِيْمٍ. يَا قَوْمَنَا أَجِيبُوْا دَاعِيَ اللَّهِ وَآمِنُوْا بِهِ يَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ مِّنْ ذُنُوْبِكُمْ وَيُجِرْكُمْ مِّنْ عَذَابٍ أَلِيْمٍ.

And narrate to them that incident also when We directed a group of jinn towards you33 so that they hear the Qur’an. So, when they reached that place [where you were reading the Qur’an,] they said to one another: “Be silent [and listen.]”34 Then when its reading was completed, they returned to their nation to warn them.35 They said: “People of Our Nation! We have heard a Book which has been revealed after Moses36 confirming the prophecies [about it] that are present before it.37 It leads towards the truth and guides to a straight path.38 People of Our Nation! Accept the invitation of the one who is calling towards God and profess faith in him; He will forgive your sins [that can be forgiven according to His law39] and give you refuge from a woeful scourge.” (29-31)


وَمَنْ لَّا يُجِبْ دَاعِيَ اللَّهِ فَلَيْسَ بِمُعْجِزٍ فِی الْأَرْضِ وَلَيْسَ لَهُ مِنْ دُوْنِهِ أَولِيَآءُ أُوْلَئِكَ فِیْ ضَلَالٍ مُّبِيْنٍ. أَوَلَمْ يَرَوْا أَنَّ اللَّهَ الَّذِیْ خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ وَلَمْ يَعْيَ بِخَلْقِهِنَّ بِقَادِرٍ عَلَى أَنْ يُحْيِيَ الْمَوْتَى بَلَى إِنَّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيْرٌ.

And he who does not accept the message of the one who invites towards God should bear in mind that he shall not be able to [run away to some place] in the earth escaping God’s grasp nor shall he have any supporters except God [on the Day of Judgement]. Such are the people who are in open error. Have they not reflected that God Who has created the heavens and the earth and He was not the slightest tired in creating them, is also capable of resurrecting the dead? Why not! Certainly, He has power over everything. (32-33)


وَيَوْمَ يُعْرَضُ الَّذِيْنَ كَفَرُوْا عَلَى النَّارِ أَلَيْسَ هَذَا بِالْحَقِّ قَالُوْا بَلَى وَرَبِّنَا قَالَ فَذُوْقُوا الْعَذَابَ بِمَا كُنْتُمْ تَكْفُرُوْنَ.

 [People!] Keep in mind that Day when these disbelievers shall be brought before Hell. They will be asked: “Is this not a reality?” They will say: “Yes, why not. By Our Lord [it is definitely a reality.]” It will be said: “So taste the flavour of punishment because of the denial you had been committing.”40 (34)


فَاصْبِرْ كَمَا صَبَرَ أُوْلُوا الْعَزْمِ مِنَ الرُّسُلِ وَلَا تَسْتَعْجِل لَّهُمْ كَأَنَّهُمْ يَوْمَ يَرَوْنَ مَا يُوْعَدُوْنَ لَمْ يَلْبَثُوْا إِلَّا سَاعَةً مِّنْ نَّهَارٍ بَلَاغٌ فَهَلْ يُهْلَكُ إِلَّا الْقَوْمُ الْفَاسِقُوْنَ.

So, [O Prophet!] remain steadfast the way resolute prophets remained steadfast and do not ask to hasten [the scourge] for them. The day they will see the thing which they are being threatened with, they will feel as if they did not [remain in the world] more than a part of the day. Your responsibility is to communicate.41 Now only those people will be destroyed who are defiant.42 (35)



Kuala Lumpur

7th September 2014


(Translated by Dr Shehzad Saleem)






1. Like the previous ones, the name of this surah is also حٰمٓ. Commonality in name indicates commonality in topics which every student of the Qur’an can observe in these surahs which begin with this name. What is the meaning of this name?  I have explained in detail my view about it while discussing verse 2 of Surah al-Baqarah. After this occurs the introductory verse that has been explained in the exegesis of the previous surah.

2. Thus the obvious consequence of this is that it must reach its culmination and God’s perfect justice manifests itself the need of which a person finds in himself even more than the need for air and water on which his life depends. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: 

Here it is possible that the question arise that reward and punishment are something very logical, but why is it necessary that the whole world end after a certain time period; is it not possible that this world continue to exist and those who die are continued to be rewarded or punished? This question generally arises in the presence of numerous misconceptions in the mind discussing which may not be appropriate here; however, I will allude to one thing here: every deed of a person whether it is a pious one or an evil one has the ability in it to be contagious. A person can sow the seeds of piety such that for centuries mankind is able to benefit from it; similarly, a person invents a wrong and misleading philosophy which engulfs numerous minds and then with the passage of time it becomes so firmly established that nation after nation expend their abilities and potentials to strengthen it and it becomes virtually impossible to get rid of it. In the light of this background, if it is needed that a person be given true information of his good and evil deeds, then it is essential that the remotest of effects such philosophies be brought forth and any of the elements of nature which bear witness to that person’s good and evil deeds be presented in support. Without this, perfect justice cannot take place. Thus it was deemed essential that this world end after a certain time and God decide the fate of people in a court in which all mankind is present. So much so, even if the testimony of the heavens and the earth is also required, all their records be furnished. This, of course, can only be possible when the Day of Judgement is common to all. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 7, 303)  

3. Ie., from the Day of Judgement about which it is said that it is the obvious consequence of this universe being created for a purpose.

4. No logical argument has ever been given in favour of polytheism prior to this nor can it be presented until the Day of Judgement. Only God could have sanctioned it. Thus it is His demand that such a sanction can only be presented from some divine scripture or from some tradition of the knowledge transferred by prophets. They are told to present an argument from these sources if they are truthful. Those who are conversant with divine scriptures know that there is no such thing present in them that can ever be presented.

5. This is because even an angel or a prophet cannot be aware of anyone’s supplications or pleading, what to speak of responding to them. At the end of Surah al-Ma’idah, a dialogue between God and Jesus (sws) is cited. In this dialogue, Jesus (sws) has unequivocally stated that he has no knowledge of what his followers did after his death.

6. Ie., it is masterful eloquence of words that weaves a spell of magic on those who read it and conquers their hearts. They would give this statement in order to prevent their people from considering it God’s word. They wanted to drive home the point that though it is undoubtedly a lofty and unparalleled piece of literature that enchants the mind and lights up the soul and addresses people in a way that stirs their hearts yet it is of the same genre as what their poets and orators present.

7. The answer to the conditional clause in this sentence is suppressed. When words are unable to depict the majesty or horrific nature of something, they are suppressed in this way.

8. This is an allusion to Jesus (sws) whose sole purpose of advent was only to give glad tidings of a future messenger of God. The book revealed to them is called the Gospel whose meaning in Greek is “good news.” He gave this good news by mentioning the messenger by his name as is stated in Surah al-Saff. He also mentioned in very clear words the stages and phases of the preaching mission of this future messenger. Many instances in the Gospel bear testimony to this. His true followers who adhered to his actual teachings welcomed the last messenger with great fervour and enthusiasm because of these signs and professed faith in him. Jesus (sws) has said:

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever. (John, 14:17)

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. (John, 14:26)

I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me. (John, 14:30)

When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me. (John, 15:26)

But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you. (John, 16:7)

I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. (John, 16:12-13) 

9. Ie., the arrogant and tyrannical leaders of the Quraysh whose haughtiness is mentiond earlier.

10. They meant that it is a falsehood that has been handed down from the past and whose falsity is proven beyond doubt because they have been hearing about it for a long time; however, centuries have passed on this claim and God knows where the promised Day has gone.

11. Ie., a guide in the world and a mercy in the next for those who believe in it.

12. These words express a favour to the addressees whose language is Arabic that God has conclusively conveyed the truth to them in their own language and selected it to convey His religion to the entire world. At the same time, these words also refer to the prophecies of the Torah which say that the last prophet will rise from among the Ishmaelites whose language obviously was Arabic.

13. These words occur in parallel to الَّذِیۡنَ ظَلَمُوۡا (those who are unjust to their souls). Hence the thorough here refer to people who did not invite their doom by showing rebelliousness against God and instead of being unjust to their souls saved it from Hell fire.

14. Ie., neither will they have any fear of the future nor any regret of the past. On the other hand, this worldly life is nothing but an amalgam of these fears and regrets. Thus these words are a very comprehensive portrayal of the life of Paradise and have been used in the Qur’an at many instances.

15. This guidance is found in human nature and all prophets and messengers of God have taught it. Thus the beginning of moral awareness in a person which is actually the awareness of fulfilling obligations one owes to others begins with this guidance.

16. This is a reference to the sacrifices and acts of selflessness which every mother necessarily makes for her children. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: 

Here, an important point worthy of note is that the demand for showing kindness relates both to the mother and the father; however, the three sacrifices mentioned only relate to the mother. No sacrifice of the father is mentioned. In my opinion, this is because of the following reasons:

1. The extent of role a mother plays in the initial upbringing of the child is much more than that of a father. Thus it is mentioned in a narrative that the Prophet (sws) has regarded a mother’s right to be thrice that of the father viz a viz serving her (Al-Bukhari, no. 5971; Muslim, no. 6500). This narrative is based on this very verse.

2. The mother belongs to the weaker gender. This aspect necessitates that the children obey and serve her more than the father.

3. To a father primarily relates the financial interest of the children. Since they are to inherit wealth and property from him, there is lesser fear of the children disobeying him. On the other hand, in general circumstances, this is not the case with the mother and for this reason those people do not duly value her are the ones who do not have the correct awareness of the sacrifices made by her. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 7, 362)  

17. This is the maximum age attaining which a person must get control of his whims and desires and should reach the mental maturity which is required by his creator. It is evident from this that if a person passes away before this age, he can expect some concession from his creator.

18. It is evident from this that if a person does not pervert his nature, the awareness of fulfilling the rights of parents makes him reach the real being Who blesses him with favours and Who is the creator of his parents. This is because in the love and affection, nourshing and up-bringing of his parents he sees a glimpse of the grand providence and affection which he begins to see in everything once he reaches the age of mental maturity. It is from here that feelings of gratitude arise in him for the real benefactor from which springs forth all precepts of religion. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: 

… As long as a person remains an infant, he considers his parents to be everything because whatever he acquires, he acquires from them. However, once he reaches maturity, he becomes aware of the fact that the real Lord and Bestower of Favours is the one who even created his parents. In this manner, through his parents, he reaches God, and he becomes aware of a being Who has a greater right on him than his parents. And these two are the greatest rights on a person and from these two emanate the branches of various other rights. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 7, 361)  

19. This condition is essential because at times a person does something to please the Almighty but it becomes a source of His wrath. An example is the addition of some polytheistic practice or religious innovation with which there is a chance that even a righteous deed will not be accepted.

20. The actual expression is: وَعۡدَ الصِّدۡقِ. It is declined in the accusative as a verbal noun for the purpose of emphasis.

21. This is now a parable of people whose moral awareness dies because of leading a careless and carefree life. Hence when they reach the age of full maturity if the parents direct their attention to God, they ruthlessly scold them, let alone recognizing God for themselves. Consquently, they end up being included in those about whom it was earlier said that they had been unjust to their souls.

22. The actual word is: وَیۡلَکَ. It generally expresses curse and condemnation; however, at times, it expresses concern, compassion and affection as is the case here.

23. Ie., the statement which the Almighty had given in response to Satan on the very first day of creation that whoever follows him from among the jinnkind and humankind will be admitted to Hell with him.

24. This is the suppressed co-ordinated clause of the causative sentence.

25.. The ‘Ad were the most ancient nation of the Arabs. They were Semites and they inhabited the area of Ahqaf which lies between Hijaz and Yemen in the south west of al-Rub‘ al-Khali. They are proverbial in Arab literature for their ancient origin as well as for their splendour and majesty. Hud (sws) was one of their individuals who was sent to them as a messenger. To express God’s favour, it is stated that He did not send any stranger to the ‘Ad. In fact, He send their brother Hud (sws) to them so that the truth is conclusively communicated to them.

26. In Arabic أحقاف is the plural of حقف which means “a sand dune” that is not as tall as a mountain in height. In all probability, this area was called by this name after the ‘Ad’s decadence when the majestic buildings built by them were wiped out and only sand dunes remained. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi has explained it thus:

By mentioning this place by its name, the Qur’an has directed attention to the great destruction that took place in that area. Obviously, the era in which the nation of ‘Ad was at its peak in the area was the time when the area was very green and lush and impregnated with those great cultural feats which made the ‘Ad very famous and powerful in history. However, now that area is no more than a desolate desert. Nobody can imagine that this place was once inhabited and bustling with life. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 7, 370) 

27. This is the same invitation to accept monotheism which every messenger of God presented before its respective nation.

28. The word إفْكٌ means “to tell a lie.” The preposition عَنْ after it shows that this word encompasses the meaning of another word which means “to cause someone to give up something or to cause someone to turn away from something.”

29. Ie., God blessed them with all abilities which actually are the real hallmark of human beings and are given so that they are able to reach facts and derive the right conclusions from it.

30. This is because they only used these faculties to see the apparent and did not use them to access deeper realities.

31. This is a reference to the settlements which the Quraysh would pass by during their trade journeys.

32. This is a warning to the Quraysh: the support they are relying upon will vanish once God’s verdict arrives.

33. How was their attention directed to the Prophet (sws)? Its details are stated in Surah al-Jinn: when they saw some extra-ordinary situation in the upper heavens, they thought that perhaps some important matter is going to take place with regard to the inhabitants of the earth. Thus while roaming about here and there they arrived at the spot where the Prophet (sws) was reading the Qur’an. It is evident from various narratives that this incident took place when the Prophet (sws) reached Nakhlah to spend some days there on his way back from Ta’if. He was very dejected at the attitude the people of Ta’if adopted towards him. Reciting the Qur’an in the night prayers was his routine. With God’s planning they became attentive to the Prophet (sws) at precisely the time when he was reciting the Qur’an that the incident referred to took place.

34. This courteous mannerism adopted by the jinn is most probably mentioned here to warn the ruffians of Makkah and Ta’if who would misbehave with the Prophet (sws) and as soon as they would hear the Qur’an they would start making noises so that no one was able to hear it.

35. This is a testimony to their upright nature: when they stumbled on the truth they embarked upon conveying to others disregarding all dangers they could face. On the other hand, the elders of the Quraysh would day and night make fun of the Qur’an. Here it may be noted that this incident does not necessitate that just as Muhammad (sws) was a prophet for human beings, he was also a prophet for the jinn. What is actually evident from this incident is that wherever the truth manifests itself in whichever form, every cognizant creature of this world is liable to accept it. Thus if human beings happened to listen to the message of some prophet of the jinn in this manner, they would have been liable to profess faith in it just as the jinn professed faith in Muhammad (sws) in this incident. The nature of professing faith in prophets of God before Muhammd (sws) is also similar in nature for all Muslims. Although it is certainly not mandatory upon Muslims to follow the shari‘ah of these prophets but to profess faith in them is obligatory the way it is for their nations.

36. Though the Psalms, the Gospel and the scriptures of the Israelite prophets were revealed after the Torah, yet their status is that of its supplement. Thus the real book before the Qur’an was the Torah. It is for this reason that the jinn said these words.

37. This is greatest proof of the Qur’an’s divine origin and has been cited by the jinn probably after hearing it from the Qur’an itself.

38. Ie., the path of monotheism. This is because it is belief in monotheism which is in line with the truth and in consonance in every way with human nature and intellect. It is called the straight path because it is simple, even and free of any deviation. Polytheistic beliefs have no role in it in any way.

39. Thus for example sins that relate to human beings which can only be forgiven once they have atoned. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: 

… If this compensation and atonement was not done or its opportunity was lost, then it is the requirement of God’s justice that the issue be raised between the two parties once again in the court of justice set up on the Day of Judgement. Only God knows what verdict will be passed there; however, it is evident that if a person does not atone for such sins in spite of having the opportunity, then this is against the requisites of faith. If a person no longer has the opportunity for this atonement, then it can be expected that a person’s sincere feeling of remorse, true repentance and those virtuous deeds which a person continues to do in his later life to atone for his sins will intercede for him before God. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 7, 379) 

After this, the words are: “and will give you refuge from a woeful scourge.” The rest of the verses are insertions from God and do not form part of the statement of the jinn.

40. Denial of the Day of Judgement is denial of an obvious reality. This can only be done by those who have consigned their reins to their whims and desires. Thus it is not merely the denial of one thing; it is the denial of sense and reason and all prophets of God and those who are guilty of this denial do not deserve any lenience.

41. The actual word is بَلٰغ. It is the enunciative (khabar) of a suppressed inchoative (mubtada’). In order to direct all attention on the khabar, the mubtada’ is suppressed here.

42. Ie., if the punishment which they are asking to hasten comes, only those will be destroyed who have become rebellious against God in this manner.

For Questions on Islam, please use our