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An Analysis of the Meanings of the Sūrahs of Group six
Qur'anic Exegesis
Amin Ahsan Islahi
(Tr. by:Dr. Shehzad Saleem)


With Sūrah Qāf begins the sixth group of the Qur’ān. The central theme of this group is the Hereafter.

Sūrah Qāf

In this particular sūrah, various arguments are cited to prove that the Day of Judgement is certain to come. The sūrah can be distinctly divided into the following seven sections:

Verses (1-5)

The grandeur and magnificence of the Qur’ān bear witness that it is the word of Allah. Those who are regarding it as the work of a poet or a soothsayer are merely doing so as an excuse to deny the Day of Judgement. They are actually confounded by the fact that someone from amongst themselves is warning them that after they die and become dust they will be returned to life again. This according to them is very unlikely. Actually pride and vanity have led them to reject the Qur’ān and owing to this reason they are calling it a work of poetry and soothsaying. Their denial is baseless and since they have denied the truth, they are in an acute state of mental confusion and obvious contradiction. They should be aware that even what the earth consumes of their bodies is in the knowledge of Allah and with Him is a register which records all what they say and do.

Verses (6-11)

A reference is made to the signs of the heavens and the earth which bear evidence to the Day of Judgement and to the reward and punishment that will be given to men on that Day as well as to the belief of Tawhīd (monotheism). These signs testify to the power and wisdom of the Almighty and to the various means of sustenance He has created for mankind. These signs are meant to remind and caution man.

Verses (12-14)

The Quraysh are warned that they should not deny the truth because of pride and prejudice. Many nations before them who were guilty of this crime were totally destroyed, and if they continue with this attitude, their fate will be no different.

Verses (15-18)

The Almighty's attributes of Knowledge and Creativity which prove the certainty of the Day of Judgement are alluded to and a reference is also made to the arrangement He has made for the security and protection of the records of all the deeds and utterances of mankind.

Verses (19-35)

A vivid description of the Day of Judgement is drawn: The details of the dreadful fate the disbelievers will encounter and the good fate the believers will meet are highlighted.

Verses (36-37)

The Quraysh are warned that they must not be overcome by the pride of the power they possess and must not vainly reckon that their glory and grandeur are eternal: Many other nations, who had much more power and splendour were destroyed at the very height of their dominance and authority; they could not even find any room in the vastness of the earth to hide from the ruthless law of retribution. Indeed, in the account of these nations is a lesson for people who are sensitive and who earnestly give ear.

Verses (38-45)

The Prophet (sws) is urged to persevere and to persist in the cause of truth, and seek perseverance from Allah with the help of prayers. He is told to defer the matter of the disbelievers to the Day of Judgement, which is certain to come; when the Almighty Himself will take account of their deeds. Furthermore, he is assured that his only responsibility is to warn them of this Day; to make them accept faith is not his responsibility. He should only admonish those who fear Allah through this Qur’ān, and to leave the matter of those who make of fun it to the Almighty.

Sūrah Zāriyāt

This sūrah is the dual counterpart of the previous sūrah: Qāf. It can be distinctly divided into the following six sections:

Verses (1-14)

By referring to the diverse manifestations of the winds and the clouds, people who make fun of the Day of Reward and Punishment by mockingly questioning about its time of arrival are severely reprimanded for their behaviour. They are warned that the doom that will descend upon them if they deny the Prophet (sws) as well as the Day of Reckoning about which they are being warned; both are certain to come. Only those who have lost their senses are daring to doubt their certainty. Those who are seeking to hasten them will be told that those were precisely what they had sought to hasten.

Verses (15-19)

In contrast with the disbelievers, a mention is made of the reward the righteous will receive who had spent their lives while remaining fearful of the Day, who slept but little at night and in the early hours of dawn sought their Lord’s forgiveness and in whose wealth the deprived had a share.

Verses (20-23)

The signs in the heavens and the earth, as well as in the human soul, which testify to the Day of Judgement are alluded to. It is then claimed that creating mankind a second time is as easy for the Almighty as is for a person to utter a word.

Verses (24-37)

Evidence from history which further substantiates the imminence of the Day of Judgement is presented by referring to the tales of Abraham (sws) and Lot (sws). The same angels who had brought glad tidings to Abraham (sws) about being blessed with a son had unleashed a storming wind and showered stones on the people who had denied the Prophet Lot (sws), and had saved those who had professed faith in him. These events bear witness historically that the Creator of this Universe takes account of what nations do: the people of Lot (sws) were punished in retribution of their own misdeeds. There is a lesson for those who are fearful of the Almighty in this episode -- for the remains of their cities have been preserved by Him.

Verses (38-46)

A brief mention is made of the tales of the Pharaoh and the people of `Aād and Thamūd, and folks of Noah who were caught in the ruthless law of retribution of nations when they rejected the message of their respective prophets. They were totally destroyed by the Almighty who just ordered the winds and the clouds to unleash their terror on them.

Verses (47-60)

In this concluding section, the whole theme of the sūrah is summed up: It is not difficult for the Almighty, who is the Creator of the heavens and the earth and who has created everything in pairs, to create this world a second time: If the Day of Reckoning is certain to come, then people should turn to the Almighty and seek His nearness. The Prophet (sws) is assured that all the other prophets before him received no different a treatment at the hands of their people. He is advised to leave these rebellious people to themselves and to remind only those who are paying heed to the Message of Allah. He is further consoled by the Almighty that men and jinn folk have been created by Him, only to worship Him. He has not imposed any responsibility on them to feed others nor does He Himself seek sustenance from them. Indeed, He Himself is the Provider of all, Lord of Might and Power. He will sustain and provide all those who, irrespective of the circumstances, set out to befittingly worship Him. He will help them in their endeavours as well and no one will be able to harm them. As far as the wrongdoers are concerned, they will get in this world what has been ordained for them. In spite of all their outcries to the Almighty to hasten the Day of Judgement, they will be given the respite needed so that the truth is unveiled to them in its ultimate form after which they can have no excuse to deny. Finally, when this period is over, as deemed by the Almighty, they will encounter the Day about which they are being warned.


Sūrah Tūr

The sūrah can be divided into the following three sections:

Verses (1-16)

This section forms the introductory part of the sūrah. The headstrong and obstinate people of Quraysh are severely warned through certain historical and universal facts as evidence that the punishment about which they have been informed is certain to come. They should not hasten it and if they will not change their attitude, it will definitely alight and no one will be able to avert it. The next few verses draw a vivid picture of the Day of Judgement, with a brief description of the dreadful fate of those who had denied it.

Verses (17-28)

A portrayal of the favours of the life of bliss the believers will be blessed with in contrast with that of the unbelievers is made. A special favour which is highlighted here is that the Almighty will unite those who brought up their children according to the teachings of Islam with their children even if these children are not entitled to this high level as regards their own deeds. For this union, those who deserve a high rank and level will not be demoted; instead people deserving a lower rank will be promoted to higher ones. Basically, the fate of a person will be decided according to his deeds; therefore, neither a reduction will take place in a person's deeds nor a faithless person will be able to enter Paradise; indeed, the Almighty's blessings will be for the believers.

Verses (29-49)

In the concluding part of the sūrah, the Prophet (sws) is comforted that he should not pay any heed to the excuse the disbelievers are `inventing' to deny his Prophethood. Ignoring their attitude, he should keep on discharging his duty of reminding people of the truth so that those who are mindful are able to adopt the right path and those who insist on remaining on the wrong path have no excuse but defiance to remain so.

In the twelfth verse, the attitude of the adversaries of indulging in pleasantries and toying with the truth was referred to. Here they are dealt with in detail and silenced on this behaviour.

Rebellious people are warned that very soon the time will come when all their schemes will be shattered, and before the torment of the Final Day they will encounter another torment in this world also.

The Prophet (sws) is comforted that he should patiently await his Lord's decision, and should be aware that he is under His direct protection.

He should augment this patience through prayers, especially the night and early morning ones.

Sūrah Najm

Sūrah Najm is the dual counterpart of Sūrah Tūr, the previous sūrah. It can be divided into the following five sections:

Verses (1-18)

In this introductory part, it is elaborated that the Qur’ān is not the work of a soothsayer or a fortune-teller, as its disbelievers are alleging; the Almighty Himself has revealed it on the Prophet (sws) through his most trusted and dependable angel. All its verses are based on truth and what is stated in them is inevitable; there is not the slightest element of falsehood in them. No one should have the misconception that the observations and experiences the Prophet (sws) is presenting about revelation and Gabriel are mere illusions or hallucinations. These observations are absolutely true and it is in the well-being of its opponents to profess faith in the Prophet (sws) instead of showing malice and hostility.

Verses (19-28)

The idolaters of Makkah are warned that their idols are nothing but a creation of their fancy and have no reality. They are but names which they have invented; neither has the Almighty ever sanctioned their existence nor can sense and reason, instinct and intellect accept them. These are merely vain conjectures that they are following, even though there has come to them a manifest guidance from their Lord; they must bear in mind that conjectures and suppositions cannot take the place of truth, and false wishes and desires have no basis. They will not encounter what they desire and will only encounter the facts about which they are being warned. Hence, they must prepare themselves to face them. They must remember that all the matters of this world and the Hereafter are under the control of the Almighty and no one can interfere in them. There are many angels in the heavens but none whosoever can benefit from their intercession. The Almighty alone will give permission to intercede to whom He wants and for whom He chooses. Therefore, the myth of regarding the angels as the daughters of Allah and seeking refuge from the law of retribution and accountability in the Hereafter by baselessly supposing that they will intercede for them is mere fanciful thinking on their part and will certainly not be of any benefit to them.

Verses (29-32)

The Prophet (sws) is solaced that he should turn away from those who are showing indifference to the Message of Allah and that he should leave them to themselves. This is the farthest limit of their knowledge and they have no awareness of the Hereafter. He best knows those who have strayed from His path and those who are rightly guided and He will give each person his due. Whatever is in the heavens and the earth is under the sole jurisdiction of Allah and no one whosoever can save the evildoers from His punishment nor deprive the righteous of their reward. Only those will be rewarded who abstained from heinous sins and open indecencies save those occasional but minor sins to which they were induced, but they never became brave on them -- because indeed the Almighty is vast in mercy; He will forgive them. As far as those proud and rebellious people are concerned who on the basis of their race and creed and on the false pretext of intercession reckon that they will be granted a high place in the Hereafter, they must not be misled; the Almighty has knowledge of all their stages of creation and is also aware of their deeds.

Verses (33-55)

People who do not even have the spirit to spend in the way of the Almighty or make sacrifices and who vainly reckon that since they are the progeny of two great prophets -- Abraham and Moses -- they are by birth entitled to paradise are severely condemned on this attitude. Their attention is directed to the teachings and sacrifices of these Prophets that their high rank and status are because of the unprecedented sacrifices they gave in the way of Allah and nobecause of their race or creed. A person's own deeds only will benefit him and they will be of no use to others.

In this regard, it is also emphatically explained that Allah alone gives comfort and pain, life and death, daughter and son, wealth and opulence; therefore, one should always attach himself to the Almighty. Nations who remain indifferent to the Message of Allah and get deeply involved in worldly pleasures, in spite of their wealth and grandeur, meet the fate similar to the one met by the Aād and the Thamūd. Their remains still exist and everyone should learn a lesson from them.

Verses (56-62)

This concluding section of the sūrah refers to what is stated in the beginning: the Qur’ān is not the work of fortune-tellers or soothsayers but like previous heavenly scriptures is another Reminder. Now the threatened hour is nigh and it is giving its opponents a timely warning. If they still do not take heed, no one will be able to save them from Allah. They should not express surprise and wonder at the reality about which this Reminder is warning them. They should not laugh at it; in fact, its consequences are so grave that they should take it very seriously. They must pay heed and prostrate themselves in front of the Almighty.

Sūrah Qamar

The sūrah can be divided into the following three sections:

Verses (1-8)

The Prophet (sws) is comforted that he should not pay any heed to the stubborn and obstinate people who are demanding to see the doom they have been promised. The greatest of signs will not induce them to accept faith because they do not follow the norms of sense and reason; instead they are the followers of their whims and desires. The tales of various nations should be a big lesson for them, but alas! they do not have the ability to learn from history. The Prophet (sws) is further consoled that they will not pay heed to his Message; he should leave their matter to the summoner who, on the Day of Judgement will be summoning them not to the Qur’ān but to Hell. They will respond to his call, emerging from their graves like locusts scattered about.

Verses (9-42)

The Quraysh are directed to learn a lesson from the fate of the people of Noah, Aād, Thamūd, Lot and Pharaoh. These people, like the Quraysh, rejected their respective prophets, and if the Quraysh also follow their footsteps, they will meet a similar fate. They must bear in mind that the Almighty has revealed the Qur’ān to warn them of this danger beforehand by making it very appropriate for admonition. Instead of acknowledging this favour of the Almighty and benefiting from it, alas! it is their extreme misfortune that they are asking for punishment.

Verses (43-55)

The Quraysh are cautioned that when in the past the Almighty has never spared the unbelievers, they should not consider themselves an exception to this rule. Do they reckon that the Almighty has written a directive of acquittal for them in the Hereafter in the heavenly scriptures, and do they think that they will be able to defend themselves against Allah in the Hereafter? If they have such foolish ideas, they must remember that the Almighty will never treat the unbelievers and the righteous equally. The unbelievers will encounter the raging fire of Hell and the righteous will dwell in the eternal bliss of paradise.


Sūrah Rahmān

The nazm of this sūrah is very evident. It begins with the declaration that the Qur’ān is a manifestation of the Graciousness of the Almighty. The Almighty created man and specially blessed him with the power of speech and comprehension. These abilities require that man should be taught and educated with the most grand heavenly work -- the Qur’ān -- and not through torment and punishment. It is the extreme misfortune of the disbelievers who instead of seeking guidance from it are demanding to see the promised doom.

After this, various signs in the heavens and in the earth and in the universal norms of human intellect are pointed at and two of the Almighty's creations -- men and jinn-folk -- are urged and exhorted to reflect on them and rebuked upon denying so many signs.

These signs are mentioned in the following sequence:

First and foremost are mentioned those signs and manifestations which point to the fact that the Almighty greatly cherishes justice and does not approve anything contrary to justice and equity at all in the world He has created.

These are followed by those which indicate that the tremendous and extremely vast system of sustenance which the Almighty has established on the earth strongly indicates that man will not be left unaccountable; in fact, one day he will definitely be held accountable for the profound blessings he has been given. Those who deserve to be rewarded will be rewarded by Allah and those who deserve to be punished will be punished by Him.

A reference is then made to the fact that it is the Almighty who has created men and jinn-folk from clay and fire and He can easily create them a second time. There is no difficulty for Him in this regard. This whole Universe is under His control; He is the Lord of the East and the West. Whatever rises, rises with His permission and whatever sets, sets with His permission.

After this, it is asserted that the conflicting elements in the Universe are in harmony with one another to fulfil a greater purpose which is over and above their creation. This bears witness to the fact that a sovereign will is dominant over these elements which creates harmony between them and uses them for the collective welfare of the universe. If this were not so, the universe would have been destroyed by a clash between its conflicting elements. That it is surviving is an ample testimony to the fact that a single supreme and omnipotent power controls it.

A mention is then made of the fact that Allah alone is immortal and all the rest are mortal.

Next it is expressed that all except the Almighty are needy and He is the only one who fulfils their needs. The foolish who ask from others actually receive from Him as well.

An affirmation is then made of the fact that the Day wherein accountability of deeds takes place is certain to come and on that Day no one -- men as well as the jinn-folk -- will be able to run away from the Almighty's grasp. On that Day, no evidence will be needed to convict a criminal as his forehead will bear witness to his sins. He will then be grabbed by his forehead and feet and flung into Hell.

At the end, features and characteristics of the paradise which the muqarrabīn (the near ones) will receive are delineated, followed by the features and characteristics of the paradise which the Ashābu’l Yamīn (Companions of the Right Hand) will be blessed with.


Sūrah Wāqi`ah

The sūrah can be divided into the following six sections:

Verses (1-10)

The sūrah begins with the assertion that the Day of Judgement is certain to come. The Day will evaluate a person according to his faith and deeds; it will upgrade many a people and downgrade many of them. As a result of this assessment, people will be divided into three categories: the ashābu’l yamīn, the ashābu’l shimāl and the sābiqūnu’l awwalūn.

Verses (11-26)

Those nearest to the Almighty will be the sābiqūnu’l awwalūn. The details of the gifts and favours of their Lord which they will receive in paradise are recounted together with the qualities of the sābiqūnu’l awwalūn which actually entitled them to these favours.

Verses (27-40)

The second place will be occupied by the ashābu’l yamīn. A delineation is made of the bounties and rewards which they will be blessed with in paradise and of their personal high character which made them worthy of this life of bliss.

Verses (41-48)

The horrible fate of the ashābu’l shimāl is depicted and a reference is made to a few of their grave sins which led them to this terrible punishment.

Verses (49-74)

The Quraysh are directly addressed and warned that they would end up with the same fate as that of the ashābu’l shimāl if they persist in their attitude of denying the Prophet (sws). In this regard, a reference is made to certain self-evident arguments bear evidence to the Day of Reward and Punishment. Such is the nature of these arguments that no excuse but stubbornness on their part can deny them.

Verses (75-96)

An indication is made to the exalted status of the Qur’ān and the fact that it is above and beyond the reach of Satan and his agents. The Quraysh are again cautioned not to turn a deaf ear towards this sublime message and thus invite their doom. The fate which this Book is informing them about is a reality. Fortunate are they who today strive to attain a place among the ashābu’l yamīn and the sābiqūnu’l awwalūn; those who will not do so, will end up among the ashābu’l shimāl and will face a grievous penalty.


Sūrah Hadīd

The sūrah can be distinctly divided into the following nine sections:

Verses (1-6)

In the introductory part of the sūrah, a reference is made to the attributes of Wisdom, Power, Knowledge, Authority, Origination and Planning of the Almighty in order to highlight that someone possessing these attributes is the one towards whom every one will turn on the Day of Judgement; therefore, it is befitting that only He should be thanked and glorified. Everything within this Universe is glorifying Him and this act of theirs invites men to worship Him only and not associate others with Him.

Verses (7-10)

A warning is sounded to the Muslims in general and those among them having a weak faith in particular that they should fulfil the requisites of the covenant of `to listen and obey' they had pledged at the hands of the Prophet (sws) with all the spirit and determination they can muster. It is the requirement of their faith to respond positively to the Jihād and Infāq the Prophet (sws) is today calling them to. It is this attitude which will bring them towards light from darkness. Those who spend and fight in the way of Allah will have a higher status than those who will do so after the conquest of Makkah, though they too will be rewarded by the Almighty.

Verses (11-15)

Those who spend in the way of Allah with purity of purpose will find that their spending has manifested itself into a radiant light which guides them to paradise. Those who do not spend in the way of Allah because of hypocrisy will be deprived of this light. These people will ask the believers to let them also benefit from its radiance. The believers will reply that they have lost the opportunity to do so by their behaviour in the previous world and they will not receive it now whatsoever. After this exchange of dialogue, a wall will be erected between the two, on one side of which will be the blessings of Allah and on the other side will be His torment.

Verses (16-17)

The hypocrites are warned that even after seeing such manifest signs of the supremacy of Islam, if they show hesitation and refrain from spending in the way of Allah, they will become hardhearted like the Jews before them and meet a similar fate. They are reminded that the Day of Reckoning is certain to come; neither should they become indifferent to its reward nor unafraid of its punishment.

Verses (18-19)

Those who spend in the way of Allah and fight for His cause should rest assured that the Almighty will honour their sacrifices; in fact, they will be rewarded many times for each sacrifice they make. It is Infāq and Jihād which entitles them to become shuhadā and siddiqīn and they will also be rewarded the radiant light of which the hypocrites will remain deprived.

Verses (20-21)

Sorrow is expressed over the timid and unenterprising attitude of the people who have given their hearts to the transitory pleasures of this world and have forgotten the mercy of their Lord as well as the paradise which is as vast as the vastness of the heavens and the earth.

Verses (22-24)

A reminder is sounded that a person's opulence or poverty does not depend on his own schemes and plans but on the fate which has been divinely ordained for him. The correct attitude, therefore, is that a person whether he is in ease or in difficulty, should surrender to the will of the Almighty. If he has been blessed with wealth, he should not hesitate to spend it in the way of Allah. He should be aware that just as the Almighty can bless a person with something, He can also deprive him of it whenever He wants.

Verses (25-27)

A refutation is made of the claim of the people who on the basis of the concept of Rahbāniyyah (ascetism) regard Jihād and Infāq as mundane activities and condemn the spirit of Jihād of the Muslims. By referring to history, it is shown that Jihād has remained the Sunnah of the Prophets and Rahbāniyyah is a religious innovation of the Christians; it is the result of their transgressing the bounds of their religion. The Prophet Jesus (sws) never taught it.

Verses (28-29)

Muslims are urged to selflessly answer the call of Jihād made by the Prophet (sws) and spend magnanimously for this cause. They are told not to pay heed to the evil suggestions of the wicked among the People of the Book who regard Jihād as a mundane undertaking. The Prophets have always undertaken Jihād to establish justice and equity and the Muslims must follow the path of the Prophets. The Rahbāniyyah invented by the Christians is something which the Prophet Jesus (sws) never preached. They are just showing their malice towards the Muslims -- but against their wishes, the Almighty will reward the Muslims according to the fate He has destined for them.

Sūrah Mujādalah

The sūrah can be divided into the following six sections:

Verses (1-4)

A reference is made to an incident in which a pious woman had to face severe difficulty regarding a religious issue; instead of becoming frustrated and showing distrust in the Almighty, she presented her case before Him and His Prophet (sws) with all the confidence and purity of intention she could muster. The Almighty resolved her difficulty and set her forth as an example in the Qur’ān: the example of a person who adopted the correct attitude when troubles came her way. This was in sharp contrast with the attitude of the Hypocrites who would show hostility and raise a propaganda against the Almighty and His Prophet (sws) when a particular directive of the Shari`ah proved adverse to their desires and wishes.

Verses (5-8)

Disgust is expressed at the attitude of the people who instead of showing trust in the Almighty and His Prophet (sws) were busy whispering evil suggestions to others and maligning the cause of Islam. They were showing disrespect to the Prophet (sws) and were presenting the lenience, the Almighty was showing them by not punishing them, as proof of their correct attitude. They are warned that they will not only be humiliated in this world as history testifies, but will also face a grievous torment in the Hereafter.

Verses (9-10) 

Muslims are forbidden from whispering evil suggestions and directed that their secret conversations should not be against the Prophet (sws); their intimate discourses should be clean and pious. They should ignore the assault of ‘evil-whispering’ which the hypocrites have launched against them, for such whispering cannot harm anyone unless the Almighty wants. It is befitting for them to trust their Lord and to be rest assured instead of worrying and being aggrieved by such insinuations. The Almighty will protect them from the evil of the evil-doers.

Verses (11-12)

The believers are directed to follow certain manners when they are in the company of the Prophet (sws), and forbidden to carry out clandestine conversation when they are gathered around him. Certain emergency directives are given to impede the campaign of evil-whispering launched by the Hypocrites.

Verse (13)

After the achievement of the desired results, the emergency directives are repealed and the believers are directed to establish those forms of worship which will put an end to this malady of evil-whispering; these forms are spelled out for them.

Verses (14-22)

An indication is made of the fact that the Hypocrites are actually the agents of the Jews who have incurred the wrath of the Almighty; their real allegiance rests with them. Their glibness and their trait of during conversation effectively conceals their reality and they are able to outwardly show themselves as Muslims. Their allegiance is actually with the enemies of Islam; they are overwhelmed by the love of wealth. Satan has made them unmindful of Allah and they have joined his party to impair and obstruct the Prophet's mission; ultimately their efforts will fizzle out, for it is the absolute judgement of the Almighty that only He and His Prophets shall always prevail. True believers are those who sever their ties of relationship from the enemies of Allah and the Prophet (sws) even if they are their fathers, sons, brothers and tribesmen. The Almighty will only be happy with such people; they are the people of His party and only they shall attain salvation.

Sūrah Hashr

The sūrah can be divided into the following four sections:

Verses (1-4)

A reference is made to the exile of the Jewish tribe of Banū Nudayr. They had been ordered to vacate their territory because they had broken their covenant and had plotted to kill the Prophet (sws). At first, they agreed to this punishment, but later on when some of their allies offered their assistance to them, they changed their minds. Ultimately, the Prophet (sws) had to launch an attack on them in the 4th year of Hijrah, after which they were forced to go to the land of Khaybar. They were given the permission to take as much as they could upon their camels. Consequently, they took away what they could and whatever remained came into the possession of the Muslims. By citing their example, the Hypocrites are admonished to seek a lesson from this event. It is pointed out to them that they had wrongly thought that the Banū Nudayr could not be banished from their land, whereas, as time proved, they had to leave their land and that too in a manner in which they had to ruin and ravage the houses they had built by their own hands; the foes of the Prophet (sws) always meet this fate; if they seek the support of these Jews, they too will meet a similar fate.

Verses (5-10)

In a parenthetical sentence, certain objections raised by the Jews and the Hypocrites are answered. These objections pertained to the ruining of the orchards of Banū Nudayr by the Muslims and to the distribution of fay. The attitude of contentment shown on this distribution by the `Ansār and the Muhājirīn, in sharp contrast with that of the Hypocrites, is praised.

Verses (11-17)

An indication is made to another mischievous deed of the Hypocrites. After the exile of the Banū Nudayr, they had started inducing the tribe of Banū Qurayzah to break their covenant as well; they told them that they would also fight by their side if they were attacked and if they were exiled, they would also accompany them. It is pointed out to them that they are saying something which they can never do; neither will they offer their support nor will they accompany them. They are only doing what Satan does: after a person commits a sin on his incitement, he withdraws by proclaiming acquittal from him. The Banū Qurayzah are warned that if they also break the covenant due to the backing of the Hypocrites, their fate will be no different from that of the Banū Nudayr.

Section IV ( 18-24)

In this concluding section of the sūrah, the believers in general and the Hypocrites in particular are warned to always keep in mind the Day of Judgement. They should not become like those who had forgotten the Almighty and as a result forgot their purpose of existence and the fate they would come across; there is a great difference between those who will dwell in paradise and those who will abide in Hell; this difference should not be ignored by belittling it; only the dwellers of paradise will attain real success. It should be kept in consideration that they have been revealed the truth in its ultimate form after which no excuse but stubbornness on their part can deny it. Had the Qur’ān been revealed on a mountain, it would have been shattered to pieces due to the dread and awe of Allah. If their hearts are not being influenced by its message, then it is not the fault of the Qur’ān; rather it is due to their own hardheartedness which is alienating them from this Divine Call.

In the end, a reference is made to certain attributes of the Almighty to inculcate the qualities of submission and trust in the believers who have a strong faith and to cultivate the qualities of determination and confidence in those among them who have a weak faith, while in the Hypocrites they are meant to create a fear of the Almighty. The sūrah finally ends on the note it began with.

Sūrah Mumtahinah

The sūrah can be divided into the following six sections:

Verses (1-3)

The sūrah begins with a warning sounded to the weak Muslims who had secret ties of friendship with the Idolaters of Makkah even after they had expelled the Prophet (sws) and the Muslims from their land -- their only fault being that they had accepted faith. It is pointed out that these people are not worthy of such ties as they will try all they can to make the Muslims reject faith; furthermore, if family ties at the expense of sincerity with Allah and the Prophet (sws) are established then such relationships will never be of any use to them in the Hereafter: they will stand severed in the next world.

Verses (4-7)

A few glimpses of the episode of the Prophet Abraham (sws) are depicted and the addressees are directed to learn a lesson from it. He had proclaimed total acquittal from his nation unless they professed faith in the one and only Allah. In this regard, they are told to hold steadfast to Abraham's prayer (du`ā) which he had often said to persevere in the difficulties of his own Hijrah. Moreover, glad tidings are given to them that it is quite possible that these people, from which they are directed to break their ties, may accept Islam in the near future.

Verses (8-9)

An explanation of the fact that what has been asked is dissociation with those who had waged war with the Muslims and compelled them and the Prophet (sws) to leave their homes; those who have not done so, should be dealt with befittingly.

Verses (10-11)

Certain directives relating to the women who had migrated from Makkah are given: they should only be accepted after they have been examined as regards their faith. If it is proven that they have migrated only for the cause of Islam, only then should they be included in the ranks of the Muslims. It is not lawful for the Muslims to keep idolatrous women in marriage. They should liberate them and mutually exchange the dowers.

Verse (12)

The Prophet (sws) is directed to take a covenant from women who come to him for the cause of Islam and intend to lead their lives according to its directives.

Verse (13)

At the very end of the sūrah, Muslims are warned not to establish friendship with the Jews and the disbelievers. Both will meet the same fate: they have been shaken from their very roots.

Sūrah Saff

The sūrah can be divided into the following four sections:

Verses (1-4)

In the introductory part of the sūrah, a warning is sounded to those who after pledging a covenant of sam`u tāa’t (to listen and obey) at the hands of the Prophet (sws) are abstaining from fighting in the way of Allah. They are informed that this attitude of breaking the covenant after pledging it is something which has always invoked the wrath of the Almighty. He is pleased by only those who, in accordance with the requisites of the covenant pledged, gather all their energy whenever the need arises to fight and fight like a solid mass of rock.

Verses (5-9)

Those who desist from fighting in the cause of Allah after they have accepted faith and pledged their obedience are similar to the Jews and they will meet a similar fate as well. They had adopted a similar attitude with their own Prophet as well: they would fervently pledge obedience but whenever they would be tested by an occasion, they would prove worthless. The Prophet (sws) Moses often sorrowfully complained about this behaviour, but they never mended their ways. The Almighty, according to His laws, therefore, took away frthem the ability to understand and remain on the right path because of their own wrong attitudes. They had adopted this improper behaviour with the Prophet Jesus (sws) as well. He had shown them some striking miracles and in very clear words gave glad tidings of the last of the Prophets. The Jews, however, as a result of their unbecoming attitude, dismissed these miracles as acts of magic and rejected his Prophethood. They persisted with this attitude and today are showing hostility to Islam on the basis of their falsehood; all their effort, of course is in vain. Islam is the glowing light of the Almighty which they can never blow to extinction. Contrary to their wishes and those of the idolaters', it will achieve its supremacy over other religions of Arabia.

Verses (10-13)

The weaker Muslims are urged to adopt the right path and refrain from their attitude of distrust and hypocrisy. They should truly profess faith in Allah and the Prophet (sws) and fight for the cause of Islam by spending as much as they can for this cause and by presenting their lives for it. This is the true path to success if they would only try to understand. If they adopt this attitude, they will attain salvation in the Hereafter and in this world also, the Almighty through His well-earned help will bless them with the conquest of Makkah they desire so much.

Verse (14)

The addressees of the sūrah are exhorted to follow the footsteps of the disciples of Jesus. In the beginning of the sūrah, Muslims were advised not to follow the Jews. Here, at the end, they are urged to follow a group among them who had remained on the right path whose correct attitude of anticipating the truth was ultimately responsible of the supremacy of the believers.

Sūrah Jum`ah

The sūrah can be divided into the following three sections:

Verses (1-4)

The Ismaelites are reminded of the fact that the sending of a Prophet towards them is the result of the prayer (du`ā) of their great ancestor, the Prophet (sws) Abraham. This is a great favour the Almighty has done them to liberate them from the darkness of ignorance. Hence, they should try to value and honour this favour and not become a prey to the malicious conspiracies of the Jews.

Verses (5-8)

A refutation of the claim of the Jews that they are the chosen Ummah and no one except them can be blessed with the favour of Prophethood. A reference is made to their unworthy attitudes which had deprived them of the Almighty's Guidance and also stripped them of the position of leadership they formerly held.

Verses (9-11) 

Muslims are rebuked on a certain wrong attitude they had adopted when once the Prophet (sws) was delivering the Friday address. Apparently, this may appear as a minor fault to them, but it points to a profound weakness in them: a group among them had not understood the basic reality that once a person enters the fold of Islam, he barters his life and wealth for the Almighty's forgiveness and mercy. It is against the requisites of his faith that business and trade activities should make him indifferent to Allah and His Prophet (sws). This is like following the footsteps of the Jews -- something which had been forbidden in the previous sūrah. The Jews had erred similarly in the matter of sabt and the Almighty had severely condemned them.

Sūrah Munāfiqūn

This sūrah is a supplement to Sūrah Jum`ah, the previous sūrah. It can be divided into two sections. The first one consists of eight verses, while the last three verses constitute the second section.

In the first section, the character of the hypocrites is evaluated and shown that their real ailment is their lust for worldly riches. In the second section, Muslims are warned that the love of wealth and children should not make them indifferent to the remembrance of the Almighty. If today they do not truly benefit from their wealth by not spending in the way of Allah, they will feel sorry, once their life ends and at that moment their regret will be of no use to them. In other words, in the first section the illness of hypocrisy is elaborated upon, while in the second section, Muslims are asked to guard themselves against it.

Sūrah Taghābun

The sūrah can be divided into the following six sections:

Verses I (1-4)

The sūrah begins with the assertion that this world has not been created without a purpose. The effort undertaken by the Almighty in the creation of man to sustain and nourish him bears witness to the fact that the Day of Reckoning is certain to come. Allah, the Lord and Creator of this world is well aware of every person's deeds. He will treat each person accordingly.

Verses (5-7)

By citing historical evidence, it is shown that nations which denied their Prophets and vainly rejected their sound arguments on the pretext that accepting a human being as a Prophet (sws) is an insult to them were all destroyed by Allah. They met a dreadful fate in this world and in the Hereafter they will encounter a grave punishment.

Verses (8-10) 

The disbelievers are invited to profess faith in Allah, His Prophet (sws) and the Qur’ān. They are urged to prepare for the Day which will decide the victor and the vanquished. On that day, the righteous will receive the eternal reward of paradise, while the disbelievers will have to reckon with the eternal torment of Hell.

Verses (11-13)

It is asserted that troubles and hardships which a person has to face in his life come from Allah. It is not befitting for the believers to get apprehensive about them and turn away from the obedience of Allah and His Prophet (sws). It is the requirement of their faith that they should have trust in the Almighty: He will certainly help them. If they ignore Allah and the Prophet (sws) by being overawed by their hardships, they will bear its dire consequences. The responsibility of the Prophet (sws) was only to communicate the truth; it is now their responsibility to abide by it.

Verses (14-15)

Muslims are warned that at times one's family becomes a great test for his faith. Their love sometimes negatively affects his determination to fulfil his religious obligations. A person should always remain careful in this matter. However, he should adopt the attitude of `to forgo and forget' in their regard.

Verses (16-18)

People are invited to obey Allah and His Prophet (sws) as much as they can and urged to generously spend in the way of Allah. Glad tidings of eternal success are given to those who protect themselves from the malady of miserliness. Allah will greatly honour those who will lend Him their wealth. It will be returned to them multiplied many times; He will also forgive them. He has knowledge of both the seen and the unseen: He is fully aware of all virtuous deeds however secretly they might have been done.

Sūrah Talāq

The sūrah can be divided into the following two sections:

Verses (1-7)

An explanation of the fact that in cases of divorce it is not lawful to expel one's wife from the house by uttering the divorce sentence; it is necessary that the proper way pointed out by the Qur’ān be adopted. People who, in spite of their financial difficulties, set out to observe the limits set by Allah with a view to please Him, will receive His special help and assistance. Those who do not observe the limits set by Him because of their lust for wealth only wrong their own souls.

Verses (8-12)

Muslims are warned that it is a historically proven reality that all those who had disobeyed Allah and His Prophets have always been severely punished by Him. He has done a great favour to the Muslims by sending towards them a Prophet who has led them to the light of guidance from the darkness of ignorance. If they give due regard to this favour of the Almighty, He will bless them with the eternal bliss of paradise -- otherwise they should remember that to Him belongs the Kingdom of the heavens and the earth and He can certainly do what He intends.

Sūrah Tihrīm

The sūrah can be divided into the following three sections:

Verses (1-5)

The Prophet (sws) is checked in a particular matter in which the motivating force was fairly admirable, yet since he was become an example for the whole Ummah, any virtuous deed which crosses the limits set by Allah is not permissible. The Prophet (sws) might be doing something to console and please his wives and he might be showing sympathy to their perfectly human weaknesses, yet owing to his position as a Prophet (sws) he must remain within the bounds set by Allah even in the smallest of affairs.

Similarly, the pious wives are checked in a matter in which something said by the Prophet (sws) to a particular wife was disclosed by her to another wife, though in an atmosphere of mutual trust. However, since they too are to become an example for all women of the Ummah, even a small instance which crosses the limits set by Allah cannot be tolerated from them. The higher the position and status of a person, the higher the extent of his accountability.

Verses (6-8) 

After checking the Prophet (sws) and his wives, the general Muslims are urged to check and restrain their near ones. Everyone should remember that the angels who guard Hell are strict and stern. They will show no lenience to anyone. On the Day of Judgement, no excuse of a person will be acceptable, for he will be facing only what he deserves and no one will be punished for more than what he has done. Only they will triumph on that Day whose pure repentance makes them eligible for the Almighty's blessings. It will be a Day of success for the Prophet (sws) and his Companions. The Almighty will perfect their light which will lead them to paradise. Everyone else will be doomed forever.

Verses (9-12)

The Prophet (sws) is emphatically directed to tell the disbelievers and the Hypocrites sternly to change their attitude lest they should end up in the raging fire of Hell which, of course, is the worst abode. At the end, examples of the wives of the Prophet Noah (sws) and the Prophet Lot (sws) are cited to the disbelievers and those of the wife of the Pharaoh and Maryam (rta) to the Muslims; the object being to prove that only a person's deeds will be of any benefit to him in the Hereafter. If a woman has not done righteous deeds, she cannot benefit in the Hereafter even if she is the wife of a Prophet. Similarly, if a woman has lived a pious life, she will be rewarded in the Hereafter even though she is the wife of a person as rebellious as the Pharaoh.

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